Category Archives: Omar Pittman

Yusaf Mack & Derek Ennis win PA State titles at The Armory

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com
Joey Eye Promotions came to the National Guard Armory this past weekend and once again the Philly fight scene legend delivered a night full off knockdowns and drag-outs. In the Main Event, the world rated Light Heavyweight Yusef Mack returned home to take on another Philly fighter in Omar Pittman who was looking to score an upset. The PA State and NABA Light Heavyweight titles were on the line as well as a possible top ranking in the WBA.

In the co-feature, Derek Ennis looked to put his name back a top the list of young Philly junior middleweights and his assignment was no slouch as he took on the 41 year old day time trash man Troy Browning in a 10 round State title fight.

The under card was patch worked together but it did produce two entertaining heavyweight fights when Anthony Gatt took on Jonathan Felton and also when Lamont Barnes took on Tyaab Beale in 4 rounders. Jules Blackwell looked to get a bounce back win and Joel De La Paz returned from North Jersey to once again lace them up in our town.

Mack attacks Pittman!

Yusef Mack vs Omar Pittman 2008The nights main event featured two local fighters with separate skill sets but one common attribute, they both could fight. Yusef Mack (26-2, 16ko’s) was a one time anointed prodigy of the worlds 168 lb division, only to see his shot at the big time go up in smoke due to losses against world rated opponents. This is a new ear for Mack as he moved up a division in order not to kill his body to make weight.

So far so good at 175 lbs for Mack as he most recently won the NABA title in an ESPN carried fight against Daniel Judah in Brooklyn. Coming into this fight ranked #9 by the WBA, an impressive win is sure to position Mack for another run towards the more meaningful gold.

Pittman (14-5, 8ko’s) on the other hand has only faced a world rated opponent once which was in his last fight which came in Montreal against Jean Pashall. Pittman didn’t win the fight but did expose Pashall as more of a pretender than an actual contender, rocking his opponent and almost putting him away in the later rounds. With a win here, Pittman still probably wouldn’t be considered “world class” but would have a lot of power at the bargaining table when it came to negotiating future fights.

Inside of the ring, Mack played the role of boxer and Pittman looked to slug. In this case, the boxer eluded the puncher’s bombs but was able to return fire with pinpoint accuracy. Though Mack was clearly winning every round, Pittman kept on coming, throwing heavy rights in hopes of landing that one shot knockout punch. The drama unfolded late in the 6th round when Mack cleanly connected with an overhand right which sent Pittman staggering into the corner. Mack wasted no time in following up with a bevy of punches which put Pittman down hard. Pittman did beat the 10 count but was visibly wozy which left the referee no choice but to stop it with a second remaining in the round.

Winner – 2:59 in the 6th round Yusef Mack

 

Ennis shuts down Browning!

The co-feature was also an interested match-up which featured two fighters from our area, both of whom desperately needed to make a big statement after recent slip-up’s in the ring.

Germantown’s Derek “Pooh” Ennis (16-2, 12ko’s) is considered to be one of the most well rounded fighters in our area. He was born into the sport and has continued to learn and improve well into his adult life. When he fights, you are almost assured it will be entertaining regardless of if he wins or loses. After suffering a surprise loss last year at the unknown Alphonso Williams, Ennis returned to reel off three straight knockout victories, albeit against low level of fighters. On this night he would take on an experienced veteran with a good record, the type of fighter who he has yet to face as a pro.

Troy Browning (20-3, 8ko’s) on the other hand unexpectedly made a name for himself a year ago when he won a decision over the then highly regarded Babyface Garcia live on ESPN. Feeling he was not getting the respect he deserved, the Browning team followed up by taking on two more well regarded prospects in Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak, losing 10 round unanimous decisions in both fights but showing he could hang in there with younger, fast fighters.

In the ring, Derek Ennis played the matador and Browning played the bull with Pooh leaving the 41 year old phenom swinging at air for more of the night. Browning kept on coming and Ennis kept of boxing. He would bait Browning in, slip away and fire off two, three and four punch combo’s almost at will.

Browning was most effective when he went after the body. A strategy he didn’t use nearly enough. Neither man was ever in serious trouble or truly hurt but it was still a very solid 10 rounds worth of boxing from Ennis, who on this night, showed he is worthy of making the jump into the next level and capable of winning there too. The fight went to the cards which read 100 – 90 x2 & 98- 92 all in favor of Derek Pooh “Ennis”.

