PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                         January 03, 2012


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2012 Philly Boxing to Start With a Bang


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 action. The 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 encouraging schedule. 


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.

January 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 again.

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 fight.

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 series.


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 & Casino
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.

February 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.

February 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 City. 

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 with anyone.


February 24 - Joey Eye Boxing -
Harrah's Chester

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.


February 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 2012

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 2012

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.

For all the details check out our Upcoming  Fights page.




John DiSanto - News & Notes - January 03, 2012