Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Oct 10, 2011
Slam, Bam, Thank You Brittany! — Robinson Dominates Guzman

Slam, Bam, Thank You Brittany! — Robinson Dominates Guzman

Slam, Bam, Thank You Brittany! — Robinson Dominates Guzman – By The Mouthpiece – George Hanson, Jr

Date:                            Friday, September 30, 2011
Venue:                         The National Guard Armory, Philadelphia, PA
Promoters:                   Brittany Rogers – Bam Boxing Promotions (www.bamonboxing.com)
Ring Announcer:   Dean Stone
Referees:                      Steve Smoger & Hurley McCall
Matchmaker:               Brittany Rogers
Coverage:                    www.gofightlive.tv
Photos:                        www.christoneyphotography.comwww.keyartphoto.com

If you are a fan of the sweet science you just have to love Brittany Rogers. Tonight the stunning 22-year-old Rogers, who looks like a Hollywood starlet, made history as the youngest female boxing promoter ever in the United States .When most college seniors are polishing up on their interviewing skills, completing graduate and law school applications, or making sure that they maximize the last few semesters of the college experience, the Temple University senior took on the daunting task of promoting professional boxing.  She is no ordinary college senior and has little time for the shenanigans that are commonplace as a rite of passage into adulthood. I spent my senior year at Drexel University, taking creative writing courses and making sure that I enjoyed the last year of irresponsibility and freedom. Thus, I held “court” every day at the Creese Student Center for anyone who would listen to me “fumigate my wisdom” on various topics.

Rogers at ringside

Rogers’ road that would inevitably lead to tonight’s eight-bout card began a few years ago as an intern at The Legendary Blue Horizon working under the guidance of The First Lady of Boxing – Promoter Vernoca Michael. She did not miss a beat after the world-famous venue was shuttered in June of last year. Rogers secured an internship with Uncle Russell—legendary promoter J. Russell Peltz—who was similarly situated as a Temple senior when he made his foray into professional boxing as a promoter in 1969. Let me reach back into my bag of clichés, Rogers father who got her interested in boxing by taking her to many professional bouts as a youngster “lit the fuse, tonight was the explosion.”

It was April 18, 2008, the last time “The New” Ray Robinson (11 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) fought in his hometown of Philadelphia. I was at ringside when the then undefeated fighter boxed circles around trial-horse Jason Jordan, pitching a shut-out and winning a unanimous four-round decision. After three years on the road and decision losses against highly-touted prospect Brad Solomon and Shawn Porter, I knew that his opponent Manuel Guzman (7 wins – 12 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) was in trouble. In the dressing room, decked out in his immaculately tailored blue pinstriped suit and matching tie the tall southpaw welterweight looked more like an investment banker fresh off a new deal than a pugilist preparing for battle. We spoke about him honing his skills while sparring with WBC light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins for his October 15th title defense against Chad Dawson. Robinson has been fine-tuning all areas of his technique while simulating Dawson’s style against the ageless wonder—Hopkins. He also mentioned his wedding last year in Trelawney, Jamaica further adding texture to our pre-fight interview. There is always calmness before the storm and Robinson’s demeanor was a precursor of the punishment he was going to unleash on Guzman.

Robinson answered the opening bell of his scheduled eight-round main event by connecting with a long, stiff right jab thrown like a jack-hammer from the southpaw stance. The shorter Guzman ate it and kept coming forward oblivious to his fate. Maybe it would have been more competitive if a heavy-bag was brought into the center of the ring to allow Robinson to commence a demonstration of his pugilistic technique. The southpaw landed every single punch (hooks, jabs, uppercuts) from his repertoire, changing the speed and angles tattooing his iron-chinned adversary. I don’t recall Guzman landing a single punch as he was outgunned, out-boxed and beaten like a piñata at a children’s birthday party. You could have scored the opening round 10-8 and nobody would have argued.

Robinson (L.) connecting on Guzman.

