Ringside by Kurt Wolfheimer
Super featherweight Joel Diaz Jr. (11-0, 10 KOs) scored his tenth knockout with a one sided second round stoppage of former New York State super featherweight and former WBC Youth lightweight champion Guillermo “The Vampire” Sanchez (13-7-1, 5 KOs) in their scheduled ten round main event Saturday night at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Diaz Jr. versus Sanchez contest was the headliner for an entertaining nine bout card presented by John Lynch of Pound For Pound Promotions that featured upsets, quick knockouts and even some odd stoppages.
In the co-feature, hard hitting middleweight Glen Tapia (15-0, 9 KOs) needed just two minutes and five seconds to demolish Franklin Gonzalez (15-11, 10 KOs) in a scheduled six round contest.
Fighting for the first time in Atlantic City, New Jersey, well travelled super featherweight Joel Diaz of Coachella, CA looked right at home from the opening bell against lanky southpaw Guillermo Sanchez of Buffalo, New York. It looked like a good matchup on paper as the much more experienced Sanchez had previously captured the WBC Youth lightweight and New York state featherweight titles. Sanchez also owns a victory over formerly undefeated “Lightning” Rod Salka, and had tested the likes of Edner Cherry Bomb” Cherry, Ronny Rios and Adrien Broner.
The powerful Diaz, who entered on a an eight fight knockout streak, immediately backed Sanchez up just minutes into the opening round. Sanchez, nicknamed “The Vampire” looked to counter while moving, but began to spend more time on the ropes as the round progressed. The heavy handed Diaz was on his “A” game as he bounced short combinations through the guard of his long-limbed opponent. Sanchez tried to stop Diaz in his tracks by catching him with stinging counters as he walked in but the punches did not bother Diaz, who pressed right through them and continued to launch his arsenal.
The pressure increased early in the second and it was clear that “The Vampire” had no power to stop the advances of the heavy handed Diaz, so he became defensive. Diaz finally pushed his powerless and defanged opponent into the ropes, where he unloaded with an explosive double left-right hand combination. The right hand split the guard and straightened Sanchez up with his back to the ropes. Sanchez wobbled to the corner. The ten second mark was sounded just after a clinch. Diaz landed another good right hand to the face of Sanchez, but he grabbed and held until the bell sounded to end the round. Referee Ricardo Vera stepped into the corner and after talking with Sanchez, waived the bout off at the three minute mark of round two.
Joel Diaz moves to 11-0, 10 KOs while Guillermo Sanchez falls to 13-7, 5 KOs.
TAPIA DEMOLISHES GONZALEZ
In the co-feature, heavy handed middleweight Glenn Tapia made quick work of veteran gatekeeper Franklin Gonzalez in their scheduled eight round contest.
Gonzalez was backing up from the opening bell due to short jabs and two punch combinations from Tapia. Less than one minute into the fight Gonzalez found himself covering up with his back against the ropes. Tapia unloaded with a heavy four punch combination which sent Gonzalez to the canvas. Franklin Gonzalez made it back to his feet and retreated to the corner. Tapia was right on top of him and unleashed a deadly five punch combination. A right hand connected straight on the jaw of Gonzalez who crumpled to the canvas in a heap. Referee Lindsey Page administered the ten count. Gonzalez laid in the corner as the count reached ten and the ref waived the bout over.
The official time of the knockout was 2:05 of the opening round.
Glenn Tapia ups his record to a perfect 11-0, 10 KOs while Franklin Gonzalez slips to 15-11, 10 KOs.
FARRELL OUTLASTS HAMPTON
Jersey City, New Jersey’s Patrick “Paddy Boy” Farrell (8-1-1, 4 KOs) had to get off the canvas to score a come from behind third round stoppage of Wayne Hampton (5-6, 3 KOs) in their scheduled six round contest.
Farrell was controlling the opening round with heavy combinations, while mixing in good bodywork and hooks, but he made a mistake with leaving his head unprotected. Hampton who entered the ring at a rotund 263lbs and hadn’t fought in almost three years, looked tentative until he unloaded with a big right hand that sent Farrell to the canvas. Farrell looked in bad shape and Hampton tried to finish the job with a few wild swings, but missed badly. The effort left his gas tank looked empty.
Farrell changed the tide in round two with good body work. By mid-round Hampton was fighting defensively with his mouth open. Farrell continued to break down Hampton, who clutched and grabbed. The clinching continued into round three, Referee Ricardo Vera took a point from Hampton for the constant holding. Paddy Boy went right back to work as he banged two more good shots to the body as Hampton wobbled and clinched. The referee asked Hampton if he was okay, but he couldn’t catch his breath and the bout was waived off at 1:29 of the third round.
BARNWELL SLIPS BY DEWEJKO
In a battle of up and coming heavyweight prospects Dorsett Barnwell (7-0, 3 KOs) was able to squeak out a razor thin six round split decision victory over the heavier handed Joey Dewejko (7-1-1, 3 KOs). The contest was a chess match. Each fighter had their moments and every round was hard to call. Dewejko landed heavy hooks but Barnwell moved well and was the busier fighter. The bout went to the scorecards and the scores were all over the place. One judge scored it 59-55 for Dewejko but was overruled by the other two officials who score it 58-56 in favor of Barnwell giving him the split decision victory.
