By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photos: Rich Hundley III @ RichHundleyPhotography.com
Sometimes a champion is made not by his undefeated, but how he can bounce back from defeat and learn from his mistakes. Saturday night at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Patrick Majewski (19-1, 13KOs) did just that, as he continued his comeback from the first loss of his career, with a fifth round stoppage of Chris Fitzpatrick (15-2, 6KOs) The victory enable Patrick to capture the vacant NABF middleweight title. The eight bout card promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions gave the near sellout crowd of 12,000 plus, a great night of boxing. In the co-feature of the evening, undefeated junior welterweight prospect Naim Nelson pounded (7-0, 1KO) out a hard earned unanimous decision victory over a game but outgunned Esteban Rodriguez (6-2-1, 1 KO).
Patrick “The Machine” Majewski knew he had answer the questions in his mind about the former loss and on this night he did just that against the very game Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick in the ten round main event of the evening.
Majewski had lost for the first time of his career back on November 11th against Jose Miguel Torres. “I felt like Torres had figured out a way to beat me and others would copy his game plan. I knew I had to adjust and I did that with my team, who helped me prepare for this fight.” In that previous fight, Torres timed the Polish prospects jabs and consistently countered over the top with big shots. This Majewski was impressive using tight defense while mixing up combinations in the early going.
Fitzpatrick seemed to want to take the will out of Majewski early with a few heavy hooks that bounced off the gloves and the back of Majewski’s head. Majewski defense was tight though and he blocked many of his attacks.
Majewski set the pace early in round two, as he effectively stepped in and out of the pocket with tight three and four punch combinations. The short right hands opened a cut right under the left eyelid of the “Irish Ghost” who went on the defensive.
The combinations from Majewski continued as he stepped up the attack in the third and the eye bled more profusely. Fitzpatrick went a little on the defensive. The Polish contingent went into an uproar as Majewski seemed to hurt Fitzpatrick in the corner, but stepped back out and picked his spots to attack again.
Though the eye bled every round, Fitzpatrick’s corner seemed to stem the flow of blood which allowed him to take more risks as he tried to change the momentum in the fourth round. Majewski absorbed many of the combinations on his arms and gloves, picking his spots with straighter shots.
Majewski would not back down and went right back into attack mode in the fifth as he reopened the cut during the final minute of the round. Fitzpatrick looked a bit flustered as he went to his corner. The ringside Physician stepped up to the ring and looked at the cut. He immediately informed Referee Earl Morton to waive the fight off. Fitzpatrick corner argued the call but to no avail.
The official time of the TKO was three minutes of round five.
Though the fight seemed to be a little premature in the stoppage, it was clear that Patrick Majewski was ahead and would probably have captured the victory anyway, but Fitzpatrick wanted to be given a chance to take it to the later rounds.
“I wish it would have gone to a better conclusion for the fans,” said Majewski. “He was a good fighter but I am learning with each fight. I was working on my defense and it worked well.”
Patrick Majewski ups his record to 19-1, 13KOs, while Chris Fitzpatrick falls to 15-2, 6KOs.
Nelson outduels Rodriguez
Undefeated Philly junior welterweight Naim Nelson used his superior power to out duel the game but out gunned Esteban Rodriguez in the co-feature of the evening. Nelson set the pace early with pinpoint one two’s in the opening round. Rodriguez was the busier fighter and appeared to take the second with constant pressure. The fight bounced back in Nelson’s favor in the third as he dug several good body shots on the inside while stepping in and out of the pocket. Esteban Rodriguez tried to push the fight in rounds four and five, but the power of Naim Nelson continued to capture the rounds. By round six, Nelson seemed to be ahead though several of the rounds were close so he carefully finished the round fighting well on the inside. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Naim Nelson who improves to 7-0, 1KO.Esteband loses for just the second time in his eight bout career, falling to a respectable 5-2-1, 1KO.
Harrell blows away Kediri
Atlantic City’s own undefeated light heavyweight Lavern “Baby Bowe” Harvell put on and impressive performance, dropping Nigerian Mojeed Okedara twice en-route to a first round stoppage. Harvell seemed in control right from the opening moments with sharp combinations. Before Okedara could even get into a rhythm Lavarn Harvell floored him with an overhand right. Okedara was able to rise to his feet and went into survival mode. It wouldn’t matter though as Harvell stalked around the ring before eventually pinning his badly hurt foe against the ropes. A four punch combination, ending with a right hand up top sent the Nigerian back to the back to the canvas. Okedara looked in real bad shape as he rose to his feet and wobbled a bit before for straightening himself out a bit. Harvell smelled blood and immediately pinned his Okedara on the ropes and swung away. After four unanswered shots, a right hand found the sweet spot on his opponent’s chin. Okedara head bounced backward and his arms dropped a bit, forcing Referee Randy Neumann to step in and call a halt to the one sided contest at 2:27 of the opening round. Lavarn Harvell moves to an impressive 12-0, 6KO’s, while Mojeed Okedara slides to 3-4, 3KOs
Charles draws with Luna
Lightweights Osnell Charles (9-3-1, 1KO) and Raphael Luna (4-6-2) pitched a back and forth slugfest which had fans cheering throughout. When the dust cleared, there was no clear winner and the fight was declared a draw. Charles had the quicker hands and peppered the slower Luna with multiple combinations in the opening round. Luna eventually found his mark with a few blistering right hands which appeared to stuned Charles as he backed straight out late in the second. From that point on, it was a battle of wills. Charles worked well from the outside, but Luna wound even most of the rounds with a few big overhand rights which landed flush whenever he could let his hands go. One judge scored the bout 58-56 for Osnel Charles, while the second official saw it 58-56 the other way. The third official saw it even at 57-57 for the split draw.
Wilmington, Delaware, fan favorite Dan “Bada Bing” Biddle (9-2, 5KO’s) used his superior stamina to squeak out a six round majority decision victory over the always dangerous Pedro Martinez (6-6, 3KO’s). Both fighters had their moments, but Biddle was in better shape and used his jab and movement to have Martinez swinging and missing a lot during the final two rounds. Both fighters had their mouths open, but it was Martinez, whose punches lost their sting for the most part. He would hurt Biddle in the closing moments, but it was not enough to swing the fight. One judge saw the bout 57-57, but was overruled by the other two officials who tallied it 58-56 in favor of Dan Biddle.
Rideout upends Easton
Highly touted amateur, Marc Rideout of Philadelphia got more than he bargained for in his professional debut, but was able to squeeze out a majority decision victory over Williamsport, PA’s Randy Easton in their four round heavyweight contest. Rideout was in control throughout opening two rounds with sharp right hands and swift combinations, but tired in the third as the bout started to swing the other way. Easton went on the attack in the third with a few lunging rights. The fight continued to go back and forth, but Rideout was just a bit busier and seemed to squeeze out the final round and the contest. Randy Easton remains winless at 0-1-1
Hart hammers Chadwick
Prized former Philly Amateur superstar Jesse Hart (2-0, 2KO’s made his east coast debut, scoring a one sided beat down of a Steven Chadwick (0-4) out of Jacksonville, Florida. Hart controlled the bout right from the opening bell. Chadwick seemed stunned from the first right hand and covered which he did most of the opening minute. When he did come out of his shell, throwing a hard right, Hart answered with a counter right of his own. Moments later, Hart sent him to the canvas with two good body shots. Chadwick rose to his feet, but was sent returned to the canvas with two more good body shots. Chadwick would not quit and went into survival mode in an attempt to clear his head. Hart would not let him off the hook as he banged away with ruthless abandon. Chadwick’s corner had finally seen enough and threw in the towel at 2:38 of the opening round.
Prescott blows away Phillips
In the opening contest of the evening, Anthony Prescott looked impressive in his debut with a second round knockout of fellow debutant, DeAndre Phillips. A short right hand up top from Prescott in round two had DeAndre Phillips in trouble against the ropes. The badly hurt Phillips tried to cover, but another right hand on the jaw sent him crashing face first to the canvas. The bout was immediately waived at .21 second mark of round two as Phillips had no chance of beating the count.