Saturday, March 2, 2019

Howard and Conquest Win on Xcite Fight Night 3 Card

By Matt Ward, Ringside

On an explosive, multiple boxing card night in the greater Philadelphia area, professional prizefighting made its triumphant return to the Xcite Center at Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.

The main event of Joe Hand Promotions Presents Xcite Fight Night III pitted veteran big men, cruiserweights Garrett Wilson (18-16-1, 9 KOs), South Philadelphia, against Brian Howard (14-2, 11 KOs), Philadelphia, in a fight scheduled for eight frames. Unfortunately for Wilson, this fight did not last anywhere near that...

Early in the opening round, Howard landed a big right hand to the side of Wilson's head that sent him crashing to the canvas. Wilson was able to raise from the mat by referee Eric Dali's count of six, but looked like a drunken man trying to keep his balance. Despite still being visibly hurt from the knockdown, the fight continued. The end came at 2:31 of the first round when Howard hit Wilson with a hard straight right hand to the head that caused him to collapse to the canvas. Wilson was counted out on his back. This KO victory was Howard's first win since being knocked out by Russian light heavyweight Umar Salamov last June.

The co-main event of the evening pitted Jerome Conquest (10-3, 1 KO), 135.2 lbs., against Vinnie Denierio (3-6, 1 KO), 135.2 lbs., in a six round contest for the vacant USBF North American Lightweight Title. This bout, which could be described as a battle between awkward fighters, was entertaining from the outset. Denierio, who has a three inch height advantage on Conquest, made "jerky" movements between punches to avoid Conquest's steady counterpunches for much of the first round. In the second round, Denierio threw hammering overhand lefts that pushed Conquest into the ropes and forced him to clinch his gangly opponent. Conquest answered this attack by landing several nice body shots that clearly slowed down Denierio's offense. Conquest continued to control the round by landing big left and right hooks to Denierio's head that visibly hurt the native of Elmira, NY. Denierio appeared to be in survival mode as the bell marking the end of the second rang.

Conquest answered the third round bell by connecting with a hammering right hook to his opponent's head, a shot that sent perspiration flying all over those seated ringside. Denierio tried to press the attack during this round, but Conquest repeatedly backed him up with effective hooks to the head and body. Denierio, clearly frustrated with his opponent, landed the first of many rabbit punches to Conquest's head during this round. In the fourth frame, Conquest popped Denierio with a hard right hand to the jaw. Denierio responded to Conquest's quality punches by landing more rabbit punches out of the clinch. As the round neared its end, Denierio appeared to push more than punch, as he tried to bully his shorter opponent.

In rounds five and six, a clearly frustrated Vinnie Denierio began to lead with his head, and continued to fight dirty. Denierio worked Conquest's body towards the end of the fifth with left and right uppercuts that put the Philadelphian on his heels against the ropes. In the sixth, Denierio, realizing he was behind on the cards, threw rabbit punches at Conquest during multiple wrap ups. Surprisingly, referee Shawn Clark turned a blind eye to these illegal punches. Late in the round, Denierio looking to be gifted a knockdown, connected with a low blow on Conquest, and pushed the fighter down to the ground in the corner. Conquest bounced up from the canvas and the fight continued until the final bell. The judges scored the bout 60-54 and 59-55, twice, for the winner by unanimous decision, Jerome "The Conqueror" Conquest.

Northeast Philadelphia's Tyhler Williams (1-0, 1 KO) in his professional debut scored a second round knockout on fellow Philadelphian Nyrome Lynch (0-4). Williams, a successful amateur fighter, spent much of the first round chasing Lynch around the ring. Lynch, who looked like he was running laps instead of boxing, refused to allow the highly touted rookie junior welterweight land a meaningful punch in the opening frame. In the second round, Lynch's strategy in the first made him look like a brilliant ring tactician, as Williams put his power on display. Williams answered the second round bell firing big body shots that ended Lynch's running for the evening. Williams went on to trap the incapacitated fighter, and land multi-punch combos at will to his head and body. A devastating right upper cut to the head ended Lynch's night at the 1:45 mark of the second. By this point, referee Eric Dali had seen enough of the massacre that unfolded in the second, and waived off the fight.

