Written by Krissy Engram (@TeamEngram)
Philadelphia, PA- On Friday night, boxers in southern Philly fought at 2300 Arena with an unmatched passion. For some it was their pro debut and for others it was a chance to increase their record, gain experience, and generate a fan base.
The main event featured an intense battle between super featherweights Frank DeAlba and Jesus Lule in a six round bout. DeAlba has been on a sixteen fight win streak and was looking to make it seventeen. Lule is no stranger to losing but his losses were endured fighting the best opponents available. Lule came prepared to the ring with an attack plan against DeAlba that worked for most of the fight. As Lule bounced around the ring throwing jab after jab, DeAlba was still trying to find his rhythm and set up punches. DeAlba expected his opponent to be still but Lule was in constant motion.
The ineffectiveness of DeAlba in the first round was an asset for Lule. But by the second round, DeAlba had devised a new game plan which required him to counter-attack Lule, punch freely and counterpunch. DeAlba’s revised plan of attack worked. Initially the aggressor, Lule’s success diminished over time as DeAlba fought back with strong and powerful punches, stronger than anything Lule had thrown previously. Although he remained energetic, Lule was unable to outperform DeAlba. Frank DeAlba gained his 17th win (now 17-1-2) by majority decision with scores of 59-55, 60-54, 60-54. Luke suffered another loss, slipping to 7-15-1.
Scott Kelleher and Jack Grady put on a fantastic performance in the ring. Kelleher came to the ring with the weight of his mother’s death on his shoulders, while Grady sought out his first win as a pro boxer. This action packed bout between two hungry boxers lasted all four rounds. With his performance in the ring dedicated to his mother, Kelleher used whatever aggression he had built up and focused it all on his opponent Grady. Kelleher and Grady acted as if they were in a street brawl fighting till the death. Kelleher’s lethal attack on Grady in conjunction with full support from the crowd resulted in a unanimous decision win with scores of 40-36 x3, increasing his record to 3-0. To honor the loss of his mother(who passed away 3 weeks prior), the entire arena paused and paid homage during a 10-count. Grady still hasn’t gained a win as a pro boxer and now has a record of 0-2-1.
A highly anticipated super middleweight bout between two undefeated boxers Antowyan Aikens and Tahir Thomas had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The highly favored Aikens used his footwork to escape the multitude of punches thrown by Thomas and still managed to send Thomas to the canvas in round one. As many in the crowd began to assume Aikens would take home the victory with an easy knockout, Thomas picked up the pace and changed their outlook. Thomas landed perfectly executed jabs that were angled upward at the head and body of Aikens, using what should of been Aiken’s strength – his height, as a weapon. A close contact fight, Aikens and Thomas went back and forth landing effective punches and taking turns landing a series of head shots. Attempting to dominate the fight in round six, Thomas threw powerful jabs that caused Aikens to take a knee. The judges considered this fight a draw but the fans believed different, which may be enough push for a potential rematch. The judges scored the bout 57-55 for Aikens, 57-55 for Thomas, and 56-56. Antowyan Aikens is now 10-0-1 and Tahir Thomas is now 4-0-1.
A youthful and energetic Christopher Brooker battled against an older, more experienced Edgar Perez in a four round super middleweight bout. With a clear advantage, Brooker attacked Perez to the body constantly, round after round. However, not a single punch was powerful enough to break Perez down. No matter how many jabs were thrown at Perez by Brooker, he refused to throw in the towel. In the second round, Brooker finally landed a right uppercut that packed enough punch to cause Perez to take a knee. But Perez got back up. In round three, Perez returned to the ring seemingly refreshed and re-energized but was still no competition for Brooker. Christopher Brooker(5-1) was unable to knockout Edgar Perez (6-17) but he still walked away with a unanimous decision win with scores of 40-36 x3.
Hafiz Montgomery quickly dominated Devon Mosley in a fight that was scheduled for four rounds. Montgomery and Mosley came out of their corners swinging at each other but it was evident in just a few seconds that only one fighter was doing the punching. It was unclear what possessed Mosley to keep swinging at air instead of at his opponent. But the amount of punches Montgomery threw in return was perfectly clear. Landing every punch he threw, Montgomery definitely expected a stoppage. Montgomery hit Mosley with a near perfect right hand that caused Mosley to fall on his face flat on the canvas. Hafiz Montgomery won by first round knockout and improves to 2-0 while Devon Mosley adds another loss to his record (now 0-4-1).
The four round cruiserweight bout between Tyrell Colston and Hector Perez was over after two action-packed rounds. Pro-debuting, Colston started out strong using his significant height advantage against Perez. The angle of those shots or the power behind them caused Colston to fold Perez onto the canvas like origami paper. Perez wasn’t down in round one for long however. And he definitely wasn’t too happy about the knockdown. The tables turned quickly in Perez’s favor in round two when he knocked down Colston twice. As if reprimanding him for the previous knockdown, Perez lands a hard right hand that left Colston gripping the ropes for support. And since that wasn’t enough, Colston had no chance to recover before Perez smelled his weakness and threw another right hand. This time, Colston slid through the ropes and hung over them onto the judges table. Hector Perez put on a great show and walks away with a second round knockout that improves his record to 3-1. Tyrell Colton suffers his first and only defeat as a pro with a record of 0-1.
Pro-debuting Daryl Bunting and Ryan Bivins clashed in all four rounds of their fight. Not known for being a huge puncher, the power behind the punches Bunting unleashed could be heard around the arena. In the second half Bunting and Bivins were both more relaxed and began throwing more jabs in each others direction. Immediately following the bell Bunting would come out swinging and Bivins would become increasingly strategic at avoiding them. In the fourth and final round, Bivins released some powerful jabs that stunned Bunting and slowed him down. Even after a series of obviously effective body shots, neither would fall, and neither performance would be enough for a win. This bout ended in a draw, with scores of 39-37 for Bunting, 39-37 for Bivins, and 38-38. Daryl Bunting is now 0-0-1 and Ryan Bivins is now 0-1-1.
Ely Mendez and Derrick Bivins went toe-to-toe in a fast paced showdown. Evident in their demeanor and constant power punching, Mendez and Bivins both craved a win. Their desire for blood in the ring stirred the energy in the room and brought fans to their feet. The fight came to a screeching halt 45 seconds into the second round when Mendez succumbed to those hard hitting punches by Bivins. Bivins knocked Mendez down and left him woozy, leaving the referee no choice but to end the fight. Derrick Bivins is now 2-3-2, winning by second round technical knock out and Ely Mendez gets handed his second loss, making his record 1-2.
In a four round heavyweight match-up between pro-debuting Corey Morley and Brian Donahue, Donahue proved too much for Morley. The clear aggressor, Donahue used his swift footwork to dodge punches thrown by Morley and attack with his jab. Although Morley’s offense wasn’t too shabby, Donahue’s veteran experience was key in his win over Morley. Brian Donahue improves to 4-13-2 and Corey Morley suffers his first loss as a pro, now 0-1.
In the opening bout of the night, Terrence Williams skillfully out-boxed Junior Castillo winning the middleweight exhibition. Terrence Williams improves to 5-0 while Junior Castillo incurred a loss, now 7-1.
This live boxing event was held at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA and was sponsored by Marshall Kauffman, owner of Kings Boxing Gym (Reading, PA) and Kings Promotions.