Category Archives: Ringside coverage

Outsider Raul Martinez wins the NABF title, Victor Vasquez returns with a bang, Kennedy, Flores & Hasson stay unbeaten at The New Alhambra

photos by Mike “Teek” McGuigan

The streets of Philly were soggy on November 14th, but that didn’t stop the fight fans from once again packing into the New Alhambra for a J. Russell Peltz / Top Rank boxing collaboration which was carried live by the soon to be defunct Solo Boxeo series.

The main event pitted two undefeated outsiders who traveled east for their big chance in a division where the well of opportunity is bone dry.

The co-feature gave us a glimpse of a prospect on the rebound and the under card showcased the skills of quite a few young hopefuls from our area who are making their way through the local ranks. Some are still in the early stages of their career while others or on the cusp on making the leap to the next level.

There were a lot of knockouts on a night where a new NABF super flyweight champion was crowned, a boxing barber quickly faded out a competitor and a young prospect inches his way closer to a world ranking. All this and more from the South Philly fight hall, scroll down to see how it all went down. Continue reading Outsider Raul Martinez wins the NABF title, Victor Vasquez returns with a bang, Kennedy, Flores & Hasson stay unbeaten at The New Alhambra

Mike Jones batters Venegas, Belasco and Vasquez go to war at The New Alhambra

It was a rainy night on the street of Philly this Friday but promoter J. Russell Peltz still managed to pack the fans in and send them out as satisfied customers with this entertaining 8 fight card at The New Alhambra. On top of the bill for this evening was the local scenes hottest name, Mike “Machine Gun” Jones who returned home after receiving his first taste of main stream TV exposure a few months back in a win over Germaine Sanders of Chicago.

In this assignment, Jones was set to face Gilbert Venegas, a low-risk journeyman who has fought – and lost to –  some of the worlds best fighters in the welterweight division. His win-loss record will not impress but the scouting report says that he is a known tough guy with a mahogany head and solid right hand.

Jones was a heavy favorite with the only real question being “can he knock Venegas out?”

The co-feature had the Philadelphia return of “King” Gabriel Rosado, a hard hitting 22-year-old who is looking to cement his name as one of the areas best . He was scheduled for a rematch against spoiler Mustapha Johnson. The two first met in 2006 with Rosado pulling out a close 4-round majority decision win.

Two years later, they meet again under different circumstances. Rosado is now a promotion free agent and shopping his services to the highest bidder. Peltz Boxing seems to have an interest in retaining his services over the long haul – but the young King would have to impress in this fight.

This isn’t the best opponent to look good against as Johnson has recently given a list of local Middleweights all they could handle in recent bouts. Since the first fight with Rosado, the Indiana native has earned wins over Jose “Macho” Medina and Joe Christy, received a draw against Martinus Clay and dropped a disputed majority decision to the 13 – 1 Gee Culmer.

The under card was highlighted by a dream card special – pitting the boxing barber Victor Vasquez against Delaware’s Ryan Belasco in a 6 rounder. This one came as advertised and both men gave it their all.

Larry Robinson was in for a tune up against William Bailey to prep up for his proposed fight with Simon “One Punch” Carr. This one got interesting really quick.

The trifecta of Dennis Hasson, Anthony Flores and Pedro Martinez looked to follow up succesful pro debuts, but it wasn’t mean to be for all three. Pottstown’s Travis Thompson has been winning over fans with his recent performances and looked to make it 3 in a row against Connecticut’s Tommy Garcia in a lightweight battle.

There were quite a few really good fights and finally some good ring girls to boot which went along with an acknowledgment to Charles “The Hatchet” Brewer and Curtis Parker recently being inducted to the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. Scroll down to get the ringside report.

WELTERWEIGHTS

MIKE JONES….vs……GILBERT VENEGAS
146 pounds….WEIGHT…147 pounds
Chicago, IL…………North Philadelphia
10-5-3, 7 K0s……….13-0, 12 K0s

It was a fight designed to give rising prospect Mike “Machine Gun” Jones rounds against a fighter who has faced world class competition. Originally scheduled for early March, this one was postponed because of Venegas going AWOL during training. It probably would have been in his best interest to stay truant because for 8 rounds, Mike Jones battered and bruised the Chicago tough guy en route to a very impressive and one sided unanimous decision win.

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After a slow opening round, Jones picked up the pace in the second, used his size and speed advantage, circling Venegas and painting him with quick fire jabs that found its mark. Working behind this jab for the majority of the contest, Jones was able to find openings for the straight right, some well place three and four punch combination and quite a few hard hooks to the body.

Mike Jones vs Gilbert Venegas 2008 (7)  Mike Jones vs Gilbert Venegas 2008 (12)

There were no knockdowns in the fight but there were a few occasions where Venegas was stunned, particularly in the 8th when Jones landed an uppercut that almost sent his whole head into the 5th row. Miraculously (or maybe foolishly) Venegas was still standing but the song remained the same. It went the 8 round distance in what must have seemed to be an eternity for Venegas.

