Archive for May 2014

Ringside results from Sheet Metal Workers Hall: Derrick Webster “takes it to the bank” for the 17th time   Leave a comment

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Philadelphia, PA (May 30, 2014) – Originally scheduled for the co-main event, Derrick Webster (16-0, 8 KOs) vs Michael Gbenga (19-13, 19 KOs) was bumped up to the top of the bill when Derek Ennis vs Lester Gonzalez was cancelled mid-show due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Seifullah Jihad Wise vs Glenn Dezurn was apparently pulled for the same reason(s). Unofficially (because SB didn’t get anyone to state it on record) the fights were effectively called off due to inadequate ticket sales by “Pooh” Ennis and Jihad Wise. House fighters Ennis and Wise were contractually obligated to meet quota or take a pay cut. But rather than fighting for less they chose not to fight at all. Their opponents were paid regardless.

Subsequently an 8-bout card was reduced to 6 and “Take it to the Bank” Webster got a little extra shine:

Webster outboxed Gbenga from range behind an accurate jab and defended himself well during the occasional Gbenga surge. Gbenga made it ugly and won a few questionable rounds in the eyes of the judges but his ineffective aggression wasn’t enough to secure a victory. Webster was rightfully awarded a unanimous decision by dominating in the clean punching and defense categories. Ring generalship and effective aggression were debatable, but 90% of scoring is clean punching anyways.

In any event Webster will move on to bigger fights, likely to be televised nationwide. Perhaps you’ll see him on an upcoming ShoBox.

In the chief supporting bout of the evening Nelson Acevedo (1-0, 1 KO) ran over Jose Garcia (0-1) in 1 round. Garcia barely lasted the full 3 minutes and immediately retired in his corner.

The remainder of the card involved 3 decisions, 1 TKO, and typical questionable judging/refereeing. But first a 10 count and tribute for the late, great Matthew Saad Muhammad was given. Saad Muhammad was an action hero, a former WBC light heavyweight champion, and one of Philly’s most decorated pugilists.

Later, Cool Boxing Promotions continued their thoughtful gestures by honoring Danny Garcia as the first Latino world boxing champion from Philadelphia. Garcia expects to make the last defense of his junior welterweight crown on July 26th or August 2nd before departing for the welterweight division.

The remainder of the “Rumble on Columbus Blvd.” card is detailed below.  Replays by GFL.TV are also available.

Complete Results:

1. Imani Bell [267.5] SD4 Ashwin Trails [244.5] (39-37, 37-39, 40-36)

Press row generally agreed that Trails (debut) deserved the victory. He outboxed Bell (1-0) in an ugly, overweight fight. The only thing that truly betrayed Trails was his body language. Aside from the final round it was clear who landed the majority of the clean punches (not Bell). Trails often dipped down and tied Bell up to limit his offense but Bell didn’t do anything about it until the final round. Bell’s increased output in round 4 should have been too little, too late. Trails’ jab controlled the first 3 rounds. Both had moments with power shots.

Note: SB has seen Ashwin’s last name spelled “Traile” and “Trail” before. But “Trails” is what the night’s bout sheet had, so…

2. Gilbert Alex Sanchez [152.5] UD4 Juan Aguirre [153] (40-36, 40-36, 40-35)

Round 1 was borderline 10-8 without a knockdown. Sanchez (2-4) blasted Aguirre (6-11-1) in the first half of the fight and used his technical skills in the second half. Aguirre had no answer either way; his jab was weak or non-existent.

3. Saud Clark [145] UD4 William Lorenzo [145] (40-36, 39-37, 39-37)

Clark (2-1-1), admittedly, dodged a bullet in round 2 when he was decked by an overhand left and the ref ruled it a slip. Round 3 was pretty difficult for him as well. When he set the pace in rounds 1 and 4 the fight was much easier. Lorenzo (3-16) was the clear “ring general” in rounds 2 and 3 but was outboxed otherwise. Both fighters raised their hands in victory at the finish but the DSG fighter got the nod (see Danny and Angel Garcia video, discussed earlier).

4. Pedro Andres [131.5] TKO2 Ramir Hilliard [129.5] (1:29)

After a dominant opening round Hilliard (debut) was stunned by an overhand right and a series of hooks in round 2. Upon Hilliard’s second trip to the ropes with his chin in the air and hands astray, the ref jumped in. Hilliard protested the stoppage but he was not adequately defending himself while Andres (0-3) was dropping bombs. Tough break for a pro debut but at least no one was bored and Hilliard can come again.

