By: George H. Hanson Jr., Esq.
Date: Friday, December 2, 2016
Venue: 2300 Arena – Philadelphia, PA
Promoters: Peltz Boxing, DiBella Entertainment, BAM Boxing & Joe Hand Promotions
Ring Announcer: Steve Mittman
Referee: Shawn Clark, Benjy Esteves Jr. & Hurley McCall
Some fighters lose focus and are on a paper chase—driven solely by money. Others see the bigger picture and are in pursuit of greatness—knowing that fame and fortune are inevitable! It is axiomatic that walking in the rain without an umbrella is a surefire method of getting wet. That is the case with Philly junior-lightweight contender and NABF champion Tevin “The American Idol” Farmer (23 wins – 4 losses – 1 draw – 5 kos). While he is patiently awaiting a title shot, Farmer who was last in the ring on October 14th decided to stay sharp with his second consecutive “stay busy” fight in his hometown. It is safe to say that with no television etc. – the purse wasn’t much. However, like the great Archie Moore who chased the light-heavyweight title for seventeen years and 161 fights – finally getting his golden opportunity and winning it in his 162th – clearing a mere $800 – Farmer is in pursuit of greatness knowing that the money will be there!
(L-R) Farmer, Big Lou & trainer Chino Rivas
In front of a near capacity crowd with “Big Lou” and Harold— his promoter Lou DiBella and Hall of Famer, HBO’s unofficial scorer—Harold Lederman—perched at ringside—making the trip down from New York Cittaay (no that’s not a typo that is how Bill Cosby ensconced in the role of hustler Mongo Slade pronounced it in the 1975 hit movie “Let’s Do it Again”)—Farmer displayed his wares. The supremely gifted fighter evoked fond memories of the great Gypsy Joe Harris and Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker exhibiting his defensive wizardry and lightning fast combinations—pitching a near shut-out—much to the delight of the fans.
During the third round I thought my eyes were deceiving me or my imagination had gone wild when Farmer squared up, pulled out a cellphone from the waistband of his trunks – dialed DiBella—tucked the phone between his chin and right shoulder—placed both hands on the middle strand of the ring rope— began a conversation with the promoter as Zenunaj threw a twenty-punch combination at his head—all of them missing as he bobbed, dipped and weaved smiling while continuing his dialogue with DiBella! Maybe, my eyes were indeed misleading me and I merely imagined the cellphone?
Farmer dominated round after round with Zenunaj appearing a step behind unable to match his hand and foot speed. However, Zenunaj should be given much credit for his confidence and persistence. He never stopped coming forward throwing combinations with bad intentions attempting to goad Farmer to trade toe-to-toe. No surprise, Farmer was awarded a unanimous ten-round decision 99-91 twice and 98-92. There is little doubt that before the summer of 2017, trainers Chino Rivas and Rashiem Jefferson will have another junior-lightweight champion—Farmer will be joining stablemate—WBA junior lightweight champion—Jason Sosa.
Farmer (R.) punishes Zenunaj with the uppercut.
In a scheduled six-round cruiserweight bout former USBA cruiserweight champion—Philly power-puncher—Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (16 wins – 11 losses – 1 draw – 9 kos) squared off against the somewhat feather-fisted but pugilistic proficient Lamont Capers (7 wins – 8 losses – 2 draws – 0 kos) of Hawley, Pennsylvania who entered the ring sporting dark sunglasses. It was Capers who earlier in the year—two fights aback—upset slick-boxing Nick Kissner in Atlantic City on May 27th – winning an eight-round split-decision.
In the opening round, Wilson looking like a modern-day Dick Tiger—caught Capers with a vicious hook to the rib-cage that registered on the fighter’s psyche and probably determined the course of the fight. The expression on Capers’ countenance—“This mother!*&^%% can hit!” told the story – he realized that accounts of Wilson’s punching power were factual and not of legendary lore. Capers felt Wilson’s bone-crushing power and determined that it was in his best interest to lace on his track shoes hoping to navigate his way safely to the final bell.
Thus, the fight turned into a six-round track meet with Capers looking like a gloved Usain Bolt with Wilson in hot pursuit attempting to catch the fleet-footed fighter, corner him and garner another Briscoe Award for “Knockout of the Year.” But Capers wasn’t going to engage in a slugfest and rightfully grabbed and clutched when cornered. Wilson came forward and Capers threw a flicking jab and an occasional right hand hoping to deter and distract his adversary as bombs whisked past his chin. It was a classic case of the bull versus the matador and when it was over two judges scored it 58-56 for Wilson with the third in need of bi-focals scoring it a draw 57-57. Wilson won by majority decision.
Wilson (L.) attempting to land the uppercut.
In the opening bout of the night southpaw junior-featherweight Jose “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (5 wins – 0 losses – 1 draw – 2 kos) of Harlem, New York was impressive as he out-boxed tough Tim Ibarra (4 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Denver, Colorado. The Harlemite was simply too skilled and too quick for Ibarra as he countered with combinations to the head and body of his adversary while using his legs to side-step and change directions to elude punishment and reload from his arsenal. To his credit, Ibarra was able to land a few counter rights and wasn’t in any danger of being demolished or dismissed. He was merely taken to task by a better boxer. It was a delightful display of the sweet science by the twenty year-old Gonzalez who joined the punch for pay ranks earlier in the year on January 29th and has already engaged in seven bouts.
