The USA Boxing News – The Global Publication that Packs a Punch!


  • Covering The Great Sport of Boxing

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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!

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The Website where Boxing and its Legends come to Life!

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  • NONITO DONAIRE VS NAOYA INOUE REMATCH TO BE ‘MONUMENTAL’ MOMENT FOR BOXING  

    LOS ANGELES, MAY 26 – Probellum is honoured to have helped the great Nonito Donaire secure a blockbuster bantamweight rematch with Naoya Inoue – a fight the whole of boxing was calling for. 

    Donaire and Inoue combined to produce 2019’s Fight of the Year and will rematch on June 7, at the Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan in one of the biggest contests to be made in the sport. 

    Donaire’s promoter Probellum, led by President Richard Schaefer, has been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to help make this mouth-watering unification match-up a reality. 

    Next month’s rematch between Donaire and Inoue will be promoted by Ohashi Promotion and Teiken Promotions in association with Probellum.  

    Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum said: “To be able to help bring together two of the best fighters in the world for this massive unification fight, is a proud moment for our business. 

    NONITO DONAIRE INTERVIEW – ‘I’VE MADE MORE IMPROVEMENTS THAN INOUE

    “Probellum launched only eight months ago and has already been a key player in making sure the rematch between Donaire and Inoue becomes a reality. 

    “I am incredibly excited for this fight, so too are Donaire and Inoue and the whole of boxing cannot wait for it.” 

    Inoue edged a remarkable first contest between the pair, winning on the judges’ scorecards after 12 rounds, but Donaire fractured his opponent’s nose and broke his orbital bone, in a brutal fight for the ages.  

    The Japanese star, who forced his rival to touch down in round 11, holds the WBA ‘Super’ and IBF belts in the 118lbs division but since their 2019 fight, Donaire has responded in legendary fashion, by winning the WBC crown with a fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali. 

    The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire said: “Our first fight was brutal and amazing, it was a classic, but the rematch is going to be even better. 

    “I am heading into this monumental fight with a new mindset, because the first contest with Inoue was an awakening for me and I now know I can defeat him. 

    “I am incredibly grateful for the work of Richard and Probellum in helping to make this fight a reality because it is not only the fight I wanted, but the one the world wanted as well. 

    “June 7, in Japan, is going to be a special evening for the sport and make no mistake, it will end in a Donaire victory.” 

    Donaire, a future Hall of Fame fighter, joined the Probellum ranks in October last year, not long after the promotional company launched.   

    The 39-year-old is a four-weight world champion and in winning the WBC bantamweight title in May, broke his own record as the oldest fighter to ever hold a belt in that division. 

    To keep up to date with the latest news on the Donaire vs Inoue rematch, sign up to our newsletter or follow Probellum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.   

    You can also follow our official news, results, and information account, Probellum News, on Twitter.

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July 15: Arnold Barboza Jr.-Danielito Zorrilla and Olympic Silver Medal Stars Keyshawn Davis & Richard Torrez Jr. Confirmed for ESPN-Televised Tripleheader at Pechanga Resort Casino

ESPN telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Tickets on SALE NOW!

TEMECULA, Calif. (May 26, 2022) — Southern California 140-pound standout Arnold Barboza Jr. wanted the main event spotlight. He’ll get his opportunity to shine when he takes on Puerto Rican contender Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla in a 10-round junior welterweight showdown Friday, July 15, at the Pechanga Summit at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California. 
 
Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalists Keyshawn Davis and Richard Torrez Jr. will return on the card, with Davis battling Jair “Kaiser” Valtierra in the eight-round lightweight co-feature. Torrez will open the televised broadcast in a six-round heavyweight special attraction versus Roberto Zavala Jr.
 
Barboza-Zorrilla, Davis-Valtierra and Torrez-Zavala will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Ringside Ticket Inc., tickets starting at $29 are on sale now and can be purchased at Pechanga.com.
 
Barboza (26-0, 10 KOs), from South El Monte, California, is a nine-year pro who is closing in on a world title shot following a series of headline-grabbing victories. In April 2019, he knocked out former world champion Mike Alvarado in three rounds, a resounding Los Angeles homecoming that solidified him as a top contender. Barboza has won five bouts since, securing one-sided verdicts over Ricky Sismundo, William Silva, Tony Luis, Alex Saucedo, and Antonio Moran. He comes back following an 11-month layoff, the second-longest of his career. Ranked No. 8 by the WBO and No. 11 by the WBC, Barboza hopes a dominating win over his unbeaten foe will earn him that long-awaited title opportunity.
 
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This fight will put the other fighters at 140 pounds on notice. We’re going to take full advantage of it,” Barboza said. “Zorrilla is undefeated, ranked, and coming off a great win. We’re going to make a statement on July 15. I want a world title shot soon, and I’m going to keep pushing forward and fighting whoever they put in front of me.”
 
Zorrilla (16-0, 12 KOs) is a native of a Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, who had more than 100 victories before turning pro with a second-round knockout in November 2016. The 28-year-old, ranked No. 10 by the WBO at 140 pounds, has diced through his opposition in the paid ranks with 11 knockouts in three rounds or less. He went 2-0 in 2021, edging past Ruslan Madiyev in March and knocking out former interim world champion Pablo Cesar Cano in two rounds in September. A renaissance man who has an associate degree in banking and cuts hair out of his home-based barbershop, Zorrilla can cut past the line of contenders with a victory over Barboza.
 
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I want to thank Miguel Cotto Promotions and Top Rank,” Zorrilla said. “We have been waiting for an opportunity of this magnitude. Arnold Barboza Jr. is a quality opponent, and I’ve always wanted an at-bat against a top contender. I am working very hard, and I will be at 100 percent on July 15 to continue my journey to a junior welterweight world championship.”
 
Davis (5-0, 4 KOs), the fighting prodigy from Norfolk, Virginia, has been on a whirlwind ride to stardom over the past year-plus. In February 2021, he turned pro on a Canelo Alvarez undercard in Miami, fought on another Canelo card at AT&T Stadium in Texas, earned his Olympic silver medal, signed a multi-year promotional contract with Top Rank, and made his Top Rank debut in December with a second-round knockout at Madison Square Garden. He fought April 30 on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson card at MGM Grand Garden Arena, knocking out Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez in six rounds. Valtierra (16-1, 8 KOs), from Leon, Mexico, is a four-year pro who previously held the WBC Latino lightweight title. Last August, he suffered an upset knockout loss to Alberto Ruiz Ibarra. Three months later, Valtierra got back on the winning track with a convincing 10-round decision over Argentina’s Javier Jose Clavero.
 
“Every time I fight, I try to give the fans something to remember, and I’m excited to make my Southern California debut. I will put on a show for everyone watching on ESPN, that much I can guarantee,” Davis said. “We know Valtierra is coming to fight, and I’ll be ready to match whatever he brings.”
 
Torrez (1-0, 1 KO), from Tulare, California, is a 22-year-old southpaw who became the first U.S. Olympic super heavyweight medalist since 1988. He made his pro debut on March 4 in Fresno, California, knocking out Allen Melson in the second round. Torrez sustained a cut along his right eyebrow in the first round, which delayed his second outing by a couple of months. Zavala (2-1-1, 2 KOs), from Del Rio, Texas, has never fought outside Texas. He has never been stopped in the paid ranks and is coming off a four-round draw against the 2-0 Rudy Silvas. The 34-year-old has never weighed under 255 pounds as a pro and should have a significant size advantage over Torrez, who tipped the scales at 228¼ pounds for his debut.
 
Torrez said, “Ever since that cut in my pro debut, I’ve been counting down the days until my next fight. I’m thankful to be fighting on ESPN and back in my home state. If you don’t know why you should watch me, you will soon.”
 
Undercard action, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+, includes SoCal lightweight sensation Raymond “Danger” Muratalla in an eight-rounder against an opponent to be named. Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs), a 25-year-old from Fontana, California, has knocked out nine consecutive opponents. He last fought April 30 on the Valdez-Stevenson card in Las Vegas, knocking out the usually durable Jeremy Hill in three rounds.
 
The undercard will also see heavyweight contender Stephan Shaw (16-0, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder, and Las Vegas-born junior featherweight prospect Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (4-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder against Pedro Salome (3-0-1, 1 KO).

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Canelo Alavarez loses lopsided decision to WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol in  Major Boxing Upset

Even Mike Tyson weighs in on the loss

Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Going into the bout almost a 6-1 favorite against the Russian WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol, Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion and current ring legend, Canelo Alvarez must have reasoned that Bivol was certainly not at his level, nor with only 19 fights on his ledger, nearly as seasoned or experienced as he was.

Well, “experience” flew out the window literally at the sound of bell for round one and as for the “level” it came in the form of a plethora of Bivol straight jabs that continually painted Canelo’s face with a pallet of leather.

In front of a sold-out house of his faithful inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), a top-notch, four-division champion, sadly looked every bit like a mere challenger against the taller Russian champion, who made the best of his height, longer reach, and speed of foot and hand to score often and consistently in the fight.

Somehow, though Alvarez was the aggressor and kept going straight at Bovil, he lacked any real head movement or ducking abilities. He also failed to establish his own jab and literally let Bovil out-jab and outpoint him for nearly every round of the fight.

It was almost like watching the same Canelo Alvarez in his fateful loss to Floyd Mayweather almost a decade ago.

In this bout, while Canelo was the pursuer and the harder puncher of the two, especially when he connected with his uppercuts and left hooks, it was far too little in both scope and output to gain any real stronghold in the bout.

Bovil (R) fires away at Alvarz (L) with blazing punches.

As the rounds mounted,  and the sands in the hourglass swiftly disappeared, Canelo’s chances soon began to tick away as Bovil’s jab and quick combinations steadfastly kept Alvarez at bay and at a distance – far enough away for the Mexican legend to continuously come up short in hitting the mark of his Russian foe.

To make matters worse, and actually more harshly illuminating, Canelo tallied a career-low 84 total punches landing over twelve rounds, essentially an average of only seven punches per round. It could be said that many of the bouncers at some of the rougher joints on the Vegas Strip probably landed more blows that night.

Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) for the most part, relied upon mostly his defense, which was literally his lethal offense of blazing punches and spearing  jabs, which enabled the WBA Light Heavyweight Champion to capture both the judges’ scorecards as well as pull off the amazing upset in the fight.

Going into the twelfth round, Alvarez needed either a miracle or a knockout, neither of which were being granted to him as the bell for the last round tolled, along with nearly all the bells prior to it, most of them tolling for Bovil.

Still, waiting for the judges’ scorecards, one always has to wonder how close a Canelo Alvarez fight is since he is always seemingly a favorite of the scorekeepers. This time was no different, except for the outcome which saw all three judges voting unanimously for Bovil by duplicate scores of 115-113. Interestingly enough, those scores amount to 7-5 in rounds. Had Canelo won only one more round it would have been tabbed a draw (6 rounds to 6) – A bonanza for the casinos and sports betting.

The USA Boxing News saw it a little more lopsided by a score of 117-111 (9 rounds to 3) for Bivol.

Still this is what makes boxing the great sport it is. No matter what the odds-makers say, boxing is still remains a lifelong member of the great theater of the unexpected.

It is fights and wins like this that fuels the excitement of championship boxing matches. For boxing, in its over two hundred years as an international sport, has proven over and over again that anything can happen on any given day.

“I’m sorry I ruined your plans [for a fall trilogy fight against] Gennadiy Golovkin, maybe,” Bivol said. “Congrats to [Alvarez], he’s a great champion and I respect him. But if you don’t believe in yourself, what do you do? You won’t achieve anything. I believe and my team believes.” 

Although Bivol allowed Alvarez to fight directly in front of him, he never gave the great multiple champion any real openings to strike at. What he did instead by implementing his highly effective offense and defense was to give the legendary Mexican fighter numerous ways to strike out.

“I felt his power. As you can see from my arm, he beat my arm up but not my head,” Bivol said Alvarez. “It’s better. He had a good speed and power. Maybe his mistake was he threw only hard punches. After hard punches, he relaxed and tired. I was feeling great. This was the biggest fight of my career and I enjoyed this fight. When the people booed me, it gave me more energy.”

According to CompuBox,  Bivol out-landed Alvarez by a margin of 152 to 84.

Even with all that evidence, Canelo, not surprisingly, said that he thought he was ahead on the scorecards heading into the final rounds.

Nonetheless, by the bout’s end Canelo was very gracious in defeat.

“He’s a great champion. Sometimes in boxing, you win or lose. I lost today and he won,” Alvarez said. “He’s a really good fighter. He’s a fighter who comes in and goes out. I also felt his power. It was a good victory for him.”

After the fight, Alvarez shared hopes for a rematch, to which Bivol seemed obvously willing to explore.

“A rematch? No problem. Let’s talk about a rematch,” Bivol said. “I took this fight because I just wanted the opportunity and I appreciate the opportunity. I am ready for the rematch, I just want to make sure I win and am treated like a champion now.”

As expected, Canelo plans to return to the prize ring. “It doesn’t end like this,” said Alvarez.  Nor should it.

The word going into the fight was that Canelo, had he won, was expected to face Gennadiy Golovkin in September to complete their trilogy. Now with the loss, a potential rematch with Bivol could be in works.

One thing for certain, Canelo left the ring with over $15 million in guaranteed monies plus 70% of the pay-per-view revenue. Bovil, also filled his wallet well with a guaranteed $2 million plus 30% of the fight’s pay-per-view revenue.

Alvarez vs. Bivol undercard results

  • Montana Love def. Gabriel Gollaz via unanimous decision (114-112, 114-112, 114-112)
  • Shakhram Giyasov def. Christian Gomez via unanimous decision (99-88, 99-88, 98-89)
  • Marc Castro def. Pedro Vicente via unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 60-54)
  • Zhilei Zhang def. Scott Alexander via first-round knockout

Mike Tyson’s take on Canelo’s loss

A little after viewing Canelo Alvarez’s shocking loss to Dmitry Bivol, former undisputed Heavyweight Champion and ring legend Mike Tyson, like the true student of boxing he is, extrapolated the reasons behind Alvarez’s loss.

Tyson, particularly pointed out that Canelo’s jab, or the lack thereof, was the main contributing factor and villain behind his one-sided loss.

 “I just think if Canelo was using his jab effectively, hard, the guy [Bivol] wouldn’t have come because the guy was coming in because he wasn’t worried about Canelo’s jab,” Tyson said. “So he got more aggressive and he got brave. If you’re not jabbing he [Álvarez] has no defense. If he’s not gonna jab, the guy is gonna walk right in on him like he did.” 

Tyson described  Álvarez’s jab as “basic” and that he should have been moving more like bobbing and weaving and creating angles while throwing his jabs. 

“I believe if he used his jab, it would’ve been a different fight.” 

Photos courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

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PHOTO FLASHBACK

James “Light Out”Toney. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI) 

Julio Cesar Chavez (L) vs. Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker at the Alamo Dome San Antonio. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)

Evander Holyfield (L) vs, George Foreman (R) in1991 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)

Mike Tyson knocking out Alex Stewart at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City., (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)

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Common Joe Versus The King: Artur Beterbiev-Joe Smith Jr. Light Heavyweight Title Unification Showdown Confirmed for June 18 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden LIVE on ESPN

Beterbiev-Smith & Robeisy Ramirez-Abraham Nova featherweight co-feature will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Brooklyn-born featherweight sensation Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington to see action on the undercard

NEW YORK (May 4, 2022) — Three belts and light heavyweight supremacy will be at stake when WBC/IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev meets WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. in a highly anticipated unification showdown Saturday, June 18, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
 
Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, hopes to pick up another strap against “Cinderella Man” Smith, a Long Island native who grew up about 70 miles from Madison Square Garden.
 
In the 10-round featherweight co-feature, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez will battle the unbeaten Abraham “El Super” Nova. Beterbiev-Smith and Ramirez-Nova will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, tickets starting at $56 go on sale Friday, May 6 at 12 p.m. ET, and can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com or MSG.com.
 
“Beterbiev versus Smith is one of the very best fights that can be made in boxing, two huge punchers fighting at Madison Square Garden in what will be an electric atmosphere. Whoever comes out on top will be the true king of the light heavyweight division,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Robeisy Ramirez has developed into a sensational pro, and he will have his hands full against a tough, undefeated kid in Abraham Nova. The winner will be in line to fight for a featherweight world title.”
 
“I am thrilled we were able to put this sensational championship unification fight together,” said Joe DeGuardia, President of Star Boxing. “The top two punchers in boxing fighting each other for their three world titles. It has been brewing for a long time and is a potential fight of the year. Joe Smith Jr. is proud of his humble background and hard-working union ‘Common Man’ moniker, but he is also truly special and a real champ.  He could have chosen an easier path, but he wanted the best and toughest out there, the guy everyone is afraid to fight. Credit to both champions, each fighting the toughest, hardest-punching and most dangerous foe the division has. I can’t wait to see this fight!”
 
Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), a two-time Russian Olympian, has spent his nine-year pro career based in Montreal, Canada. He has been a world champion since knocking out Enrico Koelling for the IBF strap in November 2017. He’s won five title fights inside the distance since then, including an off-the-deck victory over Callum Johnson and a title unification classic versus Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019. Beterbiev went 2-0 in 2021, capping the year with December’s brutal ninth-round stoppage over longtime contender Marcus Browne.
 
“I look forward to the challenge ahead of me. Joe Smith Jr. is a worthy champion, but I am coming to Madison Square Garden to add another world title to my collection,” Beterbiev said. “This fight will get me one step closer to becoming undisputed champion.”
 
Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) earned mainstream recognition with his 2016 knockout of living legend Bernard Hopkins and scored standout wins over Jesse Hart and Eleider Alvarez in 2020. In his second world title attempt, he outlasted Maxim Vlasov in a 2021 Fight of the Year Contender. Smith successfully defend his world title in January with a ninth-round stoppage over late replacement Steve Geffrard.
 
Smith said, “I am extremely excited and focused on this task I have ahead. Facing Beterbiev is huge. It is going to be a fight that fans remember forever, with two of the biggest punches in boxing today facing off. This opportunity is a dream of mine to accomplish. Fighting with three titles on the line is one step closer to becoming undisputed.”
 
Ramirez (9-1, 5 KOs) has been on a sterling run since a shocking loss in his August 2019 professional debut. An Olympic champion in 2012 and 2016, Ramirez is coming off one-sided victories over the unbeaten Orlando Gonzalez and Irish veteran Eric Donovan. Nova (21-0, 15 KOs), who spent much of his career at junior lightweight, has been flawless since moving up to the featherweight ranks. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Albany, New York, Nova knocked out William Encarnacion in eight rounds on the Smith-Geffrard undercard in January.
 
Ramirez said, “I have always wanted to display my talent on a stage as important as the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. Come June 18, I will not only take advantage of this big opportunity, but I will also hand Nova the first loss of his career. I’m going to take a big leap in my quest to become world champion, and above all, showcase my class and give boxing fans another great performance. I will make clear that ‘El Tren’ is a true powerhouse in the featherweight division.”
 
Nova said, “Robeisy is a great talent, and he’s the fighter that will get me to that next level. I need a statement victory. Beating a two-time gold medalist puts me right in the title picture. The better the competition, the better I look. Nobody has seen the best of me yet, and I will show that on June 18.”
 
The undercard, which will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, is scheduled to feature many of the sport’s rising superstars. In six-round bouts, Brooklyn-born featherweight puncher Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (3-0, 2 KOs) and Long Island welterweight Jahi Tucker (7-0, 4 KOs) hope to extend their unbeaten records. U.S. Olympian Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs), fresh off his knockout win on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson undercard, returns in a six-round middleweight bout. Featherweight Kurt Walker (2-0, 1 KO) and junior middleweight Kieran Molloy (1-0, 1 KO), both of whom starred for the Irish national team as amateurs, will make their respective U.S. debuts.

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FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY PAGE

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Jack Johnson and Joe Choynski in jail after their historic fight

Jack Johnson (third from the Right) and Joe Choynski (second from the Left) in jail after their historic 1901 fight that Choynski won by KO.

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Shakur Stevenson overwhelms Oscar Valdez in Junior Lightweight Unification Showdown to become WBC and WBO junior Lightweight Champion

Keyshawn Davis and Nico Ali Walsh score KO wins on undercard

 Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Undercard story and photos courtesy of TopRank.

LAS VEGAS — On Saturday night, in one of the greatest performances of the year thus far, Shakur Stevenson grabbed the gauntlet and showed the world that he is the new supernova in boxing as he easily manhandled the previously undefeated and very talented Oscar Valdez over twelve nearly one-sided rounds.

When the final bell tolled every person in the arena and anybody probably watching on television knew the WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion and Newark native Shakur Stevenson totally overwhelmed his Mexican foe. The judges agreed and unanimously decided for Stevenson by scores of 118-109 (twice) and 117-110. The USA Boxing News also scored it for Shakur at 118-109.

Lopez (L) nailing Stevenson (R) with a right to the ribs.

Although the fight was not very close there were some exciting moments which kept the predominately pro-Valdez crowd of 10,102 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena pretty enthralled throughout. Though they anxiously waited for Lopez to land one of his Atom Bombs to end Shakur’s big night, by the twelfth round it seemed like the fuse had fizzled out and there was only hope, and only hope alone that they prayed for.

Unfortunately for Lopez’s fans and the country of Mexico as a whole, hope vanished early on in the fight and rarely raised its winsome head again.

Wearing glittery silver trunks with NEWARK sewed across the back waistband, Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) swiftly peppered away with his right jab fighting in a southpaw stance. Though both fighters’ weights were nearly similar, Stevenson coming in at 130 to Lopez’s weight of 129.6, Shakur looked the much bigger of the two and the harder puncher.

Stevenson (L) battering Lopez (R) with both fists.

Considering that Lopez (30-1, 23 KO’s) wearing blue trunks with silver trim, entered the bout with a knockout percentage of nearly 77% compared to Stevenson’s 53%, Oscar never looked like the bigger puncher nor ever got into the groove of the fight.

For some strange reason, in this fight Lopez decided to adopt a high guard peek-a-boo style moving straight ahead to Stevenson, who used the tactic to fire off jabs and combinations to both Oscar’s head and body throughout the bout. Shakur also showed angles, moving side to side and back and forth. It was the classic matador versus the bull as Stevenson picked him apart all night.

The problem was that Lopez never even tried to duck or give his foe any head movement at all. For Shakur it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Unified Junior Lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson.

One would have thought that after the first four rounds of this seemingly fruitless style, that a talented and experienced fighter like Lopez would have just changed his game plan, for the great ones usually do.

For some crazy reason, Lopez seemed married and loyal to his style which ended up having the same duplicitous allegiance of that of a cheating wife. It unabashedly crippled his chances and capsized his ability to win the fight.

He should have reviewed the legendary Roberto Duran’s explosive fight with the great Sugar Ray Leonard as a benchmark for his success. Instead it appears he followed the losing style of fellow stable mate Canelo Alvarez when he was outclassed and outpunched by Floyd Mayweather in their championship bout. Considering that Floyd Mayweather was a far cry from both Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, the blueprint was clearly out there for sluggers who were fighting master boxers who sported quick hands, fluid movement, and a good punch.

The two fighters after their weigh in.

Lopez apparently ignored history and never changed throughout the bout. Considering that his pal Canelo Alvarez was seated ringside you would have thought he would have run up to the corner and vehemently implore Oscar to change his course. Instead Lopez became the captain of his own Titanic and the architect of his own disaster.

Still, Shakur kept to his winning style and showed everyone that he is honing the skills of a legendary ring master.

The only time Valdez saw some success was in rounds 3, 10, and 12, when he showed caution to the wind. Otherwise he was getting stabbed and jabbed consistently and he even attempted the despairing act of lunging. All to no avail.

After winning easily four of the first five rounds, Shakur upped the ante in round six when he spun Valdez into the ropes and clocked him with a solid right hook to the head followed by a murderous left cross to the chin. Lopez bounced off the ropes like a pinball and appeared to just touch the canvas briefly. Still, it was a knockdown – a stunning exclamation point to the night.

For the remaining six rounds it was cat and mouse, though it seemed more like a lion and a mouse.

By the end of the fight Lopez’s swollen, red, and cut face told the true story of the bout. 

As for Stevenson he was unmarked.

With the win, Shakur unified the Junior Lightweight Title. He now owns two (WBC and WBO) of the four recognized sanctioning body belts.

After the bout Stevenson said, “This victory means everything. I told ya’ll what I was going to do. I said I’m gonna beat Valdez, Canelo and Eddy Reynoso, so that was my game plan, beat the whole team and I feel good about it. Much respect to them, but that was my game plan.”

As for his future Shakur revealed, “I want to collect all the belts at 130 and become undisputed. I deserve to be a superstar, so that’s what I gotta do.”

The fighters pose with their belts at the weigh in.

As for Lopez, hopefully he can re-group and get back on track like he was since his career began.  “He did what he had to do to win the fight,” Valdez said. “He’s a great fighter. His speed is there. Power is there. He was just he better fighter tonight. Overall, a great fighter.”

Davis Knocks out Sanchez

The future of the lightweight division, Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis, battered Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs) en route to sixth-round TKO in the co-feature. Sanchez provided some resistance, but Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) wore down his foe round by round. He landed 56.8 percent of his power shots, including 34 of 53 in the sixth round.

Davis (R) crashes a right to Sanchez’s (L)  jaw

Davis said, “He’s a great fighter, and I didn’t realize that until the first round. I said, ‘Whoa, he can fight!’ I knew I had to snap into a different Keyshawn. He’s a great fighter, a real respectful fighter. Hat’s off to Esteban Sanchez. Thank you for this opportunity. We should see a lot of Esteban Sanchez in the future.
 
“I just kept staying steady, staying with my rhythm. My coach, {Brian McIntyre}, kept telling me to go the body. I was trying to stab him a lot in the rounds, and honestly, I was just picking up round after round. I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got a great performance and the stoppage.”

Keyshawn Davis

Ali Walsh Destroys Ibarra

The youngster with the famous last name, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, ignited the MGM Grand with a brutal first-round knockout over Alejandro Ibarra (7-2, 2 KOs). Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), the grandson of The Greatest, ended matters with a sweeping right hand. 

Nico Ali Walsh knocking out Alejandro Ibarra.

Ali Walsh said, “I was setting him up with the right hand. I noticed his left hand was going down when he threw the jab. I was trying to counter it, and that’s what I did. I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. But I just waited for that setup, and I saw it and I took advantage.”

The rest of the Undercard

Lightweight: Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs) KO 3 Jeremy Hill (16-3, 11 KOs), 2:23. Enter the danger zone. “Danger” Muratalla became the first man to stop New Orleans native Hill, finishing the fight with a crunching right hand.

Junior Lightweight: Andres Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs) KO 6 Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1, 9 KOs). Cortes, a Las Vegas, native, put on a show for the hometown fans, knocking down Cortes twice in a brutal power punching display. A three-punch combination dropped del Bosque in the sixth. After rising to his feet gingerly, the fight was halted.

Middleweight: Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs) TKO 2 Anthony Hannah (3-3, 2 KOs). U.S. Olympian Isley savaged Hannah with body blows, putting his overmatched foe down for the count with a right hand to the gut. Earlier in the second, he knocked down Hannah with a left hook to the body. 

Lightweight: Abdullah Mason (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Luciano Ramos (1-3), 2:32. The 18-year-old Mason, from Cleveland, Ohio, showed why he is one of the sport’s young prodigies with a first-round blitzing of Argentina’s Ramos. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the carnage after an assortment of lefts and rights left Ramos defenseless.

Welterweight: Jaylan Phillips (1-2-1, 1 KO) DRAW 4 Antoine Cobb (1-0-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-37 Phillips and 38-38 2x. Phillips spoiled the spotless record of Cobb with a determined effort, sweeping the last the two rounds on the judges’ cards to earn a draw.

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Fury-ous Finish: Tyson Fury Knocks Out Dillian Whyte in 6

Heavyweight Champion Fury demolishes Whyte before 94,000 fans in attendance at London’s Wembley Stadium

LONDON  — On Saturday, after not having fought in his native land for almost four years, Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) returned home with a spectacular sixth-round knockout in front of a record-breaking 94,000 fans Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium in London.

As a result he is quickly asserting himself as the biggest athlete and draw on the planet.
 
The WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion defended his crown against former training partner Dillian Whyte with a vicious right uppercut that immediately ended matters at 2:59 of the sixth row. Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) has now won four of his last five fights via stoppage.

Fury crashes a jarring right to Whyte’s jaw.

To start the bout, both men attempted to engage in a bit of mind games, with Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) entering the first round by working from a southpaw stance. The roles reversed in the following round with Fury commencing his attack from a left-handed position. But by the third round, none of that even mattered as Fury, now orthodox again, began snapping his jab, finding his rhythm and even smiling at Whyte as he began lunging with shots in the fourth and fifth rounds.
 
By this point, Fury had seen what kind of openings could be made when leading with his left hand as Whyte often used a cross-armed defense to evade shots. That’s when the “Gypsy King” circled in on his target to touch Whyte with a left hand before landing a fight-finishing uppercut that knocked the “Body Snatcher” down and out.

Showing the heart of an assassin – Fury (L) clocks Whyte (R) with a hard left hook.

Fury said, “I’m overwhelmed with the support. I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see my perform. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to every single person who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late to watch it on TV.
 
“Dillian Whyte is a warrior. And I believe that Dillian will be a world champion. But tonight, he met a great in the sport. I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. And unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight. There’s no disgrace. He’s a tough, game man. He’s as strong as a bull. He’s got the heart of a lion. But you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight. You’re messing with the best man on the planet. And you saw that tonight with what happened.
 
“I think Lennox Lewis could even be proud of the right uppercut tonight.”
 
Essuman Decisions Tetley
 
Undefeated welterweight Ekow Essuman (17-0, 7 KOs) retained his British, Commonwealth, and IBF European 147-pound titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win against Englishman Darren Tetley (21-3, 9 KOs) in the night’s co-feature. Two judges scored the fight 116-112 for Essuman, while a third had it 117-111.
 
In undercard action:
 
Featherweight: Liverpool’s Nick Ball (15-0, 8 KOs) captured the WBC Silver Featherweight Title with a stoppage win over Isaac Lowe (21-2-3, 6 KOs). Ball dropped Lowe in the second round, and he managed to survive. Lowe was then cut by an accidental headbutt over his left eye in the third round as he continued to receive punches in the following rounds. Ball eventually stopped his foe with fight-finishing flurry at 1:45 of the sixth round.
 
Heavyweight: London native David Adeleye (9-0, 8 KOs) battered fellow Englishman Chris Healey (9-9, 2 KOs) en route to a TKO win. The referee halted the action at :52 of the fourth round.
 
Light Heavyweight: Tommy Fury (8-0, 4 KOs), the 22-year-old younger brother of the “Gypsy King,” defeated Daniel Bocianski (10-2, 2 KOs) of Nowy Sacz, Poland, via decision. Score: 60-54.
 
Light Heavyweight: Karol Itauma (7-0, 5 KOs), a rising southpaw of Slovak origin who lives in the U.K., scored a second-round technical knockout against Michal Ciach (2-12, 1 KO) of Poznan, Poland. Time of stoppage: 2:27.
 
Junior Lightweight: English prospect Royston Barney-Smith (2-0) scored a decision win against Romanian Constantin Radoi (0-11). Score: 40-36.

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Fighting for 44-0 vs. Dominic Boesel

 May 14th streaming live on DAZN

LAS VEGAS (April 28, 2022) – Rather than wait for the winner of the May 7th Las Vegas showdown between superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Light Heavyweight Champion Dmiity Bivol, or take a meaningless stay-busy fight, former World Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will put his impeccable 43-0 (39 KOs) record on the line May 14th versus German Dominic Boesel (32-2, 12 KOs), the reigning International Boxing Organization (IBO) Light Heavyweight World title holder and WBA No. 1 rated contender.

 

“Zurdo vs. Boesel,” presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zurdo Promotions and SES Boxing, will stream live and exclusively on DAZN from Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

 

The winner of their 12-round main event will position himself for a shot at the Canelo vs. Bivol winner.

 

“Boesel is the No. 1 European light heavyweight who has all the accolades to make this a challenging fight,” Ramirez said. “Of course, Bivol (WBC & IBF champion Artur), Beterbiev and (WBO champion Joe) Smith are still at the top of my list, but they were all unavailable. Even though they are on the top of my list, I’m not waiting for them, I’ve got my own legacy to chase. I’ve said before, Beterbiev and Smith are average fighters at best, and they know not to mention my name. Bivol was close to making it (fight vs. Zurdo) happen, but he got the Canelo opportunity, so I don’t blame him.”

