J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: On 3/8/14, Chris Coyne (Northeast Boxing) and matchmaker Renee Aiken ran their second pro-am show at the Scranton Hilton. A nice facility in the heart of downtown, the room seats about 600, with quite a few more shoehorned in at SRO. Even Harold Lederman couldn’t stay away. The atmosphere was electric like an old-time fight club.
A good technician not noted for excitement, Robert Sockwell nonetheless wowed them in the brief and explosive main event, scheduled six. The lefty Sockwell, 154 3/4, E. Stroudsburg and fighting out of Dunmore, 7-2-1 (5), needed just two ripping straight lefts to get rid of hapless and hopeless Ramiro Bueno Jr., 157 1/2, South Bend, 2-5-1 (1), in 2:37 of the opening round. Fans didn’t feel cheated; they were too occupied going crazy. How the underdog could have outweighed the favorite is a mystery of the scales, as he looked a division smaller and was unable to get within punching range. Twice he lunged into piledriver lefts and went down, with referee Gary Rosato (all bouts) calling a halt after Ramiro’d been clocked full tilt and collapsed to his knees.
A battle royal in a scheduled four between Stephon Burgette, 154 1/2, Dunmore, 3-1-1 (1), and Tommy Ayers, 154 1/2, Cinc., 2-3, was nothing short of sensational. The spindly import exploded out, windmilling with both hands, and nearly got rid of the local favorite in the initial action. Burgette was virtually snowblinded by punches, with Ayers getting a half step to the side and dropping a right that barely missed KOing the hero. Burgette sagged and held until Rosato separated them and then took a beating. But as soon as Ayers began to run out of steam, Stephon nailed him with a long sucker right that jolted the import and turned the action. Burgette began to attack, making good use of rib shots, until Ayers was holding on. And all in round one!
Round two had the place a madhouse as Ayers took a ferocious pounding but would not fall. The referee and doctor both gave him a long look before allowing round three, and Commissioner Sirb had to mount the apron to chase the cornermen as they tried to prolong the rest. Nothing was holding Ayers up but grit under a furious assault in round three. He began turning away and running for respite but was finally trapped and worked over in his own corner. When a crunching right turned him rubbery, Rosato had seen enough and stopped it. The game Ayers protested.
The less said the better about an uninspiring four between Rex Harris, 183 1/2, Easton, 1-0-2, and Tracey Johnson, 183 1/2, an Atlantan fighting out of Camden, 1-2-3. The muscular southpaw Johnson stalked but was reluctant to throw. The cautious to the point of timidity Harris gave him little to counter. Rex seemed to do slightly better in the first two with Tracey landing a few clean shots in the latter. With so little to work with, the judges were understandably all over the place. Mike Somma scored on coming forward, no matter how slowly, 40-36 Johnson. Eric Dali had a reasonable 39-37 Harris. Perhaps Bernard Bruni’s 38-38, making it a split draw, was best, in that neither deserved to win this event.
Lamont Capers, 195 3/4, Hawley, PA, 2-3, gained a hard-fought unanimous decision from willing Brian Donahue, 191, Phila., 2-8-2, in a good four. The brawler Donahue did his best to make it a street fight, but Capers made good use of long reach to score from outside. Brian nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when he suddenly stepped in with an overhand right behind the ear seconds before the bout’s end. Lamont was nearly out on his feet but bounced enough to stay out of harm’s way for the final few seconds.
53 - Juan Rivera, Rock Ministry, dec. Eric Martinez, Kings Gym, 3, 3-0
60 - Marquan Dix, Rock Min, dec. Rocco Guzman, Kings, 3, 3-0
120 - Wayne Hangans, Irish BC, dec. Josh Leonard, R and I BC, 3, 2-1
Hvy - Diaqwon Buckley, Scranton BC, rsc2 Mouhamadou Blade, Swoyersville BC
155 - Paul Kroll, Diesel Fit, rsc2 Terrance Brown, Swoyersville
165 - Kevin Santiago, Nye’s Gym, dec. Juan Herrera, Swoyersville, 3, 3-0
125 - Michael Murray, Nye’s, rsc3 Vinny Scarantino, Jim’s Warriors
130 - Rocky Marzan, Scranton BC, dec. Dauri Aquino, Jim’s Warriors, 3, 3-0
165 - Ian Brofsky, TriState BC, rsc2 Will Feliciano, Jim’s Warriors
March 8, 2014