By Kurt Wolfheimer
Once again unbeaten Philadelphian, Mike Jones (20-0, 16 KOs) showed why he is one of the top welterweights in the world as he retained his NABA welterweight title with a workmanlike unanimous decision over former world title challenger Henry “Puerto Rico to the Bone” Bruseles (28-4-1, 15 KOs) before a capacity crowd at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey on Friday night.
Ranked 8th by the WBA, the hard punching Mike Jones, who has made himself into one of the most exciting fighters on the east coast and a tantalizing contender, was forced to take a different route in this fight with Henry Bruseles in boxing his way to the final bell.
Both fighters opened the bout tentatively as each tested the other’s power and jabs. Bruseles was by far the shorter fighter, giving up several inches, so he went underneath and tried to bang way in the opening three rounds. Jones stiffened his jabs and unleashed some heavy shots in round three, which slowed Bruseles to a crawl.
Rounds four through six were back and forth affairs. Bruseles pressed forward and kept Mike Jones bouncing on his toes in round four with heavy two punch combinations up top. Jones clearly controlled the outside to take rounds five and six. Jones started to bang away and his jab became harder, which allowed him to land a big right up top.
Jones unloaded several big combinations in round seven which hurt Bruseles and had him backing up. Unlike his past fights, Jones just couldn’t land that finishing blow, so he went back to boxing on the outside.
Jones was methodical during the final three rounds as he stayed behind the jabs and moved to prevent himself from getting caught with anything. Bruseles just didn’t have enough power to damage the young up and coming contender and the bout went to the scorecards.
Judges saw the bout 98-92 x 2 and 97-92 in favor of Mike Jones.
“The key to the fight was my jab.” said Jones “It helped me gain my distance. My jabs became harder because he kept coming forward and I wanted to hurt him. Bruseles was a proven veteran and a good test. I just keep getting better and better. Hopefully 2010 can be my year.”
Rosado wins monumental battle
Hard luck Philly junior middleweight Gabriel “King” Rosado (14-4, 8 KOs) scored the biggest win of his professional career by a razor thin split decision over Tijuana, Mexico’s Saul Roman (32-6, 27 KOs) in a classic ten round battle of wills.
Roman was vastly experienced, having fought the likes of Yuri Foreman, Sergio Martinez and Yori Boy Campas, and seemed in control in the opening two rounds as calmly backed Rosado up with his long reach and pinpoint combinations. Rosado seemed tentative early, as he backed up and flung occasional counters. Late in round two, Saul Roman put a big combination up top to close the round.
The fight turned in rounds three and four as Rosado rocked Roman with hard left hand counters which slowed his punch output.
Both fighters traded heavy combinations in round five. Rosado pressed forward and wobbled Roman with a straight right in the sixth. A head butt opened a cut on the forehead of Roman and a cut over the left eye of Rosado.
Rosado stepped off the gas as Roman captured rounds seven and eight by targeting the eye of his tentative opponent. The eye began to bleed more profusely and was clearly giving Rosado trouble.
Rosado continued to be bothered by the cut over his left eye, but he continued to blast away with right hand counters, which made the round his for the taking.
Rosado stayed out of harm’s way in the tenth and final round, forcing the bout to the scorecards. One judge had the bout scored 97-93 in favor Saul Roman, but was overruled as the other two both saw it 96-94 in favor of Rosado.
“I couldn’t see out of my eye because of the cut,” said a satisfied Rosado afterward. “I don’t know if it was from sweat or blood, but I knew I had to use my heart and will to capture the victory. Saul is a tough fighter and I had a lot of problems with his reach. I didn’t know it would be that long. Hopefully this victory leads me to bigger and better fights in the near future.”
Mabuza tames Holt in IBF light welterweight eliminator
Hard hitting South African Kaizer Mabuza (23-6-3, 14KO’s) pulled quite upset in the opening bout of the evening with an impressive sixth round stoppage of Patterson New Jersey’s Kendall “Rated R” Holt.
Holt ranked fourth by the IBF and coming off a unanimous decision loss to Timothy Bradley, knew this was a golden opportunity against Mabuza who was fighting on US soil for the very first time. Bradley went out jabbing and landing nice counter hooks which kept Mabuza off balance in the opening stanza.
Mabuza tried to slow down Holt with some crunching body shots in round two, but Holt blocked and countered the shots as he began to lay on the ropes more.