 

Boesel, who has fought outside of Europe, is 2-1 in IBO world title fights, losing to Robin Krasniqi, while Zurdo is 6-0 fighting in world championships. Boesel is also a former WBA Interim, European and WBO Youth World lightweight champion.

 

“I’m looking forward to this challenge,” Zurdo added. “He knows this fight can change his life. I’m the best light heavyweight in the world, but I still need to bring my best come fight night. I will have an advantage in experience, but I can’t take him lightly because he’s a longtime pro who knows how to take advantage of the moment.”

 

Because he was blocked from fighting for the WBA, WBO, WBC or IBF light heavyweight world titles right now, due to the aforementioned unavailability of Bivol, Beterbiev and Smith, Ramirez considered formally challenging WBC Cruiserweight World Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs). It never came to that, however, Zurdo does plan to move up, but only after he takes care of business clearing out the 175-pound division.

 

“I still plan on moving up to cruiserweight and eventually heavyweight,” Zurdo offered. “It’s always been my goal to be a 4-division world champion.”

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The USA Boxing News Book Review

By Mark Allen Baker

The History Press (www.historypress.com) – 174 pp

Reviewed by John Rinaldi and Alex Rinaldi

CLICK PHOTO TO READ BOOK REVIEW

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                       CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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PAUL BUTLER WINS WBO INTERIM WORLD BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE ON ‘UNBELIEVABLE’ NIGHT

LIVERPOOL, APRIL 22 – Paul Butler has described the “unbelievable” feeling of becoming a two-time bantamweight champion of the world.

Butler out-pointed late replacement Jonas Sultan at Probellum Liverpool tonight to claim the WBO interim world title in front of his passionate fans.

The expectation is that the WBO will officially elevate Butler to the full champion and the 33-year-old and his fans are this evening celebrating him becoming a two-time title holder.

Butler won the IBF crown in 2014 but soon relinquished his belt to chase honours at super-flyweight and he admits it has been a “long journey” to get back to the top of the 118lbs division.

Butler was given the decision by all three ringside judges who scored the contest 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 in favour of the local hero.

The new champion said: “It’s unbelievable, what a feeling!

“I have waited a long time to be a two-time world champion.

“It’s been a long journey and we only had 48 hours to come up with a gameplan for Sultan but that’s what I can do.  I nullified the bull tonight.”

Peter McGrail has warned the super-bantamweight division that he is only going to get “better and better” after recording a third straight stoppage win.

The Liverpool star halted Uriel Lopez in the fourth round after overwhelming the Mexican with yet another masterful display.

McGrail, now 4-0, said: “I am going to keep getting better and better.

“And hopefully, in the future, there will be some big nights coming to Liverpool.  We’re the next stock coming through, and we will be bringing world titles back to this city.”

Probellum’s Sam Jones added: “That was a great decision by the referee to stop the fight, Lopez was taking a lot of damage.

“This guy will be selling this arena out very, very soon and he will win world titles in numerous weight divisions.  Get behind Peter McGrail – what a fighter!”

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globe1-150x150OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

CLICK ABOVE TO READ STORIES FROM

                                               NORWAY, DENMARK, GERMANY, AND SWEDEN

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Ruben Villa Returns with Impressive 9th Round Stoppage over Horacio Garcia

PHILADELPHIA, PA /Ontario, CA (April 18, 2022) – Ruben Villa returned from a 18-month layoff to look impressive in stopping Horacio Garcia in round nine of their 10-round featherweight bout at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Villa, who was making his first start since competing for the WBO Featherweight World Title, is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

In round one, Garcia was cut over his left eye. Villa looked sharp in landing crisp three and four-punch combinations for which Garcia had no answer for. Villa did not look like he took any time off as he continued to break down and bloody Garcia more and more as the rounds went by.

Ruben Villa (L) stops Horacio Garcia (R) in round nine.

Finally in round nine, Villa landed hard combinations that forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the bout at 1:12.

“This was one of my best performances against a tough fighter,” said Villa, who last scored a knockout in 2018. “Garcia has never been stopped, so to get the knockout against him, assures me that I’m back stronger than ever. During this long layoff, I never stopped training, now I’m ready to take on all contenders in the featherweight division.”

Villa, 126.4 lbs of Salinas, CA is now 19-1 with six knockouts. Garcia, 126.8 lbs of Guadalajara, MEX is 35-6-1.

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TYSON FURY VS. DILLIAN WHYTE TOP RANK BOXING HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE SHOWDOWN COMING TO SELECT THEATERS ON APRIL 23

LIVE COVERAGE OF FURY-WHYTE BEGINS AT 2 P.M. ET/11 A.M. PT

(April 15, 2022) — Fight fans across the U.S. are counting down the days until WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury defends his crown against British countryman Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday, April 23. The Top Rank Pay-Per-View event will begin at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
 
A UK-record crowd of 94,000 is expected for this heavyweight matchup of historic proportions. And, thanks to a partnership with Joe Hand Promotions, this fight card will now be shown in movie theaters across the U.S., including Cinemark, AMC, Regal, Marcus Theatres, Emagine Entertainment, and Harkins Theatres.
 
“Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight of his generation, and I expect another spectacular performance on April 23,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Dillian Whyte is a formidable challenger, and with 94,000 people in attendance, this is a unique event that will capture the attention of the entire sports world.”

“Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte is one of the biggest fights of the year and fight fans across the U.S are looking for a fun place to gather with friends and enjoy the event. Theaters from all across the country are offering the opportunity for these fans to watch this fight on a big screen, in comfortable seating, with a great selection of food and drinks” said Joe Hand, Jr., President, Joe Hand Promotions. “We’re proud to partner with Top Rank and help them grow their fan base and brand in theaters across the U.S.”
 
“As a content provider, it’s exciting to bring these types of top-quality live events into theaters as we continually seek to activate new content for theater owners and their customers.”
 
To locate a theater showing the event, fans can check the Joe Hand Promotions website: https://bit.ly/furywhyte.

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Click Photo to read Story on Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from The Boxing Twins Page

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Top Rank on ESPN Presents Clash of Heavyweight Titans: Fury vs. Whyte

Streaming LIVE on ESPN+ PPV from Wembley Stadium Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. ET

Undercard to Stream on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET

(April 14, 2022) — Top Rank on ESPN will be at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday, April 23 to capture the all-English heavyweight battle between WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and WBC interim titleholder Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte. 
 
ESPN+ Pay-Per-View will stream the event LIVE in the United States at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, with the undercard to stream on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. ESPN will also air a special Fury vs. Whyte Pre-Show on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Purchase the ESPN+ PPV here.
 
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) will defend his crown against WBC interim champion Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) in front of a record 94,000 fans, the largest Wembley Stadium has ever hosted and the most fans to witness a boxing event in person since 1993. The Whyte showdown marks Fury’s first bout in London since February 2015.
 
Calling the action will be Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley Jr. (analyst) and former pound-for-pound #1, two-division world titleholder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (analyst). The desk team will feature analysis from Mark Kriegel and Bernardo Osuna.  

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THE JOEL DIAZ JR. VS. MERCITO GESTA CARD FEATURES TOP SOCAL BOXING PROSPECTS, LIVE ON DAZN 

GERRY COONEY, BOXING’S MOST BELOVED HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHTER, IS SET AS THE SPECIAL VIP GUEST AT FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO ON APRIL 21

Gerry Cooney against Larry Holmes in their classic 1982 Heavyweight Championship bout.

Tickets on Sale Now! 

LOS ANGELES (April 14, 2022) – Boxing’s most beloved heavyweight fighter, Gerry Cooney is set as the special VIP Guest at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on the April 21st fight card. The event features Golden Boy returning to its Coachella Valley home and is headlined by Palmdale’s Joel Diaz, Jr. (26-2, 22 KOs) and San Diego’s Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight battle. The co-main event of the night Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) from Glendora, CA, will face Jairo Lopez (27-14, 17 KOs) of Apodaca, Mexico in an 8-round lightweight bout. Also on the card, San Diego’s top prospect Jorge Chavez (1-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round super featherweight fight. Undefeated prospect Manuel Flores (11-0, 8 KOs) of Coachella, CA, will take on the experienced Victor Ruiz (23-12, 16 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in an 8-round super bantamweight fight. Also, part of the DAZN broadcast, Los Cabos, Mexico’s Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KOs) will participate in a 6-round flyweight event, and Hawaii’s Asa Stevens (2-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round bantamweight bout. All the fights will be streamed live, exclusively, on DAZN worldwide starting at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET.  

Best known for his epic battles against George Foreman and Larry Holmes, Gerry Cooney challenged for the WBC and Lineal Heavyweight World Championship titles in 1982 and the Lineal Heavyweight World Championship in 1987. The heavy-handed, Cooney compiled a professional record of 28 wins and 3 losses, with 24 knockouts and not one of his fights ever went the distance. He is currently ranked number 53 on The Ring’s list of “100 Greatest Punchers of All Time” and according to George Foreman, Gerry Cooney was one of the three hardest punchers he had faced in his career. As the VIP guest, Cooney will be in attendance for the fights and will be on hand to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the DAZN livestream begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.

Tickets for Diaz Jr. vs. Gesta are on sale now and are priced at $45, $35 and $25 plus applicable facility fees and service charges. Tickets are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Diaz, Jr. vs. Gesta is a 10-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy. The event was sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The fight will take place on Thursday, April 21 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA, and will be streamed live worldwide on DAZN.

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Granite Chin Promotions

“Hometown Royalty” May 7th

First pro boxing show ever in in Bridgewater, MA

Mike Ohan, Ryan Kielczweski, Edet Mkpanam, Dave Ribeiro & Damon Towns

QUINCY, Mass. (April 11,  2022) – The first professional boxing event in Bridgewater (MA) will be held Saturday night, May 7th, when Granite Chin Promotions presents its third promotional event of 2022, “Hometown Royalty,” at Bridgewater Veterans Club in Bridgewater, Massachusetts (85 Cottage St.).

 

“Hometown Royalty” is presented by Granite Chin in association with Cappiello Boxing Promotions and Shearns Boxing Promotions.

 

“I’m excited to be bringing professional boxing to Bridgewater for the first time ever,” Granite Chin president Chris Traietti said. “I was shocked when I found out that this would be the first for the town. It’s going to be a great show and I want to thank Rich Cappiello and Chuck Shearns for their help in making it happen. We are going to pack the Vets hall with amazing boxing fans who have helped Granite Chin grow expeditiously over the last couple of years. This will be the first of many to come to Bridgewater.”

 

Some of the best and most popular boxers from the South Shore area of the Bay State will be showcased in an intimate setting.

 

New England Welterweight Champion Mike “Bad Man” Ohan (14-1, 8 KOs), of Holbrook, is dropping down to junior welterweight in the 8-round main event to face Jose “El Chino” Aubel (8-9, 7 KOs), of Argentina.

 

Quincy lightweight Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczweski (30-6, 11 KOs) is matched against another Argentinian, Mario Lozano (18-5-1, 9 KOs), in the 8-round co-featured event. A 2008 National Golden Gloves silver medalist, as well as a 2-time New England Golden Gloves Champion, The 32-year-old Ryan K. has been world rated during his 14-year professional career.

 

Brockton welterweight David Ribeiro will make his long-awaited pro debut in a 4-round fight versus an opponent to be determined. Ribeiro was a celebrated amateur having won gold medals at the 2020 New England Golden Gloves, 2019 King of the Ring, and the regional Mike Tyson Tournament.

 

Undefeated New Bedford light heavyweight Edet Mkpanam (6-0, 5 KOs), a 2018 New England Golden Gloves runner-up, throws down with Scott “Bombz” Lampert (2-4, 2 KOs) in a 6-round match.

 

Fall River (MA) welterweight Damon Towns (4-0, 3 KOs) faces Robert Bricks (0-9) in a 4-rounder.

 

Card subject to change.

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Giovani Santillan Remains Undefeated with Impressive Seventh Round Stoppage over Jeovannis Barraza

New York, NY (April 11, 2022)-Giovani Santillan was almost flawless in stopping Jeovannis Barraza in round seven of their 10-round welterweight bout.

 

The bout took place this past Saturday from The Hanger in Costa Mesa, California and was televised live on ESPN.

 

Santillan, who is managed by Split-T Management, landed power punches from the outset and was on-top of Berraza from the beginning, Santillan started beating up and breaking down Barraza until the bout was stopped at 33 seconds of round seven.

 

Santillan, 147.4 lbs of San Diego, CA is now 29-0 with 16 knockouts. Barraza, 148.6 lbs of Barranquilla, COL 25-3.

 

The win solidified Santillan’s spot in bigger stakes fight against any of the top welterweights

 

Santillan said, “I am humbled by the support of my hometown, San Diego. Once again, they came out in force. They motivate me to do my best every time out there.

 

“I am going to keep working to earn a welterweight world title shot. I have a great team behind me, and when the time comes, I’ll be ready.”

 

Santillan is co-promoted by Top Rank and Thompson Boxing. 

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APRIL 23: FURY-WHYTE UNDERCARD REVEALED AS CAPACITY INCREASE CONFIRMED FOR WEMBLEY STADIUM SUPER FIGHT

Live Pay-Per-View coverage will begin in the United States at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

LONDON (April 8, 2022) — The undercard for Tyson Fury’s WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine Heavyweight Championship of the World collision with challenger Dillian Whyte on Saturday, April 23 is now in place, headed up by a return to the ring for the British junior lightweight champion, Anthony “The Apache” Cacace.
 
Additionally, it has been confirmed that 4,000 additional tickets now set to go on sale tomorrow making Fury-Whyte the record-breaking sporting event to be held at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.

Cacace (19-1, 7 KOs) is back in action making a successful first defense of his title against Lyon Woodstock in August of last year. The Belfast native will fight for the vacant WBO International title in a 10-rounder against Colombia native Jonathan Romero (34-1, 19 KOs), a former IBF junior featherweight world champion.

In a 10-round supporting fight where fireworks are guaranteed, the vacant WBC Silver featherweight title will be on the line when Tyson Fury comrade Isaac Lowe (23-1-3, 6 KOs) takes on undefeated Liverpool native Nick Ball (14-0, 7 KOs).

The winner of this prestigious belt will be catapulted into the WBC world rankings.

Ladbroke Grove heavyweight David Adeleye (8-0, 7 KOs) will clock up his ninth fight and his second eight-rounder as a professional against Stockport’s Chris Healey as he closes in on title contention.

The unbeaten Tommy Fury (7-0, 4 KOs) will continue his light heavyweight journey over six rounds against Polish veteran Daniel Bocianski (10-1, 2 KOs).

Live pay-per-view coverage in the United States will begin at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
 
Before the pay-per-view telecast begins, Top-Rank signed Irish Olympian Kurt Walker (1-0, 1 KO) will compete in a four-round featherweight bout against an opponent to be named.

Frank Warren, who is promoting the show in association with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, said: “I am delighted to finally be able to reveal what will be a competitive undercard in support of the big one that we have all been waiting for.

“I genuinely believe that as soon as Anthony Cacace gathers some momentum in his career, he has got what it takes to win a world title and securing the WBO International belt will put him firmly on track. But he is up against a dangerous and experienced opponent in Jonathan Romero and will need to be at his very best on the night.

“I am so looking forward to seeing our man Nick Ball get the chance to really announce himself on the big stage against Tyson’s sidekick, Isaac Lowe, and it should be a cracking fight. The WBC Silver title on the line will propel the winner right into the world mix at featherweight.

“Big David Adeleye, a regular sparring partner for Tyson, will add the heavyweight theme of the night and will relish the big stage.

“I am delighted that Tommy Fury will get to share some of the spotlight with his big brother after missing out on his big fight last year through illness. If Tommy keeps on winning and continues to shine, his big opportunities will soon follow.

“I would also like to welcome Kurt Walker, the Irish Olympian signed to Top Rank, onto the card.”
 
WEMBLEY CAPACITY INCREASE FOR TYSON’S BIG NIGHT
 
Fury-Whyte will now be witnessed in person by 94,000 fans following the granting of an additional 4,000 tickets by the local authority.

Brent Council has now approved a further 4,000 tickets to be available as coach packages which go on sale at noon on Wednesday, April 6, exclusively from Ticketmaster.

