Sunday, July 1, 2018

Joe Hand Promotions Presents Xcite Fight Night II - Friday, June 29th (Bensalem, PA)

The Philly fight scene was in full-force Friday night at Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Joe Hand Promotions in association with BAM Boxing put on yet another exciting night for fight fans in Bucks County with an eight fight card of professional boxing. To the local crowd's delight, all but two of the fighters on the Xcite Fight Night II card were from the greater Philadelphia area. This made for a great night of aggressive, Philly-style fights loaded with action.

The main event featured the return of Miguel Cartagena (15-5-1, 6 KOs) to Pennsylvania. Cartagena, a native of North Philadelphia, has not fought in his home state since 2014. His opponent, Carlos Maldonado (11-2, 7 KOs), is a fighter from Los Angeles who has fought all but one of his previous fights as a professional in Mexico. Unfortunately, Cartagena's homecoming was spoiled by his orthodox, flyweight opponent. In the second round, Maldonado hurt Cartagena with a left hook to the head that he followed up with a multi-punch combo to Cartagena's head and body. Cartagena snapped Maldonado's head back with a right hand in the third round. The two men had a good exchange at the end of the fourth round that included a number of clean, hard punches to the head and body. Cartagena landed a nice left hook to the head of Maldonado in the seventh round. Seconds later, blood appeared on the fighter's nose. After a big exchange of punches later in the round, blood appeared under Cartagena's right eye. Cartagena was knocked down in the eighth and final round by a Maldonado right to the head. Before the knockdown, Cartagena was on shaky legs after being hit with a left-right combo. Cartagena recovered from the knockdown, and was forced to fight to make it out of the bout on his feet. Maldonado, hoping for the knockout, landed big right hands to the head of Cartagena that snapped the fighters head back. The final ten seconds of the bout were arguably the longest ten seconds of Cartagena's life. The judges were divided in how they saw the fight, and scored contest 76-75 for Maldonado, 76-75 for Cartagena, and 77-74 for the winner by split decision, Carlos Maldonado.

The co-main event of the evening featured a six round rematch between local junior middleweights, Anthony Prescott (8-8-3, 2 KOs) and Isaiah Wise (6-2-1, 3 KOs), in which both men "beat the crap out of each other." The two men met on the first Xcite Fight Night card on March 9th with Prescott walking away the winner by split decision. The two fighters were involved in a brutal exchange as the second round came an end. In the third round, a vicious exchange began when Prescott landed a series of hard rights to the head of Wise. The round ended with an action-packed exchange in which both men threw hard lefts and rights to one another's heads and bodies. At the beginning of the fourth round, Wise jabbed Prescott into the blue corner. Later in the round, Prescott who appeared to be on shaky legs, clubbed Wise into a neutral corner as the round came to an end. Wise controlled the fifth round until the final seconds of the round when Prescott landed a series of power shots to the head of Wise. In the sixth and final round, Prescott landed shot after shot which bloodied Wise's nose. The two men fought through the final bell and had to be pulled apart from referee, Benjy Esteves. The judges scored the bout 58-56 for Prescott, 58-56 for Wise, and 57-57 a draw.

North Philadelphia boxing prospect, Marcel Rivers (6-0, 4 KOs) fought Delaware's Mike Crain (2-3-1, 1 KO) in a six round, welterweight bout. Crain got a taste of Rivers' power towards the end of the first round when he was caught with a hard right hand to the head. Rivers went on the attack in the second round, but Crain wrapped up his opponent to avoid any unnecessary damage from the always dangerous, Rivers. As the round progressed, Crain continued to hold Rivers, and at one point tackled his opponent into the ropes. Crain hit Rivers with an accidental headbutt in the opening seconds of the third round. This headbutt seemed to take some of the momentum out of Rivers' offense, however, Crain kept his distance and fought extremely cautious for the remainder of the round. In the fourth round, Rivers walked into a number of Crain's shots, and appeared to be tiring as the round came to an end. Rivers rallied in the fifth round, as he landed a series of power shots to Crain's head and body that clearly stunned the fighter. Rivers opened up the final round with a right hand hand to the head that staggered Crain. Soon after, blood appeared in his nose. Rivers easily won this round by clobbering Crain with numerous big right hands to the head and body. The judges scored the bout 58-56 and 59-55 twice for Rivers.

