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This Website  is for the True Boxing Fan interested in both current events as well as Boxing’s rich history and assortment of the most colorful sporting and entertainment characters who ever lived!!

Unlike the typical and boring boxing websites on the internet, here readers will be introduced to a one-of-a-kind Boxing Website not seen anywhere else!! Included are pages highlighting up to date Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from the Boxing Twins featuring Boxing News Stories and Information on upcoming fightsInside Ringside column featuring a travelogue of the boxing world from small club shows to championship boxing promotions and Overseas Boxing Matches by Per-Ake Persson inside,  as well as various and numerous Stories featuring the USA Boxing News Bare Knuckle Corner  and historical and rare photographs of Fighters’ Training and Fight Gallery, and extraordinary and rarely seen film clips of the greatest boxing movies ever on film on the Best All-Time Boxing Movies page, and Joe Catena’s Ring Rage Column, and event a page on the legendary musical group The Beatles and Boxing, plus many more exciting and one-of-a-kind pages and features!!

Boxing Hall of Fame Editors John and Alex Rinaldi present the fans of pugilism with an array of stories, columns, photos, and writings from their award winning staff for the mutual enjoyment and benefit to the serious Boxing Fan!

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Bare-Knuckle Corner

 

William Perry

William Perry in his fistic prime.

The British Pugilist Who Perpetually Beat Up Foes

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There is a New Lightweight Sheriff in Town

Teofimo Lopez Topples Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the undisputed Lightweight Champion of the world
Barboza Decisions Saucedo in the Co-Feature

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

LAS VEGAS (October 17, 2020) — There is a new undisputed lightweight king in this crazy year of 2020 – and it is 23 year old Teofimo Lopez, of Brooklyn, New York.

Against virtually all odds (Lomachenko was a solid 4-1 betting favorite going into the bout), the young Lopez rather easily wrested away all the lightweight belts by defeating the highly heralded Vasiliy Lomachenko, of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, by unanimous decision in a superstar-making performance Saturday evening from the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Lopez (R) hammering Lomachenko (L) with a hard right upppercut.

With the glorious win, Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) became the youngest undisputed champion (23) in the four-belt (WBA, WBO, IBF, and WBC) era.

Not only did he defeat the once formidable Lomachenko, Lopez actually won by wide margins (119-109, 118-110 and 116-112), fulfilling the rather strange prophecy of his father/trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., who predicted, like a gypsy fortune teller, quite some time ago, that his son would become the undisputed champion by his 16th professional fight. With the apparent success of his fortune telling,  his father may soon have his face plastered on crystal balls and gypsy tents throughout the globe.

Lomachenko (L) stabbing Lopez (R) with a left to the stomach.

After the surprising loss, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs – 20-2, 10 KO including World Series of Boxing Contests), a three-weight world champion, saw his 13-bout winning streak come to an end.

The reasons for the outcome are still being weighed, but as for the Russian Lomachenko, the problem was that he came into the bout sluggish and without any real fire in either his belly or his fists.

It was probably due to the fact that he had not entered the prize ring in fighting trunks in over 14 months. In his last bout, Lomachenko faced fellow 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell on August 31, 2019, at the O2 Arena in London, England. There, in front of a sold-out crowd of over 18,000, Lomachenko not only retained the WBA and WBO titles, he also captured the vacant WBC lightweight title by defeating Campbell by unanimous decision.

Both fighters mix it up in round seven.

Well, fast forward those nearly 14 months and entering the ring against the reigning IBF lightweight champion Lopez, Lomachenko appeared as if he had either awakened from being in suspended animation or from a deep hibernation. Either way he threw less punches than than a man tied to a wagon.

While Lopez came out brave, quick, and confident, stabbing the elusive Lomachenko with swift  jabs and combinations to the head and body, Lomachenko started out with the fury of a pastor at a prayer meeting.

Lopez (R) on the attack.

To make matters worse, his PunchStat numbers were similar to those of a sheep herder as he landed only 25 punches of a mere 58 thrown in rounds one to six. Though he did pick up the pace significantly in rounds seven through twelve, still by the fight’s end he only landed a total of 141 punches out of 321 thrown, compared to Lopez who landed 183 punches out of 659 thrown.

To his credit, Lopez maintained his pressure and was the aggressor throughout the bout. Even when Lomachenko eventually came back to life in the second half of the bout, Lopez met him nearly punch for punch and never ever backed down. Nor was he ever intimidated by Lomachenko, especially  when the the older fighter bounced combinations off Lopez’s jaw out of his southpaw stance, particularly in rounds six and eleven, and started giving him various angles and bouncy footwork.

Both fighters landing leather at the other.

Both fighters landing leather at the other.

“I had to dig deep, man,” said a jubilant Lopez after the bout. “I’m thankful. I’m grateful. And each and every day, I take that in. I thank God first because I couldn’t do it without him.”

As for sticking to his game plan in the second half of the bout, Lopez remarked, “I’m a fighter. I gotta dig in deep. I knew he was coming. I didn’t know if they had him up on the scorecards or not, and I love to fight. I can bang, too. I don’t care, man. I’ll take one to give one. That’s what a true champion does. I find a way to win…You just gotta keep pressuring him, press the gas, stick the jab and don’t really give him that opportunity to set up. Every time he did want to throw, I had something ready for him.”

All cheers for the young Lopez. Unlike many others who have faced Lomachenko in the past and came up empty handed, Lopez grabbed the brass ring after throwing down the gauntlet in round one and never looked back. His perseverance, skill, and guts should be applauded throughout the ages.

As for Lomachenko, he will have to go back to the drawing board, something that he has not had to do in many years. “I think in the first half of the fight, he got more rounds than I did,” Lomachenko said. “But then in the second half of the fight, I took it over and I was much better. I want to go home and to review the fight to see. I can’t comment right now much about it. But I definitely am not agreeing with the scorecards. At the moment I think (I won the fight). But the result is the result. I’m not going to argue right now.”

Lomanchenko will most likely return. The great ones always do.

The USA Boxing News scored the bout 115-113 for Lopez.

Barboza Decisons Saucedo

In a battle of junior welterweight contenders, the unbeaten Arnold Barboza Jr. (25-0, 10 KOs) notched the most significant win of his career, surviving a knockdown to defeat former world title challenger Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo (30-2, 19 KOs) via 10-round unanimous decision. Barboza, ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning bodies, now has his sights on a world title shot.

Barboza said, “This was like a championship fight to me. It’s all because of my father {head trainer Arnold Barboza Sr.}, not me. I did this for kids and my father. My dream is to get a house for my kids. I came that much closer today.
 
“I want a championship fight. No more messing around. No more tune-up fights.”

KO King Berlanga Does it Again

He did it again. Super middleweight destroyer Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga knocked out Lanell Bellows in 79  seconds, the 15th first-round knockout to begin his career. Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOs) had never been knocked out in an eight-year pro career. After the knockout, Berlanga climbed to a neutral corner and proclaimed to the Bubble audience, “I’m a fuc*ing monster!”

Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (R) knocking out Lanell Bellows (L).

Berlanga said, “I saw with the first shot that I cut him open and the look in his eyes, he didn’t want to be in there. From the beginning, once I got in the ring, I looked in his eyes… he didn’t want to be in there. So I had to get him out.”

This Berlanga is certainly a fighter to keep an eye on. He has tools of a ring assassin and a punch like a mule. All he needs is more time in the ring to sharpen his skills so he can hang in there with the top contenders that he will inevitably be meeting in the next year or so.

In undercard bouts:

Jr. Welterweight: Josue Vargas (18-1, 9 KOs) UD 10 Kendo Castaneda (17-3, 8 KOs). Scores: 100-89, 99-91, 98-90. Vargas graduated to contender status with a one-sided domination over Castaneda, who was coming off a competitive decision loss to Jose “Chon” Zepeda. He has won 12 straight fights since a disqualification defeat.


Vargas said, “He was a tough customer, tougher than I thought he was going to be, but my father told me to stay composed, stay calm. I dropped him, but that doesn’t mean nothing, just stay relaxed because that’s how I got disqualified when I was 18 years old.
 
“I’m very close to fighting these guys, like Zepeda, Pedraza, any of these guys. You name it, I’ll get in there with them.”

Featherweight: Jose Enrique Vivas (20-1, 11 KOs) TKO 1 John Vincent Moralde (23-4, 13 KOs), 1:16. Vivas blitzed Moralde, knocking down the Filipino contender twice en route to the early stoppage. The second knockdown was a body blow that prompted referee Celestino Ruiz to halt the fight without a count.

Welterweight: Quinton Randall (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Jan Carlos Rivera (4-1, 4 KOs). Scores: 58-56 2X and 59-55. In a battle of unbeatens, Randall swept the last four rounds on two of the judges’ scorecards to prevail.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (2-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Charles Garner (1-1). Scores: 40-36, 3X. The 17-year-old Tucker, who scored a first-round knockout in his professional debut last month, went the distance and cruised to a decision win against Garner, a native of Buffalo, N.Y.

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

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This Bud’s Back: Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford Battles Kell Brook November 14 LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes
Crawford-Brook and Joshua Franco-Andrew Moloney 2 to headline ESPN telecast starting at 10 p.m. ET
Undercard Fights on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET

(October 19, 2020) — The pound-for-pound king is set to reclaim his throne. WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his title against former welterweight world champion Kell Brook in a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN Saturday, Nov. 14.
 
In the world championship co-feature, Joshua “El Profesor” Franco will defend his WBA super flyweight title against former world champion Andrew “The Monster” Moloney in a rematch of their June bout, won by Franco via decision.
 
Promoted by Top Rank and sponsored by GEICO, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise Crawford-Brook and Franco-Moloney 2 beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while a full slate of undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Venue information for Crawford-Brook will be announced soon.
 
“Kell Brook is one of the elite fighters in the world. He has faced so many of the top boxers,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a real test for pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford. This is another premium fight that will be available to boxing fans for no extra charge live on ESPN.”
 
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), the pride of Omaha, Neb., has reigned as WBO welterweight world champion since June 9, 2018, when he stopped Jeff “The Hornet” Horn in nine one-sided rounds. He has since defended that world title three times, including a sixth-round demolition over former unified junior welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan in April 2019. Crawford has not fought since last December’s ninth-round TKO over Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas and will enter the ring against Brook coming off a career-long 11-month layoff. He has won seven straight bouts by knockout since a one-sided decision over Viktor Postol in a July 2016 junior welterweight unification bout. Prior to his welterweight world title campaign, Crawford was the lineal lightweight and undisputed junior welterweight world champion.
 
Brook (39-2, 27 KOs), from Sheffield, England, is a former welterweight world champion who made three successful defenses of the IBF title he won from Shawn Porter in 2014. His only defeat at welterweight came to Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, a competitive fight that ended in the 11th round after he suffered a broken orbital bone. Since the Spence defeat, “The Special One” has won three bouts at junior middleweight, including February’s seventh-round stoppage over Mark DeLuca. Brook has long campaigned for the Crawford bout, and earlier this year, he ran into Crawford at the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II weigh-in.
 
“You gonna make weight?” Crawford asked Brook.
“You’re running out of opponents,” Brook responded. “I’m here.”
 
Brook said, “I would just like to say a big thank you to Bob Arum and his team at Top Rank and to Baz Kandiara and my management team for getting the fight made. Thank you also to Terence Crawford and his team. It’s a fantastic fight, a proper fight for the fans to get excited about. I’m sure it’s one that will have viewers on the edge of their seats, whichever side of the pond they’re from.
 
“I’ve been told there are people writing off my chances, questioning my age, and my ability to make the weight. Well, let them talk. Some people focus on reading headlines, I focus on making headlines. Those people writing me off as a big underdog? No problem. I guess this big dog will be making a few people richer during a difficult time.
 
“Terence isn’t too much younger than me. They know that I’ve never ducked a challenge, and they should know that I’ve never failed to make 147 on the scales. With age comes experience. My knowledge and experience make me a different fighter, a more mature fighter. Couple that with a happy fighter, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous fighter.”
 
Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs), from Melbourne, Australia, won the interim world title with a knockout over Elton Dharry last November and was subsequently elevated to world champion. In his first world title defense, June 23 from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, he was upset via unanimous decision at the hands of Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs), a native of San Antonio, Texas, who was previously best known for his action-packed trilogy with Oscar Negrete.
 
Said Moloney, “I am extremely excited and motivated for my rematch with Franco. I’m very grateful that Top Rank has given me the opportunity to get my revenge and reclaim my world title. I have been working extremely hard every day to make sure that world title is strapped back around my waist on Nov. 14.”

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 Two-Time World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd 
Back In Training
Two-time World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd is back in the ring after a prolonged series of health challenges. Following his Hall of Fame worthy career at heavyweight, which included wins over Vitali Klitschko, Evander Holyfield, and David Tua, Byrd (47-5, 22 KOs) suffered from severe neuropathy and chronic pain from fighting far above his natural weight.

“Nobody wanted to fight me at middleweight, so I ate my weight up to heavyweight, And I paid for it. I went through 11 years of suffering. A few years ago, I couldn’t even move my feet apart. The pain in my left leg was so bad that some days I just wanted to cut the whole thing off. I had to make drastic changes and choices in life to get where I am today,” said Byrd. 

Looking chiseled and svelte at 163 pounds, the 50-year-old Byrd’s transformation began nearly three years ago when his daughter was engaged to be married. The idea of being unable to walk her down the aisle pained Byrd, as he was willing to do or try anything that could help improve his condition, and let him be there for the ones he loved. He changed his eating habits – stopped consuming all those things that he was allergic to (wheat, sugar, and dairy) and switched to a plant-based diet.  
A chance meeting with a medicinal cannabis expert proved particularly fruitful in Byrd’s road to recovery. Byrd began a therapeutic regimen of juicing fresh cannabis leaves and utilizing CBD oil and topicals. He consumed ample hemp hearts as a complete source of protein and essential fatty acids. In short order, the ferocious pain he had felt in his left leg and the fatigue that he had battled his entire career began to subside.
By early 2020, Chris had reached a plateau in his recovery “at about ⅔ of where [he is] today.” He then discovered Aaron Cameron, Director of Club Q360, in Malibu, California. Cameron is widely known as the husband of film star and “Real Housewife of Beverly Hills”, Denise Richards. Under Cameron’s guidance, Chris began undergoing radio and sound frequency treatments to treat his neuropathy. According to Byrd, these treatments took his healing to a level – relieving his pain and greatly increasing his mobility.

“Aaron is a fantastic person, unique with a great mind who is an expert in radio and sound frequency work. Doctor’s had told me I would need my shoulders and hip replaced. After my treatments with Aaron, all of that changed. Aaron really wants to see people get healed and he really cares for the people he works with.”

“Chris’ recovery has been nothing short of miraculous,” said Split-T Boxing’s David McWater. “To see where Chris was only a few years ago to where he is now is remarkable. It’s an honor to be able to help him on this path.”

Considering all that he has accomplished in both his professional career and in his dramatic post-career transformation from struggling heavyweight to vibrant and virile middleweight, there is nothing that can stop Chris Byrd.

“I really want to show people that it’s never too late to accomplish your goals, and live out your dreams. My reflexes are razor sharp, my strength is phenomenal, and I’m more focused than I’ve been. I feel I’m ready to make a return to the ring, and with the help and guidance of Split-T Boxing, I hope to make it a reality.”

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Roberto Duran and President Donald Trump
Past and Present

President Donald Trump and Roberto Duran on the 2020 Campaign Trail.

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Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from

The Boxing Twins

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Fight of the Year: Zepeda KOs Baranchyk in Five

Eight knockdowns scored in this instant classic

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
LAS VEGAS (October 3, 2020) — Eight knockdowns. Fight of the Year.

Jose Zepeda knocked out Ivan Baranchyk in the fifth round of their junior welterweight instant classic Saturday evening at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Both men hit the canvas four times, but it was a left hand from Zepeda, a two-time world title challenger, that ended the fight.
Jose Zepeda (R) knocking down out Ivan Baranchyk (L).

Jose Zepeda (R) knocking down out Ivan Baranchyk (L).

Baranchyk (20-2, 13 KOs), a former IBF junior welterweight world champion, scored a pair of knockdowns in the opening round, and then the two traded knockdowns in the second. Zepeda used his counterpunching skills to knock down Baranchyk in the third and fourth rounds, but Baranchyk roared back and planted Zepeda (33-2, 26 KOs) on the canvas early in the fifth. Soon after Zepeda rose to this feet, the knockout hammer dropped.

Zepeda said, “I feel great because I won the fight. It was a hard fight, and I’m thinking, ‘Man, boxing is hard. It’s no easy game.’ Boxing, it’s tough, and you have to give it 100 percent because it’s a hard sport.
 
“Both of us are climbing up, and somebody had to stay. I was able to win the fight, and I told him, ‘Thanks for the fight. It was a great fight.’
Jose Zepeda (R) slamming Ivan Baranchyk (L). with a jarring left.

Jose Zepeda (R) slamming Ivan Baranchyk (L). with a jarring left.

“I know I’m tough. I didn’t know how tough I was. Tonight, I showed myself, too. I’ve never been in a fight like this. It was a great learning experience.”

Flores Improves to 19-0

Gabriel Flores Jr. had a wake-up call in the first round, when a left hook from Ryan Kielczweski  stunned him for a brief moment. Flores regrouped from that hiccup and boxed circles around Kielczweski en route to a 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91 and 98-92) in the lightweight co-feature.

Gabriel Flores Jr. (R) vs Ryan Kielczweski (L)

Flores (19-0, 6 KOs), the 20-year-old prodigy from Stockton, Calif., spoke of his desire to contend at junior lightweight sooner than later. Kielczweski (30-5, 11 KOs) dropped to 1-2 in his last three fights, but the 31-year-old Massachusetts native has yet to be stopped as a professional.

Flores said, “{I was not} buzzed at all. Not buzzed at all. I was a little bit off balance on my heel, which is rare. I’m always on my toes.
 
“I gotta stay in the pocket more. I need to stay on myself to stay in the pocket. I’m in the pocket landing shots, and then I feel like, ‘I’m bored here.’”

In undercard bouts:

Heavyweight: Guido Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KOs) Majority Draw, 6 Rounds,  Kingsley Ibeh (5-1-1, 4 KOs). Scores: 59-55 Ibeh and 57-57 2X. Vianello’s winning and KO streaks came to an end against Ibeh, who won a pair of fights inside the “Bubble” over the summer. Ibeh buzzed Vianello on several occasions and swept the first two rounds. Vianello, who suffered the first cut of his career, won the sixth round on all three judges’ cards to salvage the draw. 


Featherweight: Duke Ragan (2-0, 1 KO) UD 4 John Moraga (1-2, 1 KO). Scorecards: 40-36 3X. Ragan went the distance for the first time in his young career and bested Moraga, a former UFC title challenger. Ragan, from Cincinnati, signed with Top Rank earlier this year and scored a first-round knockout in his pro debut in August.

Junior Lightweight: Frevian Gonzalez (4-0, 1 KO) MD 4 Carlos Marrero (2-4-1). Scorecards: 38-38 and 40-36 2X. Gonzalez defeated the most experienced foe of his young career and cruised to victory despite the lone draw scorecard.

Heavyweight: Mitchell Sipe (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 1 Jimmy Barnes (1-1, 1 KO), :43. MMA veteran Sipe made a smooth transition to the pugilistic ranks, knocking down Barnes in the opening seconds of the fight and hitting his beleaguered opponent at will after he rose to his feet. In less than a minute, it was over.

Featherweight: Haven Brady Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 4 Gorwar Karyah (2-2, 2 KOs), 2:27. Brady closed the show in style in his pro debut, stopping Karyah with just 33 seconds remaining in their scheduled four-round fight. Brady was deducted a point in the second round for a low blow, while Karyah had a point taken away in the fourth round for repeated holding.

Welterweight: JJ Mariano (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Matthew Reed (1-1, 1 KO), 1:27. Mariano, from Reno, Nev., knocked down Reed early in the opening round and then pinned him against the ropes. A barrage of blows prompted referee Robert Hoyle to stop the fight.

OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

Leather fists fly at punch-packed card in Struer, Denmark

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Short Work: Josh Taylor Blows Out Apinun Khongsong in 1 Round
Taylor retains WBA & IBF Junior Welterweight World Titles

LONDON (September 26, 2020) — Josh Taylor made an emphatic statement in his first fight as a unified world champion, defending his WBA and IBF junior welterweight world titles with a first-round stoppage over mandatory challenger Apinun Khongsong from BT Studio at York Hall.

The time of the stoppage was 2:41, as Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) brutalized Khongsong (16-1, 13 KOs) with a left hand to the liver. He is now in line to face WBC/WBO world champion Jose Ramirez in early 2021 for the undisputed championship.

Taylor said, “One hundred percent, I want Ramirez next. He’s a very good champion, unbeaten like myself, hungry, on top of his game. I thought the {Viktor} Postol fight, it wasn’t a very good performance at all. I do feel he can perform better than that given the circumstances. Again, I wasn’t impressed with what I’ve seen from him. Again, I want that fight now. I believe I’ll whoop his ass all day long. 

“I’ve never seen anything from him that I haven’t seen before, so yeah, I want that fight as soon as possible. Obviously, I know the situation with {Ramirez’s WBO} mandatory, but hopefully, we can sort of get that worked out. I would like, for selfish and personal reasons, to get that fight next. I deserve it. I’ve been in big fight after big fight for my last four fights. Not ducked anyone. Never ducked a tournament like someone else. I’m game. I’ll fight the best whenever they want. To be honest, I would rather wait until the fans are back for that fight. It’s a huge fight. It’s one of the biggest fights at the minute for all the belts.”

In undercard bouts:

Bantamweight
: Charlie Edwards (16-1, 6 KOs) PTS 10 Kyle Williams (11-3, 3 KOs). Referee Scorecard: 99-91. Former WBC flyweight world champion Edwards is now a bantamweight contender, as he outboxed noted spoiler Williams in the co-feature. Edwards moved up following his no contest against Julio Cesar Martinez last August, which ended after Martinez struck Edwards while he was on the canvas.


Junior Featherweight: Ionut Baluta (14-2, 3 KOs) TKO 3 Davey Oliver Joyce (12-2, 9 KOs). The year of the upset continues for Baluta, as the Romanian-born boxer-puncher bested former world champion TJ Doheny in March. Baluta knocked down Joyce with a left hook in the third round and unloaded with a follow-up combination, prompting referee Steve Gray to stop the fight.

Junior MiddleweightGeorge Davey (3-0) PTS 4 Jeff Thomas (12-8-3, 1 KO). Referee Scorecard: 40-36.

Junior Welterweight Eithan James (4-0) PTS 4 Kris Pilkington (2-8-1). Referee Scorecard: 40-36.

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October 3: Gabriel Flores Jr.-Ryan Kielczweski and Heavyweight Phenom Guido Vianello to see action on Baranchyk-Zepeda Card LIVE and Exclusively on ESPN+

Coverage begins on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. PT

LAS VEGAS (September 28, 2020) — Gabriel Flores Jr. returns for his MGM Grand Las Vegas “Bubble” encore Saturday, Oct. 3 against veteran contender Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczweski in the 10-round lightweight co-feature to the highly anticipated junior welterweight bout between Ivan Baranchyk and Jose Zepeda.
 
Flores, from Stockton, Calif., headlined on ESPN June 18 against Josec Ruiz and prevailed via shutout unanimous decision.
 
Baranchyk-Zepeda, Flores-Kielczweski and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
 
Flores (18-0, 6 KOs), the 20-year-old prodigy who signed a pro contract with Top Rank at 16, recently moved his training base from Stockton to Las Vegas and signed with manager James Prince. He shined on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II undercard in February, dropping Matt Conway in the opening round en route to a unanimous decision win. Flores, known as “Stockton’s King,” authored a dominating victory over Ruiz despite entering the fight with a lower back injury.
 
Kielczweski (30-4, 11 KOs), from Quincy, Mass., is the most experienced foe of Flores’ career, a 12-year pro who has won four of his last five and has never been knocked out. He last fought in March 2019 and won an eight-round decision over Nick Otieno in Melrose, Mass. He is no stranger to ESPN audiences, having fought multiple times on the beloved “Friday Night Fights” series.
 
“I want to show everyone that I’m ready for bigger and better competition,” Flores said.  “I’m prepared for a world title shot.”

“I’m excited to get back in the ring on Oct 3 against a very talented prospect. A win here will put me back where I need to be for bigger fights,” Kielczweski said. “I’d like to thank Murphys Boxing and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills on such a high-level platform.”
 
In undercard action:

  • Heavyweight prospect Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0, 7 KOs), a 2016 Italian Olympian, will look to extend his KO streak against “Bubble” veteran Kingsley Ibeh (5-1, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder. Vianello knocked out Don Haynesworth in the opening round on June 9, while Ibeh won two bouts in the first run of “Bubble” cards. Ibeh upset the previously undefeated Patrick Mailata via majority decision on July 2.
     
  • 2019 Junior Olympic gold medalist Haven Brady Jr., an 18-year-old boxer-puncher from Albany Ga., will make his professional debut in a four-round featherweight bout. Brady recently signed a long-term promotional pact with Top Rank.
     
  • Featherweight Duke Ragan (1-0, 1 KO), who won his professional debut last month inside the “Bubble” with a first-round stoppage, returns in a four-rounder against an opponent to be named.
     
  • Heavyweight Mitchell Sipe, a professional mixed martial artist, will make his pro boxing debut in a four-round fight against an opponent to be named.
     
  • In a rescheduled six-round junior lightweight bout originally set for Sept. 19, Puerto Rican junior lightweight prospect Frevian Gonzalez (3-0, 1 KO) will fight Carlos Marrero (2-3-1).
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Ruben Villa to take on Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO World Featherweight Title on Friday, October 9th

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Puerto Rican Power: Pedraza Dominates Molina
Ajagba Decisions Rice in Heavyweight Co-Feature

LAS VEGAS (September 19, 2020) — Jose Pedraza’s second appearance in the MGM Grand “Bubble” resulted in yet another victory, as the Puerto Rican former two-weight world champion bested fellow 2008 Olympian Javier Molina via unanimous decision (99-91 and 98-92 2x) in the junior welterweight main event.

Pedraza (28-3, 13 KOs), who won a decision over Mikkel LesPierre on July 2, returned to Las Vegas and authored his most significant junior welterweight victory. Molina (22-3, 9 KOs) entered the evening on a five-bout winning streak, a career-reviving run that included an upset over Amir Imam back in February.

Pedraza, who switched from orthodox to southpaw, hurt Molina in the seventh round and widened the gap as the bout reached its conclusion. He has won two bouts since dropping a decision to Jose Zepeda last September in his junior welterweight debut.

Pedraza said, “They do name me the ‘Sniper,’ and that means I have to be patient, and when my moment comes, I have to take advantage of it. That’s what I did tonight because I was able to wear him down, break him down and make him fight my fight. It was the experience that I’ve had at the top level that helped me finally put it together. I’ve had the experience, I’ve had the talent, and it’s just on a night like this that I’m happy I could put it all together.
 
“I do believe I’m ready for a world title opportunity. Whoever it happens to be between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez, I want the winner of that fight. If for some reason I can’t get a world title shot against them, I do want to respectfully ask Jose Zepeda for the rematch.”

Ajagba Goes the Distance

The knockout didn’t come as expected, but Efe Ajagba’s Top Rank debut ended with his hand raised. Ajagba (14-0, 11 KOs) notched a 10-round unanimous decision over Jonnie Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs) in the co-feature, controlling the distance with his jab as he cruised to victory by scores of 99-91 2x and 98-92.

Ajagba hurt his right hand in the fight, only the second time he’s gone the distance in his career. 

In undercard bouts:

Featherweight: Robeisy Ramirez (5-1, 3 KOs) UD 8 Felix Caraballo (13-3-2, 9 KOs). Scores: 80-72 2x and 79-73. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Ramirez pitched a near-shutout over Caraballo, a native of Puerto Rico who lost via sixth-round stoppage to former featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson in June. Ramirez has now won five straight since a shocking split decision defeat in his professional debut.

Junior MiddleweightLeo Ruiz (8-0, 5 KOs) UD 6 Rodrigo Solis (4-5-1, 2 KOs). Scores: 59-53 2x and 58-54. Ruiz laid a beating on Solis, a native of Cancun, Mexico, who accepted the fight on four days’ notice. Solis, however, lasted the distance against top prospect Ruiz, who has sparred the likes of unified junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez and top welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz.

Super MiddleweightChristian Montano (10-0, 7 KOs) UD 6 Ryan Adams (7-3-1, 6 KOs). Scores: 60-54 2x and 58-56. Montano, in his first fight in nearly 18 months, returned with a workmanlike decision victory. 

Lightweight: Bryan Lua (6-0, 3 KOs) KO 2 Luis Norambuena (4-7-1). Lua had not fought in more than two years and made up for lost time, knocking out Norambuena with a left hook late in the second round.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 1 Deandre Anderson (1-2). Tucker needed only 2:56 to prevail in his pro debut, stopping Anderson on his feet following a flurry of punches. Anderson, also a pro MMA fighter, was coming off a split decision win against a previously unbeaten fighter.

Welterweight: Kasir Goldston (1-0) UD 4 Isaiah Varnell (3-3, 2 KOs). Scores: 40-36 and 39-37 2x. The 17-year-old Goldston, from Albany, N.Y., had to go the distance in his first pro outing and swept the fourth round on all three judges’ cards to secure the win. 

 
 
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Former Undisputed Middleweight Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Alan Minter dies of cancer at age 69

BY ALEX AND JOHN RINALDI

Born in Bromley, Kent, to a plasterer father and a German-born mother, Minter eventually moved to Crawley, West Sussex

Since he was never deemed a great student, Minter moved onto boxing at the tender age of eleven. “I didn’t like it at all. I couldn’t get out quick enough,” Minter described his academic background. “I was always a bit of a practical joker, getting in trouble. I think I must have had the school record for getting caned.”

Minter scored a split-decision win over 15 rounds against the Italian-born New Yorker Antuofermo to capture the WBC and WBA titles.

Fortunately, England favors boxing even at the elementary school stage and it was in school where he was first introduced to the sport that would change his life forever. “The PT master brought in a pair of boxing gloves,” said Minter. “I’d never had a pair of gloves on in my life. I didn’t hurt anyone, but it just appealed to me. It felt good.” There’s nothing better than having your arm raised, and I really thought I’d achieved something. It was lovely, especially when you were no good at school.”

Alan soon left school three years later when he turned fourteen years and never looked back.

Coached by Doug Bidwell, who would later become his manager as a professional and also his father-in-law after Minter married Bidwell’s daughter Lorraine, the southpaw Minter won 25 of his 30 England amateur international appearances, was four times southern area champion, 1971 ABA champion and soon earned a crack to box in the 1972 Munich Olympics representing England.

The new Middleweight Champion of the World – Alan Minter.

In the Games, the very same Olympics where Arab terrorists would kidnap and kill the Israeli Olympians, Minter lost his semi-final bout in a controversial manner – warned for slapping in the last round when he also floored his German opponent – leaving him with a bronze medal.

“I was choked. I was stitched up by the judges at the Olympics,” Minter claimed.

Though he did arrive home an Olympic medalist, he knew right then and there that his amateur career was over and he decided to turn professional, making his debut at the Royal Albert Hall in London later that year, scoring a sixth-round stoppage win against Maurice Thomas.

In 1975, trained by the former British featherweight champion Bobby Neill, Minter became British middleweight champion by defeating Kevin Finnegan over 15 closely fought rounds at The Empire Pool in London. The two would be twice more, with Minter winning both. For the rest of his days, Minter always said Finnegan was his toughest opponent of all.

Alan Minter losing his titles to Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1980.

Alan Minter (L) losing his titles to Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R) in 1980.

In 1976 Minter TKO’d American and 1972 Olympic Gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales in five rounds at the Royal Albert Hall

And two months later, Minter became European champion when he knocked out the Italian Angelo Jacopucci in Bellaria, Italy. Jacopucci died the following day from head injuries sustained in the contest and it was only after receiving counseling from Bidwell that the distraught Minter could come to terms with what had happened. He decided to continue his career.

And continue he did.

On July 30, 1977, Minter outpointed former Welterweight and Middleweight Champ Emile Griffith in Monte Carlo, which put his name firmly on a world stage.

Minter’s world title chance eventually came, through the lobbying of the matchmaker and promoter Mickey Duff, in Las Vegas in March 1980 at Caesars Palace. He then challenged the undisputed Middleweight Champion Vito Antuofermo for his title.

Minter earned his opportunity to face Antuofermo by winning eight fights in a row

In a hotly contested fight and possible poor judging, Minter scored a split-decision win over 15 rounds against the Italian-born New Yorker Antuofermo to capture the WBC and WBA titles.

After the championship win, tens of thousands of his British fans jammed the streets of Crawley for Minter’s homecoming, when he said: “When I won the British title, I could walk down the street and hold my head up high. Then the European title and then the world title. That was unbelievable.”

On account of the disputed win, a rematch with Antuofermo, was scheduled for June 1980 at Wembley Arena. In that fight there was no question of who won, for Minter fought one of the best fights of his career retaining his title  on an eighth-round stoppage.

Unfortunately for him, instead of fighting some warm-up defenses, Minter bravely and stupidly decided to take on Marvelous Marvin Hagler in his second title defense.

Minter was a national hero by this point and he returned to the London venue to face Hagler in September of that year, only to be over-matched against his American foe

Minter entered the ring behind giant flags with his corner men and an entourage bedecked in union flag regalia.

In a fight that displayed some of the worse sportsmanship of any crowd in the history of boxing, Minter lost his title to Hagler by knock out in the third round at Wembley Arena in September 1980. Immediately after the bout, the British fans went literally nuts and pelted the ring with beer bottles, glasses and whatever else they could throw.

Ringsiders including reporters and commentators were forced to shelter under the ring as security men tried to extricate the combatants and everyone else from the auditorium.

Hagler even had blankets and towels carried over him as a shield from the mob while Minter, blood streaming down his face, would later need stitches and plastic surgery to repair the damage inflicted on him during a brutal beating.

Apparently Hagler had been angered prior to the fight when Minter said at a press conference: “I don’t want to lose my title to a black man.” Minter said his words were triggered after Hagler refused to shake his hand when the two men were introduced to the crowd at an earlier fight in Las Vegas.

Despite talk of a rematch, Hagler and his backers never granted him one, although Minter did initially give Hagler the crack at the title.

Minter retired the following year, aged 30, after suffering a bad three-round stoppage defeat at Wembley in a European title challenge against Leicester’s Tony Sibson and another loss, in Las Vegas, against the highly rated New York-based Syrian Mustafa Hamsho.

In retirement Minter owned a restaurant in Crawley, commentated on boxing with the BBC and worked on the after-dinner circuit.

In later years he lived in Littlehampton, West Sussex, with his longtime partner, Debbie, who died in 2014. He is survived by his children.

He left boxing with a record of 39 wins, 9 losses and 1 no contest, with 23 wins by knockout.

Alan Minter (L) holding up his championship belts with his son.

Alan Minter (L) holding up his championship belts with his son.

“The stewards and staff of the British Boxing Board of Control are very saddened to hear of the passing of former world middleweight champion Alan Minter,” a brief BBBOC statement said. “Our sincerest condolences are sent to his family at this time.”

The former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno paid tribute to Minter on Twitter, writing: “I would ask people to look at the old footage of him fighting – a sad day for British Boxing RIP Boom Boom.” Ricky Hatton, another former world champion, added: “Our boxing family has lost one of our own in Alan Minter. You’ll always be a British boxing legend and a gentleman. My love and very best wishes go to Ross the whole Minter family at this time.”

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Rise of the Mean Machine: Kavaliauskas KOs Zewski
Joet Gonzalez dominates Miguel Marriaga

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY OF THE FIGHT

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Yordenis Ugás wins the vacant WBA welterweight title over Abel Ramos by split decision

Yordenis Ugás (R) clocks Abel Ramos (L) with a hard right to win the vacant WBA welterweight title.

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

September 6 – Los Angeles CA. On the night before Labor Day, Cuban-born Yordenis Ugás captured the regular version of the WBA welterweight title by laboriously defeating Abel Ramos over 12 rounds at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

As an amateur Ugás won a gold medal at the 2005 World Championships and a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, both in the lightweight division.

Five years later, in March 2010, Ugás relocated from his home in De Santiago, Cuba, to America in the hope of beginning a professional career. Little did he know at the time, that the quest for a world title would take him ten long years to capture.

But capture he did.

Over the course of twelve rounds, Ugás  (26-4, 12 KOs) jabbed and double-jabbed and counter punched his way to win a split decision over the gritty Ramos, who appeared to come just a bit short of establishing an all-out offensive, which might have swayed the fight more in his favor. Instead, he showed the urgency of a starfish, that is content to slowly roam the floor of the ocean in search of clams, scallops and oysters. But unlike the starfish, Ramos’ lack of urgency cost to him come up empty. For when the fight ended, the title belt was not strapped around him, but wrapped securely around the waist of Ugás.

Judges Zachary Young and Edward Hernandez had him up by the score of 115-113, while Lou Moret had Ramos on top 117-111.

Like a man on a mission, Ugás   took control of the fight from round one and appeared to never lose ground. He was methodical, perhaps too methodical at times, fighting with that sappier left hand of his that shifted with some left hooks to the body and right hands to the head.

The problem was that he never upped his tempo, and in turn, never looked that exciting during the whole span of the match. Even the cardboard crowd appeared bored.

Not that Ramos was much more a thrill seeker.

Although he carried with him a pretty hard punch, as evidenced in the last round when he staggered the Cuban, Ramos should have cut the ring off better and thrown more punches in bunches, rather than stand at arm’s length and deliver punches as random and as often as a mailman on a desert island.

Still, Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KOs) did connect well with some left hooks and rights to the stomach and ribs along with the occasional combos to the head. It was just that it was simply not enough to capture the win and with it the WBA welterweight title.

“I set a goal when I was a child back in Cuba to become a world champion and I accomplished that goal tonight,” Ugás said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me along the way. Ramos was a very tough opponent and I knew it was not going to be easy, but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away.”

Ugás  out-landed Ramos 233 to 109 in terms of total punches, 160 of them being the jab, which set the table for him all night. All in all, it was a great story and a great win for the Cuban fighter.

Yordenis Ugás the new WBA Welterweight Champion.

“I came into this fight in the best shape of my life and it showed,” Ugás  said. “Now that I’m a world champion, I want all the big names in the welterweight division.”

And big names there are.

The 34-year-old Ugás may be the new WBA champ, but his place among the talent-laden welterweight division may considered as the 6th best fighter of the division’s “big six.” With the WBC/IBF champion Errol Spence Jr and Danny Garcia setting up to battle in November and  and WBO champ Terence Crawford probably  fighting Kell Brook, there only leaves remaining WBA “super” welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao , and former champ Keith Thurman, both of whom have no fights scheduled on the horizon.

Ugás has already faced Shawn Porter, the former two-time welterweight world champion who held the IBF title from 2013 to 2014 and the WBC title from 2018 to September 2019, whom Ugás lost a controversial split decision to.

Therefore, it seems that only Paquiao and Thurman are his only probable upcoming foes, and most will think that both of them would defeat Ugás  .

But that is what makes boxing so great. For anything can happen inside the ring, especially when it features the likes of any of the great fighters who form part of the “welterweight six” which Ugás  is now a proud member of.

Other Results on the Fight Card

  • Omar Juarez UD-8 Dakota Linger
  • Jesus Ramos TKO-2 Esteban Garcia
  • Cody Crowley UD-10 Josh Torres
  • Leduan Barthelemy TKO-3 Recky Dulay
  • Batyr Akhmedov TKO-1 Rey Perez
  • ____________

October Star Power

Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez, 
Naoya Inoue-Jason Moloney and the Returns of Artur Beterbiev and Emanuel Navarrete Headline Monthlong Boxing Bonanza on ESPN Platforms

Action-packed lineup, led by Lomachenko-Lopez (October 17), includes Inoue-Moloney (October 31), Beterbiev-Adam Deines (October 23), Navarrete-Ruben Villa (October 9) and Jose Zepeda-Ivan Baranchyk (October 3)

LAS VEGAS (September 27, 2020) — Four belts, one champion. A universally recognized lightweight king will be crowned Saturday, Oct. 17, live on ESPN from MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
 
WBO/WBA/WBC Franchise world champion Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound “Boxing Baryshnikov” from Ukraine, will fight unbeaten IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez, the knockout artist from Brooklyn who has lobbed verbal haymakers at Lomachenko for more than two years. The two will fight from the MGM Grand Conference Center aka the “Las Vegas Bubble.”
 
Promoted by Top Rank, Lomachenko-Lopez (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET) headlines a can’t-miss month of boxing on the ESPN family of networks, which also includes the long-awaited return of Japanese pound-for-pound superstar Naoya “Monster” Inoue, who will defend his WBA and IBF bantamweight world titles on Halloween evening, Saturday, Oct. 31, against Australian contender Jason “Mayhem” Moloney.
 
“Lomachenko-Lopez is the best fight that can be made in boxing, and we are delighted that it will be available to fans for no extra charge live on ESPN,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Teofimo and Vasiliy demanded the fight, and we are glad we could make it happen. Vasiliy has never backed down from a challenge since he turned pro under the Top Rank banner, and Teofimo is a fearless young champion daring to be great. This has all the makings of a modern boxing classic.” 
 
Lomachenko said, “Teofimo Lopez can talk all he wants. He’s very good at talking. He has done nothing but say my name for the past two years. I am a fighter, and my goal is to win another world title. Good for Teofimo. When we fight in Las Vegas, he will eat my punches and his words. I will be the better man, and four world titles will come home with me to Ukraine.”
 
Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager, stated, “Nobody has seen Lomachenko at 100 percent inside the ring. If Teofimo can push Loma to at least 80 percent, it means Teofimo is the best opponent Loma has faced.”
 
Lopez said, “I will beat up Lomachenko and take his belts. Simple as that. I’m coming to Las Vegas to make history. I don’t like the guy, and I’m going to have fun as Lomachenko’s face is beaten and marked up by my hands. The Takeover is here, and the reign of Lomachenko, the little diva, is coming to an end.”
 
Added Matt Kenny, Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN: “Boxing has long been part of the fabric of our company and we could not be more excited for the October schedule on ESPN platforms, which includes the highly anticipated lightweight title bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez on October 17. Top Rank was one of the very first organizations to safely stage live events during the pandemic and as the calendar turns to fall, ESPN will be home to fights that will excite boxing enthusiasts and capture the attention of casual fans.”
 
Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) enters this bout coming off a scintillating decision win over British star Luke Campbell last August in front of a sold-out O2 Arena in London. A two-time Olympic gold medalist who went 396-1 in the amateur ranks, Lomachenko tied a boxing record by winning a world title in his third pro fight. He is a former featherweight and junior lightweight world champion who won the lightweight crown in May 2018 with a body shot knockout over Jorge Linares. In seven years as a pro, Lomachenko is 13-1 with 9 knockouts in world title fights and is ranked by many pundits as this generation’s most accomplished pugilist. From 2016-2017, he made four consecutive fighters quit on their stools, earning him the “No-Mas-chenko” moniker. 
 
Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), the brash Brooklynite who initially gained attention because of his post-fight “Fortnite” dances and backflip celebrations, soon emerged as boxing’s most charismatic young superstar following his 2016 pro debut. He was the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year, a campaign punctuated by a one-punch, first-round knockout over Mason Menard on the Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza undercard. Following the Menard knockout, he donned the jersey of Kyler Murray, who’d won the Heisman Trophy earlier that evening. Lopez climbed the rankings in 2019 with wins over Diego Magdaleno, Edis Tatli and Masayoshi Nakatani.
 
Last December, Lopez knocked out Richard Commey in two rounds to win the IBF world title. Sitting ringside was Lomachenko, who entered the ring during the post-fight pandemonium. Arum waved him over to take a photo with the newly crowned champion. The stage had been set. #LomaLopez was going to happen.
 
The lightweight unification battle is only the tip of the Top Rank on ESPN boxing iceberg. Here’s what else is in store in October.
 
Saturday, October 3
Jose Zepeda (32-2, 2 NC, 25 KOs) vs. Ivan Baranchyk (20-1, 13 KOs)
MGM Grand Las Vegas
10 Rounds, Junior Welterweight
ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT
 
Zepeda and Baranchyk were scheduled to meet inside the “Bubble” July 7, but a training injury to Baranchyk forced a postponement. Zepeda, a two-time world title challenger, instead fought Kendo Castaneda on July 7, cruising to a unanimous win. Baranchyk formerly held the IBF junior welterweight world title, defeating Anthony Yigit via seventh-round TKO to pick up the vacant title in October 2018. In May 2019, he was dethroned by current WBA/IBF world champion Josh Taylor in a competitive 12-round battle. He rebounded last October with a fourth-round stoppage over Gabriel Bracero at Madison Square Garden. The winner of this bout will be ranked No. 1 by the WBC at 140 pounds for the belt currently held by Jose Ramirez.
 
Friday, October 9
Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) vs. Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs)
MGM Grand Las Vegas
12 Rounds, Vacant WBO Featherweight World Title
ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
 
After five defenses of his WBO junior featherweight world title, Navarrete is ready to conquer the featherweight division. The “Mexican Iron Man” and boxing’s most active world champion, Navarrete fought six world title bouts in just over 14 months (December 2018 to February 2020). He last fought a non-title bout against Uriel Lopez on June 20 in Mexico City, scoring a sixth-round TKO. The WBO No. 1 featherweight contender, Navarrete has won 27 consecutive bouts, including 14 of his last 15 by stoppage. Villa, from Salinas, Calif., has defeated contenders Alexei Collado, Jose Enrique Vivas and Luis Alberto Lopez in his last three bouts to earn the world title shot.
 
Friday, October 23
Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) vs. Adam Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs)
Moscow
12 Rounds, Beterbiev’s WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight World Titles
ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
Undercard: ESPN+, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT
 
Boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio, Beterbiev will fight for the first time since knocking out Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a highly anticipated world title unification bout last October. A two-time Russian Olympian, Beterbiev has never fought in his home nation as a professional and will do so against Deines, a fellow Russian who now calls Germany home. Deines has won two in a row since a decision loss to Meng Fanlong, while Beterbiev has made three world title defenses since winning the vacant IBF world title with a 12th-round stoppage over Enrico Koelling in November 2017.
 
In the ESPN-televised co-feature, a WBO light heavyweight world title eliminator, No. 1-ranked contender Umar Salamov will face No. 2-ranked contender Maxim Vlasov, with the winner expected to fight Joe Smith Jr. for the vacant world title. Both Salamov and Vlasov recently signed promotional contracts with Top Rank. 
 
Saturday, October 31
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) vs. Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs)
MGM Grand Las Vegas
12 Rounds, Inoue’s IBF/WBA Bantamweight World Titles
ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT
 
A three-division world champion and a consensus Top 5 pound-for-pound fighter, Inoue makes his Las Vegas debut and his fourth bantamweight world title defense against a man who is ranked in the Top 5 by every major sanctioning organization. Inoue is coming off a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire last November, a fight named by many outlets as the Fight of the Year. Prior to the Donaire bout, Inoue knocked out four consecutive opponents in three rounds or less, including a second-round stoppage over Emmanuel Rodriguez to win the IBF world title. Inoue’s ring return was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has a stiff test in Moloney, an Australian boxer-puncher who made his “Bubble” debut June 25 with a knockout over Leonardo Baez. Moloney has won four straight bouts, all by knockouts, since a controversial split decision loss to Rodriguez for the IBF world title.

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Two-time lightweight champ Jean Baptiste Mendy dies from cancer at the age of 57

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

The WBA reported the death of two-time lightweight champion Jean Baptiste Mendy (55-8-3, 31 KO’s) at the age of 57 on September 2. The Senegalese-born but French-nationalized man, residing in Paris,  was struggling with aggressive pancreatic cancer in recent months. He was diagnosed in June of this year according to his son. Baptiste had an eighteen year pro career, from 1983 through 2000.

Mendy first captured the EBU European Lightweight title from Antonio Renzo on March 27, 1992. He successfully defended his laurels nine times from 1992 to 1995.

After winning the EBU European Lightweight belt, Mendy conquered both the WBC and WBA lightweight titles. His first title shot was a loss to WBC ruler Miguel Angel Gonzalez, but when Gonzalez vacated two years later, Mendy defeated Lamar Murphy by unanimous decision on April 20, 1996 to become a champion. He then  lost the title quickly to Stevie Johnston by split decision on March 1, 1997.

Eleven months later, Mendy challenged and lost a WBA junior middleweight  title shot to then champion Khalid Rahilou in 1998. After that fight, Mendy dropped back down to the lightweight class,  and became a two-time champion in 1998 when he outboxed previously undefeated and long-time title holder Orzubek Nazarov on May 16, 1998 in Paris, France, who never fought again. Mendy made one defense then dropped the title to Julien Lorcy on April 10, 1999. Three fights later, Mendy retired at the age of 37.. 

He later went on to work as a storekeeper in Arcueil, a Parisian suburb.

“My dream has always been to study psychology, but how do you study when you don’t have money?” he told Le Figaro in 1994, as he was preparing to face Miguel Angel Gonzalez in his first world title fight . “So at a key point in my life I tried to be someone in the ring and have a pretty [successful] career.”

Well a success he was.

Rest in Peace, Champ.

 

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Joe’s KO: Smith Knocks Out Alvarez
Rob Brant returns with a TKO victory

CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ STORY

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All New!!

Famous Boxing QuotesPage

Check out new page!!!

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Bare-Knuckle Corner

JOHN GULLY

England Boxing Champion

An English Renaissance Man

CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ THE BARE KNUCKLE BOXING STORY

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Mike Tyson Joins Shark Week 2020

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

Former heavyweight king Mike Tyson will go head to head with a shark as a way to overcome his fear of returning to the ring at 54 years old.Legendary boxer Mike Tyson is training to make his way back in the ring with a very unlikely sparring partner. “Iron Mike” will go toe to fin with one of the ocean’s top apex predators when Shark Week 2020 begins on Sunday, August 9.

That’s right, the heavyweight champ is kicking of the most wonderful week of the year by throwing his hat in the underwater ring during TYSON VS. JAWS: RUMBLE ON THE REEF.

With famed ring announcer Michael Buffer calling the shots, these two heavyweights will square off underwater, where Mike Tyson will try to score a TKO over the massive shark.

And don’t worry, no sharks were harmed (or bitten) in the making of this episode.

“I took on this challenger to overcome fears I still deal with in life,” said Tyson. “I equate this with overcoming my fear of getting back into the ring at 54 years old. I learned from this experience doing Shark Week that whatever intimidates me, I am still able to step up to the challenge of overcoming anything that would prevent me from accomplishing my life’s mission of reaching my highest potential in life and bringing me closer to God.”

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  • Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.

    in exhibition boxing match

    Pushed to November 28

  •  Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

     7pm ET  PPV $49.99

The exhibition bout between boxing legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. will be pushed back from its Sept. 12 date to Nov. 28, according to a report by RingTV.com.

The event, which is sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission and set to be held at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, will be streamed on pay-per-view. A source told ESPN on Sunday that there have been no official adjustments made to the contract at this time, but there have been discussions over the weekend in regard to a change of date.

The source confirmed that the organizers of this event needed more time to secure international television deals and tie up loose ends in regards to the pay-per-view.

Billed as the Match of the Legends,  Mike Tyson finally has an opponent for his return to the ring. Tyson will take on fellow boxing legend and former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition fight scheduled for September 12.

Tyson had been linked to a potential fight with former rival Evander Holyfield as “Iron Mike” explored the possibility of fighting exhibition bouts for charity. One thing Tyson was clear about was that he only wanted to fight legitimate boxers, not celebrities or athletes crossing over from other sports.

The cost of the event will set you back $49.99 on traditional pay-per-view. You can order the fight from any PPV platform or cable company. Tyson vs Jones will take place September 12th at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The undercard will feature YouTube star Jake Paul taking on retired NBA star Nate Robinson. Also rumors that former WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack will fight against TBA. And yes iconic musical performances throughout the night.

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Roberto Duran

  • – Defeats COVID-19 – 

The World Boxing Association (WBA) re-posted a video announcing that boxing legend Roberto Duran, 69, was discharged from the hospital and will continue his COVID-19 recovery at home. He is reportedly recuperating with his family and is in better health. 

Duran was initially hospitalized on June 25 and was having cold-like symptoms. Due to previous conditions related to lung health, he and his family made the decision to be cautious and seek medical treatment.

Top names from the fighting world including Sugar Ray Leonard and Canelo Alvarez sent Duran well wishes and hopes of a speedy recovery. The video messages were posted on Durán’s Instagram story.

Freddie Brown (L), Roberto Duran (C) and Ray Arcel (R) before the first Leonard-Duran fight formed a trio that shook the boxing world.

A video of the 69-year-old was posted on Twitter and Instagram, with Duran giving a thumbs up while medical professionals around him clapped for his recovery.

Duran wrote a post on Instagram regarding his status, which translated to English reads:

“Good afternoon my people! Today, with God’s favor, I returned home after battling the COVID-19 virus. It was a World Championship fight, which I could win as a team, with the support, love and dedication of a medical team, who not only took care of me, but of all the patients, who, like me, fought in the hospital against this virus, which does not discriminate against legends, world titles, social status, race, religion, etc … To all those people who continue in the fight, I send a lot of strength and my prayers, to their relatives so that they do not lose their hopes and know that God is in control. To all my fans around the world, I thank you for praying for me and for all your messages of encouragement. I will never tire of thanking all the doctors, nurses, who give their best every day, regardless of the risk they take. I may be a former World Champion, but you are the true CHAMPIONS OF LIFE. I care for you all, please # stay in the house, follow the # quarantine and under no circumstances let anyone enter your house. Stone hands.”

Unfortunately, Roberto Duran’s wife of over forty (40) years Mia Felicidad Duran has recently been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus and is hospitalized.

____________

The USA Boxing News

Book Review

 

Reviewed by John Rinaldi

The legendary heavyweights of the late 19th Century have always held a fascination with me.  The colorful figures of a bygone era engaged in fisticuffs at a time when the old-fashioned Victorian period was merging into the early modern Edwardian period is always interesting to read about.  The heavyweights at the time were a talented lot who were prepared to fight with bare fists, or 3-oz gloves in bouts that were set for 3 rounds all the way up to infinity.

 Author Ron J. Jackson took on enthralling subject in penning a tome about a pugilistic contest between two local San Franciso fighters. The notables on hand are Joseph Bartlett Choynski and James John Corbett, or better known as Joe “The California Terror” Choynski and “Gentleman” Jim Corbett.  Both men were born in San Francisco, Choynski on September 1, 1866, and Corbett on November 8, 1868. 

Jackson begins his book by describing the time period of the late 1880s in San Francisco in all its glorious detail.  Of all the fighters in area, the two standouts were Choynski and Corbett.

Corbett sparring with Jeffries as he prepares to challenge heavyweight king Jack Johnson.

At the time in San Franciso, boxing contests were either legal “exhibitions” at lavish Athletic Clubs, or illegal prizefights at such locales as cleared wooded areas, barns, farm fields, or just about anywhere a 16 ft. ring could be erected, including a barge!

Corbett and Choynski are depicted as fearless individuals who were afraid of no one.  Each had their share of fans, which is why the city was anxiously awaiting the bout between the two gladiators.

The Author gives the reader an understanding of each pugilist.  Choynski was known as a quiet, vicious two-fisted slugger, while Corbett was the brash, “Fancy Dan” fighter, who used his dazzling footwork and ring smarts, as much as his fists.  Although Joe was considered the bigger puncher of the two, Corbett packed a wallop in his right hand and left hook, and had a spearing left jab that he smashed into the face of his foes.

Joe Choynski

“Fight to the Finish – The Barge Battle of 1889” goes into all the events that lead the reader into the ultimate Armageddon. Along the way there is intrigue, excitement and humor.  By the time the two combatants eventually meet at the barge in the quiet port town of Benecia,  CA, the readers are on the edge of their seats awaiting the action.

The description of the ultimate battle that was scheduled as a “fight to the finish” – whereas its conclusion would be when one fighter was unable to continue the hostilities, is written in such striking detail that this reviewer felt he was on the barge witnessing one of the greatest and most brutal battles ever seen in the prize ring.  This reviewer was aware of the fight, but through his intense research, the Author found so many nuggets of material that have never been written in a book before, which transforms the event into something really special, and even more blood-thirsty!