The 90,000 would have already been a record attendance for boxing but, such was the demand, Queensberry and Top Rank, along with our hosts Wembley Stadium, sought permission from Brent Council to increase capacity to the biggest seen at a sports event at the national stadium since it was rebuilt in 2007.
 
An original 85,000 tickets were snapped up in a matter of three hours after going on sale, followed a week later by the initial additional 5,000 tickets also sold in conjunction with coach travel.

Warren said, “I am delighted we are now able to provide four thousand extra tickets for fans to watch the biggest boxing event staged in this country. I know this in no way gets near to meeting the huge demand, but we were determined to have as many fans as possible attend Tyson Fury’s big homecoming fight.

“I would like to extend my thanks to Brent Council for making this possible, along with our event partners at Wembley Stadium, and on April 23 Wembley and the borough of Brent will be beamed across the world.”

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April 30: Las Vegas Native Nico Ali Walsh Makes Hometown Debut on Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Bill LIVE on ESPN at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Ali Walsh to fight Alejandro Ibarra in a four-round middleweight attraction LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)

LAS VEGAS (April 7, 2022) — Las Vegas native Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of “The Greatest,” hopes to make a statement for the hometown fans. Ali Walsh will fight Denver’s Alejandro Ibarra in a four-round middleweight attraction Saturday, April 30, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Ali Walsh-Ibarra will open the televised broadcast featuring the world junior lightweight title unification showdown between WBC champion Oscar Valdez and WBO king Shakur Stevenson.
 
Valdez-Stevenson, an eight-round lightweight co-feature between U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis and Esteban Sanchez, and Ali Walsh-Ibarra will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Ali Walsh said, “Las Vegas is home, and the MGM Grand Garden Arena has hosted so many legendary fights. This is a dream come true. I’ve gotten to know Oscar and Shakur, and it’s an honor to fight on their card. I’m focused on my fight, as Ibarra is a capable veteran. He wants to be the guy to knock off Muhammad Ali’s grandson. I won’t let that happen, especially in front of my family and friends.”

Ali Walsh (4-0, 3 KOs) graduated from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School and is currently a student at UNLV, where he is on track to graduate later this month with a degree in business entrepreneurship. He turned pro last August with a headline-grabbing first-round knockout. Ali Walsh fought twice more in 2021, including a four-round decision over Reyes Sanchez at Madison Square Garden, the site of many of his grandfather’s most memorable ring battles. Ali Walsh last fought in January in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he knocked out Jeremiah Yaegar in two rounds. He now turns to Ibarra (7-1, 2 KOs), a 28-year-old who has won four straight since the lone loss on his ledger.

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Roy Jones, Jr. -trained Undefeated Swedish middleweight prospect Shady Gamhour Returns Apr. 29th to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (April 6, 2022) – Undefeated Swedish middleweight prospect Shady Gamhour (12-0, 9 KOs) returns to Las Vegas to fight there for the first time since 2018, April 29th on the “Sons of Legends” card, presented by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing in association with Ares Entertainment, in The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.

The main event is a 10-round match for the vacant WBC USNBC heavyweight title between Kenzie “TCB” Morrison (19-02,2, 17 KOs) and Hasim “Gold Blooded” Rahman (12-0, 6 KOs), respectively, the sons of past World Heavyweight Champions Tommy “The Duke” Morrison and Hasim Rahman.

The action will be called at ringside by Hall of Famer Roy Jones, Jr., James “Smitty” Smith and Kalvin “Hot Sauce” Henderson on FITE TV and iNDemand PPV.

Sweden-native Gamhour, who lives and trains with Roy Jones in Pensacola, Florida, is matched against Steven Pichardo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) in a 6-round bout.

“It feels awesome to fight again in Las Vegas,” Gamhour said. “It is a dream come true! It has been a blessing to have been able to be trained by the great Roy Jones, Jr. for the past five years.

“My training camp has been great, and we now have the most important weeks of training leading up to the fight in Las Vegas.”

Pichardo has won seven of his last eight fights with one draw.

“For me,” Jones commented, “it’s always fun to train Shady because he is one of the most dedicated people you ever want to see. There is nothing better in my opinion than a dedicated fighter. All fighters don’t have the same talent, all fighters don’t get to the same skill level drive and motivation is something that they can control. When you find a fighter with drive, control, and motivation like Shady, it makes you glad to spend time teaching them. Because of his drive and motivation, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Shady back in the ring. I can’t wait to see him fight.” 

Also scheduled to fight are sons of other “boxing legends” such as Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, Mike “The Bounty” Hunter, Robert “Preacherman” Daniels, Gerald “G-Man” McClellan, and Steve “USS” Cunningham.

Card subject to change.

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Jeremiah Nakathila Knocks out Miguel Berchelt in stunning impressive fashion

Eduardo Baez edges Jose Enrique Vivas in featherweight co-feature 

Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

UNDERCARD FIGHTS COURTESY OF TOP RANK

LAS VEGAS — Going into the first third of 2022 it is clear that in this year the lighter weight divisions are already exploding with knockouts and torrid-pace fighting. Fighters such as Shakur Stevenson, Oscar Valdez, George Kambosos, Josh Taylor, Errol Spence Jr., and of course, Terence Crawford, are lighting up the prize rings and spreading excitement all through the boxing world.

On Saturday night after demolishing former Junior Lightweight champion Miguel Berchelt, you can add to that short list Jeremiah Nakathila.  

Like  Ferdinand Magellan who sailed almost 10,000 miles to cross the Pacific Ocean to Guam and the Philippines in 1521 to capture riches and fame, Jeremiah Nakathila did the same journeying nearly 10,000 miles from Namibia to Las Vegas for his fight with Berchelt.

Jeremiah Nakathila (L) Pounds away at Miguel Berchelt.

Unlike Magellan who was killed in the Philippines after being caught in a battle between powerful rival chieftains, Nakathila not only arrived and survived, he also conquered.

In one of the bravest and fiercest performance of an underdog, Nakathila displaying the courage of a lion and the fists of Thor, knocked out former world champion Miguel Berchelt in an improbable and stunning upset at Resorts World Las Vegas.

“I’m going to put Miguel Berchelt back to sleep,” proclaimed Nakathila before the fight, echoing the defeat that Berchelt experienced when he was knocked out cold in his last ring appearance by former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez on February 21, 2021. The last time the boxing viewing public saw Berchelt he was being taken away in an ambulance.

The winner – Jeremiah Nakathila after stopping Miguel Berchelt .

Meanwhile, Berchelt, who entered the ring wearing Mexican colors of green and black trunks with red trim, and weighing in at a solid 135, showed a great deal of confidence declaring before the fight, “I’m going to redeem myself and show that I’m here to stay. I think I’ll be a better version of myself at lightweight.”

Sadly for the former great champion, instead of redeeming himself – he actually repeated himself getting smashed once again to the canvas in another one-sided beating.

That picture must have been burned into Nakathila’s psyche, for once the fight began, the Namibian went after Berchelt with such ferocity that the former champion was never ever to establish a fight rhythm or sustain any type of offensive.

Right from the bell, Nakathila went straight after Berchelt taking the fight immediately to him. Although Nakathila, 133.6,  had previously lost a decision to Shakur Stevenson last June, in this fight the speed was solidly in his favor. Wearing black trunks with gold trim, which also matched his gold 8 ounce gloves, Nakathila quickly established the jab and overhand right hands. He also introduced early on his potent left hook. The same left hook that would consistently land on Berchelt’s head and ribs for the entire six rounds of the bout.

Miguel Berchelt after his loss.

The tone was set by the second round, when Nakathila crashed an overhand right to Berchelt’s jaw which knocked his head back so far it was if it was attached to a gate hinge.

Then came round three.

It was one of those rounds where one fighter’s eyes appeared like the black coal eyes of a panther while the other reflected the blinking eyes of a wallaby about to be devoured by a python. 

Halfway through the round, Nakathila, began pummeling Berchelt with left-right combinations eventually nailing him with two hard pile-driver left jabs which sent Berchelt to canvas. Though he rose quickly enough and took the eight count, it seemed that it was the slow dawning of the beginning of the end for the brave Mexican.

This pummeling continued until round five when Berchelt appeared to regain his strength and began trading bombs with Nakathila, who seemed to be tiring a bit.

At one point, the former champ even nailed his Nambian foe to the ropes and smothered him with a storm of punches. When the bell sounded, Berchelt’s fan base took a deep sigh and felt as if their man was turning the tide of the fight in his favor.

The problem is when dealing with tides, sometimes they go out to sea and gracefully return back to the shore, while other times they come crashing back in violent riptides. When that happens –  it changes everything.

Jeremiah Nakathila (R) clocks Miguel Berchelt with an overhand right.

For the sturdy and proud Berchelt, he soon found himself caught and drowning in that riptide in round six.

Though both fighters began the round trading blows, Berchelt in true grit fashion battled back with hard right hands, one of which even stunned Nakathila while he was trapped in the corner. To his credit, Nakathila eventually was able to regain his wind, and managed to escape the ropes that Berchelt tried to nail him to, and smashed Berchelt with a flurry of right crosses,  left hooks, overhand rights, and left jabs.

Then near the end of the round, Nakathila landed a terrific right to the jaw that sent Berchelt’s mouthpiece across the ring. Little did Berchelt realize that the both his mouthpiece and his chances of winning sailed away with that same punch.

After the round ended, seeing Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) bleeding and swollen, the referee Russell Mora on the advice of the ring doctor stopped the fight between rounds.

Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) said, “From the first round, my corner told me to take my time. I know what I have. I knew it would be difficult for him to reach the 10th round. It wasn’t so easy, but I made it look easy. He didn’t really bother me, the way he swung. I just got back to my game plan, and I capitalized. Luckily, he couldn’t continue. I was going to knock him out or put him to sleep in a bad way. Luckily, he saw it coming and decided he couldn’t come back.”

At the time of the stoppage, Nakathila was ahead 60-53 on all three scorecards, essentially winning every round.

Added Berchelt, “I’m going to get up. I’m going to rise from this. The great champions are not the ones who fall. The great champions are those who rise, and I will go home, spend time with my family, visit with them, get some rest, and I am going to come back stronger than ever.”

While it is three cheers for Nakathila, one does hope that the talented Berchelt regains his stature and returns to the prize ring.

Like Magellan whose ship rose in the ocean, Nakathila rose to the occasion, and like the historic explorer, he is now guaranteed a fight for the riches.

On the Undercard

Featherweight: Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs) MD 10 Jose Enrique Vivas (21-2, 11 KOs). Scores: 95-95, 96-94 and 98-92. In the co-feature, Baez announced his presence as a title contender with a closely contested victory over his Mexican countryman. It was expected to be a toe-to-toe barnburner, but Baez played the role of boxer, using an educated jab to blunt his rival’s attack. Vivas found pockets of success in the 10th, backing Baez to the ropes and unloading. Baez was never in serious trouble and prevailed by a slim margin on the cards. He outlanded Vivas 304-215.

Eduardo Baez (R) slams Jose Enrique Vivas with a terrific right uppercut.

Junior Featherweight: Carlos Caraballo (15-1, 14 KOs) MD 8 Luis Fernando Saavedra (9-7, 3 KOs). Scores: 76-76, 77-75 and 79-73. Caraballo rebounded from last October’s decision loss to Jonas Sultan with a closer-than-expected challenge from the rugged Mexican. It was a battle of Caraballo’s pure boxing against the come-forward body attack of Saavedra, who found occasional, if not consistent, success. Saavedra won the eighth round on all three judges’ cards, but Caraballo’s early lead held up.

Carlos Caraballo (L) nails Luis Fernando Saavedra (R) with a thudding left.

Welterweight: Tiger Johnson (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 4 Sebastian Gabriel Chaves (5-4, 2 KOs), 1:42. Johnson, who represented the U.S. last summer at the Tokyo Olympics, kept the momentum going with a one-sided beatdown over Chaves. Johnson knocked down Chaves with a straight right hand early in the fourth and ended it later in the round with a left hook that prompted referee Kenny Bayless to wave off the contest. 

Junior WelterweightJosue Vargas (20-2, 9 KOs) UD 8 Nicolas Pablo Demario (15-6-3, 9 KOs) Scores: 76-74 2x and 76-73. Vargas returned from his first-round knockout defeat to Jose Zepeda, but it was not without controversy. The most eventful thing to happen was not Vargas getting dropped with a left hand in the fifth round. It happened later in the fifth, when Demario bit Vargas on the right shoulder. Demario was deducted one point for the infraction, and Vargas outboxed him the rest of the way.  

Featherweight: Haven Brady Jr. (6-0, 3 KOs) TKO 4 Jose Argel (8-3, 2 KOs), 2:05. “The Hitman” found his target early and often, battering Argel to the body in the first three rounds. Brady scored his first knockdown with a right hand, then ended the bout with an uppercut on the inside. Argel, from Chile, had never been knocked out entering the fight.

Light HeavyweightDante Benjamin Jr. (2-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Kevin Johnson (2-1, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 3x. Benjamin, a native of Cleveland went the distance for the first time in his young career and cruised past the durable Johnson. 

Junior Featherweight: Arturo Cardenas (2-0-1, 2 KOs) DRAW 4 Juan Hernandez Martinez (2-0-1). In a phone booth affair, the judges’ cards reflected the back-and-forth nature of the four-rounder. Martinez swept the fourth to earn the draw. 

LightweightAdrian Serrano (0-0-1) DRAW 4 Estevan Partida (0-1-1). Scores: 38-38, 39-37 Serrano, 39-37 Partida. The 17-year-old Serrano, from Salinas, California, went for broke in the opening round but ran into a rough customer in Partida. Serrano won the fourth round on two of the three scorecards to salvage the draw in his pro debut.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

______________Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame

Class of 2021 Announced

Mike Oliver, Danny Schiavone, Frank E. Russo, Jose “Papo” Colon, Elvin Ayala & Mike Criscio

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (April 4, 2022) – The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has announced its six-member Class of 2021 to be inducted during the 16TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, May 21, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.

The CBHOF Class of 2020 consisting entirely of “Old Timers”, will also be inducted on May 21st.

Class of 2021 inductees are retired boxers Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver, of Hartford, and New Haven’s Elvin Ayala, Hartford referee Danny Schiavone, Glastonbury’s (Hartford Civic Center executive director) Frank E. Russo, Manchester trainer Jose “Papo” Colon, and New Haven manager Mike Criscio.

“The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Game is very excited to reconvene our Gala Induction Dinner after a two-year pandemic related hiatus,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. “The pandemic ‘pause’ gave the Selection Committee ample time to research boxing archives in order to support the induction of the 2020 Class of deceased boxing legends. Recognition of these deserving individuals is long overdue.”

“Our Class of 2021 is also exceptionally outstanding, as well. It is a class which truly represents the sport of boxing. Fighters, trainers, managers, promoters, and ring officials are being inducted in this class. I encourage all boxing fans to come out to Mohegan Sun on May 21st for a fantastic celebration of the accomplishments of these two worthy Hall of Fame classes.

Oliver (26-12-1, 8 KOs) first laced-up boxing gloves at the tender age of three. After excelling as an amateur boxer, Oliver captured the vacant IBO Super Bantamweight World title in 2007, taking a 12-round unanimous title from Cruz Carbajal in Boston. The gifted southpaw was also the USBA and New England title holder during his 20-year pro career.

Schiavone has developed into one of the most respected referees in boxing, having worked more than 440 fights during almost two-decade career, including seven world title bouts and more than 40 regional title fights. He has refereed bouts featuring elite fighters such as Roy Jones, Jr., Adrian Broner, David Tua, Hasim Rahman, and Vasiliy Lomanchencko. The Hofstra University graduate also refereed the 2019 Chris Arreola-Chris Kownacki fight, which set a record for most thrown punches during a heavyweight fight. Schiavone has also acted in two boxing movies, “Back in the Day” and the soon to be released “Pep” a movie about Hartford’s greatest fighter Willie Pep.  Schiavone also appeared in the television series, “Gravesend.”

Back in 1974, Russo listened to the suggestion of the Hartford Civic Center concessions manager, Johnny Cesario, later a CBHOF member, to host boxing events. Russo later made future world welterweight champion and CBHOF inductee Marlon Starling the Harford Civic Center’s house fighter. More than 13,000 boxing fans attended the closed circuit showing of the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran fight, which was shown after a live card headlined by Starling. Russo also helped promote the pro careers of 1984 USA Olympians Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland, Meldrick Taylor, Evander Holyfield, and Tyrell Biggs.

The 76-year-old Colon is still an active trainer, now working out of the Manchester Ring of Champions Society. A native of Puerto Rico Colon moved to the U.S. and in 1979, he worked some of New York’s most prestigious gyms, including Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. Eighteen years later, Colon moved to Hartford, where he worked at the San Juan Center with future CBHOF inductee George Cruz. He later worked out of the Hartford Boxing Center, assisting trainer Tony Blanco in building Richie “Popeye” Rivera’s career.

Ayala burst upon the pro boxing scene in 2003, winning his first sixteen fights with a defensive style that left opponents flustered and frustrated. A 2007 draw in Carson, California with unbeaten Sergio Mora (19-0), winner of the Contender series (original) and future world middleweight champion positioned Ayala to challenge 25-0 IBF Middleweight World Champion Arthur Abraham. Abraham stopped the game Ayala in the 12th round.

Criscio progressed from a pawnbroker to a boxing manager where in 2017 he guided Chad Dawson to the WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship by way of a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision over defending champion Tomasz Adamek in Kissimmee, Florida. Criscio managed as many as 35 pro boxers, including Dawson, Alfredo Angulo, Jean Pascal, Peter Manfredo Jr., Toka Kahn Clery, Chris Avalos and the late Luis Rosa Jr.

CBHOF’s 2021 award winners will soon be announced.

The Class of 2020 inductees are boxers Jimmy Leto, Eddie Dolan, Al Gainer, and Steve Carr, as well as coach Mosey King and commissioner Barbara Dunn.

Leto, a welterweight from Hartford, had a superlative 125-29-12 record from 1924 to 1943. Managed by legendary Lou Viscusi, Leto defeated future International Boxing Hall of Famers such as Chalky Wright, Cocoa Kid and Fritzie Zivic. Leto died in 1986 at the age of 75.

Dolan not only fought in the same era as Leto, but he also defeated him in 1940. Dolan tuned pro in 1931at the age of 18 and finished his career with an 89-9-3 pro record, including victories against Cocoa Kid and Zivic. The Waterbury welterweight, who was undefeated throughout 1939, died in 1964 at 51.

After a brief pro career as a lightweight, King became the head boxing coach at Yale University in 1907. The New London native held that post until 1952, when Yale dropped boxing as a sport. King was so highly regarded that he became Connecticut’s first boxing commissioner in 1921, serving in that capacity for two years. King passed away in 1956.

Gainer was a formidable light heavyweight from New Haven who compiled a 77-23-6 (41 KOs) record from 1930-1941. Gainer defeated James J. Braddock and Tony Galento. He fought Maxie Rosenbloom to a draw and had two different win streaks of 12 and 13 fights. He died in 1973.

Fighting during the Great Depression, Carr’s career lasted only seven years, but the Meridian native retired with a 52-14-8 pro record, his most notable win versus Nathan Mann. Carr died in 1954 at the age of 41.

Newton native Dunn was a pioneer. She was named the Connecticut Commissioner of Consumer Protection in 1971, also taking on the role as the nation’s first female boxing commissioner. Her fearless regulation of the sport of boxing earned her respect throughout the boxing industry. A University of Connecticut graduate, Dunn passed away in 2017 at 90.

Tickets for the CBHOF 16th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, are on sale and available to purchase by calling Sherman Cain at 860.212.9029 and Rider Productions at 860.413.9067. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET, followed by a full sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. ET.

Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 16th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, and past CBHOF inductees.

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43-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez prepared to move up & challenge

WBC Cruiserweight champion Ilunga Junior Makabu

LAS VEGAS (March 29, 2022) – Despite winning the WBA Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator last December to become the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Champion Dmitry Bivol, 43-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez finds himself blocked from fighting for a world light heavyweight title due to boxing politics and a unification fight.

Rather than sit and wait, or fight a meaningless tune-up, Ramirez is fully prepared to move up in weight once again, this time to challenge World Boxing Council (WBC) Cruiserweight World Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs).

“I’m always ready to take on anyone,” Ramirez said. “I was hoping to make the Bivol fight, but he took another route. It’s definitely disappointing but I’m glad he was rewarded with Canelo. He’s a good guy and definitely has a chance to change his life forever. Now moving forward, as always, I’m open to fight anyone from light heavyweight to heavyweight, and why not start with cruiserweight? Golden Boy did mention  Makabu to me and if he has the balls to face me, I will snatch that WBC title from him with ease. Despite the weight difference, I would out-skill, out-speed, and out-fight him in every aspect.”

Last December in San Antonio, Ramirez (43-0, 29 KOs) did his job to earn his long-awaited showdown with Bivol, stopping Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez (21-4, 17 KOs) in the 12th round to become Bivol’s mandatory challenger. However, Bivol has since been allowed by the WBA to fight unified super middleweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) on May 7th in Las Vegas.

The other two world light heavyweight champions, (WBC/IBF) Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) and (WBO) Joe Smith, Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs), are reportedly fighting in a unification bout June 18th in New York City, effectively shutting out the 30-year-old Ramirez from fighting for the world light heavyweight title until this fall at the earliest.

Makabu, 34, is the first and only native of the Democratic Republic of The Congo to be world boxing champion. According to reports, ironically, he was all set to fight “Canelo” until boxing’s “rainmaker” shifted gears and chose Bivol as his next opponent. Makubu captured his WBC Cruiserweight crown January 31, 2020, when he decisioned Michael Cleslak, followed by two successful title defenses versus Olanreqaju Durodola (34-7) and Thabisco Mchunu (23-5), both by 12-round decision.

The first Mexican to capture the world super middleweight title, “Zurdo” wants to write Mexican boxing history again as the first from his country to be world cruiserweight champion.

Rated as the No. 2 light heavyweight in the world by both the WBA and WBO, as well as No. 4 by the IBF and #5 by The Ring magazine, “Zurdo” is ready to move on up and add to his growing boxing legacy.

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Granite Chin heavyweight Quintin Sumpter

Riding high off upset victory

QUINCY, Mass. (March 28, 2022) – Last Saturday in Rhode Island, undefeated Pittsfield (MA) Quintin Sumpter heavyweight pulled off an upset that better positions him for a significant fight this year.

Sumpter went into the lion’s den to face undefeated Providence heavyweight Timothy Hatfield (3-1, 3 KOs), a decorated New England amateur boxer, without any reservations. Like a throwback fighter, Sumpter never turns down a fight offer from his promoter, Chris Traietti.

Against Hatfield, Sumpter came out throwing big overhand rights that obviously made a deep impression on his opponent, who was never in the fight despite one judge scoring the fight a draw, while the two others had Sumpter winning all four rounds.

“We only had 2-3 weeks to prepare, so we reached out to a few world-class fighters for sparring. I must have sparred 50-55 rounds with Cassius Chaney in two weeks. Chad Dawson (3-time world light heavyweight champion) and Mike Marshall (reigning New England heavyweight titlist holder) helped me, too. They all gave me pointers. I knew I was fighting a guy in his backyard and went into the ring to knock him out. Once I got into it, I boxed. Mentally, he couldn’t handle my power; once he felt my right, he was timid the rest of the fight.

“I was confident that I had won, but when the scores were announced and one of the judges had it 38-38, I had a look on my face like, what? I’m not saying I’m the best, but I want to continue showcasing my talent, and prove that I can fight with anybody.”

“This was a huge win for Quintin,” Traietti commented. “He basically sent from an unknown talent to a prospect that have eyes on him. Hatfield had an extensive amateur background. Quintin showed up to fight and took it to Hatfield. Don’t be surprised if his next fight is on a mega-stage.”

“Chris has always taken care of me,” Sumpter added. “I’m the first heavyweight he calls. We had a fight on the Fury-Wilder (3) card (last Oct. to in Last Vegas) that fell through. I’m grateful for Granite Chin and proud Chris is promoting me.”  

Quintin’s younger brother, undefeated super middleweight prospect Steven (5-0, 5 KOs) is also promoted by Granite Chin.

The Sumpter brothers are Granite Chin stablemates along with Mass. super lightweight Mike Ohan, Jr., Mass. middleweights Anthony Andreozzi and Julien Baptiste, Mass. super welterweight and Carlo Castillo, Mass. light heavyweights Edet Mkpanam, and Leondro Silva, Mass. super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski, Mass. welterweights Denzel Whitley and Dave Ribeiro, Mass. super middleweight Laurent Humes, New York light heavyweight Scott Lampert, New Jersey super lightweight Tyrone Luckey, Conn. heavyweight Mike Marshall (New England champion), Maine heavyweight Justin Rolfe (former New England champion), Texas middleweight Larry Smith, and Georgia middleweight Antonio Todd.

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ALEXIS ROCHA DEFEATS BLAIR COBBS VIA KNOCKOUT LIVE FROM THE GALEN CENTER IN LOS ANGELES

MCKINSON CLAIMS A VICTORY IN HIS U.S. DEBUT 

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 19, 2022) – Los Angeles boxing fans were treated to a night of action at USC’s Galen Center tonight, as two top welterweight contenders, Orange County’s Alexis “Lex” Rocha (19-1, 13 KOs) and Philadelphia’s Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs) delivered a lively boxing event, live worldwide on DAZN. Cobbs brought “The Flair” walking out with a lucha libre inspired outfit and a luchador, paying homage to his childhood growing up in Jalisco, Mexico. The fighters were very active in the first round as they each took turns trying to establish dominance. An effective right jab from Cobbs opened up a cut on top of Rocha’s right eye in the third round, but that did not stop Rocha from pursuing Cobbs and landing some power punches that shook Cobbs. In the fifth round, Rocha caught Cobbs with a combination that visibly hurt him, as he retreated in an effort to avoid a continued attack from Rocha. By the sixth round, Cobbs had recovered as he tried to distance himself and use a jab to set up his shots. But Rocha was relentless and continued his attack, dropping Cobbs to the canvas in the eighth round and overwhelming him at the 44 second count of the ninth, winning the fight by knockout in a 10-round welterweight main event.

“I got the knockout but I know I could’ve done better,” said Alexis Rocha. “It took me quite a while to adjust. He was running, very awkward at first. This is what I need so I can develop as an all around fighter. It took me awhile since I wasn’t listening to my coach. I was getting careless, only throwing one shot, not cutting the ring and not throwing my combinations. I could have gotten him out of there sooner. I just want to give a big shoutout to everyone from Santa Ana. The only round that I actually let my hands go I followed him up. That’s what put him down, me throwing combinations. I want to give Blair credit. He was a tough opponent, he was awkward and he did a lot of trash talking but you don’t play with Mexico. Viva Mexico!”

“He was just a good fighter today,” said Blair Cobbs. “I was impressed by the way he came out. He got me with some pretty good shots. He got me in the later rounds very good so shout-out to him and his team. I was throwing shots but I wasn’t following up with them. I just couldn’t recover and figure it out in time to take over the fight. He did a tremendous job. I just wanted to give a shout-out to everyone that came out and I promise that Blair ‘The Flair.’”

In the co-main event of the night Michael “The Problem” McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) of Portsmouth, GBR and Alex “Chi-Heat” Martin (17-4, 6 KOs) of Chicago, IL, participated in a 10-round welterweight fight. Martin used his reach to his advantage by using his jab to set up effective counter-punches. McKinson was not afraid to take on the role of chaser, coming forward landing some effective right hooks while using his jab as a guide to his attack. The fight went the distance with the judges’ ruling the fight in favor of Mckinson via unanimous decision with scores of 97-93, 99-91, and 98-92. 

“It was basically a clash of styles,” said Michael McKinson. Two tricky southpaws which I expected. “I didn’t feel like I was losing too many rounds. With me fighting someone so negative, I didn’t look my best which wasn’t as exciting to the crowd. I had to stick to the game plan and be patient. I kept my distance and when I threw my shots I had to make them count.” 

“I think he’s average,” said Alex Martin. “If we fight again in a rematch I’ll stop him. I’m not being arrogant. My timing just wasn’t there, I couldn’t click. He had good distance which surprised me because I’m usually the one keeping my distance. I was basically fighting myself.

In the second fight of the DAZN live stream, Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev (9-1, 7 KOs) of Indio, CA faced seasoned veteran David “La Pantera” Zegarra (34-8, 21 KOs) of Lima, Peru in a scheduled 10-round light heavyweight fight. Bek established early dominance and proved why he is considered a power puncher by finishing the fight in the second round at the 30 second mark, adding another KO victory to his record. 

“Everything feels good and this went like I expected it to go,” said Bektemir Melikuziev. “The only thing on my mind is a re-match with Gabe Rosado.”

Opening up the DAZN live stream, Evan Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) of Parlier, CA took on Alejandro Munera (6-5-4, 5 KOs) from Medellin, Colombia in a 6-round super welterweight fight. The fighters started the action early in the first round as both come-forward fighters made an effort to establish early dominance. Action continued through rounds 2-4 with Sanchez cornering Munera on the ropes in the third and knocking him down to the canvas in the fourth. Sanchez also hit the canvas in the fourth round but that was ruled a slip by the referee. The crowd pleasing fight went the distance with both fighters giving it their all in the sixth round, exchanging power shot after power shot. Ultimately the judges ruled a unanimous victory to Evan Sanchez with scores of 60-53.

“My plan all along was to outbox him,” said Evan Sanchez. “In the first two rounds I got a little wild and he caught me with some shots. I fixed myself after the third round and did way better. He could take a shot. I went to the body and he was taking them. Hopefully you see me next month. I want to get prospect of the year.”

Also on the card, but featured as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night live stream on YouTube

Fan favorite, Alex Rincon (10-0, 7KOs) of Dallas, Texas, stopped Puerto Rico’s Luis Sanchez (9-3, 6 KOs) in the second round of a 8-round middleweight fight. Rincon won via KO with a time of 1:44 of the aforementioned round.

Los Angeles’ undefeated fighter John “Scrappy” Ramirez (9-0,7 KOs) kept his undefeated record when he faced Roberto “Escorpion” Pucheta (10-21-3, 6 KOa) of Jalisco, Mexico. The scheduled 6-round bantamweight bout went the distance with judges awarding the unanimous decision victory to Ramirez with scores of 60-54. 

“I knew he was going to be a tough fighter going into the fight,” said John Ramirez. “He’s only been stopped once, he’s strong, but he also took a beating. But that was good for me, I am up for a challenge, it elevates me. This is the second time I am going the distance, I mean I have only been fighting for five years and I am only getting better. The sky’s the limit for me.”

Westside boxing’s Alejandro “Pin-Pon” Reyes (7-0, 4KOs), took on Daniel Evangelista Jr. (20-13-2, 16 KOs) of Mexico City in a 6-round super lightweight fight. The crowd pleasing fight had the fighters going back and forth as Reyes dominated the action with precise jabs and head movement. Evangelista was deducted points for head butting in the second round and holding/grabbing in the fourth round. The fight went the distance with scores of 60-51 from all three judges for a unanimous decision victory for Reyes. 

“It was a great experience,” said Alejandro Reyes. “It was a tough fight and we knew that coming in. I had to listen to my corner. We made the adjustments that we needed to as the fight progressed. He was a tough fighter. He had a lot of experience. It was a great learning experience and thank God we got the job done.”

Los Angeles’ Miguel “El Hijo de El Sereno” Gaona (2-0,1 KO) scored an early first round knockout against Mexico City’s Gilberto Aguilar (0-5). The fight was originally scheduled to be a 4-round super lightweight fight. 

“I am not surprised by the early knock out,” said Miguel Gaona. “This is what we trained for, just happy we were able to get it done early.”

In the second fight of the night, Dalis Kaleiopu (2-0, 2 KOs) of Walanae, HI defeated Tamaulipas, Mexico’s Manuel Lara (2-8) via TKO in the fourth round at the 2:15 marker in a 4-round lightweight fight. 

“I felt good,” said Dalis Kaleiopu. “I could’ve stopped it in the first round but I decided not to. Hopefully I get to fight in a couple of months.”

Opening up fight night, London’s Ramla Ali (5-0, 1KO) gave another stellar performance as she knocked out Toronto’s Shelly Barnett (5-7-2) in the second round of their scheduled 8-round featherweight fight. Ali won with a time of 1:23 of the aforementioned round.

