Category Archives: Don Elbaum

Derek Ennis wins a classic at The Blue Horizon!

April 2, 2010 – It’s been an interesting week in the City that Loves you Back.  Nationally, Philly was put on the hot seat – again. This time the city was in focus due to internet phenomenon branded as a “flash mob”. In a nut shell, a flash mob is when a group of people get together, usually kids planning through social media, and wild out in public. A couple days ago a bunch of kids blew through South Street like a batch of wild turkeys, knocking people over, disrupting stores and such. No one was seriously hurt, probably because I wasn’t there. If someone would knocked into me they would have gotten hit with a Nikita Koloff style Russian sickle! There were also more peaceful, but still as odd, flash mobs at 30th street station. This one involved a bunch of random people joining together to stand still for a whole three minutes, kind of acting as if time were frozen. All of this was taped and posted on YouTube – people from all spectrums of the arena couldn’t wait to chime in on what they thought were the possible reasons behind these pointless acts.

Locally, Mayor Nutter and city technology head Allan Frank officially entered the city into the running as a potential testing grounds for Google’s upcoming high-speed gigabit network project.  In an attempt to lure the internet giant to our turf – Philly has been temporarily rebranded as “The City of Googley Love”.  If selected, Philadelphia would take on a unique project that intended to offer unheard of bandwidth capabilities that in theory could make Philly the Silicon valley of the east coast. This would attract businesses, create jobs, improve schools and give unprecedented internet access to anyone with a laptop.

Derek Ennis vs Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez 2010 (20)Under the radar of mainstream media, Germantown native Derek “Pooh” Ennis (21-2-1, 13ko’s) turned in another Fight of the Year candidate at The Legendary Blue Horizon.  Coming into the night, just about everyone in the know thought that the he reigning 154 lb USBA Jr. Middleweight champion would be involved in a “stay busy” fight – one that would keep him fresh until his first official defense of the title that he won in this same building in November of last year.

Friday nights main event was originally scheduled to be the night of this first defense. But USBA rules state that a certified opponent must be ranked within that organizations top 15 fighters. While the Blue Horizon has a legendary reputation – it is no secret that the fighters purses are usually small change in the grand scope of things. With no TV exposure,  little money to offer and other top 15 fighters already locked into to previous engagements – no quality opponent worthy of a USBA approval could be found for this evening.

So with about 72 hours until bell time, Ennis managerial team of Moz Gonzalez & Eddie Woods found the unheralded Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez (13-7, 11ko’s) of Kansas to fill in a late sub instead of cancelling the fight. This would be a non-title fight but would be scheduled for 10 rounds of action. The die-hard fans and industry business know-it-alls were very disappointed in this turn of events, believing that it would be a uncompetitve night for a fighter who should be ready to test himself against the best in the world.
Even during the pre-fight entrances  – it had all the makings of a blow out. Ennis was escorted to the ring with an entourage of around 10 people. His stable mates were in front holding up his local and regional title belts. His promoter Mike Fingerman and other associates were not far behind. It was a flash mob of its own right on Broad and Thompson!

In the other corner, Jose Gonzalez had the look of a grizzled journeyman loner. Shipped in on short notice – his corner consisted of one person from his camp and a local cut-man for hire who probably earned something in the neighborhood of $10 per round.

Derek Ennis vs Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez 2010 (11)But like the wise man once said ” that’s why they fight the fights!” Instead of a lopsided blowout – the fans were pleasantly surprised by a very game late replacement as Jose Gonzalez came out of his corner like a man on fire in the early going – bringing the fight right to the local favorite – in his own ring – in his hometown – in front of all his fans!

While the Kansas filled in admirably – Ennis responded in part and willingly waged a 10 round war where both fighters gave it everything they had. The slick moving Ennis I know was nowhere to be found on this night – this one was a grittier version. The two men fought like they were locked in a freezer, huddled closely together on the inside to trade short and effective rights and lefts to every organ of the body.

Derek Ennis vs Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez 2010 (12)Notable moments from the fight include Ennis looked to be buzzed by a solid Gonzalez early in the 2nd round – only to shake it off and fire back with a three punch combo upstairs. Pooh suffered a cut over the left eye somewhere around round 5 – a cut that was kept reasonably under control but did leak from time to time. Ennis became more authoritative as the match wore on – not budging an inch as Gonzalez tried to bully his way forward. Pooh would usually take a good shot to land a three or four punch combo. The crowd was extremely vocal for this one – usually on their feet cheer at the end of every round in a building where they won;t think twice about booing you out the front door.

Derek Ennis vs Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez 2010 (5)In the end – conditioning proved to be the deciding factor as Ennis kept his fast pace down the stretch while Gonzalez was getting by on pure heart. It went to the scorecards which read 98 – 92 x2 with a third judge seeing it a draw at 95-95, giving the majority decision win to Ennis.

Derek Ennis vs Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez 2010 (6)Good win for Ennis – but in typical Pooh fashion this fight leaves some question remaining to be answered. Some were left wondering why he was in a life-or-death war with an anonymous journeyman? After the fight his manager Moz Gonzalez was impressed – stating that “this fight showed me that Pooh has the cojones to be world champion”. Some were concerned that Ennis weighed in at 157 lbs (the contracted weight was a limit of 156 1/2 lbs, in turn costing his purse to be docked a few bucks for being over). Others were saying that they are very interested to see how Ennis performs in a fight out-of-town and away from the pressures of having to please his local fan base with war after war.  After a few false starts in his career, one thing is for certain – Derek “Pooh” Ennis has earned the rite to complete against the best 154 lb fighters in the world.

In a division loaded with mid level prospects but short on championship caliber material – Ennis has a very good shot of making some noise and ending up on a prime TV broadcast in the near future.

Farah Ennis vs Frankie Santos 2010 (3)In the co-feature, Pooh’s brother – rising Super Middleweight prospect Farah Ennis (13-0, 7ko’s) put a 2 round pounding on Puerto Rico’s Frankie Santos (17-9-4, 8ko’s). Originally, Santos was scheduled to take on Derek in the main event but weight issues and inability to find an opponent led Santos to taking this match two weight classes higher.

Big mistake on his part. From the first punch of the opening bell it was evident that Farah’s punching power would be way too much. The first solid jab of the night pushed the veteran a quarter of the way across the ring.

Ennis probably could have ended things :30 into the fight but instead he opted to be patient with the old veteran, taking his time with hard three and four punch combos before sealing the deal with a vicious upper cut at the very end of round 2.

A Philly vs Camden Junior Welterweight bout between two newbies to the pro ranks turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  Clement Bethea (2-0) grinded out a clear decision win over Jason Sia (0-2) in a four round preliminary. Sia had a very good first round and put Bethea down to the canvas with a three punch body combo. Bethea got up, eventually returned the favor with a straight right hand upstairs and simply applied non stop pressure to Sia. Both men fought to win but in the end all three judges scored it 38-36 for Bethea.
Bryant Jennings vs Jon Boldin 2010 (5)North Philly Heavyweight Bryant Jennings (2-0, 1ko) chalk lined John Boldin (1-1, 1ko) at the end of round 3 with a thunderous upper cut. Jennings is a work in progress but he did a nice job of figuring out his opponent and turning the tide – going from boxer / mover to all out aggressor before putting his foe away. Boldin was on the canvas for close to five-minute until being able to leave under his own power.


Jose Ortiz vs Luis Esquillen 2010In the opener – Jersey City’s Jose Ortiz (2-2) won a unanimous decision over Luis “Smurf” Esquillan (1-3). The fight had some good moments which riled up the crowd early on. Ortiz pressure seemed to dictate the direction of the fight and Smurf was a little too slick for his own good. There were times where both hung on the inside to trade flurries. There were times where Ortiz called for Smurf to stay inside and fight. There were times where Smurf was able to spin Ortiz around in circles. In the end it went to the cards which read 40 – 36×2 & 39 – 37 for Ortiz.


Philly Keith & Hank Lundy 2010

Fights Return to The Blue Horizon April 2, 2010…

Boxing returns to the Legendary Blue Horizon this Friday night but I must say – this card was very poorly constructed. Step it up Elbaum – these tickets are expensive!

In the main event – Philly’s lone headliner Derek “Pooh” Ennis (20-2-1, 13ko’s) will face last minute sub Jose Adelaydo Gonzalez (13-6-1, 11ko’s) of Garden City, Kansas in a 10 round non-title bout. Ennis is the USBA 154 lb champ and many are anxiously awaiting for him to defend the title. Manager Moz Gonzales says that multiple attempts were made to attract a USBA top 15 opponent but were unsuccessful due to issues with purse request, IBF approval or previous obligation.

Team Ennis hopes to get back at it in about 6 weeks after this match. Gonzales has pulled off some last minute trouble in the past. Two years ago he stepped in on short notice to give the then undefeated Jason LeHoullier fits. For his effort he received a draw in a match everyone said he won.

In the co-feature, undefeated Light Heavyweight Farah Ennis (12-0, 6ko’s) will take on Frankie Santos (17-8-4, 8ko’s) of Puerto Rico for an 8 rounder. Santos was originally scheduled to box Derek Ennis but will now jump up two weight classes to face the rising prospect.

Bryant Jennings takes on John Bolden in a four rounder Heavyweight contest.

A lot of fall outs, a lot of changes on this card. Then again – these are the times when you get surprised with s good card so who knows what to expect…

Derek Ennis Highlights a Night of Knockouts at The Blue!

On February 5 2010 – The Philly fight faithful snubbed their nose at certified blizzard to witness a classic night at The Legendary Blue on Friday. In the main event Derek “Pooh” Ennis sharpened up to the tune of a 5th round TKO over game journeyman Edwin Vasquez. Pooh pounded his head to no avail, but once he began to hit the body, the rock crumbled as Vasquez took two knees at the end, knowing it would take a miracle from Jesus to get a W.

In other action, it took Joey DaWejko longer to put on his socks than it did to dispatch his opponent, scoring a KO :47 intp the 1st round of his homecoming fight.

Ronald Cruz made a big statement when he bombed out Martinus Clay midway through the 3rd round of their scheduled 6 rounder.

Eric “Outlaw” Hunter and Andres Gustafson both scored some nice early KO wins.

Jackie Davis again pumps out the fight of the night in a 4 round rumble that had the crowd on their feet throughout.

Clement Bethea and Henry Northam fought like they were competing for a spot in Maximus Roman empire.


Boxing Returns to The Blue Horizon Feb 5th, 2010!

The Legendary Blue Horizon opens their doors for the first time in 2010 on February 5th as Ms. Veronca Michael and her tag team partner Don Elbaum bring a seven fight card to North Broad street. On top of the bill is USBA 154lb champ Derek Ennis (19-2-1, 12ko’s) of Gernamtown taking on Puerto Rico’s Edwin Vasquez (22-14-2, 8ko’s) in an 8 round non-title bout. This will serve as a precursor to Ennis first title defense which is expected to come in April in Atlantic City. In addition to the main event, people are buzzing about the home coming of Northeast Philly’s Joey DaWejko – the former top rated US amateur heavyweight who turned pro in September. He is scheduled for four rounds.

Also expect to see Eric “Outlaw” Hunter & Ronald Cruz compete in separate bouts – both have yet to find a suitable opponents. Jackie Davis looks to go 4-0 when she takes on the pro debuting Tanya Martinez. Tim Johnson is back in action for a 4 rounder.

There are rumors of a co-feature where grizzled vets Israel “Pito” Cardona and  Martinus Clay will fight an  8 rounder at Middleweight! Could be true, could be a load of BS, we will see….More info to come soon…

Q&A with Don Elbaum

Q&A with Don Elbaum

By David R. Ruff

Don Elbaum started in the boxing game when he was 13, writing for the Erie (Pa.) Times. Nobody really knows how old he is; it’s the best-kept secret in boxing. But he’s worked with a virtual who’s-who in boxing, with various early fights of Mohammad Ali to Aaron Pryor to up-and-coming heavyweight today Fast Eddie Chambers. Elbaum can tell more about boxing stats than anybody I know of. He doesn’t want to be called a character; he’d rather be called a “boxing personality.”

