Friday Night at the Legendary Blue Horizon

By Reg Jones @ Ringside


Friday Night at the Legendary Blue Horizon

The legendary Blue Horizon lived up to its name Friday night by hosting yet another entertaining night of boxing.  While walking through the hallways and corridors of the celebrated arena, you automatically sense the history and nostalgia that stems from the golden years of this world renowned boxing venue. Owners, Vernoca Michael and Carol Ray, have preserved the boxing spirit in the "City of Brotherly Love." Philadelphia boxing fans showed their support by filling the venue to its capacity. As part of the legacy of the Blue Horizon, the evening commenced with the recognition of special donations and gifts that will be presented to children’s organizations in the local community for the upcoming holidays. The Blue Horizon continues to be a positive beacon, not only to the boxing world, but also to the community in which it resides.

The first bout of the evening showcased the pro debut of Junior Middleweight Khalil Farah from Jordan, against Philip Hicklin of Wilmington, DE (0-2), in a four round bout. Hicklin came out in round one and dictated the pace of the fight overpowering Farah for the first 3 rounds. Farah supporters seemed to give him a burst of energy in the fourth and final round when he landed two right hands that stunned Hicklin. Unfortunately, for Farah his moment in round 4 wasn’t enough to sway the judges’ score of 39-37, in the four round opener.

Max Alexander (5-0-1), from my birth town, Camden, NJ collided with the heavy-handed Jameson Bostic (2-2-0) from Brooklyn, New York, in a 6 round light heavyweight bout.   Alexander controlled the fight from the start, landing wicked body shots to Bostic’s mid-section. The two southpaw fighters had a few blow for blow exchanges during the middle rounds. In the fifth round Alexander nailed Bostic with an over-hand right.   Bostic’s response was a smile, as if to say, “That didn’t hurt.” Max Alexander kept his undefeated record in tact by winning a unanimous decision, which takes him to (6-0-1) 

Future prospect Steve Upsher Chambers (10-1-1) 3 KO’s continued his success in the junior welterweight division by taking on Joey Ortega (2-11) from Boston, MA, in a one sided six rounder. Chambers, the brother of heavyweight Eddie Chambers, controlled the tempo of the fight in round one by setting up his right hand with the jab, for which Ortega seemed to have no answer.   Ortega was definitely game, as the two went toe to toe in rounds two and four. Chambers lost focus, for a bit, in rounds five, and in six, left himself wide open for a couple of haymakers that landed cleanly from Ortega’s right hand.  Ortega’s bravado wasn’t enough to secure a victory; however, the judges favored Chambers in a unanimous decision. The score cards were 60-59, 60-54, 60-54.

The only rematch on the card was between IBF cruiserweight titleholder, Imamu Mayfield (24-6-2) 18 KO’s of Freehold, NJ, and Rayco Saunders (15-6-1) 7 KO’s of Pittsburgh, PA. The two paired up in April of 2004 in their first match that ended with Mayfield victorious. It seems like there’s always one really boring fight on every fight card in boxing.  Well this one was it! Both Mayfield and Saunders came out looking to test their range with the jab, to the boredom of the crowd. The exchanges through the mid-rounds ended in both fighters locking up more than the Blue Horizon crowd cared to see. In round eight Mayfield came out landing vicious body shots on Saunders, sensing a time for urgency.  Mayfield applied pressure and won the final round. Mayfield won the battle decisively on all cards. 80-72, 80-72, 80-72.

 The final fight, originally casted as the co-feature, turned out to be the main event and the fight of the night, due to heavyweight Eddie Chambers’ absence due to illness.  This was an eight round cruiserweight match-up between Nigerian Emanuel Nwodo  (17-4) 13 KO’s and the veteran John Douglas (6-10-3) of Guyana.  Nwodo simply overpowered Douglas from round one in this match-up.   In round two, Nwodo landed a crushing right hand that sent Douglas to his knees.   Douglas regained his composure and continued on after a standing eight count. Round three kept the excitement going, as Nwodo and Douglas traded in the center of the ring. Nwodo maintains control belting Douglas repeatedly with the over-hand right.  Douglas enters round four still trying to recuperate from the beating of round  three he immediately went into survival mode, as Nwodo walked him down, cornered him, and delivered a barrage of punches that left the referee with no choice but to stop the fight. The TKO improved Emanuel Nwodos’ record to (18-4) 14 

The evening at the Blue Horizon was a good night for fight fans. There was a little bit of everything on the fight card.  For those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience a fight at the Blue Horizon, I encourage you to put it on your “Things to do List” the next time you’re in Philadelphia.  Every seat at “the Blue” is a good one.


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