Andre Kut of KEA Boxing Promotion brought professional boxing back to the beautiful Mount Pocono, PA for the first time in thirty years on Friday night with an entertaining six bout card outdoor card under the tent at the Mont Airy Casino and Resort. The show had a little bit of everything for the all the fans to enjoy, including impressive knockouts, a draw and highly entertaining fights. In the six round main event of the evening, unbeaten welterweight prospect Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez, Jr. (10-0, 4 KOs) had to survive a few scary moments, to capture a hard fought unanimous decision victory over wily veteran Dontre King (6-12-2, 2 KOs). Local favorite Robert “RJ” Sockwell of Scranton, PA moved to 4-2-1, 4 KOs with an impressive second round stoppage of hard luck Philadelphian Tyrell Boggs (0-5).
The main event offered an odd rematch as Juan Rodriguez faced off against Dontre King whom he had defeated much earlier in his career. King entered the ring with a lopsided record of 6-11-2, 2 KOs and it did not look on paper to be much of a contest, but sometimes things on paper don’t go as planned.
Dontre King knew he had to get respect early from Juan Rodriguez Jr. so he rushed him and unleash a wild flurry of punches. Rodriguez Jr. weathered the storm and then slowly began to attack with heavy single uppercuts as King went back on the retreat.
Rodriguez seemed to have found his mark in the second with heavy shots, but King picked his moments to flurry with wild combinations. Rodriguez had a devastating knockout in his last bout and it became clear that he was loading up, and looking for another. King moved out of trouble and continued to find spots, but his flurries had more sting in them then were earlier thrown. Late in the third, King appeared to stun Rodriguez with a right up top and was swinging away with wild abandon. Rodriguez clinched and then landed a low blow which forced King to take a minute to catch his breath.
The Pro-Rodriguez crowd pleaded for him to let go with combinations, but he was content to blast away with single shots which left him open for a couple good counters. Late in the fifth, it looked like Rodriquez would end the show as he backed up King with several good hooks to the body, but he survived until the bell sounded to end the fifth round.
The bout changed suddenly in the sixth and final round, as both attempted to trade right hands up top. Juan backed up from the shot King landed flush on his jaw. King pressed forward and the right hands were finding their mark with more frequency. Rodriguez was still uncorking heavy shots though, but he was clearly tiring. King muscled him to the ropes, where blasted a picture perfect right hand which landed flush up top. It would have felled many welterweights, but Rodriguez stayed on his feet even though his eyes were glossy and clearly dazed. King went in for the kill, but Rodriguez caught him coming in with a left hook. The Beast suddenly unleashed two more left hooks right on the button and it looked like King was in trouble as he backed away. Rodriguez pressed forward with several heavy attempts, but King was able to get distance and boxed from the outside until the final bell.
All three judges saw the bout for Rodriguez by scores of 60-54 x 2 and 59-55 respectively for the unanimous decision victory. Fight news had it 58-56 for Rodriguez.
“It was a tough fight,” said a relieved Juan Rodriquez afterward. “His punches were straighter and stronger then when I previously fought him. I also felt a little tired from the weight loss. It is difficult with the same day weigh ins. Your body just doesn’t have time to recuperate in time. We came out victorious in the end though, so we will put this one behind us and go back to the drawing board and correct the mistakes made in this fight.”
Sockwell blasts out Boggs!
In the four round co-feature of the evening, local favorite Robert Sockwell (4-2-1, 4 KOs) sent his large and vocal fan base home with a second round technical knockout of winless Philadelphian, Tyrell Boggs (0-5).
Boggs came out in the opening round, unlike a winless fighter, displaying loads of confidence as he dove in head first, while landing wild hard flurries. Sockwell seemed to be trying to time the flurries, but was kept pretty much on the defensive as Boggs continued to put on the pressure.
Boggs appeared to tire a bit early in the second round, but he still tried to fight his way in. Sockwell finally timed the lunging and sent three lefts around the guard. Boggs dropped to the canvas. The Philadelphian rose to his feet and tried to fight back, but he was eventually forced to the corner. Hurt and desperate he valiantly tried to battle out of the corner, but Sockwell sent a left hook through the open guard that landed square on the jaw and the winless Boggs dropped to the canvas for the second time. Eddie Claudio waived the bout off without finishing the count as it was clear Boggs would not make it to his feet. The final time of the TKO was 2:18 of the second round.
Sherman blows away Leadbeater
In a special four round women’s super featherweight attraction, Elizabeth Sherman (4-2, 2 KOs) scored a devastating one punch knockout of a game Christina Leadbeater (2-5) in the fight of the evening.
Both fighters came out swinging away as if this fight was only a one round battle much to the enjoyment of the crowd. Leadbeater came out trying to push Sherman back by stepping into the pocket and jolting her head up with straight shots. Sherman would not back down and returned fire, standing tall and raining down good straight rights.
After a clinch the bout looked like it was settling down when Sherman ended it with a short shot just below the ribcage. Leadbeater collapsed to the canvas ala Oscar De La Hoya. Referee Eddie Claudio reached the count of ten as Christina Leadbeater lay in the center of the ring. The official time of the knockout was 1:51 of round one. Leadbeater was able to reach her feet moments after the count and walk out of the ring under her on power.
Roman draws with Medina
In a back and forth battle, two junior middleweight prospects David Roman (3-0-1, 1 KO) and Emmanuel Medina (2-1-1, 2 KOs) waged war over six entertaining rounds. When the dust settled, it was declared a draw on all three judge’s scorecards much to the dismay of each fighter.
Roman appeared to gain an early advantage with straight shots, but as the bouts progressed Medina’s wider punches were finding their mark. Late in the third Medina stood up Roman with a good uppercut. Roman would not let him gain the advantage though and landed a right hand in return. Medina appeared to be slightly ahead going into the fourth and final round. Roman fought as if it was on the line but Medina smother many of the combinations he tried to throw and boxed well until the final bell.
All three judges saw it 38-38 even for the draw.
Luckey downs Acaba
Heavy handed lightweight Tyrone Luckey had to weather an early firestorm to drop late replacement Bryan Acaba twice on his way to a impressive second round stoppage.
Bryan Acaba of Brooklyn, New York entered the ring with a perfect record of 3-0, with two of those victories coming by way of knockout and it showed as he backed Tyrone Luckey of Middletown, New Jersey to the ropes in the early going with several good shots up top. Luckey also had heavy hands, sporting a record of 4-2 with all his victories coming by way of knockout. Acaba thought he had Luckey hurt and went in wailing away, but Luckey timed the advance and dropped Acaba with a left hook. Acaba rose to his feet and actually put together a nice combination, but Luckey had found his range and backed the Brooklyn native into the corner with a combination of his own and then finished the show with left hook on the button. Acaba dropped to the bottom rope. At the count of eight he was on his feet, but wobbled forward forcing Referee Eddie Claudio to call a halt to the contest at 2:40 of round one.
Hard hitting heavyweight Joe Cusumano (5-1 4 KOs) was forced to go the distance in the opening bout of the evening, capturing a well deserved four round unanimous decision of over the much more experienced Taffo Asongwed (3-12-7). Cusumano displayed a nice arsenal and had his opponent hurt a couple times during the fight, Asongwed had never been stopped in his career and knew how to make stay upright and survive until the final bell sounded. All three judges saw the bout 40-36 in favor of Joey Cusumano.