Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Sep 26, 2014
Friday Night Fights—Tank you Jesus!

Friday Night Fights—Tank you Jesus!

The Mouthpiece
By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date: Friday, September 19, 2014
Venue: Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack, Chester, Pennsylvania
Promoters: XF Events, Peltz Boxing and BAM Boxing
Ring Announcer: Nino Del Buono & Alexis Barbosa
National Anthem: Felicia Punzo (www.feliciapunzo.com)
Referees: Benjy Esteves Jr. & Shawn Clark
Matchmaker: J. Russell Peltz & Brittany Rogers
Coverage: www.gofightlive.com
Photos: www.christoneyphotography.com

Jesus Christ walked the streets of Jerusalem saving souls and performing miracles. I am confident the moral majority and Bible thumpers will bombilate with reproach after reading this article. But, I cannot help myself since I was raised by a grandmother who reveled in story-telling and never shied away from controversy. Besides, the headline should have tipped you off that this story was going to lead into unchartered territories riled with religious references bordering on blasphemy. However, it’s not that serious, continue reading.

The Tank - Joey Dawejko.

The Tank – Joey Dawejko.

Manager Mark Cipparone cloaked in custom-tailored suits, colorful bowties, feet adorned with exquisitely crafted monk-strap shoes has become a savior of the sweet science—rescuing careers— rejuvenating fighters. As CEO of Rocco’s Collision— comprised of five auto body repair shops—Cipparone has been able to maximize the synergies of marketing his primary business and boxing.
“He is the best manager in the business and don’t forget to mention that he is also the best dressed” quipped heavyweight Joey “The Tank” Dawejko (11 wins – 3 losses – 2 draws – 4 kos) in our pre-fight interview. The twenty-three year-old boxer who recently signed with Cipparone’s Club 1957 Management group is on an upswing—changing bad habits and acquiring the services of trainer Billy Briscoe. Dawejko—the former under 19 World Amateur Champion—has always possessed an abundance of talent, but it was widely accepted that he lacked the discipline and dedication to maximize his potential. Under the guidance of the nattily dressed manager, Dawejko has seen the light—undergoing a spiritual and physical revelation.

Flanked by Cipparone and members of the Team Rocco Boxing Gym and Club 1957 Management, Dawejko’s walk to the ring was in spectacular fashion as Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West blared over the track Run This Town. It seemed like a scene out of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome as one member of the sizable entourage was decked out in a gas mask further adding to the flare and intrigue. Thirty-nine year-old Yohan “The Body Snatcher” Banks—6 feet 3 inches and two hundred and eighty-eight pounds—watched in his corner as Dawejko four inches shorter and fifty-one pound lighter entered the ring.

The supremely talented recording artist Felicia Punzo—who is destined for superstardom—belted out the national anthem in grand fashion. Ring Announcer Nino Del Buono made the introductions, the crowd dispersed as Referee Benjy Estevez Jr. gave the instructions and the combatants retreated to their respective corners.

Dawejko (L.) lands a crushing left hook.

Dawejko (L.) lands a crushing left hook.

The gong sounded and they met in the center of the ring with the smaller Dawejko pressing forward. It all happened so quickly, but my mind captured what transpired and played it back in slow motion. Banks (7 wins – 8 losses – 3 draws – 5 kos) of Redwood City, California threw a jab and Dawejko countered with a harmless hook—that merely tapped his opponent’s cheek—the set-up punch—then immediately he reloaded and fired another left hook loaded with dynamite. The second punch introduced Banks to the canvas, a quizzical look etched on his face.

Banks rose as the referee reached the count of three. He had his gloves dusted off and the action resumed as he walked straight into another double left hook that sent him crumbling to the canvas for the second time. Banks was clearly down when a right hand delivered by Dawejko crashed across his cranium. Fortunately it was deemed a continuation punch and not ruled a foul by Esteves Jr. Again the fallen Banks got to his feet before the count reached three. The referee wiped his gloves and motioned for them to resume fighting. Living up to his moniker, Dawejko steamrolled Banks with a crushing left hook toppling him for the third time to the canvas. Benjy Esteves Jr. immediately called a halt to this one-sided skirmish at 1:34 of the first round of the scheduled eight-rounder.

