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Promoters Battle In Philly; Dawejko And Carto Win

By J R. Jowett reporting from ringside: With two promoters going head to head on Friday(Dec 1), the first time in anyone’s memory that two shows ran on the same night in Philadelphia, Manny Rivera & Will Ruiz (Hard Hitting Prom’ns) went with their usual venue, the SRO Sugarhouse Casino.


Meanwhile, Marshall Kauffman was running some 35 blocks away at the 2300 Arena. Rivera & Ruiz offered a tidy six bouts while Kauffman was going bozo with twice that number! The R&R card offered six Philly rising stars against Puerto Rican challengers, plus a couple extras. The competition, far from being setups, produced one upset, one narrow escape, two hard fought battles, and only one laugher. Meanwhile, the press corps employed any and all media to frantically call back and forth to the other show. Was this really necessary? Was this good for local boxing? Kurt Wolfheimer handled the PR.


In the main event 8, Joey Dawejko, 242, Phila., 19-4-4 (11), rallied in most dramatic fashion to seize the victory from Kelvin Nuñez, 260 ½, Carolina, PR, 15-1 (13), by unanimous decision. The fight wasn’t a stylistic classic but a rugged, bruising heavyweight trench warfare struggle, fought nearly all at close range. Dawejko started fast and decidedly outscored a then-reluctant Nuῆez into round two, when Joey suddenly stepped away from the banging and gasped for breath. Possibly a body shot had gotten to him, but there was nothing readily noticeable. It seemed to gain confidence for the underdog, though, who came on in the second and established himself in the trading. In round three, with Dawejko boring in bent over and head down, the frustrated visitor delivered a chop to the back of the neck and then argued with referee Shawn Clark. Round four was another bitter struggle, with Dawejko landing a couple solid rights late.


Through the next two rounds, Kelvin began to control the action and had Dawejko circling away, but again Nuῆez was bawled out by Clark, in the sixth. With it anybody’s fight midway through the seventh, but the underdog’s prospects looking good, all heck broke loose and the outcome swung pivotally! Trying to regain control, Dawejko upped his output, landing a sweeping right. Nuῆez made what might have been considered a bad tactical decision, stepping back and dropping his hands in bravado. Giving Dawejko a free shot on goal wasn’t a good idea, as Joey obliged with a battering ram straight left that send the blubbery Kelvin reeling back into the ropes, his knees collapsing and sending him down for a count. From that point, Dawejko came on strong as the battered and bleeding visitor continued to fight gamely but never got untracked. When the fight ended, it was close, but the rally by Joey seemed undeniable. Adam Friscia scored 76-75, John Poturaj and Dave Braslow 77-74. Nuῆez turned away in disappointment, but had he not decided to step back and drop his hands, it might have gone his way.


In the co-feature 8, Christian Carto, 118 ½, Phila., 13-0 (11), showed good hands and ring generalship in dominating Luis Fernando Saavedra, 118 ¼, San Luis Potosí, MX, 7-4 (3), for a unanimous shutout. After a range-finder first, the bigger visitor, a southpaw, tried to make it a physical contest and mug Carto on the ropes in round two. With Saavedra punching wide, Carto brought up a short right and then a glancing left hook as Saavedra went down, late in the round. The visitor began to tighten his guard in the third but still bailed out with payoff punches while Carto was able to pick him apart with poise and better hands. This pattern continued; somewhat tame but entertaining nonetheless, with Luis looking for the home run while Christian provided a boxing lesson. Round seven was the underdog’s last hurrah, trying unsuccessfully to lure the favorite into sucker counter punches. In the final round, a battered and spent Saavedra was just running. All scores (Friscia, Poturaj, Rose Vargas) 80-71.


