After dominating for two rounds Friday against opponent Jerry Odom, 340 Boxing champ Julius Jackson (19-2, 15 KOs) got caught with a right to the head that left him unable to continue, allowing Odom to win the bout by technical knockout 1:54 into the third round.
Odom stepped in late last week to replace super middleweight Ronald Ellis (12-0-1, 10 KOs) who pulled out after suffering a hand injury. When Ellis made his ShoBox debut on Feb. 19, it ended with a draw against Odom (14-2-1, 13 KOs) and a break in his four fight winning streak. Announcers said the 23 year-old Odom was suffering from strep throat when he got the call to come in for Friday’s fight leaving some unsure about his ability to get through the eight round fight.
Jackson, meanwhile, was rebounding from his first loss last October to super middleweight puncher Jose Uzcategui (25-1, 21 KOs), but appeared, according to father and coach Julian “The Hawk” Jackson, in the “best shape he’s been in.” For weeks, boxing reports pit Jackson as the contender, hailing his jab and longer reach.
Both were demonstrated in the first two rounds Friday night as Jackson came out swinging early, and even had Odom against the ropes with 1:30 left into the first round. A “pounding” is what the commentators called it, as Jackson landed a series of blows to Odom’s torso. Anyone watching the fight on television Friday could hear Jackson’s corner telling him during the break between rounds to “jab and pivot,” and that’s what he did coming back in for the second.
Jackson landed two right hands, but one fell short, allowing Odom to get him on the ropes briefly, but with a little more than 30 seconds left, Jackson turned the tables with a quick maneuver, which put Odom back in the corner. With the round over, Odom’s corner advised their fighter to “stand to the side” when Jackson moved in or switched, hands, but Odom said his strategy was to “build Jackson’s confidence” before making a final move.
That move came 1:54 into the third round as the two faced each other again. This time, Jackson went in for a combo, but as he was finishing with his left, Odom’s right hand connected, knocking him to the floor.
“This is a tough loss,” 340 Boxing Managing Partner Lesley Comissiong said after the fight. “The priority for us right now is to make sure Julius’s health is fine and that he works to come back from this defeat.”
The bout was part of a four-fight card celebrating the 15th anniversary of the ShoBox: The New Generation boxing series, and was broadcast live on Showtime from the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.