J.R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Possibly an indication of the diminishing significance of a live crowd as techno-insanity (live streaming on cell phones) takes over, the burgeoning Philadelphia fight scene ran two cards on the same night.
J.R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Possibly an indication of the diminishing significance of a live crowd as techno-insanity (live streaming on cell phones) takes over, the burgeoning Philadelphia fight scene ran two cards on the same night. While Joe Hand and Russell Peltz were across town at Parx Casino, Marshall Kauffman (Kings Prom’ns) ran his own show on 3/1/19 at the 2300 Arena, and drew a full house. As fits the pattern, the show was carried on Fight Night Live tv. Ring announcer Mark Fratto introduced every bout with enough verbal advertisements to fill a super market flyer. Fred Blumstein was timekeeper. Publicist Marc Abrams was laid up and recovering from a hospital stay. All the best, Marc.
Tyrone Brunson, 153 ½, Phila., 28-7-2 (25), and Jamaal Davis, 155 ¾, Phila., 18-14-1 (7), headlined in a scheduled 10. The contest was hard fought but lacked sustained action. The compact Davis trudged forward but was never able to close ranks with the mobile Brunson long enough to gain control. Tyrone didn’t waste punches but threw enough to keep control while always trying to set up the payoff before moving away or falling inside. In the first, a sharp sneak right staggered Davis, but Tyrone failed to continue the advantage. In the second, Jamaal tried to corral Tyrone in a corner but was wobbled by a quick left hook counter. By the fifth, Brunson stopped playing ‘possum so much and became a moving boxer behind the jab, picking up the pace a bit in what had been a cat-&-mouse contest. Jamaal was jarred by one booming right. In the sixth, Davis was drilled by a right that looked like a train wreck but remained amazingly unfazed. The seventh was a close round, with Jamaal’s persistence keeping him in the action, but it was his last hurrah. In the eighth, the action, fairly tight and controlled up to that point, opened up and became a bit more ragged as Davis was at last losing steam. Still coming forward, Jamaal was caught with a right as Tyrone sidestepped, doubling over into a shell, but Brunson brought a second, chopping right from the side and Davis collapsed. He got up and fought back gamely to get to the ninth, but now Tyrone was in full tilt and battering him. A left hook and right sent Jamaal down again, but he still got up and tried to get back into the contest. He was just a walking target by then and after fading back and going slack after being hit by a combo, referee Gary Rosato called a TKO, at 1:39.
In a bout that meant nothing locally and had little purpose other than a W for the hero, Joseph George, 170, Houston, 9-0 (6), outpointed but could not dent survivalist Oscar Riojas, 168 ¾, Monterrey, MX, 17-12-1 (7), eight. The amazingly resilient underdog threw only safe, meaningless punches while circling away out of a slippery southpaw stance. The favorite trudged after him and did all the punching, but found it difficult to put anything together when Oscar was no longer there. A body attack in the fourth didn’t work. A last ditch effort in the final round produced a right that scored as Riojas tried to slip, spinning him completely around and nearly down. But he skittered along the ropes until his feet were back under him and went to the final bell. All scores 80-72. Whoopee. Rosato refereed.
In a contest that was sloppy and lacked focus but competitive and close all the way, Rasheed Johnson, 146 ½, Phila., 5-2 (1), faced off with southpaw Vincent Floyd, 147 ¾, Phila., 4-6-1 (2), six. Floyd stalked and meant business but threw long punches that were often eluded. The gangly Johnson, with something of an octopus style, tended to try to keep distance and make use of his reach. The contest swayed back and forth between Floyd closing ranks until tied up and Rasheed moving and peppering before tying him up. Johnson was the only one fighting in round one. But Vincent began to hit a stride in the second by corralling Rasheed on the ropes in a close round. The third was a mish-mosh, but at least Floyd was forcing it. The punching was more on target in an action fourth. Vincent was jarred as he walked smack into a right, but later caught Johnson on the ropes with a left in a snappy exchange that saw Rasheed fight his way off the ropes as they mixed to the bell. Three straight rounds had been tight, but Vincent lost focus in the final two and they were all Johnson. Floyd was just coming forward without any snap, missing the cutoff and eating leather. At the final bell, it could have gone either way, but the last two seemed to swing it to Johnson, and indeed, Rasheed won the split decision. All scores were 58-56, with Steve Weisfeld and Kevin Morgan naming the winner while Dewey LaRosa demurred for Floyd. Rosato refereed.
A seemingly good match on paper produced a total blowout as Roy McGill, 139, Harrisburg, 6-2 (3), seemed like a deer in the headlights against Nahir Albright, 139, Sicklerville, NJ, 6-1 (2), in a scheduled six. McGill never got off a serious punch while the loose, long-armed and flashy Albright played to the excited crowd. Nahir romped through the first while delighting his fans. Then in the second, he trapped Roy in his own corner and let both hands fly like fan blades until McGill went down. Under an all-out assault, McGill stumbled down again, ruled no knockdown, and finally got a two-hand blitz on the ropes until he folded for a second time and referee David Franciosi called a KO, at 1:10.
A schooled but erratic performer, Antonio Dubose, 128, Phila., 10-2-1 (2), got a mobile punching bag out of Danny Flores, 127 ¾, MX City, 15-15 (8), in an interesting but at times humdrum six. Dubose took control promptly, keeping feet flat while walking Flores down behind left hooks to the head and rights to the body. Danny was soon fighting a rear guard action and taking a beating from chopping rights as he tried to duck inside, until late in the third when a desperation lash-back left hook stunned his tormentor and briefly enlivened the crowd. But Antonio was back in control in the fourth and credited with a knockdown by referee Rosato when Flores took a knee, more by way of escape than from a single punch. Weisfeld, Rose Vargas (Lacend) and LaRosa all scored 60-53.
Jerrico Walton, 148, Hstn/NOLA, 11-0 (7), needed only one clean shot to get rid of Cesar Soriano Berumen, 147 ¾, MX City, 26-41-3 (16), in 1:39 of the opening round of six. During cautious sparring, Berumen tried to fire a right lead but was beaten to the punch by a right straight down the pike, bowling him over. He got up limping and struggled to his corner while referee Rosato waved it over.
In a bristling and crowd pleasing battle, Yueri Andujar, 124 ¼, Reading, 3-1 (3), went up against tricky and difficult Weusi Johnson, 127, Wilmington, 3-10, four. The mix of styles set a quick pace from opening bell. Yueri stalked flat-footed and meant business, while Weusi circled away on his toes and peppered. Andujar upped the pace in the second, bailing out with haymakers to try to stop Johnson’s movement. The third was wild, with the crown up. Yueri was going all out for the KO, finally landing a right hand bomb that rocked Weusi. But he couldn’t find the trigger in heavy action, until a mini rally by Weusi got him out of the round. Seemingly in control and going for the victory in the final round, the confident Andujar walked smack into a popping right count and went to his knees. With the crowd going crazy, Yueri composed himself and controlled the rest of the round, but the knockdown made it anybody’s fight. The crowd was tense as Fratto announced a split decision. Weisfeld scored 38-37 for Yueri. But Morgan and LaRosa both had it 38-37 for the ecstatic winner, Weusi Johnson. Franciosi refereed.
Kendal Cannida, 175 ¼, Phila., 3-1 (1), scored a sensational upset demolition of popular Angel Rivera, 173 ¼, H’bg, 4-1 (3), in 2:59 of the first of four. The stocky Cannida looked hopelessly small in a rugged physical shootout, as both bailed out at close range. Rivera seemed to gain confidence in the attack and got too loose, as he walked into a crushing left hook that dropped him on his face, down for several minutes. Ref, Franciosi.
In a gym workout, James Martin, 149 ½, Phila., 4-0 (1), cautiously picked his way to a unanimous shutout of reluctant Rick Pyle, 153 ½, H’bg, 1-2, four. Martin inched forward and carefully selected his shots while the rangy Pyle retreated and poked jabs but would not commit. The crowd got some entertainment at the end of the third when Martin opened up a bit with Rick on the ropes. But the bell cooled the rally. Franciosi refereed.
Rasheen Brown, 121 ½, Phila., 3-0, was too slick, quick, and a southpaw against willing Hugo Rodriguez, 121 ½, Monterrey, MX, 0-3, in a one-sided but not uninteresting four. Hugo wanted to mix at close quarters but hadn’t a clue on how to work inside and got popped from long range all night. In the second, the lunging Rodriguez was caught off balance by a swiping right and went down, but was unhurt. Rasheen didn’t press the advantage but in the ensuing round he entertained his fans with can’t-miss straight rights as the befuddled underdog could not get inside. All scores (Weisfeld, Morgan, Vargas) 40-35. Rosato refereed.
A fluke clash of heads robbed Shamar Fulton Banks, 134 ¼, Phila., 1-0-1-1, of what appeared to be developing as a solid win over Christopher Burgos, 134 ½, Phila., 1-4-1-1 (1), in a scheduled four. In a good scrap while it lasted, the two began banging at first bell. A sweeping left by Burgos in an exchange caused the southpaw Fulton to reel, with left glove touching canvas. But Franciosi ruled no knockdown. After that early burst, Burgos progressively got the worst of the trading and appeared on way out when heads gonged and Chris turned away to his corner, complaining of an injury to his nose. The doctor checked him over and terminated the bout at 2:15. It was officially a No Decision. Burgos dodged a bullet by opting out while Fulton was cheated of a solid win.