Champions, Challengers and Contenders in Training and Fights
Marvelous Marvin Hagler
Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano (R) pounding away at challenger Archie Moore (L) in their epic 1955 battle.
Roberto Duran, Felix Trinidad, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Bernard Hopkins, Tommy Hearns, Roy Jones Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, and Oscar De La Hoya.
James J. Corbett
Jack Johnson in action.
Roberto Duran training for his 1983 bout with Davey Moore.
George Foreman (R) lifting Joe Frazier (L) off his feet in their 1972 fight.
Mike Tyson knocking our Michael Spinks in their 1988 bout.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler knocking out John Mugabi.
George Foreman (L) vs Ron Lyle (R) in the classic 1976 bout.
George Foreman (R) knocking out Ron Lyle (R).
Roberto Duran ducking under a right thrown by Sugar Ray Leonard in their thrilling 1980 Brawl in Montreal.
Billy Papke (R) defeating Stanley Ketchell (L) in their 1908 bout.
George Foreman (L) vs Ron Lyle (R) in the classic 1976 bout.
Heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott in training in 1952.
Rocky Marciano (R) and Archie Moore (L) after their bout in 1955 where Marciano won by 9th round KO.
Dempsey – Tunney second fight in 1927.
Buster Douglas (L) getting rocked by Evander Holyfield (R).
Wladimir Klitschko at Madison Square Garden (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Roy Jones Jr. (R) connecting with a right to challenger Lou Del Valle at Madison Square Garden on Luly 18, 1998. Jones retained his WBC light heavyweight title plus won the WBA Light heavyweight title. (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Bernard Hopkins (L) stabbing Felix Trinidad (R) with a hard jab in their September 29, 2001, bout in Madison Square Garden. Hopkins retained his IBF and WBC middleweight titles plus won Trinidad’s WBA Middleweight title. (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Sugar Shane Mosley working out at the International Boxing Hall of fame. (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Andrew Golota (L) vs John Ruiz (R). Ruiz successfully defended his WBA heavyweight title on November 13, 2004, in Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Roberto Duran before his bout with Wiliam Joppy in 1998 (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
El Pintoso in action in Las Vegas in 1998 (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Michael Carbajal (L) vs Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez
Johnny Tapia (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Muhammad Ali holding WANTED poster.
Joe Louis (R) vs. James J. Braddock (L)
Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling
Joe Louis after knocking out James J. Braddock for the title
Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling
Roberto Duran (L) nailing Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R) with a right cross.
John L. Sullivan card
Jeffries vs Fitzsimmons card
James J. Corbett card
Welsh vs Attell card
Tommy Burns card
Robert Fitzsimmons card
Fitzsimmons – Gardner card
Gerry Cooney (L) vs. Larry Holmes (R) in 1982.
Johnson-Jeffries – Johnson doing word work with handlers.
Buddy Baer and Max Baer. Two of the greatest heavyweights ever.
Evander Holyfield knocking out James Buster Douglas to capture the Heavyweight Championship of the World.
Joe Frazier scoring a KO victory.
Muhammad Ali with The Beatles in 1964 prior to his Championship Fight against Champion Sonny Liston.
Middleweight Champion Harry Greb in the 1920s.
Jack Dempsey in training.
Sugar Ray Leonard raising Roberto Duran’s hand after Duran knocked out Davey Moore for the junior middleweight title in Madison Square Garden.
Joe Frazier doing road work.
Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson in training
Middleweight Champion Carlos Monzon in training.
Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns
Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield.
Jack Dempsey in training.
Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns (R) attacking Marvelous Marvin Hager (L) in their 1985 classic.
Roberto Duran in training.
Future Haeavyweight champion Ken Norton (C) with Heavyweight champion Joe Frazier (R).
Alexis Arguello relaxing playing the guitar before his bout with Aaron Pryor.
Salvador Sanchez (R) landing a hard right to the jaw of Danny “Little Red” Lopez (L) enroute to winning the featherweight championship of the world.
George Foreman, Mike Tyson, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Larry Holmes (R) getting ready to KO Marvis Frazier (L).
Andy Ruiz (R) slams Luis Ortiz (L) with a hard right.
The great Primo Carnera in his fighting prime.
fistic rivals – Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali.
Joe Louis in training.
Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis.
Bernard “the Executioner” Hopkins
George Foreman scoring an impressive KO over Scott LeDoux.
Smokin’ Joe Frazier
A lineup of ring Greats. From left to right: Ezzard Charles, Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ike Williams, Willie Pep, and Manuel Ortiz.
George Foremen prior to his 1991 heavyweight Championship showdown with Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield.
Middleweight Champion Sugar Ray Robinson in training in the 1950s.
Roberto Duran (L) squaring off with Marvelous Marvin Hagler (R) in their classic middleweight war in 1983 in Las Vegas.
Gaspar Ortega (L) fires away at Benny Paret (R).
Micky Ward (R) vs. Arturo Gatti (L) in their first epic fight on May 18, 2002.
Shakur Stevenson (L) nailing Oscar Valdez (R) with a left to the head.
Julio Cesar Chavez (R) vs. Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker(L) at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Evander Holyfield vs, George Foreman 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)
George Forman (R) knocking out Ken Norton (L).
Willie Pep (R) throws a lunging left hook at Sandy Saddler (L) as Sandy Saddler covers up in 4th round of their featherweight title bout at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 1949. Pep won unanimous decision.
Dmitry Bivol (R) landing a hard right to Canelo Alavarez (L).
George Forman (L) sending Ken Norton (R) to the canvas.
Third Mendoza-Humphrey battle – Won on foul, round 65, Mendoza on left, 6 May 1789 by James_Aitken
Felix Trinidad training at the Boxing Hall of Fame. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
(L-R) Pernell Whitaker, Hector “Macho” Camacho, and Meldrick Taylor
Harry Greb (L) vs. Gene Tunney (R)
Mike Tyson (R) clobbers Trevor Berbick (L).
Rocky Marciano (L) knocking down Joe Louis (R) in 1950 at New York’s Madsion Square Garden.
Max Scmeling in training to fight Joe Louis.
EPSON MFP image
EPSON MFP image
Wladimir Klitschko in action. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.
Trinidad Trinidad in training. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.
Evander Holyfield vs. Hasim Rahman in action. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.
Evander Holyfield. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.
Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.
Archie Moore and Rocky Marciano after their 1955 title fight.
Harry Greb (L) vs. Gene Tunney (R)
Mike Tyson (R) knocking out Trevor Berbick (L)
Rocky Marciano knocking down Joe Louis.
Sugar Ray Leonard (R) stopping Kevin Howard (L) in 1984.
Max Schmeling training for Joe Louis.
Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard in training.
Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes (L) with Featherweight Champion Salvador Sanchez (R) in 1982.
Former Middleweight Champion Tiger Flowers (R) poses with opponent Leo Lomski in 1927.
USA Boxing News Editor Alex Rinaldi (L) with Jr. Flyweight Champion Michael Carbajal and Roberto Duran in 1996.
Rocky Marciano visits Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal on the set of A Face in the Crowd film.
Rocky Marciano meets Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of the movie Giant.
Roberto Duran smacks Pipino Cuevas with a hard left jab in their 1983 slugfest.
Mike Weaver WBA Heavyweight Champion from 1980-1982.
Roberto Duran jabs at Nino Gonzalez in their August 9, 1981 bout where Duran won a 10-round decision.
Mike Tyson after biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear.
Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.
Manny Pacquiao (L) with Roberto Duran (C) and Timothy Bradley (R).
Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali in training.
Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis
Middleweight Champion Rocky Graziano in training.
Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles
Boxing: Roberto Duran posing with Luis Spada during training session photo shoot at Palm Springs training site. Palm Springs, CA 10/9/1983
Smokin’ Joe Frazier
Salvador Sanchez (L) knocking out Wilfredo Gomez (R)
Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes in training in 1979.
