By John DiSanto at ringside
After a heated weigh-in and testy build-up to fight night, Arkansas-based Texan Kalvin Henderson and Upper Darby’s Brandon Robinson went to war in their scheduled 10-round super middleweight main event at South Philly’s 2300 Arena. It was a grueling fight from the start, but Henderson prevailed, winning by TKO in round seven.
After a fast start by Robinson, Henderson closed Brandon’s left eye beginning in the second and steadily wore him down as the fight progressed.
A round later, Robinson’s right eye was badly marked, and the reduced vision became a factor. Henderson dropped a blinded Robinson in the sixth round and chopped away until Robinson fell twice more in round seven. Referee Benjy Esteves halted the fight at 2:08 of the seventh.
It was an exciting, brutal affair, and one of the best Philly fights of the year. Henderson improved to 11-0, 7 KOs. Robinson slipped to 11-2, 8 KOs. The defeat snapped an 11-bout winning streak for Robinson.
In the free-swinging heavyweight co-feature, South Philadelphian Paul Koon, 4-0, 1 KO, beat Cade Rodriguez of Monroe, GA, 2-3, 2 KOs, by unanimous decision after four rounds. The punches flew in both directions for much of the first three rounds, but then both big men tired and slowed down to a crawl in the fourth and final round. Moon was credited with a knockdown in the first, but it looked to be more of a slip. All three judges gave the fight to Koon by easy decision, 39-36 and 40-35 twice.
North Philly junior featherweight Romuel Cruz, 3-0-1, defeated tough, aggressive Mexican Hugo Rodriguez, 0-2, by wide-margin unanimous decision. All three official scores were 40-36.
In a scheduled 6-round junior middleweight fight, Isaiah Wise, Philadelphia, 7-2-1, 4 KOs, dropped Andy Gonzales, of Worcester, MA, 6-4, 5 KOs, with a right hand near the end of the first round, and then finished the job just 40 seconds into round two. In the second, Wise battered his still-groggy foe, and after an extended volley in a neutral corner, referee Benjy Esteves saved Gonzales from further punishment. It was an impressive win for the popular Wise.
In a 4-round junior welterweight bout, North Philly’s Sheldon Deverteuil, 1-0-2, and James Bernadin of Lancaster, 2-0-1, 1 KO, fought to a split decision draw. Each received 39-37 score and the third judge saw it 38-38.
In the show opener, Bronx light heavyweight Travis Toledo, 4-0, 3 KOs, quickly knocked out Philly’s Ronnie Lawrence, 0-3, in round one after two knockdowns. Lawrence fell twice in the same neutral corner, the second time for the full ten count by referee Chris Riskus. The time of the KO was 2:30 of the first.
The event was staged by Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotions, and was the final local boxing show on the Philly fight schedule for 2018.