Bryant Cruz, Edgar Berlanga and Duke Micah score impressive victories
On Saturday night, Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports & Entertainment returned to Resorts World Casino New York City with another sold-out, action-packed nine-bout card for the latest installment of its popular “Real Deal Championship Boxing” series, proudly sponsored by Medical Arts Radiology, Venum, and Nissan of Queens.
“It was a tremendous event for our second show in New York City and we are thrilled with the overwhelming response from the media and fans,” said Eric Bentley COO of Real Deal Boxing.
In the main event, Bryant “Peewee” Cruz, 129.8 lbs., of Port Chester, NY, impressively demolished Dominican Angel Luna, 128.8 lbs., of Yamasa, in three rounds. Cruz got off to a slow start, with Luna the aggressor during the first two frames. In the third, Cruz exploded with two straight rights upstairs to fell his opponent. With Luna unable to rise, the bout was halted at the 0:42 mark. Cruz’ record is now 18-2 (9 KOs), while Luna, who previously went the distance with Toka Kahn Clary and Tevin Farmer, dropped to 12-4-1 (7 KOs).
Highly touted middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga, 161.4 lbs., of Brooklyn, NY, needed just 102 seconds to up his perfect record to 6-0 (6 KOs) against Enrique Gallegos, 161.8 lbs., of Medford, Oregon, now 7-6-1 (2 KOs). Left hooks to the body and head from Berlanga resulted in the first knockdown. When Gallegos arose, Berlanga launched a barrage of shots, finishing with an overhand right, to drop his foe a second time to secure the TKO stoppage. As an amateur, Berlanga became an eight-time National champion while compiling a 162-17 record.
Duke “The Baby Faced Terminator” Micah, 117 lbs., a 2012 Olympian for Ghana now living in The Bronx, NY, engaged Mexican Jose Santos Gonzalez, 117.2 lbs., of Guadalajara, in a very entertaining 10-round battle of attrition. It was the US debut for both of them. The first half belonged to Micah, countering Gonzalez’ aggression. A left hook wobbled Gonzalez to end round one. Chopping straight rights were a primary tool for Micah and a cut was opened above Gonzalez’ left eye in round four. The orthodox Gonzalez consistently switched to southpaw throughout as he worked to get inside. Over the next few frames, Gonzalez was pressuring and walking Micah backward, banging away at the body. Micah made an effort to box and move in the eighth, using his jab and straight right to regain control. However, the relentless Gonzalez continued to attack and the two were trading power shots at the final bell. An even scorecard of 95-95 was overruled by two tallies of 96-94 in favor of Micah, winner by majority decision. With the win, Micah, now 21-0 (18 KOs), defended his WBC International bantamweight title for the first time. Gonzalez’ record moved to 23-6 (13 KOs).
Alicia Napoleon, 154.8 lbs., of Lindenhurst, NY, out boxed Budapest, Hungary’s Nikolett Papp, 159.6 lbs., over six rounds en route to a shutout decision victory. Napoleon circled her game opponent each frame, landing an array of punches with bad intentions. Outworking her adversary, Napoleon blasted Papp with overhand rights, left hooks and jabs and hooks downstairs. A left hook opened a cut above Papp’s right eye in round three and a straight right stunned her in the fourth. With three tallies of 60-54, Napoleon improved to 8-1 (5 KOs). Papp returned home with a 4-2 (2 KOs) record.
Rafael Castillo, 118.4 lbs., of The Bronx, NY, evened up his record at 1-1, earning a unanimous decision over four rounds in an upset against favorite Saleh Almulaiki, 118.2 lbs., of Richmond Hill, NY, now 1-1 (1 KO). Scorecards read 40-36, and 39-37 twice. Castillo applied pressure for the entire route. Almulaiki, whose best round was the last, was forced to play the role of counterpuncher for much of the contest.
Ghanaian Fredrick Lawson, 149.6 lbs., of The Bronx, NY, who won the WBC International Silver welterweight title in March, stayed on his toes to outbox Colombian Fidel Monterrosa, 150.8 lbs., of Barranquilla, and methodically break him down with hooks to the body. Monterrosa hit the canvas twice in round two, first by a right hook to the body-straight right to the head from Lawson. Following three completed rounds, Monterrosa could not come out of his corner for the fourth due to an injury suffered to his right hand. With the TKO victory, Lawson’s record increased to 26-1 (21 KOs), while Monterrosa fell to 38-14-1 (30 KOs).
Middleweight southpaw Justin “The Brooklyn Knight” Biggs, 158.2 lbs., a three-time Junior Olympics gold medalist, controlled the first six minutes against Newark, NJ’s Simon Saye, 159.2 lbs., probing with his jab to get in close enough to land combinations and was particularly effective with right hooks to the body. Early in the third, Biggs caught Saye wide open with a counter right hook upstairs to drop him hard. The referee immediately waved off the bout without a count, awarding Biggs his second straight knockout victory in as many pro bouts, at the 0:59 mark. Saye remains winless at 0-2-1.
Panamanian welterweight prospect Cesar Francis, 143.6 lbs., of Brooklyn, NY, took on the always-game Maxito Sainvil, 142 lbs., of Spring Valley, NY, and used his height advantage to keep his foe at bay with stiff jabs setting up straight rights and left hooks. Sainvil tried his best to close the gap by leaping in with wild haymakers. Francis countered one of those shots with a left hook-right hook combination to fell Sainvil in round two. Sainvil remained game and willing to trade until a barrage of punches from Francis forced the referee to halt the contest at the 1:10 mark of round three. Francis is now 3-0 (2 KOs) with Sainvil, suffering his second consecutive loss, at 4-2-1 (2 KOs).
Ukrainian heavyweight Iegor Plevako, 215.6 lbs., stalked Sherman Artis, 221.2 lbs., Severn, MD, throughout four scheduled rounds, increasing in intensity each frame, to earn a unanimous decision with three scores of 40-36. Artis attempted to circle the ring and box from a distance, but Plevako planted jabs to the midsection to quell that movement. By round two, Plevako began unleashing his straight right upstairs then landing in combination over the second half. With the win, Plevako, based in Brooklyn, NY, upped his record to 5-0 (3 KOs), while Artis fell to 3-2.
Real Deal Sports & Entertainment is proud to partner with Medical Arts Radiology (www.medicalartsradiology.com) and Venum (www.venum.com). Nissan of Queens, NY is a proud sponsor of Real Deal Boxing.