Category Archives: Paul Fernandez

Nakash plods to a decision win @ The Blue October 2nd!

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October 2, 2009 in Philly – The Phillies were hours away from clinching their third consecutive NL East title, the politicos in Harrisburg passed the budget and gave the city the funding it needs so Mayor Nutter didn’t have to axe most of his work force. Even “Sticky” the duct taped North Philly cat found a new home this week after being bound and dumped in a dirty yard a few days earlier. Across the board, things were looking much better than they were a week ago. On top of that, boxing was back at the Legendary Blue Horizon on North Broad Street to the tune of 7 bouts brought to you courtesy of the Vernoca Michael and Don Elbaum. The event not only kicked off what is looking to be a very active fall in Philly boxing, it also reminded everyone that it is now Breast Cancer Awareness month. Feel ’em up and Save the Boobies ladies, we need them!

Ok back to business. As mentioned, 7 fights involving boxers of all shapes, sizes, styles, skills and significance. Here is the skinny on how it went down on North Broad Street. Continue reading Nakash plods to a decision win @ The Blue October 2nd!

Nakash stops Brunelli in 7, Edmunds is Marvel-ous against Tyric Robinson @ The Blue!

photo by Anthony Gargano /

I have to tip my cap to “The Don” Don Elbaum. It seems like every time there is a fight under his watch at Mother’s house, I am always complaining that he never has the card finalized more than 2 days before bell time or that he is always throwing some cheese ball gimmick out in the main event and giving it the hard sell. It was the same ol’ story this time around with “the Italian – Jewish Philadelphia” title on the line in the main event, with the state #1 contender in the Super Middleweight division Gee Culmer not offered an opponent that would get Greg Sirb’s stamp of approval, with other fights being patch worked with last second fill ins.

With all of that in the air on April 3rd, The Don patchwork produced one entertaining card this Friday in front of a jam packed audience who came from all walks of life.

The main event more than lived up to expectations as Israel’s Ran Nakash (17 – 0, 13ko’s) got the fight of his life from Mayfair’s Dave Brunelli (8-5, 3ko’s) and still pulled out the victory in a match that ended early in the 7th due to the doctors orders because of Brunelli’s apparently cut eyelid. The fight started with more hoop la than a Super Bowl half time show. Italian announcer, Jewish announcer, Italian anthem singer, Jewish anthem singer, USA anthem singer, Italian ring girl… you catch my drift.

After the ring cleared and the men got down to business, we were treated to a damn good Philly style main event. After 2 rounds it looked like Nakash was going to send the Brunelli and his big crowd home disappointed early. By round 4 Brunelli was showing balls the size of grapefruits as he took a lot of Nakash’s best power shots and encouraged him to keep on coming, standing an exchanging at short range. Midway through round 6, the possibility of Brunelli snatching the fight with a late KO wasn’t out of the question as he backed Nakash up with a few good shots of his own and kept fighting strong.

It wasn’t to be, as referee Gary Rosado ordered Brunelli to see the doctor at the start of round 7 to check on a swollen eye and bloody nose, wounds the doctor deemed too serious to continue. It was an unfortunate ending to a fight that allowed both fighters to show their wares. Nakash again showed he is a non stop buzzsaw and is not just some built up boxer, Brunelli showed up in the best shape of his life and displayed a toughness that even his biggest detractors have to appreciate. After the fight Nakash said “I was really surprised he was able to take those shots. he is a really tough fighter”. Here’s to both men for putting on a fight that lived up to the hype.

In the co-feature, Frankford’s Julius Edmonds bullied his way to a 6 round unanimous decision win over Philly’s Tyric Robinson in their highly anticipated Jr. Welterweight contest. From start to finish, Edmunds fought like he wanted to make a statement and his mission was to stay in Robinson’s chest and for every second of every round. He exerted all of his energy to push forward and punch hard throwing a variety of combinations to the head and body while smothering anything his opponent could fire back in return.

Robinson did not back down and punched back every step of the way but it was Edmunds who was clearly in control the entire time. The fight went to the score cards which read 60 – 54 x 2 & 58 – 56 for Edmunds. It is another strong showing for Edmunds who many feel can match up with any 140 lb fighter competing in this area. When asked about this fight he said “this was a very good win for me, Tyric Robinson is a known fighter in this area.”

When asked about who he wanted next he replied “I’m not sure but I’m thinking maybe a fight with Victor Vasquez.” Now THAT would be one hell of a fight….

