PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                              July 01, 2011


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Welterweight Ronald Cruz satisfied his raucous hometown crowd with a sixth round technical knockout of grizzled veteran Doel Carrasquillo. It was his first-ever headlining assignment, and the 24-year old Cruz did his job - filling the seats of the makeshift tent at Bethlehem's Sands Casino Resort and handling the tough old dream-wrecker put before him. Cruz took care of both tasks and came away with lucky win number 13. 

Doel Carrasquillo, that smirking old pro had his best moments during the introductions when he cheerily basted in the boos of the partisan crowd. He played a good game in those opening moments of the evening, cupping glove to ear to better hear the inspirational lack of support. He strutted around the ring  smiling and nodding, as if he knew his edge in seasoning and hard-knock fights would spell disaster for the young upstart across the ring. However, when the bell rang, Carrasquillo's punches couldn't pack the same wallop as his disdainful smirk.

Cruz took every round as each ticked off the clock. Carrasquillo stood straight up and poked out his jab - apparently measuring for a wrecking ball that would not come. Cruz focused on the body and used a pretty multi-jab to control the action. He kept up his body attack and began mixing in nice combinations off those double and triple jabs.

Things heated up toward the end of round three. Although Cruz had the upper hand throughout, Carrasquillo, a classic trail horse - potentially dangerous on paper, but softened up by a career-full of dead ends - was there to administer a test on the rising hometown star, and he too carried out his job.

Cruz waded into his 38-year old opponent cautiously. He employed a super-peek-a-boo stance with his gloves tightly clipped around his face. For the most part, the defense was effective, but Carrasquillo landed enough shots to produce a collection of strawberries on the left cheek of Cruz as well as some minor swelling over the left eye. But Carrasquillo never landed a punch that hinted the fight would go any other way but Cruz'.

Ronald kept up the body attack and snuck his punches around the defensive gloves of Carrasquillo. The effect was a landslide in the making. Round after round, Cruz piled up the points. Finally in round six, with no other result in the cards, Carrasquillo took a knee after a solid body blow crashed against his side.

Referee Steve Smoger - as well as most of the crowd assembled - didn't see the punch  come home. Seconds later, the fighters were back at it, but then  suddenly Carrasquillo turned away from the action shaking his head. Cruz glided in to continue the attack, but Carrasquillo squatted down in a neutral corner. After he stood up, he told Smoger that he could not continue. Carrasquillo's corner would claim a broken rib was the reason their fighter waived the flag. The time was 1:09 of the sixth.

After the fight, Smoger said that Carrasquillo told him he heard his rib crack after  the Cruz landed the punch that put him down. It is easy to say from ringside, but those watching all felt Carrasquillo could have continued. Granted we would have probably quit long before he did.

The anti-climax raised Cruz' record to 13-0 with 10 KOs. Carrasquillo, a ring survivor who survived to fight another  day, slithered away with a 15-18-1 / 13 KO record. At the time of the stoppage, I had given Cruz all five rounds by a 10-9 margin. He was well on his way to a shutout victory - at the very least.

The remainder of the card offered a combination of Lehigh-area fighters with a sprinkle of Philadelphians.

Lightweights Joshua Arochio (Vineland, NJ, 1-4-1 / 1 KO) and Cesar Gonzalez (Reading, PA, 0-0-2) opened the show with a bloody four-round draw. All three judges (Steve Weisfeld, Dave Greer and Jack Castellani) all scored it 38-38.

State College junior middleweight Grayson Blake (3-0 / 1 KO) won a four-round unanimous decision over Philadelphia's Anthony Abrams (1-7 / 0KO). Greer and Castellani saw it 40-36, while Weisfeld scored it 39-37.

Popular heavyweight everyman William Miranda, Allentown, PA, took a four-round unanimous decision over rival Zeferino Albino of Philadelphia. The pair fought to a four-round draw in their last bout two months ago. This time the scores were 39-37, 39-37 & 40-36 (Greer). Miranda improved to 3-3-1; Zeferino fell to 4-13-3 / 2 KOs.

Philly super middleweight Rashad Brown remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over Omar Sims of Baltimore. Brown (5-0 / 2 KOs) dropped Sims in round two with a right uppercut and appeared to have him ready to go before letting him off the hook for the four-plus rounds that followed. Still Brown won every round at the end had the overall edge 40-35.

Lightweights Eliud Torres, Allentown, and Bryne Green, Vineland, fought to a six-round draw. Weisfeld scored it for Torres, 58-56. Castalani saw it 58-57 for Green. Judge Dave Greer tallied 57-57 for the split decision. Torres left 5-2-3 / 2 KOs; Green 6-4-1 / 3 KOs. I scored it 57-57. 

After the main event, welterweight Chris Plebani, Bristol, PA, beat Philadelphian David Navarro by unanimous decision over four rounds. Weisfeld scored the bout 40-36, Greer 39-37, and Castellani 39-38. It was Plebani's first win (1-2), and Navarro's fourth straight loss (0-4).

Peltz Boxing reported that the large crowd numbered 1,292, just two tickets shy of a sellout. While the Sands Resort builds it's permanent events space, the air conditioned tent erected next to the parking garage for this fight card makes a fine venue for boxing.

The alternate referee was Gary Rosato. The bouts were televised live on the internet by Peltz Boxing promoted the card. Peltz returns in two weeks (July 15) at Bally's Atlantic City with Gabriel Rosado vs. Allen Conyers.




John DiSanto - Bethlehem, PA - July 01, 2011