PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - August 06, 2016  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


Heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon, 35-3, 27 KOs, crushed Michael Marrone, 21-6, 15 KOs, in round two of a scheduled 6-rounder Saturday night in Bristol, PA. The bout was the main event of an eight bout card promoted by D and D Promotions and Silver Spoon Promotions, at the Grundy Arena, a local hockey venue in the historic little Bucks County town.  This was the second-ever boxing event at the site.

Witherspoon, fighting for the first time in a year, wasted no time is securing his 35th professional victory. He moved out toward Marrone at the sound of the bell and began testing the former cruiserweight title challenger immediately.

About half-way through the round, Witherspoon flicked a right hand at Marrone, which landed around the temple and put him on the deck, near a neutral corner. Marrone hauled himself to his feet, and referee Hurley McCall sent him back into the fight.

Witherspoon, of Paulsboro, NJ, quietly went back to the task and before long, tossed a left-right combination that dusted Marrone’s head, and surprisingly, sent him to the canvas for a second time. Again, Marrone got up, but clearly his heart wasn’t in his work on this night. The bell sounded to end the first round, but the writing was on the wall.

In the second, Witherspoon hunted Vero Beach California’s Marrone with that familiar impassive look on his face, the only hint of expression from Chazz being a pair of raised eyebrows. As the round neared the halfway point, Witherspoon landed another left-right, this one a bit more solid, and Marrone crashed to the canvas loudly.

For the third time, Marrone got back up and was willing to fight on. McCall waved the two boxers toward each other. About the same time, one of Marrone’s seconds asked ringside physician Larry Richio to stop the slaughter. Richio stepped up onto the apron and waved a white towel. The fighters had resumed the action, but nothing meaningful transpired before the referee saw the doctor and called a halt to the fight. The time was 1:31.

With another win in the books, Witherspoon continues his hunt – or his wait - for an opportunity to land a meaningful and lucrative fight that could help cap his twelve year run as a pro. 

In the four-round co-feature bout, Philadelphia junior welterweight Samuel Teah, 8-1-1, 2 KOs, scored a one-sided unanimous decision over Sam Amoako, 21-13, 15 KOs, of Silver Spring, MD. Teah was in total control throughout the fight, jabbing and spearing Amoako all night, en route to the victory. All three official judges, Bernard Bruni, Gail Jasper and Lynn Carter scored the fight 40-36 for Teah.

In the best bout of the night, junior middleweight Elijah Vines remained undefeated with a thrill-ride win over Brooklyn’s Julian Valerio. Vines dropped his opponent in round one, and appeared to be on the brink of the third straight knockout in his young career. However, Valerio was stubborn and went on to prove he was also dangerous.

Shortly after he picked himself off the floor, Valerio (gold and blue trunks), with his back against the ropes, shocked Vines with a left uppercut that put the Philadelphian down on the seat of his pants. Vines got up, and the fighters battled it out until the bell paused the action. The slugfest continued in the second, though both boxers remained on their feet.

Finally in round three, Vines served up a feast of right hands that staggered Valerio and had him badly hurt. The tough New Yorker wouldn’t go down, so Vines, fittingly nicknamed “Vicious”, just kept throwing – and landing – punches. The action went from exciting to scary after a few seconds.

The brutal beating eventually came to an end at 2:30 of round three of the scheduled four-rounder, when referee Hurley McCall had finally seen enough. The win made Vines 3-0, 3 KOs. Valerio went home 3-4, 2 KOs. 

Philly welterweight Jaron Ennis stole the show with the fifth win of his rookie season, beating Matt Murphy of St. Louis by efficient, second round TKO. Ennis came out right-handed, but switched almost immediately to southpaw against an opponent who had scored an upset over then-undefeated Ken Thomas in his previous start, just one week ago.

Ennis zipped in and out, effortlessly ripping crisp punches at Murphy. When Jaron shifted his attack downstairs, a hard shot to the stomach put Murphy down for the first time. The fighter from St. Louis, MO, got up, but Ennis was right on him.

His attack was overwhelming, and moments later, a lethal left uppercut to the chin put Murphy down again and ended the fight. Referee Blair Talmadge stopped the bout at 2:52 of the second round. Murphy slipped to 1-4-1, 1 KO.

Ennis, 5-0, 5 KOs, looked impressive. 2016 may be remembered as Philadelphia’s “Year of the Rookies”, with Ennis, Darmani Rock, Christian Carto, Joshua Jones, and several other talented newbies getting their start during year. All of them look very promising, but Ennis has been the most active and is currently leading the race among them. Only time will tell which of these is truly the best of the group.

Trenton cruiserweight Michael Hilton kept his knockout streak going, but needed almost the entire length of his scheduled four-rounder to do it. Hilton looked powerful in stopping Atlanta’s Cortez Reed, 1-3, 1 KO, at 1:57 of round four.

Hilton chased his opponent throughout the fight, launching bombs. Many of them found their target, but Reed was too tough to be knocked off his feet by any of them. Still, Hilton kept clubbing away until referee Hurley McCall eventually called a halt to the bout with Reed trapped on the ropes taking a hailstorm of heavy shots. The TKO victory improved Hilton’s record to 3-0, 3 KOs.

Maryland junior welterweight Emmanuel Taylor, 20-4, 14 KOs, stopped Mexican journeyman Carlos Aguilera, 10-18, 4 KOs, in a scheduled eight-round bout. Taylor easily took charge and fired his speedy shots at his outgunned opponent for two rounds.

In the third, Taylor rattled Aguilera repeatedly before a right hand put him down for the count. Referee Blair Talmadge reached the count of ten at 2:07 of round three.

LeShawn Rodriguez, Shirley, NY, came out swinging against Jason Wahr of Virginia Beach. The undefeated middleweight dropped Wahr, 4-13-3, 1 KO, with a right and followed up with two more knockdowns in rapid fire. The one-sided fight was stopped by referee Hurley McCall at 1:55 of the opening round. Rodriguez upped his record to 4-0, 3 KOs, with the win.

In the show opener, New York lightweight Luis Perozo, 2-0, 1 KO, won a four-round unanimous decision over Albert Martinez of Tifton, GA. Perozo put Martinez down in round two with a left to the body, but it wasn’t enough to end the fight. Perozo swept the first three rounds before Martinez rallied to win the fourth. All three official judges scored the fight 39-36 for Perozo. My card concurred.

This was the second offering from D and D Promotions, their first show, in June, was the first-ever fight card in Bristol, PA. The company expects to run two more events before the close of 2016 at venues yet to be determined.




John DiSanto - Bristol, PA - August 06, 2016