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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


In boxing, nothing beats a rematch.  The pre-fight expectations are especially sky-high when two local fighters are nudged into a second go, because it usually means that their first meeting was either a terrific battle or an upset.  In the case of the first fight between Cherry Hill’s Anthony Prescott, 8-8-2, 2 KOs, and North Philly’s Isaiah Wise, 6-2, 3 KOs, their tussle, three months ago, was both. 

House fighter Wise, was on a three-fight winning streak that included a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate bout against Fred Jenkins Jr., and was expected to beat Prescott, a familiar face on the scene with a skillset far better than his rocky record suggests. 

However as usual, Prescott came to fight.  He dropped Wise in the second, withstood Isaiah’s post-knockdown rally, and pulled out a close and exciting six-round split decision with a strong final round.  It was a very good battle, full of action, drama, and impact for both locals.  The knockdown was the key difference in the scores, and so the pair will meet once again on Friday night, and try to raise the high bar they set back in March. 

Raising the bar, or even meeting it, is always the primary challenge of a rematch, and these junior middleweights will have another six rounds to make it happen. 

Prescott vs. Wise is the hotly anticipated co-feature on a strong card at the Parx Casino, in Bensalem, PA, the same site for Prescott-Wise I.  The main event on Friday night features Philly flyweight Miguel Cartagena, 15-4-1, 6 KOs, in the evening’s only eight-rounder.    

Early in his career, Cartagena fought often in Philly.  Five of his first nine starts were here, but lately, Miguel has been on the road, fighting in Japan, Puerto Rico, and California.  The closest to home he’s fought in the past four years is Bethlehem.  So Friday represents a homecoming for the North Philadelphian. 

On Friday, Cartagena faces Carlos Maldonado, of Los Angeles, 10-2, 7 KOs.  All but his last bout took place in Mexico, so we don’t know too much about him.  In his last outing, Maldonado dropped a shutout eight-round decision to Texan Joshua Franco in California.  The visitor is two years older and an inch taller than Cartagena.  However, Miguel is still looking to match the accomplishments of his tremendous amateur career, and will certainly show up looking to impress. 

The pressure is on Cartagena to register solid win on Friday before he can make one more run at the top of the division.  He’s had a good career, but expectations for the fighter were once far higher than they are today.  Miguel, still just 25, lost his last outing by knockout to experienced former multi-champion Brian Viloria, and will look to turn his career around on Friday night. 

The rest of the show is filled with area talent and looks quite appealing. 

In another six round fight, blood-and-guts Philly favorite Victor Vasquez, 20-11-1, 9 KOs, returns after nearly two years off to face repeat visitor, New Yorker Vinnie Denierio, 3-4, 1 KO.  Vasquez has fought some of the toughest, bloodiest and most exciting fights in recent local history and returns for another stop on his farewell tour.  Even if he wins on Friday, few can imagine Victor making another run in the ranks.  However, any chance to see this local cult hero, even in the waning days of his career, is a must for any sentimental Philly fan.  

Philly puncher Marcel Rivers, 5-0, 4 KOs, meets Smyrna southpaw Michael Crain, 2-2, 1 KO, in a six-round welterweight contest.  Rising star, Rivers has knocked out four straight and Crain might want to wear a helmet for this fight. 

Philly middleweights Kieran Hooks, 2-0-1, 1 KO, and Sharif Jones, 0-1-1, face off in a four-rounder between two young pros. 

Harrowgate’s Adolfo Serrano, 19, makes his professional debut against thirty year old, fellow-Philadelphian Christopher Burgos, 0-2-1, in a four-round junior lightweight fight. 

Newark, NJ based Puerto Rican bantamweight Emmanuel Rodriguez, 2-0, goes for three straight wins in his four-rounder against Ndira Spearman, of Maryland, 1-1. 

Finally, Coatesville-based Mexican Gerardo Martinez, 2-1, 1 KO, fights Philly’s Nyrome Lynch, 0-1, in a four-round lightweight contest. 

The card is promoted by Joe Hand Promotions and BAM Boxing, and is the second-ever boxing event at the Parx Casino.  J Russell Peltz is the matchmaker.  The show begins at 7:30PM. 




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - June 26, 2018