By Michael Woods
I've been to many a Broadway Boxing event and like any club show, they can be that proverbial mixed bag.
You see prospects and contenders and hopers doing their thing…
And sometimes you get a damned fine tussle. I saw one last night, at BB Kings in Manhattan, when Pole Michal Chudecki out worked Louis Cruz of the Bronx in a junior welterweight clash, being the busier, more aggressive worker and getting the nod on the Lou Dibella show.
As esteemed fight writer Thomas Hauser, best friend to boxing Harold Lederman, Showtime producer Gordon Hall, HBO's Thomas Odefelt and Barclays Center Anthony Catanzaro looked on, Chudecki came forward, imposed his will on a Cruz who scored with nifty counters at times but was saved by the bell in the final round, trapped on the ropes and absorbing hellfire.
Another highlight: Rhode Islander Shelly Vincent called out Heather Hardy of Brooklyn after the RI gal handled Renata Damsdel of Hungary. Hardy accepted the challenge which promoter Dibella deserves to be on a solid TV platform. The two exchange thoughts above in Ed Diller photo, as Steve Farhood mediates.
Also, Texan Jerry Belmontes goes home happy, with the judges rewarding the work of the 22-8 junior welter, against Ukrainian Val Golovko, now 21-1. This was an upset and after, Belmontes told me he appreciates the yeoman work of the judges, who did not hold his loss accumulation against him.
Here is the release put out by Dibella PR guy Sean Sullivan, the former Boxing Digest editor:
New York, NY (1/27/16) – On Wednesday night, DiBella Entertainment staged another installment of its popular Broadway Boxing series at New York City's famed B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in midtown Manhattan in front of a passionate and lively crowd.
The 24-year-old Puerto Rican New Haven, CT, resident and featherweight contender Luis Rosa, 125½, challenged Mexican veteran German Meraz, 124¾, in a scheduled eight-round bout. Switching between his natural orthodox stance and southpaw throughout the opening frame, Rosa began digging left hooks to the body. He continued to apply pressure and land hooks downstairs weakening Meraz's legs. The Mexican subsequently began slipping to the canvas throughout the ensuing rounds resulting in a point deduction in round five. It was also in that frame that Rosa felled Meraz with a devastating right uppercut. Rosa scored a second knockdown in the seventh en route to winning a unanimous decision on scores of 80-68 and 79-69 twice. Ranked no. 12 by the WBC, Rosa improved his resume to 22-0 (10 KOs) while Meraz dropped to 48-37-1 (29 KOs).
Bronx native Louis Cruz, 139½, and Michael Chudecki, 139, of Szamocin, Poland, each demonstrated tremendous heart as they sustained heavy artillery from their adversary in an eight-round back-and-forth slugfest. Cruz held control early on using a steady jab while bobbing and weaving out of harm's way. However, as the rounds wore on, Cruz often went into a defensive shell against the ropes where Chudecki would unload his power shots. A point was deducted from Cruz in rounds four and five for fouls, with Chudecki also losing a point in the seventh after hitting Cruz while he was down from a slip. Behind on the scorecards, Cruz staged a tremendous comeback in round six, landing clean and hard hooks upstairs that staggered the Polish fighter. Chudecki returned fire in round seven, though Cruz exchanged with him as best he could. In the eighth and final stanza, Cruz unleashed damaging straight rights, uppercuts and left hooks. Chudecki ate all of Cruz's leather and dominated the remaining 60 seconds, bringing the crowd to its feet. Chudecki was awarded the points victory with scores of 79-70, and 77-72 twice, improving his record to 11-1-1 (3 KOs). Cruz's record is now 11-1 (5 KOs).
Popular Providence, RI, featherweight Michelle “Shelly” Vincent, 125¾, made her New York debut a successful one against Hungary's Renata Domsodi, 124½, Budapest, earning a six-round unanimous decision. Vincent swarmed the Hungarian, who proved tough to withstand the rampant onslaughts of leather. Domsodi's left hook made its presence known in round two letting Shelly know she was no pushover. Vincent kept the pressure on as the two fought shoulder-to-shoulder over the second half of the contest. After six rounds of action, all three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Vincent via unanimous decision. Vincent upped her record to 16-0 (1 KO), while Domsodi fell to 12-8 (5 KOs). Following the bout, rival Heather Hardy entered the ring to help promote a potential matchup against Vincent in the near future.
Recent world title challenger Jerry Belmontes, 138½, Corpus Christi, TX, engaged
Ukrainian junior welterweight Valentyn Golovko, 139½, Kharkov, in an evenly matched eight-round affair. Golovko held the advantage whenever he maintained a distance and was particularly effective with his overhand right. However, when the experienced and battletested Belmontes closed the gap, the contest featured thrilling exchanges and transformed into a battle of attrition. The judges tallied 76-76, 78-74 and 77-75 for Belmontes, who earned a majority decision to up his record to 21-8 (6 KOs). Golovko was handed his first defeat opposite 21 previous victories, including 14 knockouts.
Devaun Lee, 160, of Jamaica, Queens, and two-time New Jersey Golden Gloves champion Ian “Young General” Green, 160, Paterson, NJ, waged an exhilarating war for six rounds. Green dictated the pace at the outset, setting up power shots with a stiff jab, while Lee stayed on the outside looking for counters. Hooks to the body and head from Green followed in round two. However, with Green closing the distance, Lee found opportunities to land effective counter shots. The exchanges escalated in the third and fourth rounds. By the fifth, the tide had turned and it was Lee pumping a stinging jab at a tiring Green, who may have suffered a broken nose by this point. With fatigue setting on both determined fighters, Lee appeared to have the edge in the sixth and final round. Scorecards read 58-56 twice, and 57-57, awarding a majority decision to Lee to improve his record to 6-2 (3 KOs). Green tasted defeat for the first time as a pro, with his ledger dropping to 8-1 (6 KOs).
Returning to the ring for the first time since his draw against fellow light heavyweight prospect Travis Peterkin last August, the Dominican Lenin Castillo, 175¼, needed just 42 seconds to impressively stop Brazilian knockout artist Marcelo Tavares, 173, Sao Paulo, now 8-1-1 (8 KOs). Castillo, a former amateur standout and 2008 Dominican Olympian, began hooking to the body then landed a right uppercut that slumped Tavares into the ropes where he stayed for the full count. Castillo improved to 13-0-1 (8 KOs).
Featherweight prospect Derrick Murray, 125¾, of Saint Louis, MO, improved to 12-0-1 (5 KOs), winning a six-round unanimous decision over a game Darryl Hayes, 125½, Houston, TX, now 5-6 (1 KO), on scores of 60-54 twice, and 59-53.
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