Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing brought back big time boxing to the new Ocean Resort Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey Saturday night over ESPN2. Matchmakers Brad Goodman of TR and J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing put on 8 bouts packed with Philly and New Jersey boxers. Philly boxers won the main and co-main bouts.
In the Main Event Heavyweight Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 24-2 (14), of North Philly, stopped Russian Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko, 41-4 (26), out of Hamburg, Germany, at 1:56 of the 9th round.
In the first round it was total “feeling out” with Dimitrenko using his height landing jabs while Jennings tried to get inside but couldn’t. In the second round Dimitrenko used an effective jab following Jennings around the ring and landed a good right hand to the chin of Jennings near the end of the round.
In the third round Jennings became the aggressor pushing Dimitrenko against the ropes getting a warning from referee Alan Higgins. Jennings used a harder jab in the round but little fighting on both parts. In the fourth round Dimitrenko scored with a big right on the back of the ear dropping Jennings. Jennings beat the count but shook his head as if trying to clear it. Dimitrenko landed a good left upper cut on Jennings chin. Jennings head cleared and he became the aggressor landing a good jab followed by a right to the chin followed by a left hook to the chin.
In the fifth round Jennings came back strong while Dimitrenko landed several wide punches to the body of Jennings. Jennings landed a good left hook to the body while Dimitrenko is holding more and warned for pushing. At ringside former champs Lennox Lewis and Bernard Hopkins sitting together are encouraging Jennings. In the sixth round Dimitrenko used his jab well but missed with a left hook but Jennings couldn’t take advantage of it. In the seventh round Jennings landed a hard left hook to the chin of Dimitrenko but got countered with a right hand. Dimitrenko came back with right hands but had little effect on Jennings.
In the eighth round Dimitrenko landed a double left hook to the chin of Jennings. Jennings is following him around the ring looking for a good shot but not doing anything more than landing a jab. A vicious left hook by Jennings on the chin dropped Dimitrenko. Jennings seemed to throw Dimitrenko to the canvas but referee Higgins called it a knockdown. Jennings went right after Dimitrenko who got hurt again with a left hook on the chin. The ring physician immediately got in the corner of Dimitrenko and advised the referee on his condition.
In the ninth round Jennings led off with a right to the chin of Dimitrenko whose head doesn’t seem clear yet. They exchanged left hooks. A short right hand by Jennings dropped Dimitrenko and as soon as he hit the canvas the referee prematurely waved the fight off. Dimitrenko got up complaining and the crowd agreed with him. Dimitrenko out of anger walked to a neutral corner and kicked the corner pad. This writer had it 75-75 after 8 but with the knockdown in the 9th Jennings would have gone ahead by two points. Dimitrenko was upset about the stopping. Both fighters exchanged talk with each other and even took a picture together to the credit of Jennings sportsmanship.
“I credit myself by my conditioning after coming back from a knockdown earlier,” said Jennings. Former world champion John David Jackson is the trainer for Jennings.
Super Middleweight NABF champion Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 25-1 (21), of Philly, defended his title crushing Mike Gavronski, 24-3-1 (15), of Tacoma, WA, at 0:53 of round 3.
In the first round Hart came right out and rocked Gavronski with a right to the chin. Hart rocked Gavronski with a right forcing the latter to hold on. In the second round Gavronski rushed in low on Hart and did more holding than punching. Hart needs to use his reach with that jab but looks for a knockout with his right hand too much.
In the third round he set up Gavronski with the jab followed by a vicious right to the chin dropping him. Hart jumped on him upon Gavronski got up but wobbled to the referee Eric Dali who wisely stopped the one sided fight. Hart is looking for another title fight. Fred Jenkins and “Cyclone” Hart, Harts father co-train Hart who is looking for a title fight no matter who the champ is.
“I’ve scored 3 straight knockouts. I don’t want anything handed to me. Like my dad says “earn your way back”. I have one of the most underrated trainers in boxing in Fred Jenkins with along my dad. They make me think. 80% of the trainers can’t teach while there are only 10% that are teachers like I have in Fred and my dad. I want a rematch. Ramirez says he would give me one but he never agrees to it,” said Hart. Hart shows a right hand like he dad that left hook. Both are devastating. Hart is built like former champ Bob Foster except he has more of a killer instinct and goes out looking to end each fight fast.
Unbeaten Super Bantamweight Christian Carto, 16-0 (11), of South Philly, scored a shutout over game Mexican Javier Gallo, 25-16-1 (13), of Bueno Park, CA, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Carto took Gallo to school giving him a boxing lesson halfway through the round. Gallo finally landed a left hook to the chin of Carto. Carto landed a left hook to the shorter Gallo’s body. Carto is a pleasure to watch with many of his fans in the audience showing their support. In the second round Carto countered a Gallo left hook with a chopping right to the head. Carto switched to southpaw just for several seconds hoping to confuse the oncoming Gallo. Carto dug several left hooks into the body of Gallo.
