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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!!

Another one-of-a kind section of this website is The USA Boxing News Comics and Drawings Page. This includes an exciting collection of boxing comics, cartoons, and drawings that offer a new and exciting page for the true history-oriented boxing fan.

Boxing Historian, Author, and Hall of Famer, Bert Sugar once said of The USA Boxing News, “They demonstrate an enthusiasm for the sport that has not been seen in a boxing publication in a long time. The USA Boxing News has become what the Police Gazette was over 100 years ago – namely the most informative, original, and entertaining boxing publication of its generation.” The same goes for this website.

If you are a real boxing fan – The USA Boxing News is the website you cannot live without!

This goes for boxing fans and to fighters and champions as well.  Recently,  former two-time boxing champion Bobby Czyz commented that, “All things considered, The USA Boxing News stands alone as the greatest boxing publication on the newsstands today, and so does the website.”

More champions, trainers, cut men, judges, cornermen, and promoters read The USA Boxing News than any other boxing publication, thereby making it one of the top sports periodicals in the world!

Boxing Hall of Fame Editors John and Alex Rinaldi present the fans of pugilism with a rich and extraordinary array of stories, videos, cartoons, comics, book reviews, columns, photos, and writings from their award-winning staff for the mutual enjoyment and benefit to the serious Boxing Fan!


The Website where Boxing and its Legends come to Life!


Iron Grip: Light Heavyweight Champion Joe Smith Jr. Knocks Out Steve Geffrard

Abraham Nova shines in featherweight co-feature 



VERONA, N.Y. — Boxing lore often bounces around between tragedy, triumph, and overcoming the odds.  When the gritty challenger and South Florida native Steve Geffrard boldly accepted a shot at the light heavyweight title on eight days’ notice to take on the tough WBO light heavyweight king Joe Smith Jr., the stage was set for him to register a historic and grand ring finish – one that would feature an overcoming the odds triumph to place himself firmly in the category of underdogs who captured the gauntlet and with it the gold ring of a world championship title.

Smith stopping Geffrard in the 9th round.

Sadly for Geffrard, as the early seconds of round nine was slowly ticking off, the Champion – Joe Smith Jr. began pounding away at the game challenger with a huge barrel full of lefts and rights, as if Geffrard had threatened his family then decided to also burn down the village.

Once Smith finally and securely trapped Geffrard against the ropes, hope disappeared, triumph vanished, and despair raised its ugly head over the brave countenance of Geffrard, as punches landed in bunches and with it one smashing blow after another. When the tenth straight punch finally collided with his skull – specifically a crushing left hook to the jaw, which nearly deposited the Floridian’s head to the second row of ringside, Geffrard’s chances disappeared swiftly into the darkness of the Turning Stone Arena.

Smith putting on his hand wrraps before the fight.

Though the challenger’s chances crumbled then permanantely evaporated, kudos to WBO light heavyweight world champion Joe Smith Jr. who made the first successful defense of his crown, knocking out Geffrard on Saturday, January 15, at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) was never threatened, as his activity (665 punches thrown) forced Geffrard (18-3, 12 KOs) pedaling in reverse on his back foot. Though Geffrard had some interesting and tangible pockets of success in the opening round,  it soon turned into a one-sided exhibition for the Long Island native Smith.

He rattled Geffrard with right hands in the fifth and later turned up the heat, like a blow torch,  in the ninth. With Geffrard pinned against his corner as if in a Vietnamese booby trap, Smith like a man on a mission bent on destruction with the honor of his home state of New York on his shoulders, unloaded with a ten punch combination. The last of the punches – a terrific left hook,  deposited Geffrard soundly to his knee on the canvas, with his all the planets and stars in the universe wizzing around his head in a deadly orbit. Thankfully, before referee Mark Nelson could finish the 10-count, trainer Kevin Cunningham wisely threw in the towel to end the one-sided affair.

Smith (R) attacking the challengeGeffrard

Smith has his sights set on the other division kingpin, IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev. Or perhaps a date with Canelo Alvarez if the pound-for-pound king elects to move up from super middleweight.

Smith said, “He really brought it today. It was a great fight. As you can see, he’s a great boxer, a good survivor. I was trying to get him out of there early, but I realized he was very tough and I wasn’t going to be able to do that. I tried to wait until the later rounds and started throwing more combinations to pick him apart.
“Beterbiev is what I want. I want to get back in the gym, work on my craft, and like I say each and every time I get in the ring, I’m going to get better and better. I believe the next time you see me, I’ll be ready for anybody.

Smith (L) smashes another hard left to the challenger’s jaw.

“If Canelo wants to come to 175 and fight me, I’m ready for him. That’s the fight I want. Everybody would love to see that fight. It would be a big deal.”

Nova TKOs Encarnacion in Co-Feature

Undefeated featherweight Abraham “El Super” Nova walked to the ring with a mascot and cheerleaders, but he soon found himself in a fight. Short-notice opponent William “El Gago” Encarnacion stunned Nova with an a chopping right in the first round, but Nova (21-0, 15 KOs) settled in and prevailed by eighth-round TKO.

Nova was world-ranked at junior lightweight before moving down to featherweight last year. He survived the early rough patch and plastered Encarnacion (19-2, 15 KOs) with body shots. Encarnacion’s corner saw enough and threw in the towel, much to the shock of those in attendance.

Nova said, “It feels good to fight close to home a day after my birthday. I had a tricky opponent in front of me, but I got the job done.

Nova (R) punishes Encarnacion (L) with a right uppercut.

“I want {WBO world champion Emanuel Navarrete}, to be honest. Everybody thinks he’ll blow me out. Put him in there. Let’s see if he’ll do it. I know I’ll beat him. I know I have the punch output, I know I’ll knock him out, and I know I’ll be the next WBO champion.”

In other action:

Junior Welterweight: Puerto Rican prospect Omar Rosario (6-0, 2 KOs) learned another lesson in his young career, as he nearly finished off Brooklyn’s Raekwon Butler (4-2, 2 KOs) in the opening round before being forced the six-round distance and winning a unanimous decision (59-54 2x and 58-55). Rosario outlanded Butler 111-49.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (6-0, 4 KOs) is fighting beyond his years. The 18-year-old knocked down Akeem Black (6-5, 2 KOs) with an uppercut in the opening round and then finished things off with a flurry in the second. Tucker became only the second man to knock out Black and landed 47 out of 98 punches thrown.

Middleweight: U.S. Olympian Troy “Transformer” Isley (4-0, 2 KOs) threw everything, including the kitchen sink, but Harry Keenan Cruz-Cubano (6-3, 2 KOs) withstood a hellacious beating to survive the six-round distance. Isley tagged Cruz-Cubano with uppercuts in the early rounds and cruised to a decision by scores of 59-53 and 59-54 2x.

CruiserweightLyubomyr Pinchuk (14-2-1, 8 KOs) lumbered to an eight-round unanimous decision over Jose Mario Flores (8-3-2, 4 KOs) by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 (twice). 

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images








EAST CANTON – Marion Conner, an 11-time Golden Gloves champion boxer and world-ranked professional fighter, has died.

He was 81.

Story by Henry Hascup

Born in Canton in 1940, Conner was Stark County’s first Golden Gloves champion. 

He is enshrined in the Stark County Amateur Sports Hall of Fame and the Canton Negro Oldtimers Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

In the 1950s, he played football and track at McKinley High School.

Conner, who had most recently lived in East Canton, made his pro debut in 1962. Among his opponents were Joe Frazier and fellow Cantonian and Olympic gold medalist Ronnie Harris.

A one-time Ohio heavyweight champion, Conner retired from the sport in 1976, the year he fought Harris in the “Bicentennial Battle of 1976” which Harris won. Both fighters came up through the Police Boys Club boxing program run by J. Babe Stearn, who knew Jack Dempsey.

‘He loved family; he was all about family.’

Rhonda Conner said her dad was a devoted family man who loved the public.

“He loved family; he was all about family,” she said. “He also loved the community.”

Rhonda Conner said her father was a disciplined and structured man who shared his expertise with his children.

“He was serious about teaching his children ‘form.’ You had to know form,” she said with a laugh. “For him, it was a science.”

Rhonda Conner recalled attending some of her father’s fights.

“Ronnie Harris, I remember that very clearly,” she said.

Emma Conner said she and her late husband were high school sweethearts who were married for 69 years on Nov. 29. 

“After he retired, he worked at the Canton Friendship Center for 18 years,” she said. “He was also involved in the food ministry at Community Life Church of God. We did that for 20 years.”

Conner, who was given a “Marion Conner Day” and a mayoral proclamation by the city of Canton, also worked at Diebold and Operation Positive, a city youth program. In the early 1970s, he operated his own newsstand in downtown Canton.

He also was a regular participant in the Harvest for Hunger’s “Celebrity Cuisine” fundraising event.

Fought under the names ‘KayO’ and ‘Thunderbolt’

A soft-spoken man, the solidly built Conner fought under the nicknames “KayO” and “Thunderbolt.” He packed a punch, fighting 250 amateur bouts from 1948 to 1962, and 54 professional fights.

Though Conner spent much of his pro career in fights up and down the East Coast, he was also part of Canton’s “golden age” of boxing at Memorial Auditorium, known today as the Canton Memorial Civic Center. He held the World Regional New England States Light Heavyweight Belt from 1963 to 1968, and the World Regional New England States Heavyweight Championship from 1965 to 1967.

With a professional record of 55-21-3, the World Boxing Association ranked Conner No. 4 among the world’s top light heavyweight contenders.

Rhonda Conner said her father often talked about his experiences in the ring and the people he met along the way.

“Dad was very reminiscent,” she said. “He could tell you about his fights and the people he met, from Canada to Massachusetts. He would remember the details. He talked about times when he fought Joe Frazier, and the conversations they had afterward. He talked about meeting Muhammad Ali in an elevator. Ali knew there was a possibility that he could fight my dad. They would joke around. He was real comical guy. They would joke around a lot.”

On Nov. 17, 1966, Conner scored a ninth-round knockout against Greatest Crawford at the Canton Memorial Auditorium. Crawford never regained consciousness, dying the next day from a blood clot on his brain.

“He vaguely talked about Greatest Crawford,” Rhonda Conner said. “That was very traumatizing for him.”

‘I want people to know we had greatness that lived here.’

Canton Councilwoman Chris Smith, a longtime family friend, said Conner was a role model who stayed committed to his community.

“I want people to know we had greatness that lived here,” she said. “He never left Canton. I want kids to know that you don’t have to live in a big city to accomplish things.”

Conner is survived by his wife, Emma; daughters Rhonda Conner and Vivian Conner-Brown; brothers Chester Brown and James Conner; sisters Evelyn Kelly, Melinda Andrews and Gwendolyn Ladson; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by a son, Marion Jr.; a daughter, Cheryl; a granddaughter; and a great-grandchild.

Rhoden Memorial Home is handling the arrangements.

Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or


Feature-length Documentary Represents Eva Longoria Bastón’s Directorial Festival Debut and the First DAZN Original to Premiere at Sundance

                                                  Eva Longoria



Direct descendant of Rocky Marciano

Brandon Cappiello

Drops another New England Patriots music video

(L-R) Brandon Capp and Randy Lo

(L-R) Brandon Capp and Randy Lo

BROCKTON, Mass. (January 13, 2022) — A direct descendant of the great Rocky Marciano, Brandon “Brandon Capp” Cappiello, dropped another music video today about the New England Patriots – Patriot (New Era Anthem) – as the club prepares for this Saturday night’s  NFL playoff wild card game versus the Buffalo Bills.


Cappiello’s paternal great grandmother and Marciano’s wife were sisters. His grandfather, Michael “Duna” Cappiello, traveled everywhere with Rocky during his undefeated Hall of Fame professional boxing career. Brandon’s father and uncle, respectively, promoter/matchmaker Rich Cappiello and trainer/former pro boxer Mike Cappiello, own and operate Cappiello Boxing Gym in downtown Brockton (MA), known as the City of Champions. Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler also fought out of Brockton.

Cappiello and fellow Brockton native Randall “Randy Lo” Coulanges wrote and performed “Patriot,” and Brandon mixed and produced it. This is the third and likely the final anthem for the Brockton duo. Six years ago, their original music video, “Champion,” went viral and their follow-up was a successful Boston Red Sox anthem, entitled “Never Back Down.”

“Patriot” was directed by Scott Beer (Scott Beer Media), a highly accomplished filmmaker/videographer from Rhode Island.


An associate known as BA originally asked “Brandon Capp,” a singer, and rapper “Randy Lo” if they would do a Patriots music video. He was well known on the Boston music scene having been involved with New Kids On The Block and New Edition.

“I was skeptical at first because it’s so difficult to please everyone,” Brandon said. “We did it in less than a week and I produced it in my bedroom. All of a sudden, things were crazy, it went viral overnight. We’ve had more than 3 million collective views across all media platforms. It took on a life of its own. It was playing everywhere, and we were guests on a lot of television and radio shows. It still gets 200,000 views a year.

“Our first anthem was an anomaly. We did it all without any real help in such a short time. But we are real artists who have both been doing music for years. It resonated in every demographic, even playing on radio, something that never happens for a sports anthem that is team based. It was more about recognition for both of us because people loved it and shared on social media. It was an incredible ride that really hasn’t ended.”

The third of their anthem trilogy promises to be equally addictive as its original, if not more popular, largely because of several key reasons.

“The sky is the limit for this song,” Cappiello concluded. “The first one was special, but this time we wanted to take the special formula of what worked and give a fresh and new take on a great concept. Hundreds of people had asked us to do another one for years.”

“And nobody collaborates better than us. We’re great friends who’ve known each other since the seventh grade. We want what’s best for both of us.”

The ideal situation for “Brandon Capp” and “Randy Lo” would be performing live before or during halftime at the 2022 New England Patriots’ season opener, or, better yet, performing at a Pats’ pep rally if they make another playoff run this season.

Brandon Cappiello knows how to deliver a knockout….it’s in his blood!


Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza Junior Welterweight Showdown Postponed to Friday, March 4 at Save Mart Center LIVE and Exclusively on ESPN+

Pedraza tested positive for COVID-19
Heavyweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. will make professional debut in a six-round special feature 

FRESNO, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2022) — The homecoming of former unified junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez is happening, just 27 days later than expected. Central Valley native Ramirez will fight former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza in the 12-round main event Friday, March 4 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.

Ramirez and Pedraza were scheduled to fight Saturday, Feb. 5, but Pedraza tested positive for COVID-19.
In the six-round heavyweight special feature immediately before the main event, Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr., from the Central Valley town of Tulare, California, will make his long-awaited professional debut. The 10-round co-feature will see the Top Rank debut of featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez, who will fight Filipino veteran Jeo Santisima. The entire Ramirez-Pedraza card will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+. 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $36 are on sale and can be purchased at Tickets purchased for the Feb. 5 date will be honored for March 4.



Undefeated Adrian “Tonka” Sosa to headline “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”

 February 12th in Dedham, MA

BOSTON (January 10, 2022) – Vertex Promotions returns February 12th with “St. Valentine’s Day’s Massacre,” headlined by undefeated super lightweight prospect Adrian “Tonka” Sosa, on Saturday night, February 12, at Moseley’s On The Charles in Dedham, Massachusetts.

“We’re very excited to continue promoting our shows to showcase local talent,” Vertex promoter Dave Clark said. “We made our debut last September and promoted three more pro shows last year. We learned a lot and continue our goal to keep local fighters active and provide an entertaining night out for fans.”

The 26-year-old Sosa (12-0, fighting out of Lawrence (MA), headlined a Vertex show last September in his first action in more than 2 years. He will take on an opponent to be determined Feb. 12th in the 8-round main event.

In the 8-round co-featured event, undefeated ABF American West and NBA Continental champion RayJay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (15-0, 11 KOs) faces TBA as the Albany fighter continues his march towards a major fight.

Undefeated welterweight prospect James “The Slim Reaper” Perella (8-0, 5 KOs), fighting out of Mansfield, Massachusetts, is matched tough against Mexican challenger Danny “Venado” Flores (15-26-1, 8 KOs) in an 8-round bout. Perella is a 4-time USA New England Championships and 4-time New England Golden Gloves Champion.

It’s “Tank Time,” again. Undefeated Weymouth (MA) super welterweight prospect Francis “Frank The Tank” Hogan (9-0, 9 KOs) will attempt to keep his perfect pro record intact and go 10-for-10 in an 8-rounder versus TBA.

Boston Irish will be in the house as Ireland-natives “Lethal” Larry Fryers (11-5, 4 KOs) and Tommy “The Kid” O’Toole” (2-0, 2 KOs) are schedule to be in action. Fryers, a welterweight now living in Yonkers (NY), is a 20212 Ulster Intermediate Champion, while light heavyweight O’Toole (2-0, 2 KOs) returns to the Boston area for his third pro fight. O’Toole, fighting out of Galway, was a 2019 Irish Elite Championship gold medalist.

Fryers will be in a scheduled 8-rounder, O’Toole a 4, and both will be matched against opponents to be determined.

Also fighting in 4-round matches against TBA’s are popular Dorchester (MA) featherweight Troy Anderson, Jr. (1-0, 1 KO), a 2016 Rocky Marciano Tournament champion, and Southbridge (MA) super featherweight Alex Rivera (2-0, 1 KO).

Opponents will soon be announced. Fighters subject to change.

Tickets are on sale for $85.00 and up (ringside), $75.00 (general admission) and $50.00 (standing room). Tickets are available to purchase online at or contact any of the competing fighters to purchase tickets.

Doors will open at 6:30 pm. ET with the first bout scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET.

_________ Kicks off 2022 with Doubleheader Weekend
Jeremy Hill and Sean Hemphill Appear in Main Event and Co-Feature Bouts TONIGHT in New Orleans
Undefeated Bantamweight Lawrence Newton Takes on Mario Hernandez on Saturday in Delray Beach, Florida
New York (January 10, 2022) –The nation’s fastest growing streaming network for live professional boxing, will kick off the new year with back-to-back nights of terrific fights.
Tonight in New Orleans, undefeated light heavyweight Sean Hemphill (13-0, 8 KOs) fights in front of his hometown fans when he takes on Jayson Minda (14-5-1, 8 KOs) of Salem, Mass. in the eight-round main event.
Also seeing action will be Jeremy Hill (15-2, 10 KOs) of New Orleans taking on Jonathan Perez (38-29, 30 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia in a six-round lightweight contest.
Those two fights will headline a seven bout card that will also feature undefeated fighters in heavyweight Travorus Barnes (3-0), lightweight Chann Thonson (7-0) and junior middleweight Wayne Boudreaux (1-0)
Tomorrow night in Delray Beach, Florida, undefeated bantamweight Lawrence Newton (14-0, 7 KOs) headlines a eight-bout card when he takes on Mario Hernandez (10-2-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
Also seeing action will be undefeated fighters featherweight Dominique Francis (9-0, 6 KOs), heavyweight Fernely Feliz Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) middleweight Carlos Arredondo (1-0, 1 KO) and featherweight Cameron Pankey (3-0, 2 KOs).


January 29: Rene Tellez Giron-Luis Melendez Junior Lightweight Clash Confirmed as Robson Conceição-Xavier Martinez Co-Feature at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa LIVE on ESPN

Conceição-Martinez and Giron-Melendez will air live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Unbeaten middleweight Nico Ali Walsh and Tulsa-born heavyweight prospect Jeremiah Milton will see action on ESPN+-streamed undercard

Tickets on sale NOW at

TULSA, OK (Jan. 5, 2022) — Mexican action star Rene “El Bravo” Tellez Giron will meet Puerto Rican upstart Luis Melendez in a 10-round junior lightweight showdown Saturday, Jan. 29 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. 
Giron-Melendez will serve as the co-feature to the 10-round WBC junior lightweight title eliminator between former title challenger Robson Conceição and undefeated contender Xavier Martinez. Both bouts will air live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. 
The ESPN+-streamed undercard will include the return of undefeated middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh (3-0, 2 KOs), grandson of Muhammad Ali, in a four-round bout. Ali Walsh made his professional debut last August with a first-round stoppage at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Tulsa-born heavyweight prospect Jeremiah Milton (3-0, 3 KOs) will see action on the undercard in a six-rounder. 

Giron (16-1, 10 KOs), a 22-year-old rising star from Queretaro, Mexico, emerged from relative obscurity with his December 2019 knockout victory over then-unbeaten 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas. He has won two fights since the Balderas triumph, including a seventh-round knockout over Eduardo Garza last September on the Oscar Valdez-Conceição undercard in Tucson, Arizona. Melendez (17-1, 13 KOs), winner of 15 straight fights since a controversial split decision loss, had a busy 2021. He picked up seven victories in three months in Colombia, then returned to the States with a flourish. Melendez won an eight-round decision over Thomas Mattice at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas last November, a career-best victory that earned him the co-feature slot against Giron.
“I told my manager, Frank Espinoza, that I am ready to fight any junior lightweight out there,” Giron said. “Melendez answered the call, and we’re going to give the Tulsa fans a great fight. Whenever you have a Mexican versus a Puerto Rican, it can’t help but be toe-to-toe.”

Melendez said, “I jumped at this opportunity without hesitation. I’m thankful for this platform, and I will put the 130-pound division on notice. Giron is the man in my way. I am the next Puerto Rican star, and I will prove it in Tulsa.”


Granite Chin Promotions returns to Massachusetts

Nelson Perez vs. Tyrone Luckey

Feb. 26th at Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, MA

QUINCY, Mass. (January 4, 2022) – Granite Chin Promotions has announced its first event of 2022, “Showcase,” scheduled on Saturday night, February 26th, at Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, Massachusetts.

“Showcase” will mark Granite Chin’s first event in Massachusetts in more than 2 years, as well as being only the second professional boxing show ever in Framingham, which is located 23 miles west of Boston.

“I am excited to be coming back to Massachusetts,” Granite Chin president Chris Traietti said. “Between changes occurring with the commission, then COVID, I just felt like it was a good time to step away for a bit, head up to New Hampshire and let things sort of settle in Massachusetts. Now that things are sort of back to normal, I feel like the time is right to bring our great club-show boxing back to Massachusetts. This card is going to be highly competitive from top to bottom. I have the roster now where I can both develop fighters and put on high quality local shows. 2020 was about making good relationships with other promoters and matchmakers; 2021 about developing a quality roster and keeping guys busy during a pandemic. 2022 is going to be geared towards becoming the face of quality local boxing shows and getting Granite Chin fighters on high-level, world-class cards all across the country.” 

The 8-round main event will pit local favorite Nelson “Chino” Perez (5-0, 2 KOs) against New Jersey veteran super lightweight Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (15-16-4, 11 KOs).

Perez is a native of Puerto Rico who lives in Marlboro (MA), which borders Framingham. A past New England Golden Gloves champion as an amateur, Perez is coming off a dominating 4-round unanimous decision victory (40-34 X 3) December 4th against Raymundo Rios Cardies on a DAZN card in Manchester, New Hampshire. Perez will be fighting in his first scheduled 8-round bout.

Perez (L) headlined the first pro boxing event in Framingham this past Oct 16th

(picture courtesy of Emily Harney/Fightography)

Luckey, fighting out of Manahawkin, NJ, is the reigning ABF USA Mid-American Super Lightweight Champion. The dangerous Luckey has been a gatekeeper of lightweight up to welterweight divisions having fought top prospects such as Mike Ohan, Jr. Jamaine Ortiz, Tyler Tomlin, and Frank Martin. Luckey has recent back-to-back victories against previously unbeaten Eduardo Aquilar.

Tyrone Luckey

Hot welterweight prospect Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (7-0, 5 KOs), of Holyoke (MA), faces Alfred “Keenan” Raymond (1-0) in the 6-round co-featured event.

Denzel, the latest member of the “Fightin’ Whitley family,” is trained by his father and uncle, respectively, Derrick and Darrin, who were respected pro fighters in New England.

Whitley (L) is well positioned for a breakout 2022

(pictures courtesy of Emily Harney/Fightography)

Fighting out of Warwick, Rhode Island, the 31-year-old Raymond made his pro debut this past November 13th, upsetting previously undefeated Julien Baptiste (3-0) by way of a 4-round split decision.

Additional bouts will be announced soon. Card subject to change.

Tickets will soon be available for purchase at (Search: SHOWCASE). Ticket prices are $50.00 (General Seating), $75.00 (Ringside), and $1,000.00 for a table of 10.

Doors open at 7:00 pm. ET with the first bout at 7:00 p.m. ET.


Twitter: @Granite_Chin, @flymikemarshall


February 5: Joet Gonzalez-Jeo Santisima Featherweight Co-Feature Added to Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza Card LIVE on ESPN+ at Save Mart Center in Fresno

Two-time featherweight title challenger Gonzalez signed a long-term promotional contract with Top Rank 

FRESNO, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2022) — Joet Gonzalez, the Southern California featherweight contender who has twice challenged for a world title, is primed for another run at the brass ring. Gonzalez signed a multi-year promotional contract with Top Rank and will return in a 10-round bout against Filipino former world title challenger Jeo Santisima on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
Gonzalez-Santisima will serve as the co-feature to the 12-round junior welterweight showdown between former unified champion Jose Ramirez and Puerto Rican two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.
Ramirez-Pedraza, Gonzalez-Santisima, the heavyweight professional debut of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr., and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+. 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $36 are on sale now and can be purchased at
“Joet Gonzalez is a fighter of tremendous character and one of the best featherweights in the world. When he became available, it was a no-brainer,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. 

“My last three fights have been on Top Rank cards, and they’ve always treated me with respect. I can’t wait for my official debut under the Top Rank banner,” Gonzalez said. “Jeo is a tough Filipino warrior, and this is a great opportunity to prove I belong in the featherweight title conversation. I want another title shot, and it all starts with an impressive showing in Fresno.”
Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs), from Glendora, California, is ranked in the top 10 at featherweight by two sanctioning organizations. He received his first world title shot in October 2019, dropping a unanimous decision to Shakur Stevenson for the vacant WBO featherweight title. Nearly two years later, he challenged Emanuel Navarrete for the same belt, and the two combined for a Fight of the Year contender. While Gonzalez lost a unanimous decision, he proved his mettle as one of the division’s most formidable contenders. He bested Miguel Marriaga over 10 rounds on a Top Rank on ESPN card in between the Stevenson and Navarrete fights.
Santisima (21-3, 18 KOs), from Aroroy, Philippines, lost two of his first four pro bouts before a 17-fight winning streak earned him a shot at Navarrete in February 2020 for the WBO junior featherweight world title. In a high-profile setting on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder II undercard, Santisima acquitted himself well, ultimately falling via 11th-round TKO. He has won two straight by knockout in his home country since the Navarrete defeat.



Thurman vs. Barrios Will Headline Stacked FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Lineup on Saturday, February 5 Live From Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
Four-Division Champion Leo Santa Cruz Returns to Take on
Keenan Carbajal in Co-Main Event
Plus, All-Action Welterweights Abel Ramos and Josesito Lopez Square Off & Hard-Hitting Two-Division Champion Luis Nery Clashes With Unbeaten Carlos Castro in Televised Opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Tickets on Sale

LAS VEGAS (December 27, 2021) – Former unified welterweight world champion Keith “One Time’’ Thurman will return to the ring to take on former super lightweight world champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios in a 12-round welterweight showdown that headlines a jam-packed FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View lineup on Saturday, February 5 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
In the co-feature, four-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto’’ Santa Cruz will battle Keenan “Bedo’’ Carbajal in a 10-round super featherweight match, while battle-tested all-action welterweights Abel Ramos and Josesito “Riverside Rocky’’ Lopez clash in a 10-round attraction. The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with former two-division champion Luis “Pantera” Nery battling unbeaten Carlos Castro in a 10-round super bantamweight duel.
Both Thurman and Barrios will look to rebound from their first career defeats with statement victories on February 5 to put them back on the path toward another world title. Thurman will be returning to the ring after a 30-month absence, which is the longest of his career. Barrios will be testing himself at 147-pounds for the first time in his pro career and against one of the best and most experienced welterweights in the sport.
“This is one of the most exciting and intriguing cards from top to bottom that I’ve seen in a long time. Keith Thurman and Mario Barrios will be looking to do whatever they can to get a big win in this fight,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Leo Santa Cruz is also sure to be highly motivated in his ring return and I expect that he will come with added intensity against Keenan Carbajal. In addition to those fights, everyone knows the fireworks that Abel Ramos and Josesito Lopez, plus Luis Nery and undefeated Carlos Castro, bring to the ring. It’s going to be a special night for boxing fans on February 5 live from Las Vegas on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View.’’
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. PT and will be available at
The 33-year-old Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has assembled one of the most impressive resumes among the top welterweights of this generation, having defeated former champions like Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero. The Clearwater, Florida native took the first loss of his career when he dropped a close decision to Manny Pacquaio in a 2019 Fight of the Year in his last outing.
Thurman proved that he is must-see TV when his welterweight title unification match against Danny Garcia peaked at 5.1 million viewers in prime time on network television. It was the largest audience to see a live boxing match on prime-time network television since 1998.
“It’s been a long time coming for my return to the ring, and I can’t wait to compete again,” said Thurman. “In 2022, I will remind the world of boxing that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is a fighter not to forget. I look not to the past nor to the future, I’m back now, and I’m ready to fight. I dream big, and now is the time to make that dream a reality. Get ready, because I’m putting in the work to put on a show against Mario Barrios on February 5 on pay-per-view. It’s begun and my time is now.” 
Barrios, 26, will be stepping up to a major challenge when he faces Thurman. The San Antonio native will be going against a seasoned welterweight in Thurman. Barrios will own a three-inch height advantage against Thurman and will look to use that to his advantage in establishing himself at 147 pounds.
Barrios lost his super lightweight world championship when he suffered an 11th-round TKO loss to Gervonta Davis in his most recent fight on June 26. The 5-foot-10 Barrios operates in the ring under the tutelage of renowned trainer Virgil Hunter. The pairing has proven to be successful as Hunter helped guide Barrios to the WBA 140-pound title when he scored a unanimous decision over Batyr Akhmedov in 2019.
“I’m excited to be making my welterweight debut against a great fighter and former world champion like Keith Thurman,” said Barrios. “A lot of fighters wouldn’t take this fight, but that’s why I wanted it. Both of us like to throw a lot of bombs and I believe this will be an all-out war. The fans know I’m a warrior and that I don’t back down from any challenge, that’s why everyone should order this fight. ‘El Azteca’ is going to make a statement on February 5.”
A four-division world champion, Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) has established himself as one of the best Mexican boxers of his generation. The 33-year-old Santa Cruz, who was born in Michoacan, Mexico and now lives in Rosemead, California, cemented his legacy with world championships at 118, 122, 126 and 130 pounds. He’s coming off a loss to Gervonta Davis in a lightweight and super featherweight world title bout on Oct. 31, 2020. Before that the only other blemish on his record was a majority decision loss to Carl Frampton in 2016, which he was able to avenge in the 2017 rematch.
“I’m excited to be back after a year out of the ring,” said Santa Cruz. “I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great fight on February 5 in Las Vegas and hopefully everyone will enjoy my fight and a great night of boxing.”
The 30-year-old Carbajal (23-2-1, 15 KOs) is the nephew of five-time world champion, Olympic silver medalist and Hall of Famer Michael Carbajal. But Carbajal is making a name for himself in boxing and is looking for a world championship of his own. A victory over Santa Cruz will go a long way toward helping him carve out his own niche in the boxing world. He thrilled the hometown crowd at Footprint Center with an impressive TKO victory over Josean Figueroa-Bonilla in his most recent fight on Nov. 13.
“This is my introduction to the world, and like the Phoenix, I will rise to the occasion,” said Carbajal. “I’m preparing to be at my very best and give everything I’ve got against a great champion in Leo Santa Cruz.”
Ramos (27-4-2, 21 KOs) is part of a boxing family out of Casa Grande, Arizona, which includes his nephew, rising welterweight undefeated contender Jesus Ramos. The 30-year-old Ramos has built a reputation as a hardnosed boxer who doesn’t back down from a fight and gives as good as he gets. He turned the tables on Omar Figueroa, Jr.  when he went toe-to-toe and forced Figueroa to quit on his stool in his last fight on May 1. He also owns a split decision defeat to welterweight world champion Yordenis Ugas and showed a flair for the dramatic when he scored a TKO victory over Bryant Perrella in the waning seconds of their fight in 2020.
“I’m excited to start off the year with a big fight,” said Ramos. “Josesito is a very good fighter and I expect this fight to be a war. This matchup will be action-packed and fight fans will not be disappointed.”
Lopez (38-8, 21 KOs) earned the nickname “The Riverside Rocky’’ because of his go-for-broke style in the ring. He has stepped in across from some of the top boxers in the sport, including champions Canelo Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz. The 37-year-old from Riverside, California is always a tough out in the ring as noted by his narrow majority decision loss to then-champion Keith Thurman in 2019. Since that loss Lopez has put together back-to-back victories, defeating John Molina, Jr. and Francisco Santana.
“I’m extremely motivated and ready to take on my next assignment,” said Lopez. “I’m expecting a tough challenge from Ramos, but I’m more than ready to display my skills and prove that I’m one of the best fighters in the world.”
The 26-year-old Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) suffered the first loss of his career when he was stopped by Brandon Figueroa in a super bantamweight title unification fight on May 15. Before that loss, the Tijuana, Mexico native had blown through two divisions (118 and 122 pounds) with knockouts in 12 of 13 consecutive fights. He scored a unanimous decision victory over Aaron Almeda to pick up the WBC super bantamweight world title in 2020 and will look to move back toward a world title trajectory with a win over Castro.
“I am looking to start the year off with a bang in Las Vegas,” said Nery. “I didn’t want any easy fights, and I asked for the best ranked opponent I could get. Castro has a great record and is ranked highly in the super bantamweight division. A win over Castro puts me back in the world title mix and that’s where I’m looking to be.”
The undefeated Castro (27-0, 12 KOs) was born in Sonora, Mexico and came to the U.S. as a child, now living in Phoenix, Arizona. Castro has remained unbeaten throughout his career and can move much closer to a world title fight with a triumph over Nery. The 27-year-old took a big step forward in his last fight when he took on Oscar Escandon on Aug. 21, passing that test with flying colors after he knocked out Escandon in the 10th round.
“I’m super excited for this upcoming fight,” said Castro. “It’s a great opportunity to display my skills against a well-known and accomplished fighter like Nery. I’m going to show everyone why I deserve my high-ranking and earn a shot at the world champions.”


Alexis Arguello

Former Featherweight, Super-Featherweight and Lightweight Champion

By John and Alex Rinaldi




Top Featherweight Contender Luis Alberto Lopez Signs New Multi-Year Promotional Contract with Top Rank

Lopez has his sights set on a world title shot in the first half of 2022






Manos de Piedra






GLASGOW (Dec. 14, 2021) — BOXXER and Top Rank have announced ticket on-sale details for the highly charged Scotland-England showdown between Undisputed Junior Welterweight Champion Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor and WBO No. 1 contender Jack “El Gato” Catterall on Saturday, Feb. 26 at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow.


Boxing Hall of Famer Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega Dies

 One of the Last of the 1950s TV Stars

Story By Kirk Lang

Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega, a true warrior of 1950s era boxing, died Thursday on December 16, 2021. He was 86. Ortega was one of the last men standing from that Golden Age of fisticuffs, along with former 1950s welterweight champion Tony DeMarco, of Boston. But the last 14 months have seen the passingo of both old school pugilists. DeMarco, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame just two years ago, died in October 11, 2021, and now Ortega’s passing leaves a hole in the Connecticut Boxing community.

Both Ortega and his son Michael are inductees in the esteemed Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, Gaspar as a fighter and Michael as a world-class referee. Retired referee Joe Cusano, who lived about a mile or so down the road from Ortega in East Haven, remembers Ortega not just as a great warrior, but as a valuable member of society aterward, when Ortega ran a drug program for the City of New Haven in the 1990s called Project More.

 “He helped a lot of people including my brother, who ultimately died from drug overdose years later,” said Cusano. “He helped my brother and impressed my parents with his fluid Italian.”

Born in Mexicali, Mexico, on October 31, 1935, Ortega turned pro at 17 after first trying his hand at another dangerous sport – amateur bullfighting. His first bout was a first-round knockout. Half Mexican and half Indian, he became famous for wearing an Indian headdress into the ring for his bouts, to pay homage to his mother’s bloodline.

Gaspar Ortega (L) fires away at Benny Paret (R).

Ortega relocated to New York City in 1954 and became one of the famous faces of televised boxing. He had a trio of bouts with Tony DeMarco between November 1956 and February 1957, winning the first two by split decision before DeMarco exacted some revenge in their third meeting. DeMarco had reigned as welterweight champion the previous calendar year, so he was still in top form when Ortega bested him.

Gaspar split a pair of bouts with welterweight legend Kid Gavilan in 1957, earning a “W” three months after losing a decision to the “The Cuban Hawk.” All in all, Ortega fought 10 past or future world champions and five Hall of Famers. He retired with a record of 131-39-6 (69 KO’s), though Ortega said he had more fights, and more wins, than are officially listed. His lone title opportunity came against Hall of Famer former welterweight and middleweight champion Emile Griffith on June 3, 1961 in Los Angeles, CA in 1961’s Fight of the Year. Ortega would lose the World’s Welterweight Title contest via a 12th round stoppage, but he believed he over-trained for that fight, because there’s only one other stoppage loss on Ortega’s 175-plus fight record, and an earlier fight with Griffith, 14 months prior, showed he was an equal to the champ.

Gaspar Ortega -L- with Kid Gavilan -R-.

The first meeting with Griffith was a non-title affair and the action went back and forth as Griffith won a close split-decision before his home base at Madison Square Garden. Ortega did not beat the champ when he fought Griffith in 1961, but in another bout in ’61, four months earlier, against Benny “Kid” Paret, Ortega showed he was not only able to go tit-for-tat with a champion, he could actually beat one. Paret was the reigning World Welterweight Champ when they fought in February, but Ortega had begrudgingly agreed to Paret’s request that the title would not be on the line. Gaspar won a 10-round decision at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. Griffith then beat Paret for the title a month later, which set up Gaspar’s title shot against Griffith. Ortega would fight on for four more years, retiring in 1965 two months shy of his 30th birthday. His career saw him fight 20 times at Madison Square Garden.

Gaspar Ortega of East Haven

Ortega ranks third as far as most victories by a Mexican boxer, according to the World Boxing Council, which presented Ortega with a WBC belt 20-plus years ago. Only Luis Villanueva “Kid Azteca,” with 192, and Luis “Baby” Vazquez, with 138, rank higher.

Fellow Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame fighter inductee Luigi Camputaro was saddened to hear of Ortega’s passing. “Gaspar was a good man, both in and out of the ring,” he said. “He was a great role model to all.”

Gasper Ortega vs. Emile Griffith tale of the tape.

It was about 20 years ago when Ortega and AJ Raccio, who was involved with Hamden’s Parks and Recreation Commission, teamed up to open a boxing gym for troubled youth. From that partnership, the two would co-train Elvin Ayala and could be seen working his bouts at the Connecticut casinos. Most of the attendees at the fights had no clue the slender man working Ayala’s corner was a Mexican and 1950s era boxing legend.

Richard Schwartz, vice president of the New York-based Ring 10, which helps fighters in need, remembers Ortega fondly. “Pure skill and determination and was as tough as a bucket of nails, Schwartz said. “Ortega fought in an era when fighters were far more active, and Ortega was far more active than most. In May 1964, Gaspar fought 11 bouts in one month. I asked him, ‘How come you fought so many times?’ He replied, ‘I had to put food on the table.’ He was tough.”

Gaspar Ortega being honored at a boxing show.

 “El Indio” may not have ever won a world title, “but he was a gallant warrior who held his own with the greats and was a real classy gentleman,” said Schwartz.

Ortega was inducted into at least three boxing halls – The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (2006), The New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame (2003) and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.



Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from




Story by Kirk Lang

Springfield, MA. With less than a month before Christmas, two underdog boxers walked out of the Mass Mutual Center late Saturday evening feeling like kids again

Forty-year-old Mike Guy – who had not won a fight in two years – not only defeated local hero Kendrick Ball Jr., of Worcester, MA, but also picked up some shiny hardware, the WBC USNBC super middleweight championship.

The other upset of the night was Puerto Rico’s Jayron Santiago Lopez, who won a split decision over New Britain, CT’s Nathan Martinez. After an accidental headbutt opened a cut over Martinez’ eye in the sixth and final round, the fight went to the scorecards and Santiago Lopez got the nod with two judges scoring the bout for him 58-56. The third judge saw it 58-56 for Martinez.

Going into the featherweight bout, Santiago Lopez had more losses than wins. Now his record is at least even steven at 8-8-1 (5).  

Kendrick Ball was the taller man against Mike Guy – 6’2” compared to 5’8” – was younger and on an eight-fight winning streak. He previously fought in August across the street from The Mass Mutual Center at MGM Springfield, winning a decision over Tyi Edmonds. Guy, on the other hand, had not tasted victory in 2021 heading into his bout with Ball, and he went winless the entire calendar year of 2020. It seems he had had enough. He certainly was not going to finish 2021 without a “W.”

Upset Winner Mike Guy – Photo by Will Paul.

Known for his relentless style, Guy brought everything he had on this night and did not disappoint. He caught Ball with a solid right hand to begin the opening round and before it was over, Guy dropped him with an overhand right! Ball got up off the canvas, but Guy delivered more punishment with Ball bullied against the ropes.

The second frame saw Guy trying to capitalize on the knockdown late in the first round, but Ball did not wilt under the pressure. Guy continued his forward march in round three, bombs away. Ball finally created a little distance with some improved boxing late in the stanza. He also experienced some success with keeping Guy at bay in the fourth round. Ball boxed well in round five and by the end of round six he was ripping off impressive combinations. Guy, however, regained control in the seventh frame, especially in the second half of the stanza when he threw combinations as if he was being paid by the punch.

Guy established who was boss at the start of the eighth round with a beautiful straight right-left hook wallop. He followed up with a barrage of leather as Ball, seemingly tiring, was unable to maneuver away from the ropes. Ball had a brief moment in which he summoned the energy for a mini-rally, but it was not enough. Guy came back and cracked him with a beautiful combination at the round’s end to remind Ball that this was not going to be a holiday celebration for the local hero.

Early in the ninth round, Guy knocked Ball’s head back with a huge right hand. He followed up with a flurry of punches along the ropes, forcing the referee to step in and call a halt to the proceedings at the 1:26 mark.

With the surprise loss, Ball fell to 17-2-2 (11), while Guy’s record improved to 13-7-1 (6).

As for the Martinez-Santiago Lopez fight, early on it looked as if things might bode well for Martinez. Although he started slow in the opening frame, he dropped Santiago Lopez in the second round after connecting with consecutive right hands. Martinez continued to dominate the frame, although his work rate seemed to slow in the third round. It was not a particularly impressive session from either guy, but Santiago Lopez probably deserved the round, due to the fact he was busier. Martinez looked like a sharpshooter in the fourth round, taking his time to pick his shots rather than just fire away hoping to land something big.

Jalen Renaud scores with a right hand. Photo by Will Paul.

Santiago Lopez worked behind a solid jab in the fifth round. Between his steady jab and side-to-side movement, Martinez found it hard to get an edge on him. He finally let his hands go in the final 10 seconds of the frame, but it was too little too late.

An early accidental headbutt in the sixth frame would send the fight to the scorecards, and from this reporter’s perspective, the local fighter should have been a little worried, as he did not exactly dominate. Sometimes a hometown hero can get a decision he does not deserve, but justice prevailed on this night, with the correct fighter getting the decision victory.

Santiago Lopez, who had lost three of his previous four bouts, upped his ledger to 8-8-1 (5), while Martinez fell to 7-2 (2).

In other action, longtime CES-promoted pugilist Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent, 27-2 (1), pitched a one-sided shutout of ShellyBarnett, 5-6-2. Though 42, she looked more like 22 against the far less experienced of the two Shellys. Not normally known for her boxing finesse, Barnett had Vincent looking like the female version of Willie Pep, slipping punches like the great featherweight legend. Vincent, a fan-friendly featherweight who always sports a brightly colored mohawk, has now won four in a row since her last defeat, a decision loss to Heather Hardy for the vacant WBO featherweight title back in October 2018. Hardy is the only person to ever defeat Vincent. She also beat her back in 2016, when the vacant WBC International title was up for grabs.

In junior middleweight action, Jalen Renaud, of Springfield, MA, registered quite possibly the knockout of the night with a fourth-round stoppage of muscle-bound Jurmain McDonald, of Jefferson City, MO. While Guy stopping Ball was an impressive finish, definitely the upset of the night, Renaud’s bout-ending shot was more thunderous than Guy’s succession of blows bringing an end to his opponent.     Renaud, tall and lanky, was more athletic than his body beautiful foe. McDonald would impress if he was at the beach, but in the ring, it was all Renaud. McDonald looked stiff and slow by comparison. He was not exactly busy with his hands and there seemed to be no spring in his legs. In the fourth frame, Renaud landed a right hand counter that sent McDonald crashing and flat on his back. The referee waved the fight off immediately, at the 1:37 mark.

Renaud is now 7-0 (3), as McDonald fell to 5-5 (2).

Jalen Renaud gets his arm raised in victory. Photo by Will Paul.

Steadily improving 21-year-old welterweight Stevie Jane Coleman improved to 2-1 with a four-round decision over LeAnn O’Malley, 1-1, of Las Vegas, NV. O’Malley looked to be the aggressor against Coleman. However, Coleman’s boxing skills, which are being constantly sharpened under the tutelage of Paul Cichon, a Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, carried her through to victory. Coleman lost her pro debut in May, but rebounded this past September at the Hartford Civic Center against Christina Barry.

Stevie Jane Coleman emerges victorious. Photo by Will Paul.

Springfield featherweight Joshua Orta, extended his unbeaten record to 8-0 (4) with a fourth-round stoppage of Kody Murray, 0-1, of Bristol, VT. A barrage of blows quickly had Murray, a late substitute opponent, literally sitting on the bottom ring rope taking a ton of punishment. The referee ruled it a knockdown and as he was giving a count he decided to end matters at the 2:24 mark.

In a heavyweight battle, Timothy Hatfield, of Providence, RI, won his pro debut with a first-round TKO of Rodrigo DaRocha, of Woburn, MA. Soon after the opening bell, a two-fisted attack put DaRocha down near a neutral corner and he was unable to beat the count. The official time of the stoppage was 1:03. DaRocha fell to 0-2.

Springfield super featherweight Isaiah Cruz, 2-0 (1), spoiled the pro boxing debut of Darren Mima, of Kingston, NY, with a fourth-round TKO. Cruz was the far quicker fighter over the first three rounds. Mima, perhaps frustrated by his own shortcomings, and unable to match Cruz punch for punch, resorted to excessive holding in the third round. Mima is apparently used to grabbing, as he is a 19-fight MMA veteran. However, this is boxing and the punch-and-grab tactics only seemed to make Cruz angry. One round later, he pounded his foe with hard left hands to the body. Cruz was then able to create some distance between himself and Mima. Although Mima’s grabbing tactics made a comeback, it would be a short return. Cruz put Mima down with a crackling left hook. When Mima got up and the fight resumed, another left hook would force the referee to end the contest, mere seconds before the bell to end the four-rounder. The official time was 2:58.

The eight-bout card was presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports. Burchfield is New England’s most active promoter for decades and rightfully has a plaque on the wall of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. Burchfield was inducted in 2012.



Film of legendary featherweight king Willie Pep begins filming in West Hartford, Connecticut

Story by Kirk Lang

Photos by Alyssa Lang

West Hartford Connecticut. Five Penske Truck Rental vehicles could be seen parked in front of 146 and 150 Raymond Road this past week. However, it was not a case of anyone moving in or out, but rather, moving on up.

Pep film actor/producer James Madio

That is because legendary 1940s era featherweight champion Willie Pep, who was born in Middletown and grew up in Hartford, will see his story immortalized on the big screen. The rental trucks housed, among other items, wardrobes, lighting equipment, and various period props. The interiors of the two West Hartford residences served as the Pep home and Willie’s sister’s home as scenes with actors were overseen by director Robert Kolodny.

It’s been nearly 80 years since Pep won his first world title and most everyone that saw him perform in his prime has passed on. However, writer/producer Steve Loff and actor/producer James Madio want to make sure Pep, one of the greatest featherweights of all time, and arguably the greatest defensive fighter that ever lived, is given his just due. If fighters of lesser skill and legend can see their stories turned into movies, then Pep surely deserves a film.

Pep was the youngest to win the featherweight title (20 years old), was the first featherweight boxer to regain the title and at one point boasted a record of 135-1-1. Even after fighting on into his 40s, he retired with a ledger of 229-11-1.

James Madio, perhaps best known for a co-starring role in The Basketball Diaries with a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and as a key cast member of the HBO series Band of Brothers, was told by his boxing fan father years ago that he looked like Pep and that portraying the legend was a role he was born to play. When Loff linked up with Madio in 2008 in Los Angeles, he noticed a picture of Pep on his bulletin board. After Madio gave him the back story, Loff said he would be glad to help make the Pep project a reality. Thirteen-and-a-half years later, after a revised script that now focuses on one period of Pep’s life – his 1960s comeback – it is finally happening.

Pep film outside photo actors and director under tent.

“We never gave up,” said Loff. “Willie always signed, ‘Keep punching.’ So that was something that always kept Jim and I going. I never felt even years ago when I had the draft that wasn’t getting traction, before I wrote the new draft, I never felt we were dead. I always felt like, for some reason, I always felt like, if we just keep going, it’s not a matter of if we’ll make this movie. It’s just a matter of when. I’m proud that we stayed with it for all this time.”

And as for Madio, he said he’s “dedicated to bringing Willie’s story to audiences and to cement Willie’s legacy in cinematic history.”

Actors playing a young Pep and his sister.

And Madio is not above pitching in wherever he’s needed. Shortly after he arrived on location – before he was in wardrobe – he was outside with crew members. When one individual who was helping hold the roof-area aluminum framework of a canopy tent amid strong rains and wind got called away, Madio immediately raised his arm to grip a portion of the framework. Another crew member told him he did not have to do that and took over for him, but his quick assist showed his humbleness and that no task is beneath him, though he is the star of the movie.

Pep film actor/producer James Madio

Madio said his grandfather (James Madio Sr.) was a “knock-around club fighter from New York in the late 1930s.”

Willie Pep in his boxing prime.

“No record or serious bouts but he fought for watches and jewelry,” he said. Madio’s father turned him into a boxing fan.

After not getting any support for a Pep movie for some time, Loff revised the original 240-page script from a cradle to grave tale into a faux documentary script focusing on Willie’s comeback in the 1960s.

“It was like a bible, a little too long,” said Loff. “About five to six years ago, I came up with this idea, when our project was floundering, and it was too big a budget, I said what if we had found some documentary footage in the days and weeks leading up to Willie’s comeback. What if I wrote that story and made that the script? And when I did that, that changed everything.”

Sandy Saddler

Loff added, “That’s when we really started to get interest. Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company partnered with us on this. It opened everything. I think it was just a more inspired way to tell the story so that reflected on the page. There’s heart and soul in the way this story’s being told now and I was just really excited about that approach, and it afforded me an intimacy with the characters that I wasn’t getting as this objective observer and trying to tell the story of all the facets and pieces of Willie’s life.”

Rain made Friday’s filming more challenging, but it didn’t throw the shoot off schedule, although movie cameras are so sensitive, the sound of torrential rain outside could possibly be picked up and interfere with dialogue. Friday represented day 10 of a scheduled 18-day shoot and the fifth and final day of interior scenes at the Raymond Road residences.

Scenes shot involved Pep, Pep’s son Billy, played by Keir Gilchrist, and Willie’s sister Fran, played by Shari Albert. Cast and crew were scheduled to move on to exterior scenes in the south end of Hartford, where Pep grew up.

Pep film camera crew inside.

And for prop master Diego Quecano, that meant overseeing everything from period cars to car key chains to re-creating license plates, including Pep’s “W*Pep” plate.” The movie takes place in the 1960s but there are various flashbacks to the 1940s, Quecano said. The crew had its work cut out for it when it had to re-create a fight at Madison Square Garden at a local boxing gym. There will be no digital effects for the Garden scene, yet Quecano promises, “It’s really beautiful. You’re going to see it in the film.” Quecano secured 1940s era pencils and pads for the actors playing judges, among other things, from local antique shops.

For scenes at the Pep home, Quecano was responsible for cooking all the Italian food that will be on camera. “And because this is the 1960s, we have a Jello mold,” said Quecano. It’s all about the details. Even a watch Madio will wear has an engraving on the back that says, “For the Champ – It was a pleasure watching you fight.”

The film is being made on a budget of roughly 1.5 million dollars. More often, films are being shot here in the Nutmeg State, in part because of an enticing tax credit not seen in New York City and other locales.

Loff explained Connecticut allows a 30 percent tax credit on all monies, “whether it’s above the line talent like cast and directors or producers or below the line expenses, all of it qualifies for 30 percent tax credit.”

He added, “So if we spent a million in theory, we get $300,000 back. There’s always a loss. You assume a 5 or 10 percent loss. On $1 million, you’re probably going to get $250,000 let’s say. You’re going to lose a little bit, but what we did here is we used that credit, and I’m still working through this process, we’re using the tax credit to take a loan up front.”

Pep film with John Scully and director and Kirk Lang.

Big budget films sometimes get five to six weeks’ worth of shoot time. Blockbuster movies may even get 12 weeks at times.

“We’ve got 18 days,” said Loff. “It’s really tight. $1.5 million is really tight. You can’t pay people what they deserve to get paid for their services. You’re getting a much younger crew, so it’s important that you have good management at the top. We have a few veterans. You sprinkle in a few veterans. We have a great DP, a director that works fast, so despite the fact that we have a young crew, despite the fact we have a short schedule of 18 days and not a lot of money to work with, we’re doing our best to maximize all that and we are on schedule and on budget as of today.”

For many, seemingly random occurrences or run-ins are not so random, and Madio ran into Loff in Los Angeles back in 2008 mere days after his dad told him he looked like Willie Pep.

“That’s when I told [Loff] the Willie story and we immediately started the development process. Over a decade later here we are. Unreal. A dream come true.”

The film’s working title is Pep and is slated for a late 2022 or early 2023 release, according to Loff.



Terence “Bud” Crawford Scores Terrific Stoppage of Former Champ “Showtime” Shawn Porter in 10

Story by Ron John Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Undercard Story by Top Rank

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 20, 2021) — After the relatively dismal COVID sports year of 2020, it is without a doubt that in 2021 the sport of boxing roared like a lion producing the most exciting fights and matchups seen in years, such as Emanuel Navarrete’s win over Christopher Diaz for the WBO featherweight title; Stephen Fulton’s win over Angelo Leo for the WBO jr. feather title; Olesksandr Usyk’s upset victory over Anthony Joshua for the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight laurels; Shakur Stevenson’s impressive KO win over Jamel Herring to capture the WBO super featherweight crown; Canelo Alvarez’s KO over Caleb Plant to become the first ever undisputed super middleweight champion; and last, but far from least, Tyson Fury’s amazing  KO win over the great Deontay Wilder to retain the WBC heavyweight title in one of the most exciting heavyweight championship bouts in boxing’s rich history.

Then comes “Showtime” Shawn Porter’s gallant challenge against one of boxing’s premier fighters Terence “Bud” Crawford for the Nebraskan’s WBO welterweight title.

Just like the other fights mentioned herein, fireworks and excitement reigned through the night as the pound-for-pound champ Crawford knocked out Porter in the 10th round to retain his WBO welterweight world title in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,568 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Shawn Porter (L) and Terence Crawford (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Making his fifth title defense, Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) was faced with the toughest fight of his career taking on former WBC and IBF welterweight champion  Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, who has fought nearly every great welterweight of this era.

“I figured him out in Round 1,” said Crawford after the bout. “I figured that I had the reach and he had to take chances, and he did what he normally does. He tried to maul and push me back, but I used my angles and I pushed him back at times as well. Shawn Porter is a slick fighter. He was doing some things in there and made me think.”

As for the knockout, Crawford said, “I know I caught him with a good uppercut and then when I caught him with another left hook clean in his face that he was real hurt and his dad did the right thing by stopping it because I was coming with a vengeance.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Shawn Porter (L) and Terence Crawford (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Regardless of the tough fight and eventual outcome, Crawford could not show enough respect for Porter who fought one of the best fights of his career. “I love him. Shawn Porter is a real good friend of mine. I didn’t really want to fight him. We always said we would fight each other when the time was right, and I guess the time was right for this fight to happen. I tried to fight the other champions in the division, and that didn’t happen, so I went to the next best thing.”

For their night’s work, Crawford earned in excess of $6 million, while Porter earned upwards of $4 million or more.

But Porter came to fight.

Dressed in a black robe to honor his favorite fighter, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, inscribed with “Marvelous” and “War” Porter entered the ring at the Mandalay Bay to LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” blasted from the speakers of the arena.

Crawford knocking down Porter in round ten.

In the opening round, the Porter scored with a hard right to the champion’s head, clearly intending to make a statement right there and then. He followed up the right with combinations and became at that moment the aggressor in the bout.

Round two saw Porter attacking Crawford in an attempt to pile up points to bank in the early rounds. Though Crawford connected with a good jab, Porter continued his two-fisted attack. Halfway through the round, Crawford switched to a southpaw stance and landed a couple of jarring rights to the challenger’s head. Not to be outdone, Porter knocked back Crawford with a thudding right to the jaw. This got Crawford’s attention as both fighters went toe-to-toe in an all-out slugfest to the delight of the sellout crowd on hand.

In round three, Porter continued in his aggressive posture, eventually scoring with another hard right that backed the champion to the ropes. Crawford responded with blows of his own as the two fighters exchanged enough leather to saddle a horse as the fans by then were leaping to their feet.

These back-to-back exchanges continued through rounds four to six as both fighters refused to back up as fists flew around the ring faster than a Cuisinart Mixer.

After rounds, Porter led 48-47 on all three scorecards.

In round seven, Porter slammed Crawford with a right to head, as both fighters continued their two-fisted exchanges. Though Crawford landed the greater punches, Porter refused to relent.

After a close round eight, Porter notched up his game in the following session, landing punches to the head and body of the Nebraska champion.

After nine rounds, Crawford was up 86-85 on two cards and 87-84 on the other. The USA Boxing News had Porter slightly ahead at 86-85.

Then came round ten.

Possibly sensing that the fight was a little too close for comfort, Crawford came out for round ten with a vengeance as he quickly knocked down the gutsy former champion with a terrific left uppercut to the jaw.

Though Porter bravely rose to his feet, Crawford, sensing blood in the water, went for the kill and let go with a fusillade of blows – all thrown with the acumen of an assassin, which he finished with a right hook to the temple, followed by a signature short left hook to the challenger’s head that deposited him on the ring floor for the second time in the round.

After the second knockdown, the Ohio challenger slammed his right fist to the canvas three times.

This time, his corner, led by his father Kenny Porter, had seen enough and called the fight off as Crawford retained his title on a technical knockout. 

“I didn’t expect that (stoppage by his father). We have an understanding,” Porter exclaimed.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Bob Arum (L) and Terence Crawford (R) victory pose as he defeats Shawn Porter for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Still, he clearly had respect for Crawford. “He’s the best out of everybody,” said Porter, a member of the welterweight-stacked Premier Boxing Champions stable that counts two-belt champion Errol Spence Jr., WBA champion Yordenis Ugas and former champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. 

“He’s definitely the best of anybody in the world,” Porter said afterwards.

“I’m prepared to retire,” Porter said. “I was prepared to announce my retirement tonight — win, lose or draw. Even if it was a draw, we had a date. They were telling us we were going to have to do it again. I was not going to do it again. I am announcing my retirement right now.”

Crawford, meanwhile, revealed that he knew he’d finish Porter after the first knockdown. “I was a little stronger, using my angles to push him back,” Crawford said. 

“Who’s the best in the welterweight division now?” Crawford asked triumphantly.

Told that Errol Spence Jr. had been at the fight, Crawford remarked, “He came to my fight. I thought he didn’t want to fight me. … You saw what I did.” 

Actually, the whole world saw what he did.

If a unification process can start, the welterweight division will become the most colorful and talent laden division in boxing.

The Undercard

Falcao Edges Volny

Middleweights Esquiva Falcao (29-0, 20 KOs) and Patrice Volny (16-1, 10 KOs) were headed for a distance fight until a brutal headbutt opened a gash above Falcao’s left eye in the sixth round. The fight went to the scorecards, and Falcao prevailed by technical decision (58-56 Volny, 58-56 Falcao and 58-57 Falcao) in an IBF title eliminator.

Falcao, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist for Brazil, is now in line for the winner of December’s title unification fight between WBA champion Ryota Murata and IBF kingpin Gennadiy Golovkin.

Janibek Rolls Past N’Dam

Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KOs) is a problem. The world-ranked middleweight from Kazakhstan steamrolled former two-time champion Hassan N’Dam (38-6, 21 KOs) by eighth-round stoppage to retain his WBO Global and WBC Continental Americas belts.

Alimkhanuly dropped N’Dam in the third round and continued marching forward. N’Dam gamely returned fire, but Alimkhanuly was not deterred. Whenever N’Dam landed a punch, Alimkhanuly shook his head and continued the assault. Late in the eighth round, a multi-punch combination froze N’Dam in the blue corner, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to end the carnage.

Alimkhanuly said, “I am ready for a world title shot next. ‘Qazaq Style’ is about to take over the middleweight division. Any champion, it doesn’t matter.

“I must give credit to N’Dam, a tough former champion who took a lot of punishment.”

In other action:

Lightweight phenom Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (13-0, 11 KOs) became the first man to knock out out Elias Araujo (21-4, 8 KOs), finishing things off in the fifth round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Araujo was not seriously hurt at the time of the knockout, but referee Allen Huggins halted the fight due to an accumulation of punishment.