CANGEMI OVERPOWERS ELLIS
Mine Hill, New Jersey welterweight Anthony Cangemi made an impressive pro debut on with a third stoppage of Florence, South Carolina’s Jimmy Ellis (1-2, 1 KO).
Cangemi applied pressure from the opening minute, pounding away with constant hooks which put Ellis on the retreat. Ellis was in great shape though and did land a couple solid shots up top but it would not slow down Cangemi, who’s constant pressure continued to wear down Ellis. By round three, Ellis was spending most of his time covering up while laying against the ropes. Cangemi unloaded a solid four punch combination that wobbled Ellis. Referee Ricardo Rivera had seen enough and waived the bout off at 2:26 of round three.
LAMANNA OUT DUELS LEIVA!
Local middleweight sensation Tommy “Cornflake” Lamanna (9-0, 5 KOs) of nearby Millville, New Jersey had to use his entire arsenal to squeeze out a well deserved split decision victory over Game Yolexcy Leiva (5-4, 4 KOs) in a back and forth six round contest.
Lamanna came out snapping a nice mix of combinations behind stiff left jabs in the opening round as he worked his way in and out of punching range. Leiva was game though and pushed forward even landing a couple good combinations inside.
“Cornflake” seems to become more polished with each fight. He showed his versatility with this contest by switching up his tactics in the second round and boxing effectively from the outside using good jabs and movement. Late in the round three, Lamanna wobbled Leiva with a short right and then he backed him to a corner. Lamanna seized the opportunity and went for broke with a wild flurry of punches. Leiva tried to fight back, which opened up him up for counters while trapped in the corner. Lamanna uncorked a right hand which dropped Leiva to the canvas. Surprisingly, Leiva was able to beat the count and both swung away at each other until the bell sounded to end the round.
Lamanna looked a bit gassed from his excessive punch output in the previous round while Leiva looked energized as if he was woken up by the knockdown. As each minute passed Leiva looked more and confident as he was finding his mark with pinpoint one-twos. Lamanna was getting pushed into corners where Leiva did his did his best work banging away on the inside.
Rounds four and five were back and forth as each fighter had their moments. Leiva was the aggressor but Lamanna was counter punching and moving effectively.
The victory appeared to be within both fighters grasp as they entered the sixth and final round.
Leiva looked determined looking for that one big shot to send Lamanna to the canvas and secure the victory. Lamanna would not let that happen as he moved in and out effectively with stiff jabs and good combinations while on the move to keep Leiva at bay.
The fight went to the scorecards, and there was a shocked gasp that came from the crowd when ring announce Henry Hascup announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a split decision. One judge scored it 57-56 for Leiva, but was overruled by the other two officials, who saw it 57-56 and 58-55 for Tommy Lamanna, giving him the split decision victory!”
“I expected a hard fight, but not a hard fight like that,” said Lamanna “I didn’t think he was going to get up from the knockdown, but he got up. He was a tough warrior. I wish we could do it again.”
MCKENNA IMPRESSES IN DEBUT!
Belfast, Ireland welterweight prospect Tyrone McKenna looked impressive in scoring a one-sided unanimous decision victory over a game, but outgunned fellow pro debutant Anthony Morrison of Philadelphia, PA.
McKenna a former junior Olympic Bronze Medalist, used his hand speed and countless combinations to keep Morrison on the defensive throughout the opening three rounds. McKenna appeared to take a breather in the fourth round to get a rest from his heavy punch output of the previous rounds which gave the opportunity to Morrison to find his range and connect with a thudding right hand. Both fighters began to swing away on the inside toward the final minute. McKenna’s hand speed and hooks put Morrison back on the defensive. McKenna continued his assault as Morrison boxed his way to the final bell. All three judges scored every round in favor of the man from Belfast Ireland by scores of 40-36.
WRIGHT OUTPOINTS BENSON
Former golden gloves champion Tyrell Wright made an impressive heavyweight debut in scoring a four round unanimous decision victory over dangerous southpaw Dennis Benson (1-3,1 KO). Wright seized control of the fight in the second with lightning like combinations, which stunned the clueless Benson. Benson would land the occasional counter to keep him honest, but Wright mixed up his combinations and right hands followed snapping jabs. Benson tried for a knockout with some wild swings in the final round, but could not land a clean shot. Wright was able to control the final moments of the round and the fight with sharp combinations on the outside and good footwork. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Wright by score of 40-36 and 39-37 twice.
KHAN CLARY CRUSHES WINFIELD
In the opening bout of the evening, Providence, Rhode Island’s Toka Kahn Clary needed only a minute and sixteen seconds to make quick work of Eaton, North Carolina lightweight Jamil Winfield.
Clary immediately found his mark with left hooks that Winfield had no answer for. Winfield tasted the canvas after four successive left hooks followed by an overhand left. He rose to his feet, but moments later another overhand left sent him to the canvas for the final time. Referee Ricky Rivera waived it off without a count. The official time of the stoppage was 1:16 of the opening round.
Clary remains perfect at 2-0, 2 KOs while Winfield drops to 0-2.