Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Dec 5, 2014
Nuh Fraid Ah Nobody!—Webster Sacks Sai! Free Joey Eye!

Nuh Fraid Ah Nobody!—Webster Sacks Sai! Free Joey Eye!

The Mouthpiece
By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Venue: 2300 Arena—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Promoters: Joe Hand Promotions & D and D Management
Ring Announcer: Nino Del Buono
Referees: Shawn Clark & David Franciosi
Matchmaker: Dave Price
Coverage: www.gofightlive.com
Ringcard Ladies: Sumo Steaks (www.sumosteaks.com)
Photos: www.christoneyphotography.com

With the temperature hovering around 42 degrees Fahrenheit—Thanksgiving two days away—an auspicious congregation of city dwellers and neighboring travelers filled the modern day Roman coliseum to relish in the cornucopia of the sweet science. The smorgasbord of pugilism featured eight amateur bouts and five punch-for-pay battles— another episode of Tuesday Night Fights—showcasing some of Philadelphia’s finest.

The only somber note to the festivities is that Joey Eye—the man who has won “Philadelphia Cutman of the Year” for fourteen consecutive years was denied the opportunity to practice his craft.

Webster ready for battle.

Derrick “Take It To The Bank” Webster ready for war.

However, I will delve more into this fortuitous occurrence at the end of chronicling the night’s activities. I know that many of you will immediately scroll to the end of this article while others will continue to read arriving at the final destination in due time.

The main event featured undefeated super-middleweight Derrick “Take It To The Bank” Webster (17 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 8 kos) of Glassboro, New Jersey against Ghanaian knockout out artist Abodai “The Miracle” Sai (23 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 17 kos) who now fights out of Washington, DC in a scheduled six-rounder.

Webster, a former college basketball player, stands 6 feet 4 inches and towers over all of his opponents. After a brief amateur career, the 32 year-old turned professional in 2009 and has progressed rapidly due to time spent in training camps with several world champions and contenders including Roy Jones Jr. and Andre Ward.

The heavens parted as Sai and his entourage made their way to the ring with the voice of Jamaican reggae star Vybz Kartel—who is serving a life sentence for murder—blaring over the track “Nuh Fraid a Nobody.” For those of you not familiar with Jamaican patois it translates to “I am not afraid of anyone.” I wanted to hop out of my press-row seat and dance as Sai rhythmically bounced to the beat as Kartel sang:

Sia sags to the canvas for the 10-count.

Sai sags to the canvas for the 10-count.

We nuh fraid ah nobody
Nuh fraid ah nobody
We nuh fraid ah nobody
Nuh fraid ha nobody
We nuh fraid ah nobody
We nuh fraid ah nobody
Neva scared [x5]
Noo…

Webster entered to his eponymous track “Take It To The Bank” flanked by his handlers.

Referee Shawn Clark concluded the formalities, the bell rang and the fight commenced. The southpaw Webster immediately bounced a left hook followed by a right hook off Sai’s temple, which took a split second to register—a delayed reaction.

The Ghanaian took a backwards step before his brain registered that his equilibrium was discombobulated and he sank to one knee and took the ten-count without once attempting to rise. The fight was over at only 22 seconds! And it was time for the post-fight interview! Maybe, his entrance music should have been “Mi Fraid a Tek it to di Bank”—I am afraid of Take It To The Bank.

Sparrow (R.) lands the right.

Sparrow (R.) lands the right.

Philadelphia junior-lightweight Avery “A Plus” Sparrow (2 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) displayed his pugilistic wares recording his third victory in an unblemished career with an entertaining four-round performance over tough Jesus Lule (6 wins – 9 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Fort Myers, Florida.

Lule tried to ingratiate himself to the hometown fans by entering the ring decked out in a poncho with a Philadelphia Eagles’ hat adorning his head. It probably dissuaded many from booing. But, it couldn’t save him from his nemesis toying with him like a satiated cat with a mouse. Round after round Sparrow peppered Lule with jabs snapping his head backwards and deflating his midsection. Lule pressed forward but Sparrow pirouetted out of harm’s way countering with left hooks as he exited stage left like a Vaudeville performer returning to his dressing room. Sparrow was having so much fun that he slipped three consecutive left hooks in the final round while talking to someone in the audience. It was a shut-out as Sparrow won a unanimous decision 40-36 on all three scorecards.