Former junior featherweight world champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe” (23-2, 15 KOs) kept his hopes of a featherweight title shot alive, edging two-time title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (26-4, 16 KOs) by 10-round majority decision (95-95, 96-94 and 97-93). Dogboe has now won three straight fights since back-to-back defeats to Emanuel Navarrete.

Adam “BluNose” Lopez (15-3, 6 KOs) was just getting started. After dominating the first two rounds against Adan Ochoa (12-2, 5 KOs), the fight was ruled a no-decision due to an accidental headbutt that opened a cut above Ochoa’s right eye. Ochoa sustained the damage in the opening round and was unable to continue.

Lopez said, “I landed some good shots and was busting him up. He was looking for a way out.

“This is so frustrating. I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible. I’m still ready to take on anybody in the featherweight division.”

Junior lightweight prospect “King” Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KOs) notched his second stoppage victory in a row, battering Ecuadorian veteran Julio Cortez (15-4, 11 KOs) en route to a fourth-round TKO. Cortez had never been knocked out as a pro entering the bout.

Recent U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson had an eye-opening professional debut, stopping Antonius Grable (3-2-1, 3 KOs) in the fourth round of a welterweight bout. Johnson suffered the first cut of his career before knocking down Grable with a right hand in the fourth round. Referee Allen Huggins stopped the fight after a follow-up flurry pinned Grable against the ropes.

Johnson said, “I’m coming. The cut was not an issue for me, and I did my thing against a solid opponent in my professional debut. It was an honor to debut on a big pay-per-view card in Las Vegas, and I can’t wait for my second professional fight.”




Anthony Joshua vs. Olexandr Usyk

After Joshua’s listless loss to the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, British boxing fans have been waiting for the announcement of their rematch.

Many of Joshua’s faithful have felt that their champion simply had a bad night and that beloved Joshua should be able to re-group and formulate a plan to end the Ukrain heavyweight championship reign.

After the decade long debacle with the Klitschko brothers claiming the heavyweight laurels, there are few boxing fans left in the world west of  Eastern Europe clamoring for a return of less than exciting fighters.

It has been reported that Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn feels confident that  that Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk will take place by April 2022 at the latest.

Intitially WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight champion Usyk, and WBC champion Tyson Fury were apparently attempting a title unification,  but it appears that the Gypsy King Fury is getting prepared to take on the WBC’s mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte.

Meanwhile, Usyk is already contracted to a rematch with Joshua. According to Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk, the  fight is looking to be held in either the Middle East, Ukraine or Great Britain.

“I think [the rematch] will be realistically end of March, early April. Both guys are probably resting, although AJ will be doing a bit more preparation because he wants to get it right,” Hearn told Talk Sport. “There was a well-documented trip to America, just to look really, look, learn and see. I think he will go back out there towards the end of the year. We will start talking to Team Usyk over the next couple of weeks and pin down the venue.

“I would like it back in the UK. There are other options. We have had approaches to stage that fight around the world. But last time out was a massive spectacle and, obviously, this time is a much bigger fight.”


A statue of Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield was erected in Atlanta, Georgia

The Evander Holyfield statue is a monumental statue of famed professional boxer Evander Holyfield, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The statue was designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon and unveiled in front of State Farm Arena on June 25, 2021

Evander Holyfield standing in front of his statue.

The Evander Holyfield statue is a monumental statue of legendary former undisputed Heavyweight Champion and Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion  Evander Holyfield, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

The statue was designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon and unveiled in front of State Farm Arena on June 25, 2021. The $90,000 cost of the statue was part of a $4.4 million investment in public art in Downtown, Midtown, and Southwest Atlanta.


A new 10-foot bronze statue of Mike Tyson erected at Resorts World in Las Vegas


History has shown that the best way to immortalize a famous and noteworthy individual is to erect a statue of them.
Interestingly enough there are more statues of boxers than there are of any other athlete across the globe. Statues of Roberto Duran, Jack Johnson, Carmen Basilio, Rocky Marciano, Randy Turpin, ingemar Johansson, Jack Dempsey, Young Corbett III, Billy Backus, Stanley Ketchel, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Johnny Kilbane, Joey Giardello, Jersey Joe Walcot, Tony DeMarco, and John L. Sullivan, to name a few have been erected celebrating the great champions that they were; and there are two more on the way – Ezzard Charles and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Not surprisingly, a new fighter that has just made his way to bronze is none other than the iconic former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in his adopted home of Las Vegas. Tyson was recently honored with the unveiling of a new statue at Resorts World in Las Vegas. The statue, which  stands at 10 feet tall and is situated outside of Mulberry Street Pizzeria. Tyson, one of the more popular fighters of all-time, reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world from 1987 to 1990, then as WBC and WBA heavyweight champion in 1996.

“Mulberry Street Pizzeria owner and founder Richie Palmer is an avid boxing fan and felt that Tyson represents a prominent time in the sports world as well as Las Vegas,” read a news release by Mulberry Street Pizzeria. “He thought that it was time Tyson deserved to be honored with his own statue, which is something that the Resorts World team agreed with, so they worked together to make this happen.”



Instant KO: Jose Zepeda Starches Josue Vargas in 1

Jonas Sultan upsets Carlos Caraballo in co-feature




Super Shakur: Stevenson Stops Herring to Win Junior Lightweight Title

Xander Zayas & Nico Ali Walsh Score KO Wins on Undercard

ATLANTA (Oct. 23, 2021) — Shakur Stevenson snatched at Jamel Herring’s world title belt during the pre-fight press conference and weigh-in. After Saturday’s virtuoso performance at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Stevenson added some flashy hardware to his collection. Stevenson toppled Herring via 10th-round TKO to win the WBO junior lightweight world title and become a two-weight world champion at 24 years of age.

Bruised and cut, referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight with Stevenson pitching a shutout on two of the three cards.

“Around the fifth round, I was landing everything and then he started trying to come on,” Stevenson said. “I smelled blood. I saw he was bleeding and was like, ‘OK, I have to attack the cut. I was trying to touch the cut to make the doctor try and stop it.”

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “A sensational performance from Shakur Stevenson, who showed why so many think he’s the future pound-for-pound king. Jamel Herring displayed the heart of a champion, but he was in there with an incredible fighter tonight.”
Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) has made a career off of upsetting the odds, bouncing back from a pair of lightweight defeats to become a world champion. He defended his title three times and had designs on derailing a potential pound-for-pound superstar. 

“He’s sharp and slick. His hand-eye coordination is very good,” Herring said. “No excuses. He was just the better man tonight.”

Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), from Newark, New Jersey, has been destined for stardom since capturing a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He had a brief run as a featherweight champion, but had never faced an established world champion until Herring. Stevenson picked Herring apart at mid range, while Herring tried in vain to ugly things up on the inside.

As soon as the fight ended, talk began about Stevenson’s next foe. The top name on his list is the WBC champion at 130 pounds, Mexican star Oscar Valdez.

Stevenson said, “There’s only one fight left at the end of the day. It’s the biggest fight at the end of the day. Oscar can’t keep ducking. It’s time for him to fight. There’s nothing else to look forward to. The 130-pound division needs to unify. Let’s get it!”

Zayas KOs Karpency

Junior middleweight Xander Zayas (11-0, 8 KOs) is starting to run away with the 2021 Prospect of the Year. The Puerto Rican sensation won his fifth fight of the year, battering Dan Karpency (9-4-1, 4 KOs) until Karpency’s corner stopped the slaughter after the fourth round. Zayas landed nearly 50 percent of his power shots (81/166) and became the first man to knock out Karpency, who has been a pro for eight years.

Zayas said, “My debut on ESPN, I feel amazing. I stopped a guy that had not been stopped in eight years {as a pro}. I’m blessed to be here. I hope everybody enjoyed the show, and now it’s just back to the gym. Hopefully, I can get on that December 11 show in New York.
“In my last fight in September, we noticed that my left hand was a low a little too much, so this camp we kept the elbows and shoulders up and tried to avoid that right hand. We knew he was going to come with those hooks, so we stayed low. Overall, I think I made an improvement. I showed I could adjust, and I hope everyone enjoyed it today.”

2 Up, 2 Down: Ali Walsh Victorious Again

Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs) had to go a little longer than his one-round August pro debut, but the grandson of “The Greatest” was dominant in knocking out James Westley II (1-1) in the third round of a middleweight special attraction. Ali Walsh ate a couple hard right hands in the first round, and he then knocked down Westley with a straight right hand shortly before the bell sounded to end the second. Westley’s corner stopped the fight following a knockdown early in the third round.

Ali Walsh said, “I’m happy that my pro debut went the way it did. There’s stuff, of course, I have to work on.
“I know the crowd got excited seeing him land a punch, but I did not feel the punch. Maybe it was my energy, my adrenaline, but my hat’s off to him and his team. Mutual respect both ways, and it was a very good fight.

“I’m blessed that I’m following the legacy of my grandfather. I think everyone who loves my grandfather who’s watching me… I love this legacy that I’m continuing.”

In other action:

Atlanta native Evan Holyfield (8-0, 6 KOs) — following in the footstep of his famous father— knocked out Charles Stanford (6-4, 3 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled six-round junior middleweight contest. Holyfield connected with a looping left hook that staggered Stanford. After a right hand for good measure, Stanford was on the deck and in no position to continue.

In his first fight since representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics, middleweight Troy Isley (3-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of Nicholi Navarro (2-2, 2 KOs), knocking out his overmatched foe in 2:48. At the end of the round, Isley connected with a three-punch combination that sent Navarro to the mat.

It was a junior welterweight upset in A-Town, as the sub-500 Eric Palmer (13-14-5, 1 KO) stunned hometown favorite Roddricus Livsey (8-1-1, 5 KOs) by six-round split decision (58-56 Palmer 2x and 59-55 Livsey).

The identical 40-36 cards did not tell the entire story. Featherweight prospect Haven Brady Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs), from Albany, Georgia, withstood the right hand barrage of Roberto Negrete (3-1, 1 KO) to win the four-round battle of unbeatens. Negrete had his moments pushing Brady to the ropes, but the judges preferred Brady’s cleaner punching.

Welcome to the pro game, Antoine Cobb. The junior welterweight from Chicago needed only 58 seconds to win his professional debut, as an overhand right sent Jerrion Campbell (2-2) tumbling into the ropes.

Brooklyn-born lightweight prospect Harley Mederos (2-0, 1 KO) went the distance for the first time in his career, shutting out the game Deljerro Revello (0-2) over four rounds by identical scores of 40-35. Mederos knocked down Revello in the opening round.

 Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images





By Per-Ake Persson



Dina Thorslund wallops Zulina Munoz in 7 to retain WBO Female Bantamweight Laurels




Tyson Fury KO’s Deontay Wilder in Terrific Trilogy Triumph

Tyson Fury KO’s Deontay Wilder. 

Story by Alex and John Rinaldi and Top Rank

In one of the greatest and most exciting ring battles in the colorful history of the heavyweights, Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury retained his heavyweight championship in a devastating fashion after stopping the gallant Deontay Wilder in eleven rounds, before a packed crowd in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

In doing so he has cemented himself firmly as the lone sentinel atop the Mt. Everest of the heavyweight division.

Prior to the bout, former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder declared, “I want payback back in blood.  I will get my revenge. It’s an eye for an eye.”

Remarkably, after nearly eleven slam-down rounds, Wilder almost got that “eye for an eye” especially in the fourth round when he crashed Tyson Fury twice to the canvas, only to have him survive and KO the brave challenger six rounds later.

Wilder entered the ring wearing a mask, a strange headpiece, and a tooth-like and claw necklace, looking very much like a sinister witch doctor hell bent on delivering his foe an evil brew of rights and lefts.

Fury, meanwhile waited in his dressing room listening to the band Lynyrd Skynyrd’ss rendition of their classic rock song Sweet Home Alabama. Considering that it is Wilder who hails from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, not Fury, who happens to hail from Manchester, England, the song might have been a poke to Deontay that he would soon be resting in a grave under the ground there.

Wilder (L) and Fury (R) going on the attack.

Like all things in life, the end justifies the means, and in this case Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) scored three knockdowns in all, the final two in the eleventh frame which closed the curtain on Wilder’s gutsy challenge, in front of a loud and frenzy crowd of 15,820.

“Like the great John Wayne said, iron and steel, baby,” Fury said. “I give God the glory for the victory. [Wilder] is a tough man. He took some big shots tonight. And I want to say that if it wasn’t for Sugar Hill, America and Detroit’s own, I wouldn’t have gotten through that fight tonight.  He said, ‘get your jab working, big guy, and throw that right hand down the middle.  That’s how the big dogs do it,’ so that’s what I did.”
As for Wilder, his effort should also be cheered.

“I did my best, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Wilder afterwards. “I’m not sure what happened. I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn’t come in at 277 to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”

Wilder dropping Fury in Round 4.

Wilder began the fight well throwing jabs and rights to the target-like body of Fury and combinations to the head. Fury responded with hard right crosses along with short lefts and uppercuts to the challenger’s skull.

Then came round three.

In third round, the action came to a boiling point when Fury unleashed a powerful right that sent Wilder sailing to the canvas, like a kite unleashed in a violent storm.

Courageously, the game puncher from the American South rose to his feet, and managed to survive the follow-up blows until the bell rang seconds later.
Sensing that Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) was on unsteady legs, in the fourth round Fury went after the former champ like a predator to end matters there and then.

Punch after Fury punch landed on the former champion as the crowd was gearing up for a funeral parade in the aisles when all of a sudden, like the legendary fighters of the past, the “Bronze Bomber” exploded with a terrific short right followed by another sledge hammer overhand right, that sent Fury smashing to the canvas like a sunken British warship .

Tyson Fury (L) Deontay wilder (R) in action.

Bravely, like Wilder the round before, Fury made it to his feet only to be knocked down again after another Wilder fusillade floored the Brit for the second time in the round. Down for the count of “nine” the bell rang seconds after he got up to spare the champion from Wilder’s hangman’s noose of punches.
Wilder started strong in the fifth, blasting Fury with more crippling rights. The “Gypsy King” maintained his composure, digging to the body in close quarters.
Unfortunately for Wilder, Fury appeared to wither the storm, while the challenger started to appear hurt and tired.

Possibly due to Fury’s body shots as well as his constant pressure and leaning on Wilder, the challenger began to quickly slow down.

While Wilder continued to land hard rights, Fury dropped him for the send time in the tenth the – courtesy of another wrecking ball right hand.

Both fighters clocking the other.

To his credit, and as a testament to his supreme courage, Wilder, like the great fighter he is, rose and survived the brutal stanza.

Sadly for him, the survival would be short-lived since Fury was hell bent on finishing off Wilder before the former champ could land one of his thunderous right hands of destruction of his own.

In the first and eventually last minute of the eleventh round, Fury clocked Wilder with another nuclear right to the temple that looked to knock Wilder somewhere between the clouds and the wild blue yonder.

Referee Russell Mora mercifully rescued the brave warrior, ending the fight at 1:10 of the round.

“It was a great fight tonight, as good as any trilogy in history,” said Fury. “October 9, 2021, will go down in history, I hope. I always said I was the best in the world and he was the second-best. Don’t ever doubt me.  When the chips are down, I will always deliver.”

Fury (R) landing a hard left hook.

After the fight, Fury went over to Wilder and attempted to shake his hand. Wilder rebuffed the attempt and refused to acknowledge him. In his post-fight interview, Fury stated “I’m a sportsman. I went over to him to show some love and respect and he didn’t show it back. I will pray for him so that God will soften his heart.” Fury then added that it “was a great fight tonight, worthy of the best of trilogies.”

Praise for the fight was immediate and profuse, with many describing it as one of the best heavyweight bouts in history. Promoter Bob Arum stated he had “never seen a heavyweight fight as magnificent as this” during his 57-year career in boxing.

For his work, Fury received a $10 million guaranteed plus share of PPV revenue depending on PPV buys numbers. Set to clear between $12 to 15 million; while  Wilder pocketed a $8 million guarantee plus share of PPV revenue, which might clear him between $10 to $12 million.

With a fourth Fury-Wilder fight off the table, Fury can target the winner of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, the surprise winner of their bout late last month. In theory, within 12 months, the heavyweight division could have a single champion.

Wilder, for his part, could regroup and take some tuneup fights, or he could make big-money matches in the aftermath of the Joshua-Usyk-Fury round-robin. The main point, for Fury, Wilder and fans, is that options abound for entertaining, high-stakes fights.

Wilder (L) landing a shrp hook to Fury’s jaw (R).

“Boxing is big, and boxing is back,” Javan Hill, Fury’s trainer, said at the news conference. “The heavyweight division is flourishing.”

The Undercard

Sanchez KO’s Ajagba

In the co-main event battle between two unbeaten heavyweights, Frank Sanchez (19-0, 13 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a comfortable, 10-round unanimous decision win over Efe Ajagba.
Sanchez used his superior boxing skills to keep the hard-hitting Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) off-balance for the entire fight. The “Cuban Flash” displayed his power as well, flooring Ajagba with a hard right in the seventh. A follow-up left hook which landed a tick after Ajagba’s knee hit the canvas.

Frank Sanchez (R)stops Efe Ajagba (L).

Ajagba made it to his feet and survived the round but never seriously threatened on his way to the first defeat of his career.

Sanchez said, “I knew I was going to win all the rounds because I’m much better than him technically. I knew that if I connected, he would fall and he did fall. My game plan was always to frustrate him and go in for the attack.”

Helenius Stops Kownacki

Robert Helenius was even better against Adam Kownacki this time. In a rematch of their March 2020 slugfest which Helenius won via fourth-round TKO, Helenius battered Kownacki throughout to induce a stoppage at 2:38 of the sixth round. 
“I expected [this win] because, what does he have?” Helenius said. “Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good brawler, but I’ve been fighting brawlers for 20 years. I know how to deal with them, even if they are hitting me low or behind the head. That doesn’t bother me.”

Robert Helenius (L) clobbers Adam Kownacki (R).

Helenius used his height and length to box in the first, working the jab up and downstairs and briefly buckling Kownacki with a right toward the end of the stanza. 
Kownacki came alive in the second and third, throwing punches in bunches but earned a warning for two low blows that sank Helenius to his knees. The “Nordic Nightmare” took over from that point on, bloodying Kownacki’s nose and closing his left eye with thudding power shots. 
The steady hammering continued until the sixth, when Kownacki landing another low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz examined Kownacki as he warned him and decide to halt the action. 
“Right now, I want to go home to my family,” Helenius said. “I’ve been away from them for four weeks. Then we can worry about what’s next.”

Anderson KOs Tereshkin

Jared “Big Baby” Anderson 10-0 (10 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the heavyweight ranks, stopping veteran Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:51 of the second round.
“I was a little anxious in the opening round,” Anderson said. “My first pay-per-view card and all that. But I settled in and gave a great performance. I practiced what my coaches preached. On to the next one.”
Anderson dominated from the opening bell, landing at will. In the second, a series of well-placed power shots drove Tereshkin toward the ropes where Anderson unloaded on his defenseless opponent until referee Kenny Bayless mercifully stopped the fight.
“I got great work in the gym with Tyson Fury,” Anderson said. “Iron sharpens iron. Shout out to Toledo, my home. I hope I made the fans back home proud.”

In other action:

Rising super middleweight Edgar Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) survived the first knockdown of his career to remain unbeaten, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Marcelo Esteban Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs).
Berlanga controlled the first half of the bout, flashing his prodigious power which ultimately closed Coceres’ right eye shut. Coceres began opening up in the sixth, catching Berlanga with a stiff left hook. He continued to enjoy pockets of success despite being outgunned.
Coceres’ best moment came in the ninth, when he countered a Berlanga left with a beautiful overhand right. Berlanga crashed to the canvas but the Brooklyn, New York gamely rose to his feet, pressing the action until bout’s end.
Rugged southpaw Vladimir Hernández (13-4, 6 KOs) registered the finest victory of his career, outworking former unified super welterweight world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs) to win a 10-round split decision. 
Hernández won on two cards by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 respectively while a third card read 96-94 for Williams.
Williams got off to a strong start, countering the aggressive Hernández with well-timed counters and opening a cut over his right eye. Hernández never stopped coming forward, utilizing a dedicated body attack to gradually wear down. The non-stop assault culminated in a big 10th round for Hernández, who rocked Williams with a straight left that frame. The round was the margin of victory for Hernández. 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez (8-1, 4 KOs) picked up the most significant win of his young career, using his southpaw stance to befuddle the previously undefeated Orlando “Capu” Gonzalez (17-1, 10 KOs) over 10 rounds in a featherweight contest. Scores were 99-91 2x and 97-93.  

Featherweight prospect Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington had a spotless professional debut, shutting out Texas native Cesar Cantu (3-2, 1 KO) by identical scores of 40-36.

Heavyweight upstart Viktor Faust (8-0, 6 KOs) knocked down Mike Marshall (6-2-1, 4 KOs) twice  and finished off the Connecticut native in the third round.

