Sunday, July 13, 2014

Witherspoon wins in West Deptford

Witherspoon & Beale - Photo Credit / Thomas LaManna
West Deptford, New Jersey - If you are going to stick your toe back in the water, why not put both feet in?

Chazz Witherspoon did exactly that on Saturday in West Deptford, returning to the ring for the first time in over two years to top fellow heavyweight Tyyab Beale by TKO at 1:59 in the final round of a scheduled  eight-round bout.

Witherspoon wasn't just fighting, though. He also threw on his promotional hat for the first time, putting on the six-bout card at the Riverwinds Community Center in front of a few hundred fans.

It was far cry from the glitz and glamor of Atlantic City where Witherspoon once battled with top heavyweight contenders like Tony Thompson and Seth Mitchell.

Witherspoon (31-3, 23 KOs) was hardly dominant but he was the better-conditioned fighter and that proved to be the difference as Beale (9-5-1) was gasping for air by the end of Round 4.

In the final round a hard right withered Beale and sent him reeling toward the ropes before the referee waived things off when it was clear the Newark-born fighter stopped defending himself.

“I've had two years to rest up and ’I'm ready to get back into the heavyweight picture,” said Witherspoon, who is operating under the Silver Spoon promotional banner.

The semifinal of the night didn't work out as well for the Witherspoon clan as welterweight Tim Witherspoon, Jr. (10-5-1), the son of the former two-time world heavyweight champ Tim Sr., a cousin of Chazz, was outhustled by  prospect Jeff Lentz (4-0, 1 KO), who earned a six-round unanimous decision,
winning all three scorecards 59-55.

The undercard was highlighted by a draw between evenly-matched welterweight Kevin Womack (4-5-2) and Cherry Hill native Anthony Prescott (3-3-2).

In other action, 18-year-old junior middleweight Nick Valliere (1-0, 1 KO) had a successful professional debut, dispatching journeyman Jamil Gadsden by TKO at 2:39 of the fourth round.

Also lengthy middleweight Matthew Gonzales (1-0) also had a successful pro debut, earning a split-decision win over fireplug Raphael Machado (0-2), who resembled former UFC star Tito Ortiz.

In the opener, junior middleweight Malik Jackson (1-3-3) upset the previously unbeaten Luis Cream (3-1), the grandson of “Jersey” Joe Walcott who was ending a 2 1/2-year layoff. Jackson took a unanimous four-round decision and pitched a virtual shutout by winning all three scorecards 40-36.
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