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Kauffman Intros New Stars; Whitmore Upset

J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Hyper-active and ubiquitous promoter/matchmaker Marshall Kauffman (Kings Prom’ns) ran a 10-bout card of 4s & 6s promoting young talent, at Philadelphia’s Sugarhouse Casino on Friday.


The undercard was predictable, with competition heating up at the top and producing one semi-shocking upset, one barn-burner, and at least one notable performance. Ring announcer Alex Barbosa innovated the task by announcing the number of bouts rather than won-lost totals. Marc Abrams doubled as publicist and commentator for the live telecast on Eleven Sports. Freddie Blumstein kept time. An SRO crowd of approximately 1200 enjoyed the bouts but were inhumanely tortured by a dj who should be arrested!


Popular and promising Christian Carto, 118 ¾, Phila., 11-0 (11), took the top spot in a scheduled six against Philip Adyaka, 118 ¾, a Ugandan fighting out of St. Paul, 7-10 (4). The first was a feelout round, but feelout with a vengeance! Carto, now resembling “Gorgeous” George with blonde locks, was cool and poised, placing his punches well while not allowing himself to be overwhelmed by the typical first-round excitement. In the second, it was all over. After Adyaka landed a flurry of light punches, Carto took him apart with one precise shot after another until the game underdog was spun sideways into the turnbuckle in his own corner and referee Gary Rosato had seen enough, calling a TKO at 2:43.


Highly-touted former national amateur champion Khalib Whitmore, 202 ½, Phila., 6-2 (5), returned to action after more than two years, but was apparently overweight and not prepared. He faced sleeper Elvin Sanchez, 196, Paterson, 8-3-1 (6), in a scheduled six. The southpaw favorite jolted Sanchez with a straight left lead in round one. But in the second, Elvin lured him into trading, stepped inside the bigger man’s longer arms to freeze him with a right uppercut, and followed with a crackling left hook that sent Khalib crashing to canvas. He got up, tottery, and when another left hook sent him reeling backward into the ropes, Rosato quickly stopped it, at 1:54.


Erik Spring, 153, Reading, 10-1-2 (1), squared off with fellow southpaw, lanky David Wilson, 156, New Haven, 5-1-1 (1), in an awkward but heartily contested six. Both disdained points while going for home run shots in loose and spirited action. The visitor made good use of his long arms to hold Spring at bay and punish him in the first two. But in the third, the flow began to change as Spring began to herky-jerk his way in and force Wilson back. Wilson got a cut left eye in the fourth, probably a clash of heads in the free swinging. Erik had a strong round in the fifth, picking shots well, but the determined visitor battled to the wire in a hectic and close final round. Spring gained a fair majority decision, with Dewey LaRosa calling it 57-57 and George Hill and John Poturaj both 58-56 for Erik.


The best all-around contest of the night was a six between sleeper Antonio Dubose, 127, Phila., 9-2-1 (2), and Josue Manuel Crespo, 126 ½, New Haven, 7-5-3 (3). With both stocky and willing to trade at close range, action was heated and never let up. The slightly bigger local dominated the early rounds with solid, punishing shots, but the dauntless visitor showed no quit and took him to the wire. What could well have proved the difference in scoring came late in a blazing second, when the two broke from an exchange and Crespo tried to close in again. Dubose looped a big right over the top, nearly spinning him around, and then poured it on with both hands until a left uppercut dropped Crespo. He arose wobbly, but the bell ended the crisis. Crespo looked like a beaten fighter in a wearying third, going to the canvas from a slip that was possibly the effect of exhaustion. Crespo got a break when referee Blair Talmadge stopped the action to caution Dubose about riding the back of his neck with the forearm. But Josue was in trouble at the bell and it looked like a matter of time.


Amazingly, the gritty visitor came out full of fight in the fourth, and with relentless pressure came close to sweeping the second half of the fight! Crespo outscored Dubose in torrid exchanging through the fourth. Antonio got a rest from a low blow and regained some of his sharpness in a close fifth. Then Crespo went all out in a heated final round. The unanimous decision for Dubose was fair. LaRosa was out of line at 60-53, but Poturaj and Adam Friscia turned in good cards of 58-55.


Marquis Taylor, 147 ½, Houston, 7-1, took a unanimous shutout over lefty Vincent Floyd, 147 ¾, Phila., 3-3-1 (2), in a grueling but awkward and unpleasing six. With both fighters tall and spindly and action alternating inside and out, Taylor was able to beat Vincent to the punch at long range, then pin Floyd’s gloves to his chest while keeping his own hands free to bang on the inside.


Brandon Robinson, 166 ½, Phila., 5-1 (4), took the first round to circle and box, then exploded in the second against Shane Pearson, 166 ¾, Statesville, NC, 2-2 (2), in a scheduled six. Robinson let both hands fly full tilt, overwhelming Pearson into a neutral corner, where a right buried him at 0:25.


Debuting southpaw Shamsuddeen Justice, 145 ½, Phila., was too strong for game Titos Gosalves, 148, Lancaster, 0-3, in a scheduled four. Shamsuddeen wowed his fans with constant firepower while all Gosalves could do was try to lean in and grab. Action settled into a pattern in the second, with Justice in control. He mounted a rally late in the third, with Titos rocked by a right hook just before the bell. Justice was pouring it on with the underdog on the run in the final round when Rosato stopped it, at 2:11.


Kashon Hutchinson, 143, Reading, 3-3 (1), won a unanimous decision over Demetrius Williams, 143 ¾, Phila., 1-3, in a dull four. The southpaw Hutchinson controlled the tame contest with the right jab while a confused Williams couldn’t close the gap but lunged from outside. LaRosa, Friscia, and Poturaj all scored 39-37.


Debuting Jerrod Minor, 116 ½, Phila., was just too strong for game but wispy Steven Lopez, 113 ¼, Phila., 0-2. Minor worked to body and head well in the first. Rosato gave Lopez a rest from a low blow in the second. By the third, Steven was in full retreat, trying to gain sympathy from low blow complaints, but the ref wasn’t having it. In the fourth, Lopez was being routed and Rosato stepped in, calling a TKO over Steve’s protest, at 2:34 of the final round.


Christian Montano, 181 ½, Houston, 2-0 (2), blew out debuting Dameron Kirby, 178 ½, Wash., DC, in 2:25 of the first of four. Kirby offered little. He missed a punch in a free-swinging exchange and was dropped by a right-left. Then he went down from a double left hook, seemingly more from lack of resolve than power of punch. Finally, Kirby stumbled down without being hit and referee Talmadge had seen enough.

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