The first Dee Lee Promotions card in New York was held this past Friday at the Westchester County Center, and the cold, rainy weather wouldn’t stop Diane Fischer’s event from being a success. The auditorium-like setting was slowly filling in before the first bell rang for what would be 7 entertaining fights that had the crowd cheering all night. The headliner of the night would be a title match for the IWBF Super Featherweight belt between Ronica “Queen” Jeffrey and Olivia “The Predator” Gerula with the supporting six matches having an all-male cast who kept the energy up and the action flowing.
The first test of the night would be between David “KO” Warren-Huffman (4-14-1 1KO) and Luis “Smurf” Esquilin (1-4-1 0KO’s) in a four round junior lightweight matchup. Wrongly nicknamed “KO”, Warren-Huffman who made the trip from Cincinatti, OH; tried to be a boxer against his southpaw opponent and establish a jab while “Smurf” was trying to end the fight early with wild hooks. Fighting out of the great fighting city of Philadelphia, PA, Esquilin found a lot of success with lead lefts and good body shots on the slightly taller “KO”. Looking better than his record would indicate, the philly fighter really pushed the pace and stunned his opponent to begin the third round, Warren-Huffman continued to land a few jabs and stay on the outside but would get cut off at various points as Esquillin was looking to impress the crowd and take home a win. The last round would be the most entertaining as Esquillin switch to orthodox to land some straight shots down the pipe and Warren-Huffman attempting to retaliate towards the end of the round as they brawled to the cheers of the crowd. When all was said and done the verdict was announced and all three judges scored a 40-36 victory for Luis “Smurf” Esquilin who comes back from a 2 year hiatus to bring a win back home to Bad Landz Boxing Gym.
The next four round fight would pit local Bronx boxer Yuchua “Geico” Nieves (1-2 1KO) against the young Edwin Cotto (1-0 1KO) of Willimantic, CT in another 130lb scrap. Lightning fast as the weight class would suggest; Nieves started by trying to blind side Cotto with wild hooks and overhand rights as the younger man circled and landed a few check hooks to keep “Geico” out of range. The bell to sound the second round was chimed and Nieves came out like a bull once again but found some early success with well-placed body shots but Cotto would come back with counter right hands that backed his opponent up until an accidental low blow stopped action for a bit to end the round. The fateful third round started like the others with Nieves stalking but this time Cotto, who needed to pick up the pace; was back pedaling a bit too much and throwing less, as he backed into a corner, Nieves unleashed a short left hook to the rib cage that dropped his foe, the referee administered a full 10 count with Cotto unable to get up to continue. The winner evens up his record to 2-2 with the KO win at 2:29 of the third round as the younger Cotto is left to reconsider his next move.
In a six round light heavyweight attraction, Atlantic City, NJ’s Antowyan “Iceman” Aikens (6-0 1KO) put his undefeated record on the line against Yasin Abdur-Rashid (7-3 2KO’s) of Brooklyn, NY. The taller “Iceman” used his slight height and reach advantage to keep his opponent at bay for most of the first few rounds with a steady, educated jab as Abdur-Rashid tried to get inside to land a right hand that seldom found its mark. Being more of a technician, Aikens was able to clinch and punch on the inside when his foe was in too close and kept using his slick defense to dodge the single shots coming his way, seemingly frustrated and at a disadvantage on the score cards, Abdur-Rashid was left with only trying to land one big shot. The big shot would never come for the Brooklynite but a hard left hook in the last round would find its place for Aikens who opens up more landing several short shots to end the sixth and final round. With a confident look on his face, the referee raised Antowyan “Iceman” Aiken’s hand as the unanimous decision victory was announced to the agreement of the fans in attendance.
