New York, NY - Earlier tonight at NYC's famed B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in midtown Manhattan, DiBella Entertainment returned for the latest installment of its popular Broadway Boxing series, sponsored by Everlast and Manfredi Auto Group. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each boxer wore pink and black boxing gloves donated by Everlast.
Headlining the action-packed event, popular Brooklynite Heather "The Heat" Hardy, 121½, dominated the formidable Crystal Hoy, 121, of Las Vegas, NV, over 10 rounds to become the WBC International junior featherweight champion, in a superb performance. Hardy boxed extremely effectively throughout, demonstrating many facets of her talent and ability. She was incredibly accurate with her shots while both pressing forward and fighting off the back foot. When Hoy stepped up her attack near the midway point, Hardy proved adept at exhibiting elusive defensive maneuvers and landing counter shots to offset her opponent's aggression. Whenever Hoy found her way inside, Hardy had no qualms about trading power shots, creating some exciting exchanges. Setting up beautiful combinations behind a stiff jab, Hardy went on to win a clear 10-round decision. Scorecards read 100-90, 99-91, and a puzzling tally of 95-95, which brought jeers from the crowd. Now 11-0 (2 KOs), Hardy remained unbeaten, while Hoy fell to 5-7-4 (2 KOs).
"Winning the WBC title is every boxer's dream coming up," said Hardy, "and now this is a dream come true. It's an honor to win this belt and I plan to proudly defend it and prove to be a worthy champion."
In the co-feature bout, New York Golden Gloves champion and Broadway Boxing staple, light heavyweight southpaw Travis Peterkin, 176¾, of Brooklyn, competed in his first eight-round contest, facing Sacramento, California's Otis Griffin, 179½, of The Next Great Champ reality series fame. Peterkin immediately began backing Griffin up, landing his thudding jab. When Griffin would find his way past the jab, Peterkin met him with a straight right hand down the pipe. Over the second half, Peterkin began backing Griffin to the ropes, landing hooks downstairs. In the fifth and sixth rounds, it was evident that Peterkin's pressure and heavy hands were breaking Griffin down. With Griffin's punch resistance diminished, Peterkin threw combinations with abandon. Earning a unanimous decision with scores of 80-72, and 79-73 twice, Peterkin upped his record to 13-0 (5 KOs). Griffin saw his record fall to 24-17-2 (10 KOs).
"This was my first eight-round fight," said Peterkin. "I wanted to pace myself, box effectively and slowly break him down over the distance. My jab was key and my combinations were on point."
Freeport, New York's junior middleweight prospect Patrick Day, 153½, the former #1 amateur in the US and a National champion, locked horns with the rugged Felipe Reyes, 153¼, of Houston, TX, trading shots in a phone booth for six thrilling rounds. Reyes took to leaning in and hoping to land wild overhand rights. Day frequently opened up Reyes' guard by digging to the body first then following through with uppercuts to the chin. In the fifth, Day landed a right hook upstairs to deck Reyes, as he bounced off the ropes. After six rounds, Day earned a shutout unanimous decision with three scores of 60-53, to lift his record to 9-0-1 (5 KOs), while Reyes dropped to 5-4 (3 KOs).
"I felt that I put on a good performance," said Day. "I think I showed a different side of myself and proved that I am versatile, fighting Reyes head to head. He was very game, but he came in with his head a bit much, using roughhouse tactics. I'm now ready to step up and fight in an eight-round bout next time out."
Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions, Inc., the 25-year-old Ukrainian Ivan Golub, 159¼, now living and training in Brooklyn, NY, improved to 2-0 (1 KO), by demolishing the normally durable Kirk Huff, 159¾, 3-2 (1 KO), Arnold, MO, inside the opening round. Stalking Huff from the outset, the southpaw Golub eventually trapped him in a neutral corner and landed a thudding left to the body. Huff immediately dropped in pain and, though he arose, the referee felt he was in no condition to continue, halting the bout by TKO at 1:11 of round one. A former amateur star, Golub had amassed an astonishing record of 270-32. He became a five-time Ukrainian National champion, and won bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2006 and at the World Championships in 2009. Golub also participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts.
"I applied pressure right away and quickly spotted the opening to land my left downstairs," said Golub. "I hit Huff right on the liver and down he went."
The 20-year-old English/Irish Steed "The Stallion" Woodall, 164, born in Birmingham, England, and now living and training in Palm Beach, FL, made his NYC debut boxing his way to a unanimous four-round decision over the always-tough Azamat Umarzoda, 162¼, 0-6-2, of Las Vegas, NV. As an amateur, Woodall was a five-time English National champion and a two-time British champion, having accrued a 41-5 record along the way. In his fifth professional outing, Woodall focused on his technical ability and placing his shots well, dishing out a steady stream of jabs and straight right hands. Umarzoda ate whatever leather Woodall threw his way and kept on coming, but that did not deter the Florida transplant. Halfway through, Woodall began pounding the body as he outworked his resilient adversary. After four frames, the judges tallied 40-36 twice, and 39-37, all for Woodall, who improved to 5-0 (3 KOs).
"There was a lot of anticipation coming to the Big Apple for the first time, a city that I've always wanted to visit," said Woodall. "I had a durable opponent in front of me, but I worked my jab and body shots well and I was glad to get in the work."
Opening up the card, former 2012 Olympian for the Dominican Republic, Wellington Arias Romero, 144½, 4-0-1 (2 KOs), of Newburgh, NY, fought to a draw against Lazar Stojadinovic, 146, 1-1-1, of Miami, FL. Stojadinovic started out aggressively winging hooks, while the southpaw Romero looked to establish the proper distance to land his straight punches. Though Romero landed several pinpoint left hands, Stojadinovic remained steadfast, continuously applying pressure and outworking his foe to make it a close affair. Often pinning Romero against the ropes, Stojadinovic's work rate was favored by the judges. Following the end of the fourth and final stanza, the scorecards read 39-37 for Stojadinovic, and two votes of 38-38, for the draw verdict.
The next installment of Broadway Boxing will take place in December, back at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill.