By Bob Caico at ringside
Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
Pretty Girl Productions of Rochester, NY hosted a seven bout card Thursday night at the Main Street Armory with a very local flare. The main event featured talented middleweight Willie Monroe, Jr. against fellow Rochester native Russell Jordan. From the opening bell two things stood out, that Monroe was the shorter fighter but also the faster boxer. The 5″ height advantage for Jordan did not translate to an advantage at all as the southpaw Monroe landed his right jab with quickness and effectiveness throughout the eight rounder. Jordan who has not fought in almost three years was game but Monroe landed his left jab, hook and uppercut anytime he let loose with them. In the sixth round it seemed Jordan lost all his steam and Monroe took charge looking for a stoppage. Not only did Jordan survive the round he came back in the seventh and eighth round more effectively than in the earlier part of the bout. The two fighters battled fiercely to the bell to end the fight that had the crowd on their feet. Monroe though was the clear cut winner and may have had his best outing of his career and took the unanimous decision by identical 79-73 scores. The great nephew of “The Worm” improves to 12-1 while Jordan slides to 15-9.
In a six-round lightweight battle two former promising young fighters looked to get their careers back on track as Rochester’s Darnell Jiles battled Guillermo Sanchez of Buffalo, NY. From the opening bell both fighters were determined to get their needed win as they fought fiercely and were not there to just get a paycheck. Jiles game plan was to work the body and that was the theme for each round. Jiles landing body shots as Sanchez landed sharp jabs and short crisp head shots. There were no punch stats in the fight but Jiles threw more punches while Sanchez landed the crisper shots. The decision was close but unanimous for Darnell Jiles by scores of 59-55, 58- 56 and 58-56. Jiles breaks his three fight losing streak and his record now stands at 9-3-1 while Sanchez loses his sixth in a row (13-8-1).
In the first of five four-round contests lightweights Brandon Williams of Rochester and Ahmad Shukoori of Toronto were making their pro debuts. Williams dominated the first two rounds using his speed to score to the body and head. Shukoori came on in the third and landed several head shots to take the round. Williams didn’t disappoint his hometown as he took the last round that earned him a unanimous decision by 39-37 scores on each judge’s card.
Cruiserweight Greg Brady of Buffalo evened his record to 1-1 with a second round TKO over Kelvin Jenkins (1-2-2) of Troy. Brady took the fight to Jenkins in the first until just before the bell when a right hand fazed Brady. Jenkins could not capitalize on that right hand and half way through the second round Brady landed two right hands that knocked Jenkins to the canvas. Brady was able to capitalize on his opportunity as another booming right hand dropped Jenkins to the seat of his trunks. Referee Pakosdi waved the bout off without a count as Jenkins was obviously hurt.
Welterweight Marcus Hall (6-5-1) of Rochester took a majority decision over Ibrihim Shabazz (1-2-1) of Newark, NJ. Neither fighter took command but Hall was the busier of the two and earned the decision by scores of 39-37, 39-37 and 38-38.
2012 New York State Golden Gloves 132 lb champion Lavais “Red” Williams of Rochester made an impressive pro debut has he KO’ed Jeremy Graves of Niagara Falls, NY. Half way through the opening round Williams began to take control and floored Graves with a body-head combination. Williams who lost a close decision in the semi-finals of the 2012 National Golden Gloves tournament closed the show with a right hand as Graves (0-2) was counted out at 2:17 of the first stanza.
Highly touted youngster Efrain Cruz of Vieguez, PR lived up to his reputation as he dominated Bryan Acaba of Brooklyn. Cruz rushed out to start the bout and overwhelmed Acaba forcing him to the ropes. Referee Pakozdi rightly ruled a knockdown as the ropes held him up. From then on the fight settled down but Cruz who was making his debut in the States dominated each round and won by identical 40-35 scores. Cruz improves to 3-0 while Acaba evens out to 3-3.