“I felt really good, very relaxed,” said Ramla Ali. “I took my time. Which is a testimony to training with Manny Robles. He’s always saying don’t rush your shots and everything else will follow. My opponent was really tough. She wanted to keep going. It’s really nice to get my first stoppage. A lot of hard work and sacrifice, it’s all paying off.” 

Rocha vs. Cobbs was a 10-round welterweight fight presented by Golden Boy in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event was sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight took place on Saturday, March 19 at Galen Center in Los Angeles, and will be streamed live worldwide on DAZN.

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Roll On: Edgar Berlanga Defeats Steve Rolls 

Xander Zayas dominates Quincy LaVallais in co-feature

NEW YORK (March 19, 2022) — Edgar Berlanga sold out the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to the tune of 5,158 fans. Berlanga prevailed via 10-round unanimous decision (96-94 and 97-93 2x) over Steve Rolls in his main event debut.

It wasn’t the sterling knockout Berlanga sought, but it was an important step forward for the Brooklyn native. Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) tore his biceps last October against Marcelo Esteban Coceres and spent the last 12 weeks training in Las Vegas.

The biceps injury did not flare up, as Berlanga stalked the Canadian veteran. Rolls had pockets of success, especially with right hands to Berlanga’s midsection. Berlanga closed the fight strong, winning the final two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

He now moves forward to a potential June 11 date.

Berlanga said, “You could tell that he was fighting scared. Every time I reached in or threw something, he’s pulling back, running the whole fight. 

“I was looking for a big shot. My corner was telling me use a jab. My elbow was bothering me a little bit. But I’m just happy we got the victory and moving forward. 

“My elbow starting hurting me in like the second round but no excuses. We got the biceps torn in the last fight, came back in four months and got to it.”

Zayas Blanks LaVallais

Xander Zayas was dominant in the junior middleweight co-feature, shutting out New Orleans-based veteran Quincy LaVallais over eight rounds (80-72 2x and 80-71). Zayas, the 19-year-old phenom from San Juan, Puerto Rico, excelled in his first scheduled eight-rounder, applying the pressure early and never letting up.

Zayas (13-0, 9 KOs) nearly scored the stoppage in round two, as he had LaVallais (12-3-1, 7 KOs) pinned against the ropes for the whole round. He landed 54 punches in that stanza, but LaVallais’ granite chin blunted Zayas’ power. By the fifth, LaVallais was marching forward, if not banking rounds.

Zayas kept the barrage going in the later rounds, and LaVallais received a moral victory of sorts in surviving the distance. Zayas outlanded LaVallais at a nearly 4-1 clip, 262-66.

Zayas said, “I need this type of experience. Eight rounds against a tough opponent will only help me as I move forward in my career.

“The plan is to come back June 11 at The Garden on Puerto Rican Parade Weekend. That’s a special weekend for Puerto Ricans, and I am proud to represent my people.”

Junior Welterweight: John Bauza (17-0, 7 KOs) UD 8 Tony Luis (29-5, 10 KOs). Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Luis applied his typical pressure, but that wasn’t enough to upset the apple cart against the rising Puerto Rican star. Bauza used his southpaw jab and quick-trigger combinations to blunt the Luis attack.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (7-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Tracey McGruder (6-2, 4 KOs). Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 2x. Long Island native Tucker tried everything he could, but the stubborn McGruder withstood the onslaught. He turned southpaw at times and attempted to lure McGruder to the ropes. After six rounds, McGruder was still standing, and Tucker had to settle for the near-shutout.

Junior Lightweight: Henry Lebron (15-0, 10 KOs) TKO 7 Josec Ruiz (23-6-3, 16 KOs). It took Lebron nearly seven rounds, but the Puerto Rican contender became the first man to knock out the Honduran veteran. Lebron laid a beating on Ruiz, but he finally staggered him in the seventh, prompting referee Benjy Esteves to stop the fight.

Junior Lightweight: Bruce Carrington (3-0, 2 KOs) KO 5 Yeuri Andujar (5-5-1, 3 KOs). Carrington, the latest knockout puncher from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, knocked Andujar out cold with left hook. The Dominican veteran gave Carrington the most competitive run of his young career, but it was mostly one-sided traffic that ended in devastating fashion.

Carrington said, “I want to thank Brownsville and all of Brooklyn for coming out to support me. Fighting as a pro at Madison Square Garden was a dream come true. This is only the beginning.”

Junior Welterweight: Armani Almestica (5-0, 5 KOs) TKO 3 Luis Valentin Portalatin (3-4, 1 KO), 1:57. Almestica brought a vocal contingent to the Hulu Theater and battered late replacement Portalatin until referee Eric Dali stopped the fight.

Junior Welterweight: Kelvin Davis (4-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Phillip Carmouche (2-3), 1:17. The eldest of the Fighting Davis Brothers from Norfolk, Virginia, Kelvin notched the first first-round knockout of his burgeoning career. Carmouche offered little resistance, and Davis pounced with a pair of knockdowns. The finishing blow came courtesy of a right hook as Carmouche was slumped against the ropes.

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Tapia Outlasts Lebron in 10-round War to Win WBC Continental Super Featherweight Title in Philadelphia

Pizarro Stops Jones in Four

Villanueva and Vann win Pro Debuts

CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW STORY

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Heavyweight contender Ron Stander passes away 

October 17, 1944 – March 8, 2022


Ronald Stander was born October 17, 1944 in Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Ronald passed away March 8, 2022 at his home with his loving wife, Toddy Ann, and his kitty, Sissy, by his side. He moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa at a young age. Attended Washington School at age 4. From there, he attended Bloomer School, where he told stories of being a catcher for Stan Bahnsen. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School, where he excelled in sports. In track, he was always trying to outthrow his record for shot put. He went to State two years in a row for wrestling. But his greatest love was football and with Albert Milner as his partner, they were able to rack up the points.

After graduating in 1962, he attended Northwest Missouri in Tarkio and Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa with Football Scholarships. Soon after college, he became interested in boxing.

His natural athletic abilities carried over into boxing under the guidance of Leonard Hawkins. He began training for the Midwest Golden Gloves Tournament in February of 1967. He was awarded, The Charlie Moon Award for Outstanding Prospect. In 1968, he was the Omaha City Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion and again in 1969. He also received the Sammy Williams Award for Outstanding Fighter in March of 1969. That same year in July, he began his professional career in boxing. From 1969 through March of 1972, he won 23 matches (14 were KO’s) with 1 draw and 1 loss, then on May 25, 1972, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, The World Heavyweight Championship Fight with Joe Frazier was stopped in the 5th round, due to facial cuts that required 17 stitches. He ended his career in 1982 with a record of 61 fights, 28 knockouts, with the most notable being against Ernie Shavers, who landed face-first on the mat. Ron said, “His punches were like being hit by a nightstick.” During Ron’s career, the referees never ever did a count of 10 over him.

After boxing, Ron still was in the ring as a referee. He said, “I still get to be in the ring and call the shots and not feel them.” He worked as a referee for ESPN and USA Network, besides regular boxing events.

Ron furthered his career on the East Coast as a member of bouncers and bodyguards. Some of the most notables he was privileged to bodyguard were Liza Minnelli, Tom Jones, Gene Hackman, The Rolling Stones, and the Eagles. On the “Hotel California” album, the Eagles give special thanks to Ron Stander.

Ron Stander (L) after being stopped by heavyweight champion Joe Frazier (R) during their May 25, 1972 heavyweight championship fight in Omaha, Nebraska.

During his lifetime, Ron has had wonderful experiences and met lots of people that have become friends. Jack O’Halloran invited him to England when he was doing The Superman Movie. Ron got to meet Christopher Reeve. Redd Foxx always had a VIP table waiting for him whenever he was in Vegas. Evel Knievel, who shared the same birthday (October 17) spent over a week with Ron in Omaha. They had a great time hanging out a Paul’s Motorcycle Shop in Council Bluffs. Ron loved to race stockcars and was Number 99 at Playland Park. He always said, “99 on your Program, Number 1 in your Heart.” Mad Dog Vachon was another great friend. He loved to play Cribbage with Ron and Toddy Ann. Hollywood came calling and he found himself in a movie with Sean Penn. Another movie that played at the AMC Theater in Omaha on November 14, 1997 called, “The Mouse,” had Ron at the beginning with Burt Young.

Ron worked as a skilled machinist at Vickers Manufacturing Company until it closed. A most informative booklet about Ron’s boxing career was written and published by his promoter, Thomas Lovgren. A film documentary about Ron “The Bluffs Butcher” Stander by Andrew Batt was aired on Public TV Network.

At his 45th class reunion, Ron reconnected with a gal he had a crush on in high school. Her husband had passed 6 years before. After a year of dating, they were married on Halloween in 2008. Since both were retired, they had an opportunity to do some traveling to Alaska, California, Arizona, Texas and a West Coast trip on Amtrak.

Ron will always be known as the guy with a big heart, a firm handshake, a big smile following with a joke or two.

Ron never knew a stranger, they were just a friend he had never met. If he shook your hand, he considered you a friend. But if you asked him a stupid question, you got a stupid answer with a smile and a twinkle in his brown eyes. He will be missed by all his fans that knew of him, those that loved him and his family that he always said, “Love you more.”

Preceded in death by parents, Marie and Frank Stander. Survived by his loving wife, Toddy Ann, who adored him and referred to him as her hero; his children: Frank Stander (Judy Compton), Angie Carberry, Ryan Stander (Chyanne Walker), Rowan Stander (Erin Koerselman); grandchildren, the children of Frank and Robin Stander: Brooke (Dan) Baker, Jake (Amanda McClanahan); son of Mike and Angela Carberry: Harley Carberry; children of Ryan Stander: Mia Brown, Sabella Stander, Xavier Stander; children of Rowan Stander: Nala Stander, Rowan Stander, Sebastian Stander, Marabelle Stander.

He will be missed by the Cundall Family, his numerous cousins, as well as special friends he named: Sunflower Sue and Foxy French.

Story courtesy of Omaha world-Herald

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Unbeaten Champions Clash: Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Tickets at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas On Sale 

Tickets for the April 30 junior lightweight title unification tilt — starting at $79 — can be purchased by visiting AXS.com

LAS VEGAS (March 10, 2022) — The world’s two best junior lightweights — WBC world champion Oscar Valdez and WBO king Shakur Stevenson — ignited their long-anticipated unification grudge match, which will take place Saturday, April 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

Less than eight weeks from fight night, the two went face to face Wednesday morning at MGM Grand. Tensions did not spill over, but the two undefeated champions exchanged not-so-pleasant pleasantries. Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the two-weight champion from Nogales, Mexico, enters as the betting underdog for only the second time in his career. The first time, Valdez knocked out Miguel Berchelt in devastating fashion.

Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), in his fifth bout at junior lightweight, hopes a victory will vault him up the mythical pound-for-pound rankings

The battle for junior lightweight supremacy is on deck. WBC champion Oscar Valdez will meet WBO king Shakur Stevenson in a title unification showdown between undefeated fighters Saturday, April 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $79 go on sale Thursday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.

“This is a fight between two fighters in their physical primes, the best fighting the best,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar and Shakur deserve the biggest stage, and it doesn’t get much bigger than ESPN and the MGM Grand Garden Arena. On April 30, a superstar will be born.”

Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the fighting pride of Nogales, Mexico, is a two-weight world champion entering his 10th world title fight. He authored the 2021 Knockout of the Year with his title-winning effort over longtime champion Miguel Berchelt. Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), the rising pound-for-pound star from Newark, New Jersey, is coming off last October’s one-sided knockout over then-champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring.

Valdez-Stevenson and additional fight action will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

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LONDON (March 1, 2022) —Two men will fight, but only one showed up for the press conference. WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury made it a solo act Tuesday to promote his April 23 showdown against Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Fury-Whyte will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View in the U.S.

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) has been the lineal champion since November 2015 and will fight on English soil for the first time since June 2018. Since then, he’s fought Deontay Wilder three times, cemented his status as the world’s best heavyweight, and has served as an inspiration for mental health sufferers around the world. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is a consensus top-five heavyweight who knocked out Alexander Povetkin in a rematch last year to regain the WBC interim title.

Fury-Whyte marks the third time in boxing history that a pair of Brits are fighting for the heavyweight title. Fury managed without his counterpart at the press conference, lobbing insults and promising a memorable evening in front of an expected crowd of nearly 100,000.

Fury at London’s Wembley Stadium 

Promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank, tickets will be on sale exclusively from Ticketmaster at 12 p.m. UK/7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 2. News on undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

This is what Fury, Warren and Top Rank COO Brad Jacobs had to say at Tuesday’s press conference.

Tyson Fury

“It’s been a roller coaster of a ride, across the Atlantic Ocean in the exotic venues of MGM Grand, T-Mobile, Staples Center. I just feel like the song {by} Thin Lizzy, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town.’ Four years away, and I get to come back and showcase on the world’s biggest stage at Wembley Stadium, 100,000 people there. I’m just putting it on so the fans can come, the people who traveled to Las Vegas… not everyone was able to come. For the people who stayed up to five in the morning to see those fights on BT Sport, now they can come and enjoy an event on home soil and be a part of history. People will be talking about this event and saying, ‘Where were you when this happened?’”
 
“I know Dillian Whyte is going to come in prepared. He’s going to come in rugged and rough and game and aggressive. And he’s got a big left hook and a big right hand. Who knows? It could be me chinned on the night. I think both fighters are going for the knockout on the night. I just think when I land a ‘Lancaster Bomber’ on his jaw, it’s going to be over. That could be in round one, or it could be in round six. I don’t see it going past that. I’m looking to put on an excellent {fight} and showcase knockout boxing for the UK fans and then sing a load of songs afterwards and have a good time. Party on down in the big smoke!’”

“”If I can’t look like Muhammad Ali against this guy, then I’m in the wrong {profession}. I will chop him to bits. Not a problem. I will smash his face right in. You’re going to see a boxing masterclass. You’re going to see the difference in levels.”
 
“This man is a big old strong fellow who swings a big old punch in and knocks a man spark out if he connects. But if I’m daft enough to get hit off him and knocked out, then I don’t deserve to be heavyweight world champion.”

“I don’t blame him for not being here today because if he were here, I’d have probably stretched him at the press conference. It’s good he’s not here, otherwise I’d be remanded in a London jail cell somewhere. The buildup to this fight will be fantastic because Tyson Fury versus his own shadow sells for sure. I will make sure people are entertained.”

“My personal message to Dillian Whyte today is this: I will win this fight for England and for St. George on St. George’s Day. There we go.”

“He should be here promoting the fight. That’s my opinion, and I think it’s tough luck for him and his family and his legacy going forward.” 

Frank Warren

“I’m delighted. It’s great. We’re at Wembley. I think we’re going to sell out just under 100,000 capacity. It’s going to be a special night because you have the lineal champion, the WBC champion who has not been here for four years, not fought in the country for four years.”

Fury walking into Press Conference.

“The atmosphere is going to be brilliant. All we need — unfortunately he is not here today — is the other side of the card to show up.”

Brad Jacobs 

“Whyte is certainly a credible threat and is one of the top available contenders. It is unprofessional that he is not here today but we will get past that and move on. Everyone is second best to Tyson, in the ring, in personality, in everything.”

To watch the entire press conference, CLICK HERE.

Photos by Shaun Smith

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Click photo to read story of upcoming fight

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The Boxing World Mourns the death of former Florida Boxing Hall of Fame President and Hall of Famer Butch Flansburg

FHBOF 2017 – The Dynamic Duo of Boxing – Kathy and Butch Flansburg

STORY BY ALEX AND JOHN RINALDI

In these current sad days, the world became even bleaker with the heartbreaking passing of a true hero in the world of pugilism – Walter “Butch” Flansburg, the former President of the esteemed Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.

“The WBC mourns the passing of Walter “Butch” Flansburg the former President of the Florida Hall of Fame,” said The World Boxing Council and its President Mauricio Sulaimán, President of the World Boxing Council (WBC). “Butch Flansburg was a man dedicated to boxing with honesty and integrity, for which he will be remembered with admiration and affection. We send Walter’s family our deepest condolences.”

FHBOF 2017 – Butch Flansburg (R) inducting Alex (L) and John Rinaldi (C) in 2017.

