Upsets and Knockouts… Boxing is Back in Philly! by Robert Uzzell
On Saturday afternoon/evening, a King’s Promotions double-header card featured plenty of action in front of a full house at 2300 Arena.
In the main event, Brandon “Brob” Robinson (now 15-3, 10 KOs) was upset by knockout against Genc Pllana in the main event. These two combatants had ill feelings toward each other leading up into their fight, and once the bell rang, they fought like it.
To say Pllana has an awkward style would qualify as an understatement, if not out-and-out sarcasm. Robinson came out and immediately worked the jab to Pllana’s body. He consistently came forward in the first round and worked the body. He doubled the jab and continued with token pressure as Pllana moved with hands down below his waist. Pllana offered a jab of his own and threw a few wild rights at times during the first. Robinson kept applying pressure with feints and jabs. Toward the close of the round, Pllana became aggressive and began to jab and throw wide right hands. He became the stalker and forced Robinson against the ropes with a combination. His chin held high and left hand held low, Pllana’s style and stance was reminiscent of Vitali Klitschko. In the final minute, Pllana landed two nice hooks to Robinson’s body and Brob closed the round with a right hand at the bell.
In round two, both guys came out with offense looking to gain an advantage. Both combatants missed more than they connected, but Robinson landed some sneaky right hands to the body. Pllana’s low left hand welcomed overhand rights from Robinson, but Brob couldn’t take advantage. The awkward style turned Robinson from aggressive stalker into passive-aggressive. Robinson wisely fought with movement and continued to jab to the head and body. Robinson landed a nice jag and right hand. Pllana tried the same and missed his right hand. Pllana landed a good right to the body and his right hands began to find a home. Robinson landed a nice left hook that scored to Pllana’s jaw against the ropes. Pllana came back to respond with a combination. As the round ended, Pllana became very active with his jabs and hooks off the jabs, which seemed to trouble Brob. Robinson scored at the bell again with a left at the bell.
In the third, a clash of heads opened a big cut over the right eye of Pllana. It seemed to wake Pllana up and he threw sets of combinations at Robinson. As blood continued to flow, Robinson began to attack the cut. A big jab-right-left by Robinson put Pllana on his bicycle. Pllana was game as he gave as much as he took. The fight was picking up pace at this point. Pllana came forward with shots after swiping at the cut and Robinson landed a big counter left to back Pllana off. Robinson followed with a power jab and pounded on the body as Pllana missed with a wild right and wild left. Robinson landed a counter left hook to punctuate a strong round.
Robinson was very aggressive for the first two minutes of the fourth. The crowd urged Robinson to try to close the show and he went for it. Then a big overhand right to the temple caused Brob’s legs to buckle, forcing him to the ropes. Pllana rushed in and tried for the finish. A low blow forced a stoppage in action as the referee warned Pllana. Robinson took a minute to recover. When the action continued, Pllana staked Robinson until the bell sounded. Robinson walked to his corner on unsteady legs.
Back and forth action continued in the next few rounds. The fifth and sixth rounds were close as jabs and hooks controlled the action. Robinson seemed to be on steady legs again. Both fighters took turns moving forward in the fifth. Robinson continued the game plan by throwing the jab to the body. Pllana launched a showstopping uppercut that just missed. Both guys landed big exchanges to end the round. Robinson landed a big left hook in the sixth. He followed with another big hook and right hand as Pllana ducked into the punch. Pllana came back with another combination to let Brob know he was still in the house. Both guys landed big shots to end the round. Both men looked weary going back to their corners.
In the seventh, Robinson landed a nice right hand and followed it up with another right. Pllana came forward and landed a nice right. As the round came to a close, Pllana landed a lead right hand and body shot that dropped Brob. Robinson took the count and came forward as both guys landed at the bell. It looked like Pllana go the better shot landed in the exchange.
As we entered the final round, it was a mystery as to who was ahead in a close one. Two exhausted warriors went to their corners with one frame to go.
Pllana threw somewhere between three and six jabs to open the eighth. Robinson then chose to go after Pllana, maybe sensing the knockdown as the difference on the cards. He worked in with a double jab and Pllana followed with a right hand that buzzed Robinson. He followed with a body shot and series of rights that dropped Brandon. The referee jumped on top of Brob and smothered him, with no indication of waving it off. He remained on top of Brandon without actually waving it, as his attention was more on Brob’s well-being. With the win, Pllana moves to 9-3-1, with 5 KOs.
In another upset, Greg Outlaw of Maryland lost his first fight as a pro (now 8-1) as he was outworked by Andrew Rogers (5-9-2, 2 KOs) over 6 rounds.
Quadir Albright won his pro debut with a first round KO over Isaac Haynes, also making his debut.
In a super middleweight contest, Devar Ferhadi moved to 9-0 with a unanimous decision win over the game, tough, but outgunned Blake Mansfield. Scores were 80-72, and 79-73 twice.
Super welterweight Joseph Jackson moved to 16-0 as he dropped Terrance Williams with a big left hook to the body. Williams drops to 5-5-1.
In yet another upset, undefeated Ed Torres was shocked in the first by technical knockout against Kashon Hutchinson. Torres drops to 8-1-1. Hutchinson raises his record to 8-5 (2 KOs).
8:00pm Evening Card
Roudly Lolo stopped the debuting Eric Monroe to notch his first win as a pro. Lolo dropped Monroe twice in the first round and the bout was stopped.
Elijah Morales scored a clean unanimous decision over Andres Abarca. All three judges scored of 40-36.
In a bantamweight contest, Jonathan Rodriguez moved to 9-1 with a unanimous decision win over Sebastian Baltazar over 6.
James Bernadin (4-0-1) closed strong in a UD win over previously undefeated Osvaldo Morales (4-1).
Rafiq Muhammad stayed undefeated (5-0, 3 KOs) with s fourth round stoppage of Rasheed Johnson. Muhammad landed a big right to drop Johnson. He followed up with a flurry that caused the referee to stop the contest.
Thanks to Marc Abrams from King’s Promotions.