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  Star Boxing At The Tropicana:
A Night Of Rising & Falling Stars

By Tim Donaldson
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey

Vinny Maddalone, Chazz Witherspoon, and Shamone Alvarez are all names that boxing fans in Atlantic City know. For years we have watched them fight, witnessing their triumphs and losses. Each has fallen short. However, none has given up that dream. Maybe itís money that keeps them going. Maybe itís fame or glory. Maybe itís something much deeper than that, something more primal. They keep climbing in the ring, hoping to achieve that prize.

For others, it seems much easier. Ray Serrano came into the ring undefeated and left undefeated. Jason Escalera also remains undefeated. Do they have what it takes? We will see.

Looking at the scorecards, you would think Junior Welterweight Ray Serrano had no competition in the ring. That could not be further from the truth. Angel Rios was always in the fight. Both came out jabbing at the bell. Serrano was the first to throw a combination, going to the head and body. Rios responded with a combination of his own. But as the round went on, Rios found himself on the ropes, several times. Serrano controlled the majority of the first round.

As the second round started, Rios seemed jumpy. Serrano again caught Rios on the ropes. Rios responded, trying to punch his way off, but Serrano was using his weight to keep him there. Serrano outworked Rios in the second round. The third round saw a much calmer Rios. Both fighters started trading in the center of the ring. Then Rios threw a combination, finishing with a right uppercut and hurting Serrano. Serrano recovered and the two fighters traded shots for the remainder of the round. Rios was able to catch Serrano with a right uppercut again in the fourth round, staggering Serrano. Again, Serrano recovered. Rios tried to keep the momentum in his favor, but every time he tried to move in he was being pounded by Serrano.

The two traded shots in the fifth. Rios was still taking punishment as he would try to move in on Serrano. Serrano appeared to be controlling the action in the sixth round as well. Serrano was fighting in close to Rios. He landed combination after combination throughout the round. Rios would respond, but it was almost always Serrano who initiated the attacks. By the seventh round Rios was looking tired. Serrano was coming in and landing a combination. Then he would back off, only to come back in and do it again. Rios never backed off, and for all of Serranoís landed punches, Rios never looked hurt. Serrano ended the round with a flurry of punches, probably securing the round.

The crowd really came alive in the eighth round. Serrano was throwing hooks and catching Rios on the ropes. He seemed to be getting cocky. Serrano started to taunt Rios. Rios responded by landing a right to his chin, slightly stunning Serrano. The ninth round found the two trading shots, back and forth. Serrano was keeping more distance this round. Then at the bell Serrano landed, staggering Rios. Rios tried to come on strong in the tenth round, but Serrano was keeping him back with his jab. Once again, Serrano ended the round with a flurry of punches. The scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.

Welterweight Shamone Alvarez has always been a favorite of the Atlantic City crowd. Unfortunately, this was not his night. Looking at the record of Doel Carrasquillo, 15-18-1, you would have thought that Alvarez would have no trouble. Maybe Alvarez thought that going into this fight because he came out looking like he wanted a quick knock out. Alvarez came out at the start throwing combinations. Carrasquillo stayed closed up, waiting for his opportunity. That opportunity came with a landed right. Alvarez was down. Surviving the count, Alvarez came back jabbing, hoping to keep Carrasquillo from repeating his success. Carrasquillo staggered Alvarez again. Carrasquillo kept up the pressure at the end of the round, landing combinations. Alvarez had nothing left but to hold. Alvarez staggered back to his corner at the bell.

In the second round, Carrasquillo just kept battering Alvarez, throwing uppercuts as Alvarez was trapped on the ropes. Alvarezís punches no longer had any power behind them. Throwing a right then left, Carrasquillo put Alvarez back on the canvas. By the third round Alvarez started to keep more distance. Carrasquillo was able to back Alvarez up with a series of combinations. Alvarez tried to take his fight to the body, but Carrasquillo did not seem too bothered. He responded with wide hooks.

Alvarez seemed energized in the fourth. He would jab and follow it with a hook, always going to the head and body. Carrasquillo still was looking for the big punch and still staggering Alvarez, but Alvarez seemed to be coming right back. Alvarez started to move more, causing Carrasquillo to miss twice with two wide rights. But Carrasquillo kept throwing hooks in the fifth round. It was one of those hooks that put Alvarez back down on the canvas. Alvarez survived the count. Carrasquillo came right back with the hooks, backing Alvarez into the ropes. Alvarezís corner jumped up to stop the fight. It is unclear if the referee saw them as he jumped in to stop the fight. Carrasquillo had won by TKO.

The last time we saw Heavyweight Vinny Maddalone fight he lost to Tomasz Adamek. But Maddalone made quick work of Mike Sheppard. Maddalone is not one for fancy boxing techniques. He is a puncher. He was coming straight at Sheppard. Maddalone rocked Sheppard back into the ropes with a right. He then chased him across the ring, dropping Sheppard with a left hook to the ribs. Maddalone had knocked out Sheppard in the first half of the first round.

Heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon has had a few setbacks in his career. But he proved against Tyson Cobb that he is still an entertaining fighter with a future. Chazz might be known as ďThe Gentleman,Ē but in the ring he can be a killer. Chazz was quick to throw the first punch. He was using more lateral movement in his fighting than in past fights, circling the ring, landing combinations to the body. In the second round, Chazz was able to stagger Cobb with a right. Cobb stumbled back into the ropes. He knocked Cobb down with a hard right. Cobb survived the count. Chazz was right back with combinations. Chazz knocked him down again with a left hook, and then knocked him down a third time with a body shot. Chazz quickly cut of the ring at the start of the third round. He then landed a left followed by a right. Cobb went down and didnít make the count. Chazz won by knockout.

Super Middleweight Jason Escalera easily defeated Mickey Scarborough. Scarborough was running backward at the beginning of the first round. Escalera knocked Scarborough down three times in the first round. Scarborough surprisingly made it through the first round. With a right followed by a left hook, Escalera knocked him down and through the ropes. The fight was over.


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