Philadelphia, Pa - The 2005 season started in fine fashion at the Legendary Blue Horizon Friday night with the return of Ivan Robinson capping an entertaining night of fights. Ivan, now fighting as a welterweight, faced fellow Philadelphian, Tyrone Winkler in a 6-round bout. Robinson came into the bout saying “I feel great” but not looking like his old self. Ivan back off with his hands down frequently and didn’t open up his combinations until the final stanza. Ivan is back training under his father, Jim, whose mission is to get Ivan back to fighting like his old self, you remember when Ivan was the USBA and the NABF lightweight champ more than 5 years ago and twice beating Arturo Gatti in 1998. Robinson (32-9-2; 148¼ lbs) won this fight by unanimous decision (58-56 from all three judges), but the slow-paced fight hinted Ivan has been out of action for awhile. It really didn’t tell us much because Winkler (12-10-2; 146 lbs) isn’t the busiest fighter in the ring. Maybe we’d have assessed more of Ivan’s current state if he were pressed into action instead of being allowed to shake off the rust on his own pace.
Cruiserweight Hilario Guzman accepted the 8-round bout against Emanuel "Chuckwu" Nwodo about a week ago when Nwodo’s original foe bailed after learning about Nwodo’s recent performances. Emanuel has been knocking out all opponents in the past year and currently stands at 15-4 with 12 KOs. Many of those 10-count KO’s happened in Philadelphia and have turned many heads to anticipate his next bout. Nwodo, a chiseled 197¼ lbs found Guzman to be stronger of chin than his recent victims. Guzman absorbed some large blows and fought back well in the early going. Nwodo saw someone fighting back for the first time in awhile and was forced to show his gameness. Guzman must not have gotten the news about Nwodo’s power because he kept coming but as the bout wore on, Guzman wore down. After the bout we learned Nwodo dislocated a knuckle on his right hand in the 4th round. He still had enough power and heart to continue punching. He floored his Domican opponent early in the 7th and his killer instinct kept on the pressure until Guzman’s corner tossed in the towel at 1:22 of the 7th round. Guzman did not fight like a guy who is 6-14-4 with 1KO, so this might be an opening for him to earn more bouts in the USA.
Saeed Hawkins and Ryan Franklin came with undefeated records. Hawkins, a Philly fighter who recently graduated from Temple University with a 4.0 grade point average was unbeaten in 3 fights, while Franklin was 2-0 with 2 knockouts. The scheduled 4-round super middleweight bout started hot after the staredown, but when Hawkins scorched a left hook onto Franklins jaw it was the beginning of the end. Hawkins didn’t let up and scored a TKO victory at 2:24 of the 1st round.
Henry Mayes got his second win and second KO when he shocked Kareem Robinson (Ivan’s brother) in the 2nd round. Robinson (170 lbs) falls to 2-1 after getting dropped in the 1st round and again in the 2nd. He tried to survive but Mayes has learned the ‘art of attack’ well forcing Eddie Cotton to stop the bout at 2:14 of the 2nd as the very tall Kareem was crashing to the canvas again.
Louis Robinson (not Ivan’s brother) dropped William Gill and earned a split decision win over 4-rounds in the light-heavyweight division. Robinson is 2-0-1 and Gill is 2-2.
Ray Boyer and Rodney Ray opened the night with heavyweight exchanges giving the Blue Horizon crowd lots of action right off the opening bell. The 4-round heavyweight bout was the debut for both guys. Boyer lost an early lead and was TKO’d by Ray at 1:39 of the 4th round.
The Blue enjoyed a full capacity crowd of 1300 and plans an April 22nd return. This show was the first of seven shows scheduled for 2005.