PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                              July 08, 2011


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Not rain, nor cancellations, nor rescheduling, nor lack of opponents, nor no-shows, nor last minute scratches could prevent the troubled inaugural boxing event of Wilkes Productions from going forward Friday night. Leading up to the already once-postponed card, it appeared the date might be pushed yet again, as several of the slated bouts remained unmatched right down to the wire.

Original headliner Coy Evans had no one to fight; nor did the would be co-feature Stan Martyniouk. Even worse, several of the four round supporting bouts were literally one sided on the schedule. These issues continued from fight-month, into fight-week, and right up to fight-day.

In the end, just four four-rounders were left standing once the smoke cleared from Friday morning's weigh in. So suddenly, two-fight veteran Fred Jenkins was elevated to the headliner and the show was given the green light by the PA commission.

Pre-fight drama aside, the mini-production turned out to be a pretty decent (short) night at the fights. 

In the main event, North Philadelphia super middleweight Fred Jenkins swept through all four rounds against Stephen Franklin to score a 40-36 landslide on all scorecards, including mine. Jenkins rocked his foe just before the bell ended the first round, and it seemed a lock that he'd get his second career KO in the next round. But Franklin was tough and hung in there until the end.

Jenkins hurt him again in the third round, but Franklin also landed a pair of hard shots that snapped Fred's head back. So it was a fight, even if fairly one-sided. Jenkins improved to 3-0 with 1 KO, while Franklin remained winless, 0-6. Jenkins weighed 163 for the bout, the lightest in his brief pro career. He keeps dropping weight classes, so next time out the chances are good he'll be a true middleweight.

Bo Latimer won his professional debut (1-0) with a four round unanimous decision over Allen Perkins in a junior middleweight fight. Southpaw Latimer took every round on my card, although round three was pretty close. However, there was never a doubt that he'd come away with his first win. Perkins fought hard but could not do quite enough to clearly win a round. Two judges, Joe Pasquale and Bernard Bruni, agreed on a 40-36 score, but George Hill apparently liked Perkins in the third, and scored the fight 39-37.  Perkins' record dropped to 1-4.


Luis Cream, (above right) grandson of Jersey Joe Walcott, was a late add to the card. Cream won his second pro bout (2-0) with a close four round decision over last minute sub Jesse Crawford (above left). The two welterweights battled all four rounds, with Cream coming away with a majority decision. Hill and Bruni scored it 39-37 for Cream (as did I), but Pasquale saw it even, 38-38. It  was the second straight loss for Crawford (0-2).

Reynaldo Ojeda of Puerto Rico, beat Philly's Ramon Ellis in their four round lightweight bout. Ojeda raised his record to 5-0, 2 KOs with the victory. Ellis fought hard and  helped produce the best action of the night, but came away with his seventh loss in eight fights, 1-7. All three judges scored the bout 40-36.

The evening began with a three-round exhibition between heavyweights Marc Rideout and Georgiy Gurlnik. Rideout was to have made his pro debut on this night, but his scheduled opponent vaporized. Debuting Tyrone Crawley Jr. lost his opponent at the weigh in too. So it appeared Crawley would engage in an exhibition as well, but even that match was scratched at the last minute for some reason.

The fights were held at the New Palladium, an Allegheny Avenue night club run by former boxer Willie Torres. Promoter Dave Wilkes held his annual "Salute to Philly Boxers" banquet at the same location in January. The club was an unlikely locale for a night of fights, but it worked. The ring was raised just slightly off the dance floor and nestled in between a bar, the front door and a couple of poles that produced, what they call in opera, "partial view" seats. The poles were a little annoying, but they didn't really block any significant action.

I counted about 100 chairs set up around the ring as well as several tables on the opposite side. Every seat and table was filled for a total attendance of about 175. However, who knows how many were paying customers.

With it's many last minute fighter changes and down to the wire questions of viability, this card was clearly problematic. However it was just the fourth in-Philly boxing show of 2011. So, I'll take it.

Alternating referees: Blair Talmadge and Shawn Clark
Judges: Joe Pasquale, Bernard Bruni and George Hill
Ring Announcer: Larry Tournambe
Matchmaker: Renee Aiken
Promoter: Wilkes Productions (Dave Wilkes)
Other Fighters in Attendance: Hank Lundy, Rodney Moore, Nate Miller, Tyrone Crawley, Danny Garcia, Jesse Hart and Bryant Jennings
The fights began at 7:30 and ended around 9:30 PM




John DiSanto - North Philly - July 08, 2011