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
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.”
PADILLA GOES THE DISTANCE
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.
WISE AND ZAPATA DRAW IN
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.
MACCOW WINS FIGHT OF THE
NIGHT VS RIVERS
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
MARTINEZ WINS REMATCH WITH
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,]
WISE EDGES DENIERIO
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.
BUNCH KAYOS WOMACK
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.
FULTON STOPS KENON
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.
DELGADO GETS NOD OVER CAUDLE
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.
BURGOS WINS WALKOUT BOUT
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.