By Jason Marchetti at ringside
Photos: Emily Harney
In a close main event at the Twin River Casino in Providence, Rhode Island, Jimmy Williams (14-0-1, 6 KO’s) won a unanimous decision over Juan Rodriguez, Jr. (13-4, 5 KO’s) in a clash for the regional WBC USNBC welterweight title. Williams took control early in the 10 round bout, dropping the southpaw with a straight right hand in the 2nd. He continued to effectively cut of the ring, and score on what appeared to be a smaller opponent with his trademark 1-2 punch combinations.
In the middle rounds, Rodriguez worked hard, backing up WIlliams and connecting with his left as Williams circled counter-clockwise into Rodriguez’ power punches.
Williams scored on occasion when Rodriguez would lunge inside and he made Rodriguez pay for real estate with short hooks to the head. The 10th round was excellent, as there was a bit of urgency on both sides. It was a usual affair for Williams, nothing flashy, using his conditioning and footwork to outwork his opponent. Williams was more accurate even though a game Rodriguez’ gave his best effort. The scores were 98-91, 97-92, and 96-93, unanimously for Williams.
Williams is coming off a controversial bout three weeks ago where he knocked out Issouf Kinda (18-5) in the 4th round where both he and Kinda were punching out of a break. Kinda accidentally hit referee Steve Smoger and Williams hit Kinda with an overhand right to end the night.
Juiseppe Cusumano improved his record to 12-1, 10 KO’s against heavyweight Matt McKinney in a four founder. Cusamano overpowered McKinney with several shots and McKinney hit the canvas several times, although the referee called some of them a slip. The contest ended in the 2nd, with McKinney calling for a foul as he was battled into the ropes by the Sicilian.
Anthony Marsella, Jr. (6-0, 3 KO’s) destroyed Israel Rojas (10-17, 4 KO’s) in a bout at lightweight. Rojas was punished for the entire fight, wobbled with a solid left hook, and dropped in the 3rd round. Marsella finished the job in the 4th with several combinations on the smaller, unpolished, Rojas.
‘Prynce’ Ray Oliveira, Jr. (8-1, 1 KO) outpunched David Wilson (5-2-1, 1 KO) in a 6 round bout at middleweight. Wilson, a southpaw, possessed good head movement early and boxed from the outside as he hammered away at the slow-moving Oliveira, who battled a bruised eye most of the fight. However, Oliveira would seldomly connect on his famous left hook which certainly swayed the judges decision at the end of each round. Wilson threw more punches but Oliveira’s occasional power shots couldn’t be overlooked in the end. The final scores were 58-56 for Oliveira (twice) and 59-55 Wilson.
In a solid female bantamweight bout, New York’s Federica Bianco (3-1, 1 KO) defeated hometown Marcia Agripino (1-1-1) by unanimous decision. Bianco and Agripino fought most of the bout in a phone booth, the result of both fighters trying to establish inside position which led to a great fight. Bianco was a little more active and accurate, perhaps showing a bit more experience. However, Agripino gave the crowd enough of a show and heart, certainly earning the respect of her bruised opponent. The final scores were 39-37 (twice), and 40-36, all for Bianco.
Kendrick Ball, Jr. (8-0-3, 5 KO’s) defeated the ‘Puerto Rican Assassin’ Pablo Velez, Jr. (7-2-1, 5 KO’s) by unanimous decision in an ugly 6 round bout at super middleweight. Ball looked sluggish at times, but peppered the overmatched Velez at a distance on the ropes. Ball was able to win all the rounds with his ring generalship and forward-coming style. Ball took a few left hooks from his opponent in the 5th, but shook it off and finished the fight angry, with solid combinations, ending with a right cross. Velez awkwardly tied up Ball and made faces at his opponent although he couldn’t hurt Ball with his best shots.
In a back and forth affair, Travis Demko (5-1, 1 KO) by earning a split decision over Marqus Bates (2-2, 2 KO’s) at middleweight. Demko rocked Bates with a right hand mid-way through the fight, but fell silent almost immediately after he punched himself out. Bates worked hard in the 4th, having his own moments against a slower Demko who appeared to have an injury late in the fight. The final scores were 39-37 (bates) and 39-37 (twice, Demko).
Jr. welterweight Jamaine Ortiz punished Darnell Pettis who retired on his stool before the 4th round began. Ortiz has quick hands and speedy footwork, and his height and reach are also difficult to overcome. Pettis proved a decent chin but kept his hands too low to last the entire bout. Ortiz tagged Pettis relentlessly throughout the third, leaving Pettis gassed on his stool. From Worcester, MA, Ortiz improves to 5-0, 4 KO’s. Pettis drops to 1-6.
‘Bling Bling’ Michael Valentin (2-0, 1 KO) dropped Henry Garcia (0-1) with a perfectly placed left hook to the chin in the 2nd round en route to a unanimous victory at 132 lbs. Garcia was able to survive the bout but Valentin danced around his opponent, scoring with quick combinations, most notably ending with an overhand right. Valentin is trained by former Olympian Jason Big Six Estrada in Providence, RI.
Ricky DeLosSantos overmatched Jonathan Perez in a 4 rounder at featherweight. DeLosSantos set up Perez with a jab and was able to score every round, improving his record to 3-0. Perez fell to 2-2-2, (2 KO’s)
In their professional debuts at cruiserweight, Rafiel Nyakako (1-0, 1 KO) TKO’d Jake Paradise (0-1) in the 2nd round. Paradise had heart, but Nyakako walked him down throughout the short fight and overpowered his way to victory. Referee Joey Lupino wisely stopped the bout as Paradise was taking punishment upstairs and downstairs while attempting to cover up on the ropes.
In the opening bout of the evening, Philip Davis (1-0) defeated Phil Dudley (0-1) by unanimous decision. All three scorecards were identical at 39-38 in the 4 round bout at featherweight.