The new year does not look like it will be another famine of
local fights like 2011 was. In fact it appears that it may
be just the opposite and exactly what boxing fans want.
There can be no dispute that the 2011 local fight scene was
an extremely slow one when it came to the number of fights
staged in Philadelphia. A measly seven fight cards came off
in the past twelve months offering just 46 in-Philly bouts.
Thank goodness for the support we received from nearby
Atlantic City and Chester. Luckily it appears the drought is
over and 2012 will at least start with an onslaught of
schedule for 2012 is already looking like a winner with
four cards already planned for the first quarter of the
year. That is more than half of all those staged last year.
What's better, these four cards are supported by numerous
other shows in the area (Atlantic City, Chester, Hamilton)
as well as a few nationally televised shows featuring
Philadelphia fighters. The one drawback is that several of
the dates offer conflicting events (one local with another
on TV). But after bitching all last year for the dearth of
action. I'm not going to complain. Let's take a look at this
January 8 - Salute to Philly Boxers
The year jumps off with the annual Salute to Philly Boxers
banquet on Sunday, January 8th. Host Dave Wilkes gives out
awards in a variety of categories. It is the 16th year for
the event, and the second straight year that it will be held
at the New Palladium in North Philly
January 13 - Power Productions -
National Guard Armory
Greg Robinson of Power Productions returns with his first
fight card in a year. Comebacks are the theme on this Friday
the 13th with 17-1 (11 KO) super middleweight Farah Ennis
returning for the first time since suffering his first
career loss in an upset to Alexander Johnson last April. His
opponent will be Grover Young, 5-4-1 (2 KO) of Tennessee,
who will be looking to pull a shocker in Farah's backyard in
the 8-round main event.
Also scheduled to appear on the card is undefeated Angel
Ocasio, 6-0 (1 KO). He will face Camden's Jason Sosa, 4-1-1
(1 KO) in a 6-round grudge match. Apparently there is no
love lost between the two and fans will be hoping that
things will boil over in the ring.
19 year old golden prospect Miguel Cartagena brings his 3-0
(2 KO) record into his first 6-rounder against Cuban Yuniel
Ramos, 1-5-1. The fight should be a breeze for Cartagena,
but it will be good to see him in his second hometown bout.
Tim Witherspoon Jr. faces Tevin Farmer in another schedule
6-rounder. Farmer, 3-2-1 (1KO), moves up in weight to face
Witherspoon, 6-1-1 (2 KO) in the all-Philadelphia match.
The rest of the card is a slate of 4-rounders featuring a
number of young attractions including Joey Dawejko (as yet
unmatched), Todd Unthankmay and John Lennox. A total of
seven 4-rounders are planned.
13 - ESPN2 - Las Vegas
On the same night as Robinson's show, Teon Kennedy will
return to the ring in the 10-round main event at the Hard
Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The bout will be
televised live on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights Series, with
Teon facing Chris Martin, 23-1-2 (6 KO) of California. In
his last start, Martin lost to Jose Beranza, whom Kennedy,
17-1-1 (7 KO), beat in 2010. But that doesn't mean an
automatic win for Teon. Remember, Kennedy beat Jorge Diaz
who beat Alejandro Lopez who beat Kennedy in August. In
boxing 1 plus 1 doesn't always equal 2. It's an important
fight for Teon who had a few interesting offers last year.
With the big boys starting to circle, he needs a nice win on
this TV date to stay relevant and begin moving forward
January 21 - Main Events / NBC Fight Night - Asylum Arena
A very exciting card with a hint of big-time boxing is
scheduled for Saturday the 21st. Main Events comes to town
for the first in their 4-fight NBC Sports Network series.
Not all four will be in Philly, but the series opener is.
The main event is an interesting 10-round heavyweight
contest between Philly's Eddie Chambers, 36-2 (18 KO) and
former WBO champion Sergei Liakhovich, 25-4 (16 KO). Both
guys need to win to keep a possible title shot in their
sights. Liakhovich has a big size advantage over Chambers,
but that is nothing new for Fast Eddie. It should be a good
The 10-round co-feature is a fascinating match for Philly
fans. North Philly's King Gabriel Rosado, 18-5 (10 KO)
battles tough veteran Jesus Soto Karass, 24-6-3 (16 KO).
