Jennings Topples Tupou!
Gets Off Canvas to Score KO Win!
December 8, 2012 - Philadelphia, PA
Ringside Report: Kurt Wolfheimer
Photos: Ray Bailey
Saturday night at McGonigle Hall on the campus of Temple University, explosive heavyweight Bryant "Bye-Bye" Jennings (16-0, 8 KOs) retained the USBA title and continued on the path toward his dream of becoming a world champion with an impressive fifth round stoppage of dangerous Tongan Bernie Tupou (22-3, 16 KOs). In the ten round co-feature, Erik "The Outlaw" Hunter (17-2, 9 KOs) upset formerly undefeated Jerry Belmontes (17-1, 5 KOs). The undercard featured excellent performances from some of Philly's finest including a hard fought four round decision by Jesse Hart (5-0, 4 KOs) and two explosive technical knockouts by Angel Ocasio (7-0-2, 2 KOs) and Jason Sosa (7-13, 3 KOs). The evening's action was promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Main Events, Goossen Tutor Promotions and in association with Bam Boxing.
The main event was another step up the proverbial heavyweight ladder for Philadelphian Bryant Jennings, who went from virtual obscurity to a world rated and nationally known contender. Ranked number five in the world by the IBF, Jennings has secured victories over then undefeated and cross town rival Maurice Byarm and former WBO champion Siarhei "The White Wolf" Liakhovich, on his way to capturing the USBA title against then 25-1-1 Steve Collins. Standing in his way Saturday evening was Bowie Tupou, a heavy handed Tongan who had more knockouts (16) than Jennings had fights.
The fight started slowly as each combatant seemed to worry about getting dropped from a wild shot. Fans at ringside were starting to get a little restless, until action started to heat up in the second round when Tupou had a few hard shots slip through the gloves of Jennings. Jennings was quick though and he avoided most of the heavy volleys.
Jennings looked confident in the early going of the third when all of a sudden the fight almost turned on a dime. Jennings missed with a right hand and Tupou connected with a shot up top, which sent Jennings to the canvas. It should have been called a knockdown but the referee ruled it a slip. Jennings got up and connected with a sharp right hand. Tupou made a charge at his opponent but Jennings was able to clinch and fight his way out.
As each round passed, Jennings was becoming more confident which you could see in his step and power. At the beginning of the fifth, Jennings stood down on his punches to connect with two left crosses. The shot angered Tupou, who charged across the ring like a bull seeing a red cape. Jennings countered with a series of pounding shots forcing Tupou to fall back to the ropes and cover. Jennings leaned in and shot a left-right combination, followed by a huge uppercut which ripped through the guard of his opponent. Tupou collapsed and fell backwards to the canvas for the count. The final time of the TKO was 1:37 of the 5th round.
The confident Jennings spoke on the explosive knockout afterwards: "I had to throw a few shots so he could loosen up his guard. Then it gave my room for the uppercut. I kind of knew I hit him where I needed to hit him. He was just a strong guy and you could see it in his legs. I am happy for the victory"
Jennings vs Tupou Photos
Hunter Upsets Belmonte!
The original co-feature of the evening was to pit undefeated featherweight sensation Jerry "The Corpus Christi Kid" Belmontes against former contender Teon "The Technician" Kennedy, but Kennedy had to pull out due to an injury. A call was made to Eric Hunter and he immediately jumped at the opportunity to get into the national spotlight against Belmontes.
Belmontes at 17-0 with 5 knockouts sported the better record, but Erik Hunter (17-2, 9 KOs) had all the skills to give him fits.
Belmontes looked to insert his power early but Hunter snapped a good jab that kept him away. Hunter continued to potshot Belmontes in the early moments of the second. The heavier handed Belmontes tried to turn the momentum with a wide shot but Hunter timed it and landed a picture perfect counter left on the button that dropped Belmontes to the canvas. The knockdown seem to enrage Belmonte who pressed the attack moments later however Hunter was careful not to get caught with anything.
Hunter seemed to take control through rounds three through five as Belmontes was having trouble landing a telling shot. The fight got a little scrappy and looked like Belmontes was trying to get Hunter off his game when he landed with couple of low blows and a kidney shot. Hunter also went south but he maintained his cool while working effectively.
