GARCIA STOP’S JUANMA IN 4, CRAWFORD REMAIN’S UNBEATEN
By: Daxx Khan - June 16, 2013 - BillyCBoxing.com
Last Night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas former WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia boosted his trek towards superstardom when he walked though former 2 division world champion Juan Manuel Lopez. Garcia who lost the WBO division championship that he won from Orlando Salido in January of this year on the scales prior to the event when he could not shed 2 pounds needed to make the featherweight limit showed no physical effects whatsoever from the weight issue.
Lopez was game and tried his best to make the fight competitive but his wide swinging style made the night an easy one for Garcia. In round 2 Lopez was dropped for an eight count then near the ending of round 3 a closing combination from Garcia sent him back to his corner on shaky legs. In the 4th a counter punch from Mikey sent JuanMa down hard on the canvas, when he rose his legs were unsteady and eyes unfocused giving referee Rafael Ramos every reason to halt the bout at 1:35 of the round. Garcia’s record now stands at 32-0 (27) while Lopez drops his credentials to 33-3 with all 3 losses coming by stoppage. After Garcia stated he might move to Junior Lightweight and if his body allows alternate between divisions.
In the co-feature lightweight prospect Terence Crawford displayed his immense talent by out-boxing and stopping the more experienced Mexican slugger Alejandro Sanabria at :10 of the 6th round. Crawford showed throughout the contest why boxing is buzzing about Omaha, Nebraska’s native son as he landed his rangy jab and combination’s at will. This was Terence’s second big win of 2013 back on March 30th he shutout Breidis Prescott over 10 rounds on the undercard of Mike Alvarado/Brandon Rios 2. This win made Crawford a legitimate player in the lightweight division boosting his record to 21-0 (16), Sanabria now stands at 34-2-2.
In Undercard action-
Middleweight Vanes Martirosyan 33-0-1 (21) def. Ryan Davis 24-11-3 via TKO 2
Welterweight Mikael Zewski 20-0 (15) def. Damian Frias 19-8-1 via UD 8
Super Middleweight Matt Korobov 20-0 (12) def. Ossie Duran 28-11-2 via TKO 3
Welterweight John Karl Sosa 8-0 (6) def. Alexis Pena 7-3 (6) via KO 2
Super Featherweight Oscar Valdez 4-0 (5) def. Gil Garcia 5-5-1 via KO 2
Middleweight Kurtiss Colvin 8-1 (7) def. Angel Sigala 8-4 via TKO 5
Super Bantamweight Juan Antonio Lopez 4-0 def. Jonathan Hernandez 1-3-1 via. KO 4
RIDDICK BOWE BEATEN AND EMBARESSED IN THAILAND
By: Daxx Khan - June 14, 2013
Today in Thailand former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe was beaten up and embarrassed when Russian warrior Levgen Golovin dampened his hopes at claiming a Muay Thai Super Heavyweight world title in just under two rounds. Bowe entered the ring overweight, under-skilled and appeared confused on how to defend himself every time Golovin let loose a thunderous kick towards Riddick’s shins. After being knocked down for the 5th time by leg kicks a merciful halt was called to the one sided beating, being a boxing fan this ranked right up with Ali’s one sided loss to Trevor Berbick and Mike Tyson’s quitting against Kevin McBride in terms of what happens when a fighter refuses to believe his ability has faded.
Bowe in his prime was a talented fighter that could have beaten any past great on any given night without the victory being considered a major upset. Knowing he was allowed to compete in a full contact bout at this stage was almost criminal in my opinion. Despite the decision being Bowes to compete why did no one think about his safety prior to contracting the event?
Levgen Golovin has to be given accolades for taking it easy on Bowe inside the ring because not every fighter would of limited their blows to the legs, at any point during the contest he could have unleashed a savage beatdown without fear of being hit back and left the former heavyweight boxing king permanently incapacitated.
Bowe is already showing signs of effects from his boxing career, slurred speech and delayed responses to questions are extremely evident whenever he speaks the last thing Bowe needs to endure is further neurological damage. During the post-fight interview Bowe stated he will fight again and the event was “Fun” his conqueror Golovin expressed concern upon hearing those comments replying “I hope he changes his mind it would be a big mistake for him to ever fight again, He's too slow and a bit too old for this type competition. He will end up being seriously hurt if he continues”.
Leading up to the contest there was little fanfare for Bowes appearance, reports state he prepared in a low level gym infested with rodents and was being taught how to fight Thai style by subpar trainers. The event was on such a low level in terms of interest it was held in Pattaya Thailand known mainly for its red light district instead of Chaweng City the sports equivalent of Las Vegas is for boxing.
Facts are Bowe did not take this fight due to desire but necessity as its well-known he squandered his boxing career earnings. He was given $150,000 for his dignity and abuse by time all is settled Bowe MIGHT bring home $50,000. Like Levgen Golovin I hope Bowe never fights again or one day I will end up writing about the way he spends his days in need of constant care, something that would truly weigh heavier on my heart than what took place today.
Jorge Diaz- An upcoming Featherweight on the rise!
By: Daxx Kahn - June 13, 2013
Up-coming featherweight Jorge Diaz is a 25yr old boxer out of New Brunswick, New Jersey with big dreams and even bigger heart. Currently sporting a professional resume of 17-1 (10) Diaz seems to be a young fighter that knows you need to be confident in your abilities but also where to draw the line between “Confidence and Arrogance” because arrogance will get you nowhere fast. In fact if you visit Diaz’s website there is a section where he describes himself and in that section he states “I am an individual who has a healthy respect for myself, I understand where that line lies between confidence and arrogance.” Those words make me believe Diaz is a fighter who knows he needs believe in himself to accomplish his goals without falling into the mindset things will just land into his lap. What’s more in my opinion the fact he respects himself means he knows how to respect others and in boxing when you have no respect for those around you failure to succeed is almost guaranteed, Diaz outlook gives him a higher chance at achieving his desired goals be it in boxing or elsewhere.
Diaz promises big things to come in his future as a fighter, those big things he states will be accomplished through the to win. “I might not be the most talented fight but I am the one who wants to win the most” he includes in the self-written mini bio, when I compare his amateur resume to that of other fighters with similar credentials I have spoken to over the years Diaz words has me thinking he maybe one of the most grounded prospects in terms of what his future holds I have followed in near half a decade.
Highlights for Diaz amateur accomplishments include a silver medal at the 2004 US National Junior Olympics in the 114lbs weight class. A bronze medal at the 2005 National Golden Gloves, silver medal at the 2005 US under 19 championships, a bronze medal at the 2006 NGG, Quarter finalist at the 2006 US Amateur championships, Won a gold medal at the 2006 Under 19 championships and a bronze medal in the 2006 National Police Athletic League championships at 54 kg losing to Gary Russell Jr. Outside being part of an Olympic team Diaz amateur career was stellar.
Since turning professional Diaz has gained solid wins over former world title challengers Alejandro Lopez and Emmanuel Lucero. His only loss to date came by UD against tough Philadelphia fighter Teon Kennedy who oddly enough has a loss on his record at the hands of a fighter Diaz defeated Alejandro Lopez.
This weekend Jorge will be fighting on the undercard of ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s his opponent will be the ever willing Yenifel Vicente whose only loss to date has come against Chris Avalos, winner of their showdown will claim the vacant WBC FECARBOX featherweight title and take a step into mainstream exposure.
With a positive attitude and seemingly grounded approach I will be pulling for Diaz to win this one. Even if he loses though Jorge knows boxing is about more than just stepping inside the ring and throwing punches so he can’t be counted out. This is a prospect to keep an eye on for certain. GH3 and Brian Cohen promotions were looking out for the fans when they signed this fight without question. I’m looking forward to it.
Photo By: Nancy Morales
THE 2013 IBHOF WEEKEND REVIEW
By: Daxx Khan - June 12, 2013
A rough start due to rainy weather had this year’s “International Boxing Hall of Fame” induction weekend looking bleak but aside from a few scheduled attendees cancelling and wet feet things turned out memorable overall. In terms of events nothing varied as usual fans listened to lectures, watched fist castings, workout sessions, attended card shows, parade of champions and lastly the induction ceremony itself. It was a selected few attendee’s and inductee’s that made the weekend special for all who journeyed to Canastota. While everyone who took part from in and around the sport of boxing was gracious the following deserve extra credit.
Tony DeMarco- Welterweight champion during the 1950’s shook hands with every fan that walked by and no matter how many times he was asked the same question answered it with enthusiasm.
Marlon Starling- One of boxing’s most underrated champions of all time put on his “Magic Man” costume once again by making jokes, shaking hands and discussing his storied career victories. After Marlon would move on from one crowd to the next fans discussed amongst each other a topic that has frustrated many for years. “WHY HASN’T THE FORMER TWO TIME WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION ALREADY BEEN INDUCTED?” Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to speak with Marlon can attest even a 30 second encounter with him is worth the trip alone.
Mia St. John- One of female boxing’s pioneers braved pouring rain and spoke on stage to fans without faltering. I can name over a dozen past scheduled guest or inductee’s that have refused to leave their air-conditioned hotel room if it was too hot outside. Mia still has a million dollar smile and personality.
Chuck Zito- The former bodyguard turned actor perhaps most known for his role in HBO’s series “OZ” had a smile on his face every minute he was present. I don’t know who was happier to be there him or his fans.
Milton McCrory- The former welterweight champion out of Manny Steward’s Kronk Gym treated everyone with the utmost respect. Milton showed fans that being a champion is just as much about how you carry yourself outside the ring as what you accomplish inside.
Virgil Hill- The former two division world champion out of North Dakota has always been known to be a gentleman. What I witnessed when some fellow pushed his way past 2 kids waiting in line for Virgil’s autograph cemented my already high opinion of Quicksilver. Virgil rejected the obnoxious guys request for a signature telling him “The kids come first” then signed their memorabilia before walking away and glancing back at the guy shaking his head in disbelief.
Rosie Perez- The actress who has become known in boxing circles as one of the sport’s most dedicated and educated fans was present so she could Grand Marshall this year’s Parade of Champions. Every opportunity she could manage was spent signing autographs and talking about the sport with fans and participants alike. Even when event staff was trying to whisk her away she went about doing her own thing.