Mike Jones vs Gilbert Venegas 2008 (13)

To no ones surprise, all three judges scored it 80-72 in favor of Mike Jones.

Venegas, to his credit, took a good old fashioned licking but his will was never broken. After taking a variety of shots that would have left most men down and out, he kept coming forward and throwing right hand in an attempt to steal the win. While victory would elude him, he did show that he would prove a major test for any up and comer in the welterweight division who thinks they have what it takes to be a contender.

Mike Jones vs Gilbert Venegas 2008 (9)

Though it was a decision win, this is the most complete performance to date of Mike Jones career. He fought smart, his punches were accurate and took some good punches very well. He used his size and speed like never before. The knockout machine is evolving into a true boxer. Up next is a possible August date on Telefutura against an opponent TBD.

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Mike Jones vs Gilbert Venegas 2008 (20)

Photos by Zach Radel / www.zarphotography.com

JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS

RYAN BELASCO….vs….VICTOR VASQUEZ
137.5 pounds…WEIGHT…136 pounds
Wilmington, DE……….North Philadelphia
6-2-3, 1 K0………….7-1, 4 K0s

In a great piece of matchmaking, we had a fight between two men with many similarities. Both are familiar faces around this circuit and bring a crowd to the arena, both have never lost when fighting at The New Alhambra, both have spent small fortunes at the tattoo parlor and both waste no time getting into a fight when the bell sounds. This one delivered the fireworks promised when it was first signed.

Ryan Belasco vs Victor Vasquez 2008

Belasco had the better in ring experience coming into this fight, taking on a decent mix of journeyman and prospects in his time as a pro. The knock on him was that he was notorious for fading out after a few hard rounds. Vasquez, who has a crowd friendly style, was getting his first crack at a fighter with a winning record.

After three rounds of good, hard exchanges, Vasquez has the misfortune of a swollen left eye that would eventually grow to the size of a walnut. Vasquez was at the disadvantage of fighting with one eye but continued to bring the fight right to his opponent. Belasco took it as well as he gave it and used this swelling as a target, repeatedly popping jabs and straight right to the face.

Ryan Belasco vs Victor Vasquez 2008 (2)

By the 5th round, the medical personnel became concerned, stopping the action to take a look. Vasquez made it to the bell but the ring doctor saw enough, order the fight be stopped before the 6th round began. At the time of the stoppage, Belasco was ahead 48-47, 48-47, 49-46.

Ryan Belasco vs Victor Vasquez 2008 (4)On this night Ryan Belasco secured his best win as a pro. After the way this one ended, I am sure Victor Vasquez will want some revenge, let’s hope that the eye heals fast and we are all treated to the rematch soon.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS

MUSTAFAH JOHNSON….vs….GABRIEL ROSADO
156 pounds……..WEIGHT….157.5 pounds
Indianapolis, IN………..North Philadelphia
5-3-1, 2 K0s……………8-2, 6 K0s

This was an interesting match up between a set of familiar faces on the Philly fight scene. “King” Gabriel Rosado, though only 22 years old, has seen his share of controversy during his time as a pro. Now a promotional free agent, “Gaby” was returning home after settling some unfinished business avenging a prior loss when he knocked out Joshua Onyango in 2 rounds last month in New York.

Gabriel Rosado vs Mustapha Johnson 2008 (6)

He returned to Philly to face Mustapha Johnson who was also looking to avenge a prior loss received at the hands of Rosado almost two years ago. Since that fight, Johnson has improved drastically and has given some of the areas better middleweights a tough night and is more than capable of pulling out the win.

Rosado is best known for his knockout power but Johnson is the type of fighter who refuses to let you look your best against him.

Gabriel Rosado vs Mustapha Johnson 2008 (7)

A lot of the rounds here were very similar. Rosado would start out circling, throwing some jabs and mixing in a few rights. Johnson would work his way inside,land a few in return them hold on. In every round, it seemed that Rosado would pick up the pace and fire off hard combinations.

Johnson has an under rated chin. He took some solid rights and kept on fighting. Overall, Rosado was too strong and down the stretch was able to break out of clinches and put his heavy right hand to use. It went to the scorecards with the judges seeing it 59-55, 59-55, 60-54 in favor of Rosado. Gabriel Rosado vs Mustapha Johnson 2008 (8)

CRUISERWEIGHTS

LARRY ROBINSON….vs….WILLIAM BAILEY
193.5 pounds…..WEIGHT…193.75 pounds
South Philly………….Chesapeake, VA
8-3, 6 K0s……………8-13-2, 5 K0s

This fight was signed as a tune-up for a Larry Robinson vs Simon Carr showdown in July, but Robinson was the one who almost got tuned up as William Bailey came out blazing in the first. About :20 into the round, Bailey landed a hard right and followed up with two more that put Robinson down. Robinson beat the count and was able to withstand and big barrage as Bailey looked to close the show.

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Things didn’t look much better to start the 2nd as Bailey tried to seal the deal but instead got caught with booming right hand that put him on his seat. Bailey beat the count but was still dazed and Robinson finished the job soon after with another hard right which left the referee no option but to call an end to the contest at 2:33 of the round.

