PHILLY BOXING HISTORY  -  October 04, 2014


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 Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb


Junior welterweights Ryan Belasco and Naim Nelson fought to an 8-round draw in their main event clash, Saturday night at the Valley Forge Casino, in King of Prussia, PA.  Belasco was the aggressor throughout, and from my seat had done enough to win the contest. However after the eight rounds had completed, scores at ringside were varied, but two of the three official judges saw the action deadlocked. So the fight wound up a draw.

Watching the fight, you'd never have known that Belasco, Wilmington, DE, had been out of the ring for 12 months. He jumped out at the bell and got right to work. He kept his jab moving and mixed in power shots throughout the first round. On the other hand, Nelson, fighting for the third time this year, was chintzy with his punches and appeared to need some time to get going. 

Slowly Nelson worked his way into the fight. He did better in the second, and made the third very close.  However, he did not capture a round on my card until the fourth.  When Nelson did move his hands, he controlled the action, but he wasn't throwing enough. The Philadelphian was bigger and smoother, but Belasco was just busier and tried harder.

The pattern continued into the second half of the bout. In round six, Belasco landed perhaps his best punches of the night. A left hook crash-landed on the side of Nelson's face, and later a hard right hand hit the mark solidly. 

Nelson dug down late in the fight, but did not match the output of his lively and determined foe.  Belasco closed the fight with a solid eighth round, but Nelson was swinging too and together they made it the best three minutes of the fight.

Judge Eric Dali scored the fight for Belasco, 77-75.  However, he was overruled by Dewey Larosa and Alan Rubenstein, who both saw the action even at 76-76, or four rounds apiece. 

My tally was 78-74 for Belasco, or 6-2 in rounds, but I must admit that a few of the rounds were extremely close. Nelson remained unbeaten, 12-0-1, 1 KO. Belasco went to 18-6-4, 3 KOs.

In the 8-round co-feature bout, Reading, PA's Frank Santos De Alba dropped Jesse Carradine, Las Vegas, in round five and went on to win an 8-round unanimous decision. Southpaw De Alba used an early body attack to slow Carradine. As the bout progressed, De Alba landed well upstairs with his left hand, and seemed to dominate much of the action.

Still as the rounds ticked by, De Alba was marked around both eyes. So Carradine was landing, even though it seemed infrequent to me.

In round five, a long right hand by De Alba caught Carradine backing up and put him on the canvas. The Nevadan bounced up and fought on, but could not turn the tide that De Alba had set.

All three judges favored De Alba. Dewey Larosa scored 79-72. Eric Dali had it 78-73. Alan Rubenstein's tally was close at 76-75. My score mirrored Larosa's.

With the victory, De Alba defended his UBF All-American junior lightweight title and improved his record to 14-1-2, 5 KOs. It was his 12th consecutive victory. Carradine slid to 8-4-2, 4 KOs, and lost for the second straight time.

Welterweight Anthony Prescott, of Cherry Hill, NJ, (above left) bludgeoned Shawn Sutton for three rounds before referee Gary Rosato finally stopped the slaughter at 2:19 of the third.

Prescott dropped his foe with a hard right in round one, but Sutton hung tough. In round two, another right staggered Sutton, and one more put Sutton down again. From this point on, the fight could have been stopped at any time. Sutton made it through the round - barely. Despite the beating he was taking, Sutton's  corner allowed him to continue into the new round.

From the moment round three began, Sutton's corner man, Joe Rowan, stood ready with the white towel balled up in his fist, and his arm cocked, prepared to stop the fight the moment his man took another shot. Well, it was just a matter of time.

Sutton stayed in the fray for most of the round, but when Prescott finally landed his right with authority, the Norristown fighter fell once again. Gary Rosato waved the fight to an end immediately. The time was 2:19 of round three.

Prescott's win pushed his record above .500, 4-3-2, 1 KO. Sutton remained winless, 0-3-1. It was his second fight in 2014, but those were his first bouts in 20 years (1994).

Pottstown's lightweight, Travis "The Animal" Thompson (above left) topped Benjamin Burgos of Mt. Pocono, by 4-round majority decision. The feisty fight featured hard right hand potshots from both fighters. Both threw and both landed, especially in round two. However, Thompson did more and had the edge in power.

Judge Rubenstein scored it even, 38-38, but both Dali and Larosa gave Thompson the advantage, 39-37. My score was also 39-37 for Thompson, 6-11-3, 3 KOs. Burgos fell to 1-9-1.

In the opening bout of the night, junior welterweight lefty Christian Molina, Allentown, (above right) pounced on Philly brawler Josue "Kamikaze" Rivera the moment the first bell sounded. The pair scrapped away until Molina landed a booming body shot that made Rivera crumble in one corner. He took the full 10-count from referee Gary Rosato and the fight was over after 50 seconds.

Molina stayed undefeated, 3-0, 2 KOs, while Rivera continued his kill-or-be-killed streak. All of his bouts have ended early. This him he fell, for the fourth time in a row, but it was fun while it lasted. Rivera left with his record 2-6, 2 KOs.

The fight was promoted by Marshall Kauffman's King's Boxing. He returns to the Valley Forge Casino on November 22.




John DiSanto - King of Prussia, PA - October 04, 2014
Photos by Darryl Cobb