Ivan Redkach and Luis Cruz Battle to a Draw at the Sands Casino

by Ken Hissner

Tuesday night boxing as Kings Promotions put on one terrific show at the Sands Casino & Hotel in their Event Center, in Bethlehem, PA, over Fox Sports 1.

In the main event super lightweight southpaw Ivan “El Terrible” Redkach, 19-1-1 (15) of UKR and L.A. and Luis “El Artesano” Cruz, 22-4-1 (16), PR, battled to a split decision draw. It was a very good fight.

In the opening round Redkach seemed to have the edge. In the second round Cruz dropped Redkach with a straight right to the chin. Redkach came back well still being the aggressor. In the third round Cruz became more aggressive until near the end of the round when Redkach drove him into the corner with a flurry of punches. In the fourth round Cruz landed several combinations moving Redkach back a few steps. Redkach continued to be the aggressor coming back well enough to take the round.

In the fifth round Cruz landed a 3-punch combination and followed with another combination. By the end of the round it was Redkach chasing him down with a flurry of punches. In the sixth round Cruz used his hand speed to keep Redkach on the defense at times. In the seventh round it continued to be a slugfest with Redkach the hunter and Cruz the hunted who countered Redkach well enough to win the round. In the eighth round an overhand left from Redkach put Cruz on the canvas. When he got up being near the end of the round Redkach was all over him until the bell sounded.

In the ninth round Redkach landed 8 straight punches without return. Near the end of the round Redkach landed a right behind the head and pushed down on Cruz who hit the canvas counting for a knockdown. He was immediately up complaining to the referee Gary Rosato.  In the tenth and final round Redkach faked a left and landed a solid right to the chin of Cruz. Both fighters fought it out right up to the bell.

Judges Poturaj had it 94-93 Redkach,  McNair 94-93 for Cruz and Page 94-94 for a split draw. BCB had it 94-93 Redkach.

In the co-feature super middleweight Immanuwel Aleem, 16-0 (9), Richmond, VA, won a war over Jonathan Cepeda, 17-2 (15), NYC, over 8 exciting rounds.

Two really good boxers didn’t need a feeling out round in this one. Aleem is faster and Cepeda landing more. Both stumbled to the canvas. In the second round Cepeda again out punched Aleem but suffered a cut over the corner of his right eye. In the third round Aleem works on the cut with short left hooks but Cepeda is landing well despite the cut re-opening. Against the ropes Aleem landed four punches without return. Cepeda never stops throwing punches but the cut could cause a problem as ring physician checks Cepada between rounds.

In the fourth round it was a slugfest with Cepeda continuing to land the harder punches but Aleem hung in there. In the fifth round Aleem landed a double left hook to the body and head. Cepeda came right back being the warrior he is. In the sixth round both continue the war having the fans really into it. Aleem landed a 5 punch combination that had the fans screaming. There was no quit in Cepeda who  reminds one of the old days fighting his heart out despite losing his share of blood from the cut.

In the seventh round first it was Aleem landing a combination with Cepeda coming back with a combination of his own. By the end of the round Aleem had Cepeda trapped in a corner landing punch after punch before Cepeda escaped from the corner having been hurt. In the eighth and final round it was a war and had the fans really into it. Aleem hurt Cepada who would not stop throwing punches of his own. This had to be the fight of the night!

All 3 judges had it 79-73. BCB had it 78-74 but closer than it seemed. Benjy Esteves, Jr. was the referee and let them fight it out.

Super middleweight Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis, 10-1 (4), out of Wilmington, DE, but training in Philadelphia suffered his first loss in a great fight to southpaw Junior Castillo, 10-0 (9), DR out of Houston, TX, who went the distance for the first time in this 8 rounder.

In the opening round the pair of Al Haymon boxers were pitted against one another. Castillo landed several good body shots while Davis landed several good rights to the head. It was a very close round. In round two it was Davis doing the counter punching for the most part. This is a fight with a lot of strategy between two top prospects. In the third round Davis landed a solid left hook against the southpaw Castillo. It was a fight having the fans quite involved. Castillo landed numerous borderline to low body shots which got Davis mad and came back with solid rights to the head. It was another close round.

In the fourth round Castillo landed a punch on the chin of Davis causing a knockdown.  Castillo was dropping his hands and got hit with a solid left to the chin. In the fifth round both were taking turns with Castillo’s left going from body to head and Davis with solid rights to the head of Castillo. Inside of 10 seconds of the round Davis rocked Castillo with a right to the head while Castillo came back with a solid left to the head. In the sixth round Davis landed a combination getting the attention of Castillo but failed to follow-up. Later in the round Davis landed another combination. Up until this point both fighters were landing one shot at a time for the most part.

