The city of Philadelphia hasn’t enjoyed a night of boxing in the stadium section in quite some time, but the debut card for Live! Casino and Hotel delivered a night that begins to make up for the 14-year absence.
From open to close the atmosphere was electric in the Live! Event Center. The space filled up with fans eager to see some interesting fights. All of these fights featured local up-and-coming fighters with something to prove. The card, promoted by Joe Hand Promotions, associated with Bam Boxing, and Peltz Boxing. The trio has previously combined to put on shows at Parx Casino and the magic was more than rekindled at the new casino.
The main event featured Joel Caudle (8-5-2 5 KOs) vs the hometown headliner Sonny “The Bronco” Conto (7-0 6 KOs) who had the biggest contingent of fans on hand for his fight. Caudle despite facing an away crowd, came looking to make a statement upset. Conto was looking to step up in competition and keep climbing the heavyweight ranks.
Conto’s size at 6’5 220 pounds and his athleticism make him an enticing prospect, and he showed footwork, speed, and power in this fight. His chin was also tested as a very game Caudle was firing back and brought on some offense of his own.
Still, Conto landed clean more often than not, and wobbled Caudle in the 3rd round with a left hook, and then fired off a straight right to close the show. Conto moves to 8-0 on his career and scored his 7th KO.
Just before the main event. Joe Hand Sr. was honored at ringside, commemorating his 50 years in the fight game. In the Philadelphia boxing world, the name Joe Hand is one of the few that is synonymous with boxing. He tacks on another new venue as his career reaches the half-century mark.
Gerardo Martinez (5-1 1 KO) vs Christopher Burgos (2-4-1 1 KO)
This was easily the fight of the night. Burgos and Martinez weren’t the most powerful punchers on the night, but they were easily the most active. For six rounds they traded blows that landed flush on the other’s chin and continued to press the action onto each other.
Martinez might’ve been the fighter who showed more polish but Burgos was backing him up and kept up his jab and attack constantly. Both fighters rocked the other, but the judges saw the fight for Burgos, a unanimous decision scored 59-55, 59-55, 58-56.
Daiyaan Butt (8-1 4 KOs) vs Seifullah Wise (4-1 1 KO)
On paper, this fight looked the most interesting. Two local junior welterweights have looked very good in previous outings, but this fight never really took off. It looked as though Wise had Butt a bit rocked in the first round, but Butt was able to recover and took over in the driver’s seat of the fight. Wise kept trying to get inside and fired off punches which consistently hit Butt in the back of the head.
Wise wouldn’t let up though, despite warnings and a point deduction. In the 3rd round, he was disqualified. Daiyaan Butt came away the winner, and looked good when he was actually able to fight, instead of being held and rabbit punched.
Jeremiah Kendrick (Pro Debut) vs Tyrone Lewis (0-1)
The quickest of the night’s fights, Kendrick was eager to make an impact and that’s exactly what he did. He never let Lewis get comfortable and into a rhythm and instead he landed big power shots to Lewis, stopping him within the first round.
Kendrick earned the win at 1:05 of the 1st round, and showed well in his first time, and is sure to book a second bout soon.
Maurice Burke (1-0) vs Bilal Quintyne (1-0)
A very back and forth fight, it was all Burke early. The crowd was clearly behind the Philly fighter, and Quintyne’s flashy entrance (complete with fuzzy pink ring attire and a lollipop) did him no favors.
Burke wasn’t able to land that signature shot though, and in the third round, Quintyne began to turn the fight around and found his timing. He won the third round and the fourth was incredibly competitive. In the final moments, Quintyne landed a flurry that dropped Burke. That knockdown was enough to tip two of the judge’s cards in favor of Quintyne, with the other scoring the fight a draw. Quintyne won narrowly 38-37 on two cards, with one a draw at 38-38.
Tunde Fatiregun (1-0) vs Tariq Green (Pro Debut)
The first fight did not disappoint those who were there for showtime. Both Fatiregun and Green were eager combatants and did not shy away from throwing punches. It was a back and forth fight, but Green showed more power and was the more aggressive of the two fighters.
Philadelphia’s own Tariq Green won the first fight at Philly’s newest casino, helping set up the rest of the night. The first scores recorded were 39-37, 39-37, 40-36.