Friends both hope to win boxing titles in Wilmington
By Sean Greene

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VIDEO: Hasson and Robinson on their friendship

Long time friends Dennis Hasson and "The New" Ray Robinson will get the chance to boost their boxing careers when they both fight for titles in Wilmington on February 8.

"Champs at the Chase" is a 6-fight card which includes two championship bouts for the first time in Delaware history. Both Hasson and Robinson will be fighting for North American Boxing Association belts, which come with a guaranteed top-15 world ranking and could put either fighter within 2 bouts of a World Championship fight.

Hasson, a light heavyweight originally from Philadelphia, moved to Wilmington last year to train under former world champion Dave Tiberi. Hasson is 15-0, including a victory at Dover Downs over Daniel Judah in August. His opposition is Kevin Engel, a 20-6 pugelist out of St. Louis, Missouri who has recorded 16 knockouts. Engel has won his last two fights, including a TKO of previously undefeated Anthony Smith on the same card that Hasson fought in Dover.

Robinson, who prides himself on being more of a "boxer" than a "knockout artist", raised eyebrows last May by defeating former-Olympic bronze medalist Terrance Cauthen with a 2nd round TKO. The 26-year-old southpaw has been champion of the Junior Olympics and was a member of the United State Boxing Team as an amateur. He enters the bout with a 14-2 record with 6 knockouts.

The opposition for Robinson will be Alberton Morales who resides in Miami, Florida. Morales is 11-1-1 with 8 knockouts, although he has not fought since suffering a TKO defeat in the 5th round of a fight in March 2010. His last victory came in his native Nicaragua during August of 2009.

Hasson and Robinson both trained together in Philadelphia gyms and at colleges in Michigan as amateurs before moving to Delaware to train under Tiberi. Because of their weight class differences (Hasson fights roughly 25 pounds heavier than Robinson), they didn't spar until recently, taking advantage of the bigger Hasson's power and the smaller Robinson's speed to help in training.

Now both will get the opportunity to showcase their skills in back-to-back bouts. A victory for either would mean an automatic placing in the World Boxing Association's Top 15, which means their next fight would be a mandatory bout for a Top 10 placing. Making the Top 10 could put either on the fast track to a WBA title, one of the major recognized World Titles in boxing, not to mention the possibility for television fights in the future.

The card takes place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront Friday, February 8 with belltime set for 7pm. In addition to the title fights, there are four other fights on the card.

Three have Delaware connections with Joey Tiberi, cousin of Dave, in a lightweight fight, Ryan Belasco in a light welterweight battle, and Louis Hernandez making his pro debut in another light welterweight encounter. The opening fight is scheduled to be a ladies super featherweight bout between Brooklyn's Melissa St. Vil and Ontario's Natasha Spence.

Tickets are available at champsmanagement.com or by phone at (302)-888-BLUE with prices ranging from $45-$125.





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