Elbaum boxed as an amateur and a pro. He’s boxed on cards he’s promoted. He’s always been very outgoing. He worked in the business doing various things, such as being a second, a boxer, a promoter, and a writer.

Here are some questions I presented to Don. He graciously answered them. I figured the Philly Keith Sports readers would want to hear his answers. I’d like to give Don a big thank-you, and hope that he will continue to be the personality that he is.

Dave Ruff: When did you get started in boxing?

Don Elbaum: I saw my first fight at the age of eight; I saw the great Willie Pep in New Bedford, MA. Had my first amateur fight at 13; I was writing for the Erie Times, Erie, PA, predicting the Wednesday and Friday night TV fights. Started matchmaking at 15; I promoted my first fight at 17.

Click here to read the entire Q&A with “The Don”

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!

Chambers KO win highlights an 8 fight card @ The Blue Horizon 9-11-09

Talk about it and see what everyone else is saying on the forum here

September 11, 2009 in Philadelphia. It was a day of remembrance as 8 years ago on this day, terrorists hi-jacked planes and forever changed the way Americans go about everyday living.

Current day Philly wasn’t looking very good either as Mayor Nutter is talking “Plan C” budgets and laying off over 3,000 city workers as State house and Senate leaders argue over the details of future city spending and sales tax increases.

On top of that, it was a flat out nasty, rainy night in the city that loves you back.

But hey, not all was bad. Mother’s house was open for business as Vernoca Michael and her tag team partner Don Elbaum collaborated once again for fight night at The Legendary Blue Horizon. There were eight bouts scheduled featuring quite a few area fighters at different stages of their career. The theme “Public Safety Night” in hope of bringing awareness to the ridiculous number of people being mugged, maimed and killed in our city streets. Special tribute was giving to the life of 25 year old Pete Lyde Jr, grandson of Smokin’ Joe and son of Pete & Judge Jackie Frazier Lyde. Pete was senselessly killed outside of a bar in North Philly on his first night of employment at the establishment. Put down the guns and pick up the gloves kids!

Back to boxing, in the main event, rising Jr. Welterweight “Showtime” Steve Chambers (20-1-1, 6ko’s) was returning after 8 months on the shelf because of a foot injury. Considered one of the more talented fighters in our area, he is starting to be considered one of the most protected also. You can’t blame the fighter for this and when in the ring, Steve has handled his business time and time again.

On this night, the opponents changed a few times and at the last minute his opponent was settled on Aaron Drake (13-7, 9ko’s) , a non descript journeyman from Kansas. While Chambers was putting in hard hours in the gym, Drake likely was on the couch when the phone rang.

To no ones surprise, Steve Chambers absolutely steamrolled over Aaron Drake, taking out the late replacement at the 1:27 mark of round 2. Chambers was in control from the start working behind a stiff jab and following with a straight right, scoring three knock downs total before referee Gary Rosado saw enough and called a halt to the bout. Chambers looked fresh for a guy who hasn’t fought in 8 months. Now let’s see that Chambers – Shmouel fight Elbaum!

The co-feature was the most intriguing fight of the night. Two years ago, Phoenixville’s Jules Blackwell (8-3-2, 3ko’s) was considered a prospect to keep an eye on. Well dressed, well spoken, college educated, the kid was a marketing dream. Trained by Jimmy Deoria & John Mulvenna, he had the inside connection to Don Elbaum’s matchmaking and racked up 7 straight wins to start his career. Unlike many others in the city, Jules started calling for the big fight soon after. His heart alone landed him a Philly top 10 pound for pound slot. His wish was granted time and time again as he went on to face some of the toughest this area has to offer. His first test was Paul Fernandez, a fight he won convincingly. After that he just wasn’t winning anymore. Lucian Gonzalez – draw, Ja Sung Lee – draw at Madison Square Garden. Then it started to fall apart. His team thought they could pull a fast one and called up Eric “Outlaw” Hunter to take a fight on 2 days notice thinking he wasn’t in the gym. Bad move, Jules lost in 3. He bounced back against a duck but was then in his most recent match, took an unexplainable TKO loss to the feather fisted Darrell Martin.

