It was to be a triple header as part of the package deal Main Events and Peltz Boxing have with NBC Sports Network and it lived up to just that! Matchmakers J Russell Peltz, Jolene Mizzone and Brittany “Bam” Rogers did it up right for Main Events promoter Kathy Duva.
In the main event Philadelphia’s unbeaten heavyweight Bryant “By By” Jennings drew one step closer to a world title challenge Friday night at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. In possibly his biggest challenge to date Jennings, 17-0 (9), stopped Andrey Fedosov, 24-3 (19), of Shuya, Russia when the ring physician wouldn’t allow the Russian to come out for the 7 th round due to a left eye injury.
“ I was definitely expecting that kind of a fight. It was tough getting to his body punching down,” said Jennings. “His jab was used effectively throughout the 6 rounds to dictate the fight,” said trainer Fred Jenkins. The No. 3 IBF contender should move into the No. 2 vacant spot with this win. He’s had about as many amateur fights as he has professional fights. The 28 year-old USBA champion moved and jabbed and when he stopped he fired away with his right hand to the head of Fedosov.
In the third round Jennings opened a cut above the left eye of Fedosov that would bother the latter the rest of the way despite the excellent work of cut-man Joey Eye. It was a big round for Jennings which seemed enough to call it a 10-8 round. In the 4 th Jennings started backing into the ropes and covering up allowing Fedosov to deliver some punches that would have had the ordinary fighter on the canvas. “He was tough but I was able to block some of the body shots,” said Jennings. At the bell of the 4 th Jennings delivered a combination that had Fedosov walking back to his corner on unsteady legs. The 5 th round was more of the same with Jennings on the ropes taking more than he was giving.
In the 6 th and final round Jennings came out with 3 and 2 punch combinations leaving Fedosov with an almost closed left eye but weathering the storm. The ring physician was wisely called into the ring by referee Steve “SS” Smoger. On the advice of the physician Smoger waved the fight off. This writer had Jennings in front 58-55 at the stoppage of the scheduled 10. Jennings went to the corner of Fedosov smiling and shaking his head with his arm around him acknowledging a tough fight. As ring announcer Joe Antonacci announced Jenning the winner, 2011 National GG champion and unbeaten super middleweight Jesse Hart, 7-0 (6), lifted Jennings up in victory! Hart will be on the next card here August 10 th after a July 12 th bout in Las Vegas, NV.
Jennings No. 1 fan, his grandmother, led the cheering. He celebrated as usual going to her and the many fans surrounding her. In October Vladimir Klitschko defends his WBA Super title against the WBA champion unbeaten Alexander Povetkin. Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev, the No. 1 contender from Bulgaria is the only thing standing between the champion and Jennings.
Russia’s Sergey Kovalev, 21-0-1 (19), came out looking to end it early and Cornelius “Da Beast” White, 21-2 (16), of Houston, TX, was on the receiving end until the 3 rd round being dropped 3 times before referee Gary Rosato waved it off at the 1:42 mark. Kovalev is ranked in all 4 major organizations and as high as No. 4 in the WBC light heavyweight rankings with the No. 1 spot vacant and No. 2 Karo Murat having visa problems that are delaying a scheduled July match with Bernard Hopkins for the title that was pushed back to September. A Kovalev-Hopkins match would be most interesting.
After suffering his first loss in September Bethlehem’s Ronald Cruz, 17-2 (12), was not brought back with the usual “confidence builder opponent” in Ghana’s Ray “The Emporer” Narh, 26-2 (21), now out of the Bronx, NY, who was coming back after a 2 year absence. MM Peltz knew him well for back in 2006 Narh stopped then unbeaten 14-0-1 Georgian Ramazan Paliani, then out of Philadelphia putting him into permanent retirement. Narh would be moving up in weight and looked sharp the entire fight only slowing down in the 8 th . His jab controlled Cruz whose reluctance to open up until the final round was too little too late. Narh dealt a two fisted beating to Cruz who kept coming forward with little offense of his own. His heart was bigger but he was outclassed. The fans of Narh beat their drums throughout the bout with several coming up to press row giving “their encouragement”.
By the 7 th Narh was delivering a dozen punches without return. Cruz had no “plan B” and was simply beat to the punch throughout. Judges scoring was easy as Pierre Benoist had it 100-90, Julie Lederman 98-92 and Dave Braslow 96-94 while dhb had it 99-91 all for Narh. Shawn Clark was the ref.
In the fight of the night Trenton, NJ, transplant Jerome Rodriguez, 4-0-1 (2), was matched with fellow southpaw Treysean “Trigger” Wiggins, 3-1 (3), of Newburgh, NY, in a scheduled 6 round junior welterweight match-up. Rodriguez now out of Bethlehem had many fans who have adopted him. Rodriguez backed Wiggins into the ropes and dropped him with an overhand left. The taller Wiggins hurt but dangerous came back with Rodriguez against the ropes landing a left uppercut dropping Rodriguez. Wiggins delivering several punches trying to finish off Rodriguez landed an obvious one after the bell before referee Gary Rosato could get in between them.
At the start of the second round Rodriguez was on unsteady legs holding Wiggins until his head cleared. It looked like a short night for him. Wiggins may have punched himself out as he was moving slowly trying to continue where he left off in the 1 st round. Rodriguez hurt Wiggins against the ropes knocking his head back. As Wiggins escaped from the ropes he was caught up by Rodriguez and leveled with a left uppercut not only for the count but for about 5 minutes at 1:38 of the 2nd. “I want to give Praise to the Lord for the victory. I took my eye off of him for a second and got hurt but came back,” said Rodriguez. Both boxers are excellent prospects with Rodriguez proving to be the better of the two tonight that had the crowd buzzing for sometime afterwards.
In a “swing bout” prior to the main event 2011 National GG champion Arturo Trujilo, 1-0 (1), of Easton, PA, looks like the “new assassin from Easton” as he went right after Philadelphia’s Anthony “Wicked” Watson, 0-1 (0), in this all southpaw light middleweight debut for both. Within 15 seconds Watson found himself on the canvas as Trujilo gave the “cut throat” jester from a neutral corner. The fans were devastated and cheering wildly. No sooner did referee Clark give the 8 count when Trujilo was right on Watson dropping him hard for the second knockdown. Clark waved it off at 0:29 of the 1 st round. “Was that some kind of record asked Trujilo?” This writer replied “Al Massey, 11 seconds”. His brother Raul Trujilo who lifted his brother up earlier in the ring in triumph mentioned one of his amateur early knockouts. A year younger, he might be as devastating as his brother they tell me.
The opening bout featured Philadelphia’s Hasan “Hit Man” Young, 3-1-1 (1), who seemed to control through most of this 6 round light welterweight bout when his opponent Ariel Duran, 7-5-1 (4), of Queens, NY, was not holding him. Referee Clark had his hands full but failed to take away a point from the continuous clutching by Duran. Young did enough to earn the win on the scorecards of Lederman 58-56 (as did dhb), Benoist 60-54 and Braslow 59-55. “My timing was a little off. He did hold a lot but I feel good going the 6 rounds,” said Young.
In a slow moving heavyweight 4 rounder Allentown’s Bill Marks, 1-0 (0), seemed lucky to get the nod over southpaw Randy Easton, 0-2-1 (0), of Williamsport, PA. “Bill was sick for several weeks but he got the win,” said trainer Angel Cruz. Referee Smoger had his hands full with the holding especially in the last round. Judge’s Lederman had it 38-38 while two 39-37 scores by Benoist and Braslow had it for Marks by majority decision. DHB had it 39-37 for Easton.
Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: email@example.com