PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - April 04, 2017  
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Story by Ken Hissner
Photos by Matthew Heasley / PBC


Tuesday night at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, Wilmington's Omar "Super O" Douglas was robbed by the "Three Blind Mice” (aka official judges) in his nationally televised ten-round main event against Edner Cherry. The fight topped a nine-bout Kings Promotions, that featured three fights televised live by Fox Sports 1. 

Edner "Cherry Bomb" Cherry, a Bahaman boxer now fighting out of Wauchula, FL, received an early Christmas present, when he was awarded a questionable unanimous decision. The official scores were 96-94 (by Steve Weisfeld and Ron McNair), and an even more outlandish 98-92, from judge Kevin Morgan. In this writer's opinion, the decision should be investigated by PA Athletic Executive Director Greg Sirb.

In the opening round, Cherry controlled the action with hard rights to the head. Then Douglas started using his jab and going to body. In the second, Douglas adjusted well in another good round of boxing. He landed several nice overhand rights to the head, while Cherry used his own left to score. In the third round with Cherry chasing, Douglas showed good movement, landing right hands following an effective jab.

In the fourth, Douglas moved up and down, which threw Cherry off. Although the bout remained competitive, Cherry clearly had problems with Omar's movement. In the fifth round Douglas landed a power jab that snapped Cherry’s head back.

Coming off his first loss in his last fight, this bout was a major test for Douglas. In the sixth round a Douglas left hook to the body drove Cherry back several steps. A solid lead right to the chin by Douglas, got Cherry's attention. At the bell, a Douglas left hook to the chin almost dropped Cherry.

In the seventh round, both landed left hooks at the same time. Douglas then chased Cherry and started landing his jab to the body and left hooks to the head. The blows drove Cherry back several steps, at the bell. In the eighth round Cherry resumed his chase knowing he was behind. Cherry landed a hard right after the bell for the second straight round without warning from referee Gary Rosato.

In the ninth round, it was first Douglas then Cherry, who landed hard rights to the head. Douglas continued to work the ring very well with Cherry very slow afoot. In the tenth and final round both fighters continued another round of Cherry chasing but walking into counters by Douglas. In the final 10 seconds, both went all out trying to steal the round.

When it was announced that judge Kevin Morgan had it 98-92, this writer never dreamed the score would be for Cherry. Weisfeld's and McNair's scores of 96-94 were bad enough. This writer had Douglas the winner 98-92.

The win raised Cherry's record to 36-7-2, 19 KOs, and should push him toward another crack at a world title. Douglas slid to 17-2, 12 KOs, and went home rightly disappointed.

In the first televised bout, Reading junior lightweight southpaw Frank De Alba, 22-2-2, 9 KOs, of Reading, PA, won a controversial eight-round decision over Ryan “Polish Prince” Kielczewski, of Quincy, MA, 26-3, 8 KOs, in a good match-up. However, once again, the official decision went to the wrong fighter. 

In the opening round De Alba was the aggressor, working nice behind a jab. Kielczewski countered well, but at times held his hands too low. In the second round with hands low and slipping punches, Kielczewski rocked De Alba with a lead right to the chin.

The third round turned out to be the best up to that point for De Alba. He landed as much as Kielczewski, while the local fans urged De Alba on. In the fourth round De Alba landed a good combination to the head of Kielczewski, who kept it in the middle of the ring and paid the price. Halfway through the round Kielczewski was back to moving more.

In the fifth, the action was back and forth. Being the faster of the two, Kielczweski had a good round. In the sixth round, Kielczewski stood in front of De Alba with his hands down, daring him to hit him on the chin. De Alba's punches were met with well-timed counters. In the seventh round, the action picked up even more with both fighters exchanging punches, mostly to the head.

De Alba knew he was behind coming out for the eighth and final round, and seemed to understand he badly needed to win the round. Within thirty seconds, the boxers butted heads. Then De Alba swung for the fences as Kielczweski used the ring and threw an occasional counter right to the head. However, this was a big round for De Alba.

Judge McNair, who scored the fight 80-72 for De Alba, must have been watching the round-card girls instead of the fight. Both Weisfeld and Morgan had it 77-75 for De Alba. This writer also had it 77-75, but for Kielczweski. The referee was Gary Rosato.     

Philly featherweight Stephen “Scooter” Fulton, 11-0, 5 KOs, returned to action after nine months, and won an action packed eight round match over southpaw Luis “Zurdo” Rosario, 8-1-1, 7 KOs, of Cidra, PR.

In the opening round, Fulton showed the skills the Philly fans were used to, easily handling Rosario early. His lead right hands to the mid-section were something to watch. Fulton's quickness had Rosario on the defense, with hands held high. In the second round, Fulton continued doing well until halfway through the round when Rosario landed his best punch of the fight, a straight left to the head. However, it didn’t take long for Fulton to be back in control, but this was Rosario’s best round of the first two. 

In the audience supporting Fulton were Frank Carto (whose 8-0 son Christian followed Fulton into the ring), Philly’s top trainer Bozy Ennis (with his unbeaten son Jaron “Boots” Ennis following Fulton into the ring) and unbeaten Todd Unthankmay coming off a March 11th draw. Also former WBC 2-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and his father/trainer Angel were at ringside.

After an relatively even start to the third round, Rosario started getting to Fulton halfway through the round, and probably won it. In the fourth, Rosario repeatedly pinned Fulton on the ropes and kept him on the defense for most of the round. Along the ropes, Rosario landed many power punches to the head.

