|Emmanuel Folly’s Debut “Steals Show” in Philly
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (May 6, 2013)
Greg Robinson’s “Philly Barn Burner IV” at the National Guard Armory in NE Philly seemed in doubt when main event boxer Angel Ocasio was out of the main event after failing 2 physicals Friday morning (the 26th of last month) due to a “rapid heart beat”. His opponent out of Wilmington, DE, Ryan Belasco and manager Keith Stoffer were disappointed when Ocasio refused to take a third physical prior to the start of the show. It was to be an 8 round vacant USBC lightweight championship fight that Ocasio fought to a draw for a year ago. Belasco entered the ring prior to the last fight and said “I showed up. I feel the belt should be mine.”
The show would need a strong undercard of 7 fights before a packed house to pull it off. There may have been a “diamond in the rough” when amateur sensation Emmanuel Folly, 1-0 (1), of the Rock Ministry Gym “stole the show” in showing moves of a class veteran. “He fights with intelligence,” said manager/trainer Buddy Osborn. Osborn runs the Rock Ministry Gym in the Kensington section of the city.
Folly was put in with a tough southpaw in Elvis Rodriguez, 0-3, of Manchester, CT, who showed his toughness going 4 tough rounds with another Philly prospect in unbeaten Anthony Burgin in his last fight. Burgin’s opponent pulled out on this show. “I felt good in there and like I said at the press conference I was dedicating this fight to my (late) brother Neek,” said Folly. He wore his brother’s name on his waistband. After being greeted by his many fans after posting a 2 knockdown stoppage of Rodriguez at 1:22 of the second round by referee Gary Rosato, he was pulled out of the dressing room for more pictures by his fans. A short right dropped Rodriguez for the first knockdown in the first round. Then he had Rodriguez against the ropes crouched over and landed a pair of uppercuts for a second knockdown. In the second he continued his attack causing the stoppage.
Folly is a two-time PA GG champion and a nationals bronze medal winner. You would not even know he was the winner the way he handled himself with his fans. There was no celebrating on his part just knowing the dedication of the fight to his brother being delivered was enough to Folly. At super bantamweight its not easy obtaining fights in the east but fellow Philly boxer Miguel Cartagena, 6-0, is in NY Saturday on the Danny Garcia undercard and who can forget former WBA bantamweight champ from Philly “Joltin” Jeff Chandler?
Due to late substitutes the two main undercard bouts were reduced from 6 to 4 rounds. Philly’s super featherweight Frank Trader, 10-1 (2) at times seemed confused in fighting a southpaw in Jules Blackwell, 8-4-2 (3), of Phoenixville, PA, who was returning to the ring after a 4 year lay-off. In the judges eyes Trader did enough to win by scores of 40-36 from Joe Pasquale and Bernard Bruni with a 39-37 score from Lynne Carter. Rosato was the referee.
In another bout reduced from 6 to 4 fan favorite lightweight Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 10-4-1 (1), did the best he could with sub Jesus Bayron, 5-7 (4), of Mayaguez, PR, winning a 4 round decision on all cards 40-36. Twice Farmer who does it all in the ring including ducking under punches had Bayron leaning on his back causing Farmer to come up and get him off. The first time Bayron landed hard enough it looked like it was over as he limped to his corner but “winked” to them. He was talked into going out again and took a beating but again got on the back of Farmer who again tossed him off thru the ropes and almost in the lap of Sirb. Referee Blair Talmadge did well in trying to keep from disqualifying Bayron. Trainer Chuckie Mills has done a good job with Farmer.
Philly southpaw Wahid Raheem, 4-0 (1), returned to the ring after a couple of years away and had Tyrone Luckey, 5-3-1 (5), bewildered throughout with lightning hand speed. The brother of Olympian Zahir Raheem, Wahid is now under the D&D banner of Dave Price and Doc Nowicki. In this lightweight match-up Luckey only seemed “lucky” when they were in close. Otherwise Raheem boxed him like he owned him. judge Pasquale had it 58-56, Carter 59-55 and Bruni 60-54. Referee was Rosato.
Isiah Seldon, 7-0 (3), Atlantic City, NJ, and Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller, 5-6 (3), of Philly, were in the fight of the night in a 4 round super middleweight match. Seldon stormed out in the first round looking for a knockout not realizing the veteran Speller wasn’t going down easy. It worked for two rounds when a “war” broke out in the third round with Spellers back to the ropes taking and slipping punches started to fire back rocking Seldon. At the end of the round Seldon pushed a jab into Spellers face that lit the entire building up as he screamed at Seldon. The fight was on!
In the fourth Seldon was the busier but Speller would land a left hook to the jaw of Seldon. The crowd went wild! At the end they hugged as so many good guy boxers do after trying to knock each other out. “I’ve been off for 14 months but I’m back”, said Seldon. Manager Jim Kurtz seemed pleased with his performance. “We were hoping to start fighting 6’s but needed a fight like this before we do it,” said Kurtz. Talmadge was the referee. Pasquale and Bruni had it 40-36 while Carter had it 39-37 for Seldon. He is the son of former heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon.
In the opening bout Philly’s Charles Hayward returned to action to pick up a needed win after 3 straight losses and got it in the fourth round at 2:11 when Queens, NY, light heavyweight Abdellah Smith, 2-6 (2), signaled to referee Rosato he had enough. He put up a fine effort up to that point.
In a debut of Philly heavyweights Dante Selby, 0-0-1 with no amateur fights took on Aaron Leonard, 0-0-1, and seemed to take turns winning rounds as Selby started out better but Leonard finished better except for the last 10 seconds of the fight when Selby was landing well. The decision was a draw as dhb writers Dave Ruff 40-36 Leonard and this writer 38-38 even disagreed. Talmadge was the referee.
Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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