By Joe Kulyeshie
Wednesday, August 2 – The New Alhambra in South Philadelphia is jam-packed as Rogers Mtagwa is set to face Alvin Brown for the USBA Featherweight Championship in the main event. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas call the action ringside. It’s way too hot and sweaty to waste any more time, so let’s get to the action!
Middleweights – Clarence Taylor (10-9-2, 5 KO) vs. Jose Medina (13-6, 10 KO) – 8 rounds
Set-up: Clarence Taylor is a journeyman fighter who has lost 3 of his last 4 fights, including a loss to Pawel Wolak who will be in action in Whippany this Friday. Jose Medina is a Philadelphia fighter who has lost 4 of his last 6 matches. Taylor is taller but Medina is a bit stronger. On paper, this looks to be an even, competitive match-up. Which fighter will be able to come away with a positive result?
Medina doesn’t throw many punches but lands a left hook with a minute to go, and works Taylor’s body. Taylor is more active, but doesn’t land much of substance. Close round to Medina (10-9).
Neither fighter does much to distinguish themselves. There’s quite a bit of clinching without either man trying hard to get free. Taylor lands a flurry at the bell and steals a close round (19-19).
We join the action 30 seconds in. Medina lands a plethora of body blows with 30 to go. Taylor is looking a little tired. Medina’s body blows are the difference. Round to Medina (29-28). Teddy Atlas has the fight even, 29-29, after giving the first round to Taylor and scoring the second round even.
Taylor picks up his energy level and outworks Medina. It’s been a close, competitive fight with Taylor looking better from a distance, using his jab to set up his punches and Medina able to land big body shots from time to time. Taylor’s greater activity level gets him the round (38-38). Teddy also scores the round for Taylor, 39-38.
Medina lands a big uppercut with 1:45 to go. Unfortunately it was on the break, drawing a warning from the ref. Medina also has problems with the tape on his gloves coming loose. In actual fight action, Medina is able to get inside of Taylor at will, but doesn’t throw much while there. Taylor is not landing any devastating punches, but his greater activity is allowing him to keep control of the fight. Round to Taylor (48-47). Teddy has it 49-47, Taylor.
Taylor continues to stay to the outside. Medina doesn’t bother going to the inside this round. A slow round punctuated by Taylor countering and moving. Round to Taylor (58-56).
Halfway through, Taylor wins an exhange and hurts Medina. Medina covers up in a corner for the next 30 seconds as Taylor peppers him with punches. Finally, with 45 seconds to go Taylor is completely exhausted. Medina doesn’t have the strength to mount an offense either, so both men hang on to each other for the final 30 seconds of the round. Taylor easily wins the round (68-65).
Taylor knocks down Medina early in the round. Medina looks like a beaten fighter. Another combo with 30 seconds to go again hurts Medina, but he stays up. Taylor gets a two-point round (78-73).
We go to the cards:
76-75 (!), 79-71, 78-72
Taylor UD over Medina
The hometown Medina is unable to get it done against the journeyman Taylor who fought a nice fight in the oppressively hot arena. Solid start to the night.
Junior Middleweights – Kaseem Wilson (3-0-1, 2 KO) vs. Wes Hobbs (4-0-1, 0 KO) – 4 rounds
Set-up: Local Philly prospect and two-time Golden Gloves winner Kaseem Wilson takes on Brooklyn, NY native Wes Hobbs. Both men are tall, lean southpaws. On paper, we have another great match-up. Can the fight be as intriguing in real-life as it is on paper?
Both men tentatively lay out their jabs. Wilson lands a crisp left midway through. Both fighters are feeling each other out. Hobbs footwork can be sloppy at times causing him to lose his balance. Round to Wilson (10-9).
Hobbs jabs more effectively for the first two minutes. Wilson lands some decent shots late to take a close round (20-18).
Hobbs starts dropping his right hand allowing Wilson to win the jab battle as his right hand is in a better position. Wilson looks more accurate with his punches and takes another close round (30-27). Teddy has the fight scored 30-28, Wilson, after an even third round.
Wilson lands a straight left one minute in. A Wilson right hook counter finds its target with 30 seconds to go. Wilson’s more accurate punching and more polished technique are the difference in this battle of evenly-matched fighters. Round to Wilson (40-36). Teddy has it 40-37, Wilson.
