For the first time since 2009, “The Contender” returns to your TV screens later this summer, premiering on August 24th on EPIX. Freddie Roach and Naazim Richardson will oversee 16 middleweights as they work their way through a 12-episode single-elimination tournament.
Showtime Boxing commentators dubbed it the “night of champions,” a nickname that, despite a loss Saturday night, still proved true for 340 Boxing’s John “Dah Rock” Jackson (20-3, 15 KOs), who showed his mettle against opponent Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) with an improved defense and tactical fighting style that gave him command throughout the better part of seven rounds.
The fight against Charlo was the first on a three-title fight card broadcast live from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and the first world title shot for both boxers. According to the stats, Jackson was the leader in every round except the fifth – with all three judges scoring the same 68-65 – but was knocked out with 51 seconds left in the eighth round after Charlo landed a left-right combination to the head.
“It was a great fight,” Jackson said Saturday. “I felt like I was winning, but I got caught and that’s boxing. It was a journey to get here, and when I came out, I knew I surprised him. He was expecting me to charge him but I switched it up, and I felt like I was ahead, but then he hit me by my eye, it grazed me, but I felt my mouthpiece coming out and I was going to put it back in and then he hit me again.”
With the win, Charlo picks up World Boxing Council’s vacant world super welterweight title, last held by fight promoter and former world champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather – a title that 340 Boxing managing partner Lesley Comissiong said the Jackson camp will still keep in its sights.
“We have to sit down as a team and re-evaluate what it will take to get to this point,” Comissiong said. “John showed he has the ability to fight on this level. He won virtually every round. Unfortunately, we didn’t reach our goal tonight, but we will regroup and continue to move towards it. We thank everyone that has supported us along the way during this journey. There has been a lot of love given to us to help us get to this place, and we can’t be more appreciative of the people of the Virgin Islands. “
Saturday’s Showtime fight card also featured: Charlo’s twin brother Jermall Charlo (23-0-0, 18 KOs) against Austin Trout (32-2, 17 KOs) for the International Boxing Federation’s World super welterweight title. Cuba’s Erislandy Lara (22-2-2, 13 KOs) and Armenian fighter Vanes Martirosyan (32-2-1, 21 KOs) will also be battling it out for the vacant World Boxing Association’s Super World super welterweight title and the International Boxing Organization’s World super welterweight title.
Julian Jackson 2nd most dangerous boxer of ALL TIME!
BY JAMES GARDNER
Food Network’s “The Kitchen,” with hosts Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, Jeff Maduro and Marcella Valladolid, will show viewers how to beat the cold this weekend with some tropical cooking, including a Caribbean coconut shrimp with mango sauce recipe whipped up by local chef and champion boxer Julius Jackson.
The show premieres Saturday at noon local time and also features recipes for pork kebabs with baked pineapple rice. Jackson said he was booked for the spot after meeting producer Blake Swerdcloff during a shoot on island for “Beach Bites,” another show featuring host Katie Lee.
“The experience was so great,” Jackson said recently. “It was a bit nerve wracking with the 15 huge cameras and the other super star chefs looking on, but I was in my element. It flowed very smoothly and we ended up doing it all in one take.”
Jackson has caught the world’s attention with his pugilistic prowess, but the 168-pound contender has earned his fighting nickname, “The Chef.” He graduated from the Florida Culinary Institute in 2008, the same year he represented the territory as a boxer in the Beijing Olympics. He has worked at the Marriott on St. Thomas and in West Palm Beach, Florida, then was head chef at Fat Turtles before shifting his full focus to his pursuit of a boxing title.
But he still works in the kitchen, and has partnered with his friend Shelly Berry in a catering firm. For his Food Network appearance Saturday, Jackson cooked up a shrimp recipe borrowed from Berry.
“It’s the best coconut shrimp you’ll ever eat,” Jackson said. “She’s been making it for years, and I’ve been making them with her for about two years now. Our guests always love them and I picked it for the show because they are so good and I think the recipe really gives a warm Caribbean feel, which is what this episode, ‘A Winter Escape,’ is all about.”
As the show’s host, Lee was the first person on set to taste the dish when it was finished, Jackson said.
“Her eyes lit up,” he said. “They all loved the flavor and the presentation and they invited me to do another segment after the show, which was really exciting.”
You might say it was a knockout.