The Tiberi name Continues in Delaware with Mike Tiberi Friday
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 23, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
This Friday night young Mike Tiberi, 15-1 (7), of Smyrna, DE, takes on Eloy Suarez, 11-9-1 (5), of San Antonio, TX, over 8 rounds. Suarez has a win over Gabriel Holguin, then 18-2, and in his next fight lost an 8 round decision to now IBF Light middleweight champion K9 Bundrage.

The Tiberi tradition started with Uncle Joe Tiberi in 1977 who was 13-1 before losing to Philly’s Kevin Howard, known for dropping “Sugar” Ray Leonard. Knockouts over Fernando Fernandez, 18-4, the New England champion in Boston and Philly’s Mike “Youngblood” Williams, 15-1-2, in Philly along with a decision over New Jersey’s Rusty Rosenberger, 16-2, in Totowa, NJ, were his major triumphs all on the road. He retired in 1984 with an 18-5-2 (13) record. His son, Joey, Jr., is 2-1 (2), and scheduled to fight March 4th in A.C.

The following year after Joe’s retirement Uncle Dave “TNT” Tiberi turned professional and was 18-1-3, before losing inside the distance on cuts for the only time in his 28 fight career. Wins over Terry Christle, 13-0-1, Ken Shannon, 23-6, and Eddie Hall, 20-8, for the International Boxing Council super middleweight title were his major wins. In his next match he lost one of the most highly disputed fights in boxing history to the then unbeaten James “Lights Out” Toney, 28-0-2, in February of 1992 by split decision. He would retire after that fight with a 22-3-3 (7) record and fight on to create the now Muhammad Ali Act to prevent boxers from suffering the same experience by corrupt officials.

From 1985-87 Uncle Vincent was 2-1 after defeating Chavez Francisco, 3-1-1, in Atlantic City. Cousin Dominick only had one fight in 2007. Mike’s father who is also his trainer, Mario Tiberi, Jr., was 2-0-1 (2), in 1987 retiring after defeating Frankie Crossan, 8-4. Both wins were by stoppage.

That brings us to “Mikey” who has been guided by Uncle Nick, one of the busiest matchmakers in the northeast who has had his young prospect fight in DE, NJ, PA and MD. The only loss was a controversial one in Millersville, MD, in his seventh fight to southpaw Dwayne Shelton, 1-0, of VA. Shelton is now 2-1-1 since dropping down to light middleweight and not fighting since 2009. “I thought I won. The loss takes pressure off me. I would like to fight him again,” said Mike Tiberi.

“My Uncle Nick is part of the team along with my brother Mario, III, who is assistant trainer and cut-man Joey Eye,” said Tiberi. He was 8-2 in the amateurs so he’s been learning on the job as a professional. He has had 10 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds and 6 bouts scheduled for 6 rounds. This will be his first 8 rounder with a 9 fight win streak on the line. He turned professional in June of 2007 stopping Jason Collazo in the first round at the DE State Fairgrounds, in Harrington, DE.

This writer first saw him fight in his second bout defeating Kenneth Meeks, 1-2, in Dickson City, PA, near Scranton, on the Lajuan Simon-Corey Johnson, USBA Middleweight title card. “He had a good chin,” said Tiberi.

A win over Bernard “Road Dog” Miller, 1-0-1, at the Hockessin PAL Center, in DE, followed. “He was tough,” said Tiberi. A rematch was sought in February of 2008 on an ESPN show in Dover Downs. Tiberi had sold several hundred tickets and to his and his fans disappointment the bout was scratched. It was also Uncle Dave’s last promotion.

Back to back first round knockouts followed in Salem and Atlantic City, NJ. A win over NJ amateur champion Rakeem Carter was in Scranton, PA, in June of 2008, having Carter down and a shut out on all officials score cards. “He ran a lot,” said Tiberi. He came in at 155 ½ his lowest weight to date. This was on an ESPN show. That was 6 wins in 12 months. Next would be the first of 2 fights at South Philadelphia High School stopping John “Jawbreaker” Colvin in 4 rounds. Later Colvin would lose and then stop Bernard Miller putting him into retirement by knockout. “Colvin was tough,” said Tiberi.

Sandwiched in between the 2 fights in South Philly was Tiberi’s debut at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino where he fights this Friday. He defeated John Michael Terry for the first of 5 wins Tiberi has posted at the DE casino. Next would be the semi-windup fight at Dover knocking out Brad Hill, 11-11-1, in 1:32 seconds of the first round. Hill previously won 3 of his 4 fights by knockout.

Tiberi would wrap up 2009 with a win over southpaw John Wright, 4-1, on a 3 win streak. In his previous fight he defeated Kenny George, 7-1-1. “He had a good amateur background,” said Tiberi. This was the first time Tiberi has gone the full 6 rounds while winning every round on the score cards. “I work for the state and we had several blizzards in 2009 cutting down on my amount of fights,” said Tiberi.

After another decision win at Dover Downs in February for Tiberi stopping Brian Bernard, 8-6-2, in 3 rounds in Atlantic City. Both fighters came in at 167. Bernard didn’t come out for the fourth round. In August he would stop Ray Cunningham, 7-9, in the 1st round at Dover Downs. In his last fight in December he won all 6 rounds defeating Marcus Don Hall, 11-5, who had an 11 fight winning streak broken by top contender Andre Dirrell.

Tiberi’s upcoming fight with Suarez is slated at 160/168 per matchmaker Nick Tiberi. Mike “No Joke” Stewart is in the main event and said “we sold out in 5 days.” Lisa Butler handles all the publicity at Dover Downs and held a press conference on February 10th at the casino where I got my interview with Tiberi.

Tiberi is a soft spoken young man who will be turning 23 next month. He shows improvement with each fight. He listens to his corner well and knows he has a good team behind him along with a very big following of fans. He should be putting the Tiberi name back into the limelight where Uncle’s Joe and Dave put it there in the 80’s and 90’s.

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