PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 22, 2016  
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Story by John DiSanto


With an impending blizzard threatening to hit South Philly, the seven-bout boxing show staged by Hard Hitting Promotions in association with Swift Promotions went off without a hitch at the Sheet Metal Workers Hall, and thanks to several quick KOs, even ended early enough to avoid much conflict with the storm.

In the eight round main event, Reynaldo Blanco, 10-2, 4 KOs, Carolina, PR, scored an unanimous decision over Philly's Angel Ocasio, 8-1-2, 2 KOs, to win the NABA-US lightweight title.

The bout was a closely fought contest with the boxers splitting the first four rounds, before Blanco pulled ahead in the second half. Ocasio stayed in the fight, but Blanco was more effective with his long jab, steady body work and solid punches to the head.

As the fight wore on, Ocasio looked winded. His best round was the fifth when he landed some significant rights - one straight, one uppercut - but seemed unable to press the action enough to take control of the bout. Blanco remained the fresher fighter and stepped on the gas down the stretch.

Earlier in the week at Wednesday's press conference, Blanco guaranteed victory with a showy and confident rant while at the microphone. The pro-Ocasio crowd didn't take him seriously, but the visitor backed up his words on fight night with an impressive performance.

After eight full rounds, Blanco took the decision by scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75. I also scored the bout 77-75 for Blanco. It was Ocasio's first professional loss.

In the one-sided 6-round, co-feature bout, Jonathan Maicelo, 23-2, 12 KOs, North Bergen, NJ, scored a shutout unanimous decision over Samuel Amoako, 21-6, 15 KOs.

Throughout the six rounds, Maicelo chopped away at Amoako's body and landed hard head shots effortlessly. However the Ghanaian proved to be very durable and would not fall no matter what hit him. He just sucked up the punishment and gamely hung tough. In the final round, Amoako landed a stinging left hook, but it was too little too late. All three official scores were 60-54. My score was the same.

Philly light heavyweight David Murray, 3-1, 3 KOs, knocked out Puerto Rican Heriberto Salaman, 0-3, at 2:46 of round one. Murray dropped his foe with a right and referee David Franciosi halted the bout before finishing his count.

In a wild junior middleweight contest, Brooklyn's Julian Valerio, 3-3, 2 KOs, scored a one-punch knockout over Philadelphian Saud Clark, 5-2-1, 4 KOs, at 1:59 of the opening round. Clark spent most of the first round pouring on the pressure and swinging for the fences. Saud was clearly winning the round before a clubbing right hand by Valerio caught Clark and put him down for the full ten count. Both of Clark's pro losses have been by stoppage. 

Debuting Philly lightweight Luis Del Valle, 1-0, scored a 4-round unanimous decision over Jersey City's Alberto Manukyan, 0-4. The southpaw dominated the action and won by scores of 40-35, 40-36 and 39-37.

Philly junior middleweight Idemar Cordero, 1-0, 1 KO, made a successful pro debut against Luis Ramos, 0-1, of Carolina, PR. Cordero also made his professional debut in the bout.

In the opening fight of the evening, Newark, NJ super middleweight Godson Noel, 6-0, 4 KOs, remained undefeated with a 4-round unanimous decision over Victor Kpadenou, 10-10, 5 KOs. All three official scores were 40-36.

Due to the threatening weather, I opted at the last minute to stay home and safely watch the show on GoFightLive ( All seven bouts were broadcast over the web, and GFL once again, proved to be the next best thing to being at ringside.




John DiSanto - South Philly (via - January 22, 2016