|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - November 12, 2015
Reading, PA junior lightweight Frank De Alba, 17-1-2, 6 KOs, held off the relentless challenge of Floridian Jesus Lule, 7-15-1, 1 KO, to take a six-round unanimous decision in the main event, at the 2300 Arena in South Philly Friday night. De Alba was the more skilled boxer throughout, but Lule brought plenty of fight to the bout.
The southpaw got off to a quick start, but Lule kept the action competitive by always firing back after one of De Alba’s punches speared him to the head or body. By the mid-point of the fight, Lule’s engine was fully revved, and he did his best to turn the fight around. The underdog had his moments, but De Alba stayed in control.
The fighters battled hard in round five, when the exchanges were heated, especially late in the round. The bell ending the fifth spoiled perhaps the best altercation of the fight, but the fighters picked it right back up in the final round.
In the sixth, things were close, but I gave the round to Lule.
After the full six rounds, all three judges favored De Alba by scores of 59-55 and 60-54 twice. De Alba’s victory was his 15th in a row.
In the four-round semi-final bout, Philly lightweight Scott Kelleher, 3-0, 1 KO, swept every round against Buffalo’s Jack Grady, 0-2-1, to remain undefeated. Although the three official 40-36 cards made it look like Kelleher won easily, the fight itself was a struggle for the young fighter, and a good learning experience.
Even though the outcome was never in doubt, Grady showed up in Philly with a lot of attitude and a real desire to upset Kelleher’s cart. Grady rushed Scott at the opening bell and pretty much stayed in his face all night. Toward the end of the first round, the fighters butted heads and Kelleher came away with a nasty gash over his left eye. This was a first for Scott as a pro.
The fight stuck to the pattern in the final three rounds. Grady made it hard on the rising prospect, but didn’t have the skills to pull the upset. The fight was as entertaining as it was one-sided.
After Kelleher was declared the winner, ring announcer Nino Del Buono asked the crowd to rise and initiated a final ten count for Kelleher’s mother, Karen, who passed away three weeks prior to fight night.
A six-round super middleweight bout between Atlantic City’s Antoywan Aikens (blue & white trunks) and Tahir Thomas of Salisbury, MD, both undefeated, was called a draw by the three official judges.
Thomas, 4-0-1, 3 KOs, took control early in the first round, outworking the taller Aikens, 10-0-1, 1 KO. However, in the final minute of the opening round, Aikens nailed Thomas with a single, sharp right hand that toppled Thomas to the canvas.
Beginning in the second, Aikens kept a slight lead, but Thomas kept pressing the action and landed plenty of his own punches. The action remained close until the final round when an extended flurry by Thomas put Aikens on the floor. Aikens returned to his feet and managed to survive Thomas’ last minute efforts to end the fight.
It was another exciting and entertaining battle. I had Aiken slightly ahead on my scorecard, but the draw verdict was probably the right call.
Super middleweight Christopher Brooker, Philadelphia, pounded out a four-round unanimous decision over tough Edgar Perez of Chicago. In round two it appeared Brooker, 5-1, 4 KOs, would end the fight when he dropped Perez with a right uppercut. However, Perez, 6-17, 3 KOs, wasn’t going anywhere. The fight went the full limit and all three judges scored it 40-35.
Cruiserweight Hafiz Montgomery, 2-0, 1 KO, Toms River, NJ, scored a devastating knockout over Devon Mosley, 0-4-1, Capitol Heights, MD. Southpaw Mosley was doing pretty well for much of the first round, but a clubbing right by Montgomery dropped him flat on his face. Mosley struggled to get up but couldn’t bet referee David Franciosi’s ten count. The time of the first round KO was 2:34.
Atlantic City cruiserweight Hector Perez, 3-1, 2 KOs, ruined the pro debut of Philadelphia’s Tyrell Colston, 0-1. Colston looked like a sure winner in round one. His punches were long and sharp, and a right-left hook combo floored Perez. However, Colston could not finish the job and it proved to be his undoing.
In round two, Perez battled back and dropped Colston twice. The second time, the rookie sprawled through the ropes. He climbed to his feet, but staggered back against the ropes and referee Gary Rosato stopped it. The time was 1:24 of the second.
In another super middleweight contest, Daryl Bunting, Asbury Park, NJ, and Philly’s Ryan Bivins, fought to a four-round draw. The debuting Bunting, 0-0-1, appeared to be in the lead over the first three rounds, before Bivins, 0-1-1, turned the tables in the final round.
Suddenly in round four, Bivins was outworking Bunting and couldn’t miss with his punches. A right hand hurt Bunting and then a left hook by Bivins stunned Bunting again. Daryl was in serious trouble and it looked like he was finished. If Bivins had another 30 seconds to work, he might have gotten his knockout. However, the final bell ended things a moment too soon for Ryan.
The judges couldn’t decide who won this bout. George Hill saw it 39-37 for Bivins. Lindsey Page scored it 39-37 for Bunting. Finally, Michael Somma called the fight even at 38-38. So it goes into the books as a split decision draw. I had Bunting up 39-37.
In a quick featherweight fight, Philadelphian Derrick Bivins (no relation to Ryan), 2-3-2, 1 KO, stopped Reading’s Ely Mendez, 1-2, in the second round of their scheduled four-rounder. After a close opening round, Bivins landed a beautiful right hand in round two that flattened Mendez. Referee David Franciosi stopped the fight at 45 seconds into the second.
In the opening bout of the night, Philly heavyweights Corey Morley and Brian Donohue fought to a four round draw. Donohue, 3-14-2, clearly won the first, but Morley, 0-0-1, appeared to have the edge for the rest of his pro debut. However, two of the three judges disagreed.
Lindsey Page thought Morley had won it, 39-37. However, George Hill had it for Donohue, 39-37. However, Michael Somma once again turned in a 38-38 score that deadlocked the bout.
The show was promoted by Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Boxing and attracted approximately 900 fans. This was Philadelphia’s final boxing card of 2015.