Bruce Upsets Alvarez for IBA Title at Bally’s in Atlantic City
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 6, 2010)
Ghana’s Ayi Bruce, 18-3 (12), came into the hometown of Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez, 21-3 (12) scoring an upset majority decision for the IBA welterweight title over 10 rounds Saturday night at Bally’s Resort and Casino. Joe De Guardia’s Star Boxing returned to the seashore casino with a 7 bout card with the locals winning all but the main event!

From the start the southpaw Alvarez pushed forward using an effective jab at all times while the counterpunching Bruce patiently waiting for his explosive right hand to find a target. Bruce knew how to finish strong though being outworked for most of the rounds and it worked on 2 of the 3 judge’s score cards.

Alvarez seemed to dominate the first 3 rounds before Bruce picked up the action in the fourth and fifth rounds. Bruce now fighting out of Albany, NY, had his own band from Ghana, working up the crowd all night. The biggest punch of the night was in the ninth round when Bruce buckled the knees of Alvarez with a chopping right hand. For some unknown reason the referee Brian O’Melia stepped in and wiped the gloves of Alvarez as if he slipped. There was no count given so there was no knockdown recorded.

Alvarez was urged on by the ringside fans to finish strong in the tenth and final round. He rocked Bruce and seemed to take the round. The ringside press except for this lone writer seemed to think Bruce had pulled off the upset. Both boxers seemed confident they had won the fight.

Lynne Carter had it 95-95. She was overruled by Larry Layton at 97-93 and john Poturaj 95-94 awarding the International Boxing Association welterweight belt to Bruce by supervisor Henry Hascup. This writer had it 97-93 for Alvarez. The Bruce camp was jubilant while Alvarez left the ring dejected and not receiving the press. Its understandable losing a decision at home in a close fight.

In an 8 round semi-windup Philadelphia’s Ray “Tito” Serrano, 14-0 (7), kept his unbeaten streak going dropping Geoffery Spruiell, 8-10 (2), of Pueblo, CO, in the first round. What looking like a quick ending turned into Serrano using Spruiell for a punching bag until the fifth round when Serrano decided to come out southpaw. He landed a solid jab and down went Spruiell at 0:25 of the round. It looked like his left eye was closed with that punch. Referee Lindsay Page gave him the 10 count. Serrano being interviewed by Marc Abram’s of www.GOFIGHTLIVE.TV and immediately gave “thanks to God”. Serrano is a good looking 21 year old with a big following. His father, Ramon Serrano was joined by Zahir Justice in the corner. DeGuardia announced Serrano is the best prospect in Philadelphia. I wonder if he’s been hearing about Serrano and unbeaten Danny Garcia sparring? I hear it’s a Philly gym war.

Wildwood’s popular Chuck “The Professor” Mussachio, 17-1-2 (5), and Theo Kruger, 10-11-2 (3), of Puntagorda, FL, entertained the fans for 8 rounds. Mussachio using his longer reach started off well with the Mohawk Kruger coming forward. Mussachio known for tying his shoes without bending over surprises a lot of opponents with the whip like snap he has on his jab. The two exchanged rounds through the first 4 rounds.

Kruger’s face was worse for wear by the fifth round when Mussachio’s timing on his right hand after a 6 month lay-off was now on target. He swept the last 4 rounds with a fight full of showmanship. Mussachio has a habit of patting his opponent on the butt to “break” out of a clinch. Kruger started doing the same. It was an interesting match up of boxer and puncher. “I gave up 25 pounds by fight time and my dad (Al Mussachio, trainer) didn’t want me to take the fight. I saw stars once during the fight but used my jab to stay out of trouble. I never had someone as nice as him before a fight. He said he heard I was a teacher and was going to bring me an apple but in taking off some weight prior to the fight he was hungry and at it. Kruger never stopped trying and had some heavy hands.

Mussachio told the crowd he wanted Otis Griffin whose been calling him out. Griffin won the vacant USBA title in May stopping former world champion Byron Mitchell. The scores all went to Mussachio by 80-72 twice and 79-73. Eddie Cotton was the referee. This writer had it 78-74. It was the fourth straight win for Mussachio since losing his only fight. In his last fight he won the WBF US title.

Ismael “Tito” Garcia, 3-0 (1), of Vineland, NJ, used his longer reach to defeat tough Joe Yerdon, 0-2-2 (0) of Berlin, NY, over 4 rounds. Garcia had Yerdon near out of there but seemed to lose concentration the rest of the way easily winning 40-36 on all cards. They are light middleweights and Lindsey Page was the referee.

Isiah Seldon, 3-0 (1), of Atlantic City, came out like Mike Tyson almost blowing Todd “Viking” Eriksson, 2-5-1 (1) out of the ring in the first round almost dropping his opponent. A wild right hand dropped Eriksson into the lower ropes for a count. In the corner were his father former heavyweight champion Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon and Bill Johnson.

The taller Erickson settled down when it seemed Seldon may have run out of gas in the second round. Eriksson took the 2 middle rounds of this super middleweight 4. Seldon got his second wind in the final round to win a majority decision by scores of 38-38 and two by 39-36. This writer had it 38-37 Seldon with the knockdown making the difference. The referee was Page.

Althea “Lady Thunder” Saunders, 2-0 (0), Atlantic City, used a good strong jab in controlling the fight over 4 rounds in a junior welterweight fight over Natoya Ervin, 1-7 (0), Akron, OH. She showed a strong right hand dropping Ervin at the end of the third round. All scores were 40-35 and Cotton served as the referee. She not only has a large fan base due to her highly successful amateur record but sang the National anthem prior to the main event.

The show opener featured Philadelphia’s Rashad “All Business” Brown, 2-0, taking a 4 round decision over game southpaw Corey Preston, Cincinnati, OH. Brown tried hard to get a knockout but it didn’t come. Preston seemed to get some offense in the final round but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Brown won 40-36 on all score cards.

DeGuardia seemed happy with the crowd and would like to make it a regular night of boxing at Bally’s in the future. Ron Katz served as matchmaker while Kevin Rooney, Jr. handled the publicity.

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