Kalvin Henderson returned to
Philly on Friday night and for the second time in a row registered
an impressive TKO victory. Last December, he derailed Upper Darby’s
Brandon Robinson in the “2018 Philly Fight of the Year”. This time,
the Arkansas-based super middleweight dominated and stopped Antowyan
Aikens of Mays Landing in three assertive rounds.
Aikens began the first round well, lashing Henderson with his long
jab. However after about one minute, Kalvin snapped Aikens with a
good right hand, and never looked back. In the second round,
Henderson put Akiens on the floor with a blunt jab. Aikens got up
but a Henderson left hook sent him down again.
With plenty of time on the clock, Henderson continued working his
wounded foe, and before the bell closed the round, he dropped Aikens
with another left. Antowyan stood up for the third time and referee
Benjy Esteves allowed the fight to continue. Henderson resumed, but
time ran out before he could finish off Aikens.
Henderson marched out in the third and dropped twice more. The next
knockdown came from a left and the then a powerful right dropped
Aiken for the fifth time. After this trip, Esteves halted the fight
at 2:14 of round three of the scheduled eight-rounder.
The one-sided victory extended
Henderson’s undefeated streak to 12-0 with 8 KOs. His performance
inspired the matchmaker in all of us, and brought to mind a number
of potentially exciting pairing with local 168-pounders. Given that
Henderson is signed with Marshall Kauffman, we can expect to see
those possible opponents lined up one by one. Aikens lost his third
in a row and went home 13-7-1, 1 KO.
ROBINSON EDGES LEE
In the co-feature bout, super middleweight Brandon Robinson
continued his comeback after falling to Henderson five months ago.
However, unlike his initial return bout in March, which ended with a
quick first round KO, Brandon had his hands full on Friday night.
Robinson’s opponent was the lively and unpredictable DeVaun Lee of
Queens, NY. Robinson opened the bout well, winning the majority of
the three minutes. However as the round neared its end, Lee landed a
stiff right hand that put Brandon on the mat and turned the fight on
a dime. This characterized the fight perfectly.
Every time you thought Robinson was establishing control in the
bout, Lee would explode with his wide and showy shots. It was clear
that Brandon could never get comfortable.
By round three, Lee started landing consistently. The third was
probably the best round of the fight and featured a lot of two-way
action. However, it was Lee who began to put together rounds and
pull into the lead.
As if his orthodox stance wasn’t effective enough, Lee started
switching to lefty in the fourth. Generally he did better as
right-hander, but after five rounds, I had him up four to one.
However, with his back against the wall, Robinson dug deep down the
stretch and after a good sixth, seventh, and eighth, pulled the
score even on my card.
The official judges saw the fight a little differently. John
Gradowski favored Lee 76-75, but he was overruled by David Braslow
(77-75) and Dewey Larosa (77-74). Robinson, 13-2, 9 KOs, escaped
with the win, but this was no easy stepping stone back to a rematch
with Henderson. In fact, after this performance, that rematch
suddenly looks like a bad idea. Lee dropped to 10-6-1, 5 KOs. Let’s
hope we see him again here in Philly.
ALEEM BLOWS OUT ROBLES
Las Vegas featherweight Raeese Akeem, 14-0, 8 KOs, looked deadly in
his scheduled eight-rounder. Aleem jumped right out and knocked down
Ramiro Robles of Mexico, 15-9-2, 9 KOs, three times in the opening
round, en route to scoring a quick TKO. Referee Benjy Esteves waved
the fight to an end at the 1:51 mark. Robles has been in with a
number of good fighters including Jo Diaz, Diego De La Hoya, and
Mark Magsayo, but Robles extended each of them to the limit. That
Aleem won so easily, was impressive.
BAUMGARDNER BLASTS MEZEI
Junior lightweight Alycia Baumgardner, Fremont, OH, 7-1, 5 KOs,
stopped Gabriella Mezei of Romania, 9-18-5, 3 KOs, in the first
round of their scheduled six-rounder. Baumgardner put the Romanian
down with a right to the body. Mezei got up but another hard right
to the midsection froze her in her tracks and referee Chris Riskus
stopped the fight. The time was 1:08 of the first round. This one
felt like a bad match, with Mezei little more than a doe in the
KROLL IMPRESSIVE WITH TKO
Paul “The Punisher” Kroll, 3-0, 3 KOs, lived up to his nickname,
battering the usually durable Vincent Floyd, 4-7-1, 2 KOs, with an
assault in the opening round that prompted referee Benjy Esteves to
halt the bout after just 2:27. Kroll landed a variety of power shots
that hurt Floyd more than once. Finally Kroll pinned the southpaw on
the ropes and fired away until the scheduled six-round welterweight
bout was stopped by the referee. Floyd had never been stopped
before, and although he protested the decision to end the fight, he
offered nothing in return as Kroll ran him over.
UMBERGER BRAWLS TO VICTORY
Philly middleweight crowd-pleaser Ryan Umberger, 2-0, 2 KOs, came
out swinging against Londoner Daryl Fenton, 1-5-1, and scored a
first round TKO. Fenton landed a couple of good shots – especially
one right uppercut – but southpaw Umberger suddenly dropped Fenton
with a left. Fenton gamely leapt to his feet, but Umberger met him
with a right-left combination that floored the Brit again. After the
second knockdown, referee Chris Riskus stopped the fight at 1:34.
DUBOSE DEFEATS JOHNSON
West Philly junior lightweight Antonio DuBose, 11-2-1, 2 KOs,
defeated Wilmington’s Weusi Johnson, 3-12-1, by six-round majority
decision. Johnson is the perfect measuring stick for rising
fighters. If you’re not on your game, he is more than capable of
scoring an upset. Dubose avoided such a setback, but he didn’t have
an easy time doing it.
Johnson’s lanky jab was effective, but Dubose kept grinding and
outworked the spoiler. He did tire however late in the fight which
allowed Johnson to close the gap some. Judge David Braslow scored
the fight a 57-57 draw. Dewey Larosa had it 59-55 for Dubose, and
John Gradowski agreed that Dubose had won, but scored it a bit
closer, 58-56. My score was 58-56 for Dubose, or 4-2 in rounds.
MERCADO UPSETS EVANS
In the opening bout, Mexican junior middleweight Hector Mercado,
3-10, outworked Philly’s LaQuan Evans, 1-1, over four rounds and
took the majority decision by scores of 40-36 (David Braslow), 39-37
(Dewey Larosa) and 38-38 (Rob Rubnitz).
The show was promoted by Kings Promotions and streamed live by the
fledgling broadcast outfit WarfareSports.com. The crowd was
approximately 1,000 strong.