On January 15, 2010, USBA Jr. Middleweight champion, Derek “Pooh” Ennis (19-2-1, 12ko’s) of Germantown will sharpen up before the first mandatory defense of his title when he takes on fading vet Edwin Vasquez (22-14-2, 8ko’s) at the Arena for a scheduled 8 rounder. Ennis is said to have changed his training ways and appears to again be in tip top shape. This is a retry of a scheduled 2007 match where Ennis failed to make weight, sparking off a debate on his dedication to the sport. All of that seems to be put to bed now, as he weighed a career low 151 lbs in his last match, when he turned in the Philly 2009 Fight of the Year in a 12 round win over Eromosele Albert at The Blue Horizon. With Ennis on point and Vasquez being a loser of his last 5, don’t bet on this going the distance. Ennis is tentatively scheduled to defend his USBA belt in April in Atlantic City. Win that, and you are ranked in the top 5 of the IBF Pooh!
The undercard will feature undefeated North East Philly prospect Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante (8-0, 4ko’s) taking on Andre Hemphill (8-13-2, 5ko’s) in a 6 rounder. Ferrante seems to be on a quest to clean out the local Light Heavyweights around town. Hemphill has lost four of his last five but is known to be a spoiler when fighting in this area, most recently blasting out Richard Stewart in 3 rounds. We will see if he can pull the rug out this time around…
The Boxing Barber Victor Vasquez (10-3, 5ko’s) and Gustavo Dailey (4-7, 1ko) square off for a potential 6 round riot.
Also scheduled for action are Coy Evans and Big Poppa Speller
Before we talk about the local boxing happenings of today, October 16, 2009, take a walk with me I take a flash back to Philadelphia, circa 1999. It was a year of change for this great city with many tall tasks and lots of uncertainty ahead. One of the all time Philly greats, Ed Rendell, was stepping down from his big office at room 215 in City Hall wrapping up one of the most successful runs in the history of the country as mayor of a big city.
The people chose a 19 year veteran of City Council, John Street to lead the charge into the new millennium. The big building across from the street from the clothespin hasn’t been the same since. It was also a new day in Eagles country as 1999 marked the beginning of the Andy Reid- Donovan McNabb era whose goal was to give a fresh breath of life into a franchise that hit the bottom of the barrel. Say what you want about Big Red and his adopted son’s reign but five NFC Championship games later, the Birds as a well-respected and very lucrative franchise.
The Phillies were still light years away from becoming World F. Champions and Overbrook’s Will Smith was just putting down the mic to hit Hollywood for a career that saw him become one of the highest grossing actors of all-time.
Flying below the radar was Greg Robinson, a young ex-boxer with ambitions to stay in the game he loved. With family roots that ran deep into the heart of Philly boxing, he gave birth to his Power Productions promotional outfit in late 1999. In the one sport that is truly here today, gone tomorrow, Robinson has survived and even thrived in this landscape where only the strong, smart and crazy survive.
Ten years later, Power Productions has become a Philly boxing club show main stay, producing some of the best action fights this town has seen in the 21st century. For that I tip my cap to the man. Like Greg said at the press conference, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that make this a very tough business at times, but this is the sport we choose. For that we continue on doing what we love.
To celebrate 10 years behind the scenes, Robinson and Power Productions returned to the place where it all started – The Legendary Blue Horizon on North Broad Street with a seven fight card featuring some of the young and hungry fighters that help make this city the number one fight town on earth.
On top of the bill was a young Philly fighter currently taking the proper steps in a quest to become recognized as World F. Champion. One who has many tools but also few questions, which regularly lead to, heated discussions about if he can truly compete and succeed at the top-level of boxing.
The fighter is Derek “Pooh” Ennis, a 28-year-old Junior Middleweight from the Germantown section of Philly. Ennis, a six-year pro, also comes from a family with deep roots in the Philly boxing scene. Ennis father and trainer Bozy was competed as a pro during this city’s golden era of the 70’s. Derek’s brother Farah is an undefeated rising Super Middleweight who is worth keeping an eye on.
Ennis has been well-regarded for some time now but his career has been on the roller coaster at times. His skills and undeniable as he is one of the most well-rounded boxers living in this town. He has put on masterful performances against good competition but also has lost to opponents he should have easily handled.
He has missed out on opportunities due to freak occurrences such as opponents getting into car accidents before the fight and has also shot himself in the toe by not making weight for significant fights.
For a while, it seemed like he was getting by on talent alone without putting in the work of a true professional. But potential is an amazing thing and through out it all his management team of Moz Gonzalez, Eddie Woods and Mike Fingerman have stuck by his side, continuing to push for a break to come along.
Finally, after all the highs and lows, Ennis was to the opportunity of a lifetime on this card. In this evening’s main event, Pooh signed to fight a 12 round bout against two-time Olympian from Nigeria Eromosele Albert for the vacant USBA title. Though the USBA is not a world-recognized crown, but it will get your foot in the door as the title holder automatically receives a top 15 rating in the world and with a successful defense, become a mandatory challenger to the world champ.
Albert has faced world-class competition and has name value as he turned in many good performances on the ESPN Friday Night Fights Series over the past few years. In a nutshell, it was do or die for Pooh who has been itching for a chance to take on the big names and big money.
