Saturday, October 4th
Presented by Peltz Boxing
“Shamrocks & Dreams” Recap in Philadelphia
By: Tanner Nolan
October 4th, Peltz Boxing brought boxing back to the Northeast Philadelphia National Guard Armory. Headlining tonight’s fight card is former IBF jr. middleweight champion Kassim “The Dream” Ouma. The “Shamrocks” part of the card was bittersweet for Irish boxer Patrick Hyland, who made a statement in his first fight in Philadelphia, but witnessed a small detour in his brother Paul’s career.
Coming into the fight Kassim Ouma (26-5-1) had lost three fights in a row, which started in December 2006 when he dropped a courageous twelve round unanimous decision to than champion Jermain Taylor. Ouma would snap that winless streak tonight as he dropped journeyman Martinus Clay (13-19-4) in the fifth round to earn him his first win since coming back down to the jr. middleweight division. The fight started off with Clay pressing the action against Ouma, chasing the usually active Ouma against the ropes and trying to work him over. Ouma would fight off the ropes, making Clay hit nothing but glove. Neither fighter did anything to win the round, but Ouma’s accurate punches may have given the edge over Clay. The second round and third round were identical to the first with Clay chasing Ouma around, without any success of landing crisp punches. Early in the fourth round, Clay and Ouma exchanged punches in the middle of the ring, and a right hand stunned Ouma, making his knees buckle and lose his balance. It was looking bad for him as Clay would end the round by stunning Ouma again while he was against the ropes. The punches seemingly woke Ouma up and caused him to go back to the high output fight of old. Clay would get trapped in the corner, giving Ouma the opportunity to unleash a barrage of combinations to the head and body of Clay. Clay would try to fight off Ouma, but a shot to the ribs put Clay down to his knees. He stood up at eight and made his way to the center of the ring, but Ouma would realse another barrage and back Clay against the ropes once again. Another assult by Ouma would drop Clay again for the second time. Clay would get up, but so did his corner as they were standing on the ring mat waving at the referee to stop the bout 1:38 into the fifth.
Paul Hyland (12-1) got the first blemish on his record as he dropped a unanimous decision to Lucian Gonzalez (8-4). Neither fighter is known for being able to knock out an opponent in a time of need, but both fighters tried to make a statement that they could. Hyland left his jab and footwork in his locker room as he tried to stand toe to toe with Gonzalez. Fans, friends, and family of Paul were in a state of panic as a Gonzalez barrage sent Hyland falling on his side in the third round. Hyland got out of the round, but lost a good ten seconds of rest when he walked to a neutral corner looking for his stool. Hyland felt the pressure and went toe to toe with Gonzalez once again in the fourth and final round, trying to steal the fight back with a knockdown, but he was unable to. The Irish fans were optimistic as the scores were read, but it would mean nothing as Lucian Gonzalez pulled off the upset. Score were 39-36, 38-37, 38-37.
“Slick Fighting Irish” Simon O’Donnell (7-1) beat North Carolina based journeyman Antonio Baker (6-11) over five rounds. Baker was out-classed and frustrated the whole fight, losing a point in the first for holding. Both fighters slipped to the mat during the second round because of excessive holding on Baker’s end. Baker lost another point for hitting on the break as the bell rang to end the third round. O’Donnell settled down and used his jab in the fifth round to set up his knock out right hand which buried Baker under the ropes and ended the fight 58 seconds into the round. EMS were rushed into Bakers corner as a precaution, but after a few minutes, Baker was able to regain his composure and leave the ring on his own.
Two out of the boxing Hyland brothers fought on tonight’s card, Patrick (15-0) was the first one to be showcased. His opponent Elvis Martinez (11-27-2) tried his best to make a fight of it. Patrick pressed the action, sending Martinez to the mat with a right hand towards the end of the first round. The second round continued where the first one left off, with Hyland sitting Martinez on the mat two more times until his corner was standing on the mat, waving at the referee to halt the action 1:24 into the second round.
Coming into the fight Jamal Davis (8-4) had lost his previous three fights but tonight he earned himself an emotional lopsided shut out decision over Chris Hall (3-5). The fight was delayed for a few minutes as the commission ring side force Hall’s corner to cut off his goatee before the two touched gloves. Davis sported the pink gloves for breast cancer awareness month, and used them to throw combinations to the body and head of Hall. Davis looked smooth as his footwork and hand speed stopped Hall from ever getting into the fight. After the 40-36 (x3) scores were read, Davis took the microphone from the ring announcer and delivered an emotional speech. He made it public that he lost his wife of one year to breast cancer in 2007. With his mother in-law by his side, he encouraged everybody to go get screened for cancer. Davis would fight with a picture of his late wife tied against his boot.
Tim Witherspoon Jr. (1-1) won his return to the ring against Julias Edmonds (2-3) after taking a break for over three years. Witherspoon showed off his ring rust and inexperience against a game Edmonds. It looked as if Jr. was already tired going into the third round, but he was able to back Edmonds up for most of the fight with wide combinations. Edmonds may have lost the fight in the fourth round after the ten second clap echoed throughout the arena. While lunging in, Jr. caught Edmonds with an uppercut that stunned him, and sent him reeling into the ropes with his hands up inviting Witherspoon’s last second rally. The scores read 39-37, 39-37, and 38-38 for a majority decision for the son of “Terrible” Tim.