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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


In the main event at South Philly’s 2300 Arena, DC junior lightweight Joshua Davis, 11-1, 5 KOs, scored a seventh round TKO over Pennsauken, NJ's Carlos Rosario, 7-2, 4 KOs. Rosario started fast, but before long Davis took control with an effective jab. Solid and steady power punches by Davis soon followed, and Rosario began to fade in the fight.

Davis dropped Rosario in round two and then again in the sixth. Rosario survived both trips to the canvas, but the fight appeared to be almost over after the second knockdown. In the seventh round, it was all Davis, who picked up right where he had left off in the previous round.

Davis’ punches began landing freely and Rosario offered nothing but guts in return. Finally, with Davis battering Rosario badly, referee Gary Rosato jumped in to save the groggy Rosario at 1:49 of round seven.

In the semi-wind up fight, Atlantic City light heavyweight Antowyan Aikens, 11-3-1, 1 KO, (above left) beat Philly's Amir Shabazz, 4-1, 1 KO, by unanimous decision after six rounds. Aikens' jab controlled most of the action, but there were two or three very close rounds.

Shabazz had his moments in the fight, but Aikens was more accurate and landed most of the good shots. After six rounds, the official judges favored Aikens by scores of 60-54 (Alan Rubenstein) and 58-56 twice (Rose Vargas and John Poturaj).

Philadelphia junior welterweight Thomas Velasquez, 9-0, 5 KOs, dominated Mexican Brandon Sanudo, 5-4, 2 KOs, and won a one-sided unanimous decision over six rounds. Velasquez really poured it on in the final round, but could not stop his overmatched foe.

Velasquez is a good young prospect, but he was not overly impressive in this fight. He missed often and had trouble controlling the ring. His opponent made it easy for Thomas, but the prospect’s rough spots were still apparent. After the six rounds were over, there was no doubt that Velasquez had won the fight. I gave him every round, but still expected more in this, his ninth fight. Two of the official tallies mirrored mine. John Poturaj and James Kinney scored the bout 60-54. Rose Vargas gave Velasquez a 10-8 round somewhere along the line, probably the sixth, and turned in a 60-53 score.  

In a 6-round junior welterweight fight, Tyrone Crawley Jr., 7-0, remained undefeated with a unanimous decision victory over Juan Rodriguez of Virginia, 7-7-1, 5 KOs. Rodriguez pressed Crawley enough to take the first round on my card, but beginning in round two, the Philadelphian adjusted and swept the rest of the fight.  The southpaw has skills, but has struggled to stay active since his 2012 debut. He’s had just seven fights in five years. This start, however, was a solid win. The official scores were 59-55 (Alan Rubenstein) and 60-54 twice (Rose Vargas and James Kinney).


Philly junior welterweight Steven Ortiz, 6-0, 2 KOs, TKO'd Hector Rivera of Puerto Rico, 3-2, 2 KOs, in the second round. Ortiz put Rivera down with a left hook - right hand combination at the end of the first round. Had there been more time remaining, Ortiz would have won in the first. In the second, Ortiz clubbed Rivera with a left hook that put him down again. Rivera went down hard, but managed to get up. However, Ortiz jumped right on him, and went for the kill. After Ortiz landed a few more shots, referee Gary Rosato halted the bout at 2:37 of round two. Ortiz looked sharp and powerful.


In a junior welterweight quickie, Gerardo Martinez, 1-0, 1 KO, made a successful debut with a first round TKO over Tito Gonslaves, 0-2. Martinez, Coatesville, PA, landed one right hand bomb that put the Philadelphian on the deck. Moments later, another right dropped Gonslaves again, and referee Ronald Bashir stopped the fight immediately. The time was 1:47.


In a messy bout between two winless Philly junior welterweights, Demetrius Williams, 1-2, outworked Antonio Allen, 0-6, over four rounds to score his first-ever ring victory. Williams threw more punches, landed the better shots, and swept the decision on all three official scorecards. Rose Vargas, Alan Rubenstein and James Kinney all saw the bout a 40-36 shutout for Williams.


In the show-opener, local welterweight Vincent Floyd, 3-2-1, 2 KOs, stopped Rafael Montalvo, 3-6, 3 KOs, in the third round of their scheduled 6-rounder. Montalvo, took the first round, but Floyd battled back and dropped the St. Clair, PA fighter with a left in the second round. Fully warmed up, Floyd knocked Montalvo down again in the third, and referee Gary Rosato stopped the fight at the 1:26 mark with the fallen fighter still on the floor.  

The eight-bout card was promoted by Marshall Kauffman's Kings Promotions. The promoter returns to the 2300 Arena on June 24th with must-win crossroads fight between Kermit Cintron and Tyrone Brunson in the main event.




John DiSanto - South Philly - May 19, 2017