By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
The cold Autumn weather outside didn’t put a damper on the heat inside the McDonough Field House on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York as Lisa Elovich’s Pugnacious Promotions presented Friday Fright Night. An enthusiastic crowd of fight fans comprising locals and HVCC faculty and students alike, showed their appreciation for the Pro-Am show featuring four amateur and five pro bouts. In the main go, Schenectady, New York Corrections officer Brian Miller defeated Albany’s Rafael Luna to claim the vacant New York State lightweight belt in a bout that went the full eight rounds.
Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
Click the photo to go to the next photo
From the outset, Miller took the role of aggressor, Luna the defensive fighter. That pattern continued as Miller jabbed his way in, throwing right crosses, and Luna left hooked frequently to Miller’s body and head. In the fifth, Luna tried his hand at standing his ground and trading with Miller, with decent results. Miller for his part, never wavered from his come forward style. That fact seemed to be the difference as the judges favored Miller’s aggression over Luna’s varied tactics. Judge Tom Schreck scored it 78-74, Billy Costello had it 79-73 and Don Ackerman had it 80-72, all for Miller, now the New York Lightweight champ and owner of a 6-0-3, 2 KOs record. Luna slides to 4-4-1, 1KO. Miller told Fightnews after his win, “Luna was tougher than I expected. I knew he was coming to fight, but he was better than I expected him to be. Winning the New York State title is once in a lifetime. I’m going back to the gym, train hard and wait to see what’s next!”
Opening the pro portion of the night were cruiserweights Brian Cloakey and Phil Hannah in a scheduled four. The two rumbled on the inside, sans any feeling out, right from the get go. Things looked fairly competitive after the first round, but it all went downhill from there for Hannah as Cloakey’s power shots seemed to have more on them, dropping Hannah twice. Hannah’s corner threw in the towel to stop the slaughter, forcing referee Danny Schiavone to halt matters at 1:23 of the second. Cloakey starts out at 1-0, 1 KO, Hannah is winless at 0-4.
Next up were female feathers Jaci Trivilino and Pepper Van Dyke. Trivilino was looking for her second straight win after her September 2nd showing at the New York State Fair. It didn’t take long to garner. While both girls started out looking well schooled with jabs, hooks and crosses flying and landing, it was Trivilino’s power that told, sending Van Dyke to the canvas twice in the opening session. Looking discouraged, Van Dyke opted to come out or the second, but only lasted ten seconds against Trivilino’s non-stop barrage as referee Charlie Fitch rescued the hapless Van Dyke from further punishment. Trivilino moves to 2-1-1, 1KO, while Van Dyke enters the paid ranks at 0-1.
HVCC alumni Shawn Miller, no relation to Brian, and Carlito Gonzalez met at light heavy, scheduled for four rounds. Miller, younger brother of heavyweight Shannon, must’ve been thinking to himself, “Two fights, and two tough customers,” as he got all he could handle in Gonzalez of Yonkers, NY. While debutant Gonzalez showed grit and decent defense, he couldn’t match Miller’s output. Several times the crowd was on it’s feet as Gonzalez seemed ready to go, but he somehow held on and fought back, rocking Miller at times. In the waning seconds of the final round, the two boxers grappled, with Gonzalez falling backward, hard to the canvas, his head slingshotting off the bottom rope. There were some tense moments as referee Charlie Fitch ruled no knockdown and Gonzalez struggled to his feet, and the fight ended via the final bell. Gonzalez seemed to sag in his handler’s arms on the walk back to the corner, and then almost of the stool, looking very out of it. Fortunately, he appeared to recover and joined Miller in ring center to the applause of the crowd, awaiting the verdict. In the end, the judges saw it Miller’s way as judges Don Ackerman and Billy Costello scored it 39-37 and Tom Schreck saw it 40-36, all for the now 2-0, 1 KO Miller. Gonzalez has nothing to hang his head about at 0-1.
Local fan fave Mike Faragon met Julius Edmunds of North Philadelphia in a Jr. welterweight clash, scheduled for six. Edmunds raced out of his corner at the first bell, trying to catch Faragon off guard, but failed to do so. Edmunds proved right off the bat to be a typical rough and rugged Philly fighter, against Faragon’s well schooled, all around style. Late in the first round, Edmunds suffered a cut on the outer corner of his left eye. As the fight progressed, the cut flowed freely, causing Edmunds to blink and wipe at the blood. From time to time, Edmunds’ awkward style paid dividends, catching Faragon with telling head shots. By the fourth, Faragon was breathing from an open mouth, and Edmunds kept coming, sometimes scoring, other times walking into Faragon’s pinpoint counters. The two went at it until the final bell, with Faragon prevailing unanimously via scores of 59-55 according to Billy Costello, and 60-54 as seen by judges Schreck and Ackerman. Faragon later told Fightnews, “Edmunds was tough. I hope they get tougher. I don’t want any easy fights. He caught me with a body shot that winded me, but I got my wind back in the end.” Faragon improves to 9-0, 3 KOs, and Edmunds slips to 5-6.