PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                         March 17, 2012


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By Ken Hissner


Before a near packed St. Patrick's Day crowd, Philadelphia’s “Quiet Storm” Farah Ennis, 19-1 (12 KO), defeated “Free” Dion Savage, Jr., of Flint, MI, 11-3 (6 KO), over ten grueling rounds at Bally’s in Atlantic City Saturday night.   

John Lynch’s Pound for Pound Promotions and matchmaker Nick Tiberi put on seven bouts with a solid main event. The fans did not leave the casino unhappy. Ennis, the former NABF super middleweight champion, put the ever aggressive Savage down in the third round from a straight right hand. Savage quickly got up and made it through the round. In the fourth round, Savage started driving Ennis to the ropes where Farah seemed to be willing to stay far more than his trainer / father “Bozy” Ennis wanted him to. The tactic was to the advantage of Savage who was “let back into the fight” because of it.   

The fifth and sixth rounds were close with Savage landing one of his better punches, a right hand with Ennis against the ropes that came with about 10 seconds left in the round. Ennis hurt Savage with a good body shot in the seventh, and his corner kept encouraging him to downstairs more. In the eighth, Ennis seemed to have his way until about a minute was left in the round. That's when Savage, who never stopped coming forward, seemed to steal the round.  

In the ninth, Ennis landed half a dozen punches without return before Savage landed a solid uppercut of his own. Halfway into the tenth and final round, Ennis staggered Savage only to see him come roaring back. With the fans screaming in delight, the bell sounded to end the fight.  

The three official judges scored the fight for Ennis. Tony Perez had it 98-92, Eugene Grant scored 97-92, and Emil Conforti tallied 96-93. I  scored it 97-92 for Ennis.  The referee was Allan Huggins. 

After the fight, Ennis said, “He came to fight.  He’s no quitter!  I thought I had him in the third round with the knockdown."  

“I thought I won the fight.  I was coming forward throughout,” said Savage. Dion's father is doing life in prison, so Savage uses the nickname “Free” hoping for his father's release. When asked about his father after the bout, Savage covered his face with his hands, showing more pain at the thought than he ever experienced in the fight. The game Savage, who works out at the Floyd Mayweather Camp, will be welcomed back here anytime.

With the win, Ennis takes a step forward into the super middleweight picture.  

The 8-round welterweight semi-windup match saw Kazakhstan southpaw Vitaliy Demyaneko, 20-0 (12 KO), now fighting out of Las Vegas, pitch a shutout over Ghana's Ayi Bruce, 21-6 (13 KO).  All three official scorecards read 80-72. Bruce, out of Albany, never seemed to figure out the taller boxer’s style, and was on the end of Demyaneko's jab, as well as many right hooks throughout the night. It was the third US appearance for the winner, and his first bout in 22 months.   

Cheering Demyaneko on at ringside was Layla “Amazing” McCarter, a 5-time champion fighting out of Las Vegas with an 11-bout winning streak. She informed the press that Demyaneko's father/trainer Viktor was a silver medalist in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. His son held the PABA title from 2006 through 2010 defending it eight times.   

In a 6-round light heavyweight match, Dennis Hasson, from the Kensington section of Philadelphia but now fighting out of Wilmington, DE, took on Eddie Caminero of Lawrence, MA.  Dennis Hasson, 13-0 (5 KO), continues to show solid improvement under the guidance of former IBC super middleweight champion Dave ‘TNT” Tiberi.  This was the first “ring appearance” for Tiberi since he lost one of the most outrageous decisions in the history of boxing back in 1992, when despite giving  then IBF middleweight champion James “Lights Out” Toney a good “ass whipping”, he lost a split decision, and quit the ring for good.      

Tiberi’s protégé, Hasson, used a solid double jab that Tiberi has been working with him on to set up Caminero, 7-7 (7), until 1:17 of the second round, when referee Allen Huggins waved it off. Although Caminero was cut over the left eye and taking a pounding, he thought the fight was stopped too soon. But the stoppage appeared to save him from a knockout that seemed to be coming before the end of the round. “I hit him hard enough that I thought my knuckles were coming through my gloves," said Hasson. "He takes a good punch. I felt good in there.”  

Hasson scored his second straight stoppage after a 17 month layoff that ended last month in Atlantic City. Besides Tiberi, Bob Wall and cut-man Joey Eye were in the corner of Hasson. The future looks bright for this good looking Philly transplant now under the banner.  “I was pleased with his performance tonight and he should be moving back to 8-rounds in the next month or two,” said Dave Tiberi.   

Patrick “Paddy Boy” Farrell, 6-1 (3), of Jersey City, NJ, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a solid performance against tough Kalven Jenkins, 0-1-2, of Troy, NY. Jenkins landed his share of punches in this 4-round heavyweight fight. By the fourth round, both fighters seemed tired from all the action of the first three rounds. The fans loved this one due to the competitiveness of the bout. Farrell, fighting over 200 pounds for the first time, is working his way back to cruiserweight.  

Quebec’s Mikael Zewski, 13-0 (9), hardly worked up a sweat as he delivered an impressive variety of punches against the defensive minded Joel Vargas, 3-6-1, of Dodge City, KS. Vargas may have gone the entire 1:32 without throwing a punch before referee Huggins came to his rescue in the scheduled 4-round junior middleweight match.  

In one of the best fights of the night, underdog Sammy Santana, 4-6-2 (2), of Carolina, PR, started strong by taking the first two rounds from Dominican Jose Peralta Alejo, 8-1 (4), of Jersey City, NJ. Each round ended with the fighters continuing to punch until referee David Franciosi got between them.     

In the third round, Alejo starting getting to the body of Santana with both hands after the latter had his way in the previous round. Both fighters were very busy the rest of the way in the 6-round welterweight match. Alejo won the bout with scores of 59-55 (twice) and 58-56. The fight seemed even for the first four rounds with the body work of Alejo making the difference.  

Opening the card was talented southpaw junior lightweight Andrew “Sweet Pea” Bentley, 1-0 (0), of Jersey City, NJ, Bentley who is trained by the recently retired Bobby Rooney impressed the fans in his bout with Jose Rivera, 0-4, of Ocla, FL. He won all four rounds and took the unanimous decision by scores of 40-35 (twice) and 39-36, but his opponent stopped trying. Huggins was the referee.   




Ken Hissner - Atlantic City - March 17, 2012