Elmira, New York's Vinnie Denierio (3-5, 1 KO) fought North Philly's Victor Vasquez (21-11-1, 9 KOs) in a six round, junior welterweight contest. Denierio, an awkward and lengthy fighter, is no stranger to the Philadelphia fight scene as he has recently appeared on several shows in the area. In the first round, the two fighters spent a great deal of time feeling one another out. In the second round, the taller Denierio leaned into a number of shots from the stocky Vasquez. Denierio punished Vasquez in the third round by pushing him into the ropes with a big multi-punch combo. By the fourth round, Vasquez looked frustrated with the taller man's fighting style. Vasquez answered this frustration by landing big right hands to the head and body of Denierio. The two men battled through the fourth round bell. Vasquez landed a series of big left and right hands on the head and body of his opponent as the fifth round came to an end. Despite being rocked on multiple occasions, Denierio kept coming forward in the sixth round, showing that this man always comes to fight. The judges scored the bout 57-57 and 58-56 twice for the winner by majority decision, Victor Vasquez.

Phoenixville PAL product, Gerardo Martinez (3-1, 1 KO) fought Nyrome Lynch (0-2) in a four round, lightweight bout. Martinez answered the opening bell as the aggressor, and put pressure on Lynch throughout the opening round. During this round, Lynch went into survival mode after being caught with a hard right hand to the head. Lynch responded to this shot by holding Martinez the first of many times over the course of the four round fight. In the third round, referee Eric Dali deducted a point from Lynch for holding. After the point deduction, Martinez let his hands go and landed punches to Lynch's head and body at will. Lynch, who was clearly hurt at this point, did just enough offensively to keep the referee from stopping the fight. Lynch continued to hold Martinez in the fourth round in a desperate attempt to stay on his feet. Lynch made a valiant attempt to rally offensively late in the final round, but this attack was stopped with a Martinez right hand to the head as time expired. All three judges scored the bout 40-35 in favor of Gerardo Martinez.

The second fight of the evening featured North Philadelphia lightweights, Adolfo Serrano (0-1) and Christopher Burgos (1-2-1, 1 KO). The late crowd to this show certainly missed a good fight! From the opening bell until the fight was stopped in the fourth and final round, both men fought one another as if they were products of a long-standing blood feud. Burgos came out swinging for the fences in the first round. He attacked Serrano so viciously that most ringside spectators thought that Serrano had something unflattering about Burgos' mother... Burgos, who appeared to punch himself out, was punished with Serrano left and right hooks to the body in the opening round. Burgos who later got his second wind in the first round, responded to these hooks with hard uppercuts and hooks of his own. Serrano, the product of Philly's Harrowgate Gym, landed the cleaner punches in the first and second rounds on Burgos, who at times swung wildly and missed his mark. As the second round neared its end, Serrano looked very uncomfortable under the body shots of Burgos. In the third round, Burgos again went on the attack. Serrano backed up the aggressor with a right hand to the head. A cut later appeared under the right eye of Burgos in the round. Burgos abused Serrano with a multi-punch combo in the fourth round that stunned his opponent. Soon after, the fight was stopped at the 1:58 mark of the final round in favor of the winner by TKO, Christopher Burgos.

The opening bout of the evening featured a four round, middleweight contest between Sharif Jones (0-2-1) of Northeast Philadelphia and Kieran Hooks (3-0-1, 1 KO) of Southwest Philadelphia. Jones had a strong performance in the opening minute of the first round. Hooks, who had a clear height advantage over his opponent, backed up Jones with jabs as the first round came to an end. In the second round, Hooks landed right hands to the head of Jones at will. Jones was hurt during this round by a big left-right combo to the head. He was again hurt by a Hooks' right hand hand to the head as the second round neared its end. Hooks beat up Jones again in the third round as he landed a right to the head that sent Jones stumbling backwards. To Jones' credit, this man demonstrated his toughness by staying on his feet throughout this punishment. His toughness was on display all the way to the final bell, as Jones, knowing he was behind on the cards, tried desperately to knock out Hooks. The judges scored the bout 39-37, 40-36, and 40-35 in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Kieran Hooks.

The "walk out bout" of the evening featured a four round, bantamweight bout between Ndira Spearman (1-2) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-0). Rodriguez controlled the tempo of the bout from the opening bell and walked away the winner by unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 40-36 and 39-37 twice in favor of the New Jersey based fighter.

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