Photo: DiBella Entertainment/Ed Diller – Earlier tonight before a boisterous sold out crowd at the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, NY, DiBella Entertainment presented the latest edition of its popular Broadway Boxing series. The special-edition Saturday Broadway Boxing card was entitled “Battle for Brooklyn” and was headlined by Brooklyn’s fan-favorite welterweight contenders Gabriel “Tito” Bracero and Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita.
The bout between the two Brooklynites has been talked about for years, and as soon as the fighters emerged from their respective dressing rooms, the crowd erupted
The first few rounds were feeling out rounds but Bracero picked up the pace in the third. There was good two-way action in the ensuing rounds, with Bracero landing the more telling shots.
In the 8th round, Bracero sent Salita to the canvas with a short left hand. Although Salita didn’t appear hurt, Bracero jumped all over him when the action resumed, in what was clearly the most dominate round of the night.
Bracero picked up where he left off in the 9th, bloodying Salita under his eye and on his forehead in yet another dominate round for the Puerto Rican-American.
In the 10th and final round both fighters came out swinging, in what was easily the best round of the fight. Both fighters scored hard shots during the round an ended the fight in the center of the ring standing toe-to-toe.
In the end all three judges scored the bout in Bracero’s favor, 100-89, 99-90, 97-92. With the win, Bracero improved his record to 23-1, 4KO’s, picking up the WBO International Welterweight Title. The victory over Salita (35-2-1, 18KO’s) was the most important victory of Bracero’s career and hopefully sets him up for something big in the 140-147 lb divisions sometime in 2014.
HARDY SCORES 2ND ROUND TKO TO PICK UP FIRST TITLE
In the co-feature bout of the evening, Heather “The Heat” Hardy continued on her path to stardom, scoring a devastating 2nd round TKO over Ana Gomez and picking up her first professional title in the process.
Hardy, who only turned pro last year, has quickly become one of the major attractions on the New York boxing scene and on this night, fighting for the first time in her home city of Brooklyn, she didn’t disappoint. Fighting in front of her legion of adoring, and growing fan base, Hardy picked up the UBF junior featherweight title in impressive fashion.
Hardy came out on fire, dishing out heavy punishment from the outset. Hardy had Gomez in trouble immediately, as she scored vicious shots with both hands. Gomez was able to make it out of the round, but the end seemed near.
Hardy picked up right where she left off in the 2nd, once again blitzing Gomez and opening up with both hands. With Gomez taking hard shots the referee wisely jumped in, calling a halt to the contest at 1:44 of round number two. With the victory Hardy improves to a perfect 7-0, 2KO’s and looks to be inching towards her first world title opportunity in 2014.
OHTA DECISIONS RUIZ IN A SLUGEST
In one of the feature bouts of the evening, world-rated junior middleweight contender, Charlie Ohta slugged out an exciting eight-round majority decision over Mike Ruiz.
The WBA #11, WBO #11 and IBF #13-rated Ohta pressed the action throughout, stalking Ruiz around the ring and repeatedly landing hard right hands upstairs. Ruiz was able to counter effectively though, and landed a number of hard shots of his own. While Ruiz had success on the outside, his punches just didn’t seem to have much effect on Ohta, who noticeably rocked Ruiz on multiple occasions. In the end, the judges favored Ohta’s aggression awarding him a 79-74, 77-75, 76-76 majority decision. With the win Ohta improved his record to 23-1-1, 15KO’s while Ruiz dropped to 17-8, 9KO’s .
In his much anticipated pro debut, 18-year-old boxing prodigy Junior “Sugar Boy” Younan wasted little time in notching his first professional victory, stopping Kenneth Schmitz at 1:40 of the very first round.
With his home crowd behind him, the blue-chip prospect displayed blistering speed, jumping all over Schmitz as soon as the bell sounded to start the fight. Younan gave his opponent absolutely no chance to even get into the fight, dropping Schmitz only seconds into the round. Schmitz beat the bell, but just had no answers for Younan’s speed and power. With Schmitz taking heavy shots the referee had no choice but to call a halt to the contest. Look for Younan (1-0, 1KO) to be back in action very soon as he hopes to quickly ascend the ranks of the super middleweight division.
In a bout that he seemingly won comfortably, Freeport, Long Island’s up-and-coming prospect Patrick “All” Day was forced to settle for a six-round majority draw in his junior middleweight clash with Urmat Ryskeldiev.
Day used his superior boxing ability and ring generalship to ward off the constant pressure of the hard-charging Ryskeldiev. Ryskeldiev was able to score at times, but never had Day in any trouble. It was a tough bout, and one that Day seemed to have in the bag. Unfortunately, two of the three judges didn’t see it the same way.
Julie Lederman scored the bout 59-55 for Day while both Robin Taylor and Robert Perez shockingly scored it even at 57-57. It was the first blemish on the otherwise perfect record of Day, who now stands at 5-0-1, 2KO’s while Rykeldiev’s record stands at 5-3-1, 4KO’s.
Promising lightweight prospect and 5-time NY Golden Gloves Champion, Shemuel “The Chosen One” Pagan improved to a perfect 4-0, 1KO with a dazzling and dominant four-round shut-out decision over tough-as-nails Jesus Cintron.
Pagan landed vicious combinations to both the body and head of Cintron round after round, and had his opponent in trouble a number of times. Somehow though, Cintron stayed on his feet and was able to make it to the final bell. Pagan, who is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and 50 cent’s SMS Promotions will likely be back in action on the SMS promoted card December 20th in Queens, NY.
The Bronx’s undefeated Louis Cruz ended his six-round super lightweight bout in devastating fashion, knocking out Bryan Acaba at 1:24 of round number two. With his opponent’s back against the ropes, Cruz landed a monstrous left hook disconnecting Acaba from his senses. Rather then drop to the canvas though, Acaba stayed up right, caught in the ropes as Cruz landed another vicious left hook before the referee could jump in and call a halt to the contest. With the impressive victory Cruz improves to 5-0, 3KO’s.
In his second professional bout, former #1-rated amateur and national champion Chris “Golden” Galeano fought through a nasty cut to win a unanimous four-round decision over Jamil Gadsden.
The junior middleweight Galeano boxed beautifully behind a steady jab, controlling the action from the outside. In the 2nd round an accidental head butt opened up an extremely deep cut over Galeano’s left eye that bled profusely for the rest of the fight. Galeano kept his cool though, and boxed his way to a clear-cut four-round decision, winning by scores of 40-36, 40-36, 39-37. With the win, Galeano gets his pro career back on track, improving to 1-1.
Hard-hitting light heavyweight Joe Smith improved his record to 13-1, 11KO’s with a workman like six-round split decision over Lamont Williams 5-3-1, 2KO’s. Fighting behind a strong contingent of fans, Smith used his aggression and constant pressure to take the decision over the rugged Williams.
Photo credit: DiBella Entertainment/Ed Diller