Jerry Glick reporting from ringside: June boxing action in New York City was kicked off by a short but exciting show of five fights. The promoter, who had to train to perform in the main event as well as help to put everything together, watched as a once long show was reduced to a short one as one fight after another fell off the radar. That is how it goes sometimes in boxing, but the show must go on, and this one had the fans on their feet.
Looking more and more like a real contender, hot prospect, Sadam “The World Kid” Ali, also promoted the show with his World Kid Ali Promotions. He shook off ten months of rust to work his jab and batter a game, but outclassed Franklin Gonzalez, 146 pounds, at the Aviator in famous Floyd Bennett Field, in Brooklyn, NY.
Ali, 147 pounds, had his opponent in trouble and in retreat for most of the fight. Ali remains unbeaten at 15-0 (9 KOs), while the veteran Gonzalez fell to 15-10 (11 KOs). Referee Danny Schiavone decided that after watching Gonzalez get up twice from knockdowns and absorb a series of punches the time was right to end matters at 2:22 of the eighth and final round.
Sadam Ali boxed with poise as he bounced jab after jab off of Gonzalez, from Brooklyn, NY, who had little offence to offer. By the fourth frame Gonzalez’ left eye began to swell over and under from the popping jabs of Ali, also from Brooklyn, NY. Ali constantly backed Gonzalez up and when he had him against the ropes he would fire off multiple combinations that had his opponent stumbling from the punches. In short, it was all Ali. One of those flurries dumped Gonzalez on the canvas in the eighth and final round. When he got up Ali went after the finisher. He found it in his right hand and down went Gonzalez again and this time it was over. Ali wins the vacant WBU Americas Welterweight belt.
It should be noted that Gonzalez’ record may be mediocre, but he has faced some pretty good fighters along the way including Luis Collazo, David Estrada, Dmitriy Salita, Antwone Smith, and Danny O’Connor.
Jennifer Santiago, 119, Brooklyn, NY, 1-0 (0 KOs), outfought Mikayla Nebal, 120, Ohio, 0-2, in four to take a unanimous decisions by scores of 39-37 and 40-36 twice. Both had good skills especially the winner who kept the pressure on Nebal. They traded punches with Santiago having the edge. Shada Murdaugh refereed.
Steven Gamache, 151, New York, NY, 3-0 (1 KO), son of ex-champ Joey Gamache, took a unanimous four over Willie Bryant, 152, Conway, AZ, 0-4-1, with a sustained attack. Gamache looked much improved and employed an accurate jab that he used to set up his right to the head. All three Judges agreed 40-36. Tony Chiarantano was the third man in the ring.
Armin Mrkanovic 189, Queens, NY, 3-1 (1 KO), halted Daniel Pietch, 180, Ohio, 0-1, in the fourth and last round. Mrkanovic was too strong for the dead game Pietch. The Ohio visitor had to lunge in with his punches and did manage to land some impressive rights, but Mrkanovic was out punching him all the way. Pietch’s nose bled in the third frame but he never stopped trying. Referee Murdaugh jumped in a little prematurely at 1:10 of the fourth to end it, but clearly Pietch was far from done.
Akil Frederick-Auguste, 159, Brooklyn, NY, 1-0 (1 KO), stopped Jamil Gadsden 156, Brighton, NJ, in two. After Frederick-Auguste scored his second knockdown in the second round referee Chiarantano waved it off at 2:26.
Among the boxing luminaries in attendance were newly crowned WBA Welterweight Champion Paulie Malignaggi, Bryan Adams, Joey Gamache, Santander Silgado, Boyd Melson, Gabriel Bracero, Gary Stark Jr., and Juan Dominguez.