Pro Boxing Returned to Westchester County last week at the Yonkers Arena. Some 500 fans attended. One was our colleague at Westchester Wire, and the Yonkers Tribune, EHezi. He filed this report from ringside at Yonkers Arena. Here is his blow-by-blow.
The Yonkers Raceway Arena parking lot was almost empty as I arrived to the venue for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing Productions and Alex Ramos’ Retired Boxers Foundation presentation of the Main Event between David Telesco vs Faustino Gonzalez and Vinnie Maddalone vs Greg Tomlinson.
It was 6:45 PM. This was my first attendance of a live “bout.” The evening was unusually warm. The parking lot was filling up quickly. I entered the arena. The venue was an Everlast-equipped ring, straddled on all four sides by 3 judges, a coterie of “press” representatives, of which, I was one, and a subdued crowd filling the seats with expectation.
The Ring Announcer gave the audience a few minutes to prepare for the upcoming events. It was about 7:30 PM. Decorum achieved, the presentation unfolded with the introduction of “Jun” a singing sensation who, donated the song “Stick and Move” to benefit the Retired Boxers Foundation, founded by Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos. The rendition was powerfully delivered and seemed to whet the audience for the evening: the “Main Event.”
The first bout of the evening was between Gary Carriero, of Port Chester, New York, and his opponent, Franklin Betances of Newark, New Jersey. This would be a six round “fight.”
Round 1: The adversaries meet in the center of the ring. Immediately, Carriero lands a strong right to Betances. Betances responds, yet only glances his opponent. The energy level is high. So much so, that it is palatable. The men are ready for this confrontation. They are through with the initial posturing. Moves are about to be made.
An exchange of powerful jabs are passed, staccato like delivery by each of the protagonists in the ring, cause a yearning within the crowd to explode with pent up energy.
The moment would have to wait a while. The bell rings.
Round 2: Carriero and Betances return for the second round. The pent up energy and determination to defeat their opponent is presented with equal focus by each of these conditioned men. Betances steps with alacrity and delivers a salvo of left, right, left, right jabs that cause Carriero to lose his balance. Carriero recovers, yet again, Betances unsteadies his opponent. The second round ends.
Round 3: Determined, the two opponents return to the match with will and power. Carriero seems to have more attitude, yet Betances seems to derive strength from his plodding, deliberate plan, he has developed, to keep his approach less emotional. It is a plan that he hopes will reduce his opponent’s ability to endure the evening. Carriero taunts Betances by trying to jab him here and then, there. The taunting fails to emit an uncontrolled response from Betances. Betances will not be lulled into a game plan he has not rehearsed or one he feels is not his own. The round ends.
Round 4: Each jab thrusts a spray of sweat from the opponent struck, to fly through the air – Carriero seems to have become tired.
Round 5: Detances is focused. Carriero loses control of his aim. Muscles sapped of their power seem not to find their goal. The throws go wild. They seem impotent. Franklin seems strong. He impresses me to be an intelligent and well-thought- out “fighter.” Carriero lands a “lucky” throw. Betances responds with a powerful battery of the body of the weakened Carriero. Carriero is trying to get into a routine he has practiced often. It seems Betances allows the routine to be practiced on his body. Before too long, Betances responds with a few return “hits’ that scream, “No, not on me, you don’t!” R R r r r i n g. The round ends.
The final round, Round 6: The opponents approach each other at the center of the ring; they size each other up, again. Betances strikes; the referee separates the combatants. A commendable exchange ensues. Betances seems to get the better of Carriero. The crowd backs Carriero. Sentiment is strongly in his corner. Carriero may sense this at last and unleashes his might and energy onto the unsuspecting demeanor of Betances. The assault saps Betances’ strength. The bell sounds. The protagonists cease their “fight.”
The judges come to a unanimous decision. Gary Carriero is acclaimed the winner with a vote of 60 to 54.
