Israel’s Nakash and Kansas City’s Graziano Win at Blue Horizon!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 4, 2009)    
Israel’s cruiserweight Ran “Sweet Dreams” Nakash, 21-0 (15), continued his success at the legendary Blue Horizon in North Philadelphia Friday night with a workmanlike 8 round decision over Gary Gomez, 18-11-1 (8), of Salt Lake City. Kansas City, KS, cruiserweight Jeremiah “Rocky” Graziano, 7-0 (7), stopped Philly’s Andre “Da Heat” Hemphill, 8-13-2 (5), at 2:35 of the 1st round.

It was the 10th straight win at the Blue for Nakash who won easily with his jab and hooks to the large mid-section of Gomez throughout the bout. By the 4th round Gomez had a welt under his right eye. It wouldn’t be until the 6th round that Gomez would come alive and make a fight of it. The 7th round was close and the 8th round the best round of the fight. Gomez was coming off a loss to current IBF champion Tomasz Adamek. Judge Joe Pasquale saw it 78-74, Dave Greer 79-74 and Rich Hopkins 79-73 as did this writer. Nakash seems to be ready to step up in class. Blair Talmadge was the referee.

What made the main event tame in comparison is it had to follow Graziano’s complete destruction of Philly’s Hemphill starting with the first body shot. Graziano has already scored half a dozen 1st round knockouts including one that lasted all of 6 seconds. Only one opponent got into the 2nd round. This bout was his second longest. Hemphill to his credit was a late substitute, and was on the defense except for one 4 punch flurry. Graziano had Hemphill up against the ropes time and again until a combination of punches had him out on his feet slumping down the ropes when referee Hurley McCall waved it off as Hemphill lay there for several minutes. The fans had gone wild with some yelling “Tyson”!
After compiling a 32-2 (27) record among the top amateurs in the country including winning the 2008 Ringside World Championship, Graziano, turned pro in October of 2008 under the guidance of John Brown, his manager, who happens to be the owner & CEO of Ringside. At ringside, cheering Graziano on was his friend and fellow fighter, Philly’s Joey Dawejko, who just turned pro a week ago in Louisiana gaining a 6 round decision win. He is managed by former WBC heavyweight champion Hasim Rachman. On the same card was George “Monk” Foreman III gaining his second straight win.

Another fighter from Israel, Achman Tuba, 1-1 (1), seemed to get the short end of the stick losing a 4 round junior middleweight match to Philly’s Darnell Jones, 2-0 (1) on all scorecards. Rose Vargas and Greer had it 38-37 while Joe Pasquale came in from left field with a 40-35 all for Jones. Tuba may not have showed too many skills, but at least threw punches why Jones seemed to take the first 2 rounds off posing. In the 4th round referee McCall got tired of warning Tuba about hitting behind the head and took away a point that cost Tuba a draw. The deduction was warranted but this writer still had Tuba in front by 38-37.

In one of the better fights of the night Philly’s Paul Fernandez, 5-2-1 (3), had his hands full for a couple of rounds with Quincy Johnson, 0-4-1 (0), of Cincinnati, before wearing him down. His trainer Sloan Harrison kept encouraging him to go to the body and it seemed to pay off when he finally did, in this 4 round featherweight match. Talmadge was the referee.

Nearby Norristown lightweight Ryan Carson, 2-0 (1), outworked Philly’s Jonathan Occasio, 0-5 (0), for 3 rounds in spite of a cut on his left eyelid that was flowing down the side of his face in the 3rd. Cut-man Jimmy Williams did a good job in stopping the flow of blood. Carson seemed to be right hand crazy before finally dropping his opponent with 15 seconds to go in the fight. He had made a sensational debut in Atlantic City in August coming back to score a 2nd round knockout. He seems to be fighting to the level of whoever his opponent is.

Joe Alonzo, 2-0 (0), of Bellmawr, NJ, won a split decision over Vaugh Anderson, 0-1 (0), in a spirited 4 round junior middleweight match. It was Alonzo’s left hook against Anderson’s straight right hands. Greer had it 39-37 for Anderson while being overruled by Pasquale, 40-36 and Hopkins 39-37. This writer had it 38-38.

Following the main event Norfolk’s Mondre “General” Pope, 3-0-1 (0), took a 6 round split decision over Gerardo Robles, 9-8 (5), of Kansas City in a lightweight match. Pope who fought most of the fight southpaw seems to fight hard for half a round and spends the rest of the time posing. Pope used some rough tactics throughout but referee Talmadge rarely warned him. Robles never stopped trying and suffered a bloody nose early. Greer had it 58-56 Robles while Vargas had it 60-54 and Pasquale 58-56 as did this writer for Pope. Leaving the ring Pope saw local sensation “Hammer” Hank Lundy and told him “a couple more wins and I will be ready for you.” Lundy shot back “I’ll knock you out.” Watch what you ask for General Pope.

Don Elbaum was the matchmaker for Vernoca L. Michael of Blue Horizon Boxing Promotions, Inc who once again dedicated the show for Cancer awareness. Even the main event boxers had pink gloves.

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