Author: Daxx Khan

33rd annual Ring 8 Holiday Event & Awards Ceremony Dec. 8 in New York

NEW YORK (November 11, 2019) – The 33rd annual Ring 8 Holiday Event and Awards Ceremony will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), December 8, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.

Amanda “Real Deal” Serrano

Ring 8 has announced its 2019 award winners (see complete list below), headlined by Fighter of the Decade Amanda “Real Deal” Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Puerto Rico; undefeated heavyweight contender (Fighter of the Year) Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Poland; Legend Award winners three-time, three-division world champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley (43-19,1 27 KOs), of Bronx, and two-time, two-division world champion Junior “Poison” Jones (50-6, 28 KOs), of Brooklyn; and two-time world heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon (55-13-1, 28 KOs), of Philadelphia, the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award winner.
 
2019 RING 8 Award Winners
Fighter of the Decade: Amanda Serrano
Fighter of the Year: Adam Kownacki
Legends Award: Iran Barkley & Junior Jones,
Muhammad Ali Humanitarian: Tim Witherspoon
Sam Kellerman Media Award: Gerry Cooney & Randy Gordon
Long & Meritorious Service: Daryl Peoples
Uncrowned Champion: John Capobianco
Prospect of the Year: Left “2 Gunz” Gonzalez
Member of the Year: James Monteverde
NYS Official of the Year: Waleska Roldan
Trainer of the Year: Scott Lopeck
Manager of the Year: Keith Connolly
Community Service Award: Michael Corleone
Amateur of the Year: Nisa Rodriguez
Amateur Official of the Year: Michael “Biggie” O’Conner
Good Guy Award: Peter Frutkoff
The famous Jack Johnson Exhibit will be on display, Gerry Cooney will conducted a book signing and special guests will also be on hand.
 
David Diamante will once again serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
Tickets are $125.00 include a complete brunch with cocktail hour upon entry, followed by seating at the awards ceremony, dinner and dessert, and top-shelf open bar throughout the afternoon. There will also be a silent auction of boxing memorabilia. This event is expected to sell-out and everybody is urged to purchase tickets as soon as possible to secure favorable seating. Donations of any denomination are welcome for those unable to attend the festivities.
Program ads are available for Back Cover ($500.00), Inside Front or Back Cover ($400.00), Full Page ($200.00), Half-Page ($100.00), and Quarter-Page ($60.00). The deadline for all ads is November 24, 2019. All checks for tickets or journal ads should be payable to Ring 8 (credit cards are acceptable). Checks and journal ads should be mailed to Ring 8, P.O. Box 89, Massapequa Park, NY 11762

Inoue defeats Donaire in thriller to claim the “Muhammad Ali” trophy

When Nonito Donaire and Naoya Inoue stepped inside the ring at Japans Super Arena to battle it out for the “World Boxing Super Series” bantamweight division “Muhammad Ali Trophy” fans were not sure what to expect. The consensus opinion was “Inoue will score another spectacular knockout” and since it only took him a little over five minutes to reach the final that opinion was certainly not out of line. Yet many gave thought to the Donaire of eight years ago, a fighter who dominated every opponent he faced much in the way Inoue has so far. While Donaire has looked sensational during his tenure in this tournament, he is certainly not the Donaire of a decade ago. At thirty six years old expecting him to perform like he would in 2010-2012 is unreasonable but of course old fighters always have that one last great performance in them. What no one expected was to witness not one but possibly two career defining performances.

The bout opened with Donaire pushing the action and Inoue backwards as he pumped his jab while imploring his natural size advantage. The third round would answer that looming question on “How will Inoue respond to adversity”, a Donaire right hand that cut Inoue over his right eye invited Inoue to provide that answer even if he wasn’t prepared to do so.

Nonito Donaire lands a right hand that shakes Naoya Inoue

Once the fourth round started Inoue came after Donaire with authority and took control of the next few rounds with his jab, once Donaire was in range Inoue let loose one of his devastating hooks that earned him the moniker “Monster”. What landed on Donaire he took well and those Inoue missed would have stopped a welterweight.