(Photos by Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing )


Cowboy Up: ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete Retains Featherweight Crown in Bloody Battle Against Joet Gonzalez




By Per-Ake Persson

Dominic Boesel outpoints Robin Krasniqi to capture IBO light heavyweight title in exciting rematch

                      Dominic Boesel – R – attacks Robin Krasniqi – L.




Former Welterweight Champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Tony DeMarco dies at age 89

By Henry Hascup and Alexander R. Rinaldi
Sadly, it has been confirmed that the ten count recently has sadly tolled for former World Welterweight Champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Tony DeMarco at the age of 89.
DeMarco was born Leonardo Liotta on January 14, 1932 in Boston. He began boxing at 12, and like most future ring greats, Tony displayed an extraordinary boxing talent literally right from the beginning. A converted southpaw, four years later he turned pro in 1948 at 16, borrowing the name of a friend, Tony DeMarco, to circumvent the legal fighting age of 18.
He was soon meeting the top lightweights and welterweights of the era including Pat Manzi (TKO 1), Paddy DeMarco (W 10), Teddy Davis (W 10), Chris Christensen (TKO 6), Pat Manzi (TKO 1), and Jimmy Carter (D 10). He was also fighting in some of the most famous arenas in boxing history such as the Boston Garden (Boston), Laurel Garden (Newark), the Forum in Montreal, and,  of course, Madison Square Garden in New York. He also was one of the few fighters ever to fight in Boston’s famed Fenway Park where he outpointed Vince Martinez in ten rounds on June 16, 1956.

DeMarco standing by his statue leading into the North End Boston neighborhood where he was born. 

His biggest and most glorious win came at the Boston Garden when he demolished and stopped Johnny Saxton in devastating fashion in 14th round after dropping him to the canvas on April 1, 1955 to become the undisputed Welterweight Champion of the World. It was a left hook followed by a jarring right cross that sent Saxton to the canvas.
Although Saxton bravely beat the count, he rose utterly defenseless against DeMarco’s storm of punches prompting the referee to wisely stop the fight. 
“I felt a pain in my right hand. I switched to southpaw, which was natural for me. I started hitting Saxton with left hooks and uppercuts: boom, boom, boom,” said DeMarco.

With the win, DeMarco became one of the biggest and most iconic athletes in Boston, though his reign would be short. 

Unfortunately, in his next bout,  Tony defended his belt against agaisnt the ultra-tough challenger Carmen Basilio in his hometown of Syracuse, NY and was stopped in the 12th round of a classic give-and-take brawl before 9,000 fans.

After the loss, DeMarco rebounded with a first round TKO over Chico Vejar to earn a rematch with Basilio in Boston. In a virtual repeat of their first battle, Basilio again stopped DeMarco in the 12th round of one of the greatest wars of all time, which was later hailed as the “Fight of the Year” for 1955.

In that fight venues were switched to Boston Garden. Before a hometown of his faithful, DeMarco was hell bent on regaining his championship.

In a blod and guts bout, DeMarco nearly ended matters in round 7 when a roundhouse left hook caused Basilio’s knees to tremble and his balance to be compromised.  Like the great champion he was, Carmen managed to  regain his balance, and crashed DeMarco to the ring floor in round 12. In a gutsy move, DeMarco stood back up, only to be knocked out cold by a right hand as referee Mel Manning tried to stop DeMarco’s nearly lifeless body from dropping to the canvas.

A statue of DeMarco located in he North End Boston neighborhood he grew up in.

After that bout, DeMarco added one more huge win against the  famous former Welterweight Champion and Boxing Hall  of Famer Kid Gavilan in 1956.
DeMarco wrapped up his career with one last bout at the Boston Garden, defeating Stefan Redl by unanimous decision in February of 1962.
In a  career that spanned 14 years, Demarco retired with a record of (58-12-1, 33 knockouts).
In 2019, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Tony DeMarco, right, lands a right to the head of Carmen Basilio in the seventh round of their rematch at the Boston Garden in November 30, 1955. (AP Photo)

Tony DeMarco, right, lands a right to the head of Carmen Basilio in the seventh round of their rematch at the Boston Garden in November 30, 1955. 

“People talk about me having a short title reign, but I’d have been happy to be champion for just one day. That was a dream come true for me,” DeMarco told ESPN.

DeMarco chronicled his life in an autobiography, “Nardo: Memoirs of a Boxing Champion,” which was released in 2011. He was later honored in 2015 with a statue leading into the North End Boston neighborhood where he was born.


Boxing Returns to Connecticut

By Kirk Lang




Ancient former 4-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield gets walloped in the opening round against UFC fighter Vitor Belfort in exhibition match

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

 September 11 – 2021 – Hollywood, FL. The last time former undisputed cruiserweight champion and 4-time heavyweight king Evander “Warrior” Holyfield  (44-10-2-1, 1 NC, 29 KOs) stepped into a boxing ring was on May 7, 2011 when he stopped heavyweight contender Brian Neilsen in ten rounds at the Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Since then, he has spent his retirement doing personal appearances and endorsements. 

After Mike Tyson and Roy Jones fought to a 10-round draw in an exhibition match last November 28, where Tyson pocketed a guaranteed $10 million and Jones was earned a guaranteed $3 million, along with extra revenue from PPV sales, many old time boxers have been wetting their lips looking for an easy payday taking the “exhibition” route.

US former professional boxer Evander Holyfield (R) fights against Brazilian martial artist Vitor Belfort (L) during a boxing fight at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida on September 11, 2021. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

One such former legend was Oscar De La Hoya, 48, who was set to return to the ring and face former UFC Heavyweight Tournament and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort on September 11 in California.  De La Hoya spent the last few months honing his body into fighting condition before he was TKO’d by the Covid-19 Virus on September 3.

Victor Belfort pummels Holyfield before the referee stops the fight.

The promoters of the exhibition, Triller Fight Club, frantically looked around for a replacement to keep their date 8 days later. What they needed was a popular former champion and one who appeared to be in decent physical condition.  It took no further than finding Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield to fill in for Oscar.  The locale, however, was moved from California to Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL, since the California Athletic Commission wanted no part of allowing the 58 year-old Holyfield to climb into the ring in their state.

A dazed Holyfield looks up at his oponent Belfort.

The promoters, Triller Fight Club, then decided to hedge their bets and signed on another legend for the event, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to handle the commentary.


Trump, who is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, is no stranger to boxing.  In the late 1980s into the mid 1990s, Trump was boxing’s biggest supporter in Atlantic City and hosted many of Mike Tyson’s historic battles, including his title fights against Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Tyrell Biggs, and Carl Williams. He also hosted the April 19, 1991 blockbuster contest between undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and the popular challenger, former heavyweight king George Foreman.  Trump’s hotel at the time, Trump Plaza, had a direct access into Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, and most of those events were sell-outs.

Besides the heavyweight title fights, Trump hosted 1989’s Fight of The Year, when the betting underdog and boxing legend Roberto Duran captured the WBC middleweight title in a 12-round war against Iran “The Blade” Barkley.

At that time period, Trump ushered in a golden era in Atlantic City boxing.  Additionally, nearly every Friday night, he held smaller scaled fights in the ballrooms of Trump Plaza that were packed to the rafters.  Trump’s love of the sport made Atlantic City the go to place to watch big time boxing, literally burying Madison Square Garden in the process. Trump worked with promoters such as Don King Productions, Top Rank, Inc. and Main Events to bring championship boxing to the fabled New Jersey resort.

Former champion David Haye lands a jab to the jaw of Joe Fournier.

When Trump was elected president, he still was a champion of the sport as he finally granted the legendary former heavyweight king Jack Johnson a full pardon, something that ALL of the past presidents could not pull off.

So when the former President of the United States was signed on to offer television commentary to the Holyfield-Belfort PPV telecast, he was certainly no stranger to the sport of fisticuffs.

Holyfield was guaranteed a purse of $500,000, while Belfort was guaranteed $200,000.  Both men could earn more once the PPV revenue is counted.

Before taking on his duties as fight commentator, Trump surprised an immense crowd, including policemen and firemen in New York City to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 

At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the former president was given thunderous applause as he entered the arena as the crowd chanted, “We want Trump! We want Trump!”

Victor Belfort sends Evander Holyfield through the ropes.

During the telecast, Trump’s knowledge of the sport was quite clear and beforehand said these remarks to the viewing audience on 9/11, “The anniversary of 9/11 us one of the most important days.  And we had a very bad week because of some very bad decisions that were made.  We should have never allowed to happen what happened in Afghanistan with 13 great warriors and many injured and many people killed in these final days, and it was a shame.”

From there on, Trump settled down to speaking on boxing and of his opinions of the boxers and of some of the great fights he hosted in the past in Atlantic City.  Also with Trump was his son Don Jr, who is another fine student of The Sweet Science.  Besides mentioning some of the famous fights he hosted in the past, Trump talked about the classic Duran-Barkley bout, admitted that he thought Larry Holmes had the best  left hand jab he ever saw, and that he is a big fan of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

While Trump may have had a triumphant return to the limelight, the same could not be said of Evander Holyfield.  He looked all of his 58 years (he would be turning 59 in 5 weeks) as he climbed through the ropes. Holyfield was clearly the crowd’s favorite, for they came to see fighters, not UFC guys whose only strategy in a fight is to strangle their opponent in the opening seconds.

Vitor Belfort, 44, of Boca Raton, FL, was actually engaging in his first ever boxing match. 

At the bell, Holyfield moved around the ring as if he were just released from his Egyptian tomb, and with all the movement of mummy that just crawled out of his sarcophagus. Evander lashed out with weak jabs that rarely found their mark.  In the early seconds, Belfort was cautious as he kept his gloves up high blocking most of his opponent’s shots. After Holyfield fired a left hook, Belfort countered with his own left hook that cracked into Holyfield’s skull, and then he opened up with both fists. Proving that although his reflexes were absent, his guts were still intact and Evander willingly traded blows until he slipped to the floor after missing with a wild punch.

Upon  rising from the slip, Belfort attacked the former champion with a relentless assault and capped it off with a brutal left uppercut to the chin that sent Evander soaring backwards and through the ropes on the canvas.  The brave warrior got first into a sitting position, before he rose to his feet.

Once the fight resumed, Belfort moved in for the kill and fired away with both hands.  Although Holyfield was still on his feet and blocking most of the punches, referee Sam Burgos stopped the fight in the opening frame.

The audience was shocked at the sudden conclusion of the fight, and so was Holyfield. The stoppage came at 1:49 of the first round.   There were only 11 seconds left in the 2-minute round.  The fight was scheduled for eight rounds.

“I let him [Belfort] get too close, although I thought it was a bad call,” said Evander. “I don’t think the referee should have stopped the fight that quick.”

David Haye beats Joe Fourner

As for Trump, the former President remarked, “So Evander’s complaining a little about it stopping. I think you probably had to. Right from the beginning, you could see it, he [Holyfield] was not the same fighter. He lost a lot.  That left jab was very slow. That’s probably the last time you will be seeing the great legend of Holyfield. Probably the last time, in this capacity. I hope so, I hope so.”

In all due respect, however, a nearly 59 year-old Holyfield took the fight on less than two weeks notice against a younger fighter who had been training months for the event.

At least one former title holder emerged victorious on the fight card and that was David “The Haymaker” Haye.  The Brit, who once held the WBO/WBC/WBA cruiserweight title belts, along with the WBA heavyweight laurels, outpointed Joe Fournier (9-0, 1-NC, 9 KOs) over eight rounds by scores of 79-72 (twice) and 80-71. Fourier, 38, of Monaco, but now residing in London, England, was never in the fight.

Haye, 40, of London, England, said afterwards, “There’s one fighter I’d come back to professional boxing for, and that’s Tyson Fury.  Tyson Fury, that big fat dosser, I know his kryptonite, I know what he can’t handle. He’s a dosser, it’s his word, he’s a dosser. And I’m his kryptonite. I know that he knows it, his dad knows it, and his uncle knows it.”

Those were tough words for Haye, whose last win was on May 21, 2016 when he TKO’d Arnold Gjergjaj in two rounds. Afterwards he was brutally stopped in two fights against Tony Bellew in 2017 and 2018.


Nogales Strong: Oscar Valdez Retains WBC Super Featherweight Crown

Lopez batters Flores Jr. in co-feature

TUCSON, Ariz. (September 10, 2021) — Oscar Valdez started slow. Robson Conceicao was fighting the fight of his life. The champion then turned it around. Valdez retained his WBC super featherweight world title Friday evening with a unanimous decision (115-112 2x and 117-110) over 2016 Brazilian Olympian gold medalist Conceicao in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,545 at Casino Del Sol. It was the first defense of the WBC title for Valdez, who stunned the fight world with an upset knockout win over Miguel Berchelt earlier this year.

Conceicao (16-1, 8 KOs) appeared to take the early lead, but as the fight approached the second half, the come-forward Valdez narrowed the gap and overtook the upstart. One judge had Valdez winning the final seven rounds, while another had Valdez winning six of the final seven.

Adding insult to injury, Conceicao had a point deducted for a rabbit punch in the ninth round. Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) survived with his title in tact and now looks toward a potential unification match with the winner of the October 23 bout between WBO champion Jamel Herring and unbeaten star Shakur Stevenson.

“He’s over here yelling in my face. We’re grown men. Don’t be yelling in my face. He might be upset. Of course you want to be a world champion, but don’t point at me, don’t be yelling in my face. I’ve been through enough this week, man,” Valdez said. “It makes the fight complicated when someone is trying to run the whole fight. I’m trying to put on a good show for my fans, give the fans what they want, which is a good fight. If he wants to run… you can’t win a fight running like that.
“We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring. Let’s do it.”

Conceicao said, “This is boxing. I cannot go with his game. I played my game. Look at his face and look at my face. I have nothing on my face. Oscar’s is all fu—- up. I won this fight.”

Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “If the fighters want the fight, I have no problem putting Oscar in with the winner of Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson.”

“El Venado” Lopez Stuns Gabriel Flores Jr.

Luis Alberto Lopez did not follow the script, or the long odds, and dominated the previously unbeaten Gabriel Flores Jr. en route to a 10-round unanimous decision in the junior lightweight co-feature by scores of 100-90 2x and 98-92. It was a brutal beatdown that grew worse as the fight approached the final rounds, but Flores Jr. (20-1, 7 KOs) insisted on going out for the 10th round. Lopez (23-2, 12 KOs), who scored an upset over Andy Vences last year, kept applying the pressure and authored his most significant win to date. A natural featherweight, he’s now in the world title picture…. at two weight categories.

“I really was expecting the fight to be stopped,” Lopez said. “I was looking at the referee or even at his dad. I was looking at him, and he didn’t want to keep going, but I couldn’t stop fighting. I just kept going, and they didn’t stop the fight.

“When I fought Vences, I had a broken hand, and I wasn’t 100 percent. I was 100 percent tonight.”

Flores said, “I give a lot of respect to this man. He’s a 126-pounder, and he fought me at 130. I was talking all that sh*t and I meant it. And I knew what I was saying was true. I just couldn’t pull it off tonight. This man should be fighting for a world title if he wants to fight for one at 126 because he was fighting at 130 and he’s a true 126-pounder. He fuc*ing embarrassed me, and for me, he was fuc*ing my body up. But I wasn’t hurt. I give it up to him.

“For me, this ain’t the end.”

Nakatani Noses Past Acosta

It was shaping up as an action classic, but a Junto Nakatani left hand shattered Angel Acosta’s nose in the bout’s opening stages, and that spelled the beginning of the end for Acosta. Nakatani defended his WBO flyweight world title with a fourth-round stoppage after referee Rocky Burke and the ringside physicians halted the fight due to the damage Acosta sustained. Nakatani (22-0, 17 KOs), from Japan, won the vacant world title last year and made a splash in his United States debut. Acosta (22-3, 21 KOs), from Puerto Rico, previously held a world title at light flyweight and saw his two-bout winning streak come to an end.

Nakatani said, “I caught him in the first round right in the nose and I was able to use my pace to fight him, so that worked out really well. I knew (I had broken his nose). I thought it was a good win. I want to unify the titles.”

In undercard action:

Junior Middleweight:  Xander Zayas (10-0, 7 KOs) UD 6 Jose Luis Sanchez (11-2-1, 4 KOs), Scores: 60-54 and 60-53 2x. Puerto Rican prodigy Zayas passed the most daunting challenge of his young career, shutting out Albuquerque native Sanchez. Zayas hurt Sanchez on a few occasions, but the veteran weathered the storm and found a home with his right hand. Sanchez did not have the power to hurt Zayas, who closed the show strong.

Zayas said, The heat got to me a little bit in the later rounds. We knew it would be hot here in Arizona. We also knew that Sanchez was a tough opponent. He comes from a tough fighting family, and he’s a proud Mexican warrior. I knew he was coming to fight. We did the job, I listened to my corner, boxed him, and got the unanimous decision. That’s the most important thing.”

Junior Welterweight:  Lindolfo Delgado (13-0, 12 KOs) TKO 2 Miguel Zamudio (45-17-1, 28 KOs), :50. 2016 Mexican Olympian Delgado got the knockout train back on the tracks, battering 63-fight veteran Zamudio until a one final body blow prompted referee Robert Velez to wave off the action.

Junior Lightweight: René Telléz Girón (16-1, 10 KOs) KO 7 Eduardo Garza (15-5-1, 8 KOs), :44. Giron threw without abandon for nearly seven rounds and then leveled Garza with a left hook to the body that left the Texas native rolling on the canvas. Garza, a nine-year pro, had only been knocked out once entering the bout.

Junior Welterweight: Omar Aguilar (22-0, 21 KOs) KO 2 Carlos Manuel Portillo (22-4, 17 KOs), :55. Mexican knockout sensation Aguilar made a statement in his U.S. debut, knocking down Paraguayan veteran Portillo three times in less than four minutes of action. The third knockdown came after Aguilar pinned his outgunned foe into the neutral corner, and Portillo took the 10-count. 


WBA World Welterweight Champion Yordenis Ugás Honored with the “Key to the City” of Miami by Mayor Francis Suarez

MIAMI – In one of the greatest honor for any boxer, WBA Welterweight World Champion Yordenis Ugás was honored with the “Key to the City” of Miami by Mayor Francis Suarez during a ceremony at Mayor Suarez’s office.
Ugás defeated the legendary eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao on August 21, 2021, by unanimous decision to retain his title in a fight viewed by millions around the world.

Yordenis Ugas (R) presenting the Mayor Suarez (L) with one of the gloves he wore in his title defense over Manny Pacquiao

“Ugás could have used that platform to talk about himself,” said Mayor Suarez. “Instead, he highlighted the oppression, the brutal dictatorship in Cuba. That’s something that we have to be eternally grateful for.”
“He is more, in that sense, an activist than he is a fighter. And I think that’s really impressive. I knew at that moment that I had to invite him and give him the key to the city. He earned it.”

 Welterweight Champion Yordenis Ugas holding his WBA World Title Belt

“It brings me great joy that I was presented with the Key to the City of Miami by Mayor Suarez,” said Ugás. “I had a great victory against a boxing legend like Manny Pacquiao and I was able to bring attention to the oppression my people back home in Cuba are dealing with. 
“I will always fight for freedom, not only for my countrymen in Cuba, but those being oppressed all over the world. I’m grateful to all my fans who have been with me from the beginning. Today was a great day from me and I will forever be thankful.”

Yordenis Ugas (L) and his fiance Dayanara Leon (R).

Ugás joins a select club of elite athletes that have received this distinction in South Florida, making his place among luminaries and past recipients such as Florida Marlins pitcher and World Series champion Livan Hernández, NBA Champions Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O´Neal, global music superstars Shakira and Jennifer López, and actor Will Smith among others that have been honored through the years.


100 years ago  Boxing history was made in Jersey City’s Boyle’s Thirty Acres when Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey fought Light Heavyweight Champion Georges Carpentier in the 1st Million Dollar Gate in Boxing History!
By Henry Hascup
Dempsey V. Carpentier: Jersey City’s Million Dollar Fight Film

About: It was dubbed the “Fight of the Century.” Jack Dempsey, world heavyweight champion, defending his title against Georges Carpentier, World War I Hero.

Jack Dempsey standing over a fallen Georges Carpentier.

 The match was historic for its prize of $1 million, a first in boxing promotion, and revolutionized sports coverage by an emerging technology known as the radio.

Carpentier-Dempsey Boxing Ring

 Henry Hascup, President of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and Boxing Historian, chronicles in the video clip below why Jersey City was chosen as the venue for the championship bout, how the fight changed boxing promotion and the fight’s career impact for Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier.


