By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Photos: Juan Marshall/JM Photography
Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana (29-4-0, 20 KOs) scored an electrifying one-punch first round knockout over Michael “Cold Blood” Clark (44-9-1, 18 KOs) in the scheduled ten round main event Friday night at a packed Rollins Center inside Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware. The win gave Santana the NABA light welterweight title, as well as a major jump in the rankings. In the co-feature, fast rising young star Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (19-0, 11 KOs) was too much for Marlon “ML” Lewis (6-3-2, 3 KOs), scoring three knockdowns and stopping him at 2:20 of the opening round of a scheduled eight round welterweight bout. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino promoted the big seven bout card.
Whether it was legal problems, injury, or weight issues, Edgar Santana always seemed to shoot himself in the foot. The talented junior welterweight from Spanish Harlem would take one step forward in his career, followed by two steps back. Tonight, though, he finally put it all together and regained everything with one mighty punch.
Michael Clark is a talented boxer in his own right. A former National Golden Gloves champion as an amateur, Clark is a former world title challenger, and once held the NABF and NABA lightweight titles. He also appeared on the second season of the TV reality show, The Contender.
Santana and Clark were to meet last August at the same venue and for the same belt, but Santana came in overweight and the bout was postponed. Santana stopped Luis Hernandez in six rounds in a non-title bout instead of fighting Clark.
Edgar was in tip-top shape this time, and his preparation for Clark’s style was evident. Once the punched landed, it was also evident that Santana had the edge in power.
Clark and Santana fought on fairly even terms in the opening minute. They both landed left hooks, but from the sound, you could tell it was Santana’s hook that carried more weight. Santana landed a double left hook at the two-minute mark, and then fired a right to Clark’s body. Clark responded with two single left hooks of his own, but Santana unloaded a right hand to the chin which sent Clark to the floor for referee Vic DeWysocki’s full count.
“2014 is going to be my year,” said Santana after the bout. “I’m coming for the world title. I’m back! Clark is very slick and experienced. My team studied him, and I knew my overhand right could get to him, so that’s what I went for. Everything came out right tonight.”
With the dramatic victory, Santana took home the traditional “Fighter of the Night” trophy.
Hernandez-Harrison wins again
Fighting in his eighth bout of 2013, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (19-0, 11 KOs) made quick work of Marlon “ML” Lewis (6-3-2, 3 KOs), dropping him three times en-route to a first round TKO in a scheduled eight round welterweight bout.
Enjoying a considerable size advantage, Hernandez-Harrison worked his left to the reed-thin body of Lewis in the opening seconds. Lewis threw a flicking four-punch combination, and Hernandez-Harrison countered with a hard right hand to the body that dropped Lewis.
Hernandez-Harrison followed up with another barrage to the body, a left uppercut to the head, and another body shot, before landing a right-left combination to the head that put Lewis down again.
Seconds later, Hernandez-Harrison landed a double right hand along the ropes. Lewis sagged and then fell to the canvas, and referee Vic DeWysocki stopped the bout at 2:20 of the opening round.
Just 19-years-old, Hernandez-Harrison won the WBC Youth welterweight title in his last bout, a ten round decision over Josh Torres at Madison Square Garden. That title wasn’t on the line.
Douglas wins NABA title
Omar “Super O” Douglas (11-0, 8 KOs) took home the vacant NABA USA super featherweight title with a dominant third round TKO over Jean “Evangelista” Soleto (18-12-2, 9 KOs) in a scheduled ten round bout.
After establishing distance with his jab, Douglas got inside almost immediately and worked his trademark left to Soleto’s body. It was Soleto’s job to keep Douglas at a distance, but once Omar got inside, the bout was as good as over.
They traded bombs early in round two, and Soleto showed he was game by mixing it up with the relentless and powerful Douglas. A minute into the round, Douglas hurt Soleto, rocking him back with a left hook to the head. Douglas then landed a series of left hooks, followed by a big right hand that sent Soleto down. Soleto gamely got up, but Douglas pounded him until the bell.
Douglas mounted a debilitating body attack in round three, and it was obvious that Soleto was outgunned and breaking down fast. With blood pouring out of their fighter’s nose, Soleto’s corner did the right thing and notified referee Bill Johnson that they wanted the bout stopped. Ref Johnson agreed and he stopped the bout at the 2:33 mark.
Tiberi decisions Villanueva
Returning to the ring after a 15-month layoff, “Mighty” Mike Tiberi (21-1, 7 KOs) got in some much needed work, pounding out a unanimous decision over durable Edgar Perez Villanueva (5-7, 3 KOs) in a six round light heavyweight bout.
Tiberi used every punch in his arsenal to outwork Villanueva in every round. Tiberi was particularly effective with his double and triple jabs, along with his left hook to the body. Tiberi also scored with several left hooks and clean right hands to the head throughout the bout.
Villanueva was resilient, absorbing everything Tiberi landed, but he lacked the power to make things competitive. All three judges scored the bout 60-54.
Guerrero overcomes Brown
Alex Guerrero (10-0-1, 5 KOs) overcame a deep cut over his right eye to take a unanimous decision over rough and cagey 65-fight veteran Galen “Bad Boy” Brown (41-24-1, 24 KOs) in a six round cruiserweight bout.
Switching from orthodox to southpaw, Brown took the opening round while Guerrero looked him over. Guerrero used his jab to narrowly win round two. Things picked up in round three. The round was close as far as punches landed was concerned, but Guerrero landed the harder shots, so you had to give the round to him.
Guerrero continued to land the harder shots in the fourth. Guerrero landed a hard left hook followed by a straight right hand that opened a cut in the corner of Brown’s eye. The cut would bleed on and off the rest of the way, but it was not affecting Brown’s vision.
Guerrero clearly had the better skill set, but he allowed Brown to do his rough housing thing on the inside. About a minute into round five, Brown and Guerrero clashed heads, causing a deep, wide cut over Guerrero’s right eye. The ringside doctor allowed the fight to continue, probably because there wasn’t much blood.
Guerrero fought through it, and after both fighters got tangled and tumbled to the canvas, Guerrero hurt Brown with a hard left hook off the jab. Brown backpedaled, but landed a solid left-right combination to end the exciting round.
Guerrero controlled round six with his jab and left hook, but Brown, true to his nickname, still managed to make things rough on the inside. At one point, Brown placed Guerrero in a reverse headlock, but Guerrero somehow landed a double left hook from that position.
The judges scored the bout 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56, giving Guerrero the well-deserved and hard fought decision.
Bowman belts Noriega
In the opening bout of the night, local product John “Church Boy” Bowman (7-0-1, 1 KO) took a unanimous decision over Jess “Thunder” Noriega (2-8, 2 KOs) in a four round super middleweight bout.
Bowman and Noriega warmed the crowd up properly by constantly trading bombs throughout the fight. Bowman used a consistent body attack to outwork Noriega in every round, and had Noriega’s right eye closing at the end.
Although he was warned by referee Bill Johnson for a low blow in the final round, Bowman still won with three 40-36 scores.
Reeves shocks Singletary
Travis “Severe” Reeves (3-2, 1 KO) stopped hometown favorite Lamont “Problem Solver” Singletary (6-1, 3 KOs) at 1:33 of the opening round of a scheduled four round cruiserweight bout.
Although the bout was the walkout bout, most of the estimated 1,800 fans in attendance remained in the arena to watch it.
Singletary looked sharp early on. His left hook was crisper and shorter than in his previous fights, and he seemed faster too. It was clear that Singletary and his trainer Bernard Miller did their work in the gym.
But for Travis Reeves, this was his night. Singletary opened with a right to the body, and then rocked Reeves with a left hook to the head. Undaunted, Reeves followed through with a clean right hand that buckled Singletary on the ropes. Reeves landed several more clean unanswered shots and referee Bill Johnson stopped the bout.
The crowd booed the stoppage, thinking it was premature, but Singletary was clearly hurt. Singletary showed improvement and he can learn from this fight. He also proved that his fan base is growing.
Ring announcer: Larry Tornambe