On the undercard…

Reading’s Julio Caesar Matthew’s won a hard fought unanimous decision over NJ’s William Gill. It was a steady pace through most of the fight where each men landed some good, single shots. Matthews did some good work in rounds 4 and 5 as the south paw was able to land clean left hands. Gill came on strong in the final minute, landing consecutive rights that quickly swelled up Matthews eye. It eventually went to the cards which read 60 – 54, 59 – 55 & 58 – 56 all for Matthews who improves to 7 – 0 with 5ko’s.

Queens, NY featherweight Joselito Callado out boxed and out rumbled a determined, yet limited Jason Rorie of NC over 6 rounds. There were spots where Joselito would literally box circles around his opponent, but to the delight of the fans he opted to make a toe to toe fight of it for half of the fight and got the better in the two way exchanges. The only thing Callado lacks is pop but aside from that you can tell he is a very good, well rounded fighter. The cards read 59 – 55 x 3 for the Queens native. Before the fight, special guest ring announcer Mike Missinelli was booed mercilessly but when it was over the fans gave both fighters a standing ovation.

Jr. Lightweight Paul Fernandez got back on the winning track with a 4th round KO over TN’s Joseph Francisco, a fighter who all but gave up after an impressive 1st round. In the beginning Fernandez slowly moved forward, stalking in a Jason Vorhees manner and Francisco took full advantage using the ring, landing a few shots and getting out of there. As the fight wore on Francisco kept showboating but stopped throwing where as Fernandez began to land good combinations upstairs. Down the stretch, Fernandez dropped his opponent twice and it got to the point where referee Gary Rosato stopped it at 2:57 of the final round.

Welterweight Ronald Cruz stayed undefeated in a decent showing against a very in shape Shannon Hill of Cincinatti. Cruz loaded up a lot and did connect with some heavy bombs as Hill tried to circle and box for most of the fight. Cruz was most effective on the rare times he went to the body, something he should keep in his arsenal for the future. If he slipped in a few jabs, we could have a threat on our hands….

Take nothing away from Hill who did come to fight but in the end all the judges were in agreement that Cruz was the winner by scores of 40 – 36 x2 and 39 – 37.

In the opener, Taneal Goyco and Davit Davitashivili put on a wild, somewhat sloppy slugfest much to the delight of the crowd. Goyco landed some bombs early but Davit fought back hard in the middle. Davits face looked like an old piece of roast beef near the end with cuts and swelling on both eyes but he gave it all he had. Goyco did his thing as well and did more down the stretch to secure a unanimous decision win by scores of 39 – 36 x 3 as Davit was deducted a point for head butting in the 3rd.

Click this link to see the fight photos from Anthony Gargano

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Mike Jones and Jason Cintron score KO of the Year candidates, Rock Allen pitches a shutout in Reading

December 5 2008 was a hot night for those who are interested in the progress of Philly fighters as Peltz Boxing Promotions went head to head with the Legendary Blue Horizon for the last opportunity of the year to showcase local talent. On this night, it wasn’t The New Alhambra as instead promoter J. Russell Peltz upped the anti and collaborated with Golden Boy Promotions, King Promotions and Telefutura for a card which will be one of the final episode of the soon to be defunct Solo Boxeo series. The end result was a very good 7 fight card which saw two vicious knockouts, an Olympian continue his rise through the ranks and others who are clawing their way towards recognition as fighters with a bright future.

The evening’s main event featured the one who many regard as Philly’s #1 pound for pound prospect Mike Jones (16-0, 14 ko’s) taking on Chicago’s experienced veteran Luciano Perez (16-9, 14ko’s) for a scheduled 10 rounder. Jones, who is becoming a good crowd draw on the local scene, has recently gained some world wide recognition being ranked the #12 welterweight in the WBA. This came on the heels of his last win, a thumping TKO over Brazil’s Juliano Ramos, which was for the then vacant NABA Welterweight title.

His opponent Luciano Perez is no stranger to stiff competition. In his 5 years as a pro, Perez has faced the likes of Carlos Baldomir (former undisputed welterweight champ), Jesus Soto Karass, Alfonso Gomez (The Contender) and Juan Manuel Buendia, all of whom carry a world rating with a major sanctioning body.

On this night, it was found our hours before show time that Perez was well over the contractually agreed upon weight limit of 147 pounds, weighing in at a whopping 154. With the entire telecast hanging in the balance, Jones and his team agreed to fight on despite the unprofessional actions of Perez. Perez was fined for his actions but the cost almost turned out to be a lot deeper than originally expected…

From the opening bell Jones found himself in a firefight with Perez, who came out punching for a quick victory. Jones, who coming in to the fight was rumored to have a “left hand that was f$#ked”, abandoned his traditional method of using the ring, working jabbing and throwing hard body combinations for a street brawlers style of hard over the top rights.