Micky Ward- Micky who is known for his close relationship with fans never disappoints and this year was no different. When he spoke on his trilogy and friendship with Arturo Gatti his eyes glossed over as the words “There is not a day that goes by I don’t think of Arturo”. His genuine sincerity let fans know despite what these fighters accomplish and leave of themselves inside the ring they are people like anyone else. Good, bad or indifferent life is a fight in-itself.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the entire event came during Arturo Gatti’s induction and his daughter was lifted up so she could reach the podium. She only said one sentence “Thank you for putting in my Daddy”.
With that being said Thank You to everyone mentioned above for making the 2013 IBHOF weekend memorable because your actions made the entire event worth attending.
FROCH EVEN’S THE SCORE AGAINST KESSLER - IS A TRILOGY IN ORDER?
By: Daxx Kahn - May 26, 2013
Last night at the O2 Arena in London, IBF Super Middleweight Champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch evened the score when defeated the divisions WBA champion Mikkel Kessler over 12 grueling rounds. The initial meeting between these 2 warriors took place on April 24th 2010 during Showtime’s “Super Six” tournament where Kessler would gain a unanimous victory in his home country of Denmark handing Froch his first loss. Since then both men have had mixed success leading into last night’s return bout. Kessler who entered the first Froch fight coming off a loss to the division’s top man Andre Ward had all he could handle with back and forth action as “The Cobra” struck often and hard, then returned the favor using superior accuracy. When the first bout ended both men’s performance had spectators on their feet cheering for more. Final scores read 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113 all for the “Viking Warrior”.
Last night the action picked up right where it left off in 2010 except it was Froch who came off to a quick start (Something he has been criticized in the past for not doing) dominating Kessler with his jab early on. Kessler in his part did a good job moving around the ring avoiding a large majority of Carl’s power shots but the volume of Froch’s jab’s played a key role. As the championship rounds arrived both were at their best, trading blows refusing to give up in inch. Several times each fighter would stun the other but neither man would go down.
After the final bell sounded both Froch and Kessler were marked up, breathing hard and seemingly happy things had ended. Froch according to punch stats threw almost twice as many overall punches with a majority being jabs yet it was Kessler who landed to most power shots at 55%!
Final scores were announced with Judge Adalaide Byrd seeing it 118-110, while Judge’s Jean-Francois Toupin and Carlos Sucre tallied their cards 115-113, 116-112 all in favor of Froch who now holds both the IBF and WBA world Super Middleweight championships. The right man won with my only complaint being the 118-110 margin, my scores read 116-112 the same as Judge Carlos Sucre. In no way can we cry robbery on the margin scored by Adalaide Byrd because in the initial meeting judge Roger Tilleman scored the bout 117-111 in favor of Kessler another score a bit too spread apart. With the scores reading as they did in both bouts and fact both fighters were given an opportunity to fight on home soil a third meeting should take place in neutral territory and declare a clear cut winner of this modern day 168lb Rivalry. In victory Froch not only garnered the WBA 168lb title to go along with his IBF crown but improved his overall resume to 31-2 (22), Kessler now stands at 46-3 (35).
In the co-feature
WBC Silver light heavyweight title holder Tony Bellew won his re-match against tough Isaac Chilemba. The first meeting between these two men was a draw scored 112-116, 114-114 and 116-115. Last night Tony retained the title with a unanimous decision after some rough moments, final tallies read 116-112, 116-112 and 117-112 in favor of the “Bomber”.
In Undercard Action
Super Middleweight George Groves 19-0 (15) remained unblemished by scoring a TKO at 0:51 of the 5th round against Noe Gonzalez Alcoba 30-3 (22).
Cruiserweight Micki Nielsen 8-0 (7) def. Paul Morris 5-17-2 via TKO at 1:28 of the 4th
Welterweight Anthony Yigit 3-0 (1) def. Dee Mitchell 9-35-1 (3) UD 4
Super Middleweight Callum Smith 6-0 (4) def. Ryan Moore 3-1 (2) via TKO 1:25 of the 1st
Jeffrey defeats Gerula to claim the IWBF Women’s Super-Featherweight Title!
By: Daxx Kahn - Ringside - May 25, 2013
Last Night in White Plains NY at the Westchester County Center Diane Fischer’s “Dee Lee Promotion’s” put on a top notch main event between unbeaten Ronica “Queen” Jeffrey and former WBC female super featherweight champion Olivia “The Predator” Gerula. Knowing the Interim IWBF Super featherweight world title would be awarded to the winner both fighters went at it hard for a complete 10 rounds as neither was willing to give their opponent an inch and in doing so each proved they had a champion’s heart inside. Referee Ron Lipton did a great job keeping up with the action and certainly earned his paycheck because the only lull came between rounds!
Jeffrey displayed a full arsenal of talent throughout the bout mixing her offense and defensive capabilities with blinding speed. During round 6 Olivia was cut over her left eye but being familiar on what it takes to become a champion she continued pursuing Ronica right up to the final bell. Despite her best efforts Olivia could not match Jeffrey’s hand speed or foot movement and though she fought like a champion only one fighter was able to leave holding the IWBF crown. Final tallies read 99-91, 99-91 and 98-92 all in favor of “Queen” Ronica. The new champion improved to 13-0, Gerula now stands at 13-14-2.
