Former fighter Andre Kut, now promoting and the head of KEA Boxing, had to cope with last Thursday night’s dismal forecast of rain and compete with a rival fightcard in nearby Newark, yet still managed to draw a semi-decent sized crowd to the Whippany Marriot and satisfied the frenzied fight crowd with an action packed five bout fightcard in KEA Boxing's second NJ show this year.
With former world champion, New Jersey's own Bobby Czyz on hand greeting the crowd, a favorable venue, and fight announcer extraordinaire Henry Hascup (also NJ Boxing Hall of Fame president) aptly handling the mic, the only foreseen "weakness" of this KEA Boxing event appeared to be the apparent, hopefully unintentional, beneficial bolstering of fight records for most of the "opponent" fighters on this fightcard. (Minor errors are often not unusual and can be tolerated - but when a fighter with a 4 win - 8 loss record shows up as 8-2, or a 5 win - 9 loss guy is introduced as 15-6, and a young boxer with only one recorded professional fight (0-1) is said to be fighting in his 16th bout - this could lead to problems).
Starting the night off, North Bergen's Ricardo Rosa (now 2-1) took a four round majority decision victory over a very rugged and wild Edward Valdes, who fell to 1-2. Undefeated Jonathon Tubbs improved to 5-0 (3 KO's) in impressive fashion, with his dominating technical knockout victory over Philadelphia's Gary Drayton. With Tubbs pounding on his unresponsive opponent 30 seconds into the fourth round, veteran referee Tony Orlando made the wise decision to halt the one-sided contest despite the vehement and x-rated protest of Drayton, whose record slipped to 4-9-1.
After a brief intermission local Rahway resident Dorian Beaupierre pleased the crowd with his well fought, boxing clinic-style technical knockout victory over the durable Jacob "Jake the Snake" Rodriguez from Philadelphia. Beaupierre, rebounding from his disappointing unanimous decision loss to Emmett Linton in July, jumped on Rodriguez from the opening bell and took control with his superior skills and defensive elusiveness. With Rodriguez already bleeding from the mouth, Beaupierre opened up a nasty cut over the left eye of his still willing opponent. With Beaupierre smartly working on the damaged eye and in control of the fight the ringside doctor ruled Rodriguez was unable to continue and refused the game fighter to go out for the start of round five, to the delight of the many Beaupierre fans in the crowd.
In the co-feature Agapito "El Ciclon" Sanchez (now 35-8-2), bleeding from the nose and over his right eye, managed to hold off the constant pressure of Rogers Mtagwa to earn a hard fought 10 round majority decision victory. Sanchez, quicker and busier in the early rounds, had just enough left in his tank as the formidable Nigerian fighter (slipping to 17-10-2) battled till the final bell, but came up short in the eyes of two of the three judges. Paul Venti and Earl Morton each saw it 97-93 for Sanchez, while the third judge Geore Hill scored it a 96-96 draw.
The main event brought the return of one-time highly touted prospect John Molnar. Molnar, having not fought since his tough 10 round unanimous decision loss to Hercules Kyvelos (02/02/02), has battled back from nagging injuries and rehabilitative surgery (shoulder) during his ride on the comeback train. Molnar, the hero of Middletown, NJ, had his extremely large following of supporters on their feet as he entered the ring. The wild crowd was treated to a six round non-stop brawl between Molnar (now 19-2-2) and the surprisingly much tougher than expected Juan Pablo Escobar. Escobar's only fight on record (TKO by 7: Michael "no joke" Stewart) and his "City of Brotherly Love" residence, via Mexico, should have alerted people to his "no fear, I'll fight you in your backyard" attitude, which made for the fight of the night and a highly desired, not to be missed rematch. Vintage Molnar (like his one-time stablemate Arturo Gatti), willing to get hit to hit his opponent, opened a cut over Escobar's left eye in round four, yet he was pushed to his limit to come away with a draw - which didn't satisfy either fighter, but made for a tremendous fight which truly highlighted this KEA Boxing fightcard.
Look for KEA Boxing to continue bringing exciting fightcards to the Northern New Jersey area. For future fights and information contact KEA Boxing at: (973) 903-2907, (973) 931-8812 or (201) 672-9454.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV