By Kurt Wolfheimer
Photos: Ray Bailey
Saturday night at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, Ray “Tito” Serrano (17-0, 8KOs) continued his move into the junior welterweight division with a hard fought, but convincing ten round unanimous decision victory over Angel Rios (9-8, 6KOs) of the Bronx, New York. In the co-feature of this exciting five bout card promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing Promotions, veteran super welterweight Doel Carrasquillo (16-18-1, 13KOs) pulled an upset, dropping Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (21-5, 12KOs) three times en-route to a fifth round TKO.
The main event feature a continued move in the career of Raymond “Tito Serrano (17-0, 8KOs) who moved down to junior welterweight where he could be stronger and more powerful. The explosive power did not show in his second fight in the division, but the skills of Serrano allowed him to outwork the dangerous Angel “the White Tiger” Rios throughout to capture the ten round contest.
Angel Rios was the aggressor in the early going, but Serrano appeared to set the tone in the second with pinpoint combinations. Rios would come right back though late in the second with a right uppercut, which put Serrano on the retreat, but a hard right slowed the attack in the final seconds of the round.
Round four was a little choppy as Serrano landed a shot south of the equator, but his hand speed was proving too much for Rios in the fourth round as he began to control the inside with good body work.
Rounds five through eight were mostly Serrano, who worked his way in and out with bigger shots. Rios to his credit, would occasion land a few big shots to keep him honest.
In a back and forth ninth round, each fighter had their moments with big flurries, but it was Serrano who controlled the inside with heavy shots and while stepping in and out of the pocket.
Serrano seemed to know the fight was well in his reach and outworked Rios throughout the final round.
All three judges saw it 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92t easily in favor of “Tito” Serrano who is set to slowly move his way up the junior middleweight division.
Does Serrano have the true speed and power to match the best that the division has to offer? Only time will tell, but Serrano does have the skills to challenge the best on the inside and outside.
Carrasquillo overwhelms Alvarez
Shamone Alvarez was shocked in the opening bout of the evening by heavy handed upset artist Doel Carrasquillo.
Right from the early going, it was clear that Alvarez would have trouble throughout, handling the power of Doel Carrasquillo. Alvarez looked like his plan was to put the pressure on as he supplied a series of hard jabs and hooks to the body on his defensive opponent who covered and walked forward. Carrasquillo kept his hands up and found his opening as he unleashed a right hand which floored Alvarez. The stunned southpaw jumped to his feet and started to box again, but moments later Carrasquillo rocked him a second time but he was reluctant to follow up as Alvarez clinched and tried to box hi was until the bell sounded to end the opening round.
Alvarez attempted to box early in round two, but Carrasquillo’s power continued to rain down hard uppercuts and hooks. Carrasquillo again found his mark late in the second round with a short left that put Alvarez on the canvas for the second time in the fight. Shamone Alvarez was in survival mode holding on as the second came to a close.
Carrasquillo looked tentative in the early going of the third which allowed Alvarez to recover and box his way to his first round of the fight. Carrasquillo did land one good series late to keep him honest. The fourth was more of the same and it looked like Carrasquillo had lost his momentum, but he did bang a few hooks and rocked him again lat with a big right.
The hard punching Carrasquillo changed the tide in the fifth with a big one two which rocked Alvarez. This time Carrasquillo immediately stepped up and put Alvarez on his butt with a heavy one two. Alvarez beat the count, but looked badly hurt. Carrasquillo would not let him off this time and pounced on him with an explosive four punch combination that had Alvarez out on his feet. Referee Lindsay Page had seen enough and called a halt to the proceedings at 1:16 of the fourth round.
Witherspoon crushes Cobb
Heavyweight contender Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon (29-2, 21KOs) looked probably the best of his career as he physically blew away Tyson Cobb (14-3, 8KOs) en-route to a devastating third round technical knockout of the scheduled eight round contest.
Right from the opening bell, Witherspoon was on his “A” game and looked beautiful with his power and movement, which had Cobb frustrated and barely able to land a punch.
Chaz continued his domination in round two mixing in body work and heavy jabs, picking his spots. Chazz sent him falling back into the ropes with a straight right, but referee Lindsay Page would not call it a knockdown, even though the ropes saved him. It wouldn’t matter though as three straight right hands sent Tyson Cobb to the canvas. Cobb rose to his feet, but it wouldn’t last, as another left hook up top sent him back to the mat for the second time.
The third began as all previous rounds did as Chazz continued to blast away. Finally a heavy one two sent Cobb back to the canvas for the third and final time. The referee had no choice but to call a halt to the contest at 1:07 of the third round.
“I continue to learn in this game” said Chazz Witherspoon. “You have to crawl before you can run. I am now up to a brisk run.”
Look out for the new and improved Chazz Witherspoon.
Maddelone destroys Sheppard
Heavyweight slugger and crowd favorite, Vinny Maddalone of Queens, New York, barely broke a sweat in his first round stoppage of Palestine, West Virginia’s Mike Sheppard.
Maddalone immediately had the out gunned Sheppard on the retreat from a big right hand. Sheppard went to the ropes and covered, but Maddalone sent him to the canvas with two well placed left hooks to the ribs. Sheppard rolled on the canvas and was counted out at 1:13 of the first round.
Vinny Maddelone ups his record to (34-7, 25KOs) while Mike Sheppard falls to (20-13-1, 9KOs).
Escalera blows away Scarborough
Unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Jason “Monstruo” Escalera moved to 12-0, 11KO’s in convincing fashion with a destructive two round demolition of Mickey Scarborough (6-4, 6KOs).
Scarborough tried to immediately take control in the early going, but his wide punches left him wide open and Escalera bombed away before dropping him with a four punch combination. Badly hurt, Scarborough fell face first into the ropes forcing the bout to be called off,
The official time of the stoppage was 31 seconds of round two.