James and Meriwether stay unbeaten following Plant City points victories

Joeshon James was tested.

The Sacramento, California middleweight had to dig down deep to beat veteran Vaughn Alexander.

James (9-0-2, 5 KOs), who is coached by Dre Martinez, punches a lot early and he didn’t allow Alexander (18-9-1, 11 KOs) to get going in the opening round. 

Alexander pushed forward but was not effective, although he began to have some success towards the end of the first. Alexander continued to put psychological pressure on James with his steady forward pressure. 

But that seemed to lead to him getting hit a lot. The 38-year-old Alexander started to look his age against the 25-year-old fighter who was outworking him and in the third, the pattern continued. 

Alexander moved forward and James maintained a steady output of punches. Alexander couldn’t or wouldn’t throw combinations while James never seemed to stop letting his hands go, without disregarding the craft of the sport. 

Then Alexander landed a big left hook that caught James’ attention and rattled him. Alexander continued to double down on the left hook and he started to close the distance, thus, he was more successful. 

The middle rounds saw the fight get tense. A new element was added because Alexander had shown that he could rock James, and James was having trouble keeping Alexander off him. Although James was winning on the outside, it felt like Alexander was just one punch away from changing the fight at times. Alexander also followed James a lot, as opposed to cutting off the ring. 

The fifth session saw Alexander land a good right hand that appeared to buzz James once again. Whenever James was rocked, he’d go back to picking shots from the outside and winning the round. Alexander was landing big shots, but unable to follow up on his success.

By the sixth round, the fight appeared to be closer than many expected it would be. Yet, James stayed poised and didn’t deviate from the task at hand, firmly implementing the plan that he had worked on. 

Late in the fight, James continued to work the body on Alexander and while he was largely in control it proved a tough and grueling bout. 

James lost a point in the eighth round for using his forearm, but all three judges had him winning by margins of 78-73.

The 25-year-old James had taken four straight B-side fights before this contest. He had two knockout wins and two draws. His last victory was a first-round stoppage over David Stevens, whom he moved up a weight class to face, and that result turned heads. 

Super-featherweight prospect Robert Meriwether III got his first win on ProBox TV airwaves, picking up a four-round unanimous decision over Carlos Rocha as the opener for the Friday, February 16 ProBox TV card, from Plant City, Florida. 

Meriwether III (5-0, 2 KOs) dictated the action early, keeping Rocha (3-3, 2 KOs) on the outside. A fencing jab was the choice punch to deter Rocha’s confidence, although Meriwether had trouble timing Rocha.

The 18-year-old former Louisville, Kentucky resident – who now boxes out of Las Vegas – used a wide stance. The action was limited as neither felt comfortable throwing combinations. At times in the third round, Meriwether looked tense and that led to his punches not having the desired effect. 

The fourth round, however, was Meriwether’s best session. His handspeed slowed Rocha’s output and with about a minute left in the fight, the two had a violent head clash, but neither were cut. 

Meriwether, who ended an eight-month layoff, got some hard, tough rounds against a veteran in a learning experience that allowed him to shake off some rust. 

The judges saw the bout 40-36 on all three scorecards.