Thomas Mattice, 133 ½,
Cleveland, 15-2-1 (11 KOs), and Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz, 134 ¾, MX
City, 19-1-1 (14 KOs), battled it down to the wire in a ten that
left the audience appreciative of a good fight but wondering who
won. The short, stocky Mexican attacked vigorously, firing body
shots with mean intentions but most of which landed on elbows or the
kidney area. The decidedly bigger Mattice backed up and countered.
This provoked Cruz to mount an even bigger attack in round two.
The flow of constant trading
crested in round three with Cruz having Mattice on the run until he
walked into a straight right lead late in the round that had him
hurt and giving ground to the bell. The fourth became just a bit
more controlled, with Mattice playing matador and the Pitbull trying
to walk him down. The checkers match got even tighter in a decidedly
close fifth, Cruz scoring on the inside, Mattice catching him coming
Thomas widened the playing
field in the sixth by circling wider, as Isaac found it harder to
move inside. But that didn’t stop the Mexican from having his best
round in the seventh. Thomas was outboxing him until Isaac stepped
in sharply with a left hook that had a shaken Mattice stumbling to
get out of the way. Isaac poured it on to the bell, rocking him with
a right. Isaac’s incessant pressure had Thomas merely surviving the
eighth, and it looked like the Mexican would overcome the early
deficit and was on a roll to the finish. Not so! In a punishing
ninth, Mattice stood his ground and gained the upper hand with
return fire, although he was again nailed by one big left hook as he
The tenth was a dramatic finish
fitting of a good contest, with the crowd up as action was heated
throughout. But Cruz was not getting inside, giving an advantage to
the longer punches of Mattice.
His comeback in the final two
rounds after looking like a beaten fighter in the seventh and eighth
would have warranted a close decision to Mattice. But no. With the
crowd collectively holding its breath, ring announcer Thomas Trieber
first announced that Dave Braslow scored it 95-95. OK, one even
card, not completely unbelievable. Now there should be two close
scores for Mattice. But no. Steve Weisfeld and Adam Friscia both had
96-94, a majority win for Cruz! Fellas, you don’t score for
aggressiveness. This is boxing, not MMA. Kidney blows are illegal
and the elbows are not part of the scoring area. Oh well, it was a
good fight. Eric Dali refereed.
LOVE EARNS DECISION
Montana Love, 139 ¾, Cleveland, 13-0-1 (6 KOs), and Jerrico Walton,
140, Houston, 16-1 (7 KOs), also put on a good close fight which
could easily have been stolen but wasn’t. After a tentative first,
the southpaw Love surprised everyone with a sudden inside right hook
and glancing left that put Walton on the canvas! Montana was
cautious, however, and nothing else dramatic happened in the round.
Jerrico got back into the fight beginning the third when he nailed
Montana with a big right lead. A lot of stalking followed until
Walton punctuated the end of the round with a left hook. Love got
wobbled in the fourth when he stepped away from an in-&-out and got
caught by a crisp right.
The second half then strangely
became a mauler, as the solidly built Walton may have felt he could
mug the smoother but slighter Love on the inside. It didn’t work
well but it turned the rest of the contest into a tug of war. Walton
never was able to get his hands going on the inside while Love put
across clean shots when he could get free. In the seventh, Montana
rocked him in this fashion with a right and Walton was now hanging
on in self defense. Not a great contest but physically very rugged.
Fortunately, the judges scored for the boxer, not the wrestler, as
Love won the unanimous verdict, 77-75 from Dave Braslow and Anthony
Lundy, 78-74 from Dewey LaRosa. Ricky Gonzales refereed.
ALEEM ROMPS LOPEZ
Ra’eese Aleem, 122 ¾, LV, 16-0 (10 KOs), had a romp over Adam Lopez,
123, San Antonio, 19-4-2 (9 KOs), in a scheduled eight. Lopez had
better pick opponents who stand in front of him, as he was a deer in
the headlights against the fleet footed and quick handed Aleem.
By the second, Aleem was in complete control and in the fourth, the
game but outgunned Lopez was pouring blood from the nose and getting
hit with everything Ra’eese could imagine to throw when the handlers
mounted the apron and signaled referee Gary Rosato that it was over.
Lopez didn’t make Ra’eese look good; Ra’eese made HIMSELF look good
with a dazzling arsenal of movement and two-handed volleying. The
time was 1:31 of round four.
JACKSON UPSETS COLEMAN
In an attractive pairing of unbeaten, Derrick Colemon, Jr, 154 ¾,
Detroit, 11-1 (8 KOs), was upset in a good, close contest with
Joseph Jackson, 153 ¼, Greensboro, 16-0 (12 KOs), eight. The
square-shouldered Colemon stalked out of a shallow stance while the
more mobile Jackson met him with counters in snappy, brick trading
from the start. Sneak rights won Colemon the first while he added
left hooks to match Jackson’s left hook counters in the second.
