J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Peripatetic Chazz Witherspoon usually pops up in New Jersey, but somehow found himself at Genetti Manor in Wilkes Barre. A solid fight town back in the ‘50s, Wilkes Barre has been dead for decades, with a scattering of shows actually taking place at lodges far out in the woods but called “Wilkes Barre”. Not this time! This was in Downtown on 9/21/19. The municipal parking lot had a sign for Genetti Manor parking and two guys collecting money. Probably homeless guys acting on their own initiative. At least they didn’t charge much.
Chazz was scheduled to fight the main event. He took the microphone and explained that he’d injured a hamstring and promised to return and make good his appearance. Meanwhile, the rest of the card (Silver Spoon Prom’ns?), with Renee Aiken matchmaker, went ahead and provided some good action. The attendance was low, about 300, but many may have left after the conclusion of a rousing 11-bout amateur card with many popular local boxers entertaining their fans. Timmie Witherspoon was among the coaches of the amateur squad. Chris Coyne was ring announcer, Alice Grady timekeeper, and Deputy Mike Arnese ran the card in the absence of Commissioner Greg Sirb, who was supervising another show.
Elevated to main event status, Ryan Wilczak, 164 1/2, Scranton, 9-0 (4), outboxed lumbering Pablo Velez, 171, Durham, VA, 7-4-1 (5), six. The stolid visitor muscled and mauled and seemed to give the local favorite some trouble in the first round. But from the second, Wilczak used movement and careful placing of his punches to outmaneuver and outbox the flat footed Velez. Ryan punctuated it with an explosive start to the third, hammering Velez in a corner. Pablo came out of it grinning and nodding, which he continued to do throughout the bout. The underdog did more profiling and styling than vigorous attacking, enabling Wilczak to box his way to a crowd-pleasing majority win. Adam Friscia scored 57-57, but Velez grimaced when he heard the scores of Jimmy Kinney and Mike Somma, 59-55 for Wilczak. This was a fair call. Velez used too much body language while Wilczak used his hands.
In a women’s six (two minutes), Shadasia Green, 171, Paterson, 3-0 (2), gained a hard-earned unanimous shutout over rugged and persistent Irais Hernandez, 169, Tijuana, 2-4-2 (2). This was a contrast with the top bout, where the underdog loafed away much of the fight. There was no dog in Hernandez! Ruggedly built and fighting out of a crouch, she plodded relentlessly forward, but pushed her punches. The tall, standup favorite moved and picked punches well, with good hands. Action was relentless throughout, with Hernandez suffering a bloody nose in the fifth. Green clearly dominated, but Hernandez made her work for the win.
In a bad match that turned good, Greg Jackson, 147, Phila., 11-7-1 (3), won a unanimous decision over Alberto Delgado, 147, Roanoke, 1-8-4 (1), six. The rangy Jackson, boxing out of a deep stance, looked a division bigger than the compact, square stance underdog. Delgado couldn’t get past Jackson’s reach and did nothing but get hit into the fourth. Delgado then tried increasing his attack, which meant more punches but nearly all misses, until Jackson let him get close and leveled him with an inside body shot. Alberto went face down flat, but got up and gamely fought back to get out of the round. The final two were good action, although Alberto was mostly throwing misses but at least pumping up the level of combat. Friscia scored 59-54, the others 60-53. Gary Rosato refereed.
It was anything but an auspicious debut for popular Nelson Morales, 148 1/2, Scranton, as he had to settle for a majority win over Kynndale Prather, 158, Fulton, MO, 0-3, four. Aside from a wild outburst of flailing punches to start the third, the southpaw visitor merely ran and survived. There was plenty of physical movement but not a lot of punches as Morales had great difficulty tracking Prather down. Somma penalized him for this at 38-38, but the others had a shutout.
Sheldon Deverteuil, 139 1/2, Phila., 2-0-2, boxed well in a good four against persistent but crude Stephen Derstine, 141, Fulton, 6-8 (4). The two traded at mid range throughout, with Deverteuil showing the quicker h ands and tighter guard. Sheldon began working the body in the second and had the flat-footed Derstine walking into ripping right uppercuts that brought up the crowd in the third. Deverteuil gained a hard-earned unanimous shutout.
Nafear Charles, 136 ¼, Phila., 2-0 (2), showed good poise TKOing Ayron Palmer, 138 ¼, Tallahassee, 0-2, in 2:06 of the second, scheduled four. The spindly southpaw underdog tried defensively circling, but Charles did a nifty job of stopping the movement with a body attack. A left hook and right to the head froze Palmer on the ropes in the second, and with Ayron slumped over and not responding as Charles let his hands go, referee Shawn Clark quickly rescued him.