By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photos: Chris Toney
Saturday night at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jew Jersey, junior middleweight veteran Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (13-8-1, 6KOs) came from behind to capture a hard fought eight round majority draw over late replacement Eberto Medina (6-8-1, 1KO). The win avenged a previous draw against Medina and put him back on the winning track to fight once again with the elite of the junior middleweight division. In the co-feature of the seven bout card promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, light heavyweight contender Chuck Mussachio (18-2-2, 5KOs) bounced back from his failed USBA title attempt with a hard fought, but one sided eight round unanimous decision victory over hardnosed veteran Billy Bailey (11-15, 4KOs).
Boxing promoters know that in the fight game, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes emergency repairs need to be taken to keep the fight card in order. The originally scheduled main event between Jamal “Da Truth” Davis and formerly nationally ranked junior middleweight and fan favorite Lightning Harry Joe Yorgey had to be scrapped with just weeks to go when Yorgey sustained a torn ligament in his shoulder while in training. Veteran Promoter J. Russell Peltz went to work and quickly found a less than notable, but interesting replacement in veteran tough guy Eberto Medina of Newark, New Jersey for the main event. Medina had a nondescript record of 6-7-1, 1KO entering the fight, but recently had upset previously undefeated Polish sensation Przemyslaw Opalach (9-1, 8KO and earned a draw with Davis in Davis’s last bout.
Davis looked strong and in tip top shape as he entered the ring. He looked psyched and ready to get the blemish off his record as he immediately came out boxing with good combinations in the early portion of the opening round. Medina pressed forward and came on the last minute with hard flurries and stunned Davis in the final seconds with a right hand up top.
Medina staggered Davis early in round two. Davis was quicker though and tried to box while moving away with hard four and five punch combinations.
The right hands of Medina began to lure Davis into his fight plan as both began to slug it out in rounds three through five. Medina’s heavy hands appeared to take two of the three rounds. A right hand had puffed up and cut the left cheek of Davis in the third.
It looked like Davis was about to falter and take a loss heading into the sixth round, but all of a sudden his will and second wind kicked in at the same time. He began to show what made him successful in the early portion of his career, as he boxed, while slipping in some heavy combinations. He continued to step in and out of the pocket. Now medina was the one who looked a bit off kilter, as he swung wildly and missed with lunges. Davis did drop his rounds in the closing moments while on the retreat. Medina landed a big right hand up top which Davis just shrugged off.
The hand speed and movement of Jamaal Davis helped him outwork the heavy handed Medina in the seventh.
The fight entered the eighth and final round with both fighters knowing that victory could be in their hands if they could capture the final stanza. Each fighter took their turns landing big blows but Davis was just busier and appeared to squeak out the round and possibly the fight.
There was hushed silenced in the crowd when veteran ring announcer Larry Tornambe bellowed out “we have a majority decision.” The crowd began to boo when the first scorecard was read at 76-76 even. The silence happened once again when the score of 77-75 were read. The crowd erupted with joy after Tornambe announced that Jamaal Davis has pulled out the majority decision victory.
“I just couldn’t let my team down,” said Davis afterwards on his will to pull out the victory from the jaws of defeat. “There are a lot of people that had helped me to get ready for this fight physically and mentally. Losing fights looks bad on them and they would be seen in a negative perception. I just can’t have that. My Trainer Sharron Baker, Naazim Richardson and I set down many times and discussed about winning and what it would be like to keep competing in the sport and that is what motivated me.”
The win jumps Jamaal Davis to 13-8-1, 6KOs, while Eberto Medina falls to a deceiving 6-8-1, 1KO.
In the co-feature of the evening Wildwood, New Jersey light heavyweight Chuck “The Professor” Mussachio (18-2-2, 5KOs) got back onto the winning side of the ledger as he pounded out a hard fought but one sided eight round unanimous decision victory over the game but outgunned Bakersfield California native, Billy Bailey 11-15, 4KOs).
Mussachio had fought a give and take battle against Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson before getting stopped in the last round with a perfect hook in his failed attempt for the USBA title and looked to right the ship against the iron chinned veteran Billy Bailey.
Mussachio seemed right at home right from the opening bell, as he peppered the advancing Bailey with combinations from distance. The reach of Mussachio allowed him to continue to pepper Bailey in the second, but now he was setting down on certain shots. Bailey looked frustrated as he tried to step forward. A strong straight left on the chin from Mussachio sent Bailey off balance. Bailey looked stunned and he tried to regain his footing, but his hands touched the canvas, forcing an eight count. Bailey recovered quickly and even began to celebrate after landing a straight left of his own, like he hurt Mussachio. It wasn’t true as “The Professor” continued to teach him the lessons of the trade with brazen combinations, while on the retreat during the rest of the second stanza and throughout the round three.
Bailey began to taunt Mussachio in the third in an attempt to get him off his game. In mid round he turned his head away and began to walk to his right. Mussachio would have none of it and hit him with a big right which sent sweat flying off the face of the iron chinned Bailey.
The reach and movement of Mussachio continued to frustrate Bailey. A right hand from Bailey did open a caught on the cheek of Mussachio late in the fourth, but veteran cut-man Joey “Eye Intrieri kept it from bleeding and being a problem throughout the second half of the fight.
Bailey did have his moments but Mussachio put on a boxing exhibition throughout rounds five through eight to easily capture the unanimous decision victory.
All three judges scored the bout easily in favor of by tallies of 78-73 x 2 and 80-72 respectively.
