Weekend Recap From Queens: Galarza Scores KO
New Legends Boxing Promotions brought another edition of International Fight Night to the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, NY with an action packed seven bouts scheduled to please the fight fans in attendance. The card was originally supposed to be headlined by WBA ranked contender Juan “Baby Tito” Dominguez but a sickness late in his camp forced him to pull out so “Brooklyn’s Rocky” Frank “Notorious” Galarza stepped up to the plate to improve on his last televised appearance by trying to score another stoppage victory.
In his last bout on ShoBox: Next Generation, Galarza (12-0-2 8KO’s) scored a second round KO over highly touted John Thompson for the WBC Latino Super Welterweight title; a strap that will improve his rankings as he already holds the New York State title. His opponent for the night would be division stalwart trial horse to the division’s rising star… “Dominican Sensation” Franklin Gonzalez (16-12 11KO’s) a fellow junior middleweight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic who lives and trains out of Brooklyn, NY. The eight round non-title bout would start with a raucous crowd cheering behind their hometown fighter as he entered the ring and showed off his superior size advantage in height, reach, and structure overall. The bout would start quickly as Galarza gleaming with confidence from his last win stepped forward behind a jab as he calmly felt his way through the first round as the shorter Gonzalez looked to find the best way in from his south paw stance. After finding the right distance for his right hand, the second round started with Galarza continuing his aggressive approach and landing another right hand that wobbles Gonzalez he tries to get away, he gets trapped against the ropes and a right hook-left hook to the head of a crouching Gonzalez puts him down face first as the crowd goes wild. The referee begins to toll his count but Gonzalez is still down and doesn’t get up by the count of 10 awarding “Brooklyn’s Rocky” the win at 1:00 of just the second round to end the night and raise his undefeated record to 13-0-2 with 9 KO’s.
The co-main event featured Rafael “Dynamite” Vazquez (10-1 8KO’s) of Brooklyn, NY defending his WBA Fedlatin Junior featherweight title against Manuel “El Pajarito” Herrera (21-11-1 16KO’s) from Cordoba, Colombia in an 8 round bout. Both fighters standing in an orthodox stance, the defending champion calmly moved around the ring picking off shots from the visiting challenger for most of the first round, the second round would begin with Vazquez upping the pace by shooting to the body in head; a left hook to the temple would be followed by a right hand to put his foe down. Getting up after the knockdown the fighter known as “El Pajarito” or the bird, tried his best to take flight over fight and stay away shooting jabs to keep the very calm Vasquez off. Herrera would have a good third round by being the more active boxer and keeping Vasquez in a shell as he possibly felt like he could end the bout at any time, he would then answer back the following round by switching southpaw and doing a very good impersonation of “Sweet Pea” and shooting jabs while dodging everything that came his way. The fatal fifth round would see Vasquez return to his normal stance and get inside, a left hook would explode off of the rips of the taller Herrera sending him to the canvas with a grimace on his face…the count would reach ten moments later and the ref would wave it off. Winner by KO at 1:04 of the 5th round would be the Puerto Rican Brooklyn fighter Rafael Vasquez who dedicated his bout to Autism Awareness month who continues his climb up the ranks.
Fans like brawls, they like fighters going toe to toe, and the guys who go for the knockout… Irish import Allan Phelan (4-2 4KO’s) looked to keep his four fight four KO win streak alive against tough and tatted southpaw Jesus Gonzalez (2-4 2KO’s) from Newark, NJ. Living and training now out of Brooklyn; the junior lightweight favorite Phelan was ready to either go the scheduled six rounds or take his man out early, and he tried with every punch he landed. Starting from the outside and working his way in, Phelan showed depth to his game as the smaller Gonzalez was just as quick, slick, and active as he was in trying to find an opening. Left hooks from Phelan would be the money shot for most of the fight as Gonzalez couldn’t find a way to avoid them or stop them from making his legs wobble every so often. In front of Phelan however was no pushover as Gonzalez was ready to fire back even while completely out of it at points. It took five rounds for Phelan to finally get an off balance Gonzalez to the canvas with a big left hook but Gonzalez was able to survive and come back the next round to steal it as the crowd cheered them to the final bell. After the dust settled a unanimous decision verdict was announced as scores of 58-55 58-55 58-56 all went in favor of Allan Phelan who doesn’t get the KO victory he wanted but none the less a dominant victory over a durable opponent in Jesus Gonzalez.
