By John DiSanto at ringside
Photos: Darryl Cobb Jr.
In the main event, Philly bantamweight Christian Carto, 14-0, 11 KOs, pounded out an eight round unanimous decision over Detroit’s James Smith, 12-2, 7 KOs, 1 NC. It was an active and grueling battle, and although Carto was in control, Smith came to fight and proved to be Christian’s toughest opponent to date. Smith came out swinging, taking the first round on my card. But Carto fought back and took over, beginning in round two. Carto looked sharp and showed many facets to his game in the fight. It not only was Carto’s most competitive bout, it was also the best performance of his young career.
In the all-Philly co-feature contest, Christopher Brooker, 13-5, 5 KOs, out-muscled Jamaal Davis, 16-13-1, 7 KOs, to win a comfortable decision in their super middleweight bout. There were many good exchanges in the fight, but Brooker remained in control throughout. He didn’t try anything cute. Rather he applied constant pressure and used his considerable size advantage. The third round was probably the closest, but I still gave it to Brooker, for s clean sweep (80-72). Two of the three judges had the score 79-73, while the third judge saw it a rather close at 77-75.
Philly junior welterweight Tyrone Crawley Jr. was having his way in a scheduled eight rounder against Anthony Mercado of Puerto Rico. He won the first three rounds and even dropped Mercado toward the end of the second. However, as we waited for the fourth round to begin, suddenly the fight was stopped in Crawley’s corner due to an apparently injured left hand. With the win, Mercado improves to 11-3, 10 KOs. Crawley, 7-1, lost for the first time. The time was 3:00 of the third. The referee was Benjy Esteves.
In a scheduled heavyweight four rounder, Ronny Hale of Alabama, 4-11, 4 KOs, swarmed debuting South Philadelphian Dominique Mayfield, 0-1, and knocked him down three times in the opening round. Referee Blair Talmadge ended the bout at the 1:40, as soon as Mayfield hit the canvas for the third time. One earlier trip to the canvas by Mayfield could also have been called a knockdown, but was not.
In a brief junior welterweight bout scheduled for eight rounds, Victor Vazquez, Yonkers, NY, 10-3, 4 KOs, made short work of Philly’s David Gonzales, 8-3-2-1, 2 KOs. Vazquez dropped Gonzales with a left hook in the first round, and although David got up, referee Benjy Esteves stopped the fight at the 1:56 mark.
In the kick-off bout at Philadelphia’s Sugar House Casino, junior bantamweights Jerrod Miner, Philadelphia, and Rondarrius Hunter, Atlanta, fought to a four round draw. Hunter, 1-2-1, 1 KO, appeared to have the edge in the first three rounds before Miner, 1-1-1, 1 KO, came on like gangbusters in the final three minutes. He scored two sloppy knockdowns, but could not put the winded Hunter away. One judge favored Miner 39-35, but the other two judges called it even, 37-37. Miner had a 38-36 edge on my scorecard.