BOXING PRESS RELEASES and BOXING STORIES
By Alexander R. Rinaldi
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Terence Crawford successfully defends WBO welterweight title after Amur Khan surrenders after low blow
STORY BY JOHN RINALDI
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEXANDER RINALDI
April 20 – New York City, NY. Top Rank, Inc. led by Bob Arum, demonstrated once more that after over half a century of promoting, they are still a dominating force in pugilism. On Easter Weekend in New York City, an impressive crowd of 14,091 fans turned out to see a Nebraska fighter take on an English adversary.
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, appears to be heading up the steps of super stardom. He first arrived on the big stage when he outpointed the popular Ricky Burns on March 1, 2014 for the WBO World Lightweight Championship. After two successful title defenses, Crawford bludgeoned Thomas Dulcimer on April 18, 2015 to win the vacant WBO World Super Lightweight crown. Terence then defended his laurels six more times, also scooping up the WBC Super Lightweight title belt in the process, before he moved up to TKO the conqueror of Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn, on June 9, 2018 to capture the WBO World Welterweight Championship.
Crawford is a busy fighter and four months later he stopped Jose Bedridden Jr. in a barn burner on October 13 to retain his 147-pound belt for the first time.
The problem Crawford has faced, however, is that he had not beaten many household names to enhance his reputation. He needed a known opponent to take him up another rung of the ladder. That unlikely foe turned out to be Amur “King Khan” Khan, the former super lightweight king.
At one time, Khan, of Bolton, Lancashire, UK, was a hero in Great Britain. He defeated the great Marco Antonio Barrera on a technical decision (due to a clash of heads) on March 14, 2009, and four months later outpointed Andriy Kotelnik to win the WBA Super Lightweight Championship. Over the next three years he defended his belt five times against tough characters as Dmitiy Salita (TKO-1), Paulie Malignaggi (TKO-11), Marco Maidana (W-12), Paul McCloskey (TD-6) and Zab Judah (KO-5 and also capturing the IBF World Super Lightweight Crown) before being dethroned by Lamont Peterson on a 12-round split decision on December 10, 2011.
The loss to Peterson was a disputed one, but when he was destroyed in four rounds by Danny Garcia in his next outing on July 14, 2012, it appeared to be the end of Khan’s rising boxing star.
After two points wins over Luis Collazo (wining the WBA Int’l Welterweight Title and vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Belt) and Devon Alexander in 2014, Khan inexplicably moved all the way up to the middleweight division to take on the power punching WBC World Middleweight king Saul Alvarez, where he was punished and KO’d in the sixth round.
Although most believed that Khan was in way over his head against the likes of Crawford, there were still some believers out there (mostly in Great Britain) that Khan’s once vaulted punching power could pull off a miracle. Sadly miracles are in short supply in New York City boxing rings.
The two fighters entered the ring in Madison Square Garden in top shape, but right from the outset, the difference in the two fighters’ power was obvious. Crawford, 146.4, appeared to hurt the challenger with every punch he landed. Khan fought cautiously, while Crawford pounded away with both fists. Suddenly in the opening frame, the champion smashed a mighty right to the head of Khan that froze him for a brief millisecond before a left hook to the face send him toppling to the canvas.
Bravely rising, Khan appeared okay as he moved away from the walloping shots of Crawford. Amir tried to land a few lefts and rights to hold off the champion, but was tagged at the end of the frame with a crunching right hand that staggered him.
After the beating in the opening round, Khan appeared to have removed the cobwebs from his rattled brain and attacked with jolting combinations. Crawford, however, would then retaliate with a barrage of leather with punches coming from all angles possible, battering away at the Brit’s arms, body and head. Khan, 146.6, kept his composure and managed to score with some telling shots. Near the end of the session, Amir rocked Crawford with a vicious right hand that knocked the champion into the ropes. The right hand wallop was the best punch of Round 2 and won the round for the Brit on one of the judges’ scorecards.
