Philadelphia closed out its local boxing schedule for 2016 with a seven-bout show promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions at the Sugar House Casino Friday night. In the main event, San Juan featherweight Luis Lebron 7-0-1, 3 KOs, defeated late substitute Roberto Corea of Nicaragua, 9-12-4, 4 KOs, by unanimous decision over eight entertaining rounds. The first half of the fight was close before Lebron dominated the final four rounds. Still, the action remained constant throughout the entire fight. Lebron took the fight by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 twice.
In the co-feature bout, Philly lightweight Branden Pizarro, 2-0, 1 KO, won a one-sided decision over rugged Floridian vet Jesus Lule, 9-20-1, 1 KO. Pizarro started quickly and appeared on the verge of his second straight knockout in round three. However, Lule, no stranger to Philadelphia fight fans, stood up to the assault and proved too tough to be stopped by the 18-year old prospect. Pizarro appeared badly winded after his near knockout and later complained of an injured hand. He took the decision with three perfect scores of 40-36.
Local bantamweight Christian Carto, 6-0, 6 KOs, closed out his rookie year with another knockout, keeping his young record perfect. His victim this time was Harold Reyes, 2-7-1, of Puerto Rico. After warming up in the first, Carto dropped Reyes with a right to the body. After receiving the blow, Reyes took a step back and crumbled to one knee. Referee Steve Smoger reached the ten count at 1:14 of round two.
Another top Philly rookie, Jaron Ennis, 8-0, 6 KOs, Germantown, kept his young pro record spotless with a last-round TKO of New Yorker Marcus Beckford, 3-5-3, 1 KO, in a welterweight bout. Through the first four rounds, Ennis built a wide lead, but appeared destined to go the full six-round distance. However in round five, Ennis pounded Beckford for nearly three minutes. A hard right put Beckford down, but he survived the round. In the sixth and final round, Ennis stepped on the gas and worked hard for the knockout. After a vicious left-right-left combination, referee Eric Dali jumped in to save Beckford from further punishment. It was the first time Beckford was stopped. The time was 55 seconds of the sixth round.
Delaware light heavyweight David Murray, 5-1-1, 4 KOs, and Kenmon Evans, 3-0-1, New Smyma Beach, FL, fought to a six-round draw in a two-way brawl. Murray finished with a 58-56 lead on Steve Weisfeld’s official card, but judges’ John Ptouraj and Gail Jasper overruled with two deadlocked scores of 57-57.
Philly lightweight Jeremy Cuevas, 2-0, 2 KOs, scored two knockdowns in the first round and another in the second to stop Tom Mills of Verno Beach, FL, 1-7, 1 KO. After Mills went to the mat in round two, his corner asked for the fight to be stopped. Referee Eric Dali complied, but Mills wasn’t happy about it. The time was 33 seconds of round two.
In the opening bout of the evening, Las Vegas junior welterweight Kevin Johnson, 1-0, 1 KO, made a successful pro debut with a first round TKO of Austin Ward, 0-3, of Kansas. There were no knockdowns in the fight, but Ward appeared to stop trying after a while, and referee Eric Dali halted the bout after 1:42.
The show drew another full house at the Philly casino, and closed out the local fight action for 2016.