Belmonte continued to swing with bad intentions and muscle Hunter in the clinches. It looked like Hunter had finally lost his cool as he picked up Belmonte in a clinch, but he quickly cleared his head.
From that point on each fighter had their moments, but it was Hunter who was more consistent.
By round nine, Hunter had built up a substantial lead and his jab seemed to be giving Belmonte trouble. A confident Hunter took a big chance by dropping his hands and clowning, which surprising worked as it allowed him to land a few shots.
The contest went to the scorecards, with all of the judges seeing the bout widely in favor of Hunter. The tally was 99-91, 97-92 and 99-90.
It was telling statement for Hunter who had suffered through periods of inactivity in his career due to injuries and management problems. Now with the breakthrough victory, it looks like his expected early career potential be realized
Hunter spoke on his game plan afterwards: "My jabs were the key. He thought I couldn't punch because I was the small guy, but I showed him that I could stay with him."
Hunter vs Belmontes Photos
Ocasio Blows Away Rodriguez!
Undefeated Philly lightweight sensation Angel Ocasio (7-0-2, 2 KOs) made a statement that he is a rising prospects to be watched by dropping Esteban Rodriguez (6-4-1, 1 KO) three times en-route to an impressive second round stoppage.
Ocasio, who was coming off of two back-to-back draws this year against the same opponent (Jason Sosa), was eager to have impressive victory that was not in doubt!
Rodriquez was anticipated to be a challenge, having lost a close majority decision to the very same Jason Sosa plus he also went the distance with current Pennsylvania State lightweight champion Naim Nelson. Also Rodriquez had never been stopped as a so a real challenge was anticipated.
Rodriquez was known as a pressure fighter but Ocasio took it away in the opening moments by mixing in some good body shots to slow his opponent. Rodriquez returned fire with two right crosses that found their mark but Ocasio walked right through them. By mid round you could see the power of Ocasio start to take over as he dug in a few body shots while mixing in a shot upstairs. Rodriguez returned fire but Ocasio continued to find the openings and finally sent his opponent to the canvas with a well placed left hook under the ribs in the closing seconds. It didn't look he would get up but the durable Rodriguez is a warrior so he rose to his feet as the bell sounded.
In round two, Rodriquez tried to keep Ocasio off with short right hands however Ocasio was taking control with heavier shots. Late in the round Ocasio began to use a jab which set up a beautiful short right on the button. Rodriquez crumbled to the canvas for the second time. Ocasio would not let him off the hook and finished the job moments later with two destructive body shots. Rodriquez fell to his hands and knees. The referee had seen enough and called a halt to the contest at .38 seconds of round two.
"I never had a training camp like I did this time," said Ocasio who spoke on his keys to victory. "I felt very comfortable and we worked on the body shots. That is what it came down to and I worked (for the victory) so I am satisfied."
"There was talk of my fighting for the Pennsylvania State Title on December 8th but it fell through," said Ocasio. "Tonight I made a statement! Whatever title is out there, I am ready to fight for it. Just bring on the belt!"
Ocasio vs Rodriguez Photos
Sosa Vanquishes Suarez
Jason Sosa (7-1-3, 3 KOs) of Camden, NJ, continued his rise in the super featherweight division with a convincing second round knockout of Isaac Suarez (7-2, 3 KOs) from Lancaster, PA.
Sosa thrilled the crowd in the early going, wobbling Suarez as the fighters traded flurries. Sosa was more powerful which was demonstrated as he backed the Suarez to the ropes. Suarez, who had been absent from the ring for over three years since the first loss of his career, looked a bit rusty during the opening minutes but settled in and went toe-to-toe with Sosa even forcing him into a corner. Sosa showed his experience and poise as he spun out of the corner and connected with a hard left.
Sosa opened the second pushing forward but Suarez weathered the storm. Sosa connected with two successive right hands on the button which backed up his opponent . Suarez covered up as Sosa unleashed a vicious flurry. Suarez was stunned. Sosa drilled in three more heavy hooks up top that pierced the defense of Suarez. Suarez crumbled to the canvas. Referee Blair Talmadge had seen enough and waived the bout off, giving Sosa the TKO victory. The official time of the stoppage was 2:10 of the second round.
