Soto Stuns Oliveira Jr. with 2nd Round KO Win; Cusumano Makes Quick Work of Latham!
(February 23rd) A wild night at Twin River Casino ended with a dramatic finish and a new champion crowned in the super welterweight division.
Fighting with a heavy heart, Edwin Soto (12-2-2, 6 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., stunned the Twin River crowd with a second-round knockout win over Ray Oliveira Jr. (9-2) of New Bedford, Mass., in the main event to capture the vacant World Boxing Union (WBU) Canadian American Mexican Title.
Soto got Oliveira’s attention early with a series of clean lefts and then cracked Oliveira again early in the second round, causing his opponent’s knees to momentarily buckle. Smelling blood in the water, Soto closed in, backed Oliveira into the corner and bombarded him with rights and lefts upstairs until referee Steve Smoger stopped the bout 20 seconds into the round. The scheduled eight-round main event highlighted CES Boxing’s 2018 season opener, which streamed on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE.
Trained by Marilyn and Luis Rosa, whose late son, Luis Rosa Jr., was inducted into the CES Boxing Ring of Honor earlier in the night, Soto wore black trunks with “KO King Lives” embroidered on the side in memory of his former training partner. Rosa Jr., a 23-1 super bantamweight prospect from New Haven, passed away tragically in an automobile accident in January.
The win was Soto’s third in a row and second since launching his comeback following a two-year layoff in 2017. Oliveira Jr. lost for the first time since dropping a narrow decision to Casey Kramlich in April.
Facing his toughest test to date, Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (14-1, 12 KOs) continued to make it look easy, overpowering Pittsburgh’s Fred Latham (9-2-2) in Friday’s co-feature to score a first-round knockout at the 2:19 mark, his 12th consecutive win.
The heavy-handed Cusumano caught Latham early, backed him up against the ropes and just unloaded with lefts and rights until referee Steve Smoger mercifully stopped the bout. Cusumano has now won four fights under the CES Boxing banner, all by knockout.
Lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (8-0) continued his climb to the top of his weight class on the preliminary card, out-boxing Laredo, Tex., veteran Victor Rosas (9-8) to earn a 60-54 unanimous decision win on all three scorecards. Ortiz was simply too crafty and too quick for Rosas, who continued to come forward, but could not close the distance.
Providence, R.I., super lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (8-0) also remained unbeaten with a methodical, unanimous decision win over Cancun challenger Israel Villela (6-9), 60-54 on all three scorecards. Marsella Jr. scored effectively on the outside and kept his distance from Villela, who tried in vain to box on the inside, but couldn’t stay off the end of Marsella’s jab.
Fighting for the first time since 2016, “Mr. Providence” Vladine Biosse (15-8-3) suffered a left bicep injury in the opening round despite dropping his opponent to the canvas and wound up on the losing end of a 57-56, 58-55, 56-57 split decision against Atlantic City vet Antowyan Aikens (12-4-1), who poured it in the middle rounds.
Judge Eddie Scuncio still had Biosse controlling the third and fourth rounds, but Martha Tremblay and Ken Ezzo had Aikens winning rounds two through five to pull away late. Aikens won for just the second time in six fights. Biosse last fought in May of 2016 when he dropped a split decision to Peter Manfredo Jr.
The fight of the night on the preliminary card featured Springfield, Mass., welterweight Miguel Ortiz (3-1) earning a hard-fought 40-35, 40-35, 40-35 unanimous decision win over debut Wilson Mascarenhas (0-1) of New Bedford, who fought tooth and nail after a slow start.
The seasoned Ortiz applied pressure early and dropped Mascarenhas in the second round. A stoppage seemed imminent, but Mascarenhas survived the round and suddenly began utilizing his angles, catching Ortiz with clean right hands on the way in. Though the late rounds appeared close, Ortiz still earned the shutout with the 10-8 second round included.
Making his Twin River debut, Johnston, R.I., junior welterweight Nicky DeQuattro (3-0) kept his perfect record intact with a unanimous decision win over Carlos Galindo (0-2) of Peru, 40-36 on all three scorecards.
Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (3-2) opened the preliminary card with an impressive win, defeating Latorie Woodberry (1-6) of Roanoke, Va., by unanimous decision, 40-35, 40-36, 40-36. Coming off a controversial loss to Travis Demko in September, Bates controlled this one from the opening bell, scoring a 10-8 round in the second despite not dropping his opponent.
