PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                     November 16, 2013


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by Ken Hissner
Photos by Kathryn Warburton


Bethlehem’s favorite son, Ronald Cruz, 20-2 (15 KOs), dropped Hector “El Hurricane” Munoz, 22-12-1 (14 KOs), of Albuquerque, NM, three times, stopping him at 1:43 of the third round of a scheduled 10-round main event. This was a Peltz Boxing & BAM Boxing promotion, in association with the Sands Casino Resort.   

There was no feeling out in the first round as both fighters went at it. The second was more of the same. As Munoz landed a solid jab, Cruz came back with an overhand right followed by a left to the head. Munoz looked bigger and kept pushing forward. Coming off the biggest win of his career over Hector Camacho, Jr., Munoz seemed very confident. When Cruz stepped up and delivered solid power punches he made Munoz pay.  

In round three, a left by Cruz followed up with an overhand right dropped Munoz. As he got up Cruz went after him. A straight right dropped Munoz in the corner of Cruz. He got up shaky and referee Smoger looked like he might stop it. Cruz rushed forward and landed a solid left hook to the chin that dropped Munoz for the third and last time, as Smoger waved it off.  The fans loved this one as both fighters put forth their best efforts.

Lightweight Jason Sosa, 11-1-3 (7 KOs), of Camden, NJ, stopped Bryne Green, 7-8-1 (3 KOs), of Vineland, NJ, in a scheduled 6-rounder, at 2:36 of the fourth round with a wicked body shot.  

Green seemed to stay a step ahead of Sosa in the opening round. In the second, Sosa started finding the range and landed some power punches. Sosa dominated the round, driving Green backwards throughout. In the third, both landed solid left hooks to the chin. Sosa landed a combination of uppercuts which got the attention of Green. Sosa seemed to be taking over.   

In the fourth, Sosa started off landing good body shots which seemed to wake up Green, who came back with some solid punches of his own. Sosa rocked Green and made him hold. A good right uppercut to the body dropped Green to his knees for the count. Referee Gary Rosato reached the 10 count.  

Green spent about ten minutes on the stool afterwards. Sosa continued his winning ways. “I didn’t realize I hurt him and expected him to get up,” said Sosa.   

In another anticipated match-up of southpaws, junior welterweights Jerome Rodriguez, 6-0-2 (2 KOs), of Allentown, PA, and Darnell Jiles, 9-3-2 (3 KOs) of Rochester, NY, put on a classic battle over six rounds that ended up in a draw decision.  

Jiles started out strong, but Rodriguez finished strong in a very close opening round. In the second, Jiles had Rodriguez on the ropes, outscoring him with combinations. In the middle of the ring, it was Rodriguez who outboxed Jiles in another close round. In the third, Jiles was again being outboxed before landing a lead overhand left to the head of Rodriguez, but then a four-punch combination by Rodriguez got the attention of Jiles. The more experienced Jiles finished strong. There was little to pick between the two of them through the rounds of the scheduled six.  

In the fourth, Jiles missed with a right hook before Rodriguez countered with a nice left hook to the mid-section. Rodriguez hurt Jiles, driving him across the ring, only to be met with hard return punches by Jiles. The skill level of both boxers was apparent in this one. Rodriguez used hand speed at the beginning of the fifth round to score points, and was more active. It was the first clear cut round that Rodriguez dominated. 

In the last two rounds Jiles stayed on the stool until the bell rang, while Rodriguez was standing and ready to go.   

In the final round, Rodriguez showed pinpoint accuracy with his jab until Jiles landed a borderline right hook to the top of the head as Rodriguez was ducking. Realizing that he might have been behind, Jiles tried to pour it on for a knockout.

Referee Smoger handled the classic six-rounder as if it were a championship fight. All three judges had it 57-57. I scored it 58-56 for Rodriguez.  A rematch may be in the offing. This was what boxing was all about in good old days.  

Welterweight Arturo Trujillo, 4-0 (2 KOs), of Easton, PA, scored a sensational stoppage of Pablo Sanchez, 1-1 (1 KO), of Indianapolis, dropping him twice to stay unbeaten at 1:48 of the first round.  

Southpaw Trujillo landed a three-Punch combo followed by a combination with a straight left that dropped Sanchez. Upon rising, Sanchez looked bewildered. He tried to fight back but Trujillo landed too many blows to the head. Trujillo dropped Sanchez again with a right hook. Referee Rosato wisely stopped the fight as the outclassed Sanchez got to his feet.  

