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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PETER MCGRAIL FACES ALEXANDER ESPINOZA AT PROBELLUM LIVERPOOL

LONDON, SEPTEMBER 27 – Peter McGrail faces the hardest fight of his career when he headlines a major show in Liverpool next month.

McGrail tops the bill at the Eventim Olympia on Saturday, October 15 and takes on the dangerous Nicaraguan Alexander Espinoza over 10 rounds, in a milestone moment for the former amateur sensation. 

A world-champion-in-the-making, McGrail (4-0, 3KOs) knows a win over Espinoza (21-4-2) will make his rivals sit up and take note as he picks up the pace on his journey to the top of the super bantamweight division. 

McGrail is the star attraction as Probellum returns to Liverpool next month, but he is supported in the co-main event by Jazza Dickens who fights the hard-hitting South African Lerato Dlamini. 

Dickens (31-4, 12KOs) enters into another high stakes contest as he rebuilds towards a world title shot and Dlamini (17-1, 9KOs) – known as ‘Lights Out’ – cares not for reputations having caused an upset in his only previous fight outside of his homeland.

Probellum Liverpool II also includes the must-see UK debut of Olympic super heavyweight champion Bakhodir Jalolov who has a frightening 100% KO record as a pro. 

Peter McGrail said“Alexander Espinoza comes to fight and does not take a backwards step, so this is easily the hardest fight of my career to date.

“But I’ve said many times before that I am more than ready for these challenges and believe that I am as good as anyone in the division when it comes to skills and ability, but now I need the rounds and the experience to go with it.

“Espinoza will push me, but I plan on making a statement to the rest of the division by hitting him with my blurring hand speed and then closing the show with a vicious stoppage.” 

Hailing from the proud fighting nation of Nicaragua, Espinoza will not be overawed by travelling into the lion’s den in Liverpool. 

The 29-year-old, whose nickname is ‘Supernova’, lost a contentious decision to former amateur stand-out Mikhail Aloyan in Russia before giving Kash Farooq all he could handle in a battle last year, leaving the Scot with cuts over both eyes and a damaged cheek at the end of 10 rounds. 

Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum, said: “Probellum’s return to Liverpool in October is going to prove a landmark moment in Peter McGrail’s career.

“Peter is headlining a show for the first time and steps up to the 10-round distance, against a dangerous and highly seasoned opponent.  And this is where the ‘Scouse Lomachenko’ sends a message to the rest of the guys at 122lbs.

“October 15 is Peter McGrail’s coming out party – make sure you are there!”  

To keep up to date with the latest news on McGrail’s preparations for Probellum Liverpool, 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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Albright Decisions Falcao in Essington, PA

PHILADELPHIA PA (September 26, 2022) — Nahir Albright took an eight-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Estivan Falcao in the lightweight main event of a seven-bout card at The Clarion Hotel in Essington, Pennsylvania.

The seven-bout card was promoted by RDR Promotions.

Albright fought well and landed precise right hands that kept Falcao from ever getting any sustained offense.

Albright of Philadelphia won by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73 and is now 15-2. Falcao of Brazil is 11-1.

Nahir Albright (R) smashes a left to the jaw of previously undefeated Estivan (L).Falca

Romuel Cruz remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over Roberto Pucheta in a super bantamweight contest.

Cruz of Philadelphia won by scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55 and is now 8-0-1. Pucheta of Mexico is 10-22-3.

Pro debuting Marvelous Corbin stopped Kaywann Sistrunk at the end of round three in their four-round super lightweight fight.

Corbin landed a vicious left hook at the end of the third round that floored Sistrunk, and he could not beat the 10-count at 3:00.

Corbin of Philadelphia is 1-0 with one knockout. Sistrunk of Detroit is 0-8-1.

Mark Dawson stopped Vincent Floyd in the fourth and final round of their junior middleweight rematch.

Dawson of Philadelphia is now 10-1-1 with four knockouts. Floyd of Philadelphia is 4-14-1.

Erron Peterson remained undefeated with a fourth and final round stoppage over Igor Pesterev in a middleweight bout.

In round four, Peterson unleashed a big flurry on the ropes that forced a referee stoppage at 37 seconds.

Peterson is 2-0 with two knockouts. Pesterev is 0-2.

Dominique Mayfield won a four-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Wiles in a heavyweight bout.

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Brick City Bash: Hometown Hero Shakur Stevenson Defeats Robson Conceição in Newark Extravaganza

  • Keyshawn Davis stops Omar Tienda in lightweight co-feature
  • NEWARK, N.J. — Shakur Stevenson lost his junior lightweight world titles on the scale Thursday afternoon. He wasn’t about to lose the fight. Stevenson bested Robson Conceição by 12-round unanimous decision (117-109 2x and 118-108) in front of 10,107 fans Friday evening at Prudential Center, the largest crowd ever to attend a boxing event at the arena.Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) landed a career-high 199 punches, including a body shot knockdown in the fourth round. He stunned Conceição (17-2, 8 KOs) in the sixth, but the Brazilian challenger hung tough. Stevenson had a point deducted by referee David Fields for hip tossing Conceição in the ninth round.
  • Shakur Stevenson

    After the inauspicious ninth, Stevenson closed the show in pound-for-pound form, winning the final three rounds on all three judges’ cards. After missing weight by 1.6 pounds the previous day, Stevenson will now begin his lightweight journey. Undisputed champion Devin Haney sits atop the 135-pound heap, with big names like Vasiliy Lomachenko also in play.

  • Shakur Stevenson (R) landing a hard right jab to Robson Conceição ‘s (L) left eye.

    “I had a long week. I killed myself to make weight. All I want to do is come in here and perform. I did everything I could to do that,” Stevenson said. “I’m just a dominating individual. With me versus him, the ref, I did everything I could to try and beat {Conceicao} up as much as I could. He held me the whole night, but I did everything I could.
     
    “I think he was doing a lot of holding whenever I was getting on the inside. As soon as I got on the inside, he grabbed me.
     
    “We gotta fight the champ. Me and Devin {Haney}, we could lock in. After he fights Kambosos, let’s get it on!”

    Down to “Business”

    Rising lightweight Keyshawn “The Businessman” Davis, who captured a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, stopped Mexican veteran Omar Tienda in the fifth round in a career-best performance.

    Davis (6-0, 5 KOs) set the tone in the first round, outlanding Tienda 15-5. He kept the pressure on and ended matters in swift fashion in the fifth. He knocked down Tienda with a right hand, who appeared alert as he rose to his feet.

    Davis then unleashed a torrent of left hooks that staggered Tienda (25-6, 18 KOs). That prompted referee Earl Brown to stop the carnage. Davis had to withdraw from a pair of fights earlier this year with a stomach ailment, but he now has a clean bill of health. He hopes to return in December to close out a successful second year in the pro ranks. 

  • Keyshawn  Davis (L) smashes Omar Tienda (R) with a thudding left hook

    Davis said, “Honestly, it felt like a dream come true. I couldn’t believe I got a chance to perform {on a card of this} magnitude again being that I was out with health issues. I didn’t really know what to expect in myself, but I always said since I went pro, God has me. And he definitely had me tonight.
     
    “We’re working toward becoming a contender. My next fight will put me in that process faster. Then next year, we’re definitely going to be contending, and we’re going to be top 10, for sure.”
     
    Junior Lightweight: Henry Lebron (17-0, 10 KOs) UD 8 Andy Vences (23-4-1, 12 KOs), Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Lebron, one of Puerto Rico’s top prospects, picked up the most meaningful win of his career with a convincing showing over the longtime contender. Vences, who has now lost three straight, pressed the action in the opening round. Lebron, a southpaw stylist, opened a cut over Vences’ right eye and tagged the San Jose native with vicious straight lefts. Vences, an 11-year-pro, was just a step too slow against his fresher foe.

  • Featherweight: Bruce Carrington (5-0, 3 KOs) UD 6 Jose Argel (9-5, 3 KOs), Scores: 60-54 3x. “Shu Shu” Carrington, the latest prodigy from Brownsville, Brooklyn, could not put away the durable Chilean, but he banked valuable rounds in going the six-round distance for the first time. Argel has only been knocked out once as a pro and provided an ample target for Carrington, who worked off the jab and tagged him with left hooks and right uppercuts.Junior Middleweight: Pablo Valdez (7-0, 6 KOs) KO 4 Noe Alejandro Lopez (11-6-1, 4 KOs), 2:45. “The King of New York” thrilled his large fan contingent that traveled across the Hudson River, knocking down Lopez three times en route to the stoppage. The third and final knockdown was a left look to the liver that forced Lopez to spit out his mouthpiece.Welterweight:Jahi Tucker (9-0, 5 KOs) UD 8 Jose Luis Sanchez (11-3-1, 4 KOs), Scores: 80-72 2x and 79-73. Long Island native Tucker could not stop the durable Sanchez, but he went the eight-round distance for the first time in his career. Tucker stunned Sanchez in the opening round, but Sanchez, the younger brother of former world title challenger Jason Sanchez, weathered the early storm and provided the 19-year-old phenom with a stern test.

    Featherweight: Misael Lopez (14-1, 5 KOs) UD 8 Orlando Gonzalez (18-2, 11 KOs), Scores: 77-75, 78-74 and 79-73. Upset alert. Lopez, who fights out of Denver, Colorado, won his third straight bout and announced himself as a featherweight contender on the rise. Gonzalez fell to 1-2 in his last three bouts after starting his career 17-0.

  • Junior Featherweight:Floyd Diaz (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Juan Hernandez (2-2-1), Scores: 58-55 2x and 59-54. Diaz emerged victorious in a firefight that was the most taxing of his young career. He knocked down Hernandez at the end of the third round but ran out of time to notch the knockout. The final half of the bout went back and forth, as Hernandez had pockets of success fighting at close range. Diaz stunned Hernandez with an uppercut in the sixth to put a bow on his performance.Welterweight: Antoine Cobb (1-0-2, 1 KO) DRAW 4 Jaylan Phillips (1-2-2, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 Cobb, 39-37 Phillips and 38-38. It was déjà vu, as Cobb and Phillips fought to their second draw of the year. It was a rematch of their April bout, and once again, the judges were split. Phillips stunned Cobb in the fourth round, but that was not enough to swing the rematch in his favor.

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Boxers Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua along with other British Boxers lead the boxing world’s tributes after Queen Elizabeth’s death

The USA Boxing News also mourns the Queen – for the Royals are known for their love of boxing

Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury paid homage to Queen Elizabeth II and have led the boxing world’s tributes to her Majesty after her passing last week. Elizabeth served as the Queen of England from June 2, 1953, to September 8, 2022 – the longest reign as monarch in the country’s history.

Her reign as Queen stretched from the beginning of the heavyweight reign of Rocky Marciano all the way up to the present-day heavyweight king – Tyson Fury. 

She died a true boxing fan at her official Scottish residence of Balmoral Castle as confirmed by Buckingham Palace. It was further reported that, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”

Boxer Henry Cooper with a young Princess Anne in the 1970s.

She was buried today after a long, ceremonial State funeral. 

The coffin was followed in procession on the carriage by King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, along with other members of the family. The entire procession began from the Palace of Westminster then to Wellington Arch, at Hyde Park Corner, to eventually the Royal crypt at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II and Muhammad Ali in 1975.

Since the Queen and the Royals were huge boxing fans and admired many prizefighters, especially those from the United Kingdom, an amazing outpouring of emotion turned out in the boxing world as many former champions reacted to the tragic news of the loss of their beloved Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II (R) shakes hands with boxer Amir Khan

Tyson Fury wrote: “Thoughts & prayers with my Queen tonight, may God be with you.”

Fury and his wife Paris also left flowers and a card at the gates of Buckingham Palace following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Fury’s card read: ‘To Our Queen, great may your bed be in Heaven. Love from Tyson and Paris xx Gypsy King x.’

The Queen greets world lightweight boxing champion Naseem Hamed.

Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua tweeted: “Rest in Peace,” with a white heart emoji. Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn also tweeted: “Rest in peace Your Majesty. thank you for everything.”

The British Nigerian-born World Heavyweight Boxer, Anthony Joshua had been previously awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order (OBE) of the British Empire award by the Monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth.

Heavyweight champion Brank Bruno and Prince Charles – the new King of England.

After the responses from Joshua and Fury, the rest of the boxing world likewise reacted. 

Former Champion Chris Eubank Sr. said: “My deepest condolences to our Nation of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries and the entire world.”

The Queen greets then Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis.

Eubank added,” Queen Elizabeth II was our dream ideal for Afro Caribbeans who came to the UK in the 1950s (WINDRUSH) to rebuild this Great Nation from the decimation of the Nazi invasion on our Great London and other parts of Great Britain. Her Majesty’s Grace, elegance and flawless lifelong service to her people is a story of the Ultimate Warrior Queen. I never stopped trying to be worthy of My Queen’s approval. This was indeed the greatest day of my life, for I feel I may have won her confidence. Queen Elizabeth II has been my perfect role model, and I will continue to Love her even after death.”

Tyson Fury placing flowers and a note to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The throne now goes to her oldest son and heir, Prince Charles, with Prince William the next in line after that – all of them impassioned boxing fans. As a result, in an outpouring of emotion, the boxing world reacted to the tragic news.

Prince Harry working out on the hand pads.

Frank Bruno also sent a heartfelt condolence. “We all knew the end was near but to me, our Queen was like a member of our family. I was lucky and blessed to meet her a few times. She was the Matriarch, mother of our nation. My thoughts are with the Royal Family – sad, sad day.”

Most weekend sporting events in the United Kingdom have been cancelled out of respect to the Queen. In the boxing world, however, it is less clear if bouts will be held or not. The British Boxing Board of Control recently announced that all fights sanctioned under their auspices on Friday night will be postponed to another date, with an additional statement expected imminently on Saturday and Sunday’s fights.

England has always held their fistic heroes in high regard. For instance, heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper was initially appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1969, then later was awarded a Papal Knighthood in 1978. To the delight of boxing fans across the English Isle, Cooper was eventually fully knighted in 2000.

Approximately one million people are expected to travel to London ahead of the Queen’s state funeral on Monday.

Tyson Fury was apparently eager to pay his respects in person before the funeral, as he personally posted a tribute to Her Majesty on social media.

Frank Bruno with Princess Diana.

“Queen’s funeral today,” exclaimed Fury. “I’ve been off social media for the past 10 days, mourning in respect for our Queen who’s died. Not posted nothing, not being interested in anything else, to be fair. I hope all the funeral goes well. Condolences to the full family. And may she rest in Heaven for eternity in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.”

Anthony Joshua meets the Queen.

Joshua speaking in front of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.

The 34-year-old was in the headlines once again this week after agreeing terms to face Anthony Joshua in a ‘Battle of Britain’ fight on December 3.

The Queen with Muhammad Ali.

Although contracts are yet to be signed, promoter Eddie Hearn recently revealed that Joshua wanted to fight his heavyweight rival as soon as possible, even if it meant a 60-40 purse split in favor of the Gypsy King.

Prince William donning a pair of boxing gloves.

Condolences also from The USA Boxing News. We have always appreciated Queen Elizabeth’s love of boxing, and we know with the entire Royals’ love of the sport, boxing will continue to be the huge attraction it is in Great Britain and the entire United Kingdom.

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Hometown hero Kem Ljunqqbist outboxes Benoit Huber to capture vacant WBC INT Bridgerweight title at the Nykoebing Falster Hallen

Story by Per-Ake Persson

Nykobing Foster, Denmark. Last Friday night on September 16, Danish heavy Kem Ljunqqbist (14-0, 8 KO’s) moved to the WBC creation bridgerweight and working with his family and friends put together Kem Ljungqvist Promotion and staged his own show in his hometown in front of a near sellout crowd.

Headlining the event, Ljungquist won the vacant WBC International bridgerweight title with a unanimous decision after ten over Swiss Benoit Huber (8-3, 6 KO’s). It was scored 98-92 twice and 97-93 for the Dane, a tall southpaw.

The win was fair enough, but the unbeaten 6’ 6 ½” Ljungqvist, 32, of Copenhagen, Denmark, made hard work of it as he failed to use his superior reach and often allowed his strong and wild swinging opponent to get off first.

Huber, 35, of Sion, Switzerland, who came in on late notice for South African Chris Thompson, moved up from cruiserweight and while he was tough and well prepared, he was also unschooled and swung wildly with both hands. All in all, this made for an exciting, though, not pretty fight with more misses than hits. Both tired in the later rounds, but Ljungqvist’s overall better skills won it for him.

Team Ljungqvist is happy after victory

Kem Ljungqvist Promotion was also reportedly a winner at the gate and that opens the door for more shows in this small town in the south of Denmark.

As for the undercard the less said the better with three fights lasting less than ten minutes.

French heavyweight Wilfried Florimond turned pro and stopped an out of shape and overweight Georgian named Soso Abuladze 1:11 into the second round. Abuladze was down in the first, bled badly from the nose and when he collapsed again in the second it was stopped.

Florimond is suspended in France for his part in a brawl at an amateur show where he assaulted a 60-year-old coach. Wilfried, however, is now licensed in Luxembourg and apparently all prefer to look the other way.

Heva Sharif accepted this fight on less than 24 hours’ notice (replacing Frank Madsen, who in turn had replaced Haris Dzindo) and knocked out inept Bosnian Jasmin Mahalbasic 1:01 of the very first round in a fight that never should have been allowed to take place.

Middleweight Jakob Porsgaard took out a slightly more schooled opponent in Nehrudin Cikaric in the second. As Cikaric got up from the second knockdown he was counted out.

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November 1: Kenshiro Teraji-Hiroto Kyoguchi Light Flyweight Unification Battle Headlines Loaded Quadruple-Header from Japan LIVE on ESPN+

 WBO light flyweight champion Jonathan Gonzalez defends strap against Shokichi Iwata in the co-feature

(Sept. 14, 2022) — The light flyweight division takes center stage Tuesday, Nov. 1, as two championship fights with three world titles at stake headline a loaded card from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
 
WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji attempts to unify titles against WBA king Hiroto Kyoguchi in the main event. In the co-feature, Puerto Rico’s WBO champion, Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, will defend his strap versus Japanese contender Shokichi Iwata.
 
Teraji-Kyoguchi, Gonzalez-Iwata, and undercard action will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT.
 
“The Amazing Boy” Teraji (19-1, 11 KOs) is an eight-year pro who won the WBC world title in May 2017. He made eight defenses of that crown until a stunning 10th-round knockout defeat to Masamichi Yabuki last September. Less than six months later, Teraji exacted revenge with a third-round knockout over Yabuki to regain his title. Kyoguchi (16-0, 11 KOs) is a two-weight champion who was the IBF 105-pound ruler until he vacated that belt to move up to light flyweight. Since winning the WBA light flyweight crown on New Year’s Eve 2018 against Hekkie Budler, he has made four title defenses. He is coming off June’s eighth-round stoppage over Esteban Bermudez, which ranks among the year’s best title fights.
 
Gonzalez (26-3-1, 14 KOs) fell short in his first attempt at a world title in 2019 against Kosei Tanaka. He fulfilled his championship destiny last October when he edged Elwin Soto by split decision. Gonzalez defended his WBO title in June with a unanimous decision against Filipino upstart Mark Anthony Barriga. Iwata (9-0, 6 KOs), from Tokyo, won the Japan Boxing Commission, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles en route to earning his first world title shot.
 
In other action scheduled on the ESPN+ stream:
 
Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs) vs. Francisco Rodriguez (36-5-1, 25 KOs), 10 rounds, junior bantamweight — WBO flyweight champion Nakatani tests the junior bantamweight waters against Mexican action star Rodriguez, a former unified 105-pound world champion.
 
Shuichiro Yoshino (15-0, 11 KOs) vs. Masayoshi Nakatani (20-2, 14 KOs), 12 rounds, WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight Title — Yoshino is coming off a technical decision over former world champion Masayuki Ito. Nakatani rebounded from last year’s knockout loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko with June’s first-round blitzing of Harmonito Dela Torre.

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Bjoern Shicke thrills the crowd in Wuppertal, Germany as he impressingly outpoints Marten Arsumanjan to ca[ture the EU middleweight laurels

Story by Per-Ake Persson

Photos by IMAGO / Torsten Helmke

 If you lose a big fight, it will worry you all of your life. It will plague you – until you get your revenge. – Muhammad Ali

September 10 – Wuppertal, Germany. While Vincenzo Gualtieri was the nominal headliner and local hero it was Bjoern Schicke that stole this AGON Sports promotion at the Uni-Halle as he got revenge over Marten Arsumanjan and won the EU middleweight title with a unanimous decision after a fight that was tough and exciting all the way.

Bjoern was, just like the first time they met, off to a good start, but in the third Arsumanjan (12-2-2, 6 KO’s), a notorious poser who often fights with his hands down and a big smile on his face, shook him with a short right. It looked as if that might be it as Schicke (20-1-1, 10 KO’s) stumbled across the ring. Surprisingly, Bjoern managed to make it to the bell and in the fifth hurt his opponent with a big right. Arsumanjan went down moments later and this knockdown was important.

Boxing Agon Fightnight, Wuppertal, 10 09 2022 EBU European Championship Marten Arsumanjan GER Björn Schicke GER Wuppertal Germany

Schicke, 34, now for the first time knew he could hurt his rival and Marten knew it too. It was a rousing battle, not pretty, lots of wrestling on the inside, although it was fast paced. With all of the jolting blows landed in the contest, Schicke wound up especially marked up. Arsumanjan, 28, knew he needed something big to make up for lost ground and his opponent knew it too and this made for a war and referee Oliver Brien, also German like Schicke and Arsumanjan, had his hands full. At the final bell the crowd were on their feet cheering both. It was scored 115-112 on all cards. The EU title gives the champion a #6 rating with the EBU, so it is a big step forward to bigger titles and paydays.

Schicke, of Berlin, Germany, got revenge for being stopped in six rounds and dethroned of his EU title belt by Arsumanjan, of Stein, Bayern, Germany, on June 12, 2020. In between fights, Bjoern had won three straight bouts, all by knockout, while Marten also had three contests, going 2-0-1 with two successful defenses of his EU crown.

Boxing Agon Fightnight, Wuppertal, 10 09 2022 IBF Intercontinental Jhony Montano MEX Haro Matevosyan GER Wuppertal Germany

In the “real” main event Vincenzo “il Capo” Gualtieri (20-0-1) retained his IBF I-C middleweight title with wide points win over Italian challenger Vincenzo Bivelacqua (18-2). After twelve it was scored 118-110 twice and 116-112 for the German, who won clearly, but posed too much while the Italian waited too long, and the fight never took off.

 

In the third headliner, IBF I-C super welterweight champion Haro Matevosyan (16-0) outscored Mexican Jhony Montano (35-17-2). It was scored 118-110 twice and 116-112. Matevosyan, a southpaw, showed good defensive skills. Montano worked hard and threw wide hooks with both hands, although, most were blocked. Matevosyan, in his turn, lacked the power to hurt his opponent – and it thus went the distance.

Big heavyweight Granit Shala (12-0) beat Argentinian Kevin Espindola (7-6) over eight. Espindola kept smiling and nodding with every punch that landed in his face and had a dangerous look about him. Shala was very careful not to get caught by anything, so how dangerous Espindola was we will never find out.

Boxing Agon Fightnight, Wuppertal, 10 09 2022 IBF Intercontinental Vincenzo Bivelacqua ITA Vicenzo Il Capo Gualtieri GER Wuppertal Germany

Spanish super middleweight Jose Luis Navarro Gomez (6-0) stopped Dimitar Tilev (15-1) 2:26 of the second round in a fight between two unbeaten prospects. Navarro and his trainer, Ricardo Sanchez Atocha, made it clear in Spanish that they came to Germany to win – and they did. After a tense first round Navarro floored Tilev with a left hook. Dimitar got up sporting a cut and swollen right eye and as he was wobbled again the towel came in. It was scheduled for eight.

 Boxing Agon Fightnight, Wuppertal, 10 09 2022 EBU European Championship Marten Arsumanjan GER Björn Schicke GER Wuppertal Germany

Welterweight Nathanael Lukoki (6-0) outscored Italian Luca Maccaroni (17-10-4) over six as he dominated the action winning every round.

Argentinian middleweight (and sometimes super middle and light heavy) veteran Mateo Veron (29-29-4) drew over eight against German Thomas PIccirillo (10-0-4). Veron is a slick fighter who knows all about smothering an opponent and while Piccirillo kept coming, he was almost always at the wrong distance, and this made for a close, difficult fight to score. As it was, the judges were split, though the numbers were not announced.

Heavyweight Alexander Mueller von Berge (5-0) floored much smaller Italian Alfonso Damiani (5-2) with a left hook in the first but had to settle for a points win after six in the show opener.

Nine fights beginning at 6 PM and over just before midnight with no breaks between the fights and just one early ending. AGON Sports returns on November 12 and this time at their own arena in Berlin. AGON made this fight in Wuppertal with the plan to stage the hot all-German matchup for the vacant EBU super welter title between Jama Saidi and Abass Baraou, but then Saidi failed his medical due to a heart condition and might be forced to retire – but the show remained in Wuppertal.

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CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY OF UPCOMING FIGHTS

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Boxing Legend and Hall of Famer Roberto Duran Confirmed for Sixth Annual Box Fan Expo, During Mexican Independence Day Weekend, Saturday September 17, in Las Vegas

Box Fan Expo – the Largest Boxing Fan Event held in the U.S –

the Ultimate Boxing Fan Experience

Tickets On-Sale Now at EventBrite

PLEASE NOTE: THE DEADLINE FOR MEDIA CREDENTIAL REQUESTS IS WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2022 (*see bottom page for details)

Las Vegas (September 8, 2022) – Boxing Legend and Hall of Famer Roberto Duran has confirmed that he will appear alongside the “WBA” at the Sixth Annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Expo will also coincide with the mega trilogy fight between Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin, that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena.

 

Duran will hold a Meet & Greet with his fans at the “WBA” World Boxing Association booth during the fan event held over the Mexican Independence Day weekend.

 

The Box Fan Expo is an annual fan event that coincides with some of the sports’ legendary, classic fights in Las Vegas, including Mayweather vs. Maidana II, Mayweather vs. Berto, Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., Canelo vs. GGG II, and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Centered in boxing’s longtime home – Las Vegas – this year’s Expo is a must-do for fight fans coming in for this legendary weekend, with dozens of professional fighters, promoters, and companies involved in the boxing industry. The Expo is the largest and only Boxing Fan Expo held in the United States. http://boxfanexpo.com – @BoxFanExpo

 

Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available at Eventbrite –https://bit.ly/BOXFANEXPO2022

 

Duran will make his second appearance at this years’ Expo and will be signing gloves, photos, personal items and memorabilia. Boxing Fans will have an opportunity to take pictures with this boxing legend also known as “Manos De Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”) and also purchase Merchandise from the WBA booth.

 

Duran joins the WBA, Seniesa Estrada, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Michael Spinks, Franchón Crews-Dezurn, Marco Antonio Barrera, Rolando Romero, Jose Ramírez, David Benavidez, Shawn Porter, Jessie Vargas and Erik Morales as an early commitment to this year’s Box Fan Expo, with more Boxing stars to be announced.

 

About Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran, a true legend of the sport is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on June 10th, 2007. A versatile brawler in the ring, he was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone“) during his career. In 2002, he was chosen by The Ring to be the fifth greatest fighter of the last 80 years. The Associated Press voted Duran as the #1 lightweight of the 20th century. Many even consider him the greatest lightweight of all time. He held world titles at four different weights – lightweight (1972–79), welterweight (1980), light middleweight (1983–84) and middleweight (1989). He was the second boxer to have fought a span of five decades, the first being Jack Johnson.

Roberto Duran in front of his white Trans Am in the late 1970s.

 About Box Fan Expo

Box Fan Expo is the ultimate boxing fan experience event, which allows fans to meet the stars of boxing that represent the past, present and future of the sport. With hosted autograph signings, meet-and-greets with current and former boxing world champions, limited edition merchandise for sale, giveaways and more, this is the ultimate event for fans of the sport.

 

Past boxing stars that have participated include: Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Tommy Hearns, Roy Jones Jr, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Andre Ward, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Devin Haney, David Benavidez, Errol Spence Jr, Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Abner Mares, James Toney, Jessie Vargas, Vinny Paz, Mia St.John, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris, Riddick Bowe, Earnie Shavers, Michael & Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Claressa Shields, Teofimo Lopez, Brandon Rios, Jorge Linares, and many more.

 

Exhibitors include boxing promoters, gear, apparel, equipment, energy drinks, supplement products, broadcasting media, sanctioning bodies, and other companies who showcase their brand to fans and the boxing industry as a whole.

 

Throughout the next few days leading up to the Event, there will be more updates on the many stars that will commit their appearance at the Boxing Expo.

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BOURNE READY!

Undisputed Lightweight Champion Devin “The Dream” Haney 
to Defend Crown in Rematch Versus Former Champion “Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr. at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia 

Haney-Kambosos 2 Goes Down Saturday, October 15, 
in Prime Time, LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

 MELBOURNE, Australia (Aug. 23, 2022) — America’s dream maker and Australia’s emperor are primed for a second Down Under showdown to establish ultimate supremacy at 135 pounds.
 
Undisputed lightweight world champion Devin “The Dream” Haney will defend all the belts against Sydney native “Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr. on Saturday, Oct. 15 (Sunday afternoon, Oct. 16 local time), at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Haney-Kambosos 2 will be broadcast in prime time in the United States, live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+. 
 
Haney and Kambosos first tangled June 5 in Melbourne as a Victoria-record boxing crowd of 41,129 fans packed Marvel Stadium to watch the world’s best lightweights unify the division. Haney neutralized Kambosos and earned a clear points verdict to become the undisputed champion.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, Devin Haney Promotions, DiBella Entertainment, Ferocious Promotions, Duco Events, and TEG Sport, Haney-Kambosos 2 will feature a world-class undercard, and a pumped up Kambosos hell-bent on revenge. Tickets to this epic rematch will go on-sale on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 10 am AEST via tegsport.com.au.
 
“George Kambosos is quiet right now like he should have been before our first fight. I wish him a healthy training camp,” Haney said. “I’m expecting a hungry and determined Kambosos on October 16th in Melbourne. I will be prepared for any adjustment he brings. This is a great opportunity to gain more Aussie fans and add to my legacy.”
 
“Devin Haney is a special fighter, but you can never count out George Kambosos Jr., especially when his most ardent supporters will be out in full force,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “These are the two best lightweights in the world, and it will be another memorable event in Melbourne.”
 
Kambosos said, “I am looking forward to October 16th at Rod Laver Arena, and that’s where I will do my talking. Inside the ring.”
 
 “George Kambosos Jr. is again the hungry challenger, chasing Devin Haney’s belts, with a chance to regain it all on home soil,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Kambosos-Haney 1 was the Devin Haney show. George is going to have to fight a completely different fight to get that victory, and he knows it. That alone assures an action-packed rematch. The odds are against George. He needs to defy the odds yet again.”
 
“With almost half of the crowd from the first fight hailing from outside Victoria, we look forward to welcoming boxing fans back to Melbourne to watch what will be an epic rematch, ” said Steve Dimopoulos, Victoria’s Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events. “We’re delivering a spectacular calendar of the biggest and best events – drawing more visitors to Victoria, more often and supporting businesses across the state.”
 
Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) returns to Melbourne intent on repeating his fistic masterclass, a victory that propelled him up the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. “The Dream” has been a history-making phenom since turning professional in Mexico less than one month after his 17th birthday. He made his U.S. debut in Las Vegas on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley III undercard in April 2016, and at 19, he became the youngest licensed promoter in boxing history. He was awarded the WBC world championship in October 2019 and defended that belt four times before taking the 8,000-plus mile journey to battle Kambosos in his homeland. Haney overcame adversity, as his father/trainer, Bill Haney, was granted a temporary visa by the Australian government less than three days before the fight. Bill Haney arrived in Melbourne the evening before the bout, and the dynamic father-son duo made undisputed magic whilst stripping Kambosos of his three world title belts.
 
Kambosos (20-1, 10 KOs) became the toast of the sport with his decision verdict over Teofimo Lopez last November, which was named ESPN’s Upset of the Year. It was the culmination of a hard-fought journey for Kambosos. He fought in Malaysia, Greece, London, New York City, Connecticut, and Las Vegas as he graduated from prospect to contender. For Kambosos, who had 12 of his first 13 pro fights in Australia, the Haney super fight marked one of the most significant international sporting events to take place in Melbourne. He entered the fight as the slight underdog, but Haney was unfazed by the army of raucous Australian-Greek supporters that shook Marvel Stadium. Haney blunted Kambosos’ offensive arsenal with an educated jab to win going away. Kambosos exercised his rematch clause and is preparing to paint a masterpiece in this undisputed sequel.

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PROBELLUM RETURNS WITH PETER MCGRAIL AND BAKHODIR JALOLOV IN LIVERPOOL

LONDON, SEPTEMBER 6 – Hometown hero Peter McGrail headlines his first major show in Liverpool next month alongside some of the city’s top boxing stars.

Probellum returns to the famous fighting city in October after the success of Probellum Liverpool in April when headliner Paul Butler set up his undisputed bantamweight blockbuster with Naoya Inoue, by winning the WBO title with a masterclass display against Jonas Sultan. 

But it is world-champion-in-the-making McGrail who is the headline attraction this time and the local hero will be joined on the card by Uzbekistan’s Olympic gold medallist – and heir-in-waiting to the heavyweight throne – Bakhodir Jalolov, who carries with him a frightening 100% KO record. 

Other Liverpool favourites set to enter the ring include world ranked featherweight Jazza Dickens, former world super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding and the unbeaten Joe McGrail (5-0, 2KOs) – Peter’s younger brother. 

The older McGrail brother (4-0, 3KOs) dazzled at Probellum’s debut Liverpool show and will take centre stage in front of his growing legion of fans next month as his journey towards the top of the super bantamweight division moves up a gear. 

Peter McGrail said: “It has been a long-held dream of mine to headline a show in Liverpool but to do so, with an undercard as strong as this one, makes this even more special.

“The level of talent on show at Probellum Liverpool is set to be scarily good and as the headline fighter, I am determined to showcase why I am a future world champion.

“The rest of the card is excellent; Jalolov will be heavyweight world champion one day, Jazza and Rocky are pushing to get world title shots again and my brother Joe is flying this year.” 

Heavyweight destroyer Jalolov (11-0, 11KOs) continues his march towards the summit of boxing’s marquee division by fighting in the UK for the first time as a professional. 

Jalolov, known as ‘The Big Uzbek’, brings devastating punch power to Liverpool and is ready to reinforce his reputation as the heir to the heavyweight throne. 

The 6’7” puncher won gold at the Tokyo Olympics and there is a rapidly growing belief that Jalolov will take over the division in the coming years. 

Probellum President, Richard Schaefer said: “I’m delighted that Probellum returns to Liverpool with such a brilliant fighter as Peter McGrail as our headliner.

“Peter is quickly becoming a hero in the city, and this is a landmark moment in his journey to the top of the super bantamweight division. 

“Popular fighters like Peter, Rocky and Jazza would pack the arena out by themselves but being able to add the UK debut of Jalolov into the mix makes our return extra special. McGrail and Jalolov are both headed straight to the top of the world, so this is a card that you don’t want to miss.” 

Fan favourite Dickens (31-4, 12KOs) is breathing down the necks of world champions Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington and has publicly called out both to put their belts on the line against him.

And while the two-time world title challenger waits for his next opportunity, he will aim to turn the heat up on his 126lbs rivals with a statement display, following April’s stunning stoppage of Andoni Gago. 

Fielding (30-2, 18KOs) wants a chance to reclaim the world super middleweight title he won in 2018 and will use Probellum’s return to reinforce his credentials for another shot at the belt. 

Ranked highly by the WBA, the 35-year-old is well-placed for a second tilt at world glory and knows an impressive win in his hometown will only aid his cause. 

To keep up to date with the latest news on Probellum Liverpool 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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CLICK PHOTO TO READ PREVIEW OF THE FIGHT

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 Scottish Boxing Legend and Boxxing Hall of Famer Ken Buchanan memorialized with a statue in his honor in Edinburhgh, Scotland

By Alexander R. Rinaldi

One of the greatest ways and gestures to maintain and gain a grip on immortality is to have a statue dedicated in one’s honor. In the case of the legendary Scottish fighter Ken Buchanan, who was already considered the greatest Scottish boxer of all-time, and also had the distinction of being one of the best lightweight champions ever to lace on a pair of gloves, the erecting of a statute totally cements his place in Scottish lore and legend.

It has been written and said that as a poor lad from Northfield, Edinburgh, Buchanan was surprisingly introduced to boxing from his auntie Agnes from Musselburgh, who bought him a pair of boxing gloves when he was only 8 years old. Even his dearest aunt would never have or dreamed that her dearest Ken would later go on to become an Undisputed World Lightweight Champion and a Boxing Legend.

Ken Buchanan with his belts in his prime.

Though Scotland is known famously for being the birthplace of golf, as evidenced by the fame of the St. Andrews Golf Course, when Buchanan was fighting he became the biggest athlete in the country, rivalled only later by fellow  lightweight champion Jim Watt (WBC titleholder) and Race Car Legend Jackie Stewart.

With his world-wide recognition, Ken joined the ranks as such historical Scots as William Wallace, who was famously known for garnering a major victory against the English at Stirling Bridge in 1297, Mary Queen of Scots, and the iconic actor and original James Bond – Sean Connery.

In a boxing career that spanned three decades from 1965 to 1982, Buchanan captured the British Lightweight Title, the European Union title, and the WBC and WBA Lightweight Titles, thereby making him the undisputed Lightweight Champion of the World. As result, it was no surprise that he was eventually inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Before he even earned a title shot, Buchanan had fought in four continents, eventually fighting in five continents before his pugilistic life came to a close in 1982. He retired with a ring record of 61-8 (27 KO’s), with four of those losses coming in the last four fights of his career.

His crowning moment came on September 26, 1970, when he travelled 4075 miles to San Juan Puerto Rico to win the World Lightweight Title from Ismael Laguna. Ken won the title via spilt decision.

As Buchanan would explain, “I didn’t know what to expect, it was 125 degrees when we got off the plane, I always remember my dad saying, ‘How are you going to fight in this heat son?' I trained really hard, pressured Laguna, stayed on top, and at the times when he wanted a breather, that’s when I went for him. A rematch was never written into the contract because he thought he was going to beat me so he would never have to fight me again.” But they would fight again the next year in New York's Madison Sqaure Garden and this time Buchanan would win a unanimous decision. In that fight, Ken  remebered how the fight was almost stopped by the ring doctor, “My eyes were swelling up so badly the referee had to call the doctor to take a look a few times – I was winning the fight and had it been stopped the crowd would have been in an uproar, I could hardly see out of one eye and the other was almost shut so my manager cut open the swelling with a razor, this allowed me to see and continue the fight. I went on to win the fight by a bigger margin than the previous encounter." The use of the razor was popularized many years later in the first "Rocky" film, but for Buchanan it was for all too real.

In 1970, Buchanan was named Fighter of the Year in 1970, beating the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

After Buchanan lost his title to the legendary Roberto Duran in 1972 he continued fighting for another decade beating such great fighters and champions as Carlos Ortiz and Jim Watt.

The fight between Edinburgh’s Ken Buchanan and Glasgow’s Gentleman Jim Watt on January 29, 1973, at the Albany Hotel in Glasgow, is still regarded by many as the best Scottish fight on home soil.  Buchanan captured a 15-round points decision and was awarded the Londsdale Belt as the British lightweight champion. 

When asked who best boxer of all time was, Buchanan replied, “I don’t single one out, but I’d have to say Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Roberto Duran, Ismael Laguna, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard and off course Muhammad Ali, they were all great fighters”.  

Buchanan (L) and Duran (R) square off in their hidtoric 1972 championship bout in Madison Square Garden.

Interestingly enough, Buchanan and his past rival Roberto Duran would later become great friends and later the two would often appear at autograph shows together.

By the erection of the statue, Ken Buchanan will be forever remembered as one of the great boxers of all-time as well.

 

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Olekandr Usyk outhustles a listless Anthony Joshua to retain WBO/IBF/WBA/IBO heavyweight titles

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it’s only kept a secret from the person who fails. – Robert Half

August 20 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  In another entirely forgettable heavyweight championship bout, and for the second time in a year, Oleksandr Usyk once again defeated a plodding Anthony Joshua to retain his Heavyweight laurels.

Mind you, neither “combatant” had fought since their first unremembered bout 11 months ago on September 25, 2021.  While Usyk was milking his laurels by apparently taking part in the Ukraine War, though there appears to be no snapshots available of him actually in the trenches, Joshua just sat things out while waiting for the automatic rematch to take place.

Sadly, after another twelve, dreary rounds of boxing, the bout was certainly not worth the wait.

Joshua (L) and Usyk (R) going head-to-head in round ten.

Most of the blame must go to the former heavyweight king Joshua, who fought a smaller, blown-up cruiserweight in Usyk who has no solid heavyweight punch, only to display the courage of a fainting goat and the aggressiveness of a Pygmy three-toed sloth.

To make matters worse, Joshua assumed a crouching, bending style trying to make himself smaller. The strange strategy beckons one to ask, “why would a big guy ever want to be smaller?” Isn’t it the benefit of a big guy to actually be the bigger of the two?

Well apparently, not in Joshua’s world.

By implementing that style, he actually made it easier for a smaller opponent like Usyk to find and land dozens of straight right jabs to his jaw consistently throughout the bout. Did he somehow believe that Usyk would simply get tired of hitting him?

George Foreman was certainly not crouching when he faced Joe Frazier for Smokin’ Joe’s heavyweight title in 1973, so that Frazier could land his shots better.

Joshua had every advantage in the book against Usyk, 35, except guts. As for the champion Usyk, he fared just slightly better, spending the night in his dull southpaw stance firing away half the time at Joshua’s gloves, which may have taken the worst beating of the night, compared to the ex-champ’s head and body.

It was puzzling to those in attendance at the Jeddah Superdome why Joshua was content to throw so few punches against a foe who had the courage of a knight, but the punch of a nerf ball. To even infer that Usyk’s blows on Joshua were comparable to those of attacking mosquitos is actually an insult to mosquitos. The champion’s wallops were more like annoying gnats or rice being thrown on a newlywed couple after their nuptials.

Joshua (L) attacking Usyk (R) in round nine.

After losing his title to another fighter he should have beaten, most thought Joshua would be more aggressive and walk through his adversary’s feather pillow shots and attack with his blistering blows.  Sadly, except for Round 9, when Joshua finally decided the throw two punches at a time and actually had Usyk hurt for those brief three minutes, Joshua showed the world that he is still in reality a puncher. His performance in round 9 even harkened back to his slugging style, the same style that originally perched high above the heavyweight heap. Unfortunately, AJ lazily let Usyk off the hook.

Like a smart fish, Usyk never put himself in a position to get on the hook again.

After that round, the former champ barely showed any life in the ring. You almost wanted someone to take his pulse between rounds to see if he was still alive.

To his credit, Usyk, of Shypntsi, Ukraine, but now residing in Oxnard, CA, landed his Sunday punch plenty of times on the mummy-like Joshua, but the shots had the effect of a cap gun on a runaway freight train. After the first five rounds, the ex-champ who barely did enough to win a few of the early going, decided to stop punching and just shuffle forward as if his feet were encased in cement.

Seeing that Joshua was not going to put up a gallant battle to win back his laurels, Usyk got braver and fired more punches to the head and body.  Although they did score, Joshua took them for the puff balls they were and just kept moving forward as if he was somnambulistic.

Usyk (L) landing a hard left uppercut to Joshua’s jaw (R).

What was Joshua thinking of as the rounds were piling up with none being banked by him in middle sessions?  All he did was hand the overrated, boring southpaw Usyk an easy victory.  Considering that Joshua lately possesses the chin as strong as a cord of balsa wood, the Ukrainian never ever came close to hurting the giant Brit.

Just when Joshua finally had a good round in the ninth, he allowed Usyk to win the last three frames to secure the win.

Surprisingly, there was one judge who saw Joshua winning the fight by scores of 115-113, but the other two officials had Usyk the victor by tallies of 115-113 and 116-112.

“If you knew my story, you would understand the passion,” Joshua said cryptically after his embarrassing loss. “I’m telling you this guy [Usyk] to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work he must have put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”

Joshua (24-3, 22 KO’s) added afterwards, “I am mad at myself. Not at anyone, just myself. I was like I got to get out here, because I’m mad. When you’re angry you might do stupid things, so I was mad. But then I realized this is sport, let me do the right thing. I had to mentally take myself into a dark place to compete for the championship belts. I had two fights, one with Usyk and one with my emotions, and both got the better of me.”

Usyk still the heavyweight champion.

Joshua then appeared to be losing his mind when he took two of Usyk’s title belts and threw them to the canvas and said to the audience, “I’m not a 12-round fighter? Look at me, I’m a new breed of heavyweight,” said Joshua. “All of them heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, they say ‘he doesn’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano,’ because I’m not f**king 14 stone (200 pounds). That’s why. I’m 18 stone (250 pounds). I’m heavy.” Really? Has he forgotten that both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder were his size or bigger and they fought three amazing, courageous bouts throwing caution to the wind and fighting their proverbial hearts out.

