Report/Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
A capacity crowd at Albany’s Empire State Convention Center saw local favorite Mike “The Baby-Faced Beast” Faragon keep his unbeaten record intact with an eight round unanimous decision against battle tested veteran Shamir Reyes on the Pugnacious Promotions “Valentine’s Day Crush(ers)” card. From the moment Reyes took off his robe, it was apparent he was woefully out of shape, having tipped the scales at a chunky 143 lbs., six more than the fit and trim Faragon. It was clear early that Reyes’ only hope was to land a haymaker off the ropes, which he tried often, or inflict an injury via roughouse tactics, which he also employed frequently.
Referee Danny Schiavone warned Reyes for use of his head more than once. Faragon for his part smartly attacked the soft midsection of his foe throughout. This mixed with beautiful combination punching and ring generalship proved too much for the wiley veteran Reyes. In round six, it appeared Reyes was stunned to the ropes by a Faragon combo to the head. Faragon was careful not to get drawn into a counter by the veteran though. Showing poise beyond his ring years, Faragon stuck to his tactics of cutting off the ring, picking his shots, and moving away from harm. In the end, it paid off as the scores read 79-73 x 2 and 78-74, all for the now 14-0, 6 KOs “Baby Faced Beast.”
Faragon told Fightnews afterward, “He knew coming into my hometown that I would have to take the fight, even though he was almost seven pounds heavier. That shows no class on his part. He was tough to hit, he got so low against the ropes. But I’m happy with the win and it’s on to April now!”
Opening the show, Troy, New York resident, and former amateur standout Ray Velez made his pro debut against Philadelphia’s John Dipolito, in a welterweight scheduled four rounder. It didn’t take long
for Velez to figure Dipolito out as a quick combination to the head dropped the Philly fighter 30 seconds in. After hurting his foe to the body, Velez turned the trick again, dropping Dipolito after another thirty seconds. The final nail in the coffin came at 2:01 of the opening round as Dipolito was dropped face first, forcing referee Johnny Callas to halt matters mercifully. Velez wins his pro debut in style, now 1-0, 1 KO, while Dipolito falls to 0-2.
Ilyas Aksabaez of Bronx, New York, got into the win column finally after drawing in his pro debut, by stalking and battering Schenectady, New York’s Bryan Abraham for four rounds in a super lightweight clash. Despite a cut over the left eye in the fourth, Aksabaez never took a backward step. Scores were 39-37, 40-35 and 40-35, all for Aksabaez. Abraham drops to 2-5-2, (2KOs), while Aksabaez moves to 1-0-1.
Zach “Li’l Freak” Smith of Delmar, NY took on Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada’s Scott Paul in a scheduled four round lightweight tussle. Tussle, wrastle, tangle, clinch, oh, and the odd clean punching was practiced in this display. Be that as it may, Smith seemed to be the aggressor and more effective, as was evidenced by the scores of 40-36 unanimously from all three judges. Smith improves to 5-2, while Paul heads back to the great white North at 5-7, 2 KOs.
Opening the pro/am card were four amateur bouts featuring local youngsters. The results were as follows:
95 lbs. – Tawan Williams W3 Brandon Idrago
115 lbs. – Tamar Williams W3 Ryan Maisenbacher
135 lbs. – Abraham Nova W3 Martin Murphy
150 lbs. – Luis Vargas W3 Javy Martinez