By Gary Purfield
Friday night, Joey Eye Promotions and David Feldman will hold their seventh card at the new Harrah’s Casino in Chester, PA right outside of Philadelphia. The shows have provided several thrilling main events so far and given the local up and coming talent an opportunity to develop on the undercards. The main event this Friday pits young and tough Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante 12-3 (7 KO) against veteran upset specialist Dhafir “No Fear” Smith 25-22-7 (4 KO).
Smith is Philadelphia’s version of the Road Warrior. He has made a career out fighting people in their hometowns and taking bouts on short notice. The fact that he is in his home area for this fight and had over two weeks’ notice (Smith took the fight when original opponent for Ferrante, Tommy Karpency, pulled out) is new territory for the Philly tough guy.
Smith is currently in Florida serving as main sparring partner for Lucian Bute as he prepares for Carl Froch. It is a role he is familiar with as he also prepared Andre Ward before his victory over Froch. Smith is a classic road warrior in that he is far more dangerous than his record suggests. Taking fights on short notice in the other guys’ hometown means you will suffer losses from questionable scorecards and not being at your best on fight night due to lack of preparation time.
Smith had his biggest career moment in 2010 when he upset former world champion Jeff Lacy by wide unanimous decision in Lacy’s hometown of Saint Petersburg, Fl. Smith lost three straight after the Lacy bout to fighters who were undefeated or had one loss at the time. He then got back on track defeating Quinton Rankin in his last bout.
Ferrante, who is also from Philadelphia, is coming off a tough loss in the last Harrah’s Chester main event when he dropped a unanimous decision to veteran warhorse Omar Sheika in February of this year. That fight was a toe to toe war where the veteran experience of Sheika allowed him to get the better of the action in a tight affair that was far closer than the wide scorecards turned in by two of the three judges suggested that night.
Ferrante had won three in a row, all by knockout, prior to the Sheika fight. Before the two wins, he lost two straight in step-up bouts 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. Facing the veteran Smith, who brings a tough attitude, experience, and solid skills will be a difficult match for Ferrante coming off the Sheika loss.
The main event should be an interesting match-up. It is scheduled for ten rounds and is for the PA State Light Heavyweight title. Ferrante will try and take advantage of his youth and strength while Smith will look to use his vast experience advantage, strong jab, and veteran boxing skills to out match the youngster.
In the co-feature, popular Philadelphia product Victor Vasquez makes his return to the ring. Vasquez attracts a crowd wherever he fights due to his reputation as never having been in a bad fight. Vasquez comes to rumble every time and makes for exciting and fan friendly bouts.
Vasquez stepped up in competition in his last bout and was defeated by Dorin Spivey (40-6) in February this year by seventh round TKO in a bid for the NABA Lightweight title. Vasquez had won three of the four bouts prior to the Spivey loss. He will be taking on Paul Fernandez 5-4-2 (3 KO) in a rematch when the two fought to a draw in April of 2010.
Eight total bouts are scheduled for Friday night. Also featured on the card is local talent Tyrone Crawley Jr., Taneal Goyco, and Joey Tiberi. The first bout is scheduled for 7:30. No live broadcast is scheduled but internet boxing channel www.gfl.tv will have a delayed web broadcast. Both main event fighters and several of the under card participants bring strong fan followings, so the building should have a good atmosphere.
- The Boxing Tribune will have an article with Dhafir Smith later in the week about his sparring with the elite of the Super Middleweight division and his upcoming bout with Ferrante.
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