5. Nelson Acevedo [121.8] RTD1 Jose Garcia [120.3] (3:00)

Garcia (0-1) was floored once by a series of hooks and took a tremendous beating. Then the bell rang and he quit. Acevedo (1-0) is made for TV.

6. Derrick Webster [167] UD6 Michael Gbenga [169.4] (59-55, 59-55, 58-56) 

The unbeaten southpaw Webster probably could have won the fight with only his right hand but did manage to sneak in some left handed power shots, mostly in rounds 3 and 5. Gbenga’s best round was the 4th when Webster was hurt and cut by a head clash. Webster had trouble seeing that round but there was little to choose from on both sides.

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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. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network

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Ringside results from 2300 Arena: Naim Nelson and Joey Dawejko overcome tough opponents   Leave a comment

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Photos by Darryl Cobb

Philadelphia, PA (May 16, 2014) – Boxing returned to the former ECW Arena in South Philly, now known as 2300 Arena (aptly named for its location at 2300 S. Swanson Street), for a well-matched 8 bout card (courtesy of matchmakers/promoters Brittany Rogers and J Russell Peltz).

In the main event Naim Nelson (11-0, 1 KO) used his conditioning and determination to out-hustle Jerome Rodriguez (6-0-3, 2 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout. Rodriguez had never fought past 6 rounds before while Nelson once went 10 when he won the PA state lightweight title. Rodriguez showed superior technique when he let his hands go but was ultimately overwhelmed. Nonetheless, cases were made that the fight could have gone either way. That, however, may depend on which parts of the fight that people actually saw.

Like the esteemed boxing writers polled in the above video, SB cannot produce a scorecard with a high level of confidence. You want one anyway? Fine. SB scored the fight 3-2-3, aka 78-77, for Nelson. Thanks to Gregory Sirb, the executive director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, writers have been banned from ringside since the start of 2014. Usually at low-key shows such as this, there was no “press row.” Writers just sat next to all of the other super-important people ringside, like the half-naked women holding large pieces of cardboard.

But “no biggie.” As long as all relevant parties were made aware of the change, table(s) could be set up in front of the first row of the general audience.

Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Promoters have been left out of the loop and tables are still being set up haphazardly at local shows nearly halfway into the year.

Such is boxing.

Moving on, Joey Dawejko (9-3-2, 3 KOs) outpointed Mark Rideout (4-0-2, 1 KO) in a heavyweight co-feature (rematch from the amateurs with the same result). In the words of top heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (who hopes his fight with Mike Perez will be rescheduled for July), “they both went out there and put it all on the line. They did it for their city.” Dawejko’s weapons of choice were mostly left hooks, overhand rights and jabs while Rideout worked jabs and straight right hands (without regularity). Dawejko claimed after the fight that Rideout had bit him in one of the later rounds, but the two were friendly once the fight ended. Dawejko even offered sparring down the line.

As for the rest of the card, there were 4 knockdowns and 1 knockout with plenty of bombs exchanged. Ironically the only stoppage of the evening came in a fight that didn’t involve any knockdowns. Details follow.

Complete Results:

1. Hector Perez [214 lbs] TKO3 Aaron Leonard [215.5 lbs] (0:23)

Perez (1-0) and Leonard (1-2-1) traded vicious left hooks in the opening round with Perez additionally landing overhand rights. Perez bringing the right over the top remained key throughout the bout until a barrage with both hands early in round 3 finished things off. Leonard took the punches well but was not defending himself properly, thus the referee jumped in.

2. Nathaniel Rivas [147.5 lbs] UD4 Jovan Sosa [145 lbs] (38-35, 38-35, 38-35)

Rivas (3-0) dropped Sosa (2-0) twice in the opening round and once again in the second. Rivas had the speed advantage but Sosa was tough and better conditioned. Sosa’s pressure and uppercuts won him the final 2 rounds but it wasn’t enough to offset the knockdowns. Things could have ended very differently in an 8 rounder. Round for round this all-action war was the best fight on the card.

3. Milton Santiago [143.2 lbs] UD6 Josh Beeman [146 lbs] (59-55, 60-54, 59-55)

Santiago (4-0) had a mildly competitive fight with Beeman (5-16-4). Beeman was defensively responsible throughout but offered limited offense back. Santiago was more fluid with better timing and heavier hands. Santiago ran into some trouble during periods of languishing on the ropes, where he got a little too cute, but he didn’t do it very often. Beeman did his best work in the final round, which still could have gone either way.

