September 11, 2009 in Philadelphia. It was a day of remembrance as 8 years ago on this day, terrorists hi-jacked planes and forever changed the way Americans go about everyday living.
Current day Philly wasn’t looking very good either as Mayor Nutter is talking “Plan C” budgets and laying off over 3,000 city workers as State house and Senate leaders argue over the details of future city spending and sales tax increases.
On top of that, it was a flat out nasty, rainy night in the city that loves you back.
But hey, not all was bad. Mother’s house was open for business as Vernoca Michael and her tag team partner Don Elbaum collaborated once again for fight night at The Legendary Blue Horizon. There were eight bouts scheduled featuring quite a few area fighters at different stages of their career. The theme “Public Safety Night” in hope of bringing awareness to the ridiculous number of people being mugged, maimed and killed in our city streets. Special tribute was giving to the life of 25 year old Pete Lyde Jr, grandson of Smokin’ Joe and son of Pete & Judge Jackie Frazier Lyde. Pete was senselessly killed outside of a bar in North Philly on his first night of employment at the establishment. Put down the guns and pick up the gloves kids!
Back to boxing, in the main event, rising Jr. Welterweight “Showtime” Steve Chambers (20-1-1, 6ko’s) was returning after 8 months on the shelf because of a foot injury. Considered one of the more talented fighters in our area, he is starting to be considered one of the most protected also. You can’t blame the fighter for this and when in the ring, Steve has handled his business time and time again.
On this night, the opponents changed a few times and at the last minute his opponent was settled on Aaron Drake (13-7, 9ko’s) , a non descript journeyman from Kansas. While Chambers was putting in hard hours in the gym, Drake likely was on the couch when the phone rang.
To no ones surprise, Steve Chambers absolutely steamrolled over Aaron Drake, taking out the late replacement at the 1:27 mark of round 2. Chambers was in control from the start working behind a stiff jab and following with a straight right, scoring three knock downs total before referee Gary Rosado saw enough and called a halt to the bout. Chambers looked fresh for a guy who hasn’t fought in 8 months. Now let’s see that Chambers – Shmouel fight Elbaum!
The co-feature was the most intriguing fight of the night. Two years ago, Phoenixville’s Jules Blackwell (8-3-2, 3ko’s) was considered a prospect to keep an eye on. Well dressed, well spoken, college educated, the kid was a marketing dream. Trained by Jimmy Deoria & John Mulvenna, he had the inside connection to Don Elbaum’s matchmaking and racked up 7 straight wins to start his career. Unlike many others in the city, Jules started calling for the big fight soon after. His heart alone landed him a Philly top 10 pound for pound slot. His wish was granted time and time again as he went on to face some of the toughest this area has to offer. His first test was Paul Fernandez, a fight he won convincingly. After that he just wasn’t winning anymore. Lucian Gonzalez – draw, Ja Sung Lee – draw at Madison Square Garden. Then it started to fall apart. His team thought they could pull a fast one and called up Eric “Outlaw” Hunter to take a fight on 2 days notice thinking he wasn’t in the gym. Bad move, Jules lost in 3. He bounced back against a duck but was then in his most recent match, took an unexplainable TKO loss to the feather fisted Darrell Martin.
On the flip side, Joselito Collado (9-0, 3ko’s) has been making to trek from the Bronx to Broad street in hopes of getting that big pay day. He had slowly but steadily produced solid outing after solid outing. The crowd that once had their eye on Jules was now watching this kid from the boogie down.
This only meant one thing, it was do or die for the career of Jules Blackwell.
Earlier in the day, Joselito Collado was forced to strip down to his bare ass at the weigh-in to make the contracted fight weight as he originally came in 5 ounces over the 126 lb limit. For this he vowed a KO Jules Blackwell in 3 rounds. It took him only 2:01 into the 1st round to end the fight with a hard three punch combo that sent Blackwell to the outer edge of the ring apron and into la-la land. Good win for Collado and it was a good run for Jules who was one of the classier guys I have met in this racket, but that full time graphic designer job for Black n Mild might be a better long term option that a future in the ring holds for him. I’d hate to see him get hurt. If you do choose to hang em up, it was good to know you!
The fight on the card that didn’t get much hype but was a sleeper pick to be a good one was a super featherweight match between Lancaster’s Isaac Suarez (7-1, 3ko’s) and Mondre Pope (2-0-1) of Virginia.
Suarez was a known amateur undefeated prospect coming into this bout. He was recently returning to the ring after a two year layoff. Pope may be a bit unknown as a pro but is said to have over 150 amateur wins.