To the cards:
40-36, 40-36, 39-37
Wilson UD over Hobbs
Wilson deservedly wins a fight that is much closer than the final scorecards would lead you to believe. The final punches landed were 48 to 47 and punches thrown were 225 to 208. Hobbs just has to clean up his footwork and his hand positioning a bit. I applaud both fighters for taking a tough fight this early in their boxing careers.
Fight 3 – Main Event
Featherweights – Rogers Mtagwa (20-10-2, 15 KO) vs. Alvin Brown (26-8, 12 KO) – 12 rounds for USBA Featherweight Championship
Set-up: Mtagwa is coming off a big KO of Art Simonyan. Mtagwa is from Tanzania, but has adopted Philadelphia as his boxing home. The crafty, elusive Brown is the definite underdog against the stronger, ultra-aggressive Mtagwa. Teddy Atlas predicts a fourth round knockout win for Mtagwa based on their results against common opponent Emmanuel Lucero. Is Teddy’s prediction correct?
Both fighters are active throughout the round. Mtagwa really gets going in the final minute and lands some thumping shots. Close round to Mtagwa (10-9).
Mtagwa lands two rights at 2:15. Then two more rights around the guard of Brown with 1:50 to go. Brown tries to fight back, but Mtagwa knocks down Brown with a right-left combo with 40 seconds remining. Brown gets up, but is put back down on the canvas by a right to the head then a right to the body. Huge round to Mtagwa (20-16).
Brown gamely comes back out and tries to show some offense. Mtagwa lands a series of rights to the head, then the body and back and forth. Mtagwa is just too strong for Brown. Round to Mtagwa (30-25).
Brown comes out throwing haymakers and lands one 30 seconds in. Brown lands a right counter halfway through the round. Mtagwa hurts Brown with a right to the body with a minute to go. A lead left by Mtagwa is followed by a left uppercut and a barrage of punches with 30 to go. Both boxers furiously exchange punches the last 10 seconds of the round. Mtagwa sends Brown under the ropes in his corner with a punch at the last second of the round! The fight is stopped at 3:06 of the fourth. What a round! Teddy’s prediction was correct.
Mtagwa KO over Brown
Mtagwa’s constant aggression and superior strength were just too much for the courageous Brown. Mtagwa may fight Jason Litzau in what would be a gift for the boxing world!
Light Heavyweights – Charles Cavallo (9-0, 3 KO) vs. Michael Eatmon (9-5, 6 KO) – 6 rounds
Set-up: Local Trenton prospect Charles Cavallo is the taller, younger and faster man. Michael Eatmon is a 33 year old who had taken a nine year layoff from boxing. Eatmon took the fight on 3 days notice. Can Cavallo take care of business?
A clash of heads causes a nasty gash over Cavallo’s right eye halfway through the round. Eatmon is able to get inside the longer Cavallo, but does not do much while there. Cavallo is able to land some crisp punches while outside, but allows Eatmon in too easily too often. Even round (10-10).
Eatmon goes after the cut eye of Cavallo, but Cavvallo is able to hurt Eatmon 30 seconds in. A Cavallo right uppercut with 2:10 to go does some damage. Cavallo lands another clean right uppercut halfway through. A Cavallo flurry has Eatmon out on his feet with a minute left. Both fighters are exhausted for the final 30 seconds though Cavallo is able to land a right-left hook combination. Two-point round to Cavallo (20-18).
Cavallo lands another right uppercut one minute in causing Eatmon to hang on. Eatmon comes back and is able to land some punches, but Cavallo is landing more. Cavallo slowed down from the previous round, but still did enough to take the round (30-27).
Eatmon catches Cavallo with a nice counter with one minute to go. Cavallo lands a right uppercut with 30 seconds left. Cavallo finishes the round strong, but Eatmon has his best round since the first (37-39). Teddy has the fight a whitewash for Cavallo, 40-35.
Cavallo lands a left hook and right uppercut midway through the slowest round of the fight. Eatmon is unable to follow up his performance of the previous round. Cavallo lands the best punches, controls the action and gets the round (49-46).
Cavallo throws a flurry of punches with 1:40 to go. Ten seconds later he lands a right uppercut. Eatmon is unable to get any offense going. Cavallo does enough to once again take the round and the fight (59-55). Teddy’s final scorecard is 60-53, Cavallo.
To the cards:
59-54, 59-54, 59-54
Cavallo UD over Eatmon
A hot crowd and a series of competitive fights made for some fine boxing action. If you’re in the Jersey area, join me on Friday Night at Birchwood Manor as Pawel Wolak and Wayne Johnson co-headline a card full of local fighters! See you there!