By John DiSanto at ringside
Photos: Darryl Cobb Jr.
Mexican Victor Ruiz, 23-10-1, 16 KOs, scored a devastating second round knockout over South Philly favorite Christian Carto, 17-1, 11 KOs, in the scheduled 8-round main event at the 2300 Arena. Carto won the first round, but in the second, Ruiz landed a vicious left that sent Carto down on his back. As he hit the mat, Carto’s head slammed onto the ring floor. Referee Eric Dali took one look at the motionless Carto and stopped the fight immediately. The time was 1:56 of the second round.
The stunned South Philly crowd went silent as Carto remained on the canvas while the medical team tended to him, administering oxygen and eventually taking him out by stretcher. The fight’s frightening end and aftermath sent the large crowd home in a hush.
North Philadelphian Marcel Rivers, 7-0, 4 KOs, remained undefeated with a close 6-round unanimous decision over Derrick Whitley Jr. of Springfield, MA, 4-1-1, in their welterweight bout. Whitley started quickly, but Rivers finished strong to take the fight by three scores of 58-56.
Bantamweights Alejandro Jimenez, 4-0-1, 1 KO, New Hope, and Edgar Cortes, 6-4-1, Vineland, fought to a 6-round split decision draw. The scores were 58-56, each way and 57-57.
In an insufferably sluggish heavyweight encounter scheduled for six, Germantown’s Darmani Rock, 14-0, 9 KOs, and Steven Lyons of Houma, LA, 5-4, 2 KOs, circled each other for three rounds, landing occasionally. Finally in round four, Rock trapped Lyons in the red corner and landed a heavy combination that put Lyons down for the full 10-count.
South Philly heavyweight Sonny Conto, 1-0, 1 KO, made a “successful” professional debut, halting Buffalo’s Jimmie Levins, 0-5, at 2:14 of round one. However the fight was a fiasco, with Levins clearly not in the fighting mood. Levins hit the canvas five times without getting hit once. Each time he went down, it took him longer to get up, and every time he shook his apparent trick knee as soon as he made it to his feet. After the final non-knockdown, referee Eric Dali called in the ringside doctor, and the fight was stopped.
Gerardo Martinez, 4-1, 1 KO, Coatesville, PA, won by majority decision over AC vet Osnel Charles, 12-19-1, 2 KOs, in their 4-round junior welterweight bout. The entire fight was a closely fought slugfest, with both men landing bombs along the way. One judge had the bout even, 38-38, but the two judges favored Martinez 40-36 and 39-37.
In the show opener, Bethlehem bantamweight Jonathan Torres, 2-0, won a 4-round unanimous decision over Dallas Holden, 1-4, of Atlantic City. All three official scores were 40-36.
This was the first Philly show by promoter Michelle Rosado’s Raging Babe Promotions, and it drew a capacity crowd to the 2300 Arena, including an additional 200 standing room only tickets.