By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside.
Andre Kut of KEA Boxing, brought professional boxing back to Wilkes-Barre, PA for the first time in over twenty years with an entertaining seven bout card at the Woodlands Inn and Resort on Saturday night. It was a successful event for the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre fans as former Scranton police officer and heavyweight prospect, Jason Gavern (17-5-3, 8KO’s) put on a six round boxing clinic, capturing a one sided, six round unanimous decision victory over Michael “Big Daddy” Rhodes (3-5-3, 1KO). In the co-feature of the evening Old Forge, PA’s Anthony Cusumano (3-2-1, 2KO’s) moved above the five hundred mark with a second round stoppage of hard luck Philadelphian, Emmanuelle Rosas (0-5).
Gavern 228 of Kissimmee, Florida, had to give up over 120 pounds to the 353 pound behemoth Michael “Big Daddy” Rhodes. Seeing the power of a few wild misses, Gavern kept his distance in the opening round behind left jabs and hooks.
Gavern began to set down on his punches in round two, landing heavy shots, using Rhodes like a heavy bag and then getting out before he could land anything in return. Gavern looked like a surgeon, dissecting Rhodes with uppercuts, right hands and various combinations that had the crowd roaring in approval.
Rhodes actually connected with a nice right hand on the chin as round three ended. His punches became more of arm punches as the fight wore on though as he tired from effects of the constant barrages from Gavern.
The fight took a funny turn a Rhodes threw a right hand that elicited Woo from Gavern early in round four. A short right uppercut rocked Rhodes late in the same round. ” I knew I hurt him with that uppercut, but I hurt my hand and I knew I wouldn’t be able to go all out, so I just took my time and banged away,” said Gavern.
You couldn’t tell at ringside that Gavern hurt his hand as he unleashed constant heavy two and three punch combinations without much coming back in the final three rounds.
All three judges gave every round to Gavern (60-54 x 3).
It was a near flawless performance for Gavern who expects to return to Wilkes-Barre on May 23rd when KEA Boxing returns to the Woodlands Inn and Resort.
Cusumano stops Roses in two
Local lightweight Anthony Cusumano (3-2-1,2KO’s) of Old Forge, PA shook off almost a year and a half of ring rust with a second round stoppage of winless Emmanuel Roses in their scheduled four round scrap.
Roses of Philadelphia tried to keep Cusumano at bay with jabs early, but the Old Forge native found himself on the inside with constant forward pressure combinations. Three straight right hands to the ribs appeared to take the attack out of Roses as the crowd voiced their approval in the final seconds.
Roses could not keep him off and retreated, finding himself against the ropes throughout the second round. Cusumano stunned him with a right hand on the chin. Roses went back to the ropes and covered in the corner. Anthony Cusumano opened up and unloaded twenty five unanswered shots to the head and the body while Roses covered, forcing Referee Art Baylis to call a halt to the contest at 2:11 of the second round.
“I have to give credit to my corner man Danny Milano,” said Cusumano. Whenever I listen to my corner, good things happen. I could see the body work was slowing him down as the fight wore on. I hope to do it again next month right back here for my fans in Wilkes-Barre, PA.”
Albanese wins war in debut
In the crowd pleasing fight of the night Julie “The Irish Fury” Albanese won a close four round majority decision slugfest over April “Hollywood” Richards, in a battle of debuting middleweights.
Albanese of the Bronx, New York tried to step up the attack early, but kept getting caught by the heavy left hands from the southpaw April Richards. The sister of heavyweight prospect Adam “The Swamp Donkey” Richards, April seemed to land the straighter punches early out of her southpaw stance, but Albanese was determined and backed her up with several big combinations late.
Albanese went to the body in round two ripping hooks to the rib cage.
Both fighters tried to capture the center of the ring as they squared up and went toe to toe with the crowd roaring in approval in rounds three and four. Albanese landed several big shots at the end of the furious exchanges in the closing moments of the final round as Richards tired from the onslaught of punches.
The fight went to the scorecards with one judge scoring the bout even 38-38, but was overruled as the other two had 40-36 and 39-37 in favor of Albanese.
Neither combatant deserved a loss in this bout as both fighters left everything they had in the ring. It showed as the crowd gave both fighters a three minute standing ovation as the final bell sounded to end the fight.
Espinosa bombs Martin
Undefeated super featherweight prospect Antonio “Tony the Tiger” Espinosa (10-0, 1KO) put together one of the better performances of his professional career, scoring a six round shutout of Baltimore Maryland’s Darrell Martin (4-8, 1KO).
Espinosa, normally a boxer with light combinations, stayed down on his shots in this fight and appeared to stun Martin late in the fourth round, but could not send him to the canvas. Martin tried to fight back, but just didn’t have a match for the hand speed and combinations coming from the lightning quick southpaw throughout the bout.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Antonio Espinosa.
“My game plan was to throw more punches” said Espinosa afterward. “I used to just be a boxer, but I am pacing myself now and setting down on my punches more and it showed tonight.”
Kinda pummels Anderson
Undefeated welterweight prospect Issouf Kinda raised his record to 3-0, 1KO with a one sided four round unanimous decision victory over a game but outgunned Aaron Anderson (0-5) of Knoxville, TN.
Kinda of Burkina Faso, attacked right from the opening bell with blistering combinations that the shorter and stocky Anderson had no answer for. It looked like Kinda might stop Anderson in round two as he forced him to clinch and hold on from a determined body attack. Anderson was a gritty Warrior though and continued to fight on.
Anderson actually connected with a heavy counter right hand in round three, but Kinda walked through it and continued with the three and four punch combinations in the final two rounds to win every round (40-36 x3) on all three judge’s scorecards.
Elliott stops “Pretty Boy” Douglas
Baltimore, Maryland lightweight Raymondo Elliot pulled the upset, capturing the first victory of his professional career with a second round technical knockout of Clinton “Pretty Boy” Douglas in their scheduled four round clash.
Douglas, known for his flashy hands and movement, looked fine in the opening round as he kept Elliott on the outside with four and five left jabs and then mixing up some shots to the body as Elliott tried to probe his way inside.
Raymondo Elliott stepped up his attack with shots on the inside, which forced Clinton Douglas to trade with him. Douglas made a big mistake as he stood straight up while backing out of an exchange and was stunned by a left hook. Elliott seized the moment and connected with a right hand on the button, which back him up into the corner and followed with a right hand that sent him falling onto the second rope. Referee Art Baylis stepped in and gave a still stunned Douglas the count as he rose to his feet. Baylis asked Douglass if he was ready to continue and he answered yes, but Baylis looked into his eyes and waved the fight off at 2:26 of the second round.
Raymondo Elliott evens his record at 1-1, 1KO. Clinton Douglass of Philadelphia, PA falls to a respectable 2-3-2.
Scott upsets Lozada
It was a give and take fight in the opening bout of the evening as Philadelphia, PA’s Rashawn Scott barely edged Nanuet NY light heavyweight Denys Lozada over four very close rounds of action.
Scott used his reach advantage and left jabs to capture a feeling out opening round, but Lozada evened it up in the second with his slick movement and several big counters to capture the round. Round three was very close as each had their moments, but Scott finished stronger allowing him to steal the round with several two punch combinations in the final thirty seconds. The fourth and final round was a dead even battle, with crisp shots from Lozada and a couple nice right hands from Scott which made the round hard to call.
All three judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Rahsawn Scott who upped his records to 2-2. Denys Lozada falls to 5-3, 2KO’s.