By Mariano A. Agmi at ringside
DiBella Entertainment’s first Broadway Boxing card of the year was a successful one, as a sold-out BB King Blues Club & Grill in Times Square was treated to a nine bout card featuring the return of former junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman along with several young prospects and some spectacular knockouts.
In the main event of the evening, New Haven featherweight prospect Luis Rosa kept his undefeated record intact, winning an eight round unanimous decision over a tough Derrick Wilson of Fort Meyers, FL.
Rosa and Wilson spent most of the contest entrenched in toe-to-toe warfare, but the physically stronger Rosa took over in the middle rounds, landing stinging shots to his opponent’s midsection in an attempt to wear the quick Wilson down. Wilson fought back bravely, landing sharp counterpunches to keep the fight close. The judges agreed, scoring the bout 77-75 twice and 80-72. The 21-year-old Rosa improves to 12-0 (6) with the win, while Wilson drops to 9-4-2 (3).
In his first fight in almost two years, former WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (29-2, 8 KOs) shut out Brandon Baue (12-10, 10 KOs) in his DiBella Entertainment debut, winning a six round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 (3x).
“I felt very rusty,” admitted the Brooklyn based Foreman, who is about two months shy of becoming a Rabbi. “I was more nervous than usual, but I’m happy to shed some rust and get some rounds in. I feel great. The knee is [not on my mind].”
Fully recovered from knee reconstruction surgery, the always elusive Foreman tested his knee in round one, using movement to shake off some ring rust and displaying above average defensive skills.
Foreman appeared more comfortable from round two onwards, countering Baue effectively while outboxing and outclassing the St. Charles, MO native for the duration of the bout.
In a super middleweight bout, Wilmington, NC’s Lamar Russ improved to 12-0 (7 KOs), using superior boxing skills to win an eight round unanimous decision over durable journeyman Jose Medina (17-12-1, 7 KOs) of Quincy, MA. Scores were 78-74 twice and 77-75.
In a female bout, undefeated Irish featherweight Heather Hardy improved to 4-0, winning a four round unanimous decision over Canadian Margaret Maerz (2-3-1). Scores were 39-37 twice and 40-36.
Brooklyn middleweight Delen “The Sniper” Parsley improved to 10-0 (3 KOs) when the ringside physician advised referee Eddie Murdoch that Tyrone Sellers (8-5, 6 KOs) could not come out for round three. Sellers gave a good account of himself in round one, outworking Parsley until the final second of the round, when a big right hand dropped Sellers hard for an eight count. The Sniper continued to land stinging shots in round two, battering Sellers from pillar to post and causing many to call for a halt to the bout. Thankfully, the ringside physician and Sellers’ corner agreed, stopping the bout officially at 3 minutes of round 2.
Queensbridge heavyweight Eugene “Hollywood” Russell made a successful pro debut, battering a completely exhausted Granson Clark (1-2, 1 KO) into submission for a KO at 2:59 of round one. Clark traded well early on, but he quickly gassed out towards the middle of the round. Russell capitalized, landing heavy shots to the head punctuated by a big right hand that dropped Clark for a ten count.
In an excellent bout, Skender Halili of the Bronx survived a second round knockdown to batter and eventually stop a very game Roberto Crespo at 2:40 of round 6. A counter left hook in round one dropped Halili for an eight count in round two. Nose bleeding, Halili recovered well thanks to a stiff left jab that helped him survive the round and set up some big shots later on. A big right hand rocked Crespo in round three, and the Riverside, CA native hit the mat but referee Eddie Murdoch ruled it a slip. Halili left no question in round four, dropping Crespo with a sneaky short left hook. A subsequent left hook dropped Crespo a second time, but the Cali native mustered up the will to land some big right hands to keep Halili honest. Just as it seemed that Crespo would survive the round and make it to the final bell, a huge left hook dropped him for good, causing Murdoch to wave off the bout at 2:40 of the final round. Halili improves to a perfect 8-0 (8), while Crespo falls to 4-3.
2012 National Amateur champion Patrick Day (1-0, 1 KO) wasted no time in his middleweight pro debut, dropping Zachariah Kelley (1-2, 1 KO) with a hellacious left hook in round one. A stunned Kelley did not make it to his feet by Earl Brown’s count of 10. The time was 0:59 of the round.
In the opening bout of the night, Dominican lightweight Neuky “El Flaco Explosivo” Santelises (3-0, 2 KOs) scored a spectacular knockout over Juan Javier Guerrero (0-1-1) in round two. A huge right hand dropped Guerrero cold, causing referee Sparkle Lee to immediately call a halt to the bout at 22 seconds into the round.