By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photos: Darryl Cobb Jr.
Unbeaten Philly heavyweight Darmani Rock (17-0, 12 KOs) had an easy night of it on Saturday night at the Met Philly when Maurenzo “T-Diddy” Smith (21-12-4, 14 KOs) surprisingly retired in the corner at the end of the second round.
The co-feature of the eight bout card promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions in association with Live Nation saw Lightweight Jeremy “King” Cuevas (12-1, 9 KOs0 bounce back from the first loss of his career in impressive fashion, scoring a dominant fourth round stoppage of Rondale Hubbert (13-10-2, 8 KOs).
It was to be another big night in the rise of highly touted and unbeaten Philly heavyweight Darmani Rock. His opponent in the eight-round main event was thirty-seven fight veteran Maurenzo “T-Diddy” Smith. He had faced some of the bigger names in the heavyweight including world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr., Tor Hamer, Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola and looked to be a nice test for the undefeated Philadelphian.
Rock looked a little wary early and jabbed throughout the opening round opening round. Smith tried just stay away and survive while offering little offense
Rock finally started banging single heavy right hands in the second round. Smith looked terrified of the power and was hoping to outlast the advancing Philadelphian. When Smith was trapped against the ropes, he swung wildly and almost fell through the ropes and out of the ring after he missed. Rock seemed confident and was slowly upping the pace, mixing in single right hands to both the head and body . The heavy shots early most have done their damage as Maurenzo Smith went the corner and refused to continue. Referee Eric Dali was forced to call the fight at three minutes of round two.
Jeremy “King” Cuevas (12-1, 9 KOs) bounced back from the first loss of his career against Steven Ortiz, with a dominant fourth round stoppage of rugged veteran Rondale “Give him hell” Hubbert (13-10-2 1NC 8KOs).
Cuevas boxed well in the opening two minutes of the fight mixing up his combinations. He trapped Hubbert in the corner and unloaded a series of punches. The two-time Minnesota lightweight champ was slick and was tried to counter, while on the ropes to catch Cuevas with his hands down. Cuevas was careful and mixed up safe body work his head shots.
Hubbert continued to counter in the corners in round two, but Jeremy’s right hands were finding their mark. Hubbert was sitting on the ropes when Cuevas blasted him with a big overhand left late in the round. Hubbert tried to laugh off eight straight shots as he bobbed and weaved in the corner. Cuevas would have none of it and immediately hit him with a big overhand right that stopped the smiling.
Early In round three. Cuevas unleashed two big shots and followed it up with a left up top that forced Hubbert to turn away and drop to his knees. Hubbert rose to his feet but was returned to the canvas with another overhand right. Hubbert tried to recover, but was sent to the canvas for the third time. Hubbert again rose to his feet, but the bell sounded before any more damage could be done.
Hubbert was slick and tried to find distance in the fourth round. Jeremy Cuevas kept on him with well -timed flurries. The cumulation of punches had done their damage and Hubbert was backing up with his mouth open. Cuevas forced him into the corner and banged body shots as Hubbert covered. Cuevas unloaded and caught him with a vicious left hook on the nose. Hubbert dropped to knee in serious pain. Referee Benji Estevez mercifully called a halt to bout at the 1:46 mark, for the TKO victory.
Hard Hitting Promotions own super featherweight sensation Gadwin “Abayarde” Rosa (11-1, 9 KOs) bounced back from his first loss as a pro with a solid second round stoppage of wily veteran Danny “Venado” Flores (15-18-1, 8 KOs)
Rosa targeted the body moments into the fight. Flores covered against the ropes and Rosa took advantage with heavy shots in the first minute of the opening round. When Flores tried to counter Rosa he had already moved out of range.
Rosa’s continued the attack in round two. Flores was throwing back, but was taking big shots and would not let up. Referee Eric Dali had seen enough stopped the contest at 1:10 of round two. The stoppage may have been a bit early much to the dismay of the crowd, but Flores was just outclassed, and it saved him from taking any further damage.
