Witherspoon’s Opponent KO’d “Before Fight” In Broomall, PA
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Witherspoon’s Opponent KO’d “Before Fight” In Broomall, PA
By Ken Hissner and David Ruff at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 23, 2013)

Tim Witherspoon, Sr & Jr
- Tim Witherspoon, Sr & Jr. -
Philly’s lightweight Tim Witherspoon, Jr., 10-3-1 (2), was scheduled to fight Josue Rivera, 2-3 (2), in the main event 6 at the Marple Sports Arena, in Broomall, PA, promoted by Marty Feldman’s “Champions of Tomorrow” Saturday night. Rivera was injured in the opening exhibition when he fell down the steps after working the corner of Anthony Abbruzzese of South Philly who was to be making his debut against Allen Burris, of Baltimore, MD. Per Burris’ trainer Jake Smith "Abbruzzese" brought his medical records in late and Greg Sirb (Executive Director) wouldn’t allow him to officially fight but do an exhibition. If you know anything about Sirb it is not unusual for him to cancel even a main event on fight day. Seems PA commissioner Rudy Battle has little input if any in PA.

Rivera for some reason was allowed to work the corner in the opening exhibition when this writer informed photographer Doreen Donnelly “that’s Rivera in the corner of Abbruzzese and he’s in the main event”. She replied “shouldn’t he be resting in the dressing room?” What we both thought was obvious wasn’t to Rivera, his trainer, manager, promoter or commission. After the 1st round Rivera slipped coming down the steps of the ring tumbling onto the concrete and injuring what was said “his ligaments”. He could not put any pressure on it and after top cut-man Joey Eye examined him while calling over the EMT’s Rivera hopped to the dressing room with one of the EMT’s.

The uncle/trainer of Witherspoon, Steve Witherspoon was walking around with his hands in the air in disbelief informing his brother and father of Witherspoon, Jr., former 2-time heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, Sr.

In the first official fight of the night late substitute Russian Sukhrab Shidaev, 7-0 (6), of Hollywood, CA, out of the Wild Card Gym, in Las Vegas, NV, won the crowd over including some of the obvious Evincii “Prize Fighter” Dixon, 3-4-1 (1), of Lancaster, PA, fans with his attack on Dixon from the opening bell.

Shidaev showed poise, balance, defense and combinations to the body followed by an occasional overhand right to the chin of Dixon to have the latter hurt in the 1st round. In the 2nd round more of the same from Shidaev as the taller Dixon who spent too much time on the ropes with his hands up landed an occasional right upper cut that had little if any affect on Shidaev.

Just prior to the timekeepers warning with his gavel of 10 seconds before the bell sounded a combination with the right hand last dropped Dixon like a sack of potatoes face down, mouthpiece out of Dixon. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. counted him out at 2:59 of the 2nd round.

Born in Grozny, Russia, the undefeated welterweight Shidaev turned professional a year ago and has fought 6 times this year and overall has fought in Russia once (in his second bout) and 6 times in different US states. Fellow writer Dave Ruff prior to the match said “I know (Eric) Bottjer isn’t bringing in someone to lose”. The veteran handler has a 27 year-old “diamond in the ruff” on his hands from what was shown Saturday in Broomall!

Cruiserweight Brian “Wildman” Donahue, 2-6-2 (0), of Philly fought to a draw in the main event in October and on the same card Mike Moore, 1-1 (0), of Bristol, PA, was losing in his debut. Moore scored a mild upset over Donahue winning a split decision over 4 rounds by bull rushing Donahue into the ropes while holding and hitting him. Donahue had little in return and complained more to the referee Esteves than he was fighting back. Judges Joe Pasquale, John Gradowski and DHB had it 39-37 for Moore while Rose Vargus had it 39-37 for Donahue.

In what ended up the “main event” Philly’s lightweight “Lightning” Lonnie Jackson, 3-1-1 (1), did more posing and moving away from his opponent Christian Steele, 4-7-2 (1), of Staunton, VA, in the last 10 seconds in each of the 6 rounds than actually fighting to lose by majority decision. Jackson was the quicker of the two but his jabs were mostly short or missing Steele who countered with a solid left hook throughout the fight.

At a press conference Monday Steele’s new trainer Philly’s James Shedrick, Sr. said “you will be seeing a new Christian Steele coming fight time Saturday”. He was right. The fan’s were mixed on who to root for and Steele took the majority decision on judge’s score cards of Pasquale by 59-55 and Gradowksi 58-56 with DHB 60-54 and Vargus 57-57.

The fans at the Broomall show did not seem as upset as I know most fans would when the cancellation of the main event was announced by matchmaker Damon Feldman.

Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: kenhissner@gmail.com

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