Undefeated Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev handed Sonny Fredrickson the first loss of his career with an impressive third round TKO in the opening bout of the ShoBox telecast.
The win over the top-10 ranked Fredrickson extended Ergashev’s perfect record to 12-0 with 12 knockouts.
The 26-year-old pressed the action from the beginning, negating Fredrickson’s five-inch reach advantage with a steady diet of well-timed, crisp punches. Ergashev landed a wide left to the head that stumbled Fredrickson in the opening minute of the third and continued to tee-off as his opponent wobbled against the ropes With Fredrickson (18-1, 12 KOs) unable to defend himself and eating a series of brutal lefts, referee Benjy Esteves stepped in to stop the bout at 1:58 of the third.
All of Ergashev’s 61 connects in the bout were power shots, and he connected on 77 percent of his power punches in the third and final round.
“The ref saved him,” Ergashev said. “If he let him stay on his feet any longer I would have knocked him out. He couldn’t handle my power.
“At this stage of my career, I am in the best shape of my life and the best I have felt. This is my time right now, especially because I am training with Rick (Phillips) and (Javan) Sugar (Hill Steward). That’s what leads to all of my knockout power.
“I’m ready for whatever comes next. I’m ready for more fights in the U.S., and I want to keep getting more exposure to show off my skills. I’m ready to fight anybody in America.”
Fredrickson, who became the 172 fighter to suffer his professional loss on the prospect developmental series, suffered a jaw injury in the bout and was unavailable for comment.
All photos by Marilyn Paulino