Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Philadelphia native Mark "Oak Tree" Brown won a unanimous six-round decision over fellow Philadelphian Dave Brunelli as boxing returned to the Spectrum for the first time in over four years Friday.
While Brown (10-1, 4 knockouts) and Brunelli's heavyweight tilt was billed as the co-main event, it was clearly the bout that most of the people attendance came to see. Dueling chants for the fighters broke out in the crowd but it was clear "Team Oak Tree" had the advantage and the his fans erupted when the powerfully built Brown was announced as the winner. "Oak Tree" pressed the fight with his superior strength and Brunelli (8-3, 2 KOs) spent most of his time trying to counter but it was clear Brown deserved the decision and all three judges scored the bout in favor of "Oak Tree" (60-54, 59-55, & 59-55).
"It was great to see everyone here and watching me do my thing," Brown said. "It was a tough fight but that's what makes you better."
A large part of the crowd filed out after the Brown match and they missed the best fight of the night when Jameel Wilson (13-11-1, 8 KOs) of Philadelphia went to an eight-round draw with Delaware's Richard Stewart (14-4-1, 8 KOs) in a light heavyweight encounter. Both fighters had amazing cardio and stood toe to toe for all eight rounds. Stewart tried to pound the body of the lankier Wilson throughout but it looked as if the Philadelphia fighter scored more and should have had his hand raised.
Judge Steve Weisfeld had it 77-75 for Stewart, while Dewey LaRosa had it 77-75 for Stewart. Judge George Hill had it dead even 76-76
The Phanatic Magazine scored it 77-75 for Wilson and his impressive defensive skills.
The undercard featured the debut of 18-year old welterweight Raymond "Tito" Serrano (1-0, 1KO) from Philly who overwhelmed Akron, Ohio native Tierre King (1-5). Serrano showed great quickness and knocked down the overmatched King twice before the referee stopped things with about 10 seconds left in the first round.
In other action, Delaware cruiserweight Dan Biddle (2-0, 2 KOs) made short work of Alan Snyder (1-6) of Ohio. Snyder walked in to a glorified jab from Biddle and looked like he broke his nose before things were stopped at just 1:10 of the first round. Despite the easy win, Biddle was a bit disappointed. "I really wanted to get hit tonight," Biddle said as he left the ring.
Undefeated heavyweight Gurcharan Singh (18-0, 10 KOs), a 2000 Indian Olympian, was extremely unimpressive in defeating overweight journeyman Mike Miller (2-6) of Cleveland in a six-round unanimous decision. Despite their respective records, Miller looked like the more savvy fighter and Singh looked very lackadaisical. Miller kept his left hand very low throughout the entire fight and Singh failed to take advantage but won the snoozer nonetheless. Singh won by scores of 58-56, 58-56 and 59-55.
Finally in another lackluster heavyweight bout, Brooklyn's Grant Cudjoe (14-3, 9 KOs) outpointed Jason Bergman (5-4-1) of Adah, Pennsylvania. Cudjoe spent far too much time complaining to the referee about various fouls and Bergman actually landed more power punches in the bout. One official scored the match even at 57-57 but the other two gace it to Cudjoe 58-56 and 59-55.
Some of the dignitaries on hand included former heavyweight champ Tim Witherspoon, Sly Stallone's brother Frank, Jackie Frazier and former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski...This was billed as the 40th anniversary of boxing at the Spectrum. The first card took place on November 17 1967 as "Smokin" Joe Frazier scored a second round knockout over Tony Doyle.