PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - June 20, 2015                                                              
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by John DiSanto


Cruiserweight Garrett Wilson violently acquired the vacant PA state championship with a jolting third round right uppercut that dropped Anthony Caputo Smith in their main event bout at the Valley Forge Casino on Saturday night. Smith struggled to rise but failed to beat the count of referee Shawn Clark. The time of the KO was 1:41 of round three.

The match was a highly anticipated fight between two gentlemanly but rugged local warriors and was expected to generate some exciting ring action. As expected, the pair went right at each other from the opening bell, but Wilson's heavy blows quickly proved to be the deciding factor.

Round one was as close as the fight would get. Caputo Smith pressed forward and threw punches, while Wilson hung back waiting to unload a bomb. The fighters traded swings, with both missing the target. They worked their way around the ring in what would become a dance to the death for Smith.

The beefy ballet continued, but once Wilson began to land, it became obvious the fight would end early.

Wilson started fast in the second round. He peppered away at Smith's body with punches that were one step above pity-pat. However, the exercise got Garrett's hands moving and eventually he was cracking Caputo to the head. Suddenly a hard left hook dropped Smith to the canvas, and the writing was on the wall. Smith rolled over and got up, but the round ended before Wilson could finish his work.

The pattern continued in the third. Smith bravely chugged forward and even appeared optimistic that he would turn this fight as he had so many others. However, walked directly into Wilson's range is more or less suicide.

Midway through the round, Wilson landed a jolting right uppercut along the ropes and Smith crashed to the canvas. For a few seconds, Anthony laid flat on his back with both arms stretched out wide. The fight was over and it appeared that Smith wouldn't even try to rise. However, his pride wouldn't let him rest.

Wilson waited in a neutral corner with his arms draped over the ropes while Smith rolled over and struggled to get to his feet. Smith made it to one knee and even pulled himself off the floor. However, referee Shawn Clark reached the count of ten before Anthony could stand.

The fight was over at 1:41 of round three.

With the win, his first in his last five bouts, Wilson, 14-9-1, 8 KOs, took the PA state cruiserweight championship and salvaged his career. He registered another picture-perfect knockout and reminded fans what makes him such an exciting fighter.

Caputo Smith slid to 15-5, 10 KOs.

18-year old junior welterweight local Milton Santiago graduated from high school on Wednesday and then extended his winning streak to 11-0, 3 KOs, with a relatively easy six-round unanimous decision over Jose Miguel Castro of Puerto Rico on Saturday night. However, Santiago had to climb off the floor in round two to do it.

It was the first time in his young career that Santiago had been floored. However, the momentary scare only proved to be an interesting subplot. Milton got to his feet and even won the rest of the round, and every round after that.

All three judges, Lindsey Paige, Adam Friscia and Bernard Bruni turned in scorecards of 59-55 in favor of Santiago. My score was the same. Castro fell to 4-5, 2 KOs. 

Philly's Stephen Fulton improved to 6-0 with 3 KOs with a third round stoppage of Pablo Cupul of San Diego. Fulton won the first three rounds easily. He landed a strong right hand and left hook in the second round, but did not appear to be trying for the knockout at any other time.

Instead, Stephen just kept throwing punches in a very relaxed manner. After the third round ended, Cupul resigned in his corner before the bell for round four sounded.

The announcer told the crowd that the ringside doctor had suggested the fight be stopped, but this looked like a classic quit job by Cupul, who at 8-18, 5 KOs, has played the opponent many times in his career. It was the 8th times he's lost by KO.

Heavyweight Hafiz Montgomery made a successful pro debut against Philly "Wildman" Brian Donohue. Despite the big disparity in experience (17 fights to none), Montgomery dominated the ugly fight and won all four rounds. Only in the last round did Donohue begin to land his punches, but it was far too little too late.

All three judges, Rose Lacend, Adam Friscia and Bernard Bruni scored the fight a shutout (40-36) for Montgomery.

Brooklyn light heavyweight Earl Newman won a scheduled six rounder against Lamont Capers, Hawley, PA, in one-sided fashion. Newman scored knockdowns in rounds two, four and five before referee Blair Talmadge halted the fight at 2:56 of round five.

The final blow was a crushing right uppercut to the body. Capers took the shot and waited a beat before crouching to the canvas. He rose from the delayed knockdown, but clearly had nothing to offer in return.

The win made Newman 6-0, 5 KOs. Capers went to 5-7.

York, PA's Sammy Quinones overpowered Texan Shiwone Gortman in three rounds of a scheduled four round welterweight bout. Quinones looked strong hurting Gortman near the close of the first and dropping him with an arching right early in the third. Gortman got up but after a few more blows hit home, referee Blair Talmadge stop the contest at 38 seconds of round three.

Quinones improved to 9-3, 4 KOs; Gortman receded to 4-8-1, 2 KOs.

Super middleweight John Magda, Rutherford, NJ, pitched a shutout over Miami's Dionisio Miranda in a six rounder. Southpaw Magda appeared poised for the KO early in the bout, but Miranda had too much seasoning to be stopped.

Eventually the fight settled into a dull grove with Magda, 11-0, 7 KOs, throwing and Miranda, 22-12-2, 19 KOs, surviving.

Bernard Bruni and Lindsey Paige scored all six rounds for Magda (60-54), while Rose Lacend gave one round to Miranda and scored the bout 59-55.

Lightweights Kevin Garcia, Phoenixville, and Jack Grady, Buffalo, fought to a four round draw, although from my seat, Garcia did enough to win the fight. Adam Friscia gave the fight to Garcia, 39-37. However, Rose Lacend and Bernard Bruni had it a deadlock at 38-38 (two rounds each). My score was 40-36 for Garcia.

The final fight of the night, a six round junior middleweight scrap between southpaws Robert Sweeney and Erik Spring was the liveliest and most competitive of the evening. Unfortunately by the time the fight began, most of the crowd had gone home. However the 50 or so die-hards remaining in the Valley Forge Casino arena, were treated to an exciting back-and-forth brawl.

Three of the six rounds were great. and the remaining three were too bad either.

Spring was much taller and rangier. So when the fight was contested outside, he was in control. Therefore, Sweeney repeatedly forced the action to the inside.

Sweeney won the first three rounds on my card with his busier and more aggressive style. In round four, Spring battled back but it was close. The fifth was a great three minutes. Both landed and fought hard, but Spring had the edge.

In the final round, Sweeney got back on track and took the round. There were no knockdowns, but this fight was pure action.

The judges scored the fight very differently than my 58-56 tally for Sweeney. Bernard Bruni saw the bout a landslide, 60-54. Lindsey Paige had it 59-55, and Adam Friscia scored it 58-56 - all for Spring! 

So Spring took the unanimous decision and remained undefeated, 6-0, 1 KO. Sweeney's fine effort evened out his record at 3-3.

The show was promoted by Marshall Kauffman's King Boxing and drew a crowd of about 500. GFL televise the card by live webcast. 




John DiSanto - King of Prussia, PA - June 20, 2015