He also failed to state that those great champions like Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano fought hard for fifteen rounds, not twelve rounds like they fight today.

If his nutty words were not enough, Joshua then for some unknown crazy reason wrapped himself again with the Ukrainian flag and pranced around the ring uttering strange unintelligible pronouncements about Ukrainian history and their inherent courage. What he should have done was use that flag like a cape and fly back the Britain to re-assess his boxing career and dig up his long-lost courage like a pirate’s treasure hidden off the coast Jamaica.

Even Joshua’s fan club members would not be so delusional to put him in the class of those great fistic champions. No one will be thinking of Joshua once his days are finished, which they appear to be now. Hasn’t he noticed the DEAD-END sign in front of him?

The ex-champion who appears to have lost his heart in the sport, plans to return to the ring before Christmas. “I’m a fighter for life,” remarked Anthony. “The hunger never dies.”

While that hunger appeared to have died this night, hopefully for Joshua and the sport of boxing, he can re-emerge as the ring killer that he once was, instead of the confederate fighter masquerading as a textbook boxer he tried to emulate in his two recent embarrassing loses against the overblown cruiserweight Usyk.

Roberto Duran (L) at the Joshua-Usyk fight.

As for Usyk (20-0, 13 KO’s), there are talks of him fighting Tyson Fury, which one should not hold their breath for since the contest is a mismatch of epic proportions. Usyk has nothing to beat Fury, nor Deontay Wilder for that matter. Usyk stated, “I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet. I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all. I devote this victory to my country, my family, to my team, to all the people, militaries who are defending the country. This is already history. Many generations are going to watch this fight, especially when someone tried to beat me hard, but I withstood it and turned it a different way.”

After the fight the legendary Roberto Duran who was seated at ringside was not impressed by Joshua’s performance.  “Joshua did not apply enough pressure,” remarked Duran.  “He was too slow at throwing his punches. When a boxer moves around very fast in front of you like Usyk did, Joshua should have concentrated on the jab more. He was more tired in the fight than Usyk.” When asked if Usyk was more inspired by the events in Ukraine, Duran responded, “I don’t think so at all.” Duran also thought it is very possible that Usyk will fight Tyson Fury next.

With any luck, the Fury-Usyk match can take place, so the heavyweight division will have only one true champion – namely Tyson Fury.

For the forgettable rematch, both fighters earned a 50/50 split of the purse bid, which should net each of them £50 million ($58,775,250.00 in U.S. Dollars). Joshua will also take home substantial additional millions from various sponsorships and endorsements relating to the fight.

How long that gravy train will continue to exist for Joshua based upon his last two lacklustre performances is anyone’s guess.  

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Heavyweight Cassius Chaney rebounds with first-round stoppage at Mohegan Sun in stirring KO-filled CES Promotions “Summer Heat” fight show

Story by Kirk Lang

August 20 – Uncasville, CT. Heavyweight Cassius Chaney is back to his winning ways after stopping Matthew “El Matador” McKinney in the first round of a scheduled eight-round special attraction at Mohegan Sun Saturday night.

Cassius Chaney -L- sends Matthew McKinney -R- reeling back.

Chaney, who suffered his first pro setback to George Arias back in December, was not exactly elated when he earned the victory at the 2:07 mark. That is because McKinney seemed to find the canvas all too easily from punches that barely landed. After the third knockdown – the result of a body punch – referee Johnny Callas stepped between the fighters and called it off.

Chaney, 252, of New London, CT, who headlined CES Promotions “Summer Heat” card, was visibly displeased and could be seen mouthing, “Come on man,” as McKinney, 260, of Fullerton, CA, laid at his feet.

Heavyweight Cassius Chaney with his handlers and the Round Card Girls. Photo by CES Boxing.

Cassius would subsequently tell this reporter, “I was very disappointed because I really needed the rounds.” But McKinney was not looking for a battle.

“He [McKinney]told me he did not want to get knocked out and suspended,” said Chaney, referring to the fact that if McKinney had been knocked out cold, he would face a 90-day suspension that is supposed to be honored nationwide with every state athletic commission.

The winner Cassius Chaney. Photo by CES Promotions.

Chaney had trained for nine weeks, although he was expecting to face Shawn Miller, not McKinney. He was looking to put on a real show in his first fight with CES Promotions. Chaney was promoted for years by Main Events but elected to part ways when his contract expired.

Two days after the fight at Mohegan, Chaney said he was “still upset” because “it was a lot of work and I felt really good and CES put in a lot of work.”

Cassius added, “My fans and supporters were looking forward to it going some rounds.” 

Maybe things did not go the way Chaney had planned, but he came to do his job, even if McKinney clearly was not as eager to mix it up and give the fans an entertaining main event. In fact, McKinney, 9-6-2 (6), would make a hasty exit from the arena. He was seen leaving, check apparently in his pocket, going up the arena escalator and quickly exiting the arena, before some members of the press were done using the bathroom, and before they had made their way up the escalator.

Super Featherweight Alejandro Paulino.

Chaney, who played basketball for the University of New Haven before making the transition to The Sweet Science, is already looking to move on past McKinney.

“I’m hoping to fight again soon, possibly in South Africa if it works out,” he said. “I’m going there, possibly to box Kevin Lerena for his fight, and fight on the card while I’m there.”

With Saturday’s victory, the 6’6” Chaney improved to 22-1 with 15 knockouts.

Juiseppe Cusumano -L- holds off the attacking Dennis Ventura -R- with his jab. Photo by CES Boxing.

In other heavyweight action, 6’4” heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano, 235, of Carni, Siciliy, demolished Dennis Ventura, 215 ½, of Lynn, MA, in the second round in the night’s co-featured bout. A minute into the first frame, Cusumano seemed focused on an opening round knockout, as he let loose with a blistering attack. Ventura, however, survived that early onslaught, as well as another two-fisted volley before the round’s end.

If Ventura thought he could weather some early storms and upset “The Sicilian Nightmare” later in the fight, it was not to be.

Cusumano, in the opening moments of the second round, caught Ventura along the ropes and let loose with an array of left hooks to the body. With no response from the hurt Ventura, who was half-slumped along the ropes, referee Danny Schiavone was forced to step in and wave the fight off at the 1:53 mark.

Heavyweight winner Juiseppe Cusumano. Photo by CES Boxing.

Cusumano improved his overall record to 21-4 (19) and is now on a two-fight win streak since his last defeat, a stoppage loss to Daniel Dubois a year ago in August. Ventura fell to 4-2 (3).

Unbeaten middleweight Frances Hogan, 159 ¼, of Weymouth, MA, got off to a slow start against Cleotis Pendarvis, of Lancaster, CA, but ultimately closed the show in impressive fashion in the fourth round with a beautiful right jab-straight left combination that made Pendarvis collapse at Hogan’s feet along the ropes. The fight was halted at the 2:59 mark. Prior to the end, Hogan had scored a knockdown in the third round, courtesy of a huge overhand left, followed by a right hook to the body. Frances improved to 12-0 with 11 knockouts while Pendarvis dropped to 21-11-2 (9).

Heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano -L- batters Deniis Ventura -R- against the ropes.

Unbeaten super featherweight Alejandro Paulino, 136, of New London, CT, had a lively opponent in Brandon Idrogo, 134, of Bronx, NY, at least in the early going, but Paulino showed over the six-round contest who the better fighter was. He was awarded the fight by scores of 60-59, 59-55 and 58-56. Paulino started to turn it up a notch in the third frame and in the sixth and final round, he was ripping uppercuts and left hooks, trying to close the show in impressive fashion for his many cheering fans, who stood up and stomped their feet in appreciation. Alejandro strung all kinds of power punches together, but Idrogo proved to have a solid chin and an equally durable mid-section. With the win, Paulino upper his record to 11-0 (10) while Idrogo fell to 6-3 (6).

Jalen Renaud, 148 of Springfield, MA, cruised to a six-round decision over Michael Ogundo, 144 ¾, of Quincy, MA. The scores were 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56. He is now 9-0 (3) while Ogundo tumbles to 16-16 (13).

Gary Balletto Jr. with his arm’s raised. Photo by CES Boxing.

Cranston, Rhode Island-based Gary Balletto Jr., whose father used to fight for Jimmy Burchfield, scored a second-round stoppage of Jeremiah David Austin, of Niagara Falls, NY. He started off fast in the opening round, teeing off on Austin in the opening minute, but then calmed things down a bit. Halfway through the second frame, however, Gary again took it up a notch. This is clearly a guy who does not exactly like to patiently box as he fired off rights and lefts in rapid succession. Referee John Callas was watching closely as Balletto, 178, hammered his opponent with brutal left hooks. He was giving Austin, 181 ½, a chance, but Balletto kept pounding away with bad intentions. Finally, Callas stepped between the fighters and called it off. The official time was 2:55. Balletto is now 3-0 (2). For Austin, who was unfortunately making his pro debut, he will have to look for his first win another day.

Heavyweight Sean Bey, 218 1/3, of Providence, RI, dropped John Shipman, 206, of Dallas, TX, twice in opening round and once in the opening seconds of the second frame to force a stoppage at the 12-second mark! This fight followed a theme for Bey, as none of his pro fights have gone past two rounds. He raised his record to 7-0 (7) while Shipman goes to 4-3 (2).

Jonathan DePina -R- opens up on Cristian Otero -L-.

Jonathan DePina, 135, of Boston, MA, earned a six-round decision victory over Cristian Otero, 135 ¼, of New York, NY, by majority scores of 59-56 and 58-56 (twice). To be honest, though, this fight could have easily gone in Otero’s favor. He came out in aggressive fashion at the start of the fight, and one would have thought Cristian was the favored fighter, not the so-called opponent. Otero was letting his hands go round after round, while DePina was often laying back. DePina may pack a little bit more power than Otero, but many in press row did not feel his power edge deserved him the fight.

DePina improved to 9-1 (4) while Otero fell to 4-2 (2).

In the night’s opening bout, 21-year-old Stevie Jane Coleman, 146 ½, of Columbia, CT, wasted no time dispatching of Jesenia Rivas, 146 ¼, of Denver, CO. The official time was 39 seconds of the first round. Coleman came out pumping some jabs in Rivas’ face. Jesenia offered some leather back, but Coleman, during an assault, rocked Rivas, who was making her pro debut, with a left hook. She followed up with a straight right, then followed that up with another left hook-straight right combination. With referee Danny Schiavone keeping a close eye on matters, he was forced to call a halt to the action after a Coleman blasted away at Rivas’ head with a half dozen power shots to the head. The night was a “first” for Coleman, as she scored the first stoppage victory of her career. She has clearly been improving every fight under trainer Paul Cichon. In fact, her only loss was her pro debut. Enjoying an unbeaten run since then, she raised her overall record to 3-1 (1).

Photos by Sean Bey, Gary Davis  and CES promotions.

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globe1-150x150OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

 

 

Cruiserweight Samo Jangitov wins bout over Osborn Mandela on Armand Krajnc’s promotion

August 20 – Ystad, Sweden. Promoter Armand Krajnc, the former WBO middleweight champion, returned to promoting after an eight-year hiatus. Professional boxing in Sweden is struggling due to the crazy Martial Arts Law where the commission must apply for special permission for fights over 12 minutes duration and high costs. Krajnc put on this show as an event for his sponsors and it was staged at the classic Oja Resort on the outskirts of Ystad in the very south of Sweden. Armand hopes to be able to promote on a regular basis but judging by this show it will be difficult.

Swedish cruiserweight champ Samo Jangitov (8-3-2) headlined but did not impress as he won a majority decision over German-Ugandan Osborn Mandela (4-2). It was a fast-paced fight with few clean punches landed. It was scored 40-36, 40-37 and 38-38 – and a draw looked fair.

Light heavyweight Constantino Nanga (4-0) impressed as he took apart Georgian Giorgi Abramishvili (14-24-1). Giorgi began his career as a super lightweight and has not added any muscles since then, but he is an experienced campaigner who can be tough when he feels he is in with a chance. However, Nanga stunned Abramishvili in the first with a right hand and floored him late in the second and that was it. The Georgian was unable to come out for the third.

Heavyweights Joel Larsson (4-0-1) and Richard Phkakadze (2-5-1) drew in their four-rounder where the Swede had to pull all stops to salvage a draw. The Georgian was overweight, but quite relaxed and knew his way around the ring. It was scored 39-37 for Phkakadze and 38-38 (twice).

German heavy Mike Lehnis (2-0) outscored Abdulnaser Delalic (6-8) over four rounds. It was scored 39-38, 39-37 and 38-38. Delalic had a point deducted in the third for his holding and looked a bit gun-shy in a messy fight with more holding and wrestling than boxing.

Female super welterweight Marianne Ahlborg (6-1) brutally stopped Bosnian Katarina Vistica (2-21) in the sixth and final round.

Female featherweight Anna Hultin (9-3) roared back from a shaky beginning and outscored late sub, the sturdy Nana Dokadze (2-15) over four.

 

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Emanuel The Body Snatcher: Navarrete Knocks Out Eduardo Baez to Retain Featherweight Title

Nico Ali Walsh, Lindolfo Delgado & Giovani Santillan notch wins in undercard action

SAN DIEGO (Aug. 20, 2022) — It took some time for Emanuel Navarrete to warm up. But when he did, that was all he wrote. Navarrete defended his WBO featherweight world title with a sixth-round stoppage over Eduardo Baez on Saturday evening at Pechanga Arena.

Baez (21-3-2, 7 KOs), from Mexicali, Mexico, appeared on his way to a shocking upset until a body shot floored him for the count.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) was trailing on two of the three judges’ cards (50-45 and 48-47) at the time of the stoppage, while one card had Navarrete ahead 49-46. 

Navarrete had not fought for more than 10 months, his longest layoff since winning his first world title in December 2018. The rust came off in a flash in the sixth round, and now Navarrete can look ahead to future title defenses at featherweight or perhaps a move up to junior lightweight.

“I expected a fight like this. I never underestimated Eduardo Baez. I knew that he was an excellent fighter and the fact that he hit pretty hard. It was a lot more complicated than I anticipated. But then came that shot, and I was able to finish him,” Navarrete said. “That’s a very Mexican punch. It comes with my blood. And you can see, I don’t throw a perfect left hook like you’re used to seeing. But this one came out perfect for me. And you saw the result because not many guys can take that shot.”

Santillan Wins Decision in Hometown

Make it 30 for 30 for Giovani Santillan. The San Diego-born welterweight contender improved to 30-0 with a 10-round decision over the previously undefeated Julio Luna (19-1-2, 10 KOs) by scores of 100-90 2x and 96-94.

It was a rugged affair fought mostly in close quarters, and there were multiple head clashes. Santillan and Luna landed 150 power shots apiece, and Luna landed 22 more blows. The 100-90 scorecards came as a surprise, but the end result was a triumphant homecoming for Santillan.

“It was a lot tougher than I expected. Luna gave me a great fight, and I am just thankful for the opportunity to fight once again in my hometown,” Santillan said.

Liver Shiver: Ali Walsh Stops Reyes Sanchez in Rematch

Nearly 50 years after his grandfather fought in this same venue, Nico Ali Walsh (6-0, 5 KOs) made an emphatic statement in a rematch against Reyes Sanchez (7-3, 3 KOs). Ali Walsh, who struggled to defeat Sanchez by majority decision last December, knocked out Sanchez with a left hook to the body in the second round. It was the first fight for Ali Walsh with his new head trainer, Kay Koroma, and the new pairing paid dividends.

“I feel amazing. This was a special win because it was a rematch. It’s everything I’ve been working towards. My hard work is now showing in the ring. I want everyone to see that it’s a new me,” Ali Walsh said. “It was so gratifying. Timothy Bradley called it in the fighter meetings yesterday. It was a beautiful shot. It was the shot I was looking for. It was the shot I was dreaming about, and it happened because I worked so hard for it.”

In other results:

Junior Welterweight: Lindolfo Delgado (16-0, 13 KOs) UD 8 Omar Aguilar (24-1, 23 KOs), Scores: 77-75 and 79-73 2x. In a battle of unbeaten Mexican prospects, Delgado and Aguilar combined to put forth one of the year’s best action brawls. Delgado, a 2016 Olympian, bloodied Aguilar’s nose in the opening round, but Aguilar’s sheer pressure was effective. Delgado turned the tide in the fourth round, landing a counter right uppercut that stunned Aguilar, who held on and stumbled into the ropes. The last half of the eight-rounder saw Delgado use his counterpunching to offset Aguilar’s constant forward motion. When the final bell rang, the result was not in doubt, and Delgado swept it on the judges’ scorecards in a career-best showing.

Junior Lightweight: Austin Brooks (8-0, 2 KOs) UD 4 Oliver Galicia (5-1-1, 3 KOs), Scores: 40-35 3x. Southpaw hometown favorite Brooks dropped Galicia with straight left in the opening round and cruised to the shutout verdict.

Junior Lightweight: Xavier Martinez (18-1, 12 KOs) KO 5 Alejandro Guerrero (12-3, 9 KOs), 2:57. Martinez bounced back from his first career defeat with a one-sided beatdown over former U.S. amateur standout Guerrero. Martinez found his rhythm in the middle rounds, stunning Guerrero with a counter right hand at the end of the fourth. In the fifth, an explosive flurry against the ropes prompted referee Eddie Hernandez Sr. to step in.

Lightweight: Miguel Contreras (12-1-1, 6 KOs) UD 8 Josec Ruiz (23-7-3, 16 KOs). Scores: 80-72 2x and 79-73. Contreras, from Bakersfield, California, thrilled the home state fans with a pressure fighting exhibition that left Ruiz in retreat for most of the fight. “The Caveman” poured it on in the fifth and sixth rounds, but Honduras’ Ruiz, who has only been stopped once as a pro, survived to the final bell.

Featherweight: Luis Alberto Lopez (26-2, 15 KOs) KO 2 Yeison Vargas (20-11,15 KOs), 1:24. Lopez, the IBF No. 1 featherweight contender, lived up to his lofty ranking with a one-sided stoppage over Vargas. He landed a left hand to the body in the second that put Vargas down for the 10-count.

Heavyweight: Antonio Mireles (5-0, 5 KOs) KO 2 Kaleel Carter (2-2, 2 KOs), 1:52. Mireles overcame adversity for the first time in his young career, as Carter scored a knockdown in the opening round. A short left hand started the damage, but Mireles recovered and fought with a purpose in the second. Mireles’ combination punching stunned Carter, who turned his back and forced the referee to wave it off.

Photo from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

 

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Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2

Will Joshua enter the ring with his guts and punch or will Usyk win in another bore-fest?

By Alex and John Rinaldi

For fight fans around the globe there is nothing bigger and better than a great Heavyweight Championship bout. This was actually last seen when Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder squared off in their classic third fight to end their fistic trilogy to become one of the greatest fights of the ages.

Possibly, the same can be said for the second chapter of the Anthony Joshua – Oleksandr Usyk matchup. With that said though, preferably history does not repeat itself and the fans again get mistreated to another bore-fest of heavyweight proportions.

With three of the four recognized heavyweight world titles on the line this weekend at the King Abdullah Sports City Arena in Saudi Arabia, hopefully Joshua will enter the ring re-electrified and reinvigorated to take back what was originally his. Not that Usyk is a bad champion. His unbeaten record, which includes him capturing both the undisputed Cruiserweight Championship and three out of four Heavyweight titles clearly speak for itself. The problem is that his fights are about as exciting as a shuffleboard tournament played at a South Florida senior center, and he also sadly possesses the typical Eastern European charisma, which is essentially no charisma at all.

Against nearly everyone’s expectations, this past September saw the heavyweight landscape obliterated when Oleksandr Usyk scored a decision victory over the popular and powerful Anthony Joshua to win the WBA, IBF and WBO championships. Now the two men will battle one more time as Joshua tries to kickstart his third reign as world champion, while Usyk tries to secure and retain the laurels, he rightly won last year.

Prior to his bout with Joshua, Usyk had previously unified all four world championships at cruiserweight in 2018 when he won the Cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series by defeating Murat Gassiev in the tournament finals. He later made his heavyweight debut in 2019, scoring two sleep worthy wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora before beating a somewhat confused and unmotivated Joshua over 12 rounds.

To Joshua’s credit, after his first loss to Andy Ruiz, which ended with him being KO’d in a stunning fashion in June of 2019, Joshua did manage to come back six months later in December 2019 to reclaim his three world titles with a unanimous points decision.

This time around, Joshua has to rely upon his punching power – the same punching power that once stopped Wladimir Klitschko and 21 others in his 26-fight career. He also has to bring into the ring a big basket of guts along with the same courage that was once granted to the Cowardly Lion by the Wizard of Oz to re-fortify his stature in the sport in general, and the heavyweight division in particular, that has been essentially eclipsed by both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

“He has to fight like a big guy. He can’t sit there and tag with this guy, he’s got to hit him with big shots,” said former heavyweight king and Hall of Famer Holyfield. “If you got a little brother. If you try to keep up, he moves too much, you’ve got to grab him and put all that weight on him and let him feel that you’re the stronger one and this is a big guy fight and there isn’t no way he can beat you in a big guy fight….I know both of the guys are capable of winning, it’s just who does it that night when the pressure happens. The fact of the matter is how a person thinks. I knew what my thinking was going to be in there. I always said that every guy that got the best of me was a guy lighter than me with fast hands, I sat there watching. But that’s what big guys used to do when they were in front of me, I was so good they sat there watching and then the fight is over.”

Perhaps Joshua should heed the advice of Holyfield a fighter who certainly rose to the occasion many times in his long, brilliant career.

As a better enticement for the fighters, especially to Joshua, is that the winner of the rematch will without question have their eye on a potential, highly lucrative bout with WBC champion Tyson Fury, with the victor to be crowned the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. Though the wildcard Fury has claimed to be retired — after seemingly unretiring for a handful of days — the possibility of winning all four Heavyweight titles, along with a purse of over $100 million, could easily, as proclaimed in the iconic movie The Godfather, be an offer he can’t  refuse.

Prediction:
As in Beatle’s lore, will Joshua Get Back his Heavyweight Championship laurels by training hard for Eight Days a Week, or will he sink like a Yellow Submarine and leave the ring singing I’m a Loser while he takes The Long and Winding Road into retirement and straight into the black hole and bastions of “what could have been?”
In his tune Glass Onion, John Lennon refers back to his classic song, I am the Walrus, when he says, “Here’s another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul.” In this fight, the clue from us all will be that Usyk will fall.
Tomorrow Never Knows….

