Undefeated super middleweight prospect Steve “The Savage” Sumpter dominated unbeaten James “Pitbull” Perkins en route to an eight-round majority decision, winning every round on two of the judges’ scorecards (judge Laurie Purcell had it 76-76, but she was overruled by judges Tom Clark and Stephen Clark who both had it 80-72), in the main event.
Photo: Emily Harney/Fightography
“I think it was a pretty good performance. I could have been better and been more offensive, but I secured the win,” said Sumpter, who was fighting in his second main event. “The 76-76 scorecard was pretty absurd if you ask me, but every judge scores fights differently.”
After two uneventful rounds where neither boxer threw many punches, both fighters’ offensive output dramatically increased. Sumpter fell to the canvas towards the end of the third round, but referee Jackie Morrell ruled it a slip as Sumpter and Perkins’ feet got tangled up due to their southpaw (Sumpter) vs. orthodox (Perkins) fighting style.
Sumpter outworked and out-landed Perkins throughout the fight and got the better of the exchanges, especially when both fighters were on the ropes. He displayed a sharp jab that continued to land, which Perkins had no answer for. Sumpter’s jab became even more effective as the fight wore on, as Perkins began to tire, and his hands were down more. His jab also kept Perkins off balance and prevented him from getting into any offensive rhythm.
His fast hand speed, great footwork, and constant movement around the ring allowed him to land multiple punch combinations on Perkins, particularly his left hand, and get out of the range of Perkins’ power punches. Perkins aggressively stalked Sumpter around the ring and landed the harder punches but did not let his hands go enough to make this fight close. He also struggled to keep Sumpter pinned to the ropes because he continued to spin out. When Perkins did pin Sumpter to the ropes, he did not land many effective punches because Sumpter displayed good defense and blocked a lot of his shots.
“It was great to win another belt. It is also significant that I get to bring this belt back to Pittsfield [his hometown] because many people sleep on Pittsfield,” said Sumpter. “I wanted a few more fights this year. I want to keep on fighting. I like to progress and stay in the gym. I will return to the drawing board and keep working and improving. Whatever comes my way, comes. I am not ducking anyone. I will take any fighter.”
Sumpter improved to 9-0, 7 KOs, and obtained the vacant IBA Americas super middleweight belt. This was the second undefeated fighter he has faced in his last three bouts. Last year, Sumpter moved up to the light heavyweight division and beat undefeated Edet Mkpanam (8-0, 7 KOs) by way of an eight-round unanimous decision for the vacant USA Massachusetts State title. He won every round except one on two of the judges’ scorecards.
Perkins lost for the first time in his professional career and dropped to 12-1-1, 9 KOs. His thirteen-bout unbeaten streak ended. This was his fourth fight of the year and the first time he had fought past the sixth round in his professional career.
“Pandemonium at the Palladium” was presented by Granite Chin Promotions, one of New England’s fastest-growing boxing promotional companies, in front of a packed crowd at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts. The main event and the seven undercard bouts were streamed live on bxngtv.com.
Undefeated welterweight prospect Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley obtained a first-round knockout over Hector “El Gatito” Esnar Bobadilla in the co-feature. Whitley, a notoriously slow starter, knocked Bobadilla down with the first punch he threw, a left hook to Bobadilla’s body. Referee Leo Gerstel stopped the bout at twenty-five seconds when Bobadilla did not beat his ten-second count. Whitley, the Massachusetts welterweight titleholder, upped his record to 12-0, 7 KOs, and added the vacant USBF Atlantic welterweight title to his collection. Bobadilla fell to 9-15-1, 4 KOs.
“I felt good today. Everybody has been telling me that I need to start faster in fights, and that is what I did today. The one punch I threw knocked him down and ended the fight,” said Whitley, who scored the quickest knockout victory ever at The Palladium. “I want a ten-round bout next, and then hopefully, I can get ranked in the top twenty-five in a world-ranking organization by the middle of next year.”
Carlos “El Gallo” Gonzalez won a six-round knockout over Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell (0-1), who was making his professional debut. Gonzalez knocked Campbell down after he landed several unanswered punches. Referee Morrell stopped the lightweight bout at one minute and twenty-nine seconds because Campbell did not want to continue to fight. Gonzalez kept his knockout streak going as he improved to 7-0, 7 KOs. This was his fifth fight of the year and his first bout that went past the third round. Gonzalez dominated this bout as he landed more power shots, especially to Campbell’s body.
Eslih Owusu beat veteran Larry “Slow Mo” Smith via a fifth-round technical knockout. Owusu upped his record to 10-1, 4 KOs. He has won three in a row following a loss to undefeated Oliver Meng for the World Youth junior middleweight title. Smith, who fought for the seventh time, dropped to 13-55-2, 9 KOs. Owusu knocked Smith down in the fourth and fifth round from a left, right hook to Smith’s head. Referee Gerstel stopped the junior middleweight bout at fifty-three seconds following the second knockdown as Smith was in no shape to continue to fight.
Undefeated featherweight prospect Felix Parrilla dominated Luis Porozo en route to a six-round technical knockout. Porozo turned his back to Parrilla, forcing referee Morrell to stop the bout at one minute and eleven seconds. Parrilla aggressively chased Porozo around the ring, out-threw and out-landed Porozo, and connected on harder punches. Parilla knocked Porozo down in the fourth round from a left, right hook. Referee Morrell took a point away from Porozo in the fifth for excessive holding. Parrilla, a two-time National Golden Gloves silver medalist, improved to 8-0, 7 KOs. Porozo, a 2008 Olympian from Ecuador and former WBA Fedecaribe super featherweight titleholder, fell to 16-8, 9 KOs.
Dany Lafos (1-0, 1 KO), a bronze medalist at the 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, obtained a first-round technical knockout over Jeremy Gregory in his professional debut. He landed just about everything he threw. Then towards the end of the round, Lafos connected on a left, right hook to Gregory’s head that knocked him down. Referee Gerstel stopped the junior middleweight bout at two minutes and forty-six seconds because Gregory struggled to get up from the knockdown. Gregory dropped to 0-8-1.
Lightweight “The Outlaw” Ryan Venable scored an upset four-round split decision over Calixto Cruz (judge Stephen Clark had 38-37 for Cruz, but he was overruled by judges Tom Clark and Laurie Purcell, who both had it 38-37 for Venable). Venable upped his record to 4-17 and ended his six-bout losing streak. Cruz fell to 2-1. Venable knocked Cruz down in the first round from a right jab to his head. Cruz appeared in bad shape but beat referee Morrell’s ten-second count. Cruz recovered quickly from the knockdown and controlled the next three rounds. He aggressively chased Venable around the ring and got the better of the exchanges, and connected on more power shots, however, two of the judges at ringside did not see it that way.
Thomas Blumenfeld made quick work of Richard “Hard to Hit” Bernard with a first-round knockout. He knocked Bernard down twice from right hooks to his body. Referee Gerstel stopped the lightweight fight at one minute and thirty-six seconds after Bernard could not beat his ten-second count following the second knockdown. Blumenfeld, the 2020 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, improved to 3-0, 2 KOs. Bernard dropped to 1-13-1.