PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                         January 12, 2012


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But Ocasio & Sosa Look to Steal Show



Comebacks will be the motif at the National Guard Armory in Northeast Philly Friday night when Greg Robinson's Power Productions returns with the first boxing show of the 2012 fight schedule.

Power's last card was many moons ago at the same venue on January 28, 2011. That card disintegrated on fight day with the majority of slated bouts scratched at the last minute. The show went on but it was a shaky affair. Power Productions did not even attempt to stage another show until now.

Greg Robinson's return promotion Friday night is a whopper with eleven fights scheduled (for a total of 54 scheduled rounds) to begin at 7:30 PM. However on this card, Robinson is not the only one with comeback on his mind.

The 8-round main event marks the return of Farah Ennis, who has not fought since April when he suffered his first professional defeat in an upset to Alexander Johnson in Atlantic City. That surprise setback sent the 29-year old Ennis back to the drawing board. After all this time, he's ready to go again. He will face Grover Young. At 5-4-1 with 2 KOs, Young, at least on paper, looks like a classic comeback foe - a professional with a pulse from the breeding ground of easy opponents - the Southern United States. But Young, of Tennessee, is a ripe 23 years old, a light heavyweight, and all of his losses have been to undefeated boxers. He also has never been stopped. So perhaps he can serve as a moderate test for Ennis - at least for the come-backing Ennis.

Ennis, 17-1 with 11 KOs, is a quiet and humble guy who carries the nickname "Quiet Storm", and does the majority of his talking with his gloved fists. Before the loss, he was on a good roll against decent opposition. He even won the NBAF title.

Ennis has a lot of power, which should endanger Grover Young's streak of finishing fights on his feet. However, the one red light for this fight is that it will go down in the light heavyweight division. The concern is that Ennis - normally a super middleweight in terrific condition - has approached this fight with less than his usual work ethic, or that the lay off has resulted in weight gain. But the weight class of this bout may be the result of the sometimes arduous task of landing the "right" opponent for a match like this. Let's hope this is the case. All eyes will be on Ennis' weight when he steps on the scale Friday morning, but the truth is Farah should be okay regardless.

There are other comebacks on the card - especially that of Philadelphian Brian Donohue (left) who returns to the ring after five years away. He'll face Randy Campbell in a four round light heavyweight preliminary. 

Tim Witherspoon Jr. (right) fights for the first time in a year when he faces fellow Philadelphian Tevin Farmer in a 6-round lightweight bout. Witherspoon, 6-1-1 with 2 KOs, was last seen on Power's Armory show last January, but has been idle ever since due to injury. Farmer is 3-2-1 with 1 KO. He turned pro last February and was very active all year. Friday's 6-round fight will be for something called the IBS regional lightweight title. Luckily in this case, IBS stands for Independent Boxing Syndicate.

In addition to these crossroad-comebacks, the card boasts one bout that is shaping into an attractive grudge fight. Undefeated lightweight Angel Ocasio, 6-0 with 1 KO, faces Jason Sosa (left) in the 6-round "Co-Main Event". Apparently no love will be lost between these two when their Philly-Camden rivalry ignites in the ring. Ocasio (below) is coming off the best win of his young career, a unanimous decision over Rasool Shakoor last August. He looked like a real prospect in that fight and will try to continue his advancement against Sosa, 4-1-1 with 1 KO. But at the press conference Monday night, Sosa had that pissed off look of a fighter who has been cast in the role of "the opponent", contrary to his liking. He is not yet a journeyman, so surely the role feels to him like a bad fit. Hopefully the two fighters will clash hard when they meet in the ring.

The other likely highlight of the night is the fourth professional start of North Philly's Miguel Cartagena. Miguel turned pro last year after a very successful amateur run that included numerous titles. Cartagena shouldn't get much resistance from the 1-5  Cuban Yuniel Ramos Friday night, but we still want to watch Miguel's progress. He's on a two-bout KO streak, and should add to it at the Armory. 

Popular and undefeated heavyweight Joey Dawejko fights Corey Winfield on the card. Dawejko, 5-0 with 2 KOs, is coming off his best win, a TKO of then-undefeated John Lennox of Carteret, NJ in September. Dawejko was an amateur standout who won international titles as a teenager. Now 21, "The Polish Thunder" continues to progress after a slow career start. The fight will be his third in a year, as he tries to get things rolling again. Dawejko should have little trouble with Winfield, 4-8 with 2 KOs in the four rounder. However, Winfield at 6' 3", is several inches taller than Dawejko. But you know what they say, "...the harder they fall."

Five more fights, all scheduled for four rounds, round out the card. (To see the complete bout sheet click here).

The big boxing show Friday night kicks off what looks like a potentially busy 2012. Four local fights, four neighboring fights and four TV fights - all involving Philly boxers - fill out the schedule for the first quarter of the year. So the quantity is there. Let's hope that Friday's action delivers in the quality category and sets the tone for 2012.




John DiSanto - Northeast Philly - January 12, 2012