By Kurt Wolfheimer
Friday night at the National Guard Armory in Northeast Philadelphia, undefeated hometown favorite “Pretty Boy” Coy Evans (10-0-1, 2KO’s) continued his march up the featherweight division with a one-sided six round unanimous decision over wily Columbian veteran Felipe Almanza (18-20-4, 9KO’s). The undercard of the five bout card promoted by Greg Robinson’s Power Promotions, had several last minute fallouts. Lightweight prospect Tim Witherspoon Jr. (6-1-1, 2KO’s) stepped up and put on an admirable show in the new co-feature of the evening, scoring a unanimous decision over a very game Kywame Hill (1-7, 1KO).
The crowd though disappointed with the fallout of a highly anticipated West Oak Lane rumble between Jameel “Black Gold” Wilson (13-16-3, 5KO’s) and Tommy “Big Poppa” Speller (5-5,3KO’s) which had to be scratched just hours before the show, still stuck around and witnessed the biggest fight of featherweight “Pretty Boy” Coy Evans career to date.
Felipe Almanza was a veteran who had been in with the likes of Abner Mares, Wifredo Vasques Jr. and Teon “The Technician” Kennedy and figured to give Evans a true test. Right from the opening bell, Almanza looked to counter while slipping and sliding around the ring. Evans who seemed more experienced than his record indicates, calmly worked to cut off the ring and threw single shots in the opening round.
Evans, at the behest of the Philly Trainer of the year Bozey Ennis, Evans, began to cut off the ring and mix in body shots in an effort to slow down the movement of the constantly retreating Almanza as the second progressed.
Almanza appeared to be in survival mode in the early portion of the third, moving around the ring and sliding to his left and right to avoid the lightning quick combinations that were finding the mark whenever he was cornered. Late in the round, the fight got a little dirty when Almanza landed two shots on the hip and thigh of Evans. “Those shots really hurt, but I knew I could handle them and it didn’t slow me down,” said Evans. The man nickname “Pretty Boy,” trapped Almanza against the ropes and unloaded a blistering five punch combination which seemed to take a lot of fight out of Almanza.
The fourth and fifth rounds were clearly in the favor of Evans, who continued to chase the Columbian down with one and two punch combos as very few meaningful counters came back in return.
Amanza’s only chance was to land a sharp counter, but Evans was on his “A” game and he continued find his mark with straight one two’s throughout the sixth and final round. Evans wobbled Almanza with a right hand with five seconds to go, but could not land another shot as the final bell sounded.
All three judges scored every round in favor of Coy Evans by scores of 60-54 x 3. The fight was another stepping stone for the rising featherweight star who continues to learn as he moves up the ladder.
Evan’s spoke about the victory afterward. “I knew he was going to move and we trained for that. I just didn’t think he would move as much as he did. I was wearing him down. If this was an eight rounder as it had been originally schedule for, I would have stopped him.”
Philly co-managers of the year award winners Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods were happy with the victory. “Coy looked good in there, not getting frustrated with the constant movement of Almanza,” said Gonzalez. “These are the kinds of fights that are going to help him down the road. Tonight we are just going to enjoy the victory and we hope to have Coy back in action very soon.
Tim Witherspoon Jr. (6-1-1, 2KO’s), had a much tougher time of it in the co-feature of the evening in scoring a unanimous decision victory over hard luck fellow Philadelphian Kywame Hill (1-7,1KO).
Witherspoon Jr. owned a several inch height and reach advantage over Hill and tried to use it in the early going to keep his punching range.
Kywame Hill, who is probably one if not the toughest 1-7 fighter in the country, was more than willing to go toe-to-toe with the son of the two time heavyweight champion, Tim Witherspoon. However the reach allowed Witherspoon Jr. to land a big overhand right on the button which forced Hill to the ropes and on unsteady legs. Hill’s defense was good though and he recovered quickly but had to be more cautious as the second round came to a close.
Witherspoon caught Hill against ropes in the third and began to unload. Hill go his hand caught in the ropes which allowed Witherspoon Jr. to connect with two explosive rights up top and Hill looked to be out on his feet. Hill recover quickly though and continued to fight back while on the retreat but just didn’t have the power to keep him off.
Witherspoon junior continued to up the pace in the fourth, finding more spots for the overhand rights. Late in the round he wobbled Hill in the corner, but the bell sounded before any more damage could be done. Round five was more of the same as Hill seemed to begin to steadily fight tentatively.
Hill tried to switch in and out of the southpaw stance in an effort to confuse his opponent. Witherspoon Jr. appeared to tire a bit and shot flashy two and three punch combinations throughout the final round but they lacked the power that they had in previous rounds.
The fight went to the scorecards with Tim Witherspoon Jr. picking up the unanimous decision victory by scores of 60-54, 59-54 and 59-55 respectively.
Undefeated Suitland Maryland cruiserweight Venroy July looked sharp in moving to 7-0-1, 2KO’s with a one sided four round unanimous decision over formerly undefeated Joe Broken Rope (2-1) of Billings Montana.
July was clearly the more polished fighter and it showed in the early going as he immediately reddened the area around Broken Rope’s left eye from a straight left early in the first.
Broken Rope didn’t have the best physique, but he did have a sharp shin which allowed him to land a few counters in the second while taking having combinations in return. July was never in trouble though and continued to stalk and land at will.
Broke Rope just would not falter in the third round, but was wearing down as the fight progressed.
July snapped back the head of the Billing Montana native in the final round, but Broken Rope survived until the final bell.
All three judges saw every round in favor of Venroy July by scores of 40-36 times three. July could be a national contender in the very near future.
Philly light heavyweight Amir Shabazz looked impressive in his professional debut with a one sided unanimous decision victory over winless Phillip Hannah (0-5) by scores of 40-36 across the board.
Debuting heavyweight Georgiy Guralnik opened the show with a good effort scoring a unanimous decision victory over a very defensive minded Michael Davis (0-7).