By: Ken Hissner
John DiSanto did his usual great event at the VBA Ring One this year instead of the Xfinity live in recent years thanks to the suggestion by Brittany “BAM” Rogers who is part of Peltz Boxing team.
The event had its usual mix of a crowd from the boxing world in attendance and eleven awards to match the years DiSanto has been doing this event.
It was a three hour of nostalgia and current boxing interests. The No. 15 IBF super welterweight Tyrone “Young Gun” Brunson, 26-6-2 (24), was the main man in the afternoon. He received the “Fighter of the Year (2017) Award scoring three big wins. Even though Boxing Director Greg Sirb hasn’t put out PA boxing rankings since the second quarter of 2015 on the PA website it hasn’t stopped promoters from having PA State title fights.
Brunson started the year off winning a split decision over Brandon Quarles, 18-3-1 (9), of Alexandria, VA, at the SugarHouse (no spaces) Casino in Philadelphia on March 11th.
On June 24th in what turned out to be the Briscoe “Fight of the Year” Brunson came off the canvas stopping former IBF Welterweight champion Kermit “Asesino” Cintron, 39-5-3 (30), of Reading, PA, in a war. Cintron had Brunson on the canvas twice in the fourth round but managed to get to the bell. In the fifth round Cintron came out to finish off Brunson but ended up on the canvas three times. Brunson with this victory won the vacant USA PA Super Welterweight Title.
On December 1st 2017 Brunson returned to the ring to pick up yet another belt in stopping Manny Woods, 16-6-1 (6), of St. Petersburg, FL, in the eighth round. All three opponents have not returned to the ring since their defeat.
Brunson picked up a third Briscoe Award for the “Performance of the Year” for his win over Cintron. Promoter of both Brunson and Cintron, Marshall Kauffman of Kings Promotion out of Reading, PA, has done well for Brunson and also in bringing Cintron back from inactivity.
Avery Sparrow, 9-1 (3), won both the “Breakout Fighter of the Year” and the “Prospect Fighter of the Year” posting four victories and gaining the No. 14 ranking in the WBO’s Super Featherweight division. He has put his career in good hands with IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing and it has really paid off.
Sparrow started 2017 with a win over fellow Philly fighter Anthony Burgin, 10-2 (2), on July 10th at the 2300 Arena in South Philly winning a split decision over eight rounds of boxing.
In Sparrow’s second fight of the year on June 27th he defeated Dominican southpaw Isaelin Florian, 6-0 (3), fighting out of Reading, PA, over six rounds at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center on Fox Sports 1. Both fighters found themselves on the canvas in the first round. Florian was dropped a second time in round two. Not to be denied he dropped Sparrow for a second time in round four.
This writer put out an article on Sparrow prior to the Briscoe Awards that went up on www.boxinginsider.com Monday entitled “Philly’s Avery Sparrow is a Return to Old Philly Boxing”. Peltz made a comment how Sparrow doesn’t ask “who or where he is fighting or for how much but follows the promoters lead” and it has paid off big time.
In Sparrow’s third fight of the year on September the 8th at the 2300 Arena he won a majority eight round decision over Joey Laviolette, 6-0 (3), of Nova Scotia, Canada. One judge gave Sparrow all eight rounds and another all but one round.
In Sparrow’s fourth fight of the year on November 30th at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD, he defeated world contender Jose “Wonder Boy” Lopez, 19-1-1 (14), of Carolina, Puerto Rico over ten rounds on ESPN2 to earn his world ranking.
Winning the “One to Watch Fighter of the Year” is none other than welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 18-0 (16), who before that won the “Amateur of the Year”, and before that the “Everett Brothers Award. Last year he won the “Rookie of the Year” Award.
Doing his promotion in attendance was Chris Middendorf of Victory Promotions who in just under two years has Ennis with eighteen fights. He is scheduled April 14th in Virginia for his next encounter. He is trained by his father “Bozy” Ennis who is this writer’s pick as the best trainer in Philly out of his gym “Bozy’s Dungeon” on Venango Street over the Harrowgate Gym off of Kensington Avenue.
Ennis went 9-0 with 8 knockouts in 2017 in such places as Norfolk, Virginia, Durham, North Carolina, Washington, DC, Hammond, Indiana, and Springfield, Virginia. His other four fights were all in South Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena. In the lone decision he won every round plus scoring a knockdown over James Winchester, 20-12, who hasn’t fought since their March 31st match.
The “Rookie of the Year” went to Dylan Price, 4-0 (4), a Super Flyweight former outstanding amateur for his posting of all four fights in 2017. In February he was in Wilson, NC, posting a first round stoppage. Then in April in Atlantic City he posted a third round stoppage. In June at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center he posted a first round knockout. He finished up the year in November at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, posting another first round stoppage on the undercard of WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder title defense.
Price is promoted by Mayweather Promotions with his father Dave Price and “Doc” Nowicki handling management and advisor.