Round after round the taller and quicker Robinson peppered Guzman with shots swelling his face. Somehow, the shorter fighter would absorb the blows, shake his head and beckon for Robinson to “Come on,” an ill-advised show of machismo as his wishes were met with further bombardment. By the fourth round I had seen enough and was begging for Guzman’s corner or Referee Smoger to show some compassion and protect Guzman from himself—he wasn’t going to quit and Robinson looked like a Gatlin gun hitting bottles from across the ring. By the beginning of the  seventh round, Guzman’s face was a swollen pulp and to the relief of everyone Smoger called a halt at the 20-second mark after Robinson pinned the smaller beaten fighter against the ropes and unleashed what appeared to be a ten-punch combination. The victor was so good tonight that he could have sold a flashlight to a blind man!

Philadelphia super-middleweight Charles “The Cobra” Hayward (7 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) should have called 9-1-1 to report a crime because he was robbed in a six-rounder against George “The Rooster” Armenta (13 wins – 7 losses – 0 draws – 11 kos) of Silver Springs, Maryland. Maybe me and my press row cohorts Kurt Wolfheimer, Jack Obermayer and the hardest working boxing scribe—“the ever-involved in controversy” Ken Hissner need Lasik surgery because we all scored the fight 58-56 for Hayward whom we thought won four rounds. Only one judge had it for Hayward, scoring it 58-56, but was overruled by the other two who had it 58-56 for Armenta.

Armenta, a dead ringer for former welterweight champion Carlos Palomino, was first to enter the squared circle to George Thorogood and The Destroyer’s critically acclaimed 1982 hit single Bad To The Bone. Decked out in a poncho, white trunks bearing the Mexican flag on his right leg and the most colorful boxing shoes gracing his feet, Armenta told me earlier that he knew nothing about his opponent and was as calm as Fidel Castro awaiting election results in Cuba. He lingered patiently for Hayward, decked out in his traditional black, with his entourage in tow to enter the ring and Referee Smoger to give the instructions.

Hayward (R.) connecting with the jab.

The gong sounded and Armenta, hands held high, marched forward as the taller Hayward kept his distance using his jab as a range finder. The opening round was inconsequential with neither man landing anything of significance. Hayward pecked away as the Rooster came forward trying to land to the body and head. Not many punches landed, however, Armenta’s style seemed to befuddle Hayward who wasn’t able to time the fighter who moved from side to side like he was dodging raindrops. I gave the round to Armenta based on his aggression and attempt to get inside. The second round was similar and it was not until the third stanza that Hayward started to find his range landing a few good hooks to his opponent’s ribcage aggressively trying to chop him down with the overhand right. The fight followed a similar pattern for the final three rounds with Hayward scoring with the jab and body shots clinching whenever Armenta got too close. Armenta whacked away at Hayward’s ribcage with his free hand during clinches. We all had Hayward controlling the final four rounds and winning a unanimous decision. Much to our surprise—this was not the case. Maybe Armenta was awarded two points for his sartorial splendor since his ensemble was spectacular—you have to love a rooster in a poncho!

With manager Stephen “Breadman” Edwards in his corner, Philadelphia junior-middleweight prospect Julian “J-Rock” Williams (7 wins – 0 losses – 1 draw – 4 kos) abandoned his first round strategy of boxing from a distance behind his jab and returned to his Philadelphia roots by standing toe-to-toe with the more compact Eberton Medina (5 wins – 6 losses – 1 draw – 1 ko) of Newark, New Jersey for the remaining five rounds of their scheduled six-rounder.  Williams made his professional debut on May 7, 2010 at The Arena in South Philadelphia and has been fighting on the road seven fights straight. I am sure he wanted to impress the hometown fans as he boxed brilliantly in the opening stanza working behind his jab and going downstairs to Medina’s body. Maybe valor got the best of him as he changed strategy and stood in front of his opponent working feverishly as they both bounced shots off each other’s torsos. Williams was winning the exchanges, however he was getting hit with shots that missed their mark in the opening round as Medina did not have to go anywhere to find him.  By the fourth round, Williams had a small laceration over his left eye as he continued to wage war at close quarters. Medina stayed closed trying to match his opponent’s punch output. With the fifth round coming to a close, Williams rocked Medina with a sizzling right hand that buckled his legs. Wisely, Medina grabbed him like a drowning man finding driftwood and waited until the bell ended the round. The final round was fought in similar fashion at close quarters with both fighters breathing on each other. Again, Williams was able to hurt Medina who survived to the end. No surprise when Williams was awarded a unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.