4. Anthony Burgin [135.6 lbs] UD6 Ray Ellis [137.8 lbs] (59-55, 59-55, 59-55)

“Bad Boy” Burgin (6-0) more or less dominated the bout, probably, apart from getting buckled by Ellis (4-10-2) in round 2 via a left hook. Why probably? Well, the fighters were roughly the same build, with the same skin complexion, and nearly wore the same outfit. Sitting as far away as press did, things got confusing…

Nonetheless, among punches that landed where the victim was obvious, Ellis took most of the worst of them. His head was snapped back by hooks off jabs in round 1, overhands rights in round 4, and he was hurt by an uppercut to the body in round 5. Ellis took a bad beating in the 5th and nearly lost it 10-8 without a knockdown but recovered and at least tried to close strong in the 6th and final round.

5. Joey Dawejko [240.8 lbs] UD8 Mark Rideout [238 lbs] (78-74, 79-73, 79-73)

6. Naim Nelson [139.6 lbs] UD8 Jerome Rodriguez [140.2 lbs] (79-73, 80-72, 77-75)

Clarification: this was Naim’s first headliner in Philadelphia. He previously headlined shows at Chester and Valley Forge.

Press row scores were as follows:

John DiSanto – Rodriguez by 1

Jack Obermeyer – Nelson (didn’t score but called it really close)

Jake Kaplan – Nelson (agreed with Jack)

William Holmes – Draw (unsure who won, stated with colorful commentary)

Ken Hissner – Draw (just as he predicted, apparently)

Ryan Bivins – Nelson by 1 (not that his opinion matters…)

George Hanson – Nelson by 4 (not on video; he didn’t sit with the rest of us…)

7. David Gonzales [142.8 lbs] UD4 Omar Brito [142 lbs] (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

“2 Gunz” Gonzales (4-0) dominated Brito (2-1) from start to finish, often with potshots. He was simply a much sharper fighter. Brito, however, was tough and determined and lasted the full distance.

8. Vincent Floyd [158.5 lbs] UD4 Sharif Jones [160 lbs] (40-35, 39-36, 39-36)

Although the official judges disagreed, the only difference in the fight appeared to be the right hook that dropped Jones (debut) in round 1. Stylistically Floyd (0-0-1), a tall southpaw, gave Jones problems. Floyd out-boxed Jones from range without much difficulty until the range disappeared in the second half of the fight. Jones out-mauled Floyd in the final 2 rounds. Nonetheless, the right man won.

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Now back to BY…

Bryant Jennings vs Mike Perez is likely headed to July 26 at Madison Square Garden, as long as Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Geale happens in the main event. The WBA mandated that Golovkin must defend his title against Jarrod Fletcher next but team Golovkin is currently petitioning for an extension to allow for the Geale fight. HBO has booked GGG for July 26 and will approve Geale as an opponent, but not Fletcher. Gary Shaw promotes both Jennings and Geale.

And finally to wrap things up…

“Nelson vs Rodriguez” is available on demand at GFL.TV and will eventually air on Comcast Sports Network. Check it out to get a better visual view than what this writer saw. However, SB cannot speak for whatever commentary analysis you may/may not hear…

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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. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network

Ringside results from Harrah’s Philadelphia: Dhafir Smith dominant despite ring rust   Leave a comment

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Philadelphia, PA (May 9, 2014) – In a night filled with mishaps inside and outside of the ring, “Dangerous” Dhafir “No Fear” Smith (26-24-7) pitched a shutout in his first fight in over a year against Brian “The Wildman” Donahue (2-8-2). Smith started slowly, just pumping the jab and circling away, but incorporated more left hooks and right hands as the fight progressed. By the final round Smith was rocking Donahue and backing him up. Donahue often dropped his hands and showboated after Smith caught him with good shots, playing to the crowd, but never returned with big shots of his own. It was an easy fight to score; all 3 judges had it 60-54 for Smith across the board.

Predictable result aside, the bigger story, perhaps, is how Smith-Donahue came to be the main event in the first place. Originally Donahue was set to face Anthony Ferrante (12-6), then Lamont Singletary (6-1), and then Anthony Caputo Smith (15-2, who pulled out a few days before fight night). Caputo Smith was originally expected to headline against Pedro Martinez for the PA state heavyweight title, but that fight ironically fell apart over weight restrictions. A few weeks before the event team Martinez denied knowledge of a weight limit, 215 lbs supposedly, and told team Caputo Smith that they’d find out what he’s going to weigh on the scales. Team Caputo Smith balked and thus the fight was off. Why Caputo Smith turned down Donahue is another story.

So when Caputo Smith could not be convinced to fight, Joey Eye Boxing and XFE promotions turned to a man that had previously taken him to school. Enter Dhafir Smith, a light heavyweight absent from a sanctioned match for 13 months. Due to the gap in experience/success between the fighters, “No Fear” didn’t mind fighting a cruiserweight on 4 days notice. Despite the layoff Smith was in training camps all over the world with world class fighters. Thus his conditioning was not an issue for a 6-rounder. Smith, nearly a 60 fight veteran and also a trainer now, still eyes a world title run before his in-ring career is over. Hopefully he gets the opportunity to do so and the fortune to be treated fairly by judges.

The undercard saw 2 pro fights and 3 exhibitions, at least 2 of which were more legit than 1 of the pro fights. William Harris (0-2) treated his match with Antonio DuBose (4-0) more like pro wrestling than boxing and was consequently disqualified in the first round. Fortunately Harris was the only fighter on the card to fight without integrity.

Unfortunately officials were just as disgraceful in the previous fight. In no universe did Roberto Irizarry (1-0-1) shutout Benjamin Burgos (1-6-1), yet that’s what 2 judges scorecards read. Burgos battered and bullied Irizarry around the ring in round 1, seemed to have clearly knocked Irizarry down with a right hand in round 2, appeared to hurt Irizarry to the body in round 3, and simply outworked Irizarry in round 4. Scorecards could have read 40-35 Burgos, yet Burgos only won a single round between all 3 scorecards. That round was probably the 1st as 2 through 4 were competitive and the judges can’t be faulted for the referee ruling a knockdown a slip.

Such is boxing. But at least the fight actually happened. Anthony Prescott vs Tyrell Boggs and Patrick O’Connor vs Aaron Bratton, both on the official bout sheet, did not. Boggs and O’Connor simply didn’t show up. Boggs didn’t even weigh-in.

Complete Results:

1. Chris Valle EX3 Tony Cervantes

25 year old Cervantes took it easy on 16 year old Valle.

2. Francisco Cruz EX3 Jim Scully

The fighters traded bombs with the more fit Cruz getting the better of it.

3. Josue Rivera EX3 Kevin Ayala

Rivera nearly KOed Ayala accidentally and was instructed to ease up even further.

4. Roberto Irizarry [126] UD4 Benjamin Burgos [126] (39-37, 40-36, 40-36)

While the introduction was a bit harsh on Irizarry, he did in fact put forth a spirited effort and may have landed the best single shots of the fight. Round 2 was fairly even bar the “slip,” filled with violent exchanges. Irizarry closed round 3 with a huge left hook that arguably could have stolen the round. And Irizarry landed a big overhand right early in round 4. Nonetheless the taller Burgos was more consistent, conventional, and subsequently accurate from start to finish.

5. Antonio DuBose [130] DQ1 Williams Harris [134] (2:15)

Harris lost a point for hitting during the break then was disqualified moments later for putting DuBose in a headlock and “DDTing” him to the canvas.

6. Dhafir Smith [187] UD6 Brian Donahue [192] (60-54, 60-54, 60-54)

Perhaps the most interesting moment of the fight was when Smith busted his right glove open in round 4 and had to get it replaced. Donahue used the timeout to rejuvenate and attacked wildly when the action resumed, but nearly got tossed out of the ring for his troubles.

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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. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network

May 2014 – Strawweight Update   Leave a comment

Eduardo Martinez debuts in the rankings following an upset win over Jesus Silvestre (3). Silvestre departs due to the loss and being well over the weight class limit.

On another note, what the **** happened with Ali Raymi? He broke the all-time 1st round KO streak in 2013 and then vanished. He may be the modern day Billy Fox…

1)      Katsunari Takayama

2)      Hekkie Budler

3)      Oswaldo Novoa

4)      Xiong Zhao Zhong

5)      Denver Cuello

6)      Wanheng Menayothin

7)      Francisco Rodriguez Jr

8)      Eduardo Martinez

9)      Carlos Buitrago

10)   Merlito Sabillo

Waiting in the Wings: Ali Raymi, Mateo Handig, Shin Ono

Fight Schedule:

2014-05-16 Carlos Buitrago vs Alcides Martinez

2014-05-16 Xiong Zhao Zhong vs Roilo Golez

2014-06-21 Hekkie Budler vs Pigmy Kokietgym

May 2014 – Junior Flyweight Update   Leave a comment

With Kazuto Ioka (3) and John Riel Casimero (4) departing for flyweight, filling the void at 108 was difficult to say the least. Ultimately it was decided that Rey Loreto and Raul Garcia should get in. Loreto got in on the strength of his back-to-back victories over former world champions Pornsawan Porpramook and Nkosinathi Joyi. Garcia essentially got in based on a tight split decision loss to Pedro Guevara (6) back in 2013. You could make a case for anyone in the “Waiting in the Wings” section to replace Guevara. Perennial interim WBA champion Alberto Rossel would have got the nod if his 2013 “victory” over Jose Alfredo Zuniga wasn’t such a blatant robbery.

