By J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside. “A date that will live in
infamy!” On Friday, boxing in the Scranton area took it on the chin as
their only real ticket seller, Anthony Cusumano, was crushingly halted
atop a mixed card of kick, amateur, and professional boxing.
A talented boxer who has suffered under the triple whammy of too few
amateur bouts, infrequent pro opportunities, and a tendency to cut, the
popular Cusumano may have reached the end of his career. The hometown
hero, 141, Old Forge, 3-4-1 (2), entered to a stirring reception from
spirited fans in a full house. Edgardo Torres, 137 ½, Vineland, NJ, 2-1
(2), got booed. The bell rang and Anthony came out smoking, for what
would be a brief but furious battle. Overweight and not in the best
shape, the stocky favorite nonetheless attacked like there was no
tomorrow. The spindly underdog made sure there might not be! Edgardo
leaned away to avoid punches while flailing with both hands. Cusumano
was walking into a buzz saw. He was raked several times, and when he
slowed just a step to give Torres a bout more punching room, a solid
right spun him to the canvas. He struggled up gamely and tried to
recoup, but was quickly being hammered in a corner when referee Gary
Rosato (all bouts) mercifully stopped it. The scheduled four ended in
just 1:47. The show at Genetti Manor in Dickson City was promoted by
former ring announcer Chris Coyne (Northeast Boxing), with matchmaker
“People are coming up to me like I’m the villain,” the promoter
reportedly stated. “I didn’t make the matches!” Acting as the winner’s
interpreter, Edgardo’s handler Ismael Garcia advised, “He gave up weight
to…come into the fight. But beside the height, we didn’t know much
about the guy. There’s no videos on him…Whether it’s his [Cusumano’s]
house or not, he comes to do his job. After the first few seconds, the
way he came out…he already knew how the fight would go.”
Three other fours ended with unanimous decisions, and all were fair.
Stephon Burgette, 152 ½, Dunmore, 1-1-1, gained a hard-won verdict from
Jamil Gadsden, 153 ½, Vineland, 0-2. A closing volley stole the first
when the lanky Gadsden couldn’t hold Burgette off. At the start of the
third, a left hook froze him, then a right and left hook caught Jamil
trying to lean away again, and sent him down. Action fizzled, but the
knockdown was enough to assure the win, as the other two rounds could
have gone either way. Jamil’s long jab had Burgette’s left eye puffy,
but Gadsden didn’t throw much else. Bernard Bruni scored 40-35, Pierre
Benoist 39-36, and George Hill 38-37.
Anthony Cintron, 128, Hawley, was too busy and too confident for
shifty Quincy Johnson, 124, Cincinnati, in a match of debutees. The
contest had good action throughout, with Cintron “making” the fight
while Johnson circled and tried to fend him off. Periodic charges by the
favorite brought the fans up and kept it interesting. All scores were
40-36, although Quincy seemed to think he should have won.
In another match of first-timers, Lamont Capers, 193, Hawley, caught
southpaw Timothy Hopkins, 196, Phila., with his right jab extended and
sent a straight right down the slot to drop him early in the first. In
the second, Hopkins tried to back out after landing a shot, got his feet
crossed, and was pushed over by another right, for a second knockdown.
The rest of a dull contest was spent waiting for each other to commit.
Capers won, of course, by unanimous scores of 40-34.
In amateur action:
Howard Sweeny, unattached, won by RSC3 over Frank Maloney, Swoyersville BC, 152.
Nelson Morales, unattached, dec. Terrence Brown, Swoyersville BC, 3-0, 3 rds, 141.
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