Abbruzzese (R.) on the attack.

Abbruzzese (R.) on the attack.

Alexis Barbosa served as the announcer for the scheduled four-round junior-middleweight bout featuring his younger brother Jesus Barbosa (4 wins – 4 losses – 1 draw – 3 kos) and Anthony Abbruzzese (2 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko), an all-Philly match-up. The bell sounded and Barbosa rushed out of his corner attacking his opponent like a jealous husband who arrived home early only to find his wife in bed with her younger paramour. Bobbing and weaving reminiscent of the great Smokin’ Joe Frazier the 5 feet 4 inch fighter waded in with reckless abandon whacking away at his taller opponent’s ribcage and abdomen. The bigger, stronger Abbruzzese stood his ground and ripped off several deadly uppercuts hell-bent on decapitating his nemesis. The war was on as fans sat on the edges of their seats shouting and basking in the sheer savagery of what was unfolding.

Midway through the round Barbosa walked right into an uppercut that almost separated his head from its hinges forcing him to genuflect on one knee as thought he had just entered St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church late for Sunday mass. Referee Esteves Jr. rightfully called it a knockdown and wiped Barbosa’s gloves. Unabashed and unaffected Barbosa continued his onslaught trying to level Abbruzzese as they stood toe-to-toe trading punches until the round ended. Besides the opening round of Hagler vs. Hearns I doubt that there has ever been a more action-packed and delightfully wicked first round.

Barbosa had morphed into Smokin’ Joe Frazier and answered the bell for the second round in like fashion—perpetual motion—punching away at Abbruzzese’s ribcage hoping to level him to the canvas. Abbruzzese returned fire delivering uppercuts and left hooks, but most of these missed because Barbosa was low to the ground slipping and sliding constantly punching and moving. The smaller man was winning the battle and some of the punches were landing south of the border resulting in referee Benjy Esteves Jr. taking a point. Barbosa won the round but the point deduction made it an even round.

The third stanza began as the previous round with Barbosa hopping on Abbruzzese—blanketing him like a cheap $50 seersucker suit in mid-August. Abbruzzese appeared to have found his rhythm and was picking his spots countering with quick combinations. The pace was frenetic with both combatants unloading heavy artillery from their arsenals. Abbruzzese smashed a vicious right uppercut through Barbosa’s guard freezing his forward progress and immediately followed with a short left hook sending him backwards. Barbosa was in serious trouble and the referee immediately stopped the bout rescuing him from further damage. Abbruzzese was declared the winner by technical knockout at 2:11 in the frontrunner for 2014 Philadelphia Fight of the Year. If this materializes, Abbruzzese’s trainer Greg Hackett will become the first person to not only engage in a Fight of the Year but to also train a boxer who garnered the award. Hackett’s six-round fistic frenzy at the Arena on July 29, 2011 with Juan Rodriguez was the 2011 Philadelphia Fight of the Year.

Undefeated Philadelphia lightweight Anthony “Bad Boy” Burgin—another Cipparone disciple and Club 1957 Management fighter—was accorded the sanctuary of the Rocco ring-walk for his rematch with cross-town rival Ramon “Little Weed” Ellis (4 wins – 12 losses – 2 draws – 2 kos). These two met in Burgin’s last fight on May 16th at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Burgin boxed from a distance early but stayed too close and was hurt in the fifth round of the six-round bout after absorbing a vicious uppercut to the kidney and left hook to the chin. Tonight he promised that he would stick to the game plan and box in their scheduled six-rounder. Ellis assured me in the pre-fight interview that he would continue to body punch and work behind his jab.

Burgin (R.) sticking the jab to Ellis' midsection.

Burgin (R.) sticking the jab to Ellis’ midsection.