The third round was another close frame as it appeared the champion was biding his time and content to counter off the Brit’s crackling combinations. Khan was still quite cautious, but scored well with some solid blows. This was another frame where one judge awarded the stanza to the challenger.
Rounds four and five saw Crawford land effectively with his southpaw right jab and hammered away at the challenger’s ribs and head. Khan would lunge in with a three-punch combination, but then the champion would open with both fist flailing and drive Khan across the ring.
Going into the sixth round the scorecards had Crawford ahead by tallies of 49-45 (twice) and 50-44. Early in Round 6, Crawford swung for the fences with a mighty left hook. Unfortunately his blow landed too far south and crashed into the groin of Khan, which sent the Englishman collapsing to the canvas. Amir then managed to make it to his feet, wearing of mask of pain on his face.
As referee David Fields questioned Khan and offered to give him time to recover, the challenger first adjusted his protective cup, and then made a comment that he was unable to fight. Because Khan refused a respite to recover, and instead decided he could not longer continue, Fields had no choice but to declare Crawford the winner by a 6th-round TKO at the 0:47 mark.
The Garden erupted in boos with the apparent surrender by Khan. Up until the low blow, Crawford may have been in control, but it was a rather enjoyable scrap.
“I feel like I was touching him [Khan] more and I was picking up the intensity,” said Crawford (35-0, 26 KO’s). He was looking for a way out. I hit him on top of the leg and he got his way out and his coach stopped the fight.”
Khan (33-5, 20 KO’s) remarked, “I want to apologize to all of the fans. The fight was just getting interesting. I could feel the pain in my stomach and legs, and said, ‘I can’t move’ to the referee and my corner. There was no point taking five minutes out, I could not continue. I am not one to give up. I was hit by a hard shot below the belt. I couldn’t continue as the pain was too much.”
At the press conference, Crawford clearly thought that Khan had quit. When the following exchange took place:
Crawford – “You didn’t quit? Tell everything – the truth!”
Khan – “No, I didn’t.”
Crawford – “Then what happened?”
Khan – “I was hit with a low blow.”
Crawford – “Your leg?”
Khan – “In the leg? It was in the balls! I’ve not seen the video of it, but it was a low blow.”
Crawford – “It was low.”
Khan – “If you guys think I quit, no problem. I never quit from a fight. It was a great fight and Crawford beat me.”
The challenger’s trainer Virgil Hunter explained, “The crowd will always be bloodthirsty and want to see a dramatic ending, but you have to look out for the safety of the fighter. He’s not the kind of fighter to make things up. I believe he was incapacitated.”
The problem is that Hunter was not one of those fans in attendance who paid from $56 to $606 to view the fight. Khan refused to take advantage of a five-minute rest in an effort to recover from the low punch. Instead, he waved the white flag and that was it for the evening.
Regardless, the crowd witnessed an impressive performance from Crawford who thrilled the fans with a great first-round knockdown, along with incredible power shots throughout the battle. Khan, 32, may be through with his time in the big-time spotlight, while Crawford, 31, has many exciting challenges ahead.
Crawford expressed a desire to take on IBF World Welterweight King Errol Spence Jr. in the near future.
The undercard featured the following:
Bantamweight Lawrence Newton (12-0, 7 KO’s), of Deerfield, FL, oupointed Jonathan Garza (7-3, 2 KO’s), of Eagle Pass, TX, over six rounds.
Super Welterweight Vikas Krishan (2-0, 1 KO), of Haryana, IND, won a unanimous 6-round decision over Noah Kidd (3-2-1, 2 KO’s), of Jefferson City, MO.
Super Lightweight Larry Fryers (10-1, 3 KO’s), of Clones, IRL, decisioned Dakota Polley (5-3, 2 KO’s), of St. Joseph, MO.
Power punching, undefeated middleweight Edgar Berlanga (10-0, 10 KO’s), of New York City, NY, made short work of veteran Samir Barbosa (37-16-3, 26 KO’s), of Rio Grande, BRA, with a first-round TKO at the 0:46 mark.
