Julio Matthews Stays Unbeaten at the Sovereign Center
By Ken Hissner at ringside (Dec 6, 2009) DoghouseBoxing  
Reading’s cruiserweight Julio Matthews, 9-0 (5) remained unbeaten winning a close six round decision over Harvey “Candy Man” Jolly, 10-12-1 (5), of Adrian, MI, at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA, Friday night in a Kings Promotions!

Matthews headlined the show that was a combination of boxing and MMA. Promoter Marshall Kauffman and matchmaker Ty McNeill gave the fans a new twist. Back in May the fans enjoyed boxing and then MMA, but Friday night the bouts were intertwined so old timers like me wouldn’t leave after the boxing portion of the show.

Matthews has been unbeaten since 1996. The only catch is he was shot in 1997 after posting two wins. He returned to action in 2008 to the delight of his many fans. This 39 year old southpaw lines up his opponents with his right hand and bombs away with his power punch left hand. Only Friday night Jolly had a new man helping in the corner in Philly’s Billy Briscoe shouting out instructions how to avoid those bombs. Jolly’s last four opponents had a combined 77-4 record and he went 2-2. In his last bout he scored a 1st round knockout over an opponent that was 12-0.

Matthews seemed to take the 1st round landing several left’s rocking Jolly. Jolly realized fast he wasn’t going to be around long by staying in there with Matthews so he started following a game plan for the next three rounds staying out of range while outworking his opponent for the most part. Matthews always keeps the crowd on the edge of their seats waiting for that bomb.

In the 5th round Matthews rocked Jolly into the ropes and it looked like he was finally finding a home for his left hand. Jolly barely survived the round. The 6th round was all Matthews as he pulled out the win. Judges Dave Greer and Dewey LaRosa had it 59-55 while Bernard Bruni had it 58-56 all for Matthews. This writer had it 57-57. Gary Rosato served as the lone referee for the show.

Reading’s Jason Cintron, 11-1 (3), returned to the win column at the heavier welterweight division defeating Martinus Clay, 13-23-4 (5), of Philadelphia over 6 rounds. Cintron was stopped in April but showed no signs of being gun shy. He did a workmanlike job in defeating the veteran Clay who took the fight on short notice.

Cintron switched to southpaw throughout the fight. The 4th round was the best round of the bout with both fighters mixing it up. Clay finally got it together in the 6th and final round but it fell far short. Cintron’s had a new look sporting a red Mohawk matching his trunks. All the judges had Cintron a winner with Greer 60-54, Bruni 59-55 and LaRosa 58-56. This writer had it 59-55 for Cintron.

Reading’s Keenan Collins, 12-5-2 (8) and Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor, 14-23-4 (7), of Wilmington, DE, were in a rematch of their last year’s draw. Less than a minute into the fight there was a clash of heads with Collins receiving a nasty cut over his left eye while Taylor had a small scalp wound. Referee Rosato let them continue for about 30 seconds before calling in the ringside physician to check the cut. He advised stopping the contest to the disappointment of the fans. This was a light middleweight six.

Van Oscar “Kona Gold” Penovaroff, 4-0-1 (3), of Kalua Kona, HI, made his local debut in the fight of the night drawing with Francisco “Labomba” Palacios, 4-9-5 (), of Stamford, CT, over 6 rounds in the lightweight division. Palacios never stopped throwing punches though Penovaroff had the advantage in power and accuracy. Penovaroff switched to the head in the 2nd round and back to the body with wicked shots in the 3rd round to both sides of Palacios. What held him up is a mystery to me. The taller Penovaroff stayed in front of Palacios and blocked most of the punches but with Palacios throwing at least twice as many it caught the eye of two of the judges. Bruni had it 60-54 Penovaroff while Greer had it 59-56 Palacios with LaRosa calling it even at 57-57. This writer gave Penovaroff the last two rounds and the fight at 58-56. In all honesty Palacios fought his heart out and earned the draw. Penovaroff is a former MMA champion and boxed at Northern Michigan University under Al Mitchell. “He never hurt me. I landed the more decisive punches”, said Penovaroff. The trainer of Palacios stated, “he landed many more punches and should have won.” The fans would enjoy a rematch.

For another local favorite 43 year old Craig Tomlinson, 25-15-1 (13), it may be the end of the line. He could take this act on the road with his opponent Willie Palms, 10-9-1 (5), of Jersey City. It was almost this writer’s answer to tag team boxing. Palms clowned the entire four rounds in this heavyweight match outweighing Tomlinson by over 40 pounds. Tomlinson hit the floor in the 2nd round and seemed on rubbery legs for the next several rounds. When Palms made the effort he could hit Tomlinson at will. In the 4th round Palm got hit and grabbed the ropes and almost fell out of the ring. Referee Rosato ruled he would have fallen out of the ring if he didn’t grab the ropes so he gave him a standing count that cost him the fight. Tomlinson seemed clueless to the surroundings of the bout and needs to retire.

Tomlinson won his second fight since coming back in May by scores of 38-36 38-37 and 39-36. I agreed with 38-36. Palm seemed only interested in entertaining the fans. Tomlinson’s new trainer Jim Ruoff has done all he can do while even bringing back Rich Ormsbee to work as cut man. Ormsbee is the uncle of promoter Kauffman and one of the most likeable characters in the game. He has schooled many a young fighter. They don’t come any more honest than “Uncle Rich”.

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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