Archive for March 2014

Ringside results from Harrah’s Philadelphia: Outlaw overcomes adversity; wins USBA featherweight title   Leave a comment

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Photos by Darryl Cobb

Chester, PA (March 21, 2014) – It took a while before the show finally got on the road, as there was no ambulance on standby until after 8 PM, but once action got started it didn’t disappoint. The attendance was good, all of the fights were competitive, and nothing too controversial transpired to give the sport another black eye. Joey Eye Boxing’s 5 bout card, streamed around the world via GFL.TV, gave fight fans moments of anxiety, shock, and euphoria. Happiest of all was none other than Eric “Outlaw” Hunter, a 2004 Olympic alternate that finally added a major national title to his professional ledger. Hunter’s unanimous decision win over Yenifel Vicente puts him in position to challenge for the IBF featherweight world title, currently held by Evgeny Gradovich. Check out Hunter’s thoughts on the fight, the future, and more:

It was a rough night for Hunter. He essentially had to fight 2 opponents: Vicente and the referee. It wasn’t until the end of round 5 that Hunter really took control of the fight as he adjusted to Vicente’s roughhouse tactics and tried his best to not retaliate with low blows. Ref Hurley McCall rarely bothered Vicente for elbows, shoulder blocks, and headbutts but was all over Hunter like white on rice for shots on Vicente’s high belt line. Fortunately Hunter, who had been disqualified twice in previous outings, managed to keep his composure and gave the most disciplined performance of his career. SB scored the fight 97-93 for Hunter as did 2 of the official judges (Pierre Benoist and Dave Braslow). The other judge, George Hill, scored it 99-91 for Hunter. Vicente was usually the aggressor and strung together longer and more powerful combinations, but Hunter landed the vast majority of clean punches and remained consistent. Vicente faded in spots during the final 3 rounds, taking his worst beating in round 8.

In the co-main event unbeaten flyweight prospect Miguel Cartagena won a 2 round fire-fight with Miguel Robles. Here’s what Cartagena had to say afterward:

As usual Cartagena was the smaller man but he still packed the bigger punch. Cartagena was sharper technically but Robles was awkward and more experienced. Robles was arguably winning the fight until he lost composure in round 2 and refused to stop punching during a clinch that referee Benjy Esteves struggled to break up. After taking multiple late shots Cartagena retaliated and subsequently both fighters had 1 point deducted. This ignited a fire within Cartagena and Robles took a knee following a jab moments later. He beat the count but wound up tasting the canvas again shortly afterward following a series of hooks. Esteves made a judgment call and waved the fight off as Robles arose for a second time.

The remaining undercard was filled with upsets, one of which was particularly thrilling.

Complete Results:

1. Anthony Prescott [150.5 lbs] MD4 Anthony Miller [150.5 lbs] (37-37, 39-35, 39-35)

In the opening bout of the evening Prescott (2-3-1) defeated amateur standout Miller (1-0) by majority decision. Lead right hands from Prescott landed throughout the fight and Miller, a southpaw, never really had an answer for them. Miller was also dropped in the first round by a left hook and lost a point for a WWE-like suplex in round 2. Miller regained his composure in the second half of the fight but by then it was too little, too late. Welterweight prospect Prescott needs to work on his balance and straightening out his right hand but, with only 12 amateur fights, is still very much a work in progress.

2. Pedro Martinez [229 lbs] UD6 Tony Ferrante [210 lbs] (58-56, 59-55, 60-54)

This shocker was merely expected to be a tune up for Ferrante leading into an Anthony Caputo Smith rematch. In fact Smith’s next fight, on May 19th at Harrah’s, was announced just before Ferrante-Martinez got started. Ferrante (12-5) came into the fight not expecting much from his overweight former sparring partner and hoped to see Martinez (6-7) retire following the beating Ferrante planned to give him. Needless to say things didn’t go according to plan. Martinez reportedly had to take extra medical exams just to be cleared to fight yet managed to outhustle Ferrante from start to finish. Getting outworked is nothing new for Ferrante, but it was unexpected coming from a man with sizable breasts.

Ferrante, per usual, did look sharper when he let his hands go. And he did make a case for himself in rounds 1, 3, and 4. But none of the official judges gave him that much credit. Ferrante was smothered and troubled by headbutts and shots to the back of the head. He complained and resigned to frustration while Martinez just kept working. Martinez credited his new team at Diesel Fit Boxing for the win. Trainer Chuck Diesel said, “Imagine what he was going to do to him if he was in shape.” One does have to wonder. Ex-cruiserweight Martinez was coming off an 18 month layoff.

