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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


North Philly’s Tyrone Brunson won a thrilling fifth round technical knockout victory over former world champion Kermit Cintron Saturday night in the main event of a lively Kings Promotions show at the 2300 Arena in South Philly. Brunson had to twice climb off the canvas before securing victory, in a fight for the vacant PA State junior middleweight championship that was must-win for both boxers. With sky-high stakes and big expectations, the fight played out even better than anyone could have hoped for.  

In the main event at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City Friday night, Philly welterweight Ray Robinson won his thirteenth consecutive bout with an aborted seven-round technical decision over Miami's Bredis Prescott, in a scheduled ten-rounder. Robinson was rolling along and locking up the fight, before an accidental head butt rendered Prescott unable to continue and forced an early tally of the official scorecards.

Prescott squeaked the first round on my card, but Robinson took charge beginning in round two. Ray was piling up rounds and banking rounds, but Prescott would occasionally explode with a flurry that drew Robinson into the danger zone. Each time however, Ray kept his head and fought out of peril. Long jabs and crisp power shots were his key tools, but generally, he was quicker and fresher than Prescott, and managed to get the best of each exchange.

The pair fought after the bell ending the third, and the fight got particularly reckless in in round five, when both men traded early. Both landed hard shots, but again Robinson had the edge. In round seven, as the fight was playing out just as it had in the previous six, the fighters both swooped in for another exchange when their heads smashed together.

Robinson’s skull met Prescott’s face, and Bredis jarred backward, spun around, and crashed to the canvas. Lying first on his back, then on his side, Prescott grabbed at his nose, which was spurting blood, and writhed on the floor. Clearly in pain, Prescott remained on the canvas and continued to struggle.

As the scene extended, things became dramatic. At first, it appeared that Prescott was having trouble breathing. Then, he began convulsing slightly. Eventually, the medical staff gave him oxygen and escorted his from the ring on a stretcher.

Referee Harvey Dock called the incident an accidental foul and determined that Prescott was unable to continue. So, the official judges scored the action of the seventh, and the fight went to the cards three rounds early.

All three judges gave Robinson every round, Alan Rubenstein, George Hill and Debra Barnes turned in identical scores of 70-63 for Robinson. My score was a point closer, 69-64.

The win improved Robinson’s record to 24-2, 12 KOs. Prescott lost his third straight, and slid to 30-11, 22 KOs, overall.


In the co-feature bout, San Juan's Luis Lebron, 9-0-1, 4 KOs, won the WBA Fedelatin featherweight title with a ten-round unanimous decision over Dominican Manuel Botti, 23-1-1, 18 KOs. Based on records alone, it appeared that Lebron might be in over his head, unless all those wins by Botti came against the easiest of easy marks. However, as soon as the fight began, it became clear that this was a solid matchup. Botti was no easy mark, and Lebron was up to the task.

The scrap was a hard-fought trench war. Each and every round featured a display of tough infighting by both. Body blows and tight hooks and uppercuts kept coming from both sides. Botti had his moments, especially in rounds two and five, but Lebron edged most of the other rounds with a busier and more accurate output. Lebron too the official decision by comfortable scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92. My tally read 98-92 after ten rounds.


Soon-to-be high school senior, Branden Pizarro, 17, of Philadelphia, 6-0, 3 KOs, scored a convincing victory over Angel Hernandez of Puerto Rico, 2-4, 1 KO. Pizarro looked as if he might be on the brink of an early stoppage, but Hernandez survived the early storm. Pizarro kept outclassing his foe, and took the first four rounds with relative ease.

The particularly impressive part of Pizarro’s performance came in round five. With the decision already in the bag, Pizarro refused to coast to an easy points victory. Instead, he turned up the heat in round five and floored Hernandez with a hard left hook. Hernandez survived, but Pizarro apparently wanted the KO.

When the sixth and final round started, Pizarro jumped right on Hernandez. He fired away and then dug a deep body blow that stopped Hernandez in his tracks and put him to the mat. Referee Sparkle Lee called it a knockout at 26 seconds of the sixth round of the lightweight contest.


Heading into his tenth pro fight, South Philly bantamweight Christian Carto, 10-0, 10 KOs, appeared to have a stiff test on his hands, facing an opponent with three times the number of bouts. However once the opening bell rang, a newly-blonde Carto quickly took control of the fight with Dominican Juan Guzman, 22-8, 12 KOs, and dispatched him before the first round ended.

Despite Guzman’s apparently deep experience, he was no match for the rising local bantamweight. Carto appeared to drop Guzman with a shot, but referee Sparkle Lee ruled it a slip. Almost immediately Carto nailed Guzman with a straight right that put him on the canvas. Lee called it right this time and began counting. Guzman got to his feet, but Carto was waiting.

Before long, Guzman was down again, but once again, Lee thought the trip to the canvas was a slip. Carto never complained, or even blinked. He just went back to work when the referee waved him back in. A moment later, Carto ripped Guzman with a good right uppercut, and the Dominican went down again. Lee halted the fight after just 2:30 had elapsed. The technical knockout win kept Carto’s KO streak rolling and pushed his perfect record into double-digits.


Philadelphian Samuel Teah, a 11-1-1, 5 KOs, crushed Puerto Rico-based Dominican Ken Alvarez, 8-6-2, 3 KOs, with a single right hand at 1:28 of round three. Teah won the first two rounds, before cracking Alvarez with a hard right in the third. Alvarez fell face-first from the heavy blow, and referee Eddie Claudio stopped the scheduled six-round junior welterweight bout immediately and called it a knockout.  


New York featherweight Jose Gonzalez, 8-0-1, 2 KOs, won a 6-round split decision over Guadalupe Arroyo of Huntington Beach, CA, 2-6. Gonzalez dominated the bout on my card, and landed his best punch, a left uppercut, in round five. After six full rounds, however, the fight was much closer on the official cards than on mine. Judge George Hill even favored Arroyo by a 58-56 tab. However, Alan Rubenstein (59-55) and Debra Barnes (58-56) scored the bout for Gonzalez, giving him the win.


In a scheduled four-round fight between two lightweight southpaws, Jeremy Cuevas, Philadelphia, 4-0, 3 KOs, knocked out Jonathan Valarezo of Ecuador, 0-2, with a single left hand, at 2:28 of round one. Cuevas was in control from the opening bell, and his vicious left hand ended the bout instantly. It was a devastating knockout, and could be a candidate for the best of the year. The referee was Harvey Dock. 


In six-round bantamweight bout, Mexican Ariel Lopez, 7-0, 5 KOs, defeated Charles Clark of Dallas, 1-3-1, 1 KO, by split decision. Lopez swept the first four rounds on my card, practically sealing the deal. Then, Clark rallied in the fifth, scoring a strong left hook and right hand, doing enough to win the round. However, another blow that Clark landed, this one low, cost him a point from referee Eddie Claudio. The deduction made the round even on my card (9-9). Clark remained in control in the sixth and final round, and did enough to take the fight on one of the official cards. Judge Alan Rubenstein scored the fight for Clark, 57-56, but was overruled by judges George Hill (57-56) and Debra Barnes (58-55). My score mirrored Barnes’ tally, 58-55.


Philly welterweight Mark Dawson, 4-0-1, 3 KOs, fought close to home for the first time in his young professional career. Southpaw Dawson remained unbeaten, opening the show, with a shutout of Detroit's William Hill, 2-4, over four rounds. All three official scores, by Debra Barnes, Alan Rubenstein and George Hill, were 40-36.

The nine-bout show was promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions, and was their first event in Atlantic City. All nine fights were streamed live on Facebook.




John DiSanto - Atlantic City - June 30, 2017