Broadway Boxing: Javier Fortuna Makes Smashing U.S. Debut, “Tito” Bracero Cruises

NEW YORK– Dominican junior lightweight Javier Fortuna announced his arrival to New York in style on Wednesday night in front of a packed house at B.B. Kings Blues Club, flooring unbeaten prospect Victor Valenzuela just over a minute into the 1st round. The light-punching Valenzuela started out boxing but then unwisely threw caution to the wind and elected to trade with Fortuna, who caught him flush and secured his seventh 1st-round knockout soon after.

After the fight promoter Lou DiBella beamed, crediting esteemed adviser Sampson Lewkowicz for discovering Fortuna (13-0, 10 KOs) and suggesting to ringside observers his newest find may be more talented than unbeaten Cuban featherweight and Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa.

“He’s a big-time prospect,” DiBella said, adding that Valenzuela (8-1, 1 KO) was “no slouch” himself.

Boxing luminaries including HBO’s Harold Lederman and Showtime’s Steve Farhood were among those on hand to see Fortuna’s impressive debut; odds are you’ll be seeing him on a TV set near you early next year.

Gabriel Bracero over Hector Alatore (Unanimous Decision)

Brooklyn’s “Tito” Bracero thrilled his vocal supporters by thoroughly outboxing Hector Alatore in a junior welterweight bout, winning all eight rounds on all three scorecards. Bracero never looked out of sorts thanks to a big quickness advantage but his punches failed to stem Alatore’s (16-12, 5 KOs) advance and he may lack the power to trade with the elite at 140 lbs. He also suffered what appeared to be a cut over his right eye and appeared to get the worst of some furious action at the start of the final round. Still, Bracero improved his record to 13-0 (1 KO) and remains an attractive matchup for any New York-area fight card.

Tor Hamer over Demetrice King (UD)

Harlem heavyweight Tor Hamer looked sharp while dominating a seemingly disinterested Demetrice King for eight rounds, again securing a clean sweep of all three scorecards. Hamer (13-1, 9 KOs) stayed active and used his superior skill to pummel King (15-19, 13 KOs), who looked even larger than his 277-lb. listed weight.

King, who fights out of Flint but hails from my hometown Jackson, showed flashes of hand speed and defensive ability but never looked interested in fighting. Afterward King’s cornerman David Selwyn admitted his fighter didn’t look close to winning a round.

Wednesday night put Hamer well on his way to moving past his controversial May loss to Kelvin Price, while King’s moniker “the Next Big Thing” seems these days to refer only to his ballooning waist.

Sonya Lamonakis over Tiffany Woodard (UD)

Hometown girl Sonya Lamonakis delighted a vocal Greek contingent by eking out a close decision over Wilson, North Carolina’s Tiffany Woodard in a six-round heavyweight contest that featured the most action of the evening. Lamonakis (3-0, 1 KO) was the more active fighter, repeatedly landing heavy blows to the body while forcing Woodard (3-4, 2 KOs) to respond in kind with blows to the face. A school teacher by day, Lamonakis earned the admiration of the crowd but may have a tough time explaining to her students how her face got so heavily marked in a fight that she won.

Alex Perez over Doel Carasquillo (UD)

Newark’s Alex “Brick City” Perez won a tougher-than-expected debut with DiBella Entertainment against a game Doel Carasquillo of Lancaster, Pennsylvania by way of Puerto Rico, earning a unanimous decision after an eight-round welterweight bout. Carasquillo (14-17, 12 KOs) shook off a constant barrage of stiff jabs and straight lefts from Perez (13-0, 7 KOs), who stayed busy and appeared to have the fight well in hand until the 5th round when a looping right from Carasquillo caught him off-balance and sent him to the canvas.

Afterward Perez credited his opponent’s defense for deflecting many of his shots and called him a strong puncher, but denied having been hurt on the knockdown. Perez did show this reporter his swollen right hand, which he said was injured in that same round. Despite earning the victory Perez likely failed to impress matchmakers and may have to show more before stepping up in competition.

Steven Martinez over David Lopez (UD)

20-year-old junior middleweight prospect Steven Martinez of the Bronx is one of the latest additions to the DiBella stable and he showed both promise and his youth in earning a six-round decision victory over David Lopez of Caldwell, Idaho. Despite appearing to be overmatched in every aspect Lopez (3-3-3) showed heart by coming out fighting hard in the sixth, perhaps motivated by the taunts of New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who manages Martinez (7-0, 6 KOs). Jacobs was joined at ringside by Giants offensive lineman Kevin Boothe; the pair cheered Martinez to victory and stayed for the Perez fight so Jacobs could finish what looked like a delicious plate of buffalo wings.

Gautham Nagesh is the editor of Stiff Jab. Follow him on Twitter.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.