Two separate cards went down in Philly this past weekend and a lot of the unexpected happened. Don Elbaum put together a card at the Blue Horizon but on the next night Fingerspoon Promotions, co-owned by former heavyweight champion of the world, "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon, made their promotional debut with a wild night of knockouts, upsets and controversy at the National Guard Armory.
The Friday night card was highlighted by undefeated heavyweight hopeful Joey Abell playing Jason Vorhees as he stalked, gashed and damn near killed professional punch sponge Louis Monaco over four extremely one sided rounds. Staff Sergeant Samuel Brown, set to be deployed in January for a third tour of duty in Iraq, fulfilled a lifelong dream of fighting at the Blue Horizon and Bryheim Douglas professionally debuted in style by knocking his opponent out of the ring.
On Saturday, Chazz Witherspoon headlined and won again in impressive fashion, but highly touted prospects Max Alexander and Simon "One Punch" Carr got their first taste of defeat in fights they were heavily favored to win. Undefeated cruiserweight Adam Harris was put to the test but somehow took a decision that caused most fans in the audience to bellow out boos from the bottom of their lungs. Patrick J. Maxwell, a youngster out of the Billy Graham/Ricky Hatton stable, flew over the pond and endeared himself to the American fans by beating Anthony Little into submission.
At the, National Guard Armory, Fingerspoon Promotions brought the Philly fans "Redemption", a card put together by Terrible Tim Witherspoon and Mike Fingerman, showcasing some of the best young talent in the business. A night that was expected to be smooth sailing for the local prospects turned into a free for all.
In the main event, heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon,15-0 (9), effectively used his jab to set up a vicious uppercut, followed by a straight right in the third round that left Earl "Chocolate Drop" Ladson, 12-12-1, on his back and out for the count.
In the co-feature, Minnesota light heavyweight Marty Lindquist, 12-4 (10), pulled the Philly upset of the year by knockout out previously undefeated Max Alexander, 12-1, with the first punch of the contest. As both fighters came out of the corner, Lindquist threw a right that some call perfectly placed, others call extremely lucky. Either way, it landed flush on Alexander’s chin and created a scary scene as Alexander laid completely unconscious for a few minutes. He was taken to the hospital for further examination. Hopefully Alexander is ok and able to make a speedy recovery.
In yet another wild one, Virginia’s Edward Hemphill, 5-5-1, upset South Philly’s Simon "One Punch" Carr, 4-1, a highly touted cruiserweight starting his career after an 8 year stretch in prison, suffered his first professional loss too. Hemphill was effective with the jab throughout while Carr tried unsuccessfully to land power shots. Hemphill scored a late knockdown in the fourth with a right hand. The fight went to the scorecards and all three judges saw it in favor of Hemphill.
Super middleweight Patrick J. Maxwell, protege of Billy Graham, (who also trains rugged Englishmen Ricky Hatton and Matthew Macklin) beat Anthony Little from pillar to post. Little’s corner threw in the towel in the third round after seeing their guy hit the canvas three times in the fight.
Trenton NJ Light Heavyweight Chucky Cavallo, 11-0 (3), scored three knockdowns and cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Raynard Darden, 9-16.
Adam Harris, 8-0 (6), of Worcester, MA recently became a Philadelphia resident to help further his boxing career. The undefeated cruiserweight might be reconsidering that move now as he was pushed to the limit by the Puerto Rico’s Luis Doel Santiago. Santiago, 0-3, was relentless to the body throughout and while Harris had his moments, 99.9% of those present felt that he did not deserve the spilt decision victory and loudly booed when the verdict was announced.
In the curtain jerker, Cullen Rodgers, 8-13, took a unanimous decision over Germany's Jurgen Hartenstein, 11-11.
At The Blue Horizon, Joey Abell, 9-0 (9), took on journeyman Louis Monaco, 15-33, a fighter who has one of the most impressive loss ledgers in pro boxing history. Monaco has been taken out by the likes of Lamon Brewster, Vitali Klitschko, Eddie Chambers, Monte Barrett and Buster Douglas just to name a few. He was supposed to provide a test for Joey Abell who has been knocking the opposition silly but in reality he turned out to be another victim of the lumberjack’s wrath.
For four rounds, Abell used a right jab to set up powerful straight lefts while getting no resistance from Monaco. The third round was the worst as Abell beat his opponent all over the ring from bell to bell. The fight lasted :30 into the fourth before the referee mercifully called a halt to the contest. To Monaco’s credit, he was obviously felt the power but he has the distinction on being the first man to not be put to the canvas by the Minnesota powerhouse.
Another Minnesota native, Dave Peterson, 6-0 (5), was the co-feature and administered a through beating to an outmatched Kenneth Meeks, 1-1. Peterson worked the body like an auto mechanic and disposed of his opponent early in the second frame with a combo to the ribs.
Samuel Brown of Fort Campbell, KY realized his dream of throwing down at the Blue Horizon. The Staff Sergeant squared off against a rotund Michael Rhoades, 3-0-3 (1), who tipped the scales at a whopping 342 lbs. It was a back and forth battle as Rhoades would lunge inside and use his weight to take the action to the ropes but Brown would respond with good shots to the body and fired off combinations upstairs when the opening was available.
The fight went to the scorecards and Rhoades took a disputed split decision victory much to the dismay of the fans. While Brown didn't win the fight, he did win the respect of the Philly crowd who gave the American hero a standing ovation and chanted "USA USA" as he left the ring.
Heavyweight Ran Nakash, 3-0 (2), bills himself as the "Israeli Mike Tyson" but he had a hard time finishing off North Carolina’s Gary Leavander, 2-7, although he did score a knockdown and cruised to a unanimous decision win.
In the opener, Philly’s newest middleweight Bryheim Douglas, 1-0, made the most of his pro debut and battered an outgunned Robert Ganaway, 0-6, over four rounds. In the final seconds of the last round, Douglas laid an assault on Ganaway’s ribs which sent the North Carolina man through the ropes and into the arms of the ringside cameraman. He miraculously beat the count but still lost a lopsided unanimous decision.