By Justin Jones & Paul “Paparazzi” Jones | Published June 15, 2014 | Photo © Paul “Paparazzi” Jones
Atlantic City, NJ – Although Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (21-1, 13 KOs) made quick work of Keenan Collins (15-9-3, 10 KOs), stopping him early in the first round of Top Rank’s “Solo Boxeo” main event, there was noticeable change in the 24-year-old Junior Middleweight’s attack, patience, and movement.
He wasn’t merely focused on head-hunting or brawling to “please the crowd,” as stated by a candid Tapia in his post-fight interview at the Bally’s Hotel and Casino–which was filled with Tapia fans donning Team Tapia shirts and shouting “Jersey Boy.” Tapia displayed more attention to detail in this comeback effort after suffering his first loss to hard-hitting James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) and a lot of that can be credited to working with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
“Freddie demands perfection out of me and whoever he trains. If I do something good he lets me know it’s good, but it needs to be perfect,” Tapia said. “I feel like I’m a smarter fighter now and not just fighting with my heart. I’m actually putting my shots together now and being patient. I’m back and better than ever.”
It’s hard to say where Tapia ranks among the elite at 154 lbs. as Collins provided little resistance and isn’t considered a gatekeeper in the division by most boxing pundits. One thing is for sure, if Tapia continues to work with Roach and surround himself with some of boxing’s best, such as Manny Pacquaio (56-5-2, 38 KOs) and Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs), good habits and invaluable knowledge will rub off on the “Jersey Boy”.
“I not only get to learn from Freddie, but Manny and Cotto too. Cotto was giving me pointers before his fight with Sergio (Martinez) about how to line my right shoulder with my opponent’s right shoulder then land the left hook to the body,” said Tapia.
“Camp was about eight weeks and it was great. The only real challenge with traveling out to the Wild Card Boxing Gym (CA) is leaving my 2-year-old daughter and family behind, because I’m a family man. It’s tough but I know that I have a good connection with Freddie and the team and I will be going back out there shortly to get ready for the next fight.”
Tapia did suffer a nasty cut to his left thumb that required stitches in the dressing room. The severity of the injury or how long it will keep Tapia from engaging in physical activity was not disclosed.
Other notable results from Saturday’s card:
Julian Rodriguez (4-0, 3 KOs) finishes off Angel Figueroa (3-1-1, 0 KOs) by second round TKO.
Toka Kahn Clary (12-0-0, 1 NC, 8 KOs) outpoints Jose Haro (8-1, 6 KOs) en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. Scorecard: 59-55 (thrice).
Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (10-0, 6 KOs) wins by Unanimous Decision over Alberto Morales (11-4-1, 1 NC, 8 KOs). Scorecard: 60-53 (thrice).■
Justin Jones: Justinjones2112@gmail.com, @jusjones29
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