Sosa vs Suarez Photos
Arocho upsets Barbosa
It was supposed to be the homecoming of sorts for Philly featherweight Alex "Macho" Barbosa who had earned two degrees from Temple University but Joshua Arocho had different plans.
It was grind it out affair as each fighter went toe-to-toe. Arocho (3-6-2, 2 KOs) used his craftiness to catch the valiant Barbosa (4-1, 1 KO) with enough clean shots for the unanimous decision. The scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Unthank-May Overcomes Goyko
Sometimes rematches don’t always live up to their hype. Light heavyweights Todd Unthank-May (6-0, 2 KOs) and Taneal Goyco (4-5-1, 2 KOs) discovered that sometimes a rematch will exceed expectations.
Unthank-may had won a wide unanimous decision victory but he wanted a knockout. A KO almost happened but it was Goyko who did it. When the opening bell sounded, Goyko hustled across the ring and unleashed an overhand that caught Unthak-May right on the button. The punch crumbled Unthank-May to the canvas, almost like a corkscrew. Unthank-May showed the heart of a warrior and rose to his feet and fought his way out of trouble. Goyko tried to go for broke, throwing wild swings however Unthank-May regained his footing and began to land his own shots.
The fight began to switch in rounds two and three as Unthank-May began to overpower Goyko. Late in second round, Unthank-May wobbled his Philly neighbor with a left cross up top, but a wild swing from Goyko almost stopped him in his tracks. The third round was more of the same with Goyko swinging few single shots and dipping low, while Unthank-May stayed more in control with straight shots and hooks to take the rounds.
Unthank-May took control in the fourth and final round with crisp combinations which backed up Goyko. The fight went to the scorecards with Unthank-May pulling out the decision with a tally of 38-37 across the scoreboard.
Hart Hammers Tyner
Highly touted former national amateur star Jesse "Hard Work" Hart (5-0, 4 KOs) of North Philadelphia, PA continued to pound his way up the junior welterweight ladder in scoring a dominant four round destruction of a game, but out gunned Steven Tyner (3-9-2, 2 KOs) of Akron, Ohio.
Hart pounced on his opponent from the opening bell, with viscous barrage of shots before forcing Tyner to take a knee from a devastating straight right hand. Tyner rose to his feet but the beating continued.
Hart, a 2011 National Golden Gloves champion and the son of hard-hitting Philly middleweight Cyclone Hart, continued the assault with a vast array of pounding shots that had Tyner retreating throughout the second round.
Heavy bodywork from Hart in the third continued to wither Tyner who could only land a feeble shot while on the retreat. By the end of the round, Tyner was bleeding from his nose.
Tyner went into survival mode in the fourth and final round as Hart went for the knockout. The crowd grunted with every heavy shot landed by Hart. Tyner just would not go down and made to the final bell.
The scores were 40-34 and 40-35 twice for Hart.
"My team told me to work the body and eventually (they) fall," said Hart afterward. "I have to give him credit though for surviving.
Burgin Bests Brown
Philly junior lightweight Anthony "Bad Boy" Burgin was forced to go the distance for the first time as a professional, capturing a convincing one sided four round unanimous decision over debuting fellow Philadelphian Kenneth Brown.
Burgin took control of the bout in the second round behind strong jabs and a double right cross in mid round. Brown began fighting defensively and went into survival mode. The talented Burgin continued to peck away at his opponent but Brown stayed in a defensive shell which allowed him survive until the final bell. All of the judges saw the bout at 40-36 in favor of Burgin who ups his record to 2-1 with 1 KO while Brown slips to 0-1.
Young Makes Quick Work of Rivera
Talented Philly welterweight Hasan Young (2-1-1, 1 KO) needed only one minute and fifty two seconds to spoil the debut of cross town rival Josue Rivera in the opening bout of the evening.
The bout stared quickly as Rivera looked to stake his ground with Young but it was apparent that young was the quicker and more skilled fighter. Young backed up his opponent with ferocious body work. Rivera immediately started to wither and moments later he was dropped by a right cross. Though a bit dazed, Rivera tried to fight back, but found himself visiting the canvas for a second time from another big right. Young finished the show with a three-punch combination highlighted by a beautiful left uppercut. Referee Shawn Clark called a halt to the contest at 1:52 of the opening round.