Usyk vs. Joshua 2 fight card, odds

  • Oleksandr Usyk (c) -200 vs. Anthony Joshua +170, WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles
  • Filip Hrgovic -1000 vs. Zhilei Zhang +250, heavyweights
  • Callum Smith -1100 vs. Mathieu Bauderlique +700, light heavyweights
  • Badou Jack vs. Richard Rivera, cruiserweights
  • Ziyad Almaayouf vs. Jose Alatorre, super lightweights
  • Ramla Ali vs. Crystal Garcia Nova, women’s super-bantamweights
  • Andrew Tabiti vs. James Wilson, heavyweights
  • Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic, light heavyweights
  • Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko, light heavyweights
  • Bader Al Samreen vs. Faud Taverdi, super lightweights

Viewing information

  • Date: 20 | Location: Jeddah Superdome — Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Start time:12 p.m. ET (Main event expected around 5:15 p.m. ET)
  • How to watch/stream: DAZN

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Press Conference Notes: The Teofimo Lopez Takeover Resumes Saturday Evening

Lopez-Pedro Campa to air SATURDAY (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) at Resorts World Las Vegas LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

LAS VEGAS (Aug. 12, 2022) — It has been nearly two years since Teofimo Lopez has fought on ESPN, and the former lightweight king is primed to return in devastating fashion. Lopez will make his junior welterweight debut Saturday evening in the 10-round main event against Pedro “Roca” Campa at the Resorts World Event Center at Resorts World Las Vegas.

In the eight-round junior middleweight co-feature, Puerto Rican sensation Xander Zayas will face Mexican veteran Elias Espadas. Lopez-Campa and Zayas-Espadas will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The undercard — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 6:40 p.m. ET/3:40 p.m. PT — features the return of Las Vegas-born junior lightweight contender Andres Cortes against Abraham Montoya. Undefeated prospects in action include middleweight U.S. Olympian Troy Isley, featherweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan, Puerto Rican junior welterweight prospect Omar Rosario, featherweight contender Jose Enrique Vivas, and lightweight Charlie Sheehy. 

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $40 are on sale now and can be purchased at Etix.com.

This is what the fighters had to say at Thursday’s press conference.

Teofimo Lopez

“It feels great to be back here on ESPN, the greatest platform in the world. I can’t wait to show why Teofimo is the greatest of all time.”
 
“A true champion never gets distracted. At the end of the day, this ain’t my first rodeo. 21 years in the game. Blood, sweat and tears. Do your research. See it. Five-time world champion. We’re just here to dominate and do what we always do: entertain.”
 
“This guy is in front of me to stop my dreams and stop everything that we’re shooting for. Every time I go out there in the ring, I’m risking everything. I’m risking my life. We double down, every time. When it comes to me, it’s just me versus me, no one else. I thank God for that. He’s always in my corner.”
 
“My first loss? It was actually my 21st loss if we count the amateurs as well. So, I always bounce back. I’m always that type of person. The first step to success is failure. Saturday night there will be a lot of people tuning in.”
 
“Campa has that Mexican style of boxing. He’s going to be aggressive. This is going to be an all-out war. This is going to be a fight. And I’m very excited about that. I love competition.” 

Pedro Campa

“I’m coming very well prepared. I know what I’m going to do in the ring because I know the kind of fighter who is in front of me. He is a great fighter in the world of boxing. But I’m concentrated. I’m very prepared for my fight.”

“We know the kind of fighter we will be fighting this Saturday. Honestly, I trained very hard because, as I repeat, we know the kind of opponent we have. Manny Robles is a trainer with a great understanding. He knows what he wants me to do, and I’m ready to obey what he says.”
 
“We can do interesting things in the ring. Firstly, I think I’m coming for the victory. By any means necessary, I want to take the victory to Mexico and for my people in Guaymas and Sonora.”

Xander Zayas

“It was a great camp. I feel ready. We’re going to put on a great show this Saturday night.”
 
“It’s about having your dreams and knowing what you want to do in life. I have my goals clearly laid out. I have no doubt that I can achieve each and every one of them.”
 
“We know that Elias Espadas is a Mexican warrior who is coming with a lot of motivation. He has never been knocked out. But I don’t feel any pressure. We are going to obtain the victory. We know what we have to do in the ring. It doesn’t matter how he will come. I will bring that regional WBO title back to Puerto Rico.”

Elias Espadas

“Xander is a great fighter. He is a young man who is on the rise. I feel confident, and I’m confident in the preparation that we have done. I know that this Saturday we will put on a great show.”
 
“The person who will win the fight is the one who most wants to win that night, and I have a strong desire to win. That’s why I say that it will be a great fight.”
 
“This Saturday, Mexico is coming out on top. He wants to win, and I want to win. And on Saturday, we will demonstrate that.”
 

Saturday, August 13

 ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)
 

Teofimo Lopez vs. Pedro Campa, 10 rounds, Vacant NABF & WBO International Junior Welterweight Titles

Xander Zayas vs. Elias Espadas, 8 rounds, Vacant NABO Junior Middleweight Title
 

ESPN+ (6:40 p.m. ET/3:40 p.m. PT)

Jose Enrique Vivas vs. Edy Valencia, 8 rounds, featherweight

Andres Cortes vs. Abraham Montoya, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

Troy Isley vs. Victor Toney, 6 rounds, middleweight

Duke Ragan vs. D’Angelo Fuentes, 6 rounds, featherweight

Omar Rosario vs. Esteban Munoz, 6 rounds, junior welterweight

Charlie Sheehy vs. Juan Castaneda, 4 rounds, lightweight

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Champions, Challengers and Contenders in Training and Fights

 

 

CLICK THE PHOTOS TO SEE FIGHTERS IN TRAINING AND IN SOME OF THE GREATEST FIGHTS OF ALL TIME

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2-Time World Champion Shawn Porter is Confirmed for Sixth Annual Box Fan Expo, During Mexican Independence Day Weekend on Saturday September 17, in Las Vegas  

Box Fan Expo – the Largest Boxing Fan Event held in the U.S –

the Ultimate Boxing Fan Experience

Las Vegas (August 8, 2022) – Two-time world champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter has confirmed that he will appear at the Sixth Annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Expo will also coincide with the mega trilogy fight between Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin, that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena. 

Porter will hold a Meet & Greet with his fans at The Porter Way Podcast, and he will be streaming LIVE at his booth during the fan event held over the Mexican Independence Day weekend.

The Box Fan Expo is an annual fan event that coincides with some of the sports’ legendary, classic fights in Las Vegas, including Mayweather vs. Maidana II, Mayweather vs. Berto, Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., Canelo vs. GGG II, and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Centered in boxing’s longtime home – Las Vegas – this year’s Expo is a must-do for fight fans coming in for this legendary weekend, with dozens of professional fighters, promoters, and companies involved in the boxing industry. The Expo is the largest and only Boxing Fan Expo held in the United States. http://boxfanexpo.com – @BoxFanExpo

Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available at Eventbrite –https://bit.ly/BOXFANEXPO2022

Porter will make his sixth appearance at this years’ Expo and will be signing gloves, photos, and personal items. Boxing enthusiasts will have an opportunity to also take pictures with this fan friendly Boxing Star.

Porter joins Jessie Vargas and Erik Morales as an early commitment to this year’s Box Fan Expo, with more Boxing stars to be announced.

About Shawn Porter

Porter is an American former professional boxer who competed from 2008 to 2021. He is a two-time former welterweight world champion, having held the IBF title from 2013 to 2014 and the WBC title from 2018 to 2019. He is particularly known for his aggressive pressure fighting style, physical strength and high workrate. Some of his most noticeable fights came against Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Adrien Broner, Paulie Malignaggi, Andre Berto and Kell Brook to name a few.

About The Porter Way Podcast

Founded in 2020, Two-Time Welterweight world champion ”Showtime” Shawn Porter leads a unique, entertaining podcast focused on boxing & everything else in the sports & entertainment world. The Porter Way is a Blue Wire Podcast. More info: https://linktr.ee/theporterwaypodcast

About Box Fan Expo

Box Fan Expo is the ultimate boxing fan experience event, which allows fans to meet the stars of boxing that represent the past, present and future of the sport. With hosted autograph signings, meet-and-greets with current and former boxing world champions, limited edition merchandise for sale, giveaways and more, this is the ultimate event for fans of the sport.

Past boxing stars that have participated include: Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Tommy Hearns, Roy Jones Jr, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Andre Ward, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Devin Haney, David Benavidez, Errol Spence Jr, Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Abner Mares, James Toney, Jessie Vargas, Vinny Paz, Mia St.John, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris, Riddick Bowe, Earnie Shavers, Michael & Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Claressa Shields, Teofimo Lopez, Brandon Rios, Jorge Linares, and many more.

Exhibitors include boxing promoters, gear, apparel, equipment, energy drinks, supplement products, broadcasting media, sanctioning bodies, and other companies who showcase their brand to fans and the boxing industry as a whole.

Throughout the next few months leading up to the Event, there will be weekly updates on the many stars that will commit their appearance at the Boxing Expo

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Return of the Mick: Conlan Dominates Marriaga in Belfast Main Event  

 Paddy Donovan, Kieran Molloy, and Kurt Walker notch victories in undercard action

BELFAST (Aug. 6, 2022)  Michael “Mick” Conlan returned home to Belfast and got back on the winning track. Conlan, who lost a featherweight title bid in March, defeated Miguel Marriaga by unanimous decision in the 10-round featherweight main event Saturday at The SSE Arena.

Conlan (17-1, 8 KOs) prevailed by scores of 99-88 2x and 99-89, securing knockdowns in the seventh, eighth, and ninth rounds. Marriaga (30-6, 26 KOs), a three-time world title challenger, dropped to 1-3 in his last four fights but showed a flourish of his vaunted power. In the 10th round, he buckled Conlan, and there were anxious moments for both men navigating the slippery canvas.

Conlan got the result the packed house came to see. He then called for a rematch with Leigh Wood, the WBA champion who scored a come-from-behind 12th-round knockout in a modern boxing classic.

Conlan said, “I had to get rid of a lot of demons tonight. Even in the fuc*ing last round, he hit me with a shot. That guy can punch. {He has} 10 more knockouts than I have fights. He hit me with a jab in the first round, and it was like, ‘Oh, this guy actually can bang.’ I had to be careful and use my skills, which I did. In the last round, he caught me with a shot. Listen, I’ve been using my legs all night. I was a bit off the pace. He was pushing it. He landed a good shot. He buckled me a little bit. I felt it, and for me, to kind of come through that and it’s the last round… I got knocked out in my last fight in the last round. I think that says a lot. I’m back, baby. I’m ready for any of them.

“Obviously, I want Leigh Wood. It’s obvious, but Leigh has his own situation. So, hopefully he can deal with that and come through and the rematch can be done. If not, it’s any other champion. I want to get back in. I will be world champion, and I know I will. Whoever I face, I know I’ll beat him.”

In other action:

Welterweight: Tyrone McKenna (23-3-1, 6 KOs) UD 10 Chris Jenkins (23-6-3, 8 KOs), Scores: 96-95 2x and 97-94. Jenkins, a former British and Commonwealth welterweight champion, appeared to do enough to earn the victory, but the three judges ruled in favor of Belfast native McKenna. It was a battle of Jenkins’ steady pressure against southpaw volume McKenna, and the two waged a phone booth affair. McKenna recovered from a barrage of body blows to have counterpunching success in the ninth and 10th rounds.

Junior Middleweight: Kieran Molloy (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 2 Evgenii Vazem (9-36, 7 KOs), 1:23. Molloy, from Galway, Ireland, shined in pro bout number two with a devastating performance over Vazem. Early in the second, a four-punch combination, punctuated by a right hook to the body, put Vazem down for the count.

Molloy said, “I fit right in here. I’m an entertainer. I’m a good fighter, and I proved tonight that I’m a good boxer as well. I didn’t even look for that shot. I just landed that uppercut a few times. His elbows were coming up, and it was a nice, sinking body shot, so I just took it.”  

Super Middleweight: Padraig McCrory (14-0, 8 KOs) TKO 5 Marco Antonio Periban (26-6-1, 17 KOs), 2:14. McCory moved his knockout streak to four with a one-sided drubbing over the former world title challenger. Periban was dropped three times in the fifth round, the final blows coming courtesy of a quick-trigger combination that knocked him into a neutral corner. The referee waved off the fight, and McCrory secured the second defense of his WBC International Silver belt.

Featherweight: Kurt Walker (3-0, 1 KO) PTS 6 Marcos Gabriel Martinez (18-4, 5 KOs), Score: 59-55. Walker, a 2020 Tokyo Olympian, stepped up in class and used his superior lateral movement and combination punching to stymie Argentina’s Martinez. Walker, who is signed to Top Rank, turned pro earlier this year and hopes to take the express lane to title contention at 27 years old.

Welterweight: Paddy Donovan (9-0, 6 KOs) PTS 8 Tom Hill (10-3, 2 KOs), Score: 80-72. The Irish southpaw sensation returned from injury — and a nearly six-month layoff — to shut out Hill. It was the first scheduled eight-rounder for Donovan, a 23-year-old who is trained and managed by former middleweight world champion Andy Lee.

Donovan said, “It’s very important to get the rounds in. Tommy is a very, very tough fighter. We knew that before. He hopped in the ring before he accepted the challenge. He’s beat the Irish number one welterweight, knocking him down twice in the fight, so we know what he’s capable of.”

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NONITO DONAIRE TARGETING KAZUTO IOKA AND ROMAN ‘CHOCOLATITO’ GONZALEZ 

 

LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 5 – Nonito Donaire is targeting huge fights at super flyweight with Kazuto Ioka and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez – before moving back up to chase bantamweight greatness. 

The former four-weight world champion has emphatically dismissed any idea of retiring following his brutal stoppage defeat to Naoya Inoue in June

Instead, the legendary Donaire, who will be 40 in November, intends on dropping down to the 115lbs division to chase mouth watering fights with WBO champion Ioka and the brilliant Chocolatito. 

And then the Filipino Flash plans to move back into the mix at bantamweight in pursuit of becoming the undisputed champion in that division. 

“It’s a really good fight with Chocolatito and people are saying it would be ‘legend versus legend’” Donaire told Probellum.com 

“It’s a big fight. But I do like the Ioka fight as well because I want to get that title and become a five-division champion and then move back up to 118 and go for the undisputed crown once everything else is open and I get another opportunity for it.” 

Donaire has revealed he was mulling over the move to super flyweight in the hours before he faced Inoue last month. 

“Before the fight with Inoue, Richard Schaefer and I talked about going down to 115,” Donaire said.  

“Making the weight was very simple for me and I made it quickly. I even made 117 before stepping on the scales.  

“Richard and I were talking and saying that regardless of what happens here, maybe I can go down to 115 and fight the guys in that division.  

“Richard is talking with Ioka’s people, with Mr Honda and he is talking to Chocolatito as well. It’s exciting, there are a lot of things to look forward to.” 

To keep up to date with the latest news on Donaire’s next move, 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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Teofimo Lopez: “The Takeover is Back!”

Lopez-Pedro Campa headlines ESPN-televised bill SATURDAY, August 13 @ Resorts World Las Vegas

Tickets starting at $40 are on sale now and can be purchased at Etix.com

RINGOES, N.J.  (Aug. 4, 2022) — The Takeover 2.0 is 10 days away. Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs), the former unified and lineal lightweight champion, will make his junior welterweight debut against Mexican veteran Pedro Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs) on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Resorts World Event Center at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Lopez is back following last November’s split decision shocker to George Kambosos Jr., which knocked him from the top of the lightweight heap. The Brooklyn native is training in New Jersey for Campa, a 30-year-old puncher who is unbeaten in eight fights dating back to 2017. 

Following a recent training session, this is what Lopez had to say about his ESPN-televised return.

“The Takeover is back! I took over the lightweight division, and I plan on doing the same at junior welterweight. Pedro Campa is a tough opponent with an aggressive Mexican style, and I can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.”

“Every person goes through challenges, but I’ve put the past behind me and am thrilled to be back fighting on ESPN and in Las Vegas. I am calling this fight the ‘Take Back’ because I am coming to regain what I’ve lost. One defeat does not define a fighter, and it won’t define me.”

“I had been fighting at lightweight since I was a teenager, and it was time to move up. I am going to be an even better, more explosive fighter. You will see that on August 13.”

“I am only 25 years old. My best years are in front of me. Pedro Campa is the start of a new chapter in my career. I will be a two-weight world champion very soon. Every contender and champion at junior welterweight better watch out because I am coming to clean out the division.”

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $40 are on sale now and can be purchased at Etix.com.

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San Diego Media Workout Alert: Emanuel Navarrete, Nico Ali Walsh & Hometown Hero Giovani Santillan Prepare for August 20 Card @ Pechanga Arena 
Media workout to take place MONDAY, Aug. 8 @ The BXING Club East Village 

Navarrete, Santillan and Ali Walsh to headline ESPN-televised tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)

August 3 – Who: WBO featherweight world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, undefeated welterweight contender/San Diego native Giovani Santillan, and unbeaten middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh.
 
What: Navarrete, Santillan and Ali Walsh will conduct a media workout 12 days before they take center stage Saturday, Aug. 20, at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
 
Navarrete (35-1, 29 KOs) will defend his world title against his Mexican countryman, Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs). In the co-feature, Santillan (29-0, 17 KOs) risks his perfect against Julio Luna (19-0-2, 10 KOs).
 
Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, opens the ESPN telecast in a rematch versus Reyes Sanchez (7-2, 3 KOs), the only man to take him the distance in his young career. Nearly 50 years ago, Ali fought at Pechanga Arena San Diego (then known as San Diego Sports Arena), suffering a broken jaw en route to a shocking decision defeat to Ken Norton.
 
Where: The BXING Club East Village
491 15th Street, San Diego

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The Homecoming: Newark Native Shakur Stevenson to Defend Unified Junior Lightweight Title Against Robson Conceição September 23 at Prudential Center LIVE on ESPN Lightweight sensation Keyshawn Davis set to return in the co-feature
Tickets starting at $50 are on sale TODAY, July 25

NEWARK, N.J. (July 25, 2022) — Brick City’s boxing superstar, Shakur Stevenson, is the junior lightweight king. He’ll soon return home to defend his throne.

Stevenson, the WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine champion, puts his hardware on the line against Brazilian standout Robson Conceição on Friday, Sept. 23, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. In the eight-round lightweight co-feature, Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis returns against an opponent to be named.
 
Stevenson-Conceição and Davis’ bout will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (simulcast) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $50 go on sale TODAY, July 25, at 2 p.m. ET and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
 
“The sensational Shakur Stevenson is a once in a generation boxing talent, and he’s back home in Newark as a world champion against a worthy contender in Robson Conceição,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I also can’t wait to see young talents like Keyshawn Davis and Bruce Carrington perform on such a significant card.”
 
“Prudential Center is incredibly proud to partner once again with Top Rank and ESPN to host Newark’s own Shakur Stevenson in his homecoming bout, as he defends his junior lightweight world titles in this exciting matchup versus Robson Conceição”, said Dylan Wanagiel, VP of Sports Properties & Special Events for Prudential Center. “Having Shakur back home means a great deal to this city, as his presence alone is an inspiration to our next generation. We look forward to another historic night as we add to the rich history of combat sports in our great state of New Jersey. We welcome all fight aficionados to join the unique excitement of a Newark crowd, which we will share with the worldwide audiences of ESPN and ESPN Deportes.”
 
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) returns to Prudential Center following a career-best performance in April over Oscar Valdez. He unified two junior lightweight titles in a near-shutout over 12 rounds and vaulted up the pound-for-pound rankings. Stevenson, a former featherweight world champion, won the WBO junior lightweight strap last October with a knockout over long-reigning champion Jamel Herring. In 18 professional fights since capturing a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Stevenson has lost a small handful of rounds, establishing himself as the sport’s premier defensive practitioner. The southpaw stylist comes back to Brick City intent on maintaining his dominance.
 
Stevenson said, “I’m coming home to Newark and I’m back as a unified champion. I’ve always proudly represented Newark, and I’m ready to perform in front of my hometown fans at Prudential Center on September 23. Robson Conceição gave Oscar Valdez a tough fight. A lot of people felt like he won, but we’ll see how good he really is when he fights me.”

Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) made history as Brazil’s first Olympic boxing gold medalist, turning pro under the Top Rank banner less than three months after the 2016 Rio Games. He entered the Valdez last fight last September with a 16-0 record, but the oddsmakers gave him little shot at dethroning the champion. Twelve rounds later, he lost a close points verdict but ultimately proved himself as a worthy title contender. Less than five months after the Valdez fight, he traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and upset the previously undefeated Xavier Martinez over 10 rounds. Conceição, who fought the likes of Valdez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Joe Cordina and Josh Taylor as an amateur, now gets the chance to battle another decorated amateur turned professional world champion.
 
Conceição said, “Shakur Stevenson is an excellent athlete and has my respect for everything he has accomplished. Our paths are crossing, and there will only be one champion. I guarantee the best performance of my life. It will be the fight of the year and a great show for the audience and my Brazilian fans, the ones that never give up!”
 
Davis (5-0, 4 KOs), from Norfolk, Virginia, shined in the Stevenson-Valdez co-feature, knocking out Esteban Sanchez in six rounds. The 23-year-old nicknamed “The Businessman,” is a rising star who has yet to lose a round in the paid ranks. The one-time amateur superstar was one of the fistic stars of Tokyo 2020. Davis ran roughshod through the lightweight bracket until the championship bout, where he lost a competitive decision to Cuban prodigy Andy Cruz.

The undercard, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+, is highlighted by the fifth professional outing of featherweight Bruce Carrington, who hails from Brownsville, Brooklyn. Carrington (4-0, 3 KOs) will fight Chilean veteran Jose Argel (8-4, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder. Carrington has won three straight by knockout since turning pro with a decision victory last October on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder III undercard.
 
In other undercard action:

Long Island-born welterweight prospect Jahi Tucker (8-0, 5 KOs) steps up in class against New Mexico’s Jose Luis Sanchez (11-2-1, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder. Sanchez went the distance against top junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas last September.
 
A pair of Puerto Rican contenders, junior lightweight Henry “Moncho” Lebron (16-0, 10 KOs) and featherweight Orlando Gonzalez (18-1, 11 KOs), will see action in separate eight-rounders.
 
Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (6-0, 2 KOs), from The Bronx, N.Y., fights in a six-rounder at junior featherweight, while popular Puerto Rican prospect Armani Almestica (6-0, 6 KOs) goes for knockout number seven in a six-rounder at lightweight.
 
Popular New York City welterweight Pablo Valdez (6-0, 5 KOs) makes his 2022 debut in a six-rounder.

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TICKETS GO ON SALE THURSDAY AND PRE-SALE TICKETS AVAILABLE TOMORROW FOR HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN BETWEEN ANDY RUIZ JR. & LUIS ORTIZ ON SEPTEMBER 4 DURING LABOR DAY WEEKEND FROM CRYPTO.COM ARENA IN LOS ANGELES

Former Unified Heavyweight Champion Ruiz Takes on Top Contender Ortiz In Much-Anticipated Clash Headlining FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View

For Pre-Sale Tickets Use Code: BOXING or CRYPTO

LOS ANGELES – June 23, 2022 – Tickets will go on sale Thursday for the explosive heavyweight showdown between former unified champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. and top contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz taking place on September 4 during Labor Day Weekend from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event.
 
