By Kurt Wolfheimer
The fans of the Legendary Blue Horizon on Friday night were once again treated to a Rogers “The Tiger” Mtagwa war as he battled tooth and nail over ten rounds with 38 year old featherweight Ricardo “El Rayo” Medina which entertained everyone throughout. Mtagwa fresh off a come from behind 10th round knockout of Tomas Villa, eventually overpowered the Mexican warrior to capture the ten round unanimous decision victory. In the co-feature of the evening, welterweight Kaseem Wilson shocked Louie Leija, dropping him once before scoring a technical knockout just sixty six seconds into the fight. The eight bout card was promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions Inc. in association with Joe Hand Promotions.
Early on Rogers Mtagwa looked sharp, backing Medina away with double jabs followed with right hands, but he chose to fight constantly on the inside which led to furious exchanges.
Mtagwa stunned Medina in rounds three and four with vicious right hands, but the dangerous veteran just kept coming back as both traded on the inside. Mtagwa stepped up the attack again late in round four as a cut appeared to trickle over his left eye from a head butt, but it was kept in check throughout the bout.
Rounds five through seven were fought at close quarters as each fighter landed in heated exchanges but Mtagwa was the one with the more telling shots. Late in round seven Medina appeared to be stunned by a short right as the bell sounded.
Mtagwa recovered well and attacked with heavy combinations that had Medina’s face a bloody mess in round eight from a cut over his right eye.
Medina, like a warrior, pressed forward, but his vision appeared impaired from the blood and Mtagwa took advantage, stunning him in the tenth and final round. Medina tried to escape but Mtagwa continued to pummel him with combinations. Medina recovered and fired back as the final bell sounded. Fans were on their feet applauding the efforts of both fighters
All three judges saw the bout easily in favor of Rogers Mtagwa by scores of 98-92 x 2, and 97-93 respectively.
Rogers Mtagwa ups his record to 26-12-2, 18KO’s while Ricardo Medina falls to 31-34-5, 17KO’s.
Ellis Squeaks by Davis
Philly junior middleweight prospect Jamal “Da Truth” Davis (9-5, 6KO’s) had his two fight win streak snapped in a razor thin eight round split decision loss to Jerome Ellis (12-9-2, 10KO’s).
It was a give and take fight throughout with Ellis being the busier fighter and Davis landing less, but the harder shots in the first seven rounds. It appeared to come down to the final round and Ellis took advantage as he wobbled Jamal with short right on the button. Davis recovered quickly, but just couldn’t land enough to get the round, sending the bout to the scorecards.
Scores were all over the place, with one judge scoring the bout in favor of Davis 79-73 but was overruled as the other two judges had the fight in favor of Jerome Ellis by scores of 79-73, 80-72 respectively.
Wilson wallops Leija!
Philly welterweight Kaseem Wilson (12-1-1, 4KO’s) made quick work of veteran tough guy Louie Leija, scoring a surprising first round technical knockout.
Wilson, a slick southpaw not known for his power shocked Louie Leija with a big right hand left hook that put him down in the corner in the opening moments of the fight. A badly stunned Leija rose to his feet, but Wilson gave him no quarter and unloaded another three punch combination, forcing the bout to be stopped at 1:06 of the opening round.
Ferrante bombs out Pietrantonio.
Undefeated light heavyweight prospect Anthony “Boom Boom Ferrante of Northeast Philly used a vastly improved jab to set up several big right hands which had his opponent Anthony Pietrantonio backing up in round one.
Pietrantonio of Youngstown Ohio caught Ferrante with a nice left hook in round three and went after him with several left hooks as “Boom Boom” went into a tight defensive stance against the ropes. “My goal was to let him wear himself out,” said Ferrante afterward. The tough light heavyweight from Northeast Philly weathered the storm and landed a big right hand as the round came to a close.
Ferrante’s big right hands connected more and more in round four, which elicited the famous “Boom Boom chants.
The end came in round five as Pietrantonio hit Ferrante with two shots as referee Shawn Clark tried to break them. He was warned for hitting during the break, but the shots angered Ferrante, who went after him with a vengeance. An overhand right on the button sent Pietrantonio reeling backwards. He tried to grab on as Ferrante pounded away with a three punch combination. Ferrante was just too strong and pushed the badly hurt Pietrantonio back off and landed another big right against the ropes which forced referee Shawn Clark to step in and call a halt to the contest at forty five seconds of the fifth round.
