Ringside coverage and photos by Gary Purfield
Mike Jones made it a short night in his homecoming stay busy fight Saturday night at the Arena in South Philadelphia. Jones used the first round to measure his opponent Raul Munoz landing jabs and a few rights to set the tone.
The in round two he landed a jab followed by a straight right hand over the top that dropped Munoz to the canvas. Munoz 21-14-1 (16 KO) managed to get to his feet but was in no condition to continue as the bout was stopped. Jones 25-0 (19 KO) won himself a TKO victory at a time of two minutes and twenty nine seconds to remain undefeated.
The rising welterweight contender was coming off his two wins of Jesus Soto-Karass and looking to stay busy in between bigger fights while providing a show to his hometown fans. Jones did what he was supposed to do stopping an opponent who clearly has seen better days and was out his league against the Philly fighter. Jones was able to remain active, keep applying his work in the gym to live action (including Jones kept his body slanted opposed to squaring up which this writer feels will be key for him when facing top notch competition), and not fall victim to being one of the many current fingers who go in-active/rusty waiting for HBO dates.
It was a treat for the local fans that packed in the Arena to see the hometown talent who right now is Philadelphia’s best hope of gaining another title along with current title holders Bernard Hopkins and Steve Cunningham. After the fight Jones showed his gratitude for local supporters tossing towels out to the crowd and posing for pictures.
Now he will look for bigger and better fights. When asked in his post-fight interview about who he wanted to fight he simply stated “Pac-Man” referring to current welterweight titleholder and pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao. Jones would be well advised to take several more fights against serious top notch competition before entering into a battle with the current P4P king. The fight was televised live on Fox Sports Net as part of the Top Rank Live series.
If he can win several higher profile fights raising his skills and his notoriety it is not out of the question to land the mega fight with the Filipino superstar. Jones is co-promoted by Philadelphia’s hall of fame promoter Russell Peltz and Bob Arum’s Top Rank who promotes Pacquiao. Arum has recently kept Pacquiao in with other Top Rank fighters giving Jones an inside track over others in surrounding weight classes.
Under Card Report
Glen Tapia took a unanimous shutout decision over Taronzo Washington 14-16 (7 KO) in Jr. Middleweight action. Tapia controlled the entire fight winning on all three cards 60-54 to remain undefeated. Tapia 10-0 (5 KO) was hardly tested as he threw flurries and Washington largely covered up despite openings to return fire. Tapia is young with talent but will need to tighten up his defense once he faces a higher level of opposition. When he flurries he is open down the middle and his tendency to keep the left hand low leaves him open to right hands over the top.
Yordenis Ugas of Cuba and New Yorker Kenny Abril put on a hard hitting fight in the TV opener. Ugas had control through the first four rounds of the welterweight bout. Ugas pounded power shots to the body that slowed Abril while keeping a tight guard that provided his defense.
In round four Abril took a knee in the corner to stop a body attack onslaught that was taking its toll. Then when it appeared Ugas would get the stoppage Abril showed his heart and began unloading combinations at the end of the round.
Abril continued his attack in rounds five and six to take the rounds on this writers card but it was too little too late. Ugas 8-0 (4 KO) piled up the early rounds to stay undefeated while Abril’s 11-4-1 (6 KO) late rally was too little too late.
Osnel Charles scored what may be the KO of the year in Philly or anywhere else with a first round one punch right hook bomb that put Anthony Flores out cold and lying on the canvas for several minutes. The two Jr. Lightweights had been having it out on writer George Hanson’s Facebook page and wanted to settle it in the ring.
Charles came out fast looking to do damage. He hurt Flores with a left hook that stunned him early in the round. From that point Charles chased Flores and eventually put him in the corner where he landed a right hook to the top of the head that spun and flattened Flores. The bout was immediately stopped giving Charles a TKO win at one minute and forty nine seconds of round one.
Flores 9-4-1 (6 KO) did eventually rise but had an oxygen mask was on him and he was lead out of the ring. Charles 9-2 (1KO) gets his knockout he predicted and was ecstatic after the fight jumping up and down into every ring corner.
Young bantamweight prospect Miguel Cartagena improved to 2-0 (1 KO) by stopping Jamie Gonzalez 0-2. Cartagena connected with a left hook that dropped Gonzalez and halted the bout by TKO at 49 seconds of round two. Cartagena dominated the first round landing at will and dropping Gonzalez twice. Cartagena came out in punching again in round two and landed the left hook that ended things.
Cartagena has a ton of skill to go along with speed and athletic ability. At this point he is a young prospect with talent but will need to keep working on the fine points of the sweet science to grow into a contender. If he improves his defense and works his craft he is one to keep an eye on in the future.
In an all Philly welterweight matchup Phil McCants 9-2-1 (3 KO) won a majority decision over Kaseem Wilson 12-3-1 (4 KO). At times they flurried and at times the action slowed for extended periods. One judge scored it 57-57 with the other two judges giving it to McCants by scores of 58-56.
In the opening bout of the evening Mike Oliver 25-2 (8 KO) took a unanimous decision win over Felipe Almanza 18-25-4 (9 KO). All three judges had it 58-56. With the win Oliver gets himself a date with featherweight titlist Orlando Salido in Mexico later this year. Salido won the belt earlier this year with his upset KO of Juan Manuel Lopez.
In the walkout bout Angel Cruz 5-1-1 (4 KO) and Jose Rivera 3-2-2 fought to a draw with scores of 57-57 on all three cards. Cruz landed the cleaner punches but Rivera must have gotten the judges attention by being the aggressor throughout the fight.
Philadelphia great and current Light Heavyweight Champ Bernard Hopkins was in attendance seated ringside. Bernard was given a rousing ovation when announced and took time throughout the night to pose for pictures with fans.
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