Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Feb 24, 2012
The Picture of Dorin Spivey—Aged Warrior Stops Vasquez

The Picture of Dorin Spivey—Aged Warrior Stops Vasquez

The Mouthpiece

The Picture of Dorin Spivey—Aged Warrior Stops Vasquez
By: George H. Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Venue: Tropicana Casino & Resort – Atlantic City, New Jersey
Promoters: Dee Lee Promotions LLC—My Daddy’s Dream
Referees: Allan Huggins, Lindsey Page & Steve Smoger
Photos: &

I grew up on the island of Jamaica with my grandparents. My grandfather was born in 1899 and my grandmother in 1910. I don’t know if my childhood could have been any more fantastic having been raised by two of the greatest people to have ever walked the face of the earth. I had an early fascination with history and the supernatural largely due to the stories my grandmother told. Listening to her, I firmly believe that there are things that are totally unexplainable that you would not want to walk on a dark night on a lonely country rode. Needless to say, I am a history buff who reads a couple hours every day and is oftentimes glued to the Turner Classic Movie channel into the wee hours of the morning. One of my favorites is The Picture of Dorian Gray featuring a young Angela Lansbury who won the 1946 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Sibyl Lane. The movie is an adaptation of the only published novel of Oscar Wilde, which tells the story of a corrupt young man who sells his soul so that a special portrait of him would age while he remains youthful.

A jubilant Dorin Spivey showing his hops – leaping in the air.

I couldn’t help reflecting on that movie as I watched the 10-round main event for the vacant NABA lightweight title. Philadelphia’s favorite son and the biggest box office draw in the City—the fearless and furious Victor Vasquez (14 wins – 5 losses – 1draw – 7 kos) was simply divine as he took the opening round over 38-year-old Dorin “Dangerous” Spivey (40 wins – 6 losses – 0 draws – 29 kos) of Virginia Beach, Virginia. With trainer Billy “The Old Master” Briscoe in his corner and daughter and Julie Ann Briscoe shouting instructions from behind press row, Vasquez boxed brilliantly from his high guard stance landed two sizzling rights. You just got the feeling that Spivey’s legs weren’t going to carry him the ten-round distance as Vasquez’s punches let some air out his tires. I didn’t see Panama Lewis or any little black bottle in Spivey’s corner but needless to say, the opening round was an anomaly as the Virginia warhorse found the fountain of youth creating a youthful Picture of Dorin Spivey. Right in front of our eyes Spivey’s legs found their spring, his hand speed miraculously returned and he took charge in the second round outpunching and pressing his opponent.

Surprisingly, Spivey was able to switch gears and match Vasquez’s intensity as he took the second round. Midway through the third stanza Vasquez started blinking and it was safe to assume that he had been thumbed or a clash of heads caused what appeared to be a cut over his left eye. They continued to trade for the next couple rounds with Spivey getting the better of the exchanges, incessantly punching while Vasquez landed a few big bombs. Spivey took the fifth and six rounds by applying constant pressure and outpunching Vasquez who despite absorbing the barrage battled back with a big left hook that let everyone in the building know that he was still dangerous and was ready and willing to leave everything he had in the ring. Like Dorian Gray, Dorin Spivey was as youthful as the day he decided to fight for money 19 years aback. The cut over Vasquez’s left eye was now part of the equation as he unremittingly wiped the carmine trickle away in order to get a clear picture of Spivey.

Spivey (R.) looking youthful, landing the right.

Early in the seventh round, Spivey pinned Vasquez to the ropes and let loose like a Russian firing squad. Without warning or an eight-count, Referee Page to the dismay of many fans rushed in and waived off the action. One fan ran to ringside and admonished the referee with a few choice words from the Richard Pryor Unabridged Dictionary. The stoppage was somewhat premature since Vasquez has an iron chin and didn’t appear to be in dire straits. Nevertheless, Spivey was in control and won by technical knockout at 25 seconds of the round. The Picture of Dorin Spivey!

Dorin Spivey wasn’t the only pugilist to cheat Father Time. Heavyweight contender Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon (29 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 21 kos) of Philadelphia pryed back the hands of time clocking last minute substitute David “Big David” Saulsberry (7 wins – 4 losses – 0 draws – 7 kos) of Greenville, Kentucky with a devastating right at 32 seconds of Round Two toppling him face first to the canvas unable to beat Referee Huggins’ ten count of their scheduled eight-rounder.

Saulsberry, sporting and ample paunch at 295 pounds, entered the ring to Super Bad, the 1970 hit by James Brown, The Godfather of Soul. And for the first round he lived up to the lyrics of the song landing the jab, wading in, his actions stating:

I got it
Watch me I got it
I got somethin’ that makes me wanna shout
I got somethin’ that tells me what it’s all about
Huh, I got soul and I’m super bad!