Loma is Back! Lomachenko Obliterates Masayoshi Nakatani

Janibek Dominates Brant in Middleweight Co-Feature

LAS VEGAS – Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko returned in a big way on Saturday night. The former pound-for-pound king and three-weight world champion knocked out Masayoshi Nakatani in the ninth round of a lightweight main event Saturday at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) faced a hint of adversity when a headbutt opened up a cut in the opening round, but that would be the extent of his troubles. It was one-way traffic throughout, as Nakatani (19-2, 13 KOs) showed an incredibly sturdy chin but little in the way of offense.

In the fifth round, Lomachenko floored Nakatani with a left-right combination and proceeded to lay a savage beating on his Japanese opponent.  The end came in the ninth round when Celestino Ruiz called an end to the carnage.

Lomachenko now sets his aim on a rematch with Teofimo Lopez, who bested him last October in Las Vegas.

Lomachenko said, “I’m happy because I won. All the strategies that we developed with my team {worked}. I reached all my goals. I won and now I’m back on track.

Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko (R) smashes Masayoshi Nakatani (L) with a hard right.

 “Everybody saw how I won this fight, and everybody is waiting for the rematch {with Lopez}, so let’s make a rematch.
“He has a fight in the future with {George} Kambosos, but how about after, in the beginning of next year? December, January, February, I am waiting.”

Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “In case there was any doubt, Lomachenko proved he is still one of the very best fighters in the world. He is healthy and ready to fight any of the lightweights.”

Janibek Batters Rob Brant

The middleweight division has a new boogeyman, and his name his Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly. The 2016 Olympian bludgeoned and ultimately stopped former world champion Rob Bravo” Brant in eight rounds to retain his WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global titles.

The southpaw Alimkhanuly (10-0, 6 KOs) found a home for his straight left hand all evening, knocking Brant (26-3, 18 KOs) down in the sixth. After the eighth round, Brant’s corner saved their man from additional punishment, capping a one-sided exhibition.

Alimkhanuly said, “Tonight, I showed the world what ‘Qazaq Style’ is about. Rob Brant is a former world champion for a reason, but I came here to showcase my full arsenal, and that’s what I did.

“I am highly ranked, and I have the confidence to fight any middleweight in the world. I had a great training camp with Buddy McGirt, and this was the result of all the hard work we did in camp.” 

Welterweight: Giovani Santillan (27-0, 15 KOs) UD 8 Cecil McCalla  (23-5, 10 KOs). Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Welterweight contender Santillan fought for the first time in more than a year and shook off the ring rust with a workmanlike decision over McCalla, a Maryland native who had won two straight entering the fight.

Giovani Santillan clocks Cecil McCalla with a terrific left.

Bantamweight: Luis Fernando Saavedra  (9-6, 3 KOs) UD 6 Robert Rodriguez (9-1-1, 5 KOs). Scores: 60-54 2x and 59-55. Upset Alert. Saavedra, from Mexico, knocked off his second undefeated prospect in as many fights, out-hustling the Robert Garcia-trained Rodriguez to win a clear decision. Rodriguez was coming off a pair of devastating knockouts last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

Bantamweight: Floyd Diaz (2-0) UD 4 Jaime Jasso (2-1). Scores: 40-36 3x. Las Vegas native Diaz, an 18-year-old phenom who came of age in Floyd Mayweather’s gym, shut out Jasso over four rounds. 

Heavyweight: Guido Vianello (8-0-1, 8 KOs) TKO 2 Marlon Williams (6-2, 3 KOs), :02. Vianello bounced back from last October’s draw to Kingsley Ibeh with a second-round blitzing of Williams. Vianello knocked down Williams twice in the opening round, and the bout was stopped early in the second when Williams wobbled coming out of his corner.

Junior Featherweight: Subaru Murata (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 2 Keven Monroy (1-2, 1 KO), 1:42. Former Japanese amateur phenom Murata, who is promoted by Teiken Promotions, shined in his professional debut. The southpaw landed a left cross on Monroy’s chin midway through round two, and that was enough for referee Russell Mora to stop the fight. 

Lightweight: DeMichael Harris (4-0, 4 KOs) TKO 3 Jonatan Hernan Godoy (5-9), 3:00. Harris put on a show in his Las Vegas debut, knocking down Godoy three times in the third round. Godoy’s corner stopped the bout at the end of the round.

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

Inoue Demolishes Dasmarinas to Retain Bantamweight World Titles

Mayer defends WBO junior lightweight title in co-feature

LAS VEGAS – On June 19, 2021, All hail “The Monster.” Naoya Inoue did it again, knocking out IBF No. 1 contender Michael Dasmarinas in the third round with a left hook to the liver to retain his WBA and IBF bantamweight world titles at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) improved to 16-0 in world title fights, knocking down Dasmarinas three times, all with pulverizing body blows. Dasmarinas (30-3-1, 20 KOs) had not tasted defeat since 2014, a 12-0-1 run that earned him the shot at perhaps the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

It soon became clear that Dasmarinas was no match for Inoue, who won the opening round and scored a knockdown in the second. Two more knockdowns in the third was all she wrote.

With the win, Inoue now wants to fully unify the division, which could happen after WBO champion John Riel Casimero and WBC champion Nonito Donaire fight this summer.

Inoue said, “Against the number one ranked fighter, Dasmarinas, I think I had a great win.
“I prepare myself to knock them out, whether with a head shot or a body shot. I came prepared and to get a win by knockout is good for me.

“The first round, I just wanted to see what he had. It depended on how he came out, and after a little while, yeah, I thought I could get him out.
“Getting the win makes me smile, but to be able to fight the winner of Casimero and Donaire, that brings me another smile.”

Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Naoya Inoue is a unique force of nature inside that ring. Another incredible performance from ‘The Monster.’ We are seeing a great fighter at work here, and he is only going to get better.”

Mayer Retains Title 

Nobody said defending a world title is easy. WBO junior lightweight champion Mikaela Mayer successfully defended her title for the first time, turning back the stiff challenge of former two-weight world champion Erica Farias via unanimous decision (98-92 2x and 97-93).

Mayer (15-0, 5 KOs), one of female boxing’s most recognizable names, bested the most seasoned opponent of her career, a relentless woman who has fought in 19 world title fights and threw 400 punches in 10 rounds. Mayer outlanded Farias 118-86 and now has her sights on IBF world champion Maïva Hamadouche. Mayer and Hamadouche are scheduled to fight in a unification bout later this year.

Mayer said, ““I was just waiting to get through this fight to get to Maïva. Remind her that I’ll see her soon.”

Dogboe edges Lopez in 10-round classic

Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe is officially back. The former junior featherweight world champion, two fights removed from a pair of title fight defeats to Emanuel Navarrete, edged Adam Lopez via 10-round majority decision (95-95, 96-94 and 97-93) to win the NABF featherweight title.

Dogboe (22-2, 15 KOs) jumped out to an early lead, but Lopez (15-3, 6 KOs) charged back in the second half of the bout, muscling Dogboe around the ring and buzzing him on more than one occasion.

The 10th round — a back-and-forth three minutes — was a microcosm of the phone booth battle that played out the previous nine rounds. After the final bell, both men thought they’d done enough, but it was the former champ who came out ahead.

Dogboe said, I was pretty confident I’d get that decision because I controlled the fight for the first six rounds. I was posing too much and got a little too careless. Every now and then, I stayed in the pocket a little too long and forced too much. But, listen, Adam is a great guy. He showed the pedigree. We promised it would be a firefight. It takes two to tango.
“A lot of people wrote me off after those losses to Navarrete and said I was overhyped. People like me, we don’t stay down forever. We get back up. I have to thank my team. They’re not just trainers, they are family. God wanted me to be there.”

Junior Welterweight: Lindolfo Delgado (12-0, 11 KOs) UD 8 Salvador Briceno (17-7, 11 KOs). Scores: 80-72 and 79-73 2x. The knockout streak ended, but 2016 Mexican Olympian Delgado shook off nearly two years of ring rust with a one-sided decision over Briceno. Delgado stepped on the gas in the eighth round, but the resilient Briceno weathered the storm made the final bell.

Lightweight: Eric Puente (6-0) UD 6 Jose Antonio Meza (7-6, 2 KOs). Scores: 57-56 and 58-55 2x. It was a disappointing start for Puente, who suffered the first knockdown of his career in the opening round. The San Diego native recovered and dominated the rest of the way to secure a convincing decision over Meza, a Mexican veteran who has never stopped as a pro. 

Junior Welterweight: Omar Rosario (4-0, 2 KOs ) TKO 4, :47, JJ Mariano (3-1, 2 KOs). Puerto Rican prospect Rosario impressed in the evening’s opening bout, knocking down Mariano in the second and ending matters in the fourth with a swift combination that prompted referee Russell Mora to stop the fight. 

Rosario said, “We took full advantage of the opportunity and put on a good performance on a great card. We got the job done against an opponent who was undefeated and who came to put up a great fight.”

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)


LOS ANGELES (June 16, 2021) – WBC Heavyweight World Champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder squared off for a long and intense face-to-face stare down Tuesday in Los Angeles at a press conference to preview their highly anticipated third world title showdown taking place Saturday, July 24 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and live on pay-per-view.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or The event is promoted by Top Rank, BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. A Premier Boxing Champions presentation.
Here is what the fighters and their trainers had to say Tuesday from The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live:
“It was a crazy roller coaster toward this fight. I always say, ‘you’re never fighting someone, until you’re in the ring opposite them.’ It wasn’t hard for me to adjust to fighting Deontay Wilder again. It’s what I’m paid to do.
“I’m just always training and staying motivated. I’m happy to be living and here right now. I look forward to today. That’s how I manage everything. I’m a ‘living in the moment’ type of person.
“I hope Deontay brings something different for this fight. He needs to, if we’re facing facts. I hope he brings a challenge. Hopefully Malik Scott can bring the best out of Deontay Wilder.
“The beating from the last fight has had a physical, mental and emotional effect on his life. I was worried about him after the way I beat him.
“Deontay Wilder is a one-trick pony. He’s got great one-punch knockout power. I’m going to run him over like I’m an 18-wheeler. I guarantee he doesn’t go past where he did in the second fight. I’m looking for a big knockout straight away.
“He said all this stuff about bloodshed last time and we all know what happened last time. I’m going to keep it short and sweet today.”
“Enough has been said. It’s time to cut off his head. Come July the 24, there will be bloodshed. Get your tickets now and I’ll see you soon.
“A lot of things are going to be different in this fight. On July 24, the world is going to see. We’re going to reveal everything we’ve been working on.
“I didn’t feel any way about Fury trying to negotiate another fight. We knew we were in the right and we knew they couldn’t run. Silence is golden.
“I’ve been happy and even happier in my time off. I’ve had time to spend with my family and now I’m rejuvenated and ready to go.
“I’ve been training non-stop during the pandemic and I’ve been building. All this time between fights is going to be good for me and bad for him. I’ve had nothing but time to progress.
“Whatever he does on July 24, we will have an answer for it. I’m training very hard and my mind is very violent. I’m ready to go.”
“The amount of time me and Tyson have had together since joining forces hasn’t changed anything. Our chemistry has always been there. The only thing is, is that over that time, he now has the power to knock a man out with one punch.
“I’m glad he’s added that kind of power to go with his boxing skills and IQ. He now has the one-punch knockout power. He just needs to land that one punch.”
MALIK SCOTT, Wilder’s Trainer
“Deontay and I have always had a chemistry and a brotherhood between us. Before we talked about moving forward with me as his trainer, I wanted to make sure we had the same chemistry as trainer and fighter that we had with our brotherhood. Our chemistry as fighter and trainer by far passes it. I’m impressed with how he’s adapted.
“I believe that with a fighter like Deontay, who has naturally raw power, combined with my technically sound background, we just match well together.
“Deontay has made the mental adjustments. All I needed was a receptive athlete. He’s already made the adjustments to do whatever I need him to do in that ring.
“I only see this fight going one way. If you just let Fury do what he wants, he’ll do way more than what you want. I have no doubt that Deontay will become the two-time heavyweight champion of the world and it will come by knockout.”


Junior Lightweight Destruction: Stevenson Rolls Through Nakathila

Pedraza Topples Rodriguez in Co-Feature

LAS VEGAS (June 12, 2021) — Shakur Stevenson said it would be one-sided, and he stayed true to his word, rolling past Namibian knockout artist Jeremiah Nakathila via unanimous decision (120-107, 3x) to win the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight world title Saturday at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. 

Nakathila (21-2, 17 KOs) had the height and reach advantage but little else to trouble Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), a former featherweight world champion looking to conquer a second weight division.

Stevenson knocked down Nakathila with a lightning-fast right hook in the fourth round, and the one-way traffic continued into the second half of the fight.

The knockout did not come, and Stevenson had to settle for the one-sided decision. With Nakathila out of the way, he has bigger names in mind.

Stevenson said, “To be honest, I didn’t really like my performance. I felt I could’ve performed a lot better, but it was an awkward fighter. You had an awkward fighter throwing hard punches, and he knows how to grab and get away. He was a real awkward fighter. That’s all.”
“I tried to {get him out of there} a little bit, but I started getting hit with some solid shots. I ain’t really like it, but next time I’m going to work on moving my head a little bit more and step it up a little more.”
“If I had the choice, I’d take Oscar Valdez, but if I had to beat up Jamel {Herring} to get to it, I’ll do that, too.”

Pedraza Takes Rodriguez to School

Jose Pedraza (R) nailing  Julian Rodriguez

Youth was no match for experience, as former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs) barreled his way into the junior welterweight world title picture with an eighth-round stoppage over the previously undefeated Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (21-1, 14 KOs). Rodriguez’s left eye swelled up early, and following the eighth round, he told his corner he could no longer see out of the injured eye.

Pedraza has now won three straight bouts since losing his junior welterweight debut to Jose Zepeda. At the time of the stoppage, he held a 77-75 lead on all three judges’ cards. 

Pedraza said, “My experience was too much for him. I was hungrier than him, and he was just another obstacle in my journey to become a three-division world champion. That is my goal.
“I want all the big names at 140 pounds. With this performance, I sent a message to those big names. The ‘Sniper’ is on the hunt. I want to make history for Puerto Rico.
“As the fight went on, I could see him weakening, and I took advantage.”

Junior Lightweight: Manuel Rey Rojas (21-5, 6 KOs) UD 8 Tyler McCreary (16-2-1, 7 KOs). Scores: 80-72 2x and 79-73. Dallas native Rojas applied the pressure and registered the most significant win of his career. He dropped a unanimous decision to Albert Bell two months ago and rebounded in fine fashion against Toledo’s McCreary, a one-time top prospect who has now lost two in a row.

Junior Welterweight: John Bauza (15-0, 6 KOs) TKO 2 Christon Edwards (12-3, 6 KO), :40. Bauza, in his first fight in nearly a year, fought like his trunks were on fire, as he dropped the Houston-based veteran Edwards three times in 3:40 of action. Bauza, from Cataño, Puerto Rico, scored his first stoppage since December 2017.

Welterweight: Xander Zayas (9-0, 7 KOs) TKO 3 Larry Fryers (11-4, 4 KOs), 1:02. The 18-year-old Puerto Rican prodigy added yet another highlight to his growing reel, as he battered Irish veteran Fryers from pillar to post until referee Celestino Ruiz mercifully stopped the fight. After the stoppage, Zayas leaped on one of the neutral corner ropes and proclaimed, “This is Boxing. This is Top Rank.” 

Junior Lightweight: Bryan Lua (8-0, 3 KOs) UD 6 Frevian Gonzalez (4-1, 1 KO). Scores: 60-54 2x and 58-56. In a battle of unbeatens, California Central Valley product Lua’s power told the story, as he repeatedly moved back his Puerto Rican foe. Lua has now won three straight since returning from a more than two-year layoff.

Middleweight: Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO) TKO 4 LaQuan Evans (4-2, 2 KOs). 2:26. Isley, who will represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, fit in a last-round knockout before his gold medal quest. Isley was dominating the action until referee Russell Mora in stepped with only 34 seconds remaining in the four-rounder.

Welterweight: Kasir Goldston (3-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Maurice Anthony (3-2, 3 KOs). Scores: 40-36 3x. Goldston impressed in his 2021 debut in turning back the hard-charging Anthony, who had won two straight by knockout entering the evening.  

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (4-0, 2 KOs) UD 4 Ysrael Barboza (3-2-1, 3 KOs). Scores: 40-36 3x. The 18-year-old Tucker passed the stiffest test of his young career, using his superior athletic ability to shut out Texas native Barboza. 

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)




WBO Champion Emanuel Navarrete Retains Title after Vicious KO of Tough Challenger  Christopher Diaz

Rising superstar Edgar Berlanga drops Demond Nicholson four times en route to decision win

Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi                 

KISSIMMEE, Fla. It was a great night of fighting at the Spurs Arena – the name itself sounding much like the backdrop of a western shootout or the outpost of a cavalry regiment, when boxers and their fists took up the visage of gunfighters and six-shooters with WBO Featherweight World Champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete leading the charge scoring a stunning and impressive knockout over the #6 ranked challenger Christopher Diaz.

What was most impressive about the knockout was that Navarrete was well ahead on the scorecards going into the twelfth and final round. Still, like the great gladiators and gunfighters of yesteryear, Navarrete left no room for doubt and put away his game and gallant challenger Diaz in a devastating, punishing fashion.       

Coming into the bout with a 80% knockout rate, Navarrete, who was also the former WBO Super Bantamweight champion having defended that title successfully five times, all of them ending by way of knockout, sent a loud and clear message to the rest of the featherweight champions that he is the new sheriff in town and the major one certainly to be reckoned with.

KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA – APRIL 24: Emanuel Navarrete knocks-down Christopher Diaz during their fight for the WBO featherweight title at the Silver Spurs Arena on April 24, 2021 in Kissimmee, Florida. 

KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA – APRIL 24: Emanuel Navarrete knocks-down Christopher Diaz during their fight for the WBO featherweight title at the Silver Spurs Arena on April 24, 2021 in Kissimmee, Florida. 

And reckoning he did – right in front of Diaz’s hometown faithful.

What also the made the fight compelling and exciting was that the bout was between a Puerto Rican challenger against a Mexican champion – a Spanish Witch’s brew for a grand night of boxing.

Diaz, 125.8, was a seasoned and top notch challenger who entered the bout with an impressive ledger of 26-2 (16 KO’s) having never been previously knocked out and who fought a tough fight against Shakur Stevenson whom he suffered a points loss to in 2019.

Facing the lankier Navarrete, the challenger Diaz had his worked cut out for himself, especially when he entered the relatively small 18 foot ring – a true puncher’s den – against the grave digger fists of the Mexican champion.

 Emanuel Navarrete and Christopher Diaz exchange punches during their fight for the WBO featherweight title at the Silver Spurs Arena on April 24, 2021 in Kissimmee, Florida.

Emanuel Navarrete and Christopher Diaz exchange punches during their fight for the WBO featherweight title at the Silver Spurs Arena on April 24, 2021 in Kissimmee, Florida.

Wearing black trunk with white trim, Navarrete, 126, of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, wasted little time establishing his jab against the small challenger. With a 72 inch reach (8 inches longer than the challenger’s) the champion stabbed Diaz with lancer-like jabs, leaping left hooks, and jarring uppercuts. Diaz, of nearby  Orlando, Florida, meanwhile went after Navarrete with lefts and rights to the champion’s head and body.

In round two, Diaz hammered relentlessly to Navarrete’s body and at one point even rocked the Mexican with a hard right to the jaw.

Navarrete regrouped in round three, and began scoring with right hand leads and left hooks, eventually slicing Diaz with a piercing left that slashed a cut over the challenger’s right eye.

Emanuel Navarrete (L) landing a left uppercut to the chin of Christopher Diaz (R) .

Emanuel Navarrete (L) landing a left uppercut to the chin of Christopher Diaz (R) .

To make matters worse for the challenger, in round four Navarrete started throwing his unorthodox left uppercut along with his potent jabs, left hooks, and right crosses. But with 42 seconds remaining in the round, it was the left uppercut that would strike pay dirt as it crashed under the Puerto Rican’s chin like an unseen grenade,  and sent him dropping hard and fast to the canvas. Though Diaz did not see the punch that struck him, he certainly felt it, as he stumbled to try and beat the referee’s count.

Up at the count of “nine” Diaz looked as if had he had been run over by a team of horses, as he used all the grit he had to stay upright until the bell sounded to end the round.

In round five, Diaz came out fast, aggressively tracking the Champion with a two-fisted attack as both fighters began throwing bombs at the other.

Diaz fared even better in the next two rounds, trapping Navarrete against the ropes and waling away at his head and body. The problem was that the champion withstood those blows and fought back trading punch for punch. Then when it looked like Diaz was holding his own, the referee took a point deduction for hitting Navarrete behind the back.

Then came round 8.

