By Gary Purfield
Light Heavyweights Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante 12-2 (7 KO) and Omar Sheika 31-11 (21 KO) will meet in the featured ten-round bout at Harrah’s Casino in Chester, outside of Philadelphia, this Friday night. The bout headlines the sixth card put on at Harrah’s Chester by Joey Eye Boxing and David Feldman since they began promoting shows at Harrah’s early last year.
Ferrante last fought in August of 2011, and he scored a first round KO of William Prieto. He was then supposed to headline the last Harrah’s card of 2011 in October against Tommy Karpency for the PA State Light Heavyweight title, but the week of the fight Karpency pulled out leaving Ferrante without a dance partner.
Ferrante, who hails from North Philadelphia, has an opportunity to add a well-known name to his resume this Friday by taking on the veteran Sheika. Ferrante posted losses in his two previous step-up bouts in fights he may not have been ready for at the time. He dropped a decision to crafty boxer Chuck Mussachio in June of 2010. Then in his next bout in January 2011, he was stopped in the third round against undefeated Ronson Frank. Since the losses, Ferrante has looked good, scoring three consecutive stoppage wins against lesser opposition.
Sheika presents Ferrante’s toughest challenge thus far. While Sheika is certainly not the fighter he was ten, or even five, years ago, he still has plenty of skill, a good chin, and the ability to take out a young fighter if they are not ready for the veteran’s challenge. Sheika, who resides in Patterson, NJ, has fought everywhere in his career taking on many of the top fighters over the last ten years. He has losses to Joe Calzaghe, Eric Lucas, Jeff Lacy, and Roy Jones Jr. The biggest win on Sheika’s record was a close decision win over Glen Johnson in 2000.
Recently, Sheika has fought in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area as he winds down his career. Sheika showed his ability to take out a young inexperienced fighter in early 2010 when he knocked out Garrett Wilson in four rounds. Wilson came out early bombs away while Sheika weathered the storm. Once Wilson punched himself out, Sheika stormed his opponent and took him out. Sheika was soundly beaten in the rematch a year later by a much more experienced and disciplined Wilson. In his most recent fight, Sheika won a majority decision over Charles Hayward last month.
The co-headliner is a heavyweight bout between local fighter Jamie Campbell 3-2 (2 KO) against Lonnie Kornegay 1-5-2. Also, talented Jr. Welterweight Naim Nelson 4-0 takes on Linwood Hurd 3-2-4 (1 KO) in his first six-round bout.
Also featured, will be highly regarded prospect Miguel Cartagena in a four-round bout against the always fun TBA. Cartagena 4-0 (3 KO) has stormed over much lesser opposition in his first four fights. The talented bantamweight could benefit from stiffer opposition considering his skills and amateur pedigree which includes a US National Championship and a National Golden Gloves Championship.
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