New York, NY - Earlier tonight before a sold-out partisan crowd at NYC's famed BB King Blues Club in midtown Manhattan, DiBella Entertainment presented the latest edition of its Broadway Boxing series, with an exciting eight-bout card headlined by WBA and WBC #8-rated middleweight contender "Irish" Andy Lee (29-2, 20KO's) as he squared off against Daryl Cunningham (28-4, 11KO's) in a 10-round middleweight match-up.
Lee, who challenged for the WBC middleweight championship last summer, came out looking to make a statement, as he stalked Cunningham around the ring, measuring him with his southpaw jab.
Midway through the round, a huge left hand from Lee stunned Cunningham. Lee jumped all over his opponent, trapping him against the ropes and letting both of his hands go. With Cunningham taking heavy punishment, the referee had no choice but to jump in and call a halt to the contest. Official time of the stoppage was 1:27 of the very first round. With the win, Lee improved to 30-2, 21KO's.
After the bout Lee commented on the win.
"Onward and upward from here," said Lee with a smile. "I feel like I am at the top of my game right now and obviously the number one guy in the middleweight division is Sergio Martinez and that is the fight I want. We have the same promoter in Lou DiBella, so I feel like it is an easy fight to make and one that is very attractive for the middleweight division. I know that Sergio is taking some time off, but I'll be ready for him once he is ready to go."
In the co-feature bout of the evening, Brooklyn's middleweight Delen Parsley took on once-beaten Louis Rose.
Parsley spent the first couple of rounds looking to measure the smaller Rose behind his long jab as Rose pressed the action.
In the fourth round, Rose sent Parsley to the canvas, on what could have been ruled a slip. The knockdown seemed to wake Parsley up a bit though, as he came out much more aggressively in the 5th.
There was good two-way action in both the 6th and 7th, with each fighter having their moments but Parsley seeming to get the better of the exchanges.
The 8th and final round was close, with the edge likely going to Parsley. In the end though, the slow start and knockdown played against Parsley as he dropped a close unanimous decision, losing by scores of 76-75, 76-75, and 77-74. With the loss, Parsley dropped to 10-1, 3KO's, while Rose improved to 7-1, 2KO's.
In one of the feature bouts of the evening, DBE's highly regarded undefeated middleweight prospect Lamar Russ squared off against the always dangerous Russell Jordan in an eight-round middleweight contest.
Russ came out and set a furious pace, nearly ending the night in the first as he rocked Jordan and had him all over the ring, but Jordan was able to survive and make it out of the round.
The fight got interesting in the middle rounds, as Jordan was able to land some hard counters while Russ pressed the action.
Russ began to take over in the 6th as he landed hard shots with both hands. Jordan showed an iron chin though and stayed on his feet, even smiling at Russ between exchanges.
In the eighth and final round, Russ stormed off his stool, opening up with heavy shots, looking to close the show in impressive fashion. Despite being battered from pillar to post, Jordan somehow made it to the final bell.
In the end, Russ was awarded the hard-fought unanimous decision, winning by scores of 79-73, 79-73, and 78-74. With the win, Russ improved to 13-0, 7KO's, while Jordan dropped to 15-10, 10KO's.
Heavyweight contender Tor Hamer got back into the win column in an impressive way, pounding on Maurenzo Smith from the opening bell, finally forcing Smith to quit on his feet in the third round of their scheduled six-rounder.
Hamer had his way with Smith, landing huge left hooks throughout, finally opening up a nasty cut over Smith's eye midway through the third. Smith seemed to be ready to go, before turning to the referee and telling him he had enough. Official time of the stoppage was 1:31 of the third round. With the win Hamer improved his record to 20-2, 13KO's.
In the opening bout of the night, DBE's junior welterweight prospect Louis Cruz improved to a perfect 3-0, 2KO's, with a four-round unanimous decision over Michael Carreras.
The Bronx-native NY Golden Glove Champion Cruz boxed beautifully, working behind a piston-like jab that continuously snapped the head back of his opponent. Cruz used the jab to set up his power shots, including a beautiful left hook that he began landing cleanly in 2nd.
The Puerto Rican Carreras hung tough, but Cruz was simply in a different league, winning by scores of 40-36, 39-37, 39-37.
In his pro-debut, Puerto Rican amateur star Angel Suarez was brutally knocked out by Eliezer Agosto in the second round of their scheduled four-round junior lightweight contest.
Suarez got off to a quick start, landing thunderous shots with both hands to the body and head of Agosto. With Suarez opening up in the 2nd, Agosto landed a picture-perfect right uppercut that landed flush on the chin of Suarez, and sending him out flat on his back. Official time of the knockout was 2:59 of the 2nd round. With the win, Agosto improved to 2-2, 2KO's.
Washington Heights-native Neuky Santelises got the sold-out crowd in attendance on their feet with a devastating first-round knockout over Aaron Chavez.
Santelises came out measuring the shorter Chavez with his jab, but seemed to find his range midway through the round. A huge left hook rocked Chavez with the ropes saving him from going to the canvas. The referee rightfully called it a knockdown, giving Chavez the full standing eight-round.
Once the fight resumed, Santelises jumped all over his opponent, landing vicious shots with both hands while Chavez covered against the ropes. Another huge left hook from Santelises connected and Chavez dropped in a heap. The referee didn't even bother counting. Official time of the stoppage was 2:15 of the very first round. With the win, Santelises improved to 5-0, 4KO's.
Cruiserweights Jay Rodriguez (pro-debut) and Andre Ward (1-1-2, 1KO) went to war from the opening bell, landing bombs and trying to end the fight with one devastating punch.
The back-and-forth battle continued round after round with each fighter giving as good as he got. In the end, the bout was ruled a majority draw, 38-38 twice, with the third judge scoring is 39-37 for Ward.
Up next for DiBella Entertainment is the highly anticipated middleweight championship showdown between defending WBA and IBO champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (26-0, 23KO's) and Ireland's top-rated former world title challenger Matthew "Mack The Knife" Macklin (29-4, 20KO's).
Golovkin and Macklin will meet on June 29th at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods ® Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The world title bout will be part of alive HBO Boxing After Dark® triple-header, with the first televisedbout beginning at 9:45 PM ET/PT.
Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $300, $200, $90 and $45. Tickets may be purchased online at foxwoods.com, by calling the Foxwoods' box office at 800-200-2882, or in person at the Foxwoods' box office. Tickets can also be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet.