Before you go nuts – let’s make one thing clear. This list consists only of fighters who compete in Philadelphia on a regular basis. If you were born in Philly but boxing in Las Vegas or New York or somewhere out of our area, you do not qualify (sorry B-Hop). This list gives some recognition to those on their way through the ranks and other others trying to reestablish their name in the game. This is not the best talent overall but those who have put in the best work in recent months.
Philly is the world’s number one fight town and our local fight circuit is the best in the world. Our fans are beyond a shadow of a doubt the toughest, most loyal and knowledgeable crowd this business has ever seen. They pay $35 for a ticket just to sweat their ass off at the Blue Horizon in the dead of summer.
They will give a journeyman a standing ovation and will boo a stinker right out of the building. They love a good fight and love to argue.
So I will give you something to argue about, who is the best of the best in our fighting town? I think it is the 10 fighters listed below.
My criterion is simple, if they fight on the Philly circuit on a regular basis they were considered for the list. I pay no attention to who their promoter, manager, trainer or baby’s momma is. Some are young, some are old, and some will go on to fight for world titles while others will struggle to end their career with a record close to .500.
I give to you the first ever Philly top 10 pound for pound rankings. Email me to discuss, debate, praise, curse or quietly state your opinion.
1)Eddie Chambers (26 – 0 14ko’s)
He answered a lot of questions in his last fight when showed up in tip top shape and destroyed once upon a time contender Ed Mahone in four lopsided rounds.
In this fight he showed some serious pop in his mitts. With the win he is now very close to scoring a major fight against a name contender.
It looks like “Fast” Eddie is ready tio take his skills to the next level. He is scheduled to fight in Las Vegas next week after 17 straight outings at the Blue Horizon. We will see if he can make the most of this opportunity.
2)Joey Abell (7 – 0 7ko’s)
Now the fans come flocking in to see him fight and keeps the EMT’s on standby. Abell looks like a lumberjack and hits like a freight train.
In his first fight at the Blue Horizon, he fractured a man’s fibula while landing a left hook to the chin. His last fight there he damn near knocked his opponent out of the ring.
Number two might be a stretch due to the lack of serious competition but the ferocity of his knockouts are hard to ignore. I would love to see him fight “Big” John Poore, Chazz Witherspoon or Eddie Chambers.
3)Yusef Mack (22 – 1 – 2 14ko’s)
He was my number one until he bombed out on ESPN a few months back. I don’t know what happened that night but the guy I saw wasn’t the combo firing, head moving ring maestro that was promising a win over the likes of Calzaghe and Lacy in the near future.
With that being said he still has all the tools to be a world champion.
He can box and he can finish an opponent off. Has been in the spotlight before and come out on top. Maybe he got too cocky but maybe he will bounce back strong.
In my opinion it won’t be long before the crown jewel of Shulers Gym is back in the mix of a wide open Super Middleweight division.
4)Rogers Mtagwa (22 – 10 16ko’s)
“The Tiger” as very impressive on national TV recently, finishing up a strong performance with a big knockout. There are rumors of a fight with Jason Litzau is in the works and Mtagwa will provide a stern test for the hot shot prospect should this Featherweight showdown take place.
5)Max Alexander (11 – 0 – 1 2ko’s)
Even his opponents with bad records have all been in against the top young talent in the business.
He can fight from both sides of the plate and always seems to come to the ring with a sound strategy. Works both down stairs and up top.
At the moment it can be argued that Max is the best 10-fight-or-less young Light Heavyweight on the East Coast and possibly in the entire division.
6) Chazz Witherspoon (13 – 0 7ko’s)
After starting his career on the road, he has come back home in ’06 to please crowds around the city with his heavy hands and fluid body movement.
A slow starter at times, he seems to get stronger as the fight moves forward. Very nimble for a Heavyweight.
One of the few bright spots in yet another sorry season of Showtime boxing when he cruised to a decision win over the undefeated Michael Alexander back in July.
7)Harry Joe Yorgey (15 – 0 8ko’s)
This Light Middleweight prospect seems to have beaten the injury bug and has his career back on track. He has begun to step up the competition after taking on a laundry list of, well, I won’t say soft but rather “opponent” type fighters.
Looked good one ESPN back in June, hopefully he will step up the competition soon. Some are questioning if he is really a contender or just an over hyped pretender.
8)Terrance Cauthen (31 – 3 8ko’s)
Regardless of your stance, Cauthen has boxed the socks off of everyone they have put in front of him in recent months.
He has lightening fast hands and is very good defensively. If he had a lick of punching power he would be a world champion.
Heat recently won the regional IBU Junior Middleweight title in Trenton and could be in line for something bigger soon. He packs the house with fans in Philly and Jersey and I am sure he will bring a crowd if given a shot on a card in Atlantic City.
9)Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor (11 – 9 – 2 5ko’s)
He is my kind of fighter, the type that takes only the local tough guys, rising prospects and will give a contender a run for his money.
His fight with Joe Christy on Joey Eye’s card at the Diablo Fight Club was one of the best of 2005. To follow up, he convincingly beat fellow Philly tough guy Jose Medina on the opening bout of Friday Night Fights in early August.
Not much style to his approach, he just brings it and his fights always are crowd pleasers.
10)Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (7 – 1 6ko’s)
This young West Philly puncher gets no press even with the local beat writers but he hasn’t escaped my watchful eye.
I think he is one of the more entertaining fighters on the circuit.
Since losing in his pro debut, this tough middleweight has reeled off 7 straight wins.
He moves well in the ring, fights with a mean streak and has teeth breaking power. Always seems to be on the attack.
Jamaal is still mastering the trade but he has always been matched up against more experienced competition. A true Philly sleeper but one to keep an eye on.
Steve Upshur Chambers, Glen Turner, Charles Cavallo, Gee Culmer, Elad Shmouel, John Poore, Gabe Rosado
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org
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