Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Return of Ray Robinson

By Frank BartoliniRingside

Philadelphia, PA: Nearly three years have expired since the last time “The New” Ray Robinson entered a prize ring. On that night, Robinson fought to a draw on the undercard of one the greatest upsets in heavyweight boxing history when a chubby Andy Ruiz Jr dethroned heavyweight king Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. 

Since then, the boxing world saw Joshua regain and lose his crown. As far as welterweights go, during that time period, former Robinson foe, Yordenis Ugas, ended the career of all-time great Manny Pacquiao. Also, in May of 2019, fellow Philly welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis was a rising prospect. Today, Ennis is one of the top rated welterweights in the world. 

The long layoff found Robinson, Philadelphia, PA, on the top of a club card show promoted by Philly based, RDR Promotions. Twenty-two year veteran of over sixty matches, Silverio Ortiz, Yucatan, Mexico, was chosen as the opponent for this six round tune up. 

Weighing in at 154 pounds, a bulked up Robinson looked fit and solid at the junior middleweight limit. Wasting no time, Robinson showed no sign of ring rust as he went on the attack from the opening bell. Robinson's blows were snapping Ortiz's,156.3 lbs., head back just moments into the match. This pummeling continued for three rounds due to Ortiz's freakish ability to absorb punishment. As the brutality became ugly, Ortiz’s corner showed compassion by not letting their willing man charge out for round four. 

A crowd of approximately 1,000 fans saw Robinson raise his record to 26-3-2, 14 KOs. Ortiz heads south of the border with a pocket full of change and a record of 37-29, 18 KOs. Promoter Rodney Rice put on a fight card that ran smoothly. Handling the ring announcing was "Discombobulating Jones." Marc Abram took care of the post fight interviews inside the ring. As usual, matchmaker Nick Tiberi put together a solid undercard that consisted of seven bouts. 

Most notable was local favorite Jerome Conquest, Philadelphia, PA, who looked to have done enough to out box Oscar Barajas in a lightweight bout scheduled for six. The judges saw it differently, and Barajas, Zamora, Mexico, took home a majority decision win. Judges Lynne Carter and Rob Rubnitz scored it 78-56, while John McKaie saw it even, 57-57. This scribe had it 58-57 for Conquest. Conquest weighed 138.4 lbs. as his record slid to 11-7, 1 KO. Barajas tipped the scale at 139.6 lbs., and is now 18-8-1, 8 KOs.  

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