Thomas LaManna increased his perfect professional record to 7-0 in the main event.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, boxing returned to the City of Nutley, New Jersey, with eight total bouts on tap. Following is a recap of the action.
Jose Javier Calderon (3-1, 3) vs. Jonathan Garcia (2-1, 1)
With the ink barely dry on a new contract with Nedal’s Promotions, Calderon found a game opponent in Garcia standing in his way of achieving a 4-0 record. Garcia opened the action by throwing some wide sweeping hooks, but he was over-advertising his strikes. While he did hit his mark on occasion, Calderon did not seem to be too affected by those punches. Calderon started to find his combinations in the second frame, but both fighters appeared to start battling fitness by the time the third round bell rang. The pace and power of their punches came at a much slower pace, and while they continued to toss as much volume as they could, neither one of these combatants were able to put much behind their attack during the final two frames. Following four rounds in this opening bout, the judges would be needed to decide the victor. After a pair of 39-37 counts were revealed against him, along with an even tally of 38-38, Calderon found himself on the wrong side of a majority decision, suffering his first professional loss.
Aaron Kinch (2-0-1, 1) vs. Donnie Crawford (1-3, 1)
A couple of big heavyweights went to work in this pairing, and the crowd in attendance was strongly supporting Newark native Kinch. With the look of a bar room brawl, these two sluggers put everything they had into this battle of haymakers until Kinch began blasting his opposition with a series of power combinations. In the third round, the local resident dropped Crawford to a knee after perfectly landing a thunderous shot to the body. With referee Randy Neumann counting him out, Crawford looked straight at him and did a slashing notion to his throat, letting him know he did not want to continue. The time of the TKO stoppage was 1:39.
Alantez Fox (7-0, 3) vs. Fitzgerald Johnson (2-6, 1)
Locally touted prospect Fox came into this match-up as the heavy favorite, but he got all he could handle from Johnson. He seemed in control after facing an early flurry in the opening round, but the second frame was dominated by Johnson. The North Carolina native landed a short left hook squarely on the chin of Fox, who was nearly knocked off his feet from the blow. Seemingly out on his feet for a split second as he tried to balance himself on the ropes, Fox was in a world of trouble. However, this must not have been as apparent to Johnson, who was unable to finish him off and let the Newark resident survive the round. Over the final two frames, neither boxer threw much volume, leaving the final decision in the eyes of the ringside judges. All three of them saw it the same way, and Fox emerged victorious with straight counts of 39-37.
Godson Noel (1-0, 1) vs. Satchell James (0-1)
This pairing saw a couple of middleweights making their professional debuts, but Noel handled it with the grace of a veteran fighter. The action got underway with a speedy exchange between the pair, but Noel soon took over behind the power of a stiff lead jab and eventually hurt James with that signature strike. As soon as that occurred, he pounced all over his opponent and sent him to the floor as he tried to retreat from his advances. James took the standing eight-count following the knockdown, but Noel wasted no time as soon as the bout resumed. He immediately jumped his opposition with a flurry until sending him flailing into the ropes and back down to the canvas. Referee Sparkle Lee then gave James a quick look into his eyes and easily realized his night was over. After waving off the fight at the 2:59 mark, Noel had successfully started his professional career.
John Lennox (10-1, 5) vs. Miles Kelly (2-7, 2)
While this bout only lasted a total of 88 seconds, it had a rather dramatic twist from the onset of its action. Quickly after the opening bell, Kelly perfectly placed a right hand to the button of Lennox’s chin, and the New Jersey heavyweight was sent to the canvas. While he immediately returned to his feet, Lennox was clearly hurt and appeared to be in a world of trouble. Seemingly out on his feet, Lennox trudged on and was fighting on instincts. Kelly continued to throw a flurry of punches in the direction of his opposition, but he was leaving himself vulnerable. After tossing a left hand towards Lennox, he found himself on the receiving end of a hard left hook from Lennox that had him immediately rocked. Still fighting on instincts, Lennox then started to tee off on Kelly with a series of left and right hands, eventually dropping him around the midway point of the frame. Clearly hurt, Kelly opted not to continue, and Lennox found himself with a knockout that seemed improbable just a minute prior to that moment. The official time of the stoppage was 1:28.
John Thompson (6-0, 2) vs. Laureno Laracuente (7-5-1, 2)
One thing that no one can deny is the toughness of Laracuente, who was on the receiving end of countless power shots for three straight rounds. The Puerto Rican scrapper was an awkward and frustrating fighter for Thompson, but the Newark native stuck to his game plan and controlled the action from the opening bell. Thompson ended the third frame with a series of hard strikes, and referee Randy Neumann then called the fight before the start of the fourth round after being advised by ringside doctors that Laracuente had been through enough.
Richard Pierson (10-2, 7) vs. Anibal Acevedo (13-9-1, 11)
While 40-year-old Acevedo did his best to show quick head and foot movement, Pierson quickly emerged as the more disciplined fighter. Even though he did not land a ton of power shots, it appeared a punch to the body would be all it would take to keep Acevedo on his stool when the crowd awaited the start of the second frame. After not answering the bell to what was later deemed a rib injury, Acevedo found himself on the receiving end of a TKO loss to Pierson.
Thomas LaManna (7-0, 5) vs. Daniel Crabtree (3-4, 3)
In the main event of the night, local favorite LaManna used some slick head and hand movement to control the pace of the action. Mixed in with a little bit of showboating, he cruised through the first two rounds and put the fight away in the ensuing frame. Midway through the third round, he rocked Crabtree with a left hook that had him instantly retreating. As he stumbled backwards, his glove touched the canvas to prevent him from falling, but referee Randy Neumann missed what should have been ruled a knockdown. However, it would not matter. LaManna absolutely pounced on his opposition and began to pepper him with a countless amount of left and right hands to the head and body. Crabtree caught a brief break by clinching with LaManna, but it would not be enough for him to recover. He was quickly jumped again when the action resumed and was beaten onto the ropes where Neumann was forced to stop the fight at the 2:30 mark.