Results from April 18 fights at the Robert Treat Hotel, Newark N.J. from First Round Promotions

By Lou McLaughlin: This past Wednesday April 18 Gabe LaConte and Greg Cohen’s First Round Promotions presented and evening of boxing at the Robert Treat Hotel’s ballroom in Newark N.J. The fight card showcased six rising New Jersey boxers. There was a very enthusiastic crowd in attendance. Each fighter’s families, friends, and fans gave loud vocal support. Among the boxing luminaries in attendance were Chuck Wepner, Randy Neumann (who also served as a referee), Lou Esa, and Kendall Holt. There were six bouts total for the well attended show.

The evening’s first bout was in the Super Middleweight division with Leandro Acevedo of Newark making his professional debut in four rounds against southpaw Marcus Clay of Baton Rouge, LA. It was a competitive fight with both guys giving and taking. The opening round saw Clay using his right handed jab which troubled Acevedo. Leandro towards round’s end was offsetting Clay’s jabs with left hooks to body and head. Second round opened with more of Clay using his longer reach and jab. Acevedo started working the body furiously with loud thudding left hooks which seemed to take some of the steam out of Clay. The round ended with Acevedo pushing and mauling Clay into the ropes. In the third Acevedo tried using his left jab but was falling short of the mark. So he returned to his blistering body attack. Fourth round saw Clay with his mouth open and hands lowering from Acevedo’s body attack. Clay’s punch output had diminished and the round fight closed with Marcus Clay pinned on the ropes under an onslaught of Acevedo left hooks and overhand rights. Leandro Acevedo was awarded a split decision score’s were 39-37 Acevedo, 39-37 Clay, and 40-36 Acevedo.

After the bout Leandro said he was a bit nervous and was glad to have his pro debut behind him. He stated he had not been expecting a southpaw and hadn’t trained for one that’s why he didn’t feel he looked as a good as he wanted for his debut. He said he will train more for southpaws.

Next up was another Newark professional debut in a welterweight division four rounds. Michael Concepcion of Newark vs. Danny Morales of the Bronx, New York. Concepcion had the height and reach advantage which he employed as the first round started and had Morales backing away from the swift jab. In the second round Morales tried every which way to get in past Concepcion’s swift left jab. At one point in frustration Morales leaped in and lifted Conception up. The referee broke that up and Concepcion smiled to the crowd. The third round saw Morales trying to employ head and upper body movement to avoid Concepcion’s pesky jab. The third round closed with Morales pinned on the ropes with Concepcion now coming in closer and working the body. In the final round both fighters were visibly tired. There was a lot of holding but again Concepcion was the more effective fighter. Concepcion by unanimous decision with 39-37 and 40-36 twice. When asked Michael Concepcion stated he was relived the pro debut was behind him. I asked him did he have any compliments or criticisms of his performance. He said next time he would work on even further improvement of his jab realizing it will have a lot of potential in future fights.

The third bout was a very competitive Heavyweight four rounds. Newark’s Aaron Kinch 2-0-1 took on Kevin Howard 2-5-1 from Montgomery Alabama. It was a fight hard fought at close quarters with both fighters leaning on each other and mauling. Kinch won a majority decision score of 39-37 twice and 38-38. In the post fight interview Aaron admitted that it was a tough fight with Hayward using his body weight to wear him down. That it had been an ugly first round but he has a lot of heart and pulled it out. His plan is to go back to the gym and get better.

Rising bantamweight KO artist Qa’id Muhammad of Atlantic City, NJ continued his knockout steak improving to 7-0 (6 KO) in a scheduled four rounds against Steven Johnson 7-4 of St. Joseph, MO. In the first Qa’id stalked his opponent with a quick jab and exhibited head and upper body movement remicscent of Pernell Whitaker. Johnson’s punches were visibly softer then Muhammad’s. Johnson suffered the first knockdown of the fight at about the round’s midway point. The second saw Johnson in more of a survival mode holding when possible hitting with light punches that either missed or didn’t affect Qa’id at all. The third began with Muhammad exhibiting his ring generalship and ended with bout’s final knockdown and stoppage at 1:24. In our post fight interview I asked Qa’id Muhammad how he felt about this his sixth stoppage in seven fights. He said he felt he was rushing to try to get the knockout and if he had taken his time would have gotten his opponent out earlier. I commented on my observation of him stylistically resemble Ming Pernell Whitaker. Qa’id said he wants to emulate Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The fifth bout of the evening a scheduled six rounds featuring John Thompson of Newark improving to 8-0 in taking on Jamond Bourgeois of Harvey, LA. The first round was a tentative feeling out round with Thompson looking to pick his shots. Most noticeable was John Thompson’s calm demeanor in the ring. In the second Thompson was sharp shooting his jab and ending the fight with a series of right hands at the 1:58 mark in post fight interview John Thompson said he was happy with his performance and will continue to improve. He is looking forward to his next bout at Newark’s Prudential Center on the undercard of the June 16th Tomasz Adamek will meet Eddie Chambers in a big heavyweight clash.

The main event of 8 rounds was Paterson N.J.’s Richard Pierson taking on Charles Hayward of Philadelphia, PA. The fighters opened the fight somewhat tentatively with Pierson measuring with his jab. In the second round Pierson’s jab had Hayward backing up. Hayward tried to get off his own jab but Pierson was defensively superior in blocking the jabs and countering with his right. The pace picked up in the third round with Hayward jabbing and hooking off the jab. A solid left to the body only made Pierson smile. Pierson demonstrated good head movement to offset Hayward’s attempts to jab in closer. The final round opened with an obviously tired Hayward throwing punches but with little power behind them. Pierson saw an opening and shot a picture perfect 1-2 combo and down went Hayward with referee Randy Neumann stopping the contest at the 2:37 mark of the 4th. After the fight Pierson was surrounded by fans and inaccessible for questions.

This past year has seen many exciting boxing events in the Newark area-from PPV professional bouts to the amateur Golden Gloves Finals last week at Prudential. Hopefully events like this will draw fans to downtown Newark and continue the revitalization of the area.

Article posted on 20.04.2012

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