This Saturday night fans gathered at Weequahic High School to watch local fighters go at it. It was an event to raise awareness about the issue of attendance in Newark public schools and community leaders, including the interim mayor of the city Luis Quintana, professed their gratitude to the promoters and staff for helping to bring boxing to the neighborhood.
In the first fight of the evening, hometown kid Godson “soldier Boy” Noel made an impressive showing winning a four round majority decision over Philadelphia’s Lavon Slade. Noel was the more effective fighter working off of the jab and sliding past Slade’s counter punches. Though Noel had Slade hurt a few times throughout the rounds it was never quite enough to put the Philly kid down or out. Slade, who was making his pro debut continuously landed hard punches but took more punishment than he put out. In the end one judge saw it a draw at 38-38, while the two others scored it 40-36 and 39-37 in favor of Noel, whose record advances to 3-0.
In the second fight of the evening, Ibn Akbar Richardson of Newark made his pro-debut against Eric George (0-6) of Niagara Falls, NY. The cruiserweights put on a good show amongst a vibrant crowd in favor of Richardson, who was returning to the ring after a hiatus that he began at the end of his amateur career, having competed in the New Jersey Golden Gloves. Richardson was the more effective fighter, using his jab and reach to his advantage. Although there were moments of opportunity for George, Richardson took advantage of them and went home with a Unanimous decision victory, the judges scoring the bout 39-37, and 40-36 two times.
Next up was another Newark fighter in the 2-1-2 Eddie Edmond, taking on Michael Mitchell (1-2-2) from Paterson, NJ. Edmonds made headway early landing body shots on the ribs of Mitchell. The rest of the fight was in a phone booth, with plenty more of the body shots and clinching that it started with. In the third round, Edmonds discovered the jab that would create a distance, but it did not last long. The fourth and final round was more of the phone booth style from the beginning before Edmond went down at the end of a push, with a ruling of no knockdown the fight went to the cards and the judges scored it for the more effective fighter, Mitchell who went home with a Unanimous decision. The scorecards read 39-37, 40-36, and 40-36.
The third fight of the night featured a rematch between Tyyab Beale of Newark and Jon Bolden of NYC. In the first fight, much like the second Beale was the aggressor.
Beale was more active with the jab in the first round, backing Bolden up. In the second round, Beale continued to back his opponent up, and started following up with the overhand right. The third round consisted of Bolden starting to counter from the ropes, throwing a small wrench in Beale’s game plane, this was exemplified when the fight was no longer on the ropes, and Beale seemed hesitant to throw a punch, avoiding the counter off the hands of Bolden.
As the rounds progressed the fight strayed from the ropes completely and went into a phone booth in the middle of the ring. In the sixth round the clinching reached a maximum as both fighters looked exhausted. The referee paused the action to take a point away from Bolden for holding, an obvious reaction to exhaustion. In the seventh round Beale hurt Bolden with and overhand right. He continued to work the body while Bolden clinched, but was unable to finish him when the referee separated the two.
The eighth round began with some clinching and a push sending Beale to the canvas off the hand of Bolden. Beale appeared to be favoring his right shoulder but continued the fight in its final round. With no signs of devastating injury, Beale used the shoulder in question to push his exhausted opponent off of him, trying to box for the rest of the fight. Beale was able to keep the fight at a distance and it went to the scorecards. The judges score the fight 80-71, and 78-73 two times for the hometown fighter, Tyyab Beale whose record advances to 9-3-1 via a unanimous decision.
Sosa v. Anderson
The main event featured Newark’s own rising star Michael “Slick” Anderson facing George “El Terrible” Sosa who is originally from Passaic, NJ but now out of Reading, Pa. The two wasted no time getting warmed up. Sosa set the pace, quickly throwing jabs with Anderson countering. Sosa continued to make the most of the round.
Anderson hurt Sosa in the beginning of the second round, but it was Sosa who dominates landing a series of punches hurting Anderson and backing him up to the ropes. Anderson recovered, but no significant punches were thrown for the duration of the round. It was apparent at the beginning of the third round that Anderson had gained his legs back, dodging punches from Sosa and swiftly navigating the ring, however when Sosa got Anderson on the ropes he was the more effective fighter landing hard shot to the body and face of Anderson, with evidence of the attacks showing via a cut above the left eye of Anderson.
However, the punishment was not unanswered as a serried of jabs left Sosa bleeding from his nose and mouth. By the end of the third round both fighters looked like they have been in a fight. The fourth round consisted mostly of jabs off the hands of Anderson, with a few landed by Sosa, working the cut over Andersons eye.
Anderson began the fifth round looking more energized than the previous round, working the body and following up with straight right hands. The action did not last long, as both fighters began to look exhausted towards the middle of the round. It was Sosa who landed a brief flurry to the body of Anderson, before the pair returned to clinching. Once separated by the Referee Anderson attempted jabs only to clinch when countered. In the seventh round Sosa landed a series of strong right hands, pinning Anderson against the ropes. Anderson was able to jab his way out of it, but it was clear that he was fighting Sosa’s fight. The final round began with a sense of urgency coming from both fighters. Perhaps Anderson feeling that he needed the knockout to win, and Sosa feeling like he needed the knockout to win in Anderson’s hometown. Neither fighter got the knockout and at the end of an action packed eighth round the fight went to the scorecards. While the decision was a split decision victory for Anderson, those watching ringside rightfully questioned the decision.