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The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
December 11, 2000

Jim Rock, Solid in America Debut Against Attardo  - by JD Vena at ringside

WORCESTER, MA- When last night's 6-bout show promoted by Ken Kosla's BoxAmerica had ended some of the 1,000 or so fans may have been pressed when realizing that they had to go home to tell their families that the guy wearing the pink trunks had won.  American boxers of Irish descent frequently use "Irish" as their nickname such as "Irish" Micky Ward.  If you 're a fighter from Dublin, Ireland however it doesn't make any sense to use the nickname, "Irish." I shouldn't even have to explain the math. Irish Boxing Union light middleweight champion, Jim Rock prefers the tag of "The Pink Panther" and last night he was tested by his driven, Inspector Clouseau-like opponent, Tommy Attardo of South Boston.  After boxing Attardo 's ears off for the first four rounds, Jim Rock, 154, had his hands full in the latter half of the fight in winning a close eight round unanimous decision at the Worcester Centrum Centre.

 The fight was originally billed for the title Rock holds but the nearest blood relative of Attardo's that was born in Ireland was his great-grandmother.  IBU rules stipulate that one must have at least on grandparent that was born in Ireland to fight for one of their titles.  As in the case in every other country, you must also have to make the weight limit of the title you're fighting for.  Not only was Attardo not Irish enough to fight for Rock's title, he wasn't light enough, weighing 156 ¼, as opposed to the division limit of 154, what Rock had weighed last night.  The fight didn't come down to who was more Irish as that was more evident when the Micky Ward look-a-like (who was also in attendance) stepped into an American ring for the first time.  Ironically, it was Rock who appeared the bigger fighter and used his strength, height and reach advantages to keep Attardo backing up and at bay with long left jabs and right crosses.

Rock snapped Attardo's head around as if it were a loose double end bag, but the ever-courageous Southie native could not be discouraged.  Attardo was also ineffective during most of the inside exchanges.  In the 6th round however, Attardo wounded Rock with a cut over his left eye and stalked the Pink Panther as if he were the cartoon figure of Clouseau in the opening credits of Blake Edwards' films.  For the remainder of the bout, Attardo swung from his heels with head and body shots to win the late rounds and the compassion from the crowd but to no avail.  After the 8 action fill rounds concluded; Judge Anthony Salerno favored Rock by a score of 77-75.  Judge Paul Barry had a number of even rounds but had Rock win by a 79-77 score while Judge Andrew Mason had Rock by a closer margin at 77-76 (the CBZ' score).

 Though Attardo's record fell to 8-5-1, he won what he wins each and every time out from the crowd and his opponent: respect.  "I knew he was very, very tough.  He was very strong and got a second wind during the second half of the fight," said the winner.  "I should have boxed him more in the later rounds but I had to brawl with him.  He's a very determined fighter.  I think when he cut me in the 6th round, it told him to turn it on.  But the cut was from a head butt.  He hit me more with his head than anything else. The ref didn't check (warn) him once.  He kept checking (warning) me for pushing him backwards but not him for his butts."

 Besides being cut over the left eye, Rock suffered two cuts above his hairline which were likely the result of unintentional head butts due to both fighters keeping their heads bowed in the trenches.

 Rock, who improved his record to 18-1, is likely to return in March for a possible St. Patrick's Day card, which will also be promoted by BoxAmerica. When asked if Worcester's Jose Rivera interested Rock as a possible opponent, Rock shrugged it off claiming that Rivera is a welterweight. Rivera wasn't a welterweight when he mercilessly beat Attardo in a September bout for the vacant Massachusetts State jr. middleweight title and he sure as hell wasn't a welterweight when he pounded two-time title challenger Angel Beltre, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in last night's exciting co-feature.

 Rivera, 156 ½, dominated the stubborn veteran throughout their 8 round contest in winning yet another one-sided affair.  Rivera started fast and found much success by belting Beltre along the ropes.  Like Attardo, Beltre fought with tremendous resilience despite having not fought since a 3rd round knockout loss a year ago today to former world champion, "Cool" Vince Phillips.  Beltre, 159, was floored in the 3rd frame after a volley of punches dropped the Dominican to his knees and was the recipient of a standing 8 count in the 7th round issued by referee, Bob Benoit.  Two of the ringside judges had Rivera win 80-70 (the CBZ's score) while the other saw it 79-71.  Don't bet on Rivera and Rock getting it on in March.

 In a heavyweight bout that summoned laughter from the audience, Leominster Police Detective Joe Siciliano, 279, had no trouble tracking down Miguel Ortiz, 203 of Villalba, Puerto Rico flooring him once and keeping him there for 10 seconds.  Benoit counted the hapless Ortiz at :41 of the first. Siciliano (3-1) defended his Central Massachusetts Heavyweight Title, a title he won in September when his opponent, Robert Pooler was DQ'd for using unauthorized boxing equipment: contact lenses.  Siciliano's title should be called the Intercontinental Butterbean Four Round Title.

 Riding his controversial draw against Billy Mofford two weeks ago in Taunton, Jose Torres, 193, of Hartford, CT nearly rallied back from being decked three times in the first round by Derrick Brown, one of which happened outside the ring ropes only to be stopped at 1:31 of the 4th and final round by referee Paul Wedge.  Derrick Brown, 239, of Utica, NY stormed out in the first round and caught the pudgy Torres with a series of blows in a neutral corner that floored him.  Still groggy, Torres was downed again moments later and knocked out of the ring towards the end of the round. Torres valiantly climbed back into the ring and finished the round throwing punches.  By the beginning of the second round, Torres' head was clear and
for the next two rounds he bounced several overhand rights and left hooks off the head and body of his much larger adversary.  In a desperate attempt to salvage a victory that could have been his in the first round had there been a three knockdown rule, Brown bludgeoned Torres on the ropes and dropped him for the fourth time.  Torres made it to his feet and appeared somewhat stable but ringside physician, Dr. William Dorfmann convinced Wedge to stop the bout.  Torres, who nearly secured his second draw in a row instead, lost for the 44th time against 10 wins and 3 draw.  Brown is now 10-1.

 Prosecuting attorney, Yolanda Gonzalez, 117 ½, of Newark, NJ won a clear-cut four round nod over 46 year old Sue Chase.  Trained by former IBF jr. welterweight champion Charles "The Natural" Murray, Gonzalez used an effective jab to stifle the bull rushes of her limited foe.  Missing from Gonzalez' arsenal was her right hand, a weapon you'd expect to see from a Murray protégé.  Gonzalez ended up winning this one, her debut by three identical scores of 40-36.  Chase who should have never been a boxer lost for the 22nd time in 23 fights.  Worldwide, Chase has the worst losing percentage among women boxers that have had over 10 fights.

 In the opening bout, Jose La Porte, 131, of Worcester, MA spoiled the debut of Dorchester's Danny Amaro (130) by decisioning him over 4 rounds.  Though La Porte only improved his record to 2-4-1, his experience prevailed over Amaro who didn't appear ready for La Porte.  Amaro's trainer wasn't particularly happy about being matched with La Porte and attacked promoter Rich Cappiello in his dressing room after the bout.  Cappiello, a nephew of Rocky Marciano was scratched under his eye and over his forehead.

Promoter - Ken Kosla's BoxAmerica and Brian Peters Productions
Director of Sports Relations - Steve Raczynski
Referees - Paul Wedge & Bob Benoit
Judges - Paul Barry, Andrew Mason & Anthony Salerno
At Ringside - JD Vena

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