PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 24, 2015  
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Story & photos by John DiSanto


Heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon wasted no time lowering the boom on Corey Phelps in the scheduled 10-round main event at the GPG Event Center in Pennsauken, NJ. Witherspoon not only headlined the show, his Silver Spoon Promotions was also the promoter of the event. After warming up in the first round, the fighter/promoter brought a swift end to the fight in round two.

Witherspoon came out in round one, repeatedly firing his one-two combination. That left jab and right hand found the mark countless times in round one, and hurt the Ashland, KY fighter once before the bell sounded to end the round. The clean punches softened Phelps, and set the stage for the imminent finish of the contest.

In round two, Witherspoon continued pressing Phelps around the ring with his offensive output, while Cory offered little in return. As the round elapsed and Witherspoon continued cracking his foe, Phelps only managed to brace himself for each incoming shot.

Just as the left-right rhythm became the norm, Witherspoon surprised Phelps with a jolting left uppercut. The punch landed solidly on Phelps' chin and he tumbled to the canvas. He took referee Benji Esteves' count on his hands and knees before managing to pull himself to his feet.

When the action resumed, Witherspoon steep back into Phelps' space and launched a booming right uppercut. This time, Phelps' head snapped upward violently and he crashed to the floor for the second time.

Once again, Phelps gamely got up, but Benji Esteves refused to let him take another punch, and stopped the fight right then and there. The time was 1:30 of round two.

The victory, Witherspoon's second in a row, improved his record to 32-3, 24 KOs, and kept alive his hopes of landing yet another hefty opportunity. Phelps fell to 16-8-1, 8 KOs. This was his seventh loss by KO.

Camden junior featherweight Vidal Rivera made an impressive professional debut with a first round TKO of Philadelphian Jose Garcia. Rivera couldn't miss a punch in the brief bout and shortly after the bout began, he dropped Garcia with a hard left to the body.

Garcia wanted more, and Rivera happily accommodated with a vicious barrage of shots that put Garcia down again. Referee Ricky Gonzalez allowed him to continued, but Rivera refused to let him survive. Vidal swooped right in and ripped Garcia with a right to the body that felled the Philadelphian for the third time.

This time, referee Gonzalez halted the bout the moment Garcia hit the canvas. The time of the stoppage was 2:01 or round one.

Rivera jumped to a 1-0, 1 KO start. Garcia remained winless at 0-3.

Free-swinging southpaw Nick Valliere, Forked River, NJ, won his 4-round middleweight bout with debuting Francisco Cruz, Philadelphia, by one-sided but unruly unanimous decision. Valliere threw his usual assortment of windmill punches, finding the mark about as often as he missed. However, there was no question who was in control of the bout. Valliere won each round with his unusual aggressive style.

All three judges, Al Bennett, John Givens, and James Kinney each scored the bout a 40-36 landslide for Valliere. My score was the same. 

Valliere stretched to 4-0, 2 KOs, while Cruz went back to South Philly 0-1. 

Reading, PA's Erik Spring and Travis McClaren, of Danville, VA, went to war in their 4-round middleweight fight. It was an excellent scrap. McClaren took it right to his undefeated southpaw foe in round one, but Spring managed to keep an edge during the scuffle.

In round two, the fight remained a two-way confrontation, but Spring established a trend of landing cleaner and more frequent punches. This pattern carried through the remainder of the bout, and Spring went on to take a shutout decision.

Judges Bennett and Kinney had the fight 40-36, but John Givens scored one of the round 10-8, resulting in a 40-35 tally. I scored it 40-36 for Spring.

Spring improved to 5-0, 1 KO; McClaren slipped to 1-6, 1 KO. 

Atlantic City middleweight Matthew Gonzalez ruined the pro debut of Emmanuel Lipscomb of Detroit, by taking a unanimous decision in their scheduled 4-rounder. It was a close fight, but after losing the first round on my card, Gonzalez chipped away at Lipscomb and established a lead as Lipscomb tired. By the end of the fight, Gonzalez had the edge. 

Bennett and Givens scored 39-37 (as I did), while Kinney gave Gonzalez all four rounds and had it 40-36 by the end.

In the opening bout of the night, Baltimore's Courtney Blocker kept his record perfect (4-0, 4 KOs) with a devastating KO of the awkward and lanky Domonic Goode of Clayton, NJ.

With his unusual style, Goode presented a confusing puzzle for Blocker. His herky-jerky movement, sudden attacks and retreats, and sloppy switches from righty to southpaw were a riddle. However, Blocker just kept composure and pressed forward.

Blocker took the first round and then in round two, caught Goode on the ropes with a right hand pole-axe. Goode collapsed to the floor as if a trap door had opened beneath him. He hit the floor with his head strung on the bottom rope and his right leg awkwardly pinned beneath him.

The moment he fell, referee Benji Esteves signaled the fight over without a count, and called the ringside physician to the ring. After a few frightening minutes, Goode was revived and was able to sit up. He was sent to the hospital for testing.

The time of the KO was 1:31 of round two. Goode extended his winless streak to 0-4. It was his third loss by KO. 

The event was Silver Spoon's second boxing promotion, and filled the smallish GPG Event Center room.




John DiSanto - Pennsauken, NJ - January 24, 2015