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com






Gatt outbombs Felton in a sloppy slugfest!

West Chester’s Anthony Gatt (7-1, 4ko’s) was sent to the canvas in the 2nd round, courtesy of a Jonathan Felton (5-12, 5ko’s) left hook but pulled himself off the deck to win a 4 round unanimous decision over the Carolina based fighter. This one wasn;t pretty but it sure was entertaining as these two fired away and looked to basically knock the other guys head off.

Felton hung in their early but ran out of gas mid way through. Unfortunately for him, Gatt came with a full tank and did his best work in rounds 3 and 4 with hard body shots and right hooks to the head.

It went to the cards which read 39 – 37 & 38-37 x 2 for Gatt

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com





Blackwell blows through Dennis!

Phoenixville’s Jules “The Ghost” Blackwell (8-1-2, 3ko’s) was given a duck in his return to the ring and handled his business very quickly as he battered Javier Dennis (1-2) around the ring until referee Gary Rosato mercifully stopped it at the 2:33 mark of round 1.

If anyone earned an easy fight it is Jules who went on a run earlier this year taking on tough fight after tough fight. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back after suffering his first career loss. Tonight was a good start.

Beale stops Barnes in 2!

Heavyweight Tyaab Beale (1-1, 1ko) scored two knockdowns en route to a 2nd round stoppage over Lamont Barnes (0-1)to earn his first win as a pro. These two big guys traded some heavy shots early and often. A quick 3 punch combo from Beale put Barnes down late in the second. Barnes seemed stunned at first but possibly able to continue although the referee didn’t seem to agree and called a halt to the battle.

De La Paz blows out Hord!

Joel De La Paz (2-0, 1ko) needed only :35 to dispose of Indiana’s Ryan Hord (0-3, 3ko losses), nailing him with a left hook that put Hord down well past the needed 10 count. No disrespect to De La Paz but Hord should never be allowed to fight again, he might get seriously hurt in there.

De La Paz improves to 2-0 after this starching.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Omar Pittman interview

photo by Mike Baluk courtesy of www.peltzboxing.com

Over the years, Simon Gratz High School has produced the highest number of successful professional athletes to come out of Philly. Bulldogs of the past include Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella who won 3 MVP’s for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Meldrick Taylor who went on to win an Olympic Gold metal as a featherweight in 1984 and my personal favorite Rasheed Wallace who wears an NBA championship ring and is still banging on NBA forwards 13 seasons into his career just to name a few.

While they haven’t quite taken Roman Catholic’s crown as the Philly high school basketball powerhouse, every season they are expected to run the show in the public league. At this school which prides itself on being one of the toughest in the city, you don’t just learn how to fight, you also learn how to win.

Pittman-2-793445With all of this history behind him, former Gratz Bulldog Omar Pittman heads to Canada this Friday for a nationally televised fight against the world rated, undefeated Jean Pascal on ESPN 2. This time, the shoe is on the other foot because not many “experts” are giving him a shot in hell to win.

He knows what he is up against, because for all intents and purposes, this weeks edition of Friday Night Fights is being thought of as a showcasing of sorts. With former title challenger Edison Miranda fighting in the main event and the undefeated Pascal on the co-feature, the suits are drooling over the idea of matching up two top fighters at the 168 lbs mark in an eliminator for a portion of the world title.

Continue reading Omar Pittman interview

Top Rank brings TV to Philly where “The Messenger” gives notice to the 154 pound division, Eric Hunter handed his first career loss, Teon Kennedy wins his pro debut 01-11-07

Photos by Mike McGuigan

The 2007 Philly boxing season kicked off on a national stage as world renowned promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank Boxing outfit came to our city for a special edition of  “Thursday Fight Night” at the New Alhambra in South Philadelphia. The show was televised around the country on the Versus network and was promoted  in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions.

The TV main event featured fringe contender Almazbek Raiymkulov, better known as Kid Diamond, taking on journeyman Emmanuel Augustus (34-27-6), who was taking the bout on less than 48-hours notice, filling in for Antonio Pitalua.