The co-feature also had significance, this time it was in true Power Productions fashion. This bout pitted the promoters nephew, Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson against the boxing barber from North Philly Victor Vasquez for a scheduled 8 rounder. Robinson at one time ranked as high as number five on my Philly local top 10 pound for pound fighter list but since then has lost two in a row and was searching to get back the glory of when he was turning in fight of the year candidates.
Vasquez is the Arturo Gatti of our local scene. Win or lose, he is always in the fight of the night. Caution goes to the wind and defense goes out the window leading to two-way action brawls.
Robinson was the natural Junior Welterweight but Vasquez brings the heat, it was the fight that could possibly steal the show. These two matches plus the return of Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller and more. Scroll down to see how it all went down at The Blue on Greg Robinson’s 10th anniversary card!
Overall the show was a winner as the main event turned out to be one of the years most competitive two-way fights. Derek “Pooh” Ennis boxed and countered the extremely aggressive Eromosele Albert over 12 rounds to win a close but clear unanimous decision to become the 154 lb USBA champion.
It was a see-saw battle that had a lot of tight rounds with Albert winning most of the rounds early with his pressure and brute strength but Ennis was able to turn the tide mid way through as he consistently fought his way out of trouble with multiple flurries in the middle of the ring and swift movement when pressed into a corner.
Take nothing away from Albert, he was in Ennis face all night and fought desperately to win, he just didn’t have enough down the stretch as Ennis came in tip-top shape (151.5 lbs) and had plenty of gas left in the championship rounds. It went to the scorecards which read 116 – 112 & 115 – 113 x 2 for Ennis who stamps his ticket into the top 15 of the IBF ratings. I also had it scored 115 – 113 for Ennis
In the co-feature “The Boxing Barber” Victor Vasquez put together the most complete performance of his young career scoring two hard knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision win over Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson in their 6 round Jr. Welterweight bout. As always the case with Vasquez, it was high intensity from the start, but this time it wasn’t balls to the wall.
He showed patience, poise and actually slipped a few punches! Robinson, to his credit got off the floor and continued to fight hard after going down early in the 2nd and late in the 6th from big right hands. Very good fight as is usually the case when two Philly guys meet in the ring.
Super Middleweights Mario Mina and Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller were put together in an impromptu matchup after both had opponents fall out at the last second. Poppa vowed “to send his ass back to Ecuador” at the weigh in. Mina fought like it was personal in the 1st, hammering Poppa early who was more than willing to stand and trade.
The 2nd round was close then out of nowhere Speller almost delivered on his pre-fight promise early in the 3rd round after a good body took all of the steam out of Mina. Speller followed up with a hard right that jellied Mina’s legs. If Speller had more gas it might have been curtains. But this was not the case and Mina was able to survive the round.
The fight slowed a bit in the final round as both seemed to tire in their first fight in over a year. It went to the card which somehow read 40 – 36 for Mina. Maybe I need new contacts, but I saw it a draw.
South Philly Heavyweight John Mercurio did it Passyunk Ave. style as he mauled, tossed and battered James North for a little over :90 seconds before finishing the job with a huge right that flattened his out gunned opponent.
Nice turn out in the crowd for the big heavyweight as there were a good number of black Team Mercurio T-Shirts scattered across the arena. Expect to see him again soon.
Super Middleweight Derek Webster wasted little time dispatching a severely overmatched guy from West Virigina. At 6’4″, Webster could become a problem for fighters at this weight.
Super Featherweight Coy Evans turned in a very solid 4 round performance winning a unanimous decision over grizzled veteran Carlos Diaz. Evans showed good speed and surprising ring generalship against a 31 fight vet.
He doesn’t knock down walls but his pop is not to be under estimated either. Good, fan friendly fight as both were willing to sit in the pocket and exchange shots at time. In other spots Evans would box and create openings on his slower foe.
In woman’s action Rachel Clark was clearly the better fighter in her 4 rounder. Out of her southpaw stance, she landed a lot of straight lefts upstairs. After 2 rounds, her opponent made the right choice not to answer the bell.
On October 14, 2009 Greg Robinson held a press conference at The Fox & Hound in Center City Philly to introduce he fighters on his upcoming 10th anniversary card. He plans to celebrate in style on October 16th at The Legendary Blue Horizon with Philly Jr. Middleweight Derek “Pooh” Ennis on top of the bill. After weeks of shuffling and searching for opponents, Eromosele Albert (22-3, 10ko’s) has been selected and approved by the IBF as this match will be over 12 rounds for the USBA Jr. Middleweight title.
Ennis has looked strong in his last few bouts, most recently on ESPN with a W over John Mackey. People have been calling for Pooh and his team to make a move, and here it is. Albert is a two time Olympian from Nigeria and overall solid competitor in his own right with some good showings on ESPN. Very solid match-up that should produce a lot of two way action.
On the undercard, look for an all out Philly rumble between the Boxing Barber Victor Vasquez and Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson. Excellent matchmaking and should be a delight for the crowd. Vasquez hasn’t fought since March so you know he is itching for a fight. Robinson has lost two in a row and it itching for a win, especially on his uncles 10th anniversary card where I am sure the whole family will be in the house. Grab a beer and enjoy!
The night will also mark the return of Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller
Watch the video to hear from Promoter Greg Robinson, Derek Ennis, Coy Evans, Tyric Robinson & more.
