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17 NOVEMBER 2018

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Ennis Creams Arnaoutis in AC

J.R. Jowett reporting from ringside: On the eve of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend, an unheard of two shows were run on the same night! Even in the Glory Days of the ‘80s two shows might run on the same day, afternoon and evening, but not directly opposite each other. That didn’t faze intrepid boxer/promoter Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna (Rising Star Prom’ns) from moving to a slightly larger facility in order to pack the circa 800 seat Showboat while a rival promotion ran at his old venue, the Claridge. But with only improvised curtains strung around the boxing area, admittance to the show was pretty porous and a ticket may not have been a necessity for the less scrupulous. Chris Middendorf was matchmaker. All the heroes won with relative ease and there were scattered boos at the brevity of the main event. But that’s boxing; it’s all good. Mark Fratto was ring announcer as usual while Earl Curry kept time.


In a rare scheduled 10-rounder, Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 146 ½, Phila., 20-0 (18), didn’t need all those rounds to get rid of Mike Arnaoutis, 147, Athens, Greece, but fighting out of AC, 26-11-2 (13). The rangy southpaw favorite used reach, speed, and movement to take target practice on the used-up former contender. Arnaoutis, also a lefty, was game, but that’s about all that can be said. He couldn’t deal with Jaron’s speed and range, while the fans were getting their fill of dazzling action from their hero. In the second round and under heavy pressure, Arnaoutis’ right leg folded and he fell back against the padding in his own corner, with referee Allen Huggins issuing a count. Ennis was now in full tilt, with a long right and sweeping left dropping Arnaoutis. He went down one more time, referee Allen Huggins ruling a slip, before Huggins stopped the fight with Arnaoutis’ trainer Bill Johnson waving the towel, at 2:59. “I was just having fun,” commented Jaron. Arnaoutis told Jaron’s father/trainer “Bozy” Ennis that Jaron would be champion one day. That isn’t likely, but he quite possibly will be a “world” title holder.


Yurik Mamedov, 149 ¼, Bklyn, 10-1 (3), mugged Kashon Hutchinson, 146 ¼, Reading, 3-5 (1), in a punishing eight. The lefty underdog was spirited and let his hands fly, managing to win the second when he could get some distance between them, but had no tactic to deal with the human projectile that was Mamedov. The sturdy favorite hurtled his body into the fray and then muscled Kashon around on the inside. Action was heated but not for the purist, as the muscular Mamedov dominated on strength and physical tactics. Hutchinson tried to time Yurik’s charges, but they were just too herky-jerk to admit of any rhythm. By the third, Mamedov was letting chopping punches go from slightly longer range and scoring a bit cleaner. By the end of the sixth, the frustrated Hutchinson was losing his cool over Yurik’s street-fighting tactics and angrily continued the action after the bell, as the culprit tried to apologize. Kashon wasn’t having it and referee Harvey Dock had to escort him to his corner. He was still mouthy coming out for the seventh and Dock docked him a point. By the final bell in the eighth, they were pals. Lynne Carter and Debra [sic] Barnes scored 80-71, Al Bennett 79-72.


In the best action, Chris Thomas, 160, Toms River, 9-0-1 (6),battered a less-than-dedicated Darryl Bunting, 161 ¾, Asbury Park, 3-4-2 (1), to a TKO at 1:06 of the third of a scheduled eight. The wildly popular Thomas enjoyed a size advantage, and while action wasn’t at long range, his strength, vigor, and sweeping rights were too much for Bunting. Action was in-your-face and torrid, with Bunting willingly mixing but getting the worst of it. Late in a free-for-all first, a roundhouse right-left suddenly dropped Bunting amid a wide open exchange. Darryl arose but was wobbly and fell back into the turnbuckle where referee Dock gave him a long look before restarting action, just at the bell. Round two continued a slugfest, with Thomas repeatedly drilling the right through Bunting’s defense. Again the round was nearly over when Darryl rocked back into the ropes and Dock gave a count and another long inspection before the round ended. In the third, this time it was a sweeping left that rocked the fading Bunting into the ropes and the referee stopped it, with Darryl vigorously protesting. The contest was for the State Middleweight title, but as Bunting had failed to make weight, he was ineligible to win it. Thomas did, and did.


In a tame heavyweight huff-&-puffer, Quian Davis, 251, Mays Landing, 5-0-2 (2), got some help with a split decision win over Dan Pasciolla, 225 ½, Brick, 9-4-3, eight. The contest had just enough action to hold the fans’ interest, but was at the opposite pole from Thomas-Bunting. Pasciolla took the first three rounds with movement and a peppery jab against the lumbering Davis. But there was nothing on Pasciolla’s punches to keep Quian off and, while no ball of fire, Davis did manage to gain a step on him by the fourth and the tight contest began to shift. The rounds remained close and without clear advantage, but at least Quian was now “making” the fight, such as it was. But by the final round, the bulky Davis had slowed to a sluggish movement and Dan came back with his most active offense of the fight, clearly taking the round and possibly earning at least a draw. It wasn’t to be, and no one was more surprised than the winner, who flopped with a thud to the canvas when it was announced that while Bennett had scored 77-75 for Pasciolla, Barnes had the same score for Davis and Carter gave it to Quian by a wide 78-74. Certainly the lack of “pop” didn’t help Dan’s cause. With it, Quian won the New Jersey State Heavyweight crown.


Donald Smith, 127 ¾, Phila., 7-0 (4), beat up Deo Kizito, 127 ½, Rubaga, Uganda, 2-2-1 (1), with a KO at 1:21 of the second of six. The stringbean favorite towered over the hapless African fighting out of Dubai. In the first, Smith cuffed him behind the head with a right behind the head and spun him to the canvas, ruled a knockdown by referee Mary Glover. But there was no doubt about it a round later when Kizito lurched into a crushing right hook from the southpaw Smith and crumbed to his knees. He tried to stumble up but Glover ruled a KO.


Vidal Rivera, 129, Camden, 8-0 (5), solidly belted out Jose “Pelόn” Ramos, 128 ½, Tijuana, 11-14-1 (8), at 2:37 of the second of six. Ramos edged forward, but the rangy Rivera had no trouble teeing off on him. Late in the first, Ramos tried to corral him on the ropes, with a low left hook sending Vidal down and earning him a brief rest from referee Glover. In the second, heated action went inside, but it didn’t help the underdog. Rivera brought up a crushing short left hook and as Ramos tried to cover and fall back, a solid right cross and glancing left hook to the body crumbled him.


Angel Pizarro, 130, Phila., 4-0 (3), creamed poor Terrance Moore, 136 ½, Wilson, NC, 0-3, with a KO at 1:38 of the first of a scheduled four. The fireplug underdog tried making it into a wild, undisciplined scramble. Not a bad idea, but the flashy favorite twice timed his charges with chopping rights to floor him. On the second knockdown, Moore remained face down on the canvas and quit.


And little need be said of a six between going-nowhere Joel De La Paz, 179 ½, AC, 8-1 (4), and spoiler Willis Lockett, 180 ¼, Takoma Park, MD, 16-23-6 (5), in a desolate contest. De La Paz seemed to find a range in the second and scored with some long punches. But Lockett’s lumbering in had the favorite bothered after some clashes of heads in the third and Joel became more interested in avoidance behavior. He circled away and styled while Lockett at least tried to track him down and landed one at a time in a dull contest. Carter did the best job, scoring it 57-57. But the others evidently went for style points and awarded a majority decision to Joel, 58-56 from Bennett and an amazing 60-54 from Barnes.




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