The boxing reputation in the City of Brotherly Love was built on being brought up the hard way, whether against a neighborhood rival or a tough guy from out of town. It was the attitude of being ready to fight anyone, anywhere and at any time.
Philly Fight Night returns Friday, March 10, at the 2300 Arena, and it appears that all 22 fighters in the 11 scheduled fights carry that tradition with them. They believe in themselves and are ready to prove it.
Even though fighters from the same city have grown to dislike each other, often fighting for bragging rights, there still appears to plenty of love, support and respect to go around.
Let’s look at what some of the locals say about their neighbors who are fighting March 10:
Junior lightweight Tevin Farmer on Anthony Burgin:
“Ant is ready. I think he’s more ready than ever. I haven’t seen him this focused in a long time. It’s crazy because I’m the one who usually pushes all the guys. But lately it seems as Ant has been pushing me. The best Ant has yet to come; March 10 he will open a lot of eyes back up. I will be flying back in to Philly from Puerto Rico to see my li’l brother go to work!” (Burgin meets local rival Avery Sparrow in the eight-round lightweight main event).
Lightweight Damon Allen on Avery Sparrow:
“Avery has been my boy since the amateurs and we have a mutual respect for one another. He’s looking sharp from what I’ve seen and I think he’s going to show it in this fight.”
Super middleweight Jesse Hart on Fred Jenkins Jr.:
” Fred Jr. is working very hard in the gym. He wants bigger fights and knows this is just one step towards getting them.” (Jenkins boxes Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, in a six-round junior middleweight contest).
Junior middleweight Julian Williams on Isaiah Wise:
“He’s a super nice guy extremely hard worker there’s never a time when I’m in the gym and he’s not there working. He kinda reminds me of Gabe Rosado when he was coming up not his fighting style but his blue collar hardworking mentality.” (Wise boxes Jeffrey Wright of Milwaukee, WI in a six-round junior middleweight fight).
Flyweight Miguel Cartagena on Crystian Peguero:
“I would say he is a young hungry kid with not much experience but is willing to learn daily and has the heart of a lion. He is always in the gym and always watches out for his trainer or my reaction to anything he does. He was born in the struggles but in his mind he has it all, which makes him more fascinating to watch become a better fighter each day.” (Peguero boxes Alonzo Davis in a four-round super bantamweight fight).
Super middleweight Christopher Brooker on Ernesto ‘Pete’ Almodovar:
“I would say he is just like me no amateur experience but has the will and the skill of a true fighter. I’ve seen him spar top level guys and look just as good even better on some occasions. I think his first fight he will make a statement.” (Almodovar boxes Steven Lopez, of Northeast Philadelphia, in a four-round super flyweight fight).
Hart on Marcel Rivers:
“Marcel is running and always working, going the extra mile. He works for PGW and comes right to gym after work and grinds like he doesn’t have a day job. His work ethic is phenomenal. What people don’t know is that he came down from like 190 pounds. He’s for real! When I saw how he works, it showed me he was for real.” (Rivers boxes Brandon Bey, of New York, in a four-round welterweight fight.)
Junior lightweight Jason Sosa on Victor Padilla:
“It’s an honor for me to watch a young man like Victor Padilla grow. I have a special love for that young man because we have similarity we come from nothing. I’m excited to see the future of Victor Padilla, it’s a bright one.” (Padilla boxes Carlos Castillo, of Lindsay, CA, in a four-round lightweight fight).
Ex-welterweight Ronald Cruz on Joseph Adorno:
“I remember the Adornos coming into the Bethlehem Boxing Club where I first began training with his brother, Jeremy Adorno, and his father, Anibal. He was a little kid, around 8 years old, and he already had around 80 fights in Puerto Rico. His father was an outstanding amateur who beat Miguel Cotto in the amateurs, but then retired from fighting after an injury and became a great trainer. Joseph has “next Puerto Rican star” written all over him. A future world champion if he can keep himself focused and man that kid has a vicious left hook!”