What do I know about boxing! Because in the opening professional bout of the night I had Philadelphia lightweight Jerome “The Conqueror” Conquest (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) winning a four-round decision over Piotr Apostle (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) from the Republic of Moldova now fighting out of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The southpaw Conquest was busier against the taller and awkward Apostle who came forward. Conquest used his jab and worked the body. I gave Apostle the third round because he landed some hard shots while outworking Conquest. All three judges had it 39-37 for Apostle while I had the same score for Conquest.

When your father is the #1 trainer in the City of Brotherly Love and both of your older brothers are accomplished professional fighters it is inevitable that boxing is in your DNA. Seventeen year-old Jaron “Boots” Ennis—the youngest son of trainer Derrick “Bozy” Ennis’ punching triumvirate grew up watching brother Derek “Pooh” Ennis and Farah “The Quiet Storm” Ennis wreak havoc in the squared circle. Tonight, Jaron had one of the most impressive and dominating performance of any amateur I have ever witnessed.

Ennis lost in the finals of the 2014 National Golden Gloves—an unfair decision that many believe was a result of politics.

Tonight he squared off against Mark Dawson—the 2013 Junior Olympics and Silver Gloves National Champion—in a three round amateur welterweight bout. He hurt the southpaw Dawson in the opening round with a left hook but was unaware and backed off allowing the fight to turn into the conventional amateur chess match.

Ennis (R.) on the attack.

Ennis (R.) on the attack.

Fortunately, I can read lips and understood that Bozy Ennis sent his son out for the second round on a search and destroy mission. And like a young Tommy “Hitman” Hearns he attacked with power and precision and gave Dawson two eight counts with a few blistering rights then dropped him to one knee with a right hook forcing the referee to call a halt at 2:33. It is rare that a National Amateur champion is vanquished in such fashion by one of his peers.

Sixteen year-old Dylan “Lil Dave” Price—2013 Junior Olympics National Champion and Outstanding Boxer at the Junior Olympics Tournament—looked like a seasoned professional world champion in winning his 112 lbs. amateur bout against Andrew Literal of Huntingdon, West Virginia. Price, the son of promoter/matchmaker Dave Price, stood right in front of Literal, slipping, countering and landing combinations to the head and body resembling a mini-version of Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker. Literal had no chance as Price picked him apart dismantling the young boxer right in front of our eyes. This is the cruelty of featuring amateur fighters on a professional card. I walk the tightrope of accurate reporting while being mindful of the potential of disparaging or damaging the tender psychic of a young boxer. But, it’s not my fault that Price is so much better than the competition. I merely report what I witnessed.

Philadelphian Christian “The Ice Man” Carto—2014 National Golden Gloves Champion at 108 lbs.—found himself on the canvas after a five punch combination compliments of Jordan White of Waldorf, Maryland in the opening round. The combination, capped off by a right hand, found their mark and Carto went down on his back. Fortunately it was right before the end of the opening round and Carto got up, took the eight-count and made it back to his corner. Carto has tremendous recuperative powers, heart and mental toughness.

Finding his inner Bernard Hopkins, Carto turned the tide by blanketing White roughing him up as the referee failed miserably to warn either boxer. It was evident White was out of his element and needed distance to unload his combinations and wasn’t too savvy regarding the rough and tumble lessons taught at the fictitious B-Hop Academy of permissible dirty fighting. Carto captured the second round and the action flowed over in similar fashion to the final stanza of this amateur contest. It was evident that Carto was breaking White’s spirit making it difficult for him to gain separation and box from a distance.

White (L.) using the jab.

White (L.) using the jab.

In the final round, one of the laces on White’s boxing shoes became undone. The referee should have called time-out allowing White to have his laces tied by his corner. This never occurred and for some inexplicable reason White stopped fighting, turned his back and walked over to his corner placing his foot on the second strand of the ropes. While White was motioning to his corner to tie his laces, Carto seized the moment and landed a combination.

The referee intervened and separated the boxers and indicated for them to resume the contest. Again White turned to his corner placing his foot in the same position. And, the referee called a halt to the contest disqualifying White and awarding Carto the victory. White’s corner tried to launch a protest but it fell on deaf ears. Despite the ineptitude of the referee in not recognizing the untied shoelace, the young fighter’s action in twice turning his back justified the disqualification.

Legendary Philadelphia trainer Fred Jenkins produces an abundance of boxers from his home base—ABC Recreation Center in North Philadelphia. His 19 year-old amateur heavyweight prodigy Khalil Miller reminded everyone that boxing is an art as he performed like a gloved-Picasso boxing from a distance in the opening round to soften up his opponent—hard hitting power puncher Tom Hogan of Toms Rivers, New Jersey. Miller used his jab and lateral movement as the twenty-something Hogan launched bombs laced with Nyquil. But, Miller’s defensive was impregnable. In the second round Hogan’s nose was bleeding profusely as Miller started landing at will with uppercuts and rights. The young fighter scored an eight-count in the second stanza and again in the final round winning easily by decision.

The iconoclast Blair Cobbs (3 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) of Philadelphia—a dead ringer for the late Huey P. Newton, Co-founder of The Black Panther Party—entered the ring plucked from a 70’s time machine, his hair a bouncing 12-inch afro. Cobbs is an eccentric soul in the Philadelphia boxing community who marches to the beat of his own drum. The southpaw bounced around the ring for four rounds like he was amped up on a quart of espresso hitting Julia Sanchez (1 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) with every conceivable punch from his arsenal enjoying his time under the ring lights. Cobbs talked to his corner throughout the match while shoulder-rolling and bolo punching Sanchez as thought he was a petulant child disturbing his crowning moment. I am somewhat flabbergasted that all three judges scored a round for Sanchez who was outclassed, out-punched and out of his league. Nevertheless, Cobb won a unanimous decision 39-37 on all scorecards.

Cobbs (L.) launching a big left uppercut.

Cobbs (L.) launching a big left uppercut.

In a four round junior-lightweight bout James Shuler Memorial Gym’s Antonio “The Tiger” Dubose (6 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) pitched a shut-out winning a unanimous decision 40-36 on all scorecards over Arturo Santiago (7 wins – 9 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) of Lajas, Puerto Rico.

The bout was fought at closed quarters with Dubose hurting Santiago in the third round with a well-placed right uppercut to the solar plexus. Dubose constant body attack took a toll on Santiago who fought throwing hooks with bad intentions. It was an impressive display by Dubose who fights with the patience and persistence of a more experienced fighter.
Other Amateur Results Ninety-five pounder Sharif Owen of Yeadon, Pennsylvania defeated Vito Melnicki, of Roseland, New Jersey by decision. The taller Owen kept his jab at his hip like a smaller version of Thomas “Hitman” Hearns using it as his primary weapon. Twenty year-old southpaw Michael Rauchut, of Philadelphia was victorious by decision over 18 year-old Justin Bell, of District, Maryland in a bout contested at 170 pounds. Devin Haney, of Oakland, California won by decision over Nick Chandler, of Gloucester, New Jersey in their 132 lbs. bout. Philadelphia’s Joseph Adorno dropped Zack Bartram in the second round winning by decision in their bout contested at 130 lbs.

(L-R) Eye and Hanson.

(L-R) Joey Eye and Hanson.

You are at this point in the article after reading my account of another terrific night of boxing or you scrolled here wanting to learn the rationale for cutman Joey Eye’s banishment from working the corners. Upon further investigation, I was told that “Biggie Small”—Greg Sirb, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission banned Eye from performing his magic on cuts for appearing in a recent Showtime special on bare-knuckle fighting.

I cannot confirm the veracity of this revelation. In other words, I can only let you know that three individuals told me the same story.

If Eye can be barred for appearing in a television special let me the first to clamor for actor Sir Anthony Hopkins to be prosecuted and convicted of first-degree murder for his role as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter.

Fightkingsgloves-1Sirb should note “the limits of tyrants are prescribed by the patience of those whom they oppress.” Joey Eye “nuh fraid ah nobody!”

Free Joey Eye!

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

[email protected]

 

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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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One Response to “Nuh Fraid Ah Nobody!—Webster Sacks Sai! Free Joey Eye!”

  1. Ken Hissner says:

    That’s as good a read as I can say I have seen in a longgggggggggggg time. I would right in line to support Joey Eye at a hearing.
    I haven’t seen a good fighter from Ghana since Azuma Nelson. He beat 13 guys who never won a fight for a start. I did a story on Webster and he told me hw was 38-2 in the amateurs only losing to Jesse Hart twice. I saw one of them. Tony Dubose is a nice kid with a nice future. Owens beating Melnicki? I’ve seen Vito fight so Owens must be good. If Ron Horn was the ref in the DQ I can understand. Bozy’s son is well heck of a talent. Carto has a nice future, too. I only hope upon turning pro both sign with the right people. These two and others should be compensated for “traveling and training expenses” like Hand claims he’s had done for others in the past. I’m sure the amateurs filled their share of the fans.
    See you tonight!