Mike Jones Knocks
Out Esalas In The Second Round In Exciting Night At The
Legendary Blue Horizon
By Tim Donaldson
My hat is off to Hall of Fame promoter Russell Peltz for putting
together the most exciting fight card I have seen this year. The
night was non-stop action from the first bout to the last, and
it proved that boxing is alive and well in the city of
The main event featured Philadelphia’s hottest prospect and
contender in the Welterweight division, Mike MJ Jones, in a
defense of his NABA title against Dairo Esalas, a last minute
substitution after Larry Mosley dropped out. The crowd at the
Blue came out to cheer MJ on to victory, and he gave the people
exactly what they wanted to see, a knock out victory.
The fight started out with the two fighters testing each other,
trading a shot here and there. But even in that first round, MJ
proved his dominance. He took Esalas by surprise and caught him
in the chin in that first round. And shortly after, MJ hit
Esalas back into the ropes. Esalas still looked good at that
point, still getting in some good punches against MJ, but MJ
clearly was setting the pace for the fight.
The second round started the same way as the first, the two
trading shots. However, Esalas quickly found himself in trouble
as MJ released a barrage of hits and knocked Esalas down with a
shot to the chin. Esalas got up and the fight continued. But
Esalas found himself in the same position again. Trapped against
his own corner, Esalas fell again as MJ landed a shot to his
chin. Again, the fight was allowed to continue. MJ wasted no
time in putting Esalas down again. This time it was ruled a
knock out at 1:56 in the second round. After the fight, MJ
rewarded his fans by throwing t-shirts out into the crowd. For
those of you who do not live near Philadelphia and have not seen
Mike Jones fight, I think your time is coming. MJ would like to
have that title shot by the end of this year.
But Mike Jones is not the only story of the night. The entire
night was packed with good fights, and the only question is
where to start? So I will start at the beginning. The night
started out with a fight between Junior Middleweights, Jamaal Da
Truth Davis and Clarence Taylor. Davis proved himself to be a
strong contender and a crowd pleaser. Like most first rounds,
Davis and Taylor traded hits but neither really put themselves
out there. Taylor looked a little more hesitant at first but
came back at the end of the round. By the third round, however,
Davis had definitely taken control of the fight. He landed
several power shots to the head of Taylor and a really good
combination to the body of Taylor.
What was really impressive about Davis was that he seemed to get
stronger as the fight went on. By the fourth round, Davis was
doubling up his jabs against Taylor and was landing shots before
Taylor could land his. At times in round 5, Taylor was looking
as though he was just trying to stay up. Davis was still landing
shot after shot against the body of Taylor. In round 6, Taylor
was having trouble connecting. Davis landed combination after
combination, hitting Taylor in the body and head. Davis won the
fight by unanimous decision.
The second fight was between Junior Lightweights Derrick Bivens
and Luis Esquilin. It was an even match-up from the beginning.
Both fighters were throwing lots of punches and taking hard
hits. Esquilin was able to bloody the nose of Bivins in the
second round and took advantage of this throughout the fight.
Bivins seemed to fight best when mad, and he took most of his
hits when pulling away from Esquilin. The fight ended in a draw.
The third fight was between Super Middleweights Garret Wilson
and Dennis Hasson. Hasson had the advantage as long as he could
keep Wilson on the outside, but when Wilson decided to move in,
it was a different fight all together. Wilson had the strength.
At one point in the sixth round, he hit Hasson with punch after
punch, moving him all the way across the ring. But Wilson never
kept the attack up. Hasson just kept hitting away throughout the
fight, landing more punches and controlling the majority of the
fight. Hasson won by unanimous decision.
Bout number four definitely proved to be exciting. The fight was
between lightweights Rod Salka and Victor Vasquez. These were
two fighters who never backed down from each other, and they
both landed hit after hit. By the third round, both had blood
coming from their noses. The blood was flying around the ring.
Salka, however, dominated the fight from the beginning. In the
beginning of the fight, it was a slight advantage, but by the
fourth round, Salka was throwing more combinations and looked
much faster than Vasquez. Not that Vasquez was ever totally out
of the fight, but he just was not performing as well. The only
time Salka really looked in trouble was when Vasquez hit him
below the belt in the fifth round. Salka won the fight by
unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 60-54.
Super Bantamweights Teon Kennedy and Andre Wilson also had an
extremely close fight. Kennedy looked much stronger in the first
round, backing Wilson into the ropes several times. But in the
second round, Wilson seemed to get his rhythm and started to
take control. Wilson only got stronger by the third round. He
cut Kennedy above the right eye. Wilson kept hitting Kennedy
there, trying to hurt him further. But Kennedy was able to keep
fighting and was looking better again in the fourth. Kennedy was
able to capitalize on the fact that Wilson would step to his
left, right into Kennedy’s right hand as he threw it. He did
this throughout the fight, even as his corner warned him not to
do it. Kennedy was able to land several good shots to the body
and head in the fifth and sixth rounds. Both fighters were
looking tired by the seventh but came out strong in the eighth.
Kennedy was able to land several good shots in the last round
and spent the round chasing Wilson around the ring. Teon Kennedy
won by split decision.
The final fight of the evening belonged to Welterweights Kaseem
Wilson and Martinus Clay. Kaseem Wilson gave the crowd something
to cheer about in the first round as he landed a strong hit to
the head of Clay, throwing his head back. Clay seemed a little
stunned at first. And Wilson was able to repeat this before the
round was over. The second and third rounds saw a fairly even
fight. Wilson did show that he had better footwork and could get
away from Clay easily. In the fourth, the two were slugging it
out. At one point, Clay came in low and took a hit on the chin.
The fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds were a lot of punches
traded between the two. But in the eighth, Wilson came out
strong and dominated the round. He was landing more, was able to
evade the attacks of Clay, and finished with a strong
combination. Wilson won by unanimous decision.
It was a good night for Philly boxing. Mike Jones, Jamaal Davis,
Kassem Wilson, and Teon Kennedy, as well as the others, all
fought hard and gave the fans what they came to see. If only
every fight card could be this strong.