The 2017 Amateur of the Year” went to Raymond Ford of the D-Boys Boxing team, of Sicklerville, New Jersey. The eighteen year old South Jersey boxer participated in three major tournaments and performed well all year long. In July, Ford defeated Californian Japheth-lee Llamido to win the Ringside Nationals – Mens Youth Open Division Championship at 123 pounds. He also won the Silver Medal at the USA Junior Olympics. In December, in Salt Lake City, Ford competed at the USA Boxing Nationals, Elite Division at 123 pounds. He is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation, in his weight class, and is a member of the USA International High Performance Team.
The 2017 “Knockout of the Year” award went to Marcel Rivers, 4-0 (3), out of the ABC Recreation Center at 26th & Masters in North Philly under the guidance of PAB HOF trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr. On September 8th at the 2300 Arena Rivers knocked out veteran boxer Osnel Charles, 11-17-1, of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The “Everett Brothers Award” presented by Mike Everett went to Jerome Conquest, 9-3 (1), managed by James Gibbs who was by his side. The award is for to acknowledge the accomplishments, commitment and character of boxers working hard to make their way in the ring. The award is intended to encourage young fighters with the same dream the Everett’s once had – to become world champion.
The award also helps to remember and honor their brother, the late, great Tyrone Everett, one of Philly’s all-time best. The worst decision this writer ever witnessed and in person was Tyrone Everett losing to champion Alfredo Escalera in Philly. I had it 13-2 in rounds for Everett and he lost a split decision. The PA judge who voted for Escarlera never judged another fight. He was Lou Tress and he judged since 1931 some 291 bouts. The other judge Ismo Wiso Fernandez it was his first title match and did a total of 55.
In attendance Sunday were such boxing people as promoters J Russell Peltz, Chris Middendorf and Marshall Kauffman. Also, writers Jeff Jowett, Nigel Collins, Frank Bartolini, Richie Pagano, Marc Abrams (also publicist) and Matt Ward. Boxers like former IBF Junior Middleweight champion Buster Drayton, Kerry Judge, Manny Folly, Garrett Wilson, Simon Carr and Mike Everett along with all award recipients. Trainers “Bozy” Ennis, Greg Hackett. Boxing people like Michelle Rosado (with Peltz Boxing), “Doc” Nowicki, Dave Price, Dan Rossano, Fred Blumstein (Time Keeper), photographers Kenny Ludwig, Darryl Cobb, Jr., lawyer and sponsor Neil Gelb, Nicole Ross (President of Hands Across Philadelphia), referee’s Vic de Wysocki and Blair Talmadge. VBA officers President Charley Sgrillo and Secretary John Gallagher. VBA member’s Norman Torpey, Fred Druding and Joe Mathis. Steve Fleisher who is always on the boxing scene.
I know I have forgotten many in attendance. John DiSanto will have a story coming up on his event at www.phillyboxinghistory.com which is a great boxing site about Philadelphia boxing people.
By: Ken Hissner
At the Xfinity facility in South Philadelphia Sunday was the Philly’s 7th Annual Briscoe Awards that packed the place with over 400 people crammed into that room. It was Philly Boxing History’s editor John DiSanto bringing in 2016’s finest performances. He will need a bigger facility the way this one turned out. He made all of us plus his lovely wife Jennifer proud.
Current boxers and past one’s attended with former the class of 2-time Cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham co-hosting. It was a low admission charge with free food for all. His precious daughter Kennedy and lovely wife Livvy along with young Steve were right there in support.
Former WBA world champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa who is one of the most likeable boxers you would want to meet got the much deserved “Fighter of the Year”. He went to China to dethrone previously unbeaten Javier Fortuna. This was after drawing with then unbeaten Nicholas Walters in 2015 to earn that shot. Then Sosa defended his title five months after winning the title defeating Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo. We fans cannot wait to see him back in action.
“The Briscoe Awards get bigger every year and it’s nice to see the boxing community get together for a social event. Plus several old-timers showed like Sidney “Sweet Pea” Adams and members of the “Gypsy” Joe Harris (one of Philly’s all-time favorites) family and Dick Turner (former welterweight contender), along with Nate Miller (former cruiserweight champion) and Curtis Parker (former middleweight contender),” said J Russell Peltz. (Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker).
Possibly the best prospect to come along in Philly since 1984 Gold Medal Olympian Meldrick Taylor in attendance to receive an award was Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 16-0 (13), in just 18 months of activity thanks to people like his promoter Chris Middendorf who was also in attendance. It was just the previous day Ennis knocked out veteran Aye “Bruce” Lee Bruce of GH in 1:37 of the first round in Springfield, VA. His father and trainer “Bozy” Ennis was there along with his other two son’s “Pooh” and Farah who were USBA and NABF champions.
Peltz received an award for Dashon Johnson who along with top Philly super middleweight Jesse “Hard Work” Hart gave the Philly fans the “Fight of the Year”.
Hart was in attendance and this close title challenge in his last fight should only make him a better fighter with the fans looking for his return. His former co-managers Doc Nowicki and Dave Price were in attendance with the young son of Price’s Dylan who just turned professional receiving an award and like his father “giving praise to God” for the blessings he has received in his past amateur career.
“Every year the event continues to grow and improve. I had a great time seeing Philadelphia’s finest from the boxing community. John DiSanto continues to put Philadelphia boxing on a new level,” said Dave Price.