Tip your hat to promoter Greg Robinson as it is now 10 years in the promoting business for the head of Power Productions. He plans to celebrate in style on October 16th at The Legendary Blue Horizon with Philly Jr. Middleweight Derek “Pooh” Ennis on top of the bill fighting for the 154 lb USBA title against Ireland’s James Moore in a 12 rounder that should be a rumble. Ennis has looked strong in his last few bouts, most recently on ESPN with a W over John Mackey. People have been calling for Pooh and his team to make a move, and here it is. Moore is a known fighter, especially in NYC where he moves a lot of tickets. Moore recently lost to Yuri Foreman on Showtime in a fight that vaulted Foreman into a world title shot. Two opposite styles that will force the other to fight. Should be a very good one.
Xtreme Productions returns to The Arena this Friday in South Philadelphia with a card featuring talent that is brand new to pro ranks. While none of this is confirmed, sources indicate that the main event is possibly a 6 rounder between Isaac Suarez (6-0, 3ko’s) of Lancaster and Ikeem Orji of Maryland (5-1, 1ko).
The co-feature is a Super Middleweight rematch between Khalil Farah (4-3, 1ko) of the Oven Gym against the Gonzalez Jones of Akron who sports a heinous 1- 12 record. The initial match up ended in a disputed split decision win for Farrah.
The undercard features quite a few fighters either making their pro debut or have one pro fight under their belt along with a women fight between “Mighty” Ivan Robinson’s protégé Jacqui Davis (1-0, 1ko) of Philly who will go in against Rachel Clark (2-1, 2ko’s) of South Carolina in a 4 rounder. Not much is known about the under card contestants but they all have an opportunity to impress and make a name for themselves . For tickets call 215-336-2000 or 609-871-3552
NOTE: The original main event between Kamarah Pasley vs. Julio Caesar Matthews has been moved to May 31 in Reading.
On April 3rd at the Legendary Blue Horizon, Israel’s Ran Nakash (17-0, 12ko’s) once again headlines, and once against people are saying he is being put in soft. Then again, there are others who say he is going to get his ass kicked for the first time in his life.
The assignment is Dave Brunelli (8-4, 3ko’s), the big ticket from Northeast Philly who hasn’t been in the ring for almost a year. All of the insiders dub Brunelli as a big underdog. The circumstances were the same last time Brunelli fought at the Blue A match where Dave Brunelli whooped on Aaron Lyons, the only man in this town to beat Joey Abell.
Yes, the same Joey Abell who every Philly promoter, manager, street agent and advisor either avoided or got fired over during over his time in Philly. The same fighter who never had a shot at John Poore, Chazz Witherspoon, Eddie Chambers etc etc to prove he was the best heavyweight around….
In hindsight Lyons didn’t turn out to be much so give Brunelli’s team a credit for exposing a fighter everyone feared. Nakash main weapon is knockout power. He has scored some very good knockouts in his last couple of fights though the competition wasn’t very strong (not counting Larry Robinson).
Strong ticket sales have led to his rise as a main eventer at the Blue Horizon. The real question is “is Nakash a Cruiserweight or a Heavyweight?” Nakash hasn’t made the “true” 200 lb weight limit in over 4 fights. Regardless of weight of circumstance, this fight is going down. if you are interested, go to The Blue April 3rd!
In the co-feature, check out Frankford’s Julias Edmunds (4-3) vs. Tyric Robinson (9-3-1, 3ko’s) in what should be a very competitive fight. This one could be good but all depends on which Robinson shows up. Edmunds stock has been rising after consecutive strong outings. This fight will tell it all on who are some of the best local 140 lber’s…. The winner would make a good match against Ryan Belasco.
The undercard is STILL being worked out with less than 48 hours to go until bell time. This card can be anywhere from 6 to 9 fights, not sure what Don Elbaum has up his sleeve but I will find out tomorrow.
Gee Culmer (15-1, 3ko’s), the #1 contender to the PA Super Middleweight title is is said to be scheduled for action. Rumors of a rematch against John “The Baptist” Terry are floating around at the moment…. Management needs to do better for their fighter and not always have him wait around until the last minute to know the assignment.
Ronald Cruz, the undefeated Welterweight from Bethlehem is also a possibility for action.
More fights to be announced soon as they are made official…..
I was unable to attend the Xtreme Productions fights at the Arena this past Friday so I can’t give my hit on the actual fights since there is no footage available but “The Wolf” Kurt Wolfheimer of FightNews steps up to the plate to give his always reliable account of how the matches went down.
In the main event it is reported that Ryan Belasco and Jesus Barbosa traded throughout on the inside in a bout that could have been fought in a phone booth. Belasco got the nod on the official scorecards by a score of 58 – 56 across the board but The Wolf’s unofficial tab had the fight 58-56 in favor of Barbosa. The forum is buzzing a bit on this fight as well with opinion scattered across the board on who the true winner was. I can think of a good way to settle it once and for all….REMATCH!
It is also reported that North East Philly’s Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante scored a 5th round KO over Chris Archer in a fight that the local Light Heavyweight won convincingly. It looks like Ferrante passed a good test against a solid opponent here.
I am now hearing whispers of a wanted match against Wildwood’s Chuckie Mussachio are surfacing from the Ferrante camp for the BAM belt… Shine it & sign it up Joey Eye!
Wahid Raheem and Gabriel Diaz did battle in a give and take fight that see-sawed back and forth throughout with Raheem getting the majority decision.
This was billed as the potential show stopper by the insiders and The Wolf thinks both of these fighters can make some noise in the near future.
