By Kurt Wolfheimer
A special Sunday matinee of professional boxing left the crowd in the Hyatt Regency-Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, PA satisfied from the four heavily contested bouts. In the eight-round main event of the evening, Aaron Pryor Jr (14-2, 11 KOs) put on a boxing lesson in scoring a sixth round stoppage of wily veteran Willis “The Prophet” Lockett (12-10-5, 5 KOs). The co-feature of the Joey Eye Boxing Promotion’s card was an entertaining six round bout which saw forty year old cruiserweight sensation Julio Cesar Matthews (10-0, 5 KOs) use guile and ring generalship to overcome the heavy wild swings of a determined Garrett Wilson (7-5,2 KOs) to capture a hard fought unanimous decision victory.
Aaron Pryor made his debut in Philadelphia, an impressive one right from the opening stanza, using movement and his long left jabs to keep Lockett on the outside. Lockett, who gave up over six inches in height and reach, could only get in the occasional leaping shot to the body or shoulder in the final seconds of the round.
The long reach continued to give Lockett fits in the second as Pryor. added a few quick overhand rights that found their mark also. Lockett desperately tried a few leaping rights from the outside, but most landed on the back of the defensive Pryor.
Willis Lockett became more aggressive in the third and fourth, but Aaron continued to box well with counters and lead jabs, which began to wear down Lockett.
Late in the fifth round, a Pryor Jr right upper cut stunned Lockett and forced him to hold until the final bell.
The constant holding by Lockett continued as Pryor stepped up the attack in the sixth, finally forcing Referee Benji Esteves Jr to take a point. Unable to hold Pryor unleashed a furious assault and hurt his withering opponent with a right hand up top and followed with a right uppercut. Lockett tried to hold when he could, but it did little good as Pryor pasted him with several explosive combinations. Lockett looked like a beaten man as he walked to his corner. Referee Benji Esteves Jr spoke to his corner and waved the fight off.
The victorious Aaron Pryor Jr explained his key to the fight afterward, “My jab was the key tonight and it opened everything up for me.”
With the win, Aaron Pryor Jr raises his record to (14-2, 11 KOs) while Willis Lockett slides to (12-10-5, 5 KOs).
The co-feature of the evening was a six round cruiserweight slugfest between undefeated Reading, PA southpaw Julio Cesar Mathews and hard punching Philly slugger Garrett Wilson.
Mathews seemed to be the more polished fighter and avoided Garrett’s wild swings early in the opening round. The return flurries from Mathews looked sharp and he almost had Wilson out in the closing seconds as he dropped him with a left hook and the old one two combination. Wilson was game though and rose to his feet even returning a big right hand that kept Mathews honest in the closing seconds.
Rounds three though five were a battle of wills as Mathews continued to bang away at the heavy handed Wilson while on the retreat. The hard punching Wilson seemed to gain more confidence in each round and found several heavy single wide right hands that forced Mathews to clinch or retreat.
Wilson looked tired in the sixth and final round as Mathews continued to pop away at distance. Mathews spun Wilson around in mid-round with a right hand up top. Wilson was game though and had one more charge in him and he attacked in the closing seconds, wailing away with big shots which landed flush. Julio Cesar Mathews looked stunned, but swung back as the final bell sounded.
The final flurry was not enough to help Wilson, as all three judges saw it in favor of Julio Cesar Mathews by scores of 58-55 and 57-56 x 2.
Julio Cesar Mathews jumps to (10-0, 5 KOs) while Garrett Wilson slides to a respectable (7-5, 2 KOs).
Swedish heavyweight sensation Andreas Gustafsson (5-0, 3 KOs) made quick work of a Philly’s own Pedro Martinez (7-5, 2 KOs), dropping him twice en-route to a smashing second round TKO. Martinez appeared to be carrying twenty extra pounds on his frame then his previous fight and it should as he was unable to avoid the heavy combinations from Andreas in the early goings of the second round. Martinez was forced to trade and that would be his big mistake as he was floored from a right hand. Pedro rose to his feet and tried to return fire, but he was still badly hurt and left openings. Gustaffson seized the moment and uncorked a double right hand which chopped Martinez down like a Giant Redwood tree. Referee Benji Esteves Jr immediately waved the bout off for the TKO at 1:05 of the second round.
In the opening bout of the evening, Philly’s slick southpaw Kamarah Pasley was able to pull the upset by dropping previously undefeated cruiserweight Patrick Farrell of Jersey City, New Jersey once in the opening round and then boxed his way late to capture the unanimous decision victory.
“Irish” Patty Farrell, who was known for his heavy hands, pushed Pasley back into the ropes just thirty-seconds into the fight. However, he made a big mistake as he walked straight in swinging with wide shots. Pasley saw the opening and put him to the canvas with a straight left on the chin. Farrell rose to his feet, but was a little more cautious as Kamarah went on the bicycle and boxed form the outside.
Rounds two and three appeared to go Farrell’s way as he put the pressure on and banged several big shots off the retreating Pasley. However, Pasley landed a few counters to bloody Farrell’s nose and make the rounds close.
The bout looked to be in the balance as both fighters came out of theirs corners for the fourth and final round. Farrell attempted to make up for the first round knockdown and pressed the action looking to land one big shot. Pasley showed his experience and forced Farrell of balance with movement and counter lefts and rights to take the final round.
All three judges saw the bout in favor of Kamarah Pasley by scores of 39-36 & 38-37 x 2.