Welcome to the world of boxing trainer Freddie Roach

May 17, 2011 6:00 AM

Imagine the life of a future Hall of Fame trainer like Freddie Roach, who handles Manny Pacquiao in front of 16,000-plus and the world at MGM Grand while a week later supports Raymundo Beltran in front of "friends and relatives" in Primm.

No knock on Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena. Just stating what’s real – that this is where boxing’s heartland resides.

Credit ShoBox: The New Generation, ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, HBO’s Boxing After Dark along with venues like Cosmopolitan and Star of the Desert for giving young, upcoming fighters a chance to dream of one day living life in Manny Pacquiao’s world.

For those select few in attendance and those near Denny’s who caught the main event on Showtime, it took only one round to surpass the Pacquiao-Mosley snoozer. We were treated to the full 10 with Sharif "The Lion" Bogere remaining unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Roach’s charge in what was a lot closer than the judges’ cards told.

The scores were 97-93 and two 96-94’s – enough to give "The Lion" a 20-0 record and make him the new NABO lightweight champion. In truth, Beltran (now 24-5) was just one point down on two cards going to the last (10th) round and could have pulled out a majority draw. But he lost the round on all three cards.

The Uganda-born Bogere, who was carried into the ring in a cage wearing a lion’s robe (one of the more creative entrances) is a five-time African champion on the fast track to a world title. Beltran, 11 years a pro and holder of the USBA lightweight crown, didn’t look anything like a 6-1 underdog.

Bogere won the early rounds with Beltran gradually working his way back. Both fighters were cut and each made an impression. Bogere threw more punches, Beltran the better tactical fight and harder hitter.

A tough fight to score, but in the end most at ringside agreed with the two-point decision for Bogere, a Las Vegas resident.

In the telecast’s first bout heavyweight Seth Mitchell (22-0-1, 16 KOs) scored a TKO over an overmatched Evans Quinn. Mitchell, a former Michigan State linebacker, sent Quinn to the canvas late in the first round. The count reached nine and Quinn, no lion this night, shook his head no to referee Joe Cortez and took the 10-count ending the bout.

Mitchell indicated he wanted to fight the Klitschko brothers at some point. Yeah, who wouldn’t? Pack your bags for Germany and hope your name comes up.

What’s ahead:

The best on the May 21 card is HBO’s telecast of the Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins rematch to be held in Montreal for Pascal’s Ring/WBC light heavyweight title.

It’s always interesting watching the ageless Hopkins, a true legend who never looks bad in a fight but causes numerous problems for judges trying to score it.

The undercard has Chad Dawson in action in another light-heavy 12-rounder. This Sunday in Russia, an over the hill Roy Jones fights for a paycheck against Denis Lebedev in a cruiserweight bout.

Siberia would be a good site for that one.