photo by Zach Radel
Power Productions returned The Legendary Blue Horizon this past Friday and matchmaker Ty McNeil managed to put together 3 gems on this 6 fight card.
The best was kept for last as the main event showcased a toe to toe war between Philly’s Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson and Utah’s Chris Fernandez over 8 rounds of Junior welterweight action. In Light Heavy action, Tony “Boom Boom” Farrante made his pro debut and his opponent, former kick boxer Heath Harris, was looking to kick his ass. Farrante came out strong, Harris cowboyed up and these two went at it from bell to bell.
Two more Philly Light Heavy’s battled when Jake “The Snake” Rodriguez brought his deceiving record in against Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller who looked to bounce back from his first career loss.
Adam Harris, Jesus Barbosa & Farah Khalil rounded out the action in the ring. There was almost as much action outside of the ring as there was on the inside. The good points included giving recognition to the hard work of Philadelphia correctional officers, the sounds of MC Pat Fattore rocking the microphone and a thin but fiery crowd who were very vocal which added to the excitement.
On the flip side, security was performing jailhouse like full cavity body inspections, smokers were turned away at the door and the ring girls looked like they were picked fresh from under the El. Safety first – Blue Horizon style! This is how is happened on Broad & Thompson courtesy of promoter Greg Robinson.
Tyric Robinson…vs…Chris Fernandez
7 – 1, 3ko’s………..12- 3, 8ko’s
I have been saying for some time that Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson is the classic case of fighter who boxes to the level of his opponent. You put him in with a bum and you are going to get a dud fight. Put him in with someone talented, you get results. On this night, he faced the toughest challenge of his career in former amateur standout Chris Fernandez who was riding an 10 fight winning streak. After the dust settled, this one will be mentioned in the conversation of best fights in 2007.
Robinson was really smooth in the early going, moving side to side and banging hooks into Fernandez rib cage with authority. Both sides of Fernandez body were beat red but he stayed game, taking three punches to land and really good one in return. That one good shot was usually a hard straight right upstairs, a punch he landed with consistency throughout the fight.
Too Sweet stayed in the lead through four rounds, combinations were his best friend. Fernandez began to time the faster Robinson and threw one hard straight right after another upstairs. Robinson seemed close to finishing the show near the end of the 4th when a big right hook landed on Fernandez ear and sending the Utah man down to the canvas. To the fallen fighters credit, he was visibly shaken but beat the count and managed to survive the round as Robinson looked to put him away.
Just when it seemed like Robinson was going to put the finishing touches on an impressive night’s work, Fernandez dug deep and fought harder. He fought so hard that the tide actually turned in his favor down the stretch of the fight.
Robinson, who used his superior speed to his advantage early, abandoned this approach and elected to go punch for punch much to the delight of the fans who were on their feet throughout the contest. While this made for fever pitch entertainment, it also made the fight a very close one in the eyes of most observers though two of the final scorecards would indicate otherwise.
Through the final four rounds, neither man spent much time more than a few inches from the other and exchanged a variety of straight rights, hard uppercuts, hooks to the body and borderline low blows. During these exchanges, both fighters not only showed some good pop but also very solid chins as a lot of these punches upstairs landed flush, in particular those of Fernandez who began to put more punches together.
The 8th and final round started off with Fernandez pressing the action and Robinson responding with counter rights and lefts upstairs. The Blue Horizon crowd backed their guy with a chant of “Too Sweet, Too Sweet” which led to both fighters giving it their all and exchanging punching well after the final bell sounded wrapping up one of the best fight of 2007 in the Philadelphia area.
Both fighters raised their arms in victory after the action stopped but when it was all said and done all three judges saw the fight in favor of Tyric Robinson by two shockingly large margins of 79 – 72, 78 – 73 & a much more accurate 76 – 75.
I also scored the fight 76 – 75 in favor of Robinson with the 4th round knockdown being the key to victory.
On the undercard…..
Adam Harris……..vs…..Gary Campbell
Philly via Boston………Florida
Undefeated Cruiserweight Adam Harris (9 – 0, 7ko’s) of Philly via Boston overcame a slow start to win a close majority decision over Florida’s Gary Campbell (8-8-2, 4ko’s). The early rounds were non descript and it was a tight one going into the final round when suddenly Harris seemed to hurt Campbell with a hard right with close to a minute left in the fight.
Unfortunately for Harris, that right sent Campbell’s mouthpiece out of the ring causing a halt in the action, giving him time to recover.
In the end it went to the cards which read 58 – 56 x2 for Harris and even at the third judge seeing it 57 – 57. With the win, Harris improves to 10 – 0, 7ko’s.
Jake Rodriguez…vs…Tommie Speller
9-17, 5ko’s………..4-1, 3ko’s
Two Philly based Light Heavyweights went at it as battle-scarred road warrior Jake “The Snake” Rodriguez returned home to take on the sharp dressed man Tommie “Big Poppa’ Speller (4-1, 3ko’s) over four entertaining rounds.
In the opening round, the shorter Rodriguez was the aggressor, keeping a low center of gravity, throwing hooks to the body and finishing his sequences with hooks upstairs. Big Poppa did a nice job defensively, which he credits to trainer Chauncey May. He was blocking a good number of the body blows with his elbows and getting the gloves up in time when The Snake looked to go upstairs. Rodriguez continued his attack and managed to land some of those hooks which Speller took well.
As the round neared the end, the action ended up against the ropes with an exchange which caused referee Steve Smoger to say “that’s beautiful right there” as the leather flew and both men fighters dipped, dodged and tried to bang on their opponent.
The second round was another good one with Rodriguez landing the better punches as Big Poppa moved around looking to find openings. Rodriguez trainer Billy Briscoe, who is becoming famous for his catchy code phrases, yelled instructions like “Give him the Sleeper”. “Hit him with the Mickey” & “ The Tyson!, The Tyson!”. I wasn’t able to decode these names but when he yelled out for “The 45”, it was obvious what he called for because Rodriguez immediately landed a big left hook. I have to ask, why doesn’t he ever call for Jake the Snake to go for “The DDT”?
Speller’s best work came during the third round where he landed his left hook consistently throughout the frame. Rodriguez stayed in close, trying to pin Speller against the ropes and in the corner where both fighters exchanged at short-range for a while but Big Poppa was usually able to escape via the left hook.
Both fighters came out blazing in the 4th looking to knock the other guy out with one big punch. While these big haymakers usually resulted in a tie up, the fighters took this opportunity to get in one another’s ear. After one of these smack talk sessions, Rodriguez offered a tap of the gloves and was given a stiff right hand to the mouth for his gesture.
The crowd overwhelmingly cheered in approval. Rodriguez would have none of it and this sparked off a good, old-fashioned fight until the end of the round. This was a close round which could have gone either way.
When it was all said and done, the judges saw the fight 40 – 36 x2 & 39 – 37 in favor of Jake Rodriguez. I thought it was more like 38 – 38 though a couple of rounds could have gone either way.
Tony Farrante…vs…Heath Harris
pro debut…………1-5, 1ko
In more Light Heavy action, it was two more Philly based fighters as new comer Tony “Boom Boom” Farrante made his professional debut against Heath Harris (1 – 5, 1ko) in another fight that had very good, two-way action.
In the opening round, Farrante came out like a tornado looking to blow away his opponent who is no stranger to the canvas. He strong start which feature hard hooks to the body but Harris, who looks like a younger Ivan Drago, soon retaliated and was able to land some good right’s and left’s of his own. The action settled down a bit but Farrante finished strong with a sequence of right hands to the head.
The second round was another good one, Farrante landed upstairs again but Harris took it and asked for more. Farrante obliged but got caught on the way in with a good left hook that stumbled him back a step. Both fighters proceed to punch each other cause a loud cheer from the crowd.
The third kept the same steady two-way pace as Farrante worked upstairs and Harris countered to the body. It was a close round but Farrante seemed to steal it with a nice flurry as the round neared the end.
In the final round, Farrante, who came out in the first looking to steam roll through his guy now looked like a fighter who has respect for his opponent. That didn’t stop his because both men went right back to trading rights and lefts at short-range.
During a good battle on the ropes, Farrante lands hard right which sent Harris mouthpiece flying into press row. After a short delay both men continued to throw punches mostly to the body until the final bell sounded.
The fight went to the cards and they read 40 – 36 x2 & 39 – 37 all for Tony “Boom Boom” Farrante who is now 1 – 0.
Khalil Farrah…..vs….Terrel Boggs
1-2, 1ko…………….pro debut
In super middleweight action, Khalil Farrah (2-2, 1ko) won a majority decision over Terrell Boggs (0-1) by scores of 39 – 37 x 2 & 38 – 38. In a slow but steady fight, it was Khalil’s aggression that keyed him to the win as the hesitant Boggs would land one good punch but not follow-up.
Jesus Barbosa…vs….Alex Matos
In the opener, Jesus Barbosa (1-0, 1ko) starched Alex Matos (0-5) :29 into the first round. Barbosa quickly landed a big left hook and followed up with around 8 unanswered punches to the head before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
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