By Kurt Wolfheimer and Chris Perry at ringside
Photos: Ray Bailey
Saturday night at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Diane Fischer’s Dee Lee Promotions returned to the New Jersey scene in a big way with an explosive card called appropriately Super Brawl 1 which was stocked with several highly competitive bouts that entertained a raucous crowd of over thousand strong. In the ten round main event, “Dangerous” Dorin Spivey (41-6, 30 KOs) captured the NABA lightweight title, outslugging Victor Vasquez (14-6-1, 7 KOs) en-route to hard fought seventh round stoppage. Heavyweight contender Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon (30-2, 22 KOs) captured the vacant IBS North American Continental title with a brutal second round knockout of David Saulsbury (7-5, 7 KOs) in the eight round co-feature of the evening.
Thirty eight year old “Dangerous” Dorin Spivey used all of the experience and weapons in his arsenal pull out a hard fought seventh round stoppage of Philly fan favorite Victor Vasquez, capturing the vacant NABA Lightweight title.
The bout was a back and forth battle of two warriors willing to trade away in vicious exchanges throughout.
Vasquez appeared to take the opening round with his aggressiveness, but it wouldn’t last long as Spivey started use his experience as he found holes in Vasquez defense in the second with sharp three and four punch combinations. Vasquez was not going to be intimidated and landed several good big overhand rights to make the round close.
Spivey stepped up the attack in the third with some overhand rights of his own. Vasquez would not back down from the more experienced veteran as he mixed in some bodywork in his flurries. Both fighters would give no ground during their constant exchanges. A both fighters leaned in, an accidental head butt occurred but Vasquez got the worst end of it. The area around his left eye immediately swelled. Fight fans in Philadelphia had seen this before in Victor’s fights, knowing he would only come back stronger and that is exactly what he did in the fifth.
While Spivey had stunned Vasquez in the sixth, a short right hand put the Portsmouth native back on the retreat. Both combatants continued to trade away in tremendous back and forth action throughout the round. Vasquez’s problem was that he would leave his face stationary and Spivey would place a hard three punch combo. Spivey blows were doing the most damage and you could see the game Victor Vasquez faltering a bit.
Spivey shots were sharp and they sent Victor continually to the ropes. Vasquez was taking some good punishment but would not give in and actually found another good one-two in the closing thirty seconds. Vasquez appeared tired and dropped his hands to get ready throw everything he had left in his arsenal. Spivey immediately seized the opportunity with a five punch combination.
Victor walked his corner looking tired and battered but as long as he had a chance, there was no way Victor would quit on his stool.
Spivey came back with another right hand and Vasquez found himself against the ropes almost immediately in the seventh round. Spivey jumped on him with a five punch combination which snapped back the head of Vasquez. It was clear that Referee Lindsey Page was keeping a close eye Victor and jumped in immediately calling the bout in what appeared to be a really quick stoppage at 25 seconds of the seventh round. The pro Vasquez crowd erupted into a chorus of boos. Vasquez did some of his best work of the ropes and he didn’t appear to be stunned. It was definitely an early stoppage in this writer’s eyes, but it may have just prevented the courageous Vasquez from taking more damage in the final three rounds.
The time is now for the thirty eight year old Dorin Spivey and this showing might propel him into an even bigger fight. Spivey was happy with the victory and looked jubilant as he left the ring. He was gracious with his praise later on the terrific fight and Vasquez’s iron like will. “Victor has nothing to be ashamed about, ” said Spivey. He fought like a warrior and gave me a very tough fight. He really tested me tonight.”
Spivey moves to 41-6, 30 KOs, while Victor Vasquez slips to 14-6-1, 7 KOs.
In the co-feature of the evening, heavyweight contender Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon faced a daunting challenge, giving up sixty pounds and several inches in height “Big” David Saulsberry.
Witherspoon looked to keep his distance and it didn’t start well as Saulsberry looked to load up and actually caught the Philadelphian with a big right hand. Witherspoon rolled with the punch and circled away from the bigger man from Greenville, Kentucky. Witherspoon began to find his spots with well time rights which kept Saulsberry tentative through a quiet first.
Saulsberry continued to stalk Witherspoon, which led right into the Philly veteran’s hand. The trap had been laid and Saulsberry opened with a wide right hand, but Witherspoon timed the shot and found his chin with a blistering right. Big David was out and toppled face first to the canvas. There was no chance that Saulsberry would be the count and Alan Huggins correctly called the knockout at 42 seconds of the second round.
Chazz Witherspoon ups his record to 30-2, 22 KOs while David Saulsberry falls to 7-5, 7 KOs.
In the fight of the night, exciting featherweight “The Phenomenal” Nydia Feliciano out boxed and out slugged Ella “Bam Bam Nunez over four rounds to capture a crowd pleasing unanimous decision by scores of 39-37 across the board. Nunez appeared to be in the best shape of her recent part of her career. She was the heavier handed fighter in the opening round, working well to the body. Feliciano was the better boxer though and used her superior hand speed and footwork to gain the advantage in the final three rounds, in capturing the well deserved victory. Feliciano jumps to 4-2-3, while hard luck Ella Nunez falls to 11-12-2, 3 KOs
Unbeaten Dennis “The Assassin” Hasson (12-0, 3 KOs) made a successful comeback after almost a two year layoff with an impressive third round stoppage of William “Ice Man” Santiago (6-8, 2 KOs) in their scheduled six round cruiserweight contest. Hasson who had made most of his career as a super middleweight was in the process of getting back down to a lower weight class but knew he needed to get back in the ring as soon as possible, thus accepting the cruiserweight contest.
