In New York City, DiBella Entertainment and co-sponsor HBO Sports presented the latest installment of Broadway Boxing at the B.B. King Blues Club on 42nd Street. Former junior welterweight champions Randall Bailey and DeMarcus Corley advanced to the main event when the scheduled bout between Edgar Santana and Luis Rodriguez never took place.
Spanish Harlem junior welterweight Santana, indicted on cocaine charges in July, continues to have problems. This time he had no opponent because Rodriguez had visa problems and could not be admitted into the country at Kennedy Airport. This past July, Santana spent five days in jail and lost the opportunity for an ESPN fight against Ali Oubaali. Santana has pled not guilty to the felony drug charges but has not yet gone to trial.
Originally scheduled for ten but scaled back to eight rounds, Bailey avenged a previous loss to Corley by immediately taking the fight to him and staying on the attack. Bailey, out of Miami, Florida, now 38-6 (34) dealt Corley, out of Washington, D.C., now 31-10-1 (17), his ninth loss in his last twelve fights since beating Bailey to retain the WBO Junior Welterweight Title in 2003.
Bailey “The Knockout King” showed “Chop-Chop” Corley nonstop power punches, coming forward with combinations to the head and body and leaving Corley backing up. For his part, Corley kept the bout competitive by remaining frisky and hard to hit. A perfect right hand lead from Bailey put Corley on the seat of his pants in round three, and Corley took the count to eight on one knee.
Bailey also staggered Corley with a right in the fourth. Corley then resorted to grabbing the rest of the bout wherever possible, frustrating Bailey with frequent headlocks and getting tangled up backwards in holding positions.
Midway through the final round, Corley landed his best shot of the night, a vicious intentional head butt that allowed him to perhaps ‘steal’ his only round when no timeout was called. Corley then threw everything he had left in an attempt to take Bailey out, but Bailey survived. Bailey was relaxed, paced himself, and picked his punches carefully landing with good accuracy, winning every round as he kept his distance. Neither fighter was marked or hurt.
In the preliminary to the main event, originally scheduled for eight, featherweight Gary “Kid” Stark Jr. of Staten Island, New York, now 22-2 (8), won a unanimous six round decision over Leivi Brea of Constanza, Dominican Republic, now 16-8-3 (8). Brea, who was kayoed in the first round of his last bout in August, came into the fight in shape and gave Stark a good workout. Stark fought smart as a counterpuncher, kept moving, picked his shots and was accurate.
Brea could not judge distance and threw a lot of punches, but missed most of them. Brea went down from a low blow in the second, threw a low blow in the third, and then went down from a flash knockdown in the third. He grabbed a lot from that point on, going into retreat. Stark landed a lot of right-left body combinations, appearing to win almost every round.
The B.B. King Blues Club, with its flashy saxophones on the bar and schmaltz bordello like atmosphere of everyone from boxers, writers, promoters, cut men, trainers, managers, celebrities, beer drinking yokels, homeboys from the hood, and orthodox Jewish investors, is emerging as a local showcase for rising talent, and a decent place for out-of-town pugs looking to collect a decent paycheck. Getting a decision over ‘the local boy’ is proving to be a difficult task, as the opening four rounder proved, turning an even bout into an apparent robbery.
Hajro Sujak from the Bronx, New York, now 3-0 (1), got a gift four round decision over Richard “The White Tornado” Dalphone of Navarre, Florida, now 0-4-2, in a battle of super middleweights. Dalphone’s record proved deceiving, as he appeared to win the first and third rounds.
Both fighters loaded up from the opening bell and exchanged power punches. Dalphone emptied his guns in the third and nearly punched himself out, battering Sujak around at will in a lopsided round. But Sujak appeared to win the second and the fourth with a lot of good straight left hands. By the third round, both fighters were winded and breathing heavily, but the furious trade-a-bomb pace continued. At best, the bout was a draw, which the first judge saw, but the other two judges did not.
In the second bout, Phillip Jackson-Benson of Brooklyn, New York, scored a knockout in his pro debut over Robert Harris of Youngstown, Ohio, now 0-2, in another super middleweight matchup that didn’t last long. A left hook and straight right hand from Jackson put Harris down and out at 1:08 of the first.
In the third bout, a battle royale of heavyweights ended in a knockout when one fighter outclassed the other with hand speed. Debuting Tor Hamer of New York City kayoed Joseph Rabotte now 2-4 (1), hailing from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Hamer landed a right lead to the head that dropped Rabotte in the first. Hamer dropped Rabotte with a left hook to the head in the second. Rabotte arose and tried to hang on low, but was caught along the ropes, where Hamer landed a left hook and right lead combination that put Rabotte on his back down and out at 0:44 of the second. Rabotte, who calls himself “Junior Finesse” didn’t look bigger than Hamer although he outweighed him by nearly forty pounds.
In attendance: fighters Elvir Muriqi, Shaun George, Travis Simms, U.S. Olympian Saddam Ali, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (now preparing for his upcoming middleweight bout with Buddy McGirt Jr.) who greeted this writer at the door, Jorge ‘The Truth’ Teron, Danny Jacobs, and ex-champions Iran Barkley, Emile Griffith and Junior Jones.