Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday Nights Fights at the Mohegan Sun

UNCASVILLE, CT - A crowd of 3,112 at the Mohegan Sun Casino witnessed a seven bout card Friday night that featured a little bit of everything.

In the main event, a fight that was somewhat tactical early on, but erupted in the end, was a 12-rounder for the USBA Welterweight title belt. It saw Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez, 145 ¾, 20-1 (11)KO, Atlantic City, NJ, meet reigning titlist Delvin Rodriguez, 147, 23-2-2 (14)KO, Danbury, CT.

Rodriguez was welcomed with a thunderous ovation as this is practically his hometown. Alvarez started quickly with his southpaw jabs and Rodriguez had a hard time adjusting. After six rounds Rodriguez had won only one round on my card - the fifth.

For the first half of the fight, Rodriguez moved directly into the path of Alvarez’ straight left hands which he fired at will, sometimes in succession. Despite Rodriguez’ reputation of being the bigger puncher of the two, it was Alvarez whose punches landed heavier and moved Rodriguez. Alvarez, 32, was the physically stronger of the two and he was the fighter that came forward most of the night.

However the tide began to turn after the mid-way point and Alvarez was stunned in the 8th with a few potent right hands from Rodriguez.

Word came through press row that Rodriguez suffered an injury to his right hand or wrist somewhere mid-way through the fight, probably in the 8th. In between the 9th and 10th the doctor was checking on Rodriguez’ condition. Rodriguez stopped throwing the right hand in the 8th and 9th but came back with it in the 10th.

Unbelievably, for a fighter with a damaged right hand, Rodriguez stormed back with a vengeance and decked Alvarez in the 11th with a straight right hand and this brought the crowd in the arena to its feet. The frenzied fans remained standing for the entire 12th round as both guys were hurt and staggering as they exchanged big shots in a desperate attempt to win. Almost simultaneously, both of the fighters’ right eyes began to close. They traded leather until after the final bell.

Delvin Rodriguez (left) and Shamone Alvarez battled for the USBA 147-pound title belt.

The judges’ decision were very close, but unanimous for Rodriguez at 115-112 from Glen Feldman, 114-113 from Joe Pasquale and 114-113 from Don Trella.

Alvarez was despondent with the loss but the general consensus in press row was that Rodriguez won the fight by virtue of the knockdown in the 11th.

I scored it 6-6 in rounds, but with the extra point for the knockdown I had it 114-113 for Rodriguez. I had Alvarez winning rounds 1,2,3,4,6,9 with Rodriguez obviously winning the remainder. Referee was Eddie Claudio.

It was a tough loss for Alvarez but a huge win for Rodriguez and a giant step forward for him in his efforts to get a shot at a world title. I visited his dressing room immediately afterwards and Rodriguez was totally spent. His right eye was nearly closed and an ice pack was taped to his right hand. Dr. Michael Schwartz was unable to say definitively whether the hand was broken. Rodriguez would be taken to a local hospital to be checked out.

In an entertaining welterweight six-rounder, Jay Krupp, 146 ¾, 12-1(5)KO, Catskill, NY, went hand-to-hand with Raymond Serrano, 146 ¼, 8-0 (5)KO, Philadelphia, PA. Krupp, trained by Kevin Rooney, was decked with a big left hook in the first round but rose quickly and got right back in the fight.

Both guys traded and landed leather throughout, but Serrano got the better of the exchanges. The game Krupp, who goes by the nickname “Smokin” was nailed clean time and again and nearly went down in flames on several occasions. Krupp is defensively challenged and that, more than anything is what cost him the decision. After six full rounds the scores were unanimous for Serrano at 58-55 and two of 60-53. Referee was Mike Ortega.

Demetrius Andrade is flanked by co-promoters Artie Pellulo (left) and Joe DeGuardia and tonight he moved to 3-0 with a knockout win.

In the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights televised opener, 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade, 152 ¼, 2-0(2)KO, Providence, RI met up with Tom Joseph, 152, 4-1-1 (0)KO, Youngstown, OH. Andrade came into the ring to Guns ‘n Roses “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Andrade was met with a rousing ovation from the crowd and he opened up immediately on Joseph and totally overwhelmed him. Andrade, a southpaw, speedster if there ever was one, threw everything but the kitchen sink at the hapless Ohioan who looked terrified and bewildered before the first bell even rang. Referee Dick Flaherty intervened to save Joseph from the incoming and called a halt to it at 1:53 of round one. The crowd was unhappy and wanted to see a more decisive ending. They chanted “Bullshit” and I can’t say as I disagree with them.

In a lightweight four-rounder, Edwin Rosado, 132, 1-4 (1)KO, from up the road in Worcester, Mass., squared off against Frank Trader, 131 ¾, 2-0 (0)KO, Philadelphia, PA. Trader has quick hands and deft foot movement and used that to totally outclass the much slower Rosado who always seemed a step behind. In the second round, the aggressive Trader landed an electric right that short-circuited Rosado and dropped him flat on his back. Rosado beat referee Dick Flaherty’s count, but was in absolutely no shape to continue and the end was called a 1:49.

In a cruiserweight clash scheduled for four rounds, southpaw Joshua “The Juice” Harris, 196 ¾, 2-2-1 (1)KO, Youngstown, OH faced David Williams, 200, 6-2-1 (2)KO, Philadelphia, PA. In virtually the first punch he threw, Harris landed a crunching right hook to the chin that crumpled Williams to the floor in a heap. Referee Mike Ortega began to count, but waived it off before reaching ten. Time was 21 seconds of the first round. Harris spoke afterwards and said that he has worked with Kelly Pavlik in the gym in the past.

In a jr. middleweight four-rounder Chris Aucoin, 153 ¼, 1-1-1 (0)KO, Ontario, Canada went against Tyrone ’My Time’ Miles, pro debut, 152 ¾, Camden, NJ. Veteran referee Dick Flaherty oversaw a crude, free swinging affair from the start. Seen working in Miles’ corner was “Mighty” Ivan Robinson. After four completed rounds the judges saw Miles getting the best of it by scores of 38-38, and two ballots of 39-37 for a majority decision win.

In the walkout bout, jr. welterweights Shakha Moore, 143 ¼, 10-13-3 (2)KO, Norwalk, CT met Simeon Dunwell, 141 ¼, 8-0 (2)KO, Lynn, Mass. It was a spirited four rounder that saw Dunwell as the decision winner.

Dr. Michael Schwartz presented the Media Award for Ringside Safety to ESPN2 Friday Night Fights blow-by-blow man Joe Tessitore who hails from right here in Connecticut.

March 2009

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