Promoting his brains out,
Marshall Kauffman ran yet another show, this time at Philadelphia’s
premiere club location, the 2300 Arena on Friday night. Lacking a
local attraction on top, the show drew only a small crowd, maybe
300. But Russell Peltz was there! So were members of the rising rock
band Low Cut Connie, fight fans performing locally the next night.
The action didn’t sparkle, and neither did the performances of the
young hopefuls. There was one upset, a failed audition, two notably
lackluster efforts, and one outright gift. But these kinds of
contests separate the chaff while helping the prospects develop
against difficult assignments. The show was telecast on Facebook
Fight Night Live. Marc Abrams was publicist, Mark Fratto was ring
announcer, and Fred Blumstein kept time.
FOX DEFEATS ARELLANO
The top bout was an eight between Mykal [sic] Fox, 142 ½, Upper
Marlboro, MD, 22-1 (6), and John Arellano, 143, Conroe, TX, 10-2
(9). The underdog’s career has been sporadic and so was his
performance this night. He applied pressure to move in on the lanky
southpaw favorite to take the first and last, but sleepwalked
through the middle six.
The tall Fox used his long right jab to keep the listless Arellano
at bay and occasionally mixed in a right hook to keep it honest.
Mykal got his feet tangled and stumbled early in the third to excite
the crowd but nothing much happened thereafter. The underdog took a
specious knockdown to liven the fifth. Fox poked out a long right,
Arellano tried an ambitious right counter but was too short, missed
completely, spun around and went down from what referee Eric Dali
ruled a knockdown.
The favorite boxed judiciously through the next two and a half
rounds before somebody woke up Arellano in time for the eighth.
Kevin Morgan scored 78-73, Justin Rubenstein and Lindsey Page 79-72.
PLLANA ROBBED AGAINST HENDERSON
This was preceded by the robbery. Genc “The Sexy Albanian” Pllana,
168 ¼, Hagerstown, MD, 7-1-1 (4), despite a good record, was figured
to lose against Kalvin Henderson, 167 ½, Fayetteville, AR, 12-0-1
(8). Somebody forgot to tell Pllana. Genc came out with a loose and
lackadaisical style, hands down and throwing junk punches. But throw
them he did! And Henderson couldn’t hit him, even though he was
right there. Everyone was waiting for Pllana to fold, especially as
the muscular favorite looked quite menacing. Henderson landed one
jolting left hook late in the first, but Pllana fought right back.
Again in the second, a wild exchange raged to the bell, with Kalvin
landing some jolting shots that only ignited Pllana to throw even
more and take Henderson’s edge right back. In third, Henderson at
last began to include some punches with his trudging forward and
appeared to possibly be gaining control. But no, Genc mounted a wild
two-handed rally to the bell that put the round up for grabs.
The next two consisted entirely of Genc circling away and popping
reckless sidearm punches while Henderson was unable to mount any
offense to speak of. Pllana became more aggressive in an action
sixth while Kalvin tried to stop the peppering of blows with some
serious one-twos, but most missed. The crowd was up early in the
seventh after one good straight right by Henderson appeared to have
Pllana hurt. But instead of a defensive shell, Pllana only opened up
more and Kalvin’s offense all but disappeared in a hail of blows.
Genc circled and popped to take the final round while Henderson
seemed confused and dejected. Then came the horrible decision.
Morgan nailed it precisely, 79-73 Pllana. But Page and Adam Friscia
let down the fans and the sport with 76-76 scores, making the
verdict a majority draw. Fellas, boxing should be scored on punches
landed and the effects thereof and nothing else! You don’t give
style points or credit for ineffectively coming forward. Football
isn’t scored by yardage, or baseball by hits, or basketball by
rebounds. And boxing should be scored only on punches. Shawn Clark
BATES UNIMPRESSIVE IN VICTORY
Although he’s a good fighter, Marcus Bates, 121 ¾, Wash., DC, 11-1-1
(8), looked anything but, in a dull unanimous decision over
Francisco Pedroza, 122 ¼, Tijuana, 13-10-2 (7), eight. The compact
and solid favorite just followed the underdog around, never putting
punches together and just taking what Pedroza gave him instead of
making it happen. Pedroza tried a razzle-dazzle attack but merely
missed punches against the compact target. Bates jolted him with a
left hook to close the third, then followed him around without
finding him in the fourth. Marcus landed some good rights in the
fifth. Francisco tried a flurry in the seventh but was jolted by a
Finally in the last round, when Francisco again tried to get
something going, Marcus nailed him with a left hook counter but this
one was a beauty to the point of the chin and knocked Pedroza onto
the seat of his pants. Francisco ran out the round. Page scored
78-73, Rubenstein and Friscia 80-71.
