Mike “MJ” Jones KOs Esalas to Stay Unbeaten at Blue Horizon!
By Ken Hissner at ringside for DoghouseBoxing (Mar 9, 2009)  
Big time boxing returned to the Blue Horizon Friday night! Philly’s hottest young prospect Mike “MJ” Jones, 17-0 (15), made his Blue Horizon debut stopping Dario Esalas, 31-16 (25) of Colombia at 1:56 of the 2nd round scoring 3 knockdowns before referee Gary Rosado waved it off. It was a welterweight WBA NABA title defense for Jones who came in at a light 144 to Esalas’ 145 1/2.

For Peltz Boxing it’s the norm to have no stiffs, competitive fights and be willing to have “your fighters” in
tough. Friday night was no exception. Before a near capacity house Jones who is #11 in both the IBF and WBA easily defeated a late fill in for Larry Mosley. “There is no obligation to fight Mosley next. Jones has fought with hurt hands as he did in his last fight. If Mosley can’t make it with a sore back (than we can’t risk another cancellation),” said J. Russell Peltz. Jones is definitely a Philly fighter who is a reflection of those of the past that have built Philly’s reputation such as Willie “The Worm” Monroe and Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts. He can box and punch at the same time.

Answering a question pertaining to the many fans of Jones in the audience, Jones said “I was focused on my opponent. I had never fought at the Blue Horizon and its something special. I really missed my kids by being away in camp”. “It felt good scoring a spectacular knockout,” he added. His co-managers Jimmy Williams and Doc Nowicki were quite please with Jones’ performance.

Teon “The Technician” Kennedy, 12-0 (5), did not have it so easy. What looked like a possible mismatch (you know Peltz doesn’t go there) had his opponent Andre Wilson, 11-2-1 (9), in from St. Joe’s, Missouri, in trouble for 2 rounds. Wilson was weighing a mere 118 ½ to Kennedy’s 121, and looking on the frail side. That was up until the 3rd round when an accidental head clash caused a gash on Kennedy’s right eye brow. Southpaw Wilson found Kennedy squared up and dropped him with a straight left hand. Kennedy was smart enough to hold on until the bell 10 seconds later. For the rest of the 8 rounds Kennedy continued to chase Wilson who at times stood in front of Kennedy or moved toward Kennedy’s power causing him to get the worse of the exchanges. The decision was tainted when after Rich Hopkins score of 79-73 for Kennedy was followed by DC/Maryland judge Ken Chevalier’s score of 76-75 for Wilson that put the fan’s in an uproar. Rose Vargas saw it for Kennedy but by a close 76-75 score and the split decision win for the unbeaten prospect. This writer had it 78-73 Kennedy, winning all but the round he was knocked down. Kennedy’s trainers Wade and Randy Hinnant who had worked the corner of Dennis Hasson earlier would be heading to Germany Sunday for Lujan Simon’s title bout with Arthur Alexander. The brothers Hinnant may need a champion to start getting some recognition as top trainers but are well respected in Philly.

As mentioned, Kensington’s Dennis Hasson continued unbeaten, 7-0 (2), with his best performance to date against tough Garrett Wilson, 3-2 (1), also from Philly, with a shut out on two scorecards of 60-54 and 59-55 on another in this super middleweight 6. Wilson had just come of his first loss in December in Cincinnati to Dyah Davis, 13-1 (7), son of the famed Gold medalist of the 1976 Olympics and top contender Howard Davis, Jr. Per Davis, “Wilson is one rough, tough guy who you better not fight head to head.” Hasson used an effective jab followed by straight right hands to rock Wilson on numerous occasions, especially in the 4th round which could have been a 10-8 round. Wilson, under trainer Rev Thompson was quite fit at a career low of 168. Hasson said, “he “hits like a mule.” Only in the 5th round did Wilson take Thompson’s advice and press inside to be effective. In the 6th Hasson was back in control using his height advantage to defeat Wilson. Hasson is a veteran of some 100 amateur bouts while Wilson is “learning on the job”. Co-manager Buddy Osborn seemed quite pleased with his fighters win. “This kid was tough, and Dennis used his smarts and didn’t wait for Wilson to get his momentum going.”

In the upset of the night local favorite Victor Vasquez, 8-3 (5), lost every round in a blood filled (on both) bout that had him waiting to throw the left hook while “Lightning” Rod Salka, 7-0 (2), from Pittsburgh area Bunola, threw his and then some in this lightweight 6. Vasquez spent much time complaining about Salka’s rabbit punching and hitting on the break instead of being more offensive. Judges Steve Weisfeld, Vargas and and Hopkins all had it a correct 60-54. Rosado was the referee.

Philly’s Jamal Davis, 9-4 (6), the latest to join the Peltz group of boxers did a workman like job in defeating Delaware’s Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor, 13-21-3 (6) who doesn’t seem to catch a break in getting an “easy foe” and never will on a Peltz card. Scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55 were awarded Davis in this middleweight 6. Benji Esteves, Jr. who usually works New Jersey did a solid night of refereeing including this one.

Peltz who also serves as matchmaker put together a 4 round bout that earned him his reputation in days gone by pitting two former Philly state amateur champs against each other at the beginning of their careers. Derrick Bivins, 1-0-1 (0) from the 2006 team came in at 125 while southpaw Luis Esquilin, 1-1-1 (0) from the 2007 team came in at 128 ½. They fought like champs in this one to give the fans their monies worth to a 4 round draw. Judge Vargas had it 39-37 Bivins, as did this writer. Hopkins had it 38-38 and Chevalier a strange 40-36 for Esquilin. Rosado was the referee.

Peltz long time ring announcer classy Ed Darian did his usual great job. Peltz is next scheduled 5/1 with the #9 IBF junior featherweight Rogers Mtagwa on top. The Tanzania Tiger who took up residency in Philly in 2000 is a very popular attraction in these parts. His manager Joe Parella said “this is a keep busy fight while we maneuver for a world title bout”. Mtagwa is coming of one of the candidates for “fight of the year” with Tomas Villa in November in his last outing. Mtagwa will have to come up in weight in meeting tough Mexican veteran Ricardo Medina who is 3-1-1 in Philly/area.

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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