By: Ken Hissner
At the end of this article this writer will talk about the three boxers in Philadelphia who hold the future of Philly boxing in their hands!
For some time Philadelphia writers, trainers, boxers and promoters have said Philadelphia is the “boxing capitol of the world!” Currently Philadelphia does not have a world champion. Only seven of Philadelphia’s boxers are in the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF ratings.
The most recent world champion was Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-1 (19), who is currently now ranked No. 2 by both the WBC and WBA. He lost his WBC welterweight title by split decision to WBA champion Keith Thurman in March and hasn’t fought since. His manager is Al Haymon and his promoter is Golden Boy Promotions. He is trained by his father Angel Garcia at their DSG gym in North Philadelphia.
Steve “USS” Cunningham, 29-9-1 (13), the former two-time cruiserweight champion is listed at No. 15 by the IBF. He recently lost a lack luster decision. No one keeps in better condition than “USS” does. Newark, NJ, is having a cruiserweight title match and the opponent is a former opponent of his. “USS” should be on that show! He is trained by Naziim Richardson and promoted by Main Events.
Jesse “Hard Work” Hart got his opportunity recently coming off the canvas early in the fight but made a strong second half finish in losing but will probably keep his No. 1 WBO status among super middleweights but isn’t ranked anywhere else. How can that be? If he comes down to earth after that loss he still has potential to be a world champion but you can’t split his time between two gyms with two different trainers and expect results! It’s Fred Jenkins, Sr. at the ABC Recreation Center in North Philly and it’s his father Eugene “Cyclone” Hart in Joe Hand’s South Philly gym.
Super welterweight Julian “J Rock” Williams, 23-1-1 (15), lost in a WBC title attempt in December of 2016 to Jermell Charlo but is still ranked No. 6 in the WBC, No. 9 in the IBF and No. 15 in the WBO. He is still young and still has a future. Stephan “Bread Man” Edwards is his manager and trainer at Shuler’s Gym in West Philly.
Welterweight southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-2 (12) due to inactivity has dropped in the ratings but is still No. 10 in the WBO, No. 11 in the IBF and No. 13 in the WBC. He can make anyone look bad. So why doesn’t the Garcia people consider a Philly bout with him? He is trained by “Bozy” Ennis at “Bozy’s Dungeon” in North Philly. He is managed by David McWater.
“Hammerin” Hank Lundy, 28-6-1 (14), is No. 10 in the WBC lightweight rankings and has fallen to the “Philly Jinx” on more than one occasion. He’s 3-3 in his last 6 fights. “Cornbread” Ramsey was back in the corner last fight. He trains out of the Marion Anderson Gym in South Philly. Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 25-4-1 (5), is No. 2 in the WBC, No. 5 in the IBF and No. 9 in the WBO. Coming off an injury he should be ready to go again soon. Marc Cipparone is his manager while “Chino” Rivas trains him in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Now let’s get to the “future” of Philadelphia. The best prospect since 1984 Gold Medal Olympia is welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 15-0 (13), who at age 20 is on the verge of stepping up the competition. Promoting his fights with Victory Promotions is Chris Middendorf who has him either in Philly October 21st or in DC October 14th. To have him in fifteen fights in eighteen months is impressive. He was an Olympic Alternate in 2016. His father “Bozy” trains him at “Bozy’s Dungeon” North Philly Gym over the Harrowgate Gym.
Bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0 (11), finally got some rounds in this past week in the main event defeating a 14-1 Mexican opponent. He has had twelve fights in fifteen months of boxing and is a former National Golden Gloves Champion. He lost his manager recently to a death and still doesn’t have a promoter. His trainer is Mickey Rosati, Jr. whose gym Carto trains at over Rosati’s Auto Repair garage. He’s had ten fights with Hard Hitting Promotions and two with King’s Promotions. He’s one white boxer that even the most negative black boxing people love him in Philly.
The third is a 17 year-old super lightweight named Brandon Pizarro, 8-0 (4), who will be turning 18 this month. “Gifted” is a crowd pleaser trained by “Bozy” Ennis and his father Angel Pizarro, Sr. at “Bozy’s Dungeon” in North Philly. He is promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions.
On Sunday October 18th John DiSanto is holding his 8th Annual “Briscoe Awards” where most of these boxers along with this writer will be in attendance. It will be held at the Xfinity Live facility at 1100 Pattison Avenue in South Philly.