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.‘’
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”.
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.
“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!”
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.
Irvin Gonzalez captures
UBF All-Americas Featherweight Title
Sonya Lamonakis & Laura Ramsey fight to UBF World Heavyweight title draw
“New England’s Future 3” Results from Worcester, MA
WORCESTER, Mass. (June 11, 2017) – Boxing returned to DCU Arena (Exhibition Hall) for the first time in 11 years and Worcester’s newest budding star, Irvin Gonzalez, entertained the hometown crowd, capturing the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) Featherweight Championship, last night in the “New England’s Future 3” main event.
“New England’s Future 3” was presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two-division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera. RPE will return to the DCU Center on October 28th for its final installment of “New England’s Future” series in 2017.
In the co-featured attraction, popular New York City heavyweight Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis, by way of Greece and Turners Falls, MA, faced Laura “Lady Ram” Ramsey in a female battle of former world champions for the vacant UBF World title,
The 21-year-old Gonzalez (7-0, 6 KOs) was fighting in his first scheduled eight-round bout, against Raul Lopez (10-32-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx (NY). The two fighters came out fast in a firefight, both throwing leather from all angles, although neither was hurt in the opening round. The pace picked up even more in the second as both fighters landed solid shots.
Fighting in the third round for the first time in his young professional career, Gonzalez turned up the heat, ripping effective combination to the head and body of Lopez, who responded by pounding Gonzalez on the ropes.
Gonzalez dropped Lopez early in the fourth with a strong right to the chin, followed by a brawling fifth round, and the action slowed slightly in the sixth. Gonzalez, who took control in the final two rounds, went the distance for the first time, taking a hard-fought eight-round unanimous decision (79-73 X 2, 76-75).
“He was definitely the toughest I’ve fought,” Gonzalez said after the fight. “I still have to work on things in the gym. I didn’t go to the body like I did in my last few fights. I was head-hunting tonight. The dude was tough, I had to out-box him. I hurt my left hand late in the later rounds and stayed southpaw.
“I definitely learned a lot. My conditioning was there and I went eight strong rounds. I feel good, I could go another eight rounds. Fighting at home was good, I have a big fan-base here. I hope to be back here in October 28th.”
Lamonakis (10-2-3, 1 KO), a former IBO world champion, and past GBU world titlist Ramsey (108-1, 5 KOs) went toe-to-toe from the opening bell for 10 competitive, non-stop rounds, ending in a 10-round draw by three judges’ scores of 95-95.
Undefeated Worcester heavyweight Bryan Daniels (5-0, 3 KOs) unloaded on an over-matched Christopher “The Archbishop” Boykins (1-9), dropping the Floridian three times in the second round until referee Leo Gerstel mercifully waved off the fight at the end of the second.
Former No. 1 USA amateur boxer Bobby Harris III, the son of multiple national amateur champion and retired pro heavyweight, Bobby Harris, made his long-awaited pro debut. Fighting out of Worcester, Harris overcame early roughhouse tactics by Brazilian light heavyweight Rodrigo Almeida, of Woburn, MA, to earn a four-round “shutout” decision.
In a rematch of a fight this past April, Antonio Chaves Fernandez (8-32-4, 2 KOs), of Brockton (MA), defeated Worcester welterweight Andy Gonzalez (6-2, 5 KOs), by way of a six-round majority decision, to even their rivalry at 1-1.
Southbridge, MA welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (2-0) and his Lawrence, MA opponent, Anthony Everett (1-6), turned in an entertaining performance as Pagan won a four-round majority decision, despite him being decked in the final round.
Lawrence, MA welterweight Adrian Sosa (3-0, 3 KOs) needed only 41-second to stop New York City’s Zach Johnson (0-2). Sosa dropped Johnson in the first 10 seconds and again moments later, after which referee Gerstel halted the action.
Springfield, MA welterweight Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley (2-0), the son of a retired professional boxer, improved to 2-0 with a four-round unanimous decision over veteran Connecticut fighter Shaka Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs).
Worcester’s pro-debuting Neal Sullivan (0-0-1) and Brazilian super middleweight Saul Almeida (0-8-1) opened the night fighting a four-round majority draw.
Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) is targeting the division’s top names as he makes the move down to super middleweight.
Skoglund is currently ranked with all the major governing bodies at 175lbs (IBF #4, WBO #5, WBC #10 and WBA #11), but frustrated by a lack of opportunities, and following talks with his promoter Nisse Sauerland, the 26 year-old has decided to drop down to 168lbs.
At super middleweight, Skoglund is eager to prove himself at the highest level, and has already set his sights on the division’s champions George Groves (WBA Super), James De Gale (IBF) and Tyron Zeuge (WBA Regular), plus a Scandinavian showdown with Danish boxing legend Mikkel Kessler, who has recently announced his comeback.
‘’It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,’’ says Skoglund. ‘’I’ve always made light heavyweight comfortably. I don’t have to drain fluids before a weigh-in, and I like to stay fit between fights, so I don’t see any problems making super middleweight.
‘’I’ve been waiting a long time for a chance to prove myself at light heavyweight, and it’s been difficult. A lot of the belts are tied up. I’ve not been getting the opportunities I need to reach the next stage of my career, and that’s why I’ve decided to move down.
”There are more opportunities available for me at super middleweight. I’m tired of waiting for my shot at light heavyweight. I want something big now. I want the chance to prove myself against the best fighters in the division, and the chance to fulfil my potential.
‘’I know I can mix it with the top guys at super middleweight. I’ve sparred a lot of them in the past, and I’ve always been comfortable handling the situation. I’ve improved a lot since then. I’ve had surgery to fix a herniated disc in my back, and I feel stronger than ever.
‘’There are a lot of big fights out there for me at super middleweight. George Groves, Mikkel Kessler and Tyron Zeuge all have the same promoter as me. They are three of the top names in the division, and these are fights that should be easy to make.
‘’I’d like to fight James De Gale fight as well. I wasn’t impressed with his last performance against Badou Jack. He started well but looked tired and like he lacked power in the later rounds. I think I could do well against a guy like De Gale.
‘’I also think I would have a good chance against Groves. I’ve sparred him twice before. Once in Copenhagen before Mikkel Kessler’s rematch with Carl Froch in 2013, and then again a year later in London before his rematch his with Froch.
‘’The Kessler fight would obviously be a massive one. A big Scandinavian derby! He’s a boxing legend, and someone I’ve looked up to him since I started my career. It would be an honour to fight him, and I think it would be an interesting match-up.’’
Although there is currently no date set for his super middleweight debut, Skoglund says he can be ready in a matter of months. ”Nothing has been decided yet,’’ he said. ‘’I’m looking at a lot of different options with my promoter at the moment, but I will be ready to fight from the middle to the end of the summer.”
Skoglund’s promoter Nisse Sauerland sees no issues with his fighter making the lower weight, and has tipped the Swedish star to have a big impact at super middleweight.
‘’This is an exciting development in Erik’s career. It’s something we’ve talked about before, and now, the time is right for him to launch his attack on the super middleweight division.
”He’s always been a consummate professional. He eats clean and lives right, so I have no doubt he can make the weight. I’m looking forward to sitting down with him and planning the next stage of his journey. There are a lot of big fights out there for him at super middleweight, and I believe he can become a major player in the division,” said Sauerland
Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) is aiming to make it third time lucky when he returns to Germany to challenge Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) for the WBA World Super Middleweight title on Saturday, June 17 at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar.
The 34 year-old had back-to-back World title bouts with Arthur Abraham in September 2014 and February 2015. Dropping a somewhat contentious points decision to the German veteran in their first fight in Kiel, followed by a more comprehensive defeat five months later at the O2 World in Berlin.
With this experience behind him, Smith believes he is now ready claim World honours as he returns to familiar territory for his third attempt against the undefeated 25 year-old Zeuge, Germany’s only current World Champion.
‘’It’s always been my dream to become World Champion,’’ said Smith. ‘’It’s what I wanted since I was a kid, and I came so close in the first fight with Arthur Abraham. The second fight, I admit I lost fair and square, but I still believe I won that first fight, and I should have already been a World Champion.
‘’But boxing is a funny game, and now, I’ve got another chance, I see no reason why I can’t win. The timing is right for me. I’ve got more experience now. I’ve been there and done it. I’ve fought at World level and I know what to expect.
‘’Zeuge is a decent fighter. Technically he is very good. He’s strong. He throws good straight shots, and stylistically he’s not too dissimilar to me, but I’ve seen some weaknesses I can expose, and with my experience, I’m confident I can win.
‘’I know this is my last chance and I’ve got to make it count. If I had won the first fight with Abraham, I would have probably retired by now, but instead, I’m going back to Germany for another shot, and this time, I’ll be taking the title home!’’