Boxing may be the only sport where consistent errors make a great contest. It was at the same time both poorly conducted and sensational when two unbeatens clashed in a six. Popular Branden Pizarro, 135 ½, Phila., 8-1 (4), took his chances and battled unbeaten southpaw Christian Rivera, 135 ½, Bayamon, PR, 7-0 (5), in a wild and unpredictable humdinger. The rangy favorite took to the task of dismantling Rivera early, stalking and landing long, jarring left hooks while Rivera retreated and looked outgunned. Pizarro seemed to have settled on finishing it, as he punished Rivera in the second, trapping him in a neutral corner and going for the kill! But Pizarro has always been confident to a fault, ready to trade wide open. In dire straits, the underdog lashed back with a right-left and dropped the stunned favorite on his seat! Branden showed decent poise in getting off the hook and actually came back to regain control of the round. In the third, it was time for the hero to make up for the miscue. Again, Branden was attacking confidently while the underdog retreated, battered around both eyes and looking far from threatening. And like in a bad movie, Rivera got trapped in the same neutral corner and at timekeeper Fred Blumstein’s tap, Pizarro opened up to put him away. Christian was nailed by solid shots but poked out a left and sent the charging favorite down again! From there, it was a changing of the guard. The tall, standup underdog controlled in round four with careful potshots as Pizarro looked shell-shocked. But it wasn’t over yet! Rivera let Pizarro back into the fight in the fifth, and round six had a rejuvenated favorite walking him down! This one was far from easy to score, but the knockdowns were just too much. Make no mistake, Pennsylvania is a long way from Denmark and Argentina, and the judges are not homers. When ring announcer Mark Fratto said, “…from Bayamon…”, the elated Rivera leaped for joy and maybe surprise. Poturaj scored 58-54, Braslow 58-55, and Friscia had possibly the best score at 57-56. Clark refereed.


Despite a one-sided battering, Sam Teah, 139 ½, Phila., 12-1-1 (5), vs Maynard Allison, 139 ¼, Siler City, NC, via Phila., 9-3 (6), was an all-action crowd pleaser, six. Allison showed stolid gameness while taking a hammering, but the bottom line was that Maynard telegraphed his punches while Teah kept his short. After a hard-fought first, the two went toe to toe in a wild second with the crowd going crazy. Allison got in some licks but Teah was rocking him. Maynard began circling and Sam stalking in the third but it was still a punishing battle, Sam doing the lion’s share of the punishing. All heck broke out again in the fifth, both trading full tilt chest to chest. But again, most of Maynard’s punches were slipped while Sam was on target. Allison was spent and running in the final hectic session. All scores (Friscia, Vargas, Braslow) ridiculously close at 60-54 for Teah.


In a scheduled six, Jeremy Cuevas, 136 ¼, Phila., 6-0 (5), dished out a steady beating to game but outgunned Jose Miguel Castro, 136 ¾, Carolina, 5-10 (3). Late in the second, the southpaw favorite was pouring it on when Castro tried to nail him with a sweeping left counter. Cuevas ducked and brought up a short left, rocking him to the bell. Jose Miguel hung in grimly but with Jeremy once again belaboring him in the fifth when that same short left wobbled Castro again and the corner threw the towel, at 2:05. Eric Dali refereed.


In a scheduled six, Darmani Rock, 252 ½, Phila., 9-0 (5), got no more than a brief workout from Carlos Cotto, 248 ¾, Caguas, PR, 8-2-1 (5). Coming out at first bell, Rock made a fake feint and Carlos flinched noticeably. For the rest of the round, the confused underdog circled away and jerked this way and that every time the breezy favorite moved a hand. In a neutral corner just before the end of the opening round, Cotto ducked and Rock came over the top with a right to the back of the head. Carlos slumped to a knee, barely beat Clark’s count, and fell back into the turnbuckle, where it was stopped at 2:59. Ironically, at the pre-fight press conference, Cotto described his lone loss exactly as this one happened. He left the ring still pawing the back of his head.


Results of conflicting show, Kings Prom’ns at 2300 Arena:

Tyrone Brunson w tko 8 Manny Woods

Omar Douglas w ko 1 Martin Gonzalez

Brandon Robinson w pts 8 Christopher Brooker

Jaron Ennis w ko 2 George Sosa

Kyrone Davis w pts 8 Jamie Barboza

Joe Hanks w pts 6 Joel Caudle

Rasheed Johnson w pts 4 Kason Johnson

Colby Madison w tko 2 Randy Easton

Romuel Cruz w tko 3 Rondarrius Hunter

Gerardo Tiburcio Martinez w pts 4 Christopher Burgos

Marcos Bates w ko 6 Antonio Rodriguez

Shamsuddeen Justice w tko 1 Jack Grady



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