By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Joe Deguardia’s Star Boxing put together a very entertaining night of boxing at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday night. In the main event of the evening, Atlantic City’s own Shamone Alvarez (21-2, 12KO’s) put himself back in welterweight mix with devastating 7th round knockout of Alexis Camacho 17-3, 16KO’s). Also, heavyweight slugger and crowd favorite Vinny Maddalone (33-6, 24KO’s) rebounded from his close loss to Jean Marc Mormeck by dropping a vastly outgunned Dominique Alexander (19-8-1, 9KO’s) four times, finishing the job in round five with a deep hook to the body.
Alvarez had to be careful in the early going, as the heavy handed Alexis Camacho constantly landed sharp counters. Eventually the tricky southpaw began to find his spots and took control in round two behind pinpoint combinations from the southpaw stance. Alexis tried to fight back, but a straight left had him hurt and covering. Shamone jumped on him like a Leopard on his prey, with several heavy left hands up top as the crowd frothed into a raucous frenzy. Camacho was tough though and didn’t get seventeen wins by giving in and fought back, surviving the round.
Alexis Camacho was game and forced Alvarez back with three successive rights up top in round three, but Shamone kept his defense tight. As Camacho opened up, it provided more opportunities for Shamone, who forced him back with a heavy straight left on the chin.
In round four, Alvarez mixed his attack to both the head and the body. Though Camacho continued to land wide hooks, they were getting wider and losing their power. Alvarez forced the pressure with heavy 1-2 counters.
Both fighters had their moments in round five but it was Alvarez who seemed to be getting stronger with heavy right hooks and left hands, walking right through the heavy shots of Camacho.
Alvarez continued to pound away in round six as the fight became a whitewash. Though Alexis Camacho tried to hang on, Shamone continued to bang away with wild abandon. The punches showed on the face of the battered and bruised Alexis Camacho. In fact it was a concern that the Camacho would retire in the corner.
It wouldn’t last long though as Shamone Alvarez unleashed an overhand left in round seven, which landed right on the chin and planted Alexis Camacho on his back like a sack of bricks. Referee Ricardo Vera knew he wouldn’t reach his feet and immediately waved it off without a count. The time of the impressive stoppage came a t 1:30 of round 7. “I didn’t expect to finish him like that,” said a satisfied Alvarez afterward. As my corner man Arnold Robbins said “be careful because he still was strong and he was really cracking.” I just went to the body and then landed the big left hand.”
“This was a very pivotal fight for my, said Alvarez. “If I lost this fight, who would I be able to fight next if I want to get back to where I want to be? I am not there yet. I still have to get over another hill before I am back to where I want to be.
Maddalone blows away Alexander
Vinny Maddalone (33-6, 24KO’s) at the age of 36 looked at home right from the opening bell as he planted Dominique Alexander (19-8-1, 9KO’s) against the ropes and blasted away at the body. Alexander tried to get on the bicycle and box from the outside, but Maddalone was relentless with his body attack.
It looked like the classic “Bull versus the Matador” as Maddalone gored the Matador in the corner with several more body shots early in round two. The only thing that stopped his onslaught was a shot on the beltline, which was called low and he was warned, giving Alexander a chance to rest. Alexander was forced to trade late, but Vinny walked right through it and landed a heavy left on the belt line as the round came to a close.
Maddalone would not be denied and his heavy shots to the body continually wore down his opponent. Alexander could only go from one rope to the next as Maddalone whacked away. Dominique tried to stand his ground with a five punch combination. It was a big mistake as Maddalone sent him to the canvas with an overhand right as the round came to a close.
Moments into the fourth round, a deteriorating Alexander was sent to the canvas with two big overhand rights. Alexander rose to his feet, but just moments later, he was deposited back on the ring floor with a solid overhand right behind the classic one two. Dominique Alexander was able to clinch, but Maddalone continued to pound away at him in the final seconds of round four.
Maddalone looked at home in round five as he mixed his combinations to the head and body of his opponent. Just moments later, an overhand right shook Alexander retreated, but a right left combination to the body dropped him for the fourth and final time. Referee Sammy Viruet had seen enough and called a halt to the bout at 1:09 of the fifth round.
A confident Maddalone spoke about the bout afterward. “I was surprised he stayed in there that long. He was tough, but I knew he was not going to make the distance and I finished him in the fifth.”