Cruiserweight Todd “2 Gunz” Unthank-May, 8-0 (3 KOs), of Philly, PA, overcame a bad cut to stop Kentrell Claiborne, 4-8 (3 KOs), of Ft. Worth, TX, at 2:38 of round two in a scheduled 4-rounder.

Unthank-May started strong, dominating Claiborne before an overhand right caused a nasty cut on the left eye-brow of Unthank-May.  With blood coming down the side of his face, he went after Claiborne trying to end it early.  

In the second, a solid right to the head rocked Claiborne, who held on.  Next, Claiborne walked directly into a right hand that dropped him. A left hook to the mid-section dropped him again. A straight right finished the fight, as Claiborne hit the canvas for a third time as referee Rosato waved it off.  

Welterweight Terrell James, 1-1-1 (0), of Philly, and Carlo Moore, 0-1-1, of VA Beach, VA, battled to a 4-round draw.  

James came out with a vengeance, driving Moore into the ropes on two occasions. Moore held on, hoping James would punch himself out. Then suddenly, just prior to the bell, Moore reversed things by punishing James at the bell.   

In the second with hands held high, James came forward only to be met with some resistance by Moore, who pushed him to the ropes and smothered him with punches. Moore took the round by outworking James.  

In the third, Moore continued to keep James on the ropes, but took as many as he landed. In the fourth and final round, both fighters let it all hang out. About midway through, James rocked Moore with a chopping right. Moore came back, driving James to the ropes once again. Just prior to the bell, James hurt Moore with a solid right to his left eye. It was a good fight for these two youngsters.   

I scored it 38-38, as did judges Dave Braslow and Pierre Benoist. John Pourtaj had it 39-37 for James. Steve Smoger was the referee.      

In an anticipated good match-up, junior welterweight Nathaniel “2 Guns” Rivas, 2-0 (0), of Berlin, NJ, showed excellent skills in defeating Johnathan Williams, 0-1, of Allentown, PA, by 4-round unanimous decision. All three judges scored 40-36, as did I.  

Williams started fast and Rivas finished strong. Rivas pinned Williams in a neutral corner prior to the bell, and rocked him with a left hook. Both showed good skills at the start of the second until Rivas started to take over. He landed combinations and had much better accuracy, when both fighters stayed in the middle of the ring. It was an exciting round for the fans.  

In the third round, Rivas hurt Williams on several occasions, and ended the round with a terrific right to the chin which rocked Williams. The local favorite could not keep up with Rivas, punch for punch. In the final, round Rivas once again hurt Williams with combinations to the body and finished with a combo to the head.   

Rivas kept pressing Williams, who had no answer for the many punches Rivas was landing. Williams was holding the left arm of Rivas, trying to stop him from throwing combinations. Rivas, who is trained by his father Chino who is also co-manager with Adrienne Soto, is a real prospect. World-traveling top referee Steve “Double S” handled the fight. All three judges had it 40-36 for Rivas, which matched my score.   

In the opening bout, junior welterweight Ismael Serrano, 1-0 (0), of Bethlehem, PA, won a hard fought decision over Jean Hernandez, 0-1, of the Bronx, NY, in  a 4-rounder. 

In the opening round, both fighters exchanged right hands. Serrano was the busier of the two. Hernandez continued to be the aggressor, while Serrano countered to the body and landed combinations and an occasional overhand right to the head. Hernandez landed a big right to the chin of Serrano. Hernandez finished strong, pinning Serrano in his own corner at the bell.   

In the third round, Hernandez, the fresher of the two, got caught with a lead right hand that made him wince. Serrano, with his back to the ropes, spun Hernandez around and landed a combination at the bell. In the final round, a Serrano overhand right drove Hernandez into the ropes. Hernandez landed a three-punch combo, finishing with a right uppercut that rocked Serrano. But Serrano came fighting back. The referee was Gary Rosato.  

Judges Dave Braslow and Dewey LaRosa had it 39-37 (identical to my score), while Pierre Benoist had it 40-36, all for the winner Serrano.  

The ring announcer was Steve Mittman, and the timekeeper was Fred Blumstein.

This was certainly one of the best shows in the area this year.




Ken Hissner - Bethlehem, PA - November 16, 2013
Photos by Kathryn Warburton