Haney dominates and stops Menard

By John DiSanto at ringside
Photos: Jano Cohen

In the main event at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Las Vegas lightweight Devin Haney, 19-0, 13 KOs, won the vacant USBA title by overwhelming TKO victory over Mason Menard of Rayne, LA, 33-3, 24 KOs. Haney methodically dominated every round of the fight, but there were no knockdowns. Instead, it was a gradual beat down, round after round. Finally, at the end of the ninth, Menard’s corner asked referee Gary Rosado to stop the fight. The time was 3:00.

The 8-bout card was promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions, and Devin Haney Promotions. Showtime televised the final four fights.

Junior featherweights Joshua Greer Jr. of Chicago and Glenn Dezurn of Baltimore put on a testy, high-level scrap in their scheduled 10-rounder. The pair fought fairly evenly for seven rounds (I had Dezurn up 4-3 in rounds) before Greer caught Dezurn with two rights that put him down. Dezurn got up but when Greer resumed the attack and pinned his damaged opponent on the ropes, referee Benjy Esteves stopped it. Dezurn threw one more punch as Esteves pulled Greer away, but it was too late. The time was 1:47 of the eighth round. Greer improved to 17-1-1, 9 KOs. Dezurn slipped to 9-2-1, 6 KOs.

In a rugged light heavyweight fight, New Haven, CT southpaw Charles Foster remained undefeated, 16-0, 8 KOs, with a unanimous verdict over Alvin Varmall, Jr. of Catskill, NY, 15-1-1, 12 KOs. Both fighters landed, but Foster out worked Varmall and took the decision by scores of 78-74 and 77-73 twice.

In an 8-round junior featherweight bout, Arnold Khegai of Odessa, Ukraine, 12-0-1, 8 KOs, won a unanimous decision over San Antonio’s Adam Lopez. Khegai staggered Lopez in round two and was penalized one point in round six for hitting on the break. After eight rounds, Khegai was ahead on the official cards 78-73 and 77-74 twice.

Philly’s Jeremy Cuevas, 9-0, 7 KOs, won by second round TKO over Hector Marengo, of Arecibo, PR, 7-12-4, 4 KOs, in a scheduled 6-round lightweight bout. The southpaw swarmed Marenga in round two, dropping him once. When Marenga got up, Cuevas pounded away until referee Shawn Clark jumped in to save him. The time of the stoppage was 1:51 of the second. This was the final off-TV bout before the Showtime telecast began.

Rising teenage junior welterweight Branden Pizarro of Philadelphia, 10-1, 4 KOs, won a shutout 6-round decision over Mexican Israel Villela, 5-10, 2 KOs. All three official judges scored the bout 60-54.

In a scheduled 6-round light heavyweight fight, Craig Duncan, Apopka, FL, 11-1-1, 9 KOs, scored a brutal 4th round knockout over Wilmington’s David Murray, 7-2-1, 6 KOs. Duncan first dropped Murray with a right, but David survived. However moments later, Duncan landed another right that sent Murray crashing face-first to the canvas. Referee Shawn Clark immediately stopped the fight without a count. The time of the KO was 2:45 of round four.

In the opening off-TV bout at the 2300 Arena, Philly lightweight Milton Santiago, 17-0, 3 KOs, ended an 18-month layoff with a one-sided unanimous decision over Honduran Jorge Luis Munguia, 13-12, 5 KOs. Santiago scored a knockdown in round one, but had to settle for a wide-margin win by scores of 60-54 and 60-53 twice.

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