ROSA PUNISHES DIAZ AND HERNANDEZ-HARRISON IMPROVES TO 20-0
FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2014 – RICHARD J. CODEY ARENA, WEST ORANGE, NJ
New York, NY / West Orange, NJ (1/31/14) – In his US debut, Australian light heavyweight contender Blake Caparello scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Elvir Muriqi to headline ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at the Richard Codey Arena, in West Orange, NJ. Caparello was very consistent fighting out of the southpaw stance as he landed hard shots to the head and body. Muriqi was precise with his right hand at times, but it was too few and far between the work rate of the Aussie. Caparello, 174.5lbs., of Victoria, Australia, won by scores of 100-90, and 98-92 twice, and is now 19-0-1. Muriqi, 171½lbs., of New York, NY, is now 40-6.
“It was a tough fight,” said a victorious Caparello. “I used my angles and quick hands. I love that I was fighting in America. The fans were all against me, but it was an awesome experience.”
In front of his passionate hometown fans, Muriqi announced his retirement after the fight, citing not being able to pull the trigger.
The always-exciting and dynamic Luis Rosa scored an eight-round unanimous decision over Jorge Diaz in a junior featherweight bout. Diaz was sneaking in some solid rights to the face over the first couple of rounds. Rosa scored a knockdown in round three. A good back-and-forth exchange broke out in round four and Rosa landed a left that sent Diaz to the canvas a second time. Diaz showed tremendous grit as he fought hard on the inside and as he sustained a terrific beating. Over the final two frames, Rosa landed some hard shots and had Diaz holding on, but he was able to make it to the final bell. Rosa, 122.1lbs., of New Haven, CT, won by scores of 80-70, 79-71 and 78-72, and is now 16-0. Diaz, 121¾lbs., of New Brunswick, NJ, is now 17-3.
“It was a great experience,” said Rosa. “This fight will open doors for more national television fights. I am happy for this opportunity. I want to dedicate this fight to my friend Jordan Jacques who is battling cancer.”
Dusty Hernandez Harrison remained perfect by pounding out an eight-round unanimous decision over Tim Witherspoon Jr. in a welterweight bout. It was a good hard-fought battle with both guys landing powerful shots on the inside. Harrison used his size and hand speed to get the better of the action. Witherspoon had a brief moment at the end of round three when landed a hard body punch that doubled over Harrison. Harrison landed some solid uppercuts in round four and began to pound the body in round five. It was a good competitive fight with Harrison winning the majority of the exchanges. Harrison, 146¼lbs., of Washington, DC, won by scores of 78-74 on all cards, and is now 20-0. Witherspoon Jr., 146½lbs., of Philadelphia, is now 10-4-1.
Cecil McCalla remained perfect by pounding out a six-round unanimous decision over veteran Eric Mitchell. McCalla, 152lbs., of Randallstown, MD, won by scores of 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56, and is now 17-0. Mitchell, 153¾lbs., of Philadelphia, is now 23-11-1.
Louis Cruz turned in a devastating performance as he scored two knockdowns en route to a stoppage victory at 2:59 of round one over Jose Santiago in a scheduled six-round lightweight bout. Cruz, 135½lbs., of Bronx, NY, is now 6-0, with four knockouts. Santiago, 134¾lbs., of Bayamon, PR, is now 3-5.
Rickey Edwards scored a four-round unanimous decision over Justin Robbins in a lightweight bout. Scores were 40-36 across the board for Edwards, 135½lbs., of Paterson, NJ, who is now 4-0. Robbins, 135½lbs., of Springfield, MO, dropped to 2-5.
The 19-year-old phenom Junior Younan remained undefeated with a first-round stoppage over Thomas Allan in a scheduled four-round super middleweight bout. Younan dropped Allen just seconds into the bout with a left hook and finished with a barrage on the ropes that forced referee Benji Esteves to call a halt to the bout at 1:09 of round one. Younan, 166½lbs., of Brooklyn, who has yet to see beyond the two-minute mark as a pro, is now 3-0, with three knockouts. Allen, 160lbs., of St. Joseph, MO, is now 1-4.
Wanzell Ellison was workmanlike in pounding out a six-round unanimous decision over Esteban Villalba in a junior lightweight bout. Scores were 60-54 on all cards for Ellison, 130¾lbs., of Newark, NJ, who improved to 10-0-1. Villalba, 134¼lbs., of Juarez, MX, is now 4-6-2.
Freeport, Long Island’s junior middleweight sensation Patrick Day scored three knockdowns and stopped Guillermo Ibarra just 91 seconds into the first round of their scheduled six-round bout. Day, 154.2lbs, is now 6-0-1, with three knockouts. Ibarra, 152lbs., of Phoenix, AZ, is now 11-5.
Undefeated Mikey Faragon scored a first-round stoppage over Ivan Zavala in a scheduled six-round lightweight bout. Faragon dropped Zavala and he was counted out at 1:06. Faragon, 142½lbs., of Guilderland, NY, is now 19-0, with nine knockouts. Zavala, 145½lbs., of Los Angeles, is now 6-5-1.
Patrick Farrell (9-2-1, 5 KO’s) scored a first-round stoppage over Lucas St. Claire (3-4) in a cruiserweight bout.
Samuel Teah registered a four-round unanimous decision over Andrew Bentley (1-2) in a lightweight bout. Scores were 40-36 on all cards.
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Kevin Rooney Jr., DiBella Entertainment: (212) 947-2577 firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephem McDonald, ESPN: (860) 766-0523, email@example.com