J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Keeping club boxing alive in NYC, Lou DiBella Entertainment ran another of their marathon cards at B. B. King Club just off Times Square, on 12/4/13. The intimate surroundings only hold a couple hundred people, and were packed. But eleven bouts??? Where does he get the $$$! The focus of these shows is to develop new talent. Since they don’t bring in stiffs to fall down…Melvina don’t allow that!...the fun is in seeing who passes muster and who doesn’t. On this occasion, Team DiBella went 9-2 against matchmaker Joe Quiambao’s tests. Not bad.
Topping the card was popular Boyd Melson, 158, NYC, 12-1-1 (3), versus Gundrick King, 158, Tuscaloosa, AL, 18-11 (11). Melson won a unanimous shutout in eight. Sometimes scoring tells the story; sometimes it doesn’t. This time, it did. Melson’s vocal fans were entertained, but otherwise it was a tame sparring match of southpaws. The chunky, muscular underdog needed someone to trade with at short range. But he could never move inside on Melson, who used his reach to crack Gundrick with right hooks whenever he tried to come in. A rally late in the third had King a bit shaken. After that, the main excitement was an interruption as the ring started to fall apart in the fourth, and Melson sustaining a slight cut right eye in a big-finish eighth. Earl Brown refereed. Gundrick got a nice Holiday visit to New York.
By contrast, visitor Andre Wilson experienced a Central Park mugging in the co-feature eight. Wilson, 121 ½, St. Joseph, MO, 13-7-1 (11), wanted to box, but Luis Rosa, 124, New Haven, 15-0 (7), was all over him. Andre tried to duck away, but a chopping left hook behind the ear sent him to one knee in the first, not terribly hurt, but getting overrun. In the second, it got worse, as the vigorous Rosa muscled Wilson to a knee for a second knockdown without landing a clean shot. He then added insult to injury by reaching around referee Gary Rosato to land a cheap shot. In the third, Rosa’s wild attack led to a clash of heads and a bad cut to Wilson’s right eye. This time, the best of the three knockdowns was scored with a clean right. Andre got up but was a sad sight, pouring blood, and Rosato called a TKO at 2:24.
In a herky-jerk six, Dashon Johnson, 166, Escondido, CA, 15-13-3 (5), upset Craig McEwan, 167, Edinburgh, 22-4 (11), by unanimous decision. The contest was undisciplined and ineffective, characterized more by misses than hits, and difficult to score. The southpaw Scotsman utilized a rapid in-and-out style, but concentrated more on movement than punching. The stocky Johnson pressed forward from a flat-footed stance, couldn’t put anything together, while landing embarrassing shots here and there. But the contest may have opened up around a questionable knockdown call by referee Shada Murdaugh in the third. McEwan was lurching in several directions at once and seemed to go to the canvas under his own momentum. He certainly wasn’t hit a clean shot and wasn’t hurt. But it was counted as a knockdown. McEwan did little of purpose in the fourth while Johnson tagged him with a couple long potshots. Craig finally put together a good round in the fifth, letting his hands go and putting punches together. This carried into the sixth, but Johnson closed stronger, bopping him with clean shots along the ropes. Julie Elizabeth Lederman and Ron McNair scored 58-55, Robert Perez 57-56.
By contrast, Bryant Cruz, 130, Port Chester, NY, 8-0 (5), had to rise to the occasion to keep his unbeaten slate against determined Joshua Arocho, 129, 3-8-4 (2), in a sensational six. Cruz was the better technician and had better hands. But Arocho was bigger, stronger, and would not be discouraged. They traded furiously from opening bell, with Cruz’ sharper punches gaining an early lead. But late in round one, Arocho had him against the ropes and dropped him as if from a gallows with a short left-right. But Brandon fought his way out of the round, then regained control of the action by outfighting Joshua head-to-head in the second, cutting his right eye. Torrid action continued through the whole contest, but Cruz dominated after the knockdown and won by 58-55 on all cards.
