J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: There was no nonsense in the matchmaking for the 5/9/14 show at Dover Downs Casino, Dover, DE, as the “blue” corner took three of seven bouts. The main event was a shocker. In a battle of southpaws, Cornelius Lock, 125 ½, NYC, 22-7-2 (13), took on William “Chirizo” Gonzalez, 125, a Nicaraguan fighting out of San Juan, 27-5 (23), in a scheduled 10. The fight was a wide-open slam-banger from first bell. The reckless underdog came out “bombs away”! He had Lock on the run, or apparently so, until Cornelius fired back a left that buckled his knees and sent him back. Action tamed after that exchange, but only until round two. Gonzalez was back winging roundhouse punches with abandon, wherever they managed to land. Between rounds, referee Steve “Sextuple S” Smoger went to William’s corner for an academic discussion of the wages of rabbit punching.
The third was a replay of the first, writ large! Again, Gonzalez attacked all-out, Lock set him back on his heels with a snappy counter left, and Chirizo again redoubled the attack. This time, he paid Cornelius back with a carbon copy of that same punch. Lock was caught trying to flee the attack and sent to the canvas. Smoger checked him over and again the action tamed and allowed Cornelius to escape. In the fourth, the ref’s caution finally caught up to Gonzalez as Smoger took a point. But no matter, Lock was being punished, suffered a cut right eye, and fading. Cornelius tried gamely to take control of the fight, with action going to rugged trading at close range, including solid body work. When Cornelius broke and ran, Gonzalez reached him on the end of a long left and sling-shot him to the canvas. Again, Smoger gave him a long look, and the bell only prolonged the drama. Starting round seven, they went toe-to-toe in a grimly determined exchange until Gonzalez cracked a short right that buried Lock without a count, at 0:32.
The co-feature 10 between Ray Robinson, 147, Phila., 18-2 (8), and mysterious George “El Terrible” Sosa, 147, from parts unknown (even his cornerman didn’t know where he was from), 13-8 (13), wasn’t the shootout of the main event but was still a rugged and revealing contest. El Terrible had racked up a scary number of KOs in the DR, but didn’t seem to have much of an idea against an opponent who didn’t stand in and trade. The lefty Robinson moved around and picked his shots, steadily mounting the punishment level. By the second, Ray had almost free reign, until an exchange at the bell that left Sosa wobbling to his corner. Ray worked him over relentlessly in round three, able to go flat-footed and wing his shots full tilt. Robinson also began digging rights to the ribs, as Sosa’s only hope seemed to be to catch him wide open with a surprise counter. That didn’t happen. In round four, Sosa was belabored until a right to the body caused him to go limp against the ropes. Referee Vic de Wysocki, “The Arthur Mercante of Delaware”, decided George’s gameness didn’t match his prospects for victory and justifiably called a TKO, at 2:04. Sosa protested, but he was getting creamed and the stoppage was in order.
In an action-packed and hard-fought eight, Omar Douglas, 129, Wilmington, 12-0 (9), faced a solid foe in Jesse Carradine, 130, Las Vegas, 8-3-2 (4). The contest featured a good contrast of styles and strategies. The rangy Carradine circled away and boxed, while the shorter favorite did a good job of coming in low, getting under his punches, and hooking to the body. Jesse tried to tie him up inside, and although this produced a lot of tugging, the bout was always lively. Ultimately, Omar proved too strong and too busy. But not without a challenge. Right counters three times sent his mouthpiece flying and evidently stole some rounds for the visitor. A body shot made Carradine hold in the second and a pummeling on the ropes produced a tell-tale “I’m-not-hurt” head shake in the seventh. Finally, in the last round, Carradine was getting worked over inside when a left hook had him clinging desperately. Omar had to shake him off, and when he went to the canvas, de Wysocki made a good call, a knockdown. The bell rang shortly after. Douglas, a good prospect under trainer Doug Pettiford, got the unanimous verdict, 76-75 from Dorothea Perry, 77-74 from Mark D’Attilio, and 78-73 from Brian Costello.
Another upset took place when popular Joey Tiberi, 135 ½, New Castle, 12-2 (6), took on returning Tyrell Samuel, 133 ½, Balto., 15-5-1 (6), in a brisk six. Tyrell hadn’t fought in a couple years, but didn’t bring in any apparent rust. He moved smartly and got off quick combos as Joey edged forward and kept up a low heat. The contest featured both good boxing and good exchanges. Tyrell was mixing sharp left hooks and rights in round two until Tiberi got a step closer and unloaded a combo of his own. But Samuel quickly regained control with some more snappy combos. Joey took the next round but momentum changed in the fourth when Tiberi suffered a bad left eye cut. Samuel landed some clean counters and then began to come forward and set the pace. Tiberi stayed in the fight until midway through the final round. Tyrell cracked him with a long left hook, then followed with a right. Tiberi faded back, hurt, and was punished severely, barely making it to the bell. Samuel won the unanimous decision, 59-54 and 59-55 twice.
Frankie Filippone, 168, Virginia Beach, 15-4-1 (2), won the opening four against Yasin Abdur Rashid, 172, Brooklyn, 7-5 (2), in a passably good contest. Rashid could use some road work, as he opened the rounds with clean shots but then southpaw Frankie would come on and take over. Yasin had his last hurrah with a good start in a rugged third, but had little left in the fourth and finished on the floor in exhaustion (no knockdown). All scores 39-37.
Alexis Guerrero, 198, Salisbury, MD, 11-0-1 (5), won the unanimous decision over Kamarah Pasley, 200, Phila., 6-7-2 (2), in a tame six. Pasley tried smoke and mirrors, boxing out of a deep southpaw stance and circling constantly. But Guerrero tracked him down, froze him with right leads, and in round three, Kamarah got his feet tangled as he tried to escape the ropes, got reached by a long right, and went down. All scores 60-53.
In the final bout, Earl Platt, 194, VA Bch, 4-2 (3), couldn’t pull it off against Lamont Capers, 195, Hawley, PA, 3-3. Earl scored a dramatic upset here in his last fight, but this time, Lamont was too big, kept the jab in his face, and repeatedly caught him coming in. The tough and game southpaw favorite tried to turn it to his advantage by making a street fight out of it, but that didn’t help. In a punishing third, Capers landed a right uppercut that snapped Earl’s head back as he tried to corral Lamont on the ropes. Pratt was finally getting to him in the final round, but Capers rallied late and had him bleeding over both eyes. D’Attilio scored 40-36, Costello and Anthony Dean 39-37.
Dover Downs has been a comfortable and attractive venue, and promoted steadily with good shows for over a decade. This event was co-promoted by the casino and Champ’s Mgmnt (Dave Tiberi, George Beer, John Sobieski, Kevin Wilson, Frankie Vassallo), with Nick Tiberi making the matches with some help from Renee Aiken. “We’re bringing legitimacy to the sport of boxing,” Dave Tiberi observed. “Make the fights competitive and the fans will come out…” That they certainly did, but ironically, without the services of Amir Mansour, the usual full house did not materialize. The arena, which holds about 1500, was only about one quarter full and the casino has no more shows scheduled for ’14. But this venue has been down before and rebounded as one of the steadiest and best sites in the Mid Atlantic, so Tiberi & Co. have their work cut out.
May 9, 2014