J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: While the lifeblood of boxing, small club promotions tend to open and close in New Haven. The promoter loses his pants in a show or two and thinks better of it. One of the most exemplary survivors is Julio Alvarez’ A&D Prom’ns, which has managed to hang in for decades around York, PA, in spite of disappointing crowds, fallouts, pullouts, unstable venues, postponements, and whatever else can damage or wreck a promotion. Not Julio! He keeps ticking, and the bouts that finally make it into the ring are of consistently good action. On 7/15/16, a low-key pro-am was presented at yet another venue, Charles Wolf Gym at College of York, which is not in York but adjacent Spring Garden Township. A nice venue but not easy to find. Only about 200 fans managed the challenge. Five amateur bouts opened the show while matchmaker Chuck Bayley had three professional fights survive the injuries and pullouts. After all that, though modest, it was a good show.
All professional bouts were scheduled fours. The pros opened with the debut of Jose Alfaro, 129, York, versus an experienced though winless opponent, Michael Gargouri, 129, Shawnigan, Quebec, 0-10-1. The rangy visitor, with something of a herky-jerk style but not averse to throwing punches, held the short, stocky local at bay in a brisk opening round. Boxing at southpaw, Alfaro hadn’t a clue how to get past Gargouri’s long arms, although the judges won the round for him. Jose must have learned something from his corner (a novelty!) between rounds, as in the second, he switched orthodox, began bobbing under Gargouri’s shots, and coming up with short, clean blows to body and head, winning the round on his own merit this time. Gargouri threw tons of punches in a lively third, but Alfaro did a nice job of blocking, then rallied late after nailing Michael with a jarring right uppercut off the ropes. A good finale in round four was all Alfaro, who continued to switch between lefty and orthodox even though clearly better at the latter. Jose won a unanimous shutout.
The second contest was short, action-packed, brutal, and a crowd-pleaser. Jesus Saucedo, 145, York, 6-2-1 (3), returned after three years to face Lee Kreisher, 145, Dover, OH, 3-12-1 (2). Wasting no time, the much bigger favorite ripped right into his opponent, rocking him at the outset with a vicious left hook to the ribs and right to the head. Kreisher took a ferocious beating but hung tough until it abated in the closing minute. The underdog was rocked almost immediately in round two by a long left hook. But with Saucedo driving him resolutely to the ropes for the finish, Kreisher came back with a left hook that staggered his tormentor and brought his cornermen into high gear shouting urgent instructions. It looked briefly like an upset in the making as Kreisher responded and fought back hard with body and head shots. But Saucedo weathered the storm and regained control with ripping left hooks to the ribs. Suddenly, the underdog went face first onto the canvas like a deflated balloon from one of these crushing body shots, and referee Eric Dali (all bouts) called a KO at 2:08.
The main event was the local return of popular Steve Weimer, 145, York, 11-0 (3), against well-traveled Jose M. Valderrama, 146, Manati, PR, 5-15 (3). Weimer had also been inactive for three years before winning two fights out of town. The bout started briskly with Weimer moving and picking his shots smartly, while the underdog was in determined pursuit with looping punches. The roof nearly fell in about a minute into the round when the circling favorite was stopped by the ropes and the visitor fell in behind a right. Weimer’s trailing foot may have caught on the apron, but he was hit and it was a clean knockdown. He arose looking slightly dazed, but kept his poise under the onslaught. Valderrama went all out to get him out of there, but Weimer fought back with clean counters and mobility rather than running, grabbing, or reckless wide open trading. The favorite got back into the contest, eventually landing a jarring left hook, and reducing the damage to one point on one card.
The rest of the contest was an uphill struggle for the favorite, but he rose to the challenge. All the rounds were of constant trading but disciplined, with Weimer generally getting the best of it with shorter, cleaner blows. But Jose was always right there in the action. Valderrama was rocked by a right and left in the second and a left-right combo in the third. The fight was even on two cards going into the final round, but that was all Weimer in spirited action. Valderrama was beginning to feel the pace and cautioned by Dali for holding. When he held again, Steve tossed him to the canvas, also drawing a caution. A good contest was fittingly matched by a good decision. Bernard Bruni had 39-37, John Gradowski and Dave Braslow 38-37, unanimous for the local favorite.
“Second round I ended up hittin’ him in the head and I think I broke my hand,” said the winner. “The rest of the second and the third and fourth rounds pretty much trying to focus on using my left and just hit him with the right when I had to…Even though they gave him a knockdown in the first round, I considered it a slip. I wasn’t hurt…Maybe it was bad footing or something.”
64 Nov – Juan Perez, Capital Punishment BC, Harrisburg, dec Gabrean Harrison, Lincolnway Gym, York, 2-1, 3 rds
72 Nov – Brent Foster, Lincolnway, dec Aaron Jones, Cameron St BC, H’bg, 3-0, 3 rds
140 Nov – Lazaro Cabrera, Stick ‘n’ Move, York, dec Jose Rosado, Lincolnway, 3-0, 3 rds
152 Nov – Harry Lopez, Lincolnway, dec Darrien Gaskins, unatt., 2-1, 3 rds
164 Nov – Clayton Fraser, Baltimore Bxg, dec Pasang Sherpa, Cameron St., 3-0, 3 rds
In memory of K.O.J.O.