Sunday, August 19, 2018

Top Rank Boxing Featuring Bryant Jennings vs. Alexander Dimitrenko Recap

Top Rank boxing returned to New Jersey's entertainment capital last night, as a heavyweight bout between Bryant Jennings and Alexander Dimitrenko headlined an eight bout card at the Ocean Resort Casino.

The Main Event 

Bryant Jennings (24-2, 14 KOs) defeated Alexander Dimitrenko (41-4, 26 KOs) by way of ninth round technical knockout. The two men squared off for the IBF International and NABO Heavyweight Titles. In the early rounds, Jennings appeared to have problems adjusting to Dimitrenko's 6'7 frame.

In the opening round, Dimitrenko was the far more active fighter. In the second and third rounds, Dimitrenko punished Jennings with big right hands to the body. Jennings responded to one of these shots in the third round by shoving Dimitrenko into the red corner. Jennings backed his opponent up in the third with his jab, landing several shots to Dimitrenko's head.

In the fourth round, Jennings was knocked down with a big Dimitrenko right hand to the head. The fifth round was competitive, and saw both men land big shots that each fighter responded to with clinches.

As the seventh round approached its end, the two fighters exchanged good shots in the center of the ring. Jennings and Dimitrenko were back at it in the eighth round, as they traded big shots in the opening seconds of the round. Later in the round, Jennings knocked Dimitrenko down with a big left hand to the head. Dimitrenko recovered from this knockdown only to be sent to the canvas again during the round with what appeared to be more of a wrestling move than a punch. The veteran Russian heavyweight survived the round despite Jennings throwing everything at Dimitrenko besides the kitchen sink.

In the ninth round, Jennings finished off Dimitrenko with a right uppercut to the jaw. To the crowd's delight, which included boxing royalty Bernard Hopkins and Lennox Lewis, the referee stopped the bout at the 1:56 mark of the ninth round. Jennings has now won five straight fights.

The Co-Main Event 

The co-main event of the card featured super middleweights, Jesse Hart (25-1, 21 KOs) and Mike Gavronski (24-3-1, 15 KOs). Hart, who defended his NABF Title, landed two big right hands to Gavronski's head in the opening frame. These shots appeared to hurt the fighter, who was later forced to clinch Hart, holding on for dear life, as the Philadelphian continued to hammer him with multi-punch combos as the round neared its end.

In the second round, Hart clubbed Gavronski with straight left hands and left hooks, forcing Gavronski to enter survival mode. In the final ten seconds of this round, Hart unleashed a barrage of punches that connected with his opponent's head and body.

Gavronski was knocked down in the third round with a right hand off of a jab. Gavronski pulled himself up from the canvas only to be finished off moments later with a brutal combo, highlighted by a hard right hand to the head. The referee stopped the fight at the 52 second mark of the third round. In the post fight interviews, Hart told ESPN that he wants a rematch with Gilberto Ramirez, the fighter who dealt Hart his one and only career loss.

Shakur Stevenson Victorious 

2016 Olympic Silver Medalist, Shakur Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) defeated Carlos Ruiz (16-5-2, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision in an eight round, featherweight contest. Stevenson fought cautiously in the opening stanza. In the second round, the Newark native caught Ruiz with a left hand that got his opponent's attention. Ruiz showed his toughness and solid chin by taking a big left hand to the head. Stevenson snapped the head of Ruiz back with a big left hand in the final 30 seconds of the round.

In the fourth round, Stevenson nailed Ruiz with a left to the head, the sound of which echoed through the arena. Stevenson controlled the tempo of the fifth through seventh rounds, doing enough to win the rounds.

In the eighth and final round, Ruiz, who realized he was behind on the cards, decided to put his foot on the gas offensively in the final minute of the round. This offensive spark proved to be too little, too late as Stevenson won on all three judges' scorecards by a score of 80-72.

Carto Wins #16 

Local fan favorite, Christian Carto (16-0, 11 KOs) entered the ring for his sixteenth professional bout to the roar of the crowd. Philadelphia's Carto fought Mexico's Javier Gallo (25-16-1, 13 KOs) in an eight round, bantamweight bout. Carto, who had the clear height and speed advantage, controlled the early rounds of the contest.

In the fourth round, Carto punished Gallo with a series of big punches, but the veteran kept fighting back. Carto connected with a big right to Gallo's head in the fifth round. Gallo's face showed the damage from the battle through five rounds. Both men exchanged big shots with one another in the sixth round. Carto controlled the final two rounds by landing bigger shots and being far more active than his opponent. The judges scored the bout 80-71, 80-72, and 79-73 for the winner by unanimous decision, Christian Carto.

LaManna Defeats Strode 

Thomas LaManna (26-2-1, 9 KOs) defeated Matthew Strode (25-6, 9 KOs) by unanimous decision in an eight round, super welterweight contest. In the first round, Strode landed a series of low blows on the Pride of Millville, New Jersey. Strode was the far more aggressive fighter in the first round as he attempted to lure LaManna into a brawl. LaManna came alive in the second round with a big multi-punch combo that was highlighted with a right hand to the head.

Strode pinned LaManna up against the ropes in the opening seconds of the third round, but LaManna, utilizing his speed, took control of the round. In the fourth round, LaManna snapped Strode's head back with a big right hand. LaManna broke down Strode in the fifth round, when the South Carolina native threw his hands up in disgust towards what he perceived as repeated low blows by LaManna. LaManna took advantage of his opponent's loss of focus by landing several shots to Strode's head that caused the fighter to stumble back to his corner as the round ended.

Strode continued to complain to the referee through the sixth and seventh rounds as LaManna cruised towards victory. In the eighth round, Strode was deducted a point for rabbit punches. During this round, Strode's corner, realizing their fighter was behind on the cards, yelled for him to "dig deep." Strode failed to do so as he lost on all three judges' scorecards by a score of 79-71.

Adorno Makes Quick Work of Mauras

By the end of his bout on Saturday night, Agustine Mauras (6-5-3, 3 KOs) looked like he didn't know what hit him. In the six round bout in the lightweight division, Allentown, Pennsylvania prospect, Joseph Adorno (9-0, 9 KOs) destroyed his opponent via a first round technical knockout. Mauras was sent crashing to the canvas after Adorno viciously beat his opponent with a series of big shots to the head and body. Mauras recovered from the knockdown only to be beaten up against the ropes with a barrage of punches. The referee saw enough of the massacre at the 1:39 mark of the opening round.

The Opening Bout 

Toronto's Oleksandr Teslenko (14-0, 11 KOs) defeated Avery Gibson (9-9-4, 3 KOs) in a six round, heavyweight contest. Gibson was down in the first round from a Teslenko multi-punch combo. The judges scored the bout 58-55, 59-54, and 60-53 for Teslenko.

The Bout No One Should Have Missed

To describe the lightweight bout between Jason Sosa (21-3-4, 15 KOs) and Reynaldo Blanco (14-5, 8 KOs) as a "battle" would be an understatement. In the walkout bout, both fighters left everything in the ring after eight rounds of action. The high quality of this bout can also be accredited to the Hall of Fame matchmaking of J. Russell Peltz.

Sosa went on the attack as soon as the opening bell rang. He connected with an overhand right that stunned Blanco, and opened the door for the Camden native to hunt for a knockout in the opening frame. To Blanco's credit, the tough fighter stayed on his feet and survived the round. Blanco, who was shaken up in the first round, got his second wind in the second round. The two men fought aggressively all the way up to the bell marking the end of the third round, forcing the referee to pull the two warriors apart.

In the fourth round, Sosa unloaded a multi-punch combo on Blanco in the blue corner, forcing the Puerto Rican to clinch Sosa to stay on his feet. Blanco was later deducted a point in this round. As the round neared its end, Blanco unloaded on Sosa with big uppercuts. Sosa, shaken up from the shots, battled back valiantly as the round ended. The two men went on to have a competitive and entertaining fifth round, in which both men beat the crap out of one another. By the sixth round, Blanco's face showed the damage of five violent rounds.

A Blanco low blow in the seventh round temporarily stopped the action. Sosa recovered from the low blow and went on the attack, pushing Blanco into the ropes with a series of big shots. In the final round, Sosa knocked Blanco down with a right hand to the head. Blanco recovered from the knockdown, but found himself swarmed by Sosa, who by this point of the brawl, was looking to end his evening a little early. Sosa secured a second knockdown in the round just as the final bell rang, but Blanco again recovered from the knockdown. The judges scored the bout 78-70, 77-72, and 79-69 in favor of Sosa.

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