PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - October 16, 2019  
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Story by Frank Bartolini


Philadelphia will be hosting two straight nights of fight action starting this Friday. Both shows are scheduled on North Broad Street. Showing a commitment to bringing world class boxing to Philly, Bob Arum’s Top Rank is staging a light heavyweight unification bout between Oleksander Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev at The Liacouras Center. The showdown in North Philly kicks things off on Friday night.  

This match up between the WBC champion Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KO) and IBF king Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KO) could have headlined in any city on the planet, and the fact that Arum chose Philly shows his dedication to the vibrant fight scene in the City of Brotherly Love.  

The fight itself pairs boxers from dueling countries. There is no love lost between Gvozdyk of Ukraine and the Russian Beterbiev. All the ingredients are in place for this to be a fight of the year candidate, once the final bell chimes. A potential mega payday could lie ahead for the winner against whomever comes out on top between Canelo and Kovalev next month.

An additional eight bouts fill out this card, including a four rounder featuring undefeated South Philly heavyweight Sonny Conto (4-0, 3 KO) and a pair of fights featuring Allentown, PA brothers Joseph Adorno (13-0, 11 KO), in an eight round bout, and Jeremy Adorno (2-0, 1 KO) in a four rounder.  

A few blocks down North Broad Street, Hard Hitting Promotions brings boxing back to The Metropolitan Opera House (a.k.a. The Met) for their third engagement at the venue this year. A ten-bout card full of tumblers will be facing popular local ticket sellers. Not one match up appears to be a fair fight.  

Headlining the night at The Met, heavyweight Darmani Rock (16-0, 11 KO) faces Maurenzo Smith (21-11-4, 14 KO) in a fight slated for eight stanzas. Since turning professional three years ago, Rock has not exactly overdone it at the gym, gaining forty three pounds since his 2016 debut. In his most recent bout, Rock, 23, tipped the scales at 289 pounds. Although he’s pushing 20 wins, it remains to be seen if he’s doing enough to rise to the next level.   

Also, three fighters will try to bounce back from recent losses – but their fare on Saturday is nondescript, comeback-style opposition. Super middleweight Derrick Webster (28-2, 14 KO) fights a scheduled eight rounder against Israel Duffus (19-6, 16 KO). While both junior welterweight Jeremy Cuevas and junior lightweight Gadwin Rosa will attempt to get back on the winning track after suffering the first losses of their careers. Cuevas (11-1, 8 KO) faces Rondale Hubbert (13-9-2, 8 KO) in a six rounder. Rosa (10-1, 8 KO) takes on Mexican Danny Flores (15-17-1, 8 KO) in another six.  

Included on the card will also be crowd-pleasing light heavyweight Benny Sinakin (4-0, 2 KO) in a four round assignment against Ferris Golden (1-0).

Saturday's show begins at 7:00 PM.




Frank Bartolini - Philadelphia - October 16, 2019