Philadelphia, PA-In an old-fashioned rumble between North Philly lightweights Friday night, Avery Sparrow earned a split-decision victory over Anthony Burgin before a standing-room only crowd at 2300 Arena.
Sparrow (6-1) knocked down Burgin with an uppercut in the sixth round, but the fight was close throughout, with both fighters landing heavy punches. Sparrow won the eight-round showdown on two cards, 76-75 and 77-74. The other judge saw it 76-75 in favor of Burgin.
Sparrow had not boxed since March 26 when he knocked out hometowner Brandon Ruffin in one round in Charlotte, NC. Sparrow's only career loss came late in 2015 at 2300 Arena when he was disqualified after five rounds for low blows against lefty Jerome Rodriguez, of Allentown, PA. Sparrow was getting the better of the fight at the time of the stoppage.
Burgin, 24, came into this fight after having beaten another Philadelphian, Gerald Smith, in his last fight Oct. 14 at 2300 Arena.
In the semifinal, junior middleweight Roque Zapata took down his second local favorite in as many tries at the 2300 Arena. Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, earned a unanimous decision over North Philly's Fred Jenkins, Jr. The scorecards were 59-54, 59-54, and 57-56 in favor of Zapata.
The 21-year-old Zapata (3-1-3) defeated South Philly's Isaiah Wise on Dec. 2 in a four-round slugfest. The veteran Jenkins (10-4) was coming off a impressive showing here Oct. 14 when he outpointed veteran lefty Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ, over four rounds.
Wise, of South Philly, rebounded Friday night with a fourth-round TK0 of Milwaukee's Jeffrey Wright.
In other undercard action, explosive junior lightweight Joseph Adorno, of Allentown, PA moved to 3-0 with a first-round TK0 victory over Mexico's Marco Ocano.
Impressive lightweight Victor Padilla (3-0), living in South Jersey via Puerto Rico, scored a first-round knockout of Carlos Castillo.
The Philly Fight Night series returns to the 2300 Arena on Friday, June 2.
Lightweights: Avery Sparrow (6-1) def. Anthony Burgin (10-3), SD 76-75, 77-74, 75-76
Junior middleweights: Roque Zapata (3-1-3) def. Fred Jenkins, Jr. (10-4-0), UD 59-54, 59-54, 57-56.
Junior middleweights: Isaiah Wise (4-1-0) def. Jeffrey Wright (4-6-1), TK0 4th (:33)
Lightweights: Victor Padilla (3-0-0) def. Carlos Castillo (4-5-0), K0 1st (:38).
Junior lightweights: Joseph Adorno (3-0-0) def. Marco Ocano (1-1-0), TK0 1st (:45).
Flyweights: Ernesto Almodovar (1-0-0) def. Steven Lopez (0-1-1), UD 39-36, 39-36, 40-35
Heavyweights: Cassius Chaney (9-0-0) def. Tom Washington, Jr. (6-10-1), MD 59-55, 59-55, 57-57
Flyweights: Basyzbek Baratov (2-1-1) def. Tyrone Arzeno (0-1-0), SD 39-37, 39-37, 37-39
Super bantamweights: Crystian Pequero (1-0-0) def. Alonzo Davis (0-1-1), K0, 3rd (2:12).
Super middleweights: Chris Thomas (5-0-0) def. Mike Rodriguez (0-4), UD 39-36, 39-36, 40-35.