Story by John DiSanto – PhillyBoxingHistory.com
Photo by Darryl Cobb, Jr.
Dhafir “No Fear” Smith won a 6-round unanimous decision over “Wildman” Brian Donahue in the main event of a troubled fight card Friday night at Harrah’s Casino and Racetrack in Chester, PA. The cruiserweight bout between the two Philadelphians was a late substitute for the originally scheduled main event, which fell out about one week before fight night. But cancellation wasn’t restricted to the top of the bill. Several preliminary bouts were also scratched leading up to the event. In all, just three fights occurred.
Smith, 27-24-7, 4 KOs, returned after more than one year of inactivity, but showed few signs of ring rust. He won every round against the hard-pressing Donahue, 2-9-2, using a potent jab as his key weapon.
After couple of rounds had passed, Donahue started to land during his bull rushes. This coaxed Smith into exchanging with his wild opponent. Still, Smith kept the upper hand throughout, even when things became reckless. By the end of the bout, Smith was landing clean combinations to the face and body of on the tough-as-nails Donahue.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 for Smith.
In a 4-round lightweight fight, Antonio Dubose remained undefeated (5-0, 2 KOs) when William Harris was disqualified in the first round. Harris was penalized one point by referee Benji Esteves for hitting on the break, but the deduction didn’t deter the Bristol, PA boxer from continuing his questionable tactics.
After a few rugged clinches, Harris intentionally wrestled Dubose to the canvas, which prompted the referee to halt the fight after 2:15. Dubose, West Philly, got his fifth win, and Harris, 0-3, got the “out” he was apparently looking for.
In the opening fight of the night, Roberto Irizarry, of Cherry Hill, NJ’s Victory Boxing Gym, improved to 2-0-1 with a 4-round unanimous decision over Benjamin Burgos, 1-7-1, of Mount Pocono, PA. In the closely fought scrap, Burgos appeared to have the edge in power. He shook up Irizarry in rounds one and three, but the New Jersey fighter battled back well and wobbled Burgos with a volley at the final bell.
Although the fight felt close (a draw on my card), all three judges, saw it clearly for Irizarry. Both Dave Greer and Adam Friscia scored the bout a 40-36 shutout, while Dewey Larosa had it 39-37.
Three exhibition bouts were presented to help fill the time left empty by all the cancellations. The Harrah’s series, promoted by Joey Eye Boxing and XFE, usually packs a solid punch. However, this problematic club show was just not up to par.
To read more about the Philly fight scene – past and present – visit www.phillyboxinghistory.com.