The knockout streak lives on for Lateef “Power” Kayode, the Hollywood cruiserweight from Nigeria who registered a sixth-round knockout for the 14th consecutive fight on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME® Friday night from Chumash Casino Resort. In the co-feature, former Cuban Olympian Luis “La Estrella” Franco remained undefeated moving his record to 8-0 (5 KOs) with a disqualification (low blows) win over Eric “Outlaw” Hunter at 2:34 of the eighth round.
In the main event, Kayode (15-0, 14 KOs) defended his cruiserweight NABO and NABF titles against a game Ed “The Georgia Thumper” Perry, 34, of Frankfort, Indiana, a former high school football player who drives a dump truck for a living. Perry (18-5-2, 11 KOs) hung in there with Kayode, but just like Kayode’s last 13 victims couldn’t last, taking a knee at :51 seconds in the sixth round after a devastating left uppercut right under the rib cage where he was then counted out by referee Jack Reese.
“It was a good fight for me,” said Kayode, 27, who is trained by Freddie Roach and was fighting at cruiserweight for the fifth time in his career. “I waited a round or two to gauge what he had. He took some shots. Normally guys would have fallen after some of those shots but he had a good chin and stayed in there.”
Kayode’s powerful body shots impressed SHOWTIME announcer Antonio Tarver. “His talent is immeasurable” said the heavyweight Tarver. “But I commend Perry for staying in there as long as he did.”
After the fight, Tarver told Perry he needed to work on his condition and “stay in the gym.”
“The body shots took their toll,” said Perry, who had never seen the canvas in his career but took a knee after a lethal combination by Kayode in the fourth round before standing at an eight-count. “I don’t know, I’ve always been pretty tough. It takes a brave man to stand in there and get hit like that, especially on national TV.”
Added Kayode: “He tried to rush me and rough me in the fifth round. He came at me, so I didn’t go with my jab anymore. I went with my straight right because he was bending to my right side and then I got him with the left uppercut.”
In the co-feature, both Franco and Hunter came out firing in a matchup for the vacant WBO NABO featherweight title. The first two rounds went to Franco easily with Hunter warned for a head butt and two low blows. Referee John Shorley stopped the fight at 2:34 of Round 8 after a third low blow by Hunter giving Franco the win by disqualification.
“It looks like he was looking for a way out,” said Franco, who won every round in the dominating win. “My body shots were just hurting him and he didn’t want to get knocked out. He knew he was going to get knocked out in the ninth round and so he decided to take the disqualification. I out-jabbed him and out worked him and finally got the DQ.”
Hunter, 24, who first appeared on ShoBox back in 2007 and was a 2004 U.S. Olympic alternate, was visibly upset after the disqualification. “There was just too much complaining going on the whole time,” he said. “I said before the fight they better watch out for his complaining. Ah, man. I don’t even want to talk about it. He played to the crowd and the ref. It should have never been stopped.”
“He didn’t act like a pro tonight,” SHOWTIME announcer Steve Farhood said of Hunter.
The doubleheader was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
Friday’s fights will re-air on SHO 2 on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). The fights will be available On Demand from Dec. 8 until Dec. 21.
The night of boxing was the second of four consecutive weeks of fights on SHOWTIME. Next Saturday night, Dec. 11, it’s the bantamweights who will take center stage in a “Winner Takes All” tournament. SHOWTIME will televise the fights live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. Four of the top 118-pound fighters battle it out in a two-round, single-elimination tournament to determine the world’s best in the division. In the opening bout, undefeated, world-ranked rising star Abner Mares will face two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan. Then, former IBF 118-pound champ Joseph King Kong Agbeko will try to earn back the title from the man that won it from him, current IBF champ Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez from Irapuato, Mexico.
On Dec. 18 on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/PT), World Boxing Council 175-pound titleholder Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) meets former world light heavyweight and middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) for the WBC light heavyweight title from the Pepsi Coliseum in Québec City, Canada.