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, go on sale Thursday, June 23 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased online at AXS.com  
 
Pre-sale tickets are available TOMORROW beginning at 10 a.m. PT until 10 p.m. PT through AXS.com with the code: BOXING or CRYPTO

Viewers can live stream the PBC shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

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Manuel Gallegos vs. Jesus Moroyoqui

Headline “Canela Box Nights”

Aug. 19th Live & Free stream on Canela.tv and Canela Sports from Mexico

LOS ANGELES (August 2, 2022) – Only 10 days after the launching of the “Canela Box Nights” series, CANELA BOX and World Cup Boxing Series (WCBS), led by CEO Terry Hollan and promoter/matchmaker Guy Taylor, have announced boxing’s newest series will return August 19th to one of boxing’s true hotbeds, Los Mochis, Sonora, Mexico.

“Canela Box Nights” will be held and streamed live for free the third Friday evening every month in Mexico.

Los Mochis, Sonora is synonymous with elite boxing, producing stars such as 5-time World Champion Fernando Montiel 54-6 (39 KOs) and 4-division World Champion Jorge Arce (64-8, 49 KOs). 

The most recent WCBS signing, super-middleweight Manuel Gallegos (19-1, 16 KOs), has a legitimate shot at developing into the next star from Los Mochis. Gallegos appears to have the size, strength, skills, and chin to go deep in the loaded 168-pound division. Two fights ago. Gallegos defeated former Showtime and TMT fighter, Kevin Newman II (13-3-1, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, by way of a close 10-round unanimous decision a year ago.

Gallegos’ opponent in the Aug. 19th 8-round main event is light heavyweight Jesus “Mazo” Moroyoqui (10-1, 7 KOs), of Navojoa, Sonora, the home of Mexican boxing legend and former International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Champion Luis “Yory Boy” Campas (107-17-3. 82 KOs). 

“I’ve had the privilege to sit ringside and watch both men fight on separate nights and when the opportunity came to make this fight happen it was something we couldn’t pass up,” explained Taylor. “Now, if you are a boxing purest and love the whole ‘hit and not get hit’ style, this main event match-up may not be for your favorite, but if want to see a fight with no pretense of defense then you better tune in on August 19th to CANELA.TV”.”

Moroyoqui had a good amateur career with more than 100 fights and as a pro he has already defeated two previously undefeated fighters. Moroyoqui’s last fight resulted in his first pro loss to current world-ranked, undefeated Diego Pacheco (15-0) on DAZN.

The 8-round co-featured event will serve as a great “table setter” as one of the top prospects in all of Mexico and member of the Mexico’s famous Montiel boxing family, super lightweight prospect Jorge Lugo Cota (7-0, 5 KOs), also from Los Mochis. An outstanding amateur who had a record of 155-10, coupled with numerous state and national championship performances, Cota takes a huge leap up in class versus former world title challenger Jesus Antonio Rubio (13-5-2, (7 KOs). 

Rubio defeated former world-ranked challenger and United States Boxing Association (USBA) Champion Sonny Fredrickson (21-3) back in the spring of 2021.  Defeating Fredrickson earned Rubio an opportunity to fight for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Junior Welterweight World Championship against undefeated Alberto Puello (20-0) a year ago albeit dropping a 12-round decision.  In Rubio’s last action, he fought to an 8-round split draw with Angel Martinez (14-1, 14KOs).

“I have always been known as an aggressive matchmaker in my 20 years of doing, but this is overly aggressive even for me,” Taylor noted. “We have the utmost confidence in our fighter (Lugo) and for him to make his first eight-round fight against a past world title challenger should tell you all about the confidence he has in himself.”

“Canela Box Nights” – LIVE, EXCLUSIVE and FREE stream on CANELA.TV, presented by World Cup Boxing Series, on Friday, August 19th from the Centennial Sports Center in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, starting 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT throughout the United States, Mexico, and Latin America.

Canela.TV is available for download on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, as well as through linear channels on Samsung TV Plus, LG, Vizio, Plex, Distro TV and available through iTunes and Google Play.  Users can find a wide variety of content, including soap operas, news, movies, television series, cooking shows, among others, through the Hispanic lens.  For additional information on Canela.TV please visit: https://www.canela.tv/

“Canela Fight Nights” was created by CANELA MEDIA, a leading, minority-owned technology driven company committed to redefining digital media experiences for the Hispanic Community, and World Cup Boxing Series (WCBS), led by its creators CEO Terry Holland and promoter/matchmaker Guy Taylor.

ABOUT CANELA MEDIA: Canela Media is the leading, minority-owned technology driven company offering brands a complete ecosystem to connect with multicultural audiences starting with its free streaming platform service, Canela.TV which enriches the new generation of U.S. Latinos with free access to unique, culturally relevant content. In addition to TV content, Canela Music features a unique blend of Latin music programming , featuring various genres from Latin Pop, Regional Mexican, Classics, Romantic, and more.

Canela Media reaches more than 50 million unique Hispanics across its 180+ premium Spanish-language sites. Combined with the company’s proprietary data, Canela Media possesses in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to establish meaningful and culturally relevant connections with the new mainstream- U.S. and Latin America Hispanics.

Headquartered in New York, Canela Media is ranked as the third largest Hispanic ad-focused company and the only female-and minority-owned certified digital company. For more information please visit: https://canelamedia.com/

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Dog Fight: Isaac Dogboe Edges Joet Gonzalez in Featherweight Battle

Cabrera topples Flores Jr. in lightweight co-feature


HINCKLEY, Minn. (July 23, 2022) — Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe’s future was cloudy following back-to-back junior featherweight title fight losses to Emanuel Navarrete. Now, his future is brighter than ever.

Ghana’s Dogboe defeated two-time title challenger Joet Gonzalez by a 10-round split decision in the featherweight main event Saturday evening at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota. The bout was a WBC title eliminator, and Dogboe won the WBO International title, putting him in a prime position to challenge for a world title.

Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs), who won the first three rounds on two of the scorecards, swept the 10th to earn the win by scores of 96-94 on two cards. Gonzalez prevailed by the same margin on the other card.

Dogboe said, “I said to the people that my journey can be a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and I praise God always.
 
“I’ve always seen {trainer} Barry {Hunter} as a very inspirational person, a father figure. He’s a person that when it seems like it’s all gone, he always has something to say to you. I really needed him in my corner. He was able to pull that extra strength in me out. I want to say thanks to Joet Gonzalez. He’s a true warrior.

“Whoever the champions are, they should watch out. The ‘Royal Storm,’ I am back, baby!”

Gonzalez (25-3, 15 KOs), who outlanded Dogboe 197-190, believed he did enough to earn the win. Last October, he lost a 12-round barnburner to Navarrete in his second bid for the WBO featherweight title. Despite falling short, he still hopes a third title opportunity is in his future.

“Close fight. I thought I won the fight. I buckled him, I believe, twice in the fight. I stunned him,” Gonzalez said. “He didn’t really land too many shots. I landed the cleaner, harder shots. I was pushing him back, and he was holding most of the time. Roughing me and trying to stop me. But I thought I won the fight.”

Cabrera Dominates Flores Jr.

Welcome to the big show, Giovanni Cabrera. The Chicago native dropped Gabriel Flores Jr. three times en route to a dominant 10-round unanimous decision (98-89 3x) in the lightweight co-feature.

Cabrera exploded in the opening round, knocking down Flores with a straight right left seconds into the opening round. He added a second knockdown off a left hand that had Flores stumbling into the ropes.

Cabrera (21-0, 7 KOs) added a knockdown with a right hook in the fifth, but Flores, the fighting pride of Stockton, California, would not give in. Flores (21-2, 7 KOs) pressed forward in the fight’s second half, doing enough to win a pair of rounds on all three judges’ cards. But in the 10th round, Cabrera charged forward hoping for the knockout.

The knockout did not materialize, but Cabrera, who is trained by the legendary Freddie Roach, did not have to worry about the cards. He had done more than enough to author a signature victory.

I felt amazing. It’s what we worked on in the gym,” Cabrera said. “Everybody, I think, can see I’m a very slick boxer. As I’ve progressed in the professional ranks, there’s still growth to be had. There’s a lot to learn, and I have the best trainer in the world to do that. I’ve been working on my power. He felt it in the

first round. Gabriel Flores is as tough as they come. My hat’s off to him. This incredible fight wouldn’t have been made if he wasn’t brave enough to take it.”

Flores said, “I should’ve kept on stepping to my left. The game plan kind of went to blur. My father was telling me to keep stepping to my left, keep feinting, keep flicking my jab, and keep jabbing. I didn’t really do much of any of that.”

In other results:

Middleweight: Javier Martinez (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Chino Hill (7-1-1, 6 KOs). Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 2x. Milwaukee’s Martinez picked up the most substantial victory of his young career, nearly shutting out the savvy native of Davenport, Iowa. The Robert Garcia Boxing Academy-trained Martinez landed 25 more punches than Hill and connected at a 48 percent clip. Martinez, a one-time U.S. amateur standout, has been spotless since turning pro inside the MGM Grand Bubble two years ago.

Heavyweight: Guido Vianello (9-0-1, 9 KOs) TKO 4 Rafael Rios (11-4, 8 KOs), 2:59. 2016 Italian Olympian Vianello returned from a nearly 13-month layoff and didn’t skip a beat, lacing Rios with combinations until the finish came at the end of round four. Rios, with his nose bloodied, ate a vicious uppercut, then a combination capped by a left hook to the body that put him down for the 10-count.

Featherweight: Haven Brady Jr. (7-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Aaron Echeveste (6-8, 3 KOs), Scores: 60-54 2x and 60-53. Brady put forth a workmanlike effort against Echeveste, an eight-year pro who has only been stopped once as a pro. He pressed for the knockout in the sixth round, landing a series of left hooks against the southpaw spoiler as the seconds ticked away. 
 
LightweightAbdullah Mason (3-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Luis Fernandez (1-4-1), 2:39. The 18-year-old southpaw, from Cleveland, Ohio, showed why he’s one of the sport’s ascending stars with a drubbing of Fernandez. The finishing flurry was punctuated by a brutal uppercut that prompted referee Mark Nelson to stop the fight.

HeavyweightAntonio Mireles (4-0, 4 KOs) TKO 2 Dennys Reyes (3-3, 1 KO), 2:09. “El Gigante,” the 6’9, 270-pound behemoth from Des Moines, Iowa, ended his evening early with a savage salvo in the second round. He knocked down Reyes with a chopping left hand, and when Reyes rose to his feet, a two-punch combination made the inevitable official.

Light HeavyweightDante Benjamin Jr. (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Corey Thompson (4-1, 3 KOs) 2:24. “Free Smoke” brought it to Minnesota, jumping all over the previously undefeated Thompson in the opening round of the scheduled four-rounder. Benjamin notched a pair of knockdowns, both of which left Thompson reeling into the ropes before the one-sided affair was called off.

Heavyweight: Colton Warner (5-1, 3 KOs) UD 4 Jimmy Barnes (1-3, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 3x.

Middleweight: Antonio Woods (11-0, 9 KOs) TKO 1 Darryl Jones (4-5-1, 2 KOs), 2:36.

Heavyweight: Cayman Audie (2-1, 1 KO) UD 4 Anthony Garrett (1-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-34 3x.

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Dylan Price Spectacular with Unanimous Decision over Drew Correll To win NBA Bantamweight World Title

 Chester Native Frankie Lynn Thrills Hometown Fans with 33 second KO in pro Debut

CHESTER, PA (July 18, 2022)–Bantamweight Dylan Price remained undefeated by displaying a scintillating performance in winning a 10-round unanimous decision over tough Drew Correll to capture the NBA Bantamweight world title at a sold out Elevations Event Center in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The six-bout card was promoted by Price Promotions.

Price came out fast by landing some wicked straight rights against the tall southpaw Correll. Correll looked to establish his long jab, and at times, he was successful. Price was able to put some vicious combinations throughout the contest. He was able to mix in hard body combinations with four and five flush punches to the head.   

Price was able to crack, but not break down the steel-chinned Correll. Almost each time it seemed like that anytime Correll was teetering on being in serious trouble, he would keep Price honest with a little flurry of punches.  Price’s punches were accurate, and were accompanied with speed and power, that saw Price came home with the victory and the title by scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.

Price of Sicklerville, New Jersey is now 15-0. Correll of Danville, New Jersey is 10-3.

The co-feature saw Frankie Lynn of Chester need just 32 seconds to dispose of Prince Francis in a one-sided battle of pro debuting middleweights.

Lynn dropped an overmatched Francis twice before the fight was halted.

Erron Peterson used a vicious body assault to take out Jeremiah Kendrick in round three of their scheduled four-round middleweight fight.

Peterson threw powerful punches to the side of Kendrick until it was determined that he had taken enough punishment for the evening at 2:56 of round three.

Peterson of Philadelphia is 1-0 with one knockout. Kendrick, also of Philadelphia, is 1-1.

Jalique Holden stopped Tyrique Gerald in round one of their four-round lightweight contest.

The time was 2:59 for Holden of Delaware, who is 1-0. Gerlad of Brooklyn, NY is 0-1.

Abimbola Osundairo put on a power-punching display and stopped Tariq Green in round two of their four-round super middleweight bout,

The time was 1:45 for Osundairo of Chicago, who is now 2-0 with one stoppage. Green of Philadelphia is 0-1.

The card kicked off with Aaron Newmose winning a four-round split decision over Jamir Anderson in a battle of debuting welterweight.

Newmose of Atlantic City won by scores of 39-37 twice, while Anderson won a card 39-37.

Photo by Darryl Cobb Jr.

 

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Hey Arnold: Barboza Defeats Zorrilla in 140-Pound Showdown

Silver Medal Star Richard Torrez Jr. Improves to 2-0

Arnold Barboza (R) and Danielito Zorrilla (L) square off with each other.

TEMECULA, Calif. (July 15, 2022) — Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. waited nearly 10 years as a pro to make his main event debut, and he took full advantage of the opportunity.

Barboza (27-0, 10 KOs), from South El Monte, California, grinded down Danielito Zorrilla to win a 10-round unanimous decision in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,836 Friday evening at Pechanga Resort Casino. Ranked No. 8 by the WBO at 140 pounds, he prevailed by scores of 98-92 and 97-93 2x.

Barboza returned from an 11-month layoff in vintage form, wearing down Zorrilla with a consistent body attack and well-placed right hands. Zorrilla (16-1, 12 KOs), down big on the cards, summoned one final charge in the 10th round. He landed a crisp right hand that wobbled Barboza, creating one very anxious moment for the Southern California standout. Barboza composed himself and held on for win number 27.

Barboza said, “I was a little rusty. It’s been a while. I’m not going to be inactive like that no more, man. I’m going to be fighting constantly.
 
“I was more off balance {in the 10th round}. I was right there. Once you saw me off balance, I was right back to my thing. Shout out to my conditioning. My conditioning was on point.

Arnold Barboza Jr. after his huge win.

“My manager knows, if we can’t get a title shot, you know who it is. We want Teofimo. It’s either a title shot or him.”

Muratalla Dominates Valtierra

Lightweight sensation Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (15-0, 12 KOs) shut out the game Jair Valtierra (16-2, 8 KOs) over eight rounds by identical scores of 80-71. Muratalla, from Fontana, California, dropped Valtierra with a left hook in the fourth.

Muratalla landed 133 power punches to 20 for Valtierra, but saw his nine-bout knockout streak end.

Raymond Muratalla (R) and Jair Valtierra (L) exchange punches on the inside.

Muratalla pressed for the knockout in the eighth round, but the stubborn Valtierra fired back and saw the final bell.

“I did OK. I felt like I was a little bit sloppy. I could’ve done a lot better. There are better days to come,” Muratalla said. “I just want to stay active, keep fighting, and whatever opponents they bring to me, they bring to me. I just want to get to the top, and I’m going to keep fighting and fighting.”

Torrez Jr. Stops Zavala Jr. in 58 Seconds

Richard Torrez Jr (R) smashed a jarring left to the jaw of Roberto Zavala Jr (L).

Heavyweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) wasted little time, stopping Roberto Zavala Jr. (2-2-1, 2 KOs) at 58 seconds of the opening round. Torrez pressed forward and backed Zavala Jr. into the blue corner, unleashing a combination that prompted Eddie Hernandez Sr. to wave it off.

Torrez Jr. returns Aug. 27 on the ESPN-televised undercard of the Jose Pedraza-Richard Commey main event in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Torrez Jr. said, “I want to thank Top Rank for keeping me active and giving me the platform to showcase my talents. Every fight is a learning experience, and I can’t wait until August 27 in Tulsa.”

In other results:

Heavyweight: Stephan Shaw (17-0, 13 KOs) KO 1 Bernardo Marquez (14-5-1, 10 KOs), 2:35. “Big Shot” Shaw lived up to the billing with an explosive power burst that dropped Marquez three times in less than three minutes. Shaw, from St. Louis, ended the evening with a chopping right hand that dropped Marquez to the canvas. Shaw is 2-0 in 2022 since signing a co-promotional pact with Top Rank.

Stephan Shaw *R) pounds Bernardo Marquez (L) with a hard right.

Junior Featherweight: Floyd Diaz (6-0, 2 KOs) KO 3 Pedro Salome (3-1-1, 1 KO), 1:17. Four weeks after improving to 5-0, Diaz returned with a power flourish. After a competitive opening round, Diaz turned the tables in the second round and floored Salome with an overhand right in the third. Referee Daniel Sandoval waved off the fight after a three-punch combination staggered Salome.

Welterweight: Adrian Yung (28-7-3, 22 KOs) DRAW 6 Jorge Marron Jr. (20-3-2, 7 KOs). Scores: 59-55 Yung and 57-57 2x. Yung, who was originally supposed to fight Muratalla, was not fazed by the late-notice opponent. Marron, who hails from San Diego, brought a sizable cheering contingent but had to settle for his second consecutive draw. 

Featherweight: Austin Brooks (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 4 Victor Saravia. (1-3, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 3x.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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FLORIDA BOXING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION WEEKEND TAKES PLACE DURING UNUSUAL DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE

 

Story by Mark Weisenmiller

Photos courtesy of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame

PETERSBURG, FL – Despite a dangerous, life-threatening heat wave that covered much of the American South, The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame (FLBHOF) conducted its annual induction weekend this year. The event was held at the Marriot Hotel here in St. Petersburg from Friday June 17th through induction day of Sunday June 19th.

2022 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Inductees.

Eleven fights were scheduled for Friday evening, but one of them was cancelled. Thus, only 10 bouts happened. These fights, and the entire proceedings, were livestreamed by Gold Star Television.

Saturday’s first seminar was conducted by long-time Florida-based referees Brian Garry and Chris Young. These two have been conducting this seminar, or variations of it, during past FLBHOF induction ceremony weekends for many years and, like a singing duo that has worked together for many years, they know each other’s physical actions and vocal syncopations.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former Heavyweight king Shannon Briggs.

The theme of the seminar was boxing refereeing and judging and Garry and Young relayed anecdotes of both fields from their past, and current experiences. Garry told a story of himself refereeing a bout in St. Petersburg some years ago that got so out of control that the frenzied audience moved their physical and vocal mayhem out of the arena where the fight was being held and continued their hellraising. Result: 25 of these people were arrested by St. Petersburg police. Young often emphasized the importance of positioning by referees, of themselves, during a bout. “Position is everything,” Young told the audience of 25 to 30 people.

Shannon Briggs -L- fires at George Foreman -R- in 1997 Lineal Heavyweight Title Fight. Photo by Pat Orr – The USA Boxing News.

Antonio Tarver was slated to give the next seminar with the theme of it being “A Fighter’s Perspective.” Tarver did not show up so former lightweight king Nate Campbell Jr. – a past FLBHOF inductee and a talented boxer who fought from 2002 to 2014 – filled in. Campbell spoke much about how mental preparation for a bout is just as important – indeed, in Campbell’s estimation, more important – than physical preparation. “When boxers trash talk an opponent,” explained Campbell to a packed audience, “It is not just done for the benefit of the media, but is a form of a boxer mentally psyching himself up for a upcoming bout.” Nate also admitted that he and his compatriot boxers undergo the mental strain of getting ready for a fight. “I can’t eat what I want; I can’t see the woman I love, I can’t see my kids. All of this is mentally grueling,” Campbell confessed.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former WBO jr. welterweight and IBF welterweight champion Randall Bailey.

After lunch, FLBHOF President Steve Canton led a four-person panel (himself included) of a round robin discussion of many boxing-related topics. Among the things that he and his fellow panel members talked about – before another packed room – was how long fights should be; where fights should be held (Canton remembered when fights were held in baseball stadiums); the fact that TV network executives prefer 12-round fights to 15-round fights because the former fits television’s peculiar way of bending time; the point that major fights are no longer held on free TV and that this leads to less name recognition; the fact that good fighters will always watch and study both tapes of themselves and their opponents, and other matters. Canton said, “Fighters train for their fights; champions train all the time.” He also highly praised this year’s class of inductees.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 FLBHOF Inductee and former IBF Cruiserweight King Al Cole.

The seminar lasted until 3 PM and, in the interval until the formal dinner began at 6 PM, people lulled about or visited vendors who sold their wares (T-shirts, hats, etc.) from glass topped covered tables. There was also, as has been the case in past years, a plaster cast company’s worker making plaster casts of peoples’ fists.

IBF Cruiserweight Champion Al Cole. Photo by Alex Rinaldi

Seated at Table 25, at the back of the hotel space where the formal dinner was held, we had a full, wide-angle view of the room. Master of ceremonies for the evening, as has been the case in past years, was FLBHOF Vice President Bob Alexander. Two massive, large-screen movie screens – onto which was projected continuously played highlights of past boxing matches – enveloped the podium where Alexander reigned over the proceedings. Ten chairs were at each table and old friendships were renewed while new friendships began.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Announcer Bob Alexander and 2022 Inductee and former welterweight and jr. middleweight king Cory Spinks.

Between the salad and the entrée, many people looked at the aforementioned tables. Atop them now were dozens of items up for sale at a silent auction, ranging from a football jersey of local NFL team Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Mike Evans to a signed photo of local NHL team Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky (the Lightning were playing the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final at the time of this year’s FLBHOF induction ceremony weekend).

IBF welterweight king Cory Spinks -R- clobbers Ricardo Mayorga -L- with a right hand in their 2003 title bout.