Ronald Cruz of Bethlehem stays undefeated with a one punch KO over the debuting Russell Cloak. Keep an eye out for Cruz who has looked good every time out.
Kamarah Pasely continued his improvement and hits the .500 mark as he out boxed the debuting John Burgos over 4 rounds of Cruiserweight action. The Wolf says Burgos couldn’t find an answer for Pasley’s movement and combination’s.
Give Pasley his credit as he continued to work hard after a tumultuous start in the boxing world. Let’s see who he fights next?
Last but not least, in women’s action Jackie Davis, a protegé of all time Philly great “Mighty” Ivan Robinson, scored a 3rd round TKO over Ohio’s Natoya Ervin in a fight The Wolf called a “near perfect performance”.
For the first time in 2009, it was fight night in Philly. After almost 6 weeks of inactivity in this town, it was finally time to watch the pros throw down. The venue was the fabled fight hall on the corner of Swanson & Ritner, the one and only New Alhambra. But this particular event had a mysterious air about it for weeks. On a typical fight night here, fans would come to see a card by the Fairmount Hall of Fame boxing promoter, J. Russell Peltz. This time around, I knew that I wouldn’t be greeted by a smiley lady with the cool hat or a witty comment contradicting a statement made on this site. That was a given.
On this night, it was Greg Robinson and his newly formed Xtreme Productions running the show. That’s cool, he is a known promoter in these parts, but people were asking, why him? why here? why now? Those were the burning questions asked by those who cough up their hard earned cash to pay the steep ticket fees. Something was up but nobody was talking. Omerta…Philly boxing style… Gotta love it.
After a long wait in the frigid wind, I finally made it to the box office window. I made my acquaintance with two new pleasant ladies handing out the media bracelets. So far, so good and was sent inside. After a being on the wrong end of an extensive security search that would have snagged a jailhouse balloon runner red-handed, I was eventually granted full access and free to roam my longtime favorite venue.
Immediately I noticed the naked walls. The life sized banners displaying images of yester-years Philly boxing fight icons were nowhere to be seen. Instead of Bennie Briscoe and Joey Giardello, all that remained were a few flags carrying on the legacies of former ECW Arena icons like Terry Funk and “Flyboy” Rocco Rock. Once I found my seat in press row, word around the ring was that the gym is the back was just about empty. Then it all came together in one fell swoop. It was announced that Xtreme Production (formerly known as Power Productions) is moving in for good.
No more Oaks, no more Armory, this is home and they plan on being here to stay…exclusively. The plot thickens and the saga continues so stay tuned. It is bound to get deeper.
Overall it was a solid kick off to a new year as promoter Greg Robinson and matchmaker Ty McNeil collaborated for a 5 fight card in their new home.
Main Event Jr. Middleweight Division (non-title bout)
Derek “Pooh” Ennis…vs…Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor Philadelphia, PA…………..Wilmington, DE 16-2, 12ko’s……………………12-19, 6ko’s The housewarming party was highlighted by PA State & USBA regional Jr. middleweight title holder Derek Ennis (17-2, 12ko’s) who continued his resurrection towards national Jr. Middleweight status with a clear cut 8 round unanimous decision over late replacement journeyman Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor (12-20, 6ko’s) in the main event.
Before the fight some were saying that if Bono didn’t give a good showing, it was a strong possibility that State Athletic Director Greg Sirb might pull his boxing card. Ennis won every round from the 3rd on but Bono lives to fight another day as he kept it competitive through out as he kept his promise to fight for the memory of his trainer who was tragically murdered just last week .
The determination was there and he was an aggressive initiator, it wasn’t enough to handle the speed and slickness of Ennis who consistently used Bono’s awkwardness against him, setting up traps along the ropes, counter punching effectively and using the ring to his advantage. Bono did have his moments and occasionally landed some good punches, in particular the 6th when he got Ennis attention with a hard right hook.
Overall, Ennis skill set was too tall a task to overcome. The fight eventually went the distance and the scorecards read 79 – 73 & 78 – 74 x 2. Look for Ennis to step it up significantly soon.
Co-Feature Jr. Welterweight Division
Lenny DeVictoria…vs…Ryan Belasco Philadelphia, PA…………Wilmington, DE 11-12-1, 3KO’s……………8-2-3, 3KO’s
The co-feature was thought it be a nice piece of competitive match making. Instead it turned out to be the last hurrah of a proven Philly ring warrior as Delaware’s Ryan Belasco (9-2-3, 3ko’s) saw little resistance in his fight against Lenny DeVictoria (11-13-1, 3ko’s), ending things midway through the second round with a few body shots followed by a single right hand which surprisingly kept his opponent on a knee for the full 10 count.
Some say it was a very good right hand, some say it was a long list of ring wars catching up. Soon after the bout, it was announced that this was to be the last time Lenny will lace up the gloves as his team noticed a steady decline in performance over the past few fights.
One chapter of Lenny’s life closes and another opens as he plans on getting his CDL license for a new career in the trucking industry. Congrats and thanks for Lenny for making the right move and giving us so many good fights.
Also, Congrats to Belasco on a very good win. Speculation of an 8 – 10 round Belasco – Tyric Robinson fight were swarming soon after. That could arguably be a state title fight…..
Lou Rodriguez…vs…Ray Ellis Philadelphia, PA……Philadelphia, PA PRO DEBUT…………PRO DEBUT
Philly Rumbler Lou Rodriguez (1-0) grinded out a majority decision win in his pro debut against a fellow ring rookie Ray Ellis (0-1) in a very entertaining 4 round welterweight contest. Rodriguez sported an ankle bracelet, a fast set of hands a pretty good chin. Ellis, an aspiring chef and student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, showed a big heart and applied a lot of pressure as these two went at it for all four rounds.
Rodriguez was in control early, winning the first two rounds with a nice blend of combinations to the head and ability to avoid trouble as Ellis pressed forward. The tide changed in the 3rd as Ellis consistent pressure allowed him to storm back in the fight, having a big round as he found a way to break through Rodriguez defense and land some good punches of his own upstairs.
It was anyone’s fight down the stretch and both fought for the win in a 4th round that saw good moments for both fighters as Ellis fought through a leaking mouth and Rodriguez overcoming early fight jitters.
It went to the cards which read 39 – 37 x 2 for Rodriguez with the final judge saying it was even at 38-38. Let’s see both of these guys again against different foes!
Ronald Cruz……….vs………Joel Rios Phoenixville,PA…………….Philly via Puerto Rico pro debut……………………..1-4
Jimmy DeOria’s latest charge Ronald Cruz (1-0) showed some spark in his 4 rounder against a tough Joel Rios (1-5) in a 4 round welterweight battle. Cruz looked very sharp when he fought on the outside, putting strings of combos together. Rios did leave some marks too, especially when they fought in the inside. Activity was the difference here as Cruz was the one who threw most and overall was the sharper of the two.
If any young fighter is looking for a test early in their career, give Rios a call, he showed he can last under heavy fire and keep on coming. But, at 32 years old, his team feels it may be in his best interest to leave this sport to the young guys.
On the other hand, Cruz, if he calms down a bit a lets the fight start coming to him, he could be a guy to watch out for in the future.
In Cruiserweight action, Kamarah Pasley (1-3, 1ko) got that elusive first win with a second round knockout over Cullen Rogers (9-23-2, 5ko’s) . Pasley was able to land good leather and dig deep hooks into the awkward Rogers all night. Pasley dropped Rogers with a left early in round 2, then continued the assault when his opponent got up. Rogers didn’t go back down but offered nothing in return leaving referee Shawn Clark no option but to stop it.
Congrats to Pasley, a guy who never gave up on his dream of getting that W! Keep your eyes open because word is that Pasley is signed up to fight again on January 31st against Pedro Martinez at South Philly high school! Can he make it 2 in a row? We will see!
Power Productions kicks off the 2009 Philly fight year on January 16th at The New Alhambra in South Philly. The undercard is still unsettled but the main event and co-feature are etched in stone. I have all four contestants giving their side of the story. In the main event, PA State Jr. Middleweight champ Derek “Pooh” Ennis (16-2, 12ko’s) is scheduled to take on local veteran tough guy Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor (12-19, 6ko’s) of Delaware for a scheduled 8 rounder. Things looked shaky at the start of the week as Bono’s longtime trainer, Derrick Hoey, was tragically shot and killed over the weekend which could understandably call for Bono to reconsider taking this fight. But Bono told me personally that he plans to fight on despite the personal tragedy. It is official so the breakdown goes like this. In 2008 Ennis rebounded from a bad end in ’07, where he was unexpectedly KO’d, to the tune of a 4-0 record and putting himself back in striking distance of a significant televised fight on the national level. Ennis last outing was icing on the cake as it was his most complete performance as a pro, boxing a 10 round masterpiece over the 20 win vet Troy Browning to claim the state title and a portion of the USBA title. It was a big step forward. While few will doubt his offensive skills, some still wonder if he has the beard to make it to the big time. His last loss came in this very building in the summer of ’07 in a fight he was highly favored to win. If he can avoid the big punch, he has the skills to make a nice run in this sport. His opponent Bono on the other hand has lost 8 of his last 10 fights since winning a portion of the WBC title early in 2007. With that being said, Bono’s bar room tough guy record only tells a part of the story. He will give you an honest effort and usually makes his opponent fight hard for the duration. Let’s not get it twisted, Ennis is a HUGE favorite here, but this is Philly boxing and strange things always seem to happen. But hey, I only speak from the ring apron, click below to hear it from the guys who will be in there getting it on!
In a nice piece of matchmaking, the co-feature is said to have Delaware’s Ryan Belasco (8-2-3, 2ko’s) taking on Philly’s Lenny DeVictoria (11-12-1, 3ko’s) in a 6 rounder. Both fighters, at times, have been outstanding in the ring. There have also been a few occasions where both fighters have come in unprepared and laid a couple of duds. DeVictoria’s record is a misleading as he has taken on some of the best young, undefeated prospects this sport has to offer. Most memorably, he knocked off the then highly regardless Elad Shmouel in Philly’s 2007 fight of the year. Most recently, he fought to a draw against the rather ordinary Ricardo Media. Belasco on the other hand is cut from the cloth of his fellow Delaware fighters. Tough, has good fundamentals, and is willing to fight but no special skill that jumps out at you. Early in his career, problems of running out of gas attributed to draws and losses in fights he very well could have won. It looks like he has found a cure as he has gone deep into fights lately and looked fresh near the end, particularly against the boxing barber Victor Vasquez in one of the best of 2008. Both men had ample time to prepare for this fight so there should be no excuses. This is definitely an interesting contest, as these are two of the top guys locally fighting at 140 lbs. Expect some sparks to fly in this one as both men are usually happy to trade leather with an opponent.
