Tommy Karpency Stops Andre Hemphill at Harrisburg’s Zembo Shrine
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 13, 2011)
Boxing returned to the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, PA, Saturday night for the first time since 2003 in the PA state capitol when Payton Promotions put on “Capitol Punishment”! Southpaw Tommy Karpency, 21-2 (14), of Adah, PA, sent Andre “Da Heat” Hemphill, 10-17-2 (5), packing early back to Philadelphia after 2:12 of the first round with a devastating left hook to the liver. Hemphill went straight down and could not beat the 10 count of referee Gary Rosato. This main event was scheduled for 6 rounds in the light heavyweight division.

Promoter Bob Payton and matchmaker Matt Chrzanowski gave the Harrisburg fans plenty they should be telling their neighbors not to miss when the next show occurs. In a beautiful setting where the Shriner’s first allowed boxing to start back in 1947 at this facility, treated the fans with the respect and warmth you don’t get at most venues. You can bring the family out to this setting.

Karpency came out to destroy Hemphill who had been stopped 5 previous times before the end of the third round. For that matter all his 5 knockouts had come within 3 rounds. To his credit Hemphill who had won his last 2 fights took the fight on short notice replacing Dallas Vargas. Hemphill had been dropped earlier in the round and covering up when he got up though leaving his body exposed for the punch ender.

In another 6 rounder York, PA, light welterweight Stevie “Stone Cold” Weimer, 6-0 (2), met his toughest opponent to date in Julias “Marvel” Edmonds, 7-10 (0), of Philadelphia who after dropping the first 2 rounds came on to take the middle rounds by “walking down” Weimer.

Weimer seemed to gain the edge in the fifth round in starting to move more. In the sixth and final round he fought it out with the ever pressing Edmonds with both fighters ending the fighting in a furious exchange. Referee Vic de Wysocki had to separate them after the bell.

It looked like a draw decision might be the outcome when Weimer had his hand raised winning by split decision. Dave Greer had it for Edmonds 58-56 while judges Tony Wolfe 60-54 and Bernard Bruni scored it 59-55 both for Weimer. A rematch would certainly be well received by the fans.

In a 4 rounder local popular amateur champ Josh Bowles, 1-0 (0), made his debut with a performance as colorful as his trunks of green, gold and white. This writer has followed his career and was certainly anticipating his start. Never advising a local to turn pro at home it seemed it was that way at the start for Bowles who seemed nervous and pressing for an early knockout.

Bowles opponent Jonathan Ocassio, 0-7 (0), of Philadelphia, came to survive with his hands up in front of him the entire 4 rounds. Bowles took a 40-36 decision on all scorecards. He is a prospect who came out of possibly the toughest division in the Pennsylvania amateurs for the past several years. Bowles has the potential to bring back boxing in Harrisburg. The referee was Rosato.

Travis “The Animal” Thompson, 4-7-1 (3), of Pottstown, PA, came to take the heart out of Darrell Martin, 4-13 (1), of Baltimore, MD, with a fierce body display from the opening bell. With seconds left in the first round the mouthpiece of Martin came out due to the body shots. In the second a straight right by Thompson took Martin’s feet off the canvas hitting the deck. Another right hand dropped him again.

It looked like Martin might not come out for the third but to his credit he did. It was the same story as Thompson landed a left hook to the body and leaving referee Rosato no choice but to call a halt at 0:30 of the third round in favor of Thompson.
It’s the best this writer has seen Thompson who for the first time came in under the 130 limit. His new trainer Travis Kauffman had him sharp. “I’m back” said Thompson. This former H.S. wrestling star had his best performance to date and always gives the crowd reason to cheer.

In a 4 rounder that ended in an odd fashion Grayson Blake, 1-0 (1), from SW Philadelphia, now fighting out of State College, stopped Epi Rodriguez, 0-4 (0), of Harrisburgh at 1:32 of the third round.

Blake boxed his way to winning the first round as the awkward Rodriguez couldn’t keep up with the speed of Blake. In the second round a left hook rocked Rodriguez. Before the bell Rodriguez landed 4 straight right hand body shots to the side of Blake.

In the third round of this welterweight match a right hand by Grayson dropped Rodriguez on his back. Whether it was do to new shoes or not Grayson slipped after landing the punch on his butt. As he landed his feet hit the feet of the fallen Rodriguez that forced the latter out of the ring into the waiting arms of boxing director Greg Sirb and the ringside table.

Sirb immediately waved off the fight yelling to referee de Wysocki who stopped it at 1:32 of the first. Unless you were sitting as this writer was from a side position able to see both fighters one would have never saw what happened because it happened so fast. Rodriguez in the meantime re-entered the ring to continue the fight but to his surprise the bout had already ended.

Jeremiah Karpency, 4-0-1 (1), of Adal, PA, and William Miranda, 1-2 (0), of Allentown, PA, opened the show in fine fashion brawling to the final bell. Southpaw Karpency buckled the knees of Miranda in the first round with a right-left combination. Halfway through the second round Miranda started landing some good punches of his own.

In the third round Karpency started to show the effects of setting a furious pace through the first 2 rounds by pushing Miranda to the ropes and leaning on him. Miranda got the round landing the more effective punches. In the fourth and final round with Karpency doing more of the same Miranda suffered a cut possibly from an unintentional head butt.

It was almost too close to call the round at the bell though it seemed Miranda pulled out a draw. The referee was de Wysocki. Bruni saw it as did this writer 38-38. Wolfe and Greer called it 39-37 for the winner Karpency. If it were Sumo wrestling Karpency would have scored a shutout.

The new promotional team may have only put 600 in the seats but with a solid show like this could double that amount if the word gets out properly. It’s the hope of this writer they do it again in the next couple of months.

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