Barthelemy Stops Ennis in Upset at Resorts in Atlantic City
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (March 7, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
USBA light middleweight champion Derek “Pooh” Ennis, 22-3-1 (13), of the Germantown section of Philadelphia and Team Ennis felt comfortable with this match though it’s the one’s you don’t expect problems with that usually cause them. Cuban Giorbis Bathelemy, 25-8-2 (10), fighting out of Hialeah, FL, is 38 years old, and had only one 5 round fight in 6 years. He looked safe from here in this non-title bout at Resorts International Hotel & Casino Friday night.

NJHOF promoter Diane Fischer of Dee Lee Promotions entitled the show “The Next Generation” and brought in guest’s former heavyweight challenger Chuck “The Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner and his lovely wife Linda. One of Wepner’s former opponents named “Big” George Foreman, the former two-time heavyweight champion of the ring and the “Foreman Grill” was there with one of his 5 son’s named George. All have nicknames. “Monk” was to be on this card but got cut in training. His brother “Big Wheel” who handles the business end was with his father along with Uncle Roy Foreman, a promoter who has been around Atlantic City boxing shows on a regular basis lately.

Between Wepner and Foreman there were more flash bulbs going off than at a Chinese New Years celebration! For a former boxer with several hundred stitches “acquired” over the years Wepner looked great. At 6:06 his posture was good and he’s never lost to tell a story.

Getting back to the fights Ennis came in a little lighter than usual. Had he been over trained? Barthelemy weighed 160 in his lone bout back in December. He looked more like a middleweight and a southpaw on top of it. At a press conference Wednesday through an interpreter the main event born again Christian told me he was 210-25. His trainer Jorge Callardo confirmed it.

The referee for the main event was one of the world’s best in Steve “Double SS” Smoger. It was like old times at the one time Resort that boxing started with at the shore. Ennis looked “dry” during introductions from ring announcer Nino Del Buono while his opponent looked like he was ready to go and was “all business”!

The report was Barthelemy was a “runner”. He was the aggressor and Ennis who is a very good defensive boxer was slipping punches but hardly threw a punch halfway through the round. He didn’t look “comfortable” yet. Out of nowhere came a right hook to the jaw of Ennis and down he went. He’s been on the canvas in his losses and had never lost a decision. When he got up taking the count from Smoger he was not on steady legs.

Barthelemy went on the attack and though Ennis was avoiding some of the shots he was hit with as many which isnt’ his game. How he managed to get through the first round I’m sure no one including him knows. There are weaker stomach referee’s that would have considered stopping this one. At the bell in deep trouble Ennis stumbled back to his corner.

His father and trainer Derrick “Bozy” Ennis and team were working on trying to snap him out of it. It was to no avail. The bell seemed to come “too soon”. He went out on unsteady legs and allowed himself to be up against the ropes and occasionally tried throwing a punch that had little if any effect on Barthelemy. Smoger is one of the fairest yet fighter’s safety first referees in the business. He gave Ennis every chance to come back but had to wave it off in a neutral corner when Ennis was being pummeled with punches.

The pro Ennis crowd was stunned from the first knockdown! One writer already had his heading up on his laptop about Ennis winning. Press row did not know what to say. Barthelemy was very humble in victory. Through his interpreter he said (Ennis) was a good opponent. Today was not his day. He thanked the promoter and his corner people. He said his management was waiting for a hugh opportunity and were not interested in a rematch even if he could make 154.

Matchmaker Nick Tiberi had 7 bouts under the main event, all 4 round bouts. Starting off the night were lightweights Eduardo Torres, 1-0 (1), of Vineland, NJ, made short work of Marcus Smith, 1-4 (1), of Glassboro, NJ, at 0:43 of the first round starting with a straight right to the chin. Referee Smoger had no choice but to stop this mismatch.

From the Fighting Tiberi family there was Joey Tiberi, 3-1 (3), of Newark, DE, whose father Joe could pack a punch in his days fighting out of Delaware. He had little opposition in front of him as he chased Shawn Hodson around the ring until he ended it at 2:36 of the first round. Referee Eddie Cotton had already seen a right hand score the first knockdown. A right-left hand combination to the midsection for the second round before the Hodson corner saved their fighter and themselves from any further embarrassment.

The lone heavyweight bout on the card looked more like a wrestling match. The much taller Eric Newell, 1-1 (1), fighting out of Bethlehem, PA, had former lightweight contender Angel Cruz in his corner. This is the same Cruz who along with Trenton’s Sammy Goss headlined this writer’s first main event back in the 80’s. From Camden was Ali Santos who obviously visits the same donut shop this writer does. It was brutal and referee Smoger made the best of it. It could have been a draw but one judge had it 39-37 Newell and the other two judges saw it for Santos by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 for a split decision win. Both fighters were 250 and plus.

The “ladies” came out and from Atlantic City was Althea “Lady Thunder” Saunders, 2-0-1, who for the second straight time would sing the national anthem before the main event had her hands full with the younger Melissa “Little Miss Tyson” St. Vil, 1-1-2, in a lightweight match.

Saunders was 63-7 in the amateurs and has a solid jab and good right hand. Saunders rocked her opponent in the first and several times in the third with right hands. The game St. Vil made it a war in the fourth and may have won the round but this writer didn’t think she earned a draw. Saunders received a 40-36 but two judges had it 38-38 making it a majority draw and a promise from the promoter for a rematch. By the way, Saunders did a great National Anthem later.

The grandson of “Jersey” Joe Walcott, the former heavyweight champion and NJ commissioner, Louis Cream, made his debut in the welterweight division. He can hit and he can be hit. There are high hopes from manager Chuck Diesel for Cream. He scored knockdowns in the first and second rounds and went on to score a 40-34 decision over Yehudy Vargas, 1-1 of Trenton, NJ, who was game and can punch but also lacks defense. The referee was Smoger.

Todd “The Viking” Erickson, 3-5-2 (1), of Dover, NJ, once again gave a workmanlike performance in a war with Lawrence Jones, 3-5-2 (1), out of Washington, DC, in a super middleweight bout. The southpaw Jones cracked Erickson good in the first round with right hooks to the head and had Erickson’s left eye with a mouse under it by the end of the round. It was a good fight from start to finish.

In the second round Jones suffered a cut over his right eyebrow that could have come from an accidental head butt. Erickson had a bloody nose. Somehow Erickson looks down to his opponent’s feet and manages to score punches. In the third Erickson was landing solid body shots in taking the round. In the fourth he seemed to pull it out as the judges had it split with Jones getting a 39-37 while Erickson received two 39-37 scores. The referee was Cotton.

The son of former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce “The Atlantic City” Express, Isiah Seldon, 4-0 (2), in the middleweight division who may be raw on talent but not on enthusiasm. He knew he was in a fight against Juan Zapata, 1-5 (1), of Trujillo, Honduras, who came alive in the last 30 seconds of the first round. The second round was close with Zapata possibly winning it. In the third a right hand from Seldon to the head of Zapata ended it at 2:36 with referee Cotton waving it off.

All in all it was a good show with a good crowd. With events like this Resorts will be back in the boxing business thanks to Dee Lee Promotions who knows how to satisfy the fans.

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