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21 NOVEMBER 2018


Nakash and Shmouel Earn TKO’s in 2 at Blue Horizon

By Jason Pribila: Two members of the Israeli Army joined forces to headline boxing’s return to the Legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, USA on Friday night. Undefeated Cruiserweight, Ran Nakash, and junior welterweight, Elad Shmouel, each scored 2nd round TKOs to the joy of the crowd of their adopted home.

Nakash 17-0 (13) entered the ring inside the Blue Horizon for the fourth time in the last eight months. He used a brutal body attack to make quick work of former “Toughman” finalist, Ryan Carroll 7-2 (4).

Tough-man is the only way to describe Nakash, who serves as the, “head of the Israeli Defense Force’s krav maga school, teaching the martial art to students who will then be instructors to the country’s soldiers", according to David P. Greisman.

Nakash, a former kickboxer, took away his opponent’s legs with a right hand to the top of the head, and knocked him off his feet with a left to the body. The minute break between rounds was not enough recovery time, and Carroll began round two looking for a soft place on the canvas. Nakash was more than happy to escort him to the corner, and land a flurry of punches, including a right hand to the body closing the show. Referee Steve Smoger waived off the bout without the benefit of the count.

Although it has been fourteen months since Elad Shmouel last fought, the crowd at the Blue Horizon was still buzzing about his last visit. On that night, in December 2007, Shmouel came out on the losing end of the “Philadelphia Fight of the Year” against Lenny DeVictoria. An appreciative crowd welcomed him back to the ring, fresh off a three year tour of duty with the Israeli Army.

Shmouel 19-2 (10) faced Pittsburgh’s Khristian Geraci 4-6-1 (3) in a bout that may have been decided at the scales. Geraci showed up a division overweight, and he entered the ring wearing a Steelers jersey. When the jersey was removed his physique revealed that waving a “Terrible Towel” is not the best way to get into shape for a prize fight. Shmouel immediately attacked his opponent’s mid-section, and the question quickly changed from, “how” to “when”.

The answer was 1:22 of Round 2, after a Shmouel flurry left Durancy reaching for the ropes with his back turned to his opponent.
“I love the Blue Horizon, “ Shmouel confessed, “This is my second home.” He also expressed that his first home is not far from his thoughts, “No Terrorists will break Israel down. We fight til the end.”


The most competitive bout of the night featured Julias Edmonds (4-3) out-hustling Linwood Hurd (2-1-3) in a six-round junior welterweight bout. This was the first time either fighter fought past four rounds, and it was Edmonds that started fast and finished strong to earn scores of: 48-46, 49-45, 48-46.
If Edmonds had the power to match his will and determination he could be a world champion. Unfortunately, punchers are born, and Edmonds just doesn’t seem to have enough pop on his punches (each of seven fights have gone the distance).

Hurd was also busy, but chose to fight the shorter man inside of a phone booth. Once inside, he wasn’t able to match the output of Edmonds. Although the decision was unanimous, a change in strategy could lead to an exciting rematch down the road.

Marcus Bianconi traveled a long way from Texas to match his 1-0 record against Philadelphia’s John Turner (1-0). Each Middleweight scored a knockout in their pro debuts and showed immediately there were not interested in making the judges earn their money.

Turner flashed his speed immediately and touched Bianconi’s body, and buzzed him with a big right hand. Bianconi soon answered and rocked Turner with right hands of his own.

Bianconi relied on his 30-fight amateur background to adjust to the athletic Turner in the second round. A huge right hand sent Turner to the canvas, and left him with a bloody lip. Although Turner beat the count, he failed to answer the bell citing an injured hand as his reason to retire.

Ardrick Butler (1-1) earned his first professional victory by outworking Anthony Abrams (1-6) in a junior middleweight contest. Butler got on his toes, and moved well behind his jab. Abrams was tentative, and seemed to keep waiting to time Butler. His sense of urgency never rose, and the judges rightfully awarded the decision to Butler.

The opening bout of the evening saw a fighter from my hometown of Bethlehem, PA., Ronald Cruz (2-0, 1KO) score his first professional knockout against Pastor Andrew Duncan. Cruz scored two knockdowns in the first round, showed patience by working Duncan’s body in round two, and finally used a series of straight right hands to force the referee to stop the fight in round three.

Duncan, a Pastor from Philadelphia has chosen boxing as a vehicle to spread his message. He learned the hard way that raising one’s chin to look for help from above is not going to work in boxing. Cruz took advantage of the often exposed chin to earn the stoppage.

Promoter Vernoca I. Michael got the 2009 boxing schedule at the Blue Horizon off to a promising start, in what should be an exciting year for the legendary venue. Beginning on March 6th, Hall of Fame promoter, J. Russell Peltz will bring his brand back to the venue he helped make famous with a card featuring prized welterweight prospect, Mike Jones defending his regional belt against Larry Mosley.

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