Archive for October 2014

Ringside results from Valley Forge Casino: Nelson remains unbeaten; DeAlba extends winning streak   Leave a comment

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Photos by Darryl Cobb

King of Prussia, PA (October 4, 2014) – On a Saturday night at the Valley Forge Casino and Resort, Naim “The Dream” Nelson and Frank Santos DeAlba headlined against stiff opposition with Universal Boxing Federation trinkets on the line. DeAlba (13-1-2, 5 KOs) secured a competitive unanimous decision victory over Jesse Carradine (8-3-2, 4 KOs) while Nelson (12-0, 1 KO) scraped by with a majority draw against “Rockin” Ryan Belasco (18-6-3, 3 KOs). Both Nelson and Belasco thought they did enough to win.

However, while Nelson supporters had no hard feelings toward the draw, the Belasco supporters felt their man was robbed. SB had the fight even as did 2 of the official judges. Rounds 2, 4 & 5 looked clear(ish) for Nelson while rounds 3, 6 & 8 similarly favored Belasco. Rounds 1 and 7 (at the very least) seemed like they could have gone either way. Subsequently a 77-75 card in either direction would appear fair, which one judge had in Belasco’s favor. The other two judges had the fight 76-76. It was a controversial decision, but no robbery.

The undercard was much less controversial. Anthony Prescott and Christian Molina ran over their opponents while Travis Thompson rocked his foe in a majority of rounds. Details of the complete card follow.

  1. Christian Molina [??? lbs] KO1 Josue Rivera [140.2 lbs] (0:50)

Molina (2-0, 1 KO), who apparently missed the initial weigh-in, did not miss Rivera (2-5, 2 KOs) to the body. Rivera crumbled, tried to get back up, and went down again.

  1. Travis Thompson [132.4 lbs] MD4 Benjamin Burgos [127 lbs] (38-38, 39-37, 39-37)

This fight was all about distance. When Thompson (5-11-3, 3 KOs) got close to Burgos (1-8-1) he made it a rough fight. When Burgos could keep Thompson on the outside, he had better success with his jab and 1-2 combinations. But nothing Burgos landed really fazed Thompson, who remained the aggressor throughout. After an opening round with little to choose from, Thompson was able to stun Burgos with overhand rights and hooks for the remaining 3 rounds. Both fighters often leaned in over their front knees and made themselves easy targets.

  1. Anthony Prescott [148 lbs] TKO3 Shawn Sutton [146 lbs] (2:19)

Sutton (0-2-1) simply had no answer for Prescott’s right hands and was consequently dropped by them in each round. Prescott (3-3-2, 1 KO) applied effective pressure for the duration.

  1. Frank DeAlba [129.6 lbs] UD8 Jesse Carradine [129.4 lbs] (76-75, 78-73, 79-72)

In what was originally slated as the main event of the evening, DeAlba extended his winning streak to 12 despite Carradine’s superior hand speed and footwork. DeAlba looked downright lost in the opening round as Carradine boxed circles around him but was able to get under most of the shots of the Vegas based fighter as quickly as round 2. Not only did Carradine’s accuracy drop, but so did his consistency with being first. DeAlba was effective with jabs to the body, hurt Carradine with a left hook to the head in round 3, dropped him with an overhand right in round 5, and stunned him with another overhand in round 8. The knockdown was the difference in the fight on one of the official scorecards. In addition to round 1, a case could be made that Carradine won the 4th, 6th, and 7th stanzas as well. But the cases weren’t that great outside of the first round, making the 7-1 DeAlba scorecard realistic as well. Carradine’s lead rights worked in spots throughout the fight, a text book weapon against southpaws like DeAlba.

  1. Naim Nelson [138.4 lbs] D8 Ryan Belasco [138.8 lbs] (75-77, 76-76, 76-76)

Going into the bout Belasco told the media that Nelson had been on his radar for a year and he sure as hell fought like it. Belasco gave angles, controlled tempo and range, and tied up (perhaps excessively) whenever Nelson worked his way inside. Nelson often followed Belasco around the ring without letting his hands go. Strategically speaking Belasco won the fight, but Nelson’s good defense and superior athleticism and/or conditioning kept the contest very thin. Aside from slipping a jab, rocking back, and landing a sweet counter right hand in round 2, Nelson’s timing was never that good. Belasco picked his spots much better and landed the cleaner shots. Ultimately the referee did Naim no favors but the judges were fair enough. Whether or not there will be a rematch is still up in the air. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s not a must-see sequel.

In addition to the 5 pro bouts, Samuel Berman had a 3-round exhibition with Miguel Martinez. Berman is set to make his pro debut November 22nd at the same venue. He gave a good account of himself in his glorified sparring session with Martinez.

This edition of “War at the Forge” was promoted by King’s Boxing & Peltz Boxing with additional matchmaking by BAM Boxing. GFL.TV broadcasted the fights online.

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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.