|Tommy Gun fires the left hand|
NEW YORK, N.Y. - In the fourth installment of Broadway Boxing this year, promoter Lou DiBella treated fight fans on Thursday to nonstop action on a fight card that featured eight bouts. Kevin Rooney Jr., the Director of Public Relations for DBE, stated at the press conference on Tuesday that the main event featuring South Africa's top rated super middleweight Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen and Florida's dangerous Rowland Bryant could have easily been on SHOBOX or HBO: Boxing After Dark. Being in charge of P.R., he could have been easily forgiven if he exaggerated the magnitude of the fight. After all, that's his job.
The card also co-featured undefeated light heavyweight prospect "Irish" Seanie Monaghan from Long Beach N.Y. and heavy handed George Armenta in a fight that more than lived up to it's expectations. Even the undercard fights featuring Allan Benitez and bantamweight Heather Hardy were entertaining. This venue has a feel of magic that is just right for boxing, which explains why the last three shows were done at the Roseland Ballroom. Add a great crowd, and you have something special. This card really had something for everybody. One round knockouts, multiple knockdowns, come from behind victories, and even a well deserved draw. Here are the results:
Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen W12 Rowland Bryant (super middleweights) - This championship fight lived up to it's expectations, as Oosthuizen (20-0-1 w/ 13 KO's) was pushed to the limit in this twelve round brawl. Rowland Bryant (16-2 w/ 11 KO's) was as tough as they come, and once he warmed to the task, we had a fight with two fighters whose styles complimented each other. In the first round the champ relied on his southpaw jab to set up the left hand, while his opponent lunged with the left hook. Rowland tried to keep Oosthuizen on the ropes, but the tall champion fought surprisingly well on the inside. Bryant landed a big hook, but the champion took it well. "Tommy Gun" shot the jab to the body well, and landed a left to the head. Bryant responded by bobbing and weaving as he winged right crosses and left hooks that occasionally exploded on Oosthuizen.
Bryant's punches were eye catching bombs thrown with bad intentions that had the crowd "oohing and aahing" every time the sweat flew off the head of the champion, but he was being out landed three punches to one as the rounds continued to mount. From rounds seven through twelve, the champion doubled the jab before throwing flurries whenever Bryant would get inside. Bryant needed a knockout to win, and in the last round, he landed some of the biggest punches in the fight. Unfortunately for him, it was a case of too little too late.
Oosthuizen retained his IBO title by unanimous decision with the scores of 117-111 twice and 118-110. Steve Farhood congratulated the winner in the ring. "He was a tough guy, who took some really big shots," said the 24-year-old South African. "I know there are still things that I need to improve on and I will go back to the drawing board with my team after this. I am happy that I had the opportunity to perform here in New York, and whatever my team decides is next for me, I will be ready."
"Irish" Seanie Monaghan KO3 George Armenta (light heavyweights) - In the co-main event, crowd favorite Seanie Monoghan improved to 15-0 w/ 10 KO's in an action packed fight that gave his fans what they came to see. Armenta (14-10 w/ 11 KO's) had his moments as he came forward with the left hook and straight right hand, but his balance was off, as he put a little too much weight on his lead foot, and this allowed Monaghan to counter with a right hand of his own. In the second, "Irish" added a double hook to the body and head, and hurt his opponent. A huge right hand dropped him at the bell. Armenta bravely beat the count, and made it back to his corner. In round three, a second right hand dropped him hard, and this time he was visibly hurt. Armenta just managed to beat the count, but the referee had seen enough, and to the delight of the hometown fans, Seanie was declared the winner by TKO at the 2:25 mark.