In a battle for the vacant NABF/NABO Super Welterweight Title, Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KO’s) bludgeoned Frank Galarza (20-3-2, 12 KO’s), of Brooklyn, NY, in four rounds after dropping Galarza with a whipping left hook.
Lightweight Felix Verdejo (25-1, 16 KO’s), of San Juan, PR, defeated Bryan Vasquez (37-4, 20 KO’s) over ten rounds.
Former Olympic Silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO’s), of Newark, NJ, easily outboxed Christoper Diaz (24-2, 16 KO’s), of Barranquitas, PR, to win the IBF Intercontinental and NABO Featherweight Title Belts by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. The southpaw Stevenson a a crafty, cocky and slick fighter that surely has a bright future. “I want to fight all the champions,” said Stevenson. “I’m the smartest boxer in boxing today.”
The popular NABF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KO’s), of Brooklyn, NY, KO’d former two-time EBU European Union Lightweight king Edis Tatli (31-3, 10 KO’s), of Helsinki, FIN, with a wicked left hook to the ribs that sent the challenger down and out in the fifth round.
All in all, Top Rank put on a fun night of boxing by having girls shoot t-shirts to the fans with air guns, provide games where audience members adorned with boxing gloves had to put on a Top Rank shirt the fastest to win, and also trivia contests given to some fans with Top Rank t-shirt prizes.
Jaime Munguia Retains WBO Junior Middleweight World Title Against Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan
GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS PRESS RELEASE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS
MONTERREY, MEXICO (April 13, 2019) – Jaime Munguia (33-0, 26 KO’s) retained his WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship against mandatory challenger Dennis Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KO’s) via 12-round majority decision victory in front of a packed house of fans at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. One judge scored the fight a 114-114 draw, while two judges saw Munguia winning the fight with scores of 115-113 and 116-112. The battle was streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
“Truthfully, as the round was coming to end, I thought it could be a draw,” said Jaime Munguia. “I decided to come out in the last round and give it my all for the victory, but truthfully it was difficult. I wanted to give the victory to my people. He [Hogan] would hit me in the head and then give me a low blow. He would also hold and not let me get in my rhythm. Either way, we must continue with our preparation. I learned a bit about getting frustrated from this fight and that was one of the problems. I also think I got a little bit tired. Trying to make 154 is having an effect on me. It could be my last fight at 154, but we have to talk about it with my promoter and we will see what happens.”
“I knew I won the fight. I’m really disappointed to train as a hard as I did and for this to happen,” said Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan. “We came here in good faith, and no disrespect to the people who scored it, but that decision shouldn’t go through. This is bad for boxing, bad for me, and a rematch is accepted right away, no questions asked. You saw the game plan. It was keep moving and land more shots. Every time I knew I was doing that. His power didn’t faze me at all because I’m moving, rolling with the punches, doing what I was doing. He’s a great fighter, but I could see it in his eyes he knew he was losing. At times he was acting desperate. I wasn’t even worried that much, no disrespect, but I could take his shots and I was landing more than him. Get CompuBox to properly count the punches. You’ll see I was winning that fight, I was so comfortable in there.”
In the co-main event, the scheduled 10-round featherweight battle between Diego De La Hoya (21-0-0-1, 10 KO’s), of Mexicali, MX, and Enrique Bernache (24-12-0-1, 12 KO’s) of Guadalajara, MX, ended in a no contest at 2:25 of the second round. The fight was stopped after a clash of heads caused a nasty cut on Bernache’s forehead.
“I feel bad. I put all the sacrifice into camp and put all the effort into camp,” said Diego De La Hoya. “I feel very bad. I knew this would happen because of the head butt. I feel very bad. You know he came in with his head, and I didn’t feel it. We bumped heads, and he started bleeding a lot. So truthfully it didn’t bother me. I want to fight, and I want to fight again. I feel bad for all the people that came here. Things happen in boxing, but I just want to fight again!”
Patrick Teixeira (29-1, 22 KO’s), of Sao Paulo, Brasil retained his WBO Latino Junior Middleweight Title with a 10-round majority decision win against Enrique Bernache (24-12, 12 KO’s) of Guadalajara, Mexico. The judges scored the exciting fight at 95-95, 96-94, and 96-94.
“Lozano was difficult,” said Patrick Teixeira. “I was trying to keep my distance with jab, and many times I couldn’t keep the long distance. It was just difficult. Every time I tried to cut the distance he would come with an overhand and use his head, so I had to jump back.”
Munguia vs. Hogan was a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy in association with Zanfer Promotions. The event took place on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and was streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Crolla, the former WBA lightweight champion, was game but never threatened Lomachenko. After tough battles against Jorge Linares and Jose Pedraza in 2018, he had an easier night at the office to begin his 2019 campaign.
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) scored a knockdown at the end of the third round when referee Pat Russell ruled the ropes held Crolla up.
In the fourth, Loma came out on the attack, knocking Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) back to the ropes. Then, it happened. A right hook to the top of Crolla’s head put him down and out.
Ramirez makes grand light heavyweight debut
After a career spent at super middleweight, and five successful title defenses, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) made a statement-making light heavyweight debut, stopping former world title challenger Tommy Karpency (29-7-1, 18 KOs) in four rounds.
Karpency elected to stay on his stool after the fourth round, as he suffered a rib injury in the opening round.
As for Ramirez, it remains to be seen whether he stays at light heavyweight or moves back down to defend his title again.
“I feel more comfortable at 175 pounds than 168,” Ramirez said. “I’m looking for all the champions at 175. I want to be a pound-for-pound fighter.
“I struggled making 168 for a very long time. We’ll see what’s next, but my body felt great at 175. My new head trainer, Julian Chua, did an excellent job preparing me for this fight. Karpency was a tough guy.”
Barboza KOs Alvarado in 3
Arnold Barboza Jr., the local product from South El Monte, had the Staples Center crowd on his side. He sent the partisan fans home happy, knocking out former world champion Mike Alvarado (40-5, 28 KOs) in the third round.
Barboza (21-0, 8 KOs) knocked Alvarado down with a right hand. Alvarado stumbled to his feet, but he rose on wobbly legs, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
“That was a good fight, and now I want Jose Ramirez. I want Maurice Hooker,” Barboza said. “That’s what I want in my future. Alvarado is a tough guy, and I stopped him in three rounds. Hopefully, this performance will catapult me to a world title opportunity. To perform like I did in front of my hometown fans, it doesn’t get better than that.”
Said Alvarado: “He caught me with a clean, surprising shot. He just caught me. It’s boxing. Some just sneak in and do the job, you know?”
In other action:
USBA welterweight champion and WBA No 1 contender Alexander Besputin (13-0, 9 KOs) moved closer to a world title shot with a dominant 10-round decision over Alfredo Blanco (20-8, 11 KOs).
He said the contender stage of his career is over.
“He had a very uncomfortable, awkward style, which made it difficult for me to find my rhythm,” Besputin said. “Most importantly, I got the win, and we can move on to bigger fights. I am a top contender now, and I am ready to fight for a world title next. Bob Arum says I can beat the top welterweights, and I know I can.”
Janibek Alimkhanuly (6-0, 2 KOs), a former amateur standout for his native Kazakhstan, passed the toughest test of his career with a 10-round unanimous decision (100-90 2X and 99-91) over Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs). Alimkhanuly picked up the WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global middleweight belt, as he outworked Olivas to cruise to victory.
It was a short night at the office for Italian heavyweight Guido Vianello (3-0, 3 KOs), who knocked out Lawrence Gabriel (3-2-1, 2 KOs) at 49 seconds of the opening round. Vianello represented his homeland at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I believe this was my strongest performance to date, and I’m only going to get better and better,” Vianello said. “My power is improving with every fight.”
Ruben Rodriguez (6-0, 2 KOs) maintained his unbeaten record with a four-round majority decision (38-38, 39-37 and 40-36) over the battle-tested veteran Ramel Snegur (3-4-1, 2 KOs).