Also in preliminary action, featherweight Ricky Delossantos (4-0, 1 KO) of Pawtucket, R.I., remained undefeated with his first career knockout win, punishing Efren Nunez (0-1) of New Bedford to earn the stoppage at 2:23 of the third round. Nunez kept pace early, but Delossantos unloaded with a serious of unanswered shots toward the end of the third, prompting referee Danny Schiavone to stop the bout.
Lightweight Michael Valentin (4-0) of had his hands full with St. Louis native Demetrius Wilson (2-5), but did just enough to remain undefeated with a 37-37, 38-36, 38-36 majority decision win. A knockdown in the third round was the difference for Valentin, who utilized his trademark and foot speed to stay out of harm’s way for most of the fight, though Wilson did a nice job at times cutting off the ring to force Valentin against the ropes.
The entire fight card was dedicated to the memory of super bantamweight Luis Rosa Jr. of New Haven, the son of Luis and Marilyn Rosa, who passed away tragically on Jan. 14th. Rosa Jr. will be inducted into the CES Ring of Honor.
(December 7th) In desperate need of a win, Khiary Gray reached back with a vintage performance to capture the vacant New England Interim Welterweight Title Thursday in CES Boxing’s Season Finale at Twin River Casino.
The Worcester, Mass., native Gray (15-3), fighting at welterweight for the first time in his career, turned on the pressure over the final four rounds of his eight-round main event about against Philadelphia’s Greg Jackson (8-5-1) to earn a 76-76, 78-71, 80-72 majority decision win.
Having lost three of his last four fights at 154 pounds, Gray heated up in the fifth Thursday and kicked off his campaign at welterweight with an exciting win against the tall, lean Jackson, who simply couldn’t match Gray’s output down the stretch. The 25-year-old Gray turned back the clock and looked every bit like the fighter who opened his career with 13 consecutive wins.
Gray worked the body effectively in the fifth, then continued to apply pressure in the sixth, mixing in uppercuts on the inside to win the battles in the trenches. The win was Gray’s first of the year in his final fight of 2017 as CES Boxing closed out its season with its official 25th anniversary celebration.
The co-feature delivered, as promised, with a competitive, back-and-forth battle between Marshfield, Mass., welterweight Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (18-4-3) and Ontario’s Natasha Spence (8-3-2) as the two fought to a majority draw, 77-75, 76-76, 76-76.
Judge Wayne Lima gave Spence the 77-75 edge on his scorecard with Spence controlling the fight from rounds two through six. Spence actually trailed on the card by Peter Hary and Eddie Scuncio, but earned the draw by rallying to win two of the final three rounds, including the eighth and final round while trailing on two of three scorecards.
Lopes fought to back-to-back draws in 2013 and 2014 before winning eight of her next 10 fights. Thursday’s draw snapped a two-fight winning streak, which included her win over Paty Ramirez at Twin River in April.
Facing his toughest test to date, Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (7-0) cruised to a 60-54 win on all three scorecards against 17-fight vet Derrick Murray (13-4-1) of Saint Louis, Mo.
Murray entered the fight with experience on his side, but Ortiz, a former semifinalist in the U.S. Olympic Trials, boxed circles around the game Murray, working the body and stalking him down despite an impressive punch output from his opponent. The undefeated Ortiz was simply too much from the opening bell as he finished 2017 with a perfect 5-0 record.
Fellow Worcester native Kendrick Ball Jr. (9-0-2, 6 KOs) also finished 2017 unbeaten and earned his first knockout since April, stopping tough middleweight Alshamar Johnson (1-2-1) of Vineland, N.J., at the 1:22 mark of the sixth and final round of their scheduled six-round bout.
Ball Jr. staggered Johnson from the opening bell and it appeared he was well on his way to a quick knockout victory, but Johnson made it through the first round and began to establish a pace in the middle rounds once he adjusted to Ball Jr.’s size and height advantage. Ball Jr., who won all six of his fights this year, led 48-47 on judge Frank Lombardi’s scorecard, 49-46 on Hary’s card and 50-45 on Scuncio’s card before the knockout.
