By: Ken Hissner
At a sold out (in 3 days) SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia Friday night Hard Hitting Promotions with Manny Rivera and Will Ruiz (matchmaker) put on as good a show as I have seen in Philly in many a year featuring Philly heavyweight Joey “the Tank” Dawejko, in the main event with some of the best talent in Philly in years on the undercard of an event full of excitement by the promotion and great matchmaking.
Heavyweight Joey “The Tank” Dawejko, 19-4 (11), of Philly, used a knockdown to defeat Kelvin Nunez, 15-1 (14), of Carolina, PR, for the vacant WBC FECARBOX Title, over 8 hard fought rounds.
In the first round Dawejko is throwing every punch including jabs with bad intentions keeping Nunez on the defense.
A counter right from Dawejko off a Nunez miss rocked the latter. It was all Dawejko in this round. In the second round both fighters were exchanging with Nunez becoming more active but not enough to win the round. In the third round Dawejko landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Nunez. Dawejko landed the better of the punches in a round of action.
In the fourth round the bout became very tactful on the part of both fighters.
Nunez finally seemed to get an edge in this round. In the fifth round Nunez came out firing until Dawejko landed a right hand to slow him down. Nunez turned southpaw and back to orthodox. It was a very close action round on the part of both fighters. In the sixth round Nunez was going to the body while Dawejko was countering with left hooks to the head. In the seventh round Nunez turned to the referee Shawn Clark complaining of who knows what and he got hit with a left hook from Dawejko that almost drove him through the ropes. In this writers opinion it was the difference in the end.
Dawejko had a big round landing some eight solid punches to the head of Nunez just prior to the bell. In the eighth and final round Nunez fought back possibly figuring he needed a knockout to win as he kept coming to Dawejko with too little too late. “I hurt my back in the first round,” said Dawejko. Nunez kept leaning on him doubling him over throughout the contest. Referee Clark warned him several times.
Judge John Poturaj had it 77-74 as did Dave Braswell while judge Frescia had it 76-75 while this writer had it 77-74.
Unbeaten Philly bantamweight Christian Carto, 13-0 (11), of South Philly, won a lopsided spirited decision over Luis Fernando Saavedra, 7-4 (3), of San Luis Potosi, MEX, over 8 rounds.
In the first round of feeling each other out Saavedra landed the first punch a straight left to the chin of Carto. Carto stalked Savvedra falling short with most jabs as Saavedra had his hands held high.
Saavedra switched back to orthodox from southpaw. Carto opened up with a flurry of punches just prior to the bell to the head of Saavedra. In the second round a solid left hook from Carto to the chin dropped Saavedra for an eight count from referee Eric Dali before getting up.
In the third round Carto landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Saavedra. Saavedra keeps switching from southpaw to orthodox. Carto went to the body of Saavedra who is countering sparingly.
Carto does better when Saavedra is orthodox. At the bell both fighters were throwing leather. In the fourth round Carto stalked and outworked Saavedra hurting him with follow-up right hands off of his jab.
In the fifth round Carto opened the round with a lead right to the chin of Saavedra now fighting southpaw. Carto was now on the move countering Saavedra well with combinations to the head. In the sixth round Carto landed a flurry of punches that had the crowd responding. Saavedra was stalking but walking into punches from Carto. It was Carto outworking Saavedra though the latter was coming forward.
In the seventh round Carto landed a hard right and left to the head of Saavedra who was up against the ropes. At the bell it was Carto landing punches with Saavedra doing more feinting than punching. In the eighth and final round it was all Carto with Saavedra more interested it seemed in going the distance than winning the fight.
Judge had it 80-71 as did this writer.
The Referee was Eric Dali.
Lightweight 18 year-old prospect Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 8-1 (4), of Philly, was upset in a close decision by Christian Rivera, 7-0 (5), of Bayamon, PR, over 6 rounds of action.
In the first round Pizarro was the aggressor. Pizarro opened the round with a right and left to the head of Rivera. Pizarro drove Rivera into the ropes with a flurry of punches. A hard left hook landed by Pizarro rocked Rivera on the chin. A 3-punch combination from Pizarro to the head of Rivera got his attention.
Rivera’s face was red from the punches he received. In the second round Rivera landed a combination that was countered by a flurry of punches from Pizarro. A left to the chin from Rivera dropped Pizarro who seemed more embarrassed than hurt. Rivera tried to follow-up but was countered by Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a lead right to the chin of Rivera.
In the third round Pizarro hurt Rivera to the head with a right hand driving him into a neutral corner. Another right from Pizarro drove Rivera across the ring.
Pizarro had Rivera hurt in the corner but was countered by a left that momentarily dropped him to a knee. He was up as referee Clark counted and went after Rivera when the round ended. In the fourth round Pizarro was on the offense as Rivera countered with chopping left hands. Pizarro landed a pair of rights to the chin of Rivera that kept him on the move. Rivera landed a solid combination to the head of Pizarro getting his attention. It was a close round but Pizarro rebounded nice.
In the fifth round a lead left from Pizarro on the chin got Rivera’s attention. Rivera’s face is well marked while Pizarro’s is unmarked. Pizarro was once again on the attack while Rivera countered with less offense. In the sixth and final round Rivera opened up with a solid lead left to the chin of Pizarro.