Perez, even after eating a big right seconds into the bout, was more than willing to oblige and this one broke down to a wild, give and take fight through two rounds which saw both fighters get buzzed a bit early. A nasty gash opened on Perez hairline late in the 2nd and within seconds was gushing blood, yet still continued to fight as both men exchanged heavy leather.

At start of the 3rd round, Perez came out bombing for the knockout. But when the going got really tough, MJ got going and dropped the incoming Perez with a 3 punch combo the finished with a hard right to the face. Perez had the audacity to continue but soon after got caught with one of the best left hooks in recent memory, which cork screwed Perez into the ropes, down to the canvas and out of commission. Perez somehow beat the count again but referee Gary Rosado saw he was in no shape to continue and immediately called an end to things. Five minutes after the fight, Perez left ringside still on shaky legs.

After the fight, Jones told me “I saw in his eyes he was a desperate fighter because of that bad cut” he added “He wanted the get the knockout and I didn’t want to have a no contest on my record if they stopped it early because of the bleeding, so I knew I had to get him out of there and that’s what I did”. An upgrade to his #12 WBA welterweight world ranking is in line for sure after this win.

In the co-feature, 2004 Olympian and current Jr. Welterweight prospect Rock Allen (14-0, 7ko’s) returned to the ring for only the 2nd time this year but showed no signs of rust as he banged out a win against tough Mexican fighter Humberto Tapia over 8 tough, yet convincing rounds.

Allen’s approach early in the fight was to attack the body and Tapia knew only one direction which was forward. This led to quite a few very good two way exchanges in the middle of the ring.

Though Allen was scoring more with his three and four punch combos, Tapia landed a few hard rights upstairs in the early going which Allen seemed to handle with no problem.
After 4 rounds, Allen seemed to realize that the ring was his friend, opting to move around, box and use different angles which caused a lot of Tapia to misses and openings for more clean punches landing for Allen.

Round 5 through 8 had a similar theme, Allen showing off his superior hand speed allowing him to land at a high rate and Tapia still willing to fight through a swollen face, looking to score one big punch at a time.

The fight lasted the distance but there was no doubt as all three of the judges score cards read 80 – 72 in favor of Allen.

After the fight Rock seemed pleased with his performance but also stated that ” I knew he was tough coming in so I wasn’t surprised he could take a good punch” he also added “My dad told me, hit the body and the head will fall. I just wish I had 2 more rounds to work with. I could feel him wearing down near the end and with a little more time I would have knocked him out. I may not have the power of a Mike Jones but I know how to break a fighter down”.

In the swing bout, Reading’s undefeated Jr. Welterweight Jason Cintron (brother of former IBF champ Kermit Cintron) continues to impress, this time with a 2nd round stone cold starching over Puerto Rico’s Pascali Adorno courtesy of a perfectly placed right hook to the jaw bone. Cintron was in command for the opening bell showing a nice blend of skill, patience and power. He dropped Adorno late in the 1st with a hard left hand and sealed the deal in the opening seconds of round 2. Look for more of Cintron after the new year as he burst out of no where over the last 2 months, first beating the USBA regional champ Tyric Robinson in a non title bout a few weeks back and then following it up with this big KO and improving his record to 10-0 with 3ko’s.

In featherweight action, Reading’s Lucian Gonzalez continues his escape from journeyman-ville, winning his 7th straight fight after starting his career 2 – 4. His assignment on this night was Robert DeLuz of Michigan, who has become a familiar face in our town providing solid, yet unspectacular tests to the young and hungry Philly fighters who dare to strive for prospect status at the 125 lb mark. In DeLuz previous fights against Philly hopefuls Eric “Outlaw” Hunter and Teon Kennedy (both former highly decorated amateurs) the pace was slow and the two-way action was sparse. On this night, Gonzalez was somehow able to bring the fight out of DeLuz, which led to an entertaining 6 round contest that went the distance. DeLuz played the role of attacker while Gonzalez took the job of counter puncher. The two sat in the pocket and exchanged some good leather. Gonzalez ability to put more combinations together and use the ring led to a clean sweep on the scorecards although all rounds were competitive. With the win, Gonzalez shows he has definitely arrived; a promoter could have a gem of a fight on their hands if they match him with either Kennedy or Hunter. I am sure boxing commish Greg Sirb would have no problem putting the State Title on the line!