Omar Kabary Salem (8-0, 4 KOs), Brooklyn, made quick work of Jacob Fox (3-8, 2 KOs), Bismarck, in a super middleweight contest. After connecting to the head and body of his opponent with a big multi-punch combo, Salem sent Fox crashing to the canvas with repeated left hands to the head. Fox valiantly picked himself up from the mat only to be crushed into the ropes with a barrage of punches that left his opponent defenseless and dazed. Referee Shawn Clark saw enough of the one-sided fight at 2:27 of the first round, when he stepped in and stopped the Salem offensive onslaught.

In an all Philadelphia area junior welterweight showdown, Daiyann Butt (3-0, 1 KO) fought Tyree Arnold (DEBUT) in a four round bout. Butt, who stepped into the ring with a clear height and reach advantage, effectively connected with several big right hands to the head. Early in the second round, Arnold let his hands go, and landed a multi-punch combo that forced Butt to wrap him up in order to halt the attack. Butt responded by landing hard left hands to Arnold’s body. As the second round neared its end, Butt unloaded on Arnold with a punishing multi-punch combo to the head and body. Surprisingly, Arnold stayed on his feet, but was clearly damaged as he stumbled back to his corner after the round.

Butt aggressively worked his opponent’s body in the third round, by landing left and right shots to Arnold’s abdomen throughout the round. This body work slowed the wheels of the speedy Arnold, and made him an easy target for Butt in the fourth and final round. Arnold desperately went head hunting in the fourth, but was unable to find his mark. Butt went on to punish Arnold’s body as the fourth progressed, and at one point rocked Arnold with a well-placed left hook to the head. Butt went on to score the knockout with a series of big right hands that forced referee Eric Dali to stop the fight at 2:22 of the fourth round.

Sammy Berman (2-0, 1 KO), who fights out of the Manayunk Boxing Club, defeated North Philadelphia’s Corey Weekley (0-2) by unanimous decision in a four round, middleweight matchup. Although only 22-years-old, Berman has not fought professionally since 2014. Berman answered the opening bell by pushing his opponent into the ropes with a hard left hand to the body. Weekley was clearly banged up in the second round after Berman stuck a left hand into his jaw, and proceeded to rock him with multiple shots to the body and head. Weekley looked like he was in trouble later in the round, when Berman trapped him in the neutral corner with a series of hard shots. Fortunately for Weekley, he was able to box his way out of this trap and stop Berman from walking him down.

In the third round, Berman kept moving forward on his inexperienced opponent who was unable to mount any type of meaningful offense. In the fourth round, Weekley, who appeared exhausted and beat up, spit out his mouthpiece twice, which resulted in the deduction of a point by referee Shawn Clark. A hard Berman left hand to the head later sent Weekley’s mouthpiece flying for the third time in the round. Berman and Weekley wrestled for the final ten seconds of the contest as Shawn Clark tried to pull the men apart with no success. The judges scored the bout 39-37 and 40-36, twice, for Berman.

In an all New York junior middleweight bout, Ismael Villareal (5-0, 2 KOs) defeated Lashawn Alcocks (1-5) by third round technical knockout. Villareal unloaded three big right hands on Alcocks in the first frame, but struggled to establish follow up shots. In the second round, Villareal bullied Alcocks with big multi-punch combos, highlighted by heavy straight right hands and hooks to the head and body. Alcocks demonstrated toughness in the second round by absorbing damage, staying on his feet, and battling back before the bell marking the end of the second rang. A vicious Villareal right hand to the head sent Alcocks crashing to the canvas in the third round. This knockdown occurred after referee Eric Dali called a pause to the action, and warned Villareal for rabbit punches in the round. Despite recovering from the knockdown, Arnold was crushed under a series of left hooks to the body that forced Eric Dali to stop the action at 2:36 of the third round.

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