Isaiah Steen stuck and moved his way to a victory over an unbeaten opponent Friday night.
Judges Mike Contreras (97-93), Josef Mason (96-94) and Jeff Sinnett (97-93) all favored Steen’s jab and boxing ability in his 10-round fight versus Kalvin Henderson at Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska. Cleveland’s Steen defeated Henderson by unanimous decision in their super middleweight match to remain undefeated (16-0, 12 KOs, 1 NC).
Henderson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, suffered his first professional loss (14-1-1, 10 KOs).
Showtime aired Steen’s win as the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecast that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the network’s long-running prospect series.
The 31-year-old Henderson pressed the action right up until the final bell.
Henderson’s left uppercut connected about 1:10 into the 10th round. Steen seemed reluctant to engage during those final three minutes and mostly flicked jabs toward Henderson as he fought off his back foot.
Henderson landed a short, left hook just before the final round ended.
Henderson and Steen mostly missed with their punches in the ninth round, when Steen mostly moved out of Henderson’s punching range. A jarring jab by Steen snapped back Henderson’s head with just about 10 seconds to go in that ninth round.
Henderson landed a short, right hand that knocked Steen off balance with approximately 10 seconds to go in the eighth round. Steen continued to move for most of that eighth round, as Henderson stalked him.
Steen stung Henderson with a left hand about 1:10 into the seventh round. Just a few seconds later, Steen nailed Henderson with a right hand that wobbled him.
Steen landed a right hand with 1:10 remaining in the sixth round as Henderson pressed forward. Henderson snuck a left hand past Steen’s guard with just over 20 seconds to go in the sixth round.
A right-left combination by Henderson landed with just over a minute remaining in the fifth round. Steen drilled Henderson with a right hand that knocked Henderson into the ropes and forced him to hold with about 35 seconds to go in the fifth round.
Steen spent most of the fourth round working off his jab and trying to keep his distance from Henderson. Steen stung Henderson with a lead right hand that connected with just under 20 seconds to go in the fourth round.
Steen drilled Henderson with a right hand that backed Henderson into the ropes with just over two minutes to go in the third round. An accidental clash of heads appeared to open the cut Henderson sustained over his left eye in the third round.
Henderson landed a short, right hand in an exchange later in the third round that wobbled Steen.
A left hook by Steen stopped Henderson from moving forward with just under 30 seconds to go in the second round. Several seconds earlier, Henderson landed a sneaky left hook and then a stiff jab that backed up Steen.
Henderson landed a short right hand barely a minute into their fight. Henderson also knocked Steen off balance with another right hand just after the midway mark of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.