By Kurt Wolfheimerat ringside
Rising heavyweight Franklin “Yah- Yah” Lawrence (17-2-2, 12 KOs) moved one step closer to his world title aspirations with a two round drubbing of Raymond Ochieng (23-15-3, 18 KOs) in the schedule eight round main event at Harrah’s Casino in Chester, PA. In the co-feature of the five bout card promoted by Joey Eye Boxing Promotions, smooth middleweight Derek Webster remained perfect at 11-0, 6 KOs with a hard fought, but convincing eight round unanimous decision victory over the always dangerous Taneal Goyko (4-3, 2 KOs).
Sometimes fight cards don’t go as planned as the originally scheduled main event between Tommy Karpency and Philly hometown favorite Tony Ferrante for the PA State title was cancelled a week before due to a Karpency tooth infection. Matchmaker Nick Tiberi immediately came up with a suitable replacement bout as rising heavyweight contender Franklin “Yah-Yah Davis to on 41 fight veteran, Raymond Ochieng in an eight round contest. Though the fight lacked local interest, it was a great replacement at the last minute.
The thirty-six year old Lawrence had recently put himself on the fast path up the heavyweight ladder with impressive stoppages of Lance Whitaker, Jason Gavern and Jason Estrada in his recent five bout winning streak. Ochieng, a tough Kenyan knew if he were to upset the rising heavyweight superstar, he would have to get him early on and immediately came out of the corner swinging away with wild abandon. Franklin Lawrence of Indianapolis, Indiana easily took everything he had and sent the Kenyan to the canvas with a left hook-right hand combination on the button late in the opening round. Ochieng rose to his feet, but was floored again in the closing seconds with another big right.
Ochieng survived the opening round, but it would not last much longer as a Lawrence right hand deposited him face first onto the bottom rope. Referee Gary Rosato had seen enough and waived the bout off at 31 seconds of the second round. The flamboyant Lawrence, who sounded like Apollo Creed of the famed “Rocky” movies, spoke afterward about his status and future plans.
“I am the man now. I am the new king standing tall on the throne. I am the only champion out here, ” said Lawrence. “I am whipping everybody all the way to the top. If you want to see someone get knocked out, you call me!!!” Lawrence reiterated about the state of the heavyweight title holders also. “The Klitchs KOs are fighting also-rans now. They destroyed Arreola and now they keep fighting the retreads. Nobody wants to see that. If they really want to fight somebody, they need to fight me.”
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In the co-feature of the evening, undefeated Glassboro, New Jersey super middleweight Derek Webster captured some new hardware, winning the BAM super middleweight strap with a hard fought six round unanimous decision victory over a very game Philadelphian Taneal Goyko.
Webster was in control throughout the opening two rounds, using his excellent reach and well timed counters to keep the advancing Goyko at bay. Webster has the innate ability like the Klitchs KOs to step just out of reach of most shots, leaving Goyko swinging at air. In the opening round, Webster rocked Goyko with a solid uppercut but did not press the attack which would almost become a big mistake as the rounds progressed.
The ring was soft and more suitable to a puncher, than boxer and mover like Webster, as was told to Fight News by several boxers afterward. Boxing on the retreat in the third and the fourth rounds appeared to tire Webster, who was fighting with his mouth open.
Goyko had his best round of the fight in the fifth as he continually found his mark with right hands and short combinations as Webster slowed a bit. Late in the round he even knocked out Webster’s mouthpiece with a strong left hand. Webster’s corner implored him to give it his all in the last round to finish the fight strong and he did what he was told, pushing back Goyko in the opening minute with a few big combinations. Webster had gained his second wind and he continually found his mark which slowed down the offensive minded Goyko throughout the round. Goyko could only hope to land a wild haymaker when a Webster stepped away from a clinch in the closing minute of the fight, but it was not to be and the bout went to the score cards. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Derek Webster by scores of 59-55 x 2 and 60-54 respectively. Derek Webster moves to 11-0, 6 KOs, while Taneal Goyko falls to 4-3, 2 KOs.
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In a battle of fellow southpaws, Philly bantamweight Alex Barbosa looked impressive in his debut, with a one sided second round stoppage of Brian Gonzalez (0-2) of Puerto Rico.
Barbosa a Temple University Graduate with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice, set his sights on a another quest as he entered the boxing realm. He looked calm and confident as he controlled the early going of the opening round with short patient hooks underneath. Gonzalez entered the ring dry and fought on the retreat, standing straight up and throwing arm shots. The Temple University pugilist remained disciplined and worked the body on the inside, which led to Gonzalez’ forced clinches.
In between rounds, Gonzalez’ corner men had him put his legs up and hold his hands straight in the air as if stretching an injury. Barbosa came out and continued to chase down the outgunned Gonzalez with more good bodywork. A strong double left hook under the rib cage forced Gonzalez to turn away in the corner, holding his back with his right hand. Referee Gary Rosato separated the two and told him to turn around and box. The heavy handed Barbosa bounced another left off the ribs and Gonzalez fell to the canvas and once again holding his back as if injured. Rosato took a look and waived the fight off at 2:30 of the second round; giving Alex Barbosa a well deserved TKO victory.
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Atlantic City, New Jersey welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young made an impressive professional debut, dropping Philadelphia, PA’s Kywame Hill (1-9, 1KO) twice en-route to a one sided four round unanimous decision victory. Young looked much more polished than a debuting professional boxer, as he calmly walked down the wily Kywame Hill and dropped him with a picture perfect right hand during a heated exchange, just thirty seconds into the first round. The more experienced Hill was able to get up and survived the round, but Young was clearly in control as he mixed in good bodywork behind strong jabs throughout the rest of the opening round. Hill seemed confident that he could cover and counter Young in the second, but it would not be as the Atlantic City welterweight sent him on the retreat in mid round, with a big right hand and then dropped him on his back with a left hook. Once again Hill got on the bicycle and made it to the bell.
Hill finally landed his best two left hand counters early in the third, but Young showed a good beard and immediately stunned the crafty veteran with a well timed left hook, sending him to the ropes. Hill once again went on the defensive throughout the rest of the round with his mitts covering his ears to avoid any more devastating shots.
Anthony Young knew a victory was clearly in his grasp and safely boxed his way throughout the final round, coasting to an easy victory. All three judges had the bout easily in favor of Anthony Young by scores of 40-34 x 2 and 40-33 respectively. The 2011 golden gloves champion spoke with Fightnews afterward. “I didn’t know much about him, but I have been sparring with some of the best fighters out there in Shamone Alvarez and Patrick Majewski so I was definitely ready for anything.” Recently signed with Mike Michaels Cestus Boxing Management team, big things look to be in the future for Young.
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Popular Newark, Delaware lightweight Joey Tiberi needed just forty seconds to crush Whiting, Indiana’s Mike Maley, in the opening four round contest of the evening. It looked like it would be slugfest right from the opening bell as Maley charged out of the corner and swung away with wild abandon. Tiberi immediately countered and floored him with his first two punches, a right-left combo up top. Maley rose to his feet and tried to survive the round. Tiberi was on him like a Leopard pouncing on his prey, pinning Maley to the ropes and unleashing ten unanswered shots. Referee Shawn Clark had seen enough and called a halt to the onslaught at forty seconds of the opening round. Joey Tiberi ups his record to 6-1, 5 KOs, while Mike Maley drops to 4-9, 3 KOs.