PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                       October 12, 2013


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Story by Ken Hissner
Photos by A.M. Saddler


New England’s southpaw Danny “Bhoy” O’Connor, 23-2 (7), of Framington, MASS, was upset by former WBA light welterweight champion “Vicious” Vivian Harris, 31-9-2 (19), of Brooklyn, NY, originally from Guyana, on a split decision in a 10 round welterweight bout Saturday night at the Electric Factory in Philly. 

This was a tactful fight from the beginning to the end. Both boxers used the jab more than anything else though Harris was accurate with a counter right to the head of O’Connor on many occasions. O’Connor was the aggressor from the opening bell but rarely opened up concentrating on jabbing and not getting hit as much as possible. 

The taller Harris picked things up in the 3rd round. It wasn’t until the 6th round that O’Connor opened up. Several rounds could have gone either way. The crowd was trying to get O’Connor to open up more and get off first more. He had a plan and stuck to it. The scoring was quite unusual at the end. Pierre Benoist had O’Connor scoring a shut out 100-90 while Alan Rubenstein had Harris in front 99-91. Lynne Carter’s score of 96-94 seemed more in line giving it to Harris and the split decision win. This writer had it 95-95.  

The lead singer of Dropkick Murphys Ken Casey manages O’Connor and the show benefited the Claddagh Fund. Promoting were New England’s Irish group Dropkick Murphys, Claddagh Fund, DiBella Entertainment, Green Blood Boxing, Philadelphia Worldwide. Philly’s Tom Moran matchmaker.  He also manages the 3 Belfast boxers. Dropkick Murphys performed several times in-between bouts before a near full house.

Anthony “Anto” Cacace, 8-0 (3), of Belfast, IRE, making his US debut defeated Haitian “Prince” Osnel Charles, 9-7-1 (1), out of Atlantic City, NJ, winning every round in a lightweight 4. In the performance of the night Cacace a 7x National champion and Jr. Olympic Gold medalist beat Charles like he owned him throughout.

Switching from orthodox to southpaw made no difference as he had Charles number from the start. He rocked him on more than several occasions with lead uppercuts and a jab that couldn’t miss. Charles looked bewildered bleeding from the mouth from the 2nd round on. All 3 judges, Carter, Benoist and Rubenstein had it 40-36 for Cacace. Bozy Ennis has taken over as trainer for Cacace training out of Bozy’s Attic in Philadelphia. This kid Cacace can box and is a real prospect.

Light heavy “Sugar” Ray Ginley, 5-0 (3), of Belfast, IRE, who wears “Fight Cancer” on his robe making his US debut easily stopped southpaw Marlon Washington, 0-2, of SC in 2:02 of the 3rd round in a 4 rounder. Switching back and forth from orthodox to southpaw he rocked Washington several times in the 1st round and had his nose bleeding by the 2nd. He hurt Washington in the 3rd with a hard right and followed with another to drop him. Upon rising Washington’s corner asked referee Steve “SS” Smoger to stop the fight. Ennis worked the corner of Ginley. He was a junior bronze medalist.

Southpaw Tyrone McKenna, 2-0, of Belfast won a hard fought decision over Philly’s Korey Sloane, 2-7-2 (0), a light welter 4. This Olympic Bronze medalist overcame a cut under his left eye to have Sloane hurt several times. Carter and Rubenstein had it 40-36 while Benoist scored it 39-37 all for McKenna. Blair Talmadge was the referee.

In the opening bout Philly’s southpaw Blair Cobbs, 2-0 (2), dropped Tyshae Ferguson, 0-2, of Danville, VA, halfway into the 1st round with a combination of punches ending with a solid jab. Later in the round another combination by Cobbs ending with a straight left put Ferguson down again. Shortly after another combo dropped Ferguson at 2:35 of the 1st, referee Smoger waved it off the scheduled light welter 4.




Ken Hissner - North Philly - October 12, 2013
Photos by A. M. Saddler