The tide of the contest would be taken back by Donaire in round seven when he started to land clean flush punches on the chin of Inoue, at one time Inoue buckled and looked as though would be headed for defeat. In round eight Donaire would control the entire round placing Inoue against the ropes, evidently bothered by blood flowing into his eye which he later stated caused vision issues.

While he remained in control in round nine, Donaire was shook in the tenth by a huge Inoue right hand that sent the three division champion into “Seek and  Destroy” mode.

Nonito Donaire goes down in round 11 from a body shot

It would be a hard body shot to the liver that dropped Donaire in round eleven and as he took a knee it appeared the end was near but Donaire rose up and fought back like the champion he is.

The twelfth and final round started with Inoue on the attack but Donaire bot to be outdone answered with hard right hands of his own. The two champions would fight until the final bell bringing approval from not only fans in person but watching worldwide.

When final scores were read Judge Robert Hoyle scored it 114-113, Judge Luigi Boscarelli 116-111 and Judge Octavio Rodriguez 117-109 all in favor of Naoya Inoue.

Naoya Inoue with the Muhammad Ali Trophy after his bout against Nonito Donaire

With the win Inoue now the owner of boxing’s “Muhammad Ali Trophy” improved to 19-0 (16) and is now the IBF, WBA super and Ring magazine bantamweight champion of the world. With his loss Nonito Donaire now stands at 40-6 (26).

We not only witnessed a unification bout fought on the highest level but found out Nonito Donaire has more in the tank left than boxing thought. What is more important boxing found out Naoya Inoue is everything we expected, while we knew he had serious power his chin and stamina are just as impressive.

If there were any doubts on Nonito Donaire at this stage of his career, going a full twelve competitive rounds with boxing’s “Boogie Man” should be squash them entirely and all questions on Inoue have been answered in full.

What is next for both fighters? I could make assumptions but for right now I’ll just appreciate the moment because it only added to what has been a stellar 2019 for the sport.

‘Greatest fight ever!’ – Inoue & Donaire make weight in Japan

Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire both made weight ahead of tomorrow’s WBSS Bantamweight Ali Trophy final at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

It’s the Japanese ‘Monster’ and the ‘Filipino Flash’ questing for the Greatest Prize in Boxing, the next man to enter the exclusive club of Ali Trophy winners.

Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs), IBF, WBA ‘Regular’ and Ring Magazine champion, 53.5kg /117.5 lbs:

“Official weigh-in is over and the only thing we can do is to get ready for fight night,” said Inoue after the weigh-in. “We are going to show the greatest fight ever. A victory will be a very satisfying moment for me and it will be a very big step for a bright future.”

Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs), WBC Diamond & WBA ‘Super’ World champion, 53.3 kg /117.5 lbs:

“It’s very special to me,” said Donaire. “It’s for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. It’s the best of the best. Everything a fighter wants to want is to become the best of the best. I’ve been through it all and this is for me another step towards becoming undisputed.

“It’s one of the top moments of my career and I get to fight in Japan. I’ve been here so many times and I love the place. The fans are incredible, the people are incredible.”

Inoue vs Donaire, WBSS Bantamweight Ali Trophy Final with the WBA ‘Super’, IBF & Ring Magazine World titles on the line will be shown live via DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the UK.

Muhammad Ali Trophy champions:
2017-18: Aleksandr Usyk, Cruiserweight
2017-18: Callum Smith, Super Middleweight
2018-19: Josh Taylor, Super-Lightweight

Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

Boxing’s Best Kept Secret Undefeated WBC Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz

WORCESTER, Mass. (November 5, 2019) – Undefeated World Boxing Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (12-0, 6 KOs) is, perhaps, the best prospect in the world who most boxing fans don’t know.

A large part of the problem, however, is that the 23-year-old Ortiz, born and raised in the fighting city of Worcester, MA, never aspired to be a professional boxer, despite having a decorated amateur career.

He started boxing when he was six years old, thanks to National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame trainer Carlos Garcia, who has run the boxing program at the Worcester Boys & Girls Club for nearly 40 years.

The naturally gifted Ortiz compiled an outstanding 100-14 amateur record, highlighted by a silver medal at the 2015 National Golden Gloves Tournament, in which he lost in the championship final to future professional world champion Joselito Lopez, plus back-to-back gold medal performances at the New England Tournament of Champions in 2015 & 2016.

Testimony to Ortiz’ promising potential was his final amateur match, which was a solid victory against Abraham “Super” Nova, who is 17-0 (13 KOs) as a professional, as well as the reigning North American Boxing Association champion, and rated by the World Boxing Association (WBA) as the No. 8 super featherweight in the world.

“Turning pro wasn’t my end goal,” consummate boxer Ortiz said. “It really wasn’t on my mind. I focused on regional and national tournaments. I always thought I’d win an Olympic gold medal and then turn pro. I wish I had been better prepared to turn pro.

“People that know me didn’t even realize that I had turned pro. It took a while before I adjusted, but I never really transitioned. Others had a game plan; I didn’t have a clue, but soon realized trophies I won in the amateurs weren’t going to pay the bills. Most of my fans today are other fighters and coaches.”

When his Olympic dream ended, after he lost in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials, that’s when his promoter, Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports / CES), and co-adviser, Providence businessman Richard Shappy got involved in Ortiz’ pro career. They’ve invested time, money and energy, believing in Ortiz and his tremendous potential.

“For years,” explained Shappy, who advises Ortiz along with Eddie Imondi,” I kept telling Jimmy (Burchfield) that I was interested in getting involved with a boxer, but that it had to be the right one. One day Jimmy called to say this (Ortiz) is the one. I jumped onboard. He convinced me that Jamaine is a future world champion. We jumped in from his first fight, on the ground floor, and we believe he is going to be world champion.”

Burchfield has promoted the likes of five-time world champion Vinny Paz, U.S. Olympian Jason EstradaRay OliveiraGary BallettoPeter Manfredo, Jr. and many others during his 25-plus years in the boxing industry. “Jamaine is the best I’ve promoted since Vinny Paz,” Burchfield claimed without hesitation. “He’s one of the best prospects in the world today and someday he’ll be world champion. Some say he has the good looks of Oscar de la Hoya; others feel his style is like that of ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard.”

When his Olympic dream unceremoniously ended, he decided to turn pro in 2016, winning his pro debut when Josh Parker retired after one round. The highlight of his young pro career to date was winning an eight-round unanimous decision this past February from previously undefeated (10-0) Ricardo Quiroz to capture the vacant WBC Youth World lightweight title, the same belt once proudly worn by, ironically, the aforementioned Lopez, as well as Juan Diaz and Daniel Estrada.

Past CES-promoted fighters who were WBC World Youth champions include three-time world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson and Polish heavyweight Maruisz Wach.

In his last fight and first WBC World Youth title defense this past August, Ortiz won a dominating eight-round unanimous decision over 8-1-1 Romain Couture, pitching a shutout by winning each round on all three judges’ scorecards.

Ortiz’ time to star in the ring is coming. He is a diamond in the rough; young, talented and with tremendous upside. He has a strong team behind him, including head coach Rocky Gonzalez and Garcia, who is still working his corner

Ortiz’ fan-base will eventually develop and quickly grow as more and more boxing fans discover this gifted boxer as he ascends to the top of the boxing mountain.

2020 promises to be the “Year of The Technician,” Jamaine Ortiz.

 

Homecoming King Manfredo Jr. returns November 23

Fan-favorite Manfredo Jr. returns for next chapter

 “The Pride of Providence” faces Melvin Russell on November 23 at Twin River Casino Hotel on UFC FIGHT PASS®

Providence, RI (November 5, 2019) — Rhode Island boxing icon Peter Manfredo Jr., “The Pride of Providence,” returns to the ring Saturday, November 23 to headline the second event of CES Boxing’s UFC FIGHT PASS® year-end tripleheader at Twin River Casino Hotel.

Fighting for the first time since 2016, Manfredo Jr. (40-7-1, 21 KOs) faces “The Romantic Redneck” Melvin Russell (11-7-2, 7 KOs) of Lloyd, KY, in a 10-round light heavyweight bout, one of four bouts on the  UFC FIGHT PASS® stream.

The buzz is beginning to reach its fever pitch as Manfredo Jr., born and raised in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence, returns to the Ocean State, where he’s fought 22 times since making his professional debut at Rhode Island’s historic Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in 2000. Manfredo Jr. also helped launch Twin River’s Event Center in 2007, knocking out veteran Ted Muller in the main event of the casino’s first live combat sports event.

Nineteen years and more than 100 shows later, Twin River is once again home to “The Pride of Providence,” who hopes to improve upon his unbeaten record of 7-0-1 at the venue. One of Rhode Island’s most accomplished fighters in this, or any, era, Manfredo Jr. is a former IBO world middleweight champion and former three-time world title challenger who rose to fame on Season 1 of The Contender reality television series. He became a household name on the show following his win over Alfonso Gomez in 2005 and later went toe-to-toe twice with Sergio Mora and challenged Joe Calzaghe and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for world titles.

Fighting just a stone’s throw from where he grew up in Federal Hill, Manfredo Jr. returned to the Ocean State in 2006 following his run on The Contender and dazzled fans at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center with knockout wins over regional standouts Scott Pemberton and Joey Spina, arguably the most dominant stretch of his career. In 2012, he returned to Twin River with an impressive win over veteran Rayco Saunders and then honored lifetime friend and fellow Rhode Island legend Gary Balletto a year later with a knockout win over in-state rival Rich Gingras, wearing Balletto’s trunks to the ring just four months after Balletto was paralyzed in an accident at his home.

The legend continues November 23 as Manfredo Jr. returns to write the next chapter in his storied career, his first bout since May of 2016 when he and “Mr. Providence” Vladine Biosse fought to a draw in the highly-publicized “Battle for the Capital” at Twin River.

“This is going to be a night to remember,” said CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr., who helped launch Manfredo Jr.’s pro career nearly two decades ago. “The Homecoming King is back! What could be better than the return of living legend Peter Manfredo Jr. on combat sports’ No. 1 streaming platform? The beautiful Twin River Casino Event Center is the place to be November 23. The crowd noise will be deafening and many of our sport’s young stars will get the opportunity to share the ring with a true legend — a fighter, father and husband who they look up to as a role model. You cannot miss this event!”

Manfredo Jr. will be joined on UFC FIGHT PASS® by several Rhode Island fan-favorites, including Cranston junior welterweight Nick DeLomba (15-2, 4 KOs), who faces Argentinian Diego Vicente Perez (13-8-1, 11 KOs) in the eight-round co-main event. The live stream also features an intriguing six-round Fight of the Night candidate between unbeaten super featherweights Michael Valentin (6-0-1, 1 KO) of Providence and Joshua Orta (5-0, 2 KOs) of Holbrook, MA, plus a six-round welterweight war between undefeated Providence native Victor Reynoso (5-0, 5 KOs) and the dangerous Roque Zapata (6-2-5) of Culpeper, VA.

DeLomba returns to Twin River for the first time in more than a year and puts his four-fight win streak on the line against the dangerous Perez, who has won five of his last six, all by knockout. DeLomba last fought in Rhode Island in September of 2018, defeating Chris Singleton by unanimous decision, and most recently fought in July with a knockout win over Rynell Griffin in New Hampshire.

Valetin and Orta could steal the show November 23. The two have had their sights set on one another since Orta turned pro in 2018. Since then, Orta has racked up five wins in the past year while Valentin also boasts an undefeated record at 6-0-1.

Reynoso is also facing his toughest test date. An officer at Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts, Reynoso recently made quick work of Kenny Chery in August, winning by third round knockout for his fifth knockout victory in as many fights. Zapata, a veteran of 13 fights, has never been stopped and has scored upset wins on the road against Philadelphia’s Isaiah Wise and Fred Jenkins Jr. and Reading, PA, vet Nicolas Hernandez.

The preliminary card features an eclectic mix of veterans and newcomers, starting with Brian Barbosa (31-7, 23 KOs) of Providence making his long-awaited return and the professional boxing debut of Gary Balletto III, the son of the iconic “Tiger” Balletto, who amassed a pro record of 31-3-2. Cranston’s Balletto is transitioning from the cage to the ring, boxing professionally for the first time following seven professional MMA fights with CES MMA between 2015 and 2018.

Barbosa is back for the first time since 2013. “The Bull” ran off an impressive streak of 11 consecutive knockouts between 1994 and 1997 as one of the region’s top fighters and also returned from an eight-year layoff in 2011 with a knockout win over Rhode Island rival Joe Gardner. A former USBA and NABO middleweight champion, Barbosa went on to face former super welterweight world champion Carl Daniels in an IBF title eliminator in 2000 and

Also on the preliminary card, super lightweight Wilson Mascarenhas (2-1) of New Bedford, MA, faces undefeated Jose Zaragoza (2-0) of Sedalia, MO, and female lightweight Shayna Foppiano (1-0-1, 1 KO) of Everett, MA, battles Brazilian Raquel Santos, who also lives and trains in Everett and will be making her pro debut. Both are four-round bouts. Brockton, MA, heavyweight Chad Leoncello also makes his professional debut in a four-round bout.

“TONGAN TYSON” HEMI AHIO JOINS STABLEMATE JUNIOR FA IN ACTION

New York, NY (November 5, 2019) DiBella Entertainment has signed Undefeated Heavyweight Contender Hemi “The Heat” Ahio (15-0, 10 KOs), of Auckland, New Zealand, to an exclusive promotional contract.

“I’m really appreciative of DiBella Entertainment having the faith in me to be successful in the United States,” said the 29-year-old Ahio. “Bring on the good times. I can’t wait to fight on Friday, November 15.”

“Hemi has the potential to be a big player in the heavyweight division,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Known as the ‘Tongan Tyson’ in New Zealand, he’s a huge puncher with fast hands and an exciting come-forward style. Coming off a big knockout of an undefeated prospect in Saudi Arabia, Hemi is back in the US and ready to shine on UFC Fight Pass, Friday, November 15 in Salt Lake City.”

Renowned as a street fighter in Auckland, Ahio was jumped by six assailants in early 2013 in his hometown and stabbed in the chest. Despite his life-threatening injury, Ahio was able to knock out three of his attackers with the other three running away from the free-swinging, bloodied New Zealander. Following the notorious incident, Ahio was taken to a boxing gym by his uncle and had his first professional bout on October 18, 2013, which he won by first-round knockout.

With his tremendous hand speed and devastating power, the aggressive Kiwi heavyweight, born to Tongan parents, has drawn comparisons stylistically to a young Mike Tyson. Ahio captured the IBO Oceania-Orient and New Zealand Heavyweight Titles, winning a unanimous decision in his first 10-rounder against Daniel Tai in September 2017. Victorious three times in 2019, he returns to the United States following a first-round knockout of Ali Kiydin on July 12 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. On March 2, 2019, Ahio made his US debut with a seventh-round stoppage versus Ed Fountain in Columbus, Ohio.

Headlining the Broadway Boxing event, fellow New Zealand heavyweight Junior Fa (18-0, 10 KOs) battles US Olympian Devin Vargas (21-5, 9 KOs), of Sylvania, OH, in a scheduled 10-round bout.

Nikolai Potapov Returns with Impressive TKO over Africa’s Nasibu Ramadhani

WBO #9 and IBF #11 Bantamweight Nikolai Potapov returned to action Thursday night in Moscow with an impressive fifth-round TKO over Tanzanian veteran Nasibu Ramadhani.

Fighting in the 10-round main event of a card presented by Shamo Boxing at the Korston Club Hotel, Potapov (21-2-1, 12 KOs), of Podolsk, Russia, worked past a head-butt induced cut left eye to put his world-class skills on full display. He wobbled the aggressive Ramadhani (29-14-2, 16 KOs) in the second round with a three-punch combination and continued to dominate until the stoppage.

“I am glad to get the work and the win,” said the victorious Potapov. “I would like to come back to the US and get another opportunity to fight for the world title.”

The fight was Potapov’s first since his highly controversial decision loss to fellow contender Joshua Greer last July. Potapov’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says the capable Russian is gearing up for another assault on the division’s best.

“I am glad Nikolai got some work in and was able to score an impressive TKO victory. The bantamweight division is heating up and he is up there with the best in the weight class. I look forward to a great 2020 for Nikolai!”

USA Boxing Alumni Association announces Hall of Fame Class of 2019: George Foreman, Mark Breland, Joe Frazier, Al Mitchell & Ray Rodgers Lifetime Achievement Award to Sen. John McCain

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 4, 2019) – Olympic gold-medalists “Big” George Foreman, Mark Breland and “Smokin'” Joe Frazier head the Class of 2019 into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, Friday night, December 13, at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 Olympic Trials and 2019 National Championships. Dec. 7-15, at Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event’s emcee for the third year in a row.

USA Boxing Alumni Association’s third class also includes decorated coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award. A fearless boxer for three years at the U.S. Naval Academy, Sen. McCain managed his battalion’s boxing team to the brigade championship.

Sen. McCain was the architect of the ground-breaking Muhammad Ali Act, pushed for the pardoning of Jack Johnson, and worked with the Cleveland Clinic on the forefront of brain trauma studies leading to more safety measures for boxers.

“My father had a passion for boxing,” his daughter Megan McCain said. “He loved it for the thrill of achievement, the nobility of struggle, and the dignity of men bloodied but unbowed. His love for boxing and his love for America had a lot in common. That’s why he worked tirelessly to protect and elevate the sport – making it an arena of integrity for fans and fighters alike.

“That’s also why I am honored to join the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame to accept their Lifetime Achievement Award on his behalf.”

Foreman (pro: 76-5, 68 KOs, amateur: 22-4) was also a three-time World Heavyweight Champion as a pro, in addition to famously winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, as well as at the National AAU Championships. A resident of Houston, Texas, his victims included Frazier (twice), Ken NortonDwight Muhammad Qawi and Michael Moorer.

Considered one of the greatest amateur boxers of all-time, Breland (pro: 35-3-1, 25 KOs), amateur: 110-1) was a gold medalist at the 1984 Olympic Games in Las Angeles and 1982 World Championships. The Brooklyn native was a two-time World Welterweight Champion as a pro. His most notable victories were versus Steve LittleRafael Pineda and Lloyd Honeyghan.

The late Frazier (pro: 32-4-1, 27 KOs, amateur: 38-2), representing Philadelphia, captured a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Japan and he was a three-time World Heavyweight Champion as a professional. Frazier’s hit list included Muhammad AliJimmy Ellis (twice), Bob Foster and Oscar Bonavena (twice).

Mitchell has been in boxing for more than 60 years, first as a boxer, but he’s much better known as a world-class boxing coach. He has been the boxing coach at N. Michigan University for decades, in addition to being head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, and technical advisor for the 2004 and 2012 U.S. Olympic squads. He was selected as the 1994 USA Boxing Coach of the Year and among the 800-plus national amateur champions he has worked with are Mike TysonFloyd Mayweather and Vernon Forrest. He currently trains 2016 U.S. Olympian and world title contender Mikaela Mayer, who will be in attendance supporting her coach.

A legend in Arkansas boxing, Rodgers has been an outstanding coach and extraordinary cut-man, who has been in the corner of world champions such as Wayne McCulloughJermain TaylorIran Barkley and Tommy Morrison. Ray’s decades of service through coaching and mentorship for the youth of Arkansas have established him as a role model and inspiration for amateur boxing coaches everywhere.

“This year’s USA Boxing Alumni Hall of Fame class, as well as Senator McCain, represent the very best of Olympic style boxing, both in and out of the ring,”commented Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “Their decades worth of service representing themselves inspire us to give back and support current and future generations of champions. The USA Boxing Alumni Association looks forward to an exciting and memorable evening as we honor these champions of our sport.”

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John ScullyObie BeardMark Lanton and the Stephens brothers – DonaldAnthony and Jerry.

Unbeaten Mykquan Williams learned invaluable lesson for future

Unbeaten Mykquan Williams learned invaluable lesson for future
Picture by Emily Harney / Team Williams

MANCHESTER, Conn. (November 4, 2019) – The true test for a genuine boxing prospect is how he or she responds to adversity, whether it included a loss, cut, knockdown or, in the case of “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams, a disputed decision that tarnished his perfect pro record.

The 21-year-old Williams, now 15-0-1 (7 KOs), was recently on the short end of a highly disputed eight-round draw with Tre’Sean Wiggins (11-4-3, 6 KOs), in the “Broadway Boxing” main event held at Generoso Pope Athletic Complex on the campus of St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

Nobody claimed the questionable decision was highway robbery, yet, most non-partisan fans at the show, or those watching live on UFC FIGHT PASS®, felt Williams rightfully deserved to have his arms raised in victory. Despite having a blemish placed on his pro record, he didn’t suffer a loss, and did  retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super lightweight title.

Williams’ opponent was a southpaw with a five-inch height advantage. Once he felt Williams’ power, especially in the liver, Wiggins went into survival mode, clutching and grabbing every time Williams got close.

Neither Williams nor his head trainer, Paul Cichon, was pleased when the judges’ scores were announced – 77-75 in favor of Williams, 76-76 twice – for a majority draw. Never-the-less, both feel that this developmental lesson will pay dividends down the road.

“The plan was for me to work inside,” Williams said after the fight. “The first and second were feeling out rounds and then I’d adjust. I didn’t feel from the start that he could hurt me. I wanted to get inside and beat him with body punches. I did that but I think I played to the crowd a little too much. I’d change that if I could go back. And I would have let my hands go more, but I won this fight because I landed the harder, cleaner more effective shots throughout the fight. He just wanted to hold.

“I’m disappointed because I was defending my title, but I didn’t lose the fight and I still have my belt. I ll have a lot to learn and I’ll be back in the gym soon to fix errors I made so that I won’t have those issues my next fight.”

Cichon felt that Williams won five if not six rounds because he was the aggressor throughout the match. “I was surprised,” he admitted. “Mykye was the champion and I thought that he (Wiggins) would have needed to win convincingly to win rounds. He didn’t. Mykye started using his double jab to get inside and then he killed his opponent’s body. The body shots brought Wiggins’ hands down. Mykye stalked and hurt him a few times.

“Mykye learned a valuable lesson like not letting the crowd get to him, and never letting up on the gas.Wiggins was smart. Every time Mykye got close to him, he grabbed him, especially after he felt Mykye’s powerful body shots. It may have been ugly, but he fought smart.”

Team Williams agrees that there’s no sense rushing Williams, after all, he’s only 21, but that 2020 should be an active, career-changing year for the East Hartford (CT) fighter.

“I’m ready to fight at the next level,” Williams concluded. “Time will tell. Styles make fights but I hurt him (Wiggins) several times.”

“We’ll jump back in the ring in early 2020,” Cichon added. “We’re looking to fight opponents with winning records, but not another six-foot southpaw.”

“I was very proud of Mykey,” Williams’ manager Jackie Kallen commented. It was a learning experience that will make him an even greater fighter. He is still undefeated and one of the top young prospects in the 140-pound division. The next year will be a pivotal one for him.”

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