Fight night in the "City of Brotherly Love"
By J.R.Jowett at ringside
Marshall Kauffman (Kings Promotions) returned with a show on 6/22/19 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. With local stars relatively light, the show failed to pull the usual SRO crowd, but drew about 500.
The main event proved a blowout, but the card overall was good, with one stunning upset. Sadly, timekeeper Alice Grady gave a ten count on the passing of Willie “The Worm” Monroe. Alex Barbosa was ring announcer and Marc Abrams publicist.
In the top bout, Anvar Yunusov, 126 ¼, a Tajikistani fighting out of Reading, 8-0 (4), blew out Angel Luna, 125 ½, Yamasá, DR, 11-6-1 (6), in 0:56 of the second of 8. The hapless underdog offered next to nothing. The southpaw Yunusov exploded out with both hands churning and never gave the Dominican a chance to get set. Luna was quickly swarmed and off balance when he went down for a fluke knockdown. But he took heavy punishment to body and head before escaping the first round. In the second, Anvar finished off a bombardment with a left to drop him for real. Shortly after, with Luna getting tagged by solid shots and unable to mount a counter offensive, referee Benjy Esteves called a halt.
In the co-feature eight, Colby Madison, 236 ½, Owings Mills, MD, 8-1-2 (5), suffered a crushing upset loss to Robert Simms, 227 ½, Saginaw, 9-3 (3), by unanimous decision. Built like a bowling ball and with a roll of blubber around the midriff against the towering favorite, Simms looked like a human sacrifice. But he was surprisingly quick and elusive, rocking Madison twice in the first with sneak rights and left hooks.
The contest settled into a pattern, no barn burner, but Simms scoring just enough and slipping away. Colby telegraphed his punches and was unable to make solid contact, if at all, as Robert presented a small and moving target. The rounds were repetitive and tame, but interesting to the student of the game and the savvy Philly fans enjoyed the drama. In the fifth, Colby’s left eye was nearly closed and he was checked by the doctor in every rest period thereafter. In the seventh, Simms’ left eye was cut dangerously on the inside, and he too was paid a visit by the doctor. The possibility of the bout being stopped in either corner lent an unusual kind of excitement that wasn’t supported by any prolonged exchanging. Robert possibly conceded the last round to finish the fight and won by scores of 80-72 from Anthony Lundy and John Poturaj and 79-73 from Marc Werlinsky.
Paul Kroll, 151 ½, Phila., 4-0 (4), stopped Hector Mercado, 148 ¼, Ft. Myers, FL, 3-11, with a surprise turn of events in 1:23 of the 1st of 6. In what was shaping up as a good contest, the rangy underdog was taking the fight to Kroll and had him backing up. But Paul stood his ground in an exchange long enough to drill him with a clean right. Mercado spun to the canvas and twisted his right ankle, unable to continue. He left ringside on a stretcher.
Kashon Hutchinson, 144 ¾, Reading, 5-5 (1), upset James Martin, 145 ¾, Phila., 4-1, by unanimous decision in a tame and cautious six. A fluke knockdown when Martin missed a punch and stumbled off balance late in the first, a round that he was otherwise winning, ultimately cost him the fight. Martin swung a close second with a mid-round volley. He started the third at southpaw to match his opponent’s stance and did well, but reverted to orthodox and action died.
In the second half of the contest, James continued trying to force the action but the southpaw Hutchinson countered cautiously and moved away, taking control of the last three rounds. All scores 57-56 (Werlinsky, Lundy, Poturaj).
Rasheen Brown, 122 ½, Phila., 4-0 (1), played it cool and took his time but sharp punching KO’d Lionel Tidwell, 122 ¼, Little Rock, in his debut, at 1:18 of the second of 4. The southpaw Brown won the cautious first with the jab. Then a long left caught Tidwell going straight back on the point of the chin and spun him to the canvas for the finish.
It took all Jonathan Torres, 118 ½, Bethlehem, 5-0 (1), had to defeat a game Hugo Rodriguez, 117 ½, Monterrey, MX, 0-5, in a hotly contested 4. Despite a crummy record, the underdog was all fight. Rodriguez exploded out with furious two-handed attacks to start the rounds, but once Torres could gain some distance, he took over behind sweeping left hooks. The first three were close, but Jonathan sealed it in the final round when a short right dropped Hugo in close trading. By late in the round, big left hooks had Hugo on the run. All 40-35 (Lundy, Mark Costantino, Poturaj).
Kevin Asmat, 130 ¾, N. Bergen, NJ, 6-2 (5), stopped Weusi Johnson, 127 ¾, Wilmington, 3-13-1, in 2:44 of the third of 4. A left hook dropped Weusi in the first exchange of the fight, but he outboxed Asmat for the rest of the round. Kevin opened the second with another sweeping left hook for another knockdown, then continued to apply effective pressure. Johnson was still in the fight but getting routed in the third when his corner stopped it.
Khainell Wheeler, 167 ¼, Bethlehem, 2-0 (2), looked sharp KOing debuting Tywaski Hendrix, 166 ¾, Little Rock, in 2:45 of the 1st of 4. Good trading while it lasted, with Wheeler executing sharp rights to drop Hendrix twice. A short counter over Kywaski’s jab scored a sudden knockdown.
The underdog had basic fundamentals and boxed his way back into it, but was tagged by another with and wobbled sideways where a double right crashed him onto the canvas, limp. Referee David Franciosi (his only bout) waved it over immediately.