Pizarro rocked Rivera with a left hook to the head. Pizarro knocked out the mouthpiece of Rivera causing referee Clark to halt the action. Pizarro was on the attack when this happened. It was one great fight full of action.
Judge John Portaju had it 58-54, Dave Braswell 58-55 and Adam Frescia 57-56 while this writer had it 56-56 with 4 rounds to Pizarro and 2 the knockdown rounds to Rivera.
Salvation Of Sorrows Inc. a non-profit organization at intermission with Abby (President) and Chris Anderson giving gifts to three youngsters including free training at the Hard Hitting Gym.
Celebrity boxers and trainers being introduced were Ray “Tito” Serrano, “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, former WBA champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa and title challenger on December 9th the American Idol Tevin “Successful” Farmer along with trainers Raul “Chino” Rivas and Rashiem Jefferson. Also in attendance was Philadelphia Eagle Malcolm Jenkins.
Lightweight Liberian “Tsuanami” Sammy Teah, 12-1-1 (5), of Philly, defeated “Mr. Marvelous” Maynard Allison, 9-3 (6), from NC, now living in Philly, in a spirited six rounds.
In the first round Teah was the aggressor using a good jab. The first punch landed by Allison a right to the head of Teah was countered by a right by Teah that had Allison holding on. Both landed right hands to the chin at the same time with Allison getting the worst of it. A left hook from Teah to the chin hurt Allison as the bell sounded. In the second round Teah lines up Allison with jabs to the mid-section with right hands following.
The fighters got into a heated exchange of punches with Teah getting the better of it. Teah landed a double right to the head while Allison came back with a right rocking Teah. Teah came back driving Allison into a neutral corner and on his bike.
In the third round controls with his jab keeping Allison at bay. Allison landed a good right uppercut to chin of Teah. The round ended with a Allison right to the chin of Teah. In the fourth round both fighters landed left hooks to the chin at the same time. Teah continued to stalk Allison when another exchange from both fighters had the sold out crowd yelling. The last two rounds were close but Teah seemed to pull them out.
In the fifth round Teah landed half a dozen punches hurting Allison who pushed Teah back against the ropes only to have Teah rock him with several uppercuts and a chopping right hand hurting Allison. It turned into a war. The fighters ended up slugging it out in the corner of Allison. In the sixth and final round there was a clash of heads making referee Dali halt the action. Allison pushed Teah to the canvas receiving a warning from referee Dali. Teah chased Allison around the ring trying for the knockout. Allison was warned for the second time for pushing off. Teach landed a good combination to the head of a retreating Allison as the fight drew to a close. The fans showed their appreciation.
All three Judge’s Vargas, Freisca and Braswell had it 60-54 as did this writer.
Heavyweight from Philly Darmani “Rock Solid” Rock, 10-0 (6), made his hometown debut a successful one stopping Carlos Cotto, 8-2 (5), of Carolina, PR, at 2:59 of the first round.
In the first round Rock used a good jab. Cotto missed with a right uppercut and Rock countered with a hard right to the head rocking Cotto. Rock landed a good combination to the head of Cotto making him blink with both eyes showing redness.
Rock missed with a right and countered with a left to the side of Cotto’s head dropping him to a knee. He struggled to get up at nine but was in no condition to continue as referee Shawn Clark wisely waved it off. The ring physician examined Cotto who was holding his right ear from the left hook that dropped him. “I saw he was scared so I went in for the finish,” said Rock.
In the opening bout Lightweight southpaw Jeremy Cuevas, 6-0 (5), of Philly, halted Jose Miguel “The Hammer” Castro, 5-10 (3), of Carolina, PR, at 2:05 of the fifth in a scheduled six round bout.
In the first round southpaw Cuevas used a good jab countering Castro. Cuevas hammered Cuevas into the ropes with half a dozen punches before Castro spun off the ropes. Referee Dali warned Castro to watch using his head which has reddened the nose of Cuevas. In the second round Cuevas landed a lead straight left to the head of Castro. Cuevas followed up with a right uppercut and left to the head. Both fighters exchanged punched to the head at once. In the middle of the ring Cuevas landed half a dozen unanswered punches.
Just prior to the bell Castro landed a right to the head of Cuevas who jumped all over him landing over half a dozen punches before the bell sounded.
In the third round Cuevas landed half a dozen unanswered punches in the middle of the ring. Castro continues to be the aggressor but has been on the defense when Cuevas opens up. Both fighters have red abrasions on their faces. In the fourth round both fighters get into an exchange of punches. Castro landed a hard right to the head of Cuevas bringing noise from the crowd. Castro turned away and Cuevas went after him rocking him with a pair of left hands to the head. A lead left from Cuevas to the chin of Castro rocked him at the bell.
In the fifth round Cuevas drove Castro into the ropes with a vicious variety of punches having him out on his feet when the corner of Castro threw the towel in causing referee Dali to wave it off.
“My corner said I was breaking him down by going to the body and I could see he was starting to cover up so as I was pounding on him the referee called it off,” said Cuevas.