Prior to his two-round demolition of fellow Philly homeboy Raymond “Tito” Serrano (24-6, 10 KOs), 21-year-old welterweight prospect Jaron “Boots” Ennis (22-0, 20 KOs), who came up in the Germantown section that for a time nurtured the great Bernard Hopkins, had said he wanted to “put Philadelphia boxing on my back” and be the face of the sport locally, as had previously been the case with such iconic civic institutions as Bennie Briscoe, Joe Frazier and, of course, B-Hop. But on this latest night of showcased Philly pugilistic pride, even the dominant Ennis (pictured) – who won his 12th straight bout inside the distance — had to share some of the plaudits with imports from Ukraine and Liberia.
Super bantamweight Arnold Khegal (14-0-1, 9 KOs), who relocated to the City of Brotherly Gloves from Ukraine to hone his craft, has yet to remind fans at the 2300 Arena or the ShoBox: The New Generation viewing audience that he is another Briscoe, Frazier or Hopkins, or Ukrainian standouts Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Vasiliy Lomachenko or Oleksandr Usyk, for that matter. But he was impressive in scoring an eight-round unanimous decision over Jorge Diaz (19-6-1, 10 KOs), of New Brunswick, N.J., dropping Diaz in the sixth round and maybe knocking him down a couple of more times that didn’t count. Diaz went to the canvas an incredible eight other times, including three times in the eighth round, all of which were ruled pushes or slips by referee Gary Rosato.
Samuel “Tsunami” Teah (15-2-1, 7 KOs), the 31-year-old Liberian who arrived in Philly in 2001, judged his eight-round unanimous decision over Chicago’s Kenneth Sims Jr. (13-2-1, 4 KOs) to be his finest performance to date.