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23 JUNE 2018

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Hunter Scores One-Punch DQ

J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: The casino calls itself Harrah’s Philadelphia, but it is emphatically NOT in Philly! It’s in Chester. Nonetheless, its highly active and successful boxing program under Joey Intrieri (“Joey Eye”) and David Feldman has helped tear the belly out of boxing in the old fight town up the river. A near SRO crowd of some 600-700 on 9/13/13 got quite an eyeful, from a sensational semi-final to a controversial main event and a near disaster at ringside!


The main event, an excellent pairing, was scheduled 10 but ended in 0:50 of round one. Eric “The Outlaw” Hunter, 125 ½, Phila., 17-3 (9), proved a rare fighter…one who lives up to his nickname. He got disqualified! Hunter faced Mike Oliver, 125 ½, Hartford, 26-5 (8), an experienced foe who’s been on a short losing streak in tough fights lately. Oliver broke the streak the hard way…by getting KO’d! Hunter was trying to herd him onto the ropes. Oliver tried to grab and tie him up, but The Outlaw was having none of it and vigorously shook him off. Mike went to all fours, then immediately tried to jump up. Hunter and referee Benjy Esteves were on a collision course. Esteves stepped between them to administer the obligatory break and wipe the gloves. But he was on an angle from Eric’s left side, as Hunter simultaneously cracked a left hook. Oliver’s defense to the right side was impaired as the ref stepped in, and he was slingshot flat on his back, fight over! Confusion and mayhem followed, as it was first announced that Oliver would be given a five-minute rest. “How can you rest from a knockout?”, a ringside reporter asked rhetorically. After some confusion and a lot of buzz, the folly of that course of action sunk in, and Hunter was seen angrily storming from the ring. He’d been disqualified for hitting on a break. The crowd was quite unhappy, but Philly fans are somewhat sophisticated and there were none of the antics that have been the doom of other promotions.


Back in his dressing room, the disgruntled Hunter was a raging madman over the outcome. “That’s the referee’s fault!” he raved. “Break is when you’re in front of the fighters! You’re not nowhere near me. You’re behind me and…jumpin’ at ME! If he’d knocked ME out, then what?” Someone asked if Oliver had dramatized the effect, but the warrior’s pride took precedence. “C’mon, man, he was knocked the [bleep] OUT! I ain’t gonna lie. He was knocked OUT!” The “winner” was as subdued as Hunter was outraged. “I was kinda mad, the way it ended…with a foul shot,” Mike stated matter-of-factly. “I was doin’ good in the first round. Then he pushed me. I got right back up and he came and he hit me with that punch…with a foul rabbit shot. But I’m all right. I’m just gonna go get checked out and then take time to reheal and everything.”



Fortunately, the evening had already been “made” by the sensational battle in the semi-final, scheduled eight. In a brutal struggle, but one that crackled with fireworks, Hassan Young, 141 ½, Phila., 4-1-1 (2), stopped Julio De Jesus, 141 ½, Chester, 8-4-3 (4), not out for the sixth. De Jesus attacked fearlessly, tried to force the action to the inside, but Young was too skilled and too sharp for gameness alone. As early as the second, Hassan was dismantling him with footwork and jarring combinations that timed Julio’s lunges. De Jesus suffered a bad cut to the left eye. Action was at a fever pitch as De Jesus tried to take away Hassan’s advantage by bulldozing him. Hassan was taking him apart, but there remained the possibility that he might wilt from the pressure and Julio might succeed in keeping the action at close quarters. After Young tattooed him at length starting the fourth, Julio did begin to crowd him.  But that ended abruptly late in the round when Hassan fought off the ropes, buckled his knees with a crushing right uppercut, and doubled the punch to send De Jesus sprawling to the canvas. Julio tried to get back in the fight, took more punishment, and reeled to his corner at the bell.


Battered but undaunted, De Jesus began to enjoy some success at infighting in round five, and was holding his own. But late in the round, Young cut loose again, raked him with shot after shot, and had him out on his feet at the bell. This couldn’t go on! And it didn’t; the doctor stopped it between rounds.


In a contrast of styles that began cautiously and steadily escalated, debuting Roberto Irizarry, 127 ¾, Phila., was lucky to end up with a majority draw against Joshua Arocho, 129, Vineland, 3-7-4 (2), four. The first two were tight, with the rugged and bigger Arocho stalking, the slicker Irizarry circling and countering. The popular debutee had fans going crazy with nifty countering in the third. But he had little to offer in the fourth as Arocho took it to him and appeared to pull out the win. That’s how judge Dave Greer saw it, 39-37, but John Gradowski and Dewey LaRosa had 38-38, a booed call.


As spirited as he is guileless, Josue Rivera, 147 ½, Phila., 2-2 (2), upset returning Jesus Barbosa, 152, Phila., 4-4 (3), in a fast-&-furious frenzy, scheduled four. Before the start, a TV light fixture began to topple on ringsiders but was alertly intercepted by matchmaker Zach Pomilio and others before it skulled Marshall Kauffman. Josue exploded out, flailing with both hands, was met by a sharp combination, but remained undeterred. Barbosa was hammered without respite along the ropes, covered up and remained relatively unhurt, but eventually referee Hurley McCall stopped it, at 1:48. The thumb was perhaps a bit quick, and Jesus protested loud and long.


Anthony Prescott, 149 ½, Cherry Hill, 2-2-1 (1), gained a hard-earned unanimous decision from debuting Carlos Moore, 146, Bklyn, in a crude but rugged four. The right-hand sucker punch proved Anthony’s deciding weapon, as the remainder of the contest was on fairly even terms.


September 13, 2013

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