One of the most satisfying aspects of following boxing closely is watching prospects develop into contenders. Since 2001, the Shobox series on Showtime has played a critical role in helping fans to do this. On Friday night in Las Vegas, yet another undefeated young fighter will look to solidify his standing when Antoine Douglas faces veteran Les Sherrington of Australia.
I watched Antoine Douglas’ fourth and fifth fights live, a pair of one-sided, four-round decisions back in 2013. At the time, he was a 21 year old with an international amateur background. Against club-level novices, he was relaxed and easily in control. But as he’s moved up in levels, he’s continued to shine. His two most recent wins were stoppages of fellow unbeaten fighters Thomas Lamanna and Istvan Szili.
The only mark on Douglas’ record to date is a draw with Michel Soro in July 2014. Soro had only lost previously in a world-title challenge with Zaurbek Baysangurov and has knocked out Glen Tapia since, so the Frenchman is clearly no slouch.
Sherrington is an opponent he should be able to look good against, but after this, I have to think he’ll be looking for another step up in class. At 23, he’s ready to fight another true contender.
A fight that would make a ton of sense for him would be against Willie Monroe Jr., who was knocked out by Gennady Golovkin in May. Prior to the loss to GGG, Monroe had looked great last January, when he pitched a near shutout against Bryan Vera. Monroe isn’t quite a top-10 middleweight at the moment, but he’s on the bubble for it. A win over him would put Antoine Douglas on the bubble himself. For Monroe, it would be the sort of win that would indicate another world-title shot could be in his future. The two fighters are both handled by Banner Promotions, so it should be able to happen.