After walking through the proverbial fire, Brock Jarvis has emerged triumphant in his US boxing debut. The hard-earned fifth round KO over Mexico’s Alejandro Frias takes the Australian to 20-0 (18 KOs), securing the IBF Intercontinental Lightweight title in the process.
‘Resilience’ and ‘heart’ are both accurate descriptors of the Marrickville fighters’ performance, who was also making his promotional debut for Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Making the move up from Super Featherweight, Jarvis started the bout in trademark fashion, backing his Mexcian opponent up against the ropes. At the halfway point, a powerful rip to the body stung Frias, who was able to land a number of right hands to the head despite his compromised state.
For as many advancements that were made in the first, they were seemingly undone in the second. Reversing roles, Frias trapped Jarvis against the ropes and proceeded to connect with a flurry of punches.
With the referee barking the instruction to “show something”, Jarvis moved his head enough to evade the punches coming his way and regained his composure to end the round.
A crucial moment in the stanza came when the referee seemingly missed a knock-down that should have been scored against Jarvis. With the ropes holding him up on his feet, action was paused and the fighters were separated without a count.
After dealing with the adversity and returning to the stool, legendary trainer Jeff Fenech implored Jarvis to “breathe” and fight in a less reckless style.
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Now setting up attacks with a strong jab, the 23-year-old found success with body punches in the third and fourth rounds. While he found himself against the ropes again, Frias landed heavy left hooks on occasion. His attacks weren’t as devastating as those thrown in the second.
Having seemingly shaken off the cobwebs, Jarvis really began to lean on a tired Frias (now 13-5-2, 6 KOs) to start the fifth. The inside fighting style full of combinations that mixed body and head attacks, began to take a toll.
With the Aussie prospect now in control, the referee stepped in and called a stop to the contest. The decision was heavily disputed by team Frias and the pro-Mexican crowd.
Their disapproval of the call was based on the apparent lack of damage their fighter received.
Incredibly critical of his own output, Brock Jarvis reflected on the experience of his US debut performance.
“It was an ordinary performance and I’ve got a lot to work on,” he told DAZN’s Chris Mannix post fight.
“He caught me with some big shots. In times like that, you’ve got to dig deep and show what you’re made of. I hung in there and kept working to get the win. To win at all costs and a bit of adversity is not going to stop me.
“I got back to my corner, listened to my corner and had to dig deep. Show what I’m made of.
“I can’t thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom for giving me this opportunity. It’s unbelievable. It didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen, but that’s boxing.”
Regardless of the damage taken, the fight was a big step in the right direction for a boxer so young. Jarvis’ ability to deal with heavy adversity at such an early stage of his career is a true testament to his character and determination.
Working closely with Fenech, there is no question that he will continue to work on his deficiencies in order to showcase himself on the World stage.
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