PHILLY BOXING HISTORY  -  September 16, 2014


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 Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb


The Tuesday Night Fights Pro-Am boxing series returned to the 2300 Arena on September 16th. In the main event, Donte Wright won his professional debut, but it was Philadelphia's Avery Sparrow who stole the show in his second start with an impressive first round knockout of a much more experienced opponent. In all, three professional fights and five amateur bouts made up this second edition of the series.

Amateur standout Donte Wright, Philadelphia, escaped his professional debut with a close 4-round majority decision over New York's Lionel Charles, who came into the junior middleweight fight without a win and low expectations surrounding him. However, Charles came to fight and had upset on his mind, while Wright, coming off his 160-win amateur run, may have taken his 0-3 foe for granted. He nearly paid the price. 

Wright stuck to the script by taking the first round. However, suddenly in the second, the lanky Charles began outworking and out-punching his favored foe. The second round was close, but Charles won it on my card with strong left hooks.

Charles stayed out front in the third with a more active and more accurate attack. He won again, but still the fight was close.

From my perspective, the fight came down to the fourth and final round. Wright started the round down, two rounds to one, and immediately got busy fighting. He was having a pretty good round and appeared likely to pull the fight even by the final bell. However, Charles mounted a comeback late in the round which ended with a solid combination that wobbled Wright.

The bell rang before Charles could capitalize, but the surge gave him the fight on my score, 39-37. The official decision was a bit different however.

Judge Rose Vargas had the fight even at 38-38, but judges George Hill and Adam Friscia both saw the fight in Wright's favor, 39-37. 

The win made Wright 1-0; Charles slid to 0-4. 

Philadelphia featherweight Avery Sparrow returned to the series for his second professional bout, and scored an impressive knockout over veteran clubber Hassan Wasswau of New York. Wasswau came into the fight with 23 bouts to his credit, albeit only a 5-25-3, 2 KOs, record. Still it appeared a stiff test for a still-wet, one-bout pro like Sparrow.

But Sparrow raced right into the fight and started throwing leather at the seasoned New Yorker. It didn't take long for the fight to settle into a pattern of Sparrow landing and Wasswau taking.

In the final minute of the round, Sparrow landed a strong right that backed Wasswau back to the ropes. Sparrow followed with another right hand that landed hard. Wasswau crashed to the floor. When he fell, Wasswau's head thumped on the canvas, and referee David Franciosi halted the fight immediately. The time was 2:22 of the first round.

For a few scary moments Wasswau received medical attention and was ultimately carried out on a stretcher.

Sparrow, now 2-0, 1 KO and trained by Vaughn Jackson, looks like a young fighter to watch.

The pro bouts started with a contest between two debuting junior welterweights. After four rounds, North Philly's Jerome Conquest came away with a unanimous decision and his first victory. Sidney McCow, New York, put up a tough fight, but Conquest had the edge.

Southpaw Conquest took the close opening round, which was little more than a feeling-out session. He did better in round two, landing three solid left hands that McCow definitely felt.

The New Yorker took the third round with a busy one-two combination that found its mark several times.

With Conquest up two round to one on my card, the final round was critical. The fourth was close with both fighters working for the decision and landing often. However, after the three minutes were up, Conquest had done more to win the round. All three judges agreed.

Rose Vargas scored the fight a surprising 40-36, while both George Hill and Adam Friscia had it a point closer at 39-37. My score for Conquest matched Hill's and Friscia's at 39-37. 

Conquest left 1-0, and McCow 0-1. 

Before the three professional bouts, five amateur fights got the night started:

Christian Carto, Philadelphia, (Red Headgear) W3 Eric Gordon, Philadelphia - 110 lbs.

Dylan Price, Sicklerville, NJ, (Red Headgear) W3 Dallas Howard, Atlantic City, NJ - 112 lbs.

Branden Pizaro, Philadelphia, (Red Headgear) W3 Kashad Elliot, Plainfield, NJ - 125 lbs.   

Mark Dawson, Philadelphia, (Red Headgear) W3 Douglas Northern, Philadelphia - 141 lbs.

Jackie McTamney, Philadelphia, (above left) W3 Dianna Cute, Philadelphia - 125 lbs.

The next edition of the Pro-Am series, promoted by Joe Hand Promotions and D&D Management, is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25th at the same venue.




John DiSanto - South Philly - September 16, 2014
Photos by Darryl Cobb