In undercard action-
Tommy “The Razor” Rainone left James “Shotgun” Winchester out of ammo when he confused the Reidsville NC resident over 6 rounds by using his superior head movement and footwork. James made an attempt at living up to his moniker as he spent the entire bout looking to land one big punch against Rainone failing miserably while doing so. The failed game plan had James walking away from ring frustrated and yelling into the crowd “I never seen anything like this before”! Winning on 2 of the 3 judge’s scorecards Tommy improved his record to 20-5 while James dropped to 15-8.
Puerto Rican heavyweight Alexis Mejias 12-9 upset the previously undefeated Ahmed “Prince of Egypt” Samir 11-1 via MD6.
Heavyweight upstart Dorsett “The Bullet” Barnwell 9-0 maintained his perfect record with a 6th round UD over Philadelphia’s David Williams 6-7-2.
Light Heavyweight Antowyan “Iceman” Aikens 7-0 def. Yasin Abdur-Rashid 7-4 UD6.
Super Featherweight Yuchua “Geico” Nieves 2-2 def. Edwin Cotto 1-1 KO3.
Lightweight Luis “Smurf” Esquilin 2-4 def. David “KO” Warrenhuffman 4-15-1 via UD4.
Fans on hand were entertained by R&B legend Walter “Bunny” Sigler prior to the in-ring action that was slightly delayed because of severe weather conditions. Bunny even had NYSAC chairperson Melvina Lathan singing along with his hits. The evening was a great start at what is reportedly going to be a regular series of boxing event’s hosted by Dee Lee Promotions.
Dee Lee Promotion’s Headlines with a Women’s World title fight Friday!
By: Daxx Khan - May 23, 2013
This Friday in White Plains, New York at the Westchester County Center Diane Fischer’s “Dee Lee Promotion’s”
Present’s a ladies interim IWBF featherweight world title headliner between undefeated Ronica Jeffrey and Olivia Gerula.
Jeffery who is on one of the hottest winning streaks in all of female boxing at the moment has thus far claimed the NABF female super featherweight title, WBC Silver female super featherweight title and interim WIBA Women's International Boxing Association super featherweight title in her 5yr professional career. Jeffery’s last bout was a shut-out victory over Natasha “The Nightmare” Spence April 12th of this year.
Olivia Gerula the former WBC female super featherweight champion has been in with some of the best female boxing has to offer. Mia St John, Maureen Shea, Jelena Mrdjenovich and Frida Wallberg are all prior opponents for the Canadian warrior. I expect this bout to be one that rivals that of any other card scheduled for this weekend in terms of quality.
The undercard will also feature a slew undefeated upstart’s in action as 11-0 cruiserweight Ahmed Samir battles Alexis Mejias, 6-0 super middleweight Antowyan Aikens steps in against Yasin Rashid and 8-0 Heavyweight Dorsett Barnwell looks for win number 9 when he faces David Williams.
Should be a great way to spend my Saturday night!
Watch out Danny Garcia, Matthysse has you set in his sights!
By: Daxx Kahn - May 20, 2013
Saturday night when Lucas Matthysse dismantled Lamont Peterson there was one observer in attendance paying closer attention than anyone else on hand and I don’t mean head of New Jersey State’s athletic commission AARON DAVIS, the man I am referring to is WBA Super World/WBC World light welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia. Fresh off his April 27th win over Zab Judah Garcia sat ringside decked out in sunglasses sizing up his two next possible foes as the winner would be next in line for a shot at his championships. When Matthysse began hurting Peterson in round 2 with even the slightest of glancing blows Danny suddenly went from interested observer to concerned champion! Perhaps the most telling moment of built up concern is when Matthysse effortlessly tossed Peterson off him during round 2 while Lamont had a Python like grip around his upper body as if Lamont was doing nothing more than annoying the Argentinian “Tattoo artist”. The unified champion’s eyes opened wide in amazement at how easily Lucas maneuvered Peterson against his will. After the bout’s 3rd and final knockdown Garcia looked none too happy at the idea he would be stepping in next against Matthysse.
Lamont Peterson is no easy task and is a legitimate world caliber fighter who holds wins over high quality opposition. Victor Manuel Cayo, Amir Khan and Kendall Holt all fell short against Peterson who beat those men in succession. The only loss on Lamont’s resume prior to Saturday was against undefeated welterweight champion Timothy Bradley and while Peterson has been down in past bouts he has always risen to fight back harder but against Matthysse he was made to look like an over matched stay busy opponent.
Lucas has suffered two close split decision losses in his career one against current IBF welterweight titlist Devon Alexander in Devon’s home State of Missouri, the other to Zab Judah a man Garcia defeated but was given his toughest career bout in doing so. Each man tasted the canvas during their bout against Matthysse, both decisions were booed by fans and disputed by a majority of boxing experts. Since those losses Lucas has won 6 straight all by stoppage over quality opposition. Reasons that can understandably put a look of concern on anyone’s face especially that of a champion who was stunned and cut against Judah a fighter that had been dubbed by many as “Shot” after being knocked out by Amir Khan prior to facing Danny.
Matthysse is the WBC light welterweight interim champion and if Garcia wants to keep his WBC world title he has no choice but to face Matthysse or lose it in the negotiating rooms. After seeing what took place in Atlantic City Saturday night, knowing Matthysse’s last 6 opponent’s haven’t made it to the scorecards and fact Lucas has his eye’s set upon taking what’s around his waist leaves in my opinion a genuine reason for Garcia to be concerned. Don’t misunderstand my words I don’t think Garcia FEARS Matthysse because he is a champion and fighter at heart, his facial features during the Peterson/Matthysse bout though tells me Peterson would have been his preferred opponent.
All I can say now is “Watch out Danny Garcia Lucas Matthysse has you in his sight and it’s not because he wants to sit you down in a chair for some tattoo work! You know the old adage in boxing “Speed Kill’s”, I am not sure if that adage applies to “Swiftness” but if it does is there better be more of it in Garcia than Lamont Peterson had “Havoc” inside of him should he expect to take out “La Máquina”.
Meanwhile I will sit hoping the fight itself produces half of what the Monikers imply.
Jones Brutalizes Lebedev, Povetkin Successful in WBA title defense!
By: Daxx Khan - May 18, 2013
Last night at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia WBA world heavyweight title holder Alexander Povetkin shocked fans across the globe by stopping the formerly undefeated WBA International heavyweight titlist Andrzej Wawrzyk at 2:28 seconds into the third round. The 6’5” Wawrzyk was considered a legitimate threat to Povetkin who has been harshly criticized for his opponent list since becoming the WBA titlist on August 27th 2011 when he outpointed Ruslan Chagaev in Germany for the vacant belt. It was not so much Alexander winning against Andrzej that shocked boxing circles but manner in which he claimed victory. Wawrzyk now stands at 27-1 (13). Povetkin improved to 26-0 (18). Perhaps this is the time for Povetkin to challenge a Klitschko brother and attempt to unify some titles on his waist.
In the co-feature a Fight of the night and without question “Fight of the year” candidate took place between WBA World cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev and Guillermo Jones. Fans were drop jawed while witnessing the 41yr old Panamanian use his superior boxing skill to abuse Lebedev’s right eye causing grotesque swelling. Jones punishment was so severe that Denis looked like Rocky Balboa after his first bout against Apollo Creed as he left the ring. Jones ended his onslaught at 1:54 of round 11. Lebedev after suffering his first KO loss now stands at 25-2 (19). Jones improved his overall resume to 39-3-2 (31) bringing home Lebedev’s WBA world title for his efforts.
In undercard action-
Middleweight Dmitry Chudinov 9(6)-0-1 remained undefeated when his opponent Grady Brewer 30(16)-16 did not answer the bell for the 4th round.
Lightweight Eduard Troyanovsky 15(12)-0 defended his divisional PABA title via KO2 over Luis Zambrano 10(9)-3.
Middleweight Alexey Stakanchikov 1-1 def. Oney Valdez 22-17-1 KO2
Middleweight Arif Magomedov 5-0 def. Segundo Herrera 4-23-2 KO3
Jean Stops Pendarvis in 4 at the Buffalo Run Casino!
By: Daxx Khan - May 11, 2013
At the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami Florida Show Box aired a card Co-Hosted by “Eye of the Tiger” management and “Greg Cohen” promotions. Main event action was an IBF Light Welterweight Title Eliminator between NABF divisional belt holder Dierry Jean and USBA 140lb belt holder Cleotis Pendarvis. Jean controlled the action easily and forced a halt to the contest at 2:01 of the 4th. Jean is now the IBF mandatory world title challenger. His resume improved to 25-0 while Pendarvis now stands at 17-4-2. Neither man’s belt was at stake.
In undercard action Light Middleweight Ahmad Cheikho stopped Shad Howard via TKO2. Ahman improved to 10-4-2 and Howard went into further decline and now stands at 14-17-3.
This might have been one of the most dis-appointing cards in terms quality that I can recall ever being aired on Showtime.
PARIS TOPS PEREZ ON ESPN’s FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHT’S
By: Daxx Khan - May 11, 2013
Live out of the Masonic Temple, in Detroit, Michigan ESPN aired its Friday Night Fight’s Series hosted by Millennium Events and Ahrens Promotion’s. The main feature had Vernon Paris seeking his second win since losing for the first time in March of last year when Zab Judah stopped him in the 9th round of an IBF Light Welterweight Title Eliminator. His opponent was the rugged Manuel Perez a fighter who has been in nothing but tough throughout his entire career against guys like Mercito Gesta, Brandon Rios and Diego Magdaleno to name a few.
The entire bout kept the same pattern one where Paris would be smothered eat big shot’s, return fire and move away from danger while clearing his head. Perez looked like some of his former opponents inside the ring such as Brandon Rios in terms of using his offense as his defense. The offense as defense style provided a more mobile Paris enough opportunities after he would reset himself once eating shots in close to score enough points and gain a win at home. The final round had both men laying all on the line as they traded back and forth with both having their moments right up to the bell.
Official scores read 97-93 | 96-94 | 98-92 all in favor of Paris raising his overall resume to 28-1, Perez now stands at 19-9-1.
In the co-feature Lightweight Cornelius Lock 22(13)-6-1 def. Lonnie Smith 14(10)-6(2)-3 via UD10. Some bad blood that started during official weigh in’s helped make this an action packed affair soon as the opening bell sounded to begin action. Smith was an aggressive fighter who pressured Lock dropping him twice. Once in the 4th then again in the 5th but like Perez during the main event Smith found himself often out boxed. After being knocked down twice Lock would come back stronger, showing he was a man who wanted the win more. His superior boxing skills added with a 1 point deduction against Smith from referee Ansel Stewart for a mouth piece infraction in round 10 would prevail and have all 3 judge’s see it 97-91 | 96-92 | 95-92 in favor of Lock.
