Unbeaten 23-year-old super-bantamweight talent Bradley Strand (3-0), trained by Paul Stevenson at the thriving Everton Red Triangle Gym, is staying positive and setting himself new goals despite “all the madness 2020 is throwing at us”, he said in his own words.
Although the ABA Elites champion hasn’t been able to continue his boxing training at home, he has still been working hard to keep fit, he explained, “I’ve still been running, but haven’t been able to do any punching because I haven’t got a bag up in my house. I’ve just been doing the same distance runs and sprints as well, just trying to beat my times, so I still set myself goals to aim for; I’ve got to have something.”
Strand is one of very few professional boxers that has already fought this year when he won on points over four rounds against Taka Bembere (1-15) last February in his home city of Liverpool on a Black Flash Promotions show.
“Yeah, at least we got a fight in before all this started, I know many others haven’t, so got try to take the positives out of it,” he enthused.
Strand’s gym works in association with promoter Pat Barrett’s Black Flash Promotions, who schedule their events for the entire year. They had five shows all booked in for 2020, but only one has gone ahead and two have been cancelled already, with just a September and November date still listed, but looking increasingly unlikely.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you if the shows will go ahead,” Strand said. “If they allowed sporting events, you wouldn’t get the ticket sales like before; small hall shows rely on the ticket sales, they’ll suffer the most out of all of this, but TV promoters will be safer because they have the TV backing behind them.
“Even after lock-down lifts, people are still going to be weird about going to places, because you can never be too careful at the moment. But starting footy and boxing up again, well, I can’t see them having crowds at events for a while yet.”
Britons Amir Khan and Conor Benn have each been outspoken in their refusal to box behind closed doors without fans in attendance, but Strand does not share their opinions.
“Yeah, as long as I’m fighting, I don’t care,” he was quick to say. “Ask the majority of fighters and they’ll fight behind closed doors. I know they are planning shows behind closed doors, so I’d like to think they’ll allow that, and I hope to get on one. With me only just signing with Frank [Warren], I’d probably be at back of the queue though. We’ve never been in a situation like this ever before, so no one really knows how to handle it.”
He then went on to share his revised goals for the rest of the year, should normalcy return, “I’d hopefully like to be aiming to fight towards the end of the year, it’d be good to get one more in this year if I can. I just have to carry on the way I’m going and hopefully get back into the boxing gym and better myself, that’s all you can do.
“The lock-down has defo made me hungrier. I’m hungry to get back in there after all this sitting around and just having nothing to do. I’m normally always in the gym, and there’s always something in your head to focus on, but having no dates ahead to look forward to, it’s been hard. That’s why I’ve been setting myself other goals with the running.
“People are saying boxing might not return properly until next year, so it gets to your head. You’ve got to be mentally strong in boxing otherwise you won’t go anywhere.”
Strand’s gym where he sharpens his skills – the Everton Red Triangle in Liverpool – is celebrating its centenary this year and has a triumphant and rich history. Of recent times, British, Commonwealth and European flyweight champion Kevin Satchell was a successful product of the Liverpool-based boxing club, who retired undefeated in 2016.
Now, in 2020, the club proudly boasts an Olympian and one of Britain’s brightest amateur boxing prospects, Peter McGrail, who is a Commonwealth Games and European champion.
The thriving amateur division at the club is joined by a septet of unbeaten professional prospects all trained and carefully guided by head coach Paul Stevenson.
Despite their distancing, the tight-knit group are still connected, Strand explained, “We’re all in a group chat together, so we all speak quite regularly. Paul [Stevenson] sends us boxing videos to watch and study, and he’s always calling regularly.
Elaborating on his coach, Brad beamed, “He’s boss, even just motivation-wise; during lockdown he always says, ‘don’t forget you’re a boxer, don’t be sitting on the couch everyday’.
“It just takes time for the gym to get more recognition. I think it’ll only take another few years before people realize just how good the gym is, because we’re all still young, so that’s why people ain’t really looking at us yet, but in few years it will all change.
“When Peter [McGrail] turns professional, the gym will get more recognition, I believe, and his little brother Joe, he’s only 16 and he’s a killer as well!”
Everton Red Triangle Gym, in association with Black Flash Promotions, plan their entire year’s events ahead. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and subsequent ban on all boxing events under the jurisdiction of the BBBofC, May and July’s events have been cancelled. The remaining planned dates are September 5 and November 14.
Tuesday Night in the “Bubble” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas live Boxing returned AFTER A THREE MONTH HIATUS featuring WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson against tough Felix Caraballo in a non-title fight. It was a different atmosphere at the MGM grand not only for the fans watching action take place in an empty venue but for the fighters as well.
