Terrance “the Heat” Cauthen became the main event on Friday after Omar Sheika injured his hand and had to pull out of the show promoted by KA Promotions (Karriem Abdallah) in association with NIT Management. Cauthen was not defending his NABA and NABF Jr. Welterweight belts when he faced Dario Esalas in the 8-round feature bout. The Heat dropped Esalas (141¼ lbs) with a right hook in the first round. The southpaw Cauthen followed up by using his foot speed in winning the 2nd round also.
The Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ held 2,600 fans, which chanted “Heat Heat” in an effort to get Cauthen to sit down on his punches. Esalas used the noise to his advantage, however, when a straight right found Cauthen’s chin, staggering the hometown favorite. Esalas (28-5-1; 24 KO’s) saw this 3rd round as the turning point and remained busy and aggressive. Esalas’ pressure finally got to Terrance in the 6th stanza. Cauthen was dropped on the seat of his pants. The Heat picked up the pace in the 7th round, but Esalas built up too many points. Although the knockdowns were even at one apiece, Esalas appeared to be in command on the Boxingtalk scorecard.
As the split decision was announced even the fans and friends of Terrance gasped. Shafeeq Rashada saw it 76-74 for Esalas, while Hilton Whitaker scored 78-74 for Cauthen. Pierre Benoist cast the deciding score of 77-74 for Esalas. Terrance loses his 2nd bout against 26 wins. Esalas came from Colombia and earned the decision on the Boxingtalk scorecard as well at 76-74.
Nurhan “the Sun King” Suleyman and Thomas Davis engaged in several exciting trades in their scheduled for 10-rounds welterweight fight. Davis got caught at the end of the first while Suleyman remained sharper in the 2nd heat. The Sun King (149¾ lbs) followed Davis with a few quick and soft body punches then brought a quick right through to the jaw for a knockdown in the 3rd. Davis didn’t appear too stunned and proved to rebound well in the 4th.
Davis had more energy in the 5th and even seemed to get Suleyman’s attention. Nurhan, a two time Olympian, pulled himself together to score another knockdown in the 6th. Davis struggled to continue but did well until the 9th round. An overhand right from Suleyman put Davis down for the 3rd time in the bout. Davis dug himself out of the ropes and got to his feet. Suleyman flurried with Davis (9-2-1) tired and trapped on the ropes. Lindsey Paige waved off the fight at 2:57 of the 9th round. Davis showed resiliency while Suleyman showed patience, pressure and power in improving to 15-1 and getting back to the win column after suffering his first defeat this past summer.
David Cleage had desire hotter than fire when he hit, roughed up, and threw down Mark Ford in a scheduled 4-round heavyweight fight. Ford (214 lbs) lost his first fight against 2 wins when he quit in the corner. Cleage (251¼) gets past the .500 career mark and now stands at 3-2.
Ricardo Rosa scored a knockdown and later stopped the debuting Eduardo Ramirez at the end of the 2nd round. Rosa (134¾ lbs) is now even at 1-1. Good action between the two young lightweights kept the crowd energized. This bout followed a :37 knockout win for Chucky Cavallo over Anthony Walters in a Cruiserweight bout. It was the pro debut for both. James “Hoagie” Armstrong came back after about 2 years off and improved to 4-0 with a super middleweight victory in 4-rounds against Morgan Wilson (unanimous decision).
Henry Crawford shut out Luis Sanchez in a 4-round decision to open the night. Both fighters made their pro debut at 149¾ lbs and fought with plenty of spirit.
K.A. Promotions and NIT Management are hoping to put on a show in November at the Trenton (NJ) Sovereign Bank Arena.
Matchmaker: Chris Middendorf
Ring Announcer: Larry Tornambe