Rounding out the card, Jr. Middleweight Kaseem Wilson (10-1, 4ko’s) shook off 15 months of ring rust in his return bout against Marvin Rivera. The fight started slow but Wilson warmed up down the stretch scoring a late knockdown en route to a unanimous decision win. Good comeback for Wilson as he showed stamina through the entire 6 rounds against a fighter that is no slouch.

In the only dud fight of the night, featherweight Paul Fernandez lost in a mild upset against Puerto Rico’s Esteban Rodriguez.

In the curtain closer, Cruiserweight Julio Caesar Matthews stayed undefeated by knocking out hard hitting journeyman William Bailey in the 3rd.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at

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Lenny DeVictoria stops Elad Shmouel in the 2007 Philly Fight of the Year

The Philly 2007 boxing season wrapped up at the Legendary Blue Horizon and Lenny DeVictoria vs. Elad Shmouel’s main event was a perfect way to close the book on an exciting year from the fight capital of the world. At the pre fight press conference, matchmaker Don Elbaum promised an exciting action fight.

Many thought the promoter was selling snake oil and expected to see a solid boxing match. The Don nailed it and what the fans got for their money was a full blown toe to toe war with both men tasting canvas.

The co-feature pitted two talented undefeated featherweights against one another in an effort to find out who is the man in this talent heavy division. The 0 had to go when Jules Blackwell and Paul Fernandez stepped into the ring. This one was very competitve early but one of the young lions pulled away down the stretch to secure the victory.

Gee Culmer and Marcus Brooks faced off in middleweight action and this one turned out to be a competitve, close range fight which ended in majority decision.

Youngster Luis Castro looked to celebrate his 22nd birthday in style but tough Mexican Conrado Garcia refused to be used as a stepping stone over 4 rounds of action.

All of this and a few pro debuts to boot capped off the night from the house where a few Philly legends were made and a lot of suckers were set home limping.


Main Event
Junior Welterweights
Lenny DeVictoria….vs….Elad Schmouel
9 – 10, 2ko’s………….18 – 1, 9ko’s

It was the tough Philly journeyman going against the rising prospect and what a fight this was! No doubt fight of the year in Philly for 2007.

It didn’t look like this in the early going though. Elad came out flaming in the opening rounds, staying in Lenny’s chest and bombing away at close range.

Lenny vs. Elad After taking a close first round, Elad almost closed the show early in round two when he trapped El Diablo along the ropes and pounded the North Philadelphian’s body with rights and lefts.  As “The Kosher Pit Bull” was digging deep into his opponents tenderloins, he found room to connect with a straight right to the head which sent DeVictoria to the canvas.

Lenny beat the 10 count and weathered another Shmouel storm. The youngster may have shot his load near the rounds end. MoLenny vs. Elad ments ago, it looked like Lenny was going to have to catch the bus home.
Instead, he actually finished the round strong, connecting with a few late punches of his own  as his trainer Billy Briscoe frantically screamed “Stay Conscious!”

After two rounds, it was obvious that Elad was bringing the fight out of his older opponent – goading him into a style of fight that his corner did not want their fighter to engage in.

Lenny’s corner would plead “Please Box Him!” as Lenny continuously threw caution to the wind, eating big punches to land his own in return.

Lenny vs. Elad The action never seemed to move more than a few inches away from both fighters. Lenny was primarily focused on the body, Elad playing to role of head hunter. It was brutal boxing – it was beautiful action. The low-budget battle had everyone from press row to the nose bleeds in the near capacity crowd cheering.

The Blue Horizon’s house camera man took it a step further, opting to be very unprofessional and scream obscenities at DeVictoria during the fight from his camera post.

The war was on and neither fighter gave an inch.

Lenny vs. Elad Both fighters traded hard punches to the head and body for two more rounds. After five rounds, it was Lenny who started to take control of the match courtesy of his grave digging body work. Not bad for a guy who we all thought was a goner nearly nine minutes prior.

While Lenny had the momentum, Elad likely held slight lead on the scorecards at this point. It was scheduled for eight rounds. Maybe it would be the length, but probably not.

Lenny vs. Elad The crowd who cheered for Elad early were now finding themselves in the DeVictoria corner as the chanted “USA,USA” & “Lenny, Lenny”

At the start of the sixth, both fighters stormed out of their corners. They met in the middle of the ring and continued firing away at each other.

Lenny’s trainer Billy Briscoe is considered by locals to be a war-time cornerman while not much is known about Elad’s teams of foreign fighters.

Briscoe, who is  known for coding his punch sequences, was screaming at the top of his lungs for his man to throw “The Mexican” & “The Mickey, The Mickey”.

They worked because  once again, Lenny was administering a fiery body assault on Shmouel along the ropes.

