The hottest young prospect and leading attraction on the Philadelphia club scene for the last couple of years was knocked cold.
The hottest young prospect and leading attraction on the Philadelphia club scene for the last couple of years has been destroyed! Famed trainer Fred Jenkins once sagely observed, “When you fight for Russell, if you can’t fight, you find out real fast.” And so it was when Christian Carto, who has divided his bouts between local promoters by virtually guaranteeing a sellout, headlined the first Philly show by Arizona promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events), at the 2300 Arena on 2/8/19. And the matchmaker was the peerless J. Russell Peltz.
Carto, 118, Phila., 17-1 (11), took on dangerous southpaw Victor Ruiz, 116, San Diego, 23-10 (16), in the main event eight. The two engaged in a solid exchange of punches into the second round when Carto walked straight into a screaming left cross and was stretched out cold! The frenzied crowd fell into a state of shock and horror as the bout ended, at 1:56. Carto had to be carried out and was released from hospital the following morning. The abrupt and stunning defeat was blamed on a number of things, the most targeted being the change of trainers away from well-respected Mickey Rosati. Ruiz had lost five of his last six bouts, and was stopped in the most recent, which may have led to a feeling that he was more shot than he turned out to be. Knockout losses of this magnitude, with Carto lying on canvas for some twenty minutes, leave an indelible mark on a fighter’s psyche and are not often overcome.
A possible replacement as an attraction should Carto not come back is debuting “Sonny” Conto, 215, Phila., an outstanding and promising amateur. But he’ll need better opposition than winless Jimmie Levins, 219, Buffalo, 0-5, who was gone with little effort in 2:14 of round one of four. Evidently looking for the escape hatch, Levins went to the canvas three times. All three were ruled slips by referee Eric Dali, but on the third one, a left hook had connected and the ringside physician stopped the bout. The loser was fined $300 for his poor performance.
Another prominent amateur and pro prospect to watch, Darmani Rock, 273, Phila., 14-0 (9), was less than spectacular in a heavyweight huff-&-puffer against Steven Lyons, 209, Larose, LA, 5-4 (2), scheduled six. The hopelessly small underdog hung in, with the frustrated star turning to showboating in the third and drawing some boos. In the fourth, Rock landed a thudding right to the midsection that collapsed Lyons to his knees, where he remained for referee Benjy Esteves’ count.
Marcel Rivers, 144, Phila., 7-0 (4), edged out southpaw Derrick Whitley II, 148, Springfield, MA, 4-1-1, by unanimous decision in a mauling, rugged six. Rivers set the pace with a body attack and generally controlled the fight but Whitley was only a step or two behind, looking for his shot and hardly making it easy. All scores 58-56. Esteves refereed.
The smaller divisions usually offer wars, but Alejandro Jimenez, 119, New Hope, PA, 4-0-1 (1), and Edgar Cortes, 119, Vineland, 6-4-1, seemed reluctant to trade in a lackluster six. Most of the action occurred one punch at a time when they were given openings they didn’t create. Cortes landed one telling left in the first, while Jimenez flurried to the bell to steal round two. There was finally a good exchange in the third, and Cortes landed a good body shot at the bell. Both had their moments in the fourth, bringing up the crowd with clean shots but failing to take control. Both got in shots in the fifth, but one at a time. Cortes finished the contest with a solid right. Dave Braswell scored 57-57, Marc Werlinsky 58-56 Jimenez, and Steve Weisfeld for Cortes by the same score, producing a split draw. Dali refereed.
Jonathan Torres, 118, Bethlehem, 2-0, got the win over hard luck Dallas Holden, 119, Atlantic City, 1-4, in a dull four. A solid right rocked Holden in each of the first two rounds. Torres got the better of it with infighting in the third, and a mini rally by Holden in the fourth wasn’t enough, as all scores were shutouts. Dali refereed.
A good scrap was a four between Gerardo Martinez, 137, Coatesville, 4-1 (1), and well-traveled Osnel Charles, 140, Atlantic City, 12-19-1 (2). Martinez started behind a good jab but Charles forced solid mid-ring exchanging in the first. Gerardo bulled Osnel on the ropes in round two, but Charles landed some solid counters. In a torrid third, Gerardo again was the aggressor and forced Osnel around the ring, but Charles landed some solid counters, buckling Gerardo’s knees once and bloodying his nose. The fourth was a pitched battle with the tide swinging back and forth. Martinez got the majority decision by scattered scores of 38-38, 39-37, and 40-36. Esteves refereed.