Yusef Mack Proves He’s Still a Contender, Webster Digs Deep for Victory
By: William Holmes
Nadal Promotions in conjuncture with KEA Boxing gave Atlantic City taste of boxing before tomorrow’s Light Heavyweight Championship bout. The main event featured a bout between two men looking for another shot at gold, and the co-main event featured an undefeated prospect looking to make a name for himself.
Photo: Jonathan Moore of jkentphotography.com
The opening bout of the night was between Stivens Bujaj (7-0) and Livin Castillo (16-12). Castillo was last seen at the Hamilton Manor in New Jersey fighting Jameel McCline in a lackluster bout, and his performance tonight was a repeat of his previous bout. Bujaj however performed better than McCline, and hit Buaja with several hard straight right hands and by the fifth round was landing hard shots at will. The referee decided to spare Castillo any more punishment and stopped the bout at 1:53 of the fifth round.
The second bout was in the junior middleweight division between David Roman (2-0) and Dominique Foster (0-0-1). Roman easily won every round and hurt Foster badly in the third round with a left hook. One Judge saw it differently than the other two judges and those in press row. The official scores were 40-36, 40-36, 39-37 for David Roman.
Jose Calderon (4-1) and Anthony Young (3-0) met in the Junior Welterweight division in a bout that many felt was the best matchup on paper for tonight’s card, and it was an exciting bout. Young showed superior hand speed early, but got knocked down by Calderon with a right hook in the first round. Young fought back and won the rest of the rounds, including scoring a knockdown with a straight right hand in the third round. Despite having a cut over his left eye, Anthony Young pulled out the victory with official scores of 38-36, 38-36, and 38-36.
“Make him pay for talking all that shit on Facebook!” a woman was heard cheering on Alando Swain (4-0) and was animate throughout the fight, unfortunately her fighter was unable to comply with her request. Wikins Santiago used effective counter punching and accurate combinations to hurt Swain several times throughout the fight and score the decision. A fifth round knockdown by Santiago sealed the deal, and he won with scores of 58-55, 57-56, and 58-55.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna (7-0) took on Sean Wilson (5-9) in the middleweight division. Lamanna has an undefeated record, but he has yet to face any real competition, and Sean Wilson was no different. Lamanna kept his jab in the face of Wilson and peppered him with shots from the outside. One might wonder how Lamanna got the nickname “cornflake”, it might be because his opposition crumbles as easily as a cornflake. Lamanna easily took the decision with scores of 60-54, 60-54, and 60-54.
The undefeated Juan Rodriguez (8-0) took on Daniel Crabtree (3-4) in the welterweight division, and Rodriguez delivered the knockout of the night. A vicious left uppercut by Juan Rodriguez knocked Crabtree out cold, and there was no need for the referee to count as Crabtree’s head could be seen bouncing off the canvas as he hit the mat. It was a highlight reel knockout for Rodriguez, as he wins by KO at 1:59 of round 2.
Undefeated Derrick Webster (12-0) took on the french fighter Sabou Ballogou (8-3) in the super middleweight division. Derrick called this bout the Southpaw Showdown, and it presented his toughest test to date. Webster used his jab effectively and clearly won rounds one to six as Ballogou was unable to get inside and past Webster’s jab. In the seventh round however, Ballogou knocked Webster down with a hard left hand and Webster struggled to make the count. Ballogou followed the knockdown with another hard left hook and knocked Webster down again. Derrick remained wobbly on his feet but was able to hold on and survive the round. At the start of the eighth round it was obvious that Webster had regained his senses, and the previous knockdowns appeared to light a fire under Webster and he came out extremely aggressive. The seventh round created some doubt if Webster would remain undefeated, but he was able to hurt Ballogou late in the eighth round and score a last second knockdown, removing any question about who won the fight. Webster escaped a scare in the seventh round, and won with scores of 77-72, 77-72, and 77-72.
The main event of the night was between Omar Sheika (32-11) and Yusaf Mack (29-4-2) in the light heavyweight division. Both Mack and Sheika badly needed a victory to stay relevant, and they both fought like they knew it. Sheika applied pressure on Mack, but it was not effective as most of his punches bounced off his opponents arms and shoulders. Mack landed the cleaner and crisper shots, especially in the earlier rounds. Sheika’s head got rocked several times with the accurate right uppercut of Mack. By the 12th round, it was clear that Sheika needed a knockout to win. Sheika tried to press the action, but was still getting blasted by the counter punches of Mack, and was knocked down late in the last round. Yusef Mack was the only second person to ever knock Omar Sheika down, and he won with scores of 119-107, 118-109, and 118-109.