The Klitschko brothers – Vitali (L) and Wladimir(R)
Heavyweight Champion getting ready to defend his title against challenger George Foreman in Jamaica in 1972.
Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano in training with former Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis holding the bag.
Middleweight King Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Heavyweight Contender Harry Wills in training.
Tony Canzoneri in training
The famous Stillman’s Gym in New York
Willis’ Gym in New Brunswick, NJ
Roy Jones Jr defeats Lou Del Valle by UD 12 on July 18, 1998 in Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, and retained WBC light heavyweight title (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Wladimir Klitschko (Photo by Alex Rinaldi)
Roy Jones Jr. TKO 6 Vinny Pazienza on June 24, 1995 at Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and retained his IBF super middleweight title. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
John Ruiz (R) in black trunks defeats Poland’s Andrew Golota by UD12 on November 13, 2004 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, and retained WBA heavyweight title. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
John Ruiz (R) in black trunks defeats Poland’s Andrew Golota. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Carlos Murillo (L) defeats Carlos Murillo (R) at the Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada, to capture the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Light Fly Title. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Michael Carbajal (L) KO’s Humberto Gonzalez (R) at the Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, on March 13, 1993 to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) World Light Fly Title and retain the International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Light Fly Title. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Tony Canzoneri in training
John Michael “Bam Bam,” Johnson (L) won the WBA Bantamweight Title by knocking out Junior Jones (R) in the 11th round on April 22, 1994 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI).
Rocky Graziano in training.
Muhammad Ali in training.
Manny Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach.
Stanley Ketchel in training.
Max Baer in training
Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles
Heavyweight champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton.
Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano in training in 1955
Roberto Duran demolishing Davey Moore in 1983 for the WBA junior middleweight at a sold out Madison Square Garden.
Tommy Morrison and George Foreman.
Former IBF Junior Middleweight Champion and IBF super Middleweight Champion Darrin Van Horn, who became a State Trooper after he retired.
Rocky Marciano after defeating Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952 for the Heavyweight Championship of the World.
Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore after their 1955 fight.
Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis in 1953.
Max Schmeling in 1930
Sugar Ray Robinson and Ezzard Charles
James J. Jeffries in Chicago in 1905
Robert James “Bob” Fitzsimmons (26 May 1863 – 22 October 1917) was a British professional boxer who was the sport’s first three-division world champion.
Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis with the legendary Bill “Bojangles” Robinson
The Brown Bomber – Joe Louis
Lou Savold getting pummeled by Rocky Marciano
Joe Louis with Sam Langford
Benny Leonard at Budd Lake on July 24, 1922
Joe Louis with Rocky Marciano
Sam Langford in 1908
Champion John L. Sullivan
Benny Leonard in training at Tennersville NY in 1924
Joe Walcott v. Joe Louis
Jimmy Wilde (132-3-1-5 (99 KOs)
Jack Nonpareil Dempsey
Sugar Ray Robinson with a young Bobby Chacon
Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Kid Gavilan in 1948
Heavyweight Champion Gene Tunney
Roberto Duran decisions Carlos Palomino in 1979.
James “Lights Out” Toney
Rocky Marciano with his brother Peter and his father.
Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes
Azumah Nelsonl L) vs. Salvador Sanchez R) in 1982. PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Two great Heavyweight Upsets – Buster Douglas KO of Mike Tyson in 1990 and Corey Sanders KO of Wladimir Klitschko in 2003.
Mike Tyson with Cus D’Amato, Kevin Rooney, Bill Cayton, and Jim Jacobs.
Iron Mike Tyson
Alex, Gerard, and John Rinaldi with WBC Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes at the champ’s training center in 1982.
Carmine Vingo getting hammered by Rocky Marciano at Madison Square Garden on December 30, 1949. Marciano knocked the six feet four inch Vingo out in round six, whereby Vingo slipped into a coma and never fought again.
Oscar De La Hoya in his prime in training.
