Ronald Cruz Beats Conyers, Garrett Wilson KOs Martinez
Undefeated welterweight contender Ronald Cruz (16-0, 12 K0s), of Bethlehem, PA, won a ten round unanimous decision over rugged Allen Conyers (12-6, 9 K0s), of the Bronx, NY, and cruiserweight Garrett Wilson (12-5-1, 6 K0s) scored a third round knockout over Pedro Martinez (6-5, 3 K0s) in an all-Philadelphia matchup at Bally's Atlantic City.
Cruz went ten rounds for the first time in his three-year pro career. Cruz, 25, dropped Conyers just as the bell sounded to end the first round, then alternated between orthodox and southpaw the rest of the way to win by scores of 99-90 (twice) and 98-89. Cruz weighed 146.6 pounds and had never gone beyond six rounds before. Conyers was 147.2 pounds.
Conyers, 35, was dangerous all the way, but he was never able to sustain an attack against Cruz and suffered his sixth defeat in 18 pro fights. He controlled the first round until Cruz backed him into a corner and dropped him at the bell. Conyers constantly pressed forward after that, but Cruz' body shots and looping, overhand shots earned him points.
The fifth round was the only one that all three judges gave Conyers. He pinned Cruz on the ropes and fired away to the body and head and came within inches of a 10-8 round. Cruz came right back in the sixth, having his best round of the night, forcing Conyers onto his heels, firing away at the body and head.
After that, it was Cruz controlling the action while Conyers fired away from long range.
For Cruz, ranked No. 15 in the world by the IBF, it was his 16th win against no losses. He has scored 12 knockouts. He will be back June 1 at the Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA. Conyers dropped to 12-6, 9 K0s.
In the scheduled eight-round semifinal, USBA cruiserweight champ Wilson dismantled fellow-Philadelphian Martinez, scoring a knockout 36 seconds into round three.
Wilson (12-5-1, 5 K0s) used an inside attack and hurt Martinez (6-5, 3 K0s) with short hooks and upppercuts, staggeriing him several times and dropping him iearly in the third. Martinez claimed a broken nose.
The 29-yeard-old Wilson, ranked No. 9 by the IBF, will fight Andres Taylor, of Johnstown, PA, on April 14 in the same ring for the vacant NABF championship. They boxed an eight-round draw 18 months ago in Johnstown.
In other fights on the card: Luis Cream, 145.4 pounds, Camden, NJ, scored a knockdown en route to a four-round unanimous decision (39-36, 40-35, 40-35) over Miguel Corcino, 146.8, Camden, NJ, welterweights; Rafael Montalvo, 145.2, St. Clair, PA, knocked out DeCarlo Perez, 148.2, Atlantic City, NJ, at 2.33 of the second round, welterweights; Jeff Lentz, 149.6 Lanoka Harbor, NJ, and KO'd David Navarro, 148.2, Philadelphia, PA, at 2.34 of the first round, welterweights; Antowyan Aikens, 164, Atlantic City, NJ, scored a repeat unanimous four-round decision (39-37, 40-46, 40-36) over Charles Kirby, 163, Philadelphia, PA, super middleweights; Korey Pritchett, 139.2, Camden, NJ, registered a repeat four-round split decision over Korey Sloane, 140.4, Philadelphia, PA, junior welterweights.