By: William Holmes
The Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host site for tonight’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card.
The undercard was packed with local talent. Newark’s Skakur Stevenson, Philadelphia’s Christian Carto, and Millville’s Thomas LaManna were all victorious in their bouts.
The opening bout of the night was between Jesse Hart (24-1) and Mike Gavronski (24-2-1) in the super middleweight division.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Hart has won two fights in a row since losing to Gilberto Ramirez for the WO Super Middleweight Title.
Hart, the taller and longer fighter, kept Gavronski at the receiving end of his jab in the opening moments of the first round. His right cross started landing quickly and he was able to mix it up with some power shots to the body. Gavronski was bleeding by the end of the round and appeared to go down at one point from a right uppercut, but the referee ruled it a slip.
Hart continued on the attack in the second round and was loading up on his punches, which Gavronski was able to avoid with moderate success. When Hart did land, he stunned Gavronski.
Hart came out aggressive in the third round and was able to land a hard straight right hand that sent Gavronski right to the mat. Gavronski was met with a combination from Hart when he got back to his feet that sent him down for a second time.
Gavronski stumbled badly when the referee waived him forward, and rightly waived off the fight.
Jesse Hart wins by TKO at 0:52 in the third round.
Jesse Hart called out Gilberto Ramirez for a rematch for his title in the post-fight interview.
The main event of the evening was between Bryant Jennings (23-2) and Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3) in the heavyweight division.
Dimitrenko came out first and was greeted with boos from the crowd, and Jennings came out second to some cheers while being followed with trainer John David Jackson.
Dimitrenko was the much bigger and taller man, but Jennings has a very large reach. The opening two rounds featured both boxers probing each other with their jabs, but Jennings was landing the stiffer shots.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Jennings was starting to land his lead left hook and straight right hand with more regularity in the third round, which featured Jennings getting warned by the referee after pushing Dimitrenko into a corner.
Dimitrenko was able to score a surprising knockdown in the fourth round with a straight right hand, but replay showed it may have been an illegal punch to the back of the head. Jennings recovered well and was able to avoid the hard shots of Dimitrenko.
Jennings was able to bounce back in the fifth round and landed good body shots when in tight. Jennings continued to land at a higher clip in the sixth round and had re-established control of the fight since the knockdown.
Dimitrenko was able to land some hard straight right hands in the seventh round, but he began to unravel in the eighth. Jennings hurt Dimitrenko with a left hook that forced Dimitrenko to go to his knees. He got back up at the count of eight and was pummeled with combination until he went down for a second time. He was able to survive but looked hurt as the round ended.
The end came in the next round, as Jennings punctuated a dominating ninth round with two right uppercuts that sent Dimitrenko down again. The referee didn’t even bother counting and waived off the fight, much to the chagrin of Dimitrenko.
Bryant Jennings wins by TKO at 1:56 of the ninth round.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Top Rank Promotions will promote an eight fight boxing card to be televised on ESPN.
The main event and co-main event of the evening will likely have future title bout implications. Bryant Jennings will face Alexander Dimitrenko in a heavyweight showdown in the main event of the evening and Jesse Hart will face Mike Gavronski in the super middleweight division.
The undercard is packed with local prospects and rising contenders which will help bring in fans from nearby areas to Atlantic City. Shakur Stevenson from Trenton, New Jersey, Jason Sosa from Camden, New Jersey, Christian Carto from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Thomas LaManna from Millville, New Jersey are all fighters with local ties that could be up for a title shot in the near future.
The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Jesse Hart (24-1) vs. Mike Gavronski (24-2-1); Super Middleweights
Jesse “Hard Work” Hart is the son of legendary Philadelphia Boxer Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and recently lost a close decision to current WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto Ramirez.
Hart, to his credit, has remained active since that loss and is back to his winning ways. He fought twice in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016. Four of his past five wins have been by KO/TKO.
Gavronski is a good boxer with a decent record. However, he is three years older than Hart and will be giving up about three inches in height and six and a half inches in reach.
He also fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Gavronski did not fight yet in 2018.
Jesse Hart also has an edge in power over Gavronski. He has twenty stoppage victories while Gavronski has fifteen. Hart has also never been stopped while Gavronski has been stopped once.
Hart also has the edge in amateur experience. He won the 2011 National Golden Gloves Championship and placed 2nd in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. Gavronski has no notable amateur accomplishments to speak of.
Hart has beaten the likes of Demond Nicholson, Thomas Awimbono, Alan Campa, Andrew Hernandez, and Aaron Pryor Jr. His lone loss was a close decision to Gilberto Ramirez.
Gavronski has beaten the likes of Andrew Hernandez, Thomas Awimbono, and Brian Vera. His losses were to Dashon Johnson and Tureano Johnson.
Dashon Johnson is a man that Hart beat in 2016.
Hart appears to have too much fire power for Gavronski to handle.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Bryant Jennings (23-2) vs. Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3); Heavyweights
Bryant Jennings is a solid heavyweight boxer who previously fought for the title but came up short against Wladimir Klitschko.
He’s fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017 and is looking for another title shot.
Jennings is facing a boxer that many consider to be past his prime in Alexander Dimitrenko.
Jennings, at the age of thirty three, is three years younger than Dimitrenko. He will also be giving up about four inches in height, but Jennings will have a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers aren’t necessarily known for their power. Dimitrenko has twenty six stoppage victories while Jennings has thirteen.
Both boxers have been stopped in their career. Dimitrenko has two stoppage losses while Jennings only has one.
Jennings had a brief amateur career but it was rather successful. He made it to the finals of the 2009 PAL Nationals and was a National Runner Up in the Golden Gloves National Championship. He also defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion , Stipe Miocic, as an amateur. To this writer’s knowledge, Dimitrenko has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Jennings losses were to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz. He has defeated the likes of Joey Dawejko, Akhror Muralimov, Don Haynesworth, Mike Perez, Artur Szpilka, Andrey Fedosov, Bowie Tupou, Steve Collins, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Maurice Byarm,
Dimitrenko fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018. His losses were to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, and Eddie Chambers. He has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Albert Sosnowski, Adrian Granat, and Miljan Rovcanin.
His win over Miljan Rovcanin is contested by many though and that was his last bout. The bout was originally ruled a split draw, but Dimitrenko team protested the result. It was later ruled a win for Dimitrenko because Rovcanin had three points deducted and accordingly he should have been disqualified after the third point deduction.
Jennings experience in fighting a taller elite fighter like Klitschko might prove valuable in Saturday’s fight. Dimitrenko won his last bout, but didn’t look particularly good doing so. Jennings isn’t known for his power, but he should be able to box intelligently and win a decision.
Julian “J-Roc” Loses – When Will Philadelphia Jinx End?
By: Ken Hissner
The “Philadelphia Jinx” continued Saturday night in L.A. when No. 1 IBF contender Julian “J-Roc” Williams was stopped by IBF champion Jermall Charlo in 5 rounds. Many in Philadelphia felt Williams had a good chance of ending the jinx and winning the title. That was then and now is now.
The once city of “Brotherly Love” or better “Brotherly Shove” still has Danny “Swift” Garcia who tries to unify his WBC title against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman on March 4th. One of his WBC contenders is “The New” Ray Robinson ranked No. 5 from Philadelphia who is biting at the bit hoping he gets the winner of that fight.
In February of 2016 “Hammerin” Hank Lundy was stopped by WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford. In April Eric “Outlaw” Hunter lost a winnable fight to Lee Selby for his IBF featherweight title after having Selby on the canvas. Neither Lundy nor Hunter are going to win a “congeniality” award. Also, in 2016 two-time IBF cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham tried winning the WBO title but lost to Krzysztof Glowacki in April. At 40 Cunningham is no longer in any of the rankings.
In 2015 heavyweight Bryant “By By” Jennings got a pair of title bouts. First losing to Wladimir Klitschko for his titles in April and then to Louis Ortiz for his WBA interim title in December. Jennings does remain No. 5 in the WBC.
Maybe he can get a shot at Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder since Wilder never defends against anyone in the top 4 of the WBC.
In his last fight former world middle and light heavyweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins lost WBA/IBF titles in November of 2014 being shut-out by Sergey Kovalev the then only WBO champion.
Though living in Hockessin, DE, for years Hopkins is still known as a “Philly fighter” and will be having his “last” fight on December 17th a month away from his 52nd birthday and having not fought in two years against Joe Smith, Jr.
Going back to January of 2013 Philly’s Gabe “King” Rosado by-passed fighting for the super welterweight title to take on Gennady “GGG” Golovkin for his middleweight titles. It took two workers to clean up the ring that Rosado left quite a bit of his blood. At least he fought one of the best in the world at the time.
Going back to June 2012 Mike “MJ” Jones looked like he would be a sure winner taking on former IBF super lightweight champion Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey for the vacant IBF welterweight title but was knocked out!
In 2011 Rogers “Tiger” Mtagwa got a title fight losing to WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez. In the previous year Mtagwa lost to Yuriorkis Gamboa in January of 2010 for his WBA title. He was stopped both times.
At present besides Jennings Philadelphia has three contenders. Robinson at No. 3 and unbeaten Jesse “Hard Work” Hart who is No. 1 in the WBO, No. 5 WBC and No. 11 in the WBA. He just made his return to the ring with a victory after being on the sidelines with a hand injury. Hart has all the tools but sometimes thinks he’s like his dad Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and is also a knockout fighter instead of a boxer-fighter with the size to do both in the super middleweight division.
Another is super featherweight Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 24-4-1 (5) who is on a 17 fight winning streak since losing to current IBF world champion Jose Pedraza. Farmer in Ranked No. 3 in the WBC, No. 7 IBF and No. 10 WBO.
