By Matt Richardson at ringside
It was a night of upsets and close calls on Thursday when promoter Greg Cohen presented his second annual “Boxing at the Hilton” fight card at the Hilton Hotel in Staten Island, New York. In the main event of the six-bout card, hometown favorite Nicky DeMarco won a majority six-round decision against Travis Thompson in a lightweight bout.
DeMarco (5-2, 2 KO’s) owns a local gym on the Island and thus had a sizeable contingent of friends and family in attendance to cheer his every move. He needed all the support he could muster, however, as Thompson fought much better and aggressively than his 4-9-1, 3 KO’s record would have suggested. Thompson appeared to win the first round and badly rocked DeMarco along the ropes in the second frame, bruising the hometown favorite’s left cheek in the process.
DeMarco learned from his mistakes, however, and began boxing more from the outside in the following rounds. He never again allowed himself to get cornered and did enough in the second half of the bout to earn scores of 59-55 and 58-56 (a third judge had it even, 57-57). The victory was DeMarco’s first since winning a comeback fight on Cohen’s inaugural card at the same venue last winter.
In the co-featured fight of the evening, former middleweight prospect Denis Douglin lost a unanimous eight-round decision to tough Jose Angel Rodriguez. Douglin (14-3, 8 KO’s) simply wasn’t busy enough to effectively deal with Rodriguez’s aggression and smothering techniques. He arguably won the first round but lost many of the following ones before coming back for a nice fifth. He snapped Rodriguez’s head back with rights in that round.
Rodriguez (17-2-1, 2 KO’s) bounced back well, though, to sweep the final three frames to secure the “W” both on the Fightnews unofficial card and those of the three judges. Scores read 79-73 and 78-74 (twice) for Rodriguez. Douglin, meantime, has now lost three of his last five bouts, two of which he was knocked out in.
In a welterweight fight, Shakor Jackson was violently knocked out in the third round of his professional debut. Jackson was badly hurt earlier in the round before being deposited on the canvas after absorbing a flush right from Cornelius Whitlock (1-1). Jackson fell to the canvas face first, smashing the right side of his face into the ground. He tried to rise but quickly fell back down on his face yet again. A third attempt to rise still saw the debuting Jackson wobbling, prompting the referee to halt the action at the 2:22 mark of the round.
Doel Carrasquillo continued to fight up to his opposition, winning a surprising six-round unanimous decision against Dennis Sharpe in a middleweight fight. Carrasquillo (17-23-1, 14 KO’s) already had a shocking win over Douglin on his resume and he continued to upset the odds by beating Sharpe (17-10-4, 5 KO’s) from pillar to post for most of their contest. Sharpe took a particular pounding in the sixth. Scores were 59-55 and 58-56 for Carrasquillo. The victory snapped a five-fight losing streak for Carrasquillo. Sharpe, meanwhile, hasn’t won a single fight since 2004.
Junior welterweight Anthony Gangemi (2-0, 2 KO’s) knocked out Willie Bryant (1-6-1, 1 KO) in the second round of a scheduled four. Bryant was badly hurt and fell down earlier in the round although it wasn’t ruled a knockdown. He went down again seconds later, however, for a stoppage loss at 1:02 of the frame.
In a female fight, Susan Reno won her professional debut with a four-round split decision against Vanessa Greco. Reno earned two scores of 40-36 and 39-37 while a third judge tabbed Greco (1-2-1) a victor at 39-37.
The card was the second one Cohen has put on in the borough in 13 months. Prior to that, there was only a single professional boxing card between 1998 and 2012.
Fight figures in attendance included heavyweight Travis Kauffman, HBO’s boxing judge Harold Lederman and WBA welterweight title-holder Paulie Malignaggi. Malignaggi, still trying to secure a spring opponent after a fight with Shane Mosley fell through, walked DeMarco to the ring and provided advice outside the ring in between rounds.
There was no announced attendance figure.
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