A heavyweight bout scheduled for six rounds was on the agenda next as Dorsett “The Bullet” Barnwell (8-0 4KO’s) from Norfolk, VA squared off against Philadelphia’s David Williams (6-6-2 2KO’s). Being playful and cheery at the press conference and during his ring walk, Barnwell was all business once the bell rang as he started by picking off Williams’ shots and firing his own one-twos down the middle, backing up his nickname of “The Bullet”. Williams would not be deterred and showed determination as he was able to land a good left hook that knocked Barnwell off balance and caused a small hematoma to swell on his opponent’s head. The next couple of rounds would see Barnwell using a great defense and counter left hooks to stop Williams’ momentum as he tried to land right hands, for a big man Barnwell was impressive as he slipped, pivoted, and landed another left hook to the face of his slower challenger. Continuing his dominanting pace, Barnwell finally dropped Williams on his knees with a well-placed right hand after evading danger at the end of the fifth round, and with blood in the water Barnwell started the last round all over the other fighter displaying his full arsenal of hooks, jabs, uppercuts and right hands that had the ref watching closely. Williams albeit battered, was able to survive the onslaught but still lost the bout as a decision victory was rendered in Barnwell favor as he keeps his “O” and continues his march up the ranks.
After a short intermission, action resumed with another six round heavyweight bout between Ahmed “Prince Samir” Samir (11-0 4KO’s) from Queens, NY versus Alexis Mejias (11-9 5KO’s) from Paterson, NJ. The fight would be a fairly sloppy and close bout as Mejias tried to use his height advantage to steer clear of Samir’s brawling style. The jab was consistent and it worked for the taller fighter Mejias as Samir was rarely able to sustain an attack on the inside beyond a few looping right hands, since he would be tied up quickly and pushed against the ropes. Going in to the second half of the fight an upset looked to be possibly brewing as Samir was getting increasingly frustrated and Mejias beginning to catch his foe inside with short shots in the clinch. The final round would see Mejias land a jab with Samir barreling in attempting to land body shots behind one-twos, a point would be taken from “Prince Samir” for hitting on the break and that seemed to be what did him in as scores of 57-56 were read out twice to award Alexis Mejias originally of Humacao, PR the victory.
The co-main event was a junior middleweight matchup between Tommy “The Razor” Rainone (19-5 4KO’s) and James “Shotgun” Winchester (15-7 5KO’s). The slick southpaw Rainone, of nearby Hicksville, NY was the crowd favorite as “Shotgun” making the trip from Reidsville, NC was booed when he entered. The first round started with both men trying to feel each other out but Rainone committing to staying on the outside jabbing as he slipped underneath Winchester’s power shots. The local fighter knew he could easily frustrate his opponent and he did so for the next few rounds even having a point deducted from Winchester for hitting on the break, stepping in with double jabs and ducking under was enough to keep Winchester thinking and out of range. Winchester would try to dull “The Razor” on the inside with short uppercuts but they were far too close in range to do much damage and his opponent enjoying the crowd’s cheers began to showboat. The fight would end with Rainone landing a few solid left straights and Winchester desperately trying to land a hook to end the fight, but in the end a split decision verdict was awarded in Rainone’s favor as he notches his 20th victory.
The time for the main event was upon us and it would be an entertaining slug fest between two highly skilled female fighters. With the IWBF World Super Featherweight title on the line, Ronica “Queen” Jeffrey (12-0 1KO) would take on Olivia “The Predator” Gerula (13-13-2 3KO’s) over 10 fast paced rounds. The poise and speed of Jeffrey made her look like a female version of Floyd Mayweather as she was successfully able to stay on the outside and land a beautiful jab and hooks to the body that kept “The Predator” at a distance. The visiting fighter, Gerula of Winnipeg, Canada; showed plenty of heart and determination as she continuously moved forward behind uppercuts and right hands as she tried to bully her opponent of Brooklyn, NY. Taking control of the action, “Queen” was in charge for the most part as her 3 and 4 punch combinations dealt out damage, and check hooks kept her foe turning and unable to mount an attack, using a great amount of defense to dodge punches. Closing in to the end of the fight, Gerula would keep pressing forward hoping to land that one shot, but it would never come, she would be graded an “A” for effort but Jeffrey simply had a better game plan. The decision read 99-91 99-91 98-92 all in favor of the newly crowned champion Ronica “Queen” Jeffrey, hopefully able to put women’s boxing back in the spotlight with her amazing skills and exciting style.