PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - March 12, 2022  
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Press Release by Marc Abrams
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. / Instagram: @darrylcobb


Christian Tapia outlasted Luis Lebron via 10-round unanimous decision to capture the WBC Continental Americas junior lightweight title in a bout that took place in front of a capacity crowd at Live! Casino in South Philadelphia, and exceeded the bout's pre-fight hype. The fight topped a terrific card that was promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions.  

Early on, it looked like Lebron's night as he hurt Tapia badly with a flush left hook to the side of the head. Tapia was rocked and held on for the balance of the frame. Tapia regained his composure, and was able to start landing some nice overhand rights.

Tapia started to get into a rhythm, and was able to land left hooks to the body that started to slow Lebron down. Lebron would not go quietly into the night as he was able to force Tapia into some furious exchanges. The action thrilled the sold-out crowd.

Many of the rounds were close, and it was the accuracy and harder punch of Tapia that opened a cut under the left eye of Lebron, and proved to be the difference in the fight. The Coamo, Puerto Rico native won by scores of 99-91 (Steve Weisfeld), 98-92 (Dave Braslow) and 97-93 (Dewey LaRosa). With the win, Tapia, 14-0, 12 KOs, took the WBC Continental Americas junior lightweight regional title belt. Lebron of San Juan, Puerto Rico, fell to 18-3-1, with 11 KOs.  


In the co-feature, Philadelphian Brandon Pizarro landed a hard left hook to the head of Vitor Jones that sent the Brazilian visitor down and out at 1:18 of round four of their scheduled eight-round welterweight bout. This was Pizarro's first bout in more than one year and the knockout improved his record to 17-1, 10 KOs. knockouts. Jones lost by KO for the seventh time and left 16-7, 10 KOs.


Ryan Pino took a six-round majority decision over previously undefeated Dezmond Lucas in a welterweight bout. Pino, of San Juan Puerto Rico, won by scores of 59-55 (Dewey LaRosa), 58-56 (John Poturaj) and 57-57 (Steve Weisfeld) to raise his record to 11-7-2, 5 KOs. Bronx, NY's Lucas, 5-1, 2 KOs.  


Jan Carlos Rivera put on a solid boxing performance to win a six-round unanimous decision over Michael Ogundo in a welterweight clash. Rivera, of Philadelphia, won by shutout tallies of 60-54 on all cards (Braslow, Poturaj and Weisfeld). He improved to 5-1, 4 KOs. Ogundo, of Quincy, MA, lost his second straight and left 16-14, 13 KOs.  


Good looking Jeffrey Villanueva made a successful pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision over Juan Gutierrez in bantamweight bout. Villanueva drove Gutierrez into the ropes for a knockdown in the opening frame. Gutierrez fought back hard and the two had several good exchanges throughout the fight, but Villanueva was able to drop Gutierrez again in the final frame. He won by scores of 40-34 on all cards (Braslow, LaRosa and Weisfeld). Villanueva, of Allentown, PA, won his debut, 1-0, while Gutierrez, of Emiale, Nicaragua lost his, 0-1.   


Derrick Vann was able to use an unorthodox style to register two knockdowns and take a four-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Brendan O'Callaghan in a battle of Philadelphia based middleweights. Vann scored knockdowns in rounds one and four, and won by official scores of 39-36 (John Poturaj) and 38-36 (Dave Braslow and Dewey LaRosa) and is now 1-0. O'Callaghan, 2-1, 1 KO, lost for the first time.  


Cesar Espinel Maldonado landed a booming left hook that sent Anthony Ramirez down and out at 2:52 of round one of their scheduled four-round welterweight bout. The left hook sent Ramirez down face-first, thudding off the canvas. Somehow Ramirez got to his feet, but he was wobbling all over the place and the bout was stopped by referee Shawn Clark. Espinel, of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, scored his first win, 1-2, 1 KO. Ramirez, of Philadelphia, lost for the second straight time and went home 0-2.  

The card was fought before boxing royalty, with former two-division world champion Danny Garcia, rising contender Jaron Ennis, former champ Chris Colbert, popular Philly fighters Ray Robinson, Christian Carto, and Sonny Conto all in attendance. Approximately 1,100 fans packed the house.




Marc Abrams - South Philly - March 12, 2022