Ken Hissner reporting: Diane Fischer of Dee Lee Promotions called it “Summer Super Brawl” at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, NJ, Friday night! Her main event boxer Dennis Hasson, 14-0 (5) had the crowd yelling “Dennis, Dennis” in the 8th and final round as he defeated George “The Rooster” Armenta, 14-9 (11), of Silver Spring, MD, after a 2 hour delay in the shows starting time due to no EMT back-up team.
Hasson is from the Kensington section of Philadelphia and now residing in the Hockessen, DE, thanks to Champs Management. His manager/trainer Dave “TNT” Tiberi once again took his protégé to task after dropping the first round which is not unusual. It was the third straight win for Hasson since starting “over” again in February. “He was cagey and crafty. I know I hurt him to the body but he was tough,” said Hasson. Many fans greeted him outside of the ring and he was very gracious in his victory. He could have spent an hour with well wishers.
The new group behind Hasson is like a breath of fresh air to the boxing scene. Tiberi is one of the most respected individuals in boxing. He tried cleaning things up in 1992 upon retiring and realized it’s as dirty outside the ring as in it. When Hasson came along it was like “finishing” where Tiberi left off. “I have a lot of confidence in Dennis and believe he will be light heavyweight champion someday. If he does his great uncle the former light heavyweight champion Tommy Loughran would be quite pleased. Hasson’s confidence is building with the help of Tiberi and the group behind him. Besides Tiberi, Bob Wall and cut-man Phil Alessi completed the Hasson corner.
Hasson is a charmer with good looks behind that beard which may be coming off soon. “I may just leave the mustache he said to Tiberi’s wife after the fight. Just to give you an idea of what is behind the scene it started with Pastor Steve Smith, Tiberi’s pastor, Tiberi, Hasson and this writer holding hands prior to the fight in prayer. In the dressing room after the fight each person coming in would knock before being let in. The room was filled with smiles but no outlandish celebrating. One of those who entered was his opponent Armenta to congratulate Hasson. It was a fine gesture on Armenta’s part having fought to the best of his ability and he had his moments. His heart and chin was tested throughout the fight.
Hasson took over in the second round landing a lead right followed by a left hook to the head of Armenta. He worked the body of Armenta who complained several times about some border line left hooks but except for one time referee Ricky Vera told Armenta to continue to fight. From round two through five Hasson had his way with right hand shots to the head off a good jab and left hook body shots to the body of Armenta.
In the sixth Hasson moved behind a solid jab before becoming stationary and blasting Armenta to the midsection and ribcage. “I should have been in better shape,” said Armenta. He had plenty of time to prepare for this fight though coming in at his heaviest weight, 174. In the final round Hasson landed one of his few uppercuts with more left hooks to the body not knowing what was keeping Armenta up. The scores read 79-73 by Tony and Barbara Perez while Joe Pasquale had it 78-74 all for Hasson. DHB had it 79-73 Hasson. He is a real crowd pleaser with a bright future.
In the co-main event Keandre “Lightning” Leatherwood, 9-1-1 (6), of Birmingham, AL, seemed lucky to get a draw with Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone, 9-2-1 (2), of Norfolk, VA, in a middleweight 6. Urged on by fellow Booker T H.S. graduate and former world champion Pernell Whitaker, Filippone seemed to do enough in the final round to pull out the win. Referee Brian O’Melia did a fine job separating the fighters as Filippone would come in low with his head and Leatherwood would hold his head or arm in tying him up. His father and trainer seemed very frustrated with his son for not using the uppercut. Leatherwood’s jab was his best weapon against the southpaw opponent. The judges were split as Barbara Perez had it 59-55, while Tony Perez and Pasquale saw it 57-57. DHB had it 58-56 for Filippone. “I’ll get him next time” said the good natured Filippone to the crowd. Leatherwood is promoted by Boxing 360 whose CEO Mario Yagobi was at ringside.
Joe “The Polish Thunder” Dawejko, 7-0-1 (3), of Philadelphia bounced back from his last fight ending in a draw to stop Edwin Ranquillo, 2-2 (1), at 2:11 of the 4th round. He had won the first 3 round easily busting up the tough Ranquillo’s nose and mouth causing the blood to flow. His trademark left hook once again won him the fight as it landed to the ribcage of Ranquillo and dropping him. His cornerman Al Certo had seen enough and stopped the fight. This was a heavyweight 6 with O’Melia the referee. Dawejko is also promoted by Boxing 360.
Antowyan “Ice Man” Aikens, 5-0 (1), of Atlantic City easily won a 4 round decision over game Kenneth Schmitz, 2-2 (1), of St. Joseph, MO, chased Aikens thoughout the contest. Aikens cut Schmitz in the first round on the left eye brow. It was methodical but Aikens got the job done while Schmitz never stopped trying. Aikens “thanked God” which is always a good way to start before responding to the media. Marc Abrams of gfl.tv interviewed the winners in the ring. Scores of 40-35 and 40-36 (twice) gave Aikens the victory.
The first two bouts were blowouts as Saud “Kid Grady” Clark, 1-0 (1), stopped Flavio Augusto Reyes, 10-, of Baltimore, MD, at 0:46 of the first round. An overhand right scored a knockdown by Clark in the first round. A lead right hand dropped Reyes on his face with referee O’Melia coming to the rescue of Reyes at 0:46 of the first round. Clark was over anxious having several postponements in making his debut. He could be a prospect. This was a welterweight 4.
The show opener had Joshua “Jersey Devil” Reyes, 3-0 (1), of Millville, NJ, came out for an early finish as he blasted David Rodriguez, 0-2, of Philadelphia with a lead right that overwhelmed Rodriguez at 0:25 of the first round. Referee Vera came to the rescue.
Some of the boxers on hand being introduced by former cruiser champ Nate “Mr” Miller were Dwight Muhammad Qawi, “Boogaloo” Watts, Buster Drayton, Al “King” Cole, Pernell Whitaker, Bruce and Isiah Seldon, Jimmy Lange, Kevin Howard, and others.
Many former boxers were on hand as part of a two night gala event which will have 40+ champs, contenders and current boxers on hand at Resorts. Dee Lee will return October 12th. Nick Tiberi served as matchmaker. This writer was quite impressed with Bunny Sigler’s version of the National Anthem. If you liked Ray Charles singing “America” you would like Sigler’s anthem.
There were 12 bouts proposed but only 6 went ahead for various reasons. All in all it was a good night with a very good main event. Fischer had her female title bout cancelled due to injury of one of the boxers. It’s a tradition for her having a female bout on her cards. Let’s hope she comes back before her October event.