Larry Robinson vs William Bailey 2008 (1)

After the fight, Simon “One Punch” Carr went on record to say he accepts the proposed fight against Robinson. Larry Robinson vs William Bailey 2008 (2) Larry Robinson vs William Bailey 2008 (3)

JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHTS

ANTHONY FLORES….vs….DARRELL MARTIN
130 pounds……WEIGHT…130 pounds
North Philly………….Baltimore, MD
1-0, 1 K0…………….2-2

“Flawless” Anthony Flores made it two in a row when took a unanimous decision win over a capable Darrell Martin in a match up of two accomplished amateur champions.

Anthony Flores vs Darrel Martin 2008 (6)

Early in the fight, Martin made the mistake of trying to out box Flores and was taken to school. Flores would move in, throw two and three punch combos and get out before the fire returned. He also threw some good, hard hooks to the body which took some wind out of Martin’s sails.

Anthony Flores vs Darrel Martin 2008 (7)

Going into the third, Martin looked finished in the corner but he dug deep and had his best round of the fight. Instead of boxing, he came moved forward and landed some clean left hooks to the head. It probably wasn’t enough to win the round but he did make it competitive. Martin had the jab working early in the 4th but Flores stepped on the gas and became more active, throwing hooks to the body and uppercuts on the chin as Martin looked to get a knockout late in the fight. It went to the score cards and all three judges saw it 40- 36 in favor of Flores

 

Anthony Flores vs Darrel Martin 2008 (10)

 

CHARLES KIRBY….vs….DENNIS HASSON
167 pounds……WEIGHT..166 pounds
North Philly…………Kensington
1-3 …………………1-0

This one was short but pretty sweet, Dennis Hasson made a successful pro debut back in March but Charles Kirby showed right away that he wasn’t going to lay down in this one.

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It didn’t take long for these fighters to start throwing the leather. After a scuffle on the ropes, Kirby got Hasson’s attention with a hard right that landed flush but Hasson returned the favor with a two piece combo that wobbled Kirby.

Dennis Hasson vs Charles Kirby 2008 (6)

After a few more big rights and lefts. Kirby was in serious trouble and holding on for dear life. Just as he was about to go, the bell sounded. Between rounds, referee Shawn Clark saw enough and stopped the bout which earned The Assassin Hasson his first win as a pro. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

LIGHTWEIGHTS

TOMMY GARCIA….VS….TRAVIS THOMPSON
131 pounds….WEIGHT…133 pounds
Hartford, CT………..Pottstown, PA
1-1, 1 K0…………..2-1, 2 K0s

Two fighters who compete in a growing lightweight division faced off against each other in hopes of putting their name in the mix. Travis Thompson has the look of a throwback fighter with his gritty, let’s have a fight style.

Travis Thompson vs Tommy Garcia 2008 (4)

Tommy Garcia was back in town after splitting a series last year with Felix Arroyo. Garcia was taller and had a bigger build but Thompson is quicker and seemed to be the more active of the two. Both fighters tried to put their advantages to use, Thompson on many occasions tried to initiate the action but seemed to mistime a variety of jump jabs, hooks and overhand rights.

Travis Thompson vs Tommy Garcia 2008 (5)

When the fight went inside, Garcia was able to withstand the charge and landed a few hard hooks of his own which would at least temporarily stop any rally that Thompson would build.

Travis Thompson vs Tommy Garcia 2008 (8)No knockdowns or serious trouble for either man and it went the four round distance. Two judges scored it 40 – 36 in favor of Garcia while a third judge saw it 38 – 38. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CRUISERWEIGHTS

AHMED SAMIR….vs….PEDRO MARTINEZ
195 pounds………..191.5 pounds/24 years/5’11”
NYC, NY……………North Philadelphia
1-0 ……………….1-0, 1 K0

Ahmed Samir once again came in as the hand picked opponent for a promotionally carried ticket seller and once again he leaves a winner. It almost ended really early as Samir scored two knockdowns in the 1st round.

Pedro Martinez vs Ahmed Samir 2008 (1)

Martinez was able to survive the early scare and in the 3rd, looked like he was going to return the favor. Samir showed a lot of grit by withstanding this attack and coming back to look strong in the 4th and final round. At times it looked more like a street fight than it did a boxing match but overall it was pretty entertaining.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The fight went to the cards with the judges seeing it 38-36, 39-35, 39-35 in favor of Samir who was showered with boo’s upon his exit.

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Other shots from the night….

Vinny Paz
Vinny Paz calling the action for CN8 telecast

Ryan Belasco vs Victor Vasquez 2008 (1)

Curtis Parker - 2008 PA Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
Curtis Parker – 2008 PA Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Mike Jones vs Gilbert Venegas 2008 (18)

Philly Keith with Delilah's Ring girls
Philly Keith with Delilah’s Ring girls

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Rasheem Brown TKO’s Medina to cap a great night at The Blue Horizon

photos by Zach Radel

The date was January 25, 2008 and I was kicking off my 30th birthday at The Legendary Blue Horizon. It was time well spent as promoter Greg Robinson & his Power Productions team hosted a very good seven fight show. The original main event between Trenton’s undefeated “Italian Assassin” Chucky Cavallo and Philly street solider Jameel “Black Gold” Wilson for the Tri-State Light Heavyweight title was canceled at the last minute due to a sports hernia suffered by Cavallo. We are told that the bout has been rescheduled for March. It could be a dandy.