Alexander announced the names of people from the boxing world who died in the previous year and one of these people was past FLBHOF President Walter “Butch” Flansburg. Canton thanked the crowd for coming and congratulated the new inductees. After this, Alexander acknowledged the people in the room who were Class of 2022 FLBHOF inductees. Keynote speaker of the evening was former amateur boxer, and now President of the Indiana Boxing Hall of Fame, Craig Houk.

2022 FBHOF -Inductee Fres Oquendo gives his acceptance speech.

Before the evening ended with dancing, awards were presented. More specifically, Chris Young, and brothers Vernon and Russell Ansell were given Special Achievement Awards, and the final award was the first annual Walter “Butch” Flansburg Award; this was presented to Tim Shipman, who is the Assistant Executive Director of the Florida State Boxing Commission.

Fres Oquendo stabs IBF heavyweight king Chris Byrd with a hard jab in 2003 bout. Photo by Tom Hogan-The USA Boxing News.

As people made their way to the Sunday morning hot buffet breakfast of eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes – all washed down with a selection of coffee; tea; or apple or orange juice – many seemed somewhat groggy. Two possible reasons: they stayed up too late after the previous evening’s festivities, or they watched the Lightning lose Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final. Yet, as these people took in sustenance, their spirits seemed to brighten.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former Heavyweight Challenger David Tua has his fist casted to be placed in the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Museum. Photo by Damon Gonzalez – LatinboxSports

The induction ceremony started at 11:20 AM. The FLBHOF Class of 2022 inductees was, and is, made up of 20 people – one PROMOTER (Richard Dobal); one person from the MEDIA world (Claudia Trejos); two OFFICIALS (Dennis DeBon and Dr. Ramon Garcia-Septien); three TRAINERS (Gus Curren; Tito Tiburon Ocasio; and Armando Wiz Fernandez); five PARTICIPANTS (Phil Alessi Jr.; Richard Fabian; Jerry Reyes; Joey Orduna; Steve Harris), and eight FIGHTERS (Randall Bailey; Al Cole; Fres Oquendo; David Tua; Shannon Briggs; Keith Mullings Sr.; David Armstrong, and Cory Spinks).

David Tua KO’s Michael Moorer. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.

The inductees walked into the room, two by two, to the tune of “Rocky” which was followed by the National Anthem. As it was Father’s Day, Alexander started the day by proclaiming, “A Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers out there.” All of fathers applauded unabashedly.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former WBO jr. welterweight and IBF welterweight champion Randall Bailey has his fist casted. Photo by Damon Gonzalez – LatinboxSports

The first inductee was the only posthumous one – Keith “The Brooklyn Assassin” Mullings Sr. He was only 53 when he died last May; cause of death has never been announced. Mullings captured the WBC super welterweight title on December 6, 1997 when he TKO’d the legendary “Terrible” Terry Norris in the ninth round. His eldest sister accepted on his behalf. “He [Keith] wanted to be remembered as a great fighter and he was. We (his immediate family) are deeply honored for this recognition,” she said. Before leaving the stage, she added “Brother, your fight is over.” Mullings’ final record was 16-8-1 (11 KO’s).

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee Gus Curren.

Brian Garry gave a final 10-count bell ring to all who died in the boxing world in the past year. A video tribute to the late Walter “Butch” Flansburg was then shown. Beforehand, Alexander told the room packed with boxing fans, “This is the first induction ceremony that we’ve had where Butch Flansburg was not in attendance.” It ended as the crowd watched, in the video tribute, Flansburg getting inducted into last year’s FLBHOF class. Kathy Flansburg, Butch’s heartbroken wife, was not in attendance at this year’s induction ceremony.

2022 FBHOF – The late, legendary former FLBHOF Fame President Butch Flansburg was honored at the Induction Ceremony.

The ceremony continued and the next inductee was Steve Harris. He first thanked God, then his mother, then his brothers, and then, overcome with emotion, Harris nicely wrapped up his speech when he told his fellow inductees “This isn’t the end of the world. Keep involved in boxing. You can always teach a young person something.” Earlier in his life, he took this advice for, after an amateur boxing career of some 250 bouts, rather than turn professional, he decided to become a full-time boxing coach.

Next came Jerry Reyes. He took the stage accompanied by the Whitney Houston song Hero. When he told the audience that he was born in Puerto Rico, many of the crowd yelled approval and began to loudly yell “Woo, woo!” He is the founder and operator of Reyes Macho Time Boxing. Reyes gave it this name, for he was close friends with FLBHOF inductee and former world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho.

Former inspector for the Florida State Boxing Commission Richard Fabian followed. In addition to the above, he later went on to own and operate his own boxing consulting company. “You have to have passion before you have progression,” was Fabian’s motto during his boxing career. He told the crowd that his career in boxing has been a series of meeting the right people at the right time. “The thing that’s been important to me is the friends I’ve made along the way,” he confessed. Overcome by emotion, Fabian ended his speech in tears.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Bob Alexander, inductee Dr. Ramon Garcia-Septien, and FLBHOF President Steve Canton.

Joey Orduna was next. The matchmaker for T & K Boxing Promotions took the stage to the tune of Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now. He remembered first getting interested in boxing when he watched bouts on TV, especially those with Muhammad Ali, with his father. “You get stronger through adversity. These are tough times in the world now, but don’t get down. Let’s get going,” he enthusiastically said. He gave the longest acceptance speech of all the inductees.

Keith Mullings fires a left jab at Terry Norris in winning the WBC jr. middleweight title bout.

Phil Alessi Jr. is an example of a son taking over a business run by his father and making it even more successful. In this case, his father started the well-known and successful Alessi Bakery, which is based in Tampa. This affable Italian – who was inducted for his work in the fields of boxing management and promotion -took to the stage to the tune of That’s Amore as sung by Dean Martin. “I do all of this for my Lord, my family, and the legacy of my father,” he told the audience.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Inductee Claudia Trejos with FLBHOF President Steven Canton.

The next inductee was Dr. Garcia-Septien. Born in Cuba in 1952, his family made their way to Florida. In 1984, in Tampa, he received his first state license. During his decades long work in helping boxers, he has never charged a boxer for a medical service. Uniquely, the first person that he thanked was his sister. “Boxing is my life and boxing is my family,” he said. Dr. Garcia-Septien gave the shortest acceptance speech.

2022 FBHOF – L-R 2022 Inductee Steve Harris and FLBHOF President Steve Canton.

Born in 1954 in Buffalo, New York, Dennis DeBon, the next inductee, has refereed more than 400 professional bouts. He collects autographed boxing gloves and, for a hobby, works as an artist specializing in works made from glass. DeBon was the first inductee who, in his acceptance speech, first thanked everybody at the FLBHOF. DeBon recalled getting hit in the face while refereeing a bout and thanked Brian Garry who was his mentor.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 FLBHOF Class of Inductees Cake.

Born in 1969, Claudia Trejos was the MEDIA department inductee. As a child, she was a talented athlete. For more than 25 years, she has worked as a television boxing commentator. In 2002, she started work for the Univision broadcasting network and her career has continued to climb. “When they say you can’t, guess what? Yes, you can,” she gushed in her acceptance speech. Bob Alexander, who has worked professionally with Trejos, echoed this theme when in his introductory speech of her, he told the crowd that the Hispanic boxing commentator “is serving as a great role model for Hispanic women and also young girls out there.”

2022 FBHOF – Former NBA Lightweight Champ and 2022 Inductee David Armstrong.

Next was boxing promoter Richard Dobal. Taking the stage to the accompaniment of the Phil Collins song In The Air Tonight, he remarked, “I’ve worn many hats and promoter wasn’t originally one of them.” Eventually, he made his way to the vocation of boxing promoter with an emphasis of promoting matches in Miami and Key West. “Through the years, I’ve co-promoted fights in Ireland and Australia. It’s been a helluva ride,” Dobal mused.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Florida Boxing Hall of Famer and ex-heavyweight king Pinklon Thomas poses with 2022 Inductee Shannon Briggs.

Now came the TRAINERS inductees. First up was Gus Curren. He was born in 1974 in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Later his family settled in Vero Beach, Florida. The affable Curren, the only inductee clad in blue jeans, made his way to the stage and first thanked his mother and father. He then thanked his wife and told the crowd of the circumstances of their first meeting. “She (his wife) shook my hand and said, ‘Hello Gus, it’s nice to meet you.’ I said to her ‘Shake the hand that shook the world, baby!’ It turns out that you shook my world, baby, and I love you.” He then asked the audience to give applause to the FLBHOF board members; the audience did so.

Trainer Armando Wiz Fernandez was, to borrow a phrase from baseball, next up to bat. He was born in Cuba and had relatives who worked with Chris and Angelo Dundee in their gym in Miami. This led to Armando getting work in boxing. By the 1990’s, he was a fulltime trainer and cut man. The humble Fernandez told the audience that his father did not want him to go into boxing. “To me, it is an honor to be inducted with this great group of champions,” he proclaimed.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Announcer Bob Alexander, inductee David Tua, and FLBHOF President Steve Canton.

The final trainer inductee was Tito Tiburon Ocasio. In 1996 he stopped his career as a boxing trainer due to being involved in a major car accident; six years later, Ocasio returned to the Sweet Science. Among the many boxers that he worked with was Antonio Vargas, who represented Brazil in a Summer Olympiad. As Ocasio opened a Christian ministry and does volunteer religious work at the Coleman Correctional Facility, it was not surprising to hear him open his speech with “God bless everyone here today.” The most striking thing that he said was “Never think you are nobody. You are somebody.” His father, mother, and children were in attendance and Ocasio thanked all of them.

By tradition, now came the final department, the FIGHTERS. First of these to be inducted was Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (39-8, 11 KO’s). The former undisputed welterweight king and 2-time IBF jr. middleweight champion was born in 1978 in St. Louis, Missouri, only five days after his father Leon upset heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in their memorable bout. Cory would go into boxing and eventually win five different title belts. Before stepping behind the podium, he got up from his front row seat and started dancing. He had a hard time controlling his emotions during his acceptance speech. “We’re (boxers) the biggest giants and we’ve got the softest hearts,” he admitted.

Randall “The Knock-Out King” Bailey, the next inductee, was said to be one of the hardest boxers in boxing history by Alexander. The former WBO jr. welterweight and IBF welterweight champ now lives in Georgia with his family. Bailey finished with a pro record with 46 wins, 39 by KO, and 9 losses. Randall also gave a very short acceptance speech.

David Armstrong.

David “Diamond D” Armstrong (20-13-2, 12 KO’s) was next. As an amateur boxer, he had a record of 108 wins and only 7 losses. He ambled onstage to the accompaniment of a country and western song and wore a tan cowboy hat as he gave his speech. “Amazing, amazing, amazing,” the former NBA lightweight champion began and finished in a direct and to-the-point manner: “That’s it. We’re all good. I ain’t got anything more to say.”

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction ring.

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction ring.

Fres “The Big O” Oquendo was introduced by Alexander as “a man who always has a smile on his face.” Possibly that is since his final record as a pugilist was 37-8 (24 KO’s). Born in Puerto Rico, but raised in Chicago, he had 105 wins and only five losses during his amateur career. One of his bouts was against fellow inductee Tua.  The three-time world heavyweight challenger Oquendo held the USBA and NBA heavyweight titles, along with the WBO and WBC Latino heavyweight crowns, and the WBA Fedelatin belt. He spoke for many minutes and closed by telling the audience that his wife was in Chicago tending to their child who was recently diagnosed with COVID.

Former cruiserweight division champion Al “Ice” Cole (35-16-3, 16 KO’s) was the next inductee. Born in 1964 in New York, he grew up as an athlete who specialized in playing basketball; he did not take up boxing until he joined the Army. In 1989 he turned pro and then won his first 15 fights. Cole captured the IBF cruiserweight title with a 12-round decision over James Warring on July 30, 1992, at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, New Jersey. After 5 successful title defenses, Cole moved up to the heavyweight division. Before his fight with former heavyweight champ Tim Witherspoon, he was involved in a car accident which injured his back, yet he went ahead and fought Witherspoon anyway. He lost this fight, but the scoring was close. “Hey everybody, welcome to the Hall of Fame,” he gushed.  Although he has 16 losses to his record, the former cruiserweight king only suffered 1 loss in the cruiserweight ranks.

Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs was the next to last inductee. Born in Brooklyn in 1971, he had to deal with asthma as a child and he still suffers from it. Shannon won his first 25 bouts and then proceeded to beat George Foreman in a 12-round bout on a majority decision on November 22, 1997, in Atlantic City, NJ for the lineal heavyweight title. Briggs later captured the WBO heavyweight championship in the most dramatic way possible -by technical knockout with only one second remaining in the bout against title holder Siarhel Liakhovich on November 4, 2006, in Phoenix, AZ. His record was 60-6-1 and 1 NC (53 KO’s). Often gesturing with his arms while giving his acceptance speech, he began by telling the audience “Get comfortable because this is going to be awhile.” That it was – his speech covered many themes and was entertaining.

Randall Bailey (R) of the US floors compatriot Mike Jones (L) for an 11th round knock out victory in their fight for the vacant IBF Welterweight Championship at the MGM Grand Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GettyImages)

The final inductee was former #1-ranked heavyweight contender David “Tuaman” Tua. He and his wife travelled the farthest distance out of all who attended the weekend ceremonies: they live in their native New Zealand. Tua wrapped up his professional boxing career with an impressive 52-5-2 (43 KO’s) record.  He was mighty a slugger who KO’d future 3-time WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz 19 seconds into the opening round on March 15, 1996, and then later KO’d former cruiserweight and 2-time heavyweight king Michael Moorer in 30 seconds of the first round on August 17, 2002. Tua only received one shot at the heavyweight title, facing Lennox Lewis on November 11, 2000, where he lost a 12-round unanimous decision.

Another highlight of Tua’s career was winning a bronze medal during the boxing competition at the 1992 Summer Olympiad held in Barcelona, Spain. He wore several leis around his neck and got the audience on his side when he began by saying “I’m going to keep this speech like me – short and sweet.” He thus proceeded to do so, and he kept the audience on his side when he told us that, in addition to it being Father’s Day and Induction Day, Sunday was also his wife’s birthday.

The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame is wonderful credit to the sport of boxing.  The USA Boxing News congratulates the 2022 Class of the FLBOF.

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CLICK PHOTO TO READ ABOUT THE WORLD FAMOUIS SUPERMAN CELEBRATION IN METROPILIS FEATURING FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER AND STAR OF SUPER AND SUPERMAN II MOVIE JACK O’HALLORAN AND THE USA BOXING NEWS SUPERMAN JEOPARDY GAME

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 Artur Beterbiev Destroys Joe Smith Jr. in 2 Rounds to become WBC/WBO/IBF Light Heavyweight Champion at the Hula Theater in Madison Square Garden

Robeisy Ramirez KOs Abraham Nova in featherweight co-feature

STORY BY ALEX RINALDI AND JOHN RINALDI

UNDERCARD STORIES BY TOP RANK

NEW YORK (June 18, 2022) — In the year 1979, the southern rock band from Florida known as Molly Hatchet  released their epic and most popular song – Flirtin’ with Disaster.  The song began as follows:

I’m travelin’ down the road
I’m flirtin’ with disaster
I’ve got the pedal to the floor,
My life is running faster…

Interestingly enough, people tend to flirt with disaster in many different ways. Sometimes it is doing daredevil acts or engaging in bad relationships. Sometimes it is risking money on long shots or setting up a pup tent in the middle of a hurricane. In the world of boxing flirting with disaster is now declared as entering the ring against Artur Beterbiev.

As his record indicates, Beterbiev, who bears a striking resemblance to the Kryptonian villain Non played by Jack O’Halloran in the Christpher Reeve Superman and Superman II films,  has a 100% knockout record on his ledger of professional fights. That record is so established that it should be added and carved onto Moses’ tablet of the Ten Commandments.

Frankly, a person has a better chance of surviving a firing squad of machine gun bullets while tied to fence door then going the distance against the now three belt Light Heavyweight Champion Beterbiev.

Unfortunately for the sturdy and rugged WBO Light Heavyweight Champ Joe Smith Jr., he found this out the hard and painful way.

To his credit, Smith is a tough fighter and was a good champion. He is also fearless and packs a big punch of his own as his 22 KO’s indicated. Against Beterbiev, however, he was like the early American revolutionaries against the vast British army – he was outgunned and outmanned. Unlike General George Washington who accepted this fact and fought a war of attrition and eventually bested the formidable British through successful battles of hit and run and retreating when necessary to drain them of their ability to wage war, Smith went straight at Beterbiev.

Sadly for the New York union laborer Smith, little did he know he needed a whip, a chair, and a pistol along with his fists to find success with that game plan.

As result, with less than 44 seconds remaining in round two after suffering two previous knockdowns, he was stopped after receiving one more sledgehammer right hand blow to his left ear. That punch sent him staggering and stumbling to the ropes three sheets to the wind and firmly on the dark side of Queer Street, prompting Harvey Dock to stop the fight there and then.

Beterbiev (L) landing a hard left hook to Smith’s jaw in round two.

When the dust settled, WBC/IBF ruler Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) had defeated Joe Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs) Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and captured Smith’s title along with the recognition of possibly being one of the premier hitters in boxing today and one step closer to fully unifying the light heavyweight division.

Although Smith started off well in the opening round fighting behind the left jab, with less then five seconds left in the stanza Beterbiev nailed Smith with a clubbing overhand right hand that sent Smith sailing to the canvas. While it was a flash knockdown, it also proved to be a harbinger and a gypsy curse of bad things to come.

With his solid fan base of New York fans and fellow union workers on hand trying to root him on, things only got worse for the Long Island native in the second, as a left hook that landed with the power of an anvil thrown off of the top floor of the Empire State Building, crashed Smith back to the canvas and nearly through the ropes. Like the courageous warrior he is, Smith bravely rose to his feet, but the end was near, actually very near. Like a storm of pure violence, Beterbiev landed another rain of thudding uppercuts, followed by another overhand right hand that left the referee with no other choice but to stop the fight and save the game Smith from further punishment.

Beterbiev celebrating after his huge KO win.

“My coach told me it’s not too far until I become a good boxer,” Beterbiev said. “Joe’s a little bit open, and it was more easy for me to get him. Both of us have a good punch, and both tried to connect first. I’m lucky that I was first.”

Sitting at ringside was British contender Anthony Yarde, who may be in line for a shot at Beterbiev this fall, though Beterbiev’s real preference is a unification fight with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, the same fighter who recently defeated Canelo Alvarez in a torrid points win.

“Unification fights are more interesting, more motivating,” Beterbiev said. “I prefer unification fight. I want to be undisputed.”

Ramirez Topples Nova in Featherweight Co-Feature

Cuban southpaw star Robeisy Ramirez (10-1, 6 KOs) announced his presence as a featherweight contender in a big way with an even bigger left hand. Ramirez knocked out the previously unbeaten Abraham Nova (21-1, 15 KOs) in the fifth round to pick up the USBA and WBO Global belts. Ramirez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, feinted with a right hand to the body and then came over the top with left that separated Nova from his senses.

Cuban southpaw star Robeisy Ramirez (L) staring down Abraham Nova (R) before scoring his thrilling KO win.

Ramirez said, “It was all about the strategy. I’m blessed to work with Ismael Salas, who is a genius in my corner. It really was about setting up that shot. If you watch the fight, it was about working, tapping the body until that opening was created. I knew he was dangerous, so I had to be careful, but when I saw my opening, I took it and I finished the fight.”

In other results:

Featherweight: Bruce Carrington (4-0, 3 KOs) RTD 5 Adrian Leyva (3-3-1, 1 KO). Carrington, the latest fistic prodigy from Brownsville, Brooklyn, authored a power punching clinic that forced Leyva to remain on his stool following the fifth round. He landed 69 of 121 power shots, including 11 of 17 in the fifth round. Leyva entered the fight riding a four-bout unbeaten streak.

Bruce Carrington (R) landing a hard left to the jaw of Adrian Leyva (L).

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (8-0, 5 KOs) TKO 4 D’Andre Smith (11-2, 5 KOs), 2:27. Tucker, from Deer Park, New York, thrilled the home region fans with a relentless offensive display that prompted the commission to advise referee Shawn Clark to stop the fight. Tucker buzzed Smith in the second round, but Smith somehow weathered the storm to survive two more rounds.

Junior Featherweight: Floyd Diaz (5-0, 1 KO) UD 6 Daniil Platonovschi (4-1, 2 KOs). Scores: 60-54 2x and 59-55. Diaz cruised to a clear points win in a battle of unbeaten prospects, and he did so with a heavy heart. Earlier Saturday, Diaz’s grandfather, Juan Demetrio Diaz, passed away at the age of 68. Diaz honored his memory with a boxing tour de force.

Middleweight: Troy Isley (6-0, 4 KOs) TKO 6 Donte Stubbs (6-6, 2 KOs), :38. Isley, a U.S. Olympian, became the first man to stop Stubbs in a one-sided power punching display. Isley knocked down Stubbs at the end of the fourth, then ended the fight with a straight right hand early in the sixth. Stubbs rose to his feet on wobbly legs, and referee Charlie Fitch waved it off.

Junior Middleweight: Wendy Toussaint (14-1, 6 KOs) UD 8 Asinia Byfield (15-5-1, 7 KOs). Scores: 79-73 3x.

Junior Middleweight: Jahyae Brown (11-0, 8 KOs) UD 6 Keane McMahon (7-3, 4 KOs). Scores: 60-54 and 58-56 2x.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Jalolov Stops Mulowayi in Final Round of ShoBox Main Event

Story by Kirk Lang

Verona, NY. It was not always a pretty affair throughout the contest, but 2020 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov ended matters in impressive fashion with a final round stoppage of 35-year-old Belgian Jack Mulowayi.

Bakhodir-Mulowayi was the 8-round main attraction of a ShoBox:The New Generation broadcast promoted by Lou DiBella and held at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York on June 10.

The 27-year-old Bakhodir, of Sariosiyo, Uzbekistand, seemed to drop Mulowayi with a straight left midway through the round. However, perhaps because it was a delayed reaction fall after some wobbly legs from Mulowayi, referee Benjy Esteves ruled the trip to the canvas a slip.

Bakhodir clearly possessed the better overall skills and with his power – he had knocked out every man he faced going in – it seemed there was a good chance he would render the judges’ scorecards useless. With Mulowayi doing little to deter Bakhodir from coming forward, the southpaw Uzbek fighter would continually find openings for his favorite punch – the straight left. A straight left had Mulowayi on unsteady legs in the third frame. Bakhodir followed up with an aggressive attack, but Mulowayi hung in there.

Things turned a bit ugly in the fourth frame, with Mulowayi, 242, warned for hitting behind the head early on, and later, Bakhodir, 251, had a point deducted for excessive holding when Benjy Esteves was unable to separate the two fighters. The crowd expressed its displeasure with the grappling with some booing before Esteves took the point away. Bakhodir can be a force in the future, but it seems he would rather hold when he gets an opponent in close quarters rather than work over his foe with shorter range punches.

