Marcel Rivers remains undefeated over Derrick Whitley Jr
Derrick Whitley Jr came to Philly Special ready to fight and gave hometown hero Marcel Rivers all he could handle. Rivers won a razor thin 68-66 (x3) decision over the previously unbeaten Massachusetts native at Raging Babe’s Philly Special.
The first two rounds were solidly for Rivers who was able to use his physical strength to keep Whitley on the outside or wrestle him when the two got close. Rivers threatened Whitley with hard power shots that were just missing or glancing off the defensively sound Whitley.
The third round was closer though. Rivers began to start giving up ground to Whitley who was able to back up Rivers and start winning some exchanges on the inside. The third was where most observers disagree on who won. This round probably make the difference between a draw or a Rivers win.
The 4th and 5th rounds were dominated by a visibly tired Whitley. Despite the look on his Whitley was able to effectively get in and out on Rivers, winning exchanges while doing so. The fight looked to be slipping away from Rivers, with the lone highlight being a massive uppercut that missed Whitley. It was the type of punch that everyone knew if it had landed, the fight would be over.
Rivers regrouped in the 6th though. He was able to use his physical strength to tie up Whitley and work inside. This held Whitley’s offensive at bay long enough to win the final and clinching round.
For me, this was the fight of the night. The fight showcased the best matchmaking and two very good boxers. Whitley took just a little too long to figure out the puzzle, but when he did it seemed he would crawl his way back to a draw. But Marcel Rivers is more than a pretty face and a knockout machine. His conditioning is top notch and he shows determination and heart even when things aren’t going his way.
I’m excited to see more of Whitley too. Hopefully we get a chance to bring him back to Philly. A solid professional with decent power, Whitley brought a lot of excitement to the 2300. The arena sounded like Whitley brought half his neighborhood to come support him.
As for Rivers, we will keep you informed about where he goes from here. His competition is stiffening but he keeps winning. Hopefully he can continue to rise to the top.