The movie Gentleman Jim  from 1941 depicts the Barge Battle of 1889 with Errol Flynn portraying James J. Corbett.

After the memorable engagement, both fighters would go on to have illustrious careers.  Corbett’s next big bout was on May 21, 1891 at the California Athletic Club in another “fight to the finish” against the top-ranked heavyweight challenger of the time, Peter “The Black Prince” Jackson, a Black fighter that reigning heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan avoided. Although Jackson, 197, was the bigger and more experienced fighter, Corbett, 185, took all Jackson could handle and was on the verge of winning before the bout was stopped after 61 grueling rounds and called a No-Contest.

L-R George Lloyd and Errol Flynn depicting Choynski and Corbett during the Barge Battle scene in Gentleman Jim. 

On September 7, 1892 at the Olympic Club in New Orleans, LA, Corbett, 178, would KO the 4-1 favorite, heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan, 212, in 21 rounds to capture the title and become one of the most famous fighters of all time.

James Corbett in his boxing prime.

As for Choynski, although he never received a shot at the Heavyweight Championship, he did fight four men who would be future heavyweight kings.  On November 30, 1897, Choynski, 167, took on James J. Jeffries, 219, in a 20-round contest at the National Athletic Club in San Francisco, CA. Although most felt that Choynski had done enough against the undefeated giant Jeffries, the bout was declared a draw.  It was reported that Jeffries said that Choynski was the hardest puncher he ever faced and at one point of the fight, Joe drove a right hand that smashed into Jeffries’ mouth, driving his lower lip into his front two teeth, which needed a lip incision to ease the pain. Although Jeffries would KO Bob Fitzsimmons two years later to capture the Heavyweight Title, he would never give Choynski a shot.

Against two future heavyweight kings, Joe fought a 6-round draw against Bob Fitzsimmons on June 17, 1894 and a 6-round draw with Marvin Hart on November 16, 1903.

The biggest win of Choynski’s career was against the future heavyweight legend Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson.  On February 25, 1901, Choynski KO’d Johnson in the third round with a right hand to the jaw in Johnson’s hometown of Galveston, TX, at the Harmony Hall.

Joe Choynski sparring with James Jeffries as he gets ready to take on Jack Johnson in 1910.

Both Corbett and Choynski would later train Jim Jeffries for his comeback fight against heavyweight champion Jack Johnson that took place on July 4, 1910 in Reno, NV.  In looking at the pitiful way Jeffries was beaten in 15 rounds by Johnson, it appears that both Corbett and Choynski could have given a stiffer challenge!

Joe Choynski posed shot.

Although Corbett had died in 1933, in 1942, Warner Brothers came out with the film “Gentleman Jim” with Errol  Flynn wonderfully portraying Corbett.  Choynski, who would later die the following year in 1943, was able to see his bout with Corbett portrayed on the silver screen.  The movie version of the barge fight was pretty well done with George Lloyd playing Choynski.

Mr. Jackson has done an amazing job with this book, which has turned out to be one of my all-time favorites.  The story of the ferocious confrontation with all of its thrilling detail between two men who would become fistic immortals is a must-read for any boxing fan.  It is simply unforgettable.

This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The book can be purchased in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble bookstores, Barnes and Noble’s website, and at bookstores around the globe.

____________

Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard I

The Brawl in Montreal

June 20, 1980

  • -Thoughts 40 Years Later-

WBC Welterweight Title: Roberto Duran (L) in action vs Sugar Ray Leonard (R) during fight at Olympic Stadium. (CLICK PHOTO OF THE FIGHT TO VIEW VIDEO THE FIGHT FEATURING FAMED ANNOUNCER HOWARD COSELL)

By John Rinaldi, Salvatore Alaimo, and Alex Rinaldi

On June 20, 1980, three cousins, future USA Boxing News Editors and Publishers John and Alex Rinaldi and their cousin Salvatore Alaimo, who became Head Writer for The USA Boxing News, were on hand for the Immortal Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard Brawl in Montreal, along with Joseph Rinaldi, the founder of The USA Boxing News.

Leonard, 145, entered the bout a 9-5 favorite and was guaranteed $7.5 million and 80% of the closed-circuit revenue.
 
Duran, 146, was guaranteed $1.5 million and zero per cent of the closed-circuit revenue (the promoters were received the remaining 20% of the closed circuit revenue).
 
The UPI polled 30 sportswriters prior to the fight, with 13 predicting Leonard (5 by decision win, 8 by KO win), while 17 picked Duran to win (16 by knockout win, 1 by decision win).
 
The fight was held at the Olympic Stadium before a crowd of 46,317 fans.
 
The fight took place on June 20, 1980 and the re-broadcast on ABC’s Wide World of Sports was telecast on July 29, 1980.
 
Throughout the thrilling 15-round bout, Leonard averaged 50 punches per round, with 18 connecting, while Duran averaged 60 punches per round, with 21 connecting.
 

Of course, the four of them all picked to Duran to win.

In turned out to be a watershed moment for the four of them as they would afterwards take the excitement of that fight and start the publishing of The USA Boxing News two years later in 1982.

Below are some thoughts of the surviving three – John Rinaldi, Salvatore Alaimo, and Alex Rinaldi, forty years after that landmark fight, from e-mail correspondences.

It is a great indication and collection of what fight fans do throughout the world discussing fights of the past.

 
WBC Welterweight Title: Roberto Duran (R) in action vs Sugar Ray Leonard during fight at Olympic Stadium. Montreal, Canada 6/20/1980

WBC Welterweight Title: Roberto Duran (L) in action vs Sugar Ray Leonard (R) during fight at Olympic Stadium. Montreal, Canada 6/20/1980

John Rinaldi

Well, tonight represents the 40th Anniversary of the Best Night Ever of my lifetime, with Roberto Duran’s win over Sugar Ray Leonard. In all my years of watching fights, no bout I have ever seen beats it. The only one that would have come close was if Joe Frazier came out for the 15th round against Muhammad Ali in the “Thriller in Manila” to KO Ali. Since that did not happen, then Duran’s win is the highlight of my life.

People can say all they want about hypes for boxing events and anticipation. All I can remember in my life are three bouts that had the world’s interest, and actually exceeded everyone’s expectations – and those were Frazier-Ali I, Ali-Frazier III and Duran-Leonard I.

On that night on June 20, 2020, all I remember is my beloved father, you two guys and Sal’s friends going crazy as Duran showed up in the best condition of his life to face off with Sugar Ray Leonard. Later the way Leonard took apart Hearns and Hagler, it makes Duran’s great win even more impressive. NO ONE in the history of the welterweight division (also go from lightweight to middleweight) would have beaten Duran that night.

Credit must be given to Leonard for lasting out the full 15 rounds, when I believe if it were Tommy Hearns that night, Hearns would have been KO’d.

Of course another thing that made that night special was the presence of my beloved Dad right there with us cheering at every punch Duran smashed into Leonard. Afterwards, when we were all hugging each other, I have never been so happy. I think you guys and my father felt the same way.

It is sad that our parents are gone and Duran has grown old and no longer fights. I believe that no fighter has ever taken his place with the mixture of charisma, ferocity and punching power that he had.

So as this day goes on, I think of you guys, Duran and my father. For one brief evening, everything in the world stopped and we were mesmerized for 60 minutes. It is rare when after all the planning and anticipation, that an outcome could turn out so perfect. Life is not like that, but that night certainly was.

It took only one fearsome boxer and all of us together to make the ultimate lifetime memory.

Leonard (L) and Duran (R) slugging it out.

 Salvatore Alaimo

Reading the boxing magazines and seeing the interviews leading up to the fight built up so my anticipation and excitement in me about that fight, at age 15. It was definitely one of the greatest nights of my life, too. Yes, he was in awesome shape and was relentless. I don’t think anyone would have beaten him that night either. The judges’ scorecards did not come close to reflecting the fight.

Yes, we felt the same way as your Dad. It was great to have him with us and I enjoyed seeing how elated he was.  I was on a high for several days afterwards. The Garden was sold out, and I remember the railing next to me shaking when the crowd cheered. Epic, titanic and thrilling.

There hasn’t been anyone like Duran since and there will never be. His accomplishments were remarkable. My Dad used to have a saying about people he admired very much, like your Dad that he shared with me. “Son, they don’t make them like that anymore.” They don’t. 

We have heard many times that Sugar Ray’s ego got in the way and he decided to brawl with Duran instead of boxing, as if the assumption was if be boxed he would have won. Rarely, if ever is it mentioned that Leonard had no choice that night in Montreal. He wasn’t dictating the fight, Duran was by relentlessly stalking him and cutting off the ring. That’s the more accurate narrative, so I think the American sportswriters got it wrong. Think about Ali, the all-time master at being a boxer. Certain fighters, like Frazier and a few others pressured him enough that Ali’s ability to dictate the fight, especially pacing, was taken away.

I want to express again my appreciation for you pushing us to go to that fight. To see our hero and idol perform at the height of his powers was awesome. 

Thanks for reminding us of how great that June night at the Garden for what was then the most anticipated sporting event of that time. It broke the all-time closed circuit record for any fight.

We will reflect again on June 16, 2023 for the 40th anniversary of another special evening.

Duran R) stabbing Leonard (L) with a thunderous right.

 Alex Rinaldi

The fight was certainly the greatest night of my life too.

It was one of those nights where all the stars align to form something wonderful.

It also involved arguably two of the greatest boxers who ever laced on a pair of gloves. To make a great fight it takes two special fighters to engage in an all-out combat war.

That’s what made this one monumental. They both gave and both took powerful punches for 15 thrilling rounds.

Duran was at best of bests, virtually unbeatable that night. No one in any era would have been able to beat him. He had the speed, punching power, and great defense to demolish all comers, which he did to Leonard.

What made it mostly memorable was that our father was there. Before the fight some big guys behind us were touting how Sugar Ray was going to kill Duran.

Then when Duran staggered Leonard in round 2 my dad turned to them and shouted, “There’s your Sugar Ray!!”

It is the comment that has become folklore in our family, and has forever immortalized my father in the hearts and minds of our family and to the readers of The USA Boxing News.

Life is filled with so many ups and downs and many losses, but on one night 40 years ago Roberto Duran carried the torch to victory in the greatest fight and night of his legendary career. With that notable and astonishing victory, he took all of us with him to bask and share in the glory, a glory so brilliant and everlasting that had it never happened our lives would have never been the same.

How could we not be grateful forever to Roberto Duran when he gave us so much joy that his wins have become benchmark events of our lives.

Duran daring Leonard to hit him in round 15.

Duran (L) daring Leonard (R) to hit him in round 15.

Salvatore Alaimo

I remember those guys sitting behind us.

On the significance of Duran’s place in our life and of that fight and that night, Amen Cousin John.

John Rinaldi

Thanks for your great stories. Of Course, I put on YouTube and watched the full Wide World of Sports replay of it with Howard Cosell with the pre- and post-fight interviews. Duran is funny in them.  Cosell did the best commentary of that fight. Besides that great left hook in Round Two, Duran staggered Leonard a few times with right hands in subsequent rounds.

Later when he fought Moore and Barkley, the three of us where there in person at ringside to make up the #2 and #3 greatest nights of our lives.

WBC Welterweight Title: Roberto Duran victorious with promoter Don King after winning fight vs Sugar Ray Leonard with unanimous decision at Olympic Stadium. Montreal, Canada 6/20/1980

Epilogue

Joseph Rinaldi passed away in September 1983.

Roberto Duran would supply us with the next two great events of our lives – Roberto Duran vs. Davey Moore in 1983 and Roberto Duran vs. Iran “The Blade” Barkley in 1989.

Leonard-Duran 7-Up Commercial (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO)

Prior to the fight beginning the legendary broadcaster Howard Cosell, after mentioning Sugar Ray Leonard’s great achievements coming into the fight,  wryly remarked, “… Duran, Leonard hasn’t faced the likes of him.”  

Well, it is fair to say that no one who ever graced the pized the ring at any time in the history of the sport, ever faced the likes of a fighter like that June 20, 1980 Roberto Duran.

ESPN airs BE WATER  a 30 For 30 documentary on  Bruce Lee 

Bruce Lee - Be Like Water CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW UPCOMING SHOW)

Bruce Lee – Be Like Water (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW UPCOMING SHOW)

By Alexander Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

With sports disappearing from the airways quicker than tourists from a leper colony, the sports network giant ESPN has been scrambling trying to fill its entertainment time slots with anything even remotely resembling sports.

Thankfully for them, the network’s June’s schedule heads into kind of martial arts territory with the documentary Be Water, which has been described as “an intimate look at the life and motivations of martial arts legend Bruce Lee.”

According to reports, “Be Water is a gripping, fascinating, intimate look at not just the final, defining years of Lee’s life, but the complex, often difficult, and seismic journey that led to Lee’s ultimate emergence as a singular icon in the histories of film, martial arts, and even the connection between the eastern and western worlds.”

The movie was initially intended to be screened at the South by Southwest film festival back in March after a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, but the entire event was canceled due to this horrible COVID virus. Because of this, instead of the limited handful that would have been viewing the documentary at these limited viewed film festivals,  now everyone will enjoy the television premiere of the film directed by Bao Nguyen on June 7.

The film chronicles Lee’s earliest days, as the son of a Chinese opera star born while his father was on tour in San Francisco, and then raised in Hong Kong over what became at times a troubled childhood.

Bruce Lee then was sent to live in America at the age of 18, and he began teaching Kung Fu in Seattle, and soon established a following that included his future wife, Linda. His ambition ever rising, Lee eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he took a crack at breaking into American film and television.

Former USA Boxing News Head Writer Salvatore Alaimo stands in front of Bruce Lee Statue in Hong Kong. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE BRUCE LEE INTERVIEW FROM 1971)

Although Lee found some success as an actor in such iconic shows as The Green Hornet, where his super hero character of Kato became a relative household name to children and adults in America, and especially in Asian countries such as Hong Kong, somehow stupid Hollywood was not yet ready for an Asian leading man.  When he was eventually offered a lucrative movie deal in Hong Kong, Lee returned to his former homeland to make the films that would in fact go on to make him a legend. His success in Hong Kong soon swept across the ocean to America where his success became a supernova, especially after the posthumous release of the movie Enter The Dragon in 1973 that catapulted him to realms of an eternal iconic flame . 

Be Water is told entirely by the family, friends, and collaborators who knew Bruce Lee best, with an extraordinary trove of archive film providing an evocative, immersive visual tapestry that captures Lee’s charisma, his passion, his philosophy, and the eternal beauty and wonder of his art.

So enduring has his fame remained that two statues, one in Hong Kong, and the other in Los Angeles’ Chinatown section, have been erected to honor in perpetuity the truly original and one and only Bruce Lee.

The legendary Bruce Lee and his boxing background and legacy

From the squared ring – to Kato in The Green Hornet – and finally Enter the Dragon

Story by Alex and John Rinaldi

Without question, the greatest and most famous Kung Fu fighter and Martial Arts artist of all-time was Bruce Lee (1940-1973). So much so, that even 47 years after his untimely death, his name, likeness, and legend still remain in the psyche and minds of the public. He was and still remains the eternal tough guy, with hands and feet that were faster than light, athleticism beyond that of most gifted athletes and an attitude that knows only how to win and win big.

He is not only considered one of the most influential pop icons of the 20th century, but fellow martial arts artist and action film star Jackie Chan, who also had a small part in the film Enter the Dragon, compared Bruce Lee to a “super hero.”

Kareem Abdul Jabbar vs. Bruce Lee in Game of Death. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW FIGHT SCENE)

That is why it is not unusual to see his poster, usually the one from his legendary film Enter the Dragon, adorn the walls of college dormitories, frat houses, and martial arts centers across the world.

Bruce Lee’s nickname from childhood to all through adulthood was the “Little Dragon,” and he studied Wing Chun Kung Fu with Yip Man and later revolutionized martial arts with jeet kune do. His version of martial arts was exciting and it thrilled audiences from his days as Kato in the famous 1960’s television series The Green Hornet to his final film The Game of Death. Of course, it was not the martial arts he utilized that made him famous – it was he who made martial arts famous.

More importantly, it was also his lifelong love of and respect of the sport of boxing that helped him to establish his singular and unique form of fighting.

Van Williams and Bruce Lee as the Green Hornet and Kato. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO OF GREEN HORNET FIGHT FOOTAGE)

Dan lnosanto and Richard Bustillo, two of Bruce Lee’s most famous students, described the connection between boxing and Bruce Lee’s jeet kune do. “That’s how Bruce Lee developed jeet kune do. He put all the arts together,” said Bustillo. “Kicking distance, he taught, comes first. You have the longest reach with your feet. Close the kicking range and you’re in hand distance. Bruce Lee was first a martial artist, and he went out of his way to prove that he really had a method of fighting, that it was as disciplined and more scientific than the older, classical arts.”

Dan Inosanto agreed, “Most people aren’t aware of it, but Bruce Lee was very into boxing. Scientific boxing,” said Inosanto.

The “Little Dragon” competed in boxing matches throughout high school and compiled a record of 8-0 (8 KOs).  In 1958, while a high school student at St. Francis Xavier in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee had a reputation of getting into fights in and out of school. He also had a reputation of never losing a single one of them. Because of this Brother Edward, who was one of Lee’s teachers, suggested that Bruce join the school’s boxing team so that the youngster could better channel his fighting spirit in a more productive and positive way.

Batman and Robin with the Green Hornet and Kato. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO OF GREEN HORNET AND KATO AND BATMAN AND ROBIN)

Loving the sport of boxing as he did, Lee joined the team. Before Bruce became a member of the team, his high school’s arch rival was another private school named King George V School made up entirely of British boys who had embraced boxing since they were toddlers. They also were famous for taunting and making fun of the Chinese youths who were enrolled at St. Francis Xavier.

Because of this, the King George V School’s boxing team continually reigned as the boxing champions of the province.

The most gifted boxer of them all was Gary Elms, a British tough, who was not only undefeated, but also considered the best high school boxer in the entire country. He also happened to be at the weight of St. Francis Xavier’s newest boxing recruit Bruce Lee.

Although Bruce Lee was a member of the boxing team, he still continued his martial arts training with Wong Shun Leung and Wing Chun. By the time the Boxing Tournament began on March 29, 1958, Lee was in superb condition. The preliminary matches were first and continued until only two boys were left in each weight class. Then, the two remaining boys would fight for the championship.

Bruce Lee in a real fight. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO OF BRUCE LEE’S TOP TEN MOMENTS)

Bruce Lee fought three preliminary bouts and won them Dan Inosanto agreed, “Most people aren’t aware of it, but Bruce Lee was very into boxing. Scientific boxing,” said Inosanto.

The “Little Dragon” competed in boxing matches throughout high school and compiled a record of 8-0 (8 KO’s).  In 1958, while a high school student at St. Francis Xavier in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee had a reputation of getting into fights in and out of school. He also had a distinction of never losing a single one of them. Because of this, Brother Edward, who was one of Lee’s teachers, suggested that Bruce join the school’s boxing team so that the youngster could better channel his natural fighting spirit in a more productive and positive way.

Loving the sport of boxing as he did, Lee joined the team.  Before Bruce was a member of the squad, his high school’s arch rival was another private school named King George V School, made up primarily of cocky British boys, who had embraced boxing since they were toddlers. They also were famous for taunting and making fun of the Chinese youths who were enrolled at St. Francis Xavier. Because of this, the King George V School’s boxing team continually reigned as the pugilistic champions of the province.

Bruce Lee statue in Los Angeles' Chinatown

Bruce Lee statue in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW A SCENE FROM ENTER THE DRAGON MOVIE)

The most gifted boxer of them all was Gary Elms, a British tough, who was not only undefeated, but also considered the best high school boxer in the entire country. He also happened to be at the same weight of St. Francis Xavier’s newest boxing recruit – Bruce Lee.

Although Bruce was a member of the boxing team, he still continued his martial arts training with Wong Shun Leung and Wing Chun. As a result, by the time the Boxing Tournament began on March 29, 1958, Lee was in superb condition. The preliminary matches were first and continued until only two boys were left in each weight class. Then, the two remaining boxers would fight for the championship.

GreeN Hornet and Kato. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW ANOTHER SCENE FROM THE ICONIC TV SHOW)

GreeN Hornet and Kato. (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW ANOTHER SCENE FROM THE ICONIC TV SHOW)

Lee fought three preliminary bouts and won them all by first-round knockouts! This brought him to the final bout against none other than the dreaded Gary Elms, who was feared by everyone, everyone that is, except for Bruce Lee.Knowing that Bruce was new to boxing, never having seen him before at a tournament, or in a match prior to the 1958 Championships, Elms felt confident that his superior experience and boxing skills would help to win the title for the fourth straight year, and once again he believed that he would vanquish his foe by a devastating knockout.

Elms went after Lee in the first round crowding him to the ropes and trying to land the big knockout punch. Bruce was initially surprised by the excessive aggression and tried to back up out of harm’s way.

Bruce Lee statue in Hong Kong at night. Photo by Sal Alaimo. (Click photo to see  Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris – Full Fight)

In round two, Lee figured out his rival’s strategy and used Wing Chun learned blocks to make Elms miss, or hit only his gloves. He also began to counter punch the Brit, who was beginning to become frustrated at failing to hit his target.

In round three, Bruce, using his superior hand speed, went for the knockout. Before a  crowd of students and adults on hand, Lee, showing blazing hand quickness and with no mercy, went after Elms and blasted him with punches that Gary later said were “so fast they seemed like blurs.” To the shock of those on hand, especially the British contingent who was there to watch Elms win for the fourth straight time, Lee brutally knocked the Brit down and out to the canvas for the count of ‘ten.”

Bruce Lee from the movie Enter The Dragon. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE A FOOTAGE FROM THE FILM).

Bruce Lee from the movie Enter The Dragon. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE A FOOTAGE FROM THE FILM).

On account of Bruce’s win, his school went on to win the Boxing Title for the very first time and made the Chinese boys proud that one of their own had been so victorious, especially over a British lad.

When Bruce Lee eventually left Hong Kong to go to America in 1959, he left as both the 1958 School Boxing Champion and the 1958 Crown Colony Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong

As an adult, Bruce Lee further studied boxing techniques, which he claimed later influenced his Jeet Kune Do punches. In his book The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, which is a compilation of his personal notes, Lee wrote that he relied heavily on boxing principles in his martial arts. Lee referenced Jack Dempsey and Edwin L. Haislet’s book titled Boxing (1940) at least twenty times, and Lee also reportedly owned more than a hundred boxing books in his own private library.

Bruce Lee from the movie Enter The Dragon. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE A FOOTAGE FROM THE FILM).

Bruce Lee in flight. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE THE BEST OF BRUCE LEE).

Besides a vast boxing book collection, Bruce Lee owned one of the largest collections of fight films in the country and would often invite friends over to view them with him. It was said that Lee knew punches and styles of all the great and legendary champions from Kid Gavilan’s “bolo punch” to the six-inch punches of Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano, to the dazzling footwork of Willie Pep and Muhammad Ali.

According former heavyweight contender and Superman Villain Jack O’Halloran, who was also a very close friend of Bruce Lee, whenever a boxing move caught his interest, Lee, who was a southpaw, would rewind the film, then stand and turn his back to watch it in a mirror, and practice it till he got it right. Besides that, O’Halloran remarked that, “Bruce Lee would venture into the toughest areas of various cities and start a fight with gang members in order to enhance his fighting skills. Sometimes he would beat up more than ten guys at a time.”

On account of his boxing background, Bruce Lee radically changed martial arts forever. He was the first martial arts artist to disregard the traditional stance and, instead, engage and use a boxer’s stance. Lee, in effect, soon developed a new and dynamic style that would literally transcend martial arts fighting forever and also be and remain forever his trademark stance and fighting style. The very same one that would make Bruce Lee an icon for the ages.

As Bruce said about both life and his fighting style, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

Bruce Lee - Amazing Superhuman Speed. CLICK PHOTO TO SEE VIDEO OF HIS SPEED)

Bruce Lee – Amazing Superhuman Speed. CLICK PHOTO TO SEE VIDEO OF HIS SPEED)

The Sweet Science of boxing, as it has done throughout history, caused the emergence of a Chinese Superstar. Never before in the history of Motion Pictures or sports, had an Asian athlete and film actor ever ascend into the stratosphere of commercial and cultural success. In turn, he changed Western culture and the landscape therein forever.

Lee learned from Western culture, especially from boxing, and then confronted it. “In the United States,” he said, “Something about the Oriental, the true Oriental, should be shown.” And because of Bruce Lee, it was.

When children of the 1960’s watched television’s The Green Hornet, they were amazed by the fighting style of Kato played by Bruce Lee. He did things no one had ever seen before and everyone soon wanted to be just like him. He was the main focus of The Green Hornet and why most tuned into the show. Later on, when it was re-broadcast in Hong Kong as The Kato Show, Lee’s popularity exploded and he went there to begin what would soon become the emergence and birth of Kung Fu movies.

When American film companies saw the success of his Hong King films that were being shown in America, they decided to have Lee star in the American produced Enter the Dragon. With his fighting exploits, rock hard body, and nunchucks expertise, Bruce Lee became a legend, then eventually an icon, where he remains to this day.

Lee once said, “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” Because of his fame and his exploits, his life became a life worth remembering, and with it he achieved the key to immortality.

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‘… I think I’ve put up a good fight’: Dallas boxing icon and former World Welterweight champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Curtis Cokes dies at 82

By Henry Hascup

Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News

Curtis Cokes, Dallas’ first world champion and the undisputed soul of the city’s boxing scene for more than a half-century, died Friday of heart failure at 82.

Cokes had been in hospice for a week, said Erwin “Sparky” Sparks, his partner at the Home of Champions gym.

Curtis Cokes

Former Undisputed Welterweight Champion Curtis Cokes

Back in the day before titles were divided and sub-divided, Cokes held the world welterweight title from 1966-69. Quincy Taylor, who trained under Cokes, and DeSoto’s Errol Spence are the only Dallas-area boxers to win world titles since.

Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003, Cokes, a classic counterpuncher at 5-8, 147 pounds, wasn’t wildly popular among fight fans because he wasn’t a brawler. That was by design.

“The name of the sport is boxing, not fighting,” Cokes told The Dallas Morning News in 2013. “You can play football, you can play basketball, but you can’t play boxing. It’s serious business where you can get hurt every time you step into the ring.

“It’s an art to hit and not be hit.”

Artist or not, Cokes could hit.

 “He wanted the other guy to make a mistake,” said Steve Crosson, a longtime ring official. “And when he unloaded that right hand, he was devastating.”

Cokes came of age in an era when black fighters weren’t allowed to compete in Golden Gloves. His progress also was likely hindered by the fact that he didn’t work under a world-class trainer or promoter.

Cokes got by on his natural athleticism — he was all-state in basketball as well as baseball at Booker T. Washington, played shortstop on a traveling semipro baseball team and once got a tryout with the Dodgers — and his intuitive ring smarts.

Fighting primarily at the old Sportatorium or Memorial Auditorium, Cokes worked his way up the ladder slowly. He had 27 bouts in Texas, including one in Mexico, before earning a spot on a big-time card. He lost to Luis Rodriguez but gained a fan in Rodriguez’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, who also worked with a young heavyweight named Cassius Clay. Dundee told Cokes he’d like to train him, too, but he’d have to move to Miami. Cokes would also receive invitations to train in St. Louis, Houston and Los Angeles. He remained in his hometown instead.

On Aug. 24, 1966, he finally got his big chance: a unanimous 15-round decision over Manny Gonzalez for the vacant World Boxing Association welterweight title. He added the World Boxing Council title three months later when he won a 15-round unanimous decision over France’s Jean Josselin at Memorial Auditorium.

Cokes got by on his natural athleticism — he was all-state in basketball as well as baseball at Booker T. Washington, played shortstop on a traveling semipro baseball team and once got a tryout with the Dodgers — and his intuitive ring smarts.

Fighting primarily at the old Sportatorium or Memorial Auditorium, Cokes worked his way up the ladder slowly. He had 27 bouts in Texas, including one in Mexico, before earning a spot on a big-time card. He lost to Luis Rodriguez but gained a fan in Rodriguez’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, who also worked with a young heavyweight named Cassius Clay. Dundee told Cokes he’d like to train him, too, but he’d have to move to Miami. Cokes would also receive invitations to train in St. Louis, Houston and Los Angeles. He remained in his hometown instead.

