PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                        August 18, 2012


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By Ken Hissner


20-year old Super featherweight Joel Diaz, 11-0 (10 KO), of Los Angeles, CA, remained unbeaten stopping Puerto Rican southpaw Guillermo “The Vampire” Sanchez, 14-7-1 (5 KO), of Buffalo, NY, at the end of the 2nd round at Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night.    

John Lynch’s Pound For Pound Promotions stacked the undercard of local and nearby talent to support the two out of town boxers before a nice-sized crowd. The taller Sanchez did well in the first round reaching the oncoming Diaz with straight left hands.  In the second round, Diaz landed a pair of straight right hands that had Sanchez hurt, and forced the latter to hold on until the bell sounded.   

After minutes of discussions in the corner of Sanchez, by the ringside physician, and referee Ricardo Vera, the fight was waved off.  Ring Announcer Henry Hascup called the end at 3:00 of the second round of this scheduled 10 round main event. At ringside, representing Diaz was Boxing 360 president, Dr. Mario Yagobi, who looks like he has a puncher in the young L.A. prospect.  

The lone 8-rounder on the card was a mismatch due to the late arrival and much smaller size of southpaw Franklin Gonzalez, 15-11 (10 KO), a Dominican out of NY who was no match for Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia, 15-0 (9 KO), of Passaic, NJ.  Gonzalez was knocked out at 2:05 of the first round after hitting the canvas twice.  

Gonzalez seemed ready to go after the first knockdown, which was caused by a glancing right hand on top of the head, but referee Lindsey Page let the fight go on. When Tapia dropped Gonzalez immediately after the action resumed, Page could have counted to 100.  Why he even bothered to count was questionable at best. As a welterweight, Gonzalez upset Ireland’s Eddie Hyland in January, but proved in this fight that he is no middleweight.  

Pat “Paddy Boy” Farrell, 8-1-1 (4 KO), of Jersey City, NJ, found himself on the canvas in the first round from a chopping right hand by Wayne Hampton, 5-6- (3 KO), of Capital Heights, MD.  Farrell was able to fight his way back in the scheduled six round heavyweight match-up, using a steady jab to keep the much bigger Hampton (46 pounds) off of him until the bell sounded.   

Hampton tried to capitalize on the knockdown throughout the second round, but missed as much as he landed.  By the third, he seemed exhausted and held onto Farrell.  After several warnings for holding and a one-point deduction by referee Vera, the fight was stopped in favor of Farrell.  Hampton had nothing left as he went to his corner, leaned over the ropes and rested his head on his arms.  It wasn’t the way Farrell wanted to win but he showed plenty of heart in coming back to take the victory.  

In a battle of unbeaten heavyweights that did not live up to expectations, Philadelphia’s Joey Dawejko, 7-1-1 (3 KO), looked like a sure winner for three rounds, landing the few punches that managed to land between the two.  His opponent Dorsett Barnwell, 7-0 (3 KO), of Northport, VA, started putting the pressure on in the fifth, possibly feeling he needed a knockout to win.  Dawejko of Boxing 360 was able to slip most of Barnwell’s punches but rarely capitalized. After the fight, Dawejko's trainer, former Philly boxer Brian McGinley, acknowledged that Joey needs to be busier and let his hands go in the future.  The judges were split with Alan Rubenstein having Dawejko ahead 59-55, while both Steve Weisfeld and John Stewart had the fight 58-56 for Barnwell.  This writer had it a 57-57 draw.   

Dawejko’s best punches were left hooks to the midsection, but he rarely landed any combinations.  There was much too much posing by both fighters.  For Barnwell it was his second straight win in Atlantic City, making his promoter Dee Lee very happy with this mild upset.  Dawejko asked for a rematch feeling he pulled it out, but that isn’t something the fans need to see again.  “Maybe with a loss on my record it will be easier to get fights now,” said Dawejko afterward.  He had an ice pack on his left forearm.   

Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, 9-0 (5 KO), of Millville, NJ, won a split decision over Yolexcy “El Pit Bull” Leiva, 5-4 (4 KO), of Nashville, TN, over six rounds of junior welterweight action.  The fans liked this back and forth battle.  The taller Lamanna seemed to have his way with his long left jab and even dropped Leiva in the second round.  But he couldn’t finish him off.   

In the third round, Leiva got Lamanna to fight his fight on the inside, and seemed, except for the knockdown, to all but even the score going into the fifth.  Lamanna’s jab kept Leiva at bay most of the round, but it was close.  In the final round, Lamanna outpunched Leiva 2-1 to take the win.  Alan Rubenstein had the fight for Lamanna while John Stewart had it for Leiva with identical 57-56 scores.  The deciding vote from Steve Weisfeld agreed with my 58-55 score for the winner by split decision, Lamanna.  

In one of the best fights of the night, prospect Anthony “Pelion” (meaning fighter) Gangemi, 1-0 (1 KO) of Mine Hill, NJ, made it a successful debut by breaking down the much taller Jimmy Ellis, 1-2 (1 KO), of Florence, SC, and forcing referee Vera to stop the bout at 2:26 of the third round in favor of Gangemi.   

Ellis, with a Thomas Hearns build, got his licks in but Gangemi had a good defense and a warrior mentality that was very pleasing to both the fans and this writer. Wearing patches on his trunks from Italy and Colombia, Gangemi, the 2011 NJ amateur boxer of the year, came into the ring sporting a 70-15 amateur record.  He should be a natural draw in the future.  

Southpaw Tyrone McKenna, 1-0 (0 KO), of Mt. Arlington, NJ, was one of two of Irish-born boxers debuting on the card.  McKenna looked like Andy Lee utilizing his much taller southpaw stance defeating Anthony Morrison, 0-1, of Philadelphia, who made his debut in this welterweight four rounder.  All three judges scored it 40-36 for McKenna. Morrison, a well built former MMA fighter, showed his best round in the final session, but was much too small for the long armed McKenna.  

Ireland’s Toka Khan Clary, 2-0 (1 KO), now out of Providence, RI, won his second fight in as many months, easily stopping fellow southpaw Jamil Winfield, 0-1, of VA, at 1:16 of the first round when referee Vera had seen enough.  Clary dropped Winfield with a left hand to the head and though Winfield beat the count, he didn’t seem to be in very good condition.  The referee let it go until a lead left dropped Winfield again, and then finally called a halt.   

Former NJ Golden Gloves super heavyweight champion Tyrell Wright, 1-0 (0), of Jersey City, NJ, did enough to win a four round decision over the much larger Dennis Benson, 1-3 (1 KO), of Norfolk, VA.  The scores were 40-36 (Weisfeld) and 39-37, 39-37 (by Rubenstein and Stewart).  Wright rocked Benson in the second and third rounds, but seemed to tire in the close fourth round.  Lindsey Page was the referee.    

Freddy Blumstein was the time keeper. 




Ken Hissner - Special Contributor - August 18, 2012