Undefeated Providence lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (7-0, 4 KOs) continued the climb with another knockout victory, his fourth overall win of 2017. Marsella stopped Mexican challenger Oscar Eduardo Quezada (7-5) with a body shot at the end of the first round. Quezada tried to beat the count, but referee Joey Lupino waved it off, giving Marsella the win at the 3:00 mark. The 22-year-old lightweight closed the win with three victories over the final six months of the year.
Making their Rhode Island and Twin River debuts, Worcester super middleweight Bobby Harris III (2-0) and Boston, Mass., super middleweight Jarel Pemberton (2-0) won majority decisions on the preliminary card. Harris III outworked the game Amadeu Cristiano (0-1) of Sao Paolo, Brazil, 40-36, 39-37, 40-36, a full-time Muay Thai fighter. Pemberton also faced a tough test against Brazilian Rene Nazare (0-2) and earned a 40-36, 39-37, 39-37 victory.
Providence lightweight Mike Valentin (3-0) also kept his perfect record intact in his third and final fight of the year, defeated debut New Bedford, Mass., native Efren Nunez (0-1) by unanimous decision, 40-36, 40-36, 39-37. The two exchanged blows in the center of the ring for the first two rounds before Valentin’s endurance took over down the stretch. Valentin debuted in June and remains the youngest fighter on the roster at 18 years old.
(September 16th) Jimmy Williams celebrated two major milestones in style Saturday, retaining his World Boxing Council U.S. Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) welterweight title for the second time in less than three weeks at Twin River Casino.
Stepping up for one more title defense after knocking out Issouf Kinda in August, Williams (15-0-1) returned Saturday on his birthday in the headliner of CES Boxing’s 12-fight card at Twin River and remained unbeaten, defeating game challenger Juan Rodriguez Jr. (13-5) of New Jersey by unanimous decision, 98-91, 97-92, 96-93.
A second-round knockdown established the pace for Williams, whose wife gave birth to twin boys less than two weeks before fight night. Rodriguez enjoyed a brief surge in the third and fourth rounds, apparently getting his second wind after the knockdown, but Williams dominated the latter half of the fight, taking rounds five through nine on two of three scorecards to build a comfortable lead.
Fighting for the third time since, Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (13-1, 11 KOs) continued his east-coast reign of terror in the co-feature, stopping game challenger Matt McKinney (5-3-2) of Oceanside, Calif., at the 2:41 mark of the second round. Cusumano sent McKinney to the canvas four times, twice in each round, before referee Johnny Callas stopped the bout.
Cusumano has won 11 in a row and each of his last three by knockout within the first two rounds, including another dominant performance less than three weeks ago on the last CES Boxing card in August.
Making his fifth Twin River appearance, Providence lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (6-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated in his most impressive performance to date, stopping Mexican challenger Israel Rojas (12-19) at 1:47 of the fourth round. Marsella Jr. sent Rojas to the canvas in the closing seconds of the third and twice more in the fourth before referee Joey Lupino waved it off.
Coming off his first career loss back in April, New Bedford, Mass., native Ray Oliveira Jr. (8-1) got back in the win column, narrowly defeating New Haven’s David Wilson (5-2-1) by split decision, 58-56, 55-59, 58-56.
Judges Eddie Scuncio and Robin Taylor scored the bout in favor of Oliveira while Ken Ezzo gave Wilson each of the first four rounds and the sixth and final round. Wilson started strong, also winning two of the first three rounds on Scuncio and Taylor’s scorecards, but Oliveira came on strong down the stretch to earn his first win since February.
Stealing the show on the preliminary card, female bantamweights Marcia Agripino (1-1-1) of Groton, Conn., and New Yorker Federica Bianco (3-1) fought four entertaining, back-and-forth rounds with Bianco earning the unanimous decision win, 39-37, 39-37, 40-36. The fight was much closer than the scores indicated, but Bianco was the aggressor, establishing a feverish pace from the opening bell and refusing to let up at any point. Agripino, fighting for the first time since 2013, brought the same energy, but Bianco was slightly more accurate with her exchanges, leading her to third win as a pro and first since May of 2016.
Making his 10th appearance since turning pro last May, Worcester’s Kendrick Ball Jr. (8-0-2) remained unbeaten, trading blows for six rounds with the dangerous Pablo Velez (7-2-1) of Durham, N.C., en route to a 60-54 shutout on all three scorecards. The taller, leaner Ball Jr. used his reach to keep Velez at a distance, but also stayed busy on the inside, unafraid to exchange with his opponent while outworking him consistently within close range. The win highlighted Ball Jr.’s 25th birthday celebration, which commences Sunday.