On Aug. 24, 1966, he finally got his big chance: a unanimous 15-round decision over Manny Gonzalez for the vacant World Boxing Association welterweight title. He added the World Boxing Council title three months later when he won a 15-round unanimous decision over France’s Jean Josselin at Memorial Auditorium.

Nearly 50 years after the fact, Dickie Cole, who refereed Cokes’ win, called the night of Nov. 28, 1966, “maybe the most memorable in Dallas’ boxing history.”

“Curtis wasn’t a punk kid who won the title,” Cole told The News in 2013. “He was almost 30 years old and had paid his dues. He struggled to get there. Dallas never did him any favors. And there he was with that hammer he had for a right hand, winning as our champion.”

Only 6,000 showed up at Memorial Auditorium to see the hometown champ add another belt. The city’s ruling class was slow to embrace its first world champ. Only after the intervention of the Dallas Cowboys and the team’s black players in particular did the city fete Cokes with a parade.

“If he had been white,” former Cowboy Willie Townes told The News in 1987, “I’m sure he would have been the toast of the town.”

Cokes fought 13 times while he held the title before losing to Jose Napoles at the Forum in Los Angeles on April 18, 1969. His right eye closed, Cokes was unable to get up for the bell for the 14th round. He lost the rematch, too.

“He didn’t whip me so good the first time,” Cokes joked to Laurence Cole, “so I went back for seconds.”

Laurence Cole, Dickie’s son, trained under Cokes before embarking on a career as a world-class referee.

“He was a classy man,” Laurence Cole said. “Look at the times he grew through, what he struggled through, yet he was never bitter.”

Said Crosson: “He was always a consummate gentleman, without ego. Just a very fine person.”

Cokes went 62-14-4, according to boxrec.com. Once his career was over, Cokes trained many young fighters at his gym, including Kirk Johnson, a Canadian heavyweight who challenged for the WBA title in 2002. Cokes even owned a Dallas nightclub. But financial problems plagued him. The Internal Revenue Service once confiscated his entire purse, $11,000, to pay back taxes. Near the end of a career that covered 80 fights, he filed for bankruptcy.

He took it all in stride, including the slights, and said he had no regrets.

“I have done things my way my whole life because that’s the way it had to be,” he said in 2013. “On the other hand, I never had to take orders from anyone.

“And I think I’ve put up a good fight.”

Cokes is survived by two brothers, Joe and Robert, a sister, Mary Helen Cokes, and five children. Funeral services are pending.

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Australian boxing legend Hector Thompson who gamely fought and challenged the great Roberto Duran for the world Lightweight championship on June 2, 1973 and Antonio Cervantes  for the Super Lightweight Title on November 15, 1975,  passed away at age 70

By Brendan Bradford

Australian boxing is in mourning after the passing of the legendary Hector Thompson in Brisbane early on Wednesday morning. A former Australian and Commonwealth Light-Welterweight Champion, Thompson fought 87 times in a 10-year professional career. 

He was 70 years old.

World Title Challenger Hector Thompson held the Australian and Commonwealth Light Welterweight Title from 1972 until 1977.

Hector Thompson
A slick ring practitioner and a powerful body puncher, Thompson fought for world titles on two seperate occasions, including a bruising 1973 encounter with Roberto Duran.  Thompson’s battle with Duran came on the back of a 26-fight unbeaten run in which he won the Australian super-lightweight title, the Australasian lightweight title and the Commonwealth super-lightweight belt. 

It was during this run that Thompson became an Australian fan favorite, with a pair of wars opposite New Zealand’s world-ranked Manny Santos propelling him towards the top of the lightweight ranks. 

Fighting in front of a raucous home crowd in Panama City, Duran had recorded 30 knockout victories in his 35 wins to that point and expected an easy night. 

It was anything but. 

Although Duran claimed an eighth round TKO victory, he was left with a badly swollen left eye and was reportedly taken to hospital with a broken rib. 

Thompson was back in the ring just five weeks later, defending his Commonwealth super lightweight title against Joe Tetteh, who he’d taken the belt from earlier in the year. 

After winning 16 of his next 17 fights, Thompson returned to Panama for another world title shot, this time against Colombia’s longtime super lightweight world champion Antonio Cervantes. 

It was another brutal affair, but Thompson came away empty handed again after the doctor stopped the bout ahead of the eighth round due to a cut. 

Thompson retired in 1980 with a 73-12-2 record. 

Born in Kempsey on June 24, 1949, Thompson was raised in a boys’ home after the death of his mother at a young age. 

He turned pro at the age of 19, saying boxing offered him the best chance to make a living and help his family. 

He was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.
 

 Hector Thompson vs. Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran “The Hands of Stone” made the second defense of his WBA and lineal lightweight championships against Australia’s Hector Thompson in his hometown of Panama City, Panama on the 2nd June, 1973. It was the first true test of Duran’s title reign and the fight with Commonwealth and Australasian champion Thompson was his first step back towards universal recognition as champion.

Duran finally defended his title for the first time, knocking out three of Jimmy Robertson’s teeth in the first round before knocking him out in the fifth in January of 1973. De Jesus won the North American Boxing Federation title in February with a decision over undefeated American Ray Lampkin while Gonzalez knocked Ruben Navarro out in March to retain his WBC title. Duran wanted a rematch with De Jesus to reverse his only professional loss and called out the Puerto Rican after knocking out Robertson. He also took two fights in California to try and build up his name on the west coast for a potential unification bout with Gonzalez. Buchanan was also in the mix and he put more pressure on Duran for a rematch with wins over Chang-Kil Lee, future champion Jim Watt and Frankie Otero. Duran, however, returned to Panama for another non-title match in April before signing to fight Commonwealth champion Hector Thompson.

Roberto Duran decks Hector Thompson in their 1973 Championship bout. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE VIDEO OF THE FIGHT)

Born in Kempsey in the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in 1949, Hector Thompson began boxing at the age of five in the boys home he grew up in. Thompson turned professional at the age of 20, fighting occasionally as a preliminary fighter in Sydney and Melbourne but mostly on smaller shows in regional towns outside of Sydney as he was without a manager. Known for his exceptional physical strength, Thompson’s stiff jab and body punching earned him 20 wins from his first 23 bouts, fought mostly at junior welterweight, although he made the lightweight limit for the right bouts. One of Thompson’s early opponents, Roko Spanja, died from injuries sustained in a tenth round knockout loss to Thompson in 1970.

After winning the New South Wales state lightweight title, Thompson travelled to Melbourne to outpoint local Leo Young for the Australian junior welterweight title. This attracted the attention of managers Brian Ogilvie and Doug James, who relocated Thompson to Brisbane, Queensland in 1972 where he became a regular headliner at Brisbane’s Festival Hall.  A pair of wars with New Zealand’s Manny Santos, who was ranked in the top ten lightweights in the world, gave Thompson national attention as they were shown live on Australia’s TV ringside program. Thompson survived a third round knockdown and a slow start to battle back for a draw before outpointing Santos in the rematch in two thrilling bouts, earning Thompson a world ranking himself. A 15 round victory over Ghana’s Joe Tetteh for the Commonwealth junior welterweight title followed and, while training for a May 14 bout in Melbourne, Duran’s team offered Thompson a title shot.

Thompson jumped at the chance to fight for a world title at the age of just 23 and cancelled his May 14 bout to begin preparing for his chance. Despite his impressive record, the 21-year-old champion seemed vulnerable following his loss to De Jesus. There was unfortunate pre-fight hype used to sell the fight. Thompson was labelled as a “killer” and a “ring assassin” (referring to Thompson’s tragic bout with Spanja earlier in his career) in an attempt to sell the bout. The champion was expecting an early night, predicting a knockout inside of five rounds and stating that Thompson would “have to walk over my dead body to take my title.” The pre-fight antics worked and 15,000 fans filed into The Nuevo Gymnasium to see the popular champion defend against Thompson.

Thompson wasted no time at the opening bell, sinking a left hook into Duran’s body followed by a right hand over the top. Duran stayed composed, boxing cautiously behind his jab, using it to set up his own attacks to the body and he landed with a series of body shots towards the end of the first round with Thompson trapped on the ropes. Hector returned fire with an uppercut that scored but was having trouble matching the champion’s pace early on. Thompson bided his time and attempted to slow Duran down with his own attacks to the body but the feints and changes of tempo from the champion kept Thompson guessing and Duran was able to set up his attacks beautifully. The final minute of the second round saw Duran land heavy leather with both hands to the head and body, although Thompson never looked shaken and returned fire.

Thompson had more success in the third round with his jab and landed a pair of hard right hands early on but Duran continued to maneuver his way inside and score to the body as well as landing several long right hands over Thompson’s jab. Duran found himself with his back to the ropes near Thompson’s corner in the final moments of the round but nailed the Australian with a hard left hook to the jaw after Thompson threw a wild uppercut, dropping him for the first time in the fight. Thompson was up before the referee had finished sending Duran to the neutral corner but had to take the mandatory 8 count. The fourth was more of the same as Duran backed Thompson up with his jab, confused him with feints and mixed up his attacks to the head and body to keep Thompson guessing.

Despite losing the first four rounds, Thompson landed his best punch of the fight to end the fourth round, a hard right hand to the champion’s jaw. He continued in the fifth, backing the champion up and landing with a right hand to the chest and a hard left hook. Duran tried to return fire with hard combinations but Thompson was landing his best punches of the fight, in particular several left hooks to the side of the champion’s face and two hard right uppercuts to give him his best round of the fight. Duran came out for the sixth with swelling below his left eye but showed his, sometimes, underappreciated boxing skills. Using his jab to draw leads from Thompson, he effectively countered with hard two-handed assaults to the head and body to turn the tide back in his favour.

Encouraged by the swelling under Duran’s eye, Thompson came out with confidence in the seventh and backed Duran to the ropes several times, scoring with stiff left hooks to the head and digging in right uppercuts to the body, one of which reportedly broke Duran’s ribs. Duran used his jab and boxed on his toes early in the eighth round, but quickly gave into his fighting instincts and traded punches with Thompson midway through the round, which brought the Panamanian crowd to their feet. Thompson landed several hard right hands to the body and then one over the top but Duran turned the tables suddenly with a huge left hook which froze Thompson in place. A follow up left hook and a right hand sent Thompson down heavily. Thompson was out on his feet as he rose but was allowed to continue by referee Nick Drake. Duran immediately jumped on Thompson, forcing the stoppage with two hard right hands and a left hook.

Thompson was clearly out on his feet and the stoppage was justified. It wouldn’t be the last time Thompson challenged for a world title. After winning 15 of his next 16 bouts, Thompson returned to Panama to fight another longtime world champion, Colombian Antonio Cervantes, who was making the tenth defense of his world junior welterweight title. Cervantes had previously beaten De Jesus in 1975, as well as Italian-Argentinian legend Nicolino Locche and Panama’s Alfonso Frazer. Thompson fought gamely and had Cervantes hurt briefly in round three, but a cut suffered in the fourth round led to the ringside doctor to halt the bout before the start of round eight.

Two bouts later, in April of 1976, a second Thompson opponent, Chuck Wilburn, died from injuries sustained in his bout with Thompson. The two ring fatalities have stained a rather remarkable ring career as Thompson is rarely talked about among the greatest Australian and Aboriginal boxers without these two unfortunate incidents being brought up. From 1971 until 1977 Thompson didn’t lose to an Australian boxer and gave two of the greatest champions of all-time, in their respective weight divisions, competitive fights. Thompson continued to hold the Australian and Commonwealth junior welterweight title from 1972 until 1977, when he lost it, regained it, then lost it again to Perth’s Lawrence Austin. He also won the Australian welterweight title in 1977 before the second loss to Austin but lost a series of fights, many due to cuts, before retiring in 1980 with a 73-12-2 record.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST

Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton playing tag in Yankee Stadium before their third and last time on September 28, 1976, completing their trilogy. This time, 34-year-old Ali entered the ring as Heavyweight Champion. Both fighters showed their strengths, but neither established themselves as the obvious winner. Most commentators gave the fight to Norton. Ultimately, Ali won by a unanimous decision, thereby retaining his title. Ali said during an interview with Mark Cronin in October of 1976: “Kenny’s style is too difficult for me. I can’t beat him, and I sure don’t want to fight him again. I honestly thought he beat me in Yankee Stadium, but the judges gave it to me, and I’m grateful to them.” Norton was bitter, stating after the fight: “I won at least nine or ten rounds. I was robbed.”

 

Tyson Fury beating up Deontay Wilder in their second fight.

Heavyweight boxers Muhammad Ali R) and Oscar Bonavena L) fought at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 7, 1970. Ali won the bout, his first at the current Madison Square Garden, through a technical knockout in the 15th round.

Old Rivals – Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

 

Charles “Sonny” Liston

Jack Johnson

Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey

Oscar De La Hoya winning the Gold Medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Thomas “Tom” Molineaux (23 March 1784 – 4 August 1818) was an African-American bare-knuckle boxer and possibly a former slave. He spent much of his career in Great Britain and Ireland, where he had some notable successes. He arrived in England in 1809 and started his fighting career there in 1810. It was his two fights against Tom Cribb, widely viewed as the Champion of England, that brought fame to Molineaux, although he lost both contests. His prizefighting career ended in 1815. After a tour that took him to Scotland and Ireland, he died in Galway, Ireland in 1818, aged 34.

Sugar Ray Robinson (L) nailing Kid Gavilan (R) with a thudding left to the jaw.

Joe Louis with singer Lena Horne

Joe Louis with singer Lena Horne

Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali.

Rocky Marciano with Burt Reynolds and Rocky's daughter  Mary Anne

Rocky Marciano with Burt Reynolds and Rocky’s daughter Mary Anne

Hall of Fame Founder of The USA Boxing News Joseph Rinaldi and twin sons John and Alex Rinaldi.

Hall of Fame Founder of The USA Boxing News Joseph Rinaldi and twin sons John and Alex Rinaldi.

Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford

Former Light Heavyweight Champion Matthew Saad Muhammad with John Rinaldi.

IBF Flyweight Champion Danny “Kid dynamite” Romero with Joseph and Ron John Rinaldi in 1996.

Micky Ward vs Arturo Gatti in their first fight on May 18, 2002.

Kid Chocolate

Cuba’s Kid Chocolate was both an undisputed Junior Lightweight (1931) and Featherweight (1932) Champion. The fact that traffic on Broadway stopped for him – like it did for Rudolph Valentino and Babe Ruth – didn’t change him; neither did being declared world’s best dressed man by a European magazine, which placed him above film star George Raft; the Prince of Wales and Mayor of New York Mickey Walker.

Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano

Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano. The Brockton Blockbuster (R) stopped the famed Brown Bomber (L) in the eighth round of their scheduled ten rounder in New York’s Madison Square Garden on October 26, 1951, which catapulted Rocky to the top of the heavyweight challengers for the title.

Iconic trainers Freddie Brown and Ray Arcel working the corner of Roberto Duran in training.

Iconic trainers Freddie Brown (L)  and Ray Arcel (R) working the corner of Roberto Duran in training.

Ken Norton (L)  stabbing Muhammad Ali with a hard left jab in their second fight.

Ken Norton (L) stabbing Muhammad Ali (R) with a hard left jab in their second fight.

Future Heavyweight champions Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis embrace each other after Lewis won the Gold Medal and Bowe won the Silver medal in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seou, Korea.

Future Heavyweight champions Riddick Bowe (L) and Lennox Lewis (R)  embrace each other after Lewis won the Gold Medal and Bowe won the Silver Medal in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

Trainer Gil clancy with George Foreman

Trainer Gil clancy with George Foreman

Muhammad Ali taunting Joe frazier before their 1971 Fight of the Century.

Muhammad Ali L) taunting Joe Frazier R) before their 1971 Fight of the Century.

Joe Louis R) giving advice to a young Ezzard charles L).

Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis (R) giving advice to a young Ezzard Charles (L).

USA Boxing News Editors John Rinaldi and Alex Rinaldi with heavyweight Champion Michael Moorer in 1994.

USA Boxing News Editors John Rinaldi (L) and Alex Rinaldi (R) with heavyweight Champion Michael Moorer in 1994.

Lineup of legends - Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ike Williams and Willie Pep in the 1940s.

Lineup of legends – Ezzard Charles,Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ike Williams, Willie Pep, and Manuel Ortiz in the 1940s.

Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes with Featherweight Champion Salvador Sanchez at Madison Square Garden in 1982.

Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes with Featherweight Champion Salvador Sanchez at Madison Square Garden in 1982.

Alexis Arguello (L) with Sugar Ray Robinson (R)

Alexis Arguello (L) with Sugar Ray Robinson (R)

New York Mets legends Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry with Mike Tyson in 1986.

Portrait of Evander Holyfield

Joe Louis vs Jersey Joe Walcott

Rocky Marciano fought two celebrated boxing matches with Ezzard Charles. The first match took place on 17 June, 1954; and the second on 17 September, 1954. The first fight went the distance with Marciano winning on points through a unanimous decision. In the second bout pictured above, Marciano knocked out Charles in the eighth at New York’s famed Yankee Stadium. (CLICK PHOTO TO SEE COLORIZED VERSION OF THE FIGHT)

Muhammad Ali floors Sonny Liston in their second fight.

Welterweight Champion Carlos Palomino with comedian Don Rickles.

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New Jersey Boxing Hall of Famer Jimmy Glenn dies at 89

Inducted on November 14, 2002

By Henry Hascup

James Lee Glenn was born on August 18, 1930; an only child for a loving mother, by the name of Susie Glenn. She moved he son upward from South Carolina, to Baltimore, and then Washington DC before making a home in New York City. As she was attempting to create a new and better life for herself and her son the events of the outside world called her child back to his South Carolina roots. When World War II broke out James Lee Glenn was summoned back to help his grandfather on the farm, while his uncle was drafted and sent overseas. James returned to New York City in the 1944, a place he has called home ever since.

Even at a young age James believed in hard work, loyalty and respect, the principles that became the cornerstones not only of his career but his life. These principles are echoed in his choice to drop out of Cooper Junior High School after two years in order to help support his mother. From his first job as a mechanic in a laundry mat, through jobs as a delivery boy with the Dan Feldman hat trimming business, a truck driver for Len-Wolf Textiles, and a salesman for House of Wagner, a wig company; James always lived by his principles in order to earn an honest wage.

While working and doing what he needed to do for his family, James started to make a niche for himself in the boxing world. At a young age James Lee Glenn developed a passion for boxing that would last him the rest of his life. He began his boxing career by joining the Police Athletic League, where he won a championship. It was after this victory that James felt he was ready to begin a real boxing career. In I 949,he began his short career as an amateur boxer. He spent the next two years fighting in The Golden Gloves as a welterweight and middleweight. In his short career James managed to amass a record of 14 wins and 3 losses, with one of those losses coming at the hands of legendary heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. At this point James hung up his gloves in order to start, not only a family, but also his true boxing career. Here is where he made the transition from an amateur fighter to a trainer, manager, cut man, promoter, friend, mentor, historian and a true gentleman of boxing.

From the moment that the sport of boxing entered his life James Lee Glenn’s passion for it has grown and he has pursued it as he has pursued all the truly important things in his life with passion tempered by patience. He started his true boxing career at the Third Moravian Church on East 1271h Street where he taught boys and young men, many not much younger than himself, how to box. He saw it as a way to give to the community, by keeping youth off of the troubled streets of East Harlem. The church which was struggling financially found James’ volunteer services to be an immeasurable help. After several years running the boxing program, often out of his own pocket, The Protestant Council of the City Of New York stepped in and co-sponsored a boxing program with the church. They hired Mr. Glenn as the director. He did this all in addition to working full-time to support his family. However, his passion carried him through and he organized a team of boys and men that amassed many victories at various tournaments. Unfortunately his boxing program came to an end when the church was torn down in order to build projects.

Never one to allow himself to be stopped by adversity James Glenn just moved his game downtown. He left his day job to open a bar, in the heart of Times Square. His bar, like the man who owns it, has become a New York City landmark standing in the same location for over 30 years. His bar is fittingly named, what else but, Jimmy’s Corner.

 

At the same time he remained active in boxing working as a trainer and cut man. Among those he worked with were Floyd Patterson, Bobby Cassidy, Ralph Correa, Howard Davis Jr., Terrance AlIi, and Mark McPherson. Soon after settling into his job as a bar owner James began his search for a new gym. He opened The Times Square Boxing Club in the late 1970’s. From this new venue James welcomed everyone with an interest in boxing and a willingness to follow his simple rules; honestly and respect. Young fighters fought their way through the seedy streets of Times Square, where greed and crime ruled, up to the second floor gym, where respect, perseverance and hard work were the order of the day. Though many of them lacked the skills or the talent to be the next Hagler, Leonard, or Spinks they kept coming back to learn the sport of boxing. They learned from the big man, with the soft voice, who they all called Mr. Glenn and though few of them became champions he helped them all become men.

The Times Square Boxing Club was a boxer’s gym decorated with old fight posters and carrying the faint smell of sweat and wet leather, a smell almost synonymous with hard work. It had heavy bags sagging from their temporary fittings in the ceilings, speed bags held together with mounds of adhesive tape, a cracked mirror and leaky showers, but no one ever complained. It became a haven for true boxers from all over the city and attracted many champions on their way to fights in Atlantic City and Madison Square Garden. At one point or another most boxing’ big names, at the time, came through Times Square Boxing Club to train and soak up the atmosphere.

In the early 1990’s The Times Square Boxing Club was closed down due to the renovation of the Times Square area. However, James Lee Glenn has not allowed that to slow him down. Though he must work out of a gym that is not his own James has not allowed himself to be deterred and continues working as a trainer, manager, and cut man.

James Glenn has been in the sport of boxing for over 50 years now. Though his accomplishments within the boxing world are numerous and his knowledge of the sweet science is vast he is a man whose true value goes beyond his trophies and champions. James Glenn has touched the boxing world so profoundly not because he teaches men to be fighters but because he teaches fighters to be men.

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New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Inductees

By Henry Hascup

As the President of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame I am proud to announce that on Thursday, November 12, 2020, the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame will hold its 51th Annual Induction & Award at the beautiful Venetian, located at 546 River Drive, Garfield, New Jersey starting at 6:45 P.M.  Tickets are priced at ONLY $90 ($95 for the use of a Credit Card) $100 at the door per person. Fourteen (14) of Boxing’s finest will be inducted in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, and they are as follows:

Freddy Curiel – 19-8-2 – As an Amateur he won several New Jersey State tiles before turning pro. He fought on the ESPN’s “The Contender” back in 2006, losing to future World Champion Steve Forbes. He also lost a close decision to Hector Camacho Jr.
https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/51929

David Franciosi – Referee – Amateur official and referee from 1992 to 2004, where he refereed in State, Regional and National Tournaments. He was the Chief of Officials from 2002 to 2004 before turning pro. He was our Amateur Official of the Year back in 2003. During his pro career he has refereed bouts in both NJ and PA and has refereed bouts of Grzegorz SoszynskiShamone AlvarezYuriorkis GamboaMatvey KorobovHenry LundyJason SosaVitaliy DemyanenkoBryant JenningsJoseph ParkerCaleb PlantAdam KownackiThomas LaMannaTommy RainoneImamu MayfieldAnthony Young and Dmitry Bivol.

Kevin Howard – 21-8-1 – Fought in Atlantic City 15 times! Beat Bobby Joe Young, who is the ONLY fighter ever to beat Aaron Pryor. He also beat Dick Eklund and fought such Greats as Sugar Ray Leonard (even knocked him down), Marlon Starling, Simon Brown, Mark Medal, Robert Hines.
https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/2758

Kevin Howard vs. Sugar Ray Leonard in 1984.

Kevin Howard vs. Sugar Ray Leonard in 1984.

Allen Huggins – Referee – Errol Spence JrBryant JenningsImamu MayfieldAdam KownackiYuriorkis GamboaBrian ViloriaJohn DuddyKendall HoltDaniel JacobsPaul MalignaggiDanny GarciaNate CampbellDavid Telesco and Shamone Alvarez.
https://boxrec.com/en/referee/401826


Patricia Morse Jarman – Born and raised in New Jersey. She has traveled to six continents and visited and worked in too many countries to list. Among the fighters she judged starting in 1985 are Mike TysonGeorge ForemanFloyd Mayweather JrEvander HolyfieldMike McCallumMichael NunnOliver McCallThomas HearnsMilton McCroryOrlin NorrisIran BarkleyTerry NorrisDonald CurryDwight Muhammad QawiJulian JacksonJulio Cesar ChavezJames DouglasPernell WhitakerRiddick BoweBernard HopkinsMarco Antonio BarreraVernon ForrestWladimir KlitschkoLennox LewisJuan Manuel MarquezOscar De La HoyaMiguel CottoShane MosleySaul AlvarezDanny GarciaTimothy Bradley JrKeith ThurmanVasiliy LomachenkoTerence Crawford and Tyson Fury.
https://boxrec.com/en/judge/400997

Ed Keenan – lives in Ocean City NJ and has been a boxing coordinator/publicist for many years.
He was a great help for Top Rank In the massively great Kelly Pavlik era when Kelly fought a number of times in AC. We have used in recently as a coordinator at Top Rank when we do our pay per view events. We introduced Ed a few years ago in NYC when he won a BWAA award. He is a vital part of the sport – he works for other promoters as well – and he has a wonderful family. His daughter is a former Miss Ocean City – which is a tremendous award.

John McKaie – Judged approx. 40 shows in New Jersey, Has judged over 1,000 fights including bouts with Floyd Mayweather JrGennadiy GolovkinAndre Ward vs. Sergey KovalevKeith Thurman vs. Danny GarciaSaul Alvarez vs. Miguel CottoAntonio TarverErrol Spence JrVasiliy LomachenkoDeontay WilderClaressa ShieldsDaniel JacobsGuillermo Rigondeaux and Jermall CharloJameel McClinePaul MalignaggiDavid TuaKelly PavlikSultan IbragimovNonito DonaireVic DarchinyanChris AlgieriSergio MoraVernon ForrestAdam KownackiShamone AlvarezZab JudahDavid LemieuxMikey GarciaSteve CunninghamTomasz AdamekDaniel Jacobs and Leo Santa Cruz.

Wali Moses – Longtime Amateur trainer and now a Pro trainer as well. Was recognized as one of the top Amateur coaches in the World. He guided his grandson Shakur Stevenson to a Silver Medal in the 2016 Olympic Games and to the World Boxing Organisation World Feather Title.

Wali Muhammad – 12-3 – 0 – His ONLY 3 losses were against a future World Champion and #1 contenders.
https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/4298

Ed Mulholland – Photographer – Recognized as one of the top photographers in boxing.
Awards
2005 Sportshooter – Sports Action Photo of the Year – Judges Award – 2005 Boxing Writer’s Association Feature Photo of the Year – 1st Place  
2005 Boxing Writer’s Association Action Photo of the Year – 3rd Place – 2005 National Press Photographers Sports Feature Photo – Honorable Mention  
2006 Boxing Writer’s Association Action Photo of the Year – 3rd Place – 2007 Boxing Writer’s Association Action Photo of the Year – 1st Place
2007 Boxing Writer’s Association Feature Photo of the Year – 3rd Place – 2008 Boxing Writer’s Association Feature Photo of the Year – 3rd Place
2008 National Press Photographers Sports Feature – Honorable Mention – 2014 Boxing Writer’s Association Feature Photo of the Year – 2nd Place
2015 Boxing Writer’s Association Feature Photo of the Year – 2nd Place – 2016 Boxing Writer’s Association Action Photo of the Year – Honorable Mention
2017 Boxing Writer’s Association Action Photo of the Year – Honorable Mention – 2018 Boxing Writer’s Association Feature Photo of the Year – 1st Place

Bob Rooney Jr. – 12-3-1 –New Jersey’s top Light Heavyweight from 2003-2011. He also has run the Bayonne PAL for years where he has trained many Amateur Champions and now trains and manages several pro fighters!
https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/209433

David Toledo – 34-3-2 – Won many New Jersey Amateur State Titles along with many Regional and National Titles before turning pro in 1991 just after his 16th birthday!
https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/16828

POSTHUMOUSLY:
Madame Bey
 – was a rarity: a woman who ran an internationally-known training camp in New Jersey for prizefighters in the 1920s and 1930s. Some of her clients included world heavyweight champions Gene Tunney, Max SchmelingPrimo Carnera and Max Baer; world welterweight and middleweight champion Mickey WalkerHenry Armstrong (world featherweight, lightweight and welterweight titles simultaneously); Freddie Steele (world middleweight champion); Freddie (Red) Cochrane (world welter-weight champion), and Tony Canzoneri, among others.

