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23 JUNE 2018

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Boxing Returns To Bristol With Webster Comeback  

By J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: There hadn’t been boxing in the pleasant old town of Bristol, PA, just north of Philadelphia, since ’77, when Russell Peltz ran bi-monthly at the firehouse. Somehow, manager “Doc” Nowicki and local amateur association VP Dave Price formed D&D Prom’ns, and selected the Grundy Arena for their inaugural. Unfortunately, the accommodating venue, which would have held circa 1200, drew less than 300 fans, with no local star. The site, an ice hockey arena, is amenable to boxing. But ring announcer Nino Del Buono wasted his talents with a PA system that would have proven inferior to two tin cans and a string. Fans managed to enjoy the bouts despite not knowing who was fighting unless they personally recognized them. Having broken in with the Joe Hand series of pro-ams that ran at Philly’s 2300 Arena, D&D opted for a similarly diverse card. The amateurs were good bouts, but suffered from two no-shows. Matchmaker Will Ruiz’ pro card was conducted in earnest but produced no real surprises. Mike Milloy kept time, Dr. Tony Al Amin was the ring physician, and Ed Kunkel was commissioner in charge.


Returning after nearly a year’s absence following his lone defeat, Derrick Webster, 167 ¾, Glassboro, NJ, 20-1 (10), got the rust off in an uneventful gym workout with rugged but uninspired Lenwood Dozier, 160 ¾, Wash., DC, 9-11-2 (4), in the main event six. The stocky, muscular underdog seemed not to have a clue how to fight a tall, rangy southpaw, or just didn’t want to take the punishment of making it an inside fight. Derrick picked shots carefully from a safe distance while Lenwood offered only now-and-then popshots. Webster got a decent workout and a unanimous shutout.


Two-time amateur champ Michael Hilton, 198 ½, Trenton, 2-0 (2), got rid of tough Dave Valykeo, 197 ¾, Neptune, NJ, 4-8, in two rounds of a scheduled four. In a wild and hard-fought battle, Hilton swarmed all over the stumbling Valykeo in round one, then finally dropped him with a neat right underneath to the body when Dave tried an overhand right to the head. Valykeo bounced up unhurt and complaining to referee Eric Dali (all bouts), but it was a clean knockdown. In round two, Hilton settled to a more purposeful breaking down of his opponent, and at round’s end, Valykeo signaled he was through, citing damaged ribs.


Vidal Rivera, 124 ½, Camden, 4-0 (3), clearly won the unanimous decision over Brian Santos, 123 ½, Vega Baja, PR, 0-1-1, in a cautious four. The rangy favorite neatly kept his opponent on the end of a long jab, but took no chances. By the final round, Brian’s persistence was beginning to pay off, with Rivera giving ground, but the underdog ran out of rounds. George Hill scored 40-36, Rose Vargas and Bernard Bruni 39-37. The loser, failing to distinguish between trying and succeeding…as do many boxers, trainers, and unfortunately judges…was nonplussed with the verdict.


In what was the most crowd-pleasing bout, Elijah Vines, 153, Phila., 2-0 (2), stopped wild and willing Jordan Rosario, 154 ½, Jersey City, 0-5, in 2:56 of round two, scheduled four. The favorite pounded the much smaller underdog almost at will in a wild opening melee, first pushing him over when Jordan tried to hold, and then getting a right hand free during inside trading to clobber Rosario to the floor. It looked like curtains then and there for the underdog. But Vines got too loose while subsequently going for the finish and got clipped by a right and dropped. The somewhat embarrassed favorite recomposed himself and the round ended, with the crowd going wild. Undaunted by the knockdown, Elijah was in full tilt in round two, battering Rosario to the canvas. Jordan then tried full retreat, but was caught on the end of a long right and flopped face down, with Dali immediately calling a halt.


Amateur results:

100 Junior - Raheim Jefferson, Bozy’s Gym, Phila., dec. Vito Mielnicki, Elite Heat, Newark, 3-0, 3 rds.


116 Open – Jerrod Minor, Young Guns, Phila., DQ3 Eric Gordon, Kingsessing Rec, Phila., failure to report to doctor.


141 Open – Jeremy Cuevas, Grays Ferry Gym, Phila., dec. Osvaldo Morales, Capital Punishment, Harrisburg, 2-1, 3 rds.


132 Junior – Antonio Perez, Capital Punishment, dec. Malik Warren, Charm City, Balto., 3-0, 3 rds.

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