On the flip side, Joselito Collado (9-0, 3ko’s) has been making to trek from the Bronx to Broad street in hopes of getting that big pay day. He had slowly but steadily produced solid outing after solid outing. The crowd that once had their eye on Jules was now watching this kid from the boogie down.

This only meant one thing, it was do or die for the career of Jules Blackwell.

Earlier in the day, Joselito Collado was forced to strip down to his bare ass at the weigh-in to make the contracted fight weight as he originally came in 5 ounces over the 126 lb limit. For this he vowed a KO Jules Blackwell in 3 rounds. It took him only 2:01 into the 1st round to end the fight with a hard three punch combo that sent Blackwell to the outer edge of the ring apron and into la-la land. Good win for Collado and it was a good run for Jules who was one of the classier guys I have met in this racket, but that full time graphic designer job for Black n Mild might be a better long term option that a future in the ring holds for him. I’d hate to see him get hurt. If you do choose to hang em up, it was good to know you!

The fight on the card that didn’t get much hype but was a sleeper pick to be a good one was a super featherweight match between Lancaster’s Isaac Suarez (7-1, 3ko’s) and Mondre Pope (2-0-1) of Virginia.

Suarez was a known amateur undefeated prospect coming into this bout. He was recently returning to the ring after a two year layoff. Pope may be a bit unknown as a pro but is said to have over 150 amateur wins.

Suarez’ first fight back was a tough split decision win against Ikeem Orji of Maryland, a fight where Suarez had to get off the canvas to win. His team wanted one more fight before they chased some big pay days…. and did they ever get a fight on this night.

In what goes down as the worst performance of Suarez career, Mondre Pope was aggressive early and scored two knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated fighter in their 6 round bout. Pope was quicker to the punch, landing good straight lefts in the opening rounds, quite a few wobbling his opponent. When Suarez would try to attack, Pope used to ring and got out of dodge before being touches.

After the second knockdown Suarez could have packed it in but to his credit he showed a lot of heart and rebounded down the stretch. Suarez seemed to have the fire power but didn’t pull the trigger when he needed to, unlike the young body punching machine I remember from a few years ago. It went to the score cards which read 58 – 55 x4 & 58 -54 for Pope who showed he is a guy to keep an eye on.

Former NHL goon Nathan Perrott traded the skates for a pair boots in his new venture as a pro fighter. Before the match, he spent a lot of time telling good tales of his hockey life. He gave himself the nod in a on-ice skate fight against Donald Brashear, told tales of being a pro in the Russian hockey league, being the only guy for miles to speak English – only to have his passport stolen and being stranded in this foreign land for weeks. It was all a breeze during the media sessions talking about his anticipated pro debut.

But then at the weigh in the mood began to change. The easy going fella started to realize the serious of the business. He was still personable, but very anxious. Hours later, when the bell finally sounded, the nerves were still there but he seemed ready for the task at hand. The beginning wasn’t pretty but to his credit he shook off some early jitters to score a late TKO over Makidi Ku-Tima in their heavyweight bout. A few Flyers showed up to cheer on their boy and he didn’t disappoint as he threw down hockey style, mauling and pummeling his opponent. I think we will be seeing him again soon as the crowd seemed to take a liking to him. According to sources, Flyers spotted at ringside were Mike Richards, Riley Cote, Dan Carcillo, Ray Emery and Jeff Carter.

I am sure we will see Perrott again. Though he needs a lot of work, the story is good and people seemed to like the idea of a hockey player throwing down in the ring at The Blue.

