PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - October 04, 2019  
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J. R . Jowett Reporting From Ringside
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


J. R. Jowett reporting from back against the wall in the dark: The Great J Russell Peltz celebrated 50 years in boxing (this writer was at his first show) with a commemorative card at Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena on October 4th. Titled “Blood, Sweat & 50 Years”, the show was promoted along with Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Prom’ns), drawing a nearly full house.

This was more than a boxing show. It was a salute to the leading figure in Philly boxing over the last five decades. The official program is a collector’s item. Celebs galore attended, including… just to name a few… Bernard Hopkins, Teddy Atlas, Art Pelullo, Lou DiBella, Al Valente, and Arnold Weiss… and with apologies to the many who’ve been missed.

Peltz was beaming, but looked a bit abashed with the spotlight on him at ringside. Mark Fratto was the ring announcer and Fred Blumstein kept time. The card had no big headliners but good fights involving young rising stars. As Fred Jenkins once put it, “When you fight for Russell, if you can’t fight, you find out real fast.”


Victor Padilla, 135 ½, Vieques, PR, via Berlin, NJ, 6-0 (5) hardly dazzled in a humdrum win over Romain Tomas, 137 ¾, Paris via Bedford-Stuyvesant, 8-3 (1), in the six round main event. The Frenchman had no clue how to deal with the tall, lanky southpaw favorite’s long reach.

By providing little action in the first, he became the first opponent in Padilla’s short career to come out for the second round. He made it out for all the rest of them too, but didn’t accomplish much more. Padilla seemed content to pick his punches and coast to the unanimous win. George Hill scored 59-55, Anthony Lundy and Kevin Morgan had a shutout. Eric Dali refereed.


Isaiah Wise, 155 ¾, Phila., 7-2-2 (4), and Roque Zapata, 153 ¾, a Panamanian out of Culpeper, VA, 6-2-5, put on a lot more action, but much of it was a blur of missed punches, making it hard to score. Wise was much bigger than the compact Virginian. Isaiah landed some long punches but couldn’t put them together or seize control.

Meanwhile, Zapata threw a lot of junk but was he ever busy! Wise used his jab in round two, but the fight got almost out of control in a wild and woolly third. Referee Shawn Clark gave Zapata a brief rest from a low blow. Roque changed tactics and started to back away and pop short counters as Wise tried to stalk him in the fourth. Isaiah targeted long punches better in the fifth, making it harder for Zapata’s short counters.

The sixth was a melee of missed swings. Wise appeared to have fought the better fight, but it was a tough call and all three judges, John Poturaj, Hill and Morgan, opted for a 57-57 unanimous draw. With the draw, Isaiah improved over his decision loss to Roque nearly three years ago.


In possibly the best fight on the show, Marcel Rivers, 142 ¼, Phila., 7-2 (4), was upset by Sydney Maccow, 142 ½, Bklyn, 7-8 (3), six. Rivers picked punches cautiously in a feel-out first, but Maccow started to apply pressure in the second. It still wasn’t a barnburner in the third, but Maccow was taking the fight to Rivers, who acted like he didn’t want it. Then bam!

In the fourth, Maccow set to punch but Marcel beat him to it, slickly stepping in behind a left fake and bringing over a booming right. Sydney went down! It looked like all was finally right; the favorite in control. Maccow spun Rivers to the canvas for no knockdown, but seemed to be losing control. The fight turned back in the fifth. A revived visitor turned southpaw and turned aggressive, forcing the contest which by now was pretty hectic. Rivers couldn’t deal with it and went into a shell, getting a rest from a low blow.

The visitor was pouring it on in the final round while Rivers was becoming undone. But still, with the knockdown in his favor, Marcel might have had Sydney fighting uphill. Then in the closing seconds, the overwhelmed Rivers was in a neutral corner when Maccow unloaded a two-punch combo and he folded to the canvas. Marcel got up, with seconds left, and went down again as the bell rang, but that was a no knockdown. Sydney got the unanimous decision, all 58-54, from Poturaj, Lundy, and Morgan. Dali refereed.


In a rare five rounder, where one corner wanted a four and another a six, Osnel Charles, 132 ½, Atlantic City, 13-20-1 (2), lost in a good fight with Gerardo Martinez, 134 ¾, Coatesville, 5-1 (1). After the usual feel-out first, the stocky Gerardo began to apply pressure and take control, firing with both hands out of a squared stance. Osnel stayed in the fight, using his long jab and keeping distance in the third. But Martinez forced the fight onto his terms, short range punching with both hands, in the fourth, then put together some nifty short rights in the fifth as Osnel faded from contention. Poturaj, Hill and Morgan all had 49-46. [Editors Note: Martinez won a 4-round decision over Charles in February,]


In a battle of southpaws, Seifullah Jihad Wise, 136 ½, Phila., 4-7 (1), struggled to a unanimous decision over Vinnie Denierio, 136 ¼, Elmira, 3-7- (1), four. The lanky Denierio telegraphed his punched, then fell in behind them to get tied up. It wasn’t pretty and was physically a tough fight, but Wise kept his hands free and scored with straight punches just enough to control the contest. Poturaj scored 39-37, Lundy  and Morgan a shutout.


Shinard Bunch, 149, Queens/Trenton, 3-1 (3), brought a rooting section, and were they ever impressed! In a scheduled four with veteran Kevin Womack, 148 ½, Balto., 9-19-3 (7), the two began sizing each other up when Womack inched forward, set to punch with arms loose, when Shinard came over the top with a screaming right that flattened Womack for a sensational one-punch KO at 1:56 of round one. Dali didn’t bother to count.


Shamar Fulton, 134 ½, Phila., 4-0-1-2 NC (2), quickly sized up Leonardo Kenon, 133 ¼, Quincy, FL, 3-8 (1), then let the dogs loose! The southpaw favorite, calling himself “Fulton-Banks”, showed good poise and a flat-footed stance in blitzing Kenon with both hands. The underdog was trapped in a corner and getting roasted but trying to survive when referee Clark stopped it at 1:08 of the opening round of four.


Sahret Delgado, 265 ½, Berlin, NJ, 8-0 (7), was lucky to get away with his first decision win in a rugged struggle fought at close quarters with Joel Caudle, 254 ¾, Raleigh, 8-4-2 (5), four. The taller Delgado had better skills, but the short, blubbery Caudle kept on chugging. All rounds were close and hard fought. Delgado was certainly the more stylish, but Caudle gave him no peace. Lundy had it a shutout while Poturaj and Hill had 39-37. This could easily have been a draw.


Christopher Burgos, 136 ½, Phila., 2-4-1 (1), and Tyree Arnold, 136 ¼, Phila., 0-3, closed the show with a slam-bang action four. The smaller Arnold fought out of a squared stance and lit into Burgos with both hands at first bell. But after an extended bombardment, the tide began to swing. The stronger Burgos went to the body to get Tyree off of him, then dominated the rest of the opening round with solid shots. Action was fierce in the second but the smaller Arnold seemed to be wilting under pressure and hanging on by round’s end. Not so! Action became sloppy and wild in the third, and Arnold gathered himself and battled back. It remained a good fight to the final bell, with Chris getting the unanimous decision. Lundy scored 39-37, Poturaj and Hill had shutouts.

Everyone left hoping Peltz will never quit and there’ll be a 75th.




Jeff Jowett - South Philly - October 04, 2019