By Boxing Bob Newman and Diana Rodriguez
Photos: Taylor Hallman
ARES Promotions kicked off the Summer a few days early in New York state’s capital of Albany on Saturday at the Empire Convention Center, under “The Egg” with Fight “Night IX.” The five bout card was headlined by local middleweight prospect Marcus Williams, and filled on the undercard with more upstate talent. Marcus Williams continued his winning ways by taking a workman-like eight round unanimous decision over journeyman Troy Artis. Williams was looking to continue his winning ways after suffering a hard fought, razor thin unanimous decision loss to fellow ARES stablemate Jose Medina in October of last year. Though as nails Troy Artis was brought in to test Williams. While Artis’ rock solid chin held up, he had trouble mounting his own offense. Though having Williams against the ropes on a couple occasions, and was able to land some effective blows, Williams won comfortably by scores of 78-74, and 77-73 twice. Williams moves to 10-2, 1 KO while Artis slips to 3-4-1, 2 KOs.
Troy, New York lightheavy Shawn Miller won a tougher-than-it-looked six rounder over Providence, Rhode Island’s Richard “Bobo” Starnino. Relying largely on his jab, Miller was able to throw Starnino’s timing off for the most part. Starnino did score when he was able to get Miller against the ropes and appeared to stun his foes on more than one occasion. The judges didn’t feel Starnino did enough to warrant even one round however, giving Miller a shutout on all three cards via 60-54. Miller moves to 8-1-1, 4 KOs, while Starnino evens out at 9-9-2, 2 KOs.
Albany’s Kimdo Bethel Boykin had an easy time with lumbering Raymundo Lopez, out of Holland, Michigan, in a six round heavyweight clash. It appeared Bethel Boykin could’ve ended matters sooner than he did, but eventually turned the trick at 1:28 of round six. Bethel Boykin moves to 6-1, 5 KOs while Lopez sinks to 3-5, 1 KO.
Local gal Sarah Kuhn took a hard fought majority six rounder over determined over Hartford, Connecticut’s Adelita Irizarry. Neither gave quarter as they went at it from start to finish. Irizarry seemed to gain momentum in the second with a sustained flurry, while Kuhn returned the favor in the third. In the end, Kuhn eked out a 58-56 x 2, 57-57 win to move to 5-2-1, 1 KO while Irizarry lowers to 8-6, 2 KOs.
Opening the show was Troy, New York’s Ray Velez who was looking to get back on the winning track against Philly tough Gabriel Diaz in a four round super lightweight affair. After going 2-0, Velez locked horns with ARES stablemate Javy Martinez in December, losing a tough four round decision. The winless Diaz seemed on paper to be the right opponent to return to winning ways for Velez. Things got off to a rocky start as Velez found himself on the canvas and in the hole. Diaz was the aggressor, keeping Velez off balance. Velez seemed to climb back though and almost had Diaz out in the waning seconds, the bell seemingly saving Diaz from at least going down himself. It wasn’t enough though as Diaz squeaked to his first win by scores of 39-36 twice, while Velez took the third score card by 38-36. Velez evens out at 2-2, 1 KO as does Diaz at 1-1-1.