Gilberto Mendoza, Jr. President of the World Boxing Association concurred. “Flansburg was known for being a boxing man who devoted most of his life to the sport. He was respected by the entire community and left a mark thanks to his integrity and sacrifice,” said Mendoza. “The pioneer organization sends condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Walter (Butch) Anthony Flansburg was born June 24, 1944 in Utica, New York to Walter and Viola Flansburg.

2021 FBHOF Inductee Arcadio Castro Jr. with Kathy Flansburg.

The senior Walter, who was originally from Germany, was a prisoner of war in World War II. With his dad in a POW camp, Butch’s mother became the main source of income to the struggling family.  It was also during this time that Butch’s grandmother from Italy helped to raise him and through her he learned to speak fluent Italian.

After the war ended and Butch along with his Dad and Grandfather, along with the majority of Americans, regularly listened to boxing matches on the radio. It would germinate in him  a lifelong love of the great sport of boxing. Little did he know at the time, Butch would later become a giant in the sport and a legend in his own time.

Butch inducting 2012 Florida Boxing Hall of Famer Aaron Pryor in 2012.

Like most Americans, once the television age arrived, the family purchased a television and the routinely enjoyed watching the fights, especially those featuring champions such as Carmen Basilio, Rocky Marciano, Kid Gavilán, Archie Moore, Jake La Motta, Gen Fullmer, and Sugar Ray Robinson to name a few.

Butch joined the United States Marines after high school and was proud to have served our country.

After his stint in the marines during the Vietnam War era, Butch moved to Miami, FL, where he discovered his passion for photography. Soon he was recognized as one of the most sought-after photographers in Florida, and due to his great photographic talent, he was quickly recruited by the Miami fight scene.

FBHOF President Butch Flansburg (L) inducts the late, great writer Gerard Rinaldi of The USA Boxing News into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame as his brothers Alex Rinaldi (C) and John Rinaldi (R) accept the award for their brother.

He would often find himself spending days and late nights at the 5th Street Gym in Miami, Florida. His ability to capture the action, chronicle a fight, and project compelling images from the prize ring, lead to his work being featured in such prominent boxing publications such as The Boxing Digest and World Boxing.

It was while he was in Miami that Butch quickly became acquainted with the late Dundee brothers, Angelo and Chris, having spent so much time at the gym. He also befriended the late Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, and Alexis Arguello. He would find himself in the company of other public figures as James Caan, Roy Jones, Don King, Sugar Ray Leonard, Maydad Ronen, and Pinklon Thomas.

FBHOF 2017 – Butch inducting former Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight king – Michael Moorer.

Butch eventually relocated to the Tampa area in 1986. Shortly thereafter he met the love of his life and best friend Kathy. After dating for three years, they married in the spring of 1989. After they married, they both shared the same  passion and dedication to the boxing world. With Kathy by his side, he continued to nurture and contribute to the rich sport of boxing .

The National Boxing Association (NBA) recognized Butch’s leadership enlisting him as a board member and nominating him for Presidency of the organization this position was held from 1997-2018. As president of the NBA, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad with Kathy accompanying him to various countries, such as Panama, China, France, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, and Antiqua, to name a relatively small few.

Major credits to the sport of boxing – Butch & Kathy Flansburg kick off the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame at the St. Petersburg Marriott.

In 2009, one of Butch’s dreams became a reality when he and Kathy and several trusted political and boxing luminaries founded The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame (FBHOF). The Executive Board was established, and Butch was nominated President of the organization and Florida Boxing history was soon memorialized.

Butch Flansburg was the poster child to the mission of The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, “We came together to honor former professional boxers, to promote the sport of boxing, and support various youth programs in communities that teaches discipline, dedication to the sport and respect,” remarked Butch.

Former Junior Middleweight Champion Ronald “Winky” Wright (L) with Butch Flansburg (R) as he gets elected into the 2017 FBHOF Class of Inductees.

He supported these programs throughout the state of Florida. Over his twelve-year tenure with the FBHOF, the organization grew and flourished and in short time the FBHOF increased to competitively exceed many other Boxing Hall of Fame entities across the nation.

He humbly retired from the FBHOF in November 2020, and in that same year was inducted into the FBHOF for his duty and service to the sport of boxing.

2021 Inductee and former FBHOF President Butch Flansburg with current FBHOF President Steve Canton.

After Butch stepped down, Steven Canton was given the reigns as President of The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.  Because of the efforts of Steven Canton,  Butch lived to see the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Museum become a reality, where it is located at the SJC Boxing Gym at 4220 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901 – (239) 275-5275.

Anyone who knew Butch comically understood he was somewhat shy and clearly did not enjoy public speaking! It was a standard joke each year when he gave his President’s speech at the Gala dinner. Over time, however, he became better at it and eventually became a fairly proficient public speaker. It was also reported that Butch took great pride in cooking his authentic Italian meals. In addition to cooking, he also enjoyed other hobbies, such as watching old westerns, old cars and specifically Dodge car restorations.

FBHOF Inductee and fighter out of Colombia Sugar Baby Rojas strikes a pose with Butch Flansburg presenting him with plaque

It was also reported that he was also a connoisseur of all music genres’, Jazz and Elvis Presley, while he especially loved the 50’s Rock ‘n Roll, along with his dream car – a 2016 Dodge Charger.

Butch lived life to the fullest and he will be greatly missed.

FORMER JR. WELTER KING AND TRAINER JOHN DAVID JACKSON WITH PRESIDENT BUTCH FLANSBURG.

He is survived by his loving wife of many years, Kathy, his devoted daughter Renee, his beloved son Jason, and his only brother David, and his precious grandchildren and a host of family and friends.

Butch was a leader and icon in the sport of boxing. He was also a dear friend and colleague to Alex and John Rinaldi – the editors of The USA Boxing News, whom he inducted into the FBHOF in 2017. Prior to that he inducted into the FBHOF the esteemed writer of The USA Boxing News and World Boxing of Japan – Gerard Rinaldi in 2012.

FORMER WBA INTERIM LIGHT HEAVY KING RICHARD HALL WITH BUTCH FLANSBURG

Butch was one of the giants in the sport of boxing,” declared John and Alex Rinaldi. “If there was a Mount Rushmore of boxing luminaries and legends, Butch would perch firmly in the George Washington spot. His kind will seldom pass this way again.”

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.HillsboroMemorial.com for the Flansburg family.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEXANDER R. RINALDI AND RON JOHN RINALDI

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April 23: Heavyweight Titans Fury & Whyte Collide at Wembley Stadium 

Tyson “The Gyspy King” Fury to defend heavyweight crown against top contender Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium LIVE on Pay-Per-View with tickets going on sale on Wednesday, March 2.

LONDON (Feb. 25, 2022) — After storming the United States with a pair of knockouts over Deontay Wilder, WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury returns home for an all-British battle against WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte on Saturday, April 23 at London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Fury-Whyte will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View in the U.S.

Promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank, tickets will be on sale exclusively from Ticketmaster at midday on Wednesday, March 2. Fans hoping to purchase a ticket for the event are encouraged to sign-up for Ticket Alert emails HERE to receive the ticket link direct to their inboxes. News on undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

“Tyson Fury coming home to fight under the arch at Wembley Stadium is a fitting reward for the No.1 heavyweight in the world following his exploits across the Atlantic in his epic trilogy against Deontay Wilder,” stated Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren. “The fact that this mandatory defense of his WBC title comes against another Brit only adds to the occasion. They are two of the biggest characters in British sport and both normally have plenty to say for themselves.

“It is going to be an incredible night and a huge occasion for sport in this country that will capture the imagination of fans right across the world.”

Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank, added: “Tyson Fury conquered America, and it is only fitting that he defends the heavyweight championship in a packed Wembley Stadium. Dillian Whyte has called for this fight for years, and while he is a deserving challenger, no heavyweight can match ‘The Gypsy King.’ This is going to be a momentous night of boxing with tens of thousands of fans in attendance at Wembley Stadium.”

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs), based in Morecambe, has held the lineal heavyweight title since November 28, 2015, the night he ended the nearly decade-long championship run of Wladimir Klitschko. Following over two years of inactivity, he returned to action in June 2018, inspiring millions with a comeback that saw him fighting for the world title within six months of his June 2018 comeback victory over Sefer Seferi in Manchester. The only blemish on his record — a disputed December 2018 draw against Wilder — was avenged with stoppage wins over the American star in February 2020 and October 2021. The Dillian Whyte showdown marks his first bout in London since February 2015.

Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), who was raised in Brixton, London, earned a shot at Fury with a seven-year run as a world-level heavyweight. Following a seventh-round TKO loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015 — when both were undefeated prospects — Whyte went on an 11-fight winning streak that included triumphs over Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas, Lucas Browne, and Derek Chisora (2x). His momentum, and mandatory position, was halted when Alexander Povetkin knocked him out with a single left uppercut in August 2020. Whyte exacted revenge in March 2021, knocking out Povetkin in four rounds to regain his interim title.

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Nogales Meets Newark: Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Junior Lightweight Unification Showdown Set for April 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Valdez-Stevenson to headline telecast airing live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

LAS VEGAS (Feb. 22, 2022) — WBC champion Oscar Valdez hopes to become a Mexican boxing legend while WBO king Shakur Stevenson is eyeing the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. On Saturday, April 30, Valdez and Stevenson, the world’s two best junior lightweights, will meet in a title unification matchup for the ages at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
Stevenson and Valdez are vying to become the first unified junior lightweight champion since Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera in 2005.

Oscar Valdez weighs in ahead of his world title bout in 2016

Oscar Valdez

Stevenson-Valdez, along with additional to be announced fight action, will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, ticket information will be announced shortly.

Oscar Valdez weighs in ahead of his world title bout in 2016

Shakur Stevenson

“Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson are the world’s best junior lightweights. The fans and the fighters demanded this matchup, and we are proud to deliver it live on ESPN for no extra charge,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “The winner becomes a superstar, and I know both men will rise to challenge.”
 
Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the fighting pride of Nogales, Mexico, is closing in on an undefeated decade as a pro after Olympic appearances in 2008 and 2012. He is 9-0 in world title fights and has solidified his standing as one of Mexico’s consummate ring warriors. His 2017 featherweight title defenses against Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania were Fight of the Year contenders. In March 2018, he defeated an over-the-weight Scott Quigg despite fighting with a broken jaw for seven rounds. Valdez is 4-0 since moving up to junior lightweight, winning the WBC title with the 2021 Knockout of the Year over Miguel Berchelt. Last September, he made his first defense of that title, coming on strong in the later rounds to edge Robson Conceição by unanimous decision.
 
“I want to make it clear that I am the best 130-pound fighter in the world,” Valdez said. “We know Shakur Stevenson is very good at fighting, but he’s even better at social media. I’ll let my fists speak for themselves.”Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), the pound-for-pound talent from Newark, New Jersey, won the vacant WBO featherweight world title against Joet Gonzalez in 2019 after Valdez vacated the title to campaign at junior lightweight. Stevenson moved up in weight after dominating Gonzalez, winning three fights before challenging WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring last October in Atlanta. Stevenson stopped Herring in the 10th round to become a two-weight world champion.
 
As the toast of the U.S. amateur boxing scene, Stevenson was pegged for superstardom ever since making his pro debut in April 2017. Through 17 pro bouts, he’s flashed a defensive riddle that has thus far been impossible for opponents to solve. It is a battle of youth versus hardened experience, as Valdez won his first world title in July 2016, four weeks before Stevenson earned a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
 
Stevenson said, “I have been chasing this fight for nearly three years since we were both at featherweight. On April 30, I’m going to show him and the world why he ducked me all this time. I’m the best young fighter in the world, and I will become unified champion.”

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CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

_____________Bare-Knuckle CornerBare Knuckle Corner Logo.

   Harry Broome

“The Birmingham Bomber”

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s grandson James Hagler Jr. teams with Manager Ryan Roach, son of Freddie Roach

(L-R) – The late, great Marvelous Marvin Hagler, his grandson James Jr., and son James

BOSTON (February 18, 2022) – There are few family names in boxing, especially in New England, as universally revered as Hagler and Roach.

They are part of boxing royalty.

There is a new connection as James Hagler, Jr., the grandson of the late Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler, has signed an exclusive managerial contract with Fighter Locker, owned and operated by the nephew of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, Boston-based Ryan Roach.

The plan is for Roach to have Hagler fight in Massachusetts, ideally in Brockton, the City of Champions in which Hagler as well as another Hall of Famer, Rocky Marciano, fought out of during their professional careers.

James Hagler, Jr. in action

“I was looking for a manager and read about Ryan,” Hagler said. “I looked him up online, talked with him, and met him last weekend for the first time. He is not a greedy person. By far, he offered me the best deal I have ever received. He really wants to help me. Ryan’s a cool dude. I feel good about signing with him.

“Fighting someday in Brockton and Boston means a lot to me, because of my grandfather’s background, and that’s one of the reasons I signed with Ryan. My mother and father are from that area, and I still have a lot of family living on both sides living there. I’ll be the third member of the Hagler family to fight in New England, joining my grandfather and uncle (Robbie Simms).”

(L-R) – Ryan Roach & James Hagler, Jr.

“I’m excited to be managing James,” Roach commented. “Right away, I was interested in a fighter with the Hagler name. I spoke with James and he’s a good kid who is all in. He wants to prove himself on his own and I get that, because I want to make it on my own terms, not my last name.

“We’re excited to get him fighting in New England. We’re going to do great things together. We plan on having him fight in Brockton, hopefully this summer, to bring boxing back to Brockton.” 

The 31-year-old Hagler, who fights out of Atlanta, didn’t start boxing until he was 24. Why did he start so late?

“My grandfather didn’t want any of us  (in the Hagler family) to box,” James explained. “I wanted to be a boxer since I was 3 or 4. He didn’t want anybody in his family to go through what he did in the Sugar Ray Leonard fight. My father (a boxing promoter in Atlanta) was an amateur boxer who fought in the Olympic Trials. He stopped boxing because my grandfather wouldn’t watch him fight. My father didn’t want to continue fighting.

“There’s a lot of pressure on me fighting because people expect me to be like my grandfather or want me to live up to the Hagler name. I feel good following in my grandfather’s footsteps. When guys fight me, it’s like their championship fight, because they want to say they beat a Hagler for bragging rights. I know that they will always have their best fight against me.”

James (2-1, 1 KO) had a relatively brief amateur career, fighting in Alabama and Georgia, and the southpaw made his pro debut December 14, 2019, in Ohio, when he stopped Michael Widmer in round one. He’s only had two fights since, winning one and losing the other, the latest this past November.

Hagler will fight as a super middleweight for now, but he intends to campaign as a middleweight in the same division his legendary grandfather owned for so many years. He does have a dream fight in mind, saying, “I met Muhammad Ali’s grandson (Nico Walsh). I’d love to fight him someday.”

Fighter Locker’s growing stable of gifted boxers also includes California super flyweight Rocco “So Cal Kid” Santomauro (21-1, 6 KOs), New York’s ABF American West super lightweight Ray Jay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (16-0, 11 KOs), Connecticut’s ABF USA super welterweight Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams (18-5-2, 6 KOs), Colorado’s ABF American West super middleweight champion “The Amazing” Shawn McCalman (10-0, 6 KOs), Massachusetts super lightweight Adrian “Tonka” Sosa (12-0, 9 KOs), Florida super bantamweight Daniel  “The Dedication” Bailey, Jr. (10-0, 5 KOs), Massachusetts featherweight Troy Anderson, Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs), 2-time Brazilian Olympian & 2016 Olympic silver medalist Yuberjen Martinez, Brazilian Olympian Jorge Vivas, 2-time Dominican Olympian, lightweight Leonel de los Santos (5-0, 5 KOs), Dominican cruiserweight Roki “Rocky” Berroa (2-0, 1 KO), Dominican super welterweight Juan Solano Santos (1-0, 1 KO), Dominican featherweight Orlando Perez Zapata (10-0, 8 KOs), Dominican lightweight Isaelin Florian Henriguez (8-1, 4 KOs),  Florida light heavyweight Robert Daniels, Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs),  Irish light heavyweight Tommy “The Kid” O’Toole (3-0, 2 KOs), Texas super lightweight Miranda “La Alacrana” Reyes (5-1-1, 2 KOs), Massachusetts super featherweight Alex Rivera (3-0, 2 KO), Kansas brothers, welterweight Marcus (3-0, 3 KOs) and super lightweight Marcell (1-0), and Utah brothers, ABF American West lightweight champion Ignacio Chairez (9-0-1, 5 KOs) and lightweight Gabriel Chairez (4-0-1, 2 KOs).

