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Eastern Regional Report- July 21, 2011


Wolak and Rodriguez Remind Us Why We Love Boxing

 
After a rash of bad decisions and hyped-up fights that ended up being more boring than programming on HGTV, we were reminded last Friday night why we love this sport and admire those who put everything on the line in its pursuit. Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez engaged in an instant classic, fairly judged a draw. Already the fight has aired on ESPN Classic. It’s fair to say, if you’re a big fan of the “hit and not be hit” philosophy of boxing, you hated this fight. This fight was about courage, desire, and two guys giving everything they had, a true fans fight.
 
Wolak joined us on the Maxboxing East Coast Report Tuesday night and spoke about the fans’ response to the fight and what he thinking as the fight progressed while his eye swelled in an almost grotesque manner. He told us that his main concern was the fight possibly being stopped. As the swelling grew to where it dwarfed a normal-sized Enswell, the Wolak corner resorted to using a chilled old-fashioned metal ice cream scoop to try to control the swelling.
 
Wolak stated that he has received over 1,000 Facebook messages of support and has been surprised by the reactions of so many fans.

Another refreshing thing about this fight was that each man showed class before and after the fight, giving us a great contest, without the phony trash-talking. It’s pathetic that fighters sit on Max Kellerman’s staged, cute, little HBO show, “Face Off,” to display phony animosity, building up fights where neither guy tries to land even ten punches a round. It’s more pathetic that many boxing fans fall for it.
 
I’m rambling but to both Wolak and Rodriguez, on behalf of myself and every Eastern Regional Report reader, thank you.
 

Serrano Remains Unbeaten on Wolak Undercard

 
Ray Serrano improved to 16-0 (8) with a workmanlike, eight-round decision over Daniel Sostre, 11-4-1 (4). As I’ve said in the past, Serrano has great tools but too often allows fights to get sloppy and has fought in too close of quarters for his talent to really shine. Friday night was no exception as far too often, Serrano was clinching rather than working to gain angles and distance to unleash some of his impressive arsenal.
 
However, Serrano is young, 22, and under the guidance of Felix Pintor, Ivan Calderon’s longtime trainer, should mature into a very capable contender.
 
Atlantic City– Carla Hill Holds Successful Debut Promotion; Gabriel Rosado’s Good Night Turns Bad
 
Carla Hill Promotions packed the house in a successful debut show at the New Resorts in Atlantic City Saturday night as Maurice Harris defeated Derric Rossy in the main event and four young fighters kept their “0”s. East Coast Report co-host Mike Katac was in attendance and gave Hill high marks for a very well-run promotional debut. Given the reputation of the Hills- Virgil and Carla- in New Jersey, this is a welcome addition to the boxing scene.
 
The four young fighters who remained unbeaten were light heavyweight Lavarn Harvell, 8-0 (3), bantamweight Qa’id Muhammad, 6-0 (5), super middleweight Isiah Seldon, 5-0 (2), and heavyweight Thomas Hardwick, 2-0 (2).
 
On Friday night at Bally’s in Atlantic City, Gabriel Rosado scored a fifth round TKO over last-minute replacement Ayi Bruce before taking a terrible and serious turn for the worse hours later. All we know for sure is that Rosado and a group friends were involved in an alteration with Atlantic City police inside Bally’s Wild West Casino just after 3 AM. Rosado and five others were arrested, then arraigned on Monday.
 
The stories range from Rosado’s attorney claiming he was returning to his room and was stopped for no reason to the arresting officer claiming Rosado and his friends were disorderly and asked to leave the casino, then getting violent. I will not even speculate on where the truth lies.
 
The first oddity of the story to me is that the AC police were involved in a casino disturbance. I’ve seen plenty of people removed from casinos and it’s always by a large and capable casino security staff. With state regulation of gambling licenses, it’s easy to understand why casinos would rather handle things themselves and not have a police report filed about their establishment.
 
The best reason not to speculate is that we don’t have to. Every inch of every casino is covered 24/7 by the “eye-in-the-sky.” There will be tape of the entire incident, unless of course, the tape is “lost” or “recorded over” by the casino. In that case, it will be fair to Rosado in not rending a guilty verdict so hastily. But a $200,000 full cash bail for punching a cop? C’mon, let’s go to the videotape.
 
August 6th Pavlik “ShoBox” Card in Youngstown Features Great Lightweight Matchup
 
The first televised bout on the Kelly Pavlik-Darryl Cunningham “ShoBox” telecast will feature a lightweight contest between two very promising and sometimes explosive lightweights, Dannie Williams and Francisco Contreras. Both fighters have taken winding paths to this fight. Williams, once a highly touted prospect, didn’t demonstrate the dedication needed to advance before losing to Eloy Perez. Since then, he and his career have found new life in Youngstown with trainer Jack Loew.
 
Contreras was climbing fast as part the TKO Promotions stable and enjoyed his first “ShoBox” appearance February 2010, knocking out Juan Castaneda Jr. in just 1:38. After a less than spectacular decision over Eric Cruz on ESPN last July, Contreras found himself without a promoter as TKO closed up shop and landed in Oxnard, CA in the gym of Robert Garcia. He had one bout in March, a six-round decision over Adolfo Landeros.
 
The bout presents several questions: can Contreras display the power he did against lesser opponents throughout his career? Will Dannie Williams stay on his game plan or allow himself to get drawn into an ugly fight? Will we see a slugfest between hungry fighters or each unable to create the opportunities that came so easy against lesser foes?
 
Either way, it’s a great matchup. Hopefully, both will see it as their time to seize the moment.
 
…As for Kelly Pavlik…
 
I spoke with Pavlik on Tuesday and he is convinced that the scuffle with his brother two Fridays ago is past him and he is fully focused on Cunningham. He also reiterated that he has not had a drink and is feeling great in training.
 
For now, at least things seem stable in the Pavlik camp.
 

Philly’s Hank Lundy and Teon Kennedy Return

 
Philadelphia lightweight Hank Lundy, 20-1-1 (10), returns to the ring August 19th at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN to face former champ David Diaz. Despite being in Diaz’s backyard, Lundy is not surprisingly confident of victory, “Diaz gets hit with everything in the kitchen. I’m going to win this fight,” he told Maxboxing on Wednesday.
 
Teon Kennedy also is scheduled to fight in August, as he’ll face Alejandro Lopez, 21-2 (7), in Atlantic City on the 13th. Don’t be surprised after a Kennedy win if a title shot is talked about before the end of 2011.
 

Sigmon Drops “Regional Eliminator” to Fitzpatrick

 
Virginia’s Scott Sigmon lost what I dubbed a “regional eliminator” to South Carolina’s Chris Fitzpatrick. I said the winner would be a step closer to moving past the “regional” fighter status, while the loser would likely wear the “regional” label for quite a while longer.
 
Sigmon begins his regional purgatory on September 10th in a fight at the Staunton, Virginia Armory.
 
If there is a fight or fighter you feel deserves mention in the Regional Report, please contact Alec at maxboxingeast@gmail.com. You can also follow Alec on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alecmaxboxing. You can also tune in to Alec’s new weekly online show every Tuesday at 9:00 PM EST at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/aleckohut/


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