Lenny vs. Elad

All of this chipping away at the young prospect eventually led to a breaking point. Now, blood was flowing from Shmouel’s mouth. Maybe it was a bloody lip, maybe it was internal bleeding. We will never truly know.

What we all know is that with these injuries, Elad’s body could no longer withstand the punishment. The 21-year-old dropped to his knees after a fury of punches to the rib cage.

The table truly turned – now it was the prospect who was facing a 10-count.

Lenny vs. Elad

To his credit, he beat referee Shawn Clark’s count – barely. It was a great display of heart – but it was all for naught.

Lenny went right back to work with more hard body shots on a defenseless Shmouel, leaving referee Clark no option but to stop the fight.

The stoppage set off one of the best moments I ever seen at The Blue Horizon. Lenny jumped on the turnbuckles in celebration as his team stormed the ring to carry him on their shoulders – where they would circle the ring with a hosted North Philly warrior who has his arms raised in the air to the crowd.

Lenny and manager Ty McNeil celebrate the hard fought victory
Lenny and manager Ty McNeil celebrate the hard fought victory

The fans went absolutely wild. the applause must’ve lasted 10 minutes.

To cap it all off, Lenny leaned between the ropes to share a word with the heckling cameraman. I didn’t hear what was said, but I’m sure it wasn’t G rated.

What a way to cap off one of the best two-way action fights North Broad street has seen in some time. Hopefully we get a rematch and hopefully both men aren’t hurt too bad from the after effects of this war.

Lenny vs. Elad

Co- Main Event
Featherweight Division

Jules Blackwell….vs…..Paul Fernandez
Phoenixville, PA……….Vineland, NJ
6-0, 2ko’s…………….2 – 0, 2ko’s

While the main event eventually stole the show, this was the fight that some of the regulars were most interested in coming into the night.

The co-feature pitted two local featherweights with good records against each other. A very rare occurrence these days at The Blue.

Both fighters are young in the game, but a win would certainly give the victor an upper hand as they advanced through their division.

The bout was scheduled for 6 rounds, unchartered territory for both pugilists. Someone’s 0 was headed out the window. I put $20 on Jules in a pre-fight bet with my press row buddy Jeff Izes. I liked Blackwell’s experience along with the fact we were both one-time students at Katharine Gibbs. “The Iceman” liked Fernandez tenacity and punching ability.

This fight came as advertised with Fernandez as the aggressor and Blackwell playing to role of boxer.

Through 4 rounds it was a close, sometimes eventful fight where both fighters had a moment in the sun. it got a little sloppy as times both fighters were over aggressive, other spots would see lots of holding.

Fernandez was successful when he was able to get inside of his taller opponent. At times he slipped Jules right handed jab out of a southpaw stance and fired a few shots into Blackwell’s skinny ribcage. What he lacked in size he made up in spunk.

Blackwell looked best when he was able to catch Fernandez with that long jab. The Phoenixville native mixed it up a bit, sometimes he stuffed the jab in Fernandez face while the jersey natives rushed in, other times Jules used good footwork to avoid the rush and land a straight left. I didn’t see a burning fire to knock his opponent out.

As the fight came down the stretch, Fernandez seemed to gas while Jules looked to grow stronger. Fernandez was still very game but Blackwell was able to find his range and land his straight left hand at will. There was no doubt about who won the final two rounds and that was enough to secure the Gibbs alumnus a hard earned win.

The final scores read 60 – 54, 59 – 55 & 58 – 56 for Blackwell. I had it scored 58 – 56 for Blackwell.

The win won’t springboard either guy into  title shot by any means – but it was an excellent fight for both to grow on.

Congrats to Jules who I am sure will soon be back in the gym getting his butt kicked (and taught) by trainers Jimmy Deoria and John Mulvanna at the Phoenixville PAL.

Shame on anyone who knocks Fernandez for having a loss on his resume. In this era of protected fighters and inflated records, he should be commended for stepping up so soon. I hope to see him compete again soon.

Middleweight Action

Gee Culmer….vs….Marcus Brooks
11 – 1, 3ko’s……………6 – 3, 3ko’s

If you like fighters who stand on the inside and are willing to take a few punches to get theirs in, Gee Culmer is your guy. Past fights have proven that “The Throughbred” doesn’t give an inch of breathing room to his opponent. There is so much in-fighting that sometimes his bouts can turn into clinch-fests.

On this night, the Abbotsford Projects native was making his seventh consecutive appearance at The Legendary Blue Horizon.  This fight was against 23-year-old Marcus Brooks of Georgia via Puerto Rico – an unknown commodity in this town.

