Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Sep 22, 2014
Tuesday Night Fights!—Pizarro, Price, Carto and the Sparrow

Tuesday Night Fights!—Pizarro, Price, Carto and the Sparrow

The Mouthpiece
Tuesday Night Fights!—Pizarro, Price, Carto and the Sparrow
By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Venue: 2300 Arena—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Promoters: Joe Hand Promotions
Ring Announcer: Nino Del Buono
Referees: David Franciosi, George Hill & Ron Horne
Matchmakers: Renée “The Boxing Diva” Aiken & Dave Price
National Anthem: Dominique Ryan
Ringcard Ladies: Sumo Steaks (

Sparrow (L.) landing the jab

Sparrow (L.) landing the jab on Wasswau

On a recent boxing broadcast a famous sportscaster—who will remain nameless— appeared to have been inebriated as he jargogled the Capital of Boxing—mentioning Oxnard, California instead of our beloved Philadelphia. There are no reports of Jim Gray being a teetotaler. Thus, it is plausible that his faux pas could have been caused by a midday rendezvous with Jack Daniels and J. Wray and his nephew or was simply an attempt to raise the ire of Philadelphians. Nevertheless on a lovely afternoon with the temperature reaching 72 degrees, the boxing faithful gathered at the newly renovated 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia for the second show in the Joe Hand Promotions’ Tuesday Night Fights series. And the great Harold Lederman was ringside to revel in the action of the professional/amateur card because the City of Brotherly Love is the Capital of Boxing! Unlike Philadelphia, people congregate in Oxnard to pick strawberries not to watch the sweet science. Allow me to cease flogging a dead horse and chronicle the combat.

A sparrow is seed-eating, dust bathing sociable bird posing no threat to humans. I guess someone forgot to tell Philadelphia junior-lightweight Avery “A Plus” Sparrow (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) who entered the squared circle with an air of deadly defiance for the scheduled four-rounder—ready to destroy and devastate the awaiting diminutive Hassan Wasswau (5 wins – 15 losses – 3 draws – 2 kos) of Uganda now residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Ugandan birthdate is listed as December 31, 1979. I couldn’t resist the temptation and leaned over and told matchmaker Renée Aiken— seated next to me in press row— that the year was incorrect and had to be 1879! Wassau appeared to be much older than 34 years of age and probably was in training camp with Jack Johnson back in 1910 in preparation for his epic bout against James J. Jeffries.

Tonight Sparrow was a gloved hawk and swooped down on his small retreating prey blasting him early with straight rights. Wassau appeared unfazed and tried to keep his composure as the round progressed. But, you knew it was only a matter of time as the Fat Lady cleared her throat at the back of the arena. Towards the end of the round, Sparrow shot a straight right that landed squarely on Wassau’s chin sending him backwards to the canvas his head hitting the canvas echoing throughout the building. Referee Franciosi had no reason to begin counting as the fallen fighter was unconscious with no signs of movement. The fight was over at 2:22 of the opening stanza as Greg Sirb, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, pushed everyone aside clearing the way for the medical staff to enter the ring and revive Wassau.

Franciosi attemting to revive Wasswau

Referee Franciosi watching over Wasswau

It took almost five minutes but Wassau was able to raise his head and was taken out on a stretcher hospital bound for observation. Having lost his last seven fights, one can only hope that retirement is imminent.

In the opening professional bout of the night featuring debuting fighters, Philadelphia’s Jerome Conquest faced Sidney McCow of Sint Maarten now residing in New York. The 28 year-old southpaw Conquest pressed the action and was the busier fighter in this scheduled four-rounder. McCow who is a dead ringer for Oscar winner Sidney Poiter waited until the final round to pick up the pace. But it was a little too late as Conquest won a unanimous four-round decision by scores of 40-36 and 38-37 twice.

Mark Dawson the 2013 Junior Olympics and Silver Gloves National Champion won all three rounds and was awarded the decision in the 141 lbs. bout against Douglas Northern of the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia. The southpaw Dawson representing the D-Boys Boxing fights in the traditional point scoring amateur style while Northern threw harder puncher but less frequently. It was an entertaining bout with their respective fans being boisterous throughout the match.

Pizarro (R.) unloading on Elliot.

Pizarro (R.) unloading on Elliot

I remember fourteen year-old Philadelphia amateur featherweight Branden Pizarro when he was knee-high to a grasshopper trailing his father Angel at the amateur and professional shows. Now he stands 5 feet 8 inches—towering over opponents—and is a ninth grade honor roll student at Franklin Towne Charter High School. Angel Pizarro has raised an admirable young gentleman and a remarkable pugilist. Yes, Branden Pizarro is not only exceptional in the classroom but also in the squared circle. And tonight he dominated the action keeping fifteen year-old Kashad Elliott of Plainfield, New Jersey at the end of his jab repeatedly blasting him with combinations. Pizarro controlled the pace working the head and body ripping off combination in rapid succession as thought he had a Gatlin gun in his gloves. He swept every round and was award the decision of the three-round amateur bout.

