No "Cornflake," but fights go on
By J.R. Jowett at ringside
Ever-popular Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna was scheduled to headline another of his own cards at Atlantic City’s Showboat on 7/20/19. But opponent Carlos Garcia Hernandez of Trujillo Alto, PR, failed the physicals and the main event had to be scratched. You’d think they could’ve found a decent 150-pounder in the NYC-Philly area, wouldn’t you?
But at least Rising Star Promotions went on with the show. And guess what. Although there were only five bouts, which drew a smaller crowd of about 400, it was a good, action card. No upsets, but young hopefuls got good work against scrappy foes that were enough to test their mettle.
Ailing but recovering Marc Abrams did the PR while Timmie Witherspoon and Ray Mercer were among the commentators for YouTube Fight Night Live. Timer Jason Robinson tolled the final count for Pernell Whitaker and James Gibbs Jr.
In what was considered the main event, Ry’shine Collins, 123 ¾, Phila, 3-0 (2), had his hands full battling to a split decision win over debuting Antonio Lucaine, 123 ½, Mt Vernon, NY, in a good, scrappy four. The smaller underdog fought out of a shallow stance and attacked in what was constant medium-range mixing. Collins meanwhile tried to keep some distance and use his reach but was conservative of punches. There were a lot more thrown than landed, but the constant movement, hit or miss, kept the crown into the action. As the bout wore on, Lucaine became more vigorous if not successful, hurtling his body into the fray while Ry’shine played matador with reasonable success. The outcome wasn’t conclusive, adding tension to ring announcer Mark Fratto’s rendering of the scores. Kason Cheeks, evidently keying on the underdog’s aggressiveness and Ry’shine’s reluctance to stand and trade, scored it for Lucaine, 39-37. Joe Pasquale had Collins by the same score. Everyone thought it was going to be a draw, but Jimmy Kinney ended that with 40-36 for Collins. Eddie Claudio was referee.
It took all Nikita Miroshnichenko, 161 ¼, Novosibirsk, Russia, via Bklyn, 11-0 (3), had to pound out a unanimous win over stubborn Jordan Rosario, 154 ¼, Jersey City, 3-9, in a non-stop six that opened the show. The smaller Rosario seemed intimidated at the start by the Russian’s storied credentials and conceded the first by circling away. In the second, evidently frustrated that he hadn’t ended it in the first, Miroshnichenko went southpaw and put over some solid lefts. But Rosario answered back with clean right leads and got into the fight. Nikita went back to orthodox in the third and stayed there. Rosario was no longer circling and was in the mix but Nikita was busier. In the rugged and bruising fourth, action began to turn. Miroshnichenko was still busy but losing steam while Jordan landed some potent punches and rocked him late in the round with an overhand right. Rosario got off to a fast start in the fifth, but then the favorite nailed down the victory by redoubling his efforts. Nikita bore down with a prolonged two-hand bombardment from medium range, forcing Rosario back with booming body shots. The ring physician checked Jordan at round’s end. The final round saw both fighters wilted from the pace and a bit ragged with their attempts but still fighting hard to the bell. Pasquale scored 58-56, Cheeks 60-54, and evidently Kinney was the only one to recognize a two point round when the doctor had to visit the loser’s corner, scoring 59-54. David Fields refereed.
Popular Josue Rosa, 116 ¾, Phila., 3-0 (2), got a good fight out of Steven Lopez, 119, Phila., 0-4, in a crowd-pleasing four. The diminutive underdog looked like a human sacrifice during the intros, but gave the hero a surprisingly good workout. Lopez stayed at long range despite size disadvantage however and only tried opportune counters, enabling the favorite to control the action with long roundhouse shots. Rosa wasn’t turning his punches over, however, prompting Lopez to laugh after etting plastered with big, splatting rights on several occasions. The crowd loved it. Pasquale scored 39-37 and the others 40-36, unanimous for Rosa. Eric Dali refereed.
Zachary Dubnoff, 161 ½, Springfield, NJ, 3-0 (2), likewise got a tough fight but in a different way from debuting Davonn Boone, 161 ¾, Suitland, MD, four. The Mutt ‘n’ Jeff pairing looked almost ludicrous with the lanky Dubnoff towering over the underdog. The first was a wild shootout with Boone launching haymakers from left field but falling short while the rangy favorite had no trouble reaching Davonn. After the rugged start, Davonn switched southpaw and took to surviving, circling away and only trying to bushwhack Zach with occasional surprise counters. Dubnoff stayed on his trail and did most of the scoring with his reach to gain the unanimous verdict, 39-37 from Kinney and a shutout from the others.
A different challenge befell Robert Terry, 158 ½, Jersey City, 4-0, after finding himself in Sea World against an octopus in well-traveled Bryan Goldsby, 159 ¼, Macon, GA, 5-13, four. The underdog made no attempt at offense to speak of but boxed defensively with head down and arms extended like tentacles, merely trying to shut Terry down. This presented the favorite with a unique challenge in keeping his hands free and landing. Robert probably learned something from the experience, as he managed to punish Goldsby inside while all the vigorous physical activity made the bout entertaining to the fans despite the underdog’s reluctance to engage. Two judges had it a shutout while Pasquale rightly scored at least one round by two points, 40-35. Even this scoring was generous to the loser as if you’re not using defense to set up offense, there should be no credit for defense. Fields refereed.