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19 JULY 2018

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Kelleher Revives Dickson City

J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: After a hiatus, boxing returned to Genetti Manor in Dickson City on 5/12/17.


“All-Nite” Long’s Long Prod’ns and Chris Coyne’s Northeast Boxing, with numerous sponsors, combined under the aegis of The Four Horsemen Boxing to present a pro-am at this venue outside Scranton which has hosted boxing off and on for decades. The circa 800-seat catering hall was full for matchmaker Renee Aiken’s lively show, headlined by four rounders hoping to develop local attractions, plus an amateur card stocked by gyms from around the Upstate area. All the local pros won, but they got good competition from the imports. Bob the Hammer did a yeoman job as ring announcer provided with scant information.

Popular Jimmy Kelleher, 160 ½, Allentown/Scranton, 5-0 (3), headlined in a crowd-pleasing scrap against well-traveled Jonathan Garcia, 159, Aguada, PR, 4-16-1 (1). Before expectant fans in a charged atmosphere, the battle opened with hectic exchanging in which Kelleher’s shorter inside punches got the better of the bigger Garcia’s sidearm punches. But it wasn’t without a price, and so in round two, Kelleher judiciously began circling and picking his shots while the game and willing but less skilled visitor followed with steady pressure. By the third, walking into solid blows had begun to take the starch out of the underdog’s attack, enabling the favorite to finish strong in a rousing fourth that saw the somewhat spent Garcia still trying but taking stick to the crowd’s delight. All scores 40-36.

The co-feature ebbed and flowed but was also a crowd-pleaser, between Ryan Wilczak, 157, Scranton, 4-0 (2), and Rick Graham, 156, Detroit, 4-16-2 (1). A bit more wary of each other than the Kelleher-Garcia confrontation was to be, the two started cautiously but landed solid blows, exchanging evenly until the favorite got his jab working and may have stolen the first. Action picked up in round two as the two warmed to the task, but Wilczak had his left working steadily with jabs and hooks to take the round. In the third, the visitor, who had been forcing the action through the first two, appeared to fade and begin giving ground. Ryan established command, but then lapsed and lost focus, letting the game underdog back into the fight and making it a close round. But a sneak right early in the final session jarred Graham and put Wilczak in charge through a decisive final round. Adam Friscia scored 38-38, but the majority verdict went fairly to Wilczak on Bernard Bruni’s 40-35 and Mark Werlinsky’s 39-37.

Looking like a hulking body-builder, Rex Harris, 198 ¾, Wilkes Barre, 4-4-2 (2), proved just too big and strong for game visitor Damian Lewis, 203, Niagara Falls, 0-4. There weren’t a lot of explosive fireworks, but nonetheless the contest was a bruising physical struggle, with the underdog consistently on the short end of the pounding. The bout opened cautiously, but Harris established his game when a nice short right jarred Lewis just before the bell. The fireplug visitor was unable to penetrate while the favorite was able to stay at arm’s length and pop away. Damian tried stepping away and was reached on the end of a long right and dropped in round two, but not badly hurt. Undaunted, Lewis finally managed to take the fight to closer range in a punishing third, but little good it did him as Harris effectively shortened his punches and dished out a beating. Rex got the unanimous decision, 39-36 from Werlinsky and 40-35 from the others.

Rasheed Johnson, 153 ¾, Bethlehem, 1-1, and Kareem Gladney, 153 ½, Phila., 0-2, opened the pro card with a hard-fought, close, and protested contest. The favorite Johnson showed good fundamentals to pick his shots and dominate the first. But the lanky and rangy Gladney upped his attack, made use of his long arms, and may have edged a close second. The battle continued on a sharp edge through the third, but Rasheed put a series a counters together to rally to the bell and steal the round. With the fight up for grabs, Johnson got his counters working well and dominated the final round. Bruni scored 38-38, but the others awarded the majority verdict to Johnson, 39-37, drawing some protest from the fans and sending an irate “Boogaloo” Watts, Gladney’s cornerman, across the ring to protest to the commission table. Gary Rosato refereed all bouts.


Amateur results:
152 Nov – Jason Ahing, Indio’s Gym, Allentown, dec Henry Pena, Irish BC, Scranton, 3-0, 3 rds.
141 Nov – Sinclair Wright, Irish BC, dec Justin Luciano, Indio’s, 2-1, 3 rds.
190 Nov – Johnny Russo, Vanscoy BC, RSC1 Joshua Ruth, Hazleton BC.
135 Open – Gabriel Camacho, Lancaster City Bxg, dec Adrian Diaz, Hazleton BC, 2-1, 3 rds.
95 11-12 – Isais Ortiz, Lancaster City, dec Spencer Kishbaugh, Bloomsburg BC, 3-0, 3 rds.
141 Nov – James Bernadin, Lancaster City, RSC2 Rosario Mesiti, Irish BC.
In memory of K.O.J.O.

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