Heather Hardy W4 Mikayla Nebel (female bantamweights) - Heather Hardy won her professional debut with a gutsy off the floor unanimous decision over Mikayla Nebel now at (0-3). The scores of the three judges didn't really tell the story of the fight, as Heather (1-0) was dropped to the canvas in the first round by a straight right hand, while reaching for her opponent. Showing a lot of courage she did battle back with volume punches to the body and head for the remainder of the fight. Nebel put her punches together and threw her punches straight, while tucking her chin behind her shoulder and tried to counter. Heather was clearly the bigger fighter, and used her size to her advantage, pushing her smaller opponent to the ropes. Hardy won by the scores of 38-37 on all three judges scorecard. Good fight.
Things heated up a bit in the fifth as both fighters landed some good punches to head and body while pushing their opponent to the ropes. In the final round, Boyd got a real scare. Perhaps sensing he needed a knockout to win, Memminger (6-9-3 w/ 4KO's) went for broke and almost pulled off the upset, with a big right hand that had his opponent in trouble, and he then stalked his opponent while he tried to clear his head. Memminger threw plenty of right hands to the head, but failed to throw anything to the body while his opponent was hurt, and he let Melson off the hook, who made it to the bell. All three judges saw it the same way, with identical scores of 59-54 giving Memminger only the final round.
Floriano Pagliara D6 Willie Villanueva (junior lightweights) - In what was easily the most difficult fight to score on this night, Pagliara and Villanueva each made a strong case for themselves. There was plenty of give and take as both men seemed to favor the right hand to the head. Pagliara (13-4-2 w/ 7KO's) would do well in a round, just to have Villanueva (10-4-1 w/2 KO's) come back and finish the round strong. Pagliara made the fight a lot tougher than it should have been by failing to go to the body whenever he landed anything upstairs. The final round was a war, as both men showed determination to win a fight that each man knew was in the balance. Pagliara had blood on his face, but I couldn't tell if it was his because Villanueva suffered a bloody nose, and the crimson could have easily belonged to him. As much as I hate draws, I looked like a genius in press row when I called it before the scores of 58-56,56-58, and 57-57 were announced. Good fight overall, and no one deserved to lose, or even win this one.
Zach Ochoa KO1 Cody Osbourne (junior welterweights) - In a fight that lasted just 42 seconds, Ochoa (2-0 w/ 2KO's) came out for the first round (fittingly wearing animal print trunks) stalking his prey. Osbourne, now 0-3 was never in the fight, and he leaned into a jab that landed more like a right hand. The dazed Osbourne didn't look right while stumbling backwards into the ropes, the referee took a good look at him, and decided to call off the fight. In this brief encounter, I did get to see some above average hand speed from Ochoa. Still very early in his career, we'll get to see more of him as the level of competition improves.
Jonathan Cepeda KO1 Orphius Waite (middleweights) - In the first stoppage fight of the night, Jonathan Cepeda (12-0 w/ 11 KO's) showed power with both hands as he dropped his off balance opponent early with a left hand, and then a big right hand, that once again dumped him on the canvas. Waite, who's record falls to 7-5-2 entered the ring bone dry, and never landed anything of significance. Pretty much like the fight that followed this one, Cepeda's skills will come to light as the level of competition gets better.
Allan Benitez W6 Osnel Charles (junior welterweights) - Both fight fans and members of press row, who find it fashionable to come to the fights a little late, paid for it dearly on this night, as the first fight on the card gave me high expectations for the evening. In a highly entertaining bout, Allan Benitez (6-1 w/ 1 KO) showed good technique in this fight, and he needed it against Charles (9-4-1 w/ 1KO) who gave a gutsy performance. After a good feeling out first round for both fighters, and a fairly competitive second, Robert Garcia (Bam Bam Rios' trainer) made a few adjustments in the Benitez corner. In the third round, Benitez wisely relied more on the jab, followed by a right hand. Charles continued forward firing right hands, landing an occasional uppercut. Benitez landed the right more frequently, and as the fight entered the last three rounds, he added a left hook behind the right cross. All three judges got it right with identical scores of 58-55.
With a little more punching power, Benitez has the potential to make a statement in his division.
Ringside Report by David McLeod, exclusively for KO Digest
Photos DiBella Entertainment/Ed Diller