By: Ken Hissner
Despite the warning of a snow storm the Philly fans still came out entering the PA Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall without snow but coming out almost three hours later to about 6 inches of snow and still coming down.
Hard Hitting Promotions in association with Danny Garcia’s Swift Promotions called it “A gift to Philadelphia”! Garcia the former super lightweight champion was absent because the next night he would be fighting for the vacant WBC welterweight title against Robert Guerrero in California.
Prior to the start of the main event the beautiful Kathy Ocasio did a splendid rendition of the national anthem.
In the main event Philly lightweight Angel Ocasio, 8-1-2 (2), suffered his first loss to Dominican Reynaldo Blanco, 10-2 (4), who trains out of Carolina, PR. It was an upset for Ocasio’s many followers in attendance.
After taking the first round Ocasio found out Blanco’s big mouth at the press conference was being backed up. He had a solid body attack that Ocasio could not overcome. When Ocasio scored flurries in rounds three and eight pinning Blanco in a neutral corner but would suddenly back out. It was a sign of sparring with amateurs instead of professionals.
Judges Lynn Carter had it 80-72, Adam Friscia 79-73 and Dewey LaRosa 77-75 as did DHB. The referee was Shawn Clark. In attendance was Jason Sosa who had fought both draws with Ocasio. He is now managed by Mark Cipparone of Club 1957. His trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas along with Adrienne Soto who both are former co-managers of Sosa were with Sosa who is promoted by Peltz Boxing.
In the co-feature Peruvian lightweight Johnathan “La Cobra” Maicelo, 23-2 (12), of N. Bergen, NJ, put a beating on Samuel Amoako, 21-5 (15), of Accra Ghana, for all six rounds. It was cut from an eight due to outside weather. It was his second straight appearance in Philly and he won the crowd over. How Amoako stayed on his feet was a credit to him.
All 3 judges scored it 60-54 as did DHB.
In the first round Maicello drove Amoako from mid ring into the ropes which referee Dave Franciosi should have called a knockdown but didn’t. The promotion was announced by ring announcer Alex Barbosa that they would be back in March. It’s a sure bet Maicello will be on the card.
Middleweight Saud Clark, 5-2-1 (4), of Philadelphia, out of the Garcia gym was upset by Julian “Conflict” Valerio, 3-3 (2), of Brooklyn, NY, at 1:59 of the first round by knockout. Clark gave Valerio a beating and had him against the ropes when Valerio unleashed one right hand to the chin and it was all over after referee Dave Franciosi counted him out.
Opening the show 15 minutes early due to the weather most likely a decision of Boxing Director Greg Sirb was nullified with an intermission. Why that was permitted was puzzling.
Light heavyweight David “One-Two” Murray, 3-1 (3), of Newark, DE, and Heriberto Salaman, 0-3 of PR, did very little until Murray unleashed a right hand and down went Salaman. He barely beat the count but was in no condition to continue as referee Franciosi wisely waved it off at 2:46 of the first round. Murray’s fan base was vocal.
Lightweight southpaw Luis Del Valle, 1-0 (0), Philly easily won his debut defeating Albert Manukyan, 0-4, of Jersey City, NJ, over four rounds. La Rosa scored it 39-37 while Carter had it 40-35 and Friscia 40-36 as did DHB. The referee was Clark.
Light middleweight Idemar Cordero, 1-0 (1), of Philadelphia, out of the Garcia gym stopped Luis Ramos, 0-1 (0), of PR, at 1:57 of the second round. Ramos may have taken the first round.
In the opening bout Andre Kut’s super middleweight southpaw Godson “Soldier Boy” Noel, 6-0 (4), of Newark, NJ, defeated Victor Kpadenou, 10-10 (5), of Cotonou, PR via Benin. The latter seemed to take the third round but all 3 judges scored it 40-36. DHB had it 39-37. Referee was Clark. Noel seemed to tire in the third by came back strong to take the fourth and final round for the win.