In another back-and-forth regional showdown, Stoughton, Mass., welterweight Travis Demko (5-1) narrowly defeated Marqus Bates (2-2) of nearby Taunton by split decision, 39-37, 37-39, 39-37. Judges Wayne Lima and Taylor scored it in favor of Demko while Scuncio gave Bates the nod. Each fighter had his moments, but Demko hurt Bates in the second and had him on the ropes again in the third. Taylor and Lima each gave Demko the first three rounds while Scuncio scored rounds one, three and four in favor of Bates.
Fighting for the second time in three weeks, Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (6-0, 4 KOs) looked dominant as ever, stopping the game Darnell Pettis (1-6) of Cleveland, who failed to answer the bell for the fourth and final round. Pettis hung in for three rounds, taking Ortiz’s best, but after a brutal third round, Pettis was done for the night and Ortiz earned his fourth win of the year and second since August.
Living up to his nickname, “Bling Bling,” Providence super featherweight Michael Valentin (2-0) kept his unbeaten record intact with a hard-fought win over debut Henry Garcia (0-1) of New Bedford. Garcia never stopped coming forward, but Valentin’s quick hands set the tone early, and the 18-year-old Providence native scored a big knockdown in the second round to open up a comfortable lead on the scorecards en route to a 39-36, 40-35, 40-35 unanimous decision win.
In a battle of pro debut cruiserweights from Worcester, fighting out of rival gyms, Rafiel Nyakoko (1-0, 1 KO) earned the knockout win over Jake Paradise (0-1) at the 2:36 mark of the second round. Nyakoko controlled the pace in the opening round and then staggered Paradise with a hard right midway through the second. Paradise tried to hold on to buy some time, but Nyakoko used his reach to establish his distance and finished Paradise for a good with a flurry of punches along the ropes, prompting Lupino to stop the bout.
Also in preliminary action, Worcester’s Philip Davis (1-1) earned his first career victory in the featherweight division over Providence’s Phil Dudley (1-1), 39-36 on all three scorecards, and featherweight Ricky Delossantos (3-0) of Providence remained unbeaten with his third win of 2017, beating Lowell’s Jonathan Perez (2-2-2), 40-36 on all three cards.
(June 9th) Nicknamed “The Villian,” hard-nosed Stoneham, Mass., junior middleweight Greg Vendetti made a lasting impression in his first career bout at Twin River Casino on Friday, defeating Khiary Gray by majority decision to retain his New England Championship in a scintillating main event.
Vendetti (15-2-1) out-worked Gray (14-3) over eight rounds, bulldozing his way to the inside and landing looping, overhand rights while also working the body effectively for the majority of the fight. Gray, who found himself circling the ring most of the night, landed sporadically in exchanges, but could not match Vendetti’s workload on the inside; “The Villian,” fighting in front of a heavy crowd of hometown fans from Stoneham, earned a 76-76, 77-75, 78-74 decision over the Worcester, Mass., native Gray, his 11th consecutive win since signing with Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing.
Gray has now lost three of his last four bouts, including a back-and-forth eight-round battle with Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington in February. In a fight both sides have yearned for over the past year and a half, Gray and Vendetti delivered, fighting aggressively for eight hard rounds, even taunting each other at times with following close exchanges at the bell.
Friday’s event, promoted by CES Boxing in association with Murphys Boxing, featured eight exciting bouts live on FITE TV Pay Per View, including a back-and-forth co-feature war between Whitman, Mass., junior middleweight Mark DeLuca (19-0) and Chicago’s Chris Chatman (14-7-1) with DeLuca earning a 78-73 decision on all three scorecards. Chatman hit the canvas in the sixth and still earned a split of the final two rounds on two of the scorecards, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap against DeLuca, who was the busier of the two fighters in the early rounds and built a sizeable lead heading into the stretch run.
Returning to Twin River for the first time since April, Providence, R.I., lightweight and fan favorite Anthony Marsella Jr. (5-0) faced adversity in his scheduled six-round bout against Texas native Abraham Torres (3-2), rising from the canvas in the fourth round courtesy of a flash knockdown and turning on the pressure in the fifth and six to earn a 58-55, 58-55, 57-56 unanimous decision win to keep his perfect record intact.
