After knocking out New Zealand’s Tom Heeney in the tenth round, Greenwich Village native Gene Tunney vacated his heavyweight title, trading in the speedbag for Shakespeare. The 1930 elimination bout between Germany’s Max Schmeling and American Jack Sharkey ended in the fourth round with Schmeling writhing on the canvas after an apparent low blow. Supporters of the ‘Boston Gob’ were incredulous that their man was denied the title, claiming that ‘der schwarze Uhlan’ had applied a few tricks he learned from his thespian friends in the Weimar demimonde. In the rematch held in 1931 in Long Island City, Schmeling dominated Sharkey over the final ten rounds, and the awaited verdict seemed a mere formality to the assembled throng. After the judges declared Sharkey, nee Joseph Paul Zaukauskas, the first and only heavyweight champion of Lithuanian origins, Schmeling’s beloved trainer, malaprop king Joe Jacobs, exclaimed for all eternity, “We wuz robbed!” The ghost of ‘Yussel the Mussel’ was sighted twice last Thursday at the New York Athetic Club.
Jonathon ‘Lennox’ Jenkins of Main Street Boxing Club (310 Main Street, New Rochelle) was matched against Zachary Bunce of Suffolk PAL in the 201 lb. Open Division of the New York Golden Gloves Tournament. According to Head Coach Ryan O’Leary, Bunce fought aggressively from the opening bell “throwing bombs.” Jenkins parried the blows masterfully with his hands and countered with effective body blows. Bunce landed “a couple of big ones in the third round, but nothing to hurt Lennox.” O’Leary believed that Jenkins outscored his opponent by a wide margin and was shocked to hear the 5-0 verdict in Bunce’s favor. In retrospect, the judges may have not adequately visualized Jenkins’ defense or his body attack. Admittedly, one of the third round haymakers of Bunce impressed enough to be named Empire City Casino Punch of the Night.
Main Street’s Roberto Guervaraez confronted formidable opposition in Frederick Samuels of Westbury Boxing in the 201 lb. Open Division. Like Bunce, Samuels utilized an aggressive style from the opening bell, seeming to go for the knockout with every punch. Roberto “fought the perfect fight”, according to O’Leary, outboxing Samuels with jabs and, when necessary, “matching him punch for punch against the ropes.” On the immediate heels of Jenkins’ fight, the 5-0 verdict against Guervarez “was very upsetting.”
The other two Main Street fighters competing last week advanced to the next round. On Wednesday, Anthony Pegues ( see 1/3/2011 article, “One Time New Rochelle Gridiron Standout Anthony Pegues Blitzes Toward Golden Glove Title”) successfully advanced in the 178 lb. Novice Division against Anthony DeFeo of DeMarco Gym in Staten Island. Pegues faced a “tricky southpaw and had a difficult time establishing his jab,” according to O’Leary. He eventually found the range and “started to hurt him, nearly ending it with body shots.” Even with one point deducted for DeMeo’s holding, the scoring was close. On Saturday, Christian Salazar impressed against Malik Williams of John’s Gym in the 141 lb. Novice Division. Salazar deftly avoided Williams’ windmill advances and dominated with the jab. Eventually landing his power punches, Salazar stopped Williams at 1:37 of the third stanza. Salazar’s final blow, which forced the referee to intervene, was awarded Empire City Casino Punch of the Night.
Four Main Street fighters in the 165 lb. Novice Division, Henry Kusjanovic, Kevin Martin, Adam Ricciardi, and Kevin Rooney, Jr., had their opening round bouts cancelled for the second time. While the recent blizzard caused the first cancellation, a missing ambulance caused the second cancellation Friday at the C-Pac Center in Brooklyn. No further explanation for the snafu was given. The tournament organizers took the difficult yet correct course of sending the disgruntled athletes and patrons home, but not before quickly refunding their tickets, thereby avoiding any unscheduled mass confrontations.
Main Street boxers are fighting in shows tonight and Wednesday with opposition to be named. At this point,it is unknown if Main Street fighters will be competing in the Thursday and Friday shows. Fighters competing are as follows:
Tuesday February 8 at Our Lady of Carmel, 275 N 8th St, Brooklyn
Kevin Martin 165 lb. Novice Division (See 1/9 article “Boxing Pantheon Greets Main Street Boxing Team and Grand Central Commuters”)
Adam Ricciardi 165 lb. Novice Division
Wednesday February 9 at Worldwide Boxing Club, 3134 Jerome Ave, Bronx
Mikey Brogan 152 lb. Novice Division (See 1/9 “Boxing Pantheon” article)
Henry Kasjanovic 165 lb. Novice Division
Alejandro Ramirez 152 lb. Novice Division
Kevin Rooney, Jr. 165 lb. Novice Division
To inquire about membership in Main Street Boxing and Fitness and its various exercise programs, please call 914-636-2811 or contact owner Michael Stellate at [email protected] or Ryan O’Leary at [email protected].