Top Rank Boxing – Bob Arum, Matchmakers J Russell Peltz and Brad Goodman at the Mark G. Etess Arena, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, over ESPN on Saturday presented in the Main Event Philadelphia’s No. 3 WBO, No. 4 WBA, No. 8 WBC and No. 10 IBF ranked Light Heavyweight Jesse “Hollywood” Hart and world title challenger Joe Smith, Jr., out of Long Island, New York.
In the Main Event Light Heavyweight’s Philadelphia’s Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 26-3 (21), #175, lost a decisive split decision to Joe “The Beast” Smith, Jr., 25-3 (20), #174.6, out of Long Island, NY, for the NABO title over 10 rounds with Smith scoring a knockdown.
In the first round there were six clinches and three warnings to Smith for hitting behind the head in the clinches. Hart ran around the ring flicking out a jab the entire round. Smith tried to make a fight of it. In the second round Hart continued to grab Smith into a clinch. Smith caught up with Hart rocking him with a right hand to the chin making him hold on.
In the third round Hart decided after running around the ring landing a right uppercut to the chin of Smith while in a clinch on two occasions. Midway thru the round Hart landed four unanswered punches to the head of Smith.
In the fourth round a Smith right uppercut on the chin of Hart rocked him. Smith landed half a dozen punches without return from Hart. Seconds later rocked Hart with a right cross to the chin.
In the fifth round Hart continued to run flicking out his jab while Smith would do damage when he caught up to Hart. In the sixth round while in clinches forced by Hart Smith landed several hard right uppercut’s on the chin. In the seventh round a right cross from Smith made Hart’s glove touch the canvas for an 8-count from referee Harvey Dock in the final 30 seconds of the round. Smith jumped on him rocking Hart at the bell with another right on the chin.
In the eighth round Smith continued to chase Hart down landing four unanswered punches as Hart tried to hold him. In the ninth round Smith continued to man handle Hart until referee Dock stopped the action walking Hart to a corner to be checked for a cut on his left cheek bone possibly from a clash of heads. Hart landed a triple left hook in the final seconds on the chin of Smith.
In the tenth and final round it was all Smith chasing and scoring whenever Hart stopped running. Hart hadn’t landed a right for several rounds and may have hurt it. Hart’s running was very uncharacteristic to his past performances.
Scores were James Kinney 95-94 Hart and Eugene Grant 97-92 and Joe Pasquale 98-91 for Smith with this writer having it 99-90 Smith.
In the co-feature No. 15 WBO ranked Super Middleweight Steven Nelson, 16-0 (13), #167.8, out of Omaha, NEB, was awarded a technical stoppage when the No. 7 WBA ranked Germany’s Cem Kilic, 14-1 (9), #167.6, out of Sherman Oaks, CA, corner waved the fight off giving the NABO title to Nelson by default at 1:44 in the eighth round in a scheduled 10 rounds.
In the first round except for a right from Nelson on the chin of Kilic in the opening seconds hardly a punch was landed. In the second round little action continued with a floating piece of paper over the ring getting everyone’s attention. In the third round the fans were showing their displeasure with little contact in the round.
In the fourth round there were more misses than hits until the final seconds when Nelson landed a left uppercut to the chin of Kilic. In the fifth round Nelson finally gave the fans something to react to landing a pair of rights to the chin of Kilic. Kilic continued to come forward walking into punches from Nelson.
In the sixth and seventh rounds little to report. In the eighth round Kilic’s trainer “Buddy” McGirt waved it off possibly to little effort from his fighter. McGirt explained afterwards in the ring there was little effort from his fighter forcing the stoppage.
Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 14-0-1 (12) #136, out of Allentown, PA, was fortunate to get a split draw with Hector “Gunder Guadana” Garcia, 14-7-4 (8), #135, out of Tijuana, MEX, over 8 rounds.
In the first round both felt one another out with little action when Garcia came in low with Adorno against the ropes. Adorno hit him several times on the back getting a warning from referee Sparkle Lee. In the second round Adorno warned for using his elbow in a clinch. Halfway thru the round Garcia landed a solid left uppercut to the chin of Adorno. Garcia had Adorno against the ropes and got countered with a flurry of punches to the chin. Garcia came back in the final seconds with a good left hook to the chin of Adorno.
In the third round it was all Garcia chasing Adorno around the ring landing occasional left hooks to the body. In the fourth round Garca backs up Adorno with a solid jab. Then goes to the body of Adorno pinning him against the ropes. Adorno is using only a jab for the most part not his usual combination bombs.
