|KO Digest Ringside Report
“I am sad that the Roseland is closing, and that this is the last boxing card we will ever promote there,” said DiBella. “This will not only be a celebration of New York boxing, but a celebration of a legendary hall. This boxing card will help say goodbye to Roseland in style,” the pensive promoter concluded. Indeed, the nine bout card featured plenty of action, but interestingly, no knockouts were scored. However, there was plenty of action, a few near upsets, a draw, and a little wrinkle thrown into the main event. Headlining the card, junior middleweight Boyd Melson (13-1-1, 4 KO's) squared off against Donald Ward (6-3, 3 KO's) in a scheduled eight-rounder. Originally scheduled at junior middleweight, Melson had difficulty making the weight, and the fight was turned into a middleweight bout instead. "I got sick for half a week twice - once three weeks out and once two weeks out, and it threw me off significantly," he informed KO Digest.
|The Rainmaker uses his good arm
|Melson wins the war on boxing's battleground
Melson took a long pause before answering. "I don't know, but I won't fight as a light heavyweight," he half kidded. As Melson thanked everyone for coming out and braving the cold weather, most of the patrons headed for the nearest exit, while the die hard fight fans hung around taking pictures, doing their best to preserve the fond memories of the Ballroom.
For them, it was truly "The Last Dance."
|Hardy brings the Heat to Fuentes
With the hard fought win, "The Heat" improved to 8-0, 2 KO's.
On The Undercard:
|Last Dance at the Ballroom for DiBella
Travis Peterkin UD6 Michael Gbenga (light heavyweight) - Less than ten seconds into the opening round, "The Notorious" Peterkin knocked Gbenga off balance with a straight left hand. Realizing Gbenga was not hurt, Peterkin stayed composed and continued to box. In the second, the southpaw displayed hand speed with the double jab and straight left. Gbenga, who hails from Ghana, was an awkward, but very durable opponent, and he had the tendency of coming in head first. A head butt by Gbenga in the fourth created a break in the action, and Peterkin looked to regroup. However, Gbenga would lose a point for yet another head butt. In the fifth, a straight left made Gbenga stumble, and after a flurry by Peterkin, both men tumbled to the canvas. The final round was anti-climatic, and there was a lot of wrestling and holding to the finish line. All three judges favored Peterkin by the identical score of 60-53. Peterkin, hailing from Brooklyn, improved to 11-0, 5 KO's, while Gbenga now sports a record of 13-11, 13 KO's.
|Pee Wee wins at the Roseland
Donte Strayhorn MD4 Jose Gomez (lightweights) - The opening round was close as both men looked for openings. The slight edge went to Strayhorn, who threw his punches straight, while Gomez preferred to wing his punches. Strayhorn touched his opponent with the right hand on several occasions in the second, and he also timed Gomez wide right hands with counter left hooks. However, Gomez did land a good right hand before the round's end. In the final round, both men landed well, as Gomez landed the left hand to the body, and the overhand right, while Strayhorn countered with the double hooks and right hand. The first score of a 38-38 draw was overruled by the remaining two judges, who both scored it 39-37 for Strayhorn, now 5-1, 1 KO while the durable Gomez is now 3-6.
Chris Galeano UD4 Travis McClaren (junior middleweights) - At the bell, the first punch was a lunging right hook by the southpaw Galeano, while McClaren looked to answer with the straight right hand. McClaren tapped his chin as if to say, "hit me again." In the second, straight left hands and right hooks kept McClaren on the ropes. In the third, McClaren took a lot of punishment along the ropes, and was sucking in air by the rounds end. In the final round, "Golden" Galeano went for the knockout, and fired hard straight left hands, but McClaren refused to go, and fought back bravely, and fired right hands off the ropes. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Galeano.
The Bronx native improved to 2-0 while McClaren is now at 1-4, 1 KO.
Danny Gonzalez D4 Ray Velez (junior welterweights) - After an impressive staredown, the opening round proved competitive as both men traded heavy punches. In the second and third rounds, both men wisely went to the body. Gonzalez walked his opponent down in the third, only for "Sugar" Ray Velez to land a nice uppercut. Gonzalez came back with a left hook, right hand combo to end the round. The final round was non- stop action. Incredibly, after the first card of 40-36 in favor of Gonzalez was announced, the two remaining judges saw a completely different fight with identical scores of 38-38. The majority draw put an immediate halt to the celebration in the Gonzalez corner and also put a halt to his winning streak - he is now 5-0-1, 3 KO's, while Velez is now 3-4-1, 1 KO.
Ryan Martin UD4 Jose Del Valle (lightweights) - In the opening bout of the evening, both boxers showed some skills. Martin tried to walk his opponent into the left hook, and both men traded straight right hands. In the second "Blue Chip" Martin landed a nice uppercut, followed by a left hook. By the third, Martin was countering his opponent nicely. Del Valle did land a straight right hand, but Martin's left hook right cross combination drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd. In the fourth, Del Valle stood his ground and traded. The best punch of the round belonged to Martin - a wicked left hook at the bell. All three judges scored the fight 40-36, all in favor of Martin. The win improved Martin's young career to 3-0, 2 KO's while Del Valle fell to 2-4-2.
KO Digest Ringside Report by David McLeod