PHILLY BOXING HISTORY  -  November 21, 2014


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 Story & Photos by John DiSanto


Philly southpaw Ray Robinson continued his impressive climb up the welterweight rankings with a sharp and emphatic TKO victory over Daniel Sostre Friday night in the main event at the Chase Center in Wilmington, DE. Robinson used an aggressive body attack to set up the win that earned him the WBO-NABO regional welterweight crown after Sostre retired in his corner after round six.   

Robinson won every round of the fight, mixing his pointed right jab, lashing left hands and that ever-constant body abuse to chip away at Sostre in a fight that was never in doubt.  A hard right at the end of the second hurt Sostre. In the following round, Robinson dropped an off-balance Sostre to the floor. 

This trip to the canvas seemed to invigorate Sostre, a Puerto Rican native fighting out of New York. He traded with Ray in the fourth round, and landed his share. However he never came close to gaining control. Everything Sostre threw, Robinson managed to better.  

Around this time in the fight, Robinson doubled-down his focus to the body and it quickly brought him benefits. Although Sostre remained feisty over the next two rounds, Robinson's thudding body blows slowed down Daniel considerably. Ringsiders could see the discomfort on Sostre's face as the attack continued and he squirmed against the ropes. Although he kept fighting, Sostre was beginning to reconsider things which each new body blow.   

Robinson kept punching away and followed every instruction shouted by his trainer Bozy Ennis, to the letter. When Ray relaxed his body attack, Bozy called for more, and Robinson picked up his pace. With Ennis barking from the corner, Robinson blasted away downstairs until the bell ended the sixth and prevented him from finishing a quickly fading Sostre. 

Seconds later, when Sostre returned to his corner, the fight was stopped before the seventh round started.  Enough was enough. 

This was a rematch between the pair who met long ago at the start of their careers. That original fight went the four round distance. Robinson won again this time, but now seven years later, he was in a totally different class. 

The victory raised his record to 19-2, 9 KOs. It was his eighth consecutive win, and the WBO-NABA belt he added, was the fifth state or regional title in his collection. Sostre went home with a 13-10-1, 5 KOs record. It was his fourth loss by stoppage. 

Robinson looks more than ready to compete at the next level. Let's hope the pace of his often frustrating career - with all its injuries, business issues, and difficulty cornering significant opponents - picks up steam with this nice win. 

In the scheduled 10-round cruiserweight co-feature, Alex Guerrero won a bloody bout against Philly's Tony Ferrante to claim the vacant NABA title. Ferrante won the first round, but as the fight unfolded, Guerrero, of Salisbury, MD, was just too big and too athletic for the fearless Ferrante, and ultimately butchered him in an 8-round stoppage.  

Beginning in round two, Guerrero established his superiority by setting the pace with his long and effective jab, and slowly chopping away at Ferrante's constitution.  Ferrante kept his hopes alive with his occasional bombs, but he never could stop Guerrero's momentum in the fight. 

Before long, Ferrante's face began telling the story of the fight. It started with a couple of small bruises around his eyes and a general reddening of his face. Eventually there was blood smeared everywhere. No cut was obvious, so this early blood must have been coming from his nose or mouth. 

Guerrero continued to land while Ferrante tried to get under his skin with taunts and other verbal abuse. To his credit, Guerrero just kept working and let the damage that his punches were doing carry the fight to its inevitable ending. 

Just before the bell ended round six, Guerrero jolted Ferrante with a harsh right that sent the Philadelphian sprawling down, tangled halfway through the ropes. Ferrante got to his feet, but he was clearly hurt and looked shaky as he staggered to his corner. 

The fight went on and Guerrero returned to his well-working script. In rounds seven and eight Guerrero's punches began breaking Ferrante's flesh and blood was everywhere. It came from cuts over his swelling eyes, from his battered nose, and leaked from his mouth. Ferrante did his best to turn the tables, but his return punches began fading in strength and frequency. 

When Ferrante returned to his corner after round eight, the ringside doctor called referee Shawn Clark over and asked him to stop the fight. Ferrante didn't like the call, but he must have felt relieved. 

