Saturday night, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing presented its "Knock Out Cancer" card at the Hunts Point Produce Market to benefit the American Cancer Society. The show was held outside, and the many fans who turned out to brave the hot summer night, including a large number of workers from the Market, were treated to an action-packed night of boxing.
In the feature bout of the evening, Star Boxing's undefeated heavyweight contender, Joe "The Future" Hanks, was matched against "The Contenders" Alfredo Escalera Jr. At stake was the vacant IBA Americas Heavyweight Title.
Hanks came out in the first, looking to measure the smaller Escalera with his jab. Escalera was able to land a few looping shots that seemed to get the attention of Hanks, who stepped up the gas towards the end of the round, landing a hard three punch combination that pushed Escalera to the ropes.
Hanks continued to work behind a thudding jab that continuously snapped Escalera's head back throughout the fight. Hanks would mix in hard combinations behind the jab, scoring well throughout, but to Escalera's credit, he showed a granite chin, and was even able to close the distance and land some good punches of his own.
As the rounds wore on, Hanks continued to pick Escalera apart from the outside. Escalera absorbed a lot of punishment, but showed tremendous heart. In the 9th round, Hanks rocked Escalera badly and was landing hellacious shots, but Escalera refused to go down and finished the round. The 10th and final round saw good two-way action from both fighters that brought the crowd to a standing ovation.
In the end, Hanks was awarded a well deserved unanimous decision, winning by scores of 100-90 on all three judge's scorecards. With the win Hanks improved to a perfect 17-0, 11KO's, and looks to be ready to start making some serious noise in the heavyweight division. With the loss Escalera drops to 18-4-1, 12KO's, but has nothing to be ashamed about as he was able to hang tough and put forth a very respectable effort in his first fight since moving up to heavyweight.
In the co-feature bout of the evening, Brooklyn's Alicia Ashley won the Vacant WBC Female Super Bantamweight Championship of the World, with a hard fought ten round unanimous decision over Christina Ruiz.
Ashley used her superior boxing ability to control the fight, counter punching from the outside, and timing Ruiz as she would lunge in looking to land looping right hands.
The bout was a classic case of boxer vs. brawler, as Ruiz kept pressing forward looking to turn the fight into a slugfest, while Ashley boxed calmly from the outside.
In the later rounds, Ruiz's pressure began to pay dividends, as she was able to work her way inside and score against Ashley. The action really picked up in the 9 and 10 rounds, as both fighters stood and traded punches for the majority of the round.
In the end all three judges scored the fight for Ashley (100-90, 99-91, 98-91) who improved to 17-9-1, 1KO, who picked up her first World Championship. Ruiz dropped to 6-4-1, 4KO's.
Fighting for the first time since signing with Star Boxing, was the Bronx's undefeated jr. welterweight, Issouf Kinda, who improved to a perfect 11-0, 5KO's with a six round unanimous decision over Bryan Abraham.
Kinda, who was originally supposed to face Bayan Jargal for the NYS jr. welterweight title, before Jargal was forced to pull-out after suffering a cut in sparring, just seemed to be too strong for Abraham. Abraham showed his toughness, never tasting the canvas, but ultimately Kinda was the sharper, busier, and stronger fighter, winning by scores of 60-54, 60-54, 59-55. It was an impressive showing for Kinda, who will be back in action very soon.
In the opening bout of the evening, Borngod Washington picked up his first win as a professional with a four round unanimous decision over pro-debuting, Bruno Bouhi. Washington dropped Bouhi hard in the 2 and went on to win a very close split decision with two judges scoring it 39-38, 39-38, with the other judge scoring it 39-38 for Bouhi.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV