By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
Boxing’s return to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands after a nearly six year hiatus was a successful one as 340 Promotions, headed by CEO Lesley Comissiong and Sampson Lewkowicz, presented “Class of 2008,” and the homecoming of 2008 USVI Olympic representatives Julius and John Jackson. The two brothers and sons of St. Thomian legend Julian “The Hawk” Jackson made their professional debuts, along with Jackson nephew Samuel Rogers all of whom won. In the main event, for the WBA Fedecaribe super lightweight title, unbeaten beltholder Victor “Mermelada” Cayo won a hard fought nine-round unanimous decision over game challenger Noe “Platanito” Bolanos.
Cayo of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Bolanos of Sonora, Mexico thrilled the fans to the edge of their seats- Cayo with his skill and Bolanos with his bravery. The bout was a contest scheduled for nine rounds, yes nine, for the WBA Fedecaribe super lightweight title. One would’ve thought this bout was being staged in Santo Domingo, what with the way the crowd was so vocally partisan. But then chants of “Meh-hee-co” could be heard as the bout wore on and the crowd’s appreciation of Bolanos’ guts became evident. Bolanos was cut over the left eye midway through round one, seemingly from a punch, as referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. didn’t rule otherwise. Then midway through round two, Cayo connected with a perfect counter right that dropped Bolanos hard. Cayo failed to finish the tough hombre though, at one point, clinching to draw a deep breath after exerting himself. Cayo dangerously would drop his hands, enticing Bolanos to come in, which he did willingly, going for broke.
On occasion, Bolanos would connect, drawing a head shake to the negative from Cayo, is if to indicate the punch had no effect. Cayo was nailed cleanly against the ropes at the end of round four, again with his hands at his side. Bolanos semed to pick up steam, if not speed, as he determinedly stalked the ever retreating Cayo around the ring. At time Bolanos would land his jab, or over hand right, other times he’d walk smack into a Cayo counter, his head snapping back. With the bleeding stemmed, the pattern was set for the remainder of the bout. After nine rounds, Cayo boxed his way to a unanimous, but hard fought decision win. Scores were Levi Martinez 89-81, Dr. Ruben Garcia 90-79, and 88-82. Cayo moves to a perfect 20-0, 14 KOs. Bolanos holds at 20-4-1, 12 KOs. Cayo retains his title as well as his WBA #13 ranking.
Opening the show was cousin of the Jackson boys Samuel Rogers of St. Thomas, USVI debuting against twice beaten Erix Quinteros of Atlanta, Georgia. In a tough Jr. Middle four rounder, Jackson used his jab and combination punching to grind out a unanimous decision win. Scores from judges Levi Martinez, Dr. Ruben Garcia and Frank Jackson were 40-36 across the board. Rogers is now 1-0 while Quinteros, lasted the distance for the first time, though sliding to 0-3.
Evan Nedd of Aruba and Clinton Hester of Atlanta, Georgia staged a war at cruiserweight. Nedd, a Tysonesque brawler was cocky as they come, going for the sensatoinal ending with everything he threw. He dropped Hester in round two with a flurry of head shots, but couldn’t end matters. In round three, Nedd hit the deck himself. Hester however went for broke and walked into another barrage, getting dropped again. A follow up flurry prompted referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. to stop matters at 1:52 or round three. Nedd climbs to 3-0, while Hester slips to 0-1.
Jr. Middle John Jackson of St. Thomas, USVI pounded Alphonso Alexander of Atlanta, Georgia into submission after two one-sided rounds. At the end of the first, Alexander was knocked through the ropes. The ensuing hysteria cause referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. to resume the round even though the bell had rung, as he didn’t hear it. Alexander survived the round, much to his credit, or doom. More of the same in the following stanza as the younger Jackson landed bomb after bomb to head and body, finally prompting Ramirez Jr. to halt the slaughter at 1:54 of the round. John Jackson starts off with a 1-0, 1 KO mark, while Alexander goes to 0-1.
Slickster Ryan Kielczewski of Quincy, Massachusetts used his standout amateur pedigree to his advantage, neatly outscoring Benjamin Borteye of, Silver Springs, Maryland by way of Accra, Ghana over four rounds at lightweight. Pot-shotting, combination punching and slick movement help the “Polish Prince” cruise to an easy 40-36 victory across the boards. Referee was Roberto Ramirez Sr. Kielczewski moves to 3-0 while Borteye slides to 0-3.
Super Middle Julius Jackson of St. Thomas, USVI had to much skill for rugged Marvin Blair of St. Petersburg, Florida. In a one-sided affair, the lanky Julius used his jab to pressure Blair around the ring, controlling the action throughout and avoiding Blair’s lunging overhand rights for the most part. As the crowd chanted his name, the elder Jackson tried in vain to match his younger brother’s earlier stoppage win, but it was not to be as Blair not only survived, but avoided even hitting the canvas, despite seemingly heading there on numerous occasions. Judges Roberto Ramirez Jr., Levi Martinez and Dr. Ruben Garcia all had it the same, 40-36 for Julius Jackson. He moves to 1-0 while Blair is now 2-4-1.