Others receiving awards were Tevin “American Idol” Farmer though not present is preparing for his December world title challenge. Unbeaten boxers Christian Carto, 12-0 (11) and Damon “Little Dane” Allen, 13-0-1 (5), who is with Golden Boy Promotions were also receiving awards.
Joining Carto were his father Frank Sr and brother Frank Jr (amateur champion) along with well-respected trainer of Carto’s Mickey Rosati. Mitch Allen a legend in Philadelphia who is the great grandfather of Allen’s and his father Damon Sr. were there in support. Speaking of Philly’s young talent present were Jeremy Cuevas, 5-0, trainer Angel Pizarro and his unbeaten son’s Branden, 8-0 and Angel, Jr. 3-0.
Getting the much deserved “Upset of the Year” award for the second time was Taneal Goyco for his defeat of Jerry Odom.
Absent was former world champion Bernard “B-Hop” Hopkins who since retiring after his bout in January was to receive a Briscoe award but was a “no show” and wonders why he doesn’t get the respect he cries out for?
Former USBA champion Willie Gibbs was in attendance and showed his class in assisting Dave Ruff a Wilmington, DE, legend out of this writers car. Ruff is currently in a re-hab in Wilmington getting his strength back after a three year illness. Another DE resident and referee Vic de Wysocki was there doing filming as usual. Also speaking of Gibbs there was James Gibbs of the WBF with his lovely wife and former veteran boxer Greg Hackett. Also were the Members from the Ring One VBA President Charley Sgrillo, Secretary John Gallagher and Jim Moran another member of one if not the oldest VBA in the country.
Others were Promoter Manny Rivera (Hard Hitting Promotions), top cut-man and actor Joey Eye, attorney Neil Gelb (son of former manager Frank Gelb who had Tyrone Everett), former title challenger Mike Everett, Darren Maciunski (defeated champions Meldrick Taylor and Buddy McGirt in back to back fights), popular former USBA champion Garrett Wilson, former editor of Ring Magazine Nigel Collins of ESPN, timekeeper Fred Blumstein, writers Jeff Jowett, George Hanson (also an attorney), Frank Bartolini, Ryan Bivins who also boxed and is serving in the US Army.
Others like Photographer Darryl Cobb (who received an award for photo of the year), Steve Fleisher who is always in support of Philly boxing, active boxer’s like contender “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, Fred Jenkins, Jr. and Tyrone Brunson. Rich Pagano (author of The Baron of Leiperville), Whita Frazier (daughter of “Smokin” Joe Frazier, her brother-in-law Pete Lyde who is married to Jacki Frazier, the honorable Alan Rubenstein who also serves as a boxing judge, referee Shawn Clark, newly inducted PAB HOF trainer and gym owner Buster Custus and his daughter. PR man Marc Abrams and his lovely new bride with Marc doing interviews and her filming them. Another PR person was the beautiful Cathy Lebron who works for Kings Promotions. Speaking of wives the lovely Linda Peltz joined her husband J Russell. Former boxers Simon Carr, “Oak Tree” Brown and title challenger Marvin Mack (also designs hats). Legendary ring announcer Hank Kropkinski was also in attendance and longtime boxing figure Eric Bottjier who works for DiBella Entertainment.
Then families of “Gypsy” Joe Harris, “Bad” Bennie Briscoe and Gil Turner were in attendance. DiSanto presented one of his past five gravestones for Turner.
This writer could go on and on as you can see. Disanto puts on this event every October. The event was enjoyed by one and all.
By: Ken Hissner
Philly Boxing History Editor John Di Santo is holding the 10th Annual Briscoe Awards Sunday 1-4pm at the Xfinity Live at 1100 Pattison Avenue in South Philly. Former 2-time Cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham will be hosting the event. There is a $5 admission price and can be purchased at www.BriscoeAwards.com or call 609-377-6413.
The Bennie Briscoe bronze statue will be given and the Briscoe Medal along with other awards to Philly boxing. Former world champion Bernard “Be-Hop” Hopkins will receive a special award with his retiring.
The Dashon Johnson and Jesse “Hard Work” Hart fight will be honored as the “Fight of the Year”. Others receiving awards will be now former WBA champion Jason Sosa as the “Philly Fighter of 2016” for going to China and stopping champion Javier Fortuna in the 11th round and defending his title against the UK’s Stephen Smith 5 months later in Monte Carlo.
Philly super middleweight Taneal Goyco will receive the “Upset of the Year” award defeating rising MD star Jerry Odom. It was the second straight year Goyco received this award. Tyron Brunson will be receiving an award for “the Knockout of the Year” after rising from the canvas from two knockdowns to knockout Puerto Rico’s Carlos Garcia Hernandez.
Others receiving awards will be Tevin “American Idol” Farmer who will receive awards for “Performance of the Year” and “Prospect of the Year”.
Former Philly welterweight Gil Turner will receive the Philly Gravestone. Jaron “Boots” Ennis, Christian Carto, Dylan Price and Damon “Little Dane” Allen will also be on hand receiving awards.