|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 21, 2014||
Instead of heading out to the fights on yet another Friday night, I spend this end-of-week evening at home watching two different fight cards from the comfort of my own abode. There were two different cards to watch. Philly-Fav Hank Lundy had the main event slot on Showtime's ShowBox series, and Ray Robinson topped a card down at Dover Downs. I decided weeks ago NOT to make the two-hour trip to Dover, DE, and in doing so, I was clear to catch both cards - one on cable and one on my computer, via GFL.tv.
Hank Lundy won his 10-round match with rising Angelo Santana at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University in Ohio. Lundy's better experience showed from the outset of the bout, and Hammerin' Hank outclassed Santana to take the wide-margin unanimous decision.
Lundy won eight of the ten rounds, but despite the ease of victory, it was still an exciting fight to watch. But that's Lundy.
Perhaps his past knack for getting careless in fights infuses every one of his starts with extra drama. Lundy has been dropped six times in his career. He always gets up and he always fights on. He also almost always wins. So that small fear that Lundy will get sloppy and walk into a big punch keeps his fans on edge during every fight, even though he's on a petty nice roll these days.
The bout with Santana invited the same worry. Santana has shown good punching power in the past, and the ring Friday night was like a telephone booth. If Santana did strike, there wouldn't be much room for Lundy to escape.
However, Lundy showed no indication that he would make an error and blow this one. Still I was nervous watching.
The fighters split the first two rounds. However, Santana's advantage in the second pretty much ended right there. Lundy rebounded in the third and swept the next four rounds.
Santana edged the seventh by a fraction, but once again Lundy responded. Hank took the final three rounds, dropping Santana with a wild right in the eighth to sure things up on the scorecards.
After ten full rounds, Lundy was way ahead on the cards and took home another excellent victory. All three judges scored the bout 98-91. My card mirrored that score.
Lundy won the bout in style. There were moments when Santana capitalized on the tiny ring dimensions and maneuvered Lundy to the ropes. However, every time he did, Lundy outworked him and fought off the ropes well. By the end, Santana was paying for any aggressiveness that he managed.
As the fight went on, Lundy got braver and more comfortable. When the Philly showman was at his loosest and most confident, he let loose that big right and produced the knockdown that sealed the deal.
Lundy used the recent loss of his uncle Stanley as extra motivation in the fight. However, Hammerin' Hank always comes to perform and give it his all.
This was the second straight win for TV-vet Lundy, 24-3-1, 11 KOs. Last time he topped Olusegun Ajose on ESPN2. That was a similarly mature and emphatic victory, and indicated that at 30 years old, Lundy is once again on the brink of a world title fight. He's ready. Let's hope something big comes his way soon.
Santana lost for the second straight time on Showtime and fell to 14-2, 11 KOs.
In another televised bout, Albany's Amir Imam remained undefeated (13-0, 12 KOs) with a spectacular stoppage of Jared Robinson (14-1, 6 KOs). In round four, Imam blasted Robinson through the ropes and out of the ring. The fighter from Sumter, SC made it back into the ring to beat the count, but was glassy-eyed and obviously still dazed. The bout was stopped at 1:59 of the fourth.
ROBINSON WINS AT DOVER DOWNS
Before the Lundy fight, I surfed over to GoFightLive.tv (GFL) on my computer and watched the entire Dover Downs fight card. GFL offered the show for $14.95. This was not the first time that I watched a fight card on GFL, and it really is a good option when you can't make it to ringside.
On this card, Ray Robinson won a landslide 12-rounder over Aslanbek Kozaev, at the same time winning the NABO welterweight title and dishing his Russian opponent his first career loss.
The Philadelphian won by official scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice. I also scored the fight 118-110, or 10-2 in rounds. With the win, Robinson improved to 17-2, 7 KOs. Kozaev slipped to 25-1-1, 7 KOs.
In the 8-round semi-windup, featherweight Cornelius Lock, 22-6-2, 14 KOs, put the nail in the coffin of the career of Rogers Mtagwa, 27-16-2, 19 KOs, with a 4th round TKO of the trilling little Tanzanian fighter.
After his typically slow start, Mtagwa started showing signs of life after a two and one half year layoff. Mtagwa began ramping up his activity in the second and third rounds. However, a hard right hand by Lock knocked Mtagwa back a few steps in round four.
As he stumbled backward, he turned his back to Lock as he reached the ring ropes. Mtagwa never turned back around, and referee Vic de Wysocki had no choice but to step in and stop the fight at 1:10 of round four.
Call it a surrender.
Mtagwa, such a proud warrior in so many classic past struggles, has never taken a backward step in his life. However this time he just didn't have the fire to wage another war. Mtagwa, now a South Philadelphian, has given so much of himself in the ring and provided truly great memories for years. But that was long ago. Now, sadly, it's time for him to quit the ring for good.
In a wild 4-round cruiserweight fight, Earl Platt came away with a majority decision over David Murray. The fighters exchanged knockdowns in the bout, with Platt falling in the second and Murray in the third. But it was Platt who edged his opponent in the first and fourth to take the close decision. Platt, of Virginia Beach, improved to 4-1, 3 KOs, while Murray, 2-1, 1 KO, returned to PA with his first loss.
Lightweight Joey Tiberi, 12-1, 6 KOs, overpowered Charles Jones, 3-14, 2 KOs, with four knockdowns to earn a 4th round TKO. Tiberi scored a knockdown in round two, another in round three, and a pair in the fourth en route to the stoppage. Steve Smoger was the referee.
17-year old junior welterweight Milton Santiago won his second pro bout with another quick KO. At the opening bell, he swarmed Christian Daniels, and continued to pound away until referee Steve Smoger moved in to stop the fight. As Smoger stepped in, Santiago landed a solid body punch and Daniels slid down the corner post and into a heap. The time of the TKO was 2:42 of the first.
Santiago, 2-0, 2 KOs, made his pro debut two weeks ago in Philadelphia, and is scheduled to return to the ring on March 14th in South Philly. Daniels, 0-2, remained winless.
Kyrone Davis, a middleweight from Wilmington, made a successful pro debut with a 1st round TKO of South Carolinian Joshua Warf, 0-2. Davis dropped Warf in round one before referee Vic de Wysocki halted the slaughter after just 56 seconds.
In the show-opener, cruiserweights Kamarah Pasley, Philadelphia, and Travis Reeves of Baltimore, fought to a 6-round majority draw. Reeves, 3-2-1, 1 KO, appeared to have a slight edge in the bout, but only one official judge saw it that way. Two of the three sanctioned scorers tallied a 57-57 deadlock. Pasley stayed even at 6-6-1, 2 KOs.
So it was a good night of fights, and although watching from home on Showtime and GFL couldn't have been more convenient, I look forward to attending the next area live show on March 14th in South Philadelphia.