Not to fear because two Philly sluggers were waiting in the wings as”The Untouchable” Rasheem Brown and Jose “El Macho” Medina gladly took over the role as headliners.

The under card was stacked with up-and-comers who were looking to position themselves for big things in the near future. The lineup included Heavyweight puncher Mark “Oaktree” Brown along with Jr. Welterweights Tyric “Too Sweet” Robinson and”Hammerin” Hank Lundy competing in separate bouts. There were other local notables were set for action to round out the show.

To the naked eye, this could have looked like an easy night for some fighters, but matchmaker Ty McNeil once again did his thing and put together a good card which had a big upset, a big knockout and a couple of toe to toe battles that went the distance and could have gone either way.

To cap it all off – ring announcer Pat Fattore gave me an in-ring birthday shout-out which drew a nice cheer from the loud, near sell out crowd. Scroll down to get the full report.

Middleweight Division

Rasheem Brown…vs…Jose Medina
South Philly………North Philly
17-3, 14ko’s………14 – 9, 10ko’s

This impromptu main event featured two experienced fighters who came through the local ranks and are known for the TNT loaded in their mitts. It was figured that this one would end early though it was scheduled for 8 rounds, the only question was who would it be?

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“The Untouchable” Rasheem Brown was returning after two years out of the ring though he has played stayed active going into camp with some of the top names in the business. Jose “El Macho” Medina has stayed pretty active lately with mixed results and made the jump up to the middleweight division for this one.

Continue reading Rasheem Brown TKO’s Medina to cap a great night at The Blue Horizon

Tyric Robinson and Utah’s Chris Fernandez put on a Power Productions classic at The Blue Horizon 11-02-07

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.

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Continue reading Tyric Robinson and Utah’s Chris Fernandez put on a Power Productions classic at The Blue Horizon 11-02-07

Mark “Oaktree” Brown decisions Brunelli, Jameel Wilson & Richie Stewart fight a war, Raymond “Tito” Serrano makes his pro debut at the Wachovia Spectrum 10-19-07

photos by Mike “Teek” McGuigan

The fights returned the The Wachovia Spectrum as Power Productions collaborated with Damon Feldman for a 6 fight card in the South Philly landmark. The primary attraction was a showdown between two local heavyweights and Mark “Oaktree” Brown and Dave Brunelli squared off over 6 rounds of action.

In the main event, Light Heavy’s Richard Stewart and Jameel “Black Gold” Wilson went to war over 8 rounds of back and forth slugging. There were a few more heavyweights on the bill as undefeated Gurchuran Singh from India took on “Millionaire” Mike Miller in a 6 rounder and Grant Cudjoe of Brooklyn went in against upstate PA’s Jason Bergman.

In Welterweight Action, Raymond “Tito” Serrano was making his pro debut against Tierre King. Dan “Bada Bing” Biddle opened the show and looked to make it two in a row as a professional.

Heavyweight Division

Mark “Oaktree” Brown….vs….Dave Brunelli
New Jersey……………………………………Philly
9-1…………………………………………………..8-2

It was a battle of two tough local heavyweights which was surrounded by a lot of hoopla and media attention. Once it got into the ring, it wasn’t the greatest of fights but nothing competes with two locals fighting each other.

Overall, this one went at steady paced fight where both fighters had some good moments though neither was seriously hurt at any point.

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Continue reading Mark “Oaktree” Brown decisions Brunelli, Jameel Wilson & Richie Stewart fight a war, Raymond “Tito” Serrano makes his pro debut at the Wachovia Spectrum 10-19-07

Dave Tiberi TNT Productions at Delaware Park 09-26-07

The First State brought the fights outdoors to Delaware Park along the race track and and Dave Tiberi of TNT Productions turned in a card filled with competitive fights, accurate scoring as advertised and a huge upset. There was a light mist in the air to go along with the perfect temperature and while causing a bit of a damp canvas, it was a great experience. Boxing outdoors, you just gotta love it!

The majority of the crowd came to see local fighters Larry “Laser” Marks, Ryan Belasco and Richard Stewart. When it was all said and done, a couple of thoroughbreds pulled up lame on the track and it was the experienced war horses Dhafir Smith, Damon Antoine & Shannon Miller who ended up stealing the show.

Prior to the fights, there were tributes to members of Delawares boxing past, all branches of the US Military and also a $10,000 donation to the Delaware Police Athletic League. If you are the type who likes to do a little gambling on the slots, horses or just looking to do some golfing check out Delaware Park. It looks like it could be a nice surprise.

