PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                        January 16, 2009


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The first fight card of 2009 was a lean, 5-bout show that contained a number of entertaining bouts for the 700 or so fans that showed up on a freezing Friday night at the New Alhambra. In the main event, Clarence "Sonny Bono" Taylor came to fight and was sporting an old-school robe that looked like a throwback to the good old days. He fought tough through a cut left eye that bled most of the way, but Derek Ennis controlled the active fight and took the unanimous 8-round decision. The second round was a great one, with both fighters firing their punches freely - especially to the body. Ennis edged that round, as he did most of them. The judges saw it 79-73, 78-74, and 78-74, all for "Pooh" Ennis, but it was a competitive and fun match.

The win upped Ennis to a 17-2-1 (12 KO) record and kept his winning streak (now five straight) alive. Taylor dropped to 13-20-3 (6 KO), and although he's mostly lost in recent bouts (2-10-1 since 2007), he was still a tough measuring stick for Ennis Friday night. 

In the semi-windup scheduled for six rounds, Wilmington's jr. welterweight and Max Kellerman look-a-like, Ryan Belasco dropped Lenny DeVictoria in a neutral corner about halfway through round two and won the fight 10 seconds later. The notoriously slow-starting DeVictoria never got it in gear, falling victim to the hard punches of the kid from the Diamond State. Belasco is now 9-2-3 (2 KO) and looked impressive with the victory. We'd love to see him now rematch with Victor Vasquez. For Lenny D,  this rare count-out defeat could (and probably should) spell the end of his exciting career. His 11-13-1 (3 KO) record shows the tough road he's been on since 2003, but all of his fights have been crowd-pleasers.

Ronald Cruz (left, white trunks) made a successful debut by winning a 4-round shutout decision over Joel Rios. The lanky Bethlehem, PA welterweight sent his large cheering section home happy with his strong performance that earned a 40-36 score from all three judges. Rios, originally from Puerto Rico and now fighting out of Philly, fell to 1-5. 

The night began with a 4-rounder between two Philly (North vs. South) welterweights making their professional debuts. It was an exciting fight, with both guys refusing to give ground in their first start. Although the action was nip and tuck, North Philly's Ray Rodriguez (below, white trunks) came away with the majority decision over South Philly's Ramon Ellis. The scores were 38-38, and 39-37 twice. Ray Rod's heavy body work in round two may have proved the difference. 

Heavyweights Kamarah Pasley of Upper Darby and Cullen Rogers of Akron, OH rumbled in their four round preliminary. Rogers swung for the fences throughout but couldn't land the big one. On this cold night, the repeated breeze he produced was not appreciated, but try he did. The statuesque Pasley (below, right with white trunks) was a little more conservative with his aggression and it finally paid off in round three when Cullen (now 9-23-2 with 5 KOs), finally ran out of gas and couldn't stay out of the way. Referee Shawn Clark stepped in at 1:37 and awarded Pasley his first win. He is now 1-3 with 1 KO.

The crowd was dotted with local boxing celebs like Bam Bam Hines, Mike Jones, Oak Tree Brown, Harry Joe Yorgey, One Punch Carr, Tyric Robinson, Jerry 'The Bull' Martin, Olivia Fonseca, and Luis Santiago.

Two of the busiest guys in boxing today, cut men Joey Eye and Billy Briscoe, both had full slates. Joey worked cuts for all five fights, while Briscoe did four, but added head-trainer duties in two of them. 

Promoter Greg Robinson and Xtreme Productions return to the New Alhambra on March 16th.

Philly Tough Guys: Yorgey, Jones, Carr, Brown & Robinson





Philadelphia - January 16, 2009