Bailey Upsets Cohen at South Philly High School!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, DoghouseBoxing (Feb 2, 2009)  
Show promoter and main event fighter Brian “Bionic Bull” Cohen (9-2, 8 KO) of South Philly was upset Saturday night by Bill Bailey (8-3, 3 KO) of Bakersfield, California at 1:45 of the 2nd round at the South Philadelphia High School gym.

Before a good crowd Cohen entered the ring with 4 people of his entourage holding belts over their heads from a fight he won over Ray Cunningham of Topeka, Kansas in October for the USA Mid American, NABC, C.A.M. and Indiana state light heavyweight titles. It was Cohen’s second fight in Indiana and Cunningham’s first. The only belt in question was the Indiana title fight between two non residents of the state.

Cohen looked like a small version of the Incredible Hulk while Bailey looked like he did all his training on a surf board off one of the west coast beaches. Cohen coming in at 168 was the lowest weight he was since starting his comeback last May that amounted to 7 straight knockouts in 5 different states with none lasting 3 rounds. Bailey taking the fight on 2 days notice was at 175 being some 3 pounds lighter than his last fight in October. In Cohen’s corner was his trainer the former IBF light middleweight champion Buster Drayton looking quite fit at 54. Drayton had been managed by Cohen’s father Ivan who was at ringside.

Cohen pressed the attack in the 1st round with Bailey countering in a closely fought round. Coming out for the 2nd round it was quite noticeable that Cohen was breathing heavily while continuing his wide combinations. Bailey picked up his rate of punches dropping Cohen to a knee. This would happen 2 more times before referee Blair Talmadge put a halt at the halfway mark of the round of a scheduled 8. The paramedics rushed into the ring to administer oxygen to a standing Cohen in his corner.

The 2 bouts that followed featured wins for 2 of the local favorites. Dennis Hasson (6-0, 2 KO) of the Kensington section of Philly scored a lopsided win over southpaw Michael Rayner (6-11, 5 KO) of Lumberton, S.C. who was coming off 2 straight knockout wins. Hasson rocked Rayner on 3 different occasions in the 1st round. He scored a knockdown early in the 2nd round with a straight right hand but failed to follow-up. With blood flowing from his nose Rayner was still game though the smaller of the two. A beautiful left right combination dropped Rayner in the 3rd round but again he was able to escape danger. Hasson seemed to be off target trying to finish the ever ducking Rayner until the 6th and final round of this super middleweight fight when a grazing right to the top of Rayner’s head either caused him to fall or slip to the canvas. Referee Hurley McCall administered the 8 count. All officials had it 60-51 as did this writer for the unbeaten Hasson. “I thought I had him several times,” said Hasson. “You learn more from a decision than a knockout,” said Buddy Osborn, his co-manager/cut man.

In the final bout of the night light heavyweight Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante (5-0, 2 KO) of Philly gave the fans what they were waiting for by stopping veteran Mickey Stackhouse (6-18-1, 5 KO) of Spartanburg, S.C. in 2:27 of the 4th round of a scheduled 6. After a fast start of landing 6 unanswered right hand body shots to the ribcage while having Stackhouse against the ropes, the next 2 rounds were close with Ferrante having an edge. A straight right hand by Ferrante in the 4th knocked Stackhouse down like a rag doll. Somehow he was able to get to his feet but referee Talmadge did the wise thing by stopping it. A humble Ferrante remarked afterwards “I want to give credit to my trainer Chris Rotelli and my conditioning coach Sean Thompson.” You could see why he has a good following.

The show opened with Delaware favorite Mike Tiberi (7-1, 4 KO) of Smyrna dealing a savage body attack against John “Jawbreaker” Colvin (2-4, 2 KO) of Pennsboro, W. VA.causing referee McCall to step in at the 1:16 of the 4th round to call a halt in this 4 round middleweight match. Tiberi was coming off a controversial loss in Maryland per his trainer/uncle Mario Tiberi. The winner is a nephew of the fighting Tiberi family whose uncle Dave is well aware of bad decisions going back to 1992 losing to then IBF middleweight champion James Toney in one of the most disputed decisions in boxing history. It seems after all these years Toney has admitted to the Tiberi fight being his one true loss though he was on the receiving end of the gift win. The fan popular Tiberi is now promoting throughout the state of Delaware.

The next bout was a mismatch featherweight 4 rounder between Karen Dulin (1-2, 1 KO) of Mystic, CN., who used a very effective jab against the much smaller by 6 pounds Nasia Brown (0-1) of Philly in the 1st round only to open up her attack in the 2nd round causing referee Talmadge to put a stop to it at the 1:39 mark. The fans showed a very uncharacteristic round of applause for the game effort by Brown after the stoppage. Who said Philly fans are brutal?

Big John “Merci” Mercurio (1-0, 1 KO) of Philly had little resistance from Brandon Bennett (0-2), of Kokomo, IN, stopping his opponent at 2:51 of the 1st round. It was a big advantage outweighing his opponent 261 to 220 and landing a right to the head of Bennett who stumbled before dropping to the canvas be counted out by referee McCall.

The best fight of the night was southpaw Kamarah Pasley (2-3, 1 KO) winning his second straight in 2 weeks over favorite Pedro Martinez (3-2, 2 KO) in a 4 round cruiserweight match. Pasley couldn’t miss with a straight left which dropped Martinez in the 1st round. After a close 2nd round Pasley was rocking Martinez in the 3rd with Martinez coming back in the 4th round but well behind on points. Officals had it 40-35 (twice) and a more accurate 38-36 score by judge Steve Weisfeld. Pasley is scheduled for a March 13th return to action at the New Alhambra. Seems his career has suddenly turned around.

In attendance was former IBF cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham who is tentatively scheduled to meet former WBC champion Wayne Braithwaite in his attempt to regain his title after a controversial loss to Tomaz Adamek who chose a first defense against Jonathan Banks, the IBO champion later this month.

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Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com




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