There would be no face-off after weigh ins, warm ups would be in an isolated ring away from everyone else, only production crew, corner-men, fighters and officials would be present. The ring would be sanitized with UV lights after every bout and even broadcast commentary would be different, rather than sitting ringside Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley and Mark Kreigel would be home calling action through Skype.
In order to simulate some of that “Live Atmosphere” ESPN used fans reactions to action recorded off ESPN’s “Crowd Noise” website.
The main event between Shakur Stevenson and Felix Caraballo was a one sided affair, while Caraballo gave an honest effort he lacked the speed and pedigree to trouble Stevenson. With his punches landing near the 50% mark and absorbing just a fraction of what he delivered, a body shot delivered by Stevenson to the abdomen of Caraballo at 1:31 of round six ended the affair. With the win Shakur Stevenson improved to 14-0 (8) while Caraballo now stands at 13-2-2(9).
Also on the card was Robeisy Ramirez the two time Cuban gold medalist who defeated Stevenson in the 2016 Olympics, he would face Yeuri Andujar in a scheduled six round affair. Since losing his pro debut in August of 2019 Ramirez has changed his style and team. The results have been evident winning his next two contest by stoppage and Tuesday night was no different.
Once the bell sounded Ramirez went right to work dropping Andujar once in the center of the ring and once in the corner forcing referee Tony Weeks to halt the contest at just 54 seconds into round one. With the win Robeisy Ramirez improved to 3-1 (3) while Yeuri Andujar now stands at 5-4 (3).
In an all action middleweight showdown Quatavious Cash defeated Calvin Metcalf inside of six rounds. The story of this bout was the volume of Cash against the pressure of Metcalf. There was an accidental clash of heads in round two with Metcalf getting the worse of it, he would still bore forward hoping he can wear Cash down but as the fight wore on that cut suffered by Metcalf would worsen.
At 35 seconds into round six, referee Jay Nady would call the ringside physician to examine the cut over Metcalf’s eye and upon examination suggested Nady halt the bout giving Cash the win by technical decision. With his win Quatavious Cash improved to 11-3(7) while Calvin Metcalf now stands at 10-4-1 (3).
In Heavyweight action Italy’s 2016 Olympian Guido Vianello improved to 7-0 (7) after he dominated then stopped journeyman Don Haynesworth 16-4-1(14) at the 2:15 mark of round one.
In a dominate performance twenty year old heavyweight prospect Jared “the Real Big Baby” Anderson improved to 4-0(4) after working over Johnnie Langston 8-3 (3) for three rounds.
The 2018 and 2019 national champion used nonstop pressure and combination punching to keep Langston on the back-foot from the opening bell. With nonstop punches to the head and body keeping Langston pinned against the ropes unable to do more than cover up with hopes Anderson slowed down, referee Jay Nady had little choice but to stop the affair at 1:55 of round three.
With high praise coming out of lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s camp on the quality of sparring Anderson provided along with dominate performances since his debut. The twenty year old from Toledo Ohio is a fighter to keep an eye on.
While the card was not spectacular, boxing is once again active and with any luck sooner than later we will be back inside venues rather than watching from home.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2020) – Like many boxers, two-division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera credits boxing for saving his life.
“Absolutely,” Rivera agreed. “After my mom passed away when I was 10 years old, I gave up on life and my decision-making reflected that: hanging around with the wrong crowd including gang members, consuming alcohol between the ages of 10 and 15. I was definitely going in the wrong direction.
“I never thought I had a future until I started boxing. It’s hard to say what I’d be doing if I had never boxed, but by the way I was living, I’d probably be in jail or dead by now.”Born in Philadelphia, Rivera lived in Puerto Rico and Springfield, MA, prior to him moving to Worcester, MA, where he met a man who helped change his life, Carlos Garcia, who was in charge of a special boxing program at the Worcester Boys & Girls Club.
Rivera had started boxing at the age of 14 ½ in a basement with his friend, Felix Lopez. He had fallen in love with boxing after watching Roberto Duran upset “Sugar” Ray Leonard in their first fight. The young Puerto Rican-American specifically used his amateur boxing experience to prepare for the professional ranks. Garcia, who is in the National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame, put him in a novice match after only one amateur fight in order to put Rivera on the fast track, because he understood that Rivera dreamed of becoming a world champion as a professional. Rivera finished with a 35-15 amateur record, highlighted by a bronze medal performance at the PAL Nationals.
“I never had big amateur aspirations but, of course, I wanted to win every fight I competed in,” Rivera said. “Once I didn’t qualify for the Olympic Trials, my plan was to turn pro. I didn’t know how much the amateurs would groom me to be a successful professional boxer. I’m glad I listened to my coaches, otherwise I would have turned pro earlier, because I would get frustrated with the politics of the amateurs. I hated losing, but I hated losing even more when I knew that I should have won. After three years together (with Garcia) in the amateurs and gaining a great wealth of experience traveling all over New England, the country and even fighting in Canada, I saw all types of styles and talented boxers that helped me as a pro. Carlos is like a father figure to me and during all of our training and travels, he was always in my head, building me up to become a good boxer, but also to help me become a better man.”
On November 7, 1992, Rivera made his pro debut, knocking out Francisco Mercedes in the second round. He went on to win his first 23 pro bouts, including the Massachusetts State welterweight title in 1995. His first pro loss was to veteran Philadelphia fighter Willie Wise (20-3-4), who won a controversial 10-round split decision at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Rivera had proven that he was more than a prospect in his first loss, losing a close decision (98-95, 94-97, 94-96) to an opponent that upset Mexican icon Julio Cesar Chavez (102-3-2) only three years later.
Showing the same resiliency that stayed with Rivera his entire career, two fights later Rivera stopped Gilberto Flores in two rounds to capture the International Boxing Organization (IBO) world welterweight championship. Rivera extended his new win streak to seven, before losing back to back fights. Four fights later, though, Rivera registered his first statement victory in 2001, knocking out Frankie Randall (55-10-1) in the 10th round to retain his North American Boxing Association (NABA) crown in his first defense.
Now promoted by legendary Don King, Rivera traveled across the Atlantic Ocean in September 2003 to Germany, where few Americans were able to win. Rivera proved early that he meant business, dropping previously undefeated Michel Trabant in the second round en route to winning a 12-round majority decision for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA). His reign, however, didn’t last long. In his first defense, Rivera lost a 12-round split decision at home in Worcester to challenger Luis Collazo (24-1).
Rivera moved up one weight class for his next fight, showing the resiliency that was a staple during his career for his next fight, also at home, against WBA junior middleweight World champion Alexandro Garcia (25-1).
In his next fight and first defense of his third world title, Rivera was stopped for the first time in his pro career, by new champ Travis Simms (24-0), and then he was knocked out by Daniel Santos (24-0) in round eight of their WBA junior middleweight title eliminator.
Rivera retired in 2008 only to make a comeback in 2001, after which he retired again until returning for two fights in Worcester to complete his pro career with 50 fights, the last coming at the age of 46.
“Jose’s USA Boxing experiences shaped him into the man of character he is today, both in and out of the ring,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Director. “He took the road less traveled for a world champion, and in doing so he showcased his toughness and perseverance that made him a great example for today’s USA Boxers.”
USA Boxing Alumni Association
Created to champion lifelong, mutually beneficial relationships between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events hosted by the Alumni Association, including its annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.
Few world champions also had full-time jobs during their title reigns. Rivera used vacation time, as well as personal and sick days, when he went to training camp for some of his major fights.
“I always had a good work ethic growing up,” he explained. “When I moved to Worcester at 16 years old, I lived by myself: school, work, and then to the Boys & Girls Club to train. I kept the same work ethic I had at 19 when I turned pro. I became a father at 20, so providing for my family was essential. Although it was hard, I knew boxing wasn’t going to last forever, and I was lucky enough to find a good job working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Trial Courts. It made for long days when I was training, especially when I was fighting for or defending my world championships. In the end, though, keeping my job was the best decision I could have made for me and my family.”
Rivera. who was an Associate Court Officer for years and promoted last year to Assistant Chief Court Officer, is still involved in boxing. He and his oldest son, A.J. Rivera, own and operate a boxing promotional company, Rivera Promotions Entertainment, to give young fighters in his area opportunities to fight more often and at home. Jose occasionally drops by the Boys & Girls Club to visit his former coaches, Garcia and Rocky Gonzalez, to support their young talent. He also goes to his friend Kendrick Ball‘s gym, Camp Be Right, to give young fighters there a few tips and to keep in shape (not for another comeback).
Jose Antonio Rivera will be best known for his toughness and determination, which led him into a different life, including three world championships and a wonderful life he never would have enjoyed.
(L-R) – Jose and A.J. Rivera
By Dr. Phillip GogliaNot all eggs are created equally. Manufacturers and chicken farmers have taken steps to enhance eggs’ nutritional properties, spawning an entire industry devoted to improving the dietary quality of the egg.
“Designer” eggs may come from chickens that are allowed to roam freely (free range) or whose feed is supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids. Hens given feed that is free of animal products produce vegetarian eggs, while those given all-organic feed produce organic eggs.
Some chicken feed is enriched with canola oil, bran, kelp, flaxseed, marine algae, fish oil, or vitamin E to increase the eggs’ healthy omega-3 fatty acid content. Certain types of feed are designed to reduce the saturated and total fat content of the egg yolk. Marigold extract has been used to increase the lutein content of eggs.
Beyond nutrition, other specialty eggs use a pasteurization process that heats the egg just enough to kill bacteria without affecting the texture of the raw product.
Keep in mind that, with designer eggs, you generally get designer prices. The good news is that if you prefer organic, vegetarian, or nutrient-enriched eggs, they are widely available on the market. When choosing eggs, check the label and contrast the nutritional content of designer eggs to the profile of the generic egg, which is 213 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g saturated fat, 1 IU vitamin E, and 35-40 mg omega-3s.
Over the next few weeks the sport of boxing will finally resume after a lengthy hiatus caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
While the action in the ring was on hold, there still was plenty going on outside of the ring. Former undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson was trending after setting the social media world fire after posting a short training video clip.
Whispers of a comeback by Tyson ensued and he fueled the fire more by stating that he would like to comeback to the ring in a series of exhibition bouts to raise money for charity.
Tyson’s announcement set off a chain reaction, as he inspired several other legendary names in the combat sports world to throw their names in the mix. Long time Tyson rival Evander Holyfield, James Toney and MMA legends such as Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz were among the fighters to state their interest in fighting the youngest heavyweight in the history of boxing.
However, the interest in comebacks isn’t limited to only heavyweight fighters. A former Mexican superstar has reached out to Impact Boxing to gauge their interest in potentially televising his comeback fight.
Impact Boxing is a newcomer to the sport, having joined the boxing world earlier this year and is interested in helping retired fighters continue to earn money to support their families but only if it can be done in a safe manner.
In similar fashion to senior leagues in professional golf and tennis, Impact Boxing would only be interested in televising these “legends” fights if strict rules are adhered to for each bout.
Impact Boxing would like to propose the potential creation of a veteran’s league that would allow former ring idols to return against their colleagues with modified rules. These rules are outlined below:
VETERAN BOXING LEAGUE
The Veteran Boxing League (the “VBL”) is a proposed specialty boxing league specifically established for former professional boxers from ages 45-60 years. The VBL would follow traditional boxing weight classes and work with established sanctioning bodies to establish a ranking system and championship structure for each weight class.
The VBL would hold events and mini-tournaments featuring a “who’s who” of retired professional boxers that would allow these retired pros to come out of retirement and
recapture their former glory in the ring. The VBL would provide a high level of competition for former fighters in a setting that allows for competition and safety.
VBL Fight Structure:
No more than 6 rounds per bout
2 minute rounds
90 second breaks between rounds instead of the usual 1 minute for professional fights in order to allow proper recovery time and also additional medical supervision from ringside doctors between rounds
Fighters would use 12 oz. gloves at the heavier weight classes and 10 oz. gloves at the lighter weight classes
Stringent medical requirements pre-bout to ensure physical fitness to compete in VBL
All other aspects of the fights to be governed by the ABC rules
Tournaments may be held with seeding established based on fighter’s prior professional success, alternatively fighters could be ranked in conjunction with an established sanctioning body
Steve Marcano of SMM Boxing believes that the VBL will provide a high level of competition for former fighters that still desire to fight in a setting that allows for competition and safety. “This structure will allow retired fighters to compete against each other and avoid mismatches where retired fighters are fighting boxers who are much younger than them, which increases the potential risk of injury and is something that no one wants to see,” he stated.
According to Marcano, Impact is in discussions to hold its first VBL event with a main event featuring 2 boxing hall of famers as soon as regulations preventing fans from attending events are lifted.
“As soon as we are up and running we are expecting to get this new platform off the ground in conjunction with Impact’s regular boxing programming,” Marcano revealed
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 28, 2020) — Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES), founded and operated by veteran boxing promoter Jimmy Burchfield, Sr., is offering “Iron” Mike Tyson $1,000,000 to square-off with Juiseppe Angelo Cusumano, plus a percentage of closed circuit receipts to be negotiated, as well a $200,000 donation to whatever charity Tyson’s wife prefers.
“If Mike Tyson is serious about making a comeback,” Burchfield said, “we’re prepared to make him a legitimate offer to fight Cusumano in a 6 or 8-round fight, whichever Mike chooses. After three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, boxing fans are hungry to watch real fights, not exhibitions. Tyson is a boxer and a damn good one at that! He’s not a bare-knuckle fighter or wrestler. A real boxing match is what we’re interested in promoting!”
Tyson (50-6, 49 KOs) hasn’t officially fought since June 11, 2005.
The 6′ 4″ Cusumano (18-3, 16 KOs) is an Italian heavyweight who fights out of Carini, Sicily.
CES needs to make sure that Tyson is medically cleared before proceeding. His complete medical exam results are required by CES to be submitted with a June 25, 2020 deadline. The date and venue for Tyson vs. Cusumano is to be determined, but open to negotiations once CES has spoken to Tyson or his representatives.
“Cusumano will be a true gauge for Tyson’s first fight in 15 years,” Burchfield added. “This is a fight boxing fans want to see, not an exhibition, because it will let everyone know exactly where he’s at today and whether or not he can truly challenge a (Tyson) Fury, (Anthony) Joshua, or (Deontay) Wilder. We’re ready to negotiate in good faith right now.”
Sampson Boxing proudly announces the re-signing of two-time former world champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna to a promotional contract.
From La Romana, Dominican Republic, Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs), the former WBA Featherweight and Super Featherweight Champion, has fought under the Sampson Boxing banner from his pro debut and has gone on to have one of the greatest careers in history for a Dominican boxer.
The 31-year-old is currently the world’s #1 WBC lightweight contender and, upon the end of the pandemic’s halt of professional boxing, will next face England’s Luke Campbell, for the interim lightweight championship.
The winner of that match will go on to face current Regular Champion, Devin Haney.
“If I were to die and be born again, I would re-sign with Sampson to do it all over again,” said a happy Fortuna. “I will become the first three-division world champion soon and I have my promoter Sampson to thank for all the opportunities he got for me throughout my career.”
Lewkowicz, best known for having helped discover and bring Manny Pacquiao to the United States, currently handles two-time super middleweight world champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 6’ 7” super welterweight contender Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora and unified WBA and IBF Welterweight Champion Jeison “Banana” Rosario, among others.
“I have been working with Javier Fortuna since his pro debut and he has always been a joy to work with him and his team,” said Lewkowicz. “Soon he will wear the championship belt in his third division and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of all his success. My fighters are like sons to me and I laugh and cry with them through the good times and the bad.”
In service to boxing-hungry fans waiting out the current pandemic, promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions has acquired a license to, free of charge to all, display the boxing video libraries of former prominent boxing promotions firms CKP and America Presents on his ever-expanding Salita Promotions YouTube Channel.
The massive CKP library, from the archives of the company formerly run by the late South African-born promoter Cedric Kushner, contains more than 1000 hours of premium bouts from the world’s leading television networks, including HBO, ESPN, and EuroSport.
In his hall-of-fame career as a manager and then promoter, Kushner worked with a lineup of well-known heavyweight champions and contenders including Hasim Rahman, Shannon Briggs, Oleg Maskaev, Chris Byrd, Corrie Sanders, Ike Ibeabuchi and David Tua.
Also considered one of the world’s best collection of fights for the period of the mid-1990s to 2002, the America Presents collection, from the archives of the company formerly run by late hall-of-famer Dan Goossen, has more than 300 hours of exciting action featuring the likes of Joel Casamayor, Hector Camacho, Wayne McCullough, David Reid and David Tua, among others.
Cedric was a wonderful individual and in my opinion a hall-of-fame boxing promoter,” said Steven Heid, Vice President of the library’s keepers, ACH Services. “It is an honor and a great pleasure to be able to bring many historic fights back to the public for their viewing pleasure, especially during these tough times.”
The extensive collection comes in addition to the Salita Promotions and previously announced Warriors Boxing fights already available on the Salita Promotions YouTube Channel featuring former heavyweight champions Wladimir Klitschko, Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, Sultan Ibragimov, Samuel Peter, and Shannon Briggs, top heavyweight contenders Ray Mercer and Jarrell Miller. As well as lower-weight stars including Hector “Macho” Camacho, Joel Casamayor, Kelly Pavlik, Vic Darchinyan, Edison Miranda, Juan Urango, Celestino Caballero, Andrzej Fonfara and Tomoki Kameda, women’s superstar Claressa Shields and many of today’s most exciting up-and-comers.
“I am excited about giving boxing fans historic fights and fighters from decades past,” said Dmitriy Salita. “ Fight fans can relive some of the best moments in boxing history on our YouTube Channel available to all around the world.”