Suarez’ first fight back was a tough split decision win against Ikeem Orji of Maryland, a fight where Suarez had to get off the canvas to win. His team wanted one more fight before they chased some big pay days…. and did they ever get a fight on this night.
In what goes down as the worst performance of Suarez career, Mondre Pope was aggressive early and scored two knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated fighter in their 6 round bout. Pope was quicker to the punch, landing good straight lefts in the opening rounds, quite a few wobbling his opponent. When Suarez would try to attack, Pope used to ring and got out of dodge before being touches.
After the second knockdown Suarez could have packed it in but to his credit he showed a lot of heart and rebounded down the stretch. Suarez seemed to have the fire power but didn’t pull the trigger when he needed to, unlike the young body punching machine I remember from a few years ago. It went to the score cards which read 58 – 55 x4 & 58 -54 for Pope who showed he is a guy to keep an eye on.
Former NHL goon Nathan Perrott traded the skates for a pair boots in his new venture as a pro fighter. Before the match, he spent a lot of time telling good tales of his hockey life. He gave himself the nod in a on-ice skate fight against Donald Brashear, told tales of being a pro in the Russian hockey league, being the only guy for miles to speak English – only to have his passport stolen and being stranded in this foreign land for weeks. It was all a breeze during the media sessions talking about his anticipated pro debut.
But then at the weigh in the mood began to change. The easy going fella started to realize the serious of the business. He was still personable, but very anxious. Hours later, when the bell finally sounded, the nerves were still there but he seemed ready for the task at hand. The beginning wasn’t pretty but to his credit he shook off some early jitters to score a late TKO over Makidi Ku-Tima in their heavyweight bout. A few Flyers showed up to cheer on their boy and he didn’t disappoint as he threw down hockey style, mauling and pummeling his opponent. I think we will be seeing him again soon as the crowd seemed to take a liking to him. According to sources, Flyers spotted at ringside were Mike Richards, Riley Cote, Dan Carcillo, Ray Emery and Jeff Carter.
I am sure we will see Perrott again. Though he needs a lot of work, the story is good and people seemed to like the idea of a hockey player throwing down in the ring at The Blue.
South Philly’s Mongoose, Phillip McCants (8-1-1, 3ko’s) of the Marion Anderson Gym shook off 3 years of ring rust in a clear unanimous decision win over Tyson Schwinger (3-8-3, 3ko’s) in their 4 rounder. McCants, fighting as a junior middleweight was in control throughout. After a slow start he was very good in the second round but took the foot off the pedal a bit in 3 and 4, still outworking his foe. While his timing was off, he did show flashes of a guy who knows how to put punches together and also flashed some slick defense. Schwinger was a game fighter who tried his hardest. Scores were 40 – 36 across the board. Look for the Mongoose to return on October 2nd.
Belmawr’s Joe Alonso had a good showing in his pro debut against Bill Brown on Ohio ina 4 round welterweight rumble. Alonso came to The Blue with a NY Giants logo tattooed on him but I’ll give the kid his due. He worked hard against a willing, but limited opponent. This turned out to be one of the better two-way fights on the night. Alonso was full steam ahead firing away as Brown hippity-hopped around the ring trying to land pot shots. Brown looked like he was ready to go on his back late but the crafty vet found a way to survive. In the end the scorecards read 40 – 36 x2 & 40 – 35 for Alonso. After his fight, half the crowd emptied, leaving The Blue looking like a ghost town.
The ladies put on a good fight too as NJ’s Jackie Davis (3-0, 1ko) and Albuquerque’s Victoria Cisneros (3-7-2) went at it for four rounds. It was a close one as Davis chose to brawl instead of box which led to some good spots of two way fisticuffs. Cisneros was cut over her left eye by a punch early in the fight and her unprepared one person corner wiped it with what appeared to be a dirty dish rag. Cisneros didn’t quit and Davis showed the tenacity that makes her a crowd favorite. The fight hung in the balance down the stretch and Davis pulled out a close last round with some hard overhand rights on the ropes. Regardless of your stance on women fighters, Jackie, the full time police officer trained by the Philly great Ivan Robinson, always puts on a show. The cards read 38-38 & 39-37 x2 for Davis.
Delroy Beston of Tom River won the battle of pro debuting Jr Welterweight’s as he took a unanimous decision over Philly’s Jason Sia in the opening bout of the night. The fight was a bit awkward as both men were southpaws but both were able to get in some good shots. Beston landed some good lefts through out though they didn’t really faze Sia. It went to the cards which read 40 – 36 x 2 & 39 – 37 for Beaston.
Correction: Dangerous Darrell Jones fight was canceled at the last minute because his opponent was involved in a car accident after the weigh-in. Look for Darrell on Oct 2 @ The Blue.
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