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Result: Francis Stops Cusumano!

By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside

Heavyweight Willie Perryman and his trainer had missed two flights, thus eliminating the main bout with former Scranton police officer Jason Gavern, but like a trooper, Andre Kut and KEA Boxing still put on an entertaining night of boxing last Saturday night (5/23) at The Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The main event was a downer for the locals, as Old Forge, PA’s Anthony Cusumano (3-3-1, 2 KOs) was upset by 6’3” southpaw junior welterweight Nathan Francis (3-5, 2 KOs) due a deep cut on the Anthony’s right eyelid caused by a punch, just a minute and a half into the fight. In the co-feature of the evening super middleweight prospect, Isaac Rodriquez (14-0, 12 KOs) showed why he is a possible future world champion, by dropping veteran slugger Jose “Macho” Medina (14-15, 10 KOs) twice, en-route to a convincing second round TKO.

Cusumano entered the fight looking to build on a two fight winning streak and with hopes of becoming a rising prospect, but Francis partially derailed his plans in the four round main event of the evening.

Cusumano had trouble in the first thirty seconds of the fight with the much taller southpaw Francis’s reach advantage. Finally Cusumano got into the body of Nathan Francis while he lay against the ropes, which forced a clinch.

After the break by referee Gary Rosato, Francis immediately caught Cusumano with two right-left combinations, as he was moving to get back on the inside. Referee Gary Rosato saw a stream of blood flowing directly into the eye of Cusumano and had the ringside physician step up to take a look. Based on the deepness and length of the cut on the eyelid, he advised referee Gary Rosato to call a halt to the contest, declaring Nathan Francis the winner by TKO at 1:24 of the opening round.

Rodriquez Dominates Medina

Undefeated super middleweight prospect Isaac Rodriquez (14-0, 12 KOs) may have moved into contender status with a convincing two round domination of tough Philly journeyman Joe Macho Medina (14-15, 10 KOs).

Rodriquez shocked Medina right from the opening bell, with powerful, lightning quick combinations. The fans reacted with each heavy shot that he landed. Medina knew he needed to swing away if he was to win but was constantly beaten to the punch.

A counter left from Rodriquez sent Medina to the canvas. Medina bravely rose to his feet and continued to take the heavy combinations. Medina even connected with a heavy hook on the chin of Rodriquez but it did little damage as the Brazilian followed up with a right hand which made “Macho” buckle at the knees.

Like a tiger, Rodriquez smelled blood and put another potent right on the chin flooring Medina for the second time in the first round. Medina rose to his feet and survived the round.

Having taken heavy punishment in the opening round, Medina had to go for broke and tried to trade with Rodriquez as the round opened. Isaac Rodriquez saw an opening and wobbled Medina with a Left hook on the button.

Referee Gary Rosato had seen enough and waved the bout off, saving Medina from further damage. The time of the stoppage occurred at 53 seconds of round two.

Ervin Slips by Richards

In a special women’s middleweight attraction between two fighters looking to get their first win, Natoya Ervin overcame a first round knockdown to win a sloppy but entertaining four round tussle.

April “Hollywood” Richards who lost in her professional debut last month at the Woodlands appeared ready to end it in the first as she attacked right from the opening bell landing heavy shots before dropping Ervin with a left on the button. Ervin got to her feet and was on the defensive but Richards had shot her load and stepped back, allowing her opponent to recover.

Ervin won several exchanges as Richards tired in rounds two and three. With each minute Ervin gained more confidence, but also became winded as round three ended. Richards went into a shell several times, bending over, allowing Ervin to land upper cuts without fear of anything coming back in return.

Both dead tired fighters knew the bout was on the line and let everything they had in the tank go in the final round. It looked like the famous toy “Rockem Sockem Robots” that us fight fans over forty people had as kids, as both fighters stood toe-to- toe in the center of the ring throwing arm punches at each other like little tornados. Neither fighter had much on the shots, but both were so tired that each shot could have sent them to the canvas. The bell sounded ending the fight, with each fighter in question as to who had won the battle of wills.

