Lost in the commotion over Mike Jones’ return to Philadelphia are a couple of junior middleweights trying to avoid heading down the road to Palooka-Ville.
Kaseem Wilson, of North Philadelphia, and Phil McCants, of West Philadelphia, will kick off the June 25 card at the South Philly Arena in a scheduled six-round bout.
Wilson, 25, signed with Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., on the same day and at the same time as Jones. That was in the fall of 2006. At the time, Wilson was considered the better prospect. But a drab ring style and a somewhat questionable nightlife stalled the southpaw’s career.
Though his record (12-2-1, 4 K0s) does not appear shabby, it’s hard to think of an exciting fight in which Wilson was involved. After being K0d by Russell Jordan, of Buffalo, NY, in the summer of 2007, he disappeared for 15 months. He vanished again less than one year later after losing a dull eight-rounder to Henry Crawford, of Paterson, NJ.
Now Wilson wants to fight again and says he serious.
McCants, 30, a tall, rangy fighter nicknamed The Mongoose, defeated Jones as an amateur. He is 8-2-1, 3 K0s, as a pro, but his career also has been marked by periods of inactivity, one lasting more than three and one half years from March, 2006, to September, 2009. His style also does not send fans flocking to buy tickets.
Wilson and McCants agreed to fight each other in a loser-gets-a-day-job type of match because neither fighter had any options.
When their fight is over, they can watch Jones from the back of the South Philly Arena, wondering how they fell off the fast track. Despite their respective negative styles, hopefully they will find a way to make their fight entertaining, since their professional careers depend on it.
FLORES, CHARLES TALK TRASH
Boxing is extreme; the buildup to a fight can be just as important as the fight itself. Without trash talk, boxing would not be as attractive to the electronic media or the casual fan. Take a look at fighters such as Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins and David Haye! They have built intensity to their fights by causing commotion. When a fighter is big-headed, cocky or arrogant, it could be because he is marketing himself, almost as if it were a publicity stunt. Other times it is because the fighters simply crave the attention. Either way the public enjoys it.
Over the weekend controversy started. Where? On facebook! Lightweights Anthony Flores (9-3-1, 6K0s), of North Philadelphia, and Osnel Charles (8-2), of Atlantic City, meet in a scheduled six-rounder on the Jones-Munoz card and this fight has officially gained the attention it deserves.
On writer George Hanson’s facebook wall there were comments from Charles and Flores. Charles instigated and ruffled Flores, who first tried to stay quiet. The two went back and forth debating one another’s skills, heart, and talent.
Charles: “Flores you’re going have to kill me to win this fight believe that.”
Flores: “Ha Ha! I’m done with this dude; I got you all upset. Like I said talk is over, I know you’re kinda big headed rite now but I’m about to humble you up real quick. See you in Philly when I hand you a L (loss).”
The thread is exciting, more exciting than most press conferences.
Charles is an athletic fighter with a stiff jab. Flores is a bit awkward, but relies on his boxing ability. The fight has potential to be a war and with intensity growing the two fighters will be ready to box when they meet in less than two weeks.
PHILLY’S JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Between Gabriel Rosado, Derek Ennis, Jamaal Davis and Harry Joe Yorgey, it seems as if Philadelphia has it’s own junior middleweight tournament.
It started July 30, 2010, when Rosado faced off against Ennis in a 12-round bout at the South Philly Arena. If you missed that fight, you missed a characteristic all-Philly brawl. Rosado lost via majority decision.
Almost four months ago on Feb. 26, Rosado took on Davis at Bally’s Atlantic City. That night Rosado showcased his skills and finished the job with a 12th-round knockout.
Fans can look forward to seeing Rosado (16-5, 9K0s) against Yorgey (23-1,11K0s) on July 15 at Bally’s.
Seems like Rosado has been waiting for this fight for years. He said in a 2007 interview: “Oh yeah, and Harry Yorgey man up dawg, you are 17 – 0, don’t go fighting someone who is 14 – 22, pick on someone your own size, hint hint!.”
Rosado finally gets what he wants. There is no belt on the line but this fight is huge for both fighters. Currently Rosado is ranked No. 14 in the IBF. If he beats Yorgey, he will move higher; if Yorgey wins, he could get Rosado’s ranking. The winner deserves to be recognized at Philadelphia’s top junior middleweight.
PHILADELPHIA AREA CASINOS
Casinos seem like the place to be with boxing now-a-days. It would be nice for the Philadelphia area to have a casino that is associated with boxing like Vegas has with the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay.
Joey Eye and David Feldman have promoted three cards at the Harrah’s Casino in Chester, PA. They appear to have been successful and more are scheduled.
Peltz Boxing has a show on July 1 at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Welterweights Ronald Cruz, of Bethlehem, and Doel Carrasquillo, of Lancaster, PA square off in the main event. The casino is building a 2,500-seat Events Center and it should be ready by early 2012. If the July 1 card is successful, Peltz Boxing will be eager to work with Sands again.
In Bensalem, PA, the Parx casino is also expanding. Recent surveys indicate interest in boxing at their venue. If Foxwoods Casino is ever built, maybe they will hold boxing events as well.
Each of the three (possibly four) casinos in the area have their pros and cons. Harrah’s appears huge; the Sands is huge, and Parx a bit smaller, is more centrally located.
One downfall to boxing in Pennsylvania casino is youngsters under 21 are not permitted.
Many casinos give fights that big-time feeling. The atmosphere is terrific. Being able to put classic all-Philly fights in casinos is great. Having a casino nearby that will be commonly associated with boxing would be amazing.
IN OTHER BOXING NEWS:
Nothing planned in professional fights around the area this weekend…There is an amateur show on Friday night June 17 at Roccos at Grant & Bustleton Avenues in the northeast…
Also on Monday June 20, there will be a Mike Jones workout, open to the public, from noon-2.30pm at the Joe Hand Gym located on 3rd street above Spring Garden.
Brittany Rogers contributes the BAM on Boxing column to PSC. You can also check her out, as well as everything else you need to know on Philly boxing, at PeltzBoxing.com. Follow Brittany on Twitter @bamonboxing and Peltz Boxing @PeltzBoxing.
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