Lou DiBella and his partner Damon Dash will continue to keep New York City club boxing alive with their latest installment of Broadway Boxing tonight, Thursday, August 4, 2005, at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center, which is located at the corner of West 34th Street and 8th Avenue.
Headlining what should be an action-packed show is undefeated super middleweight Jaidon Codrington, who has stopped all eight of his opponents in sensational fashion. A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who now lives and fights out of Queens, New York, Codrington will take on the more experienced Levan Easley, 17-11-2 (8 KOs), also of Queens. At stake is the New York State super middleweight title.
DiBella has high hopes for Codrington, who is as explosive and exciting as undefeated middleweight John Duddy, another red-hot New York-based prospect. He hopes that Codrington will continue his knockout streak, so he can start fighting eight- and ten-rounders and garner more television exposure.
“Jaidon is perfectly suited for television,” said DiBella. “As we saw his last time out, against the more experienced Etienne Whitaker (who Codrington stopped in the first round), he’s a punching machine. You can’t help but have high hopes for him. He’s the total package.”
Another super middleweight knockout artist on the card is Curtis Stevens, 7-0 (6 KOs), of Brooklyn. He goes against another undefeated Brooklyn product, Jason Quick, 4-0-1 (3 KOs), who is employed at the Bronx plant of the New York Post.
Stevens and Codrington, who are best friends outside of the ring, were tabbed with the label “Chin Checkers” because of their propensity to knock opponents out with aplomb. While often fighting on the same cards, they would make personal bets to see who could stop their opponents quicker. It will be interesting to see if Stevens, who was taken for the distance for the first time in his career against veteran trial horse Shannon Miller on April 28, will be able to make quick work of Quick.
A special attraction will feature junior welterweight contender Emmanuel Clottey of the Bronx via Ghana. He is scheduled to take on Marteze Logan, 20-16-2 (5 KOs) of Covington, Tennessee. When Clottey is at his best, he is very, very good. The highlight of his career was scoring a dramatic come-from-behind, 10th round knockout of previously undefeated 2000 Olympic gold medalist Muhammad Abdullaev in June 2003. In his last outing he scored a unanimous ten-round decision over Michael Warrick, who won over local fans in two seesaw battles against Jeffrey Resto of the Bronx, and is never in a bad fight.
This will be DiBella’s first show since his middleweight protégé Jermain Taylor captured the undisputed middleweight championship of the world from Bernard Hopkins in July. As is DiBella’s custom, he seems as excited by the prospect of these “little” bouts as he does by the bigger ones he is involved in. Since going into business with Dash, who co-founded Rock-A-Wear clothing and the Rock-A-Fella record label, the duo have been attracting increasingly bigger and more boisterous and enthusiastic crowds. Bouts at this venue have provided no shortage of fireworks and is grassroots boxing at its very best.
DiBella has over 20 fighters currently under contract, and they represent all the best that New York City—which is universally regarded as the capitol of the world—has to offer. Included among them are the Italian-American junior welterweight prospect Paulie Malignaggi, Dmitriy Salita and Yuri Foreman, who are immigrants from Ukraine and Israel respectively, Clottey from Ghana, Sechew Powell from Jamaica, Raymond Joval of the Netherlands, and Leavander Johnson, Codrington and Stevens, all of whom are African-American.
Being a New Yorker through and through, DiBella knows how to utilize ethnicity to capture the imagination of a wide array of fans. All you have to do is view the diversity of the crowds at these shows to realize that what former mayor David Dinkins once described as “New York’s gorgeous mosaic” is alive, well, and thriving in the Big Apple.
Also scheduled to appear on the August 4 show are Ehinomen “Hino” Ehikhamenor, a native of Nigeria who fights out of Queens. He will face “Punchin” Pat Nwamu, 9-1 (3 KOs) of the Bronx for the vacant New York State cruiserweight title. In addition, middleweight James Moore of Ireland squares off against Gabriel Garcia in a battle between debutants.
Tickets are priced from $35 to $100 and can be ordered by calling DiBella Entertainment at 212-947-2577. Doors open at 6:00 P.M. and the fists start flying at 7:00 P.M.