South Philly’s Mongoose, Phillip McCants (8-1-1, 3ko’s) of the Marion Anderson Gym shook off 3 years of ring rust in a clear unanimous decision win over Tyson Schwinger (3-8-3, 3ko’s) in their 4 rounder. McCants, fighting as a junior middleweight was in control throughout. After a slow start he was very good in the second round but took the foot off the pedal a bit in 3 and 4, still outworking his foe. While his timing was off, he did show flashes of a guy who knows how to put punches together and also flashed some slick defense. Schwinger was a game fighter who tried his hardest. Scores were 40 – 36 across the board. Look for the Mongoose to return on October 2nd.

Belmawr’s Joe Alonso had a good showing in his pro debut against Bill Brown on Ohio ina 4 round welterweight rumble. Alonso came to The Blue with a NY Giants logo tattooed on him but I’ll give the kid his due. He worked hard against a willing, but limited opponent. This turned out to be one of the better two-way fights on the night. Alonso was full steam ahead firing away as Brown hippity-hopped around the ring trying to land pot shots. Brown looked like he was ready to go on his back late but the crafty vet found a way to survive. In the end the scorecards read 40 – 36 x2 & 40 – 35 for Alonso. After his fight, half the crowd emptied, leaving The Blue looking like a ghost town.

The ladies put on a good fight too as NJ’s Jackie Davis (3-0, 1ko) and Albuquerque’s Victoria Cisneros (3-7-2) went at it for four rounds. It was a close one as Davis chose to brawl instead of box which led to some good spots of two way fisticuffs. Cisneros was cut over her left eye by a punch early in the fight and her unprepared one person corner wiped it with what appeared to be a dirty dish rag. Cisneros didn’t quit and Davis showed the tenacity that makes her a crowd favorite. The fight hung in the balance down the stretch and Davis pulled out a close last round with some hard overhand rights on the ropes. Regardless of your stance on women fighters, Jackie, the full time police officer trained by the Philly great Ivan Robinson, always puts on a show. The cards read 38-38 & 39-37 x2 for Davis.

Delroy Beston of Tom River won the battle of pro debuting Jr Welterweight’s as he took a unanimous decision over Philly’s Jason Sia in the opening bout of the night. The fight was a bit awkward as both men were southpaws but both were able to get in some good shots. Beston landed some good lefts through out though they didn’t really faze Sia. It went to the cards which read 40 – 36 x 2 & 39 – 37 for Beaston.

Correction: Dangerous Darrell Jones fight was canceled at the last minute because his opponent was involved in a car accident after the weigh-in. Look for Darrell on Oct 2 @ The Blue.

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11 Fight Card Scheduled for The Blue Horizon September 11th!

Boxing returns to mothers house as Vernoca Michael & Don Elbaum present what is looking like an 11 fight card at The Legendary Blue Horizon on September 11th. The theme of the night is “Public Saftey” and to be totally honest, there are some really safe fights for the house prospects. There are also a couple that could turn out to be really good. Here is the breakdown

In the main event, Jr. Welterweight Steve Upshur Chambers is back and he takes on Aaron Drake of Ohio in a scheduled 8 rounder. Chambers is 19 – 1 and coming back after an 8 month layoff due to a foot injury. His last 3 times out have been very solid outings, especially a win over Kevin Carmody at The Blue. Many people now want to see him take that next step. Drake’s last two wins have come against opponents with a combined record of 39 – 130 – 2. Enough said. Come on Elbaum, we want Chambers vs. Shmouel!

The co-feature is Darren Fallen vs. Joshua Onyango. Fallen is a former golden gloves champ out of Shulers Gym. He has been inactive much of the past few years but does have 2 wins in a row. Onyango is best known for his upset win over Gabby Rosado a few years back. We are now in 2009 and are a car accident and a few knockouts later in Onyango’s career. Let’s see what he has left. Fallen is a boxer, Onyango is aggressive so it could produce some action. This one is scheduled for 8 rounds.

