By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
It was a peculiar night of boxing at the Marple Sports Arena in Broomall, PA as Tim Witherspoon, Jr. (10-3-1, 2 KOs) captured the fringe vacant XBC world welterweight title without actually winning a fight or throwing a punch. Witherspoon’s opponent, Josue Rivera (2-3, 2KOs) worked a corner during an exhibition which opened the card. Rivera attempted to get out of the ring and slipped off the top step and fell to the floor, landing awkwardly on his foot, twisting his ankle. He was unable to put pressure on the ankle, but eventually hopped back to the dressing room. The ringside physician took a look and said he could fight if Rivera could stand the pain, but he could not put enough pressure on it. Promoter Damon Feldman stepped into the ring along with Witherspoon and announced the main event was cancelled due to the unusual circumstances which caused the injury and that Rivera was unable to continue. Feldman then awarded Tim Witherspoon, Jr. the vacant XBC world welterweight belt by default. The three bout undercard promoted by Marty Feldman’s “Champions’ of tomorrow” featured a pair of upsets in two other XBC world title contests.
In the six round co-feature of the evening, Christian Steele(4-7-2, 1 KO) pulled the upset and picked up the vacant XBC world Lightweight title with a spirited majority decision victory over previously undefeated “Lightning” Lonnie Jackson Jr. (3-1-1, 1 KO).
In the opening round of the fight, Lonnie Jackson tried to outbox Christian Steele by jabbing, while switching in and out of the southpaw stance. Christian Steele wouldn’t have it as he gained confidence early with short combinations that found their mark. Jackson tried to counter the shots and made the round close in the final seconds, by spinning off the ropes and landing a hard right hand. Steele was cut high on the forehead in the closing seconds of the round, but his corner stopped the bleeding and it never caused him a problem throughout the rest of the fight.
Steele stepped up his punch output in the middle rounds two through four as Jackson continued to get caught flush with heavier hooks inside with his hands down as he switched back into his southpaw stance while in the pocket. Steele pushed the attack throughout and Jackson couldn’t seem to get his counters off enough to win rounds three and four.
Jackson finally found his rhythm in the fifth as he stepped inside the incoming combinations and landing straight shots and uppercuts which snapped up the head of his busier opponent.
Lonnie Jackson’s local fans screamed and hollered for him to step up his game and get the tiring Jackson out of there in the sixth and final round. Jackson wouldn’t let that happen as his combinations continued to keep Steele on his toes. In the closing thirty seconds. Steele went for the knockout and traded with Jackson. In the closing ten seconds, Steele landed his biggest left of the fight, but couldn’t stop Steele as he fired away until the final bell sounded.
One judge saw it even at 57-57 even, but was overruled by the other two officials, who saw it 58-56 and 59-55 in favor of Christian Steele for the majority decision victory.
In a sloppy four round XBC Cruiserweight title fight, Mike Moore mauled and outwrestled Brian “the Wildman” Donahue over four rounds to win a split decision victory. Donahue was the better boxer, but Moore was the more aggressive fighter as he constantly out wrestled Donahue. Throughout the fight Donahue found himself off balance, dodging wild hooks while on the ropes. The wrestling led to head butts and other roughhouse tactics from Moore that Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. didn’t warn him for. Moore was the busier puncher in the inside though and it may have won him the fight. Donahue made the final three rounds hard to call with heavy overhand rights up top which snapped around the head of Moore he would falter and clinched while pushing down the head of Donahue. Moore continued to come and wrestled away on the inside as the sloppy contest came to a close.
The fight went to the scorecards. One judge saw it 39-37 in favor of Brian Donahue, but was overruled by the other two officials, who both scored it 39-37 in favor of Mike Moore (1-1), giving him the XBC cruiserweight world title in his first win as a professional. Brian Donahue falls to 2-6-2.
In the opening four round welterweight bout of the evening, undefeated Russian slugger, Sukhrab Shidaev upped his record to 7-0, 6KOs with an explosive second round knockout of Evincii Dixon (3-4,1KO).
Shidaev dug the body of Dixon early with crunching hooks. Dixon weathered the storm moved to his right with jabs and light one-two combinations. Shidaev was relentless as he continued to find his spots with heavy hooks on the inside as the opening round came to a close.
The hooks from Shidaev continued in the second. In the closing thirty seconds of the round, Shidaev backed Dixon into a corner with a barrage of shots. Dixon tried desperately to fight his way out of the corner as both fighters swung away, looking for the homerun shot. Each fighter missed with a few heavy hooks before Shidaev toppled Dixon with an explosive left on the chin and followed it up with a right hand. Dixon crumpled to the canvas and was unable to reach his feet as Referee Benjy Esteves reached the count of ten at 2:59 of the second round, giving Sukhrab Shidaev the knockout victory.