Coach Ahmet Öner is ready to send his boxer Avni Yildirim (16-0, 10 KOs) into war against Chris Eubank Jr. (25-1, 19 KOs) on October 7 at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, Germany.
“Our relationship is like a colonel and a soldier,” said Ahmet Öner. “Sometimes I call him John Rambo, and I am Colonel Trautman. He is my Rambo, I made him and I am very happy with what I’ve made.”
The former light heavyweight, now coach and manager, believes that his fighter can go all the way to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The first obstacle is Chris Eubank Jr., but Öner does not see the British IBO Champion as a serious threat in the battle for the Greatest Prize in Boxing.
“I do not fear Eubank Jr. He has nothing to stop Avni. Eubank is a kid, a spoiled kid who thinks he is a brave tough guy, he is not. His father was an actor and a fighter with good power punches. Eubank Jr. has good movement, but he has no power. Eubank Jr. is a cheap version of Floyd Mayweather. He thinks he is Mayweather, but he is not,” said Öner.
“Avni never gives up. The word ‘brave’ describes Avni. He is Braveheart, he is like Rambo. Many of the other fighters in the tournament they care for the money, that is not Avni. Avni’s dream is to become a world recognized fighter. He wants to be a hero, he loves when people pay attention to him. Boxing is a tool to achieve this. He does not care for the money, he cares for the glory.”
Fighting for the third time since, Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (13-1, 11 KOs) continued his east-coast reign of terror in the co-feature, stopping game challenger Matt McKinney (5-3-2) of Oceanside, Calif., at the 2:41 mark of the second round. Cusumano sent McKinney to the canvas four times, twice in each round, before referee Johnny Callas stopped the bout.
Cusumano has won 11 in a row and each of his last three by knockout within the first two rounds, including another dominant performance less than three weeks ago on the last CES Boxing card in August.
Making his fifth Twin River appearance, Providence lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (6-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated in his most impressive performance to date, stopping Mexican challenger Israel Rojas (12-19) at 1:47 of the fourth round. Marsella Jr. sent Rojas to the canvas in the closing seconds of the third and twice more in the fourth before referee Joey Lupino waved it off.
Coming off his first career loss back in April, New Bedford, Mass., native Ray Oliveira Jr. (8-1) got back in the win column, narrowly defeating New Haven’s David Wilson (5-2-1) by split decision, 58-56, 55-59, 58-56.
Judges Eddie Scuncio and Robin Taylor scored the bout in favor of Oliveira while Ken Ezzo gave Wilson each of the first four rounds and the sixth and final round. Wilson started strong, also winning two of the first three rounds on Scuncio and Taylor’s scorecards, but Oliveira came on strong down the stretch to earn his first win since February.
Stealing the show on the preliminary card, female bantamweights Marcia Agripino (1-1-1) of Groton, Conn., and New Yorker Federica Bianco (3-1) fought four entertaining, back-and-forth rounds with Bianco earning the unanimous decision win, 39-37, 39-37, 40-36. The fight was much closer than the scores indicated, but Bianco was the aggressor, establishing a feverish pace from the opening bell and refusing to let up at any point. Agripino, fighting for the first time since 2013, brought the same energy, but Bianco was slightly more accurate with her exchanges, leading her to third win as a pro and first since May of 2016.
Making his 10th appearance since turning pro last May, Worcester’s Kendrick Ball Jr. (8-0-2) remained unbeaten, trading blows for six rounds with the dangerous Pablo Velez (7-2-1) of Durham, N.C., en route to a 60-54 shutout on all three scorecards. The taller, leaner Ball Jr. used his reach to keep Velez at a distance, but also stayed busy on the inside, unafraid to exchange with his opponent while outworking him consistently within close range. The win highlighted Ball Jr.’s 25th birthday celebration, which commences Sunday.
In another back-and-forth regional showdown, Stoughton, Mass., welterweight Travis Demko (5-1) narrowly defeated Marqus Bates (2-2) of nearby Taunton by split decision, 39-37, 37-39, 39-37. Judges Wayne Lima and Taylor scored it in favor of Demko while Scuncio gave Bates the nod. Each fighter had his moments, but Demko hurt Bates in the second and had him on the ropes again in the third. Taylor and Lima each gave Demko the first three rounds while Scuncio scored rounds one, three and four in favor of Bates.
Fighting for the second time in three weeks, Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (6-0, 4 KOs) looked dominant as ever, stopping the game Darnell Pettis (1-6) of Cleveland, who failed to answer the bell for the fourth and final round. Pettis hung in for three rounds, taking Ortiz’s best, but after a brutal third round, Pettis was done for the night and Ortiz earned his fourth win of the year and second since August.
Living up to his nickname, “Bling Bling,” Providence super featherweight Michael Valentin (2-0) kept his unbeaten record intact with a hard-fought win over debut Henry Garcia (0-1) of New Bedford. Garcia never stopped coming forward, but Valentin’s quick hands set the tone early, and the 18-year-old Providence native scored a big knockdown in the second round to open up a comfortable lead on the scorecards en route to a 39-36, 40-35, 40-35 unanimous decision win.
