By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Dean “Pit Bull” White took the vacant WBF USA welterweight title with an upset eight round majority decision over “Rockin” Ryan Belasco last night in front of a packed house at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, Delaware. In the co-feature, “Mighty” Mike Tiberi demolished Brad “Firecracker” Hill with a brutal body attack that dropped Hill for the count at 1:32 of the opening round of a scheduled six round middleweight bout. Capital City Promotions was the promoter.
The main event between Ryan Belasco and Dean White featured two natural counter punchers, and the result was a hard fought battle that was difficult to score.
Hailing from New Castle, Delaware, Belasco figured to be the hometown crowd favorite, but White comes from relatively close Frederick, Maryland, so the estimated crowd of 1,500 inside the Rollins Center equally cheered on both fighters.
There was little to choose between them in the opening two rounds. White presented an elusive target for Belasco with his southpaw stance. Belasco was able to land some lead right hands, while White opened with straight lefts to the head and body.
Belasco landed three lead right hands in the first minute of round two, in which there was a lot of grappling and holding. White continued to have some success with his straight left.
White handily took rounds three and four by eluding nearly everything that came his way. If Belasco got too close, he tied him up. White landed some body shots in round three, and a flashy overhand left in round four, along with two lefts downstairs.
Round five could have gone either way, and White landed some effective lefts to the body to win round six. Belasco came on strong in the final two rounds, landing some nice right hand leads to offset White’s left hand.
Smooth ring announcer Henry “Discombobulating” Jones kept the crowd – and the fighters – in suspense as he read the scores: 76-76, and then 80-72 and 79-73 in favor of White.
With the victory, White improves to (15-10-1, 7 KOs), while Belasco saw his record slip to (11-3-3, 3 KOs), but picked up valuable experience against a difficult to fight lefty.
Tiberi destroys Hill
“Mighty” Mike Tiberi, (10-1, 5 KOs), of Smyrna, DE took home the huge “Fighter of the Night” trophy with his impressive first round stoppage of Brad “Firecracker” Hill (11-12-1, 9 KOs), of Russellville, AR in a scheduled six round middleweight bout.
Tiberi had Hill on the defensive immediately with powerful jabs. After forcing Hill back, Tiberi landed two rights to the body. Hill responded with a straight right to the head followed by a counter left hook. Tiberi then landed a power jab that shook Hill, who retreated.
Tiberi knew that he had wounded his prey, and went on the attack. A right to the body followed by a crippling left hook under the ribs sent Hill down for referee Vic DeWysocki’s full count. The end came at 1:32 of the opening round.
Miller dominates Colvin
Bernard “Road Dog” Miller (3-1-1), of Dover, DE continues to improve, even at the age of 47. A remarkable physical specimen with a large local following, Miller won a unanimous decision over John “Jaw Breaker” Colvin (2-7) in a four round middleweight bout.
Miller wasted no punches, and he had Colvin on the defensive in every round. After outworking Colvin in the first round, Miller stepped up the pace in round two. He hurt Colvin with a big right uppercut early in the round, and then battered him around the ring the rest of the round, with superb referee Steve Smoger looking on very closely. Colvin survived the round, and Miller kept him on the retreat over the final two rounds.
The scores were all 40-36 in favor of Miller.
Caputo Smith hammers Hicklin
Anthony Caputo Smith (2-0, 1 KO), of Kennett Square, PA chopped down Wilmington, DE’s Phil Hicklin (1-7), stopping him at 1:02 of the second round of a scheduled four round light heavyweight bout.
There is nothing fancy about Anthony Caputo Smith. Wearing white trunks with a black stripe like Ali used to wear, and a throwback haircut like Dempsey, he went right for the body of his opponent, like many of the old-timers.
After landing enough body shots in round one to reduce Hicklin to holding, Caputo Smith continued the assault in round two. Two right uppercuts to the body forced Hicklin to the ropes, where he absorbed more punishment downstairs from Caputo Smith. With each blow, Hicklin sank lower and lower. Finally, Caputo Smith hammered him to the floor.
Hicklin was up on very shaky legs at the count of nine, and after referee Vic DeWysocki looked into his eyes, the bout was stopped.
Denby and Francis draw
Mike “Strictly Business” Denby (2-3-3, 2 KOs), of Felton, DE and Nathan Francis (3-5-1, 2 KOs), of Sanford, NC fought to a majority draw in a crowd pleasing four round welterweight bout.
Shorter and stockier than his opponent, Denby started fast. Denby landed a big right to the head to start the bout, and kept up the furious attack while the taller and more technically sound Francis covered up. Denby slowed up, and Francis fired back in combination with his sharper punches to take the round.
Round two saw Denby start fast once again. After battering Francis on the ropes for nearly two minutes, Francis, a southpaw, rocked Denby with some big straight left hands in the final minute. Still, Denby did enough to even things up.
Round three was close. Referee Steve Smoger warned Denby for straying low, and Francis sported a mouse under his left eye.
Denby came out blazing in round four, forcing Francis to cover up as Denby fired away. In the final minute, Denby finally slowed down. Francis came on strong, but Denby, while not punching, was able to dodge the more damaging blows.
The scores read 39-37 for Denby, and 38-38 (twice).
Vasquez gets by Francis
Oscar “El Bandido” Vasquez (3-1), of New Castle, DE won a split decision over Manuel Jiminez (0-2), of Paterson, NJ in a four round junior welterweight bout that opened the show.
It didn’t look good in the opening round for a slow-starting Vasquez. Jiminez worked his jab and shook Vasquez with a right hand-left hook combination. Vasquez came back with a big overhand right at the end of the round.
It was important for Vasquez to find a way to negate Jiminez’ jab, and he did that in round two. Slipping and ducking, Vasquez was able to get inside to dominate the round with combination punching. However, Jiminez was able to land a straight right and a hard left hook at the bell.
Up to this point, Jiminez was pressing the action, but in the third, Vasquez took the lead. Landing left uppercuts to the head and lefts to the body, Vasquez was able to steal the round. Vasquez also won a sloppy final round, as Jiminez appeared to run out of gas near the end of the round.
The scores were 39-37 (twice) for Vasquez and 39-37 for Jiminez.