The performance in the ring took my breath away. The adrenalin had me writing feverishly. My subjective view is not meant to be condescending nor derisive. Let me state unequivocally now, that I respect these well-honed athletes and respect their ability to transform their internal drive and expose it in the public arena with such resolve.
Let me not forget to mention that a bevy of beautiful women entered the rings between rounds, clad in revealing gear, attesting for all to see, the number of the round awaiting our attention. These were the representatives of The Round Card Girls website on the internet.
I was glad to have been invited to this venue. My libido revved to unexpected heights as the adrenaline surged with each punch. Does it get better than this? Who knows?
The second bout of the evening pitted the talents of Eduardo Torres of Puerto Rico against the fight debut of Kevin Carey of Brown Mills, New Jersey, in a four rounds battle in the welterweight division.
Each fought gallantly. It seemed to be a struggle of heart more than of form. Even so, the judges pronounced a 39 to 37 score in favor of Eduardo Torres.
Bout 3 was in the heavyweight division. It was a match between the talent of James Harris, of The Bronx, and his capable opponent, Anaudi Santos, of Hempstead, New York, in a four rounds match. This would be the inaugural fight for Santos.
The first round was a simple one in which each sized up their opponent. Santos delivered a few blows and was met in kind by Harris.
The second round was a repeat of the first round. The crowd wanted more. The protagonists needed the time to set up their form. The bell rang a second time.
Round 3: Harris and Santos connected when they delivered a jab. Each connection met with a flurried exchange. They each exhibited a graceful form of adulation to their sport. The energy they brought to bear through the exercise of their connecting arms upon their opponent was like a poem to the art of boxing. They epitomized the “perfect” boxing form. they were both “smart fighters,” exchanging jabs, all the while, searching for that slight weakness in their opponent’s armor and delivery. Finding the Achilles Heal was tantamount to winning the bout. The bell was rung. The round closed.
A runway display of the latest Antonovich Furs designs were displayed.
Round 4: Santos came out determined to make a statement. The assault hit its mark. The hits were an impotent flurry. He would need to focus and set up for a viable statement. Time was limited. We were in the fourth and final round. Yet, the set up came moments later. It was quick, it was meaningful, and it took Harris by surprise.
Despite the potent assault, Harris was prepared. Both fighters were sticking to their “game plans.” They each were weakened by their efforts. Their efforts commendable and very respectable.
By unanimous decision, Harris received 40 points against 36 for Santos.
First Knockout of the Night
Bout 4 was in the middleweight division. It found Miguel Gutierrez of The Bronx, on one side and Eric Simmons of Brooklyn, on the other. The four rounds were not to be utilized tonight between these two. Within the first round, actually, within 1 minute 52 seconds, Gutierrez was Knocked Out by the still undefeated presence of Eric Simmons.
“Jun” returned to the ring to sing “We Fought For the World” and to introduce Alex Ramos and the Retired Boxers Foundation. The theme to “Rocky” was playing in the background to introduce the Main Event. The air was electric. Craig Tomlinson of Reading, Pennsylvania, weighed in at 220 pounds. He did not seem to be in his element. Vinny Maddalone came to the ring. He was impressive. Expectation was rife.
The Main Event
Round 1:The 10 rounds would begin with Maddalone unleashing a turret of right, left, right, left, right, left jabs. An endless assault, all leaving their mark. The pounding, hard. Maddalone was crowding Simmons with unrestrained energy. The pummeling seemed to bring Tomlinson to his element. He shone in the arena. It was as if he needed the ring to express a part of him that is diminished when out of the ring. He thrives in the arena.
Maddalone moves, as if he smells the “kill.” The expenditure of power is taxing on Maddalone. He rests on Tomlinson, evidently resting for the next assault.
Maddalone seems to need a two-step approach against his opponent. He needs to be goaded into his attack. When it begins, he is relentless. Tomlinson is stimulated into top form by the confrontation. He holds his own. He is responsive. He is not active. His mental resolve may just now be waning. The bell rings. The second round ends.