Brooks has been making his money fighting rising prospects in the middleweight division. His last two fights were losses – but they were fights that went the distance against former Olympian Vanes Martirosyan and upset specialist Darnell Boone respectively. the bottom line is that Brooks probably wasn’t a push over despite the lackluster record.

When the bell rang, the first couple of minute was really good spots with both men exchanging at short range.

Gee looked to be in control early, methodically working on the inside, holding a bit, sneaking punches to each side of the ribs, or slipping in a shot on the belt line or giving the free handed left hook upstairs.

Brooks got a little bit of revenge in the second when a right hook seemed to momentarily stun the Philly fighter. Brooks tried to follow up with a big barrage but was greeted with uppercuts and hooks to the body.

It got physical during 4th & 5th rounds when a lot of time was spent in the corners and along the ropes. The fight became a grind, and Gee’s fellow Shuler’s Gym residents really seemed to like what they saw as they shouted words of encouragement from the stands.

In the last round, we were about to find out who wanted it more. Gee clearly outworked Brooks over the final three minutes with more rights and lefts at short range to the head and body as Brooks looked to land a big blow to get him back into the fight.

It went to the scorecards which read 58 – 56 x2 and 57 – 57 giving Gee Culmer the majority decision win.

I had it scored 58 – 56 for Gee in a good fight.

Olivia Fonseca….vs….Michelle Linden
1-1-1, 1ko…………………..6 – 4, 6ko’s

The female fighters have been making their fair share of appearances at the Blue in recent months. I’ve come to learn that if Olivia Fonseca is in the building, you are usually going to see a good fight. Once again she outworked most of her male colleagues in this entertaining four rounder.

Her opponent, Michelle Linden who took the five hour drive from Steeler Country, was no push over. This was evident by her 6 ko’s in 6 career wins. She fought like a woman looking to add to that total in this fight.

Linden won the first round by the landing cleaner, harder punches in what was a good round. While Olivia’s skills and looks get most of the attention, many don’t realize that this girl has one hell of a chin.

In the third round, Olivia decided to stand in the pocket and fight fire with fire. This decision caused a big roar of appreciation from the crowd.

Olivia seemed to take over the rest of the fight once she was able to slow things down and establish as jab to slow down her head hunting opponent. In the final round, Olivia out-landed Linden pretty convincingly.

The fight went to the cards and they read 39 – 37 for Fonseca but over ruled by 2 scores of 38 – 38 causing the fight to go into the history books as a majority draw.

I scored it 39 – 37 Fonseca.

Luis Castro….vs….Conrado Garcia
1 – 0, 1ko……… debut

Luis Castro made his pro debut a few weeks ago at the Blue and mopped the ring with his opponent during a 1st round KO win. He  looked to follow that up on his 22nd birthday but Conrado Garcia was a fighter who took no crap.

Garcia, who was at something like a 5 inch height disadvantage took the fight right to Castro in the 1st, getting inside and bombing away as Castro tried to fend him off but missed.

The first round was promising for Garcia but that is pretty much where his success ended.

Before long – Castro was able to find range with a jab – and this jab was setting  was up other shots that were burying Garcia’s head and body.

I’ll give Garcia a lot of credit,  he ate everything thrown at him and asked for more. With that being said, it was obvious who the better man was on this night and that was Castro, who was impressive for a second consecutive outing and could be a fighter to keep an eye on in 2008.

The final scores read 40 – 36 x2 & 39 – 37 for Castro. I also had it scored 39 – 37 for Castro.

Gerald Smith…vs….Darrell Martin
pro debut…………..1-0

I covered Darrel Martin’s pro debut a few months back and liked what I saw from the slick boxer from Maryland. Tonight, he took on the debuting Gerald Smith who hailed from Philly.

While this fight got a little rough & sloppy, Smith showed he is a tough customer who isn’t afraid to get into it and make a fight happen.

Smith swept all four rounds while Martin lost two points for rabbit punching and spitting out his mouth piece.

All three cards read 40 – 34 for Smith who goes 1 – 0.

Kamarah Pasley…vs….Sean McClain
PRO DEBUT………………….1- 1

This was an interesting way to start the night. McClain, a part time actor fighting Pasley, a West Chester University graduate who also holds a Masters degree in a four round contest.

The first round was slow, but Pasley got the crowd warmed up in the 2nd when he scored a nice knockdown with a quick left to McClain’s chin. The thespian was rocked but to his credit got back to his feet and was able to fight on.

McClain recovered and continued to fight in rounds 3 and 4 against the southpaw Pasley who looked to finish the night with a knockout.

Both fighters were willing to exchange punches, but it was Pasley’s straight left hand which seemed to be the difference maker in the fight. The contest went to the scorecards which somehow read in favor of Sean McClain by majority decision.

The crowd booed in disbelief letting everyone know that Pasley was  ripped off.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at

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Abell takes out Warner at the Blue 09-07-07

photos by Mike McGuigan

It was another shirt drencher at The Blue Horizon this weekend which was the home of an 8 fight card which can be best described as competitively mismatched.

On a card that had its ups and downs, the fans were treated to a couple of chin checking knockouts and saw some young fighters who have potential to climb the ladder in the future.

In the Main Event, Joey Abell returned to his home away from home to take on West Philly’s Levon Warner in what was supposed to be an 8 round fight. Brick City upstart Alex Perez made the trip down I-95 to put his undefeated record on the line against cagey ring veteran Darien Ford. Jules Blackwell looked to make a pound for pound list statement in his fight against Joe Rosa of the Bronx.

Gee Culmer stayed busy against James North in 6 round middleweight bout. SSG Sam Brown returned to The Blue to prepare for a 3rd tour of duty against undefeated heavyweight Ran Nakash.

Two young Philly kids got it on when Paul Fernandez and Jonathan Ocassio stepped into the ring for a scheduled four rounder. Steve Chambers returned to the ring after 9 months off to take on Jason Jordan who has lost to some of our best in the past.

Naji Murray looked to start his career 2 – 0 against Jeremy Lester of Ohio. In between fights, Steve “USS” Cunningham was honored for recently winning the IBF Cruiserweight title.

The fights were brought to you by Promoter Vernoca L. Michael and matchmaker Don Elbaum and can be seen on Comcast Sports Net in October.

Heavyweight Division
Joey Abell…vs…Levon Warner
Minnesota………West Philly
16 – 1, 16ko’s….6-4-1, 1ko

On paper, it was Minnesota Ice against the West Philly bad boy, southpaw against southpaw, the youngbuck against the veteran. In the ring it was completely one sided ironing as Abell smoked Warner out of there at 2:53 in the 1st round. Warner stormed out of the gate and tried to bring the fight right to the Minnesota lumberjack. This won him, oh, the first 20 seconds of the fight. After the inital rush, Abell settled in and used a jab for once which set up a traumatizing left hook that knocked Warner down very hard. To Warner’s credit he got back to his feet but was visibly dazed. Abell finished it off with a sizzling 3 punch combo seconds later. Miraculously, Warner was able to walk out on his own after the fight ended.

It was an exciting win no doubt, but is he ever going to avenge that loss to Arron Lyons?

Winner by TKO – Joey Abell who improves to 17 – 1, 17ko’s

Joey Abell vs LeVon Warner 2007

Heavyweight Division
Alex Perez…vs…Darien Ford
Newark, NJ……..New Oreleans
8-0, 6ko’s……..11-14, 4ko

In the co-feature, “The Brick City Bullet” Alex Perez and Darien Ford played really rough for the better part of two rounds until a hip toss which was somehow ruled an accidental foul left Ford on the canvas unable to continue resulting in a No Contest. This seemed to be a little bit of payback because Ford gave Perez two bad cuts early in the fight. Hopefully there will be a rematch, Ford was definitely showing that he is much better than his 11 – 14 record and ready to give Perez a stiff test.

Alex Perez 2007

Heavyweight Division
Naji Murray…vs…Jeremy Lester
Philly………….Akron, Ohio
1-0…………….1-1-1, 1ko

Naji Murray made Jeremy “Big Gun” Lester look like a tiny water pistol by scoring a huge knockout win early in the 1st round. In this 58 second fight, Murray scored his first knockdown with a big left hook to the ear. Lester got up but didn;t learn his lesson as he got clubbed with about 6 more big left hooks to the ear, the last of which polished Lester off and left him down for much longer than the needed 10 count.

With the win, Naji Murray climbs to 2 – 0.

Naji Murray 2007
Featherweight Division
Jules Blackwell…vs…Joe Rosa
Phoenixville, PA…….Bronx, NY
4-0, 2KO’S………….1-0-1,

Jules Blackwell started off a little slow but came on nicely down the stretch taking a unanimous decision win over Joe Rosa by scores of 40 – 36 across the board. After the second, Jules was 2 steps ahead of Rosa working upstairs and downstairs, mixing in good footwork to avoid being hit by anything Rosa threw.

With the win, Jules Blackwell raises his record to 5 – 0.

