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!’’
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields announced today that she has signed a promotional agreement with promoter Dmitriy Salita and Salita Promotions.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 9th, 2017) – Nicknamed “The Villian,” hard-nosed Stoneham, Mass., junior middleweight Greg Vendetti made a lasting impression in his first career bout at Twin River Casino on Friday, defeating Khiary Gray by majority decision to retain his New England Championship in a scintillating main event.
Vendetti (15-2-1) out-worked Gray (14-3) over eight rounds, bulldozing his way to the inside and landing looping, overhand rights while also working the body effectively for the majority of the fight. Gray, who found himself circling the ring most of the night, landed sporadically in exchanges, but could not match Vendetti’s workload on the inside; “The Villian,” fighting in front of a heavy crowd of hometown fans from Stoneham, earned a 76-76, 77-75, 78-74 decision over the Worcester, Mass., native Gray, his 11th consecutive win since signing with Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing.
Gray has now lost three of his last four bouts, including a back-and-forth eight-round battle with Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington in February. In a fight both sides have yearned for over the past year and a half, Gray and Vendetti delivered, fighting aggressively for eight hard rounds, even taunting each other at times with following close exchanges at the bell.
Friday’s event, promoted by CES Boxing in association with Murphys Boxing, featured eight exciting bouts live on FITE TV Pay Per View, including a back-and-forth co-feature war between Whitman, Mass., junior middleweight Mark DeLuca (19-0) and Chicago’s Chris Chatman (14-7-1) with DeLuca earning a 78-73 decision on all three scorecards. Chatman hit the canvas in the sixth and still earned a split of the final two rounds on two of the scorecards, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap against DeLuca, who was the busier of the two fighters in the early rounds and built a sizeable lead heading into the stretch run.
Returning to Twin River for the first time since April, Providence, R.I., lightweight and fan favorite Anthony Marsella Jr. (5-0) faced adversity in his scheduled six-round bout against Texas native Abraham Torres (3-2), rising from the canvas in the fourth round courtesy of a flash knockdown and turning on the pressure in the fifth and six to earn a 58-55, 58-55, 57-56 unanimous decision win to keep his perfect record intact.
The knockdown occurred as the two exchanged a close furry in the center of the ring, with Torres getting the edge with a short right upstairs. Marsella continued to mix it up with his opponent in the fifth and sixth, but also boxed more effectively on angles, dodging Torres’ punches and scoring from a distance to keep Torres off balance.
Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), making his Twin River and CES debut, impressed his first-time viewers with a devastating knockout win over Delaware’s Dan Biddle (9-6), sending Biddle to the canvas three times with body blows in the second round, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to stop the bout at the 2:36 mark.
Facing the toughest test of his career – and facing am undefeated opponent for the third time since turning pro – Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (7-0-2) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Bloomfield, N.J., vet Godson Noel (6-1-1), 58-56, 58-56, 59-55. Ball was the aggressor for the entire fight, boxing effectively off the ropes, utilizing his angles while doubling up with quick uppercuts on the inside and short hooks. Noel landed in short bunches, but Ball was busier throughout and landed the cleaner, more impactful blows.
Making his professional debut, Providence, R.I., super featherweight Michael Valentin (1-0, 1 KO) dazzled the crowd with an impressive, 55-second knockout win over debut challenger Kevin De Freitas (0-1) of Somerville, Mass. Valentin, debuting at the age of 18, took his time to feel out his opponent in the opening seconds, then unloaded with a flurry along the ropes that sent De Freitas down and out.
Also on the undercard, Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (7-3-1) narrowly defeated Providence’s Cido Hoff (1-2-1) by majority decision, 39-37, 39-37, 38-38. Judges Steve Weisfeld and Martha Tremblay scored it in favor of Doherty while Ken Ezzo had it even at 38 apiece. Doherty has now won three in a row, including a big knockout win over Julio Perez in February.
Fighting for the second time since making his debut in April, Providence featherweight Ricky Delossantos ran his record to 2-0 with an impressive 39-36, 38-37, 38-37 unanimous decision win over tough New Jersey native Malcolm Simms (0-1-1). Fresh off a win over Phil Davis two months ago, Delossantos sent Simms crashing to the canvas with an overhand right in the second round and controlled the final two rounds to earn his second win in as many fights.
“KO Night Boxing: WAR In WinnaVegas” WinnaVegas Events Center in Sloan, Iowa
June 10 live on CBS Sports Network 10:00 p.m. ET.
Main Event – Vacant USBA Featherweight Championship — (10) – CBSSN
(L) Daniel “Twitch” Franco (15-1-3, 10 KOs), Rancho Cucamonga, California 125 ½ lbs.
(R) Jose “Pepito” Haro (13-1-1, 7 KOs), West Jordan, Utah 125 lbs.
Co-Feature — Lightweights (10) — CBSSN
(L) Zhimin Wang (8-1, 3 KOs), Wuhan, China 136 lbs.
(R) Manuel Rey “The Punisher” Rojas (14-3, 4 KOs), Dallas, 134 TX lbs.
Super Featherwights (6) — CBSSN
Giovanni Mioletti (7-0, 1 KO), Chicago, IL 130 lbs.
Sal Lopez (4-1, 0 KOs), Las Vegas, NV 130 lbs.
At the Turning stone Casino in Verona NY, Friday night during the “International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend” DiBella Entertainment hosted an edition of “SHOBOX the Next Generation”. On the card were hot upcoming prospects, veteran journeymen and unknown opponents, all gave an equally enthusiastic effort to entertain not only fans in attendance but watching on TV. In the main event, two of the sports most talked about prospects Joel Diaz Jr and Regis Prograis faced off in a 140lb contest for Prograis NABF super lightweight title.
When the two fighters, entered the ring they had a combined record of 42-0 with 35 of those coming by stoppage. On paper this looked like an even fight, both possessed similar records, KO percentage and were almost identical in size, once the bell rang the bout was far from even, Prograis utterly dominated Diaz Jr two rounds. While Diaz Jr landed some solid blows in the opening round, the moment Prograis let his hands go, Diaz had no answers for the assault.
In round two continuous pressure and Prograis right hands dropped Diaz Jr four times. The final knockdown coming moments before the bell sounded, forcing referee Mark Nelson called a halt to the contest. With the win Regis Prograis improved to 20-0 (17), Joel Diaz Jr in his first loss dropped to 23-1 (19). In his post fight interview Prograis began humble, giving Diaz Jr credit calling him a “Tough Opponent”. When Steve Farhood stated “I don’t think anyone will want to fight you after seeing this” Prograis started screaming into the camera “Terence Crawford I’m coming for you”. While I can understand his enthusiasm, facing Crawford is not the same as facing Joel Diaz Jr, something established more experienced fighters such as Viktor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa and most recently Felix Diaz found out the hard way.
In an Super Middleweight contest, power punching Demond Nicholson out of Laurel, Maryland, took on former Canadian amatuer standout Steve Rolls. After scoring a knockdown in the first, Rolls outboxed Nicholson in the second and third rounds. In round four Nicholson turned momentum in his favor, forcing Rolls backwards with power punching winning the fourth through sixth on my card. In round seven after back and forth momentum, Rolls edged it with accuracy. In the eighth and final round, Nicholson would outland Rolls almost 3-1 a late rally from Rolls just before the bell excited fans but was not enough to win him the round.
On My unofficial card, due to the knockdown I had Steve Rolls winning 76-75. The official scores read 77-75 in favor of Nicholson and 77-74 twice in favor of Rolls. With the win Steve Rolls improved to 16-0 (9), Demond Nicholson now stands at 17-2-1 (16).
The televised broadcast started with undefeated lightweight prospect, Jon Fernandez taking on Juan Reyes. It would not take long for Fernandez, who is managed by former undisputed middleweight champion Sergio Martinez to impress the crowd. He dominated the first round with accurate volume punching and at 2:36 of round two stopped Reyes cold. With his win Jon Fernandez improved to 13-0 (11), Juan Reyes now stands at 14-4-3 (2).
In Undercard action–
Super Welterweight- Kerman Lejarraga 22-0 (18) def. Jose Antonio Abreu 13-2 (8) via TKO 2.
Light Heavyweight- Francy Ntetu 17-1 (4) def. Brian Holstein 12-7-1 (7) via TKO 4.
Super Middleweight- Nick Brinson 19-4-2 (9) def. Jaime Barboza 19-12 (9) via TKO 6.
Super Welterweight- Charles Conwell 3-0 (3) def. Jeffrey Wright 4-7-1 (4) via TKO 2.
Cruiserweight- Lawrence Gabriel 1-1-1 and Damian Lewis 0-4-1 fought to a four round Majority Draw.
“Kalvin is a promising fighter with tremendous popularity in his area,” said Warriors President, Leon Margules. “We believe he has the tools and ability to become champion. I’m happy he decided to sign with us and look forward to helping him reach his goals.”