Chucky Cavallo…vs…Shannon Miller
Trenton, NJ………..Mississippi
16 – 0, 6ko’s………22 – 37, 16ko’s

In the Main Event, “The Italian Assassin” Chucky Cavallo came in for what was thought to be a tune up to prepare for his PA State Title fight against Richard Stewart.

His opponent for the night Shannon “Trouble” Miller should now go the the nickname of the “Bad Mechanic” because this fight went terribly wrong. Miller scored 3 knockdowns in the first, all with two punch combinations upstairs as Cavallo did not use his far superior reach. In between knockdowns Cavallo did manage to land a good straight right which Miller shook off and went back to business.

New cornerman “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon was screaming at ringside for Cavallo to at first get his hands up and then later in the roundto tie up Miller and buy himself some time. Cavallo was foggy but heeded the last bit of advice and managed to survive the round. Not even the great Teddy Atlas could said anything between rounds to delay the eventual outcome.

Miller just seemed to have his number on this night and wasted no time finishing the job :23 into the second round. The Cavallo team was shocked. In what was supposed to be easy work against an opponent with 37 losses turns out to be a disaster.

Now, the big money title fight against Richard Stewart along with his undefeated record are gone. Will the 21 year old Italian Assassin bounce back from his first career loss? Time will tell, stay tuned.

Give props to Shannon Miller too for knowing he was up against an up and coming prospect and not backing down one bit. This was a true boxing surprise.

Chuckie Cavallo vs Shannon Miller 2007 (2)

Richard Stewart…vs….Jake Rodriguez
Delaware…………….North Philly

In the co-feature, Richard Stewart, also getting ready for the title fight against Cavallo, got a good nights work and won a unanimous decision over a game Jake Rodriguez.

It was a little slow in the beginning but soon broke down into a steady, bang it out kind of fight with Stewart always seeming to do a little more in the trenches. That’s no knock on Rodriguez who would sit in the pocket, take Stewarts best punch and yell at him to “come on!” before delivering some blows of his own. It was a tough, slippery affair as both guys threw some heavy bombs.

Richard Stewart vs Jake Rodriguez 2007 (1)

In the first, Jake the Snake moved around the ring and Stewart tried to stalk him down where both guys seemed to feel each other out. The Snake tied to open it up in the second throwing hard right hands but missing the mark. Stewart happily obliged and threw hard rights of his own, landing a little more.

Things started to get busy in the third when the mist got heavy. Rodriquez trainer Billy Briscoe was spirited in the red corner screaming for “The Stick” & “The Sleeper”. The fight soon ended up in the corner where they fought it out highlighted by an excellent straight left that intercepted a Stewart bomb and knocking him off balance.

Richard Stewart vs Jake Rodriguez 2007

Things stayed the same in the 4th & 5th where Stewart seemed to land the cleaner punches as both fighters stayed in close. In the final round, things went from a tough boxing match to a good tussle though both fighters kept it clean and no fouls were called. It went to the cards and all 3 judges saw it in favor of Stewart 60 – 54 x2 and 58 – 56. I also agree with the 58 – 56 judge.

 

Dhafir Smith…..vs….Larry Marks
Upper Darby…………Delaware
18-16-5, 4ko’s………29-9-1, 16ko’s

This one was a nice battle of two experienced pros as the WBF Super Middleweight champ Dhafir “No Fear” Smith took on former world title contender Larry “Laser” Marks in the Laser’s own backyard. The early portion of the fight was a jab fest with the first three rounds being ones which could go either way.

Dhafir showed a good, straight jab while Marks was doubling it lightly and throwing it from a lot of different angels. The jabs got harder come the 3rd round and in the 4th, both men started putting some steam behind it. That is when the mouthpieces started to fly out and noses started to drip blood.

Dhafir Smith vs Larry Marks 2007

Dhafir scored a knockdown with a quick left hook in the 4th but Marks didn’t seem too hurt by it. Marks bounced back to win the 5th as he stayed busy and finished the round with three hard straight rights.

The 6th was a slow one butNo Fear started off the 6th strong with a crisp right that landed right on the button. Marks was hurt and the wily veteran knew it would be in his best interest to take a knee. This move paid even more dividends as Dhafir’s aggression got the best of him because he kept punching after the kneel down, thus causing referee Steve Smoger to deduct a point from Smith.

Dhafir Smith vs Larry Marks 2007 (1)

This extra lumping might have hurt Marks momentarily but in the scope of things, it actually saved him from taking a loss in the fight as the point proved to be pivitol in the final score. After taking a thumping early in the round, Marks regrouped and actually started to take back control towards the end.

It was close down the stretch and both guys went head hunting to try to finish it to no avail. Overall it was a good, solid back and forth fight which went to the cards and they read 76 – 73 Dhafir, 77-73 Marks and 75-75 for the draw. I saw it 75 -74 for Dhafir.
Ryan Belasco….vs….Damon Antoine
Delaware…………..Akron, Ohio

“The Mailman” Damon Antoine has appeared in our area plenty of times in the past, usually taking the job against an up and comer with a promotional backing. On this night, he had an in ring metamorphosis and fought with a fire under his ass after Ryan Belasco gave his eye a good swelling in the first round.

