MANHATTAN, N.Y. — Wednesday night at the Roseland Ballroom, DiBella Entertainment staged another one of its famed Broadway Boxing cards, headlined by popular undefeated light heavyweight club fighter Seanie Monaghan in his first real fight against battle-tested Rayco Saunders.
Monaghan (16-0, 10 KOs), of Long Island, had no trouble outworking Saunders, who fought from a defensive posture for all 10 rounds, failing to mix it up with his more willing opponent. Monaghan has been a staple of Broadway Boxing as of late, with this unanimous decision victory being his fourth win in his last five fights to take place at the Roseland Ballroom. The official scores were 99-91 twice and 98-92 in favor of Monaghan. Pittsburgh's Saunders (22-18-2, 9 KOs) picked up his fourth straight loss, all against fighters with one loss or less.
In his second fight since suffering a loss to veteran gatekeeper DeMarcus Corley, Brooklyn's Gabriel Bracero pounded out an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Toa Baja, Puerto Rico's Eric Cruz in a welterweight bout.
Bracero (20-1, 3 KOs) showed better stamina in going eight tough rounds with Cruz, who forced him to work throughout the bout. When Bracero would open up, Cruz (13-11-3, 13 KOs) would counter occasionally with something that would keep Bracero honest. Bracero showed good poise and a decent display of boxing skills but has basically no power, which will continue to trouble him when he steps up in competition and guys walk through his offense. The scores read 80-72 twice and 79-73.
In the most impressive performance of the night, Los Angeles junior welterweight Ivan Redkach (12-0, 11 KOs) starched Tebor Brosch (7-4-5, 2 KOs) of Ontario, Canada in just 2:07 of the 1st round. Redkach, originally from the Ukraine, hurt Brosch early on and jumped on him, landing an array of power shots to the head that forced referee Shada Murdaugh to halt the bout with Brosch still on his feet.
Popular local junior lightweight Floriano Pagliara (14-4-2, 7 KOs) of Brooklyn earned an easy eight-round unanimous decision over Coon Rapids, Minn.'s Jeremy McLaurin (9-5, 4 KOs). Pagliara was extremely busy, throwing what seemed to be an infinite amount of punches every round, though by the 3rd or so seemed to be sapped of any power. Pagliara was in great shape and was able to keep the volume up, which kept McLaurin from really making a case to win a round. Scores were reflective of this, with two shutout 80-72 scores being tabulated alongside a 78-74 score.
In a battle of Brooklyn light heavyweights, Travis Peterkin (5-0, 3 KOs) had no issues outboxing game but outclassed Hamid Abdul-Mateen (3-3-2) in a four-round bout. Peterkin's much quicker hand speed proved valuable as he often caught Mateen coming in with effectively timed counters throughout the course of the bout. The scores were 40-36 and 39-37 twice as Mateen wasn't ever discouraged by Peterkin's power to keep from pressing forward.
In an exciting four-round womens junior featherweight bout, Brooklyn's Heather Hardy (2-0) outworked debuting Unique Harris (0-1), much to the delight of the crowd. An odd thing happened midway through the bout when one of Harris' breast protectors popped out and had to be reinserted by her elderly male trainer. Hardy had a nasty cut opened up in the 2nd round outside her right eye but was still able to be the busier fighter en route to the decision victory.
In an entertaining opener, Brooklyn middleweight Delen Parsley Jr. (9-0, 2 KOs) managed to outlast tough Ibaheim King (10-8, 4 KOs) of West Palm Beach, Flo. in a six-round bout. Parsley took the early lead by being more active, working behind his quick jab, but King came on late thanks in large part to some solid body work. Parsley looked gassed and was lucky the fight wasn't a scheduled eight-rounder or he may have run into some trouble in the later rounds. Scores were 59-55 and 58-56 twice for Parsley.
During the Peterkin-Mateen bout, a brawl broke out ringside that took down a guardrail and spilled into the more open area. The eventual winner of the scrap, a lad in a blue jumpsuit, somehow managed not to be removed from the premises and was able to enjoy the rest of the night.
In attendance were beltholder Paulie Malignaggi, former heavyweight title challenger Renaldo Snipes, as well as Irish blood and guts warrior John Duddy.
With all the Brooklyn fighters on the card, one wonders what kept them from fighting last Saturday on the Barclays Center card where they could have probably sold their fair share of tickets. Almost every fight had a Brooklyn fighter involved and even though the card took place in Manhattan, it had a great atmosphere. DiBella has been doing shows in the area for a long time, probably losing money at the beginning, but has helped keep the downtown New York club scene going despite the high price of promoting in the city that never sleeps.