Lou Dibella and HBO Boxing After Dark pump the fans up with a club show on Andro!

21.01.07 - By Brad Marchetti - “This is like a club show on Andro.”- Lou Dibella. From the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Broadway Boxing with Dibella Entertainment is hosting HBO’s Boxing After Dark on February 17th. With a capacity of 1200, the Hammerstein is quickly becoming a Blue Horizon-like tough guy boxing venue. Fast talking Italian warrior Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi , 26 (21-1, 5 ko’s) headlines the card against the always exciting Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry, 24, (21-4-2 10 ko’s) in a 10-round lightweight battle..

With only 5 ko’s in 22 fights, I asked Malignaggi if the fans were going to see more ko’s in future bouts and he was quick to respond. “What most people don’t realize is that I’ve been fighting most of my career with a hurt right hand. It’s kind of hard to knock guys out with one good hand. But now that the hand is completely healed I think there will be more ko’s. I can dance or rumble with Cherry though, however he wants it.” If Paulie decides to brawl it could make things interesting. Cherry comes to fight, and if Paulie stands and trades with Cherry we could be in for something special. This will be Brooklynite Malignaggi’s first fight with excellent trainer Buddy McGirt and I expect an impressive boxing performance. Bahamian, Cherry is tough as nails and could give the Magic Man a serious run for his money. That said, I’m making Malignaggi an early 3-1 favorite.

On the undercard, Brooklyn’s Sechew Powell, 27, (20-1 12 ko’s) takes on Las Vegas’s Ishe Smith, 28, (18-1 8 ko’s) in a 10-round Jr. middleweight fight. Smith was on season one of The Contender TV show and has done his share of trash talking leading up to this fight. I asked Sechew: “With Ishe talking all this trash, do you plan on punishing Smith for his disrespectful ways?” Sechew let me know how he felt with a burning intensity. “ I am definitely looking to make a statement. I want to get a knockout. I want to punish this guy bad. My hands are going to do the talking and his face will tell the story.” Powell recently lost his first bout of his career in his last fight against contender Kassim Ouma, but says that he has improved since the loss and is ready to take on the best fighters available. Smith is a legitimate top 30 contender and a solid test for Powell. Smith possesses fast hands and a smooth boxing style. Ishe has also beaten contenders Randall Bailey and David Estrada in his career. My feeling is that Powell will be a little too strong for Ishe, so I’m making Powell an early 2-1 favorite.

Also on the undercard, super prospect Andre Berto, 23, (16-0 13 ko’s) of Winter Haven, FL takes on durable Ben Tackie, 33, (29-6-1 17 ko’s) in a 10 round welterweight fight. This will be Berto’s biggest test to date, having never gone past 6 rounds as a pro. Built like a tank, Berto has loads of talent. He’s the complete package with blinding handspeed, power in both hands, tight defense and an extensive amateur background. Tackie is one tough guy though, who never stops coming forward and throws lots of hard punches. Tackie has faced the best and has a solid set of whiskers, so a knockout is unlikely. Berto admitted that knocking out Tackie would be a feather in the cap, but insists that he will box smartly. Berto has too much youth and talent for Tackie so I’m pegging him a solid 5-2 favorite. Having sparred with Jeff Lacy and Winky Wright, I don’t think this is as big a step up as it appears to be on paper for Berto. Hats off to Dibella for putting this card together. This will be a can’t miss event if you love boxing. Fight fans will be chomping at the bit even more than the fighters before the opening bell of this one.

Article posted on 21.01.2007

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