By Kurt Wolfheimer
Photo: Dean Patton/Patssportsphoto.com
Reading, PA junior middleweight “Killer” Keenan Collins (15-7-3, 10 KOs) avenged an earlier draw with a come from behind eighth round stoppage of Charlottesville, Virginian, George “War time” Rivera (13-8- 1, 4KOs) in the eight round main event on Saturday night at the Rodeway Inn in Allentown, PA. In the six round co-main event of the Pro-Am card promoted by Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotions, Newark, New Jersey heavyweight Aaron “The animal” Kinch raised his record to 5-1-1 with a one sided six round unanimous decision victory over hometown fan favorite William “Big Stuff” Miranda (6-6-2).
It was a resurrection of sorts for the 36 year old Reading junior middleweight Keenan Collins in the main event rematch of a draw against Virginia’s George “War time” Rivera. Just a year ago Collins rebounded from a two bout losing streak which included a loss to world rate junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado, with a six round unanimous decision victory over Julio Cesar Lanzas (7-18-6), but he looked rusty in doing so. Keenan returned to the gym and two months later on April 27th 2012, as he stepped into the ring with wily veteran George “War time” Rivera which ended in an split decision draw. Both fighters felt that they had won, so after almost eight long months, the rematch was set to settle the score once and for all.
The fight started out slowly as each fighter tried to control the ring. The taller Collins was trying to jab from the outside while Rivera was using movement and picking his spots to step in the pocket with single shots.
The movement of Rivera seemed to frustrate Collins in the early going as Rivera picked up rounds two through four. Collins had his moments as he pushed Rivera to the ropes and landed a good overhand right late in the second, which seemed to loosen him up and he close the round with several single shots bfore the bell. Rivera was slick though and he continued to frustrate him as he pecked away with hooks and jabs while sliding in the pocket and the escaping out the back door.
The movement and constant flurries by Rivera, along with the jabs on the outside by Collins, began to take their toll on the Virginian and by the end of the fourth round, he looked gassed.
In the fifth and sixth, the Reading native was finding his mark with his jabs and Rivera, though competitive was getting hit more often but Collins seemed to be loading up for the big right hand and it slowed him also.
Keenan Collins finally land the big shot with a right uppercut which wobbled Rivera. Collins tried to jump on him with a couple of heavy right hands in the center of the ring, but Rivera’s defense was tight and he recovered quickly.
The heavier handed Collins appeared to be coming on, but his corner knew it was close and shouted at him that a knockout was needed in the eighth and final round if he were to come out with a victory. Collins stepped up the attack and was consistently landing in the early going of the final round as Rivera’s tank went to empty he was fighting with his mouth open. Collins finally found the punch that he had been looking for all night and dropped Rivera with a crushing overhand right. Rivera rose to his feet and tried to retreat, but Collins would not let him off the hook and followed up with a left along with a heavy overhand right, which dropped the Virginian to his hands and knees. Referee Gary Rosato reached the eight count as George Rivera rose to his feet and wobbled back into the corner. Rosato took a good look at him and it was clear his legs weren’t there, so he called a halt to the contest at 2:16 of the eighth and final round.
“It felt great to get the victory” said a joyous Keenan Collins afterward, who upped his record to 14-7-3, 10KOs. “I knew he was tiring because my jabs were landing clean and he was not able to avoid them like he was in the early going. My corner told me that I needed the knockout and I went for it and you could see what happened.”
George Rivera falls to a deceiving 13-8-1, 4KOs.
In the co-feature of the evening local fan favorite William “Big Stuff” Miranda of Allentown, PA took on what looked to be one of his toughest fights as a professional in Aaron “The Animal” Kinch of Newark New Jersey.
Miranda, who is known for his crowd pleasing toe to toe crowd fighting style, was almost immediately taken out of his game plan on this evening as Aaron Kinch used good ring generalship, while firing hard shots in the early going to keep Miranda from really letting go. Miranda finally cornered Kinch in corner during the closing seconds of the opening round and both went toe-to toe until the bell sounded to end the round.
From that point on, Kinch took control as he mixed in hellacious hooks underneath and heavy single shots up top. Miranda seemed to be worried about the head shots, which allowed Kinch to really bang the body.
Late in the third round, a big combination opened a cut over Miranda’s right eye and it seemed to get worse as the bout continued, but the Allentown native was a warrior and continued to plod forward looking for the combination that would change the tide. Kinch’s heavy hooks seemed to find their mark as the blood dripped into Miranda’s eye throughout.
Referee Gary Rosato took time early in the fifth to have the ringside physician take a look at the worsening cut, but he allowed it to continue. Miranda was again looked at between rounds but they would not stop the fight.
Kinch continued to land in the final, but Miranda was looking for the big shots that would pull the victory from the jaws of defeat which made the Virginian to be more careful. Miranda finally ran out of gas at the two minute mark and his shots became arm punches. Neither was able land the telling blow and the bout went to the scorecards. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Aaron “The Animal” Kinch by score of 40-36 across the board.
Aaron Kinch ups his record to 5-1-1, 1KO, while William Miranda slips to 6-6-2.
Undefeated Newark New Jersey middleweight prospect John Thompson raised his record to 11-0, 4KOs with a fifth round stoppage over Harrisburg PA’s Grayson Blake (5-2, KOs). Thompson under the watchful eyes of renowned trainer and former champion James “Buddy” McGirt, controlled the fight throughout by landing hooks and combinations from distance, using his several inch reach advantage keep Blake at bay. Late in the third round Thompson opened a cut over the right eye of Blake. The cut and Thompsons heavy shots had Blake backing up at the end of the fifth round and he looked to be out of gas. The fight was called off between rounds at the advice of the ringside physician. The exact time of the stoppage was three minutes of round five, giving John Thompson the well-deserved TKO victory.
Reading PA lightweight Frank Santos De Alba (6-1-2, 2KOs) scored perhaps the biggest victory of his career with a one sided six round unanimous decision victory over Lancaster PA’s Isaac Suarez (7-3, 3KOs). De Alba, normally a southpaw counter puncher, looked comfortable throughout, actually forcing the attack on tentative Lancaster native. Suarez was game though, but had trouble finding a way to get in clean shots in as he was peppered whenever he threw a right hand from the orthodox stance. The pinpoint combinations from De Alba opened a cut over the right eye of Suarez in the third round. De Alba continued to outwork Suarez throughout the final three rounds to capture the unanimous victory by scores of 60-54 across the board.
In sloppy four round heavyweight tussle, former national amateur standout Mark Rideout of Philadelphia, PA squeezed out a razor thin split decision victory over Bethlehem PA’s Eric Newell. Rideout seemed to pull the victory out in the fourth and final round with a big flurry in the final ten seconds. One judge saw the bout in favor of Eric Newell by a score of 39-37, but was overruled as the other two officials saw it 39-37 in favor of Mark Rideout who moves to 3-0. Eric Newell falls to defeat for just the second to in his seven bout career as a professional, moving to 4-2-1, 2KOs.
In the opening four round contest between a pair of winless junior welterweights, it was York, PA’s Sammy Quinones (1-1) who won the battle of someone’s “O” as he scored a third round stoppage of Philly’s Charlie Mack (0-1-1). Quinonez was in control throughout and staggered Mack in the third. Mack tried to recover, but Quinonez was all over him in the fourth and final round. A big right hand found it’s mark and Mack fell to the canvas for the ten count. The official time of the knockout was 3:42 of the third round.