Bragging Rights was just that Thursday night at the Fight Factory Gym in Brooklyn, NY. Fighter/Promoter Dmitry Salita put on a card between a few cross town rivals and some young up and coming boxers who for the most part brawled over the course of seven relatively entertaining bouts. With the majority of the fighters having fewer than 10 fights it was a showcase card where generally the prospect was set up against the suspect and urged to perform by the packed house full of fans.
In the opening bout of the night, debutants Mack Babb of Brooklyn, NY and Jovan Sosa of the Bronx, NY looked to notch in their first victory over their respected belts, and earn the bragging rights of their borough in a four round welterweight match. The two young fighters started and finished in the same manner as they both wanted to impress by scoring a knockout, Babb had the right idea by trying to box more but the tide changed as Sosa was able to neutralize his reach advantage and get him to engage in a tit for tat brawl. The two men would go hook for hook, straight for straight for most of the fight but it was Sosa who landed the more solid blows over a fading Babb. As the final bell sounded off it looked to be a close fight but the judges were all In agreement with scores of 40-36 39-37 39-37 all in favor of Jovan Sosa, perhaps Babb can go back to the drawing board and get his first win in his first fight as they both showed similar technical abilities in a true Brooklyn Brawl.
Another fighter who made a successful pro debut was Marcos Suarez of the Bronx, NY as he faced Jamell Tyson (3-10-2 1KO) of Rochester in a junior welterweight matchup. With the crowd behind him, Suarez showed that he could transfer his amateur success and skills in to the paid ranks as he looked masterful over the first three rounds by employing a stiff jab that stabbed the face and body of the southpaw Tyson. Matching his speed but falling short of the accuracy of his opponent, Tyson couldn’t land much except for the occasional hook but continued trotting forward eating uppercuts and straight rights when he fell into Suarez’s range. The fourth round looked to end suddenly when a right hand almost knocked Tyson off of his feet but Suarez chose to box and move the rest of the round as to not get caught by any of the wild shots Tyson was firing off. In the end scores of 40-36 39-37 39-37 were read out and Suarez was announced the winner as Tyson moves to 3-11 as a pro.
The next bout was another four rounder this time at the welterweight limit as Mikkell Lespierre (3-0-1 3KO’s) a southpaw from Brooklyn took on the durable Rashad Bogar (4-4-1 2KO’s) of Easton, PA; home of all-time great Larry Holmes. The hard hitting Lespierre shot out his jab behind a slick defensive posture as Bogar tried to leap inside with a left hook-right hand combo but the awkwardness of Bogar made it hard for either man to land yet Lespierre did land several hard uppercuts. The hometown fighter, Lespierre; was able to pick off the shots of Bogar and counter with his own lightning quick left hands down the middle that discouraged Bogar from engaging, and continued to walk his opponent down. The final round showed a change of heart from Bogar who fearlessly waded through Lespierre’s offense as he wanted to end a fight he was losing, but to no avail as Lespierre was able to get him on his back foot and send him home with a sub .500 record as he won a majority decision. The judges possibly saw a closer fight as they tallied up scores of 38-38 40-36 39-37 all for Lespierre who retains his undefeated record but fails to land the KO punch he so desperately wanted.
The next fight would surely leave an imprint in everyone’s memory as Peter Reyes (2-0 1KO) of Brooklyn took on Bronx fighter Juan Zapata (2-6-1 1KO) in a four round bout slightly above the middleweight limit. The larger man, Zapata; was a chiseled specimen and after Reyes had the crowd cheering his praise following his exciting ring entrance, Zapata wanted nothing more but to pull the plug on the Reyes show. The larger Zapata quickly turned the fight in to a brawl as he swung his hooks and tried to land them wherever he could, Reyes in astonishment of his wild opponent tried to just cover up from getting caught with anything that could slip under his guard but a few punches to the side and back of his head seemed to bother him along with the immense power being thrown at him.
At the end of the first round Reyes had taken a few shots and was developing a mouse under his right eye but Zapata was showing the downfall of having so much muscle as he was fairly winded going in to the second round. As the bell sounded off for the next round the crowd was anxious to see how their hometown hero would respond as Zapata kept swinging for the fences and put an off balance Reyes on the deck with a clubbing overhand right, but this would only seem to wake up his foe as Reyes started throwing punches down the pipe and landing, moments later an explosive jab-looping right hand put Zapata out cold. With paramedics rushing in to tend to the fallen fighter, the crowd was as loud as any Madison Square Garden event as they had just seen a spectacular KO, after a few minutes Zapata was revived and made it to his feet as Reyes celebrated his 1:48 2nd Round knockout win with a very animated dance.
Three time Detroit Golden Gloves champion Anthony Barnes (1-0 1KO) who trains out of the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit, MI took another step forward as he picked up a win over the very tough Joseph Yerdon (2-4-2) from Berlin, NY in a super middleweight fight. Barnes would start the match dominating Yerdon by firing fast, stiff jabs that opened up his opponent for the missile like right hands and short uppercuts as Barnes easily picked apart the wide defense of the New York native. The right hand would be the key to keeping Yerdon honest and out of the fight for the most of the bout as they wobbled him from time to time as Barnes kept his composure.
With Yerdon suffering from some serious swelling on his right eye courtesy of the short left hooks by Barnes; he looked to get a bit wild to catch Barnes and as the two got tangled up he pushed him down with a right hand that was erroneously ruled a knock down. Following the knockdown, the Kronk fighter went back to his gameplan and landed left hands on the damaged right eye and jaw of Yerdon who just wouldn’t go down. After his almost perfect performance, Barnes picked up the unanimous decision win as the scores of 39-36 39-37 38-37 all in his favor, moved his undefeated ledger to 2-0.
The supporting bout to the main event between Newburgh, NY’s Treysean Wiggins (3-1 3KO’s) and Marcus Hall (6-5-1 2KO’s) from Rochester, NY would not make it to the final bell of the scheduled six rounder. The two southpaw welterweight fighters started fast as Wiggins came out with jabs and digging hooks to the body that quickly put Hall in a shell against the ropes, nearing the end of the first round the onslaught would continue as a right hook put Hall on the seat of his pants for an eight count, but he managed to survive and cover up for the rest of the stanza.
The fateful second round would start where the previous round left off with Wiggins digging wicked body shots, lead uppercuts, and a right hand that put Hall down for the second time in the fight, he would rise and try to fight back but a two piece combination would land down the pipe putting Hall on the mat once again, a left hook to the temple just before the end of the round would seal the deal as Hall was on his behind again with the referee waving off the action. The winner would be Treysean Wiggins by TKO at 2:59 of the second round as Marcus Hall joins his brother on the list of opponents Wiggins has vanquished.
In a dubious main event that seemed to be more of a swing bout, cruiserweights Jose Torres (1-2 1KO) of Springfield, MA and Miron Kadryrov (3-2 1KO) from East Orange, NJ would be tasked with completing a six round bout. Although having a losing record, Torres was the only one interested in fighting as the southpaw landed jab and straight lefts that forced Kadryrov and a flurry that barely landed but dealt enough damage to almost put Kadryrov though the ropes. Still in the first round Torres measured his opponent who looked scared and landed a left hook that flattened Kadryrov near his corner as the ref quickly waved it off. The winner by KO at just 0:58 of the first round would be Torres who evens up his record to 2-2 and looks deserving of another bout in the near future, Kadryrov is now winless in his past three and definitely has his interests somewhere outside of boxing.