Boxing returned to
the Showboat Atlantic City after a ten-year hiatus with an
eleven-bout card promoted by Rising Star Promotions. In the
main event, Thomas LaManna, Millville, NJ, 25-2-1, 9 KOs,
and Brooklyn’s Gabriel Bracero, 24-3-1, 5 KOs, fought to a
ten round split decision draw under dim lighting conditions
on the former casino floor.
Many of the rounds
were close, but just one of the official judges scored it
that way. Lawrence Layton had the bout 95-95, but the other
two judges split the vote rather one-sidedly. Joe Pasquale
favored LaManna 98-92, while Pierre Benoist thought Bracero
was the winner 97-93. I scored the close fight 96-94 for
quickly and won the first few rounds. The action heated up
in the fourth, with Bracero pressing hard and backing up the
fighter/promoter. Over the next four rounds, the boxers
swapped pairs of rounds. LaManna won the sixth and seventh
and Bracero took the eighth and ninth, on my card.
Entering the tenth
and final round, I had LaManna with a one-point edge, but
clearly the final frame was critical for both fighters, in
such a close battle. Many of the previous rounds had been
tight and might have gone either way. In an active last
three minutes, LaManna won the final round and appeared to
seal the narrow victory from my perspective. However, the
judges could not come up with a consensus winner and scored
the fight a draw.
The deadlock stalled
a four-bout winning streak for LaManna, but still allowed
him to keep his WBC FECARBOX welterweight belt.
Philly junior lightweight Donald Smith, 6-0, 3 KOs, blanked
Jersey City’s Andrew Bentley, 3-3, over four rounds to win a
unanimous decision. All three official scores were 40-36.
JULAN STOPS PEREZ
In a scheduled six round cruiserweight fight, Brooklyn-based
Frederic Julan, 9-0, 7 KOs, scored a third round knockdown
of Puerto Rican Edgar Perez, 7-24, 3 KOs, and won by TKO at
the end of that round (3:00) when Perez quit in his corner
before the fourth.
CHARLES WINS BY
In what was probably the best fight of the night, Atlantic
City Haitian Osnel Charles, 12-18-1, 2 KOs, and Laquan Lewis
of Wyandanch, NY, 2-9, 2 KOs, battled back and forth in a
spirited contest, scheduled for four rounds. The excitement
peaked in round two when the fighters traded knockdowns.
The fight continued, and Charles slowly took command using
hard right hands.
Lewis responded with a good left hook in
the third, but Charles was on a roll. Early in the fourth
and final round, Charles fired away at a shaken Lewis. After
a series of punches staggered the New York fighter, referee
Eric Dali jumped in to stop it after 33 seconds had passed
in the last round. This was just the second career knockout
for the journeyman Charles.
Eduardo Flores of Quito, Ecuador, 26-29-4, 15 KOs, and Tommy
Rainone of Farmingdale, NY, 26-8-3, 6 KOs, fought to a
sloppy eight-round split decision draw. After eight rounds,
I felt Flores had backed up Rainone all night and done
enough for a six rounds to two victory. However, the
official scores were 78-74 for Flores (Joe Pasquale), 77-75
for Rainone (Lawrence Layton) and 76-76 even (Pierre Benoist).
PEREZ WINS DEBUT
In a four-round junior middleweight bout, Ernesto Perez,
1-0, made a successful pro debut against Steve Moore of
Orange, NJ, 0-3. The Vineland, NJ boxer won by unanimous
decision, 40-36 and 39-37 twice.
MIRANDA RALLIES FOR TKO
In the opening bout of the evening, Vanderlay Miranda, of
Marseille, France, 1-3, 1 KO, started slowly, but stormed
back to upset Baltimore junior welterweight Jahmal Dyer,
4-1, 2 KOs, as time was running out in the bout. Dyer built
an early lead through the first three rounds. He hurt
Vanderlay late in the second round and appeared to on his
way to his fifth straight victory against the winless
rallied in the final round, hurting his foe with a sharp
right hand and then pouring on the pressure until referee
Benjy Esteves stepped in to save the staggering Dyer at the
2:14 mark. There were no knockdowns.
There were four
walkout bouts after the main event.
RASHID KAYOS TAYLOR
First, Mike Rashid King, Scottsdale, AZ, 1-0, 1 KO,
stampeded Darius Taylor of Wilson, NC, 0-3, when the opening
bell sounded. Rashid dropped Taylor and referee Shada
Murdaugh counted him out at 59 seconds of round one.
Next, Catskill, NY cruiserweight Alvin Varmall Jr, 1-0,
dropped Larry Pryor, 10-19, 5 KO, in round two and went on
to win by unanimous six round decision. The scores were
60-53 twice and 59-54.
TERRY SHUTS OUT
In a four rounder, Jersey City middleweight Robert Terry,
1-0, defeated Philly’s Corey Weekley, 0-1, by shutout
decision. The scores were all 40-36.
Finally, Brooklyn middleweight Omar Kabary Salem, 2-0, beat
Leon DeShields, 0-3, Philadelphia, by unanimous decision.
The scores were all 40-36.
A crowd of about 900
gathered on what was once the casino floor of the Showboat
where blackjack tables and slot machines once stood.