Bronx, NY – Feb 18, 2008 Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing presented another entertaining evening of fights Friday night from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The fights were telecast live on ESPN2’s popular “Friday Night Fights” boxing series..
Headling the seven bout card was exciting Danbury, CT welterweight Delvin Rodriguez (22-2-1, 13KO’s) taking on the previously unbeaten Philly veteran Troy Browning (20-1-1, 8KO’s) Right from the start one could see that Rodriguez’ longer reach and faster hands were to cause a problem for Browning as Delvin fired off beautiful combinations throughout. Rodriguez moved deftly around the ring as Browning stood his ground trying to work his way inside. Although in command all night, Rodriguez was forced to work very hard by the ever-trying Browning. Browning had his best moments of the fight in the fifth round landing several clean combinations to the head of Rodriguez. It might have been the only round Browning won over the ten rounds nonetheless he never stopped trying and made for an entertaining fight. The scoring was unanimous, 100-90 on two cards, 99-91 on the third all for Rodriguez in a very impressive all around effort.
“This was truly a night of electrifying fights for the many fans in attendance and the ESPN viewing audience. It is exactly what Star Boxing prides ourselves on; showcasing hot, up and coming talented prospects in exciting bouts. I am extremely proud of all of the performances tonight.” said promoter Joe DeGuardia.
The semi-final 10 round bout featured two European Jr. Welterweights making their US television debuts. French Moroccan Ali “The Hurricane” Oubaali (21-3-0, 17KO’s) and England’s Ashley Theophane (20-3-1, 7KO’s) hooked up in what was a major step up in class for each fighter. Oubaali started out the stronger of the two as Theophane chose to circle the ring in round one while Oubaali tried to figure out a way to cut him off. Theophane settled down a bit in round two, which allowed Oubaali to land some big shots, but was back on the bicycle at the start of round three. Round four saw a dramatic change in the strategy of Theophane as he stood his ground and fought with Oubaali behind a very effective jab and lead right hands. Round five saw Theophane score many clean shots to the head of Oubaali as both fighters traded freely. Round six began with Oubaali regaining control as he worked the body and head of Theophane effectively but at around a minute into the round Oubaali walked into a left hook by Theophane dropping him on the seat of his pants.
It was a flash knockdown but nevertheless it gave Theophane some momentum, which didn’t last very long. Oubaali came back from the knockdown like a house on fire and had Theophane reeling as the bell ended the round. Rounds seven and eight had the crowd on their feet as the two fighters stood toe to toe at times, both landing clean, hard shots. Oubaali seemed to get the better of the two way action punctuated by a tremendous right hand in round eight, which sent Theophane’s mouthpiece flying, landing in the lap of ESPN2 blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore. As a timeout was called to replace the mouthpiece, ringside physician Dr. Tony Alessi took a long look at Theophane but eventually decided to allow the fight to continue much to crowd’s delight. Sensing the urgency, Theophane tore after Oubaali for the remainder of the round and continued his torrid pace in the ninth, trying to close the gap. Oubaali went back to work in the final round but to his credit Theophane stood his ground right to the end as both fighters received a standing ovation from the crowd. Scores were unanimous, 96-93 twice, and 97-92, all for the exciting Ali Oubaali.
The undercard produced plenty of fireworks as Star Boxing showcased some of their young, new talent. All three Star Boxing prospects, Welterweight Ray Robinson (7-0-0, 3KO’s), Light Heavyweight Yathomas Riley (1-0-0, 1KO), and Welterweight Raymond Serrano Jr (3- 0-0, 2KO) were most impressive as all three scored knockout wins.
Robinson destroyed normally durable and tough local fighter Shakha Moore in the first round of scheduled six round bout. Robinson showed awesome power and fast hands as he overwhelmed Moore forcing the ref to bring a halt a .30 seconds of the first round.
National Golden Glove champion Yathomas Riley made his professional debut against a very game and determined Borngod Washington. Riley fought at an aggressive and fast pace with Washington trying to fight back. The pace and action continued over the next round and into the third when suddenly a sweeping left hook thrown by Washington seemed to catch Riley as he was off balance putting him on the canvas. Riley protested explaining to the ref that their feet go tangled up which caused the knockdown. This only made Riley angrier as he tore after Washington for the remainder of the round. Washington was bloodied and swollen but fought on as the bell sounded for the fourth and final round. Riley continued to pummel him until finally the referee mercifully stopped the bout at .58 seconds of the fourth round.
And it what may have been the most impressive showing of the night, Raymond Serrano Jr scored a 1st round TKO over unbeaten Ashanti Hendrickson in a bout scheduled for 4. Both fighters had extensive amateur backgrounds but it was Serrano who tore after Hendrickson as the bell sounded starting round one. A devastating right hand early by Serrano wobbled Hendrickson and Serrano was relentless until the referee stopped the action at .22 seconds of the first round.
Two local products completed the card as Jr Welterweight Eddie Soto (9-0-0, 4KO’s) remained undefeated squeaking out what many considered a questionable majority decision over hard luck loser Jason Jordan and in a bout which featured two undefeated fighters, Light Heavy Brian Macy (2-0-0, 1KO) won a 4 round decision over Oliver Musampa (1-1-0,1KO).