August 9, 2022
SHAME ON YOU WBC
By: Bill Calogero
Last week I wrote an article about the boxing rankings and how I felt about them overall. Not to beat a dead horse, but it seems that the concept of the rankings have gotten worse in one week!
Although I’ve always said that we can’t base a division on “what used to be” we must be able to shake out the best fighters from the decent ones, and the decent ones from the terrible ones. As much as I, and I know a lot of true boxing fans feel the same, we unfortunately DO need to look at the rankings from time to time to see where the current crop of fighters stand, despite the differences from sanctioning body to sanctioning body. If anything else, it’s a base for comparison for our thoughts and that of discussion.
Of the four major sanctioning bodies, I personally feel that the WBC, is the best one, with the WBO 2nd, the IBF 3rd and the worst of them, the WBA in the four-slot. With that said, I think we all know that a sanctioning body is a business. Businesses are around for one reason; to make money. That’s it plain and simple. How do sanctioning bodies make money you ask? Sanctioning fees of course. Why do you think there are so many titles? Each one costs the fighter money to fight for and to defend.
In my opinion, sanctioning bodies can still make money by ranking fighters based on their skill, NOT the money their teams pay for the ranking. What? You didn’t realize that a fighter, his manager or his promoter can pay for a ranking within a sanctioning body? I’m sorry. I hope your day just wasn’t ruined but that’s a fact.
Since I believe that the WBC is the best of the four, I will focus on them and a couple of moves recently that prove my point.
On July 30, 2022, one of my favorite fighters stepped back in the ring after a long layoff. Danny Garcia was a former Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight World Champion and was regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters out there. Nineteen months prior to his return to the ring, he lost a 12-round decision to Errol Spence Jr. He was no doubt devastated from that loss as he has publicly stated. His decision to return to the ring and the obvious dedication he put into that return was on full display when he fought and beat Jose Benavidez Jr. in Brooklyn that night.
Leading up to the fight, I did a Talkin Boxing with Billy C show and was previewing the fight. I would be lying if I wasn’t shocked to see that the WBC had already had Danny ranked at number five in the Jr. Middleweight Division. I am in no way, shape or form discrediting Danny Garcia for this ranking, however, how can the WBC rank a fighter at number five, which is an excellent ranking, when he hadn’t fought in over nineteen months AND never fought in that division before during his professional career?
YouTube Phenom Jake Paul was scheduled to fight Hasim Rahman Jr. on August 6 in New York. They both had been promoting the fight. One week prior, the fight fell apart because Rahman could not make the agreed upon weight, which was 205lbs. Paul went to his ace in the hole, his social Media platforms and blasted Rahman. After a slew of back and fourths via social media between the two, the fight and the rest of the card was cancelled. In my opinion, as I have stated publically, I felt that Paul should have fought at 215lbs and cut Rahman’s purse substantially because should he have done that, and won, I wouldn’t be able to write this piece right now. It didn’t happen, so…..
Let’s keep in mind here that Rahman is a professional fighter. No matter how you feel about his talent, the kid is a true professional prospect. He’s nowhere near the caliber where he should be ranked and thankfully he’s not ranked in any of the major sanctioning bodies but he’s a prospect nonetheless.
Jake Paul on the other hand, as of today, is a “wanna-be professional fighter”. This could change of course, but let’s face it, the facts are the facts. Jake Paul is 5-0 (4 KO’s). In any other circumstance, I think he would be regarded as a prospect. HOWEVER, in Jake’s case, his five wins were against a fellow YouTuber, an NBA star and two over-the-hill MMA fighters. Not one of these opponents can or should be regarded as a true professional boxer. Cut and dry, right? Umm, no.
It was reported earlier this week that the WBC is prepared to actually RANK Jake Paul! Is the WBC ranking him on his boxing ability like they should? No. They feel that because he is a phenom on social media that he deserves respect which in the WBC’s opinion is a ranking.
The WBC had said should Paul have beaten Rahman then he was going to be ranked. The fight never took place, so how could he even be considered for a ranking. EVEN if the fight did take place and Jake Paul beat Hasim Rahman Jr. (which I personally think he would NOT have), I don’t feel that he should have made the rankings. Rahman isn’t ranked. Beating him, then maybe another real fighter and depending on how the fights were won, MAYBE someone could make the argument for Jake Paul. None of this has happened as of today.
