PHILADELPHIA (October 16th, 2009 @ the Blue Horizon) – Eromesele Albert entered the arena first, and a small section of the crowd stood to cheer. They were all wearing light green and white to match the trunks of Albert, who was wearing the colors of his native Nigeria. In a very solid career, Albert was a two-time Olympian and has collected 22 wins against quality opposition.
The Philly crowd erupted as Derek Ennis arrived on the floor of the Blue Horizon, wearing his signature black ring attire and flanked by a team that had already drawn blood this same night, and were looking to end the evening with one more blockbuster win. Earlier, Ennis’ stablemates Coy Evans and Ecuadorian newcomer Mario Mena had notched solid victories, and this dominant Philadelphia faction was looking to make a run a 3-0.
The first bell rang, and the non-stop motor of the Nigerian Olympian started firing. The Nigerian was relentless, constantly pressing forward and throwing an endless barrage of jabs and hooks in the direction of the Philly favorite. Despite the tireless assault, Ennis avoided damage by relying on his tremendous defensive speed and brilliant counter-punching ability to neutralize the attack and land the more damaging blows.
Fighting from a defensive stance for the majority of the fight, Ennis managed to land several pounding body shots, one that landed with enough power to stagger Albert two steps sideways and elicit the cheers of the crowd.
In the later rounds, Albert started to control the tempo of the fight with his non-stop attack, and with Ennis a half-step slower, managed to slip a few straight right hands through Ennis’ gloves. At the onset of the tenth round round, Ennis returned with a series of blistering combinations, an by the end of the round, a stream of blood was running down Albert’s left eye.
The tense battle was infused by drama near the eleventh round when the Nigerian, now bleeding steadily and tangled against the ropes, threw a deliberate headbutt at Ennis’ exposed cheek, causing the crowd to roar with disapproval. Ennis battled back furiously in the final round, and managed to match the tempo and stamina of Albert in a one final stand as the bell rung.
Both fighters were hoisted, and the judges’ scorecards confirmed the evenness of the bout; 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 to Derek Ennis, who escaped with an narrow, but impressive win and the USBA Jr. Middleweight belt.
Ennis is now poised to make his entrance to the Grand Stage, and a win in his next bout will likely solidify him as a contender for a world title. This Philly faction, controlled by the team of Moz Gonzalez, Eddie Woods, and Mike Fingerman, has invaded the tenth anniversary Power Production show and walked away with all the spoils.