Sunday, August 29, 2010

Witherspoon wins in Atlantic City

Witherspoon gets ready to rumble
By John McMullen

Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - Local heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon got back on the winning track Saturday at the Grand Ballroom in the Trump Taj Mahal.

Witherspoon (27-2, 19 KOs), who was coming off a loss to veteran Tony Thompson at Boardwalk Hall back in December, topped Livin Castillo of Atlantic City (16-9, 10 KOs) by TKO at 2:21 of the seventh round.

Witherspoon, the second cousin of former heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon, probably took his nickname a little too seriously against the lightly-regarded, 34-year-old Castillo. Known as "The Gentleman,"  Witherspoon respected Castillo a little too much early and spent the early rounds backing away and countering with a solid jab.

Castillo, who didn't come into the bout in the best of shape, began tiring by Round 5 and Witherspoon, a Paulsboro, NJ native and St. Joseph's University graduate fighting out of Philadelphia, eventually pounced in the seventh, handing out a brutal beating that probably should have been stopped sooner by
referee Earl Brown.

The semifinal of the night saw rising Philadelphia super middleweight Farah Ennis stay undefeated by topping Florida's Reggie Pena by TKO at 1:56 of the third round. Pena (6-4, 1 KO) seemed to know he was overmatched and charged out of his corner in Round 3 hoping to catch Ennis (16-0, 10 KOs) off guard. The strategy worked for a few seconds but Ennis eventually gathered himself and started
counter-punching, before ending things with a wicked body blow that forced Pena to crumple to the mat.

In perhaps the most evenly matched contest on the card, Vineland lightweight Jose Reyes (23-8, 8 KOs) lost a split decision to Miami's Walter Estrada (37-13-1, 25 KOs) in a six-round bout. A straight left hand sent Reyes to the canvas in Round 1 but he settled down from there. Estrada seemed to be the busier fighter throughout, however. Reyes opened a cut on the bridge of Estrada's nose, while Estrada was able to tag Reyes again and again under the left eye, creating a nasty mouse. In the end, Estrada won two of the three scorecards, 56-57, 57-56 and 58-55 as Reyes lost his fourth straight contest.

In typical boxing form the event started 40 minutes late. When the bell finally rang a trio of four round bouts featuring Atlantic City fighters kicked things off. Super middleweight 20-year-old Eugene Soto of the seaside resort persevered after an awful first round to earn a majority decision over veteran Maurice Williams. Soto (3-0. 1 KO), an Atlantic City High School grad,  was decked twice in the opening frame by a pair of left hooks by Williams, a Camden native. Williams (1-5, 1 KO) tired in the second, however, and was on his bike by Round 4, just trying to hang on.

The Phanatic Magazine
scored the bout 37-37 as did judge Emile Conforte (37-37), but Barbara Perez (38-37) and husband Tony Perez (37-36) both favored Soto. In dispute was whether the first round should have gone to Williams by a 10-7 margin.

"That was 10-7 round," Williams' cornerman yelled as he exited the ringside area after the fight.

"I figured I would have to knock him out to win since we were fighting in his hometown," said Williams. "But I still can't believe I got robbed like that."

Williams made his pro debut way in 1998 with his lone win but his career was derailed by a six year stint in Graterford Prison on drug-related offenses.

Another Atlantic City super middleweight, Isiah Seldon (2-0, 1 KO) made short work of Jason Johns (0-3) in the second bout of the night. Seldon,  the son of former WBC heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon, tattooed Johns with a right in the corner at 2:57 of Round 1 for the TKO.

Light heavyweight Lavarn "Baby Bowe" Harvell, made it 3-0 for Atlantic City by dominating 18-year-old Nathan Bedwell of Tennessee to stay undefeated. Harvell (6-0, 2 KOs) sent Bedwell (2-4, 1 KO), who entered the ring wearing a t-shirt reading "Tennessee Tough," to the canvas late in the first round and again in the third and fourth frames en route to an easy unanimous decision victory. All three scorecards read 40-33.

NOTES: This was the first event promoted by Spartan Fight Promotions led by Atlantic City businessman Mike Brestle... The fights were taped for broadcast on promotion announced a date for its second card, Nov. 13.

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