By Kurt Wolfheimer
Mike Indri’s Dignity Promotions in association with Jim Kurt Boxing brought an entertaining club card with seven bouts featuring up and coming regional competition to the Merighi’s Savoy Inn on Friday night. In the main event of the evening, light heavyweight Charles Hayward moved to (5-2, 1 KO) with a workmanlike six round unanimous decision victory over wily veteran Mazur Ali (6-7, 3 KOs), by scores of 60-53 x 2 and 57 56. The co-feature of the evening was a quick one as Atlantic City New Jersey lightweight prospect Joel De La Paz dropped Randy “The Rattler” Campbell three times in just forty-four seconds for an explosive first round TKO.
The main event of the evening featured the first six rounder for Philly light heavyweight Charles Heyward and also his stiffest test to date in twelve fight veteran Masur Ali. The man from Egypt who now resides in Brooklyn, New York had lost his last five, but all had been against top prospects such as Mateusz Masternak, Dennis Bakhtov, Kasim Howard, Jaywon Woods and Tor Hamer.
Right from the opening bell Charles Heyward tried to grab control behind a good left jabs and some combinations. Ali began to find his mark with stiff counters, which drew awes from the crowd and stopped Charles in his tracks. The Philadelphian went back to his left jabs in round two and some wild lunges, but Ali was defensive and offered little in return.
In the middle rounds Heyward used his slick movement and left jabs to force Ali to go on the retreat. The bout became sloppy though with several clinches as neither could land clean. Twice during the third and fourth rounds, Ali was caught throwing rabbit punches and was sternly warned.
Even though Charles Heyward couldn’t land the big shots, he was boxing effectively and avoiding anything in the return. Late in round five, another rabbit punch from Masur Ali forced the referee to take a point.
Ahead on the scorecards Heyward cautiously worked his way through the final round. Ali was caught in the corner late and Heyward shot a nice four punch combination but Ali turned him with a counter right and stepped out of danger. The final bell sounded before anything else significant could be landed, sending the bout to the scorecards.
One judge had the fight close at 57-56 but the other two saw it in favor of Charles Heyward by a more realistic and wider margin of 60-53 x 2 for the unanimous decision victory.
With the victory, Charles Heyward ups his record to (5-2, 1 KO). Masur Ali falls below the five hundred mark at (6-7, 3 KOs).
De La Paz routs “The Rattler”
Hard hitting Puerto Rican super middleweight Joel De La Paz immediately silenced Randy “The Rattler Campbell, dropping him three times, en-route to the forty-four second TKO stoppage.
Campbell came out with fists a flying in an effort to intimidate De La Paz. It wouldn’t last as the first punch De La Paz threw, a hard left hook, landed right on the jaw and sent “The Rattler to the canvas. Campbell rose to his feet, but moment later, another left hook put him back on the mat. Campbell looked stunned, but again tried to fight back. This time a two punch combination made Campbell do a split as his knees touched the canvas for the third and final time. Campbell immediately rose once again, but Referee Earl Brown had seen enough and waved the bout off at the forty-four second mark.
It was the fourth straight first round knockout for the heavy handed Joel De La Paz.
Tiberi destroys Dennis
Bear, Delaware lightweight, Joey Tiberi didn’t waste much time securing a victory in his professional debut, as he knocked out over matched Javier Dennis in just two minutes and twenty-three seconds of the opening round.
Dennis of Reidsville North Carolina flailed away in the early going even spinning around in a circle after throwing a wild punch. Tiberi was not fazed and jabbed away until he found his mark with several big right hands up top, which spun a stunned Dennis around in a circle. He would not let him off the hook, as banged away with ten more unanswered shots before Javier dropped face first to the canvas. The bout was immediately waved off without a count. Dennis was able to rise to his feet and walked out of the ring under his own recognizance.
Seldon wins debut
Isiah Seldon, the son of former heavyweight Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon, overcame a severe height and reach disadvantage to win a four round unanimous decision in his professional debut over Danville, Virginia’s Damion Reed (0-3).
Reed, a southpaw with a long reach, gave Seldon fits in the opening moments, but he calmed down and stopped lunging at the taller Reed, who fought backing up. Seldon at the behest of his father and corner man Bruce Seldon, went to the body in round two, which slowed down the defensive minded Virginian.
Seldon was in control throughout the final two rounds, even unleashing ten unanswered punches in the fourth with his opponent against the ropes. The defensive minded Reed was elusive though and rolled with many of the shots to survive until the final bell.
All three judges saw the bout 40-36 in favor of Isiah Seldon for the unanimous decision victory.
Perez and Collado fight tooth and nail war
A pair of New Jersey lightweights Carlos Perez of Pleasantville and Union City’s Hector Collado fought a give and take four round war that had the fans standing on their feet and applauding afterwards for their efforts.
The fight started quickly and both fighters swung away with reckless abandon right from the opening bell. As the round moved forward and both pugilist calmed down. Perez tried to control the ring with his long left jabs, but Collado’s fast hands out worked him the rest of the opening round.
Hector Collado continued to up his punch output in round two, using his ring generalship and movement to provide openings.
The fight turned in the third as Perez planted and pushed his opponent back with heavy inside work to the body. Perez saw the hands of Collado dropping and shot a couple good overhand rights up top which forced him to cover. Collado was game though and avoided many shots and dug some head shots of his own late, to make the round close.
The fight seemed up in the air as the final round began. Both fighters took turns with shooting two and three punch combinations as the round swayed back and forth. Collado pressed Perez against the ropes with a tight inside work, but the Union City native did his best with several good counters to get off the ropes and take the final round.
All three judges saw it the same 38-38 even for a well deserved draw. Hector Collado slides to (0-1-1) while Carlos Perez moves to (0-0-1).
Cepeda squeezes out split decision victory
Dominican featherweight Joseliz Cepeda (1-1) spoiled the professional debut of Vineland New Jersey’s own Joshua Arocha, as he squeaked out a four split decision victory.
Arocha looked tentative in the early going, stymied by the long combinations from the outside by Cepeda. The reach advantage forced Arocha to dive in and swing wildly, which Cepeda countered with several straight rights in rounds two and three. Arocha did his best work on the inside, but Cepeda would answer each of his flurries with two and three punch combinations of his own from the outside. Seemingly behind on the scorecards, Arocha went for broke in the final round and threw caution to the wind with a series of hard combinations. Cepeda clinched and then boxed effectively from the outside during the final minute to make the final round close and send it to the scorecards. Surprisingly, one judge had it 39-37 in favor of Joshua Arocha, but was correctly overruled by the other two judges who saw 40-36 and 39-37 in favor of Joseliz Cepeda, securing the split decision victory.
Lopez out points Rosas
In the opening bout of the evening, hard hitting super bantamweight Raul Lopez was taken to the four round distance by the debuting Giraldo Rosas, capturing his first by decision. Lopez, of The Bronx in New York, seemed to gain control of the fight early on in the opening round by getting off first, slowing down Rosas with heavy hooks to the body. Rounds two and three were all Lopez, who continued to pound away. Giraldo was game though and took all he had, fighting back behind a few straight rights and punching in the clinches. Lopez, saw the strong beard of Rosas and knew he wouldn’t go down and boxed him from distance in the fourth and final round. All three judges saw it the same way 40-36 in favor of Raul Lopez who moves to (4-1-1, 3 KOs).