Ryan Belasco vs Damon Antoine 2007 (1)

Belasco looked to be en route to an easy win after one, but once Antoine realized the severity of the injury, The Mailman manned up and fought like a true warrior for the remainder to get a very impressive win. This turned out to be the fight of the night as both fighters were willing to exchange but Antoine gave out the better leather.

Ryan Belasco vs Damon Antoine 2007 (2)

I hope to see Antone fight like this more often when he is matched up against another prospect with a flossy record. Belasco also seems to have the potential to make some exciting fights if the gas tank is fueled up beforehand.

Ryan Belasco vs Damon Antoine 2007 (4)

Darrell Martin….vs…..Elias Castillo
Baltimore,MD………….Brooklyn, NY
PRO DEBUT…………….0-1

Former Eastern Regional amateur champion Darrell Martin was successful in his pro debut taking a unanimous decision over a willing Elias Castillo.

Martin started out throwing some very wide punches early as Castillo hung around inside and threw bombs that barely missed their mark. Late in the 1st, Martin caught Castillo with a short left which sent Castillo on his backside.

Darrel Martin vs Elias Castillo 2007

Around the third round, Martin began to settle down, straightened out his punches and used the ring put his punches together much better than he was earlier in the fight.

Darrel Martin vs Elias Castillo 2007 (2)

Congrats to Darrell Martin on getting that first win by scores of 40 – 35, 39 – 36 x2

Darrel Martin vs Elias Castillo 2007 (1)

Manuel Guzman….vs….Gerald Jordan
Lancaster, PA……….New York
3-4, 2ko’s………….3-1. 3ko’s

In a solid four rounder to open the night, Manuel Guzman and Gerald Jordan fought to a majority draw. Jordan was on top of things early as he slipped a lot of Guzman’s punches ala his trainer Pernell Whitaker did back in the day. In the second, it was evident Sweat Pea hasn’t shown him all the moves yet because Guzman was able to bare down and put the pressure on Jordan, landing some of his trademark big right hands.

Manuel Guzman vs Gerald Jordan 2007 (2)

Guzman had a strong third round as well and Jordan looked like he might be wearing out. The fight hung in the balance in the 4th and Guzman’s trainer Terry Nye told his guy “it is time to go be a man, go out there and get the win”. Sweat Pea was heard in the opposite corner screaming “It’s our time, you take control of this fight!” In the end it was a close round that could have gone either way.

Manuel Guzman vs Gerald Jordan 2007

The cards read 39 – 37 Jordan but the other two judges over ruled with scores of 38 – 38 for the majority draw.

Manuel Guzman vs Gerald Jordan 2007 (3)

 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Dave Tiberi

Abell takes out Warner at the Blue 09-07-07

photos by Mike McGuigan

It was another shirt drencher at The Blue Horizon this weekend which was the home of an 8 fight card which can be best described as competitively mismatched.

On a card that had its ups and downs, the fans were treated to a couple of chin checking knockouts and saw some young fighters who have potential to climb the ladder in the future.

In the Main Event, Joey Abell returned to his home away from home to take on West Philly’s Levon Warner in what was supposed to be an 8 round fight. Brick City upstart Alex Perez made the trip down I-95 to put his undefeated record on the line against cagey ring veteran Darien Ford. Jules Blackwell looked to make a pound for pound list statement in his fight against Joe Rosa of the Bronx.

Gee Culmer stayed busy against James North in 6 round middleweight bout. SSG Sam Brown returned to The Blue to prepare for a 3rd tour of duty against undefeated heavyweight Ran Nakash.

Two young Philly kids got it on when Paul Fernandez and Jonathan Ocassio stepped into the ring for a scheduled four rounder. Steve Chambers returned to the ring after 9 months off to take on Jason Jordan who has lost to some of our best in the past.

Naji Murray looked to start his career 2 – 0 against Jeremy Lester of Ohio. In between fights, Steve “USS” Cunningham was honored for recently winning the IBF Cruiserweight title.

The fights were brought to you by Promoter Vernoca L. Michael and matchmaker Don Elbaum and can be seen on Comcast Sports Net in October.

Heavyweight Division
Joey Abell…vs…Levon Warner
Minnesota………West Philly
16 – 1, 16ko’s….6-4-1, 1ko

On paper, it was Minnesota Ice against the West Philly bad boy, southpaw against southpaw, the youngbuck against the veteran. In the ring it was completely one sided ironing as Abell smoked Warner out of there at 2:53 in the 1st round. Warner stormed out of the gate and tried to bring the fight right to the Minnesota lumberjack. This won him, oh, the first 20 seconds of the fight. After the inital rush, Abell settled in and used a jab for once which set up a traumatizing left hook that knocked Warner down very hard. To Warner’s credit he got back to his feet but was visibly dazed. Abell finished it off with a sizzling 3 punch combo seconds later. Miraculously, Warner was able to walk out on his own after the fight ended.