Heavy handed super featherweight Christian Tapia (10-0, 9 KOs) showed his power is for real with a devastating second round knockout of Jorge Luis Santos Guzman (7-9-1 ,2 KOs).
Tapia looked sharp early as he stepped in and out of the pocket with three and four punch combinations and then
slipped to his right to avoid any return shots. Tapia uncorked a left right combo to the body that knocked out the mouthpiece of Santos late in the opening stanza.
Tapia continued to set the pace in round two with stinging combos. He finally rocked Santos with a left hand and then followed up with a heavy three punch combo. Santos looked hurt as he clinched to avoid any further damage. Tapia immediately trapped him in the corner and snapped a left hook underneath the ribcage, which crumpled Santos to his hands and knees writhing in pain. Referee Benjy Estevez Jr. reached the ten count at 1:56 of the second round, giving Christian Tapia the crowd-pleasing knockout victory.
Exciting light heavyweight Benny “The Jewish Bull Dog” Sinakin upped his record to 5-0 with 3 knockouts with a 3rd round TKO victory over previously undefeated Ferris Golden (1-1)
Golden came out strong in the opening round with several single shots that forced Sinikan on the defensive.
Sinakin returned the favor early in round two, with a big right hand. Golden doubled up on his left jab and followed up with a straight right moments later. Sinakin was elusive in the closing seconds as Golden unloaded a four-punch combination that hit nothing but air. Golden stepped back and dropped his hands sticking his face out. Sinakin rushed him and swung a heavy right hand that missed Golden as the round came a close.
Golden hit on the break early in the third, which elicited a stern warning from Eric Dali. Both fighters exchanged wild flurries, but it was the well conditioned Sinakin who was wearing down Golden with the heavy shots and it showed. The Jewish would not let off the gas and backed a dead tired Golden to the ropes. Sinakin snapped a deadly one two combination to the chin of Golden who started to step in potholes.Referee Eric Dali quickly stepped in and waved off the contest off at the 2:14 mark of the 3rd round.
Sinakin was excited afterward on his continued improvement “I am getting better, but I know that I need to be even better to impress my fan base that keeps growing with each fight.”
Welterweight Jan Carlos “La Dinamita” Rivera (4-0, 4 KOs) needed only a minute and forty-three seconds to dispose of veteran Ricardo “Verdugo” Escajeda (4-17-1, 2 KOs).
Rivera exploded out of the corner and battered Escajeda with a vicious flurry of punches. Escajeda tried to back away, but a left hand put him on the seat of his pants. Escajeda rose to his feet and fought back. Rivera would not let the Mexican breathe continuing the assault until a picture-perfect right which put Escajeda on his back. Referee Benjy Rivera Jr. had seen enough and waived off the contest at 1:43 of the opening round for the TKO victory
Bantamweight Alejandro “Alexander the Great” Jimenez” (5-0-1. 1 K0) pounded out a nice four round unanimous decision victory over Jarrod Minor (1-8-2 1 KO).
Jimenez threw the sharper which allowed him to take over the fight early in the second round. Minor was a crafty veteran and had his moments, but it was Jimenez who was piercing his defense with straight shots.
Jimenez controlled the ring as he confidently stepped in and out of the pocket with pinpoint right hands that slowed Minor in the third round.
Minor started off strong in the fourth with a big four punch combination that ended with a right hand on the button. Jimenez took it well and snapped a sharp one-two down the pike in mid round. Both fighters looked to end the show as they traded away in the last ten seconds of the fight, but it was Jimenez whose punches landed and did the bigger damage. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Alexander Jimenez by scores of 39-37 x 2 and 40-36 respectively.
In the opening bout of the evening, Saleem “Bad Dream” Kelly (2-0, 1 KO) pounded out a one sided four round unanimous decision victory over Jordan Rosario (3-9) by scores of 40-36 across the board.