Once again, Lou DiBella and SMS Promotion’s 50Cent teamed up to take over the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, for another action packed edition of Broadway Boxing. With an eight bout card featuring both the future and a former world champion, everyone would be pleased as DiBella dedicated the night to the recently departed Emile Griffith. The New York boxing scene has created many world champions and characters, and with Griffith being honored in the city where he cut his teeth in, the fighters were set to use their fists to honor him in his own way.
In a fairly lackluster main event, Brooklyn’s Yuri Foreman (30-2 8KO’s), a former junior middleweight world champion; went in seeking his third consecutive victory of the year as he challenged Philadelphia native Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (14-9-1 6KO’s). Starting the fight from the outside in his own range, Foreman bounced gracefully as he made Davis chase him and fall in to short hooks and long rights to the body. Davis was frustrated for most of the bout and did not find much success except on the ropes with the occasional flurry as Foreman peppered his man from outside with a steady rhythmic pace. Unable to mount an offense, Davis who was bleeding over the right eye from a sneaky punch; was thoroughly outworked for the rest of the bout forcing the judges to render scores of 80-72 across the board in Foreman’s favor as he earns his 31st victory.
The bout leading up to the Foreman-Davis fight was a six round junior featherweight women’s boxing matchup between Heather “The Heat” Hardy (5-0) and Cassies Trost (1-1-1). Hardy, from nearby Brooklyn; not only had the large crowd on her side, but she had “The Heat” and nobody told her the heat wave is over as she poured it on Trost from the opening bell. Making her way from Seattle, WA; Trost was very game and landed a few head snapping punches early on but Hardy’s work rate and aggressiveness stifled her opponent as she slowly broke her down with punches to the body, even causing blood to rush from her nose in the fourth round. Not having scored a knockout in her career so far, Hardy really wanted to end the match and leave no doubts in her mind, and in the fifth round a barrage capped by a straight right hand put Trost on her knees who seconds later was waved over by the referee at 1:30 awarding Hardy her first KO win to much of the delight of the crowd.
Making the trip from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, junior welterweight Emanuel “Pirata” DeJesus (5-0 4KO’s) returned to action here in the north east as he took on Khalik Memminger (6-10-3 3KO’s) of Killeen, TX in a four rounder. Known back home for his punching power, DeJesus was looking to display this attribute infront of new faces as he came out swinging from the first bell. Slamming shots to the body and head, DeJesus tried to give everything he had to take out Memminger who was more game and durable than his record suggested, the straight rights and left hooks landed on him were fierce but he did enough to survive the onslaught. The judges would score a shutout in favor of “Pirata” as the 40-36 verdict by all three judges ruled him the winner and another win on his six bout undefeated ledger.
In a showcase fight for local decorated amateur “Notorious” Travis Peterkin (7-0 4KO’s) of nearby Brooklyn,NY, he faced off in a six round bout against extra-tough Phoenix, AZ native Hector Hernandez (10-5-2 4KO’s) in a fight just one pound over the light heavyweight limit. For the most part Peterkin the taller, longer, southpaw fighter; was able to stay outside and potshot. Employing a superb jab and right hook to the body and head, Peterkin was able to nullify Hernandez’s attempt to get inside and make it rough, not able to land much of anything significant but he always pressed forward. When the dust settled all three judges were in agreement coming up with identical scores of 60-54 for the now 8-0 undefeated Brooklyn fighter.
Hardcore inside fighter Bryant “Pee-Wee” Cruz (5-0 5KO’s) of Portchester brought his legion of fans who wore their signature green shirts while chanting “Pee-Wee”, his opponent a junior lightweight fighter by the name of Nuwan Jayakody (1-1 1KO) of Washington D.C.; came to try and upset the young upstart fighter. From the opening the bell the two fighters fought in close with Cruz pressing the action using a stiff jab to set up his hook and overhand right, but the feisty Jayakody was able to land the occasional right hand that landed well but didn’t phase the juggernaut Cruz. Attacking to the body usually slows down a fighter with good legs so Cruz went downstairs with hooks and tried to really keep his knockout streak alive against the sturdy D.C. native. While Jayakody had his moments the work rate presented by Cruz was too much and he made sure to begin and end each round to guarantee a round won, and he did so as all three judges scored it a sweep brining up Cruz’s record to 6-0 but not rewarding him with the knockout he wanted so badly.
The third bout of the night was a true spectacle in the young career of Louis Cruz (3-0 2KO’s) of the Bronx as he looked to be the master against his older opponent Justin Robbins (1-1) of Springfield, IL. Creating distance and maintaining it while being offensive is hard, yet Cruz was easily able to shoot fast jabs and right hands to the body that had Robbins guessing which way he was going to try to land and with what. The second round was all Cruz as he stepped it up and started to land combinations and a left check hook during a scramble spun Robbins and had him take a knee for an eight count, back on good legs, Robbins really tried to get back in the fight but was just a bit too slow for Cruz. The head movement and defense by the young Bronx boxer was superb as he avoided most of the fire coming his way and in the fourth round found a home for a looping right hand that helped stamp the 40-35 scores given to him by the judges, Cruz cruised through this one and is on his way up.
In a hard fought bout, Akil Auguste (2-0 2KO’s), another Brooklyn fighter; faced tough spoiler and California resident Louis “Unknown” Rose (7-1 2KO’s) in a six round 162lb catch weight bout. The taller Auguste was able to keep his man on the outside in the early going but Rose’s toughness shown through and had Auguste cut his output in half. Trying to create a streak of stealing 0’s from NY fighter’s records, Rose made it rough for the southpaw with good straight rights that sometimes rocked Auguste who would hold and turn out to recover, he looked great and kept his activity and pressure up to take the fight out of the Brooklyn fighter. The final round was exciting as Auguste knew he had to pull out all the stops and was able to land some great uppercuts on the inside with his lead hand but Rose retaliated and shot back with his own fire power to end the bout. In a slight upset Louis “Unknown” Rose won the bout by scores of 59-55 from all three judges giving Auguste his first loss.
The night’s opening bout was a brawl between two big men as Ecuadorian amateur standout Ytalo Perea (3-0 2KO’s) who now resides in Howard Beach, NY took on fellow undefeated heavyweight John Orr (1-0) of Kansas City, MO in a four round bout. There was no time wasted as Perea and Orr came out swinging both looking for KO’s, and there was almost a knockdown as Orr clipped Perea with a short right hand that woke up the dangerous slugger. Quickly clearing the cobwebs, Perea dropped his hands ala Roy Jones Jr. and fired quick combinations downstairs and up that blinded Orr, with a little over a minute into the round a huge right hand by Perea put Orr down face first. Unable to get up in time the referee had no choice but to wave off the bout awarding Perea an exciting knockout at 1:48 of the first round.