3. Osnel Charles [135.5 lbs] SD8 Victor Vasquez [135.5 lbs] (74-78, 77-74, 77-74)

In the fight of the night, which easily could have gone the other way, Charles (9-8-1) dug deep to scrape by Vasquez (16-8-1) in a lightweight war. Every round was action packed and many were close. Charles was often wild and reckless but with his grit and superior hand speed he managed to land the more eye catching blows. Still, many thought Vasquez deserved to win despite being knocked down in round 2. Vasquez displayed the better classical boxing skills and set up combinations behind his jab. The more consistent Victor punched through Osnel’s guard while the more explosive Osnel punched around Victor’s. Osnel’s ability to counter punch and move in and out of range while being defensively responsible improved as the fight went on. On the other hand, Vasquez punched utilizing his body weight while Charles often threw arm shots. In the end it was too close to call with any certainty but SB scored the fight for Vasquez. A rematch would be a must-see event.

4. Miguel Cartagena [113.5 lbs] TKO2 Miguel Robles [118 lbs] (2:31)

As previously disclosed, Cartagena (11-0) blitzed Robles (12-3-2) inside 2 rounds. Robles won the first round by landing overhand rights that rocked Cartagena but when Cartagena returned fire in round 2 Robles could not hang. Thus the crowd erupted and “No Fear” Cartagena emerged victorious. He’s a prospect to watch.

5. Eric Hunter [125.5 lbs] UD10 Yenifel Vicente [125.5 lbs] (97-93, 97-93, 99-91)

And finally there was the main event, also previously detailed. Hunter (17-3), now the USBA featherweight champion, appeared to outbox Vicente (25-2-2) apart from rounds 1, 3, and 4 where Vicente manhandled him. Hunter often switched between orthodox and southpaw stances and seemed more comfortable boxing on the inside. Later Hunter decided to switch up during round 7 and danced circles around Vicente with his hands down, which greatly concerned Hunter’s fans as Vicente was often inches away from landing a bomb. But the bombs did not land and Hunter put another round in the bank with clean punching. In the next round (8) Vicente was hurt by a right hook and got on his bicycle. He was unable to resume his aggressiveness until midway through round 9 and was unable to sustain it through round 10. Team Vicente apparently thought their man did enough to win, and one member of the press reportedly had it a draw, but the decision was not controversial as far as the Philadelphia was concerned.

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Ryan Bivins is the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame.

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Ringside results from Sands Bethlehem: Glazkov beats down Adamek, possibly into retirement   Leave a comment

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Bethlehem, PA (March 15, 2014) – It was a long night at the Sands Casino Resort for fighters and spectators alike, but one filled with excitement and surprises. In the main event rising heavyweight contender Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov upset former light heavyweight / cruiserweight world champion Tomasz “Goral” Adamek. Glazkov’s longer and consistent jab allowed him to control distance and set up right hands. But the jabs alone were enough to declare Glazkov a rightful winner. Adamek’s right eye was noticeably swelling as early as round 3 and his defense never got any better. By round 4 Adamek’s nose was bleeding. Things didn’t really start getting better for Adamek until Glazkov’s output started to fade in round 10. Adamek deserved an ‘A’ for effort in the final quarter of the fight but even those rounds were debatable. The official scorecards were generous to the 37 year old former champion, whose dreams of becoming a world heavyweight champion were likely dashed.  Adamek said he didn’t know whether or not he would continue his career.

On the other hand, the 29 year old Glazkov lifted the IBF North American heavyweight title and earned himself a #2 rating in the IBF. Promoter Kathy Duva later revealed during the post-fight press conference that this should put Glazkov at the front of the line for an IBF world title shot once Wladimir Klitschko makes a mandatory defense against #1 contender Kubrat Pulev, assuming Klitschko gets by WBO mandatory Alex Leapai first.

In the NBCSN televised co-feature light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba shined against Denis Grachev, walking through fire at times to do so. Chilemba was the far more polished boxer and virtually pitched a shutout but did so without being overly defensive minded like in previous, less exciting performances. This allowed the incredibly tough and relentless Grachev to have a few fight-changing moments, if Chilemba didn’t have sturdy chin. But as it turned out, Chilemba took punishment as well as he dished it out. He’s made strides under the tutelage of trainer Buddy McGirt and is arguably the best light heavyweight in the world without a belt today.

In the true co-feature of the night, from a geographical standpoint, former welterweight world champion Kermit Cintron outboxed a game Ronald Cruz in a competitive fight. According to Compubox, Cintron merely had a 2-punch connect advantage (154 to 152) but he was the clear winner to anyone that wasn’t a raging Cruz fan. Cintron controlled Cruz from range with a jab, whipped right hands around/through/over Cruz’s guard, and checked Cruz with left hooks as he moved in. Cruz landed some pretty tasty overhand rights and left hooks of his own, which sent the crowd in an uproar, but Cintron was never physically buckled or mentally folded (something he’s often been criticized of doing in the past). Cruz has lost to worse fighters than Cintron before, but he looked poor on those nights. Perhaps his true level is just more obvious now, but it seemed like Cruz performed to the best of his abilities. The rest of the world can cast their own judgment when NBC Sports Network gets around to broadcasting the fight.

In any event Cintron’s comeback should be taken more seriously now. His reformed training team consisting of Javan “Sugar” Hill and Joseph Pastore (recently interviewed) appears to be working out. Stay tuned as Cintron likely makes his last run at a welterweight world title.

The remainder of the card consisted of a three round barnburner, an eight round mismatch, and two shady draws (one in particular). Nonetheless the event was sold out success for Main Events and Peltz Boxing.

Complete Results:

1. Nathaniel Rivas [148 lbs] TKO3 Terrell James [146 lbs] (2:37)

In the opening bout of the evening welterweight prospect Rivas (2-0) survived a first round assault from James (1-1-1) to take him out a few rounds later. James busted Rivas’ mouth open with sharp jabs and inside power shots but Rivas weathered the storm and practically had James out on his feet by the end of the round. Referee Shawn Clark was close to calling a knockdown or stopping the fight then and there but made several judgment calls that allowed James to make it to the end of round 3. Despite taking a brutal beating, James stayed on his feet and kept firing back (with some success) until the very end.

2. Jerome Rodriguez [140 lbs] D6 Brandon Williams [133.5 lbs] (55-59, 58-57, 57-57)

In a pairing of unbeaten prospects, Rodriguez (6-0-2) was very fortunate to pick up another draw against Williams (3-0). Williams, a natural junior lightweight from out of town, appeared to clearly outbox Williams, a natural junior welterweight from nearby Allentown. But apparently judges Julie Lederman (who scored it even) and Ron McNair (who had it for Rodriguez) saw otherwise. Rodriguez didn’t win a single round clearly but all three judges agreed that Williams won rounds 1 and 5. Promoter Russell Peltz and SB agreed that Rodriguez had his best moments in the third when his defense and punch selection overcame the speed and output of Williams. The round was highlighted by Rodriguez sending Williams’ mouthpiece flying.

But apart from that it was truly the Brandon Williams show. When he wasn’t walking Rodriguez down he was boxing circles around him. He was too fast, too slick, and too busy for anyone to reasonably suggest that the plodding Rodriguez had the better of the action. Overall the only advantage Rodriguez had in the fight was keeping a tighter defense. Williams kept his hands down a little too often.

3. Karl Dargan [135.5 lbs] UD8 Chazz McDowell [142 lbs] (80-72, 80-72, 80-72)

Unsurprisingly this was the one total mismatch on the card. When in shape the already limited McDowell (6-4-1) is a super featherweight. For this fight he initially weighed in at 144.5 lbs before losing a few for a secondary weigh-in. “Dynamite” Dargan (14-0), on the other hand, is an ultra-talented natural lightweight that came in top shape. The only thing people were unsure of going into this bout was whether or not Dargan would get the stoppage. McDowell was hurt on multiple occasions but Dargan, a natural counter puncher, let him off the hook.