Round 3: They come at each other. They must tire each other out. This round will be used to sap the opponents’ strength. Maddalone goes “wild” in his display and assault. Tomlinson responds, yet is weakened by the unending assault. He falls upon Maddalone. The referee sends each to his corner. Tomlinson got hurt in this round.
Round 4: Maddalone’s barrage continues, yet he too, seems to have lost steam. No, he reaches deep down and pummels his opponent into “submission.” Maddalone is unrelenting. Tomlinson seems incapable of fathoming from where his opponent musters his power. The fight is stopped.
The referee called the fourth round to a halt after 45 seconds. Maddalone remains undefeated and continues his venerable wins.
The match, a commendable example of the sport. Raw energy, unremitting and unrelenting, when channeled by hours and hours of disciplined practice is poetic. These men are a credit to their art and their sport.
Bout 6 would close the evening with the much-awaited second part of the Main Event. Faustino Gonzalez of Miami, Florida, against the favorite David Faustino of Port Chester, New York.
Gonzalez made an impressive entrance onto the ring. Before the first round, he looked gaunt. He proved to be strong, and aggressive, active, plodding. On the other hand, Telesco was impressive. He had bulk, he had attitude, and he seemed assured, perhaps even cocky. The first round would be taken by Gonzalez.
Round 2: Telesco could not find his form. Perhaps his cockiness colored his form. Gonzalez would connect; it seemed, with every punch. The crowd started to yell, “something to remember” at every moment Gonzalez would connect on Telesco’s body.
Round 3: Telesco came out determined. He came out fighting. He was held in check by Gonzalez. The crowd started to fear that perhaps, tonight, Telesco could not gather all it would take to defeat the Floridian. Then, the thought that perhaps Telesco wanted to saunter through a few more rounds was his plan, came to mind. Was I rationalizing this? Gonzalez lands a few on Telesco, making sure Telesco would take the pain with him. Gonzalez landed his jabs. Telesco would be pained. He would remember the assault. The bell rang.
Round 4: Determined, Telesco comes out of his corner with a demeanor that says, “I won’t be beat!” The crowd is not so sure. They fear the worst. They are invested in Telesco. They are not prepared for the loss… Telesco cannot seem to get past Gonzalez’s jabs to do any harm. Gonzalez lands jabs to the face and the mid-section. Telesco is made tired by the assault. Gonzalez seems to have taken the first four rounds. He has held Telesco at bay. The bell rings.
Round 5: Telesco is reminded by the crowd that they are with him, that he is their champion, that they will not take defeat tonight. Telesco starts to swing. he lands a few jabs. The crowd appreciating his connecting. Telesco, in my opinion, seems to have been hurt. He seems tired, he is not breathing in a steady and regular fashion. He seems spent, more so mentally than physically.
Gonzalez accumulates his point gains on Telesco in an unexciting, yet plodding, and steady manner. He seems to have a steady supply that drives him. I question though, if he has a reserve. Telesco, despite his poor showing so far, seems more rounded. He has a reserve that he has not yet tapped tonight.The bell rings.
Round 6: More of the same. The crowd is just about ready to capitulate defeat, yet they hope against all hope. There is no way this evening can be challenged. The towel is at hand. Will the white towel be virtually thrown into the ring in submission? The bell rings.
Round 7: Gonzalez continues his methodical form against Telesco. Telesco begins the round with a determination not yet revealed tonight. Within seconds, Gonzalez is on the floor. He stands up. Telesco pummels him onto the canvas again. The crowd yells, “Good night.” The fight is over. The fight is stopped.
The crowd would not be denied. Telesco wrenched victory from defeat for the fans and reached deep into his heart to clutch victory. Telesco showed his metal. He is formidable, but only when focused. He is a tour de force. No wonder he is loved by the fans.
What a night. I will be back See you there next time…This is Hezi at ringside.