PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 20, 2023  
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Story by Ken Hissner
Photos by Amanda Westcott / Showtime


Philly light heavyweight Atif Oberlton dominated Russian Artem Brusov at the Wind Creek Events Center in Bethlehem, PA, Friday night (1/20). Oberlton won a unanimous decision. The fight was the co-feature of the Kings Promotions (Marshall Kauffman) card which was also televised live on Showtime’s ShowBox series. In the main event, Sean “Silky” Hemphill was stopped by David Stevens in the eighth round. In another televised bout, Julian Gonzalez stopped Rosalindo Morales in four rounds.

West Philly light heavyweight southpaw Atif Oberlton, 8-0, 6 KOs, (174.2 lbs.) was impressive in defeating Artem Brusov, 12-1, 11 KOs, (173.7 lbs.), of Tambov, Russia (now West Palm Beach, FL) over eight solid rounds. In the first round, Brusov was the aggressor but was cut on the right eyelid after a clash of heads halfway through the round. The much taller southpaw Oberlton (6’ 4”) used an effective jab in the competitive round.

In the second round, Oberlton reopened Brusov’s cut one minute into the round. He continued to have a good round and raised a good-sized lump on the left side of Brusov’s head. Oberlton became the aggressor in the third and landed left uppercut body shots along with a power jab. By the fourth round, Brusov was walking into counter punches from Oberlton.

Through the first four rounds, Oberlton controlled all but first, and continued his dominance in the fifth round by knocking down jabs of Brusov and countering well. With one minute remaining in the fifth, Brusov landed his best punch, a left hook to the chin of Oberlton.

In the sixth round, a mouse was developing under Brusov’s right eye from the constant jabs of Oberlton. Later, referee Eric Dali warned Oberlton for hitting behind the head. In the seventh round, Oberlton picked up the pace, landing one punch after another, clearly looking for a stoppage. However, Brusov, knowing he needed a knockout to win, stayed in the fight by landing occasional overhand rights to Oberlton’s chin. In the eighth and final round, Oberlton was again in charge of the action, but in the final minute suffered a cut over his left eye due to another clash of heads. Brusov landed the final punch of the fight, a right to Atif’s chin, but Oberlton impressed in this round too.

The official scores were all in Oberlton’s favor. Dewey Larosa and Anthony Lundy scored the bout 78-74 while Steve Weisfeld saw it 79-73. My score agreed with Weisfeld’s.

Atif Oberlton, who is trained by Philadelphian Shar’ron Baker, remained undefeated at 8-0. It was just the second time he was forced to go the distance. Brusov, trained by former title challenger Matvey Korobov, lost for the first time in his thirteen-bout professional career.


In the main event, New Orleans super middleweight Sean “Silky” Hemphill, 14-1, KO’s (166 lbs.) was stopped by Reading’s David “Dynamite” Stevens, 11-0, 8 KOs (165.75 lbs.) in the eighth and final round. Stevens dropped Hemphill twice in round and scored the TKO with just two seconds remaining in the fight (2:58).

In the first round, the taller Hemphill countered well with a good jab against the ever-coming Stevens and landed a combination at the bell. In the second round, Hemphill continued out-boxing Stevens who loaded up on his punches too much. With a half a minute remaining, Stevens landed a good right and left on the chin of Hemphill. In the third round, Stevens opened with a right to the chin of Hemphill. He continued putting on the pressure and outworked Hemphill in the round. In the fourth round, Stevens continued chasing Hemphill for the first two minutes before Hemphill finally started throwing punches in return. Stevens ended the round with a flurry.

At about the halfway point in the fifth round, Stevens lost his mouthpiece from a Hemphill right. Stevens came back and drove Hemphill into a corner. Hemphill worked his way out, landing four straight jabs. A good left hook to the body from Stevens stopped Hemphill in his tracks.

In the sixth round, both were throwing bombs at one another. A right by Stevens landed on Hemphill’s chin and rocked him. The fighters ended the round slugging it out.

In the seventh round, right s by Stevens had Hemphill bleeding from the mouth. However, halfway through the round, Hemphill started landing with right uppercuts and solid jabs and Stevens seemed to be slowing down.

In the eighth and final round, Stevens landed a flurry of punches with Hemphill in a corner. With one minute remaining, Hemphill landed a left hook to the chin. Thirty seconds later, a left hook to the chin from Stevens sent Hemphill down for an eight-count from referee Shawn Clark. Hemphill rose to his feet, but Stevens was all over him. He dropped Hemphill again with a right-left combination and referee Clark called a halt to the fight without a count as Hemphill was falling to the canvas.

All three judges (Adam Friscia, Dewey Larosa, and Steve Weisfeld) had Stevens up 68-65 after seven rounds. This writer had Hemphill up by a round after seven.

Hemphill, who is trained by former world champ and IBHOF inductee Buddy McGirt lost for the first time. Stevens, trained by Ronnie Shields, extended his undefeated streak to twelve straight.


Junior lightweight Julian “Gifted” Gonzalez, 9-0-1, 9 KOs (129.5 lbs.), of Reading, stopped southpaw Rosalindo Morales, 9-1, 2 KOs (129.75 lbs.), of Ellwood City, PA, at 0:27 of round four in a scheduled eight-rounder.

With one minute remaining in the first round, Gonzalez drove Morales to the ropes with a flurry. Then with just seconds to go in the round, a right from Gonzalez sent Morales down on his back. He barely beat the count from Referee Shawn Clark and was saved by the bell. In the second round, Gonzalez drew blood from the nose of Morales, although Morales came back well.  

In the third round, Gonzalez landed three rights to the chin that had Morales hurt and holding on when referee Clark suddenly and prematurely called a halt to the bout.

Heavyweight Moses Johnson, 9-0-2, 7 KOs (255.3 lbs.), Huntington, NY, fought to a six-round split decision draw with Terrell “Pretty Boi Knockout” Jamal Woods, 29-55-10, 21 KOs (239 lbs.), Forrest City, AR. Judge Anthony Lundy scored it 58-56 for Johnson. Dewey Larosa saw it 58-56 for Woods. Adam Friscia had the fight even at 57-57.

Heavyweight Francis Oran, 1-0, 1 KO (213 lbs.), Allentown, stopped Marlon “Cheat Code” Haywood, 0-4 (247.3 lbs.), Kankakee, IL, at 2:31 of the first round of a scheduled four round fight. The referee was Shawn Clark.

Bethlehem bantamweight Johnathan Rodriguez, 13-1-1, 5 KOs, stopped Ira Terry, of Memphis, 28-24, 16 KOs, at 53 seconds of round three (of a scheduled six). The referee is Eric Dali.

Lightweight James Bernadin, 10-0-1, 6 KOs, Lancaster, beat Clay Burns, 10-16-2, 4 KOs, Ft. Worth, TX, by six-round unanimous decision.

Allentown welterweight Thanjhae Teasley, 5-0, 2 KOs, won a four-round unanimous decision over Joe Sambrano of Pleasanton, TX.

In attendance at ringside were current junior featherweight champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton of Philadelphia and former welterweight champion, Reading’s Kermit “Killer” Cintron.




Ken Hissner - Bethlehem, PA (via Showtime) - January 20, 2023