|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - May 12, 2017|
Local super middleweight Christopher Brooker, Philadelphia, bounced back from two consecutive losses Friday night with an eight round unanimous decision over Oscar Rojas, of Monterrey, Mexico, at the Sugar House Casino. The main event bout began with Rojas taking a quick lead, while Brooker mostly backed up and boxed. This passive start was a nerve-wracking red flag for Brooker fans who knew Chris as an aggressive stalker until his previous fight when the puncher turned boxer and let a winnable fight slip by in Atlantic City.
At the pre-fight press conference three days before, Brooker promised that the “old” Ice Cold Brooker would be back against Rojas at the Sugar House. He said he would be aggressive, just like he had in his first dozen or so bouts. However when the fight began, unfortunately the “new” Brooker was still in full effect.
Rojas took the first two rounds on my card, but by the third, Brooker adjusted and began to press the action. The change in style and temperament helped Brooker turn the fight. In round three, Brooker nailed Rojas and the Mexican fell into the ropes. The incident could have been ruled a knockdown, since only the ropes kept Rojas up, but referee Benjy Esteves did not agree.
Still, Brooker won the round and changed the tone of the fight. Rojas remained competitive, but could not again do enough to win a round. Brooker’s power punches – right hands and especially left hooks – rocked Rojas and kept the 33 year old vet cautious. Brooker continued to apply the pressure, and swept the final six rounds.
After eight full rounds, all three judges, Gail Jasper, John Poturaj, and Justin Rubenstein, scored the bout 78-74 in Brooker’s favor. My score was identical.
The win snapped a two-fight skid for Brooker and improved his record to 12-3, 5 KOs. Rojas slid to 14-8-1, 4 KOs.
DECISION OVER MANSFIELD
ORAPEZA WINS A
However the former MMA fighter was nearly knocked out himself in the final round. After dropping McNutt with a left, Orapeza began to run out of gas. As the final round elapsed, McNutt capitalized on the opportunity and staggered Orapeza in the final minute. For at least 30 seconds, Orapeza was on the brink of disaster. He staggered; he slumped, and he huffed and puffed, but the exciting puncher remained on his feet until the final bell. The official scores were 38-37, 39-36 and 39-35, all for Orapeza. I scored it 39-37 for Sam.
LOPEZ AND BARATOV
BATTLE TO A DRAW
This was the second show by Kings Promotion at the Sugar House, and the event drew about 1,000 boxing fans. Kings Boxing comes right back on Friday (May 19), with a pro show at the 2300 Arena in South Philly.