Padilla vs. Tomas Headlines Peltz 50th Anniversary Show
There isn’t much that J Russell Peltz hasn’t seen or accomplished in 50 years as a matchmaker or promoter. Yet somehow, a 50th anniversary show in his honor somehow manages to pull off a first in his Hall of Fame career.
The Oct. 4 show celebrating the legendary Philadelphia promoter and matchmaker—titled ‘Blood, Sweat and 50 Years’ and which takes place at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pa.—will be topped by unbeaten super lightweight prospect Victor Padilla (5-0, 5KOs) versus Romain Tomas in a scheduled six-round affair, a throwback to a century ago when Pennsylvania state laws set such a limit on all main events.
“Some of the greatest fighters of all-time appeared in hundreds of six-round main events during those 20 years at the turn of the last century,” noted Peltz, who—even at 50 years in the game—isn’t quite old enough to have lived through the first two decades of the 1900s. “In my 50 years in boxing, this marks the first time I have been involved with a six-round main event.
“When you’ve never done something before, often that is the best reason for doing it.”
It’s also something that hasn’t done before by Padilla, who enters his first six-round bout and his first main event. The knockout artist from Berlin, New Jersey by way of Vieques, Puerto Rico—who is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and trained by Raul ‘Chino’ Rivas—has been exclusively in four-round fights since his pro debut in Dec. 2016, although never requiring that distance to end his fights.
In fact, the 20-year old southpaw hasn’t needed more than a round in any of his five bouts to date, although he fully expects to be matched Peltz-tough on this show.
“I'm excited to be fighting on Peltz' 50th,” Padilla told BoxingScene.com.” I have been out of the ring for a bit, but I had to do this for my kids - I'm going to come back strong for them.
“I am grateful to Peltz for the opportunity to be in the main event and I'm going to make everyone proud.”
A stern test is granted in Tomas (8-2, 1KO), who has never been dropped or stopped through three-plus years in the pro ranks. The 30-year old from Brooklyn (N.Y.) by way of France rebounded from tough loss last summer with a six-round split decision win over previously unbeaten Omar Bordov this past April. The win coupled with his overall toughness made him a viable candidate to land the headlining assignment versus Padilla, whom the Peltz team envisions as a star in the mold of the great fighters of yesteryear who once commanded these slots in the proud Philly fight town.
“Hall-of-Fame champions like Jack Johnson and Benny Leonard boxed six-round main events in Philadelphia during those years,” pointed out Peltz, who promoted his very first show on Sept. 30, 1969 at the famed but now-defunct Blue Horizon. “How about Stanley Ketchel vs. Sam Langford or Joe Gans taking on Jack Blackburn? I would have loved to have seen those battles.
“Philadelphia was the boxing capital of the country and six-round main events was the norm.”
The Padilla vs. Tomas headliner tops an eight-fight bill at 2300 Arena—where Padilla made his pro debut less than three years ago, and where Peltz and his team have planted its flag in reviving the Philly fight scene he largely built up beginning with middleweight Bennie Briscoe’s 1st round knockout of Tito Marshall in their Sept. 1969 rematch.
For this particular show, Peltz will “only” play the role of matchmaker, with the promotional reins handed off to his mentee and rising promoter Michelle “Raging Babe” Rosado. Being raised Peltz tough is not limited to the boxers promoted under the banner, but also all of the team members.
As much was never lost on Rosado, as evidenced by her Philly promotional debut earlier this year, setting an attendance record for the largest ever boxing crowd to turn up at the 2300 Arena.
The Oct. 4 show will become standing room only by the opening bell, with fans to be treated to an eight-fight show which includes a pair of six-round rematches involving local fighters.
Philly-based super welterweight Isaiah Wise (7-2-1, 4KOs) seeks to avenge his first career defeat as he faces Roque Zapata in a sequel to their Dec. 2016 thriller, in which Zapata claimed a majority decision. The bout came on the same card which housed Padilla’s pro debut.
Coatesville, Pa.-based Mexican lightweight Gerardo Martinez (4-1, 1KO) and Atlantic City’s Osnel Charles (13-19-1, 2KOs) will run it back eight months after their hotly contested four-round affair this past February. Martinez prevailed by majority decision in this very venue, as part of Rosado’s in-town debut under her Raging Babe Events banner.
Between the matches and the assembled music playlist, the only thing that will be missing from the night is the ability to present the action in grainy black-and-white film. Then again, it’s likely how Peltz chooses to intake all of his boxing action, live or otherwise.
“I’m an old-school kind of guy so this is going to be fun for me,” notes Peltz. “This represents the past and Padilla vs. Tomas will give us a peek into the future.”