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Friday night was fight night at the American Dream Mall in Easter Rutherford New Jersey as a full slate of 10 matches took place on July 29. Featuring fighters from both locally and as far away as Hawaii well over 1000 people came out to catch 4 & 6 round matches. Fans got into it early from the first match as Elijah “The Bully” Williams improved to 3-0 (2 KO) with a 4th round TKO after a body blow brought Joey Aquino to the canvas.

Over the course of 3+ hours we saw wins by Jersey City local Robert “Tiger” Lee, going 7-0 (1 KO) with a 2nd round referee stoppage over Isaiah Sheldon and Mike “The Champ” Lee moving to 9-2 (7 KO) with a pummeling of Ryan Schwartzberg that ended with a referee stoppage late in the second round after to back to back knockdowns by Lee.

However in what might have been the most popular match of the night saw Saleh “Habibi” Ali and Carlos Nunez. With both fighters fighting in their first ever match and both living local to the northeast NJ area their fans absolutely came out in force. However no clear winner emerged after a majority draw was ruled. No doubt in the coming months we’ll see these two face off again, perhaps after a few more fights get under their belts.

In the final fight of the night the Co-Main event tested eventual winner Harley “Heavy Hands” Burke. After disposing of his first matches with a first round KO, the 27 year old Yonkers native struggled against Michigan native Brendan Maddox and quickly saw the strength of his punches drop by the end of the 2nd round. However pulling out the unanimous decision brought him to 7-0, and to him, a win is a win, even if it didn’t end with a knock out. “So relieved, There was a lot of pressure for me coming into this. I haven’t gone past the first round since the amateurs back in 2018. I never fought in front of my family and friends before, all my fights were down south. So first time with the crowd, first time main event, first time going past the first round. Overwhelmed, just so happy.” Personally, I think it was a great success.

​Not going to lie, I wasn’t sure how a fight at a mall (even one as large as American Dream is) would turn out But it worked out as a solid night and one that I think is the beginning of something bigger, both for New Jersey Boxing and the East Rutherford mega-mall.

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