PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - April 29, 2017  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


His right hand wasn't tied behind his back, but Philly junior lightweight Tevin Farmer won a fight using little more than his left, on Saturday night at the Liacouras Center on the Temple University campus in North Philly. Farmer fought through an apparent arm injury for nearly ten full rounds in the main event, but still managed to keep his winning streak, now eighteen strait, going strong. Farmer beat rugged and aggressive Mexican Arturo Santos by unanimous decision, but it wasn't an easy night for the flashy Philly southpaw.

Farmer took the first two rounds, and looked like his speedy, flamboyant self. However, sometime late in the second, Tevin began showing signs of a clipped right wing. In round three, Farmer grimaced, turned orthodox, repeatedly shook his right arm, and then stopped using it.

During the next two rounds, Santos pressed hard, while Farmer temporarily faded. Santos used the time to establish himself. He bullied Farmer to the ropes and corners, and by the end of the fourth, we had an even fight - a rarity in a Tevin Farmer fight.

Normally impossible to hit, Farmer took more shots in this fight than he did in all of 2016. Santos kept throwing, but Farmer kept moving. Between rounds, that is every round until the final bell, Farmer's corner massaged his right arm. At first it was long strokes, up and down the arm, but in time the rubdown was sternly focused on the right biceps.

And apparently the therapy worked. As the fight progressed, Farmer used the right more. He returned to the southpaw stance and began winning rounds beginning in the fifth.

However, the fight remained very competitive, and Farmer hit and got hit for the rest of the evening. The best round was the eighth, when both boxers slugged it out for much of the three minutes. You don't get that in most Farmer fights. Between Farmer's injury and Santos' forceful fighting style blended for a terrific fight.

After ten rounds, there was little doubt that Tevin had won the fight, but the official scores of 98-94, 97-93, and 96-94 reflected his uncharacteristic struggle. My score was 98-92 for Farmer.

With the win, Farmer improved his record to 25-4-1, 5 KOs, and preserved his #3 WBC world ranking. Santos slid to 19-8, 5 KOs, but gave an excellent account of himself.

After the bout, Farmer's trainer, Raul Rivas, said that he believed Tevin's right biceps was torn.

Seventeen year old lightweight Branden Pizarro, improved to 5-0, 2 KOs, with a near shutout of Texan Chris Gutierrez, 0-3, in the four-round semi-final bout. The young Philadelphian won every round on my scorecard (40-36), and earned the same tally on two of the three official cards (George Hill and Myra Grant). Judge Mark Werlinski saw the fight a point closer at 39-37.

Pizarro had to deal with some rough and questionable tactics by Gutierrez. The visiting southpaw, tried to get to Pizarro with a bit of everything in the dirty tactics handbook, but when he trip-tackled the youngster, tempers flared. The fighters and the corners exchanged harsh words and had to be kept separate after the bout's conclusion.

However, the actual outcome of the bout was never in question. Pizarro posted another good performance, and learned a few new lessons that will serve him well in the future.

Philly bantamweight Christian Carto, 9-0, 9 KOs, kept his knockout streak going with a TKO of sturdy Mexican Samuel Gutierrez, 14-19-5, 5 KOs, at the end of round five. Gutierrez was tough, but Carto banged away and eventually wore him down. In round five, Carto dropped Gutierrez with a left-right combination, but the visitor survived. However when Gutierrez returned to his corner after the round, his team asked referee Shawn Clark to stop the fight. The official time was 3:00 of the fifth.

With the win, Carto continued to impress with his aggressive but smart style. We all knew he could punch, but in recent bouts he has shown an effective jab and excellent compose. The past few opponents may not have been world-beaters, but they were all experienced, tough and grown men. Carto is definitely one to watch.

In a scheduled four-round junior welterweight fight, Philadelphian Samuel Teah, 10-1-1, 4 KOs, stopped Florida-based Puerto Rican Efrain Cruz, 4-4-1, 1 KO, in the final round.

The conclusion of the bout began with hard left hook by Teah. Cruz staggered from the punch, and Teah poured it on, landing numerous power shots from every angle. Finally a right uppercut put Cruz down. Referee Dali stopped the bout the moment Cruz hit the canvas. The time of the stoppage was 1:40 of the fourth round.

The four preceding bouts were all entertaining. However, the opening contest without a doubt stole the show. Wilmington, DE light heavyweight David Murray, 6-1-1, 5 KOs, survived first and third round knockdowns against Sam Horowitz, 6-3-1, 5 KOs, before storming back and stopping the Chicago slugger at 1:26 of the fourth and final round.

Despite hitting the floor twice, Murray controlled much of the action of the fight - even in the rounds he went down. These knockdowns, however, probably had Murray trailing on the official scorecards. So when the fourth round started, he needed to do something big to salvage the fight. And that's exactly what he did.

As the midpoint of the round came, Murray staggered Horowitz with a right and stayed in attack mode until referee Shawn Clark stopped the fight. It was a dramatic finish to an exciting fight.

The five-bout card was promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions, and it turned out to be one of their best shows yet. These pro bouts were part of a big event put on by the Urban League of Philadelphia that included a comedian, singers, a slate of celebrity bouts, and a roll call of former Philly boxing champs.  




John DiSanto - North Philly - April 29, 2017