Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Mar 26, 2012
What It All Comes Down To—Ennis Defeats Savage

What It All Comes Down To—Ennis Defeats Savage

The Mouthpiece
By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.
What It All Comes Down To—Ennis Defeats SavageBy: George Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date:                         Saturday, March 17, 2012
Venue:                      Bally’s, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Promoter:                 John Lynch’s Pound For Pound Promotions
Matchmaker:          Nick Tiberi
Ring Announcer:   Henry Hascup
Referees:                   Allan Huggins & David Franciosi
Photos:            & Eugene Sirota

As I made my way onto the Atlantic City Expressway at midnight merging into traffic a heavy blanket of fog still covering the city, I expected to see Count Dracula on his way to seduce the vivacious Mina Harker emerge from the dense smoky haze as I popped my Jagged Little Pill cd into the player for the 63-mile trek back to Philadelphia. I averaged over 90 miles/per hour on the ride down. But, returning home I was content to cruise at the legally permissible limit, as the state troopers would be out waiting for speed demons to fall into their “traps.” Nighttime, speeding and “Driving While Black” is not a wise combination. Rodney King, Rodney King! Thus, Alanis Morrisette would be riding shotgun, blaring through my speakers as she did so many times in the late 90’s as I rolled through Kingston, 2am in the wee hours of most Saturday mornings, the roads empty for the two and half hour drive to visit my grandmother.

Ennis (R.) landing the straight right.

Eventually, Alanis would switch seats with Lenny Kravitz —who would take us down Spur Tree hill ranting about his American Woman until we reached the bottom of the hill at Gutters for the final the six-mile drive heading towards Alligator Pond. Bounty Killer would be next up, grabbing the mike singing how he Can’t Believe Mi Eyes as I drove with the speed and precision that would make Michael Schumacher proud. “Bad man dem Bombo Clath!” Ahh, Jamaica and my fond memories seem so long ago. But, here we were different time, different place but the same routine. Old habits are hard to break as I reflected on the main event as Alanis started the second track, Hand in My Pocket…”what it all comes down to…”

What it all comes down to my friends is that everything is gonna be quite all right.  Philadelphia super-middleweight Farah “The Quiet Storm” Ennis (18 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 12 kos) is the epitome of talent, has a great trainer and a terrific management team. However, he hasn’t quite figured it out yet that he is arguably the most gifted fighter in the division next to the meticulous, purposeful consummate professional—WBA & WBA world champion, Andre “Son of God” Ward. If you can’t wait to eat a honeybun after the weigh-ins, posting a picture of the sugary elixir and your yearning on Facebook then many questions are raised regarding one’s focus and dietary habits. Talent can get you only so far. Floyd Mayweather couldn’t have been more succinct, “hard work and dedication baby…”

Savage (R.) keeping Ennis defensive on the ropes.

Dion Savage (11 wins – 2 loss – 0 draws – 6 kos) of Flint Michigan, now training out of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s gym in Las Vegas entered the ring decked out in a stripe waist-length robe and matching trunks replicating the prison outfit worn by members of a chain gang with “Free Dion” emblazoned on the waistband. In the pre-fight interview Savage revealed that his father, Dion Sr., is serving life in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit. He also reiterated that he knew how to adjust in the squared circle and was going back to Vegas with a win.

Ennis, boxing brilliantly in the opening round working from behind the jab occasionally going downstairs to the body as the relentless Savage pressed the action. What it all came down to in the second round was the Philadelphian laying out the blueprint for the rest of the fight as he retreated to the ropes and decided he had found a home and was comfortable countering with the strands to his back, slipping and sliding demonstrating his defensive prowess much to the behest of his father and trainer—Derek “Bozy” Ennis.

With about ten seconds expired in the third stanza, Ennis blasted the advancing Savage with a left hook followed by a sharp straight right that sent him to the canvas. Savage was hurt but quickly rose before Referee Huggins could toll three. With well over two and half minutes remaining in the round the audience waited with bated breath anticipating closure and an early night of gambling. However, they were disappointed as Ennis surprisingly retreated to the ropes as Savage showed great recuperative powers and pinned him there throwing with bad intentions. Ennis’ corner pleaded with him to back to the center of the ring to no avail.

