PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 23, 2019  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


On Friday night, two loaded boxing shows will go down at the same time, about 20 miles apart. I suppose that it is a good problem to have. I mean itís better than no fights, I guess. Perhaps this embarrassment of riches is further proof of Philly's bragging rights as a boxing center. However, these nights of competing cards never sit well with me. I want to be in both places, to see both sets of boxers, but of course I canít be. I hate that.

In South Philly at the 2300 Arena, Kings Promotions presents an eight fight slate, with a PA state junior middleweight title bout at the top of the card, while Joe Hand Promotions hosts a seven bout show at the Parx Casino in nearby Bensalem, with Philly favorite warrior Garrett Wilson in the main event. Two good shows, take your pick. 


At the 2300, PA champ Tyrone Brunson, 27-7-2, 24 KOs, meets Jamaal Davis, 18-13-1, 7 KOs, in a 10-round state title bout. Both are Philly sons, although Davis recently relocated to Harrisburg. Brunson returns to a regular start after his participation in the latest season of The Contender. 

This is an interesting fight. Brunson will enter as the favorite. He's a little fresher and has been on a better roll of late. He also punches much harder than his foe. However, Davis is a wily old pro that can take a punch. If he can survive Brunson's power early, he might be able to out-last the stone-fisted PA champ, who is not at his best late in a fight. I lean toward Brunson to win, but it is good match between two of my favorite fighters.

The undercard includes appearances by Rasheen Brown (2-0) and Antonio Dubose (9-2-1, 2 KOs), both from the James Shuler Memorial Boxing Gym, in separate bouts. Also, James Martin (3-0), the son of former light heavyweight contender Jerry Martin, fights a four rounder.

Phillyís Vincent Floyd (4-5-1, 2 KOs) faces Rasheed Johnson (4-2, 1 KO) now of Willow Grove. Nahir Albright (5-1, 1 KO) meets Roy McGill (6-1, 3 KOs) in a good-looking six round lightweight fight. Sadly, the anticipated match between Tyrone Crawley Jr., and Victor Vasquez has been scratched. Two additional fights fill out the card, which begins at 7:00 PM. 


Across town at the Parx, cruiserweight Philly puncher Garrett "The Ultimate Warrior" Wilson (18-15-1, 9 KOs,) will meet Brian Howard of Loganville, GA (13-2, 10 KOs) over eight rounds. Wilson will try to snap a three fight losing streak against Howard, who is coming off a KO loss. Wilson has scored some of the most memorable knockouts of recent memory, and has faced any challenge offered him - in any country or in any weight class. He keeps trucking along, trying to catch a break, but this has been his story from the beginning.

Wilson, a former USBA & NABF champion, has a big advantage in experience, and despite his ten-plus career history, actually is two years younger than the relatively unknown Howard.  In any case, Wilson is a guy you donít want to miss fight. But alas, half of the boxing community will have to miss this, his first fight in the area since 2016. 

The rest of the Parx card also looks interesting. Lightweight Jerome Conquest (9-3, 1 KO) returns after a one year layoff to meet the oft-visiting and awkward Elmira, NY southpaw Vinnie Denierio (3-5, 1 KO), in a six round bout. Undefeated Omar Kabary Salem (7-0, 3 KOs), Brooklyn, faces North Dakota journeyman Jacob Fox (3-7, 2 KOs), in a six round super middleweight contest.  

Bronx junior middleweight Ismael Villarreal (4-0, 1KO) tries to stay undefeated against Lashawn Alcocks (1-4), who is looking for a win after four straight decision losses. Welterweight Tyhler Williams and junior welterweight Tyree Arnold, each make their professional debut in separate four rounders. Both newbies are from Philadelphia. A four round middleweight fight completes the lineup. Sammy Berman (1-0, 1 KO), Collegeville, PA, fights Phillyís Corey Weekly (0-1). The first bell rings at 7:30 PM.

So no matter where you choose to go on Friday night, a full card of boxing waits for you. I flipped a coin and will be at the 2300 Arena tonight. Iíll enjoy it Iím sure, but Iíll be conflicted, especially when Garrett Wilson steps into the ring, thirty minutes away from where I'll be sitting. Luckily, Matt Ward, of the Weigh In podcast, is covering all the action at the Parx casino. So his report will post here this weekend. 

Two shows, fifteen fights. Thatís a lot of boxing. Too bad I canít watch it all.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - February 28, 2019