There was no such display of gameness from the underdog in a scheduled six between Travis Peterkin, 175 ½, Brooklyn, 10-0 (5), and Tylon Burris, 171 ½, Hartford, 4-2 (2). Burris had no clue for the rangy southpaw’s height, reach and style. Tylon merely tried to come in and got repeatedly tangled up while Peterkin tried vigorously to push him off and got cautioned by ref Brown several times for the roughhouse. The bout quickly became an ugly mauler until Peterkin finally got hands free enough to land some punishing shots in the fourth. It ended in a TKO when the doctor wouldn’t let Burris out for round six, over his protest.
Another ugly contest, but under much different circumstances, was a scheduled six between Francy Ntetu, 167 ½, Quebec City, 11-0 (3), and Julio Garcia, 167, Rincon, PR, 6-5 (3). These guys were trying to emasculate each other! Ntetu started quickly, scoring a short right that pushed Garcia over more than knocking him down. But Julio was blistered at length after the knockdown and had to survive some wicked shots before finally beginning to fight back late in round one. After that, both boxers were on more equal terms in a brutal culione-fest! They stayed at medium quarters and bombed away to head and body with crunching shots. Twice in round two Garcia was warned by Murdaugh for low blows, while Ntetu drew a warning once. Finally in round three, Garcia was called three times as he ripped underneath, although the second one looked like a clean body shot brought up from under. Ntetu, who was holding his own at least when he wasn’t getting hit in the gonads, twice went to canvas in real or feigned agony, with the referee disqualifying Garcia at 2:34 of the third.
Another scheduled six produced a punishing, action contest, an eye-catching performance by the winner, and a game effort by the loser. Antoine Douglas, 159, Wash., DC, 11-0 (7), stopped tough lefty Colby Courter, 158 ½, St. Joseph, 4-1 (4), at 1:12 of the third. Round one was trench warfare, with a right rocking Colby just before the bell. Round two had Courter’s physical attack beginning to wane while Antoine’s better skills took over and dished it out. By the third, it was becoming all Douglas as Courter began to hold. A right sent him down, right eye puffed nearly closed, and when he arose, Rosato stopped it.
In the best of the fours, Joseliz Cepeda, 129, Newark, 6-2, took the measure of popular Neuky Santelises, 130, NYC, 5-2 (4). The first two were a tactical chess match between the rangy Santelises and the more compact Cepeda, with few clean punches. But Cepeda changed tactics and exploded out for round three, hammering Neuky on the ropes and having him hurt and holding. Action cooled in mid round, but Joseliz was again mounting an attack at the bell. The fourth wasn’t as definitive, but Cepeda was applying the pressure while Santelises appeared satisfied just to be there. McNair scored 38-38, but Perez and Kevin Morgan had 39-37, giving Joseliz a deserved majority verdict.
Daniel Gonzalez, 148, Queens, 5-0 (3), wore down and stopped Kamal Muhammad, 148, Harlem, 0-3, in 2:40 of the third of a good four. Muhammad boxed but lacked the physical presence to hold off the determined Gonzalez. The favorite mauled him and, although Kamal wasn’t especially hurt, he was being overwhelmed when his corner signaled surrender.
“Junior” Younan, 166, Bklyn, 2-0 (2), took 0:22 to get rid of Travis McClaren, 166, Hartford, 1-3, in a scheduled four. Junior just came out winging, landed a combination finished off by a left hook to the jaw that dropped Travis, and although he got up, Murdaugh stopped it, over the fighter’s protest.
Jerry Odom, 167, Wash., DC, 6-0 (6), scored three knockdowns in blowing out Eric Moon, 168, Grand Rapids, 1-4, in 2:47 of the first, scheduled four. It was a mad scramble while it lasted, with both bailing out. The stocky underdog was dropped by a grazing right from the rangy favorite, then a right-left combo, and finally a solid right.
December 5, 2013