Boxing in Atlantic City, but It Was New York City’s Finest Making Statements

On March 26, 2022, Rising Star Promotions returned to Atlantic City to deliver America’s Playground, their first boxing event since 2019.

Atlantic City isn’t the awning location it once was when championship boxing is discussed; however, the likes of Thomas LaManna – a guy who’s fought over twenty times in Atlantic City – and Rising Star Promotions did a fine job of putting together a collection of prosperous boxers that delivered an incredible night of fights.

The event itself, labelled ‘Rising Star Series Rd.1, was undoubtedly the beginning of something special. And whilst local Atlantic City talent such as DeCarlo Perez certainly made his presence known, New York’s finest came out in full force on the night.

New York Stands Tall at The Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall

Kurt Scooby, Khalid Twaiti, Omar Salem, and Michael Hughes were four fighters fighting out of New York, and each one of them walked out victorious.

Former footballer and current junior-welterweight Kurt Scoby (7-0, 5 KOs) delivered the most impressive fight of the night when he triumphed over Emmanuel Rodriguez Morales (10-2, 2 KOs) with a second-round knockout. The victory wasn’t a surprise, as sportsbooks were sharp enough to line Scoby as the betting favorite, but the speed in which he delivered the knockout couldn’t have been predicted.

Top NY betting sites were in full support of their local talent, and Scoby was able to deliver the goods in order to cash tickets for those holding onto them. Of course, a round two proposition betting prediction would’ve netted a higher return, but we know New Yorkers like to support their own, and if a gambling night was in order for the Big Apple handicappers, supporting home grown talent in Atlantic City was the perfect night to do so.

Kurt Scoby

Previously explaining his upbringing as “going through the trenches”, Scoby is not only a prosperous talent, but he owns the movie-like story that makes his boxing tenure an inspirational one.

It was all about gang violence, killings, almost every day. It was an environment that kids shouldn’t be seeing. Unfortunately, I was able to see all that violence, and I knew I had to get out,” the 27-year-old junior welterweight prospect said.

I knew boxing was it; every time I stepped inside the boxing gym, I knew it was my sanctuary, I knew it was my true home.

I was actually scouted by [NFL] Steelers, the Chargers, and other football programs,” Scoby added.

But his passion for boxing wasn’t reciprocated on the football field, and fight fans should expect a noteworthy future from Scoby, who has yet to truly let his talents known.

On the night (Rising Star Series Rd.1), Scoby threw a devastating left hook in round two’s opening seconds, leaving the referee no choice but to stop the fight halfway into the 10-count as Emmanuel Morales was evidently unable to compete.

Khalid Twaiti

One of Brooklyn, New York’s finest, Khalid Twaiti, took part in one of the night’s most entertaining bouts versus Juan Centeno.

Since beginning his professional career in 2017, Twaiti has dominated the opposition and has already garnered a 10-0 record in five years. Interestingly, he fights out of the same gym as Scoby, and they’re both trained by Don Saxby out of Gleason’s gym. Twaiti has trained under the tutelage of Saxby since the tender age of 9, and together they’ve obtained the New York City Golden Gloves championship and won national competitions.

Many believe Twaiti is ready to become a household name in the sport, including himself: “We are coming to take over the game; boxing needs something new and fresh. I feel I’m that guy,” he commented.

Before his success versus Juan Centeno, he said: “I’m about to be 10-0, and I really want to start crunching down on these guys. I feel like I’m the guy in the 118-bantamweight division. I’m ready to dog it out. Once we get through this one, God willing, I’m ready to show them. Give me whoever; I’ll crush them and show them who pure gold is,”. 

Twaiti landed a first-round knockout during his six-round contest against Centeno, and the crowd erupted. Centeno continued, but ultimately, the momentum heavily swung in New Yorkers’ favor, and he eventually won a unanimous decision.

Elsewhere, Omar Salem out of Brooklyn, New York, succeeded in winning the co-main event bout of the evening by unanimous decision over Christopher Booker. And for the final addition of New York’s win streak in Atlantic City, we can’t forget to mention Michael Hughes, who also sailed to a majority decision win over Daniel Murray.

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