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Jason Gonzalez Archive

Maddalone Returns with Comeback Win over Polley

By Jason Gonzalez at ringside

South Ozone Park, Queens- For the second time in nearly three months, the “Sweet Science” returned to the borough of Queens. And just like last time, The Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Race Track played host to a club show featuring eight bouts, plus Flushing’s own Vinny Maddalone in the main event.
The turnout wasn’t nearly as good as the inaugural debut in the venue but keep in mind it’s the holiday season; the economy is in shambles and this particular card was going head-to-head with the pay-per-view telecast of Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao IV. So any of the aforementioned (or maybe all) contributed to the empty seats the night of December 8, 2012.

Moving forward, former minor league pitcher and Holy Cross High School alum Maddalone, 231.5, now 36-8 (27), earned a third round knockout (which came at the 1:11 mark) of Byron Polley, 268.5, of St. Joseph, Mississippi.
Maddalone, no stranger to swinging for the fences, was looking to take the head off his morbidly obese yet very short opponent. When that strategy failed, Maddalone began to target his foe’s belly, landing hooks and straight shots to Polley’s midsection. This tactic earned Maddalone an extra point in the first and second round. Polley’s rear end touched the canvas in both frames. In the third, Maddalone connected with a left hook to Polley’s jaw, set up with a body shot that caused a delayed reaction before Polley, now 25-14-1 (11), hit the deck. The third knockdown caused referee Shada Murdaugh to declare an end to the bout. This marks the 11th time Polley’s been stopped.
“It was really exciting to be fighting in front of all of my people here in Queens,” said the 38-year-old Maddalone, who was fighting for the first time since losing to English heavyweight Tyson Fury.
In regard to the knockout, Maddalone said, “It was a clean left hook to the jaw, bro. It prompted the delayed reaction.”
Junior featherweight Juan Dominguez, 121, of Brooklyn, NY improved to 12-0 (8) after his opponent, John Alberto Molina, 120, of Baranquilla, Colombia, failed to answer the bell at the start of the fourth round.
Dominguez opened up the contest by boxing while at the same time, imposing his size advantage. Dominguez backed up Molina up with his jab but to Molina’s credit, he did find some success with a looping overhand right, shortening the distance between he and Dominguez. And while Molina was able to get on the inside of Dominguez, Dominguez was able to work the body.
Between the third and fourth round, Molina retired because of cramping in his leg. Molina dropped to 32-22-3, (20). That is not a typo, you read correctly.
Brooklyn native Frank Galarza, 152, improved to 8-0-1 (4) after earning an easy (there were moments when Lopez made it tough), six- round unanimous decision over Roberto Lopez of Vineyard, New Jersey by scores of 59-55 across the board.
At the sound of the bell, Galarza opened up the bout with a one-two combination (jab-straight right), backing up Lopez, who also weighed in at the same, 152. Galarza dictated the tempo and controlled the action against the very limited Lopez, who, with the loss, dropped to 4-4-2 (1).
Lopez wanted to slug it out with the better skilled Galarza and momentarily would back him up while catching him with some grazing shots to the top of his head. As the fight continued, Lopez continued pressuring the Brooklynite but Galarza let it all loose in the sixth and final stanza, winning it big.
Angel Garcia, 134, of Brooklyn, New York, improved to 4-1 (2) after boxing his way to a majority decision over the slightly smaller Victor Galindo, 133, of Savana Grande, Puerto Rico. Scores were 39-37 (twice) and 38-38. Garcia executed a crazy amount of movement in what appeared to be a small ring. With the loss, the southpaw Galindo dropped to 1-1 (1).
Super featherweight Bryant Cruz, 129.5, of Port Chester, New York, had a successful pro debut after blowing out Jonathan Caban, 130, now 0-4, of the Bronx within three rounds. Referee Pete Santiago called a halt to the assault at the1:20 mark of the same round.
27 years ago, star amateur fighter Robert Garris was set to turn professional. But a nose injury quickly derailed those plans. But finally, this past Saturday, Garris’ dream came true. The 48-year-old Garris entered the squared circle weighing 174 pounds against the 38-year-old Abdellah Smith, 171, of Queens in a scheduled four-rounder.
But Garris’ dream quickly became his worst nightmare at the 1:08 mark of the second round. While Garris had his back to the corner, Smith starched him with a master-blaster of a right hand that connected flush on Garris’ chin.
Garris’ bell was rung! He was knocked out cold with his face flat on the canvas. Those in attendance were in disbelief as well as in shock. Garris lay unconscious for nearly five minutes. Fortunately for Garris, he was okay and in good health afterward.
Female fighter Heather Hardy, 122, of Brooklyn, now 3-0, stomped out Ivana Coleman, 123.5, 0-4, of Slidell, Louisiana, over the course of four rounds. It was unanimous; scores were 40-36 across the board. Hardy hit Coleman with everything except the kitchen sink. Unfortunately for Coleman, she was unable to stay out of harm’s way.
In the opening contest of the evening, Dominican lightweight Neuky Santelises, 131, of Washington Heights in uptown Manhattan, improved to 2-0 (1) after winning a four-round unanimous decision by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 (twice) over Micah Branch, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who now drops to 1-3. The back-and-forth action and shifts in momentum made it an entertaining scrap.
Jay Gon’s Ringside Tidbits
-  Garris donated his entire purse to an organization for disadvantaged and orphaned children.
-  Polley was so short, that had he been in shape, he would have been a welterweight.
-  Nothing else of significance happened or is worth mentioning.
-  Last but not least, if I said the New York State Athletic Commission is the best commission in boxing, would I have a bias?
Questions and comments can be sent to “Jay Gon” at You can also visit him at and follow him at
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