It may be just a six-round fight, but the match between North Philadelphia junior middleweights Isaiah Wise and Fred Jenkins, Jr., is sure to be treated by the fans like a main event when the fighters collide Friday evening, Sept. 8, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
Topping the 10-bout card is an eight-round junior lightweight contest between Avery Sparrow, of Philadelphia, and former four-time Canadian national amateur champion Joey Laviolette, of Nova Scotia, Canada. First fight begins at 7.30 p.m.
Wise, 25, is a relative newcomer, having compiled a 5-1 record since turning pro early in 2016. He has scored three knockouts, losing only by decision to Philly-killer Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA.
In two fights this year against Wisconsin-based fighters, Wise got off the canvas to stop Jeffrey Wright in four rounds and he outpointed Mark Daniels over six.
Jenkins, 30, is the veteran of the two, owning a 10-4 record since turning pro in 2011. He has scored three knockouts and he is managed and trained by his dad, Fred Jenkins, Sr., an ex-pro junior middleweight himself and a member of the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame as a trainer.
The biggest win on the resume of Jenkins, Jr. came in 2014 when he knocked out Jeremy Trussell, of Baltimore, MD, in four rounds at the 2300 Arena. He also has defeated Alex Sanchez, of Camden, NJ, and Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ.
Wise has had all six of his professional fights at the 2300 Arena. Jenkins is 4-3 in the building.
In an era where Philadelphia fighters often balk at fighting each other, neither Wise nor Jenkins appear to have a problem with the match.
“Fighting someone from the same city doesn’t bother me at all,” said Wise. “This is a business and this fight will show me where I stand.”
Jenkins: “It’s all about winning. I’m trying to climb the ladder and if I beat Wise then I can get another shot at Zapata.”
Zapata, who fights Elijah Vines, of Philadelphia, on the same card, owns victories over both Wise and Jenkins, both by decision, both at the 2300 Arena.
The only other foe common to both Wise and Jenkins is James Robinson, of York, PA. Wise and Jenkins each defeated Robinson by decision, Wise over four rounds and Jenkins over six.
Seven additional bouts complete the Sept. 8 card. Among those featured will be welterweight Marcel Rivers, junior welterweight Victor Padilla and featherweight Crystian Peguero.