Tampa Bay Sports Day

Junior Middleweight War Ends in a Draw

New York—Boxing fans filled the Roseland Ballroom of Friday night to see a 10 round slugfest between two junior middleweight contenders, each of whom was hoping for an impressive victory that will provide him with a title opportunity.

Prior to the fight, promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing  described the upcoming headline bout, “In the main event we have two exciting contenders going toe-to-toe in what promises to be an all-out war with the winner emerging as a serious title contender. His prediction was right-on-the-mark as both boxers gave a maximum effort to achieve victory.

Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KO’s) is highly ranked in most of the alphabet boxing organizations. The 29 year old is #3 in the WBO, #6 in the WBA, #8 in the IBF and # 11 in the WBC. His ranking improved after his most recent fight, a TKO over former WBA Jr. Middleweight Champion Yuri Foreman. The Polish native had won his last eight bouts.

Wolak predicted that he would have a tough, action filled and victorious bout at the Roseland, “It is going to be a hard fight with lots of action…The fans will get their money’s worth…I am looking forward to continuing towards my goal of winning a world title by the end of 2011.

Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-2, 14 KO’s) has moved up in weight class since his days as a welterweight title contender. This was his first fight at 153 lbs. Rodriguez proclaimed, “I’m excited to get back in the ring and show that I’m a force to be reckoned with in the junior middleweight division. I have a new team behind me and I feel better than I ever have before…This is the opportunity to erase everything bad that has happened in the past few years and put myself right back in the spotlight.”

Each did everything they could to fulfill his prediction. Wolak was on the offensive from the opening bell, rushing to the corner of Rodriguez and trying to pin his opponent against the ropes. He pummeled Rodriguez in this manner repeatedly, but Rodriguez counter punched effectively. Despite the pounding each took, neither hit the canvas.

Rights and lefts rocked Wolak to the point that it appeared he would fall during the ninth round, but the Polish native was able to maintain his balance. As the rounds progressed the swelling over Wolak’s right eye grew larger. It was checked by the ring physician several times, but the bout was never halted Each fighter drew a large contingent of rooters even though the bout was televised by ESPN2 as part of its series of “Friday Night Fights.” The crowd was on its feet chanting as the fighters entered the ring. Each fighter was continually cheered with such vehemence that it was difficult to hear the ten second warning and the bell at the end of most rounds. The crowd had rightful reason for screaming and rooting loudly as both men in the ring were providing an excellent performance. The decision of the judges shocked many of the partisans in attendance, but was not unreasonable. One judge scored it 97-93 in favor of Rodriguez. The other two judges called the bout even at 95. Thus, the decision rendered was a majority draw.

In the first televised fight, undefeated young welterweight Raymond “Tito” Serrano (16-0, 8 KO’s) kept his record unblemished in this nationally televised bout. Serrano was tested by Daniel “The Harlem Kid” Sostre (11-4-1, 4 KO’s).The bout went the full eight rounds with the nod going to Serrano by scores of 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75.

On the undercard, but fought in a relatively empty arena as the bouts took place after the main event ended was a lightheavyweight bout in which Lionell Thompson (8-0, 5 KO’s) of Buffalo ended the unbeaten streak of Reggie LaCrete (4-1, 2 KO’s) of Brooklyn in a four round decision. In the final bout of the night, Steven Gamache (2-0, 1 KO) remained undefeated and Rogelio Sanchez remained winless (0-4) after the junior middleweight decision was given to Gamache after four rounds.

After one amateur bout was fought, the pro bouts began with the flashy appearance of the popular Kevin “Kid” Rooney, Jr. (2-0, 1 KO).The young man has been around the sport since his childhood as his father, Kevin, Sr., was the trainer of Mike Tyson. Since shortly after his graduation from Fordham University in 2007, Rooney, Jr. has worked in public relations for Star Boxing.

His experience in the sport and his power gave him control over the winless Enrique Vera (0-2) in the junior middleweight bout. Vera was in trouble in the opening round until a hard right by Rooney ended the bout. Vera was counted out by referee Esteves as the time reached 3:00 of round one.

After Rooney changed from his ring attire, he resumed his public relations duties for Star Boxing. The popular figure was repeatedly congratulated by his fans and besieged for autographs by youngsters in the crowd.

Star Boxing will present its third boxing card of the month on Saturday, July 23 at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx. The very interesting show will feature three title contests. Of even more importance, all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. Those interested in purchasing tickets to the show can call Star Boxing at 1-718-823-2000.