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Mason Menard’s Thunderous Knockout Highlights ShoBox: The New Generation

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A main event showdown between Nikolay Potapov and Stephon Young concluded the Friday, April 15 edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, but Mason Menard’s stunning knockout of Eudy Bernardo left the biggest impression on those in attendance at the Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Menard, who entered the bout with a 30-1 record built from suspect competition, floored Bernardo with a right hand, rendering the 29-year-old immediately unconscious.

Due to the dramatic force of impact, referee Benjy Esteves Jr. declined a count in favor of calling medical services for Bernardo. Bernardo, a native of the Dominican Republic who had fought just three times in the US, was stretchered out of the ring, and fortunately regained consciousness at the emergency room.

According to Michael Woods of NY Fights, Bernardo was “doing well,” awaiting CAT scan results.

Whereas a disastrous outcome all but closes the book on Bernardo, Menard’s heavy, accurate punches set the boxing community abuzz. Having notched a prior knockdown in the second round, Menard “made a statement” on the biggest stage of his career.

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“Not many people knew who I was going into this, but they know me now,” Menard said. “My speed, power and footwork were the difference. I said a prayer for him (Bernardo) in the middle of the ring that he goes back to his family healthy.”

Friday’s ShoBox card, taking place in Vernona, New York, would feature two other televised events; each going the distance. Alexey Zubov and Constantin Bejenaru, a pair of undefeated Cruiserweights, would kick off the broadcast with a one-sided eight round bout.

Zubov, whose previous five fights had taken place in Russia, had few answers for Benenaru, and suffered a seventh round knockdown en route to his first career defeat.

Bejenaru, who emphasized the importance of getting inside and attacking, did just that in his UD victory. After the fight, the native of Ungheni, Moldova reflected on his performance.

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“He was a good classical boxer, but he’s too straight up and he couldn’t adjust,” Bejenaru said.

“It wasn’t as easy as it looked to beat him. I adjusted my style to do that because I knew it would make him hesitate. I knew if I just constantly attacked him he wouldn’t know what to do.”

A clash of undefeated Bantamweights would send off the card, as Nikolay Potopov and Stephon Young would preserve their respective “undefeated” labels via a majority draw.

Potapov, who had gained significant momentum in the latter stages of this 10 round fight, was none too pleased with the judges’ scorecards.

“I am very unhappy with the decision. For every time he hit me, I hit him twice,” Potapov lamented. “I was the much busier fighter. I don’t know what fight the judges were watching.  At the very most I lost four rounds. I’ve never had a draw before. I feel cheated from a win. I was very happy to be fighting in America but I now feel cheated.”

Alternatively, Young – a Missourian who had entered the bout carrying unfavorable odds – was in better spirits after the decision, citing faulty scorecards in calling for a re-match.

“I should have got the decision,” Young said.  “I hurt him every time I hit him.  I let him be busier than me, but as far as the contact, I feel like I landed the more effective punches.  That was my strategy. I should have come on a bit sooner. That was my plan, but I got a little relaxed in the fight.  I came on in the ninth round when my coach told me to get him out of there…I would like to do that again.”

Indeed, Young’s volume of punches (or lack thereof) may have cost him rounds. Potapov threw 315 jabs against 113 from Young, failing to capitalize on an unspectacular performance from the No. 11 ranked IBF Bantamweight.

Friday’s edition of ShoBox featured the following untelevised preliminary fights: Benjamin Whitaker took a split decision victory over Tre’Sean Wiggins in a Welterweight bout, Nick Brinson earned a TKO win over Demetrius Walker in a Super Middleweight clash, and Dimash Niyazov defeated Jesus Lule via majority decision at Lightweight.

[slideshow_deploy id=’60597′] All photos by Rosie Cohe/Showtime

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