|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - September 08, 2017|
Friday night’s ten-bout fight card staged at the 2300 Arena played out like two different shows rolled into one. Part one was loaded with a series of bone-crushing quickies, and at least two of the five fast kayos should vie for honors as the best knockout of 2017. The second half of the evening consisted of five bouts that went the full limit, but were still full of entertainment value.
In the main event, junior lightweight Avery Sparrow continued to develop as a prospect, winning his third straight fight, this time against Canadian Joey Laviolette of Nova Scotia. Sparrow started strongly, winning the first three rounds with relative ease. He landed a hard left hook in the third and seemed in total control of the bout.
Laviolette woke up in the fourth, and became more aggressive. As he pushed forward, he landed a few good rights and showed some decent power. However, the visitor never threw or landed enough to construct much of a rally. Sparrow took a breather in the third, and let the fourth slip from his grasp by just a hair, in my opinion. However, the North Philadelphian was back in charge by round six, and kept his work rate up and is boxing skills flowing. As a result, Sparrow, on my card, took the remaining rounds of the fight.
After eight full rounds, Sparrow clearly earned the decision, but the tally turned out closer than expected. Judge Dave Braslow saw the bout a surprising 76-76 draw. Luckily, Anthony Lundy and James Kinney scored the fight comfortably in Sparrow’s favor, 80-72 and 79-73, respectively. My tally was 78-74.
It was a good performance by Sparrow, 8-1, 3 KOs, and further proof that he has a future at 130 pounds. His last four wins have almost completely erased his lone loss, a confounding, last round, DQ to Jerome Rodriguez in 2015. That was a bout that Sparrow should have won, but seemed insistent on losing. He flaked out on that night, fouling out while well ahead in the bout, but was clearly on point Friday against Laviolette, 6-1, 4 KOs, and dished the Canadian his first professional loss.
However, as is often the case, sentimentality began creeping into my head as the opening bell approached. So, when I was asked, just before the bell, who I thought would win, I opened my mouth and the word “Fred” came out. I really like both guys, but I’ve followed Jenkins closely for longer. So, I guess I was secretly rooting for him.
Well, it didn’t take long for reality to settle in. In round one, Wise jumped on Jenkins and painfully dropped him twice. Hard rights were responsible for both knockdowns, and it appeared that Jenkins would not survive the first round. But Jenkins is a tough and well-schooled fighter who was practically born in the gym. So he got up both times and fought back hard.
Both boxers made the fight a good one, but Jenkins could not keep pace with the younger and fresher Wise. Isaiah boxed well, kept throwing punches and endured the many return shots that Jenkins landed. Wise kept winning rounds while Jenkins kept trying to turn the fight and keep his career alive.
There were numerous two-way exchanges, but each time, no matter how well Jenkins landed, Wise had the answer, and always punctuated each volley with a telling shot that clearly won him the trade.
As is the case with many aging fighters, Jenkins felt every punch that crashed against his head and his body. He grimaced; he wavered, but he always kept fighting.
At the end of six grueling rounds, Wise won the decision by scores of 60-52, 59-53 and 57-55. I gave Wise every round plus two extra points for the early knockdowns, and scored it 60-52.
The time was 3:00 of round one. Clean and devastating, Padilla’s one-punch KO will likely be in the running for 2017’s Knockout of the Year.
Finally after mostly
chasing Charles, Marcel nailed Osnel with an explosive right
hand in the fourth, as the closer-than-expected bout wound
down. It was a picture-perfect punch (another KO of the Year
candidate) and Charles crashed to the mat. Referee Benjy
Esteves didn’t bother to count as Charles laid motionless
for several frightening seconds. The popular and
better-than-his-record-indicates journeyman has won just two
of his last seventeen bouts, and has seen more than enough
ring action in his see-saw career. It’s none of my business,
but I hope to only see Osnel Charles outside the ring from
now on. The time of the knockout was at 1:41 of the fourth.
The show was promoted by Peltz Boxing, BAM Boxing, Joe Hand Promotions and Raging Babe, and drew a live crowd of 1,009.