Johnny Bos – has always been one of boxing’s true characters. Growing up a boxing fan in Brooklyn, NY, and lived in New Jersey before moving to Florida in 1989, he became a writer for Boxing World and Boxing International before turning to matchmaking in 1977. It didn’t take long before he discovered he was pretty good at matching fighters. Some of the matches he put together include Azumah Nelson versus Wilfredo Gomez in 1984, James “Bonecrusher” Smith versus Marvis Frazier in 1986, and Gerry Cooney versus Larry Holmes in 1982. A matchmaker for Main Events, he also arranged fights for Frank Bruno, Howard Davis Jr., Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson. He was Inducted into the Florida an the New York State Boxing Hall of Fames!

Also, the NEW JERSEY BOXING HALL OF FAME will be honoring our Senior Amateur, Junior Olympic Amateur & Pro Boxer of the Year as well as the Amateur Official & Coach of the Year Plus our “2020 Man of the Year”

We are scheduled to have our Induction and award ceremonies on Thursday, November 12th, But with the virus we will just have to hope and Pray we do!

____________

New York State Boxing HOF & Ring 8

COVID-19 fund assisted boxers and boxing personnel last month in New York

 

NEW YORK (May 7, 2020) – The jointly established COVID-19 fund by New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF) and Ring 8 distributed more than $5,000 last month to assist New York and New Jersey boxers and boxing personnel in financial need due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All applicants needed to be licensed (NYSAC, NJSAC or USA Boxing).  Many boxers, trainers, cut men and the boxing personnel are independent contractors in need of financial support during this trying time.

“We wanted to help people in boxing whose livelihoods have been so adversely affected by this pandemic,” NYSBHOF present Bob Duffy said.  “I’d like to thank Ring 8 president Charley Norkus for partnering with us, along with Ring 8 board members Ron McNair, Bobby Bartels and Henry Hascup. I’d especially like to thank Lou DiBella for his generous contribution, as well as Dave “Scooter” Honig and boxer Richard Kiley for their donations.  And Peter Frutkoff, among others, for all of his hard work getting the word out about the fund.”  

“As president of Ring 8,” Charles Norkus, Jr. added, “I was honored to be part of this group relief fund to assist those who were in need.  I am glad that in more than 60 years of existence, Ring 8 still assists those in need from the boxing community.”

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Canelo Alvarez expects to return to the ring by SeptemberCanelo Alvarez

By Ron John Rinaldi

April 23. With the world exploding with the COVI-19 pandemic, all sports, boxing included, have been cancelling more events than a serial runnaway bride. One such fighter is arguably one of boxing’s biggest draws – Canelo Alvarez.

Last time he entered the prize ring he was standing over the fallen body of then reigning WQBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kavalev, whom Alvarez KO’d at 2:15 of round eleven of their scheduled twelve-rounder.

To date Alvarez (56-1, 36 KO’s) unified middleweight champion, and four-weight world champion,  has captured the following ring titles:

Unfortunately, like most fighters, Canelo Alvarez has revealed he is looking at a September date to return to the ring.

Canelo, originally had planned to be back in action on Cinco de Mayo weekend, the famous Mexican holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. although his plans to fight on May 2 were put on the proverbial shelf by the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite not having a fight officially booked, the 29-year-old Alvarez is still training hard with the anticipation of plying his boxing wares sometime in the Fall – preferably in September.

During a recent interview Alvarez said said: “In my mind, I’m fighting in September….Hopefully all of this will pass and that date will still be possible…Right now, everything is on standby…There’s nothing going on, nothing discussed — not even about when the next fight is going to be — because of the situation.  They say there won’t be any fights until after July, so we’re waiting, since everything is backtracked because of people who don’t follow or believe in rules.”

Like everyone else in the world, Canelo is unsure what the future holds for him, adding: “I don’t really know what’s next.

“Everything is shut down, so I don’t know, ” admits Canelo.  “We had a good plan for 2020, but unfortunately this happened. We had really big plans, and hopefully in July or a month afterward, we’ll see positive results with this situation. We’ll see what happens.”

Prior to the coronavirus spreading across the glove, Canelo was on course to face WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in Las Vegas on May 2.

Interestingly enough, not long after the postponement of his bout with Saunders, it was reported that Alvarez was considering a trilogy fight with Gennady Golovkin in September.

Only time will tell at this point when Canelo will return and who his opponent will be.

 

Pay-per-view bouts featuring

Canelo Alvarez

Date

Fight

Billing

Buys

   

14 September 2013

Mayweather vs. Canelo

The One

2,200,000

$150m

 

8 March 2014

Canelo vs. Angulo

Toe to Toe

350,000

$20m

12 July 2014

Canelo vs. Lara

Honor and Glory[219]

325,000

$17m

21 November 2015

Cotto vs. Canelo

Cotto–Canelo

900,000

$58m

 

7 May 2016

Canelo vs. Khan

Power vs. Speed

600,000

$30m

17 September 2016

Canelo vs. Smith

Canelo–Smith

300,000

$20m

6 May 2017

Canelo vs. Chávez

Civil War

1,000,000

$80m

16 September 2017

Canelo vs. Golovkin

Supremacy

1,300,000

$110m

15 September 2018

Canelo vs. Golovkin II

Canelo vs. GGG 2

1,100,000[220]

$120m

Totals (approximate): 8,075,000 buys and $605,000,000 in revenue.

Subscription sports streaming service bouts featuring

Canelo Alvarez

No.

Date

Fight

Network

1

15 December 2018

Canelo vs. Fielding

DAZN

2

4 May 2019

Canelo vs. Jacobs

3

2 November 2019

Canelo vs. Kovalev

4

2 May 2020

Canelo vs. Saunders

____________

The Staff and Publishers of The USA Boxing News  wish everyone to be safe, healthy,  and medically well during these difficult times – Keep Punching!!

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Former Top Ranked Welterweight Contender and NY State Boxing Hall of Famer Dickie DiVeronica dies at 82

By Ron John Rinaldi

It was a sad day when the final bell tolled on former world top-ranked world welterweight fighter Dickie DiVeronica at the age of 82 after a brief illness.

 

Dickie DiVeronica with his family at the IBOF in 2018.

In a career that spanned three decades from 1958-1972, Veronica posted a highly respectable record of 44-13-1 (13 KO’s), including three Madison Square Garden wins against William Viera (March 20, 1959), Tommy Tibbs (October 23, 1959), and Tommy Garrison (March 20, 1964). The same ring that he fought on in Madison Square Garden now sits inside The International Boxing Hall of Fame, in Veronica’s hometown of Canastota, New York.

At one point in his career, Dickie was ranked as high as #8 in the world.

Former Top Ranked Welterweight Contender and NY State Boxing Hall of Famer Dickie DiVeronica in training.

“Dickie DiVeronica was as tough as they come and, with his crowd pleasing style, made Canastota proud every time he stepped into the ring,” released the Hall of Fame. “He was an integral part of Canastota’s long and storied boxing history, which led the village to establish the International Boxing Hall of Fame to honor the entire sport. The Hall of Fame joins Canastota and the boxing community in mourning the loss of one of our own.”

He was also one of the friendliest faces and nicest fighters in Canastota and was a major fan favorite. I personally remember seeing him for years at the Hall of Fame as a child and he always signed autographs and spoke kindly to the fans that assembled there.

DiVeronica was born in 1938 and participated in football and wrestling at Canastota High School. He began his professional boxing career in 1958 and so great was his start that he won his first 20 bouts, many of them in Syracuse. His first loss came in 1960 by decision to Jackie Donnelly in Buffalo.

Unfortunately in the prime of his career, DiVeronica was drafted into the Army in 1961, but returned to boxing in 1964.

He fought many great fighters, including Emile Griffith who stopped DiVeronica in the seventh round of a fight in Syracuse in 1969

DiVeronica was inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019, and was a frequent guest at the annual Induction Weekend at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota.

He will be greatly missed.

____________

Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Jose Ramirez Wants All The Belts

CLICK HERE FOR FULL INTERVIEW with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher

(April 14, 2020) — WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez is staying ready. The 2012 U.S. Olympian has not fought since knocking out Maurice Hooker last July in a title unification bout. He was supposed to fight Viktor Postol Feb. 2 in China (Feb. 1 prime time in the U.S.), but it became the first major bout to be impacted by COVID-19. The May 9 makeup date in Fresno also fell by the wayside. 
 
Ramirez is self-quarantining with his family in California’s Central Valley, but he is awaiting the call for the third — and hopefully final — Postol fight date.
 
He recently spoke with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher. This is what he had to say.
 
CP: How have you dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic?
 
JR: “Obviously it’s the second time my fight gets postponed. There’s a lot of frustration there because of the sacrifices we go through. I’ve been training for the same fight since November. I trained through the holidays, which is always difficult.
 
“Me having my boy, I want to spend as much time with him now that he’s getting older by the second. It’s hard. I had a plan for 2020, just like any other fighter. I had a plan to fight three times. I was happy that I was going to start early and hopefully move to the {welterweight} division next year. It throws me off. It sets me back. Everything happens for a reason, I believe. Right now, we just have to stay safe. We have to go through this crisis.”
 
CP: How do you keep yourself from feeling defeated after going through two training camps {without a fight}?
 
JR: “I’m just staying focused. I’m staying optimistic with everything, with doctors, with everyone, the first responders. I think everyone is working hard to get together to go through this fast and get everything back to normal. Right now, I believe this is something that requires everyone to be on the same page, to really practice {self-isolation} so we can stop the spread of this virus.
 
“I do know that my fight will be one of the first fights back when all this is over.”
 
CP: Once the Postol fight is rescheduled, would you like to try and stay at 140 pounds and get more belts or is a move up to 147 imminent?
 
JR: “I owe it to myself to fight for all the belts just because if I were to go up to the next weight class, people will still doubt who the best 140-pounder is, just because there is another guy with two belts (WBA/IBF world champion Josh Taylor}. There are some other fighters that I didn’t get to face at 140. I really want to prove a lot of people wrong. I want to do it for myself. I know I can be the best 140 in the world. I know I can see myself with all four belts. It’s just a matter of time, and once I do that, I think that’s going to put my name more out there worldwide. It’s going to definitely make a stronger impact when I do move to 147 knowing that the undisputed champion at 140 is moving up to 147. I think that’s going to make more noise.”
 
CP: Any interest in WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford?
 
JR: “I’ll take any route that leads me to fight for a world title. Crawford is an excellent fighter, so yeah, I would definitely be honored to share the ring with him. I think I’ll show him something new. I think I’ll bring something out of him. By the time I do make that decision to move to 147 and put that extra muscle on me, on my body, I’ll be a much stronger Jose Ramirez. I can see myself developing into a better welterweight than super lightweight. I do have the height. I do have the body frame. I think once I put the extra seven pounds on, it’s going to be a huge difference in a very positive way.
 
“After Crawford, I plan to stay in the welterweight division for quite a while, definitely fight all the top names out there and see how I do. I think I have what it takes to stay at this level of competition for a long time.”
 
CP: Would you ever be up for a fight with Regis Prograis down the line?
 
JR: “Definitely. I think if the fight with Regis takes place, it might take place at 147, though, because I have (super lightweight} fights lined up. I really want to move up after that.”

 

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Movie Stars, Singers, Celebrities, and Famous Boxers 

 

CLICK PHOTOS TO VIEW PAGE

 

Alex Rinaldi with legendary former light heavy king Bob Foster.

Rocky Marciano

Rocky Graziano in New York

Bobby Czyz

Jersey Joe Walcott Vs. Joe Louis I

Muhammad Ali with young fighter

Salvador Sanchez knocking out Wilfredo Gomez

Roberto Duran against Davey Moore

Muhammad Ali receiving his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Larry Holmes and Salvador Sanchez

Rocky Marciano and a young fan

Wilfredo Benitez, Don King, Roberto Duran, and Jose Torres

Ken Norton and Smokin’ Joe Frazier

Azumah Nelson vs. Salvador Sanchez in 1982

Kid Chocolate

Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes

Middleweight champion James “Lights Out” Toney

Mike Tyson and his pet Tiger

Mike Tyson and his original Team

Mickey Walker

President Bill Clinton with Muhammad Ali

Julian “The Hawk” Jackson was a formidable three-time world champion in two weight classes, having held the WBA super welterweight title from 1987 to 1990, and the WBC middleweight title twice between 1990 and 1995.

Joe Frazier Knocking down Muhammad Ali in their first fight at Madison Square Garden in 1971.

Tommy Hearns (R) vs Roberto Duran (L)

Rocky Marciano and Jerry Lewis. (Click Photo to see Jerry Lewis talk about the famous fight with him and Marciano)

 

LOS ANGELES – NOVEMBER 18: Heavyweight champion of the world Rocky Marciano defeats Jerry Lewis in a mock boxing match to aid Muscular Dystrophy on November 18, 1954 in Los Angeles, California. With Dean Martin and an unknown ring girl.                                                                           (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW COLORIZED VERSION OF THE FIGHT)

Elvis Presley (L) with heavyweight contender Oscar “Ringo” Bonavena (R)  from Argentina whose career record was 58 wins, 9 losses and 1 draw.

 

 

Roberto Duran with Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly in 1992. Kelly is wearing the Mickey Mouse jacket Duran gave him. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI – THE USA BOXING NEWS)


Gerard, John, and Alex Rinaldi with former heavyweight champion Ken Norton (PHOTO BY THE USA BOXING NEWS)

Marvis Frazier at the statue of his legendary father Smokin’ Joe frazier in Phiadelphia.

Roberto Duran (L) with The USA Boxing News publisher John Rinaldi (R) at the Press Conference for the Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Roberto Duran  fight in 1983 for the Undisputed Middleweight Championship of the World.

 

Former Heavyweight champion Ken Norton with future Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

Former Heavyweight champion Ken Norton with future Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

Two sluggers - Ted Williams and Rocky Marciano.

Two sluggers – Ted Williams and Rocky Marciano.

Jake LaMotta with Willie Pep

Jake LaMotta with Willie Pep

Smokin' Joe Frazier entertaining soldiers.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier entertaining soldiers.

Future ring legend Muhammad Ali with then Heavyweight Champion Ingemar Johansson

Future ring legend Muhammad Ali with then Heavyweight Champion Ingemar Johansson

Middleweight Champion Randy Turpin

Middleweight Champion Randy Turpin

Light Heavyweight Champion Archie Moore trying to shed some pounds in training.

Light Heavyweight Champion Archie Moore trying to shed some pounds in training.

Roberto Duran in training for the defense of his Lightweight Championship.

Roberto Duran in training for the defense of his Lightweight Championship.

Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell.

Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell.


Miguel Cotto (R) landing a right against reigning WBO Super Welterweight Champion Yuri Foreman at New York's Yankee Stadium where Cotto won by KO on June 5, 2010.

Miguel Cotto (R) landing a right against reigning WBO Super Welterweight Champion Yuri Foreman (L) at New York’s Yankee Stadium where Cotto won by KO on June 5, 2010. PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI

Felix Trinidad knocking out William Joppy on May 12, 2001 at Madison Square Garden to capture the WBA Middleweight Title. PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI

Hard-punching Willie Pep, the curly-haired Hartford, Conn., fancy-dan, knocked out Jock Leslie of Flint in forty-five seconds of the twelfth round tonight to successfully defend his world featherweight championship before a crowd of 10,036 fans in Atwood Stadium.

Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey in training.

Evander Holyfield L) vs. Lennox Lewis R), billed as “Undisputed”, was a professional boxing match contested on March 13, 1999 for the WBA, WBC, IBF and Lineal Heavyweight Championships. The result was a draw or tie, specifically a split draw.                                                                                                         PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI

Actor George Raft and Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in England in 1966. for the Muhammad Ali vs. Brian London fight. The match took place at Earls Court Arena, London, England on August 6, 1966. It was scheduled for fifteen rounds. The match ended in the third round with Ali defeating London by KO.

Actor George Raft and Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in England in 1966. for the Muhammad Ali vs. Brian London fight. The match took place at Earls Court Arena, London, England on August 6, 1966. It was scheduled for fifteen rounds. The match ended in the third round with Ali defeating London by KO.

Donald Trump and Mike Tyson in 1986

Donald Trump and Mike Tyson in 1986

Muhammad Ali and Pele

Muhammad Ali and Pele

Bob Hope with Joe Frazier

Justin Bieber with Floyd Mayweather

Muhammad Ali and Sylvester Stallone

Muhammad Ali and Sylvester Stallone

Roberto Duran and Pipino Cuevas before their 1983 bout.

Gerry Cooney, Joe Frazier, and Jake LaMotta playing poker.

Gerry Cooney, Joe Frazier, and Jake LaMotta playing poker.

Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, and Muhammad Ali.

Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, and Muhammad Ali.

Iran “The Blade” Barkley with Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns.

Former Heavyweight Champion Max Schmeling delivering Coca-Cola in the late 1940s.

Former Heavyweight Champion Max Schmeling delivering Coca-Cola in the late 1940s.

Muhammad Ali and Wilfred Benítez in the late 1970s.

Muhammad Ali and Wilfred Benítez in the late 1970s.

Michael Spinks, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, and Evanader Holyfield.

Michael Spinks, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, and Evander Holyfield.

Mike Tyson with trainer Kevin Rooney in 1986.

Mike Tyson with trainer Kevin Rooney in 1986.

Sylvester Stallone and Roberto Duran during filming of ROCKY II where Duran played the part of a sparring partner.

Sylvester Stallone and Roberto Duran during filming of ROCKY II where Duran played the part of a sparring partner.

Former Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano with Muhammad Ali.

Former Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano with Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali with George Burns, Milton Berle, and Phil Silvers

Muhammad Ali with George Burns, Milton Berle, and Phil Silvers

Muhammad Ali with Frank Sinatra

Muhammad Ali with Frank Sinatra

John Rinaldi with Evander Holyfield in 1989.

The USA Boxing News publisher John Rinaldi (L) with Evander Holyfield in 1989.

The Krays with George Raft and Rocky Marciano in 1965.

Rocky Marcian with Zsa Zsa Gabor

Rocky Marciano with Zsa Zsa Gabor

Rocky Marciano with Jackie Gleason

Rocky Marciano with Jackie Gleason

 

 

Former WBC International and European champion and Italian champion (Cruiser and Heavyweight) Angelo Rottoli  died  of the corona virus in Italy

Angelo Rottoli

By Henry Hascup

A dramatic news further saddens the world of Italian  boxing due to the corona virus outbreak.

Angelo Rottoli, a former WBC International and European champion and Italian champion (Cruiser and Heavyweight),  died yesterday at the Policlinico of Ponte San Pietro in Bergamo at the age of just 61.

A tragedy even more painful by the fact that , in the space of two weeks,  Angelo had also lost his mother and brother, both of whom were killed by covid 19.

Angelo (pictured at his top career) also fought for the WBC title against Carlos De Leon, a fight which he could not end as an injury prevented him from proceeding when ahead on points.

In 1985, Rottoli, who was a smallish heavyweight, decided smartly to relinquish the national title and dropped down to the then newly created cruiserweight division.  He then challenged WBC champ Carlos De Leon in 1987, but sadly was stopped on cuts in a fight where he was trailing on points at the time of the stoppage.

Eventually, in 1988 Rottoli beat Bashiru Ali to win the WBC Int´l title and in 1989 he stopped Norwegian Magne Havnaa and won the vacant EBU title. He lost the title to Anaclet Wamba in his first defence and retired in 1990 with a 29-3-2 (15 KOs) ledger.

At that time, there was not the technical decision rule.

Bergamo, the city near Milan where Rottoli was from, has been hit dramatically by the corona virus.

As you already know, Guido Cavalleri lost his brother in law a few weeks ago.

____________

 

 Angela Rinaldi, mother of the editors and publishers of The USA Boxing News , passed away. She was a one-of-a-kind type of person that will rarely come this way again. She was smart, funny, and the best mother in the world. She will be greatly missed.

 

Founder of The USA Boxing News – Joseph Rinaldi and his new bride Angela on their wedding day in 1958.

Joseph and Angela Rinaldi

Joseph and Angela Rinaldi on June 26, 1959 on their way to Yankee Stadium for the Floyd Patterson-Ingemar Johansson first fight which Johansson won by KO to capture the World Heavyweight Championship.

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Jersey Joe Walcott

A memorable heavyweight king

Story by Joseph Rinaldi and Alexander Rinaldi

To Read the story and view  videos of Walcott’s biggest fights and the erection of a statue in his honor – CLICK THE PHOTO

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Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol Super Lightweight World Title Bout Postponed

Bout will still take place at Fresno’s Save Mart Center on a date to be determined
Purchased tickets will be valid for makeup date

(April 1, 2020) — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez’s scheduled May 9 title defense against Viktor Postol at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., has been postponed.
 
The rescheduled bout will take place at Save Mart Center, and tickets for the May 9 event will be valid for the rescheduled date. Ramirez and Postol were originally scheduled to fight Feb. 2 in China (Feb. 1 in the U.S), but when COVID-19 escalated in China, the bout was moved stateside.

“I feel terribly for Jose and Viktor, who have entered two training camps, only to see the fight postponed both times,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “They are consummate professionals, and they will give the great Fresno fans a memorable fight whenever it occurs. We owe it to Jose and Viktor to make this fight happen as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
 
Said Ramirez: “I’m focused and will stay training and ready. Our nation’s safety must come first. We will all get through this.”

____________

 
 
 

 

FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY

Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali weighing in before their first fight in March 1971

Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard after their first fight in June 1980

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globe1-150x150
OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

 

TK Promotions stages rousing fight show in Ringkoping, Denmark

CLICK TO READ EXCITING FIGHT STORY

 

 

comic 31BOXING COMICS AND DRAWINGS

 

 

 

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The SUN reports that WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury and WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will meet this year

By John and Alex Rinaldi

The UK Sun newspaper reports that Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) versus Anthony Joshua (AJ), 23-1 (21 KO’s) “has to happen” according to AJ’s coach Rob McCracken.

And an undisputed clash between the two heavyweights will be getting sorted “without doubt”.

For now, Tyson Fury is back on top of the world after his stunning TKO win against Deontay Wilder.

Anthony Joshua, 30, meanwhile, won in his own rematch last December against Andy Ruiz Jr to win back all his lost world titles.

After Fury, 31, battered Deontay Wilder to win the WBC belt and hand the American his first ever defeat, the prospect of a battle of Britain has sent boxing fans into high overdrive. But Wilder, who has blamed his 40-lbs. ring costume for his defeat, has 30 days to accept a rematch against the Gypsy King in what would complete the trilogy, which appears that he is opting to do.

While McCracken is confident “The Bronze Bomber” will want the chance to win back the strap, he thinks AJ vs Fury is inevitable. Speaking to Sky Sports, GB amateur boxing chief McCracken, 51, said: “Two British heavyweight champions ruling the world in heavyweight boxing, when can you ever say that in my lifetime you never could. Big Josh and Tyson Fury have done fantastically well, tremendous fighters. What they have achieved is remarkable both in their lives and sporting careers. It’s fantastic for Britain and fantastic when they box each other. And they will do down the line. Without a doubt, it has to happen. I presume Wilder will trigger the rematch, I would be amazed if he didn’t. The best fighting the best is what the world wants to see in any sport, and certainly they are the two best heavyweights in the sport in my opinion right now.”

“The Wilder-Fury third fight rematch clause must be honored  unless they can reach some accommodation for him to step aside,” said Frank Warren on Fury vs Wilder rematch.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is desperate to see his man Joshua meet Fury in the ultimate heavyweight clash. And Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has revealed that the new champ could attempt to pay off Wilder to ensure he fight Joshua this year.

He told Radio 5 Live: “I prefer to go straight to Joshua, but that is the contract.  It has to be honored unless we can reach some accommodation for him to step aside.”

The Gypsy King, 31, put in the performance of a lifetime as he dethroned the WBC champion in Las Vegas last weekend.

Fury is set for the biggest payday of his career, but he still decided to spend his winnings in Home Bargains this week.

Around 850,000 fans in America alone forked out $80 (£61) to watch the fight on TV – which adds up to a huge £53 million ($68.18 million).

This is more than double the 325,000 PPV sales that were recorded for their controversial draw in December of 2018.

And reports claim the rematch in Sin City raked in $17 million (£13.16 million) in the live-site ticket sales alone. This means that it has surpassed the previous record of $16.86 million (£13.05million) set by Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in 1999. In total, fans in America forked out a total of £66 million ($84.91 million) to watch the heavyweight giants in action.

Fury, who lives in a modest £550,000 Morecambe home, is said to be worth around £70million ($90.05 million).

Fury’s purse from the rematch was £3.86million – but both fighters will reportedly receive $25 million (£19.3 million) each plus a cut of the PPV and ticket sales.

As he is such a huge hit in the United States, Fury wants his next fight to take place at the under-construction 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which will be the home of the Las Vegas Raiders NFL Football team.

“If Deontay Wilder wants a rematch, it’s a big, big fight,” Fury’s promoter Bob Arum said. “We would look at the new Raiders Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas to host its first boxing match ever. It’s all good. But everybody, all the promoters, whether it’s Al Haymon or myself, we’re hopefully going to be cooperative here and not blow the moment that boxing has clawed its way back to the mainstream.”

Anthony Joshua is so far obligated to fight mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KO’s) in a fight that Top Rank will co-promote, in June, although Arum has stated that he would like to put together a Fury-Joshua superfight first.

“If Wilder decides to delay the fight, I know we can talk to Pulev, 38, to step aside — he’s the mandatory for Joshua — and have Joshua fight Fury, which is the fight that is first place of what you want to see in the heavyweight division.”

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Former WBC Champion Deontay Wilder looks to be opting for a third fight with Tyson Fury to complete their trilogy

By Alex and John Rinaldi

After Tyson Fury’s amazing knockout win over Deontay Wilder, the thought on everyone’s mind is whether Wilder will execute his mandatory rematch clause, the one in which the loser of the fight reserved the right to initiate a third fight, should he desire.

Well, less than four days later after picking himself off the canvas twice, only to be stopped in round seven, Wilder has said that he is opting to exercise the rematch clause and fight Fury for the third time.

Wilder and Fury slugging each other in the early going.

According to news reports, it appears that Wilder wants to attempt to regain back the WBC Championship Belt that he lost so painfully to Fury. 

The third fight between the two heavyweights is now expected to take place sometime this upcoming summer, probably in July.

Not surprisingly, although Wilder initially remarked after the fight that he was making no excuses for his loss, apparently times have changed, and excuses are beginning to mount. Wilder is now blaming anything and everything for his loss, including the fact that he voluntarily entered the ring wearing a 45-pound armor-like costume that weighed him down like a ball and chain.

“I had a lot of things going on coming into the fight,” Wilder said after the fight. “My leg was already wrecked coming in due to other things.” Apparently, one of the “other things” is the aforementioned heavy suit of armor, which Deontay single-handedy decided to dress up in on his march to the ring.

Besides his wardrobe, Wilder also blamed referee Kenny Bayless for allowing Fury to use illegal tactics like punching him behind the head and placing him in several choke holds. This, unlike the costume, is actually a legitimate argument.

Wilder pointed out that the first knockdown scored by Fury appeared to come after a punch landed to the back of the head, which according to boxing rules, is technically an illegal blow. Considering that Bayless gave the fighters pre-fight instructions warning that if he saw any such infractions he would penalize the fouling fighter with point deductions and possibly a disqualification, only once did Bayless actually assess a point deduction against the big Gypsy King.

Wilder also blamed assistant trainer Mark Breland, for throwing in the towel although most who viewed the fight felt that Breland’s actions were justified. At the time of the stoppage, Wilder looked to have as much chance to survive as a mouse in a lion’s den.

Deontay also felt that Fury did not hurt him despite scoring two knockdowns ahead of the stoppage.

“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder said. “I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things.” 

If one of his bluffs were that Fury didn’t hurt him, then Wilder  surely fooled us all, because he sure looked hurt to everyone who saw him staggering around the ring on legs that appeared as steady as a drunken sailor on the deck of a ship caught in a tempest. If his legs did not give him away, maybe it was his eyes that rolled around inside his head like marbles caught in a blender. 