The WBC’s New Hydration Rule- A Genuine benefit to boxing or Sulaiman Smoke Screen?
By: Daxx Khan - May 8, 2013
The human body is an amazing instrument and when taken care of properly can do things beyond anything the rational mind can fathom but there are limits. When the WBC recently announced a new rule that will only allow fighters to gain 10% of its natural weight between official weigh-ins that take place 24 hours before fight night and unofficial weigh-ins on fight day I found myself actually applauding this new rule. Something in the past I have never done in terms of a WBC implemented decision after all this is an organization that creates bogus titles from thin air just to please a promoter or create financial gain. While the rule was created to cut down on an influx of fighters coming in 15 or even 20lbs heavier than their perspective divisions weight limit lessening backlash from the media and fans it will improve over all safety for fighters.
When we hear about a fighter weighing 20lbs more than his opponent on fight night normally the first concern is for the smaller man and his having to deal with a size dis-advantage. If he wins the victory becomes all the more credible should he lose then it wasn’t his fault because “A good big man will always beat a good little man”. Rarely do we hear discussion on the danger’s risked by the fighter who came into the bout dehydrated or dealing with a recent dehydration issue. Make no mistake about it any fighter who gains 20lbs overnight is recovering from dehydration or is still dehydrated and it takes more than 24 hours to fully recuperate from an extended bout of dehydration. While the new WBC rule is meant to keep both men at near an equal size so neither has an unfair advantage believe it or not the man who is recovering from the extensive weight loss is more likely to be the one at a dis-advantage because they are not at peak capacity entering the bout.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized for dehydration and thousands die from complications, those people are not professional prize fighters pushing their body beyond its limits for 36 minutes. Fighters stepping in the ring with severe dehydration or recovering from dehydration chance serious injury or even death. Below I am going to give some examples of what can happen when dehydrated and how it can affect a fighter inside the ring. Using the 5-10% dehydration amounts that cause most people to be hospitalized or even die from its side effects each year.
If a Cruiserweight fighter weighed in at the 200lb limit during official weigh in’s then 210lbs on fight day he regained 5% of his body weight back (about the average for fighters of this era). If the body has a 5% hydration loss for extended periods of time or on a repetitive basis it can suffer any or all of the following-
•Increased heart rate •Increased respiration- Increased heart rate and respirations can make you not only tire easily but cause heart arrhythmia.
•Decreased sweating- Decreased sweating does not allow the body to cool down between rounds, the body sweats to bring its body temperature to normal limits.
•Increased body temperature- Added with the decrease in sweating and inability to cool off as stated above extra effort is put on the other organs to perform their functions.
•Extreme fatigue- A tired fighter is one who cannot defend themselves properly
•Muscle cramps- Makes it hard for a fighter to move and throw punches properly often taking away their best arsenal, muscle cramps are one of the most common complaints we hear happen to a fighter as they age.
•Headaches, •Nausea- Concentration
•Tingling of the limbs- Makes it hard to judge how much power you are landing with, place feet properly due to not feeling placement on the mat causing clumsiness.
Entering at 220lbs means that the fighter was at a 10% dehydration rate the maximum before dehydration alone can be fatal. At that percentage one or more of the following can take place to the fighter during or after his bout.
•Confusion- Making it hard to adjust to your opponents onslaught when needed
•Seizures- Full body spasms that can be fatal and become a permanent neurological disorder. The brain is made of almost entirely water and sits on a bed of fluid, a dehydrated body often means much of that fluid is also taken away from the brains natural setting. Over time the blows absorbed in boxing can do enough damage to the brain on its own, this only adds to the severity of those injuries.
•Dim vision- If you cannot see the blows coming how can you defend them?
•Unconsciousness- A fighter who is suffering or has recently suffered from dehydration that is knocked out can remain that way for a longer period time increasing the danger of the knockout possibly depriving the brain of vital oxygen
According to new WBC regulations the following is the maximum a fighter can weigh on fight day IF they weighed in at the divisions limit then on fight day-
105 – Minimumweight – 115.5 108 – Light flyweight – 118.8
112 – Flyweight – 123.2 115 – Super flyweight – 126.5
118 – Bantamweight – 129.8 122 – Super bantamweight -134.2
126 – Featherweight – 138.6 130 – Super featherweight – 143
135 – Lightweight – 148.5 140 – Super lightweight – 154
147 – Welterweight – 161.7 154 – Super welterweight – 169.4
160 – Middleweight – 176 168 – Super middleweight – 184.8
175 – L-Heavyweight- 192.5 200 – Cruiserweight – 220
The only weight class with an exemption is heavyweight due to there being no weight limit (Though there should still be a 10% maximum between weigh-ins because dehydration is the same regardless at least this is a start) Question is now “Will the WBC continue sticking with this rule or once financial gain is to be made the rule becomes abandoned?” To break out the “Broken Record” response only time will tell. Right now hat’s off to Jose Sulaiman and the World Boxing Council for making an effort hopefully others follow suit! Never thought I would find myself saying those words but this is boxing and ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN! Even giving the WBC credit for something well done.
Body maker Colosseum
WBA WORLD TITLE Double Header to take place in Japan’s “Bodymaker Colosseum” This Wednesday!
By: Daxx Khan - May 7, 2013
This Wednesday Ioka Promotions will play host as they present a WBA World light flyweight and Minimumweight title double header at a venue whose name alone makes you think “Someone’s Going Down”. Osaka Japan’s Body Maker Colosseum! The main event features former WBC/WBA minimumweight champion 24 year old Kazuto Ioka making the first defense of his WBA World light flyweight title won on December 31st 2012 after he stopped then interim belt holder Jose Alfredo Rodriguez via TKO6 to fill the vacant position. Kazuto who also holds a win over highly regarded former world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai lays his championship and unblemished 11-0 (7) record down against veteran challenger Wisanu Kokietgym of Thailand.
The event’s co-feature will have the man who picked up Ioka’s vacated WBA World minimumweight title undefeated Ryo Miyazaki 18-0-3 (10) looking to make his first defense of that championship as he faces Rugged Mexican warrior Carlos Velarde 23-2-1 (13) . The 22 year old Mexican will be fighting away from home for the very first time in his career.
On the undercard scheduled for action is 12-0 super flyweight prospect Sho Ishida, 140lb prospect and KO artist Masao Nakamura whose 14 wins have all come inside the distance.
The names or venue may not be familiar to American fans but these fights are ones to look for once available on international television. The Bodymaker Colosseum is famous for the legendary Sumo matches that have taken place there and is also the venue that matches in Nintendo’s Victorious Boxers video game are conducted. Log-On Thursday for the event’s results!
ESPN Friday Night Fight’s Result’s From Thursday
By: Daxx Khan - May 3, 2013
Since Monday Billy C’s show “TalkinBoxing” has been airing from 5:00-7:00pm instead of its normal early AM timeslot to broadcast a “Mayweather versus Guerrero” fight week special. He hasn’t been the only one rearranging his normal programming schedule this week to accommodate for Saturday night’s upcoming action. Last night ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s altered their usual broadcast slot and presented this week’s edition a day early.
Shown out of Corona, California and presented by Thompson Boxing fans watched light welterweight’s Mauricio Herrera and Ji-Hoon Kim go at in the main event with the winner having hopes they would return to relevance as players at 140lbs.
Mauricio Herrera entered the contest coming off 2 consecutive decision losses one against Karim Mayfield in Oct 2012 the other against Mike Alvarado in April of 2012. Ji-Hoon Kim’s last fight was a loss to Raymundo Beltran via unanimous decision on 12-6-12 in an NABF lightweight title bid.
In the main event Kim known to be explosive but reckless attempted those same tactics that have garnered him the Moniker “Volcano” as he looked to bring Herrera into a war but was out boxed easily throughout the night. Herrera could not miss with a punch if he tried. When the scores were read after the final bell sounded Judge’s Max DeLuca and Patrick Connolly seen things 91-99 while Judge Marty Denkin had it 92-98 all in favor of Herrera who improved to 19(7)-3. Kim dropped to 24-9
Fan’s witnessed an exciting co-feature between former WBA lightweight champion Miguel Acosta and tough Miguel Gonzalez in a bout that had each man taking a visit to the canvas. Gonzalez went down in the 2nd and Acosta round 5. Gonzalez was also cut over his left eye in the 8th from an accidental head butt. Despite some adversity Gonzalez was able to outbox the former titlist winning a unanimous decision by scores of 96-92, 97-91 and 95-93. Gonzalez raised his over-all resume to 21(15)-3, Miguel Acosta loses his third straight dropping to 29-7-2.
In reported undercard action- Featherweight Richard Contreras 10-1-1 def. Jose Iniguez 6-16 via KO at 0:57 of round two.
Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne abuses James Toney over 12
By: Daxx Khan - April 29, 2013
When I first heard this fight had been signed visions of Roy Jones Juniors embarrassing 2009 venture to Australia when he was blown out by an average Danny Green ran through my mind along with the thought “Here we go another aged former great looking for a win over an untested younger fighter hoping his faded skillset will be compensated by enough ring experience to garner a win on foreign soil just to end up embarrassed and dominated.” That thought proved valid because Lucas Browne the 6’4” KO artist out of Perth, Western Australia abused James Toney like an unwanted house guest!
Browne not only outsized Toney but imposed a stronger will for the entire affair, snapping James head side to side, back and front with almost every punch landed. Lucas’s non-stop onslaught often made blood from Toney’s mouth fly across the ring as if it were a scene from Rocky. When the 7th round started I found myself wishing the fight would be stopped out of fear for James safety but Toney being Toney continued on and his granite chin would not allow Lucas a win by stoppage. The judge’s final verdict reflected how a truly one-sided affair this was as official scores read 117-111, 119-108 and 120-108 all in favor of Browne. The 117-111 score handed in by Judge Andrew Campbell was actually generous toward the former 5 division titlist. Toney’s overall record now stands at 74-8 (45) as Browne improved to 16-0 (14).
In undercard action-
Former world heavyweight title challenger Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson scored a TKO victory over Solomon Haumono when referee Tony Marretta stopped the contest at 2:53 of the 10th. Haumono now stands at 20-2-2 while Johnson improves to 29-3-1 (14).