Karass is the guy who fought Mike Jones twice and came
within a whisker of winning the first fight. Jones was his
master in the rematch but Karass showed just how tough and
tricky he can be. His record is as solid as his reputation.
He's never been stopped and Mike Jones isn't the only boxer
he's given a hard time. It will be interesting to see what
Rosado can do with him. Karass will move up to the junior
middleweight division for the fight, which favors Rosado. If
Gaby can be aggressive, move forward and keep his hands
moving, he may be able to win big. It would be a nice step
for Rosado if he does.
Also on the card is Philly's Ray Robinson vs. Doel
Carrasquillo. The 8-round bout figures to be a great test
for Robinson, 12-2 (5 KO). Everyone knows how tough and
dangerous Doel, 16-18-1 (14 KO), can be. If Ray shows his
class and keeps his chin safe, he should win. But the fight
should at least tell us where Robinson is in his career.
In another 8-rounder, Joel Julio faces tough Chris
Fernandez. Jose Peralta faces Ardrick Butler over six.
Yearlings Korey Pricthett and Naim Nelson fight in separate
4-rounders. Finally Sullivan Barrera and Damar Singleton
clash over 6 rounds.
Just the two main fights are scheduled to be televised. Main
Events is partnering with Peltz Boxing and Goossen Tutor.
BAM Boxing is also involved (via Ray Robinson). Russell
Peltz is the matchmaker for this and the other shows in the
January 21 - Nedal Promotions -
Hamilton Manor (NJ)
On the same night as the NBC show but 60 miles north,
Philly's Charles Hayward fights Omar Sheika in the 10-round
main event in Hamilton, NJ. Also matched is Terrance Cauthen
vs. Ahmad Kaddour in another 10-rounder. Derrick Webster,
Juan Rodriguez, William Santiago, Ramon Ellis, Alando Swain
and Yehudy Vargas (against Jose Calderon) fill out the 6 and
4 round preliminary slots.
January 28 - Shuler Gym Promotions -
First District Plaza
West Philly is the site for a seven fight card promoted by
Buster Custus on Saturday the 28th. The show is still
forming but several local standouts are scheduled to fight.
Come-backing Gerald Nobles, 26-1 (21 KO) has the 6-round
main event with Dhafir Smith and Frank Trader in the
two other 6-rounders. Nobles hasn't fought since 2007. The
4s are filled with Alex Barbosa, Althea Saunders, Kareem
McFarland vs. Anthony Abrams and Anthony Allen vs. Luis
Esquillin. More to follow on this one as the date nears.
February 04 - Dee Lee Promotions - Tropicana Hotel &
The first fight in 2012 at the Jersey shore is a very good
match. North Philly thrill machine Victor Vasquez, 14-5-1 (7
KO) takes on Dorin Spivey, 40-6 (29 KO) for the vacant NABA
lightweight title. Spivey is way more experienced than
Vasquez, but Victor always comes to fight and also gives the
crowd what they love. It should be a tough fight. I wouldn't
miss this one for anything.
The undercard includes Joey Tiberi, Angel Ocasio, Keenan
Smith, Althea Saunders, and visiting heavyweight Dorsett
Barnwell and out-of-towners Frankie Filippone vs. Richard
Langley. Chazz Witherspoon is also scheduled to appear.
04 - Cunningham Title Rematch - Germany
Given the time difference, long before Vasquez and Spivey
square off in AC, Steve Cunningham may very well be IBF
cruiserweight champion again. His rematch with Yoan Pablo
Hernandez in Germany. Last October, Cunningham "lost" his
title but lobbied hard for an immediate rematch. The IBF
order the return and so Cunningham will get his chance.
Things started badly for Steve in the first fight, but once
he picked himself off the canvas in round one, he was in
control of the bout. Cunningham will be looking to pick up
right were he left off - with Hernandez fading - in round
six. The fight will not be televised in the US, but usually
a live Internet feed is available.
