Saturday, December 8, 2018

“Hot Sauce” Henderson Halts Robinson; Remains Undefeated

By Steve Peacock, Ringside

Pro boxer Brandon “B-Rob” Robinson confidently prowled the ring the first four of ten possible rounds in the main event of King’s Promotions’ boxing spectacular on Friday. But soon after, he would find himself on all fours, staring at the canvas of the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.

Indeed, Robinson, the local favorite from Darby, PA, initially maintained a slight edge over his opponent, Ft. Worth, Texas-born Kalvin “Hot Sauce” Henderson. By 2:08 of round seven, however, the referee stopped the bout after Robinson—his swollen left eye almost completely closed and dripping blood—had been dropped to the mat for a third time, courtesy of Henderson, the new Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) Inter Continental Super Middleweight Title champion.

Although Henderson ultimately overwhelmed Robinson, at first glance it looked like B-Rob was most likely to emerge as the dominant pugilist. Toward the end of the first round, for instance, Robinson initiated a rapid-fire offensive halted only by the ring of the bell, followed next round by a couple of powerful shots to Henderson’s face.

Though Robinson remained strong throughout the third round, it was then that Henderson first offered a clue that the balance of power was about to change: as the round neared its end, “Hot Sauce” landed a glove powerful enough to send B-Rob one unsteady step backwards while eliciting an audible response from the 2300 Arena audience.

Blood began visibly dripping from the corner of Robinson’s left eye in the fifth round, which is when Henderson took control. Indeed, segments of the South Philly crowd gasped when a solid Henderson punch dropped B-Rob to a single knee. As Robinson walked to his corner, additionally it became obvious that his left eye was now battered shut.

The climax came as Henderson (11-0) dropped Robinson (11-2) to his hands and knees, albeit briefly, and soon delivered him helplessly again to all fours. It was this back-to-back flooring that caused the referee to stop the bout at 2:08 of round seven by way of TKO.

Bout 5/Co-Main Event: Heavyweights

Big boys Paul Koon of Philly and Cade Rodriguez of Monroe, GA immediately came out swinging and attempting to damage to each other. Koon after the first round held a slight edge over his opponent, largely because Rodriguez failed to land multiple, hard shots that—fortunately for Koon—missed their intended target.

While Koon briefly had Rodriguez against the ropes in the next round, his efforts were soon repelled. Similarly, though Rodriguez appeared to give Koon a scare in the third, those offensive measures were largely ineffective. In the fourth and final round, the two behemoths clearly were fatigued, and the pace of the battle nearly slowed the competition to a halt.

The judges unanimously scored in favor of Koon (4-0), who remains undefeated. Rodriguez is now 2-3.

Bout 4: Super Bantamweights

It wasn’t until round two that Romuel Cruz of Philly and Hugo Rodriguez of Mexico stepped up the action; while both peppered each other with a variety of punches, Rodriguez wildly missed several of his attempted shots. Cruz maintained the upper hand throughout the remainder of the four-round bout, which he won by way of unanimous decision.

Bout 3: Super Welterweights

Andy Gonzales (6-3-1) of Worcester, MA started out strong against—indeed, briefly appeared to dominate—North Philly boxer Isaiah Wise (7-2-1). The resilient Wise, however, was undeterred, turning the bout into an all-out brawl and subsequently landing a solid right hook that caused Gonzales to suddenly stare into space, defenseless, arms down.

Wisely taking advantage of the situation, Wise once again struck Gonzales and sent him backwards into the corner, where Gonzales’s bottom landed on the mat. Had it not been for the corner ring pads and adjacent ropes, surely he would have been on his back.

Briefly saved by the bell, a one-minute reprieve enabled Gonzales to muster enough strength to fight back at the start of the second round. A barrage of uppercuts and hooks from Wise, however, quickly rendered useless any effort by the battered Gonzales.

The referee stopped the potential six-round contest 40 seconds into round two, and Wise won by way of TKO.

Bout 2: Lightweights

James Bernadin (3-0-1) of Philly and Sheldon Deverteuil (2-0-1) of Lancaster, PA from the beginning of the bout appeared evenly matched, each exchanging punches consistently albeit with Bernadin doing so with greater frequency. Deverteuil wasted no time in round two, landing a hard cross that seemed to temporarily startle Bernadin, who responded with a series of consecutively missed shots.

Bernadin briefly had his opponent against the ropes, but failed to capitalize on those brief moments of domination in the 3rd. Despite giving his best, it was insufficient to cause Deverteuil to capitulate. In the fourth and final round, Bernadin appeared to take control of the ring, twice stinging Deverteuil in the early moments.

After four rounds, the judges deemed the bout to be a draw.

Bout 1: Light Heavyweights

Prospects for victory quickly withered for Ronnie Lawrence, who faced Travis "Holy" Toledo in the opening bout. Toledo about a minute into the match clearly was the dominant pugilist. An alternate barrage of Toledo-thrown body punches and jabs soon made Lawrence wobble his way to the mat. By way of KO at 2:30, Toledo extended his victory streak to 4-0, while Lawrence dropped to 0-3.

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