Chazz Witherspoon Returns to stop Livin Castillo in Atlantic City
By Ken Hissner at ringside (Aug 30, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
It was a different Chazz Witherspoon, 27-2 (19), Philadelphia, returning to the Trump Taj Mahal’s Grand Ballroom Saturday night in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He wasn’t stationary but moving and jabbing. His trainers Wade and Randy Hinnant finally convinced him instead of taking punches block them. Spartan Fight Promotions called it “Battle 1”. Southpaw Livin Castillo, 16-9 (11), who has lived in Atlantic City returned from his home country of Ecuador to take on Witherspoon.

It was a night that if you fought an Atlantic City fighter you were fighting the officials and your opponent. You either knock them out or they will find a way to beat you. Castillo came out working the body and won the first round as Witherspoon was adjusting to his new style. At 231 to Castillo’s 212 Witherspoon was certainly the bigger boxer. Through the first six rounds they took turns winning a round on this writer’s scorecard 57-57. On the official scorecards Castillo was ahead on all three to no surprise the way the night had been going. Castillo got away with quite a few below the border but not serious fouls that referee Earl Brown never gave a warning for. Witherspoon is not a complainer but a complete gentleman who figures he will get back at you in another way. In the seventh of a scheduled ten he opened up. “We watched his previous fights and knew he started fast and faded in the later rounds,” said Witherspoon. Even this writer was yelling “stop the fight” being Castillo was taking over twenty consecutive punches without return. I don’t know what the referee was thinking but Castillo was completely defenseless and the fight could have been stopped thirty seconds sooner. The end came at 2:21 of the seventh round. Witherspoon had his usual large following at ringside. “I know I have to work my self back into the ratings and am not calling out any particular fighter. I work out at the Summit in Villanova and at Henry Racich’s Gym in King of Prussia on conditioning,” said Witherspoon. Considering it was his first fight back in nine months and a new and improved style, Witherspoon and his corner were quite pleased with the outcome.

The co-feature eight round light heavyweight bout had Farah “Quiet Storm” Ennis, 16-0 (10), Philadelphia, setting the stage for Witherspoon showing that if it takes a knockout to win tonight then that’s what it’s going to be. His opponent Reggie Pena, 6-4 (1), Ocala, FL, a southpaw, took the fight on short notice and never stopped trying. Throughout the bout Pena would raise one leg as if he was a kick boxer, holding back. Not that the body shots by Ennis helped any. As it turns out Pena is also a MMA fighter.

Ennis had Pena rocked in the first round with a solid right hand causing an abrasion under Pena’s left eye. By the second round it had already turned into a mouse. In the third round Pena’s corner must have told him to rush Ennis into the ropes and pound away for that is exactly what he did. As he pinned Ennis against the ropes the referee Sammy Viruet just looked on so Ennis had to take matters into his own hands. He smiled, and then opened up rocking Pena with solid uppercuts to the body and then to the head that had Pena hurt. A right uppercut was buried into the solar plexus of Pena and down he went to his knees. Though he beat the count he was in no condition to continue at 1:56 of the third round. “I really didn’t think I hit him that hard with that body shot. When he charged me like that I knew it was time to open up,” said Ennis. Like Witherspoon, Ennis is a very likeable, gentleman. It was “take no prisoners” on the part of Ennis as his father/trainer “Bozy” Ennis has taught him. Co-managers Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods seemed quite pleased. They have put their fighter in five fights so far in eight months with all victories by knockout.

A six round lightweight match prior to this was a good one. Jose Reyes, 23-8 (8), returned from Puerto Rico after fighting out of Vineland, NJ, at the start of his career going 17-1 before losing in 2005 in Philadelphia. Reyes then left the area for Florida and hadn’t fought in Atlantic City since 2001. His opponent was southpaw Walter Estrada, 37-13-1 (25), of Miami, FL, originally from Colombia. He was coming off a big win last month over Verquan Kimbrough, then 21-3-3, by knockout.

This was a slugfest for the most part from the beginning. Estrada dropped Reyes in the first round with a straight left. Reyes who had squared himself up was more stunned than hurt. By the third round Reyes left eye had started swelling. The referee was Viruet. Emil Conforti had it 57-56 for Reyes. Tony Perez had it 58-56, while his wife Barbara Perez scored it 57-56 for Estrada by split decision.

The opening three bouts had local Atlantic City boxers in four round bouts with little chance to lose. The crowd was very hostile in rooting their favorites on. They would approach the ring during the fights when the action heated up and had very little resistance from security.

Maurice “Light Thunder” Williams, 1-6 (1), of Camden, NJ, started to rile up the fans by dropping local boxer Eugene Soto, 3-0 (1), twice in the first round with left hooks. One thing about Soto, he did not panic. Early in the second round Williams would rock Soto but Soto seemed to come back and have control by the end of the round. Soto won the third and Williams seemed to just want to get through the fourth as referee Brown was taking a close look at him as if thinking of stopping it.

The corner of Williams seemed confident of a win but then came the decision. Conforti had it as this writer did 37-37. Tony Perez had it 37-36 and Barbara Perez 38-37 for the winner, Soto. This writer asked to see the scorecard of Barbara Perez and how she scored the first round. As figured, she had it 10-8 Williams despite scoring two knockdowns and having complete control of the round. This might happen in an amateur bout but should never in a professional fight. Anything but a 10-7 score was unacceptable. These were super middleweights.

The next match featured super middleweight Jason Johns, 0-3 (0), of Danville, VA, against the former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon’s son, Isiah, 2-0 (1), a middleweight, of Atlantic City. It was an evenly scored match up until a right hand by Seldon dropped Johns in a neutral corner. He got up and seemed fine as referee Brown made him walk to him “twice” and then waved it off to the protest of Johns. The time was 2:57 of the first round. Just three seconds from the bell. Shades of Taylor-Chavez? I don’t think Johns would have defeated Johns but the stoppage was questionable at the least.

Next up was local light heavyweight Lavarn “Baby Bowe” Harvell, 6-0 (2), and super middleweight southpaw, Nathan Bedwell, 2-4 (1), of Jackson, TN, who was having his seventh fight since turning professional five months ago. A straight right hand from Harvell dropped Bedwell in the first round. A left hook rocked Bedwell behind the ear causing him to complain but to no avail as referee Viruet never gave a warning. In the third round both fighters threw punches at the same time with Harvell landing first dropping Bedwell. In the fourth round a right by Harvell dropped Bedwell for the third time in the fight. To his credit, Bedwell had no quit in him and finished the fight on his feet. All official’s scores were 40-33 for Harvell as was this writer’s.

Spartan Fight Promotions will return November the 13th for “Battle 2”! The busy matchmaker Nick Tiberi had just worked the night before in Dover Downs, DE, and should be commended for doing two competitive fights in two nights!

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