The 29-year-old Diamond (23-1-1, 14 ko’s) of Osh, Kyrgyzstan currently holds the NABF lightweight title and seems to be on the verge of cracking the top 10, but he has yet to add a recognizable name to his resume. His first title defense was originally supposed to be Philly native Zahir Raheem. Then there was a change to fight the hard punching Antonio Pitalua.

At the zero hour, we enter Augustus, showboating yet the long in tooth veteran who has given the sport many great fights during his prime days. The “Drunken Master” has a resume that include giving a tough night to Floyd Mayweather and the 2001 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year with Mickey Ward. Unfortunately many feel that Augustus’ best days are behind him, but it was the best Top Rank could do on such short notice.  You never really know with the 32-year-old Chicago native. This fight was reduced to non-title and 10 rounds.

Click here to read my interview Augustus at the Hampton Inn on 13th & Race a couple of days before the fight. 

The evening’s co-feature showcased local Jr. Middleweight Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson (22-1, 16 KOs) who was scheduled to fight once upon a time world title challenger Robert “Push Up” Frazier (37-7-4, 1 ND, 15 KOs) of Rochester, NY in a 10 round bout.

Thompson, a long time member of the Top Rank stable, seems to be on the verge of finally fulfilling the promise shown as a top flight amateur. This marked the 25-year-old’s second appearance on the Versus network.

The under card was highlighted by a tough Philly vs. Philly battle pitting Omar Pittman and Dhafir Smith against each other in a 6 Super Middleweight bout. Pittman entered the fight on a nice winning streak but Dhafir Smith showed his is no Lemon street chump despite his 15 – 14 record.

West Philly prospect Eric “Outlaw” Hunter (5-0, 3 ko’s) had a prime opportunity on this show, fighting in front of a major league promoter in the swing bout that made the TV airwaves. His assignment was the always upset minded Carlos Vinan of North Jersey via Ecuador.

Hunter had a strong showing in his rookie year of 2005. But then he fell off the radar as this fight marked his first bout in over a full calendar year.

To cap off the show, the fans were treated to a little Joe Christy action. The bar room brawler was set to  face  Vance Garvey of Indiana.

To open the show, former amateur star Teon Kennedy was set to make his pro debut. Many local insiders feel that the young bantamweight could have a long career ahead of him. One even went as far as to compare him to all-time great “Joltin'” Jeff Chandler.

Continue reading Top Rank brings TV to Philly where “The Messenger” gives notice to the 154 pound division, Eric Hunter handed his first career loss, Teon Kennedy wins his pro debut 01-11-07

Philly’s top 10 pound for pound list – December 2006

The first ever pound for pound list got me some ink in the Philadelphia Daily News (thanks again Bernard Fernandez!). The second one earned me a 30 minute segment on “The Philadelphia Boxing Report” on ESPN Radio 920AM (Thanks again Mike and Big Dean!)

Who knows where the third one will bring me? I am guessing an an early retirement because people are sure to think I am an idiot for bumping up two guys who have been inactive. But as usual things in Philly boxing are about as steady as a drunk early in the morning.

Once again the new list has lots of changes. Losses, inactivity, fighters meeting the 5 fight requirements, other looking very unimpressive have caused a big shuffle in the rankings. Change is a good thing though and that is why we are the best in the world at what we do.

For those of you who are new to the PK pound for pound list, the rules are simple. If you fight in the City of Brotherly Love and have more than 5 pro fights, you are eligible for the list. But don’t get it twisted this isn’t a list of fighters BORN in Philly, this is for the guys who spill their sweat in venues like the New Alhambra, Blue Horizon or National Guard Armory and help make our local circuit the best in the world.

Now that we have that clear, November was a very active and exciting month in Philly boxing. Harry Yorgey put on a couple of unforgettable performances, Eddie Chambers was signed with Goossen Tutor and will most likely be leaving Philly for a while (go get em Eddie!) Joey Abell took a stunning loss and we saw young bucks like Jules Blackwell & The Slick Fighting Irishman Simon O’Donnell show that they have what it takes to make a long run on the top ten list.

Without further adu, here is the December 2006 Philly top 10 pound for pound list.

Continue reading Philly’s top 10 pound for pound list – December 2006

Ray Narh crushes Ramazan Palyani to win the PA State Lightweight Title

Hall of Famer J. Russell Peltz was back at the New Alhambra and put together one of the more entertaining cards of the 2006 boxing season. On the eight fight card, six ended with hard knockouts and the two that went the distance were enjoyable battles.

In the Main Event, the PA State Lightweight Title was on the line and Pittsburgh’s Ray Narh (19 – 1, 16ko’s) dropped down from Jr. welterweight for a shot at championship gold against Ramazan Palyani (14 – 0 8 ko’s), resident of Philly’s Frankford section by way of the former Red Army republic of Georgia.

Many thought this was a pick ’em going in – but when the opening bell rang – Ray Narh was the one doing all of the work. His left jab was sharp, he was patient, and found the openings. Raz was game and really seemed like he wanted to make this a fight but he just has no answer for the lanky Narh.

Things got really bad in the 8th as Narh beat Palyani around the ring, scoring a knockdown with a left hook to the face. Raz got up but received more punishment and his corner wisely threw in the towel.

Winner : Ray Narh – New PA State Lightweight Champion

In other action
Young Philly Welterweight Mike Jones (5 – 0 5ko’s) kept the knockout streak in tact by putting away Jason Jordan early in the 1st. Jordan came out of the corner game but once he got a whiff of Jones power he knew he was a dead man walking. Jones scored three knockdowns en route to his fifth knockout in five tried.

Continue reading Ray Narh crushes Ramazan Palyani to win the PA State Lightweight Title

Chad Brisson gets a hard fought win, Joe Christy steals the show at The New Alhambra

photos by Jay McGuigan

Russell Peltz was back doing his thing at the place named venue of the year by ESPN, the New Alhambra in South Philadelphia. This card had a little bit of everything ranging fight game new comers, borderline prospects and also giving some work to a couple of journeyman in search of a home.

The tickets sold like hotcakes and many were turned away at the door but fortunately, Comcast’s CN8 was there to televise the festivities. Canada’s Chad Brisson and Richard Steward (brother of No Joke) were the headliners but “Thunder” Joe Christy stole the show causing the loudest eruption on Swanson and Ritner since Sabu was doing triple jump moonsaults at the ECW Arena. All of this action and a pro debut gone terribly wrong. Here is how it went down in South Philly.

Continue reading Chad Brisson gets a hard fought win, Joe Christy steals the show at The New Alhambra

August 2006 Boxing report

ESPN Friday Night Fights

Live from Memphis, the world saw Atlantic City native Shamone Alvarez scored one of the best knockouts of the year as he dropped Marteze Logan with a crisp left that landed square on the jaw.

Logan, who was in his 50th pro fight despite being only 22 years old, was a game challenger for the undefeated Alvarez. It was a pretty close and entertaining fight throughout. Alvarez relied primarily on the right jab followed by a straight left and also showed the ability to rattle off combinations. Logan was pretty slippery defensively and picked his spots to go on the offensive.

I thought it was even down the stretch, then Alvarez crumpled Logan in the 7th leaving the young journeyman KTFO. Alvarez improves to 15 – 0.

Female banger Anne Wolfe was on the card and she handed out a 6 round beating to a tough Lisa Ested. The Big Bad Wolf inched her way closer to a showdown with Layla Ali but she says the promoters are trying to jerk her on the pay. Hopefully this fight will happen soon.

In the Main Event, Anthony Peterson, one half of the (over hyped) Peterson brothers made quick work of yet another last minute replacement. While Anthony is clearly the much easier brother to watch, I am not sold on him either. Continue reading August 2006 Boxing report

July 2006 Boxing recap

HBO Boxing After Dark

In the Main Event we witnessed the return of “Vicious” Vivian Harris and possibly the end of Stevie “Lil but Bad” Johnston. Vivian was in control for the majority of the contest but Stevie showed the heart of a champion by pulling himself off the deck three times and taking the fight right back to his younger, stronger foe. Even though he kept getting knocked on his butt, Stevie stayed cool and had spots where he was giving the youngster a bit of a boxing lesson.

Harris power was just too much for the 5’5″ Johnston who was constantly caught trying to squeeze his way inside. The fight ended in the 6th with both of Stevie’s eyes swollen shut. the vision might have been gone but not the desire to fight although the referee had seen enough and called a halt to the contest. Vivian did look very sharp and had some pop in his gloves. I won’t be surprised to see him in a major fight soon. Continue reading July 2006 Boxing recap