In truth, Fury’s punches rained on Wilder like a gypsy curse, eventually destroying him and in a haze of blood and pain.

Still, in the third fight, Wilder has more than a small shot  to win, he has a puncher’s chance, which based on his high knockout percentage, may be a big chance indeed.

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Mike Tyson was thrilled that his namesake Tyson Fury Wrested the Heavyweight Championship from WBC Champion Deontay Wilder
 

By John J. Rinaldi

It was only fitting that former heavyweight champion and sports icon Mike Tyson was in attendance to watch a man who was named after him capture WBC heavyweight title.

Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, and Evander Holyfield receiving WBC awards before the fight.

When the fight ended so dramatically for Fury, cameras managed to catch Mike Tyson’s thrilling reaction to the result.

Mike Tyson after Fury won.

For many years Tyson Fury made known to all that Mike Tyson has meant the world to him. So much so that he even appeared on the boxing legend’s podcast late last year.

Before the fight, Tyson  unabashedly admitted he was a fan of Fury and for obvious reasons. “I always root for him because he was named after me,” the great former heavyweight champion said. “That’s the natural thing to do, right? I’m biased towards him.”

As for his prediction before the fight, Tyson revealed, “I don’t care how hard you punch, it’s hard to beat somebody who doesn’t wanna quit. It’s gonna be a really, really interesting fight and both guys have something to prove. I just wish the best for Tyson Fury, I’m always a Tyson fan.”

The future is the door and magic entrance to King Solomon’s gold mines for Furry. He holds all the cards and they are all aces.

As for his next opponent, Fury said after the fight that he expects Wilder to invoke the rematch clause in their contract to set up their trilogy.

However, promoter Eddie Hearn has already stated that he wants to make an undisputed fight with fellow world champion Anthony Joshua this year. All eyes are on the Gypsy King.

“If there is no rematch,” Hearn said, “we want to do everything we can to make Anthon Joshua (AJ) vs. Fury next.”

The promoter, meanwhile,  does think Wilder will certainly exercise his right and that Joshua will end up fighting  against the mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20.

“I hope he doesn’t,” Hearn said concerning Wilder invoking the rematch clause. “But I’m confident he will. I mean, what else is he gonna do? If he walks away from the rematch, he has to fight, what, a tuneup bout? That basically says I’m a beaten individual.

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TYSON FURY STOPS DEONTAY WILDER IN ROUND SEVEN TO CAPTURE WBC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE IN HISTORIC MEGA PPV EVENT SATURDAY NIGHT FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS 
Former Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin Scores TKO Win; Emanuel Navarrete Defends 122-Pound Title with Stoppage Victor and Sebastian Fundora Remains Unbeaten in PPV Opener

Story Salvador Ramirez and Alexander Rinaldi

LAS VEGAS (February 22, 2020) – Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury defeated Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder by seventh-round stoppage to capture the WBC Heavyweight Championship Saturday night headlining a historic mega PPV event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Before the fighters mad their way to the ring, the WBC awarded three former heavyweight champions with lifetime medals.  They were Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson. This was a touching moment and one that got the fans riled up for a big night.
 
Fury entered the ring dressed like a ruling  monarch  and  perched  on a King’s  thrown carried by disciples of his Gypsy King province. The audience was mesmerized by his entrance, which turned out to be one of the best in heavyweight history, second only to Apollo Creed being carried on a makeshift boat dressed as George Washington crossing  the Delaware on his way to the ring to meet the fictionalized film hero Rocky Balboa in the movie Rocky.
 
For some unknown reason the champion Deontay Wilder entered the Arena followed behind the rantings of some annoying  rapper sporting dime store lyrics about themes just a notch below the worse and most amateur written nursery rhymes of all time.
 
Why Wilder permitted this no-talent to take center stage from him and ambush the ears of  just about everybody who was victim to his incoherent dribble, simply made no sense at all. In truth, this performance by this alleged rap poet unnecessarily stole the spotlight from the great champion and essentially relegated Wilder into the role of a bit player in the biggest fight of his career.

Fury dropping Wilder for the second time.

Then came the fight.
 
In a bout that lived up to its pre-fight hype, boxing emerged back into the Center ring of professional sports. You can talk about all these other sports, but there is historically nothing bigger or more exciting than a great heavyweight championship clash.
 
The big boys bring out the fans and at this juncture have re-birthed the excitement and longing in the heavyweight division – the Crown Jewel of sports.
 
“A big shout out to Deontay Wilder,” said Fury. “He came here tonight and he manned up and he really did show the heart of a champion. I hit him with a clean right that dropped him and he got back up. He is a warrior. He will be back. He will be champion again. But I will say, the king has returned to the top of the throne!”
 
“Things like this happen,” said Wilder. “The best man won tonight, but my corner threw in the towel and I was ready to go out on my shield. I had a lot of things going on heading into this fight. It is what it is, but I make no excuses tonight. I just wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior. He had a great performance and we will be back stronger.”
 
The highly anticipated rematch was the most eagerly awaited heavyweight fight in decades after their controversial split draw in 2018. After an unprecedented promotion, the two heavyweight giants traded leather in the middle of the ring in front of 15,816 fans.While both men landed good shots in the first two rounds, Fury broke through in round three with a right hook that put Wilder down late in the round. While Wilder was able to make it through the round and continue fighting, his legs appeared weakened and in round five Fury scored another knockdown, this time with a body shot.
 
By then it seemed that Wilder was walking on circus stilts, barely able to keep his footing on the ring canvas. He was also wobbling around the ring like a buoy caught in the ocean during a bad storm.
 
Referee Kenny Bayless deducted a point from Fury late in round five, but it didn’t stop Fury from coming forward and continuing to use his height and weight advantage to push Wilder around the ring. In round seven, Fury had Wilder cornered and unloaded with a series of power punches that prompted Wilder’s corner to stop the bout, which the referee officially did at 1:39 of the round.According to CompuBox, Fury was the busier and more effective puncher, out throwing Wilder 267 to 141 and out landing him 82 to 34, including big fifth and sixth rounds where he landed 16 and 14 power punches respectively.
 
 
According to the contracts signed by the fighters, Wilder has thirty (30) days to request a rematch with Fury.
 
As for now, all the laurels go to Tyson Fury –  the new Heavyweight Champion – and still the Gypsy King. 

The co-main event saw former heavyweight champion Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) score a one-punch knockout over Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (20-4-1, 13 KOs) in the sixth-round of their showdown. 
 
“I knew that I had him hurt a few times in the fight,” said Martin. “Every round I think I hurt him, but I just couldn’t finish him. I knew that I had to take my time in there. It took me some rounds to catch up with him, because he’s very quick on the retreat.”
 
Martin landed a powerful left cross late in the round to send Washington to the mat, eventually forcing referee Tony Weeks to wave off the bout 1:57 into the round. The victory is Martin’s third-straight since the beginning of 2019. 
 
“The referee did what he thought was right,” said Washington. “He’s a top notch ref so I won’t complain about the stoppage. He put me down and I got up, so I definitely wanted to get back to it.”
 
“This win means a lot,” said Martin. “It shows that I’ve been working hard. The people can see it. I was never hurt at any point. This has just given me more confidence in myself. I can take the punches and give the punches.”

Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (31-1, 27 KOs) made the fifth successful defense of his WBO junior featherweight world title in less than a year, knocking out Filipino challenger Jeo Santisima (19-3, 16 KOs) in the 11th round. Navarrete, from San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, is boxing’s most active world champion, as he has won five in a row by stoppage since winning the world title via decision over Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe in December 2018.

In the PPV opener, Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora (14-0-1, 9 KOs) won via unanimous decision over Australia’s Daniel Lewis (6-1, 4 KOs) in their 10-round battle of super welterweight unbeatens.
 
“I think it was a fair decision and a good fight,” said Fundora. “There were a lot of hard punches. I knew he would be tough. When they told me I was fighting an Olympian, I knew it would be a tough fight. He probably had more experience than me, but we prepared the right way and got the win.”
 
The nearly 6’7” Fundora used his extraordinary reach to land big straight left hands and uppercuts against his smaller opponent, as Lewis tried to navigate the distance and land power shots on the inside. Both men had their noses bloodied in a fight that featured 272 power punches landed combined.
 
After 10 rounds, Fundora’s activity and power punching accuracy proved to be the difference as he threw over 200 punches more than Lewis and connected on 43% of power punches compared to 29% from Lewis. The judges all saw the bout in favor of Fundora, by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. 
 
“Whether we’re fighting on the inside or the outside, I always want to be the busier fighter,” said Fundora. “The more punches you throw, the more you’re going to land. It’s the way I like to fight.”
 
Wilder vs. Fury II Prelims action saw a crossroads super lightweight battle as 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina (22-2, 9 KOs) moved closer to a world title shot with a convincing eight-round victory over former world title challenger Amir Imam (22-3, 19 KOs), winning by scores of 78-74 twice and 79-73. Molina, from Norwalk, Calif., has now won five in a row.
 
The opening Prelims bout featured Petros Ananyan (15-2-2, 7 KOs) winning a narrow unanimous decision over previously unbeatenSubriel Matias (15-1, 15 KOs) after a 10-round super lightweight battle.
 
The action packed fight was contested primarily on the inside, with Ananyan taking control in round seven when he landed a series of right hands, punctuated by a left hook that sent Matias into the ropes to score a knockdown. While Matias was able to make it through the fight and go the distance, Ananyan finished strong and won the decision by scores of 96-93 and 95-94 twice.
 
Live streaming action prior to Prelims saw Gabriel Flores Jr. (17-0, 6 KOs), the 19-year-old lightweight sensation from Stockton, Calif., secure an eight-round unanimous decision over Matt Conway (17-2, 7 KOs) by scores of 80-71 twice and 79-72. Flores knocked Conway down in the opening round.
 
Sensational 17-year-old prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. (5-0, 3 KOs) dropped Corey Champion (1-3, 1 KO) in round one on his way to a unanimous decision in their four-round welterweight fight, winning by scores of 40-34 and 40-35 twice on the judges’ cards.  
 
Tyson Fury stablemate Isaac “The Westgate Warrior” Lowe (20-0-3, 6 KOs) remained unbeaten, defending his WBC International featherweight belt via 10-round unanimous decision over former two-time world title challenger Alberto Guevara (27-6, 12 KOs). Lowe knocked down Guevara in the eighth round and pulled away to win by scores of 96-87 twice and 95-88. Both fighters had three points deducted for assorted fouls.
 
The opening bout saw unbeaten prospect Rolando Romero (11-0, 10 KOs) score a second round TKO over previously undefeated Arturs Ahmetovs (5-1, 2 KOs) after referee Robert Hoyle halted the action 1:22 into the round.
Press Release info from Top Rank
Photos from Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
 

Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II Purses

According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder had base purses of $5 million, though both had more than $25 million in guaranteed earnings, plus percentages of pay-per-view profits at a 50-50 split.

In their first meeting, Deontay Wilder had a guaranteed $4 million purse, while Tyson Fury was guaranteed #$3 million.  

If Wilder decides to take the rematch clause option for a third battle, with the immediate guaranteed rematch clause within 30 days, that would have a 60-40 purse split in favor of Fury.

Guaranteed base purses:

Deontay Wilder ($5 million) vs. Tyson Fury ($5 million)

Charles Martin ($250,000) vs. Gerald Washington ($275,000)

Emanuel Navarrete ($300,000) vs. Jeo Tupas Santisima ($25,000)

Sebastian Fundora ($40,000) vs. Daniel Lewis ($35,000)

Subriel Matias ($50,000) vs. Petros Ananyan ($30,000)

Amir Imam ($30,000) vs. Javier Molina ($35,000)

Rolando Romero ($8,000) vs. Arturs Ahmetovs ($7,000)

Gabriel Flores Jr. ($15,000) vs. Matt Conway ($20,000)

Vito Mielnicki Jr. ($4,000) vs. Corey Champion ($5,000)

Isaac Lowe ($30,000) vs. Alberto Guevara ($6,000)

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Robert Conrad, the athletic, boxing lover, two-fisted actor who starred as Secret Service agent James West and did his own spectacular stunts on the 1960s futuristic CBS Western

 The Wild Wild West  passed at 84

By Henry Hascup

Conrad died Saturday of heart failure in Malibu, family spokesman Jeff Ballard told the Associated Press. “He lived a wonderfully long life, and while the family is saddened by his passing, he will live forever in their hearts,” he said.

Conrad, among the actors employed by Warner Bros. Television to appear on the studio’s stable of shows starting in the 1950s, first gained attention for playing Tom Lopaka, a partner in a detective agency, on ABC’s Hawaiian Eye.

Robert Conrad

The Chicago native also was known for starring as real-life World War II pilot Maj. Greg “Pappy” Boyington on NBC’s 1976-78 period drama Baa Baa Black Sheep (later known in syndication as Black Sheep Squadron), one of the first series created by Stephen J. Cannell.

Conrad, though, always said that the performance he was most proud of was his turn as the French-Canadian trapper Pasquinel in James Michener’s Centennial, the 16 1/2-hour, 12-episode miniseries about the evolution of the American West that aired on NBC in 1978-79. 

He said Michener was on the set during production and told him that he “played the character better than he had written it,” Conrad noted during a 2006 chat for the website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television.

James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin)

James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin)

On The Wild Wild West, the lithe, blue-eyed Conrad starred as a government agent, working for President Ulysses S. Grant, who employed modern technology to combat villains in the 19th century. Jim West, who wore his spiffy clothes a bit too tight, rode a champion horse and had an eye for the ladies, was paired with Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin), a master of disguise.

The show was “James Bond as a cowboy,” and indeed, series creator Michael Garrison had once owned the movie rights to Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel, Casino RoyaleWild Wild West lasted four seasons, on the air from September 1965 through April 1969, and attracted another legion of fans in reruns.

Conrad and stuntman Whitey Hughes usually choreographed the show’s acrobatic fights (the scripts gave them an amount of time to do them, and they figured things out). Near the end of one season, Conrad said he almost was killed when he fell 14 feet onto a cement floor; he suffered what he described as a “six-inch linear fracture with a high temporal concussion.”

Concerned that they would lose the star of their show, CBS executives insisted a stunt double step in for Conrad, but that practice lasted only a couple of episodes, and, after a summer of healing, he was soon back “breaking things,” just as he always did.

He was one of the few actors to have been inducted into the Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.

“Ross Martin once said in an interview on the Johnny Carson show, ‘Robert does his own stunts, and I do my own acting,'” he said. Asked if he took offense to that, Conrad replied: “I applauded it, it was the truth. I did my acting tongue in cheek. I didn’t take any of it seriously. The last year, I didn’t even read the scripts, I just read my part. And it worked.”

Conrad’s ego and toughness also were on display during the Battle of the Network Stars specials, where he more often than not captained the NBC squad to victory. (He did lose one memorable race to Welcome Back Kotter‘s Gabe Kaplan, getting caught down in the stretch.) 

And in three years as a popular Eveready pitchman, Conrad stared into the camera and challenged anyone to knock a battery off his shoulder.

“Come on, I dare you,” he said.

Conrad Robert Falk was born on March 1, 1935 on the South Side of Chicago. His father, Leonard, worked in construction and became vice president of the National Sugar Co., and his mother, Jacqueline, did PR and had clients including Patti Page and Vic Damone.

He played running back in high school, thought about a career as a boxer and, when he wasn’t loading or driving a truck, sang in a trio that performed in Chicago hotels.

After standing outside theaters to drum up publicity for 1956’s Giant (his mother had been dating a Warner Bros. executive, and Conrad bore a resemblance to the recently deceased James Dean), he thought he might try acting.

He attended Northwestern University, majoring in theater arts, and became friends with Rebel Without a Cause actor Nick Adams, who got him a part in Juvenile Jungle (1958).

For a TV show, Conrad landed a gig as a Native American who gets shot and falls off his horse. He fell backward, risking great injury. “That established me as having the talent to do stunts,” he said. “So when there was a speaking role associated with a stunt, they’d hire me. You got two for the price of one.” 

During rehearsals for a fight sequence on the Warner Bros./ABC series Maverick, Conrad told his actor he was about to tussle with, “‘You’re getting too close, you’re getting too close,'” he recalled. “I said to the director, ‘Why don’t you double him?’ He said, ‘We don’t have a double for him, he’s going to have to smack you.’ I said, ‘If he does, he’s going to regret it.’

“So we rolled cameras, and sure enough, he hit me, and I hit him back. That went out to one of the executives, and one of them said, ‘I like that kid.’ And then they put me under contract.” 

Conrad played Lopaka, who was half-Caucasian and half-native Hawaiian, for four seasons on Hawaiian Eye, which also starred Anthony Eisley and Connie Stevens. (Lopaka also appeared on crossover episodes of another exotic WBTV show, 77 Sunset Strip.)

After starring with Marisol in the 1964 Spanish movie La nueva Cenicienta (The New Cinderella), Conrad was playing ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd opposite Adams in Young Dillinger (1965) when he headed over to CBS after lunch to test for a new show, The Wild Wild West

Very quickly, Conrad got a phone call saying he had been hired and was to start work the following Monday in Sonora, California. (He also said he turned down a chance to play Larry Hagman’s part on I Dream of Jeannie.)

Conrad said he trained in karate during the first season of Wild Wild West, and as the series went on, he wore blue underwear so that when his tight pants ripped during fights, the audience couldn’t tell.

During the show, Conrad often times employed the services  of former boxers such as former heavyweight challenger Roland LaStarza as extras and stunt men on the The Wild Wild West.

With television violence coming under fire from politicians in the wake of the 1968 assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., Wild West West was canceled despite drawing a 33 share of the audience in its 1968-69 season.

Conrad said Baa Baa Black Sheep was axed because it was deemed too violent as well. “I got a double hit,” he said.

Wild Wild West, of course, was refashioned as a 1999 movie, with Will Smith passing up a chance to star in The Matrix to portray Jim West. Conrad called the remake “horrible” and “pathetic” and gladly accepted the Razzie Award for the film.

Conrad also starred on other short-lived series including The D.A.Assignment: Vienna, The DukeA Man Called SloaneHigh Mountain Rangers and High Sierra Search and Rescue; hosted Saturday Night Live (musical guest: The Allman Brothers) in 1982; and played John Dillinger in The Lady in Red (1979) and a Richard Nixon confidant in the 1982 NBC telefilm Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy.

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Gunboat Smith (February 17, 1887 – August 6, 1974) was an Irish American boxer, film actor and later a boxing referee. Smith’s career record reads like a veritable Who’s Who of the early 20th century boxing scene, facing 12 different Hall of Famers a combined total of 23 times. Among the all-time greats he faced were the legendary Jack Dempsey, Harry Greb, Sam Langford, and Georges Carpentier.

Heavyweight contender Edward “Gunboat” Smith 52 Wins (38 Knockouts), 28 Defeats (12 Knockouts), 10 Draws, 1 No Contest[.

Joe Frazier L) defeats Muhammad Ali R) in their first fight in 1971.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler L) has his hands full with the power and punching of Roberto Duran in their 1983 fight for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world that Hagler won on a disputed decision.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler L) has his hands full with the power and punching of Roberto Duran in their 1983 fight for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world that Hagler won on a disputed decision.

 

Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins

Muhammad Ali at the Army draft office.

Muhammad Ali at the Army draft office.

 

Former Champ Joe Louis with Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali getting knocked down by Chuck Wepner in 1975

A young Mike Tyson

Deontay Wilder

Tyson Fury after winning the WBC Championship Belt

WBO, WBA, and IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua

Joe Louis in his fighting prime

Muhammad Ali wearing the robe that Elvis Presley gave him


A crowd of 18,000 gathered at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco to watch Rocky Marciano make his sixth defense of the World Heavyweight Championship against Don Cockell.

Manny Pacquiao

Roberto Duran with his pet lion.

Champions Danny Romero (L) and Iran “The Blade” Barkley (R) at the Boxing Ha;ll of Fame.  (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)

 

Julian “The Hawk” Jackson in his prime.

Jack Dempsey at a New York Yankee baseball game in the 1920s.

Roberto Duran (L) and Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R)

Floyd “Money” Mayweather

Bobby Chacon (R) being coached by Sugar Ray Robinson (L)

Lennox Lewis

Sonny Liston

Tommy Hearns and James “Lights Out” Toney

Roberto Duran and George Foreman

Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali

Former heavyweight king Max Baer, wife Mary Ellen Sullivan and baby son Max Baer Jr. in 1937

Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali.

Sergeant Joe Louis signing autographs for his fellow soldiers during World War II.

Heavyweight Champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier in the streets of Philadelphia.

Michael Spinks, Jersey Joe Walcott, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard among others at Joe Louis’ gravestone.

Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson with movie icon James Cagney.

Junior Welterweight Champion Arturo Gatti getting his hands wrapped.

Rocky Marciano with Sonny Liston.

Former Heavyweight Champions Tommy Burns, James J. Corbett, James J. Jeffries and John L. Sullivan

  Former Heavyweight champion Max Baer (L) with actor John Wayne (C) and his son Max Baer Jr. (R)

Former Heavyweight champ Max Baer (L) with actor John Wayne (C) and his son Max Baer Jr. (R)

Trainer Yank Durham with Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier

Jack Dempsey (R) training after his career ended.

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The USA Boxing News Cover Over The Years

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Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson with the USA Boxing News

Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson with the USA Boxing News

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Elvis Presley’s Graceland Home Museum celebrates Elvis’ boxing movie Kid Galahad on display

 

Elvis as the boxer Kid Galahad

Elvis as the boxer Kid Galahad

The trunks and robe from Elvis as Kid Galahad on display in Graceland.

The USA Boxing News publisher John Rinaldi at the Elvis Kid Galahad exhibit.

 

“I enjoy rugged sports. I’m not knocking people who like golf and tennis and other things. But I like rugged sports such as boxing, football, karate and things like that.”  –  Elvis Presley

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A Holiday Memory


Roberto Duran and our Father

By John and Alex Rinaldi

Going into Christmas, we cannot thank our readers enough for their continued support of our website and our boxing publication for over 37 years.

Robert Duran (R) vs. Davey Moore (L) (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)

In an almost magical and mythical way, the sport of boxing and its fans have, since the days of the bare knucklers, established a special, lasting bond that somehow connects the viewer to the participants in the ring. It is also the type of sport that can lift one’s spirits, especially when life’s misfortunes and personal tragedies can tend to swirl around like a deadly tempest raining down on everything and everyone until all that’s left is despair and sadness.

No one is ever spared from this, and even the warmest of holidays often play a part in the the overall melancholy of the time.  We  are  certainly  not  immune  to  this  feeling  and  loss. Roberto Duran (L) slugging Pipino Cuevas (R) in 1983

Christmas was such a time 37 years ago, and it remains to this day a bittersweet holiday for us.

Growing up we had wonderful Christmas days and we still do to this day. There was, however, a Christmas where our world simply fell apart.  Robert Duran (L) looking for an opening against Davey Moore (R) (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)

On Christmas Eve in 1982, in our house in Stuart, Florida, our Father, and the founder of this publication, Joseph Rinaldi, was diagnosed with terminal liver and colon cancer and was given only three months to live. For a few months before the diagnosis, he was suffering from intestinal pains and was losing weight. He actually thought at the worse that he had an ulcer. Sadly, he found out that at the age of 46, his days, like a prisoner on death row, were mortally numbered.

Roberto Duran (L) going in for the kill against former welterweight champion Pipino Cuevas (R) in 1983

Roberto Duran (L) going in for the kill against former welterweight champion Pipino Cuevas (R) in 1983

For a man who had achieved such phenomenal success in his life, it was hard to fathom that this great man’s final days were to be spent battling for his life.

There is a famous quote by the legendary Confederate General Robert E. Lee where he says, “I would rather die a thousand deaths than surrender.” Our Father had what can only be termed as “true grit” as he fought bravely on, challenging the cancer along with the naysayers and charlatans so prevalent in the medical community. Though death greeted him at his doorstop every day for nine long months, he still kept punching back until he eventually succumbed to the deadly cancer on September 23, 1983.

John and Alex Rinaldi with Roberto Duran in 1982

When you watch a person that you admire suffer so badly, who is not just a father, but a mentor and a hero, it is hard to bear and for those like us going through it, the world tends to lose all its color and replaces it with the funereal pallor of black.

But sometimes were there is nothing but black and bleakness, miracles and heroes seem to emerge through the darkness, and for a brief time a short reprieve is granted to the forlorn.

Robert Duran (L) pounding Davey Moore (R) (Photo by Alex Rinaldi) Robert Duran (L) pounding Davey Moore (R) (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)

This is what happened to us. A savior arrived in the form of Roberto Duran and boxing gave us the only streaks of light, as the sun slowly shone through the cracks caused by the mighty fists of the man with the Hands of Stone.


Roberto Duran (r) attacking Davey Moore (L) in June of 1983

Roberto Duran was always our family’s favorite fighter. From the time he became a world champion, we marveled at his skill, charisma and punching power. Because of this, he was, and remained our true boyhood hero.

Though he reached the highest heights and peaks of boxing, by 1983, the once great pugilist was considered washed up. In 1982, he went 1-2 when he lost  a title bid against WBC super welterweight king Wilfred Benitez on a close decision on January 20, 1982, and then was robbed in a split-decision loss to Kirland Laing on September 4, 1982. After two decision losses, Top Rank picked up Duran and set him back on his winning ways. It began on the Aaron Pryor-Alexis Arguello undercard on November 12, 1982. Duran was the after-fight walk-out bout where he earned $25,000 in beating Jimmy Batten on a ten-round decision.

It was during his training for Laing at Larry Holmes’ training quarters in Easton, Pennsylvania, where the Rinaldi Brothers and our dad would go to visit. Before long we became very friendly with the fistic legend, and he never failed us nor ever disappointed us. 

After the Laing fight, and nearing the end of 1982, it appeared that there was little hope in the future of the career of Roberto Duran. Nevertheless, while others urged Duran to retire, we and The USA Boxing News felt that he was far from washed up. As luck would have it, so did promoter Bob Arum.

Arum’s Top Rank, Inc. smartly took on Duran and matched him against the power punching former WBA welterweight king Pipino Cuevas on January 29, 1983 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, CA. While the Super Bowl was playing nearby the same week, the hottest ticket in town was for the Duran-Cuevas fight. So much so that a capacity crowd of 16,824 turned out for the fight and produced a live gate of $408,000. Both fighters were each guaranteed $50,000, plus a share of the closed circuit revenue.

In one of the most thrilling slugfests in boxing history, Duran, 152, brutally stopped Cuevas, 149, at 2:26 of fourth round of the scheduled 12-rounder. Duran was back and his heroics were just about to begin.

With the illness of our Father, we were unable to go to the fight live, but instead viewed the fight on closed-circuit at the Felt Forum in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Duran’s performance was so exhilarating that on this night our Father was able to forget about his pain and his dreaded outlook and immersed himself in the exciting ring action.

While our Father courageously battled on, Duran was set to give our Dad one more respite from his impending doom.

With the win over Cuevas, Arum decided that Duran would make a good opponent for the undefeated WBA junior middleweight king Davey Moore. The match was then set for June 16, 1983 at Madison Square Garden.

Roberto Duran (L) knocking Davey Moore (R) to the canvas in front of a packed house in Madison Square Garden.

Roberto Duran (L) knocking Davey Moore (R) to the canvas in front of a packed house in Madison Square Garden.

Going into the battle, this publication was the only one who gave Duran a chance to win. With a sell-out crowd of 20,191 on hand, producing an incredible live gate of $964,305 (this was at a time when the ringside seats were only $100) Duran entered the ring a 5-2 underdog.

On this night, our Father was too ill to attend and was slipping away at a rapid pace. We went in his place and were at ringside to see Duran, 152 ½, give the performance of a lifetime as he tore into Moore, 154, and ferociously pummeled him from pillar to post.

As the crowd cheered, Duran scored an incredible knockdown in the seventh round and in the next round, finished off Moore at 2:02 of Round 8.

The fight was rebroadcast on CBS on June 19, 1983 and although he was racked with pain that no medicine could subside, our Father was laying down on our living room couch and once again, his thoughts were detoured from death to watching Roberto Duran pull off the upset win. That was the last time that the pain would ever temporarily leave our Father again.