Mabuza started to turn the tide in rounds three and four as he pushed Holt against the ropes and banged away at the body. A short left uppercut bloodied the nose of Holt as the bell sounded to end round four.
By round five Holt was consistently taking punishment against the ropes. Holt tried to counter but Mabuza was relentless, as he mixed large combinations, which spread blood over the side of Holts face.
Holt’s corner pleaded with him to be first and he tried early in the round six, but Kaizer walked right through the shots and planted him on the ropes. It was clear Holt was wilting from the assault by the hard punching South African. Mabuza unloaded a big left uppercut with just seconds to go and followed up with a big right handed as the bell sounded to end the round. As Holt walked to the corner it was clear he was hurting badly as he had trouble sitting on his stool. His corner advised the referee that he could not continue and the bout was waved off at three minutes of round six.
Espinal pounds out Pietrantonio
It was a cross roads battle featuring two hard hitting light heavyweight journey men as Youngstown Ohio’s Anthony Pietrantonio and Ariel Espinal of Brooklyn New York went to war in an exciting six round scuffle.
Espinal dug hooks to the body early in round one. Pietrantonio began to keep him on the outside with jabs and combinations with his reach advantage to capture the first two rounds. Pietrantonio looked to be winning the inside battle also in round three as he backed Ariel Espinal into the ropes and pounded away. Just when it looked like Ariel was going to fade away, he uncorked a big overhand right which landed flush and backed up the Youngstown native. Immediately, the hunter became the hunted as Espinal went right after him with two more big overhand rights up top. Pietrantonio wobbled backward as he tried to fend his opponent off before finally going down from a third big right hand. Espinal continued to land several heavy shots as Pietrantonio’s face became bloody mess from a cut over his left eye.
Pietrantonio was game and tried to fight back in round four, but another right hand from Espinal had him badly hurt. Espinal knew this was his opportunity and uncorked two more big shots, which forced Benji Estevez to step in and call a halt to the bout at 1:38 of round four. Ariel Espinal ups his record to 7-12-3, 3KO’s while Anthony Pietrantonio drops to 6-5-1, 5KO’s.
Maxwell overpowers Erickson
Undefeated Galloway New Jersey super middleweight Troy “Trouble” Maxwell (2-0,1KO) had to come from behind in the final rounds to capture a four round unanimous decision over Dover New Jersey’s Todd “The Viking” Eriksson (0-3-1).
Eriksson frustrated Maxwell in the opening round with long jabs and movement. The momentum changed in round two as Troy Maxwell found his range as the round progressed with his heavy combinations. Maxwell also dug the body in round two. The body shots did their damage as Eriksson’s footwork slowed and made him an easier to hit. Maxwell confidence soared in the third with a straight right, which bloodied his opponent’s nose. Eriksson tried to box while on the retreat in the fourth and final round but Maxwell upped his output and continually battered him until the final bell. All three judges saw the bout exactly the same, 39-37 in favor of Tory “Trouble” Maxwell.
Tapia impressive in first round KO
Undefeated Passaic New Jersey junior middleweight Glenn Tapia (4-0, 3KO’s) needed just a minute to drop and finish off Camden, New Jersey’s Tyrone Miles in the first of two walkout bouts on the card. Almost immediately Tapia had Miles in trouble with a five punch combination. A short one two sent Miles to the canvas. He rose to his feet, but Glenn Tapia would not let him go and continue to blast away. Tyrone retreated, but after three heavy shots, the referee stepped in and called a halt to the proceedings at the one minute mark.
Duran drubs Davis
In the final walkout bout of the evening, former Commonwealth junior middleweight title holder Ossie Duran (24-8-2, 9KO’s) bounced back from two consecutive losses with an impressive one sided four round unanimous decision victory over Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (11-6, 5KO’s).
Right from the opening bell it was clear that Duran was the bigger and stronger puncher as he battered Davis around the ring with big right hands. Davis was game, but Duran kept on with the heavy blows which constantly kept him off balance in rounds two and three. Jamaal knew he needed a knockout in the fourth and final round and unloaded all he had. Duran was not fazed though and continued to land with wide heavy right hands which captured the final round of the fight. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor Ossie Duran.
The exciting seven bout card was promoted by Top Rank Inc. in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions Inc.