It was an exciting win no doubt, but is he ever going to avenge that loss to Arron Lyons?

Winner by TKO – Joey Abell who improves to 17 – 1, 17ko’s

Joey Abell vs LeVon Warner 2007

Heavyweight Division
Alex Perez…vs…Darien Ford
Newark, NJ……..New Oreleans
8-0, 6ko’s……..11-14, 4ko

In the co-feature, “The Brick City Bullet” Alex Perez and Darien Ford played really rough for the better part of two rounds until a hip toss which was somehow ruled an accidental foul left Ford on the canvas unable to continue resulting in a No Contest. This seemed to be a little bit of payback because Ford gave Perez two bad cuts early in the fight. Hopefully there will be a rematch, Ford was definitely showing that he is much better than his 11 – 14 record and ready to give Perez a stiff test.

Alex Perez 2007

Heavyweight Division
Naji Murray…vs…Jeremy Lester
Philly………….Akron, Ohio
1-0…………….1-1-1, 1ko

Naji Murray made Jeremy “Big Gun” Lester look like a tiny water pistol by scoring a huge knockout win early in the 1st round. In this 58 second fight, Murray scored his first knockdown with a big left hook to the ear. Lester got up but didn;t learn his lesson as he got clubbed with about 6 more big left hooks to the ear, the last of which polished Lester off and left him down for much longer than the needed 10 count.

With the win, Naji Murray climbs to 2 – 0.

Naji Murray 2007
Featherweight Division
Jules Blackwell…vs…Joe Rosa
Phoenixville, PA…….Bronx, NY
4-0, 2KO’S………….1-0-1,

Jules Blackwell started off a little slow but came on nicely down the stretch taking a unanimous decision win over Joe Rosa by scores of 40 – 36 across the board. After the second, Jules was 2 steps ahead of Rosa working upstairs and downstairs, mixing in good footwork to avoid being hit by anything Rosa threw.

With the win, Jules Blackwell raises his record to 5 – 0.

Jules Blackwell vs Joe Rosa 2007 Jules Blackwell vs Joe Rosa 2007 (1) Jules Blackwell vs Joe Rosa 2007 (2)
Middleweight Division
Gee Culmer…vs…James North
Phiadelphia…….Weston, WV
10 – 1, 3ko’s…..8-17-2, 3ko’s

Gee Culmer won in typicial Gee Culmer fashion, and he was in James North’s chest like a heart surgeon. “The Thoroughbred” worked hard to the body and mixed in uppercuts at short range for just about every minute of the fight. North hung in there for the duration but he output was about 1/4th of what Gee gave him.

With the win, Gee Culmer climbs to 11 – 1.

Gee Culmer vs James North 2007
Heavyweight Division
Ran Nakash…vs…Sam Brown
Haifa, Israel…..Ft CamPbell,KY
8-0, 5ko’s……..4-2, 2ko

Ran Nakash took a unanimous decision win over SSG Sam Brown by scores of 40 – 36 x2 and 39 – 37. SSG Brown gave good work to Nakash early showing off some technical ability, catching Nakash with jabs and moving out of range before fire could be returned.

The fight started to break down in the second with both fighters staying on the inside trading short rights and lefts. Ran came alive in the third and forth landing solid straight rights and uppercuts upstairs as Brown started to wear down.

With the win Nakash moves to 9 – 0. Now does he fight the winner of Brunelli vs Oaktree?

With the win, Ran Nakash is now 9 -0.

Ran Nakash vs Sam SSG Brown 2007 (1) Ran Nakash vs Sam SSG Brown 2007
Heavyweight Division
Paul Fernandez…vs…Jonathan Ocassio
Philly…………….Philly
1-0-1, 1ko…………pro debut

This fight opened the show but Paul Fernandez should be moved higher up the card after this one because he showed signs of developing into an exciting fighter who the crowd will get behind. This one started off nicely as both fighters traded punches but after a while it looked like the stage fright sunk in on Ocassio and that combined with the body work of Fernandez seemed to take its toll. There were no knockdowns but at 1:52 in the 3rd trainer Billy Briscoe saw enough and stopped the fight to save his man from further punishment.

With the win, Paul Fernandez is now 2 – 0 – 1.

Jr. Welterweight Division
Steve Chambers…vs…Jason Jordan
Philly…………….Mexico?
14 – 1, 4ko’s………4-12

If you like power punching and toe to toe exchanges, this was the fight to go step outside and have a smoke. If you like guys who move around the ring and score with punches, this was the fight for you. The fight was the same from the beginning with Steve using the entire ring and throwing light flurries, usually to the ear and Jordan would occasionally step forward and throw a 2 punch combo. When it was all said and done, “Showtime” Steve Chambers won a unanimous decision by scores of 60 – 54 x 2 and 59 – 55.

With the win, Steve Chambers is now 15 – 1.