The knockdown occurred as the two exchanged a close furry in the center of the ring, with Torres getting the edge with a short right upstairs. Marsella continued to mix it up with his opponent in the fifth and sixth, but also boxed more effectively on angles, dodging Torres’ punches and scoring from a distance to keep Torres off balance.
Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), making his Twin River and CES debut, impressed his first-time viewers with a devastating knockout win over Delaware’s Dan Biddle (9-6), sending Biddle to the canvas three times with body blows in the second round, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to stop the bout at the 2:36 mark.
Facing the toughest test of his career – and facing am undefeated opponent for the third time since turning pro – Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (7-0-2) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Bloomfield, N.J., vet Godson Noel (6-1-1), 58-56, 58-56, 59-55. Ball was the aggressor for the entire fight, boxing effectively off the ropes, utilizing his angles while doubling up with quick uppercuts on the inside and short hooks. Noel landed in short bunches, but Ball was busier throughout and landed the cleaner, more impactful blows.
Making his professional debut, Providence, R.I., super featherweight Michael Valentin (1-0, 1 KO) dazzled the crowd with an impressive, 55-second knockout win over debut challenger Kevin De Freitas (0-1) of Somerville, Mass. Valentin, debuting at the age of 18, took his time to feel out his opponent in the opening seconds, then unloaded with a flurry along the ropes that sent De Freitas down and out.
Also on the undercard, Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (7-3-1) narrowly defeated Providence’s Cido Hoff (1-2-1) by majority decision, 39-37, 39-37, 38-38. Judges Steve Weisfeld and Martha Tremblay scored it in favor of Doherty while Ken Ezzo had it even at 38 apiece. Doherty has now won three in a row, including a big knockout win over Julio Perez in February.
Fighting for the second time since making his debut in April, Providence featherweight Ricky Delossantos ran his record to 2-0 with an impressive 39-36, 38-37, 38-37 unanimous decision win over tough New Jersey native Malcolm Simms (0-1-1). Fresh off a win over Phil Davis two months ago, Delossantos sent Simms crashing to the canvas with an overhand right in the second round and controlled the final two rounds to earn his second win in as many fights.
Williams Captures WBC Title Over DeLomba;
Kramlich Stays Unbeaten with Comeback Win Over Oliveira!
(April 7th) In an era where highly publicized fights don’t always live up to the hype, Friday’s World Boxing Council USNBC Welterweight Championship between Jimmy Williams and Nick DeLomba delivered as promised.
Williams (13-0-1) kept his perfect record intact in a thrilling, back-and-forth romp with DeLomba (11-2), defeating the Cranston, R.I., by unanimous decision, 98-91, 97-92, 97-92 at Twin River Casino to take home the coveted green belt, handing DeLomba only the second loss of his career.
The New Haven, Conn., native Williams, fighting at Twin River for just the second time in his career, came out firing, sending DeLomba crashing to the canvas in the closing seconds of the opening round with a vicious overhand right.
Williams, the aggressor from the opening bell, continued to press the pace in the second and third, preventing DeLomba from using his patented angles and circling the ring as he’s accustomed to doing. As the pace slowed a bit in the middle rounds, DeLomba found his second wind, but Williams fought back with a strong sixth and again had DeLomba on the ropes late in the fight before a spirited back-and-forth in the 10th brought the crowd to his feet.
The co-feature delivered an equal crowd-pleaser as Portland, Maine junior middleweight Casey Kramlich (7-0-1) also remained unbeaten, handing New Bedford, Mass., vet Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-1) his first career loss via majority decision, 56-56, 57-56, 57-56.
The durable Kramlich survived a second round knockdown courtesy of a left hook by Oliveira and won the final three rounds on two of three scorecards and scored a 10-8 round in the sixth on the other card after a dominating final three minutes that earned him the win.
In a stunning finish, Springfield, Mass., lightweight Zach Ramsey (8-0, 2 KOs) captured the vacant New England Lightweight Championship with a fourth-round knockout win over the previously unbeaten Divante Jones (9-1) of Augusta, Ga., just the second knockout of Ramsey’s career.
The two circled one another for three rounds until Ramsey unleashed in the fourth, cracked Jones with a pair of right hands that sent both fighters tumbling to the canvas, with Ramsey correctly rewarded for the knockdown. Once Jones made it to his feet, the new-look Ramsey continued to apply the pressure, catching Jones defenseless with two overhand rights followed by a left uppercut that forced Joey Lupino to stop the fight at the 58-second mark.
Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (2-1, 2 KOs) again looked impressive in his third fight at Twin River, stopping Arturo Lopes (1-1) of nearby Marshfield at 2:03 of the opening round for his second consecutive first round knock win since February.
Lopes, who hadn’t fought since making his pro debut in Plymouth in 2009, looked rusty at the beginning and hit the canvas early courtesy of an overhand right. Lopes shook it off and fought back, even driving Bates into the ropes on two occasions, but the Taunton vet weathered the onslaught and eventually connected with a pair of left hooks flush to the jaw, forcing referee Danny Schiavone to step in and stop the bout.
Fighting on the same card as her stepson for the first time in both of their careers, Marshfield’s Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (17-4-2) outworked Mexican challenger Paty Ramirez (11-4) over eight rounds to earn a 80-72, 80-72, 79-73 unanimous decision win. Lopes was the aggressor from the opening bell and stayed out of harm’s way for most of the bout, working on the inside and using angles effectively to frustrate Ramirez.
In what might’ve been the most entertaining preliminary fight of the night, Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (6-0-2, 5 KOs) earned his fifth career knockout win and second in two months, stopping the game Zachary Christy (1-1-1) of Warwick, R.I., at the 1:19 mark of the fifth round in a thrilling back-and-forth bout.
The 32-year-old Christy overcame a six-inch height disadvantage and boxed effectively on the inside over the first four rounds, willing to eat a few jabs from the 6-foot-2 Ball in order to land to the body. Christy began softening the body in the third, which led to a series of hard, looping overhand rights from Christy that backed Ball into a corner. Ball survived and began using his height to his advantage to keep Christy on the outside and eventually ended the bout with three hard left hooks that sent Christy tumbling to the canvas. Christy climbed to his feet, but looked wobbly, prompting Schiavone to wave it off.
Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (4-0, 3 KOs) continued to impress, stopping the previously unbeaten Glenn Mitchell (2-1) of Steubenville, Ohio at 1:13 of the third round. Ortiz took some time to close the gap against the taller Mitchell and eventually unloaded in the third, sending his opponent to the canvas twice before Schiavone mercifully ended the fight.
Facing the toughest test of his career, New London, Conn., junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (4-0) survived a hard fought battle against New York’s Sidney Maccow (4-5), earning a 39-37, 39-37, 38-38 majority decision win. Also on the undercard, junior welterweight Miguel Ortiz (2-0) of Springfield, Mass., kept his perfect record intact, edging Hartford, Conn., vet Jonathan Figueroa (2-1) by unanimous decision, 39-36, 38-37, 39-38. Ortiz sent Figueroa to the canvas in the second round and continued to apply the pressure, handing the durable Figueroa his first career loss.
Junior welterweight Khiry Todd (3-0, 3 KOs) of Lynn, Mass., also remained unbeaten, stopping Adriano Moreas (0-1) of Coconut Creek, Fla., at the 1:47 mark of the third round courtesy of a short left hook to the chin. Filling in for Vincent Floyd on three days’ notice, Moreas looked up to the challenge for the first two rounds as Todd took his time adjusting to the change of pace, but as Moreas attempted to pressure his opponent midway through the third, he got caught on the way in with the knockout blow, improving Todd’s record to 3-0 with three knockouts.
The opening bout brought the crowd to its feet as pro debuts Ricky Delossantos (1-0) of Providence and Philip Davis (0-1) of Worcester fought tooth and nail for four entertaining rounds. Delossantos scored a knockdown in the second round, but Davis stood his ground and actually closed the round with a flurry to swing the momentum in his favor. Delossantos stayed poised and outworked his opponent over the final six minutes to earn a 39-36, 39-37, 39-36 unanimous decision win.
Pennington Dethrones Champion Gray
To Capture Jr Middleweight Titles!
(February 4th) Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington again fought on enemy turf Saturday and this time left with the hometown favorite’s championship belts.
Pennington (10-4-1) defeated Worcester, Mass., junior middleweight Khiary Gray (14-2) by unanimous decision, 77-74, 76-75, 78-73, at Twin River Casino in the main event of CES Boxing’s 2017 debut to capture Gray’s Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) International and Northeast Titles.