The big man from Kentucky seemed to have Witherspoon befuddled as the Philadelphian kept his distance trying to get a reading on his adversary. Saulsberry was relaxed and having to replace Evan Quinn had no apparent effect on his pugilistic prowess as he threw caution to the wind aggressively pursuing Witherspoon having press row wondering if an upset was in the making. He captured the opening round and picked up where he left off in the second round. However, the sea is always tranquil before a storm and this was the case tonight. Saulsberry, adrenaline pumping from his early success incited him to continue attacking with reckless abandon. He launched a right hand and Witherspoon must have been waiting because he saw it and fired a similar missile. Thus, it was a race to their respective targets and Witherspoon was confident that his speed would be the difference. The rest is history as Witherspoon’s right hand exploded on Saulsberry’s chin, the centrifugal force pulling him to the canvas his right hand falling short and limping as he splattered on the canvas as the crowd erupted in astonishment. The fight was over at 42 seconds of the round.

Witherspoon (R.) watching Saulsberry crash land (

“I have been boxing since I was 10-years old, my mom got me involved in the sport because I had anger issues and fought a lot in school” stated super-bantamweight Nydia “Da Phenominal” Feliciano (3 wins – 2 losses – 3 draws – 0 kos) with a wide smile on a baby smooth face that looks ten years younger than the twenty-three years that is recorded on her boxing license. The tall and slender fighter was confident, jovial and insightful during our interview in her dressing room. She had no doubts about her abilities and made sure that I knew that her favorite fighter was three-division world champion and Puerto Rico’s favorite son—Felix “Tito’ Trinidad. She promised that I was going to see a good fight with Ela “Bam Bam” Nunez (11 wins – 11 losses – 2 draws – 3 kos) of Ponce, Puerto Rico in their scheduled four-rounder.

Feliciano (R.) bringing the action to Nunez.

Decked out in her Puerto Rican flag trunks—strips of clothes circling tights—reminiscent of Hector “Macho” Camacho, Feliciano attacked at the opening bell taking the fight to the more compact and experienced Nunez—ten years her senior. I sat at ringside mesmerized as the slender and smaller fighter laid out the rules of engagement firing punches non-stop fighting like a bantam rooster amped up on espresso beans. There was no doubt that she spent countless hours watching her idol, Felix Trinidad whose sheer intensity would cause opponents to wilt under his constant pressure.

Round after round Feliciano brought the heat going downstairs landing shots to Nunez’s midsection and kidneys. To her credit, Nunez stood her ground and fought back. However, the younger Feliciano was in a zone and never slowed down fighting with the same level of passion and precision throughout the match. No surprise when Feliciano’s hand was raised after twelve minutes of non-stop action, 39-37 on all three scorecards. She fulfilled her promise of a good fight.

Once bitten, twice shy is an age-old adage that couldn’t have been more appropriate as is the case of heavyweight Jon “Dark Knight” Bolden (2 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) of Brooklyn, New York. I was ringside on April 2, 2010 at The Legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia when in his second professional bout Bolden squared off against hometown heavyweight Bryant “By By” Jennings. Rarely do I ever exaggerate but Jennings hit Bolden in the third round with a violent uppercut that launched him into the stratosphere—airborne—a human satellite orbiting the earth. The arena held its collective breath as Bolden crash landed on the canvas unconscious forcing the referee to negate counting and immediately rush over to remove his mouthpiece. Since that momentous occasion Bolden has fought tentatively, second-guessing, unwilling to take any chances anticipating a similar occurrence. Thus, he danced on his toes, jabbing and circling Dorsett “Bullet” Barnwell (5 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) of Norfolk, Virginia for the entirety of their scheduled four rounder.

Bolden kept his distance landing with the jab and occasional right while Barnwell gestured for him to stand stationary and fight. Barnell had no answer and swung wildly in an attempt to land that one big punch that would bring closure to their fistic fiasco. I thought Bolden had captured three of the four rounds and was surprised that Barnell, who must have been awarded points for facial expression and bad intentions, was given a post-Christmas gift via a 39-37 decision on all three scorecards.

The extraordinary Kelly Clarkson sang “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Last summer Philadelphia lightweight prospect Keenan “Killa” Smith lost his brother, Marquise, tragically. There were several poignant moments during our pre-fight interview as I connected with the pain that is right below the surface of a public veneer that allows him and most of us to go through the daily grind of living without a loved one whose time was cut short. But, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger as a perceptive and introspective Smith answered all of my questions and concluded that he was dedicating his fight to Marquise.

Decked out in gray trunks with fur adorning the edges, Smith (4 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) entered the ring for the first time in ten months to face Chris “Champ” Finley (3 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) of Detroit, Michigan—home of my favorite fighter—Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns. Detroit, like Philadelphia, is a hotbed of boxing and a rough, tough gritty blue-collar town. Thus, I assumed that Finley knew plenty about the manly art of the sweet science and came to scrap, hell-bent on separating Smith from his senses. The opening stanza had the southpaw Smith trying to shake off ring rust as Finley marched full speed ahead throwing with bad intentions. It was Finley who landed a big right hand that made Smith know that he was in for a tough fight. Towards the end of the round, Smith with all the ring rust peeled away settled into a groove catching Finley with a stiff straight left.