In the seventh round Davis scored well in a lively round making what seems like a close fight minus the knockdown. In the eighth and final round referee Rosato warned both fighters for infractions. Davis landed the best punch of the round with a right to the head of Castillo.  At the end of the fight Castillo had a small lump by his right eye. Shame someone had to lose in this one.

Judges had it 78-73, 77-74 and 76-75 all for Castillo. BHB had it 76-75.

This writer went back to speak to both fighters but Boxing Director Sirb informed security  as usual “no press” allowed in the back.

Super featherweight southpaw Frank DeAlba, 18-2-2 (7), PR and Reading, PA, stopped Daniel Perales, 6-5-1 (3), MEX, at 2:55 of the fifth round in a hard-fought fight.

In the first round DeAlba was scoring more and in the last 15 seconds both fighters let it all hang out to the delight of the fans. In the second round De Alba using a jab to set up Perales seemed to have the round with both fighters landing punches at the same time. By the end of the fourth round it was evident the much more experienced DeAlba was landing punches almost at will. The ring physician checked Perales between rounds and should have stopped it.

In the fifth of this 6 round bout DeAlba continued to punish Perales who did get in a good right hand to the head while against the ropes. That only kept the fight going and when the 10 second warning sounded Perales corner threw the towel in. Perales showed a lot of heart but was too inexperienced for DeAlba.  The referee was Dave Franciosi.

In a walk out bout after the main event super featherweight Stephen “Scooter” Fulton, 9-0 (4), Phila., PA, came back from a first round knockdown to stop Adalberto “Adam” Zorrilla, 6-1 (6), PR, at 1:37 of the fifth round.

In the opening round the taller Zorrilla landed a left hook driving Fulton to the canvas. Fulton got up on shaky legs and was hurt but managed to get through the round. In the second round Fulton came back holding his own. In the third round Fulton boxed well enough to take the round.  Zorrilla turned southpaw near the end of the round. Fulton fought well enough to take the round.

In the fourth round Fulton landed a 3-punch combination and followed up with a right to the chin dropping Zorrilla who couldn’t beat the count of referee Esteves, Jr. who waved it over.

Super welterweight Dustin “Disciple” Pague, 1-0 (0), Harrisburg, PA, won a close decision over Rafael Davis, 0-1 (0), Phila., PA

In the opening round Davis had an edge. In the second round it turned into a slugfest with Davis going for the knockout having Pague hurt on the ropes. He weathered the storm but Davis may have punched himself out by the end of the round. Pague seemed to take the round. In the third round Davis looked like he was out of gas as Pague chases him around the ring landing power shots. One right to the head had the mouthpiece of Davis flying out of the ring. Davis barely made it to the end of the round as he was out on his feet. In the fourth and final round both fighters let it all hang out with Pague getting in the better punches to take the round. Give Davis credit for coming back after looking like he was done at the end of the third.

Judges had it 39-37 as did BCB.  Esteves, Jr. was the referee.

Super welterweight southpaw Nicholas Hernandez, 4-1 (1), Lebanon, PA, won a hard-fought decision over Jamil Gadsden, 0-7 (0), Newark, NJ, over 4 rounds.

In the first two rounds Hernandez may have figured it would be a short night with Gadsden coming in as a substitute and no wins as he was throwing bombs. In the third round there were several head clashes with referee Rosato checking each fighter. In the fourth and final round Gadsden who mainly was only throwing jabs through the first three rounds rocked Hernandez with a right hand to the nose causing quite a bit of blood.

Judges scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37. BCB had it 39-37.

In the opening bout super lightweight Kent Cruz, 10-0 (6), St. Louis, MO, won a close decision over southpaw Jerome Rodriguez, 7-4-3 (2),  Allentown, PA, over six rounds.

In the first round Rodriguez was the aggressor but took some heavy right hands to the head. In the second round it was Rodriguez landing hard shots to the head while Cruz continued to counter.  The third round was very close with both fighters letting it all hang out. Cruz may have had an edge. Rodriguez had a little blood on his face possibly from his nose. In the fourth both fighters continued throwing head shots. Cruz seemed to have an edge. In the fifth round Rodriguez came back even blocking some punches. Cruz had hardly gone to the body all night. It looked like a Rodriguez round. In the sixth and final round it was another close one as Rodriguez chased Cruz until the bell.

Judges had it 59-55 and two 58-56’s for Cruz. BCB had it 57-57. Referee was Franciosi.




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