Gonzalez (L.) on the attack
In the upset of the night fan-favorite, undefeated Philly junior-middleweight Isaiah Wise (3 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) fell victim—losing a majority four-round decision— to the incessant punching Roque Zapata (1 win – 1 loss – 3 draws – 0 kos) of Panama now fighting out of Culpepper, Virginia. Wise attacked at the opening bell landing a few good straight rights. But instead of crumbling, the shorter and smaller Zapata weathered the storm and engaged in a toe-to-toe battle with Wise beating the bigger man to the punch and out landing him as they fought at a frenetic pace for over two minutes as Wise’s fans cheered wildly.
Zapata continued at the same pace in the second stanza fighting at close quarters ducking and using angles to evade punishment while landing at a faster pace than his adversary. Zapata brought back fond memories of the great Aaron Pryor—a non-stop punching machine with the ability to throw punches from every conceivable angle. Zapata never slowed down heading into the final round. As was the case on March 18tt, Wise needed a knockout to walk away undefeated. Behind on the scorecards, Wise was able to snatch victory from the jaws of the defeat by stopping Kareem Gladney in the fourth and final round of their professional debuts. However, Zapata never allowed him to land a knockout blow by simply outhustling the Philly fighter and using angles to counter and avoid hard punches. Surprisingly only one judge had it a shut-out – 40-36 while, the second judge scored it 39-37 with the third in need of Lasik surgery turning a scorecard 38-38 – a draw. Zapata was declared the winner by majority decision.
Zapata (L.) counters Wise with the left hook.
In an action-packed bout, debuting heavyweight Montrell Castro of North Philadelphia with legendary trainer Fred Jenkins in his corner, stormed out at the opening bell and attacked Iegor Plevako (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) of the Ukraine now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York. The taller Plevako retreated as Castro commandeered the round. Plevako threw an occasional jab and was losing the round when he followed the jab with a straight right that found its target— Castro’s chin—wobbling him in his corner. Plevako seized the moment and wailed away until referee Clark rescued Castro recording a knockdown since he was being kept upright by the ring ropes. The action resumed and the bell saved Castro from further punishment.
Still somewhat dazed from the opening round, Castro walked into another straight right in the second round, stumbling into the corner his gloves touching the canvas— the referee scoring a knockdown and stopping the fight—declaring Plevako the winner by technical knockout at 31 seconds of the round.
Debuting Allentown, Pennsylvania junior-lightweight—seventeen year-old Joseph Adorno didn’t need much time to dispose and dismiss Guy Newman (0 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws ) of Lynchburg, Virginia. Adorno didn’t want to disappoint his throng of fans who cheered wildly on his way to the ring to meet the awaiting Newman. Adorno came out at the opening bell launching and connecting with bombs sending Newman to the canvas with a vicious left hook to the kidney. Referee Clark reached the count of four and Newman was able to continue. Adorno did not want Newman to make it out of the round—hell-bent on scoring a stoppage. He landed a left hook to the head and another one to the kidney placing Newman on the canvas for a second time. Referee Clark in his infinite mercy called an end to the one-sided affair at 1:37 giving Adorno a first round technical knockout in his first professional fight.
Adorno (L.) lands the left hook
Eighteen year-old debuting lightweight Victor Padilla of Berlin, New Jersey didn’t waste much time with twenty-eight year-old Kimmy St. Pierre (1 win – 2 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Quebec, Canada. The southpaw Padilla came out of the gate working behind a good jab followed by a right hook to the body as St. Pierre sporting a handle-bar mustache resembled a smaller version of former heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan was simply overcome by Padilla’s pugilistic prowess. St. Pierre tried jabbing but this was no deterrent to Padilla who picked him apart.
In the second stanza St. Pierre was given a short respite—compliments of a low blow by Padilla who received a warning from referee Esteves Jr. The action resumed and Padilla hurt St. Pierre with a vicious right hook to the head that had him reeling across the ring. Padilla gave chase and was able to land a straight left to the head followed by a vicious right hook to the kidney that sent St. Pierre to his knees as though he had just entered the Vatican and was genuflecting. He stayed in that praying position as the referee reached the count of ten and declared Padilla the winner by knockout at 59 seconds of the round.
Padilla (L.) landing the straight left.
In another scheduled four-rounder, featuring debuting junior-middleweights, Marcel Rivers, another Fred Jenkins’ fighter, was able to hurt Tony Kim of Fresh Meadows, New York with the first straight right he landed. Rivers commenced to unload with every punch in his arsenal—all with bad intentions—forcing Kim to the canvas with a combination. Kim was able to rise as referee McCall tolled three and the action resumed. Rivers reintroduced Kim to the canvas with a left hook, straight right and an uppercut bringing an end to the fight as the referee called a halt declaring Rivers the winner by technical knockout at 41 seconds of the opening stanza as stablemate, super-middleweight contender Jesse “Hard Work” Hart congratulated him in the corner with a big smile on his face.
Rivers (L.) connecting with the uppercut
It was another exciting night of the sweet science in The Capital of Boxing—the final show of 2016 for Peltz Boxing. Reveling in the action with the fans was my good friend – undefeated Muay Thai fighter “Furious” George Pitsakis who is heading to Thailand in a week to train and compete. After forty-seven years in the business of professional pugilism the Hall of Fame promoter – J. Russell Peltz is still going strong packing the house as has been the norm. Closing the year with Tevin Farmer was a treat for the hometown fans because I doubt if he will be fighting in Philadelphia in 2017. It is axiomatic that at this time next year – he will be over six-month in his reign as junior-lightweight champion.
Continue to support the sweet science, and remember, always carry your mouthpiece!