There was a time there were few natural Spanish fighters. People like Jose Basora who drew with “Sugar” Ray Robinson and Miguel Barreto who fought Philly’s “Gypsy” Joe Harris twice were brought in from New York.
Today Philly active boxers “King” Gabe Rosado, 24-11-1, Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 13-1-1 along with his brother Angel, Jr., 4-0, Ray “Tito” Serrano, 24-6, Jeremy “King” Cuevas, 11-0, Miguel “No Fear” Cartagena, 15-5-1, Victor Vasquez, 21-11-1, Milton “El Santo” Santiago, 17-0 and Steven “The Hitman” Ortiz, 9-0.
Hard Hitting Promotions brings in more than their share of Spanish fighters with promoter Will Ruiz and matchmaker Manny Rivera. When they first started their star attraction was Angel Ocasio, 8-1-2, who hasn’t fought since losing in January of 2016.
Hard Hitting’s fighters include Super Featherweight Gadwin “Abayarde” Rosa, 9-0 (7), of Ocala, FL, Lightweight Christian Tapia, 7-0 (6), of Coamo, PR, living in Camden, NJ, Bantamweight Emanuel “Salserito” Rodriguez, 3-0 (0), of PR now out of Newark, NJ, Super Lightweight Liberian Samuel “Tsunami” Teah, 15-2-1 (7), of Philly, and two Jewish boxers in Benjamin Sinakin, 2-0 (1), of Philly, and female boxer Tamar “Princess” Israeli, 2-0 (2), of Tel Aviv, Israel, living in Las Vegas, NV.
“The main stream boxers we are looking for a big year in 2019 is whom I call the Four Horseman,” said Manny Rivera.
Super Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, of Philly, is the youngest fighter in the tri-state area to sign a professional contract. He was an outstanding amateur. Several big name managers and promoters were trying to recruit him. We plan to put him in with the right competition and build him being he is only 19. On every fight we try to build up the competition. In his last fight he took the NBA title on November 16th. He has a bright future with skills and unbelievable power and height and reach for his weight. He is trained by his father Angel Pizarro, Sr.
Lightweight Jeremy “King” Cuevas is Hard Hitting’s “diamond in the rough”. He was not as sought after by big name managers and promoters due to his amateur experience of not going to the nationals. It was a blessing to us because we saw him first hand. He was always trained to be a professional boxer by his trainer Tony Bersani.
Super Lightweight Liberian Sammy “Tsunami” Teah, is 7-0, since coming to Philly area, with Showtime exposure in losing a majority decision to unbeaten Montana Love, now 11-0-1, in Iowa. Love’s only non-win was in his last fight a draw with Kenneth Sims, Jr., then 13-1, in July that Teah defeated in his last fight on November 16th with an outstanding performance.
Puerto Rico Super Featherweight Gadwin “Abayarde” Rosa, 9-0 (7), of Ocala, FL, was 1-0 when Top Rank called for a fighter in his weight class to fight their fighter Jonathan Irizarry, 3-0 (3), whom he defeated. Irizarry never fought again and that was in 2016. Rosa is 4-0 fighting for Hard Hitting. He is a terrific talent with a bright future ahead of him.
“2019 is going to be a huge year for us with exciting fights. One of the things I wasn’t aware of that opened up my eyes to the lack of exposure in Philadelphia to bring Showtime to Philadelphia,” said Rivera.
“Kurt Wolfheimer to me is not just our publicist but he is family. He’s been with us for about ten years,” said Rivera.
Along with his partner Will Ruiz, Manny Rivera has made Hard Hitting Promotions a major force in the Philadelphia area! As a writer who has attended every show they have promoted you can be assured of a good competitive show with a packed house and a majority of Philly Spanish fans showing their approval and support of their local fighters.