“The Professor” is tested
Wildwood, New Jersey prospect, Chuck “The Professor” Mussachio (15-1-2, 5KO’s) continued his way up the light heavyweight ladder with a hard fought six round unanimous decision victory over “The White Tornado” Richmond Dalphone (2-6-3, 2KO’s).
Dalphone entered the ring with a deceptive record, as all of his losses have come against several rising prospects, who’s combined records at the time he fought them was an extraordinary (31-1-2). He immediately forced “The Professor” to the ropes and banged several hard shoots to the body in the opening moments of the fight. Mussachio, fresh off a thrilling victory over Bayonne, New Jersey’s Bobby Rooney(11-3-1, 6KO’s), fought back as best he could in back and forth exchanges throughout rounds one and two. Mussachio found his spots late in round two and round three with combinations while on the retreat which slowed the attack of Dalphone.
Mussachio began to set up several straight rights behind nice jabs that stood up his opponent and forced him to cover.
In round four, Mussachio had Dalphone stepping in potholes with an overhand right. Dalphone tied up and covered as “The Professor” popped another right hand and forced the White Tornado to clinch again and hold on. Mussachio continued to finds spots for two and three punch combos, but tired from his punch output and Dalphone survived the round.
Chuck Mussachio looked for his second wind in the fifth as he boxed well, while on the retreat. Dalphone tried to push the attack, but the jabs and movement from his opponent, kept him at bay.
Dalphone connected with a big right hand up top in the early going of round six and followed up with another heavy three punch combination. Mussachio was able to weather the storm and then effectively boxed his way to the final bell with movement and sharp left jabs.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Chucky Mussachio by scores of 58-56 x 2, and 58-55 respectively.
“I hit him and hurt him in the fourth round, which would have put the average person down,” said Mussachio. “I tried to take him out, but I punched myself out and had to hold on for the last couple of seconds. I was winded and the minute between rounds was not enough, so he took the fifth, but I came back and won the sixth which was enough to win the fight. He is a lot better than his record indicates and I tip my hat to him. He came to fight and gave me everything he had. That probably is one of my toughest fights to date.”
Garcia out-duels Mercado
In a highly contested battle featuring two unbeaten Jersey Shore junior middleweights, Millville’s Ismael “Tito” Garcia (pro debut) was able box his way to a crowd pleasing unanimous decision victory, handing Cape May’s Josh “No Limits” Mercado the first loss of his career after three victories.
Mercado, who entered the ring at 3-0, 1KO, pressed forward in the early going as he tried to use his superior power shots on the debuting Garcia. “Tito would have none of it and kept him off balance with several bristling combinations, which continually caught the stationary Mercado in his tracks. Mercado just couldn’t find his rhythm in the third and it looked like the slicker Garcia would use his hand speed and movement to box his way to victory. It all changed in the fourth and final round as Mercado desperately needed at least a knockdown to even the score and threw caution to the wind with heavy shots. Both fighters’ raucous fans were on their feet as each tried to instill their will. Mercado captured Garcia in the corner and banged away with a four punch flurry. Garcia fought back but looked tired as Mercado vainly tried to land a telling final flurry but the bell sounded to end the contest.
All three judges saw it 40-36 in favor of Ismael “Tito” Garcia, who raises his record to 1-0. Josh Mercado had nothing to be ashamed about as he gave it his all, but falls to 3-1, 1KO.
Dawejko clubs Cunningham
Highly touted amateur prospect Joey “Polish Thunder” Dawejko raised his record to 3-0, 1KO with a hard fought, four round unanimous decision victory over winless “K.C.,” Kimani Cunningham (0-3), in the opening heavyweight contest of the evening.
It looked it might be an early night for Polish nineteen year old from Philadelphia, PA, who rocked Cunningham against the ropes with a heavy left hook in mid round. Cunningham retreated to the far ropes and covered as a heavy four punch combination found its mark. Cunningham survived the round and pressed the attack in round two with a few flurries and a surprising hook up top. Dawejko was not deterred and continued to move forward, mixing in body shots. His opponent knew how to survive and did just enough to hold his own in round two.
Both fighters traded early in round three and it appeared that Joey had tired from his early heavy swings. Cunningham sensed his opportunity and moved forward with a few wild shots. Dawejko, who gave up several inches, backed up and counter punched the much taller Cunningham the rest of the way. He did throw a couple of knockout swings which just missed the mark, so the bout was forced to the scorecards.
All three judges easily saw it in favor of Joey Dawejko by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 x 2, for the unanimous decision victory.