Author: Daxx Khan

Germany’s rising stars out to impress in Wetzlar

Germany’s rising stars are out to impress on Saturday night as they face tough international opposition on the undercard of Tyron Zeuge’s WBA World Super Middleweight title defence against Paul Smith at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar.

Cologne’s Denis Radovan (4-0, 2 KOs) meets Josip Duric (3-1, 2 KOs) over six-rounds in what promises to be his toughest career test to date. If successful, the 24-year old super middleweight says he would like the chance to avenge an amateur defeat to domestic rival Stefan Haertel, who boxes in Wetzlar against Patrick Mendy, and to land his first title shot.

“I lost against Haertel in the amateurs so I would love the chance to set the record straight” said Radovan, who is trained by former World Champion Juergen Braehmer. ‘’I’m targeting my first title at the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018. I’ve not had many fights, but I feel like I’m ready!”

Leon Bunn Photo Credit KGZ Fougstedt

Two-time national amateur champion, Leon Bunn (4-0, 4 KOs), has looked impressive since turning over as a professional and winning all of four of his paid contests inside the distance. The fighter from Frankfurt has yet to go past the second round, but can expect tougher resistance from Hungary’s Laszlo Ivanyi (6-4, 4 KOs).

“I’m just taking it one step at a time” said Bunn ahead of his six-round light heavyweight clash. “Getting this opportunity to fight in Wetzlar, near my hometown, is huge for me!”

Bunn’s coach Ulli Wegner has expressed his excitement about the 24 year-old’s talent: “Leon will be the first to become World Champion out of my group of young boxers,” said the legendary German trainer.

Albon Pervizaj Photo Credit LAP Images

Fledgling heavyweight Albon Pervizaj (2-0, 2 KOs) will be looking for a third consecutive victory against Dusan Krstin (7-7, 2 KOs). The Hamburg boxer has impressed so far with two knockout performances, but in his durable Serbian opponent, Pervizaj meets a man who has a reputation for being incredibly difficult to stop.

“My dream is to fight for a World title in Hamburg, and I’m sure one day it will happen!” said Pervizaj. “But first, I must get past Krstin, who is a tough opponent for my third fight.’’

Hometown hero Emir Ahmatovic (2-0, 1 KO) is also in action, alongside Wolfsburg middleweight Patrick Wojcicki (7-0, 4 KOs). Wojcicki, a former national amateur champion, faces a tough test against Henri Kekalainen (9-3, 4 KOs), but will need to overcome his Finnish opponent to prove he is ready to step up and compete for titles.

The WBA World Super Middleweight Championship clash between Tyron Zeuge and Paul Smith will be shown live on SAT.1 and ran.de in Germany, and Sky Sports in the UK.

 

“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” Fact Sheet

“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire”
FACT SHEET
Airing live on CBS Sports Network this
Saturday night from Hartman Arena in Kansas
FACT SHEET

WHAT:
           “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire”
 
WHO:              Main Event – Flyweights (6) — CBSSN
Nico Hernandez (1-0, 1 KO), Wichita, KS
                        Jose Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs), Markesan, WI
                                                              
Co-Feature — Junior Middleweights (6) — CBSSN
Noel Esquada (7-3-2, 5 KOs), Wichita, KS
                        Limberth Ponce (12-3, 9 KOs), Rock Island, IL
                       
                        Featherweights (4) — CBSSN
Eric Vargas (2-0, 1 KO), Garden City, KS
                        Humberto Tellez (pro debut), Winfield, KS
                       
                        Junior Welterweights (4)
Brian Clements (pro debut), Topeka, KS
                        Bryant Montalvo-Colon (1-9, 1 KO), Garden City, KS
                       
                        Light Heavyweights (4)
Juan Hollingsworth (1-0, 1 KO), Winfield, KS
                        Matt Dixon (pro debut), Tulsa, OK
                       
                        Middleweights (4)
Eddie Chavez (pro debut), Wichita, KS
                        Luis Fernando Juanez Jasso (pro debut), Garden City, KS                                  
WHEN:            Saturday, June 17, 2017
WHERE:          Hartman Arena
PROMOTER:   KO Night Boxing LLC
TELEVISION:   Live on CBS Sports Network
 
BROADCASTERS: Sean Wheelock & Joey Varner

Sydney LeBlanc Steps in to Face Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields

Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc is stepping in on three days’ notice to face Women’s NABF Middleweight
Champion, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields of Flint, Michigan, in the eight-round main event of Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl”  this Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

33-year-old LeBlanc (4-1-1) from Gretna, Louisiana, represents a step up in competition from original opponent Mery Rancier,who was unable to participate due to visa issues. A six-year pro who was already in training for a fight on June 10,  LeBlanc says she’s eager for the chance to upset the two-time Olympian and budding women’s superstar Shields.

“I’ve been pro boxing for nine years, since before the Olympics had a women’s division and I’ve taken a lot of time off because of a lack of available opponents,” explained LeBlanc. “These Olympians are reopening the gates for all female fighters. Everybody was on the shelf for years. This is the first time female boxing has been popular since the Ann Wolfe days, so I’m very appreciative of the opportunities they are bringing. I’ve never watched any of my opponents before a fight, but I know about Claressa Shields and I want to fight her. I’m looking at this fight as a good chance to see where I’m at, skill-wise and I’ll be ready.”
Shields vs. LeBlanc will be contested for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship.
In the 10-round co-main event, undefeated Detroit cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (9-0, 4 KOs) will take on Detroit via Russia’s Alexey Zubov (14-1, 9 KOs).
 
In the night’s main supporting bout, undefeated welterweight pulverizer Bakhtiyar Eyubov (12-0, 10 KOs) of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan, will look to stay busy waiting for his next high-profile step, as he attempts to inflict his crowd-pleasing style on always-tough Cesar Soriano (27-35-1, 16 KOs) Iztacalco, Mexico, over six rounds.
In another of the chief supporting bouts, Detroit’s rising talent and “Great Lakes King” Ja’Rico O’Quinn (6-0, 5 KOs) returns to action in a six-round bantamweight brawl against David Martino (2-2, 2 KOs) of San Felipe, Mexico.
Also scheduled is an all-action six-round super welterweight battle between Antonio Urista (7-2, 2 KOs) of Lansing, Michigan, and highly decorated former amateur star Serdar Hudayberdiyev (3-0, 2 KOs) of Turkmenabat, Turkey.
Opening the night will be a six-round super lightweight tilt between Staten Island, New York via Kazakhstan’s Dimash Niyazov (10-0-3, 4 KOs) and Grand Rapids, Michigan, veteran Ramon Guevara (10-24-2, 6 KOs); as well as a four-round welterweight bout between undefeated Jacob Bonas (2-0-1, 1 KO) of Bellville, Michigan, and Clinton Township, Michigan’s Tony Brooks (1-1).

Ward vs. Kovalev II Grand Arrivals

LAS VEGAS, NV (June 13, 2017) – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) opened Fight Week Powered by Monster with their Grand Arrivals at Mizuya Lounge at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, June 13, ahead of their ultimate rematch on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
 
Below is what the fighters had to say:

Andre Ward Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan

Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
 
“I am looking forward to making a statement in this fight and answering any questions that may be out there and removing any doubt that may be out there, so I’m excited. You got to look at the other side of the coin, there’s a lot of people that thought I won the fight and he got what he asked for. Now after this, we don’t want to hear any excuses. We don’t want to hear about anything. We’re going to shut the door on this and, like I said, take all doubt and all questions off the table.
 
“In this sport, I have very little room for error. I always have the pressure on my side – no matter if I’m the challenger or the champion. But that’s OK because me and my team, we’ve learned how to deal with the pressure. We know how to deal with it. I come here looking forward to bringing back everything that I brought, including those belts. I’m excited. I can’t wait, we’re a couple days away. All of this talking is getting ready to be over. We’re getting ready for my favorite part, which is the fight. June 17. It’s about business, so I did what I had to do the first time. I’m looking to turn it up this time.
 
“The pressure is always on, man. It comes with my territory and it’s been like this since I’ve been a baby – 16 years old, 17 years old. You get to a point where you don’t run from the pressure, you embrace it. That’s what all the greats do. All I got to do is be myself and that will be enough. Everything else will take care of itself. At the highest level, you’re going to face adversity. It’s not if, it’s when. But the question is how do you respond? We responded like we were supposed to. I’m just looking forward to giving the fans another great fight in a few days here at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 17.
 
“A lot of people talk about the jab and the right hand. But if you look at the second part of the fight, he [Kovalev] wasn’t landing right hands and jabs. He had a good moment and he’s a really great fighter – I’m not taking anything away from him. That’s why I want to face the best, to be the best. Some people thought I won, some people thought I lost. So let’s do it again and that’s the beauty of rematches in this sport. It’s nothing to get defensive about. You just lace it up, do it again and we’ll see what happens.
 
“I got out of that business a long time agotrying to prove people wrong – because it’s not an even playing field. I’ve shut guys out – 120-108; 120-107 on the scorecard – and I’ve literally heard grumblings about something. If it’s not this, it’s that. You get to a place where you mature as a man, you mature as an athlete, and you make the decision that ‘I’m going to live my life in the middle.’ I appreciate the praises, but I can’t get too high with those. And the criticisms – I can’t get too low with those. People are entitled to their opinions. Let me just keep doing me and that’s really the best place to be as an athlete.
 
“Tactically, I obviously want to have a better start and I’m going to have a better start. That’s really what got me in my hole – the start. I’m sure he’s made some adjustments and he’s going to come harder, but I’m ready. I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. When you prepare the way you’re supposed to – and all the boxes are checked – it’s time to go to work. And I’m going to go to work, having fun and enjoying what I do, and put on a show in the process on June 17.”

Sergey Kovalev
Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion 
 
“You know it’s good that he’s believing himself right now, that he’s got the key for me, but he didn’t get the key. He won two rounds against me as empty Kovalev, I remember I was like a heavy bag. Just like a fighter who came in the boxing gym like one month ago. And he’s like right now, ‘oh yeah I beat the Kovalev, but he won with empty Kovalev’.
 
“For this fight, I definitely had to get in shape, have different emotions and different motivations. I don’t just want to get my belts back and thank boxing fans for the support. I want to thank my haters – they motivate me to keep going. I want to get my belts and I’m here for this.
 
“Yeah, my fists will say it. I’ve already said enough. I want to say to Team Ward – they’ve said a lot of trash to my side, my team. He will pay for everything; I promise you.
 
“I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to get my belts back and on June 17 it’s going to be a different fight.
 
“I was empty one month before the November fight. Ward fought an empty Kovalev. This time I will not be empty – Ward will be fighting Krusher. I had pushed myself so hard in the beginning of training camp that one month out I was empty. I felt so much presser for the fight – my first fight on HBO Pay-Per-View – that I just trained too hard.”

Zeuge: ‘’Smith will not take my title!

Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) says Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) will not take his title when they meet for the WBA World Super Middleweight Championship on Saturday, June 17 at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Germany.

Zeuge captured the WBA strap with an impressive knockout victory over Giovanni De Carolis on November 5, 2016 at the MBS Arena in Potsdam. Having fought to a stalemate four months earlier, Zeuge claimed the title in style, stopping the Italian champion with just 19 seconds remaining in the final round.

The Berlin boxer then retained his belt with a technical decision against Nigeria’s
Isaac Ekpo. He was ahead on points when the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round due to a cut above his right eye following an accidental clash of heads.

The 25 year-old is now set for a second defence against former British Champion Smith, who returns to Germany for a third attempt at World honours following back-to-back defeats to Arthur Abraham in September 2014 and February 2015.

‘’Paul Smith is a good opponent with a lot of experience. I’ve watched both his fights with Arthur Abraham, and I know he will be coming to win,’’ said Zeuge.  ‘’However, I believe his style is well suited to mine, and I’m confident I can beat him. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I guarantee Smith will not take my title!

‘’I’ve been training hard with my coaches Juergen Braehmer and Michael Timm. We’ve prepared a good game plan, and I feel fit and strong. It gives me a lot of confidence to have so much experience in my corner. Juergen has been in my position many times before, and he knows what I to do and what advice to give.

‘’I’m excited to be defending my title. I‘ve worked really hard to get to where I am today and I will not give it up easily. I’m the last World Champion left in Germany, and while I don’t allow myself to feel any additional pressure, I know this is an important fight, not just for me, but for my countrymen too.

‘’Germany and England have always had a big sporting rivalry. I hope we can give both sets of fans an exciting fight with lots of action. Smith has tried and failed to win a World title here twice before, and on Saturday, it will be 3-0 to Germany.‘’

Ceylan faces Galahad for IBF Inter-Continental title on July 15 in London

Dennis Ceylan (18-0-2, 8 KOs) will take on Kid Galahad (22-0, 13 KOs) for the IBF Inter-Continental Featherweight Championship on July 15 at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, live on ITV Box Office in the UK.

Although fighting for the first time on British soil as a professional, the 28-year old Ceylan is no stranger to fighting British boxers having previously shared the ring with Isaac Lowe and Ryan Walsh in entertaining European title fights.

‘Dennis the Menace’ Ceylan, undefeated as a professional and the current EBU European Featherweight Champion, admits he has his sights set on World title honours, but must overcome his toughest career challenge to date in the undefeated Galahad from Sheffield.

“I’m so ready for this fight!” said Ceylan. “I’ve been training hard for the last few months waiting for a big opportunity like this. I took no holiday after my last fight, I was straight back in the gym… So I feel well prepared for this fight.

“I have been waiting for an opportunity like this. So when I was offered the fight, I knew straight away to take it. It’s about time I start taking some chances in my career!

“I have fought in the UK before as an amateur and I cannot wait to come back. I love the UK fans. The UK have the best boxing fans in the world and I’m looking forward to experiencing that atmosphere over there”.

“I really want to fight Lee Selby for the World title next. I know Selby well, and it would be a great fight between me and him. But first I have to get past Galahad. I just hope Galahad is ready for what I’m going to bring, because he needs to be!”

Ceylan’s promoter, Nisse Sauerland, also expressed his desire for Ceylan to compete at World title level, but admits he faces a very strong test against the British featherweight beforehand.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Dennis and one he simply had to take”, said Sauerland.

“Dennis has really impressed in his last two outings, both times against British opponents, but I know there’s even more to come from him.

“There’s no doubt that Galahad is another step up however, and will be the toughest opponent Dennis has faced so far, so he’ll have to be at his very best in this fight.

“I’m looking forward to him showing the British fans what he’s got to offer! Dennis has World title aspirations, but it’s essential that he gets the victory over Galahad first.”

When asked for his opinions on Ceylan, Galahad was respectful of the Dane’s pedigree, claiming that this is the biggest fight of his career.

“It’s simple, this is the biggest fight of my career against an unbeaten boxer who wants the same as me: glory!” said Galahad.

“I’ve got nothing but respect for Ceylan, who has beaten some top notch opponents, but I look at this as a sizeable step towards my ultimate goal, to become World champion.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me on a fantastic bill and in front of the ITV cameras. It doesn’t get any better than Eubank against Abraham, as both are top class boxers and I know there will be stacks of other fights on the card which will have supporters on the edge of their seats”.

Jose Haro issues statement on Daniel Franco bout

Saturday night in Iowa, Jose Haro and Daniel Franco faced off for the USBA Featherweight title. In the eighth round, Haro scored a stoppage win after during official results Franco fell to the canvas was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. As of Today Franco remains in an educed coma. This is what Haro had to say bout the contest and his well wishes for Franco.

New USBA Featherweight Champion Jose Haro has issued a brief statement regarding the status of his fallen opponent, Daniel Franco, through his promotional representative, Whitfield Haydon:

“I respect all fighters. My heart hurts knowing that my opponent from Saturday night is still in the hospital. I hope he has a full and speedy recovery. Nothing but love, brotha.  We put everything on the line when we step inside the ring. I always tell my brother/trainer that I’m a father first, fighter second, and if he ever sees me badly hurt to stop the fight because my kids need their daddy. I’m very grateful that I won but it really doesn’t feel like I won. I always pray that my opponent and myself come out our fight in good health. Let’s go #TeamFranco, you got this!”

Training Camp Notes: Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev

Oxnard, CA:           Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) has an entirely new training philosophy as he prepares for his highly-anticipated rematch with Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) on June 17 live on HBO Pay Per View® at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has fired his strength and conditioning coach and has vowed not to make the same mistakes this time around. His new coach, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, has a new philosophy centered around his prior experience working with biathletes.
 
Kovalev, the 33-year old from Chelyabinsk, Russia, believes he over-trained for his first fight with Ward and, as a result, when he failed to knockout Ward in the early in the bout, the Krusher ran out of steam in the championship rounds. Describing his training regimen for the first fight, he said, “I ran a lot. I did a lot of workouts. I did three workouts a day. I over-trained because I did a lot. I had a conditioning coach and he was scared to say something to me. I don’t know why. He thought if he said to me I would dispute his comment or not pay him money. He is crazy. I was confused myself. I worked with him for the rematch with Jean Pascal. After these next two fights, he killed me: Chilemba and Ward. I said to him bye-bye.”
 
For the rematch, Kovalev has a brand-new strength and training philosophy that allows him to get the most out of his workouts. Krusher explained, “I do less workout this time to save energy. I spent a lot of energy and a lot of power in my last training camp and I was empty already one month before the fight. I never fought ten rounds of sparring for the last fight of training camp. I maximum, one time, I sparred eight rounds. Already, yesterday, I spar ten rounds. I feel tired but I feel much better than last training camp.”
 
“I said before my last fight with Andre Ward that I should to get more work, more training and I did it,” said Kovalev. But he realizes now this hurt him in the long run. He continued, “I understand that I made my mistake, big mistake. It’s good experience for me too. But right now, I just try to get back all my training camp experience what I did before the fight with Chilemba. Because Chilemba fight and Andre Ward is the worst two, similar shape. I fought very bad. I looked very tired in both of these fights. Right now, delete this and get back what I did before these two fights and I hope it will bring success June 17.”
 
His long-time trainer, John David Jackson, had this to say about Kovalev’s conditioning for the rematch: “I noticed that this time around his conditioning coach was a bit different. He has him resting more. The other coach had him doing a lot of things that to me were unnecessary. I don’t get in the way of the conditioning coach’s job and I’m not doing that with this guy, but he seemed more interested in keeping Sergey a little more relaxed and not over-training.”

Daniel Franco in coma after brutal KO loss- Promoter Recklessness in an already dangerous sport.

Saturday night the CBS Sports Network aired an edition of  “KO Night” boxing, broadcast  from the WinnaVegas Casino & Resort in Sloan, Iowa. The main event, was a USBA featherweight title contest between Daniel Franco and Jose Haro. On paper Franco had all the physical advantages, he was five years younger, possessed a four inch height and reach advantage, eleven of his sixteen wins coming by stoppage compared to seven out of thirteen for Haro. When the bell rang, all those advantages vanished almost instantly as often happens in boxing.

It would be the constant right hand of Haro, that despite his best efforts Franco had no answers for. In the sixth a flush shot shook the legs of Franco and he never fully recovered. He spent the seventh trying to hold Haro off and go down from a right to his temple in round eight. He would beat the count and fall face first on the canvas after a last assault from Haro, ending the affair officially at the rounds 2:43 second mark. With his victory, Jose Haro improved to 14-1-1 (8) and is now the new USBA featherweight champion, Daniel Franco after his second career loss drops to 16-2-3 (11).

As official results were announced, Franco who appeared stable suddenly laid down and was taken away by medical staff. Since he has underwent emergency surgery to stop multiple bleeds on his brain, as of this moment he is in an induced coma. In March Franco suffered his first loss, a third round KO at the hands of Christopher Martin.  While Franco did fight in May, scoring a first round stoppage over the 0-2 Francisco Agustin Suarez, it was nothing more than a confidence building fight, no improvements were made nor adjustments in his style. When I break down both Haro and Martin, I question the promoters decision to sign this fight.

The two fighters Haro and Martin, are similar in every aspect from age to physical size and fighting styles. They are both 30yrs old, stand much shorter than Franco, Haro 5’5″ and Martin 5’7″, each possessed a shorter reach, Martin 68″ and Haro 66″. The only thing that separates them, is punching power and their ability to absorb punishment. In his career Christopher Martin has been stopped twice and gone down multiple times including in his bout against Franco. As a professional Haro has never been down, his lone loss came by decision at the hands of Toka Kahn Clary who hits harder than Franco, giving no indication he would be dispatched like an 0-2  Francisco Agustin Suarez.

With a 24% KO ratio almost half that of Haro, Martin was able to halt Franco in three rounds. In his seven career stoppage wins prior to Saturday, Haro scored all seven in four rounds or less. Unless I missed something, there were no variables, the loss Franco suffered against Christopher Martin was not an off night, it was a style all wrong for him and one was not prepared to deal with again so soon. Even more bothersome, is Franco has excelled where Martin has flaws. Why would a matchmaker or promoter, with any common sense place their fighter in against a opponent, almost mirrored to one he just failed at having more than 9 seconds of success against less than sixty days ago? How could anyone, other than the fighter have realistically believed the outcome would have been different?

This is a hurt sport, every step between the ropes is a risk. When a fighter has reached the upper tier, there are no challenges to decline under any circumstances. The time before is when you properly groom a fighter, use poor performances more importantly losses to adjust mistakes and ready them for long prosperous career. That doesn’t mean side stepping tough challenges, placing them in knowing they aren’t ready is recklessness,.Over the last two years, no less than six, prospects have suffered serious injury and even death inside the ring, for these same reasons.  It’s unacceptable and as these incidents increase, we will see an increase of state commissions implement insurance requirements similar to that of NYSAC, mandating $1,000,000 per fighter per event. When it does happen, promoters will complain about operating cost and claim they are unable to operate, it will always be about the promoter never the fighter, the people who place trust in their judgment.and end up a forgotten article after being foolishly matched.

While I hope Daniel Franco recovers, he will never fight again and chances are he will never fully be the person he was prior to this loss. That sounds harsh but it is honest truth and I blame the promoters who should have done their job properly.

 

 

 

 

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