PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - July 17, 2015                                                              
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by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb, Jr.


In the nationally televised co-main event Friday night at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA, Glassboro middleweight Derrick Webster suffered his first loss as a pro. Rising Russian Arif Magomedov won the battle of undefeated prospects with wide-margin unanimous 10-round decision.

It was a difficult night for the towering 160-pounder from NJ. Webster struggled to keep the hard-rushing Magomedov from steam-rolling him and only managed to fight in spurts while the Russian was aggressive and busy throughout the fight.

Magomedov grabbed the first five rounds and added them to his column on the scorecards while Webster battled to get into the fight. The fourth round was close, but it wasn't until the sixth that Derrick squeaked out a round on my card. Webster used his long jab to capture the round, but it wasn't enough to keep his aggressive for at bay.

In round seven, Magomedov landed a combination that dropped Webster to the deck. It was a hard three minutes for Derrick. Magomedov repeatedly landed heavy blows after the knockdown, but Webster held his ground.

The fight resumed a familiar pattern in the eighth with Magomedov charging forward and Webster defending with his jab. Arif drove his power shots home and wore Webster down until the bell.

Derrick started fast in the ninth round, trying to turn the tables before it was too late. He did better, but Magomedov was still landing bombs, if not as much as in previous rounds. The blip in momentum earned Webster the round on my card, but the trend did not last.

In the tenth and final round, Arif stormed at the high-rise southpaw and floored him again. This time it was a looping right that felled Webster, and served as the perfect punctuation mark to the Russian's impressive performance. Webster regained his feet and finished the fight standing.

Once it was over, there was little question as to which way the decision would go, so the three, one-sided official scores of 99-89 were no surprise. My tally was a point closer at 98-90.

Magomedov extended his undefeated streak to 16-0, 9 KOs, and earned the vacant NABO middleweight title belt with his win. Webster, 19-1, 10 KOs, experienced his first setback.

The main event of the night was a scintillating battle between Virginian Antoine Douglas and Swiss-based Hungarian Istvan Szili. Although it was scheduled for ten rounds, it didn't take long before everyone watching knew that the bout would end early.

Szili came out charging and pressed the smooth Douglas against the ropes. The action was intense, and before the round ended, the fighters traded solid left hooks. We couldn't yet tell which boxer won that mini-contest. Both ate the opposing shot and both kept fighting strong.

Szili took the round on my card, but it was clear that points did matter in this one.

In round two, the clash resumed. Szili remained the aggressor and at one point, knocked Douglas back against the ropes with a volley. Moments later however, Douglas landed a left hook and then blasted Szili with a short right hand. Szili crashed to the mat face-first. It was sudden and shocking, but Szili stood up and continued with the fight.

In round three, Douglas picked it right back up and dropped Szili with a left hook. Istvan somehow got up again, but hit the canvas for a third time when Douglas ripped another right hand-left hook combo.

Referee Gary Rosato halted the fight at that point and declared Douglas the winner by TKO, 29 seconds into round three. It was an emphatic and glorious win for Douglas. He is a very exciting prospect with equally exciting potential. 

The victory won Antoine the IBO Intercontinental title belt and improved his  record to 18-0-1, 12 KOs. Szili, 18-1-2, 8 KOs, lost for the first time.

San Antonio junior featherweight Adam Lopez won a close contest with Eliecer Aquino, of the Dominican Republic, in their 10-rounder. The fighters battled back and forth for the full ten rounds. Lopez was bigger and heavier-handed, but Aquino was busier throughout the thirty minutes of action.

The official verdict favored Lopez by a majority score (96-93, 96-93 & 95-95). So little separated this pair that it was difficult to argue with the decision. However, my score favored Aquino 96-93.

Lopez, 13-0, 6 KOs, won both the vacant WBA Feda Latin and WBC Latino title belts. Aquino, 17-1-1, 11 KOs, lost for the first time.

In the opening bout of the Showtime SHOBOX telecast, Texan Samuel Clarkson, 15-3, 9 KOs, upset favorite Jerry Odom, 13-2, 12 KOs, of Washington, DC, with a surprise TKO in three rounds.

Odom won the opening round, but Clarkson rallied in the second with a right hand that knocked Odom down. Clarkson finished the job in the third when a pair of knockdowns prompted referee Shawn Clark to stop the fight. The time was 1:15.

In the last of the non-televised bouts, Philadelphia junior featherweight Manny Folly, 5-0, 4 KOs, returned from an 18-month layoff to stop Philly-based Puerto Rican Jose Garcia, 0-3, in round two.

Folly knocked the southpaw down with a crushing right and Garcia barely moved during the ten second count by referee Benji Esteves. The time of the KO was 22 seconds of round two. The bout was scheduled for four.

Folly was in pretty light on this night, but as usual looked strong, efficient and professional. There were no signs of rust from his layoff and his performance made me eager to see him in the ring again.

Folly's time off was due to his graduation from the Philadelphia Police Academy and the opening chapter of his career as a police officer. Now, after being cleared by the Police Department for his return to the ring, Folly will juggle both careers going forward.

In an all-Pennsylvania junior middleweight bout, Bethlehem's Rickey Nuno, 2-0, 1 KO, remained undefeated and spoiled the pro debut of Tim Kunkle, of Bath, PA, with a brutal third round knockout. Nuno dropped Kunkle twice in the second, both times with a left hook.  Then nearly one minute into the following round, Nuno nailed Kunkle with a combination that put Tim down hard and convinced referee Shawn Clark to stop the fight immediately. The official result was a KO at 57 seconds of round three of the scheduled four rounder.

In sloppy super middleweight four rounder, Botirsher Obidov, 2-0-1, edged Philly's Christopher Brooker, 3-1, 3 KOs, by split decision. The Uzbekistan boxer (now fighting out of Florida) was penalized one point in round two for hitting on the break, but still prevailed by scores of 38-37, 38-37, and 37-38.

In a scheduled 4-round middleweight bout, Rob Brant, 16-0, 10 KOs, climbed off the floor in round one and dropped Mexican Ernesto Berrospe, 10-8, 5 KOs, in round two to even things out. The fighter from St. Paul, MN then stormed out in round three and battered Berrospe to the canvas again. Referee Gary Rosato halted the fight as Berrospe sagged down the ropes and onto the canvas. The time was 33 seconds of the third round.

In the opening bout of the evening, lightweight Samuel Teah, Philadelphia, 6-1, 3 KOs, defeated Albany's Ray Velez, 3-8, by a landslide decision over four rounds. All three official scores were 40-36.

This was an exciting show, loaded with competitive action. The crowd was light, but every one in the arena was thoroughly entertained by all none bouts.




John DiSanto - Bethlehem, PA - July 17, 2015