Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hard Hitting Promotions Presents Friday Night Boxing - Friday, March 30th (Philadelphia, PA)

Hard Hitting Promotions returned to the Fillmore Philadelphia on Friday night for an action-packed night of professional boxing. The eight bout card featured a ten round, welterweight main event between Philadelphia's Raymond "Tito" Serrano (24-5, 10 KOs) and Baltimore's Malik Hawkins (13-0, 9 KOs). Serrano and Hawkins fought for the vacant WBA-NABA USA Welterweight Title.

Hawkins went on the attack early in the first round when he hurt Serrano with two right hands to the head. Serrano was in trouble again in the second round when Hawkins connected on a right upper cut to the jaw. Serrano remained behind on the cards through the first three rounds. As the end of the fourth round neared, Serrano attempted to rally by landing a multi-punch combo of punches to the head and body of Hawkins. In the seventh round, Hawkins controlled the tempo of the fight by landing a series of multi-punch combos that left Serrano dazed. In the eighth round, Serrano was in survival mode as he was stalked around the ring by his opponent. Despite appearing exhausted and hurt, Serrano demonstrated his toughness by staying on his feet. In the ninth round, Serrano landed two big left hands to Hawkin's head as the end of the round neared. These big shots allowed Serrano to win the round. At the outset of the tenth and final round, the two fighters exchanged body shots in the center of the ring. The two men brawled over the course of the round and fought aggressively all the way up to the final bell. The judges scored the bout 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92, all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Malik Hawkins.

In the co-main event of the evening, heavyweight prospect, Darmani Rock (11-0, 7 KOs) defeated Ronny Hale (4-12, 4 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled six round contest. The stoppage came at the 1:07 mark of the second round, when Rock knocked down his opponent with crushing left and right hands to the body. He followed these blows up with a right hand to the head that ended Hale's night. That was the Philadelphian's second straight, and seventh overall, knockout of his professional career.

Philly fan favorite, Branden Pizarro (9-1, 4 KOs) defeated San Diego's Pablo Cupul (9-24, 5 KOs) in a four round, lightweight contest. Pizarro, who is coming off of his first professional defeat, outclassed his tough opponent through all four rounds of action by landing several big shots to Cupul's head and body. In the third round, Pizarro flirted with a knockout victory when he pinned Cupul up against the ropes with a series of big left and right hooks. Cupul survived the beating to lose the fight on the cards, with all three judges scoring the bout 40-36 for Pizarro.

Sammy Teah (13-2-1, 6 KOs) made quick work of Nicaragua's Orlando Rizo (19-13, 11 KOs) on Friday night. The bout, which was scheduled for six rounds, only lasted one with Teah bullying his opponent from the opening bell. Rizo was knocked down twice in the first round by Teah multi-punch combos, before being kayo'd with a left hook to the head. Referee Ronald Ali Bashir stopped the fight at the 2:33 mark of the first round of the lightweight contest.

Philadelphia's Jeremy Cuevas (8-0, 6 KOs) squared off against Efrain Cruz (4-5-1, 1 KO) of Florida in a six round, lightweight contest. After winning the first round of the bout, Cuevas, who maintained a low guard throughout the contest, was knocked down in the second round with a Cruz right hand to the head. Cuevas was hurt after recovering from this knockdown, but managed to finish the round. By the beginning of the third round, Cuevas appeared to be more settled into the fight, and went on to pick apart his opponent throughout the final three rounds. In the final round, Cuevas snapped Cruz's head back with straight left and right hands. All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Jeremy Cuevas.

Super middleweights, Ronald Ellis (15-0-2, 10 KOs) and Taneal Goyco (9-11-1, 4 KOs) fought in a four round contest. Goyco was the far less active fighter, who applied a defense heavy strategy to the bout. This strategy "worked" until the fourth round when Ellis sent Goyco to the canvas with a right hand to his head. The judges scored the bout 59-54 and 60-53, twice, for Ellis.

Roc Nation's Tramaine Williams (15-0, 5 KOs) defeated veteran fighter, Antonio Rodriguez (12-21-1, 5 KOs) in a six round, featherweight bout. Williams ended the first round with a big multi-punch combo that sent him to his corner full of confidence. In the second round, Rodriguez was stumbled with a Williams' left hand to the head. Rodriguez went on the offensive at the end of the third round when he threw a series of punches that connected to the head and body of Williams. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, he was unable to land the "lucky punch". When Rodriguez attempted to come forward on Williams in the fourth round, he was pushed back on his heels with an overhand left to the head. Williams went on to win the fifth and sixth rounds over Rodriguez, who had a cut appear on the side of his right eye in the final round. The judges scored the bout 58-56, 59-55, and 60-53, all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Tramaine Williams.

The opening bout of the card was a light middleweight fight between Joey Alday (7-0, 7 KOs) and Mike Crain (1-2). Crain was knocked down with a right-left hand combo in the second round. Crain was sent crashing to the canvas in the third round when Alday connected with a left hook to his jaw. Referee Shawn Clark stopped the bout at the 1:28 mark of the third round of a scheduled four round fight.

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