ATLANTIC CITY — Proceeds from Saturday night’s HBO-televised Golden Boy Promotions boxing card at Boardwalk Hall, aligned with financial support from Oscar De La Hoya and Caesars Atlantic City brought monetary relief in the amount of $44,292 to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, whose facilities sustained considerable damage during Hurricane Sandy.
Golden Boy Promotions donated $2 for every ticket sold and $1,000 per knockout registered during the seven-fight event. In addition, De La Hoya and Caesars Atlantic City matched, adding another $2,000 per knockout to the much-needed donation for the several ravaged boys and girls clubs which were forced to close, directly impacting under-served youth and their family members in the area.
“We are extremely happy that we were not only able to host the fight in Atlantic City and give people a great night of entertainment,” said De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy.
“But that we were able raise the monies to make such a large contribution to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlantic City. It is so gratifying for all of us at Golden Boy to be able to help this area recover from the impact of this destructive storm.”
The tally from tickets sold was $7,764 and $7,000 for knockouts scored. That total of $14,764 was matched by each De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy, and Caesars. For each of the seven knockouts, $3,000 would go to the Atlantic City-area boys and girls clubs — totaling $21,000 of the $44,292.
“Sandy not only breached the walls of the Boys and Girls Club, but also the lives of each and every member here in Atlantic City,” said John Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Resort. “It is with great honor that we make this donation to an organization that embodies the never-give-up attitude of New Jersey.”
The highlight of the evening was former WBO junior lightweight titletholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner (25-0, 21 knockouts) scoring an eighth-round knockout to dethrone Antonio DeMarco as WBC lightweight titleholder.
The victory was the fifth straight knockout for Broner, 23, ending DeMarco’s streak of five consecutive wins, four of them by stoppage, since falling by ninth-round knockout to the late Venezuelan Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) last February.
Over rounds four through eight, Broner averaged 39 power shots landed, nearly triple the weight class average of 14. Broner landed, in succession, 52, 40, 32, and, 37 power shots in the last four rounds, choosing to wage battle from close range where he repeatedly pummeled the 26-year-old DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KOs).
Then came the shocker of the night as undersized heavyweight Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) floored Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs) three times in the second and final round, ending a streak for Mitchell that had gone for 23 consecutive victories, 18 of which were knockouts, including the past 10 straight.
Banks also rose to 9-0-1, with five knockouts, as a heavyweight, last falling in his final bout as a 200-pound cruiserweight by eighth-round stoppage against Tomasz Adamek in February of 2009.
Not since his first heavyweight fight, a seventh-round knockout of Paul Butlin in June of 2009, had Banks been this light. The 6-3 Banks was at 218 1/4 against Butlin.
In the night’s first bout, lightweight Terron Grant (5-0, 3 KOs), of White Plains, Md., scored three knockdowns against Abraham Esquivel (5-3, 3 KOs) before referee Earl Brown waved an end to the bout at 2:14 of the first round.
“I kept throwing the right hand to the temple, but the first punch to the body was a right hand,” said Grant, 22. “The next two were right hands to the temple. But I take my hat off to him, because he wasn’t somebody that you could just walk over. He left his heart in the ring.
“I did not know about the $3,000 going to the boys and girls clubs. It makes me feel real good. For them to be blessed because I came out with the win. If I had $3,000, I would give it to them myself. I want people to see that there is another side of me.”
In the second bout, New York junior welterweight Zachary Ochoa (3-0, 3 KOs) did the same to rival Michael Salcido (1-5), of Casa Grande, Ariz., before Salcido’s corner threw in the towel at 2:09. Ochoa’s first knockdown was literally seconds into the round.
The third fight was a seventh-round stoppage by Philadelphia junior middleweight Julian Williams (10-0-1, 5 KOs), who nailed Jonuel Tapia (8-3-1, 5 KOs) with a succession of left uppercuts which prompted referee Allan Huggins to step in and wave an end to the punishment at the 2:10 mark.
The fourth fight ended similarly, with Philadelphia junior middleweight Demetrius Hopkins (32-2-1, 12 KOs) scoring a fifth-round knockout over Joshua Snyder (9-8-1, 3 KOs), of York, Pa.
The nephew of Bernard Hopkins, Demetrius dropped Snyder with a right hand midway through the fifth, and then followed him to the ropes for more damage that forced referee Earl Morton to step in and protect Snyder at 1:26.
In the fifth fight, Canadian Phil LoGreco (25-0, 14 KOs) rose from a first-round knockdown to halt Daniel Sostre (11-8-1, 4 KOs) in the seventh, cornering and battering him to the point where Huggins stopped it 45 seconds in.
“It’s beautiful. It’s a shame that a hurricane had to come over and devastate New Jersey like that, but it’s great that people have the heart to think about giving back money, and that’s where our money needs to go to. It needs to go to our children and programs like that,” said New Jersey Athletic Commission chairman Aaron Davis.
“Because it’s probably programs like that which have gotten some these guys in the ring into the position to be able to fight at Boardwalk Hall. I don’t want anybody to go to the hospital for a knockout, but if you’re going to get knocked out, it’s good that it’s for a good cause.”
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org