November 11, 2013

KO Digest Ringside Report - Bracero, Hardy, and Ota win in Brooklyn

Broadway Boxing
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- DiBella Entertainment (DBE) returned with a special edition of its Broadway Boxing series at the Aviator Sports and Events Center on Saturday night. The event, which was billed the "Battle for Brooklyn," was headlined by welterweight contender Gabriel "Tito" Bracero (22-1, 4 KO's) and former world title challenger Dmitry "Star of David" Salita (35-1-1, 18 KO's) in a 10-round welterweight showdown. The fight would crown a new WBO intercontinental welterweight champion. This match-up between the Brooklyn natives had been brewing for the last few years, and thankfully they didn't disappoint. At the bell, Bracero made his intentions known with an educated jab to set up the right hand in an attempt to back up his taller opponent, while Salita looked to counter. The fighter known as "Star of David" tried to land his right hand in the second, only to be countered by Bracero's left hook. Bracero had his opponent going backwards for most of the third, thanks to an accurate jab and a sneaky lead hook added by "Tito." The Salita corner tried to encourage their fighter in between rounds, and he came out a little more aggressive for the fourth with a hard jab, that temporarily halted Bracero's forward march. Bracero responded with a hard right and a left hook that drove his opponent to the ropes.

Salita did better in the sixth round, as Bracero looked to land the big bombs, and neglected the jab. The crowd went wild as Salita stepped into a short left hook, and was dropped onto the seat of his pants in the middle of the eighth. Chants of "Tito!" filled the arena as the fighters battled to the bell. In the final round, Salita (35-2-1, 18 KO's) gave it his all and Bracero (23-1, 4 KO's) stood his ground. The fighters fought toe-to-toe, and continued to fire punches after the bell.

Bracero and Salita live up to their billing
Both men received a standing ovation from the sold out crowd immediately after the fight. The scores of 97-92, 99-90, and 100-89 all in favor of the new WBO intercontinental welterweight title holder Bracero didn't reflect the competitiveness of the entertaining bout. "This was a big opportunity for me," said the winner at the ringside post-fight interview. "I turned my life around. I could be in jail or dead. I have a story to tell," said Bracero. Promoter Lou Dibella claimed that Bracero was ready for the big time, and that HBO should showcase his fighter. Salita had nothing to be ashamed of in defeat, as he gave a valiant effort.

Hardy picks up her first professional title belt
In the co-feature, Heather "The Heat" Hardy won the vacant UBF junior featherweight championship in perhaps her best performance. In a bout that was scheduled for eight rounds, Hardy made it seven straight, as she improved to 7-0, 2 KO's against Laura Gomez who hails from Sonara, Mexico. Gomez seemed all business at the bell, as she tried to bully her smaller opponent, and drive her backwards. But right hands to the body and head by Hardy landed with a thud. Gomez winged hooks and right hands at her opponent, but Hardy caught most of them on her gloves. In the second, "The Heat" picked up the pace, and her opponent didn't seem to have an answer. Hardy landed hard shots on her opponent's body, used angles to create more openings, and then fired some more. A hard left right combination to the head had Gomez stunned, and the referee felt she had taken enough. The time of the stoppage was 1:44 of the second round. The popular female fighter from Brooklyn has now scored two knockouts in a row. Gomez fell to 4-4.

Ota and Ruiz engage in the fight of the night
Also co-featured was OPBF junior middleweight champion Charlie Ota, who's birthplace was New York, but now resides in Tokyo, Japan against Mike Ruiz, who hails from Freeport, NY in a scheduled eight rounder. This was a brawl which featured a lot of highlight reel action. The first round was closely contested, as Ruiz would do better in the center of the ring, while Ota would do his best work near the ropes. Ruiz tried to return the favor and trapped Ota on the ropes in the second, only for Ota to spin off the ropes and fire eight consecutive left hooks to the head. Ota also did well in the third with eye catching right hands, while Ruiz tried to respond with flurries. Ruiz just couldn't find an answer whenever his back was to the ropes. Ruiz showed a lot of heart as he took some hard shots that may have stopped a lesser fighter.

In the sixth, Ota landed at will. The fan favorite Ruiz came back with some hard right hands and left hooks to the head, only for Ortiz to smile, and then fire back. In the seventh, Ota continued to land on the back pedaling Ruiz. In the final round, Ruiz shoe-shined, only for Ota to blast him with right hands to the head. The heavier blows landing clearly belonged to Ota. The scoring was somewhat questionable, as a 76-76 score was thankfully overruled by the scores of 78-74 and 77-75 for Ota who improved to 24-1-1, 16 KO's while Ruiz fell to 17-8, 9 KO's.