Things would go downhill from there. Our Father was such gallant battler, that we never thought he would die. It was as if Rocky Marciano could ever lose a fight. We thought our Dad would make a comeback. He did outlast all of his physicians’ predictions and held out for nine months, while the prognostications said he would be dead in 90 days.

Roberto Duran (L) pounds Davey Moore (R) with a jarring left to the body.

He did it all virtually by himself. The fraudulent medical community, more interested in taking patients’ monies  for treatments just a step above the potions of snake Oil Salesmen, were both useless and greedy.  They showed the care of a rattlesnake and offered the hope of a hangman. My father had a better chance of climbing Mount Everest, than receiving any curing treatment from American physicians.

Roberto Duran training for his fight with Davey Moore in 1983 (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)

The comeback never came and three months after Duran defeated Moore, the ten-count was tolled for our father. Thankfully, because of the many who read this worldwide publication and website, his memory still lives on.

Because this publication soldiers on and thrives to this day, our Father and Roberto Duran are both almost like the Jimmy Stewart character in It’s a Wonderful Life, where Stewart realizes what an impact he had on so many people just by living his life and doing good deeds to others.

Joseph Rinaldi in December 1982

This may be an odd Christmas story because it ends in the death of an extraordinary man. But it shows that boxing and a great fighter like Roberto Duran can take away the pain of a dying man and give him a few happy moments in such bleak times, as well as offer a brief intermission from despair to his loved ones and, provide in its place, thrills and happiness during a family’s darkest hours. 


Gerard and Joseph Rinaldi in 1982

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” ― Bob Hope.

We think of our father every Christmas Eve. Although he is gone, he is never forgotten by us and is always in our thoughts, and it is every time we think of Roberto Duran, we think about the smiles he gave to a man whose life, like a broken clock,  was running out of time.

That is what makes boxing the special sport it is.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the both of us to all of our readers.

Keep Punching!

 

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Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Celebrates 2019 Induction Class

By Kirk Lang

(CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY)

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FAMOUS FIGHT PROGRAMSTICKETS AND FIGHT POSTERS

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THE USA BOXING NEWS

BOOK REVIEW

(CLICK ON PICTURE TO VIEW STORY)

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The USA Boxing News

Book Review

 

PROPER PUGILIST

ESSAYS ON THE MILLING SPORT

BY ROGER ZOTTI

Reviewed by John Rinaldi

There is no other sport like boxing where there is a plethora of fascinating stories and anecdotes to read about.  Author Roger Lottie has formulated a page-turner book that is bursting to its seams with marvelous stories that will entertain fans of pugilism.

Roger Lottie is not only a talented writer, but he is a lifelong fan of the squared ring and a member on the Board of Directors of the esteemed Connecticut Boxing Hall  of Fame.  Mr. Zotti takes the reader on a journey over the past 100 years with stories, essays and anecdotes featuring the likes of Rocky Marciano, Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Archie Moore, Jess Willard, Max Baer, Jose Torres, Joey Maxim, Billy Conn, Tony Galento, Sonny Liston, Jake LaMotta, Billy Miske, Stanley Ketchel, Muhammad Ali and many other ring legends.  The author even has a interesting passage concerning the immortal actor Errol Flynn while he was filming the boxing classic “Gentleman Jim” in 1942.

There is nothing more entertaining than reading a book jam packed with humorous tales of boxers and their memorable fights. 

Besides famous fighters, Mr. Zotti injects the wisdom of his uncles Vincenzo and Cheech, who helped spark the fire of the author’s love of the fight game, along with the boxing fans he chatted with at Pepe’s Apizza.

The wondrous book is like chest filled with treasures of boxing yore.  One such nugget is a story of Jack Dempsey making a phone call to Luis Firpo a few days after their classic 1923 heavyweight championship battle in the Polo Grounds. Dempsey apologizes to Firpo for belting him when he was barely back on his feet. The champ remarked over the telephone to Firpo, “You hit me so hard I didn’t know what I was doing. I was mixed up.” Firpo’s response was that there were three men in the ring, and if Dempsey didn’t know what he was doing, why didn’t he hit the referee?

That is great stuff and book has tons of these type of stories.  This reviewer enjoyed every page of the book.

Those boxing fans who are also movie lovers, would like the passages featuring film greats like Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Richard Conte, Claud Rains and others.

This is the type of tome that a boxing fan can sit down on a comfortable chair, put his feet up and sit back and read an amazing book.

This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The book can be purchased in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. 

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Shakur Stevenson is crowned world champion in Reno

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Undefeated Bantamweight Sensation Avril Mathie 

Avril Mathie

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Legendary Fighters with

The USA Boxing News

Former Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield holding current issue of The USA Boxing News

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Roberto Duran reading The USA Boxing News.

Roberto Duran in 2000 with a young Ron John Rinaldi (L) and Joseph Rinaldi (R)

The Boxing Twins with Joe Frazier

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Everything I have in this world, I owe to the sport of boxing, and I won’t ever forget that.

– Oscar De La Hoya

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JERSEY JOE WALCOTT

A Heavyweight Legend

Camden New Jersey is Honoring the Great Champion with a new Statue

Read Story and Watch Videos By clicking the Photo

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The Boxing Twins Current  USA  BOXING  NEWS Stories  and Press  Release page

THE OSCAR DE LA HOYA FOUNDATION HOSTS BOXING EVENT FOR THE COMMUNITY AT PASADENA CITY HALL

 

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Check out

ROCKY  MARCIANO

THE UNDEFEATED TERROR OF THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION PAGE

With never Seen Before Videos and Photos of Rocky Marciano and his Times

Rocky Marciano winning the heavyweight Championship of the World

Rocky Marciano winning the heavyweight Championship of the World

Rocky Marciano (R) with Joe DiMaggio (L) and President Dwight Eisenhower

Rocky Marciano knocking out Jersey Joe Walcott to capture the heavyweight Championship of the World

Rocky Marciano at his training camp.

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2015-10-05-2

 

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Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone with John Rinaldi

 

USA Boxing News Editor Alex rinaldi with Sherman Hemsley, the American actor, best known for his roles as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series Amen, and B.P. Richfield on the ABC series Dinosaurs.
         Press Photo to view The USA Boxing News with Champions and Celebrities Page.

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CHECK OUT THE

FAMOUS FIGHT PROGRAMS , TICKETS, AND FIGHT POSTERS PAGE

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Check out and click photos to view

FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT PHOTO PAGE

Sugar Ray Robinson (L) nailing Kid Gavilan (R) with a thudding left to the jaw.

Joe Frazier (L) nailing Muhammad Ali with a jarring left hook in the 15th round oftheir first bout.

Jack Johnson won the World Heavyweight Title on December 26, 1908, when he fought the Canadian world champion Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.

Bob Foster looking over a fallen Mike Quarry after knocking ohim out in his bid for the light heavyweight title.

Ron Lyle (L) and George Foreman *R) fight one of the greatest ring brawls of all-time.

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Manny Pacquiao Wins a split decision over Keith Thurman for WBA Welterweight title

By Ron John Rinaldi

July 21 – Las Vegas, Nevada. Boxing has a strange and twisted history when an old legendary fighter comes up against some young gunslinger. First, the younger fighter wants to knock the older fighter’s block off so he can carry the torch and force the older fighter into the bastions of yesterday and retirement. Second, the younger one feels that “today” is his time and that the older champion is a mere member of the old guard soon to be replaced by the new guard, namely himself.

Great fighters like Davey Moore, and later Iran Barkley, once shared the identical thought about Roberto Duran in the 1980’s, and Duran proved them both sadly wrong.

In this fight, the undefeated 30 year old champion Keith Thurman had the same thought in mind. This was made apparent in the pre-fight press conferences leading up to the fight where Thurman kept declaring that he, and not Pacquiao, was the best welterweight out there, and that the 40 year old ring great no longer deserved to be at the top of the welterweights. “I want to show the world that I deserve to be at the top,” exclaimed Thurman. So much so that Thurman made three bets to not only win, but to knock out Pacquiao in rounds 1, 2, or 7.

The famed gunfighter Wyatt Earp once famously said, “When you have to choose between fact and legend print the legend.”  But that underlies the fact that their legend actually derives from iconic morsels of pure and real fact. The same goes for the legendary fighter and modern day gunslinger Manny Pacquiao. 

Like Davey Moore and Iran Barkley before him, Thurman painfully learned that sometimes it is easier to can a live alligator, than it is to beat a legend. This is especially true for that young great fighter when he squares off against a legend who happens to strike lightning one more time again, and returns to his once lethal greatness.

Well, that happened here before a sellout crowd of over 14,000 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 146 1/2,  beat previously  undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith “One-Time” Thurman via split decision to capture his title.

Pacquiao (L) dropping Thurman in round one.

Going into the bout, Manny was the favorite at -150, while Thurman was the underdog at +125. Meanwhile unlike Thurman, Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach wisely bet $5,000 on his man.

In an exciting give and take affair, that saw action throughout its twelve full rounds, both fighters firmly acquitted themselves well and gave the fans their money’s worth.

At the start of the fight Thurman, 146 1/2,  came out fast in round one scoring with straight rights to Pacquiao’s head and lefts to the body. Then with a 28 seconds remaining in the round, Manny raced after a retreating Thurman and landed a quick three punch combinations of right-left-right to the jaw that dropped Keith swiftly to the ring floor. Though it was a flash knockdown, it soon set the tone off the fight, which was that the 8 division world champion Pacquiao at age 40, was still a dreaded adversary to face within the ring ropes. It also gave the Filipino a 10-8 round, which would be a telling factor later when the time came for the tallying up of the scores.

Pacquiao (R) and Thurman (L) squaring off with the other.

Pacquiao still had the speed, both hand and foot, that he had since his younger days and even carried the punch with him as well.  Like the song he came into the ring with, Survivor’s  Eye of The Tiger, Manny never stopped punching during the bout, eventually bloodying Thurman’s nose and causing a swelling under his eyes.

To his credit, Thurman fought like the champion he is and scored well and often with straight rights, right uppercuts and lefts hooks that landed with power on his aggressive foe. For instance he stunned Manny several times in round 7, catching the Filipino legend with jarring blows to the chin and ribs, a couple of which actually stunned him.

It was just that Pacquiao threw the greater number of blows 696 to Thurman’s 571, though Thurman landed 210 to Manny’s 195. Regardless, Thurman could never catch up, though he gave it his all throughout. But his “all” on this night did not add up to be enough.

The judges scored it a close split decision with Manny winning by two judges’ scores of 115-112, while one judge gave it to Thurman by a score of 114-113. The USA Boxing News also scored it for Pacquiao by a score of 115-112.

Thurman (L) lands a hard left hook to the ribs of Pacquiao.

Manny whose record upped to 62-7-2 (39 KO’s) pocketed a guaranteed $10 million plus a percentage of sales, which should bring his take up to around $20 million, said after the bout, “He [Keith Thurman] did his best, and I did my best, and i think the two of us gave the fans their money’s worth.”

Meanwhile Thurman whose record fell to a still impressive 29-1 (23 KO’s) also brought home a large guaranteed purse of $2.5 million plus a percentage of receipts, which should bring his final tally to about $8 million, was gratuitous in defeat, and said, “This was a beautiful night of boxing. Manny got the victory over me. I wish I had more output. I would love a rematch.”

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 and
     

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THE BEATLES with MUHAMMAD ALI.

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                            ________________

 

 

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction 2019

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FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY

Muhammad Ali training at his camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania.

 

Sylvester Stallone and Matthew Saad Muhammad, 2006

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BOXING COMICS AND DRAWINGS

Harry Greb

 

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THE AFTERMATH

Andy Ruiz changes heavyweight history after his stunning knockout of Anthony Joshua to win the heavyweight championship

By Alex and John Rinaldi

With British flags flying throughout Madison Square Garden draping the Mecca of Boxing in the symbols and colors of the Union Jack, it appeared as if the British monarchy was staging a Royal reception on American soil.

Considering that fifty-five years ago the Beatles were barnstorming America in the second British invasion since the Revolutionary War, it now seemed again that the English were staging another form of a British Boxing invasion. This time, its king Anthony Joshua was charging into battle against the colonists, being led on this particular Saturday by a relatively unknown Andy Ruiz.

Anthony Joshua (L) bangs Andy Ruiz(R) to the body.

If the British thought they could have easily outgunned the Americans in 1775 to defeat; with Joshua as the helm, the thousands of  his countryman who trekked in from the United Kingdom, now ashore in New York City,  thought that their man’s win was a foregone conclusion and his success as secured as a Royal seal.

Joshua (R) nails Ruiz (L) witha thudding left hook.

Well, the night’s fight did actually come to resemble a royal event. In fact,  it turned out to be a coronation of a new King when Andy Ruiz shockingly knocked out Joshua in seven rounds to capture three of the top four heavyweight championship belts and with it the specter as the King of the Heavyweights.

More interestingly, for the first time in years all heavyweight title belts now rest around the waists of two Americans.

Ruiz (R) stabs Joshua with a terrific left.

Before a sellout crowd of 20,201, Anthony Joshua (22-1, 22 KO’s) and Andy Ruiz (22-0, 21 KOs) stunned the crowd and certainly gave them their money’s worth for the course of seven near electrifying rounds.

Announcer Michael Buffer who, in his trademark bellow declaration, always beckons the audience and the fighters to “Let’s get ready to rumble,” could not have been any closer to the truth, as he came off like a gypsy oracle when his hope for a big, mean, street fight came off as a reality.

Ruiz (L) and Joshua (R) trade blows.

Unfortunately for the three belt unified heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua, Buffer’s comments may have affected him more like a gypsy curse, for he ended up touching the canvas more times than Michelangelo, the last one, actually the fourth one, eventually prompting  the referee to stop the fight and end the reign of the British heavyweight sensation.

Though Andy Ruiz, with his underdog win, has become the 21st century’s version of Rocky Balboa, albeit a Mexican one, he is far from a fluke fighter. While he may be built like someone who just rolled out from under a food truck, he has had over 100 amateur wins and his only professional loss was to the eventual WBO heavyweight title holder Joseph Parker on December 10, 2016, in the Parker’s home country of New Zealand. That fight came about by Ruiz being one of the two top ranked contenders willing to fight for the vacant WBO title. After twelve close rounds, Ruiz lost on a majority decision by scores of 114-114 and 115-113 (twice). Many thought that Ruiz won the fight or at least should have been awarded a draw.  “I think I got the win or at least a draw,” said Ruiz. “I think I set the pace with my jab.” Ruiz also stated he wanted to have a rematch with Parker in the future.

Ruiz drops Joshua to the canvas

Two and half years later, Joshua was standing across the ring from him, holding what was once Parker’s belt, and Ruiz was there again hoping to capture a world heavyweight title. This time the venue was not in some god forsaken part of New Zealand. This time the fight was taking place in the most famous boxing arena of them all – New York’s Madison Square Garden – the Pinnacle Palace of boxing.

Going into the bout, Sportsbooks listed Joshua as a -2500 favorite (risk $2,500 to win $100), with Ruiz getting +1100 (risk $100 to win $1100) as the underdog.

Regardless of the odds, Ruiz undeniably battered and beat Joshua and deserved the biggest win of his career along with a solid place on the Mount Rushmore of underdogs. By shockingly defeating British boxing sensation Anthony Joshua via a seventh-round TKO to become the IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion of the world, his countenance should now stand right alongside the likes of Buster Douglas, Hasim Rahman, and James J. Braddock.

After two slow opening rounds that saw Joshua smartly jab his way around the ring moving to his left, while Ruiz countered with right-left combinations, few, if any would have contemplated that in the very next round – round three – all hell would break loose and the dominance of the heavyweight division would dangle on the balance.

Joshua (R0 and Ruiz (L) square of in ring center.

Early in the third round, Joshua landed a hard right to Ruiz’s jaw that jarred him for a moment. Still confident, the challenger tried to mix things up with a couple of quick flurries. Then, with only 40 seconds ticked off in the round, Joshua exploded with a right cross followed by a left hook to the jaw that dropped Ruiz swiftly to the canvas. Up at “five” with the New York crowd on their feet, Ruiz absorbed a few more thudding shots from the champion. Those who came to see Joshua, which was about 20,000 out of the 20,201 in attendance, were already moving ahead to Joshua’s next bout for the undisputed heavyweight championship against Deontay Wilder.

Ruiz (L) pounds Joshua (R) to the head.

Unfortunately, by looking ahead they forgot to look to what was left in the round, which was over two minutes. As Joshua appeared to be going in for the kill with harsh combinations, Ruiz bravely fought back. First it appeared to be strictly to defend himself, and then it switched to him getting on the offensive. Within seconds, swinging madly, but quickly with punches, Ruiz caught Joshua with a short left hook to the chin and a right hand chop to the top of the champion’s head that dropped the Brit like a bale of English tea.

Joshua down on the canvas in round seven.

The crowd was mortified and hoped it was nothing more than a flash knockdown. When Joshua rose at “seven” on unsteady legs, their cheers turned to fear and they hoped that the seconds would sprint through the time dial like a tornado through the heartland. To his credit, Joshua tried valiantly to hang in there and it almost worked until a few seconds left in the round, when Ruiz cornered the champ against the ropes and hammered away at him with a barrel full of leather that dropped Joshua again for the second time in the round. Luckily for him he rose at the count of  “seven” and the round mercifully ended.

The fight now took on the bright light of excitement, though the Joshua contingency prayed that their man would come back as he did against Wladimir Klitschko, and score another big knockout after reaching the lower depths of adversity.

The new heavyweight Champ – Andy Ruiz

It looked to be that way at first as Joshua fought back in rounds four, five, and six, to almost change the momentum of the fight in his favor.

Then came round seven.

The round started off well for Joshua, whose jab became more spear-like and his head seemed as clear as a crystal decanter. Within seconds into the round Joshua stunned Ruiz with a powerful right to the head that stunned him and stopped him in his tracks. Somehow, instead of covering up or retreating to safety, Ruiz stormed into Joshua like a madman intent on destruction. Throwing punches in bunches, Ruiz, in apparent desperation, and with the intent of a human buzz saw, threw all he had at Joshua who was not expecting this type of aggression. Eleven unanswered punches later,  that culminated with another clubbing right to the top of the head, Joshua landed on the canvas for the third time in the bout. Up at “four” and bleeding from the nose, Joshua tried valiantly to defend himself and save his laurels. Seeing blood, actually real blood, Ruiz, like a man on a mission, was not about to let Joshua off the hook and slammed him with a short left hook to the jaw that dropped the champion down for the second time in the round. Once again Joshua rose, but this time he appeared dazed and confused prompting the referee to call a halt to the fight.

Ruiz jumps for joy after stopping Joshua in the seventh round.

The crowd murmured in shock as if they witnessed the death of a loved one.

The loss damaged the immediate future of the heavyweight division, which expected the popular Joshua to leap his way to a big money match with either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

Because of this upset, boxing fans will now have to wait before seeing the long-awaited heavyweight bouts with Joshua against Wilder or Fury because of a rematch clause which will usher in a Joshua-Ruiz II bout in the fall in England.

Joshua (R scores with a right in the early going.

For now all the praise goes to Ruiz. Unlike so many men who fought for the heavyweight tile and never make a challenge of it, Ruiz went for the gold ring and let it all hang out. He cared little for his safety and showed virtually no fear at all for Joshua. Instead, he came forward like a fearless warrior and deservedly scored the biggest knockout win of his life. A life that would never be the same again.

If Joshua made $25 million of this bout, Ruiz is sure to make eight figures for himself in the rematch.

“Mom, I love you,” the new champ Ruiz said at his news conference. “Our lives are going to change; we don’t have to struggle no more.”

Ruiz stands over a fallen Joshua.

On the win, Ruiz remarked, “We’ve been working really hard, man, really hard. I wanted to prove everybody wrong, all the doubters thinking I was going to lose in the third round, first round. I was looking at comments, as well. But what do you know, man? I’m the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world. It’s a blessing. … I’m still pinching myself to see if this is real, man! Wow. It’s amazing.”

On being knocked down in the third round, the new champ admitted, “That was crazy that that happened, right? That was my first time on the canvas. When I was on the canvas I was, like, ‘Whoa, what the hell just happened?’ But I had to get him back. I had to get him back. I think that’s when the Mexican blood in me, the Mexican warrior that I have, I had to return the favor…When I was on the canvas I was, like, ‘Whoa, what the hell just happened?’ But I had to get him back. I think that’s the Mexican blood in me, the Mexican warrior that I have, I had to return the favor.”

Ruiz also agreed with the stoppage, “That’s the referee’s job. The referee knows what he’s doing. If he would’ve just let it go, I think I would’ve stopped the fight in more dramatic fashion, but he did what he had to do. The job was for him…I was waiting for him [Joshua] to open up. I wanted to break him down a little bit more, work the body. He hits really hard, man. He hits pretty hard. I just needed to be smart in there. I thought he opened up too much to where I could counter him. The speed, I think, got to him, and we got this victory.”

As for Joshua, he said truthfully, “I took my first (professional) loss. How to explain that feeling? It has happened to me before but I feel like those times I lost years back have made me a stronger person, It hasn’t really changed me, my work ethic, my mindset, what I stand for, the people I’m still loyal to – my trainer Rob McCracken, my amateur coach at Finchley ABC. I’m still going to work with these guys; they’ll teach me everything I need to know. They’ve done a great job for me not only inside the boxing ring but mainly as a human. They’ve really developed me as a person which is really important. These guys have been with me for years.”

Joshua knocks down Ruiz in round three.

Joshua also refused to make any excuses for his defeat and has vowed to win back the IBO, IBF, WBO and WBA (super) heavyweight titles he lost to the American in New York. “There was no contaminated food. I know there are a lot of accusations or worries about what was wrong with me,” Joshua added. “But I want to tell you this – I’m a soldier and I have to take my ups and my downs. And on Saturday I took a loss and I have to take it like a man. I have to take my loss like a man, no blaming anyone or anything.  I’m the one who went in there to perform and my performance didn’t go to plan. I’m the one who has to adjust, analyze and do my best to correct it and get the job done in the rematch.”

As for his future, Joshua advised, “Boxing is a part of my life and I’m a champion at heart. Congratulations to Andy Ruiz, he has six months or so to be champion because the belts go in the air and he has to defend them against myself.”

In its opening line for the potential rematch, BetOnline made Joshua a -350 favorite, meaning you’d have to bet $350 to win $100. Ruiz, meanwhile, is a +275 underdog. That means you’d win $275 for a $100 wager. It’s not nearly as wide as Ruiz being a +1400 underdog, but it’s an interesting look at how the sports book thinks the public will bet on the rematch.

“Considering Ruiz was a 14/1 underdog this past weekend, it would be hard to justify him being another huge underdog,” Dave Mason, the sports book brand manager for BetOnline, told Forbes. “However, we expect the smart money to come in on Joshua closer to the fight while the public will probably back Ruiz again.”

As for the British, they have always showed guts and tenacity, Dunkirk and the famous brave air fight in the Battle of Britain, proved that; and it cemented their do or die attitude.  Joshua can certainly come back. He has showed that type of mettle. The only thing left is whether he has that true grit to make the comeback and restore his place on the cliff of the heavyweight hierarchy.

As for Ruiz, he has the skills to remain the champion. Still whatever lies in his future, for one monumental, historic evening in the ring of rings in Madison Square Garden, Ruiz fought like a warrior and emerged the victor in one of boxing’s greatest ring battles. He came, he fought hard, and he conquered. It is the story line of myths and one of the backdrops of glory. Ruiz succeeded in both. For now there is a new King, for whatever will be his reign, he has achieved immortality and riches well beyond his wildest dreams. Cheers go out to him.

Heavyweight boxing is back big. Long live the heavyweight division.

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Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin pounds out former champ Zab “Super” Judah to win vacant NABA super lightweight title

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Terence Crawford successfully defends WBO welterweight title after Amur Khan surrenders after low blow
STORY BY JOHN RINALDI
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEXANDER RINALDI

Crawford (R) and  Khan (L) squaring off against each other.

Crawford (R) and Khan (L) squaring off against each other.

April 20 – New York City, NY. Top Rank, Inc. led by Bob Arum, demonstrated once more that after over half a century of promoting, they are still a dominating force in pugilism. On Easter Weekend in New York City, an impressive crowd of 14,091 fans turned out to see a Nebraska fighter take on an English adversary.


WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, appears to be heading up the steps of super stardom. He first arrived on the big stage when he outpointed the popular Ricky Burns on March 1, 2014 for the WBO World Lightweight Championship. After two successful title defenses, Crawford bludgeoned Thomas Dulcimer on April 18, 2015 to win the vacant WBO World Super Lightweight crown. Terence then defended his laurels six more times, also scooping up the WBC Super Lightweight title belt in the process, before he moved up to TKO the conqueror of Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn, on June 9, 2018 to capture the WBO World Welterweight Championship.
Crawford is a busy fighter and four months later he stopped Jose Bedridden Jr. in a barn burner on October 13 to retain his 147-pound belt for the first time.

Crawford (R) knocking Khan (L) down in round one.

The problem Crawford has faced, however, is that he had not beaten many household names to enhance his reputation. He needed a known opponent to take him up another rung of the ladder. That unlikely foe turned out to be Amur “King Khan” Khan, the former super lightweight king.

At one time, Khan, of Bolton, Lancashire, UK, was a hero in Great Britain. He defeated the great Marco Antonio Barrera on a technical decision (due to a clash of heads) on March 14, 2009, and four months later outpointed Andriy Kotelnik to win the WBA Super Lightweight Championship. Over the next three years he defended his belt five times against tough characters as Dmitiy Salita (TKO-1), Paulie Malignaggi (TKO-11), Marco Maidana (W-12), Paul McCloskey (TD-6) and Zab Judah (KO-5 and also capturing the IBF World Super Lightweight Crown) before being dethroned by Lamont Peterson on a 12-round split decision on December 10, 2011.

Khan (R) jabbing Crawford in the early going.

The loss to Peterson was a disputed one, but when he was destroyed in four rounds by Danny Garcia in his next outing on July 14, 2012, it appeared to be the end of Khan’s rising boxing star.


After two points wins over Luis Collazo (wining the WBA Int’l Welterweight Title and vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Belt) and Devon Alexander in 2014, Khan inexplicably moved all the way up to the middleweight division to take on the power punching WBC World Middleweight king Saul Alvarez, where he was punished and KO’d in the sixth round.

Crawford (R) and Khan (L) looking for an opening.

Once more Khan tried to rise from the ashes and captured a pair of wins over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas in 2018 to place himself in the #2 position in the WBO World Welterweight Rankings.

Although most believed that Khan was in way over his head against the likes of Crawford, there were still some believers out there (mostly in Great Britain) that Khan’s once vaulted punching power could pull off a miracle. Sadly miracles are in short supply in New York City boxing rings.

Crawford (L) and Khan (R) tryong to make something happen.

The two fighters entered the ring in Madison Square Garden in top shape, but right from the outset, the difference in the two fighters’ power was obvious. Crawford, 146.4, appeared to hurt the challenger with every punch he landed. Khan fought cautiously, while Crawford pounded away with both fists. Suddenly in the opening frame, the champion smashed a mighty right to the head of Khan that froze him for a brief millisecond before a left hook to the face send him toppling to the canvas.

Crawford (L) attacking Khan (R) .

Bravely rising, Khan appeared okay as he moved away from the walloping shots of Crawford. Amir tried to land a few lefts and rights to hold off the champion, but was tagged at the end of the frame with a crunching right hand that staggered him.

Khan (L) pummeling Crawford (R) in round three.

After the beating in the opening round, Khan appeared to have removed the cobwebs from his rattled brain and attacked with jolting combinations. Crawford, however, would then retaliate with a barrage of leather with punches coming from all angles possible, battering away at the Brit’s arms, body and head. Khan, 146.6, kept his composure and managed to score with some telling shots. Near the end of the session, Amir rocked Crawford with a vicious right hand that knocked the champion into the ropes. The right hand wallop was the best punch of Round 2 and won the round for the Brit on one of the judges’ scorecards.


The third round was another close frame as it appeared the champion was biding his time and content to counter off the Brit’s crackling combinations. Khan was still quite cautious, but scored well with some solid blows. This was another frame where one judge awarded the stanza to the challenger.

Crawford (L) staggering Khan (R).

Rounds four and five saw Crawford land effectively with his southpaw right jab and hammered away at the challenger’s ribs and head. Khan would lunge in with a three-punch combination, but then the champion would open with both fist flailing and drive Khan across the ring.

