Isaiah Steen defeats Kalvin Henderson by UD on ShoBox

Jaron Ennis (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Jaron Ennis (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

ShoBox: The Next Generation celebrated its 20th anniversary with a super middleweight main event between Isaiah Steen and Kalvin Henderson.

Over the last 20 years, ShoBox: The Next Generation has introduced the world to fresh, up-and-coming boxing talent. The series celebrated a big anniversary on Friday, July 23, with an enjoyable main event between undefeated super middleweights Isaiah Steen and Kalvin Henderson.

ShoBox solidified its niche over the years by identifying promising young fighters and giving them a platform while bringing boxing to some locations not known as fight towns. The Heartland Events Center in sparsely populated Grand Island, Nebraska, hosted the ShoBox fight card headlined by Steen vs. Henderson.

Steen (16-0, 12 KOs) came in as the slight favorite. The 24-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio, got his shot on the national stage and made the most of it.

Henderson (14-1-1, 10 KOs) came into his fight with Steen with a nice record but with a weaker résumé. Both had power, but Steen’s boxing skills made the difference in this matchup.

Isaiah Steen, who is trained by Otha Jones Jr. and Roshawn Jones, defeated Kalvin Henderson and is another Ohio boxer on the rise

Steen and Henderson possessed similar long builds and styles, but Steen became more mobile throughout the fight and confused Henderson with his movement.

In round 3, Steen and Henderson hurt each other with strong right hands to the head. Steen hurt Henderson first but left his lead hand low, which allowed Henderson to connect with his own right. A cut opened up near Henderson’s left eye, but it didn’t prove to be a problem as the fight continued.

Steen started to land his powerful right hand with regularity over the next several rounds. He sensed that he hurt Henderson again with it in round 7 and tried to produce a knockout but expended a lot of energy before Henderson showed that he fully recovered.

Steen’s output dropped from round 8 through the 10, but he kept Henderson away with his jab while constantly circling away on the outside.

After the final bell, the judges returned scores of 96-94 and two of 97-93, all for Steen. Neither fighter let their hands go enough down the stretch, but Steen showed better boxing skills that allowed him to score without taking any damage.

Henderson lost but did enough to earn another look. Steen’s ranking will move up, and so will his profile. We’ll see if he can be the next ShoBox product to go on to a bright boxing future.

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