On The Undercard:

Joe Smith SD6 Lamont Williams (light heavyweights) - Smith stalked his opponent in the first while Williams remained on the defensive. Williams opened up a little in the second and used the jab and straight right hand. Smith responded with the left hook. Smith grew braver in the third and he began to find a home for the right. Smith landed his best punch of the fight in that round, a right hand that landed flush, momentarily halting his opponent's forward movement. Smith also found success in the fifth, as Williams neglected to jab on his shorter opponent. In the final round, Smith jabbed to the body before coming over the top with a right hand while Williams was reduced to back pedaling and throwing the home run right hands to the head. The score of 58-56 for Williams was overruled by identical scores of 58-56 for Smith in a closely contested fight. Smith improved to 13-1, 11 KO's while Williams record is now 5-3-1, 2 KO's.

Patrick Day D6 Urmat Ryskeldiev (junior middleweights) - Ryskeldiev proved to be a tough opponent, doing his best to come forward the entire fight. In the first, Day relied on a jab and a left to the body and head in a close opening round. In the second, the action heated up, as the LA fighter continued his forward march, landing a few right hands. The edge in hand speed however, clearly belonged to Day, and he landed his punches in combination. In the third, the fighters fought evenly, as Ryskeldiev landed right hands, and Day responded by going to the body, and by landing eye-catching hooks. Day also started the fourth round with a nice right cross left hook combination that sent the sweat flying off the head of his opponent. Ryskeldiev did well in the final round, as Day elected to stand and trade, rather than rely on his jab. A 59-57 score for Day was overruled by the other two judges who had identical scores of 57-57 resulting in a majority draw. Ryskeldiev record now reads 5-3-1, 4 KO's while the fighter from Freeport, NY is now 5-0-1, 2 KO's.

Broadway Boxing in Brooklyn, New York
Shemuel Pagen UD4 Jesus Javier Cintron (junior welterweights) - Plenty of action in the first round, as the fighters traded shots to the body, as well as crisp right hands and left hooks. Pagan's shots to the body in the second and third rounds were brutal. Cintron would respond with hard punches of his own to the head, but he would literally fold as the body shots from "The Chosen One" would land. In the final round, hooks to the body and head had Cintron in trouble. The fighter showed heart as the punches landed frequently. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Pagen, whose record improved to 4-0, 1 KO while Cintron, disqualified in his last fight, fell to 2-4-2, 1 KO.

Chris Galeano UD4 Jamil Gadsden (junior middleweights) - Right from the bell, Galeano established his southpaw jab, and straight left hand to back off Gadsden who would display an occasional flurry to the body and head, but Galeano displayed a tight defense. In the second, Galeano landed a left cross to the body, and right hook to the head, but he suffered a bad cut to the left eye,which would be ruled an accidental head butt. Gadsden targeted the eye in the third round with right crosses, and may have won the round, as his opponent went on the defensive. Galeano responded in the final round with body shots, while his opponent countered with right hands. Galeano won by the scores of 39-37 and 40-36 twice. Galeano picked up his first win as a pro and improved to 1-1 while Gadsden is now 0-4.

Junior Younan TKO1 Kenneth Schmitz (super middleweights) - In his pro debut, 18 year old New Yorker "Sugar Boy" Younan displayed quick hands, and his opponent was forced into a defensive posture as he raced across the ring to start the fight. Schmitz escaped momentarily, and fired a right hand. Trapped once again, this time in the red corner, a flurry to the body capped by a right uppercut snapped his opponents head up, and the referee was forced to stop the contest. The time of the stoppage was 1:40 of the first. Younan picked up his first win in his professional debut, while Schmitz fell to 2-11-1, 1 KO. Described by DBE as a "blue-chip" prospect, look for Younan to back in action very soon.

Louis Cruz TKO2 Bryan Acaba (lightweights) - In the first, Cruz spent most of the round in "Cruz Control" probing with the jab to the body and head, followed by an occasional right. Acaba countered with the hook. Acaba tried a double hook near the end of the round, but it was blocked by Cruz. In the second, Cruz put together a three punch combo that stunned his opponent. In what appeared to be a knockdown, the referee called it a slip, and the fight resumed. Cruz quickly pounced and a huge left uppercut had  "The Beast" out on his feet. The ref jumped in to rescue Acaba at 1:24 of the second round. Cruz is now 6-0, 3 KO's and steadily improving. Acaba fell to 3-5, 2 KO's. 

The "Star of David" McLeod

KO Digest Ringside Report by David McLeod

Photos By Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment