If it wasn’t for bad luck Victor Vasquez would have no luck when it comes to decisions in his home area. Saturday night at Harrah’s Casino in Chester, just outside the Philadelphia border Joey Eye Boxing Promotions in Association with David Feldman presented “Night of the Rising Stars” with a near capacity crowed of 920 out of a capacity 950 seats. Matchmaker Don Elbaum couldn’t have matched the fighters any better. There wasn’t a mismatch on the show and several ticket sellers were defeated.
In the main event 6 round lightweight match Vasquez, 12-5-1 (6), of Philadelphia, started slow losing the first 2 rounds being too cautious with Osnel Charles, 6-2, of Atlantic City being the aggressor on a 4 fight win streak. Charles rocked Vasquez in the first round and the fighters had to be separated at the bell by referee Gary Rosato.
Round 3 was close with Vasquez now starting to throw his right hand which got the attention of Charles though swelling started outside his left eye which seems to happen every time he fights. Cut man Billie Briscoe kept the swelling down. In the fourth round Vasquez was out landing Charles who was throwing one at a time and trying to look cute.
In the fifth Vasquez rocked Charles just before the bell stealing a close round up until then. The sixth round was all Vasquez while Charles was prancing around like he already won. Vasquez was hitting him with left hook after left hook. With Charles running around the ring and jumping up on the ropes in the corners he was getting booed by the Vasquez fans and anyone else who doesn’t like hot dogging.
Ring announcer Larry Tournabe read the first score of judge Robert Grasso at 57-57. It’s about what this writer figured would happen. Then came scores of 58-56 like this writer had it but they had it for Charles who continued his showboating. A dejected Vasquez left the ring immediately and back to the dressing room. “I can’t get a decision in my own hometown,” said Vasquez. He got no argument from here.
The night started with the first of six 4 round bouts with popular Newark, DE, Joey Tiberi, 2-1 (2), just over the lightweight limit against debuting Corey White, of Cincinnati, OH, closer to the super lightweight limit.
With the fan support behind him yelling “Joey, Joey”, Tiberi easily took the first and second rounds but got hurt near the end of the second and only his mouthpiece coming out or being spit out got him to the bell. It seemed he never recovered from that blow.
Tiberi trying to come on in the third got nailed with a combo into the ropes in White’s corner and down. Referee Blair Talmadge had no option but to stop it as with Tiberi in no condition to continue at 2:43 of the third round.
Kyle White, 3-0 (2) of Fort Lee , NJ, looked like he could play the part of a TV boxer while his opponent Pete Yates, 1-2 (0) looked like he spent too much time on the beach of his Virginia Beach, VA, residence in a super middleweight match.
The blood started flowing early in this one as Yates had a gash on the left side of his bald head and White cut outside the left eye shortly there after. White’s jab won him the round. In the second round Yates dropped White with a lead right hand but he was up immediately. White, bloody nose, went on to take command the rest of the round and it could have been a 10-9 round for Yates though the judges didn’t see it that way.
In the third round with his white trunks covered with blood White kept landing hard rights to the left side of Yates and won the round easily. In the fourth round an exhausted but dangerous Yates got hurt to the ribs and finished with a bloody nose at the bell. White took a split decision with Robert Grasso having it 38-37 Yates while being out voted 38-37 by Alan Rubenstein and Rich Hopkins, Jr. along with this writer at 39-37.
Scranton’s Stephon Burgette, 0-0-1, made his pro debut against Todd “The Viking” Eriksson, 2-5-2, of Dover, NJ, in a super middleweight match with Eriksson having the edge in height and weight.
Eriksson’s jab kept Burgette at bay in the first round. Burgette started pushing Eriksson to the ropes and then throwing punches. He seemed to have more MMA type skills than boxing skills. Though the Eriksson’s corner complained to referee Talmadge the round went to Burgette.
In the third round Eriksson who has a bad habit of looking to the canvas got in some good uppercuts in spinning Burgette around after getting pushed to the ropes. The fourth round Burgette was exhausted and holding Eriksson. With scores of 39-37 by Hopkins for Burgette and Grasso for Eriksson, Rubenstein had it 38-38 making it a split decision draw. This writer had it 39-37 for Eriksson.
Former amateur champion and local favorite 20 year old Joey Dawejko, 4-0 (1), of Philadelphia, came off a ten month lay-off at a career high 246 against Taffo Asongwed, 0-6-3, of Montreal, CAN, who was taller but much lighter.
Dawejko started out landing his lethal left hook to the body hurting Asongwed early. The second round was close while Dawejko was landing good combinations. In the third round Dawejko was hurting Asongwed. The fourth round found Dawejko throwing more rights to the head looking to finish off the never stopped Asongwed who lasted to the bell.
Referee Rosato had to warn Asongwed several times as he seemed to use his head as much as his gloves to get to Dawejko. Grasso and Hopkins had it 40-36 as did this writer and Rubenstein had it 39-37 all for Dawejko. If he ever gets to cruiser he could be a definite threat and certainly improve on his knockout ratio. His fans kept urging him to finish Asongwed but the conditioning would not allow for it. He needs more activity.
Ardrick “Hit Man” Butler, 5-4 (2), of Philadelphia has gotten to the point he either gets you or you get him. He has thrown his boxing skills to the wind. Against the much older Eric Draper, 3-4 (0), of Indianapolis, in this light middleweight match the former overseas basketball player was in with someone taller but with poor balance.
The fight was not pretty but both were throwing punches from the outset. Draper had a Staff Sgt badge and oddly enough several shamrocks on his trunks though he didn’t look Irish. Butler seemed to control the first round but got rocked just before the bell.
In the second Draper rocked Butler who had to hold on. The third and fourth rounds went to Draper who was more accurate. The referee was Rosato. Grasso had it 38-38 while Rubenstein’s 40-36 and Hopkins with a 39-37 (as did this writer) went to Draper.
On paper “Big” John Poore, 21-5 (18), of Upper Darby, under 200 for the first time in his ten year career and Zeferino Albino, 4-12-2 (2), with a 8 fight losing streak looked like a mismatch. Knowing Commissioner Greg Sirb has a rule of thumb after losing 6 fights in a row a suspension usually follows he must have considered the oppositions 23-5-1 record Albino fought against in those 8 fights.
Poore looked drained having not fought in 13 months and dropping 24 pounds at the age of 39. Albino on the other hand was just over 200 in a career that was mostly fought at 175. Poore seemed to take the first round on using an effective jab. Once again veteran trainer Marty Feldman was calling for the jab to control the fight. Poore didn’t seem to have much on his punches otherwise since dropping down to cruiser.
Albino realized coming out for the second round Poore had little else beside the jab and started throwing punches in bunches when he got Poore hurt in a neutral corner dropping him. With his left cheek immediately showing abnormal swelling Poore got to the end of the round. At the bell referee Talmadge went to Poore’s corner where the ring physician called a halt. You would have thought Albino won the cruiserweight title. This should be Poore’s last fight.
The fight was covered by www.gofightlive.com and announced the return show will be February 24th with unbeaten Ran Nakash of Israel against Bobby Gunn who last fought Tomasz Adamek for the IBF cruiserweight title in 2010. Contracts have yet to be signed and considering the size of the facility it might be a loss at the box office so hold the presses. All in all it was an exciting night of boxing at Harrah’s Casino in Chester!