Steve Upshur Chambers vs Jason Jordan 2007 (1) Steve Upshur Chambers vs Jason Jordan 2007 (2) Steve Upshur Chambers vs Jason Jordan 2007

 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at keith@phillykeith.com

Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene

Dean Rubenstein & Bernard Hopkins 2007

Mtagwa squeaks past Valtierra, Mike Jones blows out Carrasquillo at The New Alhambra 07-20-07

Photos by Mike “Teek” McGuigan

The fists were flying once again on the corner of Swanson & Ritner in South Philly this past Friday thanks to a seven fight card hosted by Peltz Boxing in association with Don Chargin Promotions and Joe Hand Promotions. Telefutura / Univision was in the arena to televise the action which featured an NABF featherweight title bout between South Philly’s Rogers Mtagwa, ranked #5 by the IBF, and Aldo Valtierra on Mexico. The appetizer was a highly anticipated Pennsylvania State Welterweight title eliminator pitting Mount Airy’s Mike “Machine Gun” Jones against Doel Carrasquillo of Lancaster, PA.

On the under card, the rumbling Joe Christy once against accepted a tough assignment squaring off against Doug Esbenshade in a battle of tough middleweights. There were some hot rumors flying around about Jose “El Macho” Medina’s next fight but first he had to get past Mustapha Johnson of Indianapolis, who showed he was in town for more than just a quick paycheck.

Rising featherweight Teon Kennedy looked to stay undefeated against New Yawker Elias Castillo. Mexican lightweight Ricardo Medina retuned to Philly looking to score another upset, this time facing the slick Kevin Carmody. To close out the evening, two Philly boys got it on as South Philly’s Andrew Gizzi took on West Philly’s Robert Evans in a battle of Cruiserweights eager for their first professional win.
12 ROUNDS VACANT NABF FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE

ALDO VALTIERRA…..vs…..ROGERS MTAGWA
126 pounds…………….123.5 pounds/28 years/5’5″
Mexico City, Mexico…….South Philadelphia
Black/White…..TRUNKS….White/Black
24-8, 13 K0s….RECORD….22-11-2, 17 K0s

It was a must win match for both fighters. Rogers Mtagwa, ranked #5 by the IBF, is on a mission to secure a big payday against a name fighter on national television. Valtierra, a fighter who has been on the big stage before, was looking to erase the stain left by Jason Litzau in his last fight as he dropped a 10 round decision live on ESPN2. The NABF Featherweight Title and a top 15 WBC ranking were hanging in the balance and both fighters knew that a win would be the big break both needed at this point of their career.

Rogers Mtagwa vs Aldo Valtiera 2007 (5)

Continue reading Mtagwa squeaks past Valtierra, Mike Jones blows out Carrasquillo at The New Alhambra 07-20-07

Alfonso Gomez sends Arturo Gatti into retirement at Boardwalk Hall

photo by Mike McGuigan / Philly Keith Sports

July 14, 2007 was all set to be a big night of boxing in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A capacity crowd traveled to Boardwalk Hall to watch Arturo Gatti kick-start another title run.

Arturo Gatti vs Alfonso Gomez 2007 (31)

What was built up as a good tune-up fight for the “Blood and Guts Warrior” will go down as the day a one-time legend was put to pasture, professional boxing style.

Arturo Gatti vs Alfonso Gomez 2007 (105)

The main event of this HBO telecast wasn’t even close. Round by round, Mexico’s Alfonso Gomez pounded away at the head and body of Gatti. It was a one-sided shellacking that was hard to watch at the end. Continue reading Alfonso Gomez sends Arturo Gatti into retirement at Boardwalk Hall

Gabriel Rosado gets back into the win column, Hank Lundy gets off the deck to score a knockout and Oaktree Brown makes his opponent puke in the ring at The National Guard Armory 1-26-07

Photos by Jeff Bera

On January 26, 2007 – Power Productions produced one of the oddest boxing shows in recent memory at the National Guard Armory in Northeast Philadelphia. Overall, it was a quick night due to some early card knockouts which is becoming a standard during this outfits shows. Other surprises include a fighter puking in the ring mid fight, a noticeable hole in the ring which caused fighters to trip and a last minute change in length of the main event between Levon Warner and Dave Brunelli which was reduced from a six round bout to a four rounder. All of this combined with co feature Tyric Robinson’s fight being completely cancelled.

While there was a lot going on, brighter notes included the return of “King” Gabriel Rosado and the first pro glimpse of former amateur star “Hammerin” Hank Lundy.  Ring Announcer Pat Fattore did a commendable job keeping the crowd entertained throughout the evening.

The main event had a lot of buildup, but in the end it was a snoozer as South West Philly native Levon Warner 6-3-2 (1 KO) won a majority decision over Tacony’s Dave Brunelli 6-2 (3 KOs) in a battle of local Heavyweights.

There was a lot of holding in this one. Warner controlled the action early using his jab and landing some punches on the inside as Brunelli charged in.

Dave Brunelli vs Levon Warner 2007 (6)

Continue reading Gabriel Rosado gets back into the win column, Hank Lundy gets off the deck to score a knockout and Oaktree Brown makes his opponent puke in the ring at The National Guard Armory 1-26-07