Golden Boy Promotions – Oscar De La Hoya put on a 7 bout card on Atlantic City’s Boxing Hall of Fame weekend in the Ovation Hall at the Ocean Casino Resort, in Atlantic City, NJ, Thursday night. In the Main Event D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard met Elias “Latin” Espadas that ended in a no decision due to an accidental head butt.
In the Main Event Middleweight D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard, 20-0 (13), 159.8 of Temple Hills, MD, and WBO & WBC Latin champion Elias “Latin Kid” Espadas, 18-4 (13), 159.2 of Yucatan, MX, ended their 10 round fight do to an accidental head cut suffered by Espadas.
In the first round of two minutes of “feeling out” each other a clash of heads opened up a cut on the left eyebrow of Espadas. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., brought in the ring physician to check out the cut and allowed the fight to proceed.
In the second round Espadas came out knowing the cut may be a factor and by the end of the round had Ballard against the ropes. The ring physician checked the cut of Espadas between rounds. In the third round Espadas opened up having Ballard on the ropes. Shortly afterward it was Ballard rocking and battering Espadas until referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. called in the ring physician do to the blood from the cut.
“I want to give God the glory,” said a disappointed Ballard who was in charge at the time of the stoppage.
In the co-feature Eddie Gomez, 23-3 (13), 146.4, of Bronx, NY, stopped Saul “Navajo” Corral, 30-14 (20), 146.4, of Sonora, MEX and Douglas, AZ, at 1:55 of the second round after scoring 3 knockdowns.
In the first round Gomez outworked an oncoming taller Corral in a close round. In the second round Gomez had Corral down twice with head shots. He was able to beat the count of referee Ricky Vera. Gomez then came at him driving him into the ropes and down for the third time when referee Vera wisely waved it off.
An emotional Gomez said “my dad died 6 days before my last fight. This win was for him”.
Super Lightweight southpaw Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed, 25-2 (13), 141.4, of Washington, DC, easily defeated game Angel “Hit Man” Hernandez, 15-14-2 (9), of McAllen, TX, 141.8, over 8 rounds.
In the first round southpaw Reed had too much of everything for Hernandez who finally landed his best punches in the final seconds of the round. The second round was Reed’s with good body and head countering but Hernandez made it a better round coming forward getting his body shots in.
In the third round Reed turned up the action using his speed and combinations throughout. In the fourth round Hernandez stayed inside and was eating leather from Reed who had too much overall for him.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Reed had his way though Hernandez never stopped trying. In the seventh round with his back against the ropes Reed would outwork ever trying Hermandez. In the eighth and final round Reed had to wonder what was holding Hernandez up after rocking him with a combination to the chin halfway through the round. Reed had Hernandez missing quite a bit and countering him well.
Scores were Layton 78-74, Barnes and Lundy 79-73. This writer 80-72. Referee was Ricky Vera.
Super Middleweight southpaw Georgian Jaba Khositashvili, 4-1 (2), 167, of Philadelphia, PA, lost to southpaw “Top Shelf” Gabby Pham, 11-1 (5), 167.8, of Pleasantville, NJ, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Khositashvili kept up the pressure against the taller southpaw Pham until late in the round when a straight left made the glove of Khositashvili touch the canvas. It caused referee dock to give him an 8 count.
In the second round Pham countered well while Khositashvili kept pressing him. In the third round Khositashvili was finally able to land a flurry of punches having Pham in a corner. Pham quickly was out of there giving his opponent a boxing lesson.
In the fourth round referee Dock warned a frustrated Khositashvili for hitting behind the head. The same pattered of the fight continued with the taller longer reach Pham wouldn’t allow his opponent to get inside for the most part.
In the fifth round it became one of the most competitive though Pham still controlled the action. In the sixth and final round Pham started showboating as the crowd were yelling “Gabby, Gabby”.
Scores were Barnes and Layton 59-54 and Lundy 60-53 as did this writer. Working the corner of Pham was head trainer Chino Rivas.
Super Lightweight southpaw George Rincon, 7-0 (4), 139.8, of Carrolton, TX, scored a knockout over outgunned Greg “Spyder” Young, Jr., 4-2 (1), 141.4, of Hoover, AL, at 2:01 of the fourth round of a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round southpaw Rincon used a vicious body attack backing up Young the entire round. A right hook body shot dropped Young for the 8 count of referee Dock.
In the second round Young moved more using his legs as Rincon went to the head after trying to stop Young with more of a body shot. It didn’t look like Young would make it this far but he showed heart. In the third round Rincon kept up outworking Young who spent most of the round moving. In the fourth round several right hooks to the body almost had Young ready to drop. Finally the body beating overcame the game but outclassed Young dropping him for the second time in the fight. He took the the 10 count of referee Dock on a knee.
In the opening bout Super Lightweight Daniel “Danny Boy” Murray, 5-2 (0), 140, of Barnegat, NJ, defeated southpaw Leonardo “The Chosen One” Kenon, 3-6 (1), 136.6, of Quincy, FL, over 4 competitive rounds.
In the first round both boxers took turns leading. In a close round Murray seemed to land the more effective punches than southpaw Kenon. In the second round Kenon used a good left uppercut when inside. This was another close round than Kenon seemed to have the edge.
In the third round it continued to be a very close fight with little body work. In the fourth and final round both fighters knew the fight was on the line. Murray got the stronger single punch of the round. In a close fight like this you hate to see a loser.
Scores were Barnes and Layton 40-36 with Lundy and this writer 39-37. Benjy Esteves, Jr. was the referee.
Super Middleweight Franchon Crews Dezurn, 5-1 (2), 167.6, of Baltimore, MD, stopped Kayla “Lady Beast” Williams, 0-3-1 (0), 164.2, of New Iberia, LA, at 1:40 of the fifth round of a scheduled 8.
In the first round both fighters let the leather fly as Crews got in many overhand rights to the chin rocking game Williams. In the second round Crews had Williams holding on from a combination to the head.
In the third round head shots from Crews were taking its toll. In the fifth round Williams kept coming forward but overhand rights by Crews forced referee Dock to wisely call a halt.
Ring Announcer was Mark Fratto. Matchmaker was Javier Razo. At ringside in attendance were Two-time world heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon; WBO heavyweight champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer. IBF Cruiserweight champion Al “Ice” Cole, doing commentating for Facebook Middleweight Champion Bernard “Executioner” Hopkins, 3-Division World champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley, 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist “Sugar” Ray Seales, WBF Welter champ Greg Haugen, Light heavyweight and heavyweight champion along with 1976 Olympic Gold medalist Michael “Jinx” Spinks.