On the 14th of September Philly super middleweight Brandon ‘Brob’ Robinson won his eleventh straight fight since losing his debut bout. While being interviewed in the ring he announced “I’m calling out Derrick (Take it to the Bank) Webster!”
This writer was kind of surprised since Webster is now 28-1 (14), out of Glassboro, NJ. I was curious why Robinson would make this challenge at that time. Boxing Director Greg Sirb does not allow this writer to go back into the dressing rooms so I couldn’t ask Robinson why he made that challenge.
On the 21st of September I contacted Robinson’s promoter Reading’s Marshall Kauffman of King’s Promotions for the phone number of Robinson’s manager-trainer Orlando Rosa of Pivott Boxing to make an appointment to interview Robinson. He and former boxer Rashad “All Business” Brown, 5-0 (2), co-train him while Rosa’s son Markus serves as the assistant trainer. Brown was quite a good boxer retiring in 2008. Sosa also serves as the cut-man.
Rosa has done a great job with Robinson considering he didn’t have much of an amateur career with only three fights. Rosa informed me where Robinson owns and works at a barber shop in Upper Darby, PA, where Robinson lives. I was told it is not far from the gym which was over the fire house is now closed. Robinson’s shop “Impressions” was just up the street on the corner at 7321 West Chester Pike.
Upon arriving Robinson recognized me as I did him. He was cutting hair at the time along with Lamont Butts. “Brandon likes to train and run,” said Butts. That’s not always the case of boxers so that is a good attitude. The place was very busy while I was there and the two of them have worked together for ten years. Robinson is very outgoing and a good looking young man at 30.
We (Robinson and I) discussed the challenging of Webster. His manager Rosa had informed me about six months ago Webster sparred with Robinson and Webster refuses to return again. “He called me on the phone since we talk and asked why I did that,” said Robinson. Knowing Webster is higher in the rankings Robinson felt defeating Webster would put him much higher. Webster is ranked No. 4 in the USBA, tall southpaw and a good boxer. Considering how long Webster has been fighting and how many fights he has compared to Robinson the latter is doing quite well with only a dozen fights and ranked No. 14 in the USBA rankings.
Robinson informed me he went to elementary school at Bywood and then off to middle school at Beverley Hills, and not in CA but PA. One of his classmates at the middle school Lamont McLaughlin happened to be Robinson’s third opponent of his career. Robinson defeated him while McLaughlin was making his debut with all scores at 40-35. They are still friends and know it’s a business.
After finishing middle school Robinson went to Roman Catholic H.S. in Philly for two years and finished up at Upper Darby H.S. Upper Darby has put out quite of few boxers in the past. It is a tough town. “I played point guard and shooting guard, football and anything you get the ball with,” said Robinson.
Robinson turned professional in October of 2016 losing to Mike Hilton, 3-0., of Trenton in Trenton, NJ, in the third round. The thing is Robinson came in at a career high of 182 being outweighed by Hilton’s 198. Hilton is now 9-0 (7) and a good fighter. Since that first and only loss Robinson’s weight has gotten down to super middleweight 168.
Robinson had four fights in 2017 with two at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly twice, the 2300 Arena in South Philly and the Grundy Arena, in Bristol, PA, outside of Philly.
After losing his debut Robinson went back to the same Sun National Bank Center in Trenton and stopped Jermaine Corley, 0-4, in the first round just three months later in January of 2017and his weight was down to 173 from 182. “When I first met Brandon he was about 220 lbs,” said Rosa.
Robinson won all four of his fights in 2017 by stoppage with three in the second round and his seventh in the first round stopping Brandon Clark, 2-0, in September. The rest of his fights have been in Philly after his first two in New Jersey. This year in January he knocked out Juan Celin Zapata, 5-11-2, of Honduras now out of the Bronx, in NY, at 1:50 in the first round.
In April Robinson defeated Oscar “Moustro” Riojas, 16-8-1, of Monterrey, MEX, which was a major step up in competition. “I invited Riojas to my after party and he hesitated and agreed to come,” said Robinson. Rosa added that Riojas was eating in the same place they were after the weigh-in and offered to buy them dessert. He calls Rosa up regularly to see how Robinson is doing.
Sirb has only been putting out the PA State Rankings once a year and has No. 1 WBO ranked Jesse “Hollywood” Hart first and Robinson No. 2. No. 3 is Morgan Fitch, 18-1-1, out of Pittsburgh who is in this 16 boxer “The Contender” series and No. 4 is Chris “Ice” Brooker, 13-6, who Robinson defeated in the amateurs and in his ninth pro fight by an eight round decision 79-73, 78-74 and 80-72 in December of 2017.
In Robinson’s most recent fight he stopped Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu, 24-3 (22), out of Pritchard, AL, in the third round of a scheduled 8. Robinson’s fans went crazy. I was told by Rosa they sell’s several hundred tickets a fight which is a promoter’s dream boxer.
Robinson is No. 14 in the USBA rankings and the only way is up from here on out. “I like to have challenges for my fighters,” said Rosa. He also works with super lightweight Anthony Sonnier, 4-0 (2), from Seattle, WA, who is coming in. Then there is Rasheed Johnson, 4-2 (1). He’s bringing in a flyweight from Arecibo, PR, named Jesus Soler, 9-1-1 (5). He also has a connection in Wilson, NC, with cruiserweight Austin Bryant, 4-1 (4), who he plans to bring up. He trains all his fighters at the Delco Boxing Academy, in Glenolden, PA.
“Rasheem Brown and I used to work together and were out of touch for about four years. Then one day he knocks on my door and here he moved next to me. A few months later he said he wanted to make a comeback but only if I trained him. He stopped fighting due to an eye injury. Sirb wouldn’t allow him to fight again. Rasheem now works with me in the corner”, said Rosa. I reminded him how one of Philly’s uncrowned champion “Gypsy” Joe Harris had fought with one eye as did one of the greatest P4P fighters of all time, Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, the former middleweight world champion and in the IBHOF and the only man to defeat heavyweight champion Gene “Fighting Marine” Tunney, giving away fourteen pounds when he was a light heavyweight.
“I have a good working relationship with promoter Marshall Kauffman. He suggests opponents but I have the final say. He is easy to work with and promotes more than anyone in the area,” said Rosa.
“I plan to keep him at super middleweight. Marshall suggests opponents but I make the decisions. Brandon runs when he gets up, then runs two miles before coming to the gym and runs after dinner,” said Rosa.
Robinson is married to Shaune Burch Robinson and they have three children, sons Zahir, age 10, Rasheem, age 8 and a daughter Dylann, age 4. When attending church they go to Church of Christian Compassion at 62nd and Cedar in West Philly.
“We hope to have our next match on December 7th against someone who has fought for the title so Brandon can get more experience. We hope to be world ranked next year. We tried to get a fight with Decarlo “3mendo” Perez, 17-6-1, who just won in Atlantic City, but after Brandon once sparred with him I knew that wasn’t going to happen,” said Rosa.
I have to say after meeting Robinson, knowing his trainer and talking with Rosa the “pleasure was all mine!” This is one great team and great people, too. I really look forward to his next fight and dropping in at the gym they work out of. Remember the name Brandon “Brob” Robinson for you will be hearing much from him in the near future!