Smith (L.) landing the straight left.

Smith continued boxing in the next two rounds playing the evasive matador, side stepping, working the body, checking Finley with hooks and finding a home for his straight lefts. However, the man from Detroit wasn’t out of the fight as he had his moments when he momentarily pinned Smith to the ropes. But, it was the southpaw who was ahead going into the final round. Early in the round a clash of heads opened a nasty gash over Smith’s right eye—an adrenaline boost to Finley who now attacked with reckless abandon in an attempt to close the show. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Smith kept his composure, used his legs, lateral movement and boxed brilliantly to the final bell capturing a majority decision 39-37 twice with one judge scoring it 38-38, a draw. I am sure Marquise was smiling, giving his approval from the world beyond. “What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter.”

Philadelphia super-middleweight Dennis “The Assassin” Hasson (11 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) returning from a 16-month lay-off marred with managerial and promotional issues was able to shed the disputes but not the pounds that had him jump two weight classes to face William “Ice Man” Santiago (6 wins – 7 losses – 1 draw – 2 kos) of Trenton, New Jersey in a scheduled six-round cruiserweight bout. It took Hasson several rights and a left hook to force referee Huggins to call a halt to the action of an entertaining bout at 1:17 of the third round. Santiago came out blazing and won the opening round with a few well-placed overhand rights. He was winning the second round when Hasson turned the tide with a booming right. Santiago barely made it to the bell as Hasson fought furiously in the hope of ending the fight. Santiago never recovered from the effects of a right cross that connected with his cranium early in the third round. However, he still launched big overhand rights that fell short as Hasson picked him apart, landing another big right followed by a combination that caused the stoppage.

Hasson (R.) going to Santiago’s body.

The Sandman cometh was supposed to be the derailment of southpaw super-middleweight Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone (8 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) of Norfolk, Virginia. Riding a two-fight win streak, Filippone entered the ring to much fanfare sporting Italian flag trunks paying homage to the rich history of his ancestral homeland. His opponent Harley “The Sandman” Kilfian (9 wins – 8 losses – 0 draws – 8 kos) of Menomonie, Wisconsin standing 6 feet 4 inches strolled into the squared circle sporting a Mohawk haircut with a sinister grin on his face.

It was the perfect match with two contrasting styles in the scheduled six-rounder. The fireworks never materialized as Filippone boxed cautiously from the outside and Kilfian sporadically pressed the action. There wasn’t much to distinguish the two combatants until the final round with Kilfian, sensing he was behind on the scorecards, in hot pursuit of Filippone trying to land a knockout out blow. His last ditch efforts were a little too late as Filippone boxed to the bell and captured a unanimous decision 59-55 and 58-56 twice.

Maybe the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in the case of Atlantic City middleweight Isiah Seldon (5 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos)—son of former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon. It appears that the apple fell firmly under the tree as Seldon turned in his most impressive performance to date. Unlike his previous outings, tonight he fought with an air of humble superiority boxing behind a jab and setting up his punches instead of launching wild bombs from strange angles in hope of landing a crippling blow. He allowed Ken Moody (2 wins – 2 losses – 2 draws – 1 ko) of Virginia Beach, Virginia to force the action all the while setting a trap. Seldon’s plan worked to perfection as Moody walked straight into an overhand right in the second round that put him face first on the canvas unable to beat Referee Huggins’ 10-count. It was over at 1:41 as the elder Seldon made his way into the ring to celebrate with his son.
Seldon (R.) landing a crushing overhand right (

Newark, Delaware’s lightweight Joltin’ Joey Tiberi (6 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 5 kos) seemed like a man who had another appointment or a hot date after his fight. Because, he jumped on Steve Cox (2 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Independence, Missouri at the opening bell of their four-rounder trying to decapitate and send him unconscious into next week. Tiberi threw every punch in the book raining down destruction from every angle as Cox looked like a man on a runaway train wanting to get off but knowing that his best option was to hang in there for dear life.

Seldon (R.) landing a crushing overhand right (

Ignited by his rabid fans that occupied an entire section of the arena, Tiberi attacked like this was his last day on earth and that Christ was a fan of the sweet science. Much credit has to be given to Cox who withstood four rounds of bombardment and was standing at the final bell. Tiberi captured a unanimous decision 40-36 on all scorecards.

It was another outstanding night of boxing with a capacity crowd enjoying the nine-bout card. Before the main event Walter “Bunny” Sigler, crooner from the 1960’s, songwriter and producer, belted out a rendition of the National anthem that literally shook the building and left everyone more patriotic. Rivaling Dorin Spivey’s youthful performance and appearance was promoter Diane Lee Fischer Christiano resplendent in her white evening gown and a feathered earring dangling from her right lobe. Promoting boxing is a precarious venture that adds wrinkles and gray hairs. However, Christiano appears to be drinking from the same fountain of youth as Spivey!

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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