By: William Holmes
Peltz Boxing has put on most of their recent cards at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, but tonight they put on a card in South Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena, formerly known as the ECW Arena.
Four bouts of note were on tonight’s card and featured some of the best young talent that Philadelphia has to offer.
Young prodigy Milton Santiago (4-0) faced off against long time veteran Josh Beeman (5-16-3) in the junior welterweight division. Santiago was in his fifth professional fight at only 17 years of age. He’s also been recently signed by the powerful and influential Al Haymon.
Santiago started off the bout with quick jabs and quick combinations to the body and head of Beeman. He switched from southpaw to orthodox several times in the early rounds and it was clear early on that Santiago was merely getting some work in.
He continued his body assault in the second round and was slipping nearly all of the punches of Beeman. If there’s a knock against Santiago it is that his punches appeared to lack real pop, but that should improve as he matures.
Beeman failed to land any punches of note throughout the bout and he was constantly peppered by Santiago. Santiago fights like a boxer beyond his age and won easily in with scores of 60-54, 59-55, and 59-55.
Anthony Burgin (6-0) and Ray Ellis (4-10-2) met in the lightweight division. Burgin fights well and throws accurate punches but surprisingly only has one knockout on his resume.
Burgin started out effectively with his jab in the first round and was moving Ellis with his punches. Ellis wasn’t offering much in the first round but was able to stun Burgin in the second round with a clean left hook.
Burgin was able to recover in the third and went back to boxing and in the fourth round rocked Ellis with four straight left hands in the left. He also battered Ellis in the corner at the end of the round but was unable to knock him down.
For the final two rounds Burgin controlled the range and played it safe. A body shot by Burgin obviously hurt Ellis in the fifth round and Ellis’ mouth was bleeding in the last round, but he never tasted the canvas.
Burgin won with scores of 59-55 on all three score cards.
Marke Rideout (4-0-2) and Joey Dawejko (9-3-2) met in the heavyweight division. This bout was a rematch of of their fight in the amateurs which saw Dawejko won.
Both boxers started off timid in the first round but Dawejko landed solid short punches near the end of the round that Rideout acknowledged by nodding his head. Rideout had a decent second round and did well in the beginning, but Dawejko landed a combination at the end of the round that may have stole it from him.
In the third round Dawejko’s large following could be heard chanting his name and he responded by throwing punches in bunches. He was connected with left hooks and double jabs. He ended the round with a left hook/right hook combination followed by a left hook to the body.
Rideout opened up the fourth round with a good jab cross combo, but Dawejko had a heavy jab and was controlling the pace. Rideout was tiring by the fifth round and began to clinch. The sixth round featured some good exchanged, but Dawejko got the better of Rideout.
The bout was getting chippy in the final two rounds, but Dawejko was the more in shape boxer. The final scores were 78-74, 79-73, and 79-73 for Joey Dawejko.
The main event of the night was between Jerome Rodriguez (6-0-3) and Naim Nelson (11-0) in the junior welterweight division.
Rodriguez was a southpaw and slightly taller than Naim Nelson. He started off the main event well by being the aggressor and slipping the punches of Nelson. The opening rounds were a chess match that featured more clinching than expected, but neither boxer landed any significant punches.
Rodriguez had a decent second round by connecting with a check left hook and peppering Nelson with combinations from outside his range. A few straight lefts from Rodriguez were able to get through Nelson’s guard in the second.
Rodriguez fell to the mat in the third round that was ruled a slip, but Nelson began to turn the tide of the fight in this round by being more aggressive and connecting with right hooks near the ropes. The fourth round was close, but Nelson was the aggressor and attempted several times to trap Rodriguez by the ropes.
The fifth round featured more clinching, but Nelson was pressing the pace and should have won the round despite the fact he was reaching for his punches. Nelson began to connect with his lead straight right in the sixth round and was backing Rodriguez up. Neither boxer appeared to be landing much and were able to slip a lot of punches, but Nelson was the more active fighter.
Nelson appeared to be in complete control of the bout in the seventh round. He was banging several hooks to the body of Rodriguez and Rodriguez looked to be fading fast. Nelson also connected with a left hook that stunned Rodriguez in the seventh.
The final round was also Nelson as his counter right hand was finding his target. He went both to the body and head and despite the fact he suffered a cut on the left side of his face in round eight he was in clear control
The final scores were 79-73, 80-72, and 77-75 for Naim Nelson.
Undercard Quick Results:
Hector Perez (2-0) defeated Aaron Leonard (1-3-1) by a third round TKO at 0:23 in the heavyweight division.
Nathaniel Rivas (4-0) scored three knockdowns in route to a decision victory over Jovan Sosa (2-1) in the welterweight division with scores of 38-35 on all three scorecards.
David Gonzales (5-0) defeated Omar Brito (2-1) by decision with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards in the junior welterweight division.
Vincent Floyd (1-0-1) defeated Sharif Jones (0-1) in the middleweight division with scores of 40-35, 39-36, and 39-36.