After two crackling good rounds, action became more purposeful in
the third. In the fourth, Joseph seemed to be getting the idea that
wide circling would be more effective against the steadily advancing
Going into the fifth, the contest seemed to have settled into a
bitter struggle. Coleman was trying to walk him down but not
terribly effective while Jackson was putting across just enough from
outside. It was dramatic and riveting, but had lost the sparkle of
the first two rounds. But in the sixth, Jackson was gaining momentum
as Colemon lost it. Joseph was picking his punches better from long
range as Derrick trudged after him. The seventh was all Jackson as
Colemon seemed to have nothing left. The cautious Jackson was now
bolder, as he pawed with the left in an attempt to set up payoff
rights. But Derrick came out purposefully for the final round and
appeared back to life before losing steam and allowing Joseph to
bring up the crowd with a rousing finish. Jackson and his corner
leaped in joyous surprise when they heard the verdict. Steve
Weisfeld scored 77-75, Dewey LaRosa 78-74, and Alan Rubenstein
JOHNSON KAYOS GARCIA
The towering and long-limbed Rasheed Johnson, 146 ½, Willow Grove,
7-3 (3 KOs), pretty well walked over stocky Omar Garcia, 143 ¼,
Monterrey, MX, 6-11 (1 KO), in a scheduled six. The Mexican hadn’t a
clue on how to deal with the favorite’s long reach and swung wild
from far too outside. Action ebbed and flowed, mainly dependent on
Johnson. He started ambitiously, then lapsed into sparring.
third he worked the jab well, then poured it on to the bell. In the
fateful fourth, Rasheed started digging the body. A left to the ribs
sent Omar onto the apron under the ropes where he seemed to just
give up for referee Dali’s count, at 2:42.
NEELY WINS HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT
In a crude and rugged heavyweight struggle, Norman Neely, 235 ¾,
Paterson, 6-0 (5 KOs), pounded out a hard earned unanimous decision
over Nicoy Clarke, 213 ¼, Jersey City, 2-6, four. In his first bout
to go the distance, the favorite had his hands full and wasn’t
impressive. The southpaw underdog may have edged the first with
inside left uppercuts as they leaned on each other. Neely decided to
end it in the second with an all-out two hand volley. But he flailed
out of a squared stance and didn’t get enough on the punches even
though he had Nicoy on the run. The action died, then resumed to
close the round, with Clarke doing a mocking dance to his corner to
celebrate his survival.
The third was close, the two leaning on each
other and working inside. Neely made another attempt to finish it at
the start of the final round, having Nicoy virtually running and
stumbling to get out of the way. But the action huffed and puffed to
the final bell. Lindsey Page scored 39-37 while Anthony Lundy and Adam Friscia had it a shutout.
MARTIN TOPS FLOYD
James Martin, 148 ½, Phila., 6-1, looked sharp in a good win over
Vincent Floyd, 148 ¾, Phila., 4-9-1 (2), six. The contest was brisk
throughout with the more compact Martin showing poise and
generalship over the tall and rangy Floyd, a better fighter than his
record looks. Martin took command quickly when a surprise overhand
right push-punched Vincent to the floor in the opening round. Martin
got perfect position on the taller opponent to bombard Vincent with
rights in the second.
Floyd at last got his offense going in the
third, but only paid for it as James took the opportunity to land
snappy rights. Martin established his game quickly in the fourth
with more rights, and then the heated contest began to cool down.
Martin was still sharp in a tame fifth and then tried southpaw and
picked his shots well to close the sixth. Lindsey Page scored 59-54,
Steve Weisfeld and Adam Friscia 60-53.
DIOGO WINS DECISION
Eduardo de Oliveira Guedes Diogo, 115 ¾, Sao Paulo, 2-0 (1), won a
unanimous decision over hard-luck Jerrod Miner, Phila., 114 ¼,
1-10-2 (1), four. Miner put up a good scrap and made the hero work
for his win. Diogo took the action to him and used his slight reach
advantage to drop in rights. In the third, the favorite went for the
finisher but the game Miner is a hard guy to knock out. Jerrod was
punished but hung tough and came back to win the final round when
Diogo seemed to have had enough of him and gave ground. Alan
Rubenstein scored a shutout while Lindsey Page and Anthony Lundy had
Marshall Kauffman is promoting
his brains out! Harkening back to the time when St. Nick’s, Marigold
Gardens, the Blue Horizon and Olympic Auditorium ran weekly cards,
the peripatetic promoter (Kings Prom’ns) on February 14, 2020 ran
his second show in six days! Teamed with Vito Mielnicki (GH3 Prom’ns),
and Art Pelullo (Banner Prom’ns), the show ran at Philadelphia’s
2300 Arena and was carried on ShoBox’ The New Generation. Without a
local attraction, the house was not quite full out of a capacity of
about 1300. Marc Abrams handled the PR, Thomas Trieber was
announcer, and Madra Clay kept time.