Fulton's power was equal to Rosario's, but the Philadelphian's boxing skills were better. So, in the sixth round, Fulton re-established control by keeping his distance. Rosario, however, still held his own. In the seventh, it was all Fulton, who changed his style and dared Rosario. Fulton countered well, especially to the body, and hurt Rosario at one point. In the eighth and final round, Fulton continued his command of the fight by slipping punches and countering well in return.

All three official judges scored the fight for Fulton. Judge Steve Weisfeld had it 79-73, Ron McNair scored it 78-74, and Kevin Morgan was out in left field with a 80-72 total. This writer had it 77-75, for Fulton.

Philly junior welterweight Naim “The Dream” Nelson, 13-3, 1 KO, lost to southpaw Tre’Sean Wiggins, 8-3, 6 KOs, of Newburgh, NY, by technical decision, at 0:34 of round five, when an accidental head butt forced the fight to be stopped.

In the opening round, Nelson seemed reluctant to fight the southpaw, and Wiggins did enough to take the round. In the second, Nelson was a little busier but Wiggins' jab still earned him the round. In the third round, Nelson used a good body attack when he had Wiggins against the ropes. However the rest of the time when the action remained in the middle of the ring, Wiggins continued to stay in control. 

In the fourth round, Nelson’s right eye started to swell from right hooks landed by Wiggins. Nelson kept coming forward, but Wiggins countered him well. Eventually the fighters clashed heads and Nelson suffered a cut over his right eye.

In the fifth, the cut worsened an was bad enough for referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., to stop the action for a check by the ringside physician. The doctor took one look and halted the fight.

Because the cut was caused by an accidental head butt, they went to the score cards early. All three judges scored the bout 50-45 for Wiggins, as did this writer.


Philly junior lightweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, Jr., 8-0, 5 KOs, continued his winning ways by defeating Wilfredo “Fredito” Garriga, 3-6-1, 2 KOs, of Juan Diaz, PR, over 6 rounds of action. Velasquez is out of the Danny “Swift” Garcia stable.

In the opening round, Velasquez used strong right hands to the body and head. In the second, Garriga starting using his jab, but Velasquez stayed right on him. His jab was more of a range finder, rarely landing. However, his follow-up right was strong to the head and body of Garriga. In the third round, the same pattern followed with Velasquez the more offensive while Garriga offered little.

In the fourth round, Velasquez had Garriga in the corner and landed a number of punches until Garriga forced a clinch. In the fifth and sixth rounds, Velasquez continued to force the action and showed some good defensive skills.

All three judges scored it 58-56 for Velasquez, while this writer had it 60-54.

Super middleweight Jimmy Kelleher, 4-0, 3 KOs, of Scranton, PA, defeated Jose Valdaramma, 5-19, 3 KOs, Manati, PR, in a well-fought four rounder.

In the first two rounds, Kelleher showed some nice skills especially on the offense. In the third, Valdaramma rocked Kelleher, but the Scranton fight came back gamely. In the fourth and final round, the fans were on their feet as both fighters landed bombs. By the end, the fans were chanting “Jimmy, Jimmy”, in support of the exciting young Kelleher. Kelleher comes from a fighting family, and has two younger brothers in the amateurs. 

After a long five minutes of score tallying, judges McNair, Somma and Friscia, along with this writer, had the 60-54 for Kelleher. Eric Dali was the referee.   

In the opening bout, middleweight Ryan Wilczak, 3-0, 2 KOs, of Scranton, PA, stopped Courtney McCleave, 2-7, 1 KO, Concord, NC, at 3:05 of the second round.

In the opening round, McCleave was the aggressor in a close round up until he was hit in the right eye and dropped. McCleave beat the count of referee Dali, but his right eye was just about closed. About thirty seconds later, Wilczak landed a right uppercut to the midsection of McCleave and knocked him down for a second time. McCleave tried but didn’t beat the count, as the bell sounded ending the round. The official end came at 3:05 of the first.

DC super middleweight Gregory Clark, 2-1, 1 KO, stopped Devin “The Bearded Assassin” McMaster, 1-1, of Allentown, PA, at 1:28 of the fourth and final round.

In the opening round McMaster was the aggressor, but it was Clark, with hands to his side, who took the lead with counter rights to the head. In the second round, it was all Clark. He dropped McMaster with a long right to the head. McMaster beat the count of referee Dali, but continued to take too much punishment.

In the third, Clark was almost landing at will. McMaster showed plenty of heart, but little defense. In the fourth round, Clark landed one right hand after another to McMaster's head. He pushed McMaster into a neutral corner and landed too many punches to count. Finally referee Dali finally stopped it. Clark did too much showboating for the locals.

Junior lightweights Hector Bayanilla, 1-0-1, 1 KO, of Allentown, PA, and Jordan “Da Kid” Peters, 1-0-1, 1 KO, of D.C., fought a war to a majority draw.

In the opening round that had plenty of action, Peters' jab may have been the difference. In the second, all hell broke loose as Bayanilla landed one right hand after another, but showed little defense. Peters did his share of landing, but not enough to take the round.

In the third round, Peters used an effective jab to keep Bayanilla at bay. Once again it turned into a war with the Bayanilla fans going wild in during the close round. In the fourth and final round, both fighters took turns landing haymakers. This fight was a tough one to follow. In the last thirty seconds, Peters landed the heavier punches.

Judge Mike Somma had it 39-37 for Bayanilla, while judges McNair and Weisfeld had it 38-38. This writer also scored it a draw. The referee was Rosato.

Timekeeper for the evening was Fred Blumstein.




Ken Hissner - Bethlehem, PA - April 04, 2017