Co-promoter Peter Quillin, former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi and Uprising Promotions' Rory Frank at the fights.
Ronson Frank’s Uprising Promotions, in association with Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, returned to action on Friday night, hosting a card packed full of top prospects at the Five Star Banquet Hall in Long Island City. Uprising Promotions lightweight Wesley “El Bongocero” Ferrer (6-0, 4 KOs) kept his perfect record intact by shutting out William Walters (2-6, 1 KO) in a four round contest, but the night ended on a highly controversial note after a main event that saw Uprising Promotions featherweight Angel “El Gato” Luna (10-0-1, 7 KOs) battle Victor Serrano (3-7-1, 1 KO) over six frames.
In that feature bout, Luna showed proper ring generalship and served as the clear aggressor. From the onset of this fight, he ripped crushing shots to the body of Serrano, backing him up while throwing punches at an incredible pace. He continually swarmed his gritty opponent, delivering heavy volume with a focus on breaking down the body. Luna stalked Serrano throughout the six rounds of action, getting the better of exchanges but did eat some punches to give some punches on more than a few occasions.
While Luna did take some shots from Serrano, it was due to his own aggression, and he gave back much more than he received. When the bell rang at the conclusion of this one, the consensus among nearly everyone in attendance was that Luna had done enough to pick up his 11th professional win.
Unfortunately, the two people who saw this as a close bout were sitting ringside and had the opinions that mattered.
The first score read aloud was a 58-56 tally in favor of Luna, but the crowd was left in disbelief when the next two cards were revealed as being even at 57-57, making this fight a majority draw.
“It was a good fight, but I know that I won,” a frustrated Luna said after the bout. “It was not a draw. I know in my heart that I won this fight.”
Co-promoter Peter Quillin agreed.
“I thought Angel was in control of the fight the whole time,” he stated. “Serrano did put up a game performance, but not enough for me to say it was a draw. Unfortunately, my personal beliefs do not matter. The judges are here to do their jobs, and I am here to be a promoter. I am going to keep it on those lines.”
Ferrer came into the night with four knockouts in his previous five professional bouts, and he appeared to be headed to another early stoppage after getting off to a fast start against Walters. He immediately went to work on the body, firing hard hooks with both hands and backing up his opponent with flush follow-up shots to the head. However, Walters proved to be very game opposition, and he survived the round to send Ferrer back to his father/trainer Mateo De La Cruz in the corner.
For just the second time in his career, Ferrer would see the second frame, showing some understandable signs of attrition as the fight progressed but never relinquishing control for a moment. When all was said and done, the Brooklyn native had put in four solid rounds of work with the highly durable Walters, working well off the bend while turning and stepping into well-placed combinations.
All in all, it was a good four frames of experience for Ferrer, who cruised to a unanimous victory by shutting out Walters on all three scorecards, 40-36.
In the co-feature of the night, Brooklyn junior welterweight Scott “Bang Bang” Burrell (8-2, 5 KOs) fought for the second time in 2015, facing stiff opposition in Joe Gbolo (3-2-2, 1 KO) of Albany. Throughout the fight, Burrell did a nice job of feinting with his jab and then coming over the top with his right hand, using his shiftiness and head movement to offset the timing of Gbolo. When he let his hands go, Burrell consistently threw in numbers while only seeing single shots from his opposition. He also maintained a good rhythm while displaying nice footwork, which prevented Gbolo from ever being able to get into any kind of groove.
This bout did eventually go the distance, but Burrell was awarded for his dominant performance with flush 60-54 tallies from the ringside judges to earn the unanimous decision.
Unbeaten Queens native Daniel “El Gallo” Gonzalez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) also returned to action on this card, facing rugged Newark welterweight Malik Jackson over six frames. Gonzalez came out showing good footwork, and the activity really picked up on both sides in the second round. Gonzalez began to focus on the body, which began to slow Jackson, but the end result of that was a close-knit affair that saw the two fighters engaging on the inside. Jackson was a resilient fighter who made Gonzalez earn his rounds, but overall boxing tactics played the deciding factor in this bout.
When the bell sounded to conclude the sixth frame, Gonzalez was the victor to remain undefeated after securing scores of 59-55 and 58-56 (twice).
The lone knockout of the night came off the capable hands of Brooklyn super middleweight Akil “That Dude” Frederick-Auguste (5-1, 5 KOs), who was able to stop Marlon Farr (4-8, 0 KOs) at the 2:56 mark of the first round. Auguste controlled the action from the opening bell, but the finishing blow came in the waning moments of the stanza. After the southpaw buckled Farr with a stiff jab, he quickly dropped him with a follow-up left hand. Farr got to his feet and retreated to the corner, but he did not answer the referee’s call before the count of 10. With just four seconds remaining in the frame, Auguste found himself with his third consecutive first round TKO.
In the opening bout of the evening, the always-entertaining Italy Martinez (1-3-1, 1 KO) met Brooklyn junior welterweight Glenford Nickey (4-1-1, 1 KO) in a highly contested four frame scrap. As soon as the first bell rang to get this one underway, both men stepped into a phone booth and did not exit until time had been exhausted.
Early in the second round, Martinez jumped out to an advantage after an exchange in the center of the ring saw him drop Nickey with a right hook. However, Nickey quickly responded with some heavy hands of his own, and the duo continued to go toe-to-toe once again. At the conclusion of that frame, Martinez made a costly mistake that would eventually prove to be the difference in the fight. After a late punch from Nickey after the bell, he retaliated with a head butt that resulted in him being deducted a point.
Once the third round bell got this bout underway again, it was back to business for these two fighters, and they traded back-and-forth until the conclusion of the fourth and final frame.
The close action was then reflected on the scorecards, as Nickey claimed a tight unanimous decision with tallies of 39-37 and 38-37 (twice).
As is the case with each Uprising Promotions show, the matchmaking by Ronson Frank was once again superb, and his business partner Quillin reiterated that fact at the end of the evening.
“To see a former fighter come in and promote shows like this, I can only say good things,” Quillin remarked. “People need to support this. Sometimes, it seems like they want to see fighters retire broke and not have any other opportunities or skills. People should support fighters who actually get out here and do something besides just get in the ring and take punches all the time.”
Next on the agenda for Uprising Promotions is a show in early 2015, and those details will be announced as soon as they become finalized.
This show on Friday night was sponsored by Brooklyn Brothers, Bill4Time, Belaire Rosé Champagne, Alma Restaurant, Charlie’s Auto Collision in Long Island City and Resolution Sports.
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