Ennis and Witherspoon Stop Foes in Atlantic City

By Jason Pribila, ringside in Atlantic City: Spartan Fight Promotions kicked off the biggest weekend of boxing in Atlantic City with a seven bout card on Friday night at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Farah Ennis won a regional belt by stopping the game Victor Lares in a battle of super middleweights, and heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon took another step toward another meaningful fight by forcing Alexis Mejias to quit after four rounds. Undefeated prospects made up the rest of the card that only seemed to be missing resistance from the Blue Corner.

Philadelphia native, Ennis entered the ring with a perfect record (16-0, 10 KO) and an advantage in just about every category against an opponent who was there to give him some rounds. Ennis began the fight by feeling out what his opponent had to offer him. He showed a solid defense and quick reflexes to punish Lares when the orthodox fighter missed with his right hands. Three minutes was all Ennis needed to time his plodding opponent, and he began to open up in round two.

After scoring to Lares’ head for six minutes, Ennis began to target the body. Several hard shots landed against Lares’ exposed mid section and successfully diffused any chance of Ennis facing return fire. When Ennis went back upstairs, a left – right combination sent Lares to the floor for the first time.

Ennis’ corner seemed to want to get their weekend started early and urged their charge to let his hands go. After a brief respite in round five, Ennis obliged and again began to punish Lares’ body. Each body shot took its toll on Lares, until finally his legs could not stand to take any more. Lares hit the deck two more times in the sixth round, but he refused to be counted out.

Lares got off his stool to start round seven, but would not make it back to his seat voluntarily. A last gasp effort to try to win came up short when Ennis landed an overhand right to Lares’ chin that ended the fight suddenly.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:34 of round seven.

Witherspoon Stops Mejias After Four
Philadelphia heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon (28-2, 20 KO) won his second fight of 2010 by forcing Alexix Mejias (11-6, 5 KO) to quit after four rounds. Witherspoon picked up boxing late after first graduating from St. Joseph’s University. He lost his first fight when he allowed himself to get pulled into a firefight with then undefeated Chris Arreola in 2008. He won three straight before being stopped by the under-rated Tony Thompson on last year’s Williams – Martinex undercard. Witherspoon suffered a concussion during that fight, and smartly took his time coming back. A tentative Witherspoon stopped Livan Castillo in August, and he quickly returned to the ring on Friday night.

Anyone who has seen Witherspoon fight knows that it usually takes a few rounds until his offensive output begins to gain momentum. Friday night was no different. Witherspoon meticulously came forward from the opening bell, approaching his opponent as if he was solving a puzzle. Mejais aided Witherspoon’s cause by voluntarily retreating to the ropes. Each fighter was stingy with their punches, but it was clear that Witherspoon packed the more powerful punch.

A thudding body shot in round three seemed to erase any hope that Mejias had of winning the fight. When Witherspoon began to heat up in round four it became obvious that Mejias was not willing to trade. Unable to find a soft spot on the canvas during the round, Mejias remained seated after round four came to a close.

Witherspoon admitted he was disappointed that the fight came to a sudden halt. He was only beginning to display what he had been working on in the gym, but hopefully his ring return will take place in early 2011.

Witherspoon is only 29 years old, and although he has been stopped each time he attempted to step up, there is no reason why he should not press on. Even though it takes him a while to get started in fights, he has proven he is willing to throw down whenever he is threatened. He has a famous last name, and we could see much worse than Witherspoon sharing the marquee with a guy like Antonio Tarver.

Results of Other Bouts:
Light heavyweight Lavarn Harvell (7-0, 3 KO) needed an opponent 48 hours ago. Cruiserweight Khalil Farah stepped in on a day’s notice. I thought the bout sheet was a misprint, as it showed a 19 lb. advantage for Farah, until he took off his t-shirt. I understand that it is tough on a promoter when a fight falls apart late, and a fighter like Harvell, who sacrificed to get in fighting shape should earn a paycheck before the holidays, but this fight was a farce. A chopping right hand and flurry to the body sent Farah to the canvas. Farah’s corner mercifully spared us of a second round.

Featherweight Keenan Smith showed a lot of promise as he methodically broke down Anthony Royal (0-1-1) over three rounds. Well on his way to earn his third decision in three career fights, Smith swiftly halted the bout with the first straight left hand he threw in round four. The official time was 0:20 of Round Four.

Super Middleweight Joel De La Paz treated his hometown fans to a boxing exhibition, as he won every round against the Virgil Hill trained, Troy Maxwell (2-2). De La Paz showed great patience and technique as he systematically broke down the one dimensional Maxwell. De La Paz raced to an early lead by landing counter left hands through the first three rounds. De La Paz tried to give his hometown fans a stoppage victory, but he had to settle for a sweep on the scorecards: 40-36 twice and 40-35.
Deleware’s Joey Tiberi thrilled the enthusiastic crowd that traveled from Delaware to witness him violently stop Tonio Parker in 1:54 of the opening round. Tiberi threw a heavy volume of round house punches to overwhelm Parker, who was never in the fight. Tiberi scored a knockdown before closing the show with a pair of overhand rights.

The opening bout of the evening saw Ismael Garcia (2-0) out-hustle Corey Preston (0-2) over four rounds. Garcia was the aggressor and he landed him the more telling blows to earn 40-36 scores on all three judges’ cards.

November 19, 2010
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