Let’s be real here, should the WBC or any of the major sanctioning bodies rank Jake Paul now or before he beats two or three real professional fighters it would be nothing less than a complete joke.
I know Jake Paul comes to fight when he steps into the ring. I know he’s serious about boxing. He trains hard and is prepared. He’s not doing it for the money, which he has plenty of, he does it because he loves boxing. THAT I RESPECT! I never met Jake and hope to someday, but as of today, he still has a lot to prove. Another important thing about Jake Paul is that he brings a lot of fans, and of course the revenue that goes with the fans to our sport, but we need to preserve some of the small about of integrity left in the sport of professional boxing.
Shame on you Mr. Sulaiman and the WBC for even considering, let alone publicly stating you were and still are considering ranking Jake Paul. For the good of boxing, please wait until he accomplishes more inside the ring against real fighters before he finds and lands a spot in your rankings. Don’t let this be all about the money, which most of us know it is, but at least wait until he has fought someone that is at least a little credible.
August 1, 2022
Boxing Rankings Have Become Hard To Stomach
By: Bill Calogero
There used to be a time when a top-ten ranking really meant something. Back in the days when we had only one world and only one World Champion, to be rated at number ten in any of the eight original weight classes was great for the fighter and the fan. It meant something! If you were a Heavyweight and you were ranked at number ten, you got respect. People knew your name. It was an achievement to be a top ten fighter. Being a top-ten fighter meant you could get a shot at being a Champion. A Champion that was the only person in a weight class who WAS a Champion. There were only eight World Champions at a time. AND, there were way more fighters competing for that title! Stop and think about that. Eight weight classes. Eight World Champions.
Times have changed. Today we have eighteen weight classes. We have FOUR major sanctioning bodies and we have a fraction of the fighters. It gets worse. Of the four major sanctioning bodies, most have at least two champions in each weight class. Whether they call it a Super Champion, or a regular Champion, or Gold, Silver, upcoming, champion in recess, or whatever Champion, they have multiple champions in eighteen weight classes.
As far as I know, we still only have one world, but I guess even that could be debated depending on what side you are on politically, but now we have potentially at least thirty-six World Champions and that’s assuming we are only counting two per weight class. THIRTY SIX World Champions. LESS fighters competing. Come on, what does that mean? YOU KNOW what it means. You know you do. It means that the caliber of the Champions is at an all-time low. Don’t get me wrong here. There are some great fighters and of course Champions out there today, but thirty-six?
No wait…there’s more! When there were eight weight classes and eight World Champions it was cut and dry who the number five ranked contender was in a specific weight class. Today, with the four-headed sanctioning body monster we have today, there are potentially FORTY different top ten fighters in each division. Do the math. Four sanctioning bodies’ times ten top-ten fighters equals forty. Can that get worse? YES because there are sixteen weight classes, so we can potentially have six hundred and forty ranked fighters!!!
OF COURSE some of the sanctioning bodies have the same fighters ranked but the ranking number are all over the place. Is there value in being ranked today? The answer unfortunately is yes. The reason is because if you have a ranking, no matter how many other fighters that are in your weight class with the same ranking, promoters and networks will use that. Why? Because they have bamboozled the boxing fan into believing that the fighter is a quality fighter if they are ranked even though there could be thirty or more other fighters in the same weight class with the same ranking with one of the sanctioning bodies. It’s the same with the champions. Promoters and the Networks feel they can sell a fight if there’s a World Title on the line. It doesn’t matter who has it, or how good the fighter is as long as there’s a title involved, the boxing fan will watch it. Personally, in my opinion this is the biggest problem with boxing today. It goes hand in hand with the 0.
There are plenty of good fighters out there that have a loss or two, but because if it, they may never get the shot. Promoters don’t want to risk that so what they do is feed their fighters a steady diet of winnable fights to preserve the 0. This may help them with the networks and sanctioning bodies but I will tell you this; it doesn’t help the fighter. Why you ask? Because today it’s easier to win a title than it is to hold onto it. If a fighter fought progressively harder opposition they would have the opportunity to improve. We don’t get to see that today until after they lose their title. Then it becomes the marketing of the comeback. It’s the business of boxing, like it or not. As long as fans are willing to buy a ticket, or an event, this is how it will be.
This past Saturday night we saw Danny Garcia fight a beautiful fight against Jose Benavidez Jr. after a nineteen month layoff to win his first fight ever in the Jr. Middleweight division. I’m a fan of Danny’s and I thought he looked sharp and was happy for him. During my post fight show I mentioned that I felt that he should fight another Jr. Middleweight right away but he should not focus on a top-ten fighter. EVEN with all the top ten fighters out there, in my opinion he should fight another legit Jr., Middleweight before he steps in the ring with a real top-five opponent. He still needs to adjust to the weight class.
HOWEVER, being out of the ring for nineteen months, coming off a loss in the welterweight division, he was STILL ranked at number five in the Jr. Middleweight division by the WBC. If this doesn’t back up what I am saying here, nothing will.
I took the four major-sanctioning bodies rankings for the Heavyweight division. Like I said earlier, they were all over the place. Even ESPN’s rankings for the Heavyweights were a little off in my opinion as were BoxRec’s, who bases their ranking (supposedly) on the guy who beat the guy and who that guy beat system that they somehow feed into a computer and spit out their top fifty.
I looked at all of them. Then I looked at the fighters, who they fought, who THEY fought, when they fought them and when they fought last. I will be going over the results as well as my overall thoughts of the Heavyweight division and my top ten during my next show, which is schedule to be broadcast live on Wednesday at 5:30 pm EST on www.youtube.com/TalkinBoxing and on www.BillyCBoxing.com.
My thoughts on the Heavyweight division will be available for replay anytime after that at the same locations as well as our podcast.
July 29, 2022
And We’re Back!
By: Bill Calogero
It’s been an on and off past two years with me and professional boxing, the sport I love and have been involved with for over 35 years as a promoter, manager, adviser, writer, gym owner, commentator and of course a talk show host for TV, Radio and podcasts. I wanted to let everyone know that the passion is back and so is Billy C!
I’ve got to be honest when I say that I definitely had some trouble with the sport and how it is going today verses the past, but I’ve realized that this is really how it’s always been. I think the biggest issue that I’ve have these past two years was the way fighters seem to take the easy way out. I mean this is a vicious sport and throughout its history, most fighters have given more than they have received in financial compensation so in a way, I get it, but I can’t help but feel the result has been a decline.
Add to that that promoters don’t really promote anymore. They want to be like the UFC model; that is a league and what that translates to in boxing is to only promote and support their fighters and not cross over to fight another promoter’s fighter. Everyone knows that Don King and Bob Arum, never really had any love for each other, but when a fight needed to happen and when the fans wanted it, they worked it out. That simply doesn’t happen anymore. Add to that Internet stars getting the love and actually being regarded as boxers just makes me sick.
HOWEVER, when they can generate the money, well, then things happen. I guess for me it was more about the fighters who gave it their all in years gone by and to me it disrespects them. Add to that today’s young boxing fan seems to think they know it all and it also seems that they have no interest in learning about its history, which to me is the most important part of the sport. Boxing and its history is like no other sport and in my opinion, you need to know about it. BUT…that’s me and I think I’ve come to the point where I want to move forward and hope that maybe, just maybe I can sway some of the younger fans into trying to FOCUS and listen to and of course learn about the fighters who paved the way for the fighters of today. The warriors who made the sport.
With that said, I would like everyone to know that the show will begin to come back on a regular basis beginning with a post Danny Garcia vs. Jose Benavidez Jr. fight show. This time around we plan on offering our show exclusively on YouTube and of course our Podcast. The show will be located at www.YouTube.com/TalkinBoxing and BillyCBoxing.com, where you can watch the show or listen to the Podcast through BillyCBoxing.com or of course ITunes. I hope to get some commentating gigs as well, but the phone has to ring for that boys & girls!
Finally, I want everyone to know that I will begin writing again. I will start out with a bi-monthly article posted right here on BillyCBoxing.com. I also plan on writing another book. I currently have several ideas on whom it will be on and hope to make my decision soon.
In the meantime, tune into our post fight show approximately ten (10) minutes after the official decision is announced from the Garcia-Benavidez Jr. fight this Saturday evening.
Danny Garcia has a record of 36-3 (21 KO’s). He’s never been stopped and his only losses are to Error Spence Jr., Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. He’s former World Jr. Welterweight and welterweight champion. (Note: I have some interviews Danny & I had when he was just starting out that I plan to air soon…they are a MUST to hear all these years later!)
Garcia takes on Jose Benavidez Jr. who has a record of 27-1-1 (18 KO’s). His only loss was a 12th round KO defeat at the hands of one of boxing’s best, Terence Crawford. His last fight was a Majority decision DRAW against Francisco Emanuel Torres (17-3) this past November. It should be a good test for Garcia who hasn’t been in the ring since December of 2020.
The other fight that should be interesting on this card will be the return of Adam Kownacki, who is 20 – 2 (15 KO’s). Both his losses came at the hands of Robert Helenius. The first was a 4th round stoppage in 2020 and the second in the rematch; a 6th round stoppage in 2021. He’s looking to rebound against the 16-1 (12 KO’s) Al Eren Demirezen. His only loss came in 2019 against Efe Ajagba. Since that loss, he has rattled off five consecutive wins.
The results of both of these fights should determine the futures of both Garcia and Kownacki, both fan favorites.
Lemieux KO’s Stevens in three
By: Bill Calogero – Ringside – March 11, 2017
Verona, NY – David Lemieux stopped Curtis Stevens with a devastating left in the third round of their scheduled 12-round middleweight fight, which was the main event of a great card from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, broadcast on HBO.
The fireworks between Lemieux and Stevens started when the bell rang to start the first round. Both fighters landed hard shots on each other. Stevens seemed to have the tighter defense during the first and second rounds and looked like he was banking on taking Lemieux into the later rounds.
David Lemieux had other plans. Although he let his hands go freely during the first and most of the second, he began the third choosing his shots more carefully. Lemieux positioned Stevens against the ropes, threw a right hand, which Stevens tried to counter but David’s crushing left hook got to its target first, sending Curtis crumbling to the canvas, out cold. Referee Charlie Fitch waved it off immediately as Stevens lay motionless.
Curtis Stevens regained consciousness as he was removed from the ring on a stretcher.
The official time of the knockout was 1:59 of the third round. David Lemieux improves to 37-3 (33 KOs) and Curtis Stevens drops to 29-6 (21 KOs).
In the co-main event, Yuriorkis Gamboa won a ten-round unanimous decision over Rene Alvarado in a less than action-packed fight. Gamboa showed glimpses of excitement in the ring, letting his hands go, but for the most part, he fought a cautious fight against an opponent he should have had his foot firmly on the gas pedal.
Alvarado caught Yuriorkis with a shot that put him down in the final round, but it was a flash-knock-down and did not seem to be hurt Gamboa at all. In the end, two of the three judges scored the fight 97-92 and the third saw it 97-93 giving Gamboa the win. Yuriorkis Gamboa improves to 26-1 (17 KOs) and Rene Alvarado drops to 24-8 (16 KOs).
In undercard action:
Yves Ulysse won via a TKO when Zachary Ochoa’s corner stopped the fight at the end of the 7th round of their Super Lightweight contest. Ulysse improves to 13-0 (9 KOs) and Zachary Ochoa loses for the first time, dropping to 10-1 (7 KOs). Keep an eye on Yves Ulysse.
Diego De La Hoya won an eight-round decision over Roberto Pucheta to improve to 17-0 (9 KOs) in a Jr. Featherweight match-up. De La Hoya needs to step up his competetion, but then again, it looks like his team are well aware of his short-comings. In my opinion, a fighter at 16 or 17 and 0 should have taken care of Pucheta prior to the final bell. De La Hoya has a long way to go.
D’Mitrius Ballard stopped Zoltan Sera at 1:16 of the 4th round in their Super Middleweight bout to improve to 16-0 (12 KOs). Zoltan Sera drops to 26-12 (17 KOs).
Alex Rincon made his pro debut a successful one by stopping Shaun Lee Henson with a body shot at 52 seconds of the second round in their middleweight fight. Rincon is now 1-0 (1 KO) and Henson drops to 3-3 (2 KOs).
Damon Allen Jr. improved to 11-0-1 (5 KOs) by stopping Adam Mate at 1:05 of the second round of their lightweight fight. Mate drops to 24-11 (17 KOs).
Todd Unthank-May and Quinton Rankin fought to a split DRAW decision in their light-heavyweight contest. Unthank-May is now 10-0-1 (4 KOs) and Rankin 12-3-2 (9 KOs).
Another great night of boxing at the Turning Stone.