EL PASO, Texas (Nov. 12, 2011) – After three years without national television exposure, undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight champion Austin Trout dominated Frank LoPorto for more than five rounds before referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight at 2:32 of the sixth in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation. In the evening’s co-feature from minor league ballpark Cohen Stadium in El Paso, Texas, the Brazilian-born prospect Michael Oliveira won by disqualification over Xavier Toliver when referee Robert Chapa ended the bout at 1:31 of round eight when Toliver punched Oliveira on the break.
Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Rich in talent and amateur credentials but lacking in exposure, Trout (24-0, 14 KOs), of Las Cruces, N.M., seized the moment. From the first bell, he outclassed his Aussie opponent with hand speed and boxing acumen. The rugged LoPorto showed heart and toughness in the bout but little else.
Leading with his head in an attempt to pressure the champ, LoPorto found himself on the canvas in the first round after walking directly into Trout’s right hand. When he returned to his feet, it appeared that the fight might not see the second round. Trout upped his work rate to stop the challenger early but LoPorto pushed himself to make it through the opening three minutes.
LoPorto (15-5-2, 7 KOs), of Melbourne, Australia, remained upright for the rest of the championship tilt but failed to accomplish much else. His punches were slow and telegraphed. His legs appeared largely unstable. And his head moved less than most of the hanging curves thrown in Cohen Stadium.
As SHOWTIME boxing analyst Steve Farhood put it during the fight, “Frank LoPorto won’t win this fight with skill. His only chance will be with will.”
Trout successfully removed the will from his game opponent. In addition to the first round knockdown, Trout bloodied the bridge of LoPorto’s nose early and tagged him with shots from all angles. The 154-pound titlist fought quicker, smarter and more effectively in the one-sided scrap. As Trout began to brutalize the 33-year-old LoPorto in the clutches of the neutral corner in the sixth round, the Australian’s trainer tried to end the fight but referee Ramos made the call himself.
“He is a tough guy,” Trout said afterwards. “He just kept coming. I felt like he wasn’t going to quit so I needed to stay busy. I just kept pushing, trying to get that stoppage.”
When asked about the quality of his performance, Trout responded “I felt like I did my thing. If anybody feels like I don’t deserve this belt, please come and take it.”
The win for Trout marked his third title defense.
Michael Oliveira Scores Eighth-Round DQ Win Over Xavier Toliver
In the eight-round middleweight co-featured attraction, Toliver (23-8, 15 KOs) stormed out his corner in an attempt to blitz Oliveira. Startled by the ambush, the 21-year-old youngster showed poise and recovered before the end of the round.
As the fight pushed on, it became clear that Toliver – who took the match on very short notice – started so quickly because his conditioning was lacking. Michael Oliveira (16-0, 13 KOs), of Miami, Fla. served up plenty of combinations and the Atlanta-based Xavier Toliver ate most of them throughout the night. Early on, Toliver took punches in an attempt to counter his opponent. But by the middle and later rounds, he absorbed punishment while languishing against the ropes without retaliating.
At the end of the seventh, Oliveira bloodied Toliver’s bottom lip and the listless journeyman headed back to his corner exhausted. Toliver’s trainer Eric Williams threatened to stop the bout before the eighth but Toliver insisted that he fight on.
In the final round, the tired combatants were holding one another when referee Chapa broke the action to separate them. As Chapa pried them apart, Toliver caught Oliveira with a right hand to the face. The illegal action caused Chapa to end the fight via disqualification.
Referee Chapa also intervened earlier in the bout when he deducted a point from Toliver for a clash of heads in the fifth, after several warnings.
“This was definitely the hardest fight I’ve ever fought,” said Oliveira. “My conditioning was superior. I’ll be even better next time.”
The event was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.
The telecast will replay on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and be available on SHOWTIME On Demand from Nov. 14 through Nov. 27.
SHOBOX: Austin Trout and Michael Oliveira remain undefeated but fail to impress
On the eve of one of the biggest fights of the year, Showtime presented SHOBOX: The New Generation in El Paso, Texas, which featured two young unbeaten fighters but failed to provide the necessary fireworks to impress the casual boxing observers.
Sure, WBA super welterweight champion Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KOs) and prospect Michael Oliveira (16-0, 13 KOs) disposed of their opponents inside the distance, but it was surprising how Frank Loporto (15-4-3, 7 KOs) and Xavier Toliver (23-8, 15 KOs), who were both overmatched and took the fight on a 10-day notice, lasted that long in the bout.
