It was a night to forget at The National Guard Armory as a horrible job of promoting by Southern Starr Promotions led to plenty of fight fall outs and a crowd that couldn’t top the 150 people mark. While this night almost certainly will be the first and last time this promotional outfit will be seen in Philly, there were some contestants in the ring who showed they are worthy of being seen again.
In the Main Event, Michael Grant shook off over a year of ring rust to win a unanimous decision over Demetrius King who had previously won 5 straight bouts. Grant looks hesitant early but as the fight went on seemed to become more comfortable. King was no slouch and at times would sit in the pocket to trade punches with his much bigger foe. In the end, King began to wear down and Grant’s impressive physical condition came into play as he was the fresher man down the stretch. With the win, Grant looks for one last shot at the heavyweight gold. Word of a potential Michael Grant vs. Bruce Seldon fight is in the works.
Tim Witherspoon Jr scored what could possibly be the first ever exhibition bout KO as he starched his opponent early in the display. Spoon Jr was originally scheduled for a real fight but it was called off at the last minute due to his opponent being too light of all things.
Tanzee Daniels and Tiffany Woodward showed they are two ladies who can bring it on as they put on a hard fought 4 round fight that could have gone either way. Woodward seemed to be in control early landing some good rights and uppercuts as they stood toe to toe but Daniel changed it up in the 3rd switching from brawler to boxer, slipping jabs and circling around the ring which caused Woodward to keep signaling to bring it on! The fight eventually went to the judges who gave a split decision to Tanzee Daniels.
Jose Guzman’s experience was the deciding factor in his majority decision win over the pro debuting Jamar Sanders.
Gustavo Dailey overcame 2 cuts over his left eye to win a hard fought unanimous decision over Devon Ellis. Dailey who started his career off slow, has now won 2 in a row
Alexander Mancera came to Philly as a very late replacement and stole a win from Jameel Wilson in a 6 rounder that had it’s moments.
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
Photos by Raquel Gonzalez
Greg Robinson and Power Productions were back at the National Guard Armory on Friday night and pleased the crowd with a solid 7 fight card.
The main event featured Ivan “Mighty” Robinson who returned to the ring after 2 years and was taking on Darien Ford in what hoped to be the first step towards a final ring at a big money fight.
Robinson showed a little rust early and Ford took full advantage by putting the pressure on Mighty and consistently beating him to the punch. Robinson picked up the pace in the second half of the fight started to get the better of some good exchanges that took place in the center of the ring.
In the end the fight went to the cards and they read 58 – 56 & 58 – 56 for Ford and another judge seeing it 60 – 54 for Robinson giving the majority decision win to Ford who improves to 11 – 18 – 1.
This may be the end of the line for a potential PA Boxing Hall of Famer who twice defeated a prime Arturo Gatti.
In the co-feature, Luis Alberto Santiago and Richard Hall fought to a draw in a contest that saw some good spots of two way action. Santiago played the role of boxer to Hall being the puncher and the majority of the contest was fought in the inside with Hall digging to the ribs while Santiago tried to fend him off with two and three punch combos. It went to the cards and one judge saw it 58 – 56 for Santiago while the other 2 saw it even at 57 – 57.
Local favorite Victor Vasquez pushed himself back into the win column with an emphatic 2nd round knockout over Alex Matos. After a decent 1st round, Vasquez exploded in the second and floored Matos with a left hook to the jaw late in the round. Matos beat the count but was ripe for the picking and Vaquez waste no time jumping back down his throat landing a barrage of punches which left referee Blair Talmedge no choice but to call a halt to the contest.
With the win, Vasquez improve to 3 – 1 3ko’s
The females were in action and NY’s Cindy Serrano came to Philly and received 6 rounds of hard work from Lakeyshia Williams in a fight that had the fans on their feet for the majority of the contest. Neither lady backed down in the one and Serrano would the three punch combos and Williams banged inside and usually ended her combos with a hook to the ear. The fight went the distance and ended with a standing ovation.
The judges scored the fight 60 – 54 x 2 and 58 – 56 in favor of Williams. I thought it was much closer and very possible that Williams won the fight.
Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller was on the bill and people were calling for the smelling salts before the opening bell sounded due to Speller’s rep for beating opponents around the ring. Derrick Buchannan was having none of that on this night and brought the fight to the young knockout artist. Buchannan held for the most part to neutralize Speller and avoid being knocked out. The fight went to the cards and they went 40 – 36, 39 – 37 x2 for Speller and even at 38 – 38 which raised Spellers record to 4 – 0 3ko’s
Tough Light Heavy Tim Johnson also got back into the winning side of the ledger as he banged around an unpolished yet still pretty tough customer in Garrard ‘Hardwork’ Williams. Johnson was consistently able to get past the long southpaw reach of Williams, banging to the ribs or side stepping and lunging in with hard rights to the head.
Williams took a good punch and always came back for more. Williams best work came early in the final round, tapping to the body and throwing the straight left hands upstairs. Johnson pulled away late in the round, bullying his way inside and throwing hard right hands at his taller foe.
It went to the cards and all three read 40 – 36 in favor of Tim Johnson who improves to 2 – 1 with 1ko.
Junior welterweight Tyric ” Too Sweet” Robinson had a surprisingly hard time with Justin Danforth who showed he wasn’t only in town for a paycheck. Robinson was much quicker and landed some very good, clean shots but Danforth continued to come forward and doing his best work with Robinson pinned against the ropes and corner letting off combinations.
Robinson used his skills to avoid major trouble and smartly boxed as Danforth looked to break it down into a fight. It went to the cards and they read 59 – 55 twice and 57 – 57 one to give Tyric Robinson the win via Majority Draw.
With the win, Tyric Robinson improves to 5 – 1 – 1 with 2ko’s
Middleweight prospect Latif Mundy banged out a majority decision win against Maurice Williams with a great opener as both men went toe to toe throughout. The cards read 39 – 37 x 2 and even at 38 – 38. With the win, Mundy improves to 5 – 0 with 1ko.
In an early fight – Farah Khalil’s return to the ring against Jay Washington was cut short due to an accidental head butt which caused nasty gash over Khalil’s eye in the second round. Billy Briscoe had the blood flow under control but the ringside physician deemed it too deep to continue.
On January 26, 2007 – Power Productions produced one of the oddest boxing shows in recent memory at the National Guard Armory in Northeast Philadelphia. Overall, it was a quick night due to some early card knockouts which is becoming a standard during this outfits shows. Other surprises include a fighter puking in the ring mid fight, a noticeable hole in the ring which caused fighters to trip and a last minute change in length of the main event between Levon Warner and Dave Brunelli which was reduced from a six round bout to a four rounder. All of this combined with co feature Tyric Robinson’s fight being completely cancelled.
While there was a lot going on, brighter notes included the return of “King” Gabriel Rosado and the first pro glimpse of former amateur star “Hammerin” Hank Lundy. Ring Announcer Pat Fattore did a commendable job keeping the crowd entertained throughout the evening.
The main event had a lot of buildup, but in the end it was a snoozer as South West Philly native Levon Warner 6-3-2 (1 KO) won a majority decision over Tacony’s Dave Brunelli 6-2 (3 KOs) in a battle of local Heavyweights.
There was a lot of holding in this one. Warner controlled the action early using his jab and landing some punches on the inside as Brunelli charged in.