Crawford (R) nailing Khan (L) with a volley of blows.

Going into the sixth round the scorecards had Crawford ahead by tallies of 49-45 (twice) and 50-44. Early in Round 6, Crawford swung for the fences with a mighty left hook. Unfortunately his blow landed too far south and crashed into the groin of Khan, which sent the Englishman collapsing to the canvas. Amir then managed to make it to his feet, wearing of mask of pain on his face.


As referee David Fields questioned Khan and offered to give him time to recover, the challenger first adjusted his protective cup, and then made a comment that he was unable to fight. Because Khan refused a respite to recover, and instead decided he could not longer continue, Fields had no choice but to declare Crawford the winner by a 6th-round TKO at the 0:47 mark.

Khan (L) countering Crawford (L) with a left hook.


The Garden erupted in boos with the apparent surrender by Khan. Up until the low blow, Crawford may have been in control, but it was a rather enjoyable scrap.

Khan (L) is hurt after suffering a low blow.

“I feel like I was touching him [Khan] more and I was picking up the intensity,” said Crawford (35-0, 26 KO’s). He was looking for a way out. I hit him on top of the leg and he got his way out and his coach stopped the fight.”

Both fighters in action.

Khan (33-5, 20 KO’s) remarked, “I want to apologize to all of the fans. The fight was just getting interesting. I could feel the pain in my stomach and legs, and said, ‘I can’t move’ to the referee and my corner. There was no point taking five minutes out, I could not continue. I am not one to give up. I was hit by a hard shot below the belt. I couldn’t continue as the pain was too much.”

Khan (R) trying to bob and weave from Crawford’s punches.

At the press conference, Crawford clearly thought that Khan had quit. When the following exchange took place:
Crawford – “You didn’t quit? Tell everything – the truth!”

Khan – “No, I didn’t.”
Crawford – “Then what happened?”
Khan – “I was hit with a low blow.”
Crawford – “Your leg?”
Khan – “In the leg? It was in the balls! I’ve not seen the video of it, but it was a low blow.”
Crawford – “It was low.”
Khan – “If you guys think I quit, no problem. I never quit from a fight. It was a great fight and Crawford beat me.”

Crawford (L) and Khan (R) going head to head.


The challenger’s trainer Virgil Hunter explained, “The crowd will always be bloodthirsty and want to see a dramatic ending, but you have to look out for the safety of the fighter. He’s not the kind of fighter to make things up. I believe he was incapacitated.”

The problem is that Hunter was not one of those fans in attendance who paid from $56 to $606 to view the fight. Khan refused to take advantage of a five-minute rest in an effort to recover from the low punch. Instead, he waved the white flag and that was it for the evening.

Crawford (R) trying to fight back the aggression of Khan (L) .

Regardless, the crowd witnessed an impressive performance from Crawford who thrilled the fans with a great first-round knockdown, along with incredible power shots throughout the battle. Khan, 32, may be through with his time in the big-time spotlight, while Crawford, 31, has many exciting challenges ahead.


Crawford expressed a desire to take on IBF World Welterweight King Errol Spence Jr. in the near future.
The undercard featured the following:
Bantamweight Lawrence Newton (12-0, 7 KO’s), of Deerfield, FL, oupointed Jonathan Garza (7-3, 2 KO’s), of Eagle Pass, TX, over six rounds.
Super Welterweight Vikas Krishan (2-0, 1 KO), of Haryana, IND, won a unanimous 6-round decision over Noah Kidd (3-2-1, 2 KO’s), of Jefferson City, MO.
Super Lightweight Larry Fryers (10-1, 3 KO’s), of Clones, IRL, decisioned Dakota Polley (5-3, 2 KO’s), of St. Joseph, MO.


Power punching, undefeated middleweight Edgar Berlanga (10-0, 10 KO’s), of New York City, NY, made short work of veteran Samir Barbosa (37-16-3, 26 KO’s), of Rio Grande, BRA, with a first-round TKO at the 0:46 mark.


In a battle for the vacant NABF/NABO Super Welterweight Title, Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KO’s) bludgeoned Frank Galarza (20-3-2, 12 KO’s), of Brooklyn, NY, in four rounds after dropping Galarza with a whipping left hook.


Lightweight Felix Verdejo (25-1, 16 KO’s), of San Juan, PR, defeated Bryan Vasquez (37-4, 20 KO’s) over ten rounds.

Shakur Stevenson (l) jabbing easily Christoper Diaz (R)

Former Olympic Silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO’s), of Newark, NJ, easily outboxed Christoper Diaz (24-2, 16 KO’s), of Barranquitas, PR, to win the IBF Intercontinental and NABO Featherweight Title Belts by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. The southpaw Stevenson a a crafty, cocky and slick fighter that surely has a bright future. “I want to fight all the champions,” said Stevenson. “I’m the smartest boxer in boxing today.”

Teofimo Lopez R) nails Edis Tatli (L) with a hard right.

The popular NABF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KO’s), of Brooklyn, NY, KO’d former two-time EBU European Union Lightweight king Edis Tatli (31-3, 10 KO’s), of Helsinki, FIN, with a wicked left hook to the ribs that sent the challenger down and out in the fifth round.


All in all, Top Rank put on a fun night of boxing by having girls shoot t-shirts to the fans with air guns, provide games where audience members adorned with boxing gloves had to put on a Top Rank shirt the fastest to win, and also trivia contests given to some fans with Top Rank t-shirt prizes.

Statement Made: Crawford Dominates Khan

Teofimo Lopez knocks out Edis Tatli
Shakur Stevenson befuddles, outboxes Christopher Diaz

NEW YORK CITY (April 20, 2019) — The pound-for-pound king, Terence “Bud” Crawford, will not need to relinquish his throne. Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) scored an unusual sixth-round TKO over Amir “King” Khan in front of 14,091 fans at Madison Square Garden to defend his WBO welterweight title for the second time.

 
Crawford landed an accidental low blow and was ruled the victor after Khan said he was unable to continue.
 
Khan, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist and former unified super lightweight world champion, suffered his first defeat as a welterweight.
 
On the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN Pay-Per-View broadcast, Crawford proved, once again, to be without peer. Now that Khan is out of the way, Crawford is set to prove himself against the world’s best.
 
“The fight I want next is Errol Spence,” Crawford said. “Whenever he is ready he can come and get it.”
 
Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “We want to fight Errol Spence. Everyone wants the fight. There is one guy stopping it, and that is Al Haymon.”
 
Crawford nearly knocked out Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) out in the opening, knocking him down with a crisp overhand right that was followed by a left hook.
 
Khan regained his composure but was never in the fight, as Crawford switched from orthodox to southpaw.
 
Then, the low blow happened, and it was over.
 
“I now know why Terence is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” Khan said.

Teofimo Lopez KOs Tatli

Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) did what nobody else has come close to doing, knocking out former two-time European champion Edis Tatli (31-3, 10 KOs) with a right hand to the body in the fifth round to defend his NABF lightweight belt.

Lopez, the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year, is a contender now and is angling for a world title opportunity.

“I didn’t have the best camp, but I did what I needed to do and came out victorious,” Lopez said. “I knew I was going to get him with a body shot. I softened him up and finished him.
 
“I want a world title shot next. That’s what I want. We promised to take over the show, and once again, I took it over.”

Stevenson Cruises Past Diaz 

Featherweight Shakur Stevenson put forth the best performance of his young career, befuddling and outboxing former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz over 10 one-sided rounds (100-90, 99-91 and 98-92).
 
Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, saw his two-fight knockout streak come to an end, but Diaz (24-2, 16 KOs) represented the toughest test of his career.
 
At no point did Diaz threaten Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), whose southpaw movement was too much for the Puerto Rican pressure fighter.
 
“I take nothing away from Christopher Diaz,” Stevenson said. “He’s a great fighter, but I came in there to outbox him, and that’s exactly what I did.”

In other action:

Felix Verdejo (25-1, 16 KOs), the one-time top prospect, moved closer to lightweight contender status with a 10-round unanimous decision over Bryan Vasquez (37-4, 20 KOs) on the opening bout of the pay-per-view telecast.
 
Verdejo has now won two in a row since a shocking knockout loss last March at the hands of Antonio Lozada Jr.
 
Verdejo controlled the fight with his jab, as Vasquez attempted to bully the taller man on the inside. But in the end, it was Verdejo who prevailed by scores of 97-93 2X and 98-92.
 
“It was an honor for me to get a big victory in front of my fans at Madison Square Garden. I defeated a great fighter in Vasquez. I worked hard for this fight. The jab and body punches were key.”

Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KOs) moved one step closer to a 154-pound world title shot, stopping Frank “Notorious” Galarza (20-3-2, 12 KOs) in the fourth round of a scheduled 10-rounder. Adames floored Galarza with a left hook early in the fourth and unloaded on him until Benjy Esteves stepped in to halt the carnage.

“This was a message to all of the 154-pounders,” Adames said. “I want to face all the best. I’m coming hungry, and I’m determined to fight for a world title by the end of the year. I don’t care who has a title. I want it.”

Edgar Berlanga (10-0, 10 KOs) still hasn’t seen the second round as a pro, knocking out
Samir dos Santos at 46 seconds of the opening round. The Brooklyn-born Berlanga pinned Dos Santos (37-16-3, 26 KOs) and unloaded until the referee stopped the fight. Berlanga is scheduled to return May 25 in Kissimmee, Florida.

“I know this will open up a lot of opportunities for me,” Berlanga said. “I want to make my people from Brooklyn and Puerto Rico proud.”

Two-time Olympian Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan (2-0, 1 KO) overcame a stiff challenge from Noah Kidd (3-2-1, 2 KOs) to win a six-round unanimous decision (60-54 2X, 59-55) in a super welterweight contest.

“Lethal” Larry Fryers (10-1 3KOs) cruised to a shutout unanimous decision over Dakota Polley (5-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round super lightweight fight.

Bantamweight prospect Lawrence “BT” Newton (12-0, 7 KOs) got the card started with a six-round unanimous decision over the game Jonathan Garza (7-3, 2 KOs) by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 2X.
 
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Vasiliy Lomachenko  and Jose Pedraza ready to square off in New York City for the unified Lightweight title

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

On Saturday, December 8th, in the heart of the Christmas Season, all eleven floors at Macy’s Department Store located at Herald Square in New York City, will be adorned with a variety of gifts, colorful tapestries, and bright decorations.  Merriment, shopping, and jolly good cheer will abound in the city as if capsulized in a holiday snow globe.

While this is going on, about a block away at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, there will be no jollies, there will be no shopping, and there will be no presents. Instead, in its place will be volleys of swift jabs, right crosses, and left hooks, with the only good cheer coming from the enthusiastic crowd assembled to watch one of the biggest lightweight battles in years. For on this date, at this time, in the midst of thousands of toasts to one’s good health, two of boxing best, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza, will bravely engage in an anxiously awaited unification bout for the 135 pound title.    

Following the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN, the Top Rank fight card is all set to capture not only the preceding sports audience, but also the imagination and viewership of boxing fans around the globe.

Already a household name, Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KO’s), who hails from the Ukraine, but now resides in Oxnard, California, is a former two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world boxing champion, who currently holds the WBA lightweight title. Although he will be squaring off against the tough WBO lightweight king Jose Pedraza, he, nevertheless, looks to expand his trophy cabinet by adding Pedraza’s WBO belt to one of the shelves.

Pedraza, of Puerto Rico, He is far from an easy mark. Besides being the present WBO lightweight champ, he was also a former IBF junior lightweight champ, and sports an impressive ledger of 25-1 (12 KO’s). Pedraza won the WBO title by decisioning Raymundo Beltran this past August where he knocked the champion Beltran down in the eleventh round to seal the deal.

As their records indicate, both fighters are knockout punchers who make no bones about the fact they each possess dynamite in their fists.

“I am ready to fight an excellent opponent like Jose Pedraza,” said Lomachenko. My goal has always been to unify the titles, and Pedraza is standing in my way.”

This bout also represents Lomachenko’s fourth time fighting in either the big room in Madison Square Garden or at its Hulu Theatre. “There is something special about fighting in New York City and Madison Square Garden,” revealed Lomachenko who is also arguably considered the most talented amateur boxing in history with a posted record of 396-1. “The fans in New York City are true boxing fans, and I can’t wait to put on another spectacular performance for them.”

With a reach advantage of 5 ½ inches, Pedraza is just as confident as Lomachenko is. “I am grateful to have this opportunity since I didn’t get a chance to unify titles when I was champion in the junior lightweight division,” said Pedraza. “In this division, I will achieve my goal, and I will do it against one of the best boxers in the world. There will be a surprise on December 8th.”

The winner of this bout will have two of the four major boxing titles in the lightweight division, with Mikey Garcia holding the two other belts, namely the WBC and IBF titles. There has already been great interest in Lomachenko fighting Garcia, but first the Ukraine superstar has to first get past Pedraza who has no intention of leaving the bout a loser.

On the undercard will be WBO super-bantamweight champion Isaac Dogbane (20-0, 14 KO’s) defending his crown and lightweight prospect Teatime Lopez (10-0, 8 KO’s) going for his eleventh straight win.  

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President Donald Trump pardons former heavyweight champion and ring icon Jack Johnson with former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis,  present WBC heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, and film legend Sylvester Stallone at the White House

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President Donald Trump granting a posthumous pardon to boxer Jack Johnson on the advice of actor Sylvester Stallone

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial. Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!
Sylvester Stallone

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Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion, was wrongly convicted in 1913 under the Mann Act for taking his white girlfriend across state lines for “immoral” purposes. The Mann Act purported to prevent human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, but critics have argued it was applied inconsistently to criminalize African Americans and those with dissenting political views.

President Donald Trump

 
Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury in less than two hours and was imprisoned for a year. The sentence and imprisonment destroyed the boxing career of the “Galveston Giant.” He died in 1946.
 
According to filmmaker Ken Burns, “for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth”
 

“While it is unfortunate that this unjust conviction was not corrected during the boxer’s lifetime, a posthumous pardon today represents the opportunity to reaffirm Jack Johnson’s substantial contributions to our society and right this historical wrong,” the letter said.

Johnson (R) winning the heavyweight title from champion Tommy Burns (L).

Johnson (R) winning the heavyweight title from champion Tommy Burns (L). (CLICK TO SEE VIDEO OF THE FIGHT)

 
In March 2017, Sen. Cory Booker joined with McCain, King and Meeks to reintroduce a resolution urging Johnson’s pardon.
 
“Despite this resolution passing both chambers of Congress several times in recent years, no pardon has been issued to date,” McCain said in a statement at the time. “I hope President Trump will seize the opportunity before him to right this historical wrong and restore a great athlete’s legacy.”
 
Johnson captured the world heavyweight title on December 26, 1908, earning a TKO victory over the reigning world champion, Canadian Tommy Burns, in Sydney, Australia in front of 20,000 fans.  Johnson stalked and chased Burns around the world for two years and taunting him in the press for a match. 
 
It is believed that Burns had agreed to fight Johnson only after promoters guaranteed him $30,000. The fight lasted fourteen rounds before being stopped by the police. The the heavyweight championship was awarded to Johnson on a referee’s decision.
 

Jack Johnson died in 1946. His great-great niece has pressed Trump for a posthumous pardon, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have been pushing Johnson’s case for years.

McCain previously told The Associated Press that Johnson “was a boxing legend and pioneer whose career and reputation were ruined by a racially charged conviction more than a century ago.”

“Johnson’s imprisonment forced him into the shadows of bigotry and prejudice, and continues to stand as a stain on our national honor,” said McCain.

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with some of boxing’s greatest fighters
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Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Coordinator Scott Burt and volunteer assistant Jack Emrick of Scio met with former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson to discuss the BKBHOF

 

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FLASH-BACK

John Rinaldi BOXING TWINS VIEWPOINT Alex Rinaldi

  • – Post-Fight View –

Floyd Mayweather batters Conor McGregor into submission in 10

As the circus tent was being dismantled at the T-Mobil Arena, there were some people actually trying to convince themselves that the hype of the “fight” between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was justified. The answer was that is certainly was not.  If there was ever a big match up that was surely predicable – this one was it.

The prices of the so-called battle ranged from $500 for the cheap seats all the way to $10,000 for ringside.  In the seats in between, the  seats prices were $1,500, $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500!

In the 20,000-seat arena, a reported crowd of 14,623 showed up.  Let us not be mislead that those in attendance were average boxing fans dropping a few weeks of their paychecks to see this extravaganza.  No, it appeared to us that many of them were comped out by the casinos, who were more than happy to see the crowd of high rollers and celebrities filter back into the casinos afterwards.  Since a large number of fans bet on the long shot McGregor, there turned out to be very few bettors at the Sports Book counters collecting any winnings.  The smart money bet turned out to be which round the bout would come to an end.  We bet a few bucks that Mayweather would stop the Irishman from Rounds 6 to 10, so we wound up with some decent winnings at 15-1 odds.

Floyd earlier remarked that he wanted to give the fans a show, and he did just that as he appeared to carry McGregor for the first five rounds, doing as little as he can to shake up his woeful opponent. Floyd even made it easier for McGregor to score by doing away with his famous lateral movement and shoulder rolls and, instead, deciding to move straight ahead against his UFC counterpart.

You can tell in the arena which fans were the actual ticket buyers, for they were the animated ones yelling “ole” to boost McGregor’s confidence throughout.

What many people forgot was that the maximum time a UFC bout goes is 25 minutes, and McGregor usually ended his bouts early with his street-fighting tactics.  Against someone as skilled as Mayweather, who can do over 25 minutes standing on his head, Conor’s punching to the back of his head was the only time the Irishman seemed in his element.

Mayweather carried his opponent as if he was lugging around a clown suitcase for the first five rounds in order to give those at home, who plunked down an exorbitant $99.99 for the Pay-Per-View telecast, their money’s worth.

Unlike in his previous 49 bouts, Floyd began this bout by lethargically coming out and allowing McGregor to unload with his scrawny arm punches that could not have dented an overripe peach. Floyd patiently took the shots, covered up or ducked little, and occasionally retaliated with a punch or two of his own.

All the while, the hapless McGregor began scoring some points, though they landed with the impact of codling moth or a soft wind.

In fact, with the exception of one uppercut that Conor landed, there was never any time where McGregor’s blows appeared to be any more bothersome than that of an annoying mosquito or a chilly draft. By Round 3, McGregor was already breathing heavy and the steam of his punches was as hot as an iceburg. In the fourth and fifth frames, the Irishman’s punches had as much snap as a rusty spring.

After five rounds, McGregor went from being the “It” clown to a sad Emmett Kelly type one as he began to get battered with blistering punches, the power of which he never experienced in the octagon ring from the former barroom brawlers now fighting as MMA stars.

The ringmaster Mayweather should have grabbed the microphone at the end of Round 5 and announce to the audience that the drama is now going to start as drum rolls played far off in the distance, like an Indian battle call.  But since this was a circus masquerading as a fight, Floyd probably did not want to appear too obvious that he may have been pulling off the biggest con job of all time.

In the sixth, Floyd started opening up with his fists and letting his opponent know that this was indeed a boxing match against a true and tried professional and not one of those UFC farces fighting the likes of moonlighting firemen and part time cab drivers.

From then on, McGregor’s energy dissipated as Mayweather’s punch rate accelerated. Soon it was apparent that McGregor’s once rising star was falling down to earth quicker than an old satellite.

In the ninth round, Conor’s punches were a complete joke. It reminded us at times during a circus performance when a clown goes to the audience to throw a bucket of water at the crowd, only to reveal that it is simply a pail containing confetti.  That was the same with the Irishman’s punches. They landed with the impact of a pail full of confetti. When he threw them they lacked any pop or power. It was as if he was waving a ostrich feather  at Floyd.

Like the seasoned veteran he is, Mayweather knowing the time was ripe to bring the curtain down, quickly buckled the Irishman’s knees on more than a few occasions with jarring blows to his bearded face. McGregor must have thought he was struck by hydrogen bombs compared to the shots that are usually dished out to him in MMA.

Surprisingly, McGregor did bravely stand up to Floyd’s firepower, but the Irishman was sadly entering the beginning of his end and and waving goodbye forever the end of his beginning where he must have blindly thought he had a chance of winning the bout.

The tenth saw McGregor retreat awkwardly and weakly to the ropes, where he offered as little resistance as the French in World War II. Seeing this,  Mayweather gladly waded in and punched and pounded McGregor’s face in until referee Robert Byrd came in to end the show.

“I thought it was close and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued,” said the deluded McGregor who did not realize that the tent had just come crashing down on him. Hopefully, he will understand someday that he was never ever in Mayweather’s league as a fighter or a drawing card.

At the time of the bout’s end, Mayweather was ahead by scores of 87-83, 89-82 and 89-81. Even by coasting, Floyd was having little trouble winning.

Afterwards, Mayweather, who was guaranteed $100 million to McGregor’s $30 million (although after the PPV  revenue comes in, Floyd will earn over $200 million and Conor would pocket over $100 million), remarked with mock sincerity, “He [McGregor] was a lot better than I thought. But I was the better man. I guaranteed everybody that this would not go the distance. Boxing’s reputation was on the line.”

The only truth to his comment was that boxing’s reputation in this fiasco WAS certainly on the line.  The UFC and the other mixed martial arts organizations and fans have been tricked into thinking of the fallacy that their sport was superior to boxing. So it was important that Mayweather had to make the point that the UFC and their sort are not in the same league as the great sport of boxing. The UFC is strictly the bush and minor leagues compared the big leagues of professional boxing.

This is especially true when one considers the fact that a 40-year-old Mayweather, a fighter well past his prime, was able to easily dismantle the UFC’s best fighter in the history of their sport who happens to be presently in the prime of his career.

Though Conor McGregor was a clown and huckster, thankfully he never proved to be a magician. As a result, he could not pull any gloved rabbits out of his hat to pull off the victory.

As for Mayweather, he will add nearly a quarter billion to his already Fort Knox bank account after competing in the easiest fight of his career.

As an aside, McGregor was contemplating returning to the UFC, but maybe he should instead consider joining the cast of “Circus 1903” where he can entertain the audience as the merry-andrew and jester much the same as he did in this predictable spectacle.

For those who thought they were witnessing a real-life “Rocky” wound up being ripped off by “The Sting” instead.

  • – Pre-Fight View –

SUPER-FIGHT OR SUPER-CIRCUS

After the last performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was registered into the history books this past spring, it appeared that the final curtain had finally fallen down upon the legendary Circus. In fact, circuses, as a whole, seemed as dead as the television ratings for the sport of golf since the decline of Tiger Woods.

We both thought the same until we found ourselves walking down the Boulevard in Las Vegas today. To our surprise, we found that in “Sin City” the big top is actually still alive and flourishing. For instance, at the Paris Resort Hotel, “Circus 1903” is presently wowing the audience with thrilling acts of Yesteryear, mixed in with puppet elephants and other like attractions.

If that did not not leave you with the feeling of sawdust underneath your feet, in comes an even bigger circus to add to the fun – the Mayweather vs. McGregor “fight” that features Floyd Mayweather taking on the duties as Promoter, Ringmaster and Star. Just as in “Circus 1903” where puppets take the place of real elephants, Conor McGregor is the puppet here masquerading as a real boxer that has a genuine chance of winning the fight. In fact, the elephant puppets look more authentic as real elephants than McGregor does as a real fighter, much less one that has any chance of capturing a victory in the bout.

For within moments of the sound of the opening bell, McGregor, like in “Circus 1903”,  will appear more like a puppet lion – one with a loud roar, but no bite. As for Floyd, he will take over the duties of a lion tamer, but instead of facing the king of the jungle in front of him, he will be handling a declawed and defanged “beast” in the squared circle, or in this case, the center ring.

McGregor wearing his fancy tailored suits and talking a lot of trash is nothing but a trumped up sideshow opponent, with the brashness of an Irish Innkeeper and the boxing acumen of a medieval marionette.

He is a paper tiger if there ever was one.

McGregor has simply no chance of winning the bout unless Floyd Mayweather turns a hundred years old when he enters the ring – covered in rust like a an old warship. This is unlikely and quite improbable.

UFC pundits claim that McGregor fists are like the Hammer of Thor, filled with powers beyond most mortals. Maybe against UFC and MMA featherweight opponents, whose sole form of defense consists of blocking blows with their chins and noses, then slamming their knees into their adversary’s midsection, McGregor looks to have dynamite in his hands.  Against Mayweather these same fists with appear more like feather nets better made for catching butterflies than hurting a professional fighter and ring legend like Floyd Mayweather.

In reality, the only semblance McGregor has to Thor with his Hammer is that both are comic book characters.

McGregor may be a fine MMA fighter and a credit to his heritage and sport – but he is no boxer or a prizefighter. He would need the powers of the sorcerer Merlin along with every Gypsy curse ever known to man to survive the bout, much less compete on a competitive level.

Not surprisingly, he will be exposed like the Wizard of Oz was when the curtain unveiled him to be nothing more than a Kansas vaudevillian.

Frankly, McGregor does not deserve to be in the same ring as Floyd Mayweather. He has accomplished virtually nothing in his career to warrant this challenge or the payday attached to it. To his credit, he has sold this fight like a true promoter and generated unbelievable interest in what will turn out to be a tragic mismatch. In the end, however, history will show that McGregor was nothing more than a carnival huckster and barker reeling in the crowd to watch chickens dance in a ring, while underneath stood a candle heating up the canvas where they stood.

While chomping down on their bag of peanuts, the audience will soon notice that the circus has turned into a bullfight between a crafty matador and an inept bull with all the gore that goes with it.

Unless Mayweather shows the compassion of a Saint Augustine, the Christian Saint of Mercy, McGregor will not be around standing to hear the bell ring for round three. They will take him out on a stretcher weaved from the same cloth as his fancy suits.

The legendary promoter P.T. Barnum is credited with coining the term, “There is a sucker born every minute!” Come tonight, the two of us will be watching the birth of a lot of suckers as Mayweather pockets over $200-$300 million by fighting a rank amateur. McGregor, on the other hand, is playing the part of Bailey to Floyd’s Barnum, as he is set to earn approximately $100 million for the spectacle, which is about a hundred times more than his last paycheck in the overrated UFC.

Tonight, the real P.T. Barnum will chuckling in his grave as Floyd pulls off the biggest Superfight of all time!

“Let the buyer beware!”

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Jim Hambrick awarding the prestigious George “Superman” Reeves Award to Alex, John, and Alexander Rinaldi.

John and Joseph Rinaldi receiving the prestigious George “Superman” Reeves Award in Metropolis, Illinois during the Superman Celebration.

 

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Former Heavyweight Champion Max Baer giving advice to his son and namesake Max Baer Jr. who will later gain fame for playing one of the main and most endearing characters Jethro Bodine on the long-running television show The Beverly Hillbillies

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FLORIDA BOXING HALL OF FAME Induction Weekend

CLICK THE LOGO To Visit Florida Boxing Hall of Fame website and see Complete Induction Ceremonies via live streaming on Sunday June 25 at 11 am (ET) click on Logo!

John Rinaldi, Jimmy Veglia, former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer (52-4-1, 40 KO’s) , Ralph Veglia, Alex Rinaldi and Alexander Rinaldi

 

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Former Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Michael Moorer and former Junior Middleweight Champion Winky Wright and the The USA Boxing News’ own Boxing Twins John and Alex Rinaldi top the list of 2017 Inductees!

Former Heavyweight and Light heavyweight Champion Michael Moorer (R with his trainer Teddy Atlas (L) in his bout with Evander Holyfield.


Winky Wright (R) defeating Felix Trinidad (L)


John (L) and Alex Rinaldi (R) The Boxing Twins

Former World Boxing Champions Michael Moorer, Trevor Berbick, Winky Wright and John David Jackson lead the list along with fighters Melissa Del Vall, David Jaco, David Lewter, Alex Stewart, and Oscar Montilla, and trainer Ken Adams, boxing participant Dick Lee, trainer/manager Steve Shepherd, media Charles Jay, refereee Jorge Alonso, official Bill Anello, judge Al Wilensky_and “The Boxing Twins” John and Alex Rinaldi will be Inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame. The Induction Weekend begins on June 23 and continues till Sunday June 25, 2017 at the Westshore Grand Hotel in Tampa, Florida.

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Mayweather and the Trumps
 
Floyd Mayweather (center) and President-Elect Donald Trump (L) and Eric Trump (R)
 
 
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