As a boxer, I enjoy the intricacies and nuances of the sweet science especially when a fighter is in a zone and can anticipate his opponent’s every move in time to let punches whistle a centimeter past his head slipping, rolling and ducking to avoid punishment. Maybe, Ennis had spent the week watching tapes of defensive wizards and masters of the rope—Gypsy Joe Harris, Wilfredo “The Bible of Boxing” Benitez and Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. He fought off the ropes for the majority of the fight dodging, blocking, pulling back and parrying even sticking his tongue out at Savage who was as serious as a fat man at a free buffet.  He came off the ropes in spurts retreating to his “safe haven” like a squirrel that had gathered enough nuts ready for hibernation. Ennis was never able to sustain an attack, unable to fight for three minutes every round. Maybe Savage’s relentless pressure sapped his vitality forcing him to save his legs and conserve energy by using the ropes. True, Ennis was in relative command of the fight but Savage took several rounds by outworking the Philadelphian who just couldn’t stay in the center of the ring for whatever reasons. Savage, who rarely took a backwards step, was dangerous from beginning to the end, willing to trade blows.

What it all came down to was Ennis winning a unanimous decision by scores of 98-92, 97-92 and 96-93 raising many questions about stamina, hard work and dedication. Then again, everything is going to be just fine.

Welterweight Ayi Bruce (21 wins – 5 losses – 0 draws – 13 kos) of Ghana now residing in Albany, New York seemed like a deer in the headlights in the opening round of his scheduled eight-rounder with undefeated southpaw Vitaliy Demyaneko (19 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 12 kos) of Las Vegas by way of Kazakhstan. Befuddled and confused with no answer for the tall southpaw’s pesky right jabs, sweeping hooks and uppercuts thrown from the classic European stance Bruce had absolutely no inkling how to counter Demyaneko who looked like a mini-version of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko.

Demyaneko (L.) blasts Bruce with the straight left.

It was as though Bruce discovered at the opening bell that he was facing a southpaw. The perplexed Ghanaian kept his distance circling right instead of moving to his left outside the southpaw’s lead legs attempting an occasional hook while being peppered with jabs and hooks. This went on for eight rounds making watching paint dry a more pleasing alternative. Harsh, but you know a fight is boring when it is just the backdrop for press row conversations. There were many empty seats in press row as cadres of the faithful were in New York at Madison Square Garden for the Sergio Martinez vs. Jeremy Macklin middleweight bout.

After the second round my cohort— seated to my left Jack “Ironman” Obermayer, Robert “Hats” Brizel , and to my right, Ken “Forever In Controversy” Hissner, Kurt “Wolfman” Wolfheimer and Layla “Amazing” McCarter— five-time world titlist and WBA female lightweight champion—and I had a swell time discussing the sweet science and other topics. Hissner was in rare form launching one-liners as usual at his friend Wolfheimer. It was like being on the set of The Odd Couple watching Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison. McCarter, who made the trip from Vegas with Demyaneko and his handlers, was engaging providing us with her insight on the southpaw.

What it all came down to my friends is that Demyaneko won every round and captured a unanimous decision 80-72 on all three scorecards. Bruce who was impressive on previous occasions and is an excellent boxer appeared like an amnesiac who forgot everything that he had learned about the sweet science.

The last time I saw Bayonne, New Jersey light-heavyweight Bobby Rooney (12 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 7 kos) was here on April 2nd of last year as he was led to the ring by Beetle Juice, his client and friend. The diminutive Beetle, popular for his antics on the Howard Stern Show, was like Spartacus marching onto the battlefield ahead of the pack as he led his manager to the ring in what was to be his last bout. Rooney blew out Adrian Armstrong in two rounds. Earlier, Rooney who turned 40 in February revealed that he wanted to hang his gloves up before he reached that ripe old age and focus on training and managing fighters. I stood nearby as he warmed up his prospect debuting junior-lightweight—Andrew “Sweet Pea” Bentley for the opening bout. The southpaw Bentley, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the great Sugar Ray Leonard, ripped off combinations like Pernell Whitaker from the southpaw stance as Rooney doled out instructions all the while smiling. If you don’t like Bobby Rooney you either don’t like boxing or you just don’t like people.

