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18 JULY 2018

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Davis Stops Rosario In Philly

By J.R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Hyper-active Marshall Kauffman, now calling himself King’s Prom’ns, is becoming a throwback to the ‘50s, when promoters regularly ran weekly cards. But with a twist; instead of a single venue, like Marigold Gardens or St. Nicholas Arena, Marshall’s all over Creation. On Friday(May 19), he was again in Philadelphia, at 2300 Arena. The show started with slam-bang undercard bouts, became a bit top heavy, and then finished with a fine main event. The crowd wasn’t a big house, circa 300-400, but the absent missed a decent show with the winners not all from the same corner. Alex Barbosa did the announcing chores and Marc Abrams the PR.


The main event eight was a tight contest between local favorite Carlos Rosario, 130 ¾, Pennsauken, 7-2 (4), and the invading Joshua Davis, 131 ½, Wash., DC, 11-1 (5), who managed to bring a noisy contingent to help him feel more at home. The contest started as a tense standoff, the two sizing each other up cautiously while sending out range finders, and then erupted on one shot in the second. Late in a close round, Rosario tried a lazy left and the quick reflexes of Davis snapped a short left hook that bounced him off the canvas. Carlos absorbed some punishment immediately thereafter, but moved well and got out of the round. For the next three, it was anybody’s fight. Not a barnburner but a tense checkers match, it had the excited crowd echoing chants back and forth across the arena. Davis held a slight advantage with more poise, but upon close inspection, it was he who was controlling the contest. Carlos however was never out of it, trying to sneak lead rights. That is until the explosive sixth. Little was happening until just before the bell, when Carlos tried to step in with a right, but the lightning reflexes of Davis shot over a left-right combo, and Carlos was again on the floor. The bell got him out of the round immediately, and he was right back in the fight in round seven. But when both fired simultaneous rights, Rosario leaned in with the punch and was nailed on the side of the head by Joshua’s short, snapping shot. His feet were going in every direction in a macabre dance to try to stay upright when referee Gary Rosato threw his arms around Carlos and stopped it, at 1:49.


A promising match on paper produced nothing in the ring when Antowyan Aikens, 172 ¼, Atlantic City, 11-3-1 (1), met Amir Shabazz, 174 ¼, Phila., 4-1 (1), six. For three rounds, the experienced Aikens was the only one fighting in a lackluster contest. The tyro Shabazz looked confused and had no idea how to engage Antowyan in open trading. Instead, he followed in the dance while Aikens pecked away, enough to win the rounds. Shabazz tried to apply more pressure in the third, then finally landed a jarring left hook early in the fourth. The flow of the contest seemed to subtly change as Antowyan, who may have passed his prime, began more running and less punching. Still little action and no trading, but Amir seemed to be turning it. The fight was on the line in the final round, with Aikens coming alive just enough to squeak it out. He would land a punch and grab, and that’s all it took. Allen Rubenstein scored it a shutout, while John Poturaj and Rose Vargas were more on the mark at 58-56, unanimous to Aikens.


Tyrone Crawley, 143 ½, Phila., 7-0, boxed well to start a six with Juan Rodriguez, 139 ¼, Haymarket, VA, 7-7 (5), but took to circling wide with opportune potshotting for a unanimous win in a tame contest. The spoiler Rodriguez persistently tried to make it a brawl, but Tyrone deftly ducked inside, tied him up, spun him around, shook him off and slipped away, sometimes with a parting shot. The light-hitting southpaw favorite showed impressive skills initially, but lapsed into a waltz as the bout wore on and took the luster off his otherwise solid win. Rubenstein gave Juan a round, but Vargas and Jimmy Kinney scored shutouts.


It was no fault of popular Thomas Velasquez, 134 ½, Phila., 9-0 (5), that his six with Brandon Sanudo, 142, San Felipe, MX, 5-4 (2), was a dreadful stinkeroo. The visitor charged out ambitiously at first bell, landed a body shot, then couldn’t find a way in and lapsed into a defensive coma. For the rest of a laughably one-sided non-contest, Sanudo did nothing but run, making no serious effort to even land a solid punch, let alone win! Not that Thomas showed a spectacular offense; just a walk-in, workmanlike job. By the final round, a frustrated Velasquez was clowning and sticking his face out, but nothing would lure Sanudo out of total passivity. If the bout weren’t bad enough, the scoring was worse! At least Vargas had a daring 60-53, while Poturaj and Kinney evidently stuck to the rule book and gave the loser 54 points. For WHAT? This is supposed to be boxing, not studied avoidance of conflict.


Even though a one-sided blastout, a six between Steven Ortiz, 143 ¾, Phila., 6-0 (2), and Hector Rivera, 133 ¾, Cidra, PR, 3-2 (2), wasn’t a bad fight, thanks to the ambitious display of offense by the favorite. Rivera was in the fight, but the circling Ortiz let hands fly from long range and scored, over and over, to the delight of his fans. Late in the first, Steven scored a strange knockdown as he stepped in with a cuffing left hook that seemed to land with the wrist. Hector went down and looked shaken but still tried to rally back into the contest. Just before round’s end, Ortiz attacked, driving Rivera back with a right and cracking him with a sweeping left hook that dropped him at the bell. Hector was still trying to get into the fight in round two, but the pumped-up favorite was throwing homerun shots with reckless abandon! A big right behind the ear had Hector lurching into a left hook and going down. Solid rights then kept the hapless underdog on the run until another right-left hook combo like the first one sprawled him forward on all fours and Rosato stopped it, at 2:37.


Vincent Floyd, 146 ¾, Phila., 3-2-1 (2), stopped game Rafael Montalvo, 148, St. Clair, PA, 3-6- (3), at 1:26 of the third, scheduled six. A contrast of sizes and styles made it a good contest while it lasted. The compact Montalvo took the action right to the gangly southpaw and won the opening round at close quarters. The second started the same way, until Rafael let his right dangle and a sweeping left cross took his knees out from under him for a knockdown. Montalvo fought his way back into the contest and Floyd rallied to the bell. When the same thing happened in the third and Montalvo again bounced on the canvas, unable to straighten his knees as he tried to rise, referee Rosato stopped it.


Two winless opponents showed why they were, in a terrible four between Demetris Williams, 142, Phila., 1-2, and Antonio Allen, 141 ¼, Phila., 0-6. The stocky and muscular Williams couldn’t while the stringbean southpaw Allen wouldn’t. Most of the encounter was spent posing and trying to draw the opponent out. At least Williams tried, and did finish strong in the fourth with some clean single shots to garner a unanimous shutout.


It was a good fight while it lasted as debuting Gerardo Martinez, 136 ¼, Coatesville, made quick work of a shootout with Titos Gosalvez, 136 ¾, Phila., 0-2, in a scheduled four. The stocky and powerful Martinez took it right to the willing Gosalvez, drilling him with a short right as Titos set to punch. Gosalvez went down and was rocky but trying to regroup when a push-punch right sent him down again and referee Ronald Ali Bashir quickly stopped it, at 1:47 of round one.


In memory of K.O.J.O.

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