After some good action for the first two thirds of the round, at the 1:13 mark of the round, Navarrete scored once again with that lethal left uppercut that nearly tore Diaz’s head off his shoulders, which the champion followed with a right to the jaw that landed like gunfire from a Remington Block rifle, that crashed the challenger back to the canvas. Barely up at the count of eight, Diaz bravely continued, but it was if he was entering the buzz saw of a western lumber mill.  Before he could settle himself, Diaz was struck again by over ten thunderous punches from the champion, which dropped him back to the now familiar canvas on the ring floor. Again, he gamely rose as the round ended to spare him.

To his credit, Diaz never gave up, but continued to fight hard and nearly got back in the fight, especially after landing a hard left uppercut of his own in round eleven.

Going into the twelfth and final round, Navarrete was well ahead on the scorecards and Diaz need a knockout to win the fight and the title. Knowing this all too well, Diaz went after the champion with both guns blazing. He even caught the Mexican with a hard right to the jaw as he continued his onslaught with a do or die attitude. Unfortunately, Navarrete was not satisfied with only earning a decision; and battled back with the fury of a tornado and the deadly killer instinct of a rattle snake.

With less than a minute in the fight, Navarete did what true champions do – he went for the knockout. With a five punch combination starting with a right to temple and ending with one more vicious left uppercut to the jaw, Diaz smashed back to the canvas for the fourth and final time in the bout.

Once again, Diaz, with the courage of a lion rose back to his feet until his trainer Nelson Rodriguez mercifully stopped the bout at 2:49 of the twelfth and final round. 

“I think we did put on a worthy performance (of Mexico vs. Puerto Rico) because ‘Pitufo,’ I knew he was tough, I knew he was strong. And I knew he could hit hard, but he surpassed all my expectations. He brought out all the best in me and so I’ve got a lot of respect for Christopher ‘Pitufo’ Diaz,” said a jubilant Navarrete after the bout.”

“I was really impressed by ‘Pitufo’ because every time I hurt him, every time I dropped him, he came back stronger. He was a beast in there because he kept coming at me. He kept getting better even though I kept hurting him, and as the fight progressed, you’d expect him to get weaker but he kept getting stronger. I just couldn’t understand it. So I have the utmost respect for Christopher ‘Pitufo’ Diaz and what he did tonight.”

Diaz (26-3, 16 KOs) entered the fight having won two straight since a decision loss to Shakur Stevenson in a non-title bout. He landed 183 punches on Navarrete, but he was unable to seriously hurt the seasoned champion.

Diaz said, ” I’m very disappointed. I wanted to win. It’s a title shot. But next time. He’s a great fu—– fighter. He hit hard. We went to war. I made my best fight. I was in shape. Everything was good. 
“I’m not a weak fighter. I always bring my heart with me. I came here to fight. I said I want to box but that guy, he’s a problem. We come here to fight, too. He caught me. My coach loves me like a son, and he stopped the fight.”

In other action:

Super Middleweight: Edgar Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) UD 8 Demond Nicholson (23-4-1, 20 KOs). Scores: 79-68 and 79-69 2x.

There is a first time for everything.

“The streak” is no more, but Berlanga is still undefeated. Berlanga, who had 16 consecutive first-round knockouts entering the night, was extended the eight-round distance by Nicholson. He dropped Nicholson four times en route to the near-shutout, and the reading of the scorecards was academic.

Berlanga knocked down Nicholson with a left hook in the second round, a right hand in the third round, a left hook in the fifth round, and a right hand just before the bell sounded to end the eighth.

Berlanga said, “I feel amazing. It’s kind of fu—- up I had to go to the judges with all the people here. I know they wanted a first-round knockout, but I enjoyed getting the experience. 
“It was an awesome experience for me. I caught him with an amazing shot at 10 seconds of the last round. I wanted to get him out! But I didn’t, but I got the experience, especially in front of my Puerto Rican people. It was good.”

Junior Welterweight: Josue Vargas (19-1, 9 KOs) UD 10 Willie Shaw (13-3, 9 KOs). Scores: 98-92 and 99-91 2x.

Vargas, the Puerto Rican-born contender who now fights out of the Bronx, New York, survived a rough patch when he was buzzed in the opening round. He then proceeded to outbox Shaw, a native of Oakland, California. Vargas has won 13 consecutive bouts since a controversial disqualification loss early in his career.

Lightweight: Joseph Adorno (14-0-2, 12 KOs) MAJORITY DRAW 8 Jamaine Ortiz (14-0-1, 8 KOs). Scores: 76-74 Ortiz and 75-75 2x.

War. Eight rounds of fistic war. Adorno and Ortiz fought to a dead heat but combined to give boxing fans what will ultimately stand as one of 2021’s best fights. Adorno knocked down Ortiz with left hooks in the second and seventh rounds, but when Ortiz wasn’t on the canvas, he was muscling Adorno on the inside and ripping him with combinations. After nearly being knocked out in the seventh, Ortiz dominated the eighth round, sweeping the stanza on all three judges’ cards to salvage the draw.

Featherweight: Orlando Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KOs) UD 8 Juan Antonio Lopez (15-9, 6 KOs). Scores: 78-74 and 79-73 2x.

Orlando Gonzalez (L) lands a left hook to the jaw of Juan Antonio Lopez (R).

Orlando Gonzalez (L) lands a left hook to the jaw of Juan Antonio Lopez (R).

Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez didn’t have it easy against Lopez, but a determined effort and a boost from the partisan crowd was more than enough.

Welterweight: Xander Zayas (8-0, 6 KOs) TKO 1 Demarcus Layton (8-2-1, 5 KOs), :56.
Zayas tied his personal record for the shortest evening of his career, dispatching Arkansas native Layton in under a minute. A left hook started the onslaught, then another sweeping left planted Layton to the canvas. Referee Emil Lombardi saw enough and waved off the bout.
Zayas said, “This was amazing, something I was looking forward to for a long time. The last time I fought in front of a crowd, it was in Puerto Rico. Doing it here in Kissimmee, in front of my Puerto Rican fans, was memorable. First-round knockout, what else can I ask for?”

Junior Featherweight: Jeremy Adorno (5-0, 1 KO) MD 4 Ramiro Martinez (2-1-2, 1 KO). Scores: 38-38, 39-37 and 40-36. Adorno had the most difficult evening of his young career, returning from a 15-month layoff to edge Texas resident Martinez. Adorno was stunned in the second and fourth rounds, but his volume and clean punching told the story of the fight.

Junior Lightweight: Jaycob Gomez (2-0, 2 KOs) KO 1 Mobley Villegas (3-2, 2 KOs), 2:38. Puerto Rican phenom Gomez prevailed in less than a round, ending matters with a three-punch combination that put Villegas down for the 10-count.

(Undercard Action by Top Rank)

(Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)



Boxing News Interviews with Legendary Fighters

Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Former World Middleweight Champion

By John and Alex Rinaldi



Former Undisputed Middleweight Champion, Icon,  and Ring Legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler passes away at age 66

By Alex and John Rinaldi

It is a sad day in the world of sports – the great Marvelous Marvin Hagler passed away. He was 66 years old.

Hagler’s wife, Kay, confirmed the news saying, “I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire.”

In a life that saw him rise from the depths of despair, poverty, and violence, Hagler emerged as one of the most iconic and feared middleweight champions of all time, and eventually became a living legend and one of The Four Kings alongside Roberto Duran, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Of the Legends, Hagler would later say, “The likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, and Tommy Hearns were true champions. There were some incredible fights between us, and I was happy to give them all an opportunity to fight me.”

The four of them, also collectively known as the Four Legends, were astonishingly coined that moniker while they were all still active fighters and dangerous adversaries of each other.

As with the Mercury Seven Astronauts who started America’s Space Program, the Four Legends also carried in their soul and being the same “right stuff” that would transcend them to greatness; and within time, the Legends, like the Astronauts,  would all eventually stake their own claim to the stars.

Unlike many charmed athletes in less dangerous sports, Hagler and his fellow Legends earned their bones the hard way – they all came, they all went, and they all conquered. They also captured the hearts and minds of a generation of sports enthusiasts who reveled in their sheer strength, tenacity, conditioning, punching power, boxing acumen, and, most of all,  the ability to violently knock out anyone who stood in their way.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler after his victory and title defense of the World Middleweight Title over Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in 1985.

They also brought the big purse money down to the lower weights in a manner that was never seen before. It was as if four supermen of Krypton landed on Earth and became boxers.

While the fictional Cark Kent found Metropolis, a young Marvin Hagler, after the violent and deadly Newark, New Jersey riots of 1967, made his way to Brockton, Massachusetts.

After acclimating to New England, in 1969 Hagler took up boxing after walking into a gym owned by brothers Pat and Goody Petronelli, who soon became his lifelong trainers and managers.

So great was his natural talent that in 1973, only four years since putting on a pair of boxing gloves, Hagler would win the National AAU 165-pound title.

Hagler (R) and Hearns (R) in their Classic ring battle in 1985.

It would be the beginning of a ride that would take him to heights where few men had gone before or after; and by the end of his career, he would engage in some of the most memorable fights ever seen in the colorful history of boxing. 

But before all that happened, he first had to get noticed by the boxing powers that be.

For a long while, Hagler had difficulty finding high-profile opponents willing to face him. He even had a chance meeting with former Heavyweight Champion and ring great Smokin’ Joe Frazier who told Hagler frankly, ‘You have three strikes against you, you’re black, you’re a southpaw, and you’re good.”

Fortunately, besides his advice,  Frazier also offered Hagler on two weeks’ notice, an opportunity to fight Willie “The Worm” Monroe, who was being trained by Frazier. Though Hagler lost the decision, the fight was very close and Monroe agreed to give Marvin a second match. In the rematch, Hagler knocked out Monroe in 12 rounds. He then later TKO’d The Worm in two rounds in their third and final bout.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler smashing Vito Antuofermo in their first fight that ended in a draw.

Hagler’s fortunes picked up even more when the famed promoter Bob Arum signed him up after Marvin’s ten round decision win over top contender ‘Bad’ Bennie Briscoe in 1978.

This would turn out to be the major break in his career.

One year and six fights later, Hagler was finally offered a shot at the Middleweight Champion Vito Antuofermo on November 30, 1979. After fifteen grueling rounds, the fight was ultimately declared a draw and Vito retained his title.

Hagler, disappointed, but nonplussed, won his next three fights –  two by knockout. This securely placed him once again as the number one ranked middleweight contender.

Since he was the top contender, he automatically earned a crack at then current Middleweight Champion Alan Minter who recently defeated Antuofermo for the title.

Roberto Duran (L) and Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R) trading punches in their 1983 bout.

In front of a sold-out crowd of Minter fans at the Wembley Arena in London, Marvin decimated Minter in three rounds to become the undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World. So upset was the crowd that they pelted Hagler with bottles and debris forcing him and his handlers out of the ring in fear of their lives. Though he was not awarded his title belt on the spot in the ring, with the win and the new title, Hagler would immediately change the entire landscape of the Middleweight division. Under his tenure, the middleweights would go from a relatively unpopular division to a huge marquee name division.

Hagler, like many great fighters before him, trained very hard for his fights. He also  had a an usual training regimen.  He would set up his training on Cape Cod and stay in motels that had closed for the winter. For his “road work” he would often wear actual army boots, calling running shoes “sissy shoes.” As Hagler said, “You’re supposed to seclude yourself. All the great champions did the same. Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali up on his mountain at Deer Lake. They put themselves in jail. I put myself in jail….Every fighter has got be dedicated, learn how to sacrifice, know what the devotion is all about, make sure you’re paying attention and studying your art.”

With the undisputed Middleweight title in hand, Hagler defended his crown successfully seven times, all wins coming by way of stoppage. Suffice to say, at that juncture of his career, Marvelous Marvin appeared totally invincible.

Then he made a decision that would eventually place him at the table to the join the Gods of the sport – he decided to defend his title against the iconic three-division World Champion Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran, who was the then reigning WBA Junior Middleweight Champion on November 10, 1983 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

In a bout that turned out to be an exciting, close,  back and forth fight, Roberto Durán was not only the first challenger to last the distance with Hagler in a world-championship bout, but against all odds, he was also winning the fight going into the 14th round.  Duran was ahead by one point on two scorecards and even on the third. Fortunately for Hagler, with his left eye swollen and cut, and with Duran sporting a broken right hand, Marvelous Marvin was able to come on strong in the last two rounds to win the fight on a razor close fifteen round decision.

Because of the closeness of the outcome, the Duran fight like a Genie wish, opened the door for the other two Legends, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard to walk through. As fate would have it, the three fights with these three legends would ultimately change the course of Hagler’s championship reign, as well as his place in boxing history.

After winning two more title defenses by KO, Hagler took on the dangerous Thomas “Hitman” Hearns on April 15, 1985 in Las Vegas, in a bout  billed simply as “The Fight” (then later “The War”) and it lived up to both of its titles.

As if a fuse was ignited, at the sound of the bell for one, fireworks flew as Thomas Hearns went after Hagler throwing a volley of hard and dangerous punches in an all-out offensive to knock Marvin out. Though Hagler fired back punch for punch, within minutes into the bout, Hearns stunned the champion and opened a cut on Hagler’s head that soon drenched his face in a bloody crimson mask. This give and take, furious fast-paced punching continued in round two as blood began to flow like a river down Hagler’s face. Fearing the referee might stop the fight, in round three Hagler tagged Hearns with a terrific four punch combination culminating with a left to the jaw that dropped Hearns to the canvas, causing the referee to stop the fight when Hearns rose and appeared unable to continue.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler in training.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler in training.

“Tommy’s a good fighter,” Hagler said afterward, “but he’s cocky. I had something for him.”

Though the fight lasted only lasted eight minutes, it is widely  regarded as a boxing classic and one of the greatest fight of all-time. It would also turn out to be Hagler’s crowning achievement in the ring.

As fight commentator Al Michaels said, “It didn’t go very far, but it was a beauty!”

And a beauty it was.

Hagler agreed. “A champion shows who he is by what he does when he’s tested,” remarked Marvelous Marvin. “ When a person gets up and says ‘I can still do it’, he’s a champion. If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove. That’s all I am. I live it.”

Two fights later, Hagler took on the third Legend –  Sugar Ray Leonard on April 6, 1987 in Las Vegas.

Billed as the Super Fight, Hagler battled Leonard in an exciting head to head contest for twelve punch-laden rounds with Leonard winning slightly by way of a split decision – a ruling that Hagler would forever disagree with.

Leonard won much of the early going, especially the first four rounds when Hagler fought righty instead of his natural southpaw stance. After he switched back to southpaw, Hagler then came on in the later rounds. The problem for Hagler was that he agreed to a large ring and only twelve rounds, when fifteen rounds were still being fought. Both pre-fight decisions would subsequently cost him greatly.

Two official ringside judges scored it for Leonard –  JoJo Guerra  scored 118-110 and Judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113: Meanwhile, the third judge Lou Filippo, scored it 115-113 for Hagler.

Sugar Ray Leonard (L) v. Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R) in their 1987 bout.

Sugar Ray Leonard (L) v. Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R) in their 1987 bout.

“I feel in my heart I’m still the champ,” Hagler had said after losing his title to Leonard. “I really hate the fact that they took it from me, and gave it to, of all people, Sugar Ray Leonard. He is a phony. He’s been protected all his life. Besides, if he hadn’t become a boxer, he could have done other things. Me? I had nowhere else to go.”

Although the decision was disputed, Leonard refused to grant Hagler an immediate rematch, and Hagler retired a year later. He never fought again.Overall, Hagler made twelve undefeated title defenses and holds the highest KO% of all undisputed middleweight champions at 78%. Additionally, his reign of six years and seven months as undisputed middleweight champion is the second longest of the last century, behind only Tony Zale, who reigned during WWII.

Hearing of the news of Hagler’s passing, promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said, “Marvelous Marvin Hagler was among the greatest athletes that Top Rank ever promoted. He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he performed in the ring with unparalleled determination. He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly.”

After the loss to Leonard, Hagler eventually moved to Italy, where he became a well-known action star in films. His roles include a US Marine in the films Indio and Indio 2. In 1996, he also starred alongside Giselle Blondet in Virtual Weapon.

Among his accolades, Hagler was a first rung Boxing Hall of Famer as well as was voted the Fighter of the Decade of the 1980’s.

As for his fights, Marvelous Marvin Hagler later declared to The USA Boxing News that Roberto Duran was his toughest opponent. He also revealed that his battle with Thomas Hearns was the match that he was able to finally prove his greatness in.

Middleweight Champion Marevlous Marvin Hagler with one of his prized cars

Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler with one of his prized cars.

(On a PERSONAL NOTE, Hagler was always friendly with us and was also a big fan of The USA Boxing News. He even granted us one of the few detailed interviews of his career.)

Hagler died leaving behind his second wife Kaye and five children and an estate reportedly valued in the millions.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was one of those fighters that everyone took notice of. He never ventured a step backward and trained like a machine gearing up for battle. He was relentless, punishing, exciting, and sought to destroy his opponent in every single fight.

A recent photo of Roberto Duran (L), Sugar Ray Leonard (C), and Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R).

A recent photo of old foes Roberto Duran (L), Sugar Ray Leonard (C), and Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R).

He was one of the greatest fighters who ever laced on a pair of gloves and he will live forever in boxing lore, as well as in the thoughts of his millions of fans.

He will be missed greatly. He was an honor to his sport, his family, and to his country.

He was also true to his code, he was a battler who never gave up, and in the end he and his career lived up to the name he will forever be known for – MARVELOUS.



Canelo Alvarez stops unheralded and unworthy challenger Avni Yildirim in 3

-An Editorial-

Story by Ron John Rinaldi

February 27 – Miami Gardens, Florida. Canelo Alvarez has proved once again that he is a steamroller in the sport of boxing as he successfully defended his super middleweight titles before 15,000 fight fans in attendance at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. In an all-out offensive display of power punches and overall ring generalship, Canelo landed virtually every punch in his arsenal at the body and head of the listless and hapless challenger Avni Yildirim, from Istanbul, Turkey, who offered virtually no offense at all.

Yildirim fought with the ferocity of a nervous bride and the courage of a lamb, which would have served him well had he been a majorette or a baton twirler. Unfortunately for all, since he happened to be a reported top contender, who earned around $2.5 million for his challenge, there was simply no excuse for his performance or lack thereof.

Inactive since Feb. 2019, Yildirim (21-3, 12 KO’s) landed the title shot against Alvarez after the WBC designated him mandatory challenger, after losing a disputed split-decision loss against Anthony Dirrell on a technicality regarding an early stoppage due to cuts. Considering that in that last match Yildirim put up a pretty good showing of himself, one wonders whether he also used up all his guts in that bout; and a year later his basket of courage seemed to be totally empty.

Alvarez and Yildirim both weighed 167 pounds, a pound under the super-middleweight limit. But it did not matter, for the weight was the only thing the boxers actually shared in common.

Alvarez, who earned approximately $20 million for the bout, entered the fight as a -6000 favorite, according to Caesars Sportsbook. Though after seeing the fight, even those odds seemed to have been quite over generous to the challenger.

In the first two rounds, Canelo landed with thudding left hooks and right hands to the jaw and body of the timid Turkish contender. For some reason, nearly ever punch landed as if Yildirim was holding up a green traffic light.

In the third round things got even worse for the challenger. With a little over two minutes left in the round, Canelo connected with a left jab-straight right combination that landed on the bulls eye of Yildirim’s chin and knocked him immediately and suddenly to the canvas. Although he did rise, somewhere deep in his psyche he must have saw a glimpse of his future, which would have been him eventually re-establishing his friendship with the canvas wrapped in a blanket of blood and pain.

Between rounds, trainer Joel Diaz pleaded with Yildirim to show more after the lackluster three rounds.

“I’m going to give you one more f—ing round,” Diaz told Yildirim in the corner.

Why he ever said that to a fighter who earned such a large purse and was fighting for a world title, seemed to be not only odd and disingenuous, but also successfully gave his charge a easy way out through the exit door, while disregarding the feelings and the expectations of the live crowd both in attendance as well as those who paid for it on PPV, all of whom expected to see a real fight – not a coward’s carnival.

Besides the trainer, right before round four was to begin, another member of Yildirim’s corner went up to the apron and asked for the fight to be stopped, though there were nine rounds left to go in the fight.

Although the challenger did not look a bit hurt, Yildirim’s corner surprisingly, like a Women’s Temperance Society during Prohibition, threw in the towel at the end of the third round, for no real reason besides their apparent desire to embrace the secret cult of the Chicken Hearted.

With the win, Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 Kos) picked up a TKO victory to retain his WBC and WBA super middleweight belts.

“I wanted to have a great fight here,” Alvarez, speaking through an interpreter, told the crowd, which was capped at 15,000 because of COVID-19 restrictions. “I needed to knock him out, and that’s what I did. That’s what I had to do.”

