The First State brought the fights outdoors to Delaware Park along the race track and and Dave Tiberi of TNT Productions turned in a card filled with competitive fights, accurate scoring as advertised and a huge upset. There was a light mist in the air to go along with the perfect temperature and while causing a bit of a damp canvas, it was a great experience. Boxing outdoors, you just gotta love it!
The majority of the crowd came to see local fighters Larry “Laser” Marks, Ryan Belasco and Richard Stewart. When it was all said and done, a couple of thoroughbreds pulled up lame on the track and it was the experienced war horses Dhafir Smith, Damon Antoine & Shannon Miller who ended up stealing the show.
Prior to the fights, there were tributes to members of Delawares boxing past, all branches of the US Military and also a $10,000 donation to the Delaware Police Athletic League. If you are the type who likes to do a little gambling on the slots, horses or just looking to do some golfing check out Delaware Park. It looks like it could be a nice surprise.
Chucky Cavallo…vs…Shannon Miller
16 – 0, 6ko’s………22 – 37, 16ko’s
In the Main Event, “The Italian Assassin” Chucky Cavallo came in for what was thought to be a tune up to prepare for his PA State Title fight against Richard Stewart.
His opponent for the night Shannon “Trouble” Miller should now go the the nickname of the “Bad Mechanic” because this fight went terribly wrong. Miller scored 3 knockdowns in the first, all with two punch combinations upstairs as Cavallo did not use his far superior reach. In between knockdowns Cavallo did manage to land a good straight right which Miller shook off and went back to business.
New cornerman “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon was screaming at ringside for Cavallo to at first get his hands up and then later in the roundto tie up Miller and buy himself some time. Cavallo was foggy but heeded the last bit of advice and managed to survive the round. Not even the great Teddy Atlas could said anything between rounds to delay the eventual outcome.
Miller just seemed to have his number on this night and wasted no time finishing the job :23 into the second round. The Cavallo team was shocked. In what was supposed to be easy work against an opponent with 37 losses turns out to be a disaster.
Now, the big money title fight against Richard Stewart along with his undefeated record are gone. Will the 21 year old Italian Assassin bounce back from his first career loss? Time will tell, stay tuned.
Give props to Shannon Miller too for knowing he was up against an up and coming prospect and not backing down one bit. This was a true boxing surprise.
Richard Stewart…vs….Jake Rodriguez
In the co-feature, Richard Stewart, also getting ready for the title fight against Cavallo, got a good nights work and won a unanimous decision over a game Jake Rodriguez.
It was a little slow in the beginning but soon broke down into a steady, bang it out kind of fight with Stewart always seeming to do a little more in the trenches. That’s no knock on Rodriguez who would sit in the pocket, take Stewarts best punch and yell at him to “come on!” before delivering some blows of his own. It was a tough, slippery affair as both guys threw some heavy bombs.
In the first, Jake the Snake moved around the ring and Stewart tried to stalk him down where both guys seemed to feel each other out. The Snake tied to open it up in the second throwing hard right hands but missing the mark. Stewart happily obliged and threw hard rights of his own, landing a little more.
Things started to get busy in the third when the mist got heavy. Rodriquez trainer Billy Briscoe was spirited in the red corner screaming for “The Stick” & “The Sleeper”. The fight soon ended up in the corner where they fought it out highlighted by an excellent straight left that intercepted a Stewart bomb and knocking him off balance.
Things stayed the same in the 4th & 5th where Stewart seemed to land the cleaner punches as both fighters stayed in close. In the final round, things went from a tough boxing match to a good tussle though both fighters kept it clean and no fouls were called. It went to the cards and all 3 judges saw it in favor of Stewart 60 – 54 x2 and 58 – 56. I also agree with the 58 – 56 judge.
Dhafir Smith…..vs….Larry Marks
18-16-5, 4ko’s………29-9-1, 16ko’s
This one was a nice battle of two experienced pros as the WBF Super Middleweight champ Dhafir “No Fear” Smith took on former world title contender Larry “Laser” Marks in the Laser’s own backyard. The early portion of the fight was a jab fest with the first three rounds being ones which could go either way.
Dhafir showed a good, straight jab while Marks was doubling it lightly and throwing it from a lot of different angels. The jabs got harder come the 3rd round and in the 4th, both men started putting some steam behind it. That is when the mouthpieces started to fly out and noses started to drip blood.
Dhafir scored a knockdown with a quick left hook in the 4th but Marks didn’t seem too hurt by it. Marks bounced back to win the 5th as he stayed busy and finished the round with three hard straight rights.
The 6th was a slow one butNo Fear started off the 6th strong with a crisp right that landed right on the button. Marks was hurt and the wily veteran knew it would be in his best interest to take a knee. This move paid even more dividends as Dhafir’s aggression got the best of him because he kept punching after the kneel down, thus causing referee Steve Smoger to deduct a point from Smith.
This extra lumping might have hurt Marks momentarily but in the scope of things, it actually saved him from taking a loss in the fight as the point proved to be pivitol in the final score. After taking a thumping early in the round, Marks regrouped and actually started to take back control towards the end.
It was close down the stretch and both guys went head hunting to try to finish it to no avail. Overall it was a good, solid back and forth fight which went to the cards and they read 76 – 73 Dhafir, 77-73 Marks and 75-75 for the draw. I saw it 75 -74 for Dhafir.
Ryan Belasco….vs….Damon Antoine
“The Mailman” Damon Antoine has appeared in our area plenty of times in the past, usually taking the job against an up and comer with a promotional backing. On this night, he had an in ring metamorphosis and fought with a fire under his ass after Ryan Belasco gave his eye a good swelling in the first round.
Belasco looked to be en route to an easy win after one, but once Antoine realized the severity of the injury, The Mailman manned up and fought like a true warrior for the remainder to get a very impressive win. This turned out to be the fight of the night as both fighters were willing to exchange but Antoine gave out the better leather.
I hope to see Antone fight like this more often when he is matched up against another prospect with a flossy record. Belasco also seems to have the potential to make some exciting fights if the gas tank is fueled up beforehand.
Darrell Martin….vs…..Elias Castillo
Former Eastern Regional amateur champion Darrell Martin was successful in his pro debut taking a unanimous decision over a willing Elias Castillo.
Martin started out throwing some very wide punches early as Castillo hung around inside and threw bombs that barely missed their mark. Late in the 1st, Martin caught Castillo with a short left which sent Castillo on his backside.
Around the third round, Martin began to settle down, straightened out his punches and used the ring put his punches together much better than he was earlier in the fight.
Congrats to Darrell Martin on getting that first win by scores of 40 – 35, 39 – 36 x2
Manuel Guzman….vs….Gerald Jordan
Lancaster, PA……….New York
3-4, 2ko’s………….3-1. 3ko’s
In a solid four rounder to open the night, Manuel Guzman and Gerald Jordan fought to a majority draw. Jordan was on top of things early as he slipped a lot of Guzman’s punches ala his trainer Pernell Whitaker did back in the day. In the second, it was evident Sweat Pea hasn’t shown him all the moves yet because Guzman was able to bare down and put the pressure on Jordan, landing some of his trademark big right hands.
Guzman had a strong third round as well and Jordan looked like he might be wearing out. The fight hung in the balance in the 4th and Guzman’s trainer Terry Nye told his guy “it is time to go be a man, go out there and get the win”. Sweat Pea was heard in the opposite corner screaming “It’s our time, you take control of this fight!” In the end it was a close round that could have gone either way.
The cards read 39 – 37 Jordan but the other two judges over ruled with scores of 38 – 38 for the majority draw.
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