BUNCH SCORES CAUTIOUS DECISION
With Peltz watching his new charge at ringside, Shinard Bunch, 147
¼, Trenton, 5-1 (4), did not impress with a unanimous decision over
Vicente Morales, 150 ½, Matamoros, MX, 3-5-2 (2), six. The contest
started slowly and failed to gain momentum. Bunch has impressed in
previous contests but against the short, squat Mexican, failed to
get anything going and just boxed over-cautiously. Morales seemed
concerned with his immediate future in the early rounds and just
survived. But when he was still there in the third, he began to
attack, albeit not very effectively.
This continued into the fourth, until one good left hook discouraged
Vicente from any further adventuring. Morales was back on attack in
fifth, but hurtling his body and telegraphing the punches, not an
effective tactic. Shinard was sharper with short punches. The two
tried to make a fight of it in the final round, but there were
mostly big misses. Shinard did work the jab and won the round.
Friscia scored 58-56, Rubenstein 59-55, and Page 60-54. Peltz left.
JONES UPSETS FULTON
In a contest of southpaws, Tyrome Jones, 134 ¼, South Bend, IN,
5-6-1 (2), scored the only official upset when he stopped Shamar
Fulton, 134 ½, the only Philly fighter on the show, 4-1-1 (3), in
2:10 of the second of a scheduled six. After a feel-out first, they
began to exchange wide open in the second. Fulton was beaten to the
punch by a straight left and dropped.
He got up ready to fight, but wild swarming followed with Fulton
battered down along the ropes. He struggled up shaky and argued
vigorously when ref Clark stopped it.
JULES WINS ONE-SIDED VERDICT
Popular lefty Martino Jules, 129 ¾, Allentown, 8-0 (1), pounded out
a one-sided verdict over game Eric Manriquez, 129 ¼, Houston, 7-10-1
(3), six. The hopelessly small underdog hadn’t a clue against the
tall, standup favorite in the opening round and was almost boxed to
a standstill. By the third, Manriquez was starting to try an attack.
Martino squared his deep stance which allowed Eric to move in, but
then dropped Manriquez with a sharp left hook. The embarrassed
underdog tried to get into the fight with an attack for the rest of
the round but was only vigorous, not effective. The fourth got off
to a wild start, Manriquez seemingly trapped in a neutral corner but
Jules, a boxer, not a slugger, bailing out wild and sloppy.
Action calmed in the fifth, but late, Jules looped the right behind
Eric’s neck and brought over a straight left to drop him again, just
before the bell. The final round was wild and sloppy, neither
effective while tying up and wrestling each other to the canvas.
Morgan scored 59-53, Rubenstein and Friscia 60-52. Clark refereed.
FERHADI STOPS BACCUS
Devar Ferhadi, 170 ¼, a Kurdistani fighting out of Frederick, MD,
8-0 (7), opened the show with a TKO of Vincent Baccus, 167 ¼,
Okmulgee, OK, 4-1-1 (3), at 1:45 of the fifth of six. The tall,
standup Ferhadi established the jab in a feel-out first and had the
shorter though physically fit Baccus moving away. A burst of
exchanging in the second saw Ferhadi getting the better of it.
Baccus began to land some counters and had a better third. Ferhadi
tried to regain control with a late rally.
Devar had a better fourth, landing a big right at start and then
left hooks off decoy rights. In fateful fifth, Baccus went to a knee
in a neutral corner for a knockdown although the punches, a poking
left and glancing right, didn’t look like much. But Ferhadi coolly
and calmly worked him over at length until Baccus was merely
surviving and not fighting back. A solid right drilled him and Dali
took the signal to stop the fight.