PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 24, 2026  
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Story by Frank Bartolini
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. / Instagram: @darrylcobb


“The New” Ray Robinson returned to the ring Saturday night at the 2300 Arena in the main event of an eight-bout card promoted by Rodney Rice’s RDR Promotions, and made relatively quick work of Silverio Ortiz of Yucatan, Mexico.

Nearly three years expired since Robinson had entered a prize ring. Back on that night, Robinson fought to a draw on the undercard of one of the greatest heavyweight upsets ever – when a chubby Andy Ruiz dethroned champion Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. In the intervening thirty-two months, Joshua regained and lost his crown, while former Robinson opponent Yordenis Ugas ended the career of all-time great Manny Pacquaio. Also in that time, fellow-Philadelphian Jaron Ennis went from rising prospect to one of the top-rated welterweights in the world.

The long layoff didn’t seem to hurt Robinson at all. He easily handled Ortiz, a twenty-two year veteran of over sixty matches. At 154 pounds, a bulked-up Robinson looked fit and solid in his junior middleweight debut. Wasting no time, he showed no signs of ring rust and went on the attack from the opening bell. Just moments into the fight, Robinson’s blows snapped back Ortiz’ head as Ray established control.

The pummeling continued for three full rounds with Ortiz showing a freakish ability to absorb punishment. When the brutality became too ugly, Ortiz’ corner showed compassion by not allowing their willing fighter to come out for round four. The referee was Shawn Clark.

The victory raised Robinson’s record to 25-3-2, 13 KOs, while Ortiz returned south of the border with a record of 37-29, with 18 KOs and a pocket full of change.

Local favorite Jerome Conquest appeared to have done enough to out-box Oscar Barajas of Mexico in their six-round lightweight bout. However, the judges saw it otherwise. John McKaie had the fight a 57-57 draw, while both Lynne Carter and Robert Rubnitz favored Barajas 58-56. This scribe had the fight 58-57 for Conquest. Barajas improved to 17-8-1, 8 KOs. Conquest left 11-7, 1 KO.

Las Vegan Muhsin Cason extended his undefeated resume to 10-0, 7 KOs with a fifth-round KO of Steve Lyons, in a scheduled six-round cruiserweight fight. Cason dropped the Louisiana fighter for the full ten-count with a combination in round five. The end came at 2:58 of the fifth. The referee was Harvey Dock. Lyons fell to 5-8-2, 2 KOs.

North Carolina heavyweight Joel Caudle pounded away at then-undefeated Brooklynite Robert Sabbagh for four rounds before the New Yorker retired in his corner after the fourth round. The win put Caudle, 9-6-2, 6 KOs, back in the win column after five straight losses. Sabbagh, 3-1, 2 KOs, lost for the first time as a pro. The bout was scheduled for six rounds.

In another heavyweight bout, Philly’s Dominique Mayfield, 1-1, won for the first time with a four-round decision over Houston’s Darryl Clark. Mayfield scored a knockdown in round two and won all three official cards (Lynne Carter, Bernard Bruni, and Robert Rubnitz) by scores of 40-35.

Southpaw junior welterweight Isaiah Johnson, Philadelphia, quickly floored journeyman Dieumerci Nzau with a hard left in round one of their scheduled four-rounder. Nzau returned to his feet but referee Harvey Dock stopped the fight moments later when Johnson resumed his attack. The time of the TKO was 1:13 of round one.

South Jersey southpaw Edwin Cortes repeated a previous win over Jerrod Miner with another four-round unanimous decision over the Philadelphian. All three scores were 40-36 (Lynne Carter, John McKaie, and Robert Rubnitz). Cortes left 2-0; Miner slid to 2-14-2, 1 KO.

Philly lightweight Jabril Noble jumped on Joseph Santana of Providence, RI, in the first round and after hurting him with several hard blows, won the scheduled four-rounder by TKO. Referee Shawn Clark halted the fight at 2:01. Noble raised his record to 3-0, 3 KOs. Santana, 0-5, remained winless.

Approximately 1,000 fans attended the show. RDR Promotions returns to the 2300 Arena on March 25th.




Frank Bartolini - South Philly - February 24, 2022