In the main event, the disparity in power and skill was quite evident the moment the bell rang in the first round. Frank Loporto, ranked #14 by the WBA, took Austin Trout by surprise as he swarmed and rushed the champion with wild punches that failed to hit their intended targets.
Moments later, a short right hand to the chin sent the game challenger down on the seat of his pants. Loporto was obviously hurt but beat the count as he withered the storm until the end of the round, due partly to Trout's inability to connect with his power shots.
In the second round, Loporto came out of his corner firing and once again rushed Austin Trout, but despite getting tagged with power shots from the champion, the challenger just kept on coming in wild abandon; he kept on lunging and missing, hitting and countering time and again but to no avail.
The same story happened the rest of the fight -- Frank Loporto rushing and punching would get tagged over and over again by Austin Trout's huge counters -- but he would just suck it up like a veritable human punching bag and continue fighting. The difference in talent and skills was obvious, but the rugged Loporto was not deterred one bit. Every time Trout would explode with his power bombs, Loporto took them -- literally and figuratively -- on the chin, and surprisingly remained standing. Either Loporto's chin was made of granite or Trout's power was just not that great.
At any rate, the fight showcased Frank Loporto's durability as much as Austin Trout's talent as the highly regarded champion failed to finish his opponent in ground-shaking fashion.
But much as the fans would have liked to see an action-packed fight, true boxing fans do not want to see a virtual massacre, especially one involving a well-polished and talented fighter against an overmatched opponent. Be that as it may, the one-sided match showed that there was no quit in Frank Loporto, even after absorbing everything that Austin Trout had thrown at him.
In an 8-round middleweight bout, prospect Michael Oliveira earned a stoppage when the referee disqualified Xavier Toliver for hitting after the bell. Although already moot and academic because of the one-sided match, Toliver's handler protested (and he had a point) the decision, pointing out that the referee had not warned his ward prior to the disqualification.
Although Toliver started strong and rushed out of his corner with all guns blazing right at the opening bell, his lack of stamina and suspect conditioning proved to be his downfall, as he could not keep up with the younger and well-conditioned Oliveira the rest of the way.
Toliver, who looked tired and exhausted early and was breathing through his mouth, starting the second round and onwards, tried to make it a fight as his counters found their marks every time Oliveira would be on the offensive. But Oliveira's inside intrusions proved effective, pummeling Toliver on the ropes, digging into his body, and bludgeoning him on the head with a wide array of punches.
If only Xavier Toliver did not take this fight on a ten-day notice and had time to prepare for the bout, then maybe he could have put up a more competitive fight, as he was supposed to be Oliveira's first decent outing after feasting on patsies that were served in his short professional career.
Despite the lopsided victory, the jury is still out there for Michael Oliveira. He needs to step up and fight more dangerous challengers if he wants to be taken seriously as a fighter to be reckoned with in his division.
"It was a busy fight, but I got bored in the middle of it. Austin Trout should have finished Loporto in the first round. The guy was there for the picking but he failed to catch him despite throwing a lot of punches."-- Sammy D. of Allen Park, MI
"Michael Oliveira will be in trouble in the future if ever he fights a boxer who has power in his hands. He leads with his face and his defense sucks."-- Alex S. of Taylor, MI
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Australia's Frank LoPorto beaten by American Austin Trout in super welterweight world-title fight
Melbourne wharfie Frank LoPorto's dream of claiming a super welterweight world-title belt turned into a nightmare in Texas when he was battered by undefeated US champion Austin Trout.
LoPorto, who proudly wore a Maritime Union of Australia insignia on his back for the World Boxing Association contest, was knocked down in the first round and pounded repeatedly until referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight late in the sixth round to give Trout a technical knockout victory.
Ramos could not see it, but when he ended the bout LoPorto's cornermen were waving white towels.
"He just kept coming," said Trout, impressed by LoPorto's ability to take punishment.
"I felt every punch I landed he was going to go down, but he just never did."
The bout was held in Trout's home town of El Paso and the 26-year-old improves his professional record to 24 wins (14KOs).
Trout hopes to fight the winner of December's battle between boxing elite, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, but could also take on Anthony Mundine, the WBA's No.1 contender.
LoPorto took a month off his job as a wharfie when Trout's promoter called offering a world-title shot. Trout's scheduled opponent suffered an injury, giving LoPorto the biggest opportunity of his career.
LoPorto's record slips to 15 wins (seven KOs), five losses and two draws.
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