Carto still unbeaten, but goes the distance

By John DiSanto –
Photos: Darryl Cobb Jr. –

In the main event of the evening at the 2300 Arena in South Philly, bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0, 11 KOs, went the full distance for the first time in his career, but won every round against Mexican Alonso Melendez, 14-2, 11 KOs. The local fighter was in control throughout the bout and won by three landslide scores of 80-72.

In an entertaining lightweight fight for the WBF Junior North American title belt, Philly’s Jerome Conquest, 9-2, 1 KO, won a unanimous decision over Carlos Rosario of Pennsauken, NJ, 7-3, 4 KOs. There were many exciting exchanges, but the liveliest round was the fifth. In that round, Conquest dropped Rosario with a left, and then Rosario pounded Conquest with a low blow, presumably to buy himself some time. The fight went on and Conquest took the official decision by scores of 78-73 and 77-74 twice.

In the first of two walkout bouts, light heavyweight Alan Lawrence, 2-0, 2 KOs, Newark, NJ, knocked out Philadelphian Amir Shabazz, 4-2, at 1:24 of the first round. Lawrence landed a left hook that sent Shabazz crashing to the canvas. When he hit the floor, Amir’s head slammed loudly on the mat and referee Eric Dali stopped the bout without a count.

In the final fight of the night, a battle between two Philly welterweights, Rasheed Johnson, 2-1, 1 KO.’c dropped Demetrius Williams, 1-4, with a single right hand in the opening round and the fight was stopped immediately by referee Benji Esteves, Jr. The time was 56 seconds of the first.

Junior welterweights David Gonzales, 8-2-2, 2 KOs, Philly, and Darius Ervin, 4-1, L.A., banged heads in round two, and both came away with cuts. However, Gonzales’ was bad enough to prompt the ringside doctor to request the fight be stopped. Referee Eric Dali complied and the fight was declared a No Decision. The end came at 1:53 of the second, and added a ND to each fighter’s record.

Junior middleweight Antnony Prescott, 7-7-2, Cherry Hill, NJ, out worked Reading’s Erik Spring, 10-2-2, 1 KO, over six rounds to win a unanimous decision by official scores of 58-56 and 59-55 twice.

In a super middleweight bout scheduled for four rounds, Philly’s Brandon Robinson, 7-1, 6 KOs, stopped George Sheppard of Norfolk, VA, 1-3, at 1:20 of the fourth and final round. Robinson swept all the rounds, using a sustained body attack and some hard rights to the head. Finally in the fourth, he cracked Sheppard with a pair of right hands and the visitor turned toward the ropes, forcing referee Eric Dali to stop it.

Featherweight Robert Irizzary, 4-1-1, Cherry Hill, NJ, returned from a layoff of nearly two years to top Bryan Perez, 2-8-1, 1 KO, Carolina, PR, by unanimous decision over four rounds. All three official scores were 39-37.

Junior welterweight Juan Rodriguez, 8-7-1, 6 KOs, Haymarket, VA, opened the show with a TKO of Philly-based North Carolina native, Maynard Allison, 9-2, 6 KOs. Allison won the first round, but Rodriguez caught him with a right hand in the second round that put him down. Allison struggled to his feet, but referee Eric Dali stopped the bout. The time was 3:00 of round two.

The nine-bout show was staged by Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotions.

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