The result went in the books as a TKO at 3:00 of round eight. 

Guerrero extended his unbeaten streak to 12-0-1, 6 KOs. Ferrante was coming off last month's impressive KO of tough Venroy July, but that was his only win in a seven fight stretch that included tonight's loss. His record falls to 13-7, 8 KOs. 

Cecil McCalla remained undefeated and stretched that streak to 20-0 with a quick win over Francisco Reza in a scheduled 8-rounder. The Randallstown, MD fighter jumped out at the opening bell and dropped his Mexican foe twice in the first. Both knockdowns came from a volley of punches, but in both cases a blistering left hook by McCalla did the most damage. 

As Reza fell for the second time along the ropes, referee Vic de Wysocki stopped the fight. McCalla needed just 47 seconds to grab his 20th victory (7 by KO). Reza slid to 13-11, 10 KOs. It was his 7th loss by knockout.  

Indiana lightweight Antoine Knight stepped into his fight with Delaware local Joey Tiberi at the last minute, and appeared poised to issue the fan favorite a surprise. He rocked Tiberi with a left hook during the first three minutes, but by the end of the round, Tiberi had fully warmed up and was tossing plenty of leather himself. The first featured plenty of two-way action, and by the end of the round, Tiberi had gained control of the bout. 

In round two, Knight rebooted and began building another early lead. However once again, Tiberi stormed back with his crowd-pleasing brawling, and marked Knight's eye before the bell. The fighters butted heads in the third, and Tiberi came away with a nasty cut that streamed for the rest of the fight. Tiberi wobbled Knight just before the bell, and cruised through the final round to claim a solid - although difficult - points win.  

All three judges, Brian Costello, Anthony Dean and Mark D'Attilio, scored the bout 40-36 for Tiberi, 13-2, 6 KOs. Knight, who won the first round on my card, fell to 3-12, 1 KO, but offered the house fighter a good scrap, at least for three rounds.  

In an unruly cruiserweight fight, Lamont Singletary, Dover, DE, dished a systematic beating to an over-matched but gutsy Brian "Wildman" Donohue of Philadelphia. Singletary used a potent body attack to wear down Donohue, but the Philly Wildman kept surging forward, regardless of the punches that came crashing into his face.

In round three, Singletary hurt Donohue with a vicious right uppercut and then again later with a hard overhand right. But Donohue kept coming, hoping to land a punch that would turn the fight around. In the 4th round, Singletary was firing away comfortably with Donohue tiring badly when referee Shawn Clark stepped in to mercifully end the contest a little earlier than scheduled. The time was 1:44 of round four. 

Always ready for more, Donohue, 3-11-2, was outraged with the stoppage. Singletary improved to 7-1 with 4 KOs.

Wilmington cruiserweight David Murray battered a stamina-challenged Jihad St. John in their scheduled 4-rounder. Murray repeatedly landed his power shots against St. John from the start, and it didn't take long for the Canton, Ohio fighter to start wearing down. 

As early as round one, St. John, who was making his professional debut, was huffing and puffing with his mouth wide open, gasping for breath. As the fight continued, Jihad, either accidentally or as a tactic to gain rest, began losing his mouthpiece during the action.  

Referee Vic de Wysocki repeatedly paused the fight to have the fallen mouthpiece rinsed and reinserted, but each time he did he offered a sterner warning to St. John. 

By round three, exhausted and behind on the cards, St. John spit the mouthpiece once again. Ref de Wysocki repeated his routine, but this time he issued a penalty point. Moments later it happened again, and the referee took another point. Finally when the mouthpiece hit the canvas for the third time in the round, de Wysocki halted the fight and awarded the TKO victory to Murray. It wasn't exactly the three knockdown rule, but it was close enough.

The time of the finish was 2:49 of the 4th and final round. Murray improved to 2-1, 2 KOs. For St, John it was a disastrous pro debut.

The breezy-paced show attracted a solid crowd of about 1,000, and was the second offering from Champs Promotions, a Delaware group led by former world title challenger Dave Tiberi. 




John DiSanto - Wilmington, DE - November 21, 2014