Rogers Matagwa beats Ricardo Medina in War at Philly’s Blue Horizon!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, DoghouseBoxing (May 4, 2009)  
Anytime Rogers “Tiger” Matagwa, 26-12-2 (18) gets into the ring it’s a war and he didn’t disappoint his fans Friday night at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. Though bleeding from cuts around both eyes, Ricardo Medina, 31-34-5 (17) battled back in every round giving Mtagwa all he wanted over the distance of this 10 round junior lightweights fight.

Promoter J. Russel Peltz is seeking a title bout for Mtagwa who is ranked #9 in the IBF and the top contender for the vacant USBA title. IBF champion Cellestino Caballero of Panama barely held onto his title this past week winning a majority decision over his #1 contender, another African in Jeffery Mattebula.

This was supposed to be a tune-up fight manager Joe Parella was overheard saying. Not a war. “He was very tough,” said Mtagwa. Former title contender Willie Wise who trains Medina saw a different ending. “This is the second time he has come to Philly in a row and didn’t get the decision,” said Wise. Most fans like this writer had Mtagwa well ahead but every round was close. As early as the 3rd round a right hand by Mtagwa opened up a cut over the left eye of Torres. In the 6th round it was a cut over the right eye. By the 7th round Mtagwa’s right eye was swollen as his cut man Joey-I went to work in controlling it. Medina seemed to have his best round in the 8th only to have Mtagwa coming back with his best round in the 10th. The fans love Mtagwa’s warrior like style and Medina making his 5th appearance in Philly is always welcome back. Bernard Bruni and Alan Rubenstein had it 98-92 while Pierre Benoist had it 97-93 all in favor of Mtagwa. Shawn Clark was the referee. “He fought off the ropes too much instead of keeping it in the center of the ring,” said Parella. Mtagwa, from Tanzania, Africa, has been fighting out of Philly since 2000. Medina hails from Mexico but fights out of Delaware and Philly.

Philly’s Jamaal Davis, 9-5 (6), came up a little short in losing a split decision in a light middleweight 8 round bout to Jerome Ellis, 12-9-2 (10), of the Bahamas, fighting out of Irvington, New Jersey. Ellis started out fast with Davis coming on in the middle rounds. In the 8th round referee Eddie Claudio ruled a slip as Ellis went down. Sharron Baker who is trainer and manager of Davis was not pleased with the call. “It was a knockdown and it cost us the fight,” Baker said. Considering the closeness of the fight and how the judges scored it she may have been right. George Hill had it 79-73 for Davis, while Benoist scored it 80-72 and Bruni 77-75 both for Ellis.

Co-managers Doc Nowicki and Jimmy Williams were quite pleased as their Philly fighters Kaseem Wilson and Anthony “Flawless” Flores each scored 1st round stoppages. Wilson, 12-1-1 (4), took on the experienced Louie Leija, 21-11-1 (15), of San Antonio. Wilson landed a combination of punches before referee Claudio stopped it as the fallen Leija only lasted 1:06 of the 1st round. This was scheduled for 8 in the welterweight division. Flores, 8-0 (5) started the ending with a body shot that had Carlos Diaz, 10-19-4 (7), of Tampa, backing up before a left hook and chopping right finished his opponent at 2:54 of the 1st round in a scheduled junior lightweight 6.

In another crowd pleasing 6 round junior welterweight match the ever popular Victor Vasquez, 9-3 (5), the “fighting barber” who never seems to have an easy one, scored a 6th round knockdown over Atlantic City’s Linwood Hurd, 2-2-3 (0), to close out the win on scores of 59-54 on all the judges score cards. Vasquez started fast landing 3 overhand rights at different points of the 1st round. A left hook rocked Vasquez just before the bell ending the 3rd round causing a swelling outside the right eye. Vasquez came back in the 4th with straight rights and left hooks off his jabs. The 5th round was the best round of the fight with the many Vasquez fans screaming for thier man as his right eye was closing. Dropping Hurd in a neutral corner wrapped up the win for Vasquez in the final round.

The show opened up slow with Frankie “Nitty” Trader, 4-0 (1) making his hometown debut after 3 New England starts while southpaw Luis Esquilin, 1-2-1 (0) seemed to get the best of him in early in what action there was in this 4 round junior lightweight bout. A good straight left to the jaw seemed to stun Trader in the 2nd round. Trader came back in the final 2 rounds in what could have been called a draw as judge Hill saw it 38-38 but judges Rubenstein and Benoist both saw it 39-37 for Trader.

The show ender seemed to have Ardrick Butler, 2-1 (0), easily ahead of Dontre King, 1-4-1 (0), of Cambridge, Maryland, but Hill had it 38-38 while Bruni 40-36 and Rubenstein 40-37 both for Butler in this 4 round welterweight match.

Ed Derian did his usual good job announcing another show as his lovely wife was at ringside as usual. What would a Peltz show be without him?

Peltz will be going to Bally’s in Atlantic City for his next show June 6th featuring unbeaten Philly fighters Mike “MJ” Jones, 17-0 (15) against Larry Mosley, 15-3-2 (6) who was supposed to be his last opponent. In the semi-windup Teon Kennedy, 12-0 (5) is being opposed by Reading’s Lucian Gonzalez, 9-5-1 (1), whose 8 fight streak without a defeat was broken in February. Latif Mundy, 8-0 (3), will be opposed by Patrick Majewski, 10-0 (7), of Atlantic City, while Flores and Trader will also appear on this card. “Big” John Poore, 20-3 (18), will return with his first start in almost a year.

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Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com




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