In the fifth and sixth rounds its more of Garcia landing left hooks to the body as Adorno continues looking listless. In the seventh round Garcia rocked Adorno with a pair of left and right uppercuts to the chin while Adorno returned a right of his own on the chin. Adorno’s face had much redness over it.
In the eighth and final round midway both opened up on one another for the first time in the fight giving the fans something to cheer about but it didn’t last long as Garcia kept up the attack on Adorno who had little power in return.
Scores were 77-75 for each boxer and 76-76. This writer had it 79-73 Garcia.
Super Middleweight NJ State champion Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 14-1-1 (9), #170.6, out of Beachwood, NJ, stopped Samir “Quebra Tudo” Barbosa, 37-17-3 (26), #168.2, out of Rio Grande, BRZ, at 0: 47 of the first round in a scheduled 8 rounds.
In the first round Thomas went on the assault from the starting having Barbosa in a corner landing punches without return when it seemed referee Sparkle Lee jumped the gun in stopping it.
Welterweight Shinard Bunch, 6-1 (5), #147.2, out of Trenton, NJ, was awarded a TKO win when Dennis Okoth, 4-3-1 (2), #145.6, out of Siaya, Kenya, walked to his corner and quit in the 6th and final round.
In the first round it was all Bunch used an effective jab. Okoth came forward but threw little and landed nothing. In the second round Bunch continued landing his jab. In the final ten seconds Bunch landed an overhand right to the head while Okoth returned an overhand right to the chin of Bunch.
In the third round the action still didn’t pick up as Bunch stayed busier. Okoth threw a punch in the final seconds, missed and fell face first to the canvas. In the fourth round Okoth landed his best punch up to the point a left hook to the chin of. Too many clinches continued. In the final seconds Okoth hit on a break from referee Franciosi left hook to the chin of Bunch.
In the fifth round with more misses from both fighters than punches landed its Bunch grabbing Okoth into clinches. Near the end of the round Okoth pushed Bunch through the bottom strand of the ropes. In the sixth and final round of punch and grab suddenly Okoth goes to his corner holding the middle rope as referee Franciosi waves the fight off. Bunch falls to the canvas on his back celebrating? Later reported Okoth claimed to have a broken jaw.
Heavyweight Sonny “The Bronco” Conto, 6-0 (5), #218, out of Philadelphia, stopped Curtis Head, 5-4 (3), #271.6, out of Detroit, MI, at 2:08 of the first round scoring a pair of knockdowns in a scheduled 4 rounds.
In the first round a left uppercut to the body from Conto dropped Head to a knee for an 8-count from referee Franciosi. Half a minute later it happened again! Upon getting up referee Franciosi waved it off after Head beat the count. Had never landed a punch prior to the stoppage.
Super Bantamweight Jeremy “Majic Hands” Adorno, 4-0 (1), #121.6, out of Allentown, PA, defeated Mexico’s Fernando Ibarra DeAnda, 2-3 (0), #121.4, out of Fairfield, CA, scoring a knockdown over 4 rounds.
In the first round after half a minute of feeling out each other Adorno landed a hard lead left to the chin of Ibarra buckling his knees a driving him several steps backwards but didn’t follow up. In the second round Adorno backed Ibarra up landing a lead left uppercut to the chin dropping him for an 8-count by referee Franciosi. He beat the count and got thru the round.
In the third round Adorno swung Ibarra to the canvas and fell in the opposite direction to the canvas. Adorno decided to come forward midway thru the round but little was done. At the end of the round his father Anibal was not please giving him a little slap on the cheek.
In the fourth and final round Ibarra landed a sweeping left on the chin of Adorno making him clinch. Adorno’s corner were waving him to come forward. Ibarra got a C for effort.
All scores along with this writer were 40-35.
Welterweight Xander Zayas, 3-0 (2), #147.2, of PR out of Plantation, FL, defeated Corey Champion, 1-2 (1), #146.8, out of Louisa, VA, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Champion moved around the ring scoring light punches as Zayas was loading up for a kayo. In the second round Zayas kept landing border to low punches with left hooks and uppercuts as Champion was looking to survive.
In the third round Zayas drew blood from Champions nose. He followed up with a flurry of punches having Champion in trouble but couldn’t follow up. In the fourth and final round Zayas continued looking for the knockout that wasn’t coming. Champion grabbed him several times into a clinch and was able to survive until the bell. Referee was Sparkle Lee.
Scores were Layton and Lundy 40-36 and Page 40-35 while this writer had it 39-37.
Ring Announcer was “Classy” Jimmy Lennon.