By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Greg Robinson’s Power Productions Inc. put on an exciting night of boxing at the Legendary Blue Horizon on Friday night to celebrate his ten year anniversary into the boxing business. Headlining the card was a very entertaining USBA junior middleweight title bout, as Philly’s own Derek “Pooh” Ennis scored a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision victory over Miami, Florida’s Eromosele Albert.
It was a night to see who would take the next step in their careers as two of the top junior middleweight prospects squared off in the main event for the vacant USBA junior middleweight championship. Derek Ennis entered the ring with a record of 17-2-1, 12KO’s and looked to show that he had what it takes to move into the top twenty in the world. His managers Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods as well as Greg Robinson’s matchmakers looked far and wide for a contender that would take the fight. In stepped the always dangerous Eromosele Albert (22-3-1, 10Ko’s), who came looking pull the upset and head back home with the championship belt.
Ennis, who had trouble making weight previously in his career, has made the weight in his last three schedule bouts and looked in tip top shape as he entered the ring at 151 ½, (almost three pounds below junior middleweight limit of 154lbs). Albert also looked in great shape at 153 ½ and was clearly the bigger fighter as the two stood in the center of the ring, getting the instructions before the opening bell sounded.
The first three frames were very close to call as Ennis countered well while on the retreat. Albert used his bigger frame and longer reach to bang away on the Philadelphian’s body and gloves while pressing the attack throughout the opening rounds.
Ennis started to trade more with the dangerous Floridian in round four, but Albert looked like Joshua Clottey, as he continued to press forward right through the flurries and pushed him against the ropes with hard jabs and wide shots.
Ennis stepped up and shortened his shots in round six. He instantly straightened the legs of Albert with a short right upper cut on the inside and then proceeded to land a six punch flurry. Albert regained his composure, but Ennis circled the ring and was hard to catch.
Showing his boxing skills, Ennis countered well with tight right hands and left hooks early in round seven, but he started to lay more against the ropes allowing Albert to wail away with heavy hands. The heavy shots from Albert began to pierce through the tight defense of Ennis. His corner urged him to stay off the ropes and keep moving, but Ennis wanted to show he could counter well on the inside. “This fighting off the ropes seems to be a Philly thing, which we are trying to get Derek to stop doing,” said his manager Moz Gonzalez.
Each had their moments in rounds eight and nine. Ennis appeared to take the eighth with wicked flurries and Albert captured the ninth with his heavy punch output.
The fight appeared to be in the balance as the bout entered the championship rounds. Ennis stepped up his attack with heavy flurries and opened up a cut on the left eye of Albert in the tenth. The cut forced Albert to be a little more cautious in the round. Ennis continued to his attack as he caught Albert with a nice uppercut and a double right combination as round eleven came to a close.
Albert caught Ennis in the twelfth round with a big right hand counter of his own, but Ennis was game and returned with flurries, but could not land a telling blow.
The crowd stood on their feet and cheered the efforts of both combatants for their efforts as the bout went to the scorecards. All three judges saw the bout in Favor of the new USBA junior middleweight champion Derek Ennis by scores of 115-113 x2 and 116-112 respectively.
“He was very experienced and I knew it would be tough fight,” said Ennis. “He threw a lot of punches, but most were bouncing off my gloves and not getting through my defense. I knew the fight was close, so I stepped up the pressure in the final three rounds and it secured the victory for me.”
Managers, Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods were both extremely happy with successful effort of Ennis in the biggest victory of his career. “I along with Eddie are proud of what Derek did in there tonight. There were questions following Derek about his making weight which caused two bouts to be cancelled last year. I would like to apologize to Diane Fischer of Dee Lee Promotions and Mike Fingerman, but we have straightened everything out and as you can see Derek has not only made weight in his last three scheduled bouts, but has looked great at a couple of pounds under the junior middleweight limit.”
Look for Ennis to step up on the national scene in the very near future.
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The co-feature of the evening was a six round junior welterweight contest featuring Greg Robinson’s nephew Tyric “Too Sweet Robinson against Philly fan favorite Victor Vasquez. Many in the stands figured that Robinson would use his hand speed to stop the hard punching Vasquez. It wasn’t to be as Vasquez dropped him in round two with right hand to the ribs, followed with a left hook on the button. Robinson rose to his feet and tried to fight off the attacks of Vasquez. Victor was on his game tonight and looked sharp as continually popped Tyric with pinpoint one-two combinations in rounds three through five. Robinson tried to go for broke and a knockout in the final round, but it cost him again as Vasquez caught him in the corner and dropped him with a four punch combination in the closing seconds. Robinson rose to his feet and survived until the final bell, sending the bout to the score cards. All three judges saw the bout easily in favor of Vasquez by scores of 60-53 and 59-53 x 2. Victor Vasquez ups his record to 10-3, 5KO’s, while Tyric Robinson falls to 9-5-1, 3KO’s.
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Hard slugging Philadelphia heavyweight John Mercurio (3-0, 2KO’s) scored a devastating knockout of overmatched James Pratt (2-7,2KO’s) of Charlotte, North Carolina in the first round of their scheduled four round contest. The outgunned James Pratt tried to go for broke as the opening bell sounded with a few wild punches, but John Mercurio took his time and walked him down with heavy right hands. Pratt retreated throughout swinging while leaning back, which took everything off the punches. Mercurio cut off the ring and forced him to the ropes. John Mercurio finally ended the mismatch with a devastating right hand behind a left hook which sent Pratt crumbling face forward to the canvas. Pratt was counted out at 1:23 of the opening round.
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Heavy handed super middleweight Mario Mina (3-0, 2KO’s) outslugged Tommie “Big Pappa” Speller (4-3, 3KO’s) to capture a hard fought four round unanimous decision victory. Both fighters were supposed to fight lesser opponents, but they fell out at the weigh in. each fighter didn’t want to lose the opportunity and their management teams thought it was worth the risk and decided to fight each other in what looked to be and even match on paper. Speller was the bigger fighter in terms of size and fought pretty evenly in the tranches throughout, but Mina seemed to finish the exchanges with big right hands to win all four closely contested rounds. All three judges saw it the same way, as Mario Mina took the unanimous decision victory by scores of 40-36 x 3.
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Rachel Clark (4-2-1, 3KO’s) of Columbia South Carolina continued her new found resurgence with a third round TKO victory over Akron Ohio’s Natoya Ervin (1-4). Ervin, a chunky southpaw, rushed Clark with a heavy flurry of arm punches as the opening round began. It was of no use though as Rachel Clark took her time and overpowered her with heavy single shots that Ervin had no answer for. Round two was a one sided affair as Clark stepped up the pace and pounded away at a nearly defenseless Ervin throughout the round. Clark had her on the ropes and turning away as the bell sounded with a furious five punch combination. Erving immediately admitted defeat in the corner and refused to come out for another round, giving Clark the one sided TKO victory at three minutes of round two. Clark under new found management of Richard Clarke, has appeared to gain confidence with two nice victories thanks to the tutelage of new trainer and boxing legend Ivan Robinson.
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Undefeated Philly super middleweight Derrick Webster (3-0, 2KO’s) needed just a minute and fifty six seconds to stop outclassed John Colvin (2-8, 2KO’s) of Pennsboro, West Virginia in their scheduled four-round encounter. The flashy Webster had Colvin backed up throughout with quick combinations. Colvin tried to return fire, but he just didn’t have the skills of Webster. Derek ended the contest by dropping Colvin with a right hook to the ribs. Colvin made an attempt to rise to his feet but referee waved the fight off at 1:56 of the opening round to prevent further damage to the outclassed West Virginian.
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Philly featherweight prospect Coy Evans (5-0) effectively boxed way to a commanding four round unanimous decision victory over thirty six fight veteran Carlos “Bam Bam” Diaz (10-22-4, 7KO’s). Evans looked far ahead of a fighter with just five professional fights as he used his ring generalship and pinpoint combinations to defeat the game Diaz. All three judges saw the bout easily in favor of Evans by scores of 40-36 x 2 and 40-35 respectively.