Five-time Philadelphia Golden Gloves champion Donte Wright made his debut against the supremely awkward Lionel Charles (0 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws) of New York. This four-round junior-middleweight bout was foul-filled as the New Yorker used every conceivable trick in the book while holding, hitting and wrestling from the opening bell to the end. Looking like a gloved praying mantis on a windy day, Charles clutched and punched the entire bout. In the third stanza he scored a takedown by wrestling Wright to the canvas. It was difficult fight to score but Wright landed the cleaner punches. Referee Franciosi had seen enough and gave both combatants a stern warning in the final round. Two judges returned identical scores of 39-37 and third had it 38-38 a draw as Wright won his debut by majority decision.

Jackie McTamney of the Joe Hand Boxing Gym used a stiff jab and straight rights to out box Dianna Cute of Manayunk Boxing Club in their 125 lbs. bout. McTamney was perpetual motion sticking and moving and landing effective punches as Cute was sedulous in her pursuit. McTamney was simply the more polished pugilist and landed the more telling blows. Cute was fearless and applied constant pressure landing and excellent straight right in the third and final round. No surprise that McTamney was awarded the decision.

Carto (L.) mixing it up with Gordon.

Carto (L.) mixing it up with Gordon.

Price (L.) working on the inside.

Price (L.) working on the inside.

Dylan “Lil Dave” Price—2013 Junior Olympics National Champion and Outstanding Boxer at the Junior Olympics Tournament— is a bad man! A rare talent, the sixteen year-old 112 pounder is compact package of speed, power and precision—a small version of Floyd “Money” Mayweather—the greatest pugilist in the galaxy. Price boxing for D-Boys Boxing in Sicklerville, New Jersey has an uncanny ability to control the tempo and land combinations with remarkable accuracy. With over one hundred amateur fights he appears destined to represent the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics. However, his opponent Dallas Holden, two years older, of Atlantic City Pal paid little attention to Price’s long list of accomplishments and came out in the opening round attacking. Price used his jab and lateral movement to take and maintain control of the fight winning the exchanges and hurting Holden to the body in the third and final round. It was a masterful display of the sweet science by the young fighters who is trained by his father who also served as matchmaker for the amateur portion of the show. No surprise when Price was awarded the decision.

Philadelphia amateur Christian “The Ice Man” Carto captured the 108 lbs. National Golden Gloves championship on May 17th in Las Vegas. He defeated a two-time national champion— nine years his senior. Carto fights with an intensity and focus of someone far beyond his years. Tonight his legion of supporters filled the building as he faced another eighteen year-old boxer— Eric Gordon of the Kingsessing Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia. Gordon— a 2013 Lucien Blackwell Tournament champion— just recently won the Paul Murphy Title Belt championship in Doraville, Georgia.

Because Carto can no longer make the 108 pound weight class and Gordon who has problems finding opponents below that weight limit, their respective trainers agreed on a catch weight of 110 lbs. The shorter more compact Gordon attacked at the opening bell but was stymied by Carto who established his jab and kept his adversary at bay. Unable to gain a competitive advantage fighting at a distance, Gordon made it an ugly fight in close as they often tangled and had to be separated by referee Ron Horne. Carto used his experience and ring savvy to land combinations and a hard hook in the final round. Gordon lost a point for excessive holding. It wouldn’t have made a difference because Carto won every round in this competitive fight and was awarded the decision.

Fightkingsgloves (1)In Philadelphia we grow fighters and import strawberries not vice versa like the other city mentioned by Jim Gray.

See you ringside on Tuesday, November 25th for another Tuesday Night Fights. Philadelphia is the Capital of Boxing! And keep your eyes on the Sparrow.

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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One Response to “Tuesday Night Fights!—Pizarro, Price, Carto and the Sparrow”

  1. Ken Hissner says:

    Sounds like the amateurs were better than the pro’s. Is this the first time in the history of Philadelphia a show had only 3 professional fights? Doesn’t sound much like “capital of boxing does it?” I can’t conceive people will come out for pro-am shows in Philly let alone with 3 4 rounders. Also sounds like “highlight of the night” was you with Harold Lederman. Let’s hope Christian Carto and Lil Dave Price get to the pro’s. It won’t be soon enough for me.