Sunday, April 29, 2018

Top Rank/ESPN Boxing featuring Jessie Magdaleno vs. Isaac Dogboe - Saturday, April 28th (Philadelphia, PA)

Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing returned to Philadelphia on Saturday night. The nine bout card featured three fights that aired in prime time on ESPN. Top Rank teamed with Philadelphia-based promotion, Peltz Boxing Promotions, to bring an action-packed night of boxing, which featured several talented local fighters, to the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University.

The main event featured a contest between Isaac Dogboe (19-0, 13 KOs) and Jessie Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) for Magdaleno's World Boxing Organisation World Super Bantamweight Title. In the first round, Magdaleno knocked Dogboe down with a multi-punch combo, highlighted by a left hook to the head. Dogboe appeared to be shaken up after the knock down, but managed to survive the round. During the second round, both gladiators exchanged big shots. In the fourth round, Dogboe hurt Magdaleno with a right hand to the head, but the defending champion stayed on his feet. Magdaleno landed a big right hook on Dogboe's head as the round ended. Magdaleno was knocked down in the fifth round from a Dogboe right hand to the head. It looked like the end was near for Magdaleno, however, the world champ battled back. Dogboe, hoping to score the knockout, threw everything but the kitchen sink at Magdaleno, and appeared to come close to punching himself out before the round ended. To add insult to injury, Magdaleno taunted Dogboe as he connected on hard punch after hard punch. Dogboe pushed Magdaleno into the ropes with a barrage of punches in the sixth round. Magdaleno appeared hurt, but survived the round. Magdaleno survived another Dogboe offensive assault in the seventh round. In the tenth round, Dogboe, clearly frustrated by not scoring a second knock down in the bout up to this point, swung for the fences and connected on a number of hard punches to Magdaleno's head and body. Magdaleno was knocked down in the eleventh round by a Dogboe right hand to the head. Magdaleno, badly hurt, pulled himself up to his feet, only to be knocked out by a Dogboe left hand to the head at 1:38 of the eleventh round.

Philadelphia's Jesse Hart (24-1, 20 KOs), the son of local legend Cyclone Hart, fought Maryland's Demond Nicholson (18-3-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight Title. In the opening round, Hart pinned Nicholson against the ropes with a multi-punch combo. Nicholson managed to squirm out of the trap, and avoid any additional damage. Nicholson responded to this onslaught by hitting Hart with a right hand to the head that hurt the fighter as the bell signalling the end of the first round rang. In the second round, Hart landed a nice right uppercut, followed by a right hook to Nicholson's head. In the third round, Hart knocked Nicholson down with a left-right hand combo. Upon further review, it appeared that the referee ruled a slip a knockdown. Nicholson was later staggered by a Hart left hand to the head. The fighter was knocked down again during this round by a Hart right hand to the head. In the fourth round, a Hart hard right to the head forced Nicholson to desperately wrap up his opponent. Hart hammered Nicholson with right hooks to the head in the sixth round. Despite appearing to be overwhelmed by Hart during this round, Nicholson attempted to rally at the end of the round, as he connected with left hands to Hart's head as the men were engaged in close combat. A Hart right hand to Nicholson's head in the seventh was the beginning of the end for the fighter. The hurt fighter appeared to be knocked down, but referee Shawn Clark did not call a knockdown, unbeknownst to Nicholson, who actually dropped his guard and turned his back to Hart. Hart, smelling blood in the water, went on the attack with a series of punches. The contest ended after Hart connected on a left hook to the head of Nicholson. Nicholson fell to the canvas and was counted out at 2:26 of the seventh round.

The first televised bout of the evening featured an all Philly heavyweight contest between Joey Dawejko (19-5-4, 11 KOs) and Bryant Jennings (23-2, 13 KOs) for the Pennsylvania Heavyweight Title. For the most part, the fighting was up close and personal through the first four rounds. In the second round, Jennings hit Dawejko with a jab that snapped his head back. The two men exchanged blows in the center of the ring in the third round. During this exchange, Dawejko connected with a big left uppercut that caught Jennings in the jaw. In the fourth round, Jennings appeared to hurt Dawejko with a big right hand to the head. The first five rounds were anything but clean, as both fighters were warned numerous times for low blows. In the fifth round, the two men viciously exchanged punches, causing both exhausted men to hang onto one another. Towards the end of this round, Jennings snapped Dawejko's head back with a straight right hand. Dawejko was hurt in the sixth round by a Jennings' left hook to the head. Jennings controlled the tempo of the eighth and ninth rounds, forcing Dawejko's corner to have to "light a fire under their fighter's ass." Dawejko answered the bell in the tenth round throwing hard punches to Jennings' head and body. Jennings responded with a straight left hand to Dawejko's head that caused the big man to fall forward into Jennings, pushing him into the ropes. Dawejko was unable to regain his composure, and spit out his mouthpiece. After recovering his mouthpiece, Dawejko attempted one last assault on Jennings' before the match ended, but this attack did not have the results that the fighter so desperately needed to capture the state title. Jennings won on all three judges' scorecards by a score of 98-92.