In a relatively ugly, foul filled affair in the junior middleweight division, popular Long Islander Rich “Brazil” Neves (6-1-1 3KO’s) was looking to rebound from his first pro defeat in a six round middleweight bout against Antonio Fernandes (4-15-2) of Brockton, MA. Neves would start working his jab early on as the taller Fernandes tried to fire off overhand rights and smother his opponent. Starting to pick up, action would be back and forth with Neves getting better of the exchanges but a low blow stopping the action as Fernandes looked to take as much time as possible, a left hook wobbles Fernandes when action resumes but holding Neves seems to get him out of trouble. Although a close inside fight, when the space was available Neves found a lot of success looping his shots and shooting straight in to Fernandes vision; the growing confidence by Neves was answered with more holding and the referee justly deducted him a point. Another point would be deducted for clinching by Fernandes and also a point from Neves for a low blow that seemed like a legal shot; frustrated Neves would keep fighting and catch him with some serious hooks that almost had his opponent out as the round and the bout ended. In a hard score to tally due to the point deductions, the right verdict was made as Rich Neves was awarded a unanimous victory decision with scores of 57-54 56-55 and 56-55; it was a battle of one man trying to work hard and another just earning a pay day.
The third bout of the night featured an all-out war as welterweights Gary “Buddah” Beriguette (3-0 2KO’s) of Brooklyn, NY took on Mack Babb (0-1) of Queens, NY in a rematch of their amateur bout years ago. Coming off a KO victory in his last fight and with a large consensus of fans in attendance, Beriguette charged out of the corner with a tight guard and intentions to kill. The taller fighter, Babb; made use of his jab at first but he couldn’t keep the relentless “Buddah” off of his chest as he was hit with hard hooks to the body and head from both sides. The crowd was really behind both fighters as they traded punches in the center of the ring with Berriguette getting the better of the exchanges but Babb finding the strength to take the punches and trying to fire back his own haymakers. Action would be non-stop but in the fourth and final round Berriguette seemed to finally have Babb spent with the body shots taking their toll on the lanky fighter, they would go blow for blow as the fight ended and embrace at the bell in a true warrior’s gesture. In the end however Gary Berrigeutte’s non-stop punching and better accuracy won him a 40-36 decision on all three judge’s scorecard as a winless but brave Mack Babb is denied victory.
Fighting in just his second pro bout, Southside Jamaica Queens native DeVaun “Unique” Lee (1-0) took on Dominican Republic native Josue Valdez (5-0 3KO’s) in a four round super middleweight bout. Entering to his brother’s rap song, the popular Lee gleamed with confidence as he faced off against the more experienced southpaw Valdez who was ready to stop the crowd’s cheering. Using his superior reach, Lee was able to employ a jab that kept Valdez at bay for a few moments but Valdez knowing he had to do something drastic used his greater experience to muffle the jab and get inside. On the ropes and blocking shots, Lee would throw some “Unique” uppercuts and hooks to knock back the visitor’s head, Valdez was game and would answer back with punches in bunches that didn’t always find their mark on the slick Lee. The third stanza would start with Valdez rushing to the center of the ring and landing a right hand to Lee’s face causing the crowd to “ooh” and “ahh” but Lee retaliated immediately with his own right hand that put Valdez on his back as the shot clashed off the top of his head. Hurt and on spaghetti legs, Valdez got back up but could not hold off the anxious Lee who swarmed him and put him down with some pin point punches, the doctor would jump on the apron and stop the fight. With the TKO win at :37 of the third round, DeVaun “Unique” Lee would register his first stoppage victory as Valdez received his first devastating defeat.
In the opening bout of the evening, highly touted Rajiv Bhattacharya (9-0 6KO’s) of Stamford, CT by way of the United Kingdom; took on Maurice “Mo Badd” Chalmers (11-11-1 6KO’s) of Lynchburg, VA in a six round welterweight match. Both southpaws started timidly as the stances possibly made them feel beyond awkward along with having to open the show, Chalmers would try to be more aggressive in the second round but Bhattacharya would stay timid picking off most of the shots and trying to land a stiff jab. The actions would resume with Bhattacharya going back checking with the right hook and shooting a short left down the pipe to discombobulate the legs of the more muscular Chalmers who survives an onslaught of punches in the third round. Things seemed to turn around for the Virginia native as he was walking down a lethargic Bhattacharya with hooks and body shots while eating a jab to get inside. The fifth round would deliver a minor upset for Bhattacharya as a right hook to the head would stagger Bhattacharya and a follow up barrage by “Mo Badd” would put him on the mat for an eight count, moments later Chalmers would jump on his hurt opponent landing another big right hook to disconnect Bhattacharya from his senses forcing the referee to stop the carnage. The 1:02 TKO in the 5th round would award Maurice Chalmers the biggest win of his career as the once promising southpaw Rajiv Bhattacharya must find a way to regroup after being overwhelmed and stopped by his unheralded opponent.