Sugar Shane Mosley
Former Middleweight champion Billy Soose at the Boxing Hall of Fame (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Former Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton (L) and former Light Heavyweight Champion Jose Torres (R) fooling around with IBF Super Flyweight Champion Danny “Kid Dynamite” Romero (C) at the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
On July 5, 1909 at the Mission Street Arena in Colma, California, middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, defended his title against former middleweight champion Billy Papke, from Spring Valley, Illinois. It was the fourth fight between these two giants. Their first bout was in June 1908 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and went to Ketchel by decision. The rematch was three months later in Vernon, California. Papke stopped Ketchel in the 12th round of a scheduled 25-rounder. The rubber match was fought in Colma, California two months later. This time Ketchel KO’d Papke in 11. Going into their fourth fight, The Michigan Assassin was 41-2-4. Papke was 26-2-5. The fight was scheduled for 20 round
Future Heavyweight champion Tony “TNT” Tucker. He won the IBF heavyweight title in 1987, and was the shortest-reigning world heavyweight champion, at 64 days. In an interview to Barry Tompkins, he referred to himself as to the “invisible champion,” due to the press and general public largely neglecting him. He is best known for giving Mike Tyson in his prime a relatively close fight, in which he, in words of Larry Merchant, “rocked Tyson in the first round,” but Mike managed to withstand pressure and won the decision. As an amateur, he won the 1979 United States national championships, the 1979 World Cup, and a gold medal at the 1979 Pan American Games, all in the light heavyweight division.
Originally billed as “The Fight” and was a world middleweight championship boxing match between undisputed champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler and challenger Thomas Hearns, the world junior middleweight champion, who had gone up in weight for the bout. The fight was won by Hagler by third round knockout, and it is considered by many to be among the finest boxing matches in history, due to its constant action, drama, and violent back-and-forth exchanges
Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali
The Jack Dempsey (L) vs. Tommy Gibbons (R) fight was a bout for boxing’s world heavyweight title. It was held on July 4, 1923, in the town of Shelby, Montana, USA. The fight was scheduled for the then almost regular distance of 15 rounds. Dempsey was considered an aggressor: He had dropped Jess Willard seven times in the first round before winning the title from Willard by stopping him in round three, retaining the title with knockouts over Bill Brennan and Georges Carpentier, among others. Because of this, the fight was thought to be a possible action bout, but instead it was quite strategic. Dempsey constantly threw punches to Gibbons’ head, with Gibbons trying to attack Dempsey’s body. As a consequence, Gibbons was able to duck many of Dempsey’s shots. Dempsey’s mobility, however, made it hard for Gibbons to punch Dempsey’s stomach and ribs. There were some isolated moments of action: Dempsey is said to have had Gibbons hurt in round seven, but he could not score a knockout. Gibbons landed hard punches to Dempsey’s chin once in a while, but Dempsey shrugged the punches off. In the end, Dempsey retained the title with a 15-round unanimous decision.
World middleweight champion Harry Greb sensationally kept his crown after battering welterweight king Mickey Walker on points in front of 50,000 at New York’s Polo Grounds #OnThisDay in 1925.
Former heavyweight champion Gene Tunney (L) talking about a possible film based on his life.
Former Heavyweight Champion Gene Tunney L) with then Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (R).
Sonny Liston in training.
Oscar De La Hoya winning the Gold Medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
Muhammad Ali with Pele
Sugar Ray Leonard, Don King, and Roberto Duran before the first Duran-Leonard fight.
Henry Cooper with Jack Dempsey
Joe Louis knocking out “Two Ton” Tony Galento
Trainer Ray Arcel and Roberto Duran during the first Duran-Leonard fight.
Roberto Duran and Mike Tyson before the Tyson-Spinks fight.
Howard Cosell with Muhammad Ali
Sugar Ray Robinson with Diana Ross
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in there second fight at MSG.
Roberto Duran arriving in Panama after defeating Sugar Ray Leonard in the Duran-Leonard fight.
Mike Tyson after scoring a KO. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)
Rocky Marciano and Roland LaStarza prior to their Sep 24, 1953 championship bout.
Terence Crawford delivers a punch to Egidijus Kavaliauskas
Yank Durham and Joe Frazier
Jack Dempsey in training
Joe Louis and Max Schmeling
TRAINING CAMP NOTES
Undefeated Prospects Michael Dutchover and
Ruben Villa Discuss Upcoming Friday Fights
On ShoBox: The New Generation
Live on SHOWTIME At 10:30 pm ET/PT
MIDLAND, Texas – September 18, 2019 – Undefeated prospects Michael Dutchover and Ruben Villa talked training camp and upcoming matchups in advance of this Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader live on SHOWTIME (10:30 ET / PT) from La Hacienda Event Center in Midland, Texas.
Fighting in front of his hometown fans for the first time as a professional, the fast-rising Texan Dutchover (13-0, 10 KOs) returns for his second consecutive test on ShoBox after making an impressive debut in May with a first-round knockout. The 21-year-old prospect will face his toughest test to date in ShoBox veteran Thomas Mattice (14-1-1, 10 KOs), a fearless five-year pro that has displayed promising boxing skills in previous appearances on the developmental prospect series.
In a battle of undefeated featherweight prospects, two-time Junior Olympic National Champion and two-time Golden Gloves Champion Ruben Villa (16-0, 5 KOs) will face Garcia Promotions’ most coveted prospect, Mexico’s Enrique Vivas (17-0, 9 KOs) in a 10-round matchup. In the opening bout, undefeated welterweight prospect Brandun Lee (14-0, 12 KOs) will face Nicaragua’s Milton Arauz (10-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Here is what Dutchover and Villa, who are promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing, had to say at the conclusion of training camp as they prepare for their fights on Friday night:
“This was my best camp. I feel very confident. We stepped it up a notch. Everything went smooth. It was pure hard work and dedication throughout this camp.
“I know that my fights are getting tougher and opponents are getting better. Thomas Mattice is going to bring out the best in me. A lot of my fights have been quick knockouts, and hopefully now with this fight, people will see that I bring a high skill level.“I have been very focused on the fight, and not focusing on where the fight is taking place. My family, friends, coaches and teachers will all be there, but It doesn’t matter where the ring is, I am at home.
“Every fight, I am looking to make a big statement being that it is a main event on ShoBox against a durable guy. I feel this win will catapult me into the rankings in the 135 lb. division.”
“It was a good training camp. We trained in Riverside, Calif., for the last four weeks of camp.”
“I have sparred with Vivas in the past and from what I remember it was my first day back in the gym after a fight. He was an aggressive fighter, and I know I just have to be smart and execute to be successful on fight night.
“I am excited to be back on ShoBox. I know that I must be winning and doing my job for me to keep getting on ShoBox and getting this great exposure.
“I feel that a title shot is in reach. I see by mid-2020 that I will be fighting for a title.”
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing in association with GH3 Promotions, Garcia Promotions and Now Boxing Promotions, are priced at $120, $100 and $80 and can be purchased online at www.haciendamidland,com or by calling 432-563-3737.
David Benavidez Gives Boxing Fans a Taste of Training Camp
By Kirk Lang
Photos by Alyssa Lang and Kirk Lang
It was billed in a press release as his official start of training camp but David Benavidez’ challenge of WBC super middleweight champ Anthony Dirrell was still months away when he took on three sparring partners under the pavilion at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in upstate New York during the Hall’s 30th annual induction weekend.
“This is not really the start of my camp,” said Benavidez. “I still have 16 weeks left ‘til the fight. So I just came out here, enjoyed the people, got some good sparring and just enjoyed myself. I put a show on for the fans.”
David Benavidez (second from left) with his three sparring partners.
Benavidez, 21-0 with 18 knockouts, became the youngest ever super middleweight champion in September 2017 when, at 20 years old, he won a 12-round decision over Ronald Gavril for the vacant WBC super middleweight championship. However, a career misstep saw him test positive for a banned substance last September and he lost his crown.
At the time, Benavidez was scheduled to make the second defense of his belt against Dirrell. The title subsequently became vacant and Dirrell took possession of it in March with a victory over Avni Yildirim.
David Benavidez working out at the Boxing Hall of Fame.
The June 7th sparring in Canastota, New York, along with some shadowboxing the following day, provided a little sample of training camp life for approximately 100 boxing fans that crowded around the outdoor ring in perfect weather. Benavidez, who is intent on getting his belt back, didn’t appear to be too far from fighting weight, and looked sharp as he went three rounds a piece with a trio of local sparring partners.
David Benavidez getting ready for WBC champ Anthony Dirrell.
Benavidez, far more experienced than his opponents, clearly seemed to be holding back at times, but he also made sure to work on defensive maneuvers. However, he did let his hands go here and there, including when he positioned Syracuse, New York-based 6-foot-four-inch pro boxer Lawrence Gabriel, whose record currently stands at 3-2-1, into a neutral corner. Benavidez let the crowd know he could turn the heat up whenever he felt like it. In fact, although Gabriel has survived bullets – in 2015 he was the victim of multiple gunshot wounds while trying to stop a crazed gunman at a Syracuse bar – he couldn’t survive Benavidez. He came close though. As his third and final round with the former world champion neared its end, Gabriel got caught with a beautiful hook to the body. He rose to his feet, but needed a break and leaned against the ropes until the bell rang.
David Benavidez stretching out at the Boxing Hall of Fame.
“He’s a big puncher and he snaps every single punch,” Gabriel said. “And he gets his body into the right position to get power on all of his punches. He’s tough.”
Next up for Benavidez was the smallest of the three sparring partners – Luis “Azucar” Rojas. What Rojas lacked in stature he more than made up for in aggressiveness. Unfazed by Benavidez’ pedigree as a recent ex-world champion, he’d get in close and confidently let loose with combinations, usually to the head. Benavidez seemed to admire his opponent’s tenaciousness, but a well-placed power punch every so often let Rojas know who the real king of the ring was.
“I think he’s good,” said Rojas, who added, “I think he can be better. I’ve seen him fight before. I know he’s better than that.”
David Benavidez sparring.
Did Rojas think Benavidez was holding back?
“Sometimes,” he said.
What did he learn from his three rounds with the former champion who is still at the top of the class at super middleweight?
“That you’ve got to stay ready, all the time,” said Rojas, who admitted to not being at his peak physically at this point in the summer.
David Benavidez sparring before the Hall of Fame crowd.
The last sparring partner for Benavidez was 25-year-old Michael Rycraft, of Utica, NY. Tall and quick with his hands as well as his feet, Benavidez had to work harder in those final three rounds.
“The last one, he was the best one,” said Benavidez. “So I had to use every movement right. There could be no wasted movements.”
As good as Rycraft was, Benavidez left him with a bloody nose his corner-men had to attend to.
David Benavidez sparring before the crowd.
Rycraft seemed to appreciate the sparring, the opportunity, more so than the others that scrapped with Benavidez. He was seen talking with him and thanking him well after the sparring was over.
He told The USA Boxing News, “It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing to be in this position, to learn from a champion, a true champion, a young champion at that.”
Avid boxing enthusiast Mark Jones, of Syracuse, NY, who watched Benavidez’ nine rounds of sparring – a pre-cursor to actual training camp -believes Benavidez has the goods to defeat Dirrell.
David Benavidez in action.
“I think he’ll beat Dirrell based on his youth and the fact that Dirrell is in the post-prime phase of his career,” he said. “Benavidez has a big frame. I think he could eventually perform well at light heavyweight.”
Dirrell-Benavidez is scheduled to take place in late September in Los Angeles.
A young Muhammad Ali with then heavyweight champion Ingemar Johansson.
Joe Louis with some young fans during training.
Joseph and John Rinaldi with Heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe at his training camp in the Poconos in 1992.
Alex Rinaldi and Gerry Cooney
Roberto Duran and the Boxing Twins in 1982
Hall of Famer Gerard Rinaldi