It didn’t look good in the early going for Hasson, as Santiago immediately caught him looking very dry with two big right hands to the face. Hasson is known for having a good beard and shrugged them off, before moving out of range. Santiago continued to try and land a telling blow, but Hasson was able dodge or deflect most. Santiago appeared to tire a bit and his punches became wider in the second, allowing Hasson to work on the inside. Just when it appeared the Hasson was in control, Santiago uncorked three good upper cuts as the pro Hasson crowd gasped. It would not faze Hasson and he found a well timed counter right the put Santiago on the defensive. The Philadelphian, who is now based out of Delaware and working with Dave Tiberi, showed his new found confidence and went on the attack like a predator after his prey. Santiago could only cover in the closing seconds as Hasson snapped seven unanswered shots. Santiago wobbled away before clinching for dear life until the bell sounded to end the round.
Santiago looked on unsteady legs, but still had the will to throw punches from left field, though most missed. Hasson returned fire with a strong one two on the dead tired Santiago and followed up with another combination before referee Allan Huggins called a halt to the contest at the 1:17 mark of the third round.
Norfolk Virginia light heavyweight sensation Frankie “Freight Train” Filippone moved to 9-2, 2 KOs with a non-descript six round unanimous decision over Harley “The Sandman” Kilfan (9-9, 8 KOs). Filippone had the superior boxing skills, but looked more content to sit and avoid any of Kilfan’s tentative volleys as the crowd booed off and on throughout the contest. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Frankie Filippone by scores of 59-55 and 58-56 x 2.
“Joltin” Joey Tiberi (7-1, 5 KOs) continued his winning ways with a one sided, but entertaining four round unanimous decision victory over Steve Cox (2-4, 1KO) by scores of 40-36 across the board. Joey Tiberi, of the famous Tiberi boxing family, seems to be getting better with each fight as his combinations are crisper and more precise, while his footwork and defense have also vastly improved.
Unbeaten heavyweight Dorsett “Bullet” Bagwell (6-0, 3 KOs)overcame a bad habit of fighting with his hands at his waist to pull out a four round unanimous decision over Jon “Dark Knight” Bolden (2-4, 2 KOs) by scores of 39-37 across the board. Bagwell kept the hands at his waist to try and lure Bolden in and catch him with a big right hand, but most were telegraphed and blocked. Bolden just didn’t have the power to keep the heavy handed heavyweight from doing enough to capture the victory.
Isiah Seldon (6-0, 3 KOs), the son of former heavyweight sensation Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon continued to improve on his boxing skills as a pro, with a destructive second round knockout of Kenneth Moody (2-3-2, 1KO) in their scheduled four round super middleweight contest. Seldon, who looked very raw in his opening couple of contests, has refined his craft and it showed in his crisp combinations and great footwork throughout. Moody was forced to take chances to have a shot at defeating Seldon, however it would cost him fight. In the second round, Seldon appeared to be in control and was wearing down his opponent with a great variety of head and bodywork. Moody was desperate and dove in with a wild right, but Seldon was quicker and timed it with a powerful right, which landed flush up top. Moody fell face forward onto Seldon, Isiah turned away which made Kenneth to crash to the canvas. Moody would not beat the count. The official to time of the knockout occurred at 1:41 of the second round.
The card opened with a very entertaining four round contest between a pair of highly talented super featherweights, as Chris “The Champ” Finley of Detroit Michigan squared off against Philly’s “Killer” Keenan Smith. Finley from the fighting city of Detroit, appeared to be the bigger fighter and used his reach to take the opening round with various combinations at a distance. Smith found his ground late in the first with strong counters while sliding under many of Smith’s volleys.
Keenan Smith looked in control throughout the second and was able to bang away with several good combinations and nice movement. Finley could only use his bigger body to push Smith to the ropes. Finley pressed the action in the third, but it was Keenan Smith whose hand speed made the difference. Finley would not back down and continued to try and rough it up.
It looked like Keenan Smith was on his way to capturing the unanimous decision victory when an accidental but caused a deep gash on the forehead and it bled profusely into his left eye. Smith went after him but eventually Kennan was able to find his rhythm again and boxed his way throughout the final minute and a half to capture a razor thin final round and the victory in this writers scoring. It was up to the judges though and one scored it surprisingly 38-38 even. He was overruled as the other two officials saw it 39-37 in favor of Keenan Smith, giving him the well deserved majority decision victory. Keenan Smith jumps to 5-0, 1 KO, while Chris Ellis falls to 3-4, 3 KOs.
The Matchmaker for this highly entertaining nine bout card was none other than renowned matchmaker Nick Tiberi.