Ledesma Rises off the Mat to KO Gary Stark, Jr.

04.05.07 - By Christopher Roche, Ringside: Everything went according to plan for Staten Island, NY’s Gary Stark, Jr., except for the receipt of one nasty right hand, courtesy of little known Andres Ledesma. The crowd in the Grand Ballroom at New York City’s Manhattan Center witnessed a main event shocker when Ledesma, of Miami, FL, via Colombia, reached into his back pocket and pulled out an overhand right that smashed into Stark, Jr.’s left ear. Stark, Jr. was pressuring Ledesma into the ropes, near Ledesma’s corner, when Ledesma uncorked the fateful shot that laid Stark, Jr. flat on his back toward the center of the ring. The count only reached five, and the TKO was called at 2:08 of the fifth round. Stark, Jr. was knocked stone cold..

In the rounds leading up to the “shot heard around 34th Street”, Stark, Jr. looked very impressive. In the first two stanzas, Stark, Jr. showed good hand speed and discipline as he dazzled Ledesma with slick boxing moves. In the third round, Stark, Jr. closed the gap on Ledesma. Stark, Jr. pressured Ledesma with combinations to the body, and the fight looked like it was headed for an early ending, in favor of Stark, Jr. At the close of the round, Stark, Jr. planted Ledesma with a straight right hand, but Ledesma beat the count. Stark, Jr. clearly wanted the knockout, and when the bell sounded, he shook his fist in disappointment that he could not finish the KO. In the fourth, Stark, Jr. changed his strategy, and he played to the crowd at the start of the frame. Stark, Jr. stalked Ledesma and stopped moving his head. With the exception of one ominous hard right hand from Ledesma, Stark, Jr. walked in and mixed up his combinations to the head and body, at will.

The fifth round moved along according to plan for Stark, Jr., until he was drilled with the aforementioned shot heard around 34th Street. When Stark, Jr. hit the deck, the crowd grew extremely concerned. I looked over my shoulder, and I noticed “Ireland’s” John Duddy standing on his chair to see if Stark, Jr. was okay and promoter Lou Dibella rushed toward the ring. Fortunately, after several anxious moments, Stark, Jr. rose from the canvas and appeared to have his senses collected. The crowd for the main event was somewhat thinned out, because many of the fans left after James Moore’s bout, but those who stayed behind were treated to the upset of the month. Stark, Jr. dropped to 18-2 (8 KO’s) while Ledesma raised his record to 14-5-1 (9 KO’s). The main event was promoted by Dash-Dibella Productions.

In the co-feature, Arklow, Ireland’s James Moore opened a scalding kettle of body shots in his unanimous decision victory over Angel Gonzalez of Tampa, FL. Gonzalez, who previously fought at 188 lbs., was announced at 165 lbs. for this fight. Moore, who is having documented trouble getting opponents, had to take this bout at Super-Middleweight, when he actually campaigns as a Junior-Middleweight.

Moore opened the bout with determined aggression, and he pounded the body of Gonzalez with a vicious assault. Moore also displayed a fluid left jab, and he hit Gonzalez with two crisp overhand rights. Moore went back to the body again in the second, and he mixed in a nifty left jab-left hook combination that scored. Moore closed the round with a straight right hand to the head, as he loaded for bear.

Gonzalez adjusted his style in the third, and he gave Moore a new look. Gonzalez turned southpaw, and he moved very naturally from the altered stance. Moore undoubtedly could not scout his last minute opponent, and he lost some of the momentum from the earlier rounds as he figured out the new look. Despite the pace slowing, Moore still won the third handily.

The fourth round began with more aggression from Moore, but it ended with a grabbing fest, and Gonzalez was penalized one point. Moore moved ahead nicely on the score cards in the fifth frame, and he used his left hook to the body to soften up the larger Gonzalez. In the final stanza, it became obvious that Moore would cruise to a decision in this abbreviated six round bout. Gonzalez got in one more roughhouse tactic after the final bell sounded by landing his best punch of the night. Moore took it in stride and walked away with a unanimous decision.

Over the eighteen minute fight, Moore connected with everything but the kitchen sink. I said to Moore after the fight that it looked like Gonzalez just would not go down. Moore simply smiled and said, “He was very tough.” Moore, who now fights out of New York City, graciously took the lopsided decision and kept his record perfect at 11-0 (8 KOs). Gonzalez dropped to 5-4-1 (3 KOs).

In the featured bout of the under card, James “Buddy” McGirt, Jr. scored a unanimous decision over Brad Austin. McGirt knocked Austin down in round four, and an exhausted Austin crumbled in round eight as well. Austin fought very hard, though, and he tagged McGirt, Jr. with several right hands throughout the bout, including in the eighth, after he rose from the knockdown. Nonetheless, McGirt, Jr. earned a lopsided decision victory and improved to 15-0 (8 KO’s). Austin fell to 8-3 (5 KO’s).

In other action, Jorge “The Truth” Teron, of the Bronx, stopped Jovann Jones, of Arapahoe North Carolina, with a picturesque 1-2 combination in the center of the ring. The stoppage came at 2:54 of round five. The Mark Breland trained Teron displayed his usual array of slick boxing moves, patience and discipline. Teron stayed unbeaten at 16-0-1 (10 KOs). Jones bloodied Teron’s nose in a hard fought battle, but he came up short and dropped to 9-4 (4 KO’s).

In another surprising upset, Juliano Ramos of Brazil was stopped in the second round by Jose Angel Roman of St. Augustine, FL. Ramos, of Sorocaba, Brazil, was nearly floored twice the second. He wobbled on jello legs for about ninety seconds, until a straight right hand to the jaw finally dropped him. Ramos tried to get up but stumbled to the canvas again, and the bout was waived off at 2:13 of the round. Ramos dropped to 14-2 (11 KO’s), while Roman moved to 10-15-3 (5 KO’s).

In other under card action, Philadelphia’s Rashiem “Rich and Famous” Jefferson won a rugged unanimous decision over Carlos “Bam Bam” Diaz, and Luis Ruiz scored a decision victory in his pro debut over Tolan Tascoe.

Article posted on 04.05.2007

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