Premier Boxing Champions in association with Kings Promotions came to the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey this past Tuesday for an eight-fight card. Most of the boxing matches were good, but I’ve been to flea markets with more people in attendance. The crowd couldn’t have topped 250 human beings in the audience.
But who needed asses in seats when you are broadcasting to a live national audience on the Fox Sports One network? This is new school boxing where the fighters are getting solid paydays and the revenue isn’t dependent on the gate. One single social media post by the PBC generated over 4 million views with 45,000 likes, 22k shares, and over 4,000 comments. Those numbers will make the industry Mustache Pete’s cringe.
Some say this model of boxing is not sustainable, but rumor is that PBC has a monetary war chest that will knock your socks off. Others will say that these lower-level shows are small potatoes in the grand scheme of Al Haymon’s master plan. I don’t know who is correct, but I did spot lower-level tickets being sold on Groupon for $30.
In the opening TV bout, we found out a bit about PBC’s Cruiserweight prospect Keith Tapia. He showed heart, some skill and the ability to give and take a good punch during his 10 round unanimous decision win over Philadelphia’s Garrett Wilson.
In the early going it looked like Wilson was going to pull the rug from under the undefeated prospect as he landed good power shots that wobbled Tapia in rounds two and three.
Both men fought hard throughout the fight with some of the better give-and-take exchanges I’ve seen live in a good while. Wilson played the aggressor while Tapia looked to counter and take advantage of the wilder shots Wilson would throw in hopes of decapitating his foe.
There were moments when it looked like Tapia may go down – but just when it looked like the banana peel was about to give out, he would respond with some hard shots of his own which certainly caught Wilson’s attention.
Tapia’s superior stamina came in to play in the second half of the fight. There was no quit in Wilson but the steam was running low. The Puerto Rico via Bronx native was more active down the stretch and began to connect with clean punches as the Ultimate Warrior opted to head hunt.
Round six was the most pivotal round of the fight. Tapia managed to slow the pace and was now the one connecting more consistently. His combinations were crisp and seemed to have found a way to avoid Wilson’s incoming bombs.
In the final rounds, Tapia boxed more than he brawled – finally figuring how to best use his 6’2″ frame – staying at a reasonable distance and using long arms to land on a fighter who refused to take a step backwards. He would even switch to southpaw for a couple of flashed if nothing more than to give a different look and make his opponent think a little harder. Smart boxing.
Wilson earned his paycheck and gave us a deeper look at Tapia – who comes off as a fighter who is still a work in progress, yet one who can definitely take the next step if he continues to improve.
The match went to the scorecards which read 97-93, 99-91, 99-91 all in favor of Tapia who improves to 17-0, 11 ko’s.
Call me a homer but I thought it was closer – in the neighborhood 96-94 for Tapia. 99-91 is just insane. Wilson drops to 16-10-1, 9 ko’s with the loss.
After the fight Wilson said “This was a tough fight. I took it on short notice, and we both fought like a couple of warriors in there tonight. I thought for sure I was going to be able to land something on his chin or to his body and get him out of there, but he was tough.”
Tapia stated that “I feel good. This was my first 10-round fight, and I can’t complain. Wilson was one tough son of a gun, but I knew I had it under control.”
Wilson is a “blue-collar” fighter, which means he will be up bright and early on Wednesday morning shaping up for his full-time job. Much respect.
In other action
The main event saw Yenifel “Lightning” Vicente (28-3-2, 20 KOs) of the Dominican Republic score a big upset when he flattened prospect Juan Dominguez (19-1, 13 KOs) :20 into the 3rd round courtesy of an overhand right to the head.
It was a scary scene for a few minutes after the knockout as Dominguez laid in the ring motionless. He took the dreaded stretcher ride out of the ring and to a local hospital.
Post fight reports say that Dominguez is fully conscious and expected to make a full recovery.
Middleweight prospect Immanuel Aleem (15-0, 9 KOs) won a hard fought split decision over Carlos Galvan (11-4-1, 10 KOs) in an eight round bout that had good two-way action.
Aleem flashed nice hands and pin-point accuracy. Galvan was tough and kept the fight moving at a good pace. This was clearly the best two-way fight of the night.
Final scores read 78-74 & 77-75 for Aleem with the third saying 75-77, for Galvan.
In an off-TV, early primarily bout, former World champion “Bad” Chad Dawson won a unanimous decision in a fight that was reminiscent of scenes in the Mickey Rourke classic “The Wrestler”. Check it out if you don’t know what I mean…
With that said – he swept the score cards 100-90 on all three judges cards.
The rest of the show included:
Jordan White TKO 1 Jose Roman
Christopher Brooker TKO 6 Zach Kelley
Dan Pasciolla UD 4 Corey Morley
Alex Martin stayed undefeated with a decision over Cameron Kreal