Burgin (7 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) boxed brilliantly as Ellis was in hot pursuit the entire fight occasionally cornering his foe and attacking the body with precision and purpose. It was the classic case of the matador versus the bull as Burgin used a stiff jab to Ellis’ head and midsection to control the pace and tempo. “Left hook, right cross. Give me a two-piece. Shuffle up on him” yelled Reverend Elvin Thompson, Ellis’ trainer round after round as the elusive Burgin used his jab and quick combinations —avoiding the urge to stand and trade with his advancing adversary. It was a competitive and entertaining bout with Burgin executing his game plan as Ellis never took a backwards step being relentless applying constant pressure. The judges scored it 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56 all for Burgin.

There was no snow covering the streets and parking lot outside. There was no mistletoe over the entrance of the venue or sightings of Santa and his reindeers. However, Philadelphia welterweight David Gonzales (5 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko)
received an early Christmas present after his six-round bout with Malik Jackson (1 win – 3 losses – 3 draws – 0 ko) of Newark, New Jersey.

Gonzales came out bombing in the opening round and was met with return fire by his taller and more awkward opponent. Jackson stood his ground as both missed wildly with punches with knockout written all over them. Gonzales had the slight edge.

The next five rounds were almost identical as Jackson pressed the action being the busier boxer as Gonzales appeared befuddled looking for a one-punch knockout that he was unable to deliver. In the fifth round Jackson hurt Gonzales with a short uppercut forcing him to retreat and regroup. The Newark fighter closed the show by pursuing his opponent around the ring in the final round. Much to the surprise of the audience all three judges scored it 57-57—a draw. Gonzales accepted this gift of a decision which was met with a cacophony of boos as the crowd displayed its displeasure.

Other results: In the opening bout Philadelphia junior middleweight Johnson Jajoute (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 ko) won a unanimous four-round decision by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice over Adrian Wilson (0 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws) of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Johnson controlled the early round by using a good jab and out-punching his opponent. He was able to hurt Wilson—a full-time Atlantic City firefighter—with a straight right towards the end of the third round. Undeterred, Wilson came out smoking in the final round landing a combination early and using good lateral movement and a jab to control the round. However, it was a little too late as Jajoute won the previous three rounds.

Junior-middleweight Nathaniel Rivas (4 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Berlin, New Jersey dropped Philadelphian David Navarro (1 win – 5 losses – 0 draws – 0 ko) in the opening stanza and dominated him thoroughly in the second round forcing Navarro’s corner to keep him on the stool when the bell rang for the third round. Rivas was declared the winner by second round technical knockout of their scheduled four-rounder.

Fightkingsgloves (1)It was an incredible night of the sweet science as the capacity crowd feasted on the action. Enjoying the festivities was longtime boxing fan Jeff Rutizer who will be getting married on Sunday! Never in the history of pugilism has there ever been a more dedicated and supportive connoisseur of the sweet science. A Philadelphia fighter could be fighting on the moon and Jeff would somehow find a seat on the moon-bound space shuttle. Rutizer is to boxing fan’s base what Cipparone is to legions of managers—simply the best!

Congratulation Jeff and Jean Jovi—Mrs. Rutizer after September 21st.

Tank you Jesus!

Continue to support the sweet science, and remember, always carry your mouthpiece!

About George Hanson., Jr Esq.

George Hanson., Jr Esq. has written 106 post in this blog.

Hailing from New Forest, Jamaica, Hanson started boxing as a teenager in Philadelphia under the tutelage of former welterweight contender, Dick Turner. He excelled, capturing four Pennsylvania State Amateur Championships—his last while a junior at Drexel University studying Accounting. According to most who have seen Hanson fight, “He is the best fighter never to have turned professional.”



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2 Responses to “Friday Night Fights—Tank you Jesus!”

  1. Ken Hissner says:

    What else can we expect from Handsome Hanson but pure supreme writing in his own unique way. I may not agree with his “early Christmas present” for Gonzales but he was able to even make the main event sound worthy as Joey D racks up another knockout under Cipparone and Peltz.

  2. exciting as always, George. Will you be coming to the November New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame dinner, so we can finally meet you?