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A Closer Look at the Return of Quality Boxing To North New Jersey
By Danny Serratelli (June 20, 2004) 
Ross Thompson
Although at first glance Promoter Andre Kut's KEA Boxing's first show in North Jersey doesn't stand out, a closer examination yields the makings of a high quality show. The show will take place next Friday June 25th at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany New Jersey.

Kut announced the fights and introduced many of the fighters at the press conference yesterday, which took place at the classy Sienna restaurant in Kinnelon, New Jersey. Siena's owner Steve Derricks supplied excellent food for the presser, and Ross Thompson and the rest of the fighters in attendance guaranteed excellent action come fight night.

In the main event, Ross "The Boss" Thompson (26-9-2, 17 KOs) will be taking on Rico Cason (16-10-2, 4 KOs). In his last appearance Thompson dropped a close ten-round decision to world title contender Antwun Echols on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez title fight in Las Vegas.

"Thompson is a talented fighter who has suffered tough losses in bouts that could have catapulted him to the next level," states his promoter, Kut. "He knows that it is now or never if he's serious about his goals. I believe in him and that's the reason I have him jumping right back into the ring after the Echols fight."

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Thomson stated that the plan was to fight Cason at 160 lbs. and then in his next fight get right back into 154 lbs. class and back in the mix with the top fighters in the division, something he is very capable of doing. Back in August of 2000 Thompson earned a shot at Fernando Vargas's IBF junior middleweight belt on HBO, but was very disappointed at the outcome. After out boxing Vargas for the better part of 4 rounds he was caught and stopped via TKO. After that fight he has fought in the 160, 168 and even 175 pound weight divisions with mixed results. Ross is focused to come back down to 154 pounds and make some noise in the division; it’s now or never for Ross.

Rico Cason, who is coming off a loss to former world champion Carl Daniels in March, has promised to derail Thompson's plans. Cason is not coming from Tennessee to lose, and sports a deceptive record. Aside from the loss to Daniels a former word champion, Cason has dropped fights to four undefeated fighters, and a couple of other top prospects with 1 or 2 losses, usually on the road and in the other guy's backyard.

Popular and undefeated middleweight from Bayonne, New Jersey, Dennis Sharpe (17-0-1, 4 KOs) will appear as the co-feature against Joshua Onyango (11-8, 10 KO's). Sharpe always comes to fight and brings his crowd-pleasing style into the ring every time he enters it. Onyango, is another guy with a deceiving record. He is another road warrior whose losses have come against opponents with a combined record of 97-2-2. .Onyango can also punch, and will surely provide a test for the undefeated Sharpe.

Philidelphia heavyweight Robert Hawkins (16-2, 5 KO's) has been added to the card and matched with James Walton, (19-4-2, 10 KO's). He has not lost since 1995, very early in his career to undefeated and more experienced fighters at the time, Gary Bell and Oleg Maskiev. He has since avenged the loss to Bell by knockout.

Hawkins, who is coming off of a layoff from the ring, will surely have his hands full with Walton who is a tough and experienced opponent with a good record. He stated at the press conference that it is all business for him from here on, so this should end up being a very entertaining heavyweight match-up.

Also appearing as a special feature will be the pro debut of the tough but sexy Wendy LaMotta. Her opponent, Myriam Brazile will be making the trip all the way from Florida with a win on her mind. LaMotta is very accomplished in the ring; as an amateur she has captured two golden gloves titles, a diamond gloves championship and a New Jersey state championship title. She has been waiting a long time for this moment, and as anyone who has seen her fight in the past can attest to, she will come to fight.

On the undercard, undefeated Victor Paz (5-0) from the Bronx, New York will be looking for his first knockout. He takes on Camden, New Jersey’s Matthew Thompson (3-6, 1 KO), and rounding out the card in a matchup of New Jersey fighters, will be Bobby Rooney (2-0) in the "somebody's 0 might go" fight against Victor Barnes (0-3), a tough guy who lives in the gym, and is looking to pick up his first win as a professional.

It appears promoter Kut along with his KEA boxing team and matchmaker Keith Terceira have put together a good show. DJ Chef, Mark Weiss will be spinning and the first bout is slated to begin at 7:30pm following the pre-fight cocktail hour for VIP Ringside ticket holders, which starts at 6PM and will have many local former champions and boxing personalities in attendance including, but not limited to, Bobby Czyz, Al “Ice” Cole, Juan LaPorte, and Chuck Wepner.

The Hanover Marriott is located at 1401 Route 10 East in Whippany, NJ (973) 538-8811. For further information or tickets call 973-931-8812.
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