PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                     December 08, 2012


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By John DiSanto
Photos by Gary Purfield


Before Bryant Jennings and Eric Hunter each scored signature wins in the two feature bouts of the night, a roster of young Philly talent warmed up the crowd and made a bid for Broad Street Boxing to become a recurring attraction at Temple University's McGonigle Hall.

North Philly welter-weight Hasan Young (white trunks) opened the show with a burst of power against South Philly's Josue Rivera. The "Hitman" went right at his foe and blasted him to the ground with a hard right hand. The game Rivera got up but hit the canvas again after another overhand right landed. Young ended the fight with a snappy left hook-right uppercut combo that floored Rivera for the third time and forced the automatic stoppage by referee Shawn Clark at 1:52 of the first round.

Young improved his record to 2-1-1 (1 KO) with the speedy win. He is an entertaining fighter with a fan-friendly style who has seen some tough competition in this his first year as a pro. Rivera fell to 0-2.

Amateur standout Anthony Burgin, won his second straight pro bout (2-0, 1 KO) with a four round unanimous decision over North Philly's Kenneth Brown, who was making his pro debut. The Kensington boxer looked solid and sharp during the the light-weight contest, winning all four rounds on the official cards (40-36). I also scored the fight a shutout. "Bad Boy" Burgin should be fun to watch develop into a real prospect. Southpaw Brown had the misfortune of getting Burgin as his debut opponent, but he showed a lot of toughness in his first start.

Super middleweight Jesse Hart, amateur star and son of Philly legend Cyclone Hart, won his 5th pro-fessional bout (and Philadelphia debut) with a unanimous four round decision over Steven Tyner of Akron, OH. Hart (white trunks) unloaded on his opponent in the first round, and landed a hard right hand that put Tyner down after a delayed reaction. He rose to his feet, but the bell to end the first rang during the mandatory 8-count.

Beginning in round two, Hart worked and swung away but couldn't put Tyner down again. The performance became workmanlike for Hart. He applied himself, but Tyner was just too tough to take out. Hart went all out in the fourth and final round. He bloodied Tyner's nose and bounced a number of shots off his head, but the fight lasted the full distance.

Tyner fell to 3-9-2 (2 KOs). Hart went to 5-0, but his KO streak ended at four in a row. It looks like old Cyclone Hart, Jesse's trainer and father, will still have the family bragging rights at this year's Christmas dinner table. His KO streak remains tops at 19 in a row.

Light heavyweight Todd Unthank-May almost fell victim to the old "opening bell sucker punch trick" when wily vet Taneal Goyco (blue trunks), North Philly, stormed out and dropped the rising prospect with a stiff right hand. Unthank-May, West Philly, got up and came back, but was clearly rattled (and annoyed) by the tactic. Todd went to work in round two and dug his way out of the deficit left by the knockdown. He won the remaining rounds, although Goyco rattled him again in the final session. But Unthank-May had done enough to win the decision. All three judges (George Hill, Dewey Larosa and Alan Rubenstein) scored the fight 38-37. My score read 39-37. Unthank-May went to 6-0 (2 KOs), while Goyco fell below .500, 4-5-1 (2 KOs).

Featherweight Joshua Arocha (white trunks) spoiled the home-coming of Temple grad Alex Barbosa with an upset four round decision in their bout. Southpaw Barbosa lost for the first time in five bouts (4-1, 1 KO). Arocha, Vineland, NJ, improved his spotty record to 3-6-2 (2 KOs) with the surprise win. Arocha took control in round two when he hurt Barbosa with combination and kept the pressure on his heavily favored foe. Judges George Hill and Dewey Larosa scored it 40-36, while James Condon saw it 39-37. My score mirrored Condon's. 

The two 6-round prelims featured former two-time rivals Jason Sosa and Angel Ocasio in separate bouts.

Junior lightweight Jason Sosa, Camden, NJ, looked strong in his second round annihilation of Lancaster's Isaac Suarez. Sosa hurt Suarez in round one and finished the job less than one round later. Sosa brutalized Suarez against the ropes before a hard shot to the body made Suarez sink to the canvas. As referee Blair Talmadge counted, Suarez rose to his feet but then grimaced and went down on one knee. The referee stopped the fight at 2:10 of round two.

Lightweight Angel Ocasio matched Sosa's win with his own impressive second round TKO. Ocasio dropped Esteban Rodriguez with a left to the body in round one, but ran out of time to KO him then and there. So Ocasio wasted little time in the second round. A left right combination to the head dropped Rodriguez again, and moments later, a left hook to the body finished him. Referee Shawn Clark stopped the bout at :38 seconds of the second round.

This was one of Ocasio's best showings, if not his very best. At 6-4-1 (1 KO), Rodriguez is one of the most experienced boxers Ocasio has ever faced, but he had no trouble dismissing him. Ocasio raised his record to 7-0-2 (2 KOs) with the win.

This was the first fight at Temple University's McGonigle Hall in many years. Let's hope it was also a new beginning. The venue is perfect for boxing. Intimate enough that every seat is a good one, and big enough to house a major fight. On this night an attendance of about 2,100 was on hand.

The card was promoted by Main Events, Peltz Boxing, BAM Boxing, and Goossen Tutor. The two main bouts were televised by NBC Sports Network as part of their Fight Night boxing series.

Related Stories:
Bryant Jennings Defends Turf By KO
Eric Hunter Finally Blooms vs. Belmontes




John DiSanto - North Philly - December 08, 2012

Photos by Gary Purfield