Philadelphia is full of prospects such as super lightweight 20 year-old Milton “El Santo” Santiago at 16-0 but with only 3 knockouts. Since losing his head trainer “Bozy” Ennis he has failed to impress in his last 3 fights. His father took over and seems to be trying to make his son more of a puncher. Remember the name Cesar Cuenca of Argentina who was 48-0 with TWO knockouts when he lost fighting for the world time? You don’t always have to have a lot of KO’s on your record to be a champion.
What this writer calls the “Fab Four” are now 21-0-1 since turning professional in 2016. It includes at the top is welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 7-0 (6), with Christian Carto at 5-0 (5) in the bantamweight division, heavyweight Darmani “Tight” Rock, 6-0 (4), and super lightweight Joshua Jones, 3-0-1 (2).
Besides these four are the Pizarro brothers, super bantamweight Angel 2-0 (1) at 21 and 17 year-old lightweight Branden 1-0 who are schedule on December 16th to fight on a Philadelphia card at the Sugar House Casino along with Carto and Ennis. Super bantamweight Manny Folly is on the card at 8-0 (6), but being a Philadelphia policeman has not made him as available as if he was a boxer alone.
Let’s hope 2017 is a better year for the “Philadelphia Jinx” to be abolished!
PBC on Fox Sports 1 Results: Ugas Impresses with 4th Round Stoppage of Perrella, Karl and Valenzuela Victorious
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) seems to have slowed down on the number of shows that they put on recently, but they put on a card from the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Photo Credit: Jane Phillips/Premier Boxing Champions
The opening bout of the night was between Dennis Galarza (13-1)and Cesar Alan Valenzuela (12-4-1) in the Super Featherweight division. Galarza had the height advantage but Valenzuela had the reach advantage.
Valenzuela had Galarza caught near the corner in the first minute of the opening round and was able to land a good shot to the head and body of Galarza. There was a good exchange in the final seconds of the opening round, but Valenzuela was pressing the action.
Galarza took control of the center of the ring in the second round and used his jab to control the positioning of Valenzuela. There wasn’t a whole lot of action, but Galarza appeared to be the busier fighter.
Valenzuela was more effective in the third and fourth rounds and was able to land the cleaner and harder shots. Galarza was too passive and appeared to be heistant to throw more than one punch at a time.
Valenzuela landed some very good right hands in fourth and fifth rounds and looked like he was taking over the bout. Galarza tried to get in tight and impose his will in the sixth round, but he wasn’t able to get much of an offense going.
Galarza most likely won the seventh round as he had Valenzuela moving backwards most of the time, and both fighters looked exhausted by the final round. The fight was close and many rounds could have been scored either way, but the judges scored it 77-75 Valenzuela, 77-75 Galarza, 77-75 for Valenzuela giving him the split decision victory.
The next bout of the night was in the super lightweight division between Ryan Karl (13-0) and Jose Felix Quezada (11-0).
Ryan Karl has knocked out five straight opponents heading into this match.
Quezada and Karl came out firing in the opening round and Quezada was sharp with his check left hook early on. Karl was throwing more combinations than Quezada, and had him hurt with right uppercut to the chin that wobbled the knees of Quezada. Karl went for that uppercut several more times and was able to score a knockdown after cracking Quezada with a right cross. Quezada was able to get back to his feet as the round came to an end.
Karl landed several hard right crosses in the second round and took the best shots of Quezada well. Quezada had a better thid round and was able to land some check left hooks, but Karl dominated in the fourth round.
Karl landed several hard right crosses in a row near the end of the fourth and had Quezada’s face bleeding badly. Quezada finally went down from one final right cross and was on wobbly legs when he rose to his feet.
Quezada stumbled to his corner and the end of the round and the fight was stopped before he could come back out.
Ryan Karl wins by TKO at the end of the fourth round on the advice of the corner of Quezada.
The main event of the evening was between Bryant Perrella (14-0) and Yordenis Ugas (16-3) in the welterweight division.
Perrella had the height and reach advantage, but Ugas was by far the more experienced amateur.
That experience showed early on, as Ugas landed an early over the top right hand on Perrella that sent him to the canvas. Perrella was able to get back to his feet, but Ugas stalked Perrella the remainder of the round and was looking for that right hand bomb.
Ugas was touching the body with a jab in the second round and was sharp with his right hands to the head. Perrella looked outclassed, and the difference in amateur experience was becoming more apparent.
Perrella started off strong in the third round, but likely lost it when Ugas landed a thudding right hand that had Perrella hurt as the round came to an end.
Perrella scored another knockdown in the fourth round when he landed a perfect right hand that sent Perrella crashing to the mat. Perrella showed incredible heart and got back to his feet, but Ugas jumped on the still hurt Perrella and unleashed combinations on him by the corner and forced the referee to jump in and stop the bout.
Yordenis Ugas wins with an impressive TKO stoppage at 2:20 of the fourth round.