Bentley (courtesy: Eugene Sirota)

Bentley who entered the ring sporting a pair of dark sunglasses was impressive in winning a four-round unanimous decision by scores of 40-35 twice and 39-36 over Jose Rivera (0 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws) of Ocala Florida. The southpaw showed the poise of a fighter with far more experience while firing a laser–quick jab, working the body and cutting the ring off beautifully. Most importantly, he followed Rooney’s instruction being in sync with his ringside instructions.  What it all comes down to my friends, is that Rooney and Bentley already have it all figured out!

In his second fight back from a 16-month hiatus wrought with a hand injury and managerial disputes undefeated Philly light-heavyweight Dennis “The Assassin” Hasson (12 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) needed just 1:17 of the second round to dispose of tough Eddie Caminero (7 wins – 6 losses – 0 draws – 7 kos) of Lawrence, Massachusetts. With new manager—real estate developer George Beer at ringside, Hasson took charge early working his jab and firing combinations on the shorter fighter who came forward oblivious to the barrage. Caminero, a repair technician who builds robots for a living and is married with four children, told me in the pre-fight interview that he was going to press the action and throw bombs. Press the action he did, however Hasson was poised firing like a Gatlin gun never allowing his adversary to launch anything of consequence. Hasson took the opening round and picked up where he left off in the second stanza.

What it all came down to my friends was that too many punches were finding their mark and the man from Massachusetts wasn’t going to quit or take a backwards step. Thus in a move to “protect the fighter from himself” Referee Huggins rightfully called a halt to the pogrom.

Other Results In a scheduled six-round welterweight bout Samuel “Samito” Santana (4 wins – 5 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) of Carolina, Puerto Rico gave a boxing lesson to Jose “Mangu” Peralta Alejo (7 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 4 kos) of Jersey City, NJ by way of the Dominican Republic. The 5 feet 3 inch Santana took the early rounds blasting the fan-favorite Alejo with combinations. It was clear to most of us in press row that Santana had done enough to garner the decision. However, Alejo was awarded a split decision by scores of 59-55 and 58-56; the third judge mirrored my scorecard of 59-55 for Santana.

Canadian junior middleweight Mikael Zewski (12 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 8 kos) scored a technical knockout at 1:32 of the opening round of a scheduled six-rounder against Joel Vargas (3 wins – 5 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) of Dodge City, Kansas. Vargas didn’t even attempt to throw a punch. The only time he touched Zewski was at the bell when Referee Huggins ordered the obligatory touching of gloves to commence the action. If there were ever a case to withhold a fighter’s purse for non-competitiveness, this was it. The audience would have been better served had a heavy bag been hung in the center of the ring from the rafters and Zewski allowed to punch it for 90 seconds. The bell rang and he teed off on Vargas who was waiting for the referee to stop it so he could get back to the dressing room, get his money and get out of dodge!!

Jersey City, New Jersey heavyweight Patrick “Paddy Boy” Farrell (5 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 3 kos) decked out in Irish green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day won a unanimous decision 40-36 on all three scorecard over tough Kelven Jenkins (0 wins – 0 losses – 2 draws) of Troy, New York in an entertaining battle in which Jenkins had his moments and won at least one round. Whenever you thought Farrell was going to take full command, Jenkins showed his intestinal fortitude and roared back with big left hooks or overhand rights.

I made it home at 1:30 am passing two speedsters on the shoulder of the highway caught by the gestapo—the fine men and women of the New Jersey State Patrol. It was time to sit back and watch the replay of the Martinez vs. Macklin fight and spill my thoughts onto the computer. As usual, my article was completed on the ride home. It was just a matter of downloading it from my mental hard drive into Microsoft Word.

It was another sensational night of boxing as the capacity crowed reveled in the action. This was the second time in as many months that Lorenzo Langford— the Mayor of Atlantic City—was introduced at the fights. It seems that the Mayor is a fan of the sweet science. No surprise that there is already a statue of former lightweight champion Leavander Johnson in his hometown and none of Smokin’ Joe Frazier in the City of Brotherly Love. There have been more recent sightings of Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster than of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter at a boxing event. I guess what it all comes down to my friends……

Please call Mayor Nutter at (215) 686-3000 and let him know that the City of Philadelphia should erect a statue of Smokin’Joe Frazier. Tell him that Hanson told you to call.

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

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Music Lovers: Control + Click:

Hand In My Pocket –

American Woman –

Can’t Believe Mi Eyes –


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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