4. Kermit Cintron [148 lbs] UD10 Ronald Cruz [148 lbs] (96-94, 96-94, 96-94)

All 3 judges curiously scored this bout exactly the same giving Cintron (34-5-2) rounds 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10. Giving Cruz (20-2) round 6 was a no-brainer as it was his best round all night. Giving him rounds 2 and 3 were debatable decisions. Giving him round 7, where he was ineffective throughout and stunned at the end, was simply a bad call. Then again, one could suggest the same of round 9 (arguably Cruz’s 2nd best stanza of the fight). Cruz found his best fan support yet in the 9th as he traded bombs with Cintron and landed the biggest ones. Russell Peltz and SB scored the round for Cruz, making a 5-5 scorecard feasible given our combined opinions with the official judges. On the other hand a 9-1 Cintron scorecard also becomes feasible. Such are the possibilities when scoring a close fight using the 10-point must system.

5. Isaac Chilemba [174.6 lbs] UD10 Denis Grachev [175.2 lbs] (100-90, 99-91, 99-91)

Compubox noted that Chilemba (21-2-2) landed 13 jabs per round, more than double the division norm. Incidentally Grachev (13-2-1) landed less than 3. One judge was kind enough to give Grachev round 7 while another gave him round 8 (where he actually had his moments). Grachev’s nose was bleeding by round 2 and he was cut outside of his left eye by round 5. Chilemba landed jabs, rights, hooks, and uppercuts at will. Grachev landed a few big overhand rights and left hooks.

6. Vyacheslav Glazkov [218.3 lbs] UD12 Tomasz Adamek [219.7 lbs] (117-110, 117-111, 116-112)

At the end of the night at least 2 judges gave rounds 1, 2, 10, and 12 to Adamek (49-2) with Glazkov (16-0-1) sweeping rounds 3-9 and 11. SB saw no clear rounds for Adamek and only gave him the 12th. However, opinions varied greatly. Apparently NBCSN’s unofficial judge Larry Hazzard saw a very different fight. He thought Adamek won rounds 1-3, 7, and 10-12? (didn’t see a graphic for the 12th). Then the rest of the NBCSN commentary team consisting of Kenny Rice, BJ Flores, and Steve Cunningham also thought the fight could have gone either way. The crowd (very pro Adamek) agreed.

While scoring is indeed subjective, there is absolutely no legitimate case that Adamek won round 3 (outlanded 21-9 according to Compubox). Give Adamek all of the benefits of the doubt in the world; he did not win this fight. The same man who thought that he clearly beat Steve Cunningham in 2012 admitted defeat on this night. What more needs to be said?

Oh yea, there is the subject of the 117-110 scorecard by Julie Lederman. She scored round 8 for Glazkov, 10-8. Adamek was not dropped but he was wobbled by a right hand that landed around the ear as he dipped. Perhaps Lederman was making up for awarding Adamek the first 2 rounds…

7. Luis Acevedo [122 lbs] D4 Josh Crespo [122 lbs] (37-39, 38-38, 38-38)

In the walkout bout of the evening debutant super bantamweight Acevedo was lucky to draw with Crespo (1-1-1). Acevedo didn’t clearly win a round but the last 2 were close. He was was rocked early and late in round 1 and spent most of round 2 in survival mode. Bombs were traded more evenly in the final rounds. It wasn’t highway robbery but the Bethlehem native certainly received a break. Be that as it may, both fighters fought well enough to want to see them again.

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Ryan Bivins is the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame.

Ringside results from Sheet Metal Workers Hall: Pooh Ennis returns sharp following 14 month layoff   Leave a comment

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Philadelphia, PA (March 14, 2014) – Derek “Pooh” Ennis showed little signs of ring rust as he cruised past Emil Gonzalez in the main event of a usually competitive 6 bout fight-card. One judge found a round to give to Gonzalez, likely the third, while the other two scored it a shutout. Ennis was simply too fast and too tricky for Gonzalez to figure out. Gonzalez could occasionally land arm punches but managed little utilizing his body weight. On the other hand Ennis loaded up frequently but most of the big shots were at least partially deflected. Here’s what Ennis had to say after the fight:

In the co-feature Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster had a tougher than anticipated time against journeyman Lester Gonzalez. The crowd vehemently booed the majority decision verdict in favor of Webster but most of the scorecards were reasonable. Webster later informed SB that he had to fight most of the contest with 1 hand due to injury.

Three of the four remaining fights were competitive and 2 of them were very entertaining. A crowd of well over 1000 fans were extremely vocal. It was a good night for Cool Boxing Promotions, billed Revolution “The Legacy Continues.”