Junior Welterweight Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson (9-3, 3ko’s) returns to the ring looking to erase memories of his latest outing against Jason Cintron which ended in a one sided loss. No opponent has been announced. Once Too Sweet ranked in the top 5 of the Philly Keith pound for pound list. Lets hope the real Too Sweet shows up for this one instead of the guy we saw last time.
Philly lightweight Ronald Cruz will make his pro debut against Joel Rios (1-4, 1ko) of Puerto Rico.
Heavyweights Kamarah Pasley (0-3)and John Carlisle (0-1) , both of Philly, will battle it out as both seek their first wins as a pro.
Lou Rodriguez of The Philly Rumblers Boxing Club is scheduled to make his awaited pro debut after a false start back in October when his opponent fell out last minute. He will take on Ray Ellis who is also making his pro debut.
A light welterweight scrap between two fighters with their only win coming by way of the dirt nap face off as Allentown’s Eluid Torres (1-0-1, 1ko) takes on the challenge of Pleasantville, NJ’s Omar Brito (1-0, 1ko) over 4 rounds of promising action.
Cleveland lightweight Miguel Gonzalez (1-0, 1ko) is not on the card due to being unable to find an opponent.
It was a show that may go into the history books as Power Promotions finest hour. Promoter Greg Robinson and matchmaker Ty McNeil upped the anti with five, high-stakes fights at the National Guard Armory in North East Philadelphia. There was a nice mix of Philly vs. Philly fights, a 12 round main event with a world rating and legitimate regional title hanging in the balance to go along with fights featuring legitimate up-and-coming prospects. On paper the card looked really good. In the arena, it was even better as every fight on the card proved something memorable.
This is the type of boxing fans want to see – good tough fights that are even money. The stands were packed and new announcer Chad Beene was on the microphone for this highly anticipated night of pro boxing in Northeast Philly.
The main event matched two polar opposite fighters who were able to position themselves for a title fight in completely different manners.
North Philly’s Rashiem “Rich and Famous” Jefferson had a highly decorated amateur career. He won tournaments and traveled the globe while perfecting his craft.
Since transitioning to the pro game, the 25-year-old came equip with a team that carefully guided his every move. “Rell” quickly secured promotional deals and was given the right fights at the right time in hopes of making a push towards the divisions elite. Many in Philadelphia consider him one of the best pure boxers in the city.
In the other corner, it is safe to say that Jose Hernandez could have been accurately billed as “Broke and Unknown”. Hernandez was thrown to the wolves early and often during the course of his career. It is the brutal road of unheralded journeyman fighting for scraps and trying to make his way out of the ancient Aztec land of Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico.
Hernandez never had an easy fight, earned his stripes in the professional ranks fighting only the up and comers with the potential to reach championship levels. One shouldn’t have been fooled by his lackluster record.
Sometimes he won, sometimes he lost. This night was a familiar scene in his young career, traveling into his opponents hometown to take on a fighter looking to become the divisions shining star. This time, the stakes were higher than any other fight either man had faced in their career, the USBA featherweight title was on the line and the winner was guaranteed a top 15 ranking in the world after this one.
Hernandez entered the ring first, with three men by his side, proudly holding their native Mexican flag. Coming in last was Jefferson who arrived with a deep entourage and heavy odds in his favor. It was obvious who the majority of the near sell out crowd was rooting for.
Once the opening bell sounded, a fight that was expected to be a boxing display broke down into a back alley punch fest. Hernandez, knowing his only shot of winning was to score a knockout, applied pressure from the get go. Jefferson, whose primary weapons are his pure boxing ability and ring generalship, decided to make this one a war. The fight was on from the early going and both men stood toe-to-toe exchanging combinations at close quarters, neither man allowing the other any time to breathe.
Hernandez applied pressure from a southpaw stance, walking forward and get right into the kitchen – firing off two, three and four punch combinations to his opponents body and head. Jefferson, showing he is not afraid of a good fight despite his background as the boxer / mover type, hung in the pocket, took Hernandez best shots and fire back in return.
This was the theme of the entire 12 rounds of the fight. While Jefferson showed he was game, Hernandez offense began to wear his opponent down as the fight drew longer. In the 6th, two straight lefts followed by a good push put Jefferson on the canvas for the 1st time as a pro. The Philly fighter beat the count, and continued to fire away but in return took more hard clean punches.
There were more spots where both men went toe to toe but it was evident that there was no stopping Hernandez in this one. He seemed hungier, more determined to get the win.
Behind on the scorecards, Jefferson continued to show the heart of a lion, taking good, clean punches and responding by throwing flurries of his own in the center of the ring.
As the fight reached the championship rounds, Hernandez looked to have the same energy from when the fight started while Jefferson looked to gas out. That didn’t stop Jefferson from giving it his all.
Mid way through the 12th and final round, Jefferson, fighting out of desperation and throwing punches with everything he had, collapsed face first more from exhaustion than punishment.
He was unable to beat the 10 count.
Hernandez fell to his knees and wept tears of joy, realizing the moment he has worked so hard for has finally arrived. After all of the long journeys, lousy fight accommodations and crooked politics of the game, he has overcome the long odds and is now recognized by a known sanctioning body as a champion.
Even in loss, take nothing away from Rashiem Jefferson, he gave every last bit of energy he had in that ring. Hopefully, he will rebound and go on to fight another day.
Winner by 12th round knockout – Jose Hernandez who improves to 11 – 6, 5ko’s
Tri State Super Middleweight Title Fight!
Rasheem Brown…..vs…..Jameel Wilson
South Philly…………………..West Oak Lane,.Philly
18- 3, 16ko’s…………13 – 11- 3, 8ko’s
This was an interesting fight in its own right. In one corner was Rasheem “The Untouchable” Brown, a once highly regarded prospect who fell on hard times due to a management deal gone wrong. After sitting out the remainder of that suspect deal, Brown became a free agent and recently signed with the local duo of Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods. He has since become a featured attraction on recent Power Productions cards.
In January of this year, Brown came back to the ring after 2 years on the bench and quickly knocked out known tough guy Jose Medina at The Legendary Blue Horizon.
On the strength of that win, he earned a crack at the newly created “Tri-State” Super Middleweight title. The Philly “Insiders” placed heavy odds on a Brown KO win and predicted that this would be the start of a run towards bigger and better things in the boxing world.
His opponent in this contest was Jameel “Black Gold” Wilson from the West Oak Lane section of the city. “Goldie” is another Philly fighter who came out of the gate blazing early in his career, going 10 – 0 on the local circuit before taking his talents to the next level. But the good times never last and his record also fell on hard times.
On paper, it shows that Wilson hasn’t won a bout since 2004. What the ink doesn’t reflect is that Wilson has been part of some of the most legendary Philly fights over the past decade.
Most recently it was a debated draw against Delaware’s Richard Stewart, In 2005 he went to war with the world ranked LuJuan Simon only to lose a majority decision. There are others but the bottom line is, if Jameel Wilson is on the card you want to be in the crowd if you are a fight fan.
This fight started looking like it would be an easy night for “Sheem”. Through 3 rounds, he came in hard, attacked the body, threw powerful over hand rights upstairs, popped off a strong jab while
Wilson stayed on the retreat, trying to fend off his attacker to no avail. Brown was much faster and it seemed, much stronger too. But Wilson, the ever crafty veteran, was able to survive the attack. He took some good shots but still had the sense to do something that not a whole lot of fighters do – which is actually listen to his corner.
When backed into the turnbuckle his corner would yell “get tight”. Wilson would quickly cover up, absorb a few power shots with his gloves and elbows, then slip out of the dangerous position.
Going into the 4th, it looked like it was going to be a long night for Wilson, but towards the end of the round, he landed a big overhand right which rocked Brown. “The Untouchable” got touched and staggered back to the ropes. Wilson smelled the blood and wasted no time trying to seal the deal throwing big overhand rights, stepping back, giving himself space, placing lefts to the body followed by more rights, referee Ron Aurit was in the two point stance ready to jump in to stop it.
Though Brown was stunned, he dug deep and was able to fire back with a big right hand that brushed Wilson off, giving himself some breathing room and eventually allowing him to escape the round.
After that, the war was on and the hammers were flying. Unlike previous rounds, it was now Wilson in the role of attacker, coming forward as Brown circled but stopping to throw overhand rights with home run power. The action was back and forth, Brown would land heavy rights and lefts, Wilson would respond with an attack of his own.
Rounds 6 – 9 played out this way, Brown going for the kill, Wilson working the body in an attempt to set up his own finisher. Both were connecting at a high rate, the crowd was on their feet screaming for a knockout. At some point during the ruckus, Wilson hurt his ankle, he fought with a noticeable limp as each round passed.
Going into the 10th, many thought this one was up for grabs and both fighters came out with the same thoughts. Win this round and you win the fight. Brown gained the upper hand early landing some bombs on the steel chinned Wilson.
Shaken – but by no means done – Wilson returned the favor and both fighters went at it in a good tough round. It turned into a bit of a wrestling match in the final minute, Brown in a clinch bought himself much needed time by tripping a gimpy Wilson causing a tumble that took both fighters on the canvas. This tactic ran the clock down to about :20 ticks. The action resumed but both fighters were standing when it went to the scorecards.
As previously mentioned, many thought it was a close fight. Unfortunately, the three people who really matter when it comes to a boxing decision saw it completely different. All three judges outrageously scored the bout 99 – 91 in favor of Rasheem “the Untouchable” Brown. I saw it closer to a draw with a coupel rounds that could have gone either way.
Wilson left the ring with a stoic look, replaying a scenario that has been the recent theme of his career, hard work with no reward.
Like true warriors, both embraced after the match with no hard feeling – it was a matter of respect, Philly boxing style! Now let’s talk about a rematch…
Winner by unanimous decision – “The Untouchable” Rasheem Brown who improves to 19 – 3, 16ko’s. Brown currently ranks #2 on my latest Philly top 10 “pound-for-pound” list of local fighters competing in small venues around our area.
Due to circumstances outside of the ring with previous scheduled fights falling out, matchmaker Ty McNeil pulled one off the Philly Keith dream card and signed a fight pitting two of the more action packed local fighters against each other.
Lenny “The Hitman” DeVictoria recently resurrecting a staggering career, winning his last two fights in action packed fashion.
The first of win is regarded as the 2007 Philly Fight of the Year when he stopped previously undefeated Elad Schmuel at the Legendary Blue Horizon.