The best match of the night, at least on paper goes to Joselito Collado vs. Jules Blackwell in a super featherweight match. Collado of the Bronx fights hard has earned some fans in Philly, Blackwell lost almost all of his after getting KO’d. Give Jules his credit he was one to never duck a tough fight unlike most others who call themselves prospects in this division. Jules desperately needs a win here. Collado might stamp his card as the best 122 lb prospect fighting in the area with a win. Sit back and watch them rumble!

Undefeated super featherweight Isaac Suarez of Lancaster returns to fight Mondre Pope of Virginia. Suarez returned earlier this summer to take a split decision from Ikeem Orji in a fight that Suarez had to get off the canvas to win. There is a little rust left after 2 years away from the ring but team Suarez says after this they are looking for big fights after this. Taking the winner of the Collado – Blackwell fight would be a good start.

South Philly’s “Dangerous” Darrell Jones comes back to the ring after about a year off for what is looking like a fight against Achmad Tuba of Israel. Those in the know rave about Jones natural ability but say consistency is the key. Tuba was ballyhoo’d his last time at the Blue as he is apart of the Elad / Nakash / Taal crew that come in from Tel Aviv. Both fighters are 1-0 but if this fight goes down, I expect Jones to win handily.

This night also marks the return of “The Mongoose” Phillip McCants. He will take on an opponent to be named soon. McCants had a decorated amateur career with accomplishments that include, but are not limited to a KO win over Mike Jones and putting Henry Crawford down twice. He signed with CES when he turned pro but hung up the gloves after 9 pro fights. George Hanson writes a good piece detailing the accomplishments of McCants in his Mouthpiece column. The article is titled “The Mongoose is Loose”

More info on this card to come soon ’til then…

Minnesota Ice hammers out Willis in 3, Gee Cullmer pulls out a split decision win!

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The big lumberjack from Minnesota, Joey Abell (24-4, 23 KO’s) did it again, pleasing the crowd with 3 rounds of target practice which led to a stoppage over Houston’s Billy “The Kid” Willis (12-14-1, 9ko’s). Abell looks to have added a jab to his arsenal, a punch he threw a lot of in the 1st which would set up that wrecking ball of a left hand. Give Willis credit, he ate some SCUD missiles and still had the audacity to connect with a strong right hook as round 1 ended, a punch that surely caught Abell’s attention. The fight continued and it was more of Abell hammering the concrete head of Willis. The first knockdown came early in the 3rd which from my vantage point actually looked like a slip. Willis jumped right up but was attacked on the ropes and referee Blair Talmedge jumped right in to stop what could have been a severe beating. Video with Abell below.

In the co-feature, the State Athletic Commissions # 1 ranked super middleweight Gee Cullmer once again wins a close decision at The Blue, this time by way of split decision over Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor in their 6 round rematch from a fight that took place in 2004. Call this one “The Battle of the Free Hand” as the amount of work done in clinches were the most telling source of scoring in rounds 2 – 5. From my vantage point there were only two clear cut rounds to award, Bono getting the 1st as he set the pace and landed some solid right hands to open the contest. Cullmer came on very strong in round 6, walking forward and connecting with a steady diet of combos, sensing that he needed a big round to secure the victory. It went to the cards which read 59 – 55 for Cullmer, 59 – 55 for Bono and the third judge seeing it 58 – 55 for Cullmer. Video with Gee is below.

Jose Tiburcio, now training at The Oven Gym under the eye of Billy Briscoe, scored two knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision win over Frankford’s Julius “Marvel” Edmunds in their 4 round lightweight match. Tiburcio started strong with the knockdowns but faded late as Edmunds came on down the stretch but it wasn’t as Tiburco won on all 3 scorecards in his first fight in 2 years.

Queen’s lightweight Joselito Collado is quickly becoming a house favorite and once again he impresses with a win over Darrell Martin who preferred to showboat, clown and dance rather than fight hard. 60 – 54 across the board for Collado.

Taneal Goyco (3-0, 1 KO) again gets the win over Davit Davitshvili (0-3) this time by unanimous decision in their cruiser weight fight.

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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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