BY: Richard Quiñones, Journeymen Boxing (Ringside Recap)
In just his second fight back from his comeback, Chazz Witherspoon showed his power is still with him as he dropped Cory Phelps twice in round two en route to a quick second round TKO victory Saturday night in their scheduled 10-round main event at the GPG Event Center in Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Witherspoon (32-3, 24ko’s) came out strong in the opening round as he used his left jab to set the tone. As he started to stalk Phelps in the round, he was able to land some solid body shot, pushing back his opponent. The native of Paulsboro, NJ, then connected with a sound right hand and late in the round connected with another gorgeous right hand that just caught Phelps on the top of the head, buckling him.
Witherspoon closed out the round with a flurry of body shots as Phelps slowly walked back to his corner.
Round two saw more of the same from Witherspoon, as he landed five straight left jabs that seemed to stun and frustrate Phelps (16-8-1, 8ko’s).
Moments later, Witherspoon dropped the 30-year-old Phelps with a slick right upper cut. Phelps was able to get back on his feet and keep his composure, but Witherspoon went right after him again. After a couple of jabs kept Phelps off balance, Witherspoon managed to get inside and at close range delivered a sneaky right upper cut under the guard of Phelps, dropping him quickly.
Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. saw enough and waived off the fight. The vicious uppercut landed right was set up because Witherspoon was able to close the gap, land some combinations and then the final shot landed flush as it sneaked down the middle dropping Phelps, who has now lost seven of his last eight due to stoppages.
In other action, Detroit’s Emmanuel Lipscomb took on Philadelphia’s Matthew Gonzalez in a four-round middleweight contest that Gonzalez dominated.
Gonzalez tagged Lipscomb early on with a gorgeous overhand right to start the opening round. Lipscomb kept dropping his hands and paid the price. He tried to used the first round to figure out how to get inside and at times got caught
because he was jumping inside. A sweet counter left hook seemed to stun Lipscomb as it buckled his knees. It was a strong opening round for Gonzalez, who never let up. Lipscomb showed his inexperience as his feet were not moving along with his hands.
After getting his feet wet in round one and relaxing a bit more, Lipscomb was a tad more acting, but Gonzalez would always go back to the jab. He followed a check hook with a right that scored midway through round two and showed he was fundamentally more sound then the native of Detroit.
Lipscomb was unable to find his range in the fight and again paid the price in round three as he got peppered with several jabs to start off the stanza. He also kept dropping his hands and was really getting tagged by counter left hooks by Gonzlez. Lipscomb made a habit of dropping his left shoulder and Gonzalez would dip underneath and connect with counters. Round four was all Gonzalez as he worked the body and wore down the debuting Lipscomb. Scoring was 39-37, 39-37 and 40-36 all in favor for Gonzalez, who improved to 2-0 as Lipscomb fell to 0-1.
Erik Spring might have had the most sound performance of the night when he went up against Travis McClaren. Spring, a southpaw from Reading, PA., showed some solid flashes in round one of their scheduled four-round affair. He was busy and and highlighted a strong first round with a six-punch combination up and down the ladder, as McClaren attempted to walk right through it. McClaren found himself caught up against the ropes in round two and at times was able to get in close and do some damage, but Spring had to much and kept bringing the fight back to the center of the ring. He landed some very nice straight left hands and again took the round.
A strong left hand by Spring set the tone in round three and he started to work the body more as McClaren attempted to throw more but had nothing on his punches, which could have been a direct result of him taking the fight on short notice.
Throughout the round he would go into defensive mode and his mouth was wide open showing signs of fatigue. However, he did show heart to close out the fight before falling to 1-6. Spring improved to 5-1 as all three judges had it 40-36.
In other action, teen prospect Nick Valliere looked like an 18-year-old when he took on Francisco Cruz. The native of Forked River, New Jersey was more focused on being a crowd pleaser then boxing at times and it showed. It was an ugly fight with both boxers lunging in and throwing wild punches from various angles. Valliere, though, found a way to settle down midway through the four-round contest and connected with some left hands that pushed by Cruz, who clearly was frustrated by the awkwardness of the teen.
Vallier easily won by unanimous decision to move to 4-0, while Philadelphia’s Cruz dropped his first fight as a pro.
Nidal Rivera, the 22-year-old from Camden, New Jersey put together a very impressive performance when he dropped Jose Garcia three times in the first round of their four-round bout. Rivera, who is very tall for his weight, threw some
hard body shots at Garcia right off the bat, forcing him to retweet backwards. After dropping him with a text book left hook to the liver, Rivera floored him twice more with a barrage of body shots before Garcia was able to stand. It marked the debut of both boxers.
Courtney Blocker had the knockout of the night when he flattened Dominic Goode in round two of their four-round contest. Blocker had Goode on the run and defense early on the fight and in the second round unleashed a devastating straight right hand that caught Goode flush on the side of his head, knocking him out cold. His neck snapped back as the ropes caught him and after several moments being attended to, he was able to rise to his feet. The win was the third of Blocker’s young career as he moved to 3-0, while Goode fell to 0-3.