Williams (R.) mixing it up with Medina.

In one of the most entertaining bouts of the night, winless David Navarro (0 wins – 4 losses – 0 draws) of Philadelphia bested Chris Plebani (1 win – 2 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) of Bristol, Pennsylvania in the rematch of their July 1st bout—Plebani’s only win. It is said that familiarity breeds contempt and tonight the adage could not have resonated more clearly than in this bout. Navarro was contemptuous of Plebani showing little or no respect as he boxed circles around him, bloodying his nose and showboating. Navarro was in the zone as he jabbed, changed direction, dropped his hands oftentimes looking in one direction while throwing punches—boxing’s equivalent of the look-away pass that is commonplace in professional basketball. Having watched Navarro on previous occasions he did not seem like the same fighter. By the third round Plebani’s nose was running blood like a leaky faucet as he splattered the ring-side tables and press row bobbed and weaved to avoid the carmine raindrops. Having had three shirts ruined with blood splatters at The Legendary Blue Horizon, I wisely pulled my chair back from the ringside table ready to evade any incoming blood drops.  When it was over, all three judges scored it 39-37 for Navarro.

OTHER RESULTS:

State College, Pennsylvania’s welterweight Grayson Blake (3 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) pitched a virtual shutout, boxing from his southpaw stance, using his speed, timing and lateral movement in dominating undefeated Decarlo Perez (5 wins – 0 losses –1 draw– 2 kos) of Atlantic City, New Jersey capturing a unanimous decision 60-54 twice and 59-55 on the scorecards. Blake was just a little too polished for Perez who seemed one step behind and couldn’t find an answer for the southpaw’s jab and combinations.

Philadelphia welterweight Troy “Chase Checkmate” Corbin (5 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) who now resides in Las Vegas and is trained by Jeff Mayweather, who didn’t make the trip, made short work of debuting Mario Blanco from parts unknown.  Corbin came out of his corner for the scheduled four-rounder and landed two right hooks that put the southpaw Blanco on the canvas. Referee Smoger counted to 10 and the fight was over at 28 seconds of the opening stanza. The diminutive Blanco should have been in the ring with Corbin as much as I belong in the cockpit of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

Junior-welterweight Korey Sloane (1 win – 1 loss – 0 draws – 0 kos) of Philadelphia lost a unanimous four-round decision by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice to the unorthodox wild-swinging debuting Korey Pritchett of Camden, New Jersey.  All of us in press-row scored it a draw. The taller Sloane took the first two rounds by controlling the action with his jab, combinations and perpetual motion. Pritchett rocked him with a few haymakers in the last two rounds. However, Sloane never allowed him to dominate by answering back with jabs and right hands.

In their professional debuts, Philadelphia light-heavyweight Todd “2 Gunz” Unthankmay lost the opening round, but made the adjustment and captured the remaining three rounds en-route to a unanimous four-round decision, 39-36 on all three scorecards over Ronnie Lawrence of Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Unthankmay’s right hand was the deciding factor as it found pay dirt in the third stanza sending Lawrence to the canvas before the bell.

With her mentor, Uncle Russell—promoter J. Russell Peltz perched at ringside, Brittany Rogers managed her first professional boxing show with the calmness, professionalism and grace of someone well beyond her years as though she had been born a promoter of the sweet science. It was an exciting night of boxing as many notables from the boxing community witnessed the historic event.  Enjoying the action were James Ali Bashir, Percy “Buster” Custus , Aaron Ford, Tony Keys, Doc Nowicki, Sharron Baker, Joey Eye, Billy Briscoe, Julie Briscoe, Robert “Bam Bam” Hines, Jerome “Silky” Jackson, Anthony Boyle, Jamal “Tyson” Davis, “Fast” Eddie Chambers, Steve “Showtime” Chambers, Robert Murray Jr.,  Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson and Simon “One Punch” Carr.

After a six-week hiatus from the sweet science, it was good to be back at ringside enjoying some good ole Philly boxing. Wham, bam—thank you Brittany!!

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

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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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