Complete results:

1. Ricardo Caraballo [110 lbs] UD4 Jose Garcia [113.5 lbs] (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

In the opening bout of the evening junior flyweight prospect Caraballo walked debutant Garcia down, usually without jabbing / in a wide stance / while leaning over his front leg, and punished him with power shots. Obviously Caraballo was there to be hit, and Garcia did in fact connect when he let his hands go, but Garcia was severely gun shy apart from round 1. Caraballo won easier as the fight went on and looked fluid by the finish. His record improved to 1-1.

2. Damon Allen [139.5 lbs] UD6 Hector Marengo [141 lbs] (58-55, 58-55, 59-54)

Lightweight prospect “Baby” Dame, up against the most experienced opponent of his pro career, was given a stern test but clearly passed. Marengo had his moments throughout the entirety of the bout (particularly with right hands) but could only really claim victory in the first and final rounds. The scorecards seem to suggest that all 3 judges scored one of the rounds 10-8 Allen despite no knockdowns. Most likely that was round 4 (where Marengo’s legs buckled from a right hand and Allen followed up with a flurry). Ironically prior to Marengo getting clipped, he was having one of his best rounds. The fight gradually shifted from outside boxing to infighting from there onward.  Allen’s record advanced to 6-0.

3. Milton Santiago Jr [143.5 lbs] UD4 William Lorenzo [143.5 lbs] (40-36, 39-37, 40-36)

Junior welterweight prospect Santiago was given a tough third fight against the durable and relentless Lorenzo, a veteran of 17 pro fights. Santiago ripped Lorenzo with hooks and uppercuts throughout the bout but Lorenzo never stopped coming forward and throwing back. Lorenzo had his best moments in round 3 when he landed heavy body shots but was outboxed otherwise. Santiago took control using superior footwork, shorter punches, and faster combinations. It may have been a shutout, but it was still a war, and probably not something a 17 year old should be subjected to. Nonetheless Santiago progressed to 3-0 and entertained a packed crowd.

4. Derrick Webster [167 lbs] MD6 Lester Gonzalez [165.5 lbs] (58-56, 59-55, 57-57)

From the jump middleweight prospect Webster imitated his mentor Roy Jones Jr and out classed his opponent with the jab alone. Webster jabbed for accuracy, not consistency, and moved in and out of range at will. Well, at least that’s what happened in rounds 1 and 3. Gonzalez effectively broke through Webster’s defenses with straight and overhands lefts in rounds 2 and 4.  Webster spent half of round 4 posturing and baiting Gonzalez to hit him…and Gonzalez obliged.  And that’s when the crowd turned on Webster. Webster didn’t offer any notable offense from there on but it was apparently lost to the masses that Gonzalez was no longer effective with his aggressiveness. The fight could have been scored 4-2 in either direction. It just so happens that the local and undefeated fighter got the nod. Webster notched his 16th straight win and picked up an IBS National super middleweight title, whatever the hell that is. Webster hopes to add a USBA title to his belt collection as early as April, which would give him a solid rating in the IBF.

5. Derek Ennis [159.6 lbs] UD6 Emil Gonzalez [158.6 lbs] (60-54, 59-55, 60-54)

As alluded to previously, former USBA light middleweight champion Ennis dazzled with his ability to slip, pick off, and fire back shots. In contrast Gonzalez mostly struggled to get off. Each fighter fought in spots, but Gonzalez’s spots were hard to come by outside of round 3. Both combatants were adept defensively and thus a chess match unfolded. The faster and more versatile fighter emerged victorious. Ennis improved to 24-4-1. After taking only 4 fights in the last 3 years, Pooh plans to fight regularly once again. But has his window to become a world champion already closed after a 12 year career? Time will tell, and probably soon.

6. Seifullah Jihad Wise [140.5 lbs] UD4 James Gooding [144.5 lbs] (39-37, 39-37, 40-36)

The night’s walkout bout was far from pretty but extremely competitive. Half of the rounds could have gone either way.  The local fighter Wise, making his pro debut, certainly worked harder, but the cleaner and more effective work came from Gooding. Had Gooding kept up the good work he delivered in round 3 he probably wouldn’t have another loss right now. Unfortunately he decided it was a better idea to pose like a basketball player in the final stanza. When SB later caught up with Gooding and asked why he seemingly gave the fight away, he said he thought it was already in the bag. A visiting fighter with a 1-4-1 record should know better.

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Ryan Bivins is the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame.