In a packed ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn on New York’s Staten Island, hometown attraction “Lil” Nicky DeMarco took the ring as a main event against Travis Thompson of Pottstown, PA. Considering boxing’s recent history of blatant robberies and unfair decisions it was clear to see the writing on the wall. Demarco started the fight with his jab but seemed to realize early that Thompson was a swift counterpuncher. The third round proved troubling for DeMarco who took several huge punches, almost looking like he was going to go out. But he weathered the storm and survived the round. The rest of the fight was fought backing up, an adjustment made by DeMarco. It was rare; if at all that DeMarco sat down on any punches or threw anything with sustenance. Ringside, by the fans and members of the press, the fight was scored heavily in favor of Thompson. However, the judges scored the fight differently. With on judge scoring a 57-57 draw and two others scoring the fight 59-56 for DeMarco, the hometown decision was announced.
On the undercard Denis Douglin took on Jose Angel Rodriguez. Douglin was coming off of a knockout loss while Rodriguez was returning to the ring after two years. Douglin started strong establishing his jab and setting a pace. However, Rodriguez started to work on the inside which kept Douglin on the outside, making it hard to reach Rodriguez. Throughout the fight the fighters traded punches, but Douglin was on the receiving end of most of the heavy shots. Rodriguez made the decision to take the fight to the inside, where he was successful, and where it stayed. With flurries of slick boxing here and there Douglin didn’t have enough to take the fight and Rodriguez went home with a unanimous decision win.
Earlier in the evening a series of knockouts took place as well. Anthony Gangemi of nearby Mine Hill, NJ won a second round TKO over Willie Bryant. In what was only his second professional fight he had hurt Bryant in the end of the first round and successfully closed the show in the second.
Shakur Jackson, who was making his pro-debut, from Newark, NJ, was on the receiving end of a TKO loss as well. While Jackson looked to be dominating the fight for the first two rounds, in the third round his opponent, Cornelius Whitlock, turned the fight around. Starting with an almost perfect straight right hand Whitlock took control of the third round and after landing a devastating right hook Jackson went down, after unsuccessfully trying to get up the referee called a halt to the bout awarding Whitlock the first win in his professional career.
Fellow Staten Island native Vanessa Greco was also in the ring last night taking on Susan Reno. It was a fast paced fight of four, two-minute rounds. Reno seemed to control the fight, landing the harder, more accurate punches. Both fighters seemed to be sharing the pace at intervals but Reno always took it back. The judges awarded her a split decision victory.
The first fight of the night featured ring veteran Dennis Sharpe of Bayonne, NJ. Entering the thirteenth year of his career, Sharpe expressed thanks to be able to still get in the ring. He faced Doel Carasquillo, also a veteran of the ring and known to be underestimated. Carasquillo traded heavy shots with Sharpe, while both showed their skills. Sharpe made progress when he used his jab and worked around Carasquillo but Carasquillo was just too active. After winning a unanimous decision victory he said “ People never think I am coming to win but this is what I do, how I make my money. I fight, and sometimes I win.”