The Brooklyn native, promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, out-boxed Gray by utilizing his lead right hand early and often and frustrated Gray boxing effectively on the inside. The challenger also scored a disputed knockdown in the fourth round to widen the gap and continued to land effectively down the stretch.
Gray was clearly frustrated, twice pushed to the canvas and at one point falling through the ropes after his feet got tangled with Pennington’s during a few close exchanges on the inside. Glenn Feldman scored it 77-74, Don Trella had it 76-75 and Clark Sammartino scored it 78-73. Pennington won the final five rounds on two of the cards (Feldman and Sammartino) and four out of the last five on the remaining card to secure the win.
Gray bounced back from his first career defeat in July with a knockout win over Chris Chatman in October, but has now lost two of his last three while Pennington has won two in a row after beating 15-1 Boyd Melson by knockout in November.
In a fight that lived up to expectations, New Bedford, Mass., junior middleweight Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-0, 1 KO) continued his impressive run with his toughest victory to date, defeated rising Hartford, Conn., prospect Jose Rivera (2-1) by majority decision, 59-55, 58-56, 57-57.
Rivera came out strong, using his footwork and timing to catch Oliveira cleanly as his more aggressive opponent tried to dictate the pace by stalking him down in the early rounds. Once Oliveira began to close the gap, he started working the body and closed the fight a strong performance over the final three rounds to secure the win.
Feldman scored it 59-55, awarding the final five rounds to Oliveira, while Sammartino scored it 57-57, giving two of the final three rounds to Rivera. Oliveira won four of the final five rounds on Trella’s scorecard for a 58-56 verdict.
Facing his toughest test to date, Worcester, Mass., lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (3-0) earned a majority decision win over decorated amateur and Jacksonville, Fla., native Canton Miller, 40-36, 40-36, 38-38. Trella and Wayne Lima scored it a shutout in favor of Ortiz while Feldman scored it a draw.
Ortiz, who scored knockouts in his first two pro bouts, pressed the action and kept Miller against the ropes, but Miller continued to fight, landing uppercuts on the inside to keep Ortiz at bay. Ortiz turned it on in the third and fourth to punctuate the victory, his third as a pro and his first since last July.
Also stepping up in competition, Providence, R.I., junior welterweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (4-0) earned his most impressive win, 40-36 on all three scorecards, against 16-fight vet Francisco Medel (10-7).
After scoring first-round knockouts in each of his first two bouts at Twin River in 2016, Marsella faced a much tougher test against the hard-nosed Medel, who closed the gap often and fought well on the inside to frustrate the taller, faster Marsella. The pace ultimately proved to be too much for Medel and Marsella won unanimously to improve to 4-0.
In one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the evening, Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (6-3-1, 4 KOs) continued his turnaround with a third-round knockout win over Framingham, Mass., vet Julio Perez (4-2), who has now lost his last two. Doherty won the first two rounds and continued his surge in the third. Perez did not answer the bell for the fourth and Doherty scored his fourth career knockout win and his second in a row after losing his previous two bouts.
Three fighters scored first-round knockouts on the preliminary portion of Saturday’s card. Returning to the ring for the first time since suffering a loss in his professional debut in September, Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (1-1, 1 KO) earned his first win, stopping pro debut Aaron Muniz (0-1) of Warwick, R.I., at 2:59 of the opening round.
Bates tried to outbox Muniz on the outside, circling the ring and landing quick jabs to set the pace, but once Bates found his footing and began to cut the ring off, he started to unload on Muniz, dropping him with a body shot in the closing seconds of the round. Muniz was slow to get to his feet, prompting Lupino to stop the bout.
Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (5-0-2, 4 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact, rebounding from a majority draw against Nathan Millier in December with a 29-second knockout win over last-minute replacement Patrick Leal (0-2). Ball Jr., who has now fought seven times in a nine-month stretch since turning pro in May, was originally supposed to face Minnesota’s Kenneth Glenn, but Glenn suffered a knee injury the week of the event.
Lynn, Mass., junior welterweight Khiry Todd (2-0, 2 KOs) also remained unbeaten in his second pro fight, dropping the game Bruno Dias (0-3) of Woburn, Mass., with a body shot at 1:23 of the opening round. Dias tried to exchange on the inside, but took a right hook to the ribs and dropped to a knee before Smoger waved it off.