According to CompuBox stats, the fight was as lopsided as it looked. Alvarez out landed Yildirim 67-11, including a 58-4 edge in power punches. In the third round, Alvarez threw 53 power punches as if he was fighting a gym heavy bag with a pulse.

Alvarez picked up his second victory in three months and retained two of the four belts in the 168-pound division.

The fight was the first of what Alvarez hopes will be a productive year seeking unification fights. Alvarez will next fight Billy Joe Saunders, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) titleholder on May 8 for Cinco de Mayo. Caleb Plant holds the IBF title – the fourth sanctioning body belt.

Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) has held the WBO super middleweight belt since he beat Shefat Isufi in May 2019.

“I want to make history,” Alvarez said in the post-fight interview. “I want to be one of the best in the world.”


Unbeaten Caleb Plant overwhelms challenger Caleb Truax to retain IBF Super Middleweight Title

By Alex and John Rinaldi

January 30 – Los Angeles, CA. In a great shutout performance, world champion Caleb Plant retained his IBF super middleweight title with a unanimous one-sided decision win over challenger and former champion Caleb Truax.

Caleb Plant – still the IBF Super Middleweight Champion

The fact they were fighting at the Shrine Auditorium in the Expo Hall could not be more fitting, since without having any fans on hand it was as silent as a morgue on a Saturday night.

That is the problem when there are no fans on hand – the fighters cannot get juiced up by the crowd.

Imagine Muhammad Ali fighting George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 and there was no one chanting “ALI, ALI, ALI” non-stop for the entire fight.

To his credit, the tough Caleb Plant, 167 ½, went after the challenger Caleb Truax, 167 ¾, right from the opening bell. In an impressive display of fast hands and combinations to the head and body, Plant, of Nashville, Tennessee, pasted Truax who was intent to plod forward throwing less punches than the corner florist.

When the hard rock group Metallica sang the following words from their song Enter Sandman:

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
We’re off to Never Neverland

They must have been referring to Truax who, with his trance-like performance, seemed to whisper himself off to a sleepy place in Neverland.

Plant, meanwhile did what he could, which was quite a lot. He constantly speared Truax’s face with the jab, so much so that it appeared that there was a strange magnetic pull that constantly slammed Plant’s gloved fist consistently into Truax’s chin.

Caleb Plant (R) planting an overhand right to challenger Caleb Taux's head.

Caleb Plant (R) planting an overhand right to challenger Caleb Truax’s head.

The problem was, that for some uncanny reason, especially since he was a former champion with a pretty big punch as proven by his 19 KO’s coming into the fight, Truax, of Osseo, Minnesota,  never upped the aggression past that of a one-legged goat. Maybe it was due to Plant’s spectacular swiftness, both with his hands and feet, particularly when he employed frequent side to side movement that tended to baffle the challenger.

With big fights looming on the horizon against the likes of fellow title holders Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders, Plant dryly remarked before the fight that he had “everything to lose,” probably referring to losing those huge paydays if he actually lost the fight.

Well, lose he did not. Instead he did the boxer’s version of throwing a no-hitter by shutting out Truax for twelve rounds as all three judges scored it for the Tennessean Plant by score of 120-108.

But three cheers for Plant. He came, he went, and he conquered.

Although he entered into the bout a betting favorite of -2500 to Truax at +1000, Plant fought very much like the gifted champion he is. People in Nashville probably scored big on the bets, every single one of them probably going for their hometown star.

After a quick first round, Plant began to unleash some real power in round two doubling up with the left hook to the head and body; and occasionally landing a left hook-uppercut that knocked Truax’s head back so far it appeared as if the challengers head was connected to his neck by a hinge.

By round four,  the damage was starting to show on Truax’s face as blood began to paint his face in a dark shade of crimson as if Plant dipped his gloves into a red inkwell.

While Truax did pick up the pace a little in round eight, merely going from first gear to a still slow second gear, it simply was not enough to turn the tide in the fight, and it never did.

By the fight’s end even the church mice in attendance all thought that Plant won big as he increased his record to a still undefeated 21-0 (12 KO’s).

With the loss Truax dropped to (31-5-2, 19 KO).

Plant said afterward that he hurt his hand early in the fight, causing him to be “a little hesitant at times,” but overall he was pleased with his performance.

“I want to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time,” said Plant, who has his eyes on a potential May bout between titleholders Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders. “Whoever is in the way of that doesn’t matter…I feel that I’m the best super middleweight in the world,” boasted Plant.

The question is “who is next”.

The winner of an Alvarez-Saunders fight would make the grand slam opponent, since big dollars will shower both Plant and Alvarez.  It would also become a complete unification title fight, since Alvarez owns both the WBA and WBC belts, while Saunders is the WBO titleholder

Of course Alvarez still needs to first defeat Avni Yildirim on Feb. 27.

With these tough fighters on the perch of the division, the super middleweight matchups just got a lot more exciting.

In a co-main event featuring heavyweights, Michael Coffie (12-0, 9 KO) landed a jarring left uppercut to knock Darmani Rock (17-1, 12 KO) down for the first time in the third round. Rock got up after a 9-count, and then seconds later Coffie landed a left hook to Rock’s head, knocking him down for a second time and ending the fight.

On the undercard, undefeated 20-year-old Joey Spencer (12-0, 9 KO) knocked out Isiah Seldon (14-4-1) in the first round of a middleweight fight, sending him twice to canvas.


Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from


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Josh Taylor-Jose Ramirez will fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the undisputed unified junior welterweight championship on May 8

February 3 – Las Vegas, Nevada. Finally, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has apparent;y worked out the details for the anticipated 140-pound unification fight between IBF and WBA champion Josh Taylor (17-0) and WBC and WBO champion Jose Ramirez (26-0).

Arum said he’s “looking forward” to having fans in attendance “in accordance with strict standards imposed by the state of Nevada.”

Arum said Taylor is already working on a obtaining a Visa and that the purses between the two ex-Olympians will be equal.

“From our side of the table, we are happy moving forward with Taylor-Ramirez,” said Jamie Conlan, vice president of MTK Global, which advises Taylor and also has a relationship with Ramirez’s manager, Rick Mirigian.

Mirigian, however, said deal is not yet locked up with his client.

“I’m optimistic, but negotiations continue,” Mirigian said. Another interested party is undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, who has said he wants to fight the winner to become the only undisputed four-belt champion at both 135 and 140 pounds.


41-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez all in for WBC Interim

World light heavyweight clash with “Sir” Marcus Browne  



The USA Boxing News

Book Review





Boxing Historian and one of the Greatest Ambassadors of the Sport –  Henry Hascup suffers one more loss

By Alex and John Rinaldi

Henry Hascup just notified us of the passing of his sister Betty. This comes off the recent and tragic death of his beloved son.

This is Henry Hacup in his own words:

I could not wait for 2020 to come to an end, as I have lost so many friends and the loss of my son Henry was the most Painful thing that ever happened to me!

Well it took all of 34 hours into the New Year when I received another phone call just after 10 AM on January 2nd telling me that my sister Betty Mabey passed away earlier in the morning.

She leaves her husband Bill, sons Billy and Jerry and 3 grandkids!

R.I.P. Betty





Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor

Muhammad Ali

Robert Duran (L) and Iran “The Blade” Barkley (R) before their 1989 Middleweight Title Fights, which became the 1989 Fight of the Year.

Sugar Ray Robinson (L) beating Kid Gavilan (R).

Click Photo To Go To Page

Jack Dempsey (R) in training

Jack Dempsey (R) in training

Roberto Duran (C) with the Boxing Twins training in 1982.

Roberto Duran (C) with the Boxing Twins training in 1982.

Joe Choyski made his debut in November 1888 with a points win over George Bush. He went on to have a successful career and despite beating a number of highly rated opponents he never got a shot at the world title. His record was 57-14-6 with 39 knockouts.

Joe Choyski made his debut in November 1888 with a points win over George Bush. He went on to have a successful career and despite beating a number of highly rated opponents he never got a shot at the world title. His record was 57-14-6 with 39 knockouts.

Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard in training

Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard in training

Joe Louis (L) vs. Billy Conn (R)

Joe Louis (L) vs. Billy Conn (R)

Johnny Wilson (L) vs. Harry Greb (R) on April 24, 1925 at the Mechanics Building in Boston, MA. Greb won by decision.

Tiger Flowers poses with opponent Leo Lomski prior to their fight on January 22, 1927 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, CA.

Middleweight Champion Harry Greb working out with the speed bag.

Middleweight Champion Harry Greb working out with the speed bag.

Rocky Marcian (R) nailing Joe Louis (L) with a right to the stomach in their October 26, 1951 bout in Madison Square Garden. Rocky won by TKO in round 8.

Rocky Marciano (R) nailing Joe Louis (L) with a right to the stomach in their October 26, 1951 bout in Madison Square Garden. Rocky won by TKO in round 8.

Harry Greb (L) and Gene Tunney (R) pose for pictures

Harry Greb (L) and Gene Tunney (R) pose for pictures before the start of their May 22, 1922 bout in New York’s madison Square garden , which saw Greb hand the fighting marine Gene Tunney his first professional loss.





Terence Crawford demolishes former Champ Kell Brook to retain WBO Welterweight Title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

By Alex and John Rinaldi

LAS VEGAS —  It is common knowledge that the state of Nebraska’s most widely known and grown crop is corn, which is used to feed livestock and poultry, as well as make the industrial chemical known as ethanol.

After the corn is grown and harvested – the next most important part of the process is the husking of corn, which is the removal of its outer leafy-like layers leaving remaining only the cob or seed rack of the corn. This husking is not only part of the process, it also becomes a communal ritual in some parts of the state.

That is why the University of Nebraska football team is famously known as the Cornhuskers.

It is equally well known that the WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford also happens to hail from Nebraska.

But make no mistake about it, the closest Crawford  will ever come to being a Cornhusker is when his fists crash through his opponents’ layers of defense with the goal of turning their battered, smashed faces into cornbread.

Terence Crawford (L) pounds Kell Brook (R) with a hard left to the ear.

And like the Grim Reaper the only thing Crawford is reaping lately is pain and destruction.

Defending his WBO welterweight title for the fourth time, on November 14, Crawford knew that his opponent was not some undeserving or unqualified challenger. Instead staring at him from the other side of the ring stood Kell Brook, from Sheffield England, who had previously won the IBF welterweight title from Shawn Porter in 2014, then defended it successfully three times until losing it to Errol Spence three years later in 2017.

Brook, 147,  also had three things going for him: One, lack of fear of any man; Two,  the skills and desire to win back the welterweight title, and, Three,  knockout powered fists that caused 27 men in his 39 wins to never hear the sound of the final bell.

Still the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World - Terence Crawford.

Still the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World – Terence Crawford.

Besides that, the Brit looked be chiseled out of the same Brimham Rocks found near his hometown of Sheffield. In short, he looked to be in wonderful condition and ready to take on his American adversary.

Though the odds makers had him a +1100 chance to win, by fight time, when the English money finally made its way to the Las Vegas Strip, the odds in Brook’s favor increased to +700.

As for Crawford, 146.4, who entered the ring at odds of -225 to retain his title by knockout, and wearing black trunks with gold trim, he had one thing on his mind – a mission as old as the wars of men and might, to seek and annihilate his challenger before the bell tolled 12.

A few minutes later, when the bell rang loud in the near COVID deserted MGM Bubble, Brook started the fight confident behind left jabs and rights to the head and body.  When Crawford, a natural southpaw, came out initially as a righty, Brook took advantage of this to score often with the left jab.

In round two, Terence switched back to lefty and began landing some hard right jabs and combinations. Brook, meanwhile, connected well with straight rights to attack Crawford’s southpaw stance and even managed to pull out of his arsenal an uppercut or two.

The give and take continued in round three, when Brook, wearing white trunks with blue and red trim, continued throwing punches to Crawford’s head and midsection. This time the champion began to pick up the pace, and even stunned Brook with a hard right to the chin near the round’s end.

That right hand punch would prove to be a harbinger of things to come, and like a firestorm tearing up a prairie, it would soon spell doom to anyone in its path.

For the challenger Brook, that doom came for him in round four.

After a fairly close beginning of the round, at around the 2:17 mark, Brook went to throw a left jab…then it happened.

Like meteor on target to strike planet Earth, Crawford countered over the left with a right cross that collided with Brook’s jaw and crushed it as if struck by a cinder block thrown off the top of a farm silo.

Immediately Brook, who never actually saw the punch coming or landing, flew across the ring and into the ropes. Though the ropes at first appeared to be protecting him from falling to the canvas, at the same time it also trapped him like a spider’s web.  

Seeing Brook helpless and hurt, Crawford pounced on him with a hard flurry of punches until the referee Tony Weeks interceded to give the British challenger a merciful eight count.

With his eyes still rolling in his head like gumballs, and his face taking on the gray mask of a man about to take the long walk down the hall to the electric chair, Brook bravely continued the fight.

Unfortunately for Brook, Crawford not only wanted to continue the fight – he also wanted to end it.

And end it he did.

His punches shot out like bullets from a Tommy Gun, consisting of a right to the head, followed by three jarring left hooks, culminating with one final right hand that put Brook somewhere between an ether forced sleep and the curved resting bench of a guillotine.

Thankfully Weeks saw enough and jumped in to save both Brook and his career in the fight game.

The time of the stoppage was 1:14 of round four.

Although Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) was leading on two of three judges’ cards entering the fourth round, it was Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs)  who ended Brook’s challenge forever.

Crawford, who pocketed a cool $4 million for his night’s work,  has now won eight straight fights by knockout dating back to July 2016.

As for  Brook, the first thing he said to his corner after the fight was, “What happened?”

Well, Terence Crawford happened…and he keeps on happening fight after fight.

“I already said who I want {next}. I want Pacquiao. I want to revisit that fight,” Crawford said. “That was a fight that should’ve happened right now. But being that the pandemic happened, and they weren’t going to allow fans in the Middle East, they had to put a hold to that. Everything was 95 percent done. We had the venue. The money was almost there. It wasn’t quite there. That was the only thing we were waiting on.

“Kell is a tremendous talent. He came and he tried to take my title. He was in shape. He made the weight. There were no excuses to be put on the table. He came off of three wins.”

Added Brook, “Never in my career, nobody has ever done that to me in sparring or anything.
“It was one of them… I got caught with a shot I didn’t see. I’m gutted because nobody could’ve gotten me in better condition. I was bang on the limit. Maybe I could’ve been a bit more relaxed and loose and let the shots go.”

The only saving grace for the game and talented brooks was that he went home $2 million richer.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said, “Terence Crawford showed, once again, why he is the best welterweight in the world. It was a dominating performance over a very good fighter in Kell Brook. Terence ranks up there with all the great welterweights I’ve promoted.”

Franco-Moloney 2 Ends in Controversy

In one of the strangest events in recent boxing history, Joshua Franco, of San Antonio, Texas,  and Andrew Moloney, of Melbourne, Australia,  fought to a no-decision thereby permitting Franco to retain his WBA jr. bantamweight title.

In a fight that saw Moloney, 114.7,  stabbing his jab at the Champion Franco, and throwing punches in bunches to his head and midsection, the Australian appeared dominant and on the top of his game. 

Then trouble emerged after Moloney connected with some hard blows to the right eye of Franco, 114.5, The champion’s eyed swelled almost immediately prompting referee to  Russell Mora to seemingly incorrectly rule that there was an accidental headbutt. 

In round two, Moloney, (21-1, 14 KO’s) who was trying to avenge the loss of his title to Franco last June, continued his two-fisted assault as Franco battled heroically through his quickly closing eye. At the end of the round, the ring doctor stopped the fight.

After a 26-minute replay review, controversy reigned supreme. WBA super flyweight world champion Joshua Franco, (17-1-2, 1ND, 8 KO’s) retained title via no decision over Andrew Moloney. Franco dethroned Moloney back in June via unanimous decision, and in the rematch, Moloney controlled the first two rounds before the bout was stopped. The injury sustained by Franco in the first round caused the fight to be halted following the conclusion of the second.

Joshua Franco sporting the closed right eye that ended the fight.

Moloney said, “They took this away from me. The injury was caused by a punch. I can’t believe this.
“I was in control of the fight and on my way to a clear victory. I deserved this win. I landed 50 punches on that eye. It was not even close.”
Added Arum, “This is an absolute disgrace. There was no head butt.  Andrew Moloney should be the new champion.”

In undercard bouts:

Bantamweight: Joshua Greer Jr. (22-2-2, 12 KOs) Majority Draw 8 Rounds Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-2, 5 KOs). Scores: 77-75 Rodriguez and 76-76 2x. Noted spoiler Rodriguez nearly pulled another upset, but Greer closed the bout strong to salvage the draw. Rodriguez is 2-0-2 in his last four fights, all of which came against undefeated fighters.Middleweight: Tyler Howard (19-0, 11 KOs) UD 8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-8-1, 13 KOs). Scores: 77-73, 77-74 and 76-74. “Hercules” Howard returned from a nearly 18-month layoff to pick up the most significant victory of his career. In a closely contested bout, Howard dropped Leatherwood in the closing stages of the eighth round to clinch the decision.

Joshua Greer Jr. (R) lands a right to the jaw of Edwin Rodriguez (L).

Featherweight: Duke Ragan (3-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Sebastian Gutierrez (2-1-1). Scores: 40-35 2x. Ragan, a top prospect from Cincinnati, Ohio, cruised to the win after knocking down Gutierrez in the second round.

Bantamweight: Vegas Larfield (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 3 Juan Alberto Flores (2-1-1), 1:07. Larfield, who trained with Andrew Moloney to prepare for this bout, made a memorable American debut, scoring two knockdowns in the third round. Entering the third round, two judges had the fight even, while the third had Flores ahead 20-18.

Lightweight: Raymond Muratalla (11-0, 9 KOs) TKO 3 Luis Porozo (15-5, 8 KOs), 2:40. Muratalla upped his KO streak to six with a statement-making performance over the former Ecuadorian Olympian. Muratalla, who is trained by Robert Garcia, notched a pair of knockdowns in the third round.

Photos courtesy of  Top Rank


Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook: Top Boxing Telecast Across all TV Networks since January 2019

Saturday’s Top Rank on ESPN saw pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) retain his WBO welterweight world title with a fourth-round TKO over former welterweight world champion Kell Brook, in a main event from the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The fight delivered big on viewership, ranking as the top boxing telecast across all TV networks since January 2019.
Top Things to Know
  • Crawford vs Brook averaged 1,758,000 viewers, making it the most viewed boxing telecast across on all TV networks since January 2019.
  • The main event was also the most viewed boxing telecast on cable since December 2018 (Lomachenko vs. Pedraza on ESPN: 1,889,000)
  • The fight rating peaked during the 11:45 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET quarter hour with 2.1 million viewers
  • Through seven Saturday night telecasts on ESPN so far this year, Top Rank on ESPN has averaged 1,033,000 viewers, up 44% from 11 Saturday night telecasts in 2019
  • Adults 18-49 are up 54% year-over-year
  • Crawford vs. Brook ranked No. 1 as the most socially engaged boxing telecast across TV over the last two years, with over 306,000 total social interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Crawford vs. Brook had a strong performance on social media, becoming the most socially engaged telecast across TV over the last two years, with over 306,000 social interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Lomachenko vs. Lopez and Crawford vs. Brook have been the most socially engaged boxing telecasts across TV in consecutive months over the last two years.
  • Top Rank on ESPN has featured an action-packed fall schedule highlighted by some of the leaders of boxing’s electric youth movement, including stunning performances by the new undisputed lightweight king Teofimo Lopez, WBO female junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer and WBA/IBF unified bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue. Rising star Shakur Stevenson, the undefeated former featherweight world champion from Newark, N.J., is set to close out the year in a 10-round junior lightweight main event against Toka Kahn Clary, Saturday, Dec. 12, from MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
 Source: Nielsen, Nielsen Social Content Ratings 


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Bare-Knuckle Corner


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William Perry in his fistic prime.

The British Pugilist Who Perpetually Beat Up Foes



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 Decisions 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 the 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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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.


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


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 



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.


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 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.



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).


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.


‘… 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 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.


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.


Bare Knuckle Corner Logo.

Bare-Knuckle Corner

Mike McCoole

The Troubled Champion

Mike McCoole

Mike McCoole

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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


 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.


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




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


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 Alexander and John 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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Jack Dempsey documentary and career highlights in color.



Heavyweight Champ Cards. Click Picture to see video footage of heavyweight fights from 1889-1929.


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Thomas Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, and Sugar Ray :Leonard on Boxing’s Mount Rushmore.


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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.


Click Photo to view Max Baer Documentary.


Click Photo to see vintage photos of legendary fighters in training, in fights, and in real life on the FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY PAGE!

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

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.


The USA Boxing News Covers Over The Years


Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson with the USA Boxing News

Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson with the USA Boxing News


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


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!









The USA Boxing News

Book Review




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.


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


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Great Past Fights

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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