Olympic Silver Medalist, Shakur Stevenson (6-0, 3 KOs), a product of Newark, New Jersey, squared off against Georgia's Patrick Riley (12-1, 6 KOs). This eight round, featherweight bout served as a step up fight for the talented young fighter, Stevenson. In the first round, Stevenson staggered Riley with a right hand to the jaw. In the second round, Stevenson put on an offensive clinic that ultimately broke down his opponent. Stevenson knocked Riley down with a right hook to the jaw. Riley pulled himself up from the canvas, but was pulverized with a Stevenson multi-punch combo that forced the referee to stop the massacre at the 1:35 mark of the second round.

Olympic Gold Medalist, Robson Conceicao (7-0, 4 KOs) fought Alex Rynn Torres (6-2, 3 KOs) in a six round, super featherweight bout. Conceicao, a Brazilian native, put his speed on display in the first and second rounds. He worked his opponent's body effectively throughout the second round. In the third round, Conceicao landed several big hooks to Torres' upper body. Despite being outclassed by Conceicao, Torres fought valiantly through the six round contest. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Conceicao.

South Philadelphia fan favorite, Christian Carto (15-0, 11 KOs) faced Puerto Rico's Edwin Rodriguez (8-5-1, 4 KOs) in an eight round, bantamweight bout. Carto effectively used his jab in the opening frame, and ended the round by landing the first of many multi-punch combos on his opponent. Carto wore down Rodriguez in the second round by landing a series of big shots. At the end of the round, Carto landed a big straight right hand to the face of Rodriguez. Carto answered all Rodriguez punches in the third round with multi-punch combos of his own. Midway through the fourth round, Carto landed a big left-right hand combo to the head and body of Rodriguez. In the fifth round, Carto went on the attack again, as he pushed his opponent into the ropes with left and right hooks to the head and body. Rodriguez, a fighter who has never been knocked out, demonstrated his toughness by staying on his feet during the fifth round. Rodriguez went on the offensive in the sixth round. Both fighters had a nice exchange at the end of the sixth. The final two rounds were fairly close with both men landing effective punches. The judges scored the bout 77-75 twice, and 78-74 all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Christian Carto.

Lightweights, Kent Cruz (14-0-1, 9 KOs) and Mohamed Rodriguez (11-4-1, 4 KOs) fought in an eight round bout. In the first round, both fighters felt one another out. Unfortunately this action-less round would set the tempo for a majority of the fight. Cruz landed a big multi-punch combo on Rodriguez to end the second round. Both fighters landed a series of big hooks in the fourth round. Cruz landed a right hook to the jaw of Rodriguez in the fifth, but was unable to gain momentum following the clean blow on his opponent. The judges scored the bout 78-74 for Cruz, 77-75 for Rodriguez, and 76-76 a draw. The contest ended in a split decision draw.

Philly fan favorite, Joseph Adorno (7-0, 7 KOs) made quick work of Mexico's Jorge Padron (3-2, 3 KOs) in a fight that was scheduled for six rounds in the super featherweight division. Adorno landed a right hook to the lower ribs of Padron, that sent him down to the canvas. It didn't take Padron long to decide that he had had enough of Adorno. The referee counted him out, and called an end to the bout at 1:11 of the opening round. Adorno has now won all seven of his professional fights by way of knockout.

In the opening bout of the card, Philadelphia's Marcel Rivers (5-0, 4 KOs) fought Ronald Logan (0-3) of New York in a four round, welterweight contest. Rivers controlled the first round of action by effectively landing good left and right hooks. Rivers was the aggressor in the second round. He landed a series of straight left and right hands to the head and body that chased his opponent into the red corner. Logan appeared to slip while avoiding his opponent's offensive onslaught. Despite slipping, Logan was unable to rise from the canvas. The referee stopped the fight at the :49 mark of the second round.

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