Bakhodir briefly showboated in the fifth frame when he took a page of Sugar Ray Leonard’s handbook to wind-up with one hand only to jab with the other. Soon after, he did a Roy Jones Jr., raising a leg off the canvas in an exaggerated fashion before letting loose with a punch that targeted his rival’s face.

Bakhodir Jalolov stops Jack Mulowayi in the 8th Round. Photo Courtesy of Showtime – Stephanie Trapp.

There was no more game playing after the fifth. A left hand from Bakhodir, thrown more like a hook, sent Mulowayi to the canvas face-first and even the fight fans in the cheap seats must have heard the thud his face meeting the canvas made. Fortunately, Mulowayi was able to get up from the knockdown. In addition, there were just a couple of seconds left in the round, so Bakhodir couldn’t mount a follow-up attack. Bakhodir tried to finish his adversary off in the early part of the seventh, but he could not, and when Bakhodir’s punch output lessened in the second half of the frame, Mulowayi resorted to some trash-talking.

But his time was coming.

One round later, Bakhodir came out punching in combination, and his last shot was a huge straight left hand that put Mulowayi flat on his back! Referee Benjy Esteves waved the fight off without a count and called ringside physicians over. Mulowayi stayed on the mat for several minutes before he got up on his own accord.

Bakhodir raised his record to 11-0 (11 KO’s), while Mulowayi saw his ledger drop to 11-3-1 (7 KO’s).

 “I feel really good about my performance,” said Bakhodir. “The opponent was at a really good level and a great fighter.”

He added, “He [Mulowayi] was a really tough durable guy.” Mulowayi had never been on the canvas, amateur or pro, prior to getting in the ring with Bakhodir.

In another heavyweight contest, Bronx, New York-based George Arias out-hustled Alante Green, of Cleveland, OH, over eight rounds to raise his unbeaten record to 18-0 (7 KO’s). The scores were 78-74 and 77-75 for Arias, while one judge saw it 77-75 for Green.

Green, who was coming up from cruiserweight for the first time, did not have the firepower to make Arias hesitate. More athletically gifted and possessing the harder punches, Arias scored points while fighting off his backfoot, taking advantage of Green’s come-forward but largely ineffective game plan. Green had a few moments in the contest, such as the third stanza when he landed a solid left hook with Arias backed against the ropes. Soon after, he scored with two consecutive hooks.  At the very end of the round, he caught Arias with a thudding straight right.

George Arias fires a left hand at Alante Green. (Photo by Kirk Lang).

Arias, however, got back on track in the fifth round, and continued to put rounds in the bank with his superior boxing skills. Green resorted to holding in the sixth frame, but it was not excessive enough to warrant a point deduction. Arias dominated the seventh frame, but Green seemed to save some energy for the eighth and final round. He was a bit busier with his hands and he also used his feet more, making himself a little bit more difficult to hit than in previous rounds. It was a nice mini comeback, but it was too little too late. Arias got the victory and the previously unbeaten Green saw his record fall to 10-1-1 (7 KO’s).

George Arias clobbers Alante Green with a left hook. Photo Courtesy of Showtime – Stephanie Trapp

In a lightweight contest scheduled for eight rounds, Quebec, Canada native Chann Thonson, 132 1/2, punished and bloodied formerly undefeated Tyler Tomlin, 134, of Cheatham County, TN, en route to a fifth-round stoppage. The time was 1:01.

Thonson came out a man on a mission, looking to cut the ring off quickly. Before the opening round was over, he had marked up Tomlin’s left eye with a straight right. He administered a one-sided pummeling in the third frame and had Tomlin walking back to his corner on shaky legs after landing some serious power punches. By the fourth round, Tomlin was bleeding from the mouth and nose, and his left eye was looking worse.

L-R – Chann Thonson trades with Tyler Tomlin. Photo Courtesy of Showtime – Stephanie Trapp.

A minute or so into the fifth round – after Thonson was gifting Tomlin with leather fist after leather fist – referee Mark Nelson had a ringside doctor take a close look at Tomlin. On the advice of the doctor, Nelson waved the fight off at the 1:01 mark.

Thonson extended his undefeated record to 11-0 (7 KO’s) while Tomlin fell to 13-1 (9 KO’s).

Coming into the ring with a 72-pound weight advantage, “The Sandman” Amron Sands, 282, of Orlando, FL, outworked Joe Jones, 210, of Jersey City, NJ, over 8 rounds to win by scores of 77-75 on all three scorecards. He is now 12-2 (9 KO’s) while Jones dips to 13-5 (10 KO’s).

In a light heavyweight contest, New Haven, CT’s Charles Foster, 173, stopped Bo Gibbs Jr, 172 1/2, of Carney, OK, at 2:48 of the 4th round. Foster sent Gibbs to the canvas in the opening session with a straight left and continued to dominate throughout the contest. He hurt Gibbs early in the fourth round with another left. Later, the same punch made Gibbs look like one of those bobblehead dolls. Finally, a variety of power shots from both hands had the referee watching matters with a close eye. Soon after Gibbs’ mouthpiece went flying, referee Charlie Fitch ended matters.

L-R. Bo Gibbs Jr. advances towards Charles Foster. Photo by Al Derouin.

Foster improved to 21-0 (11 KO’s) and Gibbs dropped to 23-3 (9 KO’s). These more significant fights and other bouts were promoted by New York City-based Lou DiBella. Also, a special thank you to Turning Stone Director of Public Relations Kelly Abdo for her efforts in making sure The USA Boxing News had credentials. Abdo and her team were busy preparing for multiple events related to the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend, including not only the Friday night fights, but also the Saturday banquet and the Sunday induction, which took place at the casino for the first time in the Hall of Fame’s history.

Photos by Kirk Lang and Al Derouin – courtesy of SHOWTIME

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Roberto Duran’s take on Canelo Alvarez’s recent points loss to Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol

                                                      Bivol (R) nailing Canelo (L)

“It hurt me how Canelo lost. Thought I was a bit smarter. Canelo
didn’t prove anything. I saw him fight like an amateur.”
– Robert Duran-

Boxing: WBC Welterweight Title: Roberto Duran (L) in action vs Sugar Ray Leonard during fight at Olympic Stadium. Montreal, Canada 6/20/1980
CREDIT: Neil Leifer (Photo by Neil Leifer /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard first bout. Duran invented the blue print on how to beat a great boxer.

Roberto Duran smacks Pipino Cuevas with a hard left jab in their 1983 slugfest.

Roberto Duran slugs away with Marvelous Marvin Hagler in their 1983 classic bout. The fight that most people thought Hands of Stone won.

A savage overhand right by Roberto Duran distorts Davey Moore’s face near the end. Duran scored a TKO in the eighth round to defeat Davey Moore, for the WBA junior middleweight title at Madison Square Garden.

Roberto Duran lands a right uppercut on Iran Barkley.

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TK Promotions stages knockout fight show in Ringkobing, Denmark

Middleweight prospect Jacob Bank KO’s Idaas Redjal to remain undefeated

#21 WBC ranked Heavyweight Kem Ljungqvist moves to (13-0) with KO win over veteran Paata Aduashvili 

Story by Per-Ake Persson

Ringkobing, Denmark. TK Promotions closed out the season on June 11 with a pro-am show at the ROFI Centre in Ringkobing in the North West of Denmark. 

Headlining was middleweight prospect Jakob Bank (6-0) taking on Frenchman Idaas Redjal (10-3-2) in a scheduled six-rounder. On a previous visit to Denmark, Redjajl gave Landry Kore a very tough time before getting knocked out and he was expected to test Bank. The young Dane, however, quickly established his jab and Redjal was cut on the cheek already in the opening frame. Idaas landed with a good right in the second, but Bank took it well. Jakob kept jabbing and working the body and Redjal, by now marked up on both cheeks, went down after a hard right and sat the count out. He was a spent force. One could of course argue that Redjal has seen better days, although Bank’s performance was nevertheless quite good.

Featherweight Payman Akbari (7-1) returned after a loss last time and won every round against the brave, but outclassed Georgian Tatishvili Bukhuti (3-1) in an eight-rounder. Bukhuti bled badly from the nose from the fourth round onwards and was at times covered in blood. Akbari, though, could never hurt his opponent and failed to follow up on his attack. He is a good boxer, but lacks punch and fighting spirit.

Cruiserweight Jeppe “Pain Train” Christensen (4-1) also came back from a loss and knocked out Slavia Margishvili (1-3) after 2:57 of the first round. Christensen just kept coming and while Margishvili landed with some good counters, “Pain Train” kept punching and Margishvili crumbled and was counted out.

Heavyweight Kem Ljungqvist (13-0), ranked #21 by the WBC at Bridgerweight, knocked out faded veteran Paata Aduashvili (10-34-2). The much bigger Dane took it easy in the first and opened up in the second and Aduashvili took the full count after a southpaw left to the head.

Welterweight Khybar Akbari opened the pro part of the show and was lucky to get a draw against Konstantine Jangavadze (5-24-3) in a four-rounder. Akbari made a good start but faded after that. 

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Undefeated Welterweight Contender Giovani Santillan Throws Out First Pitch at Padres Game

(JUNE 13, 2022) San Diego, California – Undefeated Welterweight contender Giovani Santillan threw out the first pitch at his beloved San Diego Padres game before Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park
The San Diego native, who is managed by Split-T Management and co-promoted by Top Rank and Thompson Boxing, wore number-one, threw a perfect strike that reminded fans of 1976 Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones.
“It was a great experience. Being born and raised in San Diego it was an honor to do this. The Padres have a great team, and being down on the field, and looking up in the stands, gave me the feeling of wanting to fight in a big stadium one day,” said Santillan.
Santillan has a record of 29-0 with 16 knockouts. His next bout will be announced soon.

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20 for 20: Edgar Berlanga Decisions Alexis Angulo 

Berlanga improves to 20-0 on the eve of Puerto Rican Day Parade

NEW YORK (June 11, 2022) — Super middleweight contender Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga didn’t get the knockout, but in front of the Puerto Rican faithful, he got the job done. Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) defeated two-time world title challenger Alexis Angulo (27-3, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision (99-91 2x and 98-92) over 10 rounds in front of 4,357 fans Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

 

It was Berlanga’s first headlining appearance on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, a tradition made popular by 2022 International Hall of Fame inductee Miguel Cotto. 

Berlanga (L) stabs Angulo (R) with a staight jab.

While Berlanga rose to fame following 16 first-round knockouts to start his career, he won this fight by boxing and using his jab to offset the plodding-yet-aggressive Angulo. An Angulo uppercut bloodied Berlanga’s nose in the fourth, and Berlanga appeared to attempt to bite Angulo in the seventh. Berlanga landed clean left hooks and right hands in the ninth and 10th rounds, but his Colombian foe ate all the shots and kept coming.

 

“Mentally, I felt good. I felt happy the whole training camp. I moved the training camp to Puerto Rico, and I can’t be more grateful to be on my island training,” Berlanga said. “I did a full camp for this fight, and you see the difference tonight.

 

“He was throwing elbows. I was about to do a Mike Tyson on him. He kept throwing his elbows, and I didn’t want to get cut.”

 

Angulo said, “I think we both had a solid performance. He’s a young fighter, he’s a strong fighter, but nonetheless I think we both did well. I think I did better than him.”

Berlanga the winner with his son and corner.

Junior Lightweight: Henry Lebron (16-0, 10 KOs) UD 8 Luis Lebron (18-4-1, 11 KOs), Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. In the all-Lebron Bowl, Henry Lebron made it 16 in a row with a masterclass in boxing off the back foot. Luis Lebron pushed the pace in the bout’s final stages, but Henry Lebron early work proved too much for him to overcome. Henry Lebron had the advantage in power shots landed, 88-62.

Henry Lebron (R) nails s Luis Lebron

Junior Featherweight: Victor Santillan (12-0, 4 KOs) UD 8 Carlos Caraballo (15-2, 14 KOs), Scores: 78-74 2x and 77-75. In this all-southpaw affair, Santillan upset the Puerto Rican crowd favorite with a disciplined display of smart pressure. Santillan stunned Caraballo in the fourth and seventh rounds, doing enough in the eyes of the judges to pull away. Santillan had fought most of his career in the Dominican Republic, but in his second bout on American soil, he authored his signature win.

Victor Santillan (R) slams Carlos Caraballo with a jarring right to the head.

Junior Welterweight: Dakota Linger (13-5-3, 9 KOs) TKO 2 Josue Vargas (20-3, 9 KOs), 2:06. West Virginia native Linger refused to read the script, shocking Vargas with a brutal display of power punching. Early in the second Linger landed an overhand right that dropped Vargas, although the referee did not rule it a knockdown. Sensing the end was near, Linger pressed forward and floored Vargas with an uppercut. Vargas rose gingerly, and following a barrage featuring dozens of winging blows, the bout was stopped.

Lightweight: Armani Almestica (6-0, 6 KOs) TKO 6 Eliseo Villalobos (2-3, 1 KO), 1:47. Southpaw puncher Almestica kept his perfect knockout rate alive with a one-sided drubbing of Villalobos, a native of Simi Valley, California. In the sixth round, Almestica landed a straight left hand that forced Villalobos back a step. Due to the accumulation of punishment, referee Shadi Murdaugh stopped the contest.

 

Featherweight: Orlando Gonzalez (18-1, 11 KOs) TKO 5 Pablo Cruz (22-5-1, 6 KOs), 1:00. Gonzalez was last seen losing his ‘0’ by unanimous decision last October to Cuban star Robeisy Ramirez, but the Puerto Rican southpaw returned with a vengeance. He battered Houston native Cruz, stunning his outmatched foe at the end of the second round. By the fifth, it was target practice, and the bout was halted following a series of right hooks to the head and body.

 

Junior Welterweight: Omar Rosario (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Julio Rosa (4-1, 1 KO), Scores: 59-55 and 60-54 2x. It was all Rosario in this battle of unbeatens, as the 140-pound upstart initiated the action. Rosa was never in danger of being stopped and even opened up a cut under Rosario’s right eye. In the sixth round, Rosario landed a series of left hooks to put a stamp on his domination. 

 

Lightweight: Frevian Gonzalez (5-1, 1 KO) UD 4 Refugio Montellano (2-1, 1 KO) Scores: 40-36 3x. Almost one year to the day since he suffered his first professional defeat, Gonzalez, from Cidra, Puerto Rico, rebounded in fine form in front of the partisan crowd. The 5’7 pressure fighter ripped body shots to Montellano’s midsection and swept all four rounds.

 

Flyweight: Christina Cruz (3-0) UD 4 Maryguenn Vellinga (3-3-2, 2 KOs), Scores: 39-37 and 40-36 2x. Former U.S. amateur star Cruz used her jab to counter the aggressive Vellinga in the opening fight of the evening. It was a rematch of their November 2021 fight, which Cruz also won by unanimous decision.

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Devin Haney Dominates George Kambosos Jr. to Win Undisputed Lightweight Title

Jason Moloney KOs Aston Palicte in bantamweight co-feature

MELBOURNE, Australia (June 5, 2022) — Devin “The Dream” Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) became the undisputed lightweight champion of the world by outclassing George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr. (20-1, 10 KOs) en route to a 12-round unanimous decision in front of 41,129 fans on Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
 
Haney unified his WBC championship with Kambosos’ WBA/WBO/IBF and Ring Magazine lightweight titles. With two scores of 116-112 and one score of 118-110, he became the eighth fighter in history to capture all four major championship titles in the four-belt era and the first to do so at 135 pounds.
 
Prior to the fight, Haney felt as if all the odds were stacked against him. He came in as the challenger, fighting on enemy territory in a stadium full of people wishing and hoping to see him lose. It even appeared as if his father would not be able to be in his corner for the fight.
 
But, if Bill Haney’s eleventh-hour entry into Australia indicated anything, it was that today belonged to Devin, and nothing would prevent his victory.

Indeed, though both men initiated the bout with firm, confident jabs, it was Haney’s superior boxing skills that allowed him to find his rhythm by the third and fourth rounds. Kambosos’ right hand seemed to be a factor early, but Haney’s footwork, his ability to smother and clinch on the inside, and even the way he would stop the former champion in his tracks with a stiff jab, prevented Kambosos from landing any significant punches.
 
By the final rounds, Haney had nullified Kambosos’ offense to such a degree that he could even take the gas off the pedal in the 12th round and cruise to a decision win.
 
Haney said, “This is a dream come true. I was going through it without my dad being here because I knew it was a big moment for us. We both dreamed of this. Since we started out, we said we wanted to be the best. It would have hurt me to accomplish this without him. I’m so thankful that we were able to accomplish this together.
 
“I was comfortable. I was just sticking to the game plan. The game plan was to go there and hit and not get hit, and I did that for the majority of the fight. I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead, but I fought a good, smart fight.”

Devin “The Dream” Haney (R) lands a left hook to the jaw of George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr. (R).

“I handicapped him of his best things. He wanted to land the overhand right, and he wanted to land the big left hook. I handicapped him. I was fighting both ways. When I would go to the left, I would fight his right hand. When I would go to the right, I would fight his left hook. And he couldn’t hit me with neither one of them.”
 
“I want to thank George Kambosos and all of Australia for coming out. Thank you, George, for giving me the shot. All of these so-called champions would not give me my shot. But George was a true champion, and he gave me my shot. Thank you for this.
 
Kambosos said, “This was amazing for the sport. It was amazing for the country. At the end of the day, I wanted to take the best and hardest tests. I’m going to give him full respect after his victory today. Let him have his time, and we’ll do it again. I have to implement a few things, but I thought the fight was very close. I’m not going to wreck his moment. I’ll let him have his moment. Last November, my moment was wrecked, so let him have his moment, and I’ll see you again real soon.
 
“I landed the right hand a few times. I worked it to the body, but he had a smart game plan. He grabbed and held a lot and did what he had to do to win. That’s what it’s about. You do what you have to do to win, and today they gave him the decision, but I’m sure it will change when we get it on again. Respect to him, and respect to boxing. This is boxing. You fight the best. Win, lose or draw. This is what it’s all about. F*** protecting records.  I’ve always been about fighting the best. I gave him a shot, and we’ll do it again.”

Moloney Crushes Palicte

Jason Moloney (L) knocks out Aston Palicte (R).

Two-time bantamweight title challenger Jason “Mayhem” Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) delivered a spectacular third-round technical knockout victory against rugged Filipino Aston “Mighty” Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs). Moloney, inspired by the cheers of his countrymen, initiated the bout with a firm jab in the first round before finding his rhythm and attacking the body in the second. By the following round, Moloney had his target set and landed a perfectly-timed one-two combo that sent Palicte to the canvas. Moloney then ended matters with a quick flurry that forced the referee to put a halt to the fight at 2:35 of the third. Moloney retained his WBC Silver Bantamweight Title and added to his collection the vacant WBO International belt. 

In other results:

BANTAMWEIGHT: Andrew Moloney (24-2, 16 KOs) TKO 2 Alexander Espinoza (21-4-2, 8 KOs). Time: 3:00.

CRUISERWEIGHT: David Nyika (3-0, 2 KOS) UD 5 Karim Maatalla (2-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 49-46, 48-47 and 49-46

David Nyika

HEAVYWEIGHT: Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14 KOs) TKO 1 Christian Ndzie Tsoye (5-5-2, 4 KOs)

HEAVYWEIGHT: Lucas Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) KO 1 Junior Fa (19-2, 10 KOs). Time: 1:58.

JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT: Terry Nickolas (2-1-1,  2 KOS) DRAW 6 Lachlan Higgins (7-4-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 58-56 Higgins, 57-57 2x.

FLYWEIGHT: Taylah Robertson (5-1, 1 KO) UD 5 Sarah Higginson (3-1-1, 1 KO). Scores: 50-45 3x

WELTERWEIGHT: Yoel Angeloni (1-0) UD 4 Ken Aitken (3-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-37 2x and 40-36.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Ceremony A Hit

Returns After a 2-Year Hiatus

Story by Kirk Lang

Photos by Alyssa Lang

2022 – Uncasville, CT. After a two-year absence due to the Corona Virus/Covid-19 outbreak, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony made its return to Mohegan Sun and “we actually had one of our largest crowds,” said Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame President John Laudati.

2022 Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee Elvin Ayala.

The Hall had more than 500 pre-sells for its May 21 event -tickets were priced at $90 – but some people skipped out at the last minute due to concerns about rising COVID cases. Even so, there were at least 450 in attendance, according to Laudati.

Referee Danny Schiavone, one of six inductees of the Class of 2021, noted at the start of his speech that “it’s good to get back to some normalcy.”

Enshrined along with Schiavone, a professional referee for 19 years, were former WBC USNBC middleweight champion Elvin Ayala, ex-USBA and IBO super bantamweight champion Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver, manager Mike Criscio, best known for his association with former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson when Dawson was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, trainer Jose “Papo” Colon and Frank Russo, who in addition to serving as executive director of the Hartford Civic Center in the 1970s and 1980s, also formed Monitor Productions, which helped promote the careers of 1984 U.S. Olympians Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland, Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor and Tyrell Biggs.

L-R. Host Randy Gordon with 2022 Conn. Boxing Hall of Famer Mike
Criscio, and CBHOF President John Laudati.

Russo had one of the best lines of the night when he said, matter-of-factly, “Thanks to Evander Holyfield for putting my daughter through college.”

The night began with appetizers just outside the Uncas Ballroom, as well as a red-carpet style photo booth, and induction dinner attendees were allowed inside around 7 p.m.  Randy Gordon, former editor-in-chief of The Ring, former chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission and current co-host of SiriusXM’s “At The Fights” alongside Gerry Cooney, served as the night’s Master of Ceremonies. Gordon has led the affair in the past, but a new twist was a different room layout and ring ropes that adorned the front of the stage, which served to make this classy boxing event seem even more special. Attendees were able to take part in a silent auction of boxing memorabilia, as well as purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle, whose prize ending up being $1,080. Attendees also got to mix it up with Cooney, a special guest of the festivities.

Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. Three of the night’s inductees had ties to Hartford’s San Juan Center – Oliver, Colon and Schiavone.

Oliver first put on boxing gloves at Hartford’s Bellevue Square Boys Club at three years-old and learned to box under the tutelage of famed trainer Johnny Duke. Later, when the Bellevue gym closed in 1997, he would train out of the San Juan Center. Colon, 76, moved to the United States from Puerto Rico but first settled in New York City, and raised his boxing IQ at Cus D’Amato’s Gramercy Gym and Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym. He eventually relocated to Hartford and began working at the San Juan Center with future Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame inductee George Cruz. Schiavone was a member of the gym and trained there throughout his amateur and professional assignments.

Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame 2022 Inducteed – Former USBA and IBO super bantamweight champion Mike Oliver.

Oliver’s biggest night in the ring was arguably winning the IBO super bantamweight title in 2007 at Mohegan Sun via a 12-round decision over Al Seeger. He had previously held the USBA super bantamweight title. He won those laurels at Mohegan in 2006 with a unanimous decision over Adam Carerra. Oliver’s last belt was the vacant USA New England super bantamweight championship. He earned it with a dominant decision victory over Castulo Gonzalez in 2009. Oliver, who in his prime was known for his rapid-fire fists, finally hung up the gloves this past November.

During his induction speech, he gave the late Johnny Duke nearly all the credit. Duke, who was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005, was a father figure to him and Oliver followed him wherever he went.

“Wherever you’d find Duke, you’d find me,” Oliver said. “City Hall, I’m with Duke. If he went to his mother’s house, I was right there.”

He added, “If it wasn’t for Duke, I wouldn’t be here right now.” However, Oliver also gave thanks to everyone that played a part in his career, even the cut men for his fights.

L-R. Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame President John Laudati and 2022 Inductee Frank Russo.

Elvin Ayala, who trained out of the New Haven area, was a defensive specialist who never shied away from a challenge. He ran his record to 16-0 before his first defeat, a split decision 10-round points loss to David Banks. They rematched three months later, and Banks again won, this time by unanimous decision. From this point on, Ayala would fight a Who’s Who of boxing contenders and champions, including Sergio Mora, reigning IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, Lajuan Simon, David Lemieux and Curtis “Showtime” Stevens. An entertaining draw with Mora, who was a personality on the boxing show The Contender, earned Ayala a title shot against Abraham. Fighting in Abraham’s home country of Germany, Ayala lasted until the 12th and final round before getting stopped. The draw with Mora also said a lot about Ayala’s talents, especially considering he had only 14 fights as an amateur, because eight months after tangling with Ayala, Mora captured the WBC super welterweight championship.

Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame 2022 Inductee Danny Schiavon.

Ayala fell short in bids for the USBA and NABF middleweight belts, but in between those setbacks he did manage to win the vacant WBC USNBC middleweight championship with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Derrick Findley at Mohegan Sun in 2011. Referee Johnny Callas offered up some remarks about Ayala before he came up to the podium to accept his induction plaque. He also pulled out a bloody referee shirt that an Ayala punch from years ago soiled red.

Callas called it one of his greatest ring moments as a referee.

“I was standing in the pocket like this, and Elvin had his opponent on the ropes, and he hit him with the most perfect short left hand I’ve ever seen,” he said. “And it was right out of Raging Bull (the movie). That blood came squirting out, all over my shoulder, and I said, ‘Yeah baby. That’s the real deal.’” Callas said he was going to have Ayala sign the shirt after his induction.

Ayala said he was extremely grateful for the induction.

L-R Conn. Boxing Hall of Famer Marlon Starling and host Randy Gordon.

“I come from under the poverty line,” he said. “I lived in other people’s houses growing up. It was such a rough life. There was only drugs and violence and boxing.”

He added, “I used to fight in the street, boxing with the neighborhood kids and I noticed I was like moving, making them miss, and I just took it upon myself to start to run, to train.” Ayala, who had been living in Reading, PA, decided after getting in some trouble that maybe he should relocate to his mother’s home in New Haven. Soon after, he found Brian Clark’s Ring One boxing gym. He subsequently met Luis Rosa Sr. and relocated to Rosa’s gym in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.

“It’s just so many memories that boxing has given me,” said Ayala. “Ups and downs, and so many trials and errors and I’m thankful for it all.”

Asked by The USA Boxing News what the proudest moment of his career was, he admitted it wasn’t a big fight at a casino or sports venue. Rather it was the first time he was profiled in the newspapers, “while still living in the projects.”

At the Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame, former welterweight champion Marlon Starling and 7-year-old Laila, who was named after Muhammad Ali’s world champion daughter

Ayala added, “It was the first impact boxing had in my life and I felt I had a lot to accomplish after that. The first time I was in the newspapers was to announce I was ready to become a pro and everyone in the projects was knocking at my door to ask for autographs and pictures.” Ayala retired in 2019 with a 29-13-1 record.

Colon, who now trains fighters at fellow Connecticut Boxing Hall of Famer Paul Cichon’s Manchester Ring of Champions Society, gave the shortest induction speech, roughly one minute long. He said it was a great honor to be inducted and wanted to thank “God, my family and last but not least, Paul Cichon, for making his home my home.”

Criscio, best known for managing Dawson, first connected with the New Haven fighter when he walked into his pawn shop and asked him to represent him.

“I didn’t have any experience but part of being a good person is about helping others,” he said. “It wasn’t easy at first, but through hard work and determination, Chad became light heavyweight champion of the world.”

Criscio added, “Gradually I started signing fighters from all over the world, Alfredo Angulo, Chris Avalos, Joel Diaz, Peter Manfredo, Jean Pascal, Luis Rosa Jr., Shelly Vincent (popular Rhode Island fighter), Yordenis Ugas – these boxers had one thing in common. I treated them like family, like my own children.”

Criscio further stated, “Boxing has become a labor of love for me. It wasn’t about the money I would gain, or the notoriety. It was helping these young men reach their potential, to build better lives for themselves and their families. The road to success isn’t easy to navigate, but hard work and the passion made it possible for my guys to achieve the American Dream.”

Criscio has faced his own personal adversity. He’s beaten terminal cancer twice. And now he’s a Connecticut Boxing Hall of Famer.

When Russo took over lead duties at the Hartford Civic Center in 1974, he had no clue the adversity he’d face a mere four years later. The roof caved in.

“We were out of business,” he said. However, Russo and his team persevered, got the roof replaced and began hosting a plethora of boxing shows, and future world welterweight champion Marlon Starling became the civic center’s house fighter. The Hartford Civic Center also broadcasted the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran fight on closed circuit television after a live card featuring Starling. More than 13,000 fans packed the place that night. Russo would subsequently join forced with Shelly Finkel to help promote some of the top talent from the 1984 Olympic boxing team. Now 66 years-old, he is currently the business development chief for Global Spectrum.

Taking the stage for his induction, Russo began with, “I don’t think there’s anybody in the house that’s more surprised than I am about this honor, but I really appreciate it. I’m very humbled by it.”

On Saturday night, one might have thought Schiavone was a fighter inductee rather than an official being inducted. The applause was thunderous. Then again, many of his family members and friends from New York City and New Jersey made the trek for his induction. Schiavone has refereed more than 500 professional bouts, the most in the history of Connecticut boxing. Forty-seven were title fights and he’s been the third man in the ring for bouts involving such names as Roy Jones Jr., Vasiliy Lomachenko, Adrien Broner, Gary Russell, Jr., Hasim Rahman, Ray Mercer, David Tua and many others.

Schiavone told The USA Boxing News he plans to hang his induction plaque over the bar area of his living room.

He said while there are some people in life who might say they made their own success, he added that’s very rarely ever true.

“You have to have good people around you,” he said. “Somebody gave you a break. Somebody who took you under their wing, that type of thing. And I was blessed, really from the time I set foot in the San Juan Center.”

He said George Cruz planted the seed that ultimately led to his Hall of Fame induction.

“He had spoken to me about being an official,” said Schiavone. “I thought about it and I said, ‘Yeah, sure, it might be cool.’”

Cruz would introduce Schiavone to the late Roland Roy, who was the head of USA Boxing Region 1. Schiavone spent six years volunteering his time in the amateurs, as a referee and judge.

“Roland gave me a lot of work. He got me prepared for the pros,” he said. “At the beginning I didn’t expect anything. It was like umpiring Little League, or something.”

After six years of working fights, Cruz sent a film of Schiavone to Mike Mazulli, commissioner of the Mohegan Sun Athletic Commission. Mazulli and company liked what they saw and brought Schiavone in to referee professional fights.

“They gave me a shot, it’s been 19 years and here I am up here,” said Schiavone. He added he and fellow referees have become like family members. He was mentored by the late Arthur Mercante Sr. and retired Connecticut referee Dick Flaherty. He’s super close with refs such as Mike Ortega and New York City-based Benjy Esteves Jr., as well as Joe Cusano, a longtime Connecticut referee who has since retired from the sport.

“I’ve had some great people in my corner,” he said.

The night also saw a handful of individuals honored with special awards.

Unbeaten WBC USNBC super lightweight champion Mykquan Williams was honored with the Professional Boxer of the Year award. He’s been trained since he was seven by Manchester-based Paul Cichon. Williams is unbeaten in 17 fights and plans to “keep climbing that ladder.”

Cichon was a proud trainer inside the Uncas Ballroom.

“It’s great seeing a boxer getting acknowledgement for all the hard work and dedication that they put in behind the scenes,” he said.

Jahnyah Lumpkin, a junior at East Hartford High School, was honored with the Amateur Boxer of the Year award. Fighting out of the Charter Oak Boxing Academy, Lumpkin posted a 7-2 record during 2021, beating six nationally ranked fighters and earning a silver medal in the Silver Gloves National Championships. Lumpkin finished fourth in the U.S. National Championships.

Other award winners were Heather Concepcion (Amateur Official of the Year); judge Frank Lombardi (The William Hutt Official of the Year); Hartford area attorney Jeffrey Dressler (The George Smith Contribution to Boxing Award); and community service activist Jason Jakubowski (Willie Pep Courage Award).

The night also saw the induction of the Class of 2020, which was comprised of old timers that have passed on. Five of the seven were pro boxers – Steve Carr, Eddie Dolan, Al Gainer, Mosey King and Jimmy Leto. Rounding out the Class of 2020 was Barbara Dunn, the nation’s first female boxing commissioner, and Bill Lee, a sports editor and columnist for the Hartford Courant between the end of the 1930s and the mid-1970s. Carr fought during the Great Depression and became a fan favorite in the New Haven area. Dolan retired with an impressive record of 89-9-3. Gainer was a formidable light heavyweight who finished with a record of 77-23-6. King had a brief career as a lightweight, but went on to become the head boxing coach at Yale University. He would also become Connecticut’s first boxing commissioner. Leto, a welterweight, had a career that spanned 19 years. He finished with an impressive record of 125-29-12. He scored notable victories over Chalky Wright, Cocoa Kid and Fritzie Zivic.  

Ian Cannon, a wheelchair-bound former boxer who created a fitness program for people with disabilities titled Rolling with the Punches, always makes a point to attend the annual induction dinner. He was pleased to be back after COVID had delayed the affair.

Cannon said he enjoyed “catching up with everyone and immersing myself back in the combat sports culture.”

For the first time ever, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Board of Directors decided to do a spring event. Past inductions always took place at the end of the year.  

“Several people approached me at the dinner expressing their preference for a spring event,” said Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame President John Laudati, adding, “I personally favor a spring event. Weather concerns are less than a late October or November date, and a spring date doesn’t compete with the holiday season when people are so busy with events. It also gives the board a full calendar year to consider our annual award winners.”

Asked to pick a highlight moment of the night, Laudati said there were many, including the inaugural Willie Pep Courage Award. However, he said “having former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney at the event certainly lit up the room.”

He added, “He is a truly gracious man who found time for anyone and everyone who wanted a photo or an autograph. I couldn’t be happier with how Saturday night went.”

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Former heavyweight king Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder is honored with a bronze statue

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

May 2022 – Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Years ago shortly before his death, actor Ray Bolger, who portrayed the Scarecrow in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, was asked whether he received residuals from the endless telecasts of the endearing film, he remarked, “No, just immortality. I’ll settle for that.”

Sculptor Caleb O’Connor (L) and Deontay Wilder (R).

The same goes when individual has a statue erected in one’s honor – they experience a similar sense of immortality.  Former WBC heavyweight king Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder must feel the same way now after a bronze statue of him was unveiled at the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The ceremony was presented by the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports.

Statues have been erected of Gods, War Heroes, Presidents, and other famous icons, including the Statue of Liberty, for over 45,000 years. In the last century Prize Fighters and famous ring Champions such as Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Primo Carnera, Joe Frazier, Randolph Turpin, Larry Holmes, Ingemar Johansson, Roberto Duran, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Jack Johnson, Julio Cesar Chavez, John L. Sullivan, Tony Demarco, Stanley Ketchel, Carmen Basilio, Mike Tyson, Joey Giardello, among others, have been added to those immortalized by the erection of statues in their honor. Now Deontay Wilder can be added to that exclusive list.

Deontay Wilder (L) vs. Chris Arreaola (R).

The hometown hero Wilder, 36, was on hand with his family and hundreds of fans who showed up to honor the fistic great.

The live-sized 6’ 7” bronze statue of the ex-champion is located outside of the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports (TTS) building on Jack Warner Parkway. It was sculpted by local artist Caleb O’Connor. Unlike the 220 to 250 pounds that Wilder weighed during his boxing career, the statue’s weight is 830 pounds!

A visibly shaken Wilder said before the crowd in attendance, “For the first time in my life, I’m at a loss for words. This is generational wealth. This is black excellence. This is greatness. This is a monumental moment for me.”

“We are excited to unveil this highly anticipated piece of public art featuring the Bronze Bomber – Tuscaloosa’s world-champion boxer – and created by Caleb O’Connor, who has adopted Tuscaloosa as his home and has created many other beautiful pieces in our city,” said Mayor Walt Maddox.

Deontay Wilder standing with sculptor Caleb O’Connor next to the statue.

“Our organization has long supported Deontay Wilder and his journey to becoming a heavyweight champion. We’re proud of his accomplishments and are thrilled the visitor center will be home to this incredible statue,” said Don Staley, president and CEO of TTS. “His championship title has put our community, Deontay’s hometown, on the map and his statue will pay tribute to that.”

Deontay Wilder began his boxing career in Tuscaloosa when he turned 20. In 2007 he won the Golden Gloves competition and took Gold in the U.S. National Championships. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wilder captured the Bronze medal, which he embraced in his nickname of “The Bronze Bomber” that he used from his first professional fight onward.

Deontay Wilder (R) belting Bermane Stiverne (L).

On January 17, 2015, Wilder outpointed Bermaine Stiverne over 12 rounds to capture the WBC heavyweight championship.  During his reign of terror, he defended his title ten times, including a 12-round draw over Tyson Fury.

Fury would dethrone Wilder on February 22, 2020, with a 7th round TKO and in their third battle, Fury KO’d Deontay in the 11th round on October 9, 2021.  The third fight between Wilder and Fury would go down as one of the greatest heavyweight battles of all time, where both men were brutally battered to the canvas.

Because the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title holder Anthony Joshua at the time was afraid to face Wilder in a unification fight, most historians regard Wilder as the true heavyweight champion.

Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KO’s) still is not finished with the sport.

(in color trunks) Deontay Wilder knocks down Tyson Fury a 2nd time in the 12 round at the Staple Center Saturday. The fight was draw between both fighters from the judges scoring . Los Angeles, CA. Dec 1,2018.Photo by Gene Blevins/ZumaPress (Credit Image: © Gene Blevins/ZUMA Wire)

“I’ve been highly requested to come back,” Wilder said, “So many people have told me, ‘Come back, come back.’ I’d say I’m back by popular demand. And the business of boxing needs me. When there’s a thriving American champion, there’s nothing like it. When there’s not, you see it’s dead. There’s a drought. People know the difference now. I can’t stop right here. I must continue my journey. I have to, I have to.”

Wilder next to his life-like statue as the crowd cheers.

The estimated cost of the statue was over $30,000. The sculptor Caleb O’Connor figured that he worked 12-15-hour days, six days a week, for two-and-a-half months – amounting to nearly 800 hours! The life-size likeness (Wilder is 6-foot-7) required O’Connor to build scaffolding in his Tuscaloosa art studio, from which he fell twice near the end of one particular sculpting marathon.

Wilder approaches the statue as confetti floats in the air.

“Definitely some bruises, and I think I might’ve fractured a rib,” O’Connor said last week. “For a month after that, whenever I coughed or laughed it would hurt. It was almost unbearable. I just sculpted too long into the night.”

All in all, it was a great honor for a proud champion, who may still have some more exciting ring exploits to come.

It appears that Deontay Wilder, like Ray Bolger the Scarecrow before him, has also settled for immortality.

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Jermell Charlo clobbers Brian Castano to become boxing’s first super welterweight champion

 

Charlo drives a left hand to the body of Castano

 

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved. –Samuel Smiles

 At the AT&T Center last July 17, Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano engaged in an unmerciful battle where both combatants fought their hearts out. There were numerous occasions where each champion was wobbled and near the precipice of defeat. After twelve grueling rounds, with all the super welterweight titles at stake, the bout was declared a draw.

Charlo drops Castano for the first time in Round 10.

It was one of the best fights of the year and certainly one that was hard to top – that is until their rematch!

At the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA, Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, of Richmond, TX, entered the rematch wearing the WBA, IBF and WBC super welterweight championship belts, while the previously unbeaten Brian “El Boxi” Castano, of Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires, Argentina, climbed through the ropes with his WBO super welterweight belt. Both men at 32 are in the peak of their fistic abilities and they gave the fans on hand a clash they would soon not forget.

Charlo bludgeons Castano along the ropes.

At the bell, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO’s) came out fast and unloaded a plethora of jabs, rights and uppercuts that repeatedly nailed the advancing Castano to his head and midsection. The WBO king Castano, 153 ¾, was moving forward, but by leading with his right crosses, instead of working behind his jab, he left himself an easy mark for the jolting combinations of the WBA/WBC/IBF king Charlo, 152 ¾.

The first three rounds were all Charlo as he battered his opponent with stabbing right hands and hooks to the ribs. While Castano managed to knock his adversary back with crackling right hands to the jaw, he was still woefully getting outpunched. What was surprising was that it was Charlo who wound up being the superior body puncher as he constantly used Castano’s midsection as an archery target.

Charlo drops Castano for the second time in Round 10.

Castano finally came alive in the fourth round as he began to throw double jabs, which made it easier for him to score with his hard right hands. Though Charlo was stunned by a few of the rights that graced his skull, he never allowed his man to take any bows and he immediately whipped off a fusillade of lefts and rights that had Castano backing away.

The non-stop action continued into Round Five as Charlo had Castano hurt with jarring hooks and rights. Just when it appeared as if the Argentine was in trouble, he stormed back and hammered Charlo with a left hook that sent him into the ropes. Before he could counter back, Charlo was stunned with a smashing right and left hook. Showing his herculean conditioning, Charlo dug in and answered back with a left hook of his own as he punched himself off the ropes and walloped his foe with a right and another left hook. The two then slugged it out with savage fists flying until the bell!

Castano had his best round in the sixth as his jab was sharper. Charlo continued to bang away with his fast left hooks, however, Castano made him pay by countering with blistering right hands that rocked Jermell. Although Castano was scoring well, Charlo never gave him a chance to admire his handiwork as he always fired back with his own weapons of destruction.

Charlo came back in the seventh as he viciously attacked Castano’s body, which was beginning to slow him down. Although uppercuts, jabs and hooks painfully bounced off Castano, he never gave up and attacked at the end of the session and even stunned Charlo once again with right hands.

The next two frames were give-and-take with both men’s legs holding up quite well under the constant assault of leather. The two fought like the proud champions they were as they never gave the other a chance for a brief respite.  

One thing was certain, it was that the concession stands would see little action as very few fans were willing to leave their seats to miss a second of the constant torrid action.

Going into the fateful tenth, Charlo had a commanding lead on two scorecards at 89-82 and 88-83, while one tally had it a little closer at 87-84. Either way it appeared that all Charlo had to do was remain on his feet for the remainder of the contest.  He surely planned to do that, and at the same time was mentally formulating a plan whereby his opponent would not be so lucky. Charlo had no desire to have the fight go to the scorecards. His fists would wind up being the judge, jury and the executioner.

Charlo -L- and Castano -R- fire bombs at each other.

At the sound of the bell for Round 10, Charlo stormed out and blasted away at Castano. A scorching right hand to the body, quickly followed by a left hook to the jaw sent Castano crumbling to the canvas like a bale of hay thrown off the top of a barn.

Referee Jerry Cantu moved in and began counting. Castano bravely rose at “six” and was quickly looked over by Cantu who  permitted the fight to continue.

Immediately, Charlo raced at his wounded prey and unleashed a volley of lefts and rights, that culminated with a smashing left hook to the head and another hook to the ribs. Castano hit the canvas again.

Like the Phoenix, Castano miraculously rose once more, but he was clearly two blocks down the alley from Queer Street as the referee stopped counting at “one” and ended the bout at 2:33 of the tenth round.

“I could see that I was wearing him [Castano] out and was breaking him down,” said Charlo. “I feel like I really accomplished something very, very important, very, very major. Something that’s gonna stand for a long time.”

Castano said afterwards, “He [Charlo] was smarter this time. I felt that I won the first fight, but tonight he caught me and that was it. I feel like I still have a lot to give in boxing. I’m happy with my performance despite the loss. I feel like there’s a big room for corrections and improvements with my boxing.”

The difference between the two battles was that Charlo was just in such incredible condition. He never took a round off and kept on unloading bombs all night.  To his credit, Castano took some mighty shots, but eventually his body collapsed under the weight of the relentless exploding leather fists of Charlo.

Going into the fight, Charlo was the -210 favorite and guaranteed $1 million and will probably wind up with nearly $3 million after the PPV and live gate revenue are added.  As for Castano, he was guaranteed $350,000 and will earn nearly $650,000 once the dust settles.

“I’m durable,” remarked Charlo. I was going all 12, and unfortunately for Castano, my power got stronger by the rounds. This is legacy. This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend. I knew Castano was going to give it his all. I knew I had trained very, very hard, but you all can see that I came in at 152 pounds because I was really in shape, and I wanted to make sure that this was my fight. I listened to my corner this time. I got in my bag around the seventh round. I started sitting down a little bit more instead of boxing so much and moving around. I saw that he was wearing down a little bit and I was breaking him down. I just saw my punches being more effective. I get stronger in the later rounds if they didn’t know.”

That is the type of fighter that is hard to beat today. Charlo is a throwback to the great 154-pounders of the past.

Next up for Charlo may be the WBO’s top rated contender Tim Tszyu.

The Charlo-Castano rematch was a ratings bonanza for the Showtime Network, which had its highest ratings in three years with an audience of 886,000 from its channel and streaming service.

The great sport of boxing is on a major upswing as fighters are going after unification bouts with all four titles at stake.  If Charlo stays in the weight class and defends his laurels on a regular basis, he will soon punch himself into the superstar status.

Photos courtesy of Showtime

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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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FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY PAGE

CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW PAGE

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 the 6th round 

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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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Bare-Knuckle CornerBare Knuckle Corner Logo.

   Harry Broome

“The Birmingham Bomber”

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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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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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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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

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Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from

 The Boxing TwinsCLICK PHOTO TO VIEW PAGE

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

Story by Alexander R. 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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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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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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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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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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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.