Mussachio spoke on the fight afterward. “He was a tough kid who really came to fight,” said Mussachio. I hurt my right hand in the second and my left in the fourth. He really has a hard head and it is clear why he has never been stopped. Bailey was an awkward guy. I have been sparring with great fighters and you get to know where punches are coming from. You are ready to block them, but he had an amateurish style and his punches came in odd ways. I had hoped to win every round, but I am happy with my performance and will take the convincing victory.”
Phoenix Arizona Roberto Yong (5-4-1, 3KOs) upset the apple cart of previously unbeaten Philly super middleweight prospect Fred Jenkins Jr., (5-1, 2KOs), dropping him three times en-route to an impressive third round TKO victory.
Yong took control of the fight early in the opening round, using his three inch height and several inch reach advantage to pepper the rugged Jenkins Jr, with flashy one two’s throughout. Jenkins tried to slowly push forward and get inside to work the body. He finally did in the closing seconds and dropped his hands go to the mid section of his opponent. Yong fired a big four punch combination ending with a right hand to the side of Jenkins head as the bell sounded. Jenkins was stepping in potholes as he went to his corner.
Yong continued to outwork Jenkins in the second and early portions of the third as Jenkins could only t push forward landing an occasional right hand. Jenkins thought he had weathered the storm as Yong appeared to tire late in the third, and pressed forward. Yong unloaded a picture perfect double right hand on the chin, which sent Jenkins face first to the canvas. Jenkins got up and tried to retreat as Yong pounded away. It was clear Jenkins was in big trouble, but he still had power left in his arsenal and caught Yong with a counter right that sent the crowd into an uproar. It would not deter Wong who continued to flurry and batter Jenkins throughout the closing moments. The aggressiveness of Wong almost paid off again as he dropped Jenkins again with a right as he tried to clinch. Jenkins fell to the canvas in what appeared to be a clear knockdown but referee Earl Brown ruled it a slip as Jenkins had trouble rising to his feet and walking to his corner.
Yong looked gassed in the early portions of the fourth round, which allowed a badly dazed Jenkins, Jr. to recover. Wong switched in and out of the southpaw stance in an attempt to gain his second wind. Jenkins legs never seemed to recover though and Yong took advantage, sending him to the canvas at the three minute mark of the fourth with another right hand on the button. Jenkins got up and slowly made it to the corner. The fight was waived off immediately, Roberto Yong the TKO at 3:00 of the fourth round.
In the walkout bout of the evening, Clarion PA’s Justin Johnson (3-3-3) barely outslugged Philly’s Korey Sloane (2-4-1) over four good rounds of give and take junior welterweight action. One judge scored the fight 39-37 in favor of Sloane, but was overruled as the other two officials had the bout 39-37 in favor of Justin Johnson, giving him the split decision victory.
In a mild upset, Newark, New Jersey southpaw Ibrihim King (1-1-1), formerly known as Latwon Halsey, scored the first victory of his career by unanimous decision over Camden, New Jersey’s Miguel Corcino (3-3, 2KOs) in their scheduled four round welterweight contest.
Corcino had problems with the wily southpaw right from the opening round, getting caught with lead lefts and right jabs as he tried to get inside.
Corcino charged out of the corner in the second round with a good three punch combination up top, as King retreated. It would not do much as King continued to lead in and out with lunging shots that made Corcino tentative throughout. You could hear Corcino’s corner yelling for him to relax, but he looked tight and tentative.
Both fighters began to trade late in the third, with King getting the best of it as the fight heated up. The heavier handed Corcino knew that he had to go for broke in the fourth and was swinging wild bombs. Kings timed a right hand and stunned Corsino with a left hook that spun his head around. Corsino would not give up and continued to swing away. King caught him again, but Corsino walked through it, however he finally tired and slowed as the round came to a close.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Ibrihim King by scores 40-36 and 39-37 twice, giving him the unanimous decision victory and his first win of his career.
In classic Philly gym war, undefeated light heavyweight Todd Unthankmay (4-0, 2KOs) overcame some heavy bombs from fellow Philadelphian Louis Robinson (2-5-1, 1KO), before dropping him in the closing moments to capture a hard fought, but one sided four round unanimous decision victory.
Unthankmay controlled the early portion of the fight behind his sharp jabs and precise combinations. Robinson was game and would not go away easily as he banged a few heavy right hands, early in the third round. Unthankmay answered though late in the round by stepping in and out of the pocket with sharp one-two combos.
Both fighters looked winded going into the fourth and final round. Unthankmay looked pick his spots to box in the early portion of the round, allowing Robinson to catch his breath. It was almost a big mistake as Robinson caught him against the ropes with a big right hand and followed up moments later with a left. The battle tested Unthankmay didn’t get rattled and stunned Robinson with a series of combinations but let off the gas again, allowing Robinson to recover. Just when it looked like Robinson would get out of the fight without incident, Unthankmay caught him with a big right hand in the closing seconds. Robinson fell backwards and grabbed the ropes in order to prevent himself from touching the canvas. Referee Earl Brown stepped in and correctly gave him the eight count as the bell rang to end the fight. All three judges gave every round to Todd Unthankmay by scores of 40-35 x 2, and 40-34 respectively.
In the opening bout of the evening, David Gonzalez of Philadelphia PA looked good in his professional debut as he captured a four round unanimous decision victory over Camden New Jersey’s Korey Pritchett (2-2) by scores of 39-37 across the board.