10 - ESPN2 -
Mohegan Sun Casino (CT)
Derek "Pooh" Ennis gets a big chance when he faces Demetrius
Andrade in a 12-round IBF junior middleweight title
eliminator on February 10th in Connecticut. The fight will
be televised on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights for those who
can't make the five hour drive to the Mohegan Sun. Ennis,
23-3-1 (13 KO), will look to be the first to beat Andrade,
15-0 (10 KO). If he can do it, he'll earn a shot at IBF
champ Cornelius Bundrage. Negotiations were underway
(although shaky) between the camps of Ennis and Bundrage
last year before Ennis suffered a shocking loss in Atlantic
The 23 year old Andrade is a southpaw who brings an
impressive amateur background along with his undefeated pro
record. He's beaten Saul Duran and Grady Brewer in his last
two. So he's a real threat. But when Ennis is on, he can box
February 24 - Joey Eye Boxing -
Joey Eye resumes his boxing series in Chester on Friday the
24th. None of the matches are set, but the continuation of
this series is welcomed. The five cards Joey ran last
year, were all entertaining. Joey expects to run five or six
boxing shows throughout the year.
25 - Peltz Boxing - Bally's Atlantic City
Ronald Cruz headlines the next Peltz Boxing show in AC. Cruz
beat Doel Carrasquillo last summer in his first-ever main
event, a hometown show in Bethlehem. But topping a card in
Atlantic City is a big career boost. Cruz, 15-0 (12 KO),
fought a thriller in his last outing. He rallied against
tough and experienced Anges Adjaho to score a TKO, but he
had a difficult night. He'll face hard-punching Allen
Conyers, 12-5 (9 KO) over 10 rounds. Conyers has lost to
most of the big names he's faced, but he does have a TKO win
over Derek Ennis. It should be a good fight. It will be
interesting to see how Cruz can draw at the shore. But just
in case, the rest of the card is stacked with talent.
Garrett Wilson, 11-5-1 (5 KO), takes a break from the USBA
title grind for an 8-rounder against fellow-Philadelphia
cruiserweight Pedro Martinez, 6-4 (3 KO).
Heavyweight Bryant Jennings will fight his first 8-rounder
against an opponent still to be named. Jennings goes for win
number 12 without a loss.
Welterweight DeCarlo Perez, 6-1-1 (2 KO), fights Rafael
Montalvo, 1-1 (1 KO), in another 8-rounder. It doesn't look
like much of a match on paper but perhaps Perez is in light
this time given the last two tough bouts he's had.
The four round bouts will be Charles Kirby vs. Antowyan
Aikens, Miguel Corcino vs. Ibrihim Shabazz and Anthony
Gangemi vs. David Navarro.
The last Peltz AC card (Wilson-Mussachio) was one of the
best overall cards of the year.
March 09 - BAM Boxing Promotions - Asylum Arena
Promoter Brittany Rogers returns with her second event in
March. Her first card came last September at the Armory. The
match ups for this one are still developing, so watch for
more on this card as it approaches. BAM's first show was
very good, so fans will expect another good one in March.
March 24 - HBO Boxing After Dark - Houston
Danny Garcia gets a his first world title shot in the main
event on HBO. Garcia faces legend Erik Morales for Erik's
WBC junior welterweight belt. I love this fight for Garcia,
and think it is great that he gets to try for the title
against such a great (although faded) fighter. This bout was
moved from January 28th after Morales needed surgery to
remove gallstones. Garcia has looked like a future champ
since early in his career. His last two outings were wins
over former world champs, and now at 22-0 (14 KO), hopefully
he can beat a reigning champ. Morales is 52-7 (36 KO). It
should be the start of big things for Garcia.
April 06 - Joey Eye Boxing - Harrah's Chester
Joey Eye returns to Chester for another card in April. It's
way too early to know who's fighting, but just having the
show on the calendar feels good.
So get ready Philly boxing fans. The floodgates are open and
we are about to be overwhelmed with good local boxing
action. This is how it should be. Let's hope it continues
throughout the year. I'd hate to start bitching again.
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