PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 06, 2021  
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Story by Danny Ziccardi
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


Philadelphian Donald “No Love” Smith was surprised in his six-round main event against Connecticut’s William “The Silent Assassin” Foster III, Saturday night at the 2300 Arena. In a highly anticipated clash between the two undefeated junior featherweights, both boxers came to fight from the opening bell, but it was Foster who established control and ultimately won the bout by unanimous decision.  

In the opening round, Foster landed a solid straight right after slipping Smith’s jab. “No Love” returned the favor by landing a hook of his own. The action continued in the second, with Smith aggressively landing shots out of the clinch and slipping Foster’s incoming shots effectively. Foster went to the inside of his rangy opponent, and began attacking to the body while landing hooks to the head. The round became a slugfest, with both fighters banging on the inside. Foster ended the second with a flurry of shots landing on Smith against the ropes. The round set the high-paced tone of the fight.  

Foster came out aggressively in the third round, but Smith was able to connect as Foster moved in. Foster pressured Smith and landed a right hand-left hook combination that sent Smith back. He followed with a straight body shot which seemed to hurt Smith. Donald appeared tired in the third round, and Foster capitalized by landing blows against the ropes.  

Smith continued to look gassed in the fourth round, and even took a knee coming out of a clinch early on. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. called it a slip. Foster continued his strong attack and landed another solid straight right that knocked Smith’s head back.

The pattern continued in the fifth round, with Foster dictating the pace and extending his lead. In the sixth and final round, Smith opened up with a strong left hook that sent Foster back. Foster countered with another body attack along the ropes, followed by a swift uppercut. Foster then landed a flurry of blows that culminated with a stiff left. An exhausted Smith fell to the canvas.

Again, the referee called it a slip, and Smith climbed to his feet. A smiling Foster continued his aggressive pursuit until an exhausted Smith dropped to a knee after an onslaught with twenty five seconds left in the contest. The referee again ruled it a slip.  

The official scoring of the fight was one-sided in Foster’s favor, 60-54 and 59-55 twice. Foster, 12-0, 8 KOs, brought the fight to Smith and set an aggressive pace throughout the bout. Smith, 10-1, 6 KOs, showed heart, but came up short in his first career defeat.   


Philadelphia southpaw Rashiem Jefferson shutout Maryland’s James Early in a six-round junior lightweight bout. Jefferson controlled the pace from the start of the first round, swarming in and out on Early and landing clean shots. He picked away at Early in the second round and nailed him to the body. Jefferson also displayed an efficient jab and effective straight lefts. He moved smoothly and out pointed Early in each exchange.  

In the opening stages of the third, both boxers traded shots. At one point, Early fell to the canvas, but referee Benjy Esteves determined that it was a slip. Against the ropes, Jefferson continued to break down Early’s body while effectively slipping his counterpunches.  

In round four Jefferson pounded punches to the body of Early and landed multiple uppercuts. Jefferson continued to show effective movement and displayed superior ring generalship. This continued in the fifth and sixth rounds, with Jefferson dominating Early and out-classing him until the final bell.  

All three judges scored the bout 60-54, giving Jefferson the unanimous decision win and his fourth professional victory (4-0). Early’s record fell to 5-7. The fact that in his previous bout Early defeated an opponent with an 11-0, made Jefferson’s victory all the more impressive.  

Sicklerville-based Philadelphia native Nahir Albright prepared for a six-round lightweight contest against Rochester’s Darnell Jiles Jr., but the bout lasted less than one minute. 

Albright staggered Jiles with a strong uppercut and ferocious hook to the head. He didn’t go down to the canvas, but referee Benjy Esteves called it a knockdown when Jiles slammed against the ropes. The fight continued, but Albright rushed in to finish the job. Nahir jumped on Jiles and after a few more shots, the referee stopped the fight.

The time of the stoppage came at 54 seconds of the first round. Albright, 9-1, 3 KOs, finished the bout without breaking a sweat, and even went on to sing the national anthem before the main event. Jiles’ record fell to 9-6-2, 3 KOs.

Thirty-one year old, former five-time Golden Gloves champion, Derek Starling of Philadelphia made a successful professional debut against Reading’s Jose Nunez in a scheduled four-round heavyweight clash.  

After a feeling-out period, southpaw Starling began landing jabs and solid shots to the body. Starling moved well as Nunez moved forward. As the fight progressed, Starling started to utilize his reach advantage. By the second, the brawling Nunez had difficulty getting to the inside due to the consistent jab and movement of Starling. As he began to fatigue, Nunez started to throw looping single shots. Starling moved Nunez to the corner and landed a flurry of blows on his exhausted opponent.  

Starling used his jab to set up straight lefts and body combinations. Nunez gave a valiant effort, and was able to have a short-lived second wind in the third, landing shots to body. However, Starling countered effectively and landed a solid straight left in the corner.

In the fourth and final round, Sterling continued to use jabs and body shots on a tired Nunez. All three judges favored Starling with scores of 39-37 and 40-36 twice. Starling left the ring 1-0, while Nunez slid to 0-2.


Sharif Rahman, Las Vegas, opened the show with a third round TKO of Fresno-based Haitian Gladimir Jacinto, in a scheduled four-round middleweight contest. Rahman displayed good head movement, calculated counter punching, and a heavy body attack throughout the fight.  

Rahman was aggressive in the second and Jacinto seemed to fatigue from the attack. Later in the second, Sharif walked Jacinto down and landed a barrage of punches. A shot to the body followed by a piercing right to the head sent Jacinto to the canvas. Jacinto rose to his feet, and Rahman jumped in to try to finish him. However, time ran out in the second.  

Rahman came out in the third and nailed Jacinto with a sharp double jab to the body. Down on the cards, Jacinto tried to make a stand by swinging wildly, but Rahman was able to stay poised and landed an uppercut. He immediately followed with a vicious right hook that sent Jacinto across the ring and falling into the ropes. Somehow, Jacinto rose from the knockdown and referee Benjy Esteves allowed the fight to continue. Rahman closed in and threw a flurry of hard shots to the head that sent Jacinto down once again. This time, the referee immediately waved off the bout declaring the TKO stoppage victory at 1:52 of round three. The win improved Rahman’s record to 4-0, 3 KOs, while Jacinto lost his third in a row, 0-3.  

The five-bout show was promoted by Rodney Rice’s RDR promotions. The night before, RDR announced that no spectators would be allowed into the 2300 Arena, presumably due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 200 tickets that were originally sold to fans, were all refunded by the promoter.

Luckily, the event was also streamed live by for $9.99. The broadcast was led by Marc Abrams, with former two-time cruiserweight champion providing commentary. Guest commentators included welterweight contender Jaron Ennis and his father / trainer Bozy Ennis.  

RDR is scheduled to return to the 2300 Arena on March 6th, however it is not yet clear whether COVID restrictions will affect that one. 




Danny Ziccardi - South Philly (via - February 06, 2021