PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - December 01, 2017  
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Story by Fred Druding Jr.
Photos by Jano Cohen


Philly fight fans were treated to an action packed professional boxing card Friday night at the Sugar House Casino. With several fan favorites on the six bout card, the show presented by Hard Hitting Promotions was completely sold out.


In the main event, Philly heavyweight Joey "The Tank" Dawejko, 19-4-4, 11 KOs, continued his winning ways, taking an eight round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Kelvin Nunez of Puerto Rico, 15-1, 13 KOs, and claiming the WBC FECARBOX Heavyweight Championship in the process. It was a good bout with some nice exchanges, but Dawejko's cleaner crisper punches appeared to be the difference on the scorecards. All three official judges scored the bout for Dawejko, 76-75 and 77-74 twice.

A former World Amateur Champion, Dawejko got his start in boxing under Charlie Sgrillo at Philly's famed Harrowgate Boxing Club. Still residing in Philly, Dawejko now is working with world renowned trainer Freddie Roach and holds his training camp at Roach's Wildcard Gym in California. Dawejko has shown continued improvement in his recent bouts and appears to be on the verge of making a move in the heavyweight division.

In the co-feature of the evening, South Philly bantamweight Christian Carto took on Mexico's Luis Saavedra in an eight rounder. With fellow South Philadelphian and Hall of Fame cut man Joey "Eye" Intrieri and former national amateur champion Mickey Rosati, Jr. of South Philly's legendary Rosati's Gym in his corner, Carto entered the ring to a standing ovation by his increasingly growing fan base.

Carto, a former national amateur champion like Rosati, his trainer, extended his undefeated streak to 13-0, with 11 KO's taking an eight round unanimous decision. Saavedra,  7-4, 3 KOs, was game, but just couldn't match the hand speed of Carto, who repeatedly landed blazing combinations. This writer scored the bout 80-71 for Carto, but admittedly, like Carto, I also hail from South Philly. However, my score apparently wasn't too biased, as all three ringside judges scored the bout exactly the same at 80-71.

In the opening bout of the night, Philly lightweight Jeremy Cuevas, 6-0, 5 KOs, took on Jose Castro of Puerto Rico in a six rounder. Over the first four rounds, Cuevas outworked Castro by landing some quick combinations. Preventing their fighter from taking any further punishment, Castro's corner threw in the towel in the fifth, causing the referee to stop the bout. The stoppage gave Cuevas the TKO win at 2:05 of Round five to remain undefeated. Castro slid to 5-10, 3 KOs.

In the second bout, Philly heavyweight Darmani Rock, remained undefeated (10-0, 6 KOs) by making short work of Puerto Rico's Carlos Cotto. Rock dropped Cotto with a left hook near the end of round. Cotto rose by the count of nine, but was in no condition to continue causing the referee to halt the bout at 2:59 of the first round. Cotto left 8-2-1, 5 KOs.

Bout three was an all Philly war between Sammy Teah, 12-1-1, 5 KOs, (above right) and Maynard Allison, 9-3, 6 KOs, over six rounds in the lightweight division. Both fighters had their moments, landing nice combinations in an exciting bout, but in the end, it was Teah who got the victory by scores of 60-54 on all three judges’ card.


The fourth fight of the night was a real shocker. In a bout where somebody's "O" had to go, popular North Philly lightweight Branden Pizarro, who was 8-0 going in, took on Puerto Rico's Christian Rivera, who was 6-0 in a scheduled six round lightweight bout. This was another action packed bout with both fighters trading hard shots.

Pizarro suffered two knockdowns in the bout, but rose each time and came right back. He closed the six round super strong and landed some hard shots. However, in the end of this crowd pleasing fight, Rivera won a unanimous decision, by scores of 58-55, 58-54, and 57-56. Pizarro, 8-1, 4 KOs, suffered his first lost as a pro, but at only 18 years old, look for this former national amateur star to bounce back shortly. Upset winner, Rivera remained undefeated, 7-0, 5 KOs.

At ringside enjoying the action where Hank Lundy, Jason Sosa, and Tevin Farmer who fights for the World Championship next Saturday on HBO.




Fred Druding - Northern Liberties - December 01, 2017