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Although Machine Gun Mike Jones failed to KO a second straight opponent last night, the Philly prospect looked strong, sharp and well-schooled in his lopsided 8-round unanimous decision win over Gilbert Venegas at the New Alhambra. The victory marked Mike's 14th straight win (12 by KO).

The large pro-Jones crowd called for the KO and erupted every time their man landed his shots - which was often. Mike nailed his willing foe with thunderous blows throughout the eight rounds, but he would have had a better chance for a knockout if he'd been matched against a brick wall. Although Jones nearly got Venegas in the final round, clearly the


Chicago welterweight, 10-6-3 (7 KO), wasn't going anywhere. He pressed forward, took his lumps and even smacked Jones with an occasional right hand. Of course Jones can still punch, and his failure to launch a new KO streak spoke far more about Venegas' toughness and durability than it did anything lacking in Jones. More importantly, Jones' defensive and concentration lapses on display back in March, in his first non-knockout against Germaine Sanders, clearly seemed to be on the mend in his latest outing. Granted Venegas was far less offensive minded than Sanders, but still Jones looked extremely focused while he blocked and slipped most of what came his way. In all, it was another solid night at school for the still-developing star, who after blowing out most of his early rivals, needs rounds and experience. Venegas provided plenty of both. There will be many more knockouts in Mike Jones' career, and the truth is, he looked very much like the real thing on this night. The only concern is for the health of Jones' right hand. Previously injured, Jones seemed to hold it back a bit. I worried that perhaps he'd hurt it once again. No word on that yet. All three judges scored it a shutout, 80-72. 

The co-semi-final bouts were a pair of six-rounders that bracketed the main event. Prior to Jones-Venegas, "King" Gabriel Rosado won a unanimous decision over Mustafah Johnson in their jr. middleweight rematch. Rosado also won their first bout, a 4-rounder, by decision. This was Rosado's first appearance on a Peltz card and he did little to lure a new promotional contract. His victory appeared to be closer than the story told by the 60-54, 60-54, 59-55 official verdict.  The come-backing 22 year old looked slow and a little winded over the six rounds against an opponent seven years his senior with a less impressive record (5-4-1, 2 KOs). Still, Gabe, fighting for just the second time after an eight-month layoff, upped his slate to 9-2 with 6 KOs,  and lives on to fight - and improve - another day. But fans of Rosado are looking for a return to his exciting early days when he looked like a shining prospect. More work and more fights may do the trick.

Those who walked out on the walkout semi-final bout blew it. In the fight of the night, South Philly cruiserweight Larry Robinson rose from a first round knockdown to score an unlikely second round KO. Virginian William Bailey, 8-14-2 (5 KOs), floored Robinson in the 1st and looked certain to get the win before the tables were turned on him. Robinson, 9-3 (7 KOs), dropped Bailey twice in the second round.  The last one was for the full count. Those die-hard fans remaining at the New Alhambra for this 8th and final bout were treated to a wildly entertaining fight, while the traffic-beating tenderfoots (um, feet) lined up at Tony Luke's for their late-night cheese steaks - with.

In the show opener, North Philly's Anthony Flores, lightweight, won his second pro bout (2-0, 1 KO) with a 4-round unanimous decision over Darrell Martin, Baltimore, 2-3. 

Highly touted middleweight Dennis Hasson of Kensington, 2-0, 1 KO, followed with a quick stoppage of North Philadelphian Charles Kirby, 1-4, who was not permitted to come out for round two by referee Shawn Clark. It was an improvement for Hasson who struggled a bit in his pro debut on March 7.

Tommy Garcia came from Hartford, CT to win his 4-round bout with North Philly's Travis Thompson of Pottstown, PA, via majority decision. Garcia went to 2-1 with 1 KO, while Thompson dropped to 2-2 with 2 KOs.

Ahmed Samir dropped Pedro Martinez twice in the first round, but settled for a unanimous decision over four rounds. Samir, New York, improved his record to 2-0 while North Philadelphian Martinez evened out at 1-1 (1 KO).

Ryan Belasco of Wilmington, DE won over North Philly's Victor Vasquez with a 5th round TKO when Vasquez was not permitted to come out for the sixth and final round due to a terribly swollen left eye. Vasquez was more than willing to fight with the deficit, which became worse as the fight wore on. But after a few rounds Vasquez' eye closed completely, fully impairing his vision on the left side. At this point, Belasco couldn't miss with his right hand and the fight was smartly called - although a round or so late for my taste. Belasco raised to 7-2-3 (2 KOs); Vasquez fell to 7-2 (4 KOs). 

After the Belasco fight, Ring Announcer Ed Derian introduced former middleweight contender Curtis Parker and former super-middleweight champ Charles Brewer in the ring. Both will enter the PA Boxing Hall of fame on May 18th.

A large crowd of 1,182 attended the rainy Friday night South Philly fight card, despite a televised Flyers playoff game.