By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Saturday night at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, super welterweight Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (21-1, 14 KOs) sent his hometown fans home happy with a quick first round stoppage of Keenan Collins (15-9-3, 10 KOs). Tapia looked to bounce back from his devastating sixth round stoppage loss at the hands of James Kirkland. The heavy handed Tapia came out strong right from the opening bell and Collins didn’t have a chance as he was immediately stunned in the corner from a six punch combination. Collins covered his face, but dropped to the second rope and it was called a knockdown. The badly stunned Collins was immediately forced again to the corner. This time he was standing straight up with his hands covering his face, so Tapia sent him to the canvas with a devastating right uppercut. Collins rose to his feet, but Tapia would not let him breath as he battered him mercilessly in the corner with a series of unanswered shots underneath. Referee Earl Brown had seen enough carnage and waived the bout off at 1:22 of the opening round.
The seven bout promoted by Top Rank featured some of the rising stars in the region in very entertaining bouts.
Undefeated super middleweight sensation Jesse “Hard Work” Hart (14-0, 11 KOs) continued to run roughshod through the super middleweight division dropping veteran Dion Savage (12-6, 6 K0s) three times en-route to a devastating sixth round knockout. Hart looked like he was going to end it early when he dropped Savage early in the first, but Savage was a survivor and made it to the bell by clinching. The fight went inside in round two and early in the third round as Hart continued to pound away at the body. Hart would not be denied and put him back on the canvas with a good one two in the third. Savage continued to fight back in the fourth and the fifth, but could not match the skills of the highly talented Hart. Savage tried to land a haymaker as both traded in the sixth and final round looking for the upset. Hart time it perfectly and landed it first. Savage’s head spun around and he was out before he hit the canvas. The official time of the knockout was 1:36 of round six.
Powerful super lightweight Julian “Hammer hands” Rodriguez (4-0, 3 KOs)put together a nearly flawless performance in dropping Angel Figueroa (3-1-1) three times in the first, before forcing him to retire at the conclusion of the second round. Rodriquez put him on his back for the first time with a left hook up top. Figueroa rose to his feet and boxed well, but Rodriguez buckled his knees with a hard three punch combination that force him to lean against the ropes which resulted in the second knockdown. Rodriguez continued to pound away and a left put him down a third time. Referee Earl Brown appeared slow to let them continue and it allowed the bell to sound before any further damage could be inflicted. Rodriquez was more precise in the second with short shots. Figueroa was game but in the corner it was waved off because he could not continue, giving Julian “Hammer hands” Rodriguez the well the TKO victory at 3:00 of round two.
Undefeated welterweight Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (10-0, 7 KOs) impressed in his first appearance in Atlantic City, as he battered and dropped a game, but outgunned Alberto Morales (11-4-1-1, 8 KOs) once, on his way to a lopsided six round unanimous decision victory. Reed sent Morales to the canvas with a picture perfect left cross late in the fifth. Morales rose and was on unsteady legs, but he survived until the final bell by clinching and moving. All three judges saw the bout 60-53 in favor of Michael Reed for the unanimous decision victory.
Olympian welterweight prospect Egidijus Kavalaliauskas (6-0, 5 KOs) used good body work and lefts up top to drop Larry Ventus (6-5-1, 3 KOs) four times before referee Ricky Vera had seen enough and called a halt to the contest at 2:13 of the fourth round.
In the opening bout of the evening, undefeated flyweight Angel Acosta (7-0, 7 KOs) kept his perfect knockout streak intact with a 3rd round stoppage of Eduardo Valenzuela (5-4-1, 1 KO). Acosta sent Valenzuela to canvas in the 1st round and battered him throughout the fight until referee Earl Brown called a halt to the contest at 1:55 of the third round.