Jules Blackwell vs Joe Rosa 2007 Jules Blackwell vs Joe Rosa 2007 (1) Jules Blackwell vs Joe Rosa 2007 (2)
Middleweight Division
Gee Culmer…vs…James North
Phiadelphia…….Weston, WV
10 – 1, 3ko’s…..8-17-2, 3ko’s

Gee Culmer won in typicial Gee Culmer fashion, and he was in James North’s chest like a heart surgeon. “The Thoroughbred” worked hard to the body and mixed in uppercuts at short range for just about every minute of the fight. North hung in there for the duration but he output was about 1/4th of what Gee gave him.

With the win, Gee Culmer climbs to 11 – 1.

Gee Culmer vs James North 2007
Heavyweight Division
Ran Nakash…vs…Sam Brown
Haifa, Israel…..Ft CamPbell,KY
8-0, 5ko’s……..4-2, 2ko

Ran Nakash took a unanimous decision win over SSG Sam Brown by scores of 40 – 36 x2 and 39 – 37. SSG Brown gave good work to Nakash early showing off some technical ability, catching Nakash with jabs and moving out of range before fire could be returned.

The fight started to break down in the second with both fighters staying on the inside trading short rights and lefts. Ran came alive in the third and forth landing solid straight rights and uppercuts upstairs as Brown started to wear down.

With the win Nakash moves to 9 – 0. Now does he fight the winner of Brunelli vs Oaktree?

With the win, Ran Nakash is now 9 -0.

Ran Nakash vs Sam SSG Brown 2007 (1) Ran Nakash vs Sam SSG Brown 2007
Heavyweight Division
Paul Fernandez…vs…Jonathan Ocassio
1-0-1, 1ko…………pro debut

This fight opened the show but Paul Fernandez should be moved higher up the card after this one because he showed signs of developing into an exciting fighter who the crowd will get behind. This one started off nicely as both fighters traded punches but after a while it looked like the stage fright sunk in on Ocassio and that combined with the body work of Fernandez seemed to take its toll. There were no knockdowns but at 1:52 in the 3rd trainer Billy Briscoe saw enough and stopped the fight to save his man from further punishment.

With the win, Paul Fernandez is now 2 – 0 – 1.

Jr. Welterweight Division
Steve Chambers…vs…Jason Jordan
14 – 1, 4ko’s………4-12

If you like power punching and toe to toe exchanges, this was the fight to go step outside and have a smoke. If you like guys who move around the ring and score with punches, this was the fight for you. The fight was the same from the beginning with Steve using the entire ring and throwing light flurries, usually to the ear and Jordan would occasionally step forward and throw a 2 punch combo. When it was all said and done, “Showtime” Steve Chambers won a unanimous decision by scores of 60 – 54 x 2 and 59 – 55.

With the win, Steve Chambers is now 15 – 1.

Steve Upshur Chambers vs Jason Jordan 2007 (1) Steve Upshur Chambers vs Jason Jordan 2007 (2) Steve Upshur Chambers vs Jason Jordan 2007


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Dean Rubenstein & Bernard Hopkins 2007

Steve Upshur Chambers slips past DeVictoria, Joey Abell takes his 1st L & Army Staff Sargent Sam Brown fulfills a life long dream of fighting at The Blue Horizon 12-02-06

Photos by Mike McGuigan

December 1, 2006 – It was the last show for the boxing year at the famous fight hall on Broad and Thompson streets in North Philadelphia. Promoter Vernoca Michael & Don Elbaum collaborated once again with the theme of the night being “the 4th annual children’s show” at The Legendary Blue Horizon where fans were encouraged to bring gifts for kids aged 1 – 7 years old.

On paper, it seemed like the matchmaker distributed early Christmas presents to a couple of the Blue Horizon house fighters in the form of lack luster opponents.

But the co-feature bout proved to be a shocker, when a little known fighter named Arron Lyons (3 – 0 2ko’s) came to Philly from Gulfport, MS and extinguished the flame of red-hot Heavyweight prospect Joey Abell (9 – 1 9ko’s) by scoring a knockout at the 1:07 mark in the first round of a scheduled six round fight.

This bout was supposed to be a cakewalk for Abell who has quickly build a good following from the loyal fans in the building due to winning all nine of his professional fights by early knockout.

This fight didn’t last long at all. Lyons got inside early and rocked the big lumberjack with a hard right hand which sent Abell stumbling into the corner soon after the opening bell sounded.

Joey Abell vs Aron Lyons (2)

Continue reading Steve Upshur Chambers slips past DeVictoria, Joey Abell takes his 1st L & Army Staff Sargent Sam Brown fulfills a life long dream of fighting at The Blue Horizon 12-02-06