In the third round Carto who isn’t used to fighting a shorter opponent was adjusting well by this round working the body with left hooks. Carto rocked Gallo with a lead right to the chin. Carto landed a left hook to the chin of Gallo knocking him back several steps. In the fourth round Carto landed a right to the chin of Gallo to start off the round. Gallo swarmed all over Carto having him in a corner but Carto slipped almost every punch. With the round almost over Carto landed the final punch a left hook to the chin of Gallo.
In the fifth round Carto landed a wicked left hook followed by a hard right to the chin of Gallo stunning him. Carto is looking to end it. The smaller Gallo comes in low making him a hard target but Carto gets in several body shots. Gallo tries to keep Carto inside until a wicked left hook to the chin got the crowd into it. In the sixth round Gallo was following Carto around the ring but got hit with several lead rights to the chin. The Carto fans started chanting his name and he answered by landed a solid right to the chin of Gallo. Turning southpaw Carto landed a hard left to the mid-section of Gallo at the bell.
In the seventh round Carto landed a right, left combo to the chin getting Gallo’s attention. Carto landed a chopping right to the side of Gallo’s head. Carto was showing his frustration wanting a knockout but Gallo would not lower his hands enough. In the eighth and final round Carto came out throwing bombs landing left hooks and straight rights to the head of Gallo who looked hurt. Carto landed a short right but Gallo came back with a combination. Gallo proved to be a difficult opponent for the most part. Carto seemed to take every round.
Scores were 80-71, 80-72, 79-73 as this writer had it 80-71. Referee was Ricky Gonzalez. Carto has a new trainer in Philly’s Billy Briscoe so it will take time to work together though they have known each other for years. Joey Eye was the cut-man and the brother and manager Frankie Carto worked the corner assisting Briscoe.
In a swing bout after the main event in the fight of the night the former WBA World Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 21-3-4 (15), of Camden, NJ, defeated Dominican Reynaldo, 14-5 (8), of Carolina, PR, over 8 exciting rounds.
In the first round Sosa who had been waiting for hours to fight came out tearing into Reynaldo until a chopping right to the chin dropped him. Sosa tried to finish him off but Reynaldo did a lot of holding. In the second round Sosa tried to come out and finish Reynaldo hurting him several times but Reynaldo kept tying him up.
In the third round Reynaldo used a good jab and landed a long right to the chin of Sosa. Sosa came back but Reynaldo landed a 3-punch combination. Sosa hurt Reynaldo with a right hand to the chin causing him to grab Sosa. Referee Gonzalez warned him about holding. In the fourth round Sosa rocked Reynaldo almost dropping him with a right to the chin. Reynaldo started holding again and referee Gonzalez wisely deducted a point. Reynaldo rocked Sosa with half a dozen punches. Sosa came back landing well. It turned into a real brawl after this. Sosa hurt Reynaldo. Sosa is all business in there. Sosa went right after Reynaldo who looked like he didn’t want to mix it up until his head cleared but it was the best round of the fight.
In the fifth round Sosa came right after Reynaldo who fought back getting what people are left getting into it. Shame this wasn’t on TV. The face of Reynaldo is swelling up but he fights back with uppercuts while Sosa continues to out punch him with a variety of punches. Reynaldo was cut over the left eye lid from a Sosa right. In the seventh round Sosa came right out after Reynaldo who fought back but he’s in another league than the former world champion who has got a big heart and a big punch. A low punch from Sosa caused Reynaldo to get a minute rest by referee Gonzalez. Sosa landed almost a dozen punches before Reynaldo landed one. After Reynaldo went to his corner to have loose tape repaired Sosa again went after him and both had good exchanges.
In the eighth and final round a combination from Sosa dropped Reynaldo. Reynaldo was bleeding from the mouth and both eye’s were swelling shut but he still had fight left in him. Sosa hurt Reynaldo again with a right hand and dropped him with a left hook to the chin as the bell sounded. Sosa is worthy of a title fight.
Scores were 78-70, 77-72 and 79-69 with this writer having it 78-70.
Welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, 26-2-1 (9), of Millville, NJ, returned to action winning an entertaining decision over Matthew “Mayhem” Strode, 25-7 (9), of Greensboro, NC, over 8 rounds.
In the first round LaManna boxed well and midway through the round landed a flurry of punches starting with a hard right to the chin of Strode. It was a big round for LaManna. In the second round Strode pushed LaManna to the ropes landing several punches until LaManna spun out. Strode landed an overhand right to the chin of LaManna but got a warning for using his head. LaManna came right back and a war broke out for about half a minute. The taller LaManna landed half a dozen quick punches without return. Strode chased until the round ended.
In the third round Strode continued pushing the fight while LaManna showed his ability to set him up with a lead right on the chin rocking Strode. Strode seconds later landed a good left hook to the chin of LaManna. LaManna countered the shorter Strode well with straight rights to the chin. LaManna showed good fundamentals in the ring as had fun doing it. His trainer is Tommy Brooks just back from working in China with their amateurs. In the fourth round Strode started fouling and LaManna had enough of it and dropped him with a right that with a little help from the ring logo. Referee Bashir ruled a knockdown.
In the fifth round Strode picked LaManna up in the air. LaManna came down and landed a left hook to the chin of Strode. LaManna seconds later landed half a dozen unanswered punches mostly to the head of Strode. Strode continues to try to turn it into a street fight but LaManna is to quick afoot and hands. Bashir had to separate the two after the round. In the sixth round of an interesting match-up that was fan friendly. Bashir warned Strode for rough tactics. In the sixth and in the eighth and final round due to a rabbit punch from Strode referee Bashir wisely took away a point. Strode kept coming in low and LaManna dealt out quite a few right uppercuts to the chin.
Scores were all 79-71 along with this writer.
“I thought he would be more of a boxer but after the first round I had him figured out. The layoff took me a while to get untracked and I expect to be much better in the next fight. New Trainer Tommy Brooks and I were together for the first time,” said LaManna.
2016 Olympic Silver Medalist featherweight southpaw Shakur Stevenson, 8-0 (4), of Newark, NJ, won a lack luster decision over Carlos “Fino” Ruiz, 16-5-2 (6), of Bueno Park, MEX, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Stevenson landed the first solid punch a lead left to the chin of Ruiz. Midway through the round Stevenson landed a straight left to the chin of Ruiz. In the second round it took a minute for a punch to be landed and it was a Stevenson left to the chin of Ruiz. The fans were growing restless wanting more action. Hardly a punch was landed. In the third round the fans showed their displeasure due to lack of action until Stevenson landed a straight left to the chin of Ruiz who was chasing him around the ring. Stevenson landed a lead left to the chin of Ruiz near the end of the round. Ruiz is not letting his hands go.
In the fourth round Ruiz continued to stalk Stevenson but isn’t letting his hands go and walked into a Stevenson short left on the chin. In the fifth round Stevenson landed the first combination of the fight to the chin of Ruiz. In the sixth the non-punching continued. Ruiz comes forward throwing nothing while Stevenson pops him occasionally with a left to the chin. In the eighth and final round the fans were yelling for some action. This match may have set a record for the “fewest punches landed”. Fortunately it didn’t make TV.
Scores were 80-72 by all 3 judges as were by this writer.
Heavyweight Ukranian Oleksandr Teslenko, 14-0 (11), of Toronto, CAN, won a decision over wrestling Avery Gibson, 9-7-4 (3), of L.A., CA,
In the first round both were using only their jabs until Teslenko after a minute landed a right to the chin dropping Gibson. For some reason Gibson after getting up let his left hand hanging by his side. In the second round Teslenko landed a lead straight right to the chin of Gibson. He used his jab for the most part keeping Gibson at bay.
In the third round Teslenko led with a right and followed with a left hook to the chin of Gibson. Gibson continues to grab and push Teslenko to the ropes and got away with it time after time. In the fourth round Gibson holds and Teslenko keeps getting warned for some reason.
In the fifth round Gibson got his first warning for holding. He then landed his best punch a right to the chin of Teslenko. There was more clinching than fighting. In the sixth and final round Teslenko was hesitant and got hit with a Gibson left hook on the chin. Teslenko allowed Gibson to get in close and continue to grab him instead of showing a good uppercut or left hook. It was a wrestling match and Gibson should have lost points or been DQ’d.
Scores were Weisfeld 58-55 Bennett 59-54 and Benoist 60-53 as did this writer. Referee was Ron Bashir.
Lightweight Joseph Adorno, 9-0 (9), of Allentown, PA, destroyed “Ruthless” Augustine Mauras, 6-5-3 (3), of Lawrence, MASS, at 1:39 of the first round.
In the first round Adorno came out for the knockout and had Mauras down in no time with a flurry of punches. When Mauras got up Adorno was on him quicker than a cat rocking him punch after punch until referee Bashir wisely called a halt.
“I wanted to get some rounds in for he was tough and went the distance with some good fighters. Before the fight he said he was going to knock me out so when the openings came I took advantage of it,” said Adorno. This was quite an impressive performance by the 19 year old Adorno who signed with Top Rank at 17. He’s one to watch.
The Ring Announcer was Lupe Contreras.