Prior to the Schmuel fight, Lenny spent a lot of time taking short notice bouts in other prospects hometowns. Quick money to feed the family, but it always left him with the short end of the stick.
Now-a-days, Lenny’s team said they rededicated themselves to the sport. After a coupel of wins, he is inching back into position to earn bigger paydays and possibly move their way into the world rankings.
His opponent, Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson has come to be known as a fighter with a bit of a split ring personality. When faced with a legitimate challenge, he puts out a 110% effort and can steal a show. Late last year going against the toughest opponent of his career, Too Sweet went to war and came out on top in a thrilling slug fest over Utah’s Chris Fernandez.
But in his follow up performance, he dropped the ball and lost a rather lazy decision to the very non-descript Jason Jordan. After that fight, Too Sweet was quoted as saying “I’m tired of fighting these bums”. It has always been my opinion that Too Sweet fights to the level of his competitor, and on this night he would need to bring his A game because he was in with a guy who has seen and done a lot in the game and with the title on the line, was ready to put it all out there.
Prior to this fight, it was safe to say that it was a do-or-die situation in the young career of Too Sweet. Another loss would drop him out of the conversation of being a legitimate threat.
The locals who knew both fighters were predicting an all out war. When the bell sounded, the fans were treated to a very good, technically sound boxing match.
“Too Sweet” took the lead through three, jabbing, being the ring general and firing off well placed body shots in varieties of two, three and four punch combinations.
Lenny was like an old Voltswagon in the winter. It took a little while to get warmed up, but once the engine started to sweat, it was ready to run all night.
Lenny began to cut into the lead in the 4th, and in the 5th, he began to make Robinson miss. At the end of the round, Lenny connected with a crackling overhand right which sent Robinson wobbling into a corner. Tasting the win, Lenny wasted no time following up with lefts and rights to the head. Referee Shawn Clarke was in position and had the hawk-eye on Too Sweet, itching to make a leap and call a halt to the bout.
Fortunately for Robinson,the bell sounded to end the round as Lenny went back to his corner to a big greeting from his corner man Billy Briscoe.
The Hitman was like a wolf in the 6th, firing off power shots trying to recapture his advantage of the previous round. Towards the end of the round “Too Sweet” was able to rebound but it wasn’t enough to capture this round.
It was a dead even through 6 round, but as the fight wore on “Too Sweet” was able to retake the lead, reestablishing his role as initiator moving, jabbing, ripping off combinations. When the opportunity was right, he played the role of bully forcing the fight to the ropes.
By the 9th, Lenny was wearing the Crimson Mask of blood courtesy of a Robinson right hook to the nose. Bloodied but not battered, he continued to make a fight out of it and both men went toe to toe. Too Sweet threw in volume, Lenny looked for the one big head shot to close the show.
The 10th and final round was a very good one, Lenny, knowing he was behind on the cards looked for the knockout but Too Sweet wasn’t having it. He would neutralize the Hitman’s attack by forcing him to the ropes, working the body and not letting him breath.
It eventually went to the score cards with all three judges seeing it 98 – 92, 97-93 & 96 – 94, proclaiming Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson as the new USBA regional Jr. Welterweight Champion. Welcome back to the top 10 pound for pound list Too Sweet! A hard fought win in a very steady contest, proving their worthy of dream card status.
Winner by unanimous decision – Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson who improves to 9-2, 3 ko’s
Light Heavyweight Division
Tony Ferrante….vs….Ray Ruiz
Philly Keith Sports has inched its way to the top by being the voice of the boxing people, giving anyone and everyone involved an place to air it all out. For months, Ray Ruiz was calling out for an opportunity to fight an young up-and-comer from Mayfair, making claims of one sided sparring sessions and how it would all carry over once to the big stage if ever given the chance.
On this night, Ruiz aka “The 40-year-old Phenom” got what he asked for and big price for calling someone out. A single Tony “Boom-Boom” Ferrante right hand most likely ended Ruiz career as a paid professional.
After a solid first round, Boom-Boom landed the money shot early in the second round, knocking Ruiz straight back to the canvas. He was went down and his head bounced off the canvas like a basketball. This created a scary scene which kept the fighter down for more than 5 minutes, in need of a stretcher ride out.
In all seriousness, we hope the best for the man who is also known as “The Superstar” and have some work for him in the Philly Keith media stable if he ever wants to help generate fight hype. Fortunately he was not seriously injured.
Jr. Welterweight Division
Ray Robinson…vs…Jason Jordan
This fight was intended to be a showcase for a prospect who is regarded as having potential to really go places in his career. Jordan on the other hand, pays the rent by keeping his bags packed and traveling from town to town facing rising prospects and usually going home with an L.
BUT, last time in Philly, Jordan pulled off a shocker, taking a unanimous decision from Tyric Robinson. Would lightening strike twice? Absolutely not. Robinson came out of the gate blazing, scoring three knockdowns in the first round – all courtesy of left hands to the head.
To Jordan’s credit, he fought his way out of trouble, and instead of getting hit with a long medical suspension that comes with a knockout loss, he hung on to finish the bout on his feet and even managed to win the last round as Robinson grew more disinterested.
“The New” Ray Robinson showed he does have a good skill package but must learn to stay focused. Jordan, keeps his rep as a durable fighter who will give a guy rounds intact and will probably be fighting again in some small arena in parts unknown two or three weeks from now.
Winner – “The New” Ray Robinson who improves to 8 -0, 3 ko’s