By Rick Scharmberg
An open workout for the press took place yesterday at the freshly painted Elsmere Boxing Club in Wilmington, Delaware to promote “Friday Night Fights”, which will take place on Friday, February 26 at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover Delaware. Participants included one-half of the main and co-main events, Mike “No Joke” Stewart and “Rockin” Ryan Belasco. In the main event, Stewart (44-7-2, 23 KOs) will face hard-hitting Brandon Baue (12-3, 10 KOs) in an eight round welterweight bout. In the co-feature, Belasco (11-4-3, 3 KOs) will face pressure-fighting Philadelphian Julias Edmonds (5-6) in a six round welterweight bout. The promoter is Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.
Several fighters scheduled to appear on the card were present, and here is what they had to say.
Michael Stewart: “I am training at Joe Hand’s Gym in Philly, and my trainer is Danny Davis. This fight is scheduled for 145 pounds. I weighed 141 for my last fight with Louie Leija. I don’t know if I will fight at 140 again, I’ll have to see how I feel. This fight is scheduled for eight rounds, but I need to get back up to ten. I just need a couple more fights to get another big fight. I have the resume.”
Ryan Belasco: “This will be a good, tough fight, one you really have to prepare for. I lost my last fight at Dover Downs (MD 8 to Dean White). He was tough and very awkward, but I gave that one away. I learned that I have to set the pace. I can’t sit back. I hate that I had to take a loss to learn, but what can you do? Julias Edmunds comes in like a bull, so I will try to box him. I have to find out what works and blend it all together.”
Clarence Taylor: “I love to perform at Dover Downs. I haven’t been there to fight in more than 3 years, but I’m blessed to be able to represent my hometown there. I don’t live in Dover. I live in Wilmington, but they treat me wonderful there. It’s like a second home.”
Anthony Caputo Smith: “I drive an hour from Kennett Square (PA) to Smyrna (DE), but it’s good work. My trainer Mario (Tiberi) really works us hard. I am working on throwing more combinations, and to always work the body like Jake LaMotta and Rocky Graziano used to.”
Christina Leadbeater: This is my second fight with Karen Dulin. I beat her the first time. She wanted a rematch, so I will give her one.
Ticket prices range from $30 to $75, and can be purchased by calling 800-711-5882.
Doors open at 6:30pm and the first bout goes on at 7:30pm.