In a battle of pro debut cruiserweights from Worcester, fighting out of rival gyms, Rafiel Nyakoko (1-0, 1 KO) earned the knockout win over Jake Paradise (0-1) at the 2:36 mark of the second round. Nyakoko controlled the pace in the opening round and then staggered Paradise with a hard right midway through the second. Paradise tried to hold on to buy some time, but Nyakoko used his reach to establish his distance and finished Paradise for a good with a flurry of punches along the ropes, prompting Lupino to stop the bout.
Also in preliminary action, Worcester’s Philip Davis (1-1) earned his first career victory in the featherweight division over Providence’s Phil Dudley (1-1), 39-36 on all three scorecards, and featherweight Ricky Delossantos (3-0) of Providence remained unbeaten with his third win of 2017, beating Lowell’s Jonathan Perez (2-2-2), 40-36 on all three cards.
On Saturday September 16, in Hackney Wick, London at the Copper Box Arena, WBO middleweight belt holder Billy Joe Saunders defended his title against former world title challenger Willie Monroe Jr. In the lead up to this contest there were some strong words from Saunders towards Monroe, at one time he referred to him as a “Quitter” referring to his loss against WBA, IBF, IBO and WBC champion Gennady Golovkin. At every opportunity Saunders would storm Monroe’s base of operations in London to belittle the American challenger. On the night of official weigh-in’s, Saunders seven year old son Steve actually jumped on stage and punched Monroe in his testicles a moment that went viral across the internet.
On fight night the ring was plastered with photos of Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, reminding fans they would be fighting hours later in Las Vegas Nevada. On the corner pad behind Saunders, was the face of Golovkin with an almost mocking expression that appeared to glare over Saunders shoulder between rounds. Those photos and advertisements for Golovkin versus Canelo helped ease the drudgery getting ready to taking place between Saunders and Monroe by giving fans something they can get excited for.
It started with Saunders pushing forward and Monroe Jr looking for counter punches. Over the next several rounds, Monroe would continue going backwards avoiding Saunders wild hooks that despite crowd reaction mostly missed their intended target. This tempo continued, until rounds four and five when Monroe was able to put forth an offensive burst of punches that made Saunders momentarily move backwards.
With a slight cut near his eye and bridge of his nose from minor head clashes, Saunders at the midway point despite a lack of action almost looked like he had actually been in a fight. This seemed like an opportune moment for Willie Monroe Jr, whose hands were in position to unload his arsenal. There was an anticipation for those watching to see Monroe Jr to act on his opportunity and even UK broadcast members stating “Willie Monroe Jr just needs to let those hands to drive Saunders back and he will go home WBO champion”. Instead he posed, he began to parry, he demonstrated how to feint punches but until the twelfth round failed to let a single punch go with purpose. There was even a moment in round eleven where both fighters appeared friendly and apologized to one another for a clash of heads.
There would be a half hearted effort by both fighters, to close the bout strong but it appeared more for dramatic effect than with actual purpose. When the final scores were announced the judges seen it 117-111, 115-114 and 117-112 all in favor of Billy Joe Saunders, my scorecard read 115-113 also in favor of Saunders. The only way to justify my score and the 115-114 scorecard of judge Julio Cesar Alvarado being so close is Saunders despite being the offensive aggressor threw wild punches and missed his target often. The aggression of Saunders certainly did not fit the criteria of effective aggression, it was at least an attempt to force some sort of action something Monroe Jr seemed unwilling to provide.
While retaining his belt Billy Joe Saunders improved to 25-0 (12), Willie Monroe Jr after his second failed title opportunity now stands at 21-3 (6). As a gesture of good sportsmanship Billy Joe Saunders son did enter the ring and tell Monroe “I’m sorry for punching you in the nuts”.
This was a shameful effort for two professional fighters, especially when one is a belt holder and other ranked in the top ten by a major sanctioning body. I suppose it’s hard to put on your best performance when the ring you fight in is nothing but an advertisement for a fight in another country that same night. It sort of screams “While we wait for Supremacy watching Tedious is good a way as any to pass time”
In Undercard action
Light Heavyweight- Anthony Yarde 13-0 (12) retained his WBO European Light Heavyweight Title and captured the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight Title with a third round stoppage over Norbert Nemesapati 25-7 (18).
Heavyweight Daniel Dubois 5-0 (5) def. AJ Carter 8-4 (6) via TKO 1.
Super Featherweight- Archie Sharp 10-0 (6) def. Imre Nagy 15-11 (7) via TKO 2.
Super Middleweight- Zak Chelli 3-0 (1) def. Adam Jones 6-24-5 (1) via UD 6.
Super Middleweight- Lerrone Richards 9-0 (3) def. Ferenc Albert 24-12 (12) via UD 6.
Super Bantamweight- Lucien Reid 7-0 (4) def. Jose Aguilar 16-38-4 (6) via UD 6.
Light Heavyweight- Ryan Hatton 1-0 (1) def. Jack Davies 0-2-1 via TKO 3.
Super Bantamweight- Jake Pettitt 2-0 def. Stefan Sashov 3-13 (3) via UD 4.
Saturday Night September 16th 2017, following the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin versus Saul “Canelo” Alvarez “Supremacy” pay-per view Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & Radio will broadcast LIVE with a post fight show, starting ten minutes after the main event winner is announced.
With a combined record of 86-1-1 (67) Gennady Golovkin versus Canelo Alvarez is one of the most anticipated fights in boxing, not only this year but this era. The winner of this bout will not only cement themselves as boxing’s top middleweight today but both men join past middleweight greats on a short distinguished list of 160lb mega fights.
On the show with their post fight opinions will be host Billy C, “Guinness Book” world record holder and former contender Sal Cenicola, “International Boxing Hall of Fame” referee Larry Hazzard, “Talkin Boxing With Billy C” broadcast member Daxx Kahn and “Fist Things First” head honcho Alex Pierpaoli.
Once members of the Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & radio show give their thoughts we will open the phone lines for fans to call in and express their opinions on the event.
Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs), Kiev, Ukraine
Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs) and Robert Brant (22-0, 15 KOs) meet in the ring on Friday October 27 when the World Boxing Super Series’ super middleweight division and the quest for the Ali Trophy illuminate the Kongresshalle in Schwerin, Germany.
“I am very glad the World Boxing Super Series can announce a date and venue for my quarter-final against Rob Brant,” said 38 year-old Braehmer.
The former WBA and WBO Light Heavyweight Champion is looking forward to fighting in his habitat in Germany.
“I am very excited that this bout is going to take place in my hometown of Schwerin. In short: I cannot wait to start my journey to win the Ali Trophy!”
Brant from Minnesota, however, is looking forward to passing through historic Schwerin, famous for its beautiful Old Town and romantic Schwerin Palace, on his promising career path.
“Braehmer is a well accomplished and proven boxer worldwide with star power in his home country,” said 26 year-old Brant. “I have no problem going to his backyard for a fight; he is a seeded athlete in the tournament.”
“I feel this is a pure crossroads fight containing a proven well-known fighter toward the end of his career against a hot prospect looking to make his name in the sport. I feel confident in winning this fight as does everyone in my training circle. After researching Schwerin I am excited to compete in such a beautiful and historic city!”
The winner of Juergen Braehmer vs. Robert Brant will face the winner of Callum Smith vs. Erik
Skoglund.Tickets go on sale on Monday via
British IBO Champion Chris Eubank Jr. (25-1, 19 KOs) and Turkish challenger Avni Yildirim (16-0, 10 KOs) exchanged words at a kickoff press conference in Stuttgart before their quarter-final bout on October 7 at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, Germany.
The kickoff press conference for one of the most exciting match-ups in the World Boxing Super Series did not disappoint when it comes to verbal punches from both sides. Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Avni Yildirim is clearly a fight between a British fighter eager to prove himself as the best in the world, and a proud Turk who believes he can shock the boxing world and overshadow everyone in the Ali Trophy tournament.
Chris Eubank Jr. (27): “This is the first fight for me in this tournament and I am here to make a statement. I am the man, and I am the man to beat. There will be no mercy for Yildirim, I am here to win. I am not here to make friends, I am not here to look pretty and be a celebrity, I am here in this tournament to become the champion.”
“I am very much looking forward to this fight. I think it is a great match-up. Styles make fights, and the reason I picked this man at the Draft Gala in Monaco is that he is a fighter, he comes forward, he is very active, he is very open, he takes risks, which he will pay for in this fight. I can’t wait!”
“I have a goal, I have a challenge that I have to complete, and that is to win to the Muhammad Ali Trophy and prove that I am the best in world.”
Avni Yildirim (26): “This tournament is a chance for me to fight the best in the world. It is an honor for me to compete against these guys, all giants in the super middleweight division. I respect Chris Eubank Jr. and his champion status, but I will tell him one thing: I am going to make my country proud.”
“I am here to make a dream come true, and I do not see anyone take that dream away from me. I am here to destroy everyone in this tournament. I am not an Instagram or Facebook fighter like Eubank Jr. I am Avni Yildirim, and I am here to destroy, I will do anything to win this fight and win this tournament.”
“I feel good, I am very prepared. Let’s fight!”
After the opening statements Yildirim claimed he never really heard of Eubank Jr. through his years in boxing since beginning at the age 13, and the Briton replied with a quote from the time when Mike Tyson dominated inside and outside the ring: “Do you want to know who I am? I am the baddest man on the planet!”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “We are looking very forward to bringing the Ali Trophy and the World Boxing Super Series to Stuttgart on the 7th of October. The Ali Trophy is a very special tournament, a tournament with a total prize money of 50 million dollars.”
“It is a quarter-final fight, a fight where Chris Eubank Jr. picked his opponent Avni Yildirim, an undefeated challenger from Turkey, In his last fight Yildirim beat a Mexican in Mexico, that says a lot about Yildirim. In Chris’ last fight he made a master class performance at Wembley against Arthur Abraham. So it is two absolute fighting men. absolute talents that belong in the World Boxing Super Series. We are looking forward to a tremendous fight!”