Tua and Barrett battle to Draw in Night of Upsets in AC
By Ken Hissner (July 19, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Once again Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing to on another action packed show that had the fans hollowing from the first fight on at the Atlantic City Tropicana Showroom Saturday night! It is not often that a heavyweight match can top a card and thrill the fans but after the halfway point this one did.

David “Tuamanator” Tua, 52-3-1 (43), of New Zealand and Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett, 34-10 (20), of Queens, NY, brought the house down with a finish like few heavyweight fights in memory! This was Tua’s third comeback fight and he hadn’t lost since 2001 and he came out looking for an early night at Barrett’s expense. It was the bull against the matador for most of the night. When it looked like Barrett was in trouble or just looking to survive he would lash out with a combination of punches in getting Tua’s attention.

As early as the second round Tua rocked Barrett as well as in the fourth round. In the sixth round a right to the liver area hurt Barrett who used a very good jab all night holding off Tua for the most part. In the tenth round Tua smiled from a Barrett right hand seemed to rock him and for a guy whose expression never changes you had to wonder what was going on. At the end of the eleventh round you wondered why Barrett didn’t pick-up where he left off in the tenth when he hurt Tua.

The twelfth and final round and final minute will go down as one of Barrett’s finest and stay with him and man fans for a lifetime. A frustrated Tua who had expected an early knockout was still looking in the final round. Out of frustration he flipped Barrett hard to the canvas. Referee Randy Neumann did the right thing in immediately taking a point away from Tua. This set Barrett off as Tua came in for the kill Barrett landed a combination of punches knocking down Tua for the first time in his fifty-six fight career. The fans when nuts! Tua was up in survival mode while Barrett took the next thirty seconds trying to land another but not be careless. When the timekeepers gavel signaled ten seconds to go Barrett backed off Tua and raised his hands in victory! His corner almost did something Tua couldn’t for twelve rounds, knock him down.

It took awhile to announce the decision which was for some reason a title defense of Tua’s WBO Asian Pacific and WBO Oriental belts. That’s like Tua fighting for the New York state title. The first score was 115-111 by Joe Pasquale which matched this writer’s. The follow up was scores of 113-113 by Louis Rivera and Shafeeq Rashada making it a majority draw decision. The fans were booing only remembering the ending not the eleven rounds before on a whole.

Barrett was humble in being interviewed by PPV saying “I want to give all the glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and thank fellow Christian David Tua for this opportunity and yes I thought I won. As I said before the fight this will be my last fight”. Tua had little to say being a man of few words and lots of action acknowledging he was happy for Barrett.

In the semi-windup Philadelphia’s Ray “Tito” Serrano, 13-0 (6), was looking to impress with an early knockout but found a very unwillingly Ayi Bruce, 6-2 (4) of Ghana in a welterweight eight rounder. In the second round a low blow hurt Bruce but referee David Franciosi was in a position he missed it. Normally a boxer making the low blow backs off but Serrano went in to finish but found Bruce to be tougher than he thought. Serrano looking to hurt Bruce was warned twice in the fourth round for low blows. Bruce came back with an overhand right that got Serrano’s attention.

In the fifth round Serrano received a third warning for low blows. The sixth was close and Serrano took the seventh. In the eighth and final round Bruce landed a right uppercut and had Serrano moving around the ring running the clock out. Several writers along with this one had it even with Bruce taking the middle rounds and the last round after a good start by Serrano. Judge Rashada had it 76-76 as did this writer, while Pasquale and it 77-76 somehow and Rivera 78-74 both for Serrano. With encouragement from his trainer Danny Davis to box more Serrano should have listened instead of going for the knockout especially with the border line to low body shots. A missed and three warnings without the referee taking away a point kept Serrano’s victory in tact. It seemed Serrano who is a prospect was surprised the smaller Bruce held up from the punches he was hit with.

European lightweight champion Anthony Mezaache, 18-6-3 (4), of France, was having his hands full at the start from Carlos Vinan, 10-8-1 (1), of Ecuador now out of Newark, NJ, who is a very underated and luckless boxer when it comes to winning decisions. Mezaache seemed to come back winning the sixth and seventh rounds before landing a punch after the bell. Mezaache apologized but Vinan would have nothing of it.

Vinan came out madder than a hornet for the eighth and final round going on the attack as Mezaache looked upset and found himself on the canvas. Beating the count Mezaache was driven to the ropes and taking a barrage of punishment when his corner through in the towel at 0:37 of the eighth and final round forcing referee Franciosi to call a halt. Mezaache was ahead on all scorecards and could only lose by a knockout though this writer had Vinan ahead by one point.

The other French boxer making his US debut was two time Olympian Khedafi Djelkhir, 7-0, (6), against Jorge Cordero, 4-2 (2), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a featherweight six. Djelkhir had Cordero on the canvas early. Looking to make a spectacular US debut he walked into a left hook and down he went. The fans were screaming. Again Djelkhir found the mark with a right hand driving Cordero under the ropes and almost out of the ring. As Cordero attempted to get up he fell face forward as the referee Franciosi signaled the end at 2:27 of the first round.

Bayan “Mongolian Mongoose” Jargal, 15-0-3, (10), of Arlington, VA, couldn’t seem to get untracked against James Hope, 6-6 (4), of Rick Hill, SC, who was the busier of the two in a competitive fight. Hope rocked Jargal in the first and twice in the fifth with overhand rights. In the seventh with his left eye swollen Jargal was rocked with an uppercut only to come back and have Hope out on his feet at the bell. The eighth round was all Jargal as Hope had run out of gas only to survive the final round of this light welterweight eight. The fans were yelling for Hope throughout only to be disappointed at the judge’s decisions. Looking at Jargal having two draws you had to wonder was a third coming? All three judge’s had it 76-76. This writer had it 78-74 for Hope who after the fight had nothing to say while all those around him told him he won or got ripped.

Mike “The Artist, Michael Angel” Perez, 9-0-1 (4), of Newark, NJ, opened the show dropping Jorge Ruiz, 7-12-1, formerly of Cuba, now Miami, with a left hook to the mid-section. He barely beat the count when Perez moved in with a lead right and a follow-up left hook as Ruiz went down forcing referee Franciosi to call a halt at 2:29 of the opening round. “I really put something into that left hook dropping him the first time,” said Perez. I was setting him up for the right-left combo when I connected,” he added. It was a picture perfect combination.

What seemed like nothing more than a sparring session the much younger Jason “Monstruo” Escalera, 9-0 (8), didn’t seem in a hurry to taking out the much older Amador Acevedo, 3-8-1 (3), of Puerto Rico in a light heavyweight six rounder. Acevedo was game but had no chance as Escalera’s jab controlled the fight forcing Acevedo to stay on the stool at the end of the third round forcing referee Nuemann to call a halt.

In the last fight of the night Sean Monaghan, 2-0 (2), of Long island, NY, had an easy one in stopping Dennis Penelton, 0-2 (0), of Milwaukee, WI, at 1:19 of the first round with Neumann waving off a fallen Penelton who did not want to continue.

Matchmaker Ron Katz put together a good card and publicity man Kevin Rooney did his usual fine job. Former heavyweight favorite Vinny Maddalone was ringside working with the PPV crew. It looks like he has found a second career.

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