By Arvin Nundloll and Mariano A. Agmi at ringside
Boyd Melson (14-1-1, 4 KOs) signed off the final Broadway Boxing at the Roseland Ballroom with a close majority decision over Donald Ward (6-4, 3 KOs) in an eight round middleweight bout. Melson had indicated afterwards that he had hurt his right arm during the fight which affected his output. The fight was originally scheduled for 154 but was raised to 160 after Melson couldn’t make the weight. Ward failed to find any rhythm during the fight and couldn’t match Melson’s output. Melson was aggressive throughout, landing his jab with ease although had to endure a rough end to the fight due to his injury, which became apparent after round 4. Judges scores were 79-73, 78-74 and 76-76.
Crowd favorite Heather Hardy (8-0, 2 KOs) once again thrilled the New York City crowd, winning a scintillating split decision over tough Texan Cristina Fuentes (2-5-3) in an eight round super bantamweight bout. Scores were 77-55 (2x) for Brooklyn’s Hardy and 77-75 for Fuentes.
In a light heavyweight bout, Long Island’s “Irish Warrior,” Joe Smith Jr. (14-1, 11 KOs) outworked “Triple O.G.” Otis Griffin (24-15-2, 10 KOs) over six rounds to win a unanimous decision by scores of 59-55 and 60-54 (2x). Smith was in control for the duration of the bout, landing heavy body shots and right hands to the head that opened up a cut over Griffin in round three.
Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz (9-0) slugged it out against Joshua Reyes (5-2) in an enthralling 6 round Junior Lightweight contest. Cruz dropped Reyes with an overhand right, forcing the referee to take a standing eight count. The action was back and forth, with Cruz fighting in front of a ferocious hometown crowd but Cruz refused to roll over and kept fighting until the end. The judges at ringside all scored the fight 59-54, 59-54 and 58-55 to Bryant Cruz.
In a sloppy light heavyweight encounter, “The Notorious” Travis Peterkin (11-0, 5 KOs) kept his unbeaten streak intact, winning a six round unanimous decision over the tough Michael Gbenga (13-11, 13 KOs). The Brooklyn southpaw continuously hit the Washington DC native behind the head, but Peterkin was able to hurt Gbenga to the body in round three. In the same round, Gbenga cut Peterkin over his left eye with an accidental head-butt, and referee Eddie Cotton deducted a point from the Washington DC native moments later when he continued to lead with his head. After six rounds, all three judges scored the bout 60-53 for the Brooklyn native.
Donte Strayhorn (5-1, 1 KO) fought a game Jose Gomez (3-6) and cruised to a one-sided points victory in their scheduled 4 round Lightweight contest. In a fairly competitive bout, both men had their moments but Strayhorn was able to use jab and reach effectively to keep Gomez at bay. Strayhorn sailed through on the judges’ scorecards, winning 39-37 and 39-37 while Julie Ledermen scored it 38-38.
Chris “Golden” Galeano retained his perfect record by dismantling Travis McClaren over four rounds in their Junior Middleweight bout. Galeano pressured McClaren every second of every round and using his jab to control the pace of the fight. McClaren to his credit, took Gaelano’s best shots and stayed until the end in an attempt to rally a late comeback. It was all to no avail as the judges all sided with Galeano with their scores all reading 40-36.
Danny Gonzalez (5-0-1) and Ray Velez (3-4-2) fought an all-out war in their 4 round Junior Welterweight bout. Both men slugged it out at the center of the ring and battled until the very end. The judges were torn between who won and voted it a majority draw. The official results read 40-36 to Gonzalez and 38-38, 38-38.
Ryan Martin (3-0, 2 KO’s) beat Jose Del Valle (2-4-2) from pillar to post, defeating him via a unanimous decision. The scores all read 40-36 in favor of Martin.