“We really worked on my jab and I landed a lot of clean jabs,” said Ferrante. “He went for it in third and that was my goal to let him gas himself. He kept getting hit with my counter rights and my corner said to me in the fifth, if you can knock him out go knock him, go knock him out and that is what I did.
With the TKO victory, Anthony Ferrante upped his sparkling record to 8-0, 5KO’s, while Anthony Pietrantonio dropped to 6-2-1, 5KO’s.
Vasquez out slugs Hurd!
The Philadelphia boxing scene now has its own version of Arturo Gatti and that is tough junior welterweight, Victor “The Barber Vasquez (9-3, 5KO’s) of North Philadelphia, PA. It has become the norm for Victor to fight like a warrior with bad cut or severe swelling over one of his eyes. This type of warrior mentality has endeared him to the Philly boxing fans.
His opponent tonight, Linwood Hurd of Atlantic City, New Jersey almost didn’t make it through the first round as Vasquez went after him unloading with several big right hands that landed squarely on the face of his opponent.
Hurd was resilient and began to settle into a rhythm in round three, but Vasquez continued to land the occasional right hand.
As usual, an accidental head butt caused Victor’s right eye to swell and by round five it was close to shutting and looked like a piece of bloody steak reminiscent to the Rocky Balboa in Rocky.
Not only did Vasquez survive the swelling and bleeding on his eye was but he dominated late and dropped Hurd in round six with a big left hook. Hurd was able to reach his feet and survive and the round. All three judges scored the bout 59-54 in favor of Vasquez.
Flores destroys Diaz.
Undefeated super featherweight “Flawless Anthony Flores of North Philadelphia PA looked Flawless on this night, stopping veteran journeyman Carlos “Bam Bam” Diaz in one round.
Anthony Flores was on top of his game right from the opening bell peppering Diaz with his usual movement and sharp combinations. Diaz had little if anything to keep him off. So Anthony stepped up the pace late in the first round and put Diaz in the corner with an overhand right. Diaz tried to throw an overhand right but Flores ducked the shot and buried a body shot to the ribs. Diaz went down like he had been shot with a cannon and Referee Shawn Clark counted him out at 2:54 of the opening round.
If Anthony Flores can finish off veterans such as Diaz like this, it will only be a matter of time before we seem him moving into the national rankings.
Trader tops Esquilin!
The opening bout of the evening was a chess match from the opening bell as Frankie “Nitti” Trader and Luis “Smurf” Esquilin slowly matched each other counter punch for counter punch until a hell of a fourth round.
Trader of West Philadelphia, PA, who was making his legendary Blue Horizon debut, had trouble with the southpaw counter puncher’s shorter counter combinations. Whenever he led in the early opening round he was caught with leaping counters from the shorter southpaw from North Philadelphia. Late in the round Trader began to solve the mystery as he snapped left jabs and moved out of range which forced esquilin to swing and miss badly.
Both fighters warily took calculated chances with heavy swings in hopes of landing the telling blow that might temporarily stun his opponent in the second and third rounds. Trader got caught a few times retreating with his head up, but his punches were sharper when he landed.
Boxing insiders at ringside varied as to who was winning and the corners must have as well. It showed as both fighters finally went for broke in the fourth and final round. Esquilin forced the action with combinations on the inside but Trader’s right hands were sharper. In the closing second Trader finished strong with two hard right hands on the face of Equilin and may have stolen the round.
The fight went to the scorecards with one judge scoring it even, but was overruled as the other two had it 39-37 in favor of Frankie Trader who captured the majority decision victory.
Frankie Trader ups his record to 4-0, 1KO while Luis Esquilin slips to a deceiving 1-2-1.
Butler slips past King!
The walkout bout of the evening was a snoozer as Philly junior middleweight Ardrick Butler (2-1, 1KO) captured a four round majority decision victory over Dontre King(1-4-1). Butler looked rusty with his jabs constantly coming up short, but King seemed content to run and survive for the first three rounds, before finally putting up some resistance in the fourth.
One judge had the bout 38-38 even, but was overruled as the other two scored it in favor of Ellis 40-36 and 40-37 respectively.