The latest edition of Broadway Boxing took place at the Roseland Ballroom this past Thursday April 4, 2013. Lou Dibella again provided a series of nine competitive bouts which highlighted former WBA 154 pound Yuri Foreman, and top contenders Gabriel Bracero, and Luis Orlando Del Valle.
The first half of the card highlighted four up and comers who all were tested and passed their respective obstacles. The best bout of this phase of the evening was the pro debut of Donte Strayhorn, junior welterweight, whose nickname “Future Legend” seemed a heavy burden to bear before his first professional fight.
He was matched with Michael Carrera who was 0-1 but an unknown quantity. Donte showed a good jab. He had good footwork which kept him out of the danger zone. He showed a snapping right and double left hooks which won him the opening round.
The second round spoke volumes about Donte who got caught with a counter left hook to the head and body which made him wince. He was also partially thumbed. Another hook stunned Donte as he looked suddenly vulnerable. But Donte used movement and was controlling a close third round until he realized that he had to go to work.
He went to the body more regularly and this set up combos which won him the round. The fourth saw Donte come out with four power rights to set the tone for the final round as he toughed his way to a unanimous decision 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37.
Patrick Day similarly had a second round which threatened to end his unbeaten record in this four round junior middleweight bout. He came in with two knockouts in two fights and his slugging attack with consisted of overhand rights and long hooks won a close first round. His opponent, Yusmani Abreu 3-6-1, stunned Day with a right and followed with more punches as Day looked weary and without answers.
But the third saw Day come out more precise with his punches. He landed a thunderous one-two which opened up the assault and confirmed his power but he could not floor his game opponent but won by unanimous decision 39-37 on all three cards.
The lightweights were next as Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz scored his third knockout in three fights as he used a short left uppercut in tight quarters to set up his offense and stop Antoine Knight 2-2, 1 KO. He continued the assault for another round until a series of stiff jabs and rights followed by a three punch combo stunned Knight. A few more shots and the ref stopped matters at 2:15 of the third.
Luis Oliveres, junior welterweight, took two wins and knockouts and looked more complete in his game as he won a phone booth battle over Christopher Williams-Ortiz of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, as the four round decision was unanimous with all three judges scoring 40-35.
Now came the fighters with name recognition. Luis Orlando Del Valle came in with a 16-1, 11 knockout mark, his last fight was his first loss to multiple world champion, Vic Darchinyan on HBO. Luis started slow against southpaw Andre Wilson 13-5-1, 11 knockouts but outworked Andre and his body attack and smothering short punch approach closed Andre’s eye. Luis floored Andre in the fourth after a dominating round. Andre was game but a straight right hand which landed on Andre’s near his corner saw referee Randy Neumann stop the fight in the fifth.
Gabriel Bracero, welterweight, fought a smart fight in his eight rounder with Pavel Miranda 19-9-1, 10 knockouts. Coming off his loss to former World Champion DeMarcus Corley, Bracero showed what he learned with three straight wins going into this fight with a very crude Miranda.
Miranda was tough, showed a great chin, and was rough as well. Gabriel was cut by a head butt but Gabriel continued to box him throughout and did an excellent job of scoring and getting out of the zone and did everything but floor his stubborn opponent. The unanimous decision was not close.
Now came the lone women’s match with undefeated Heather Hardy from Brooklyn, NY, who showed why she has not scored a knockout as she lacks one punch power, but little else as she showed why she has now won her first four fights.
Hardy has a classic stand up stance but gets inside and her flurry of short rights, hooks, and undercuts and a hectic pace wins the war of attrition often as it did this evening. And after eight rounds there was no doubt that Hardy is willing to pay the price, not losing a single round as her opponent Mikayla Nebel 0-4, looked to survive all night.
The next to last bout saw Romania’s Ionut Dan Ion; score a unanimous eight round decision over Damian Frias 19-6-1, 10 knockouts. Ionat who has challenged for world title honors twice was determined to win by knockout but Frias was just as determined as the two southpaws were almost mirror images in their attacks. After Ion seemed to take the fight out of Frias, Damian started giving as much as he took, but Ion’s skills were just more refined as he looks to be ready for another title match.
The final bout had Yuri Foreman, former 154 pound champ, who was in the second fight of his promotional contract with DiBella Boxing Entertainment. He was inactive for the last two year’s. It did not show as he out boxed Gundrick King, 18-9, 11 knockouts. Gundrick who had notable disadvantages in height and reach was content to counter and did not take any chances.
Yuri, now 30-2 with 8 KO’s had nothing to work with. But his legs were fast and his quickness and form was excellent. He just needs an opponent that is willing to mix to show Foreman off better and obtain a future shot at world honors. Overall an entertaining night of boxing and the nod for fight of the night would be Bracero- Miranda.