ATLANTIC CITY — Pleasantville boxer Anthony Young wants to make noise in the welterweight division this year.
He started 2019 with a bang, winning the New Jersey State championship with a sixth-round TKO over Juan Rodriguez Jr., of Union City, on Saturday before a roaring crowd at Showboat hotel.
“It feels good to win the state title,” Young said. “But it’s just a short-term goal. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
Young (20-2, 7 KOs) dropped Rodriguez (13-7, 6 KOs) with a short, crisp right hand in the opening seconds of the sixth.
Rodriguez slowly climbed off the canvas, and Young pounced, hammering him with a 10-punch flurry as the crowd fans roared. Referee Benjie Estevez wisely stopped it at one minute, 12 seconds into the round.
That ended an action-packed, entertaining fight that had fans on their feet throughout. Young scored a knockdown in the first round with a right hook, but Rodriguez recovered, and the two swapped punches for the next four rounds, before Young took command.
“I started head hunting for a few rounds, but my corner told me to settle down,” Young said. “The double-jab, right hand was there all night, and I started taking advantage of that.”
Young, a former football standout at Pleasantville High School, became the fourth New Jersey champion, joining Mays Landing heavyweight Quian Davis, Atlantic City super-middleweight DeCarlo Perez and Toms River middleweight Chris Thomas.
Young earned the belt that was vacated by Millville’s Thomas LaManna, who is now competing at junior-middleweight.
Davis (6-0-2, 2 KOs) and Atlantic City super-middleweight Gabriel Pham (10-1, 5 KOs) also earned victories Saturday.
Davis, who is the state heavyweight champion, took a four-round, unanimous decision over Larry Knight (3-18-1, 1 KO), from Birmingham, Georgia, in a non-title bout.
Both landed some big punches, but Davis, a 38-year-old former football and baseball standout at Buena Regional, was more active and accurate.
“I was actually retired (from boxing) for nine months, but when this fight came up, I took it,” Davis said. “I’m a competitor.”
Pham was awarded a bizarre TKO victory over Colombia’s Ronald Montes (18-12, 16 KOs), when Montes refused to come out of his corner for the fourth round. Seconds after the fight was halted, however, Montes was smiling as he congratulated Pham.
“He said I hurt him with a body shot,” Pham said. “I don’t know. I was actually hoping to get more rounds in because I need the work, but I also wanted to get him out of there.”
That was a pattern that cropped up again in the main event.
Paulsboro heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon (38-3, 29 KOs) won via TKO when Panama’s Santander Silgado (28-7, 23 KOs) refused to leave his corner for the third round.
New Jersey Athletic Control Board Commissioner Larry Hazzard said Silgado’s purse will be withheld pending a hearing.
In other bouts, New York light-heavyweight Frederic Julen (11-0, 9 KOs), a native of Paris, earned a TKO at the end of the fourth round against Miami’s Milton Nunez (35-22, 31 KOs). Youngstown, Ohio, lightweight Alejandro Salina (10-2, 9 KOs) earned a fifth-round TKO over San Diego’s Pablo Cupul (10-29, 5 KOs). Jersey City super-featherweight Andrew Bentley (5-3, 1 KO) handed Camden’s Videl Rivera (8-1, 5 KOs) his first loss via five-round, technical decision. The bout was halted due to an accidental head butt during the fifth.
Brooklyn, New York, welterweight Yurik Mamedov (11-1, 3 KOs) took a six-round, unanimous decision over Jersey City’s Jordan Rosario (3-7, 0 KOs). Jersey City middleweight Robert Terry (3-0, 0 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a four-round, unanimous decision over Alberto Delgado (0-7-4) of Roanoke, Virginia.
Notes: Boxing returns to Atlantic City on April 13 when middleweight champions Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) and Christian Hammer (24-0, 13 KOs) meet in a unification fight at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom. The fight will be televised on Showtime. Atlantic City middleweight Isiah Seldon (12-2-1, 4 KOs) is scheduled to be on the undercard.
Vineland super-welterweight Ismael Garcia (10-0-1, 4 KOs) will fight for the first time in almost three years March 30 when he faces Tanzania native Fabian Lyimo (23-8-2, 15 KOs) in Hockessin, Delaware. Vineland’s Diane Fisher is the promoter.