All three judges scored it 38-37 in favor of Natoya Ervin of Akron, Ohio for the very close unanimous decision victory. The bout could have gone either way as FightNews scored it 38-37 in favor of Richards.
Natoya Ervin won the first bout of her career, as she moves to (1-3). April Richards remains winless at (0-2).

Espinosa Outclasses Boyd

Undefeated lightweight prospect, Antonio Espinosa stepped up in class and passed with flying colors, easily outpointing former Maryland state title challenger “Teflon” Ron Boyd in their six round scrap.

In a battle of southpaws, Espinosa just was the busier fighter throughout the bout, capturing the early rounds with his body work. Boyd would land an occasional counter right on the button that made the rounds close.

Espinosa continued to pepper away at the defensive minded Boyd. As the round progressed Boyd pressed forward as Espinosa tired and went on the bicycle. Espinosa gained his second wind late in the fourth and sent Boyd to the canvas with a right hook-left hand combination. Boyd rose to his feet and easily survived the closing seconds of the round.

Espinosa continued with tight diving combinations and movement which kept the advancing Boyd on the defensive throughout the final two rounds.

All three judges saw the bout in favor of Espinosa by scores of 60-53 twice, and 58-56 respectively.

“He had a lot more experience than me,” said Boyd. “I have to continue to get stronger opponents to make myself strong. I worked on my movement around the ring and it worked in this fight, but I have to get in and trade more in the future if I am going to be successful.”

Douglas Destroys Ramos

KEA Boxing lightweight “Pretty Boy” Clinton Douglas of Philadelphia rebounded from a loss last month at this very same venue with a dominant one sided beat down of game but outgunned Jean Ramos.

Right from the get go, it was clear that Douglas had the faster hands as he constantly landed precise combinations, beating Jean Ramos to the punch. Due to the constant pressure, Ramos was forced to cover against the ropes. Douglas seized the opportunity and attacked the body with several deep hooks which eventually put Ramos on the canvas with ten seconds to go. Ramos was able to rise to his feet and survive the round. Once in the corner, Ramos didn’t look like he would go out for round two, but his corner men convinced him to go for it.

Ramos came out of the corner and attacked with some slapping blows through the first fifteen seconds of round two. Douglas stepped back, regrouped and went back on the attack with pinpoint combinations that forced Ramos to clinch. A counter left hook from Douglas immediately sent Ramos to the ropes, where he covered up. Once again, Douglas rained down with body shots, before a left hook to the ribs sent Ramos to the canvas for the final time. Referee Gary Rosato counted to four as Ramos rolled out of the ring, before signaling the end to the bout. The time of the knockout occurred at 2:52 of the second round.

“I’m back and I am focused,” said Douglas. “It is time for me to get my career going and keep on winning.”

Clinton Douglas evens his record at (3-3-2, 1 KO), while Jean Ramos falls to (0-3).

Lennox Defeats Scott

In the opening bout of the evening, Carteret New Jersey’s undefeated cruiserweight John Lennox had to come from behind to pull out a hard fought four round unanimous decision victory over Philadelphia, PA’s Reshawn Scott.

For the first two rounds, Scott looked like he was going to walk away with an easy victory as he popped combinations with movement that frustrated the Lennox, who could only plod forward and land the occasion jab.

The bout turned in round three as Lennox turned up the attack and banged away at the body, which slowed down Scott. As the round progressed Scott threw less and posed more as he tired. Lennox continued the assault, mixing in various combinations, before finally putting Scott to the canvas from a left hook with just seconds to go in the round.

A tired Reshawn Scott tried to turn the tide early in the fourth and final round, but Lennox was relentless and continued to back him up with heavier right hands until the final bell sounded to end the bout.

All three Judges scored the bout 38-37 in favor of John Lennox, who ups his record to (3-0, 1 KO). Reshawn Scott slips below the five hundred mark at (2-3).

Expect KEA boxing to return with another exciting card in the upcoming months at a site to be determined.

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