By Luis A. Cortes III, Ringside
Live! Casino Hotel and Casino hosted a sold-out crowd for their inaugural professional boxing event promoted by Joe Hand Promotions. Top Rank Promotions heavyweight prospect Sonny Canto was the main attraction of the event that marked the 50th year of Joe Hand Promotions. Hand, once a member of Cloverly Inc. that guided the career of Hall-of-Fame legend Joe Frazier, was honored before the main event.
South Philadelphia native Sonny "The Branco" Conto (8-0)(7 KO's) who has spent time in training camps with Tyson Fury looked to impress his hometown crowd. Conto started things out with a measured pace behind the jab but started to exchange with Joel Caudle (8-6-2)(5 KO's) who was a game opponent as he landed his own quick shots on the inside. Caudle was able to do some good work and push the young prospect until Conto started to use his better skills by using his jab and solid movement. Conto even switched to southpaw and answered the early test from the game Caudle when he landed a strong left hook combination that floored Caudle.
Caudle rose to his feet and tried to answer the count, but clearly hurt, the referee stopped the contest in the last ten seconds of the third round.
Gerardo Martinez (5-2)(1 KO) and Christopher Burgos (3-4-1)(1 KO) wasted no time and got right to work as they willingly exchanged combinations to start what turned out to be an exciting first round. The action continued through three rounds with both fighters landing power shots. Burgos had a mouse form under his left eye while Martinez had to deal with a busted lip. Burgos continued to apply pressure on Martinez landing quality punches to the body and head. Every time Martinez tried to counter Burgos responded clearly winning the trades.
After six rounds it was clear that Burgos deserved the victory. Fans in attendance showed their appreciation for the six rounds of hard work by applauding both fighters after the final bell. 58-56 and 59-55 were the scores all in favor of the winner Christopher Burgos.
Daiyaan Butt (9-1)(4 KO's) and Seifullah Wise (4-2)(1 KO) both fighting out of Philadelphia started their six-round Jr. welterweight fight right away with Wise landing power shots that hurt Butt. Fighting out of the southpaw stance, Wise was able to land right hooks while avoiding Butt's counters. Wise was penalized for hitting behind the head at the end of the opening round.
Butt began to warm up and landed body shots that started to change the momentum of the fight. That was until referee Benji Esteves called a halt to the fight at the 53-second mark of round three. Esteves had warned Wise constantly before finally stopping the fight.
Jeremiah Kendrick (1-0)(1 KO) won his professional debut with a first-round stoppage over the out-gunned Tyrone Lews (0-2).
Bilal Quintyne (2-0) was able to win a four-round majority decision over Maurice Burke (1-1) A hard straight right hand landed late in the fourth and final round that helped Quintyne win the close decision. It was a back and forth contest and it was reflected that way on the judge's scorecards. Quintyne won on two of the cards 39-37. While the other judge scored the fight a draw at 38-38.
Light heavyweights started the nights' action with Tariq Green (1-0) winning a four-round decision over Tunde Fatiregun (1-1)(1 KO).
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