PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 03, 2017  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Daniel Cork


Quick knockouts abounded on a Friday night slate of fights at the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia. Only one of the seven contests went the distance, while four never went past the opening round. The two main bouts, one featuring Ray Robinson and another spotlighting Christian Carto, fell in between these two extremes - but not by much. 

“The New” Ray Robinson, 31, returned to action in the same Sugar House ring as his comeback fight last Fall. This time, he scored a second round TKO of Nicaraguan Edwin Palacios, 12-5-1, 8 KOs, in a scheduled 8-rounder. Although Robinson looked a bit sloppy in the process, he closed the show and improved his record to 22-2, 11 KOs.  

After a casual start, Robinson caught Palacios late in round one with a two-punch combo that sent Edwin reeling into a neutral corner pad. Since the structure was the only thing that kept Palacios from hitting the floor, referee Gary Rosato rightly called the incident a knockdown. Palacios got to his feet, but the round ended before Robinson could inflict any more punishment, and join the evening's first-rounders club.

Robinson came out for the second round looking to capitalize on the advantage he had punched out in the prior round. A left cross by Robinson nailed Palacios and plopped him on the canvas. The sturdy vet beat the count, but Robinson went back to work, still looking to go home early.

Moments later, another hard left by Robinson hit the mark and Palacios folded and fell to the seat of his pants. The fallen fighter struggled to get up, but this time, could not beat the count. Referee Gary Rosato reached the count of ten at 2:39 of round two. The victory stretched Robinson’s winning streaking to eleven in a row.

In his last bout on October 28, Robinson returned from an 18-month layoff and looked lethal after such a long  hiatus. Yet this time, after just a three-month rest, he appeared a little off. His usually solid, lanky frame looked a bit out of shape, even though he was a pound lighter than in his last time out. Still, the left-hander got the job done and kept his hopes of landing an important fight at 147.

Robinson has been vocal about his goal of maneuvering fellow-Philadelphian and WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia into the ring. However, with Garcia's schedule bulging, such a fight does not seem likely anytime soon, but it would be an interesting match, and a deserved one for the long-overlooked Robinson.

In the semi-final bout, bantamweight Christian Carto extended his knockout streak to seven straight (7-0, 7 KOs) with a third round stoppage of Sergio Najera, 12-29-2, 6 KOs. The experienced Mexican gave Carto a test and proved to be the 20 year olds toughest fight to date.

Najera tried to rough up the local puncher, and even landed a few good shots of his own. However, Carto, 20, remained cool, consistently landed a good jab and never stopped drilling Najera with hard right hands. The fight definitely was a tussle, but Carto impressed and exhibited a fuller display of skills than in his previous, relatively easy, bouts.

Finally in round three after an extended volley of hard shots by Carto, referee Blair Talmadge stopped the fight. There were no knockdowns. The time was 2:06.

This was the first opportunity for Christian to show more than his punching power in a fight. He passed the test well and showed that he's got more to his game than a punch.

17-year old lightweight Branden Pizarro, 3-0, 2 KOs, knocked out Abdiel Padilla, 1-1, 1 KO, in the first round of their scheduled 4-rounder. Pizarro nailed Abdiel with a nasty body shot and the Puerto Rican crumbled in his own corner. Pizarro, not ready to go home, urged his fallen foe to get up with several upward waves of his boxing gloves. However, Padilla took referee Ronald Bashir's full ten count while leaning against the blue corner pad. The time was 2:42.  

Pizarro, still an 11th grader in high school, continued to dazzle his fans with a speedy and powerful ring performance. He looks good, but needs better competition than this.


Miami-based Cuban Hairon Socarras, 15-0-2, 10 KOs, dropped 97-bout vet German Meraz, 55-41-1, 32 KOs, briefly in round one and went on to defeat the Mexican on points in a 6-round junior lightweight bout. All three official scores by Tony Lundy, John Gradowski and Alan Rubenstein were 60-53. My tally was the same.

It was a lackluster bout with Meraz unable to match Socarras’ skills and Socarras unable to hurt his inferior foe. Although it was refreshing to see a fight go some rounds on this fast-moving night, given its pace, everyone would have liked to see this one go a bit shorter than it did. 



Junior lightweight Joseph Adorno improved to 2-0, with 2 KOs, with a lightning-fast, one-punch KO of Jonathan Hernandez, 0-4.  Adorno blasted Hernandez with a right hand that ended the fight on the spot. Hernandez crashed to the canvas, and referee Blair Talmadge stopped the fight without a count. The time was 18 seconds of round one.  

It was the fourth straight loss by knockout for Hernandez. He probably should have been spared fighting a strong, rising hopeful like Adorno.  


In a scheduled 4-round junior welterweight bout, Victor Padilla, 2-0, 2 KOs, remained undefeated with a 30-second knockout of Tony Wilson, 0-2. Padilla blasted his foe with a right-left combination that put him down for the count. The referee was Ronald Bashir.

Padilla, trained by Raul Rivas, has looked promising in both of his pro fights thus far.


In the opening bout, bantamweight Harold Lopez, 1-0, 1 KO, made a quick and successful pro debut against Argenis Armando (aka Lugo Perez), 0-1. Lopez stormed out of his corner at the first bell and landed a jarring left uppercut that dropped Armando. Referee Blair Talmadge counted to eight, but then halted the count and called the scheduled 4-rounder a KO at 57 seconds of the first round.  

A scheduled 6-round female bout between Kali Reis and Kita Wilson was scratched at the last minute when Wilson failed to show up on fight night. Another fight featuring riser Jeremy Cuevas was scratched on the scales yesterday.

The card was promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions and drew about 1,100 fans, another near sellout. 




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - February 03, 2017