But enough about who fills out the lower half of the top 10. Donnie Nietes (1) and Moises Fuentes (2) have a rematch this weekend to settle the score (first fight ended in a draw). That fight was outstanding and you should expect as much from the sequel. However, the winner will still not be the clear best in the division as Naoya Inoue has looked unstoppable as of late, albeit against inferior fighters. The most recent victim was Adrian Hernandez (5). Hernandez may have had the most dubious run of WBC title defenses in the history of the sport…

1)      Donnie Nietes

2)      Moises Fuentes

3)      Naoya Inoue

4)      Pedro Guevara

5)      Ganigan Lopez

6)      Adrian Hernandez

7)      Mario Rodriguez

8)      Ramon Garcia Hirales

9)      Rey Loreto

10)   Raul Garcia

Waiting in the Wings: Paipharob Kokietgym, Jose Alfredo Zuniga, Alberto Rossel, Takuma Inoue, Nkosinathi Joyi, Benezer Alolod, Felix Alvarado

Fight Schedule:

2014-05-10 Donnie Nietes vs Moises Fuentes II

2014-05-14 Benezer Alolod vs Jerson Mancio

May 2014 – Flyweight Update   Leave a comment

With his upset victory over Kazuto Ioka, Amnat Ruenroeng crashes the rankings and forces Juan Carlos Reveco (10) out. Ioka has a win over the lineal champion of the division (Akira Yaegashi, back when both competed at strawweight) but will not rate in the top 10 at this time. The 2 division world champion Ioka is certainly good enough to defeat multiple fighters in the current top 10, but he’ll probably have to do it in order to rate there.

Meanwhile, Estrada-Segura and Yaegashi-Gonzalez super fights are brewing. Unfortunately there’s no indication high-end boxing networks will pick them up. So the casual boxing fan will probably miss yet another great fight thanks to weight class discrimination.

1)      Juan Francisco Estrada

2)      Roman Gonzalez

3)      Akira Yaegashi

4)      Brian Viloria

5)      Edgar Sosa

6)      Giovani Segura

7)      Amnat Ruenroeng

8)      Moruti Mthalane

9)      Hernan Marquez

10)   Luis Concepcion

Waiting in the Wings: Kazuto Ioka, Rey Megrino, Froilan Saludar, Nawaphon Por Chokchai, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Milan Melindo, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Moruti Mthalane, Wilbert Uicab, Ryo Miyazaki, Zou Shiming, Roberto Domingo Sosa, Jether Oliva, Juan Carlos Reveco, John Riel Casimero

Fight Schedule:

2014-05-10 Milan Melindo vs Martin Tecuapetla

2014-05-14 Rey Megrino vs Ernesto Saulong

2014-05-24 Jether Oliva vs Armando dela Cruz

2014-06-06 Juan Carlos Reveco vs TBA

2014-07-19 Brian Viloria vs TBA

2014-07-19 Zou Shiming vs TBA

2014-xx-xx Juan Francisco Estrada vs Giovani Segura

2014-xx-xx Akira Yaegashi vs Roman Gonzalez

May 2014 – Junior Bantamweight Update   Leave a comment

Due to Nobuo Nashio (8) retiring, again, David Sanchez was able to fill the void in the ratings. It was a tough call deciding between Sanchez and Arthur Villanueva, but Sanchez was chosen based off doing better work more recently.

Moving right along, let’s focus on the title fights involving the top 3 fighters in the division this month. Long reigning kingpin Omar Narvaez is taking another soft touch while Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai will do battle in a must-see war. Narvaez is the oldest super flyweight world champion of all time and his skills are a marvel to behold. But how long can he sit at the top without fighting serious threats? Should the Srisaket-Cuadras winner supplant him? Tune in for the next ratings update…

1)      Omar Andres Narvaez

2)      Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

3)      Carlos Cuadras

4)      Zolani Tete

5)      Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr.

6)      Daiki Kameda

7)      Kohei Kono

8)      Oleydong Sithsamerchai

9)      Felipe Orucuta

10)   David Sanchez

Waiting in the Wings: Arthur Villanueva, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Toshiyuki Igarashi

Fight Schedule:

2014-05-17 Omar Andres Narvaez vs Antonio Garcia

2014-05-24 David Sanchez vs Breilor Teran

2014-05-31 Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Carlos Cuadras

2014-xx-xx Kohei Kono vs Koki Kameda