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Jose Ramirez Camp Notes: The Comeback Starts Now

Ramirez-Jose Pedraza junior welterweight main event will take place Friday, March 4 at Fresno’s Save Mart Center and streaming LIVE on ESPN+

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2022) — Former unified junior welterweight Jose Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) is ready to turn the page. Last May, he lost a competitive decision to Josh Taylor for the undisputed title. The road to redemption begins Friday, March 4, at Fresno’s Save Mart Center in a 12-rounder against Puerto Rican two-weight world champion José Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs).

Ramirez, from Avenal, California, returns home to the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center. In five headlining events at the venue, Ramirez has drawn more than 65,000 of his most devoted Central Valley fans through the turnstiles.

This is what Ramirez had to say after a recent training session at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside, California.

“The loss against Taylor taught me a lot. It was the first of my career, and I feel like it brought back my hunger for boxing again. I’ve really enjoyed this training camp preparing to get back on the winning path. I’ve had a lot of fun training with Robert Garcia in Riverside. I have corrected the mistakes that I made in that fight against Taylor. Maybe I had been making them for a long time, but when you are winning all your fights, you do not always look at the mistakes. I had a hard time accepting it, but I’ve already turned the page. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

“I am ready to return to the top of the division. I know that I am one of the best fighters at 140 pounds. I want to regain my titles and win all of the belts. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a rematch against Taylor, challenging another champion, or in a vacant title match against another top contender. I want my titles back.”

“José Pedraza is a tough test. He is a very good fighter and has looked good since he adjusted to the 140-pound division. I want to earn another shot at the title. I am not one to talk much. I come to face the best and let my performances in the ring speak for themselves.”

“I hope that Pedraza comes well prepared. I want to face the best version of José Pedraza so we can give the fans another classic fight between Mexico and Puerto Rico.”

“Coming back to fight again in front of my people in Fresno makes me very happy. I am training very hard because I want to bring joy and happiness to my fans again. I want them to feel proud, and that is why I am here to leave everything inside the ring on March 4 at Save Mart Center.”

Ramirez vs. Pedraza headlines a stacked card that includes featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs) against Jeo Santisima (21-3, 18 KOs) in a 10-rounder, the six-round heavyweight professional debut of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr., Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-1, 7 KOs) coming back in a 10-round junior lightweight matchup against Abraham Montoya (20-2-1, 14 KOs), rising junior lightweight Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder, lightweight prospect Charlie Sheehy (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-rounder, 6’9 heavyweight Antonio “El Gigante” Mireles (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder, and middleweight prospect Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.

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IBF flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards signs with PROBELLUM

LONDON, FEBRUARY 9 – Probellum is delighted to announce the promotional signing of IBF flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards.

Undefeated Edwards (17-0, 4 knockout) boasts a proven pedigree at the highest level and captured the world title in April last year when he defeated South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane at York Hall courtesy of a unanimous points decision.

His first defence of the title came at Probellum’s inaugural show at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, in December, when he produced a brilliant performance to overcome of the challenge of Filipino Jayson Mama in the night’s main event.

Edwards will headline the second night of Probellum Evolution, which takes place at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 18 and 19, when he puts his title on the line against Muhammad Waseem (12-1, 8 knockouts), one of Pakistan’s most talented fighters.

IBF flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards

The Edwards family boasts a rich boxing pedigree with Sunny’s older brother, Charlie, a former WBC flyweight champion.

“This is a huge moment in my career and I believe signing for Probellum will help take me on to an even higher level in terms of my all-round performance,” said Sunny.

“Probellum is changing the boxing landscape and providing brilliant opportunities for fighters at all levels. This is a really exciting time to sign, especially given the fact my upcoming title defence against Muhammad Waseem takes place next month.

“Throughout my career, I have shown I possess the ability and work ethic to get to the top. Signing for Probellum will ensure I stay there.”

“Signing Sunny Edwards, an undefeated world champion, sends out a huge statement of intent,” added Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.

“Sunny’s reputation within boxing speaks for itself. Not only is he a hugely talented fighter, he also boasts a fierce desire to show fight fans around the world that he is the best, which he has done, and will continue to do in the future.

“We are absolutely thrilled to recruit a boxer of Sunny’s calibre, and with his fight against Muhammad Waseem in Dubai just over a month away, we won’t have to wait long to see him showcase his talent to a global audience.”

Edwards’ title defence against Waseem is supported by a potentially pulsating bout between USA’s Regis Prograis (26-1, 22 knockouts) and Ireland’s Tyrone McKenna (22-2-1, 6 knockouts) on the second night of Probellum Evolution.

The opening night features the Middle East’s first-ever all-female title showdown, between France’s Estelle Mossely (9-0, 1 knockout) and Argentina’s Yanina del Carmen Lescano (10-1, 2 knockouts), with Ireland’s Jono Carroll (21-2-1, 5 knockouts) facing Serbia’s Serif Gurdijeljac (21-6, 8 knockouts) in the co-main event.

Olympic medalists Bakhodir Jalolov (9-0, 9 knockouts) and Hovhannes Bachkov (2-0, 1 knockout), who won gold and bronze respectively at the 2020 competition in Tokyo, will also be in action on the opening night. Both men remain undefeated in the professional ranks.

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Former WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman returns to the ring to score a one-sided decision victory over former WBA Super Lightweight Champion Marios Barrios at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas

Story by Ron John Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Sometimes taking a break re-charges ones’ batteries, in the case of former WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman – a break was exactly what the doctor ordered to jumpstart his career and add more star power to the boxing world.

After a 2½-year hiatus from boxing, for twelve rounds Thurman outfought and outboxed former WBA super lightweight champion Mario Barrios to win a one-sided decision at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday February 5th.

It was a near perfect performance as Thurman smothered Barrios with a blanket of combinations and swift foot movement.

It was also his first fight since he lost his crown in a razor-close fight with the legendary Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.

Thurman (R) lands a hard right to the chin of Barrios (L).

Thurman (R) lands a hard right to the chin of Barrios (L).

The victory against Barrios, was Thurman’s first win since January 2019, when he decisioned Josesito Lopez . “I’m just so grateful to everyone who got me into this position I’m in now,” he said. “And I look forward to having a better year later this year, 2022. ‘One Time’ is back!”

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) appears to have recovered from injuries to his elbow and hand that required surgery.

By the fight’s end it was apparent to all that the Thurman of old re-joined the present Thurman, who entered the ring in excellent shape and commandeered the bout from the beginning to the end. He was fast of hands and fast of foot – the recipe for a disastrous night for his opponent.

Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs), for his part was far from a punching bag. He was a sturdy foe who boxed cleverly and even landed some hard shots of his own. He even stunned Thurman with a body blow in round 8 that buckled his knees. It was just a measure of too punches too few.

The scores were 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111 for Thurman. The USA Boxing News also scored it for Thurman at 117-111.

Thurman was asked to grade his performance and gave himself “a C+ or B.”

“I rocked him a few times,” Thurman said. “I just have to get back to the gym, get grinding, and push that high intensity, high endurance. That’s what I’m missing right now. I got the stamina, I got the timing. I just have to go a little harder. And we’re going to prepare to do that later this year.”

Thankfully for Thurman, the bout  was a WBC title eliminator, which makes Keith now a probable opponent for any of the 147-pound titleholders.

Thurman is prepared to take on all comers and all reigning champions, including, but not limited to the winner of the projected Errol Spence Jr.-Yordenis Ugas title-unification bout or Terence Crawford.

“I want the belts, baby,” replied Thurman. “I want the champions. I want to be back on top. So whoever’s willing to send Keith Thurman a contract, let’s go, baby, let’s go.”

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Thomas”Hitman”Hearns

Honors Marvelous Marvin Hagler in Brockton ceremony

By Ron John Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Thomas “Hitman” Hearns did not want any fanfare. Nor did he request any limo, or a luxury suite, nor anything else for that matter. 

Instead , all Hearns wanted was to honor the legacy of arguably his greatest ring adversary – Marvelous Marvin Hagler. As a result, Hearns appeared at the Fort Pont media Day to honor Hagler in the City of Brockton because he felt it was the “right thing to do.”  He also flew from Detroit and paid his own plane fare and lodgings to give best wishes to the memory of his fellow ring legend.

The famous Hitman stayed for hours posing for photos, talking to the fans on hand, and signing autographs fro one and all in attaendance. 

In additon to Hearns, fellow Legends Sugar Ray Leonard sent a video, and Roberto Duran sent his best regards.

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WORLD TITLE BOUT BETWEEN CASIMERO AND BUTLER HEADLINES
PROBELLUM’S MAIDEN LIVERPOOL SHOW 

 

LONDON, FEBRUARY 10 – Liverpool fan-favourite Paul Butler will aim to unseat world champion John Riel Casimero as global boxing and media company Probellum brings its first show to Liverpool on Friday, April 22.

Butler will lead a stellar list of big-name fighters such as former WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding, next generation stars including Liverpool-born brothers Peter and Joe McGrail, and the highly rated duo of Will Cawley and Luke McCormack.

In the night’s main event at the M&S Bank Arena, Filipino Casimero (31-4, 21 knockouts) puts his WBO bantamweight title on the line against the UK’s Butler (33-2, 15 knockouts) in a bout which was originally due to be held at Probellum’s inaugural December 2021 show before Casimero was unable to make weight.

“Liverpool is one of the most passionate boxing cities in the world and we are delighted to be holding our first show at the M&S Bank Arena in April,” said Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.

“This is an absolutely fantastic card featuring a combination of world-class fighters, extremely talented aspiring stars and packed with local talent whose fans will no doubt create a truly unique atmosphere.

“With the likes of John Riel Casimero, Paul Butler, Rocky Fielding and the McGrail brothers all set to put on a great show, we fully expect some thrilling fights and a fantastic occasion.” 

Local fans will be in full voice supporting recent Probellum signings the McGrail brothers, Peter (2-0, 1 knockout) and Joe (1-0, 1 knockout), who both secured second-round stoppage victories when they fought at the M&S Bank Arena on the Connor Benn versus Chris Algieri undercard in December. 
 
Also on the card are the Probellum duo of rising-star Cawley (1-0) who will be aiming to build on his impressive debut victory in November 2021 and former Olympian McCormack who is set to make his professional bow following a superb career at amateur level, during which time he represented Team GB.

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Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte is ON!

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 29, 2022) —Queensberry and Top Rank are delighted to announce that WBC and Lineal world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, will defend his titles against Dillian Whyte following today’s purse bids. A venue and date for the fight will be announced in due course.

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PAST FIGHT GEMS

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

Abraham Nova shines in featherweight co-feature 

STORY BY ALEXANDER R. RINALDI AND JOSEPH RINALDI 

AND TOP RANK

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

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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 charita.goshay@cantonrep.com

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

                                                  Eva Longoria

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Alexis Arguello

Former Featherweight, Super-Featherweight and Lightweight Champion

By John and Alex Rinaldi

 

CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ THE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW OF THE LATE GREAT ALEXIS ARGUELLO

 

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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ROBERTO DURAN

Manos de Piedra

CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW PAGE

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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.

        Questions/Comments: kirklang@yahoo.com

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Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from

 The Boxing TwinsCLICK PHOTO TO VIEW PAGE

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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.

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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.”

 

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ANTHONY JOSHUA VS. OLEKSANDR USYK LOOKS LIKE IT WILL TAKE PLACE BY APRIL 2022

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.”

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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.

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

Mike Tyson Unveils Statue at Mulberry Street Pizzeria -

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.”

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Instant KO: Jose Zepeda Starches Josue Vargas in 1

Jonas Sultan upsets Carlos Caraballo in co-feature

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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RECENT FLASHBACK

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

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globe1-150x150OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

 

 

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

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RECENT FLASHBACK

TYSON FURY THE BEST HEAVYWEIGHT ON THE PLANET

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 )

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

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY OF THE FIGHT

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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)
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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)
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TYSON FURY VS. DEONTAY WILDER III LOS ANGELES PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

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 www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com. 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:
 
TYSON FURY
 
“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.”
 
DEONTAY WILDER
 
“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.”
 
SUGARHILL STEWARD, Fury’s Trainer
 
“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.”

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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)

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RECENT FLASHBACK 

 

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)

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Boxing News Interviews with Legendary Fighters

Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Former World Middleweight Champion

By John and Alex Rinaldi

CLICK PHOTO TO READ MARVELOUS MARVIN HAGLER’S ACCOUNTS OF THE GREATEST FIGHTS OF HIS CAREER, INCLUDING HIS HISTORIC BOUTS WITH HIS FELLOW LEGENDS ROBERTO DURAN, THOMAS “HITMAN” HEARNS AND SUGAR RAY LEONARD

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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

World light heavyweight clash with “Sir” Marcus Browne  

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The USA Boxing News

Book Review

 

BY JOHN AND ALEX RINALDI

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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

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FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY PAGE

 

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.

 

https://theusaboxingnews.com/photos/

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

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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.

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FAMOUS FIGHT PROGRAMS TICKETS AND FIGHT POSTERS

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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

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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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Members of the Rocky Marciano family in front of THE USA BOXING NEWS exhibit at the Marciano Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts.

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Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Shawn Porter and Ryan Garcia lead boxers in win over UFC on television’s Celebrity Family Feud

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The USA Boxing News

Book Review

CRAZY FOURTH

How Jack Johnson Kept His Heavyweight Title and Put Las Vegas, New Mexico on the Map

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Bare-Knuckle Corner

 

William Perry

William Perry in his fistic prime.

The British Pugilist Who Perpetually Beat Up Foes

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There is a New Lightweight Sheriff in Town

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

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both fighters mix it up in round seven.

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

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

Lopez (R) on the attack.

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

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

Both fighters landing leather at the other.

Both fighters landing leather at the other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barboza 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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Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard I

The Brawl in Montreal

June 20, 1980

  • -Thoughts 40 Years Later-

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

By John Rinaldi, Salvatore Alaimo, and Alex Rinaldi

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

Leonard, 145, entered the bout a 9-5 favorite and was guaranteed $7.5 million and 80% of the closed-circuit revenue.
Duran, 146, was guaranteed $1.5 million and zero per cent of the closed-circuit revenue (the promoters were received the remaining 20% of the closed circuit revenue).

The UPI polled 30 sportswriters prior to the fight, with 13 predicting Leonard (5 by decision win, 8 by KO win), while 17 picked Duran to win (16 by knockout win, 1 by decision win).

The fight was held at the Olympic Stadium before a crowd of 46,317 fans.
The fight took place on June 20, 1980 and the re-broadcast on ABC’s Wide World of Sports was telecast on July 29, 1980.
Throughout the thrilling 15-round bout, Leonard averaged 50 punches per round, with 18 connecting, while Duran averaged 60 punches per round, with 21 connecting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Rinaldi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Salvatore Alaimo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Alex Rinaldi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duran daring Leonard to hit him in round 15.

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

Salvatore Alaimo

I remember those guys sitting behind us.

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

John Rinaldi

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

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

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

Epilogue

Joseph Rinaldi passed away in September 1983.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Alexander Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The legendary Bruce Lee and his boxing background and legacy

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

Story by Alex and John Rinaldi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bruce Lee statue in Los Angeles' Chinatown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Henry Hascup

Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News

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

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

Curtis Cokes

Former Undisputed Welterweight Champion Curtis Cokes

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

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

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

“It’s an art to hit and not be hit.”

Artist or not, Cokes could hit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLASTS FROM THE PAST

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

 

Tyson Fury beating up Deontay Wilder in their second fight.

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

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

 

Charles “Sonny” Liston

Jack Johnson

Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey

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

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

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

Joe Louis with singer Lena Horne

Joe Louis with singer Lena Horne

Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali.

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

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

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

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

Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford

Former Light Heavyweight Champion Matthew Saad Muhammad with John Rinaldi.

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

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

Kid Chocolate

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

Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trainer Gil clancy with George Foreman

Trainer Gil clancy with George Foreman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Portrait of Evander Holyfield

Joe Louis vs Jersey Joe Walcott

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

Muhammad Ali floors Sonny Liston in their second fight.

Welterweight Champion Carlos Palomino with comedian Don Rickles.

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Movie Stars, Singers, Celebrities, and Famous Boxers 

 

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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.