By: William Holmes
The undercard of tonight’s Dawson vs. Hopkins card featured five undefeated fighters, and it was announced to the media that they expected a packed crowd and had sold over 7,000 tickets. However, as usual with major boxing cards, the crowd trickled in slowly and had a sparse crowd at the opening bout.
The first bout started forty minutes after its scheduled start time. It was between Phil Lo Greco (22-0) and Hector Orozco (5-10) in the welterweight division. Orozco caught Lo Greco off guard early and knocked him down early in the first round. Lo Greco quickly recovered from the knockdown and came out aggressive throwing lunging hooks to the body and head. Lo Greco continuously applied pressure throughout the rest of the fight and won a majority of the rounds, but got caught with an occasional counter from Orozco. Lo Greco has a good record but isn’t a world beater, and even some of the fans in attendance noticed as they sarcastically called him the “Italian Stallion”. A left hook by Lo Greco appeared to knock Orozco down in the third round, but the referee ruled it a slip. There was little surprise as Lo Greco was declared the winner by scores of 59-54, 58-55, and 58-55. Lo Greco remains undefeated, but nothing about his style leads me to believe that he is ready for prime time.
The next bout of the night was in the middleweight division between Julian Williams (8-0-1) and Hector Rosario (7-1-2) and it appeared to be the closest matchup of talent on paper for the undercard. However, Julian Williams proved to be the fighter with the quicker hands, tighter defense, and superior movement as he cleanly won nearly every round. He’s a prospect with high potential, as he outclassed a fighter who was supposed to present him with a challenge. Williams won easily with scores of 79-93, 79-73, and 78-74.
The next bout on the undercard was a scheduled four round affair between Lavarn Harvell (9-0) and Tony Pietrantonio (7-8) in the light heavyweight division. By the time this fight came around, a decent crowd was in Boardwalk Hall to cheer on the Atlantic City native Lavarn Harvell. It was obvious from the opening bell that Pietrantonio was a lamb sent to the slaughter, as he had his mouthpiece knocked out of his mouth in the first round and was also knocked down from a solid right hook. Harvell finally finished the fight in the third round with a vicious right to the chin of Pietrantonio. Larvarn Harvell remains undefeated with a KO with 0:31 seconds remaining in the third round.
With only two bouts remaining on the undercard, Syracuse native Mike Faragon (17-0) took on Mexican boxer Sergio Rivera (16-9-2) in the junior welterweight division. There’s always one bout that seems to put the crowd to sleep, and this one falls into that category. Faragon had the superior technique, but it was clear that his punches lacked power. Rivera was never able to launch much of an offensive attack, and Faragon wins the bout with scores of 78-74, 79-73, and 79-73.
The last bout on the undercard was between undefeated and fast rising prospect Shawn Porter (18-0) and Chicago native Patrick Thompson (18-17-1) in the junior middleweight division. Porter started off slow as he was trying to find his way inside. The shorter and stockier Porter was able to connect with a few overhand rights during the bout, but was not impressive against a boxer he is supposed to look impressive against. Porter finally rocked Thompson with a combination in the center of the ring and busted Porter’s face. Thompson was wobbly and the referee stopped the bout. He probably could have continued, but he had zero to little chance of pulling off the upset. Shawn Porter wins by TKO at 1:39 of round six.