Daniel “The Doberman” Ammann 28-5-1 (6) defended his Australian cruiserweight title against Kane Watts 9-2 via UD with scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 97-91. Watts was down in the 9th.
In a battle of “Goliath’s” 6′ 7½″ Romanian born Las Vegas based heavyweight Razvan Cojanu improved to 6-1 (3) when he stopped 6′ 6″ New Zealand based opponent 6′ 6″ Paula Mataele 7-1-1 (6) at 2:40 of round 3.
Super middleweight Jake Carr 4-0 (2) def. Joel Bourke 15-24-2 UD6.
Light welterweight Qamil Balla 4-0-1 (3) def. Jay Thompson 0-2 via TKO 2:26 RD1
Light welterweight’s Matthew Lytwynenko 9-2-4 (5) and Singsiam Kokietgym 6-2-1 (6) fought to a 6rd draw. (Singsiam reportedly fought under the alias Tom Ford)
Heavyweight Joe Lloyd 2-3 (2) def. Anton Tuilotolava 0-7 via TKO 1:36 of the 1st.
Sergio Martinez vs. Martin Murray official Weigh-in Result’s
By: Daxx Khan - April 26, 2013
Middleweight Kingpin and pound for pound ranked Sergio Martinez along with his challenger undefeated British middleweight Martin Murray both stepped on the scales a short while ago for their HBO broadcast bout scheduled to take place tomorrow night in Buenos Aires Argentina in front of a scheduled 20,000 live fans. The Champion Martinez weighed an official 159.4lbs and his challenger Murray 159.6lbs. Each man appeared to be in great shape as fans in attendance clamored at the Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center to see their favorite boxing star for the first time in over a decade finish off his last minute particular’s before tomorrow night’s faceoff at the Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield soccer stadium in Buenos Aires.
Martinez 50- 2-2 (28) appeared unaffected by the crowd in attendance cheering his name as did challenger Murray 25-0-1 (11) who also appeared focused on nothing else but what will take place inside the ring just 24 hours from now.
Martinez still calling for a knockout victory stated to the press before stepping on the scales “I have prepared myself harder than ever for this fight, I left my life in each training session. Do my knees hurt? Of course they hurt. What about my ankle that the doctors repaired 6 bones in? My Elbow and shoulder that have been injured? They all hurt. It doesn’t matter I feel quick, strong, powerful, explosive and bigger than ever! I will get inside the ring and get the job done I will do what have to do. I know Murray is prepared as well and an interim champion but he is not A CHAMPION regardless of what people might say. This weekend I will be better than ever I have extreme motivation.” Martinez closed his statements by saying
“I am eager to conquer the world no matter what Ricky Hatton has to say. I thank him for accepting this fight and I am sorry he will see his protégé go down on his knees. The fight will be decided from the 7th round on and like the legendary Roberto Duran used to say Let’s talk after the 8th round.”
Follow us on Twitter during the action @TalkinBoxing for round by round updates and breakdowns.
Canelo Beats Trout- Are we seeing the modern era of a Mexican legend?
By: Daxx Khan - April 20, 2013
Saturday night in San Antonio Texas boxing witnessed the most anticipated showdown between two undefeated 154lb champions since Felix Trinidad’s 12th round TKO over Fernando Vargas on December 2nd 2000 when the divisions WBA title holder Austin “No Doubt” Trout and WBC titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez laid their perspective belts down in hopes of declaring a definitive boss of the division. The duo failed in disappointing those in attendance or watching around the globe with their performance.
Trout established his jab early controlling the tempo for much of the affair causing Alvarez to show a whole new side to his arsenal “Defense”. The 22 year old Mexican star up until Saturday night has always been the aggressor in bouts but he has also normally been the bigger or younger fighter sometimes both while Trout is 5 years older at 27 he is far from being past his prime and is physically a naturally bigger man. While Saul spent a fair portion of the bout using his head movement to avoid Trout’s “Punches in Bunches” the shots he landed certainly had a more visible effect in terms of damage and Austin’s facial expressions were point proven. In round 7 Trout was put on the canvas for the first time in his career and hurt several times during the bouts remainder even bleeding from his mouth during round 8, Alvarez uppercut would snap Austin’s head back every time it landed causing the crowd to erupt with excitement. At no time did Austin ever look dejected or differ from the game plan his team had set going in nor was there a reason to because he was fighting the best fight he possibly could. In the 12th round Trout did show a slight sign of “Desperation” but that was more due to the open scoring system that had him down on all cards (one by an unreasonable margin) and opened up for what it was worth he just did not possess the power to close the show with one or even a combination of landed shots.
The end result had Alvarez winning by unanimous decision as Judge’s Rey Danseco scored it 115-112, Oren Shellenberger 116-111 and Stanley Christodoulou 118-109. Scores were not overly off with the exception of Christodoulou who must have been watching another fight on his laptop. I had the bout scored 115-113 in favor or Alvarez. In his post-fight interview Trout showed class in accepting the defeat and credited Alvarez for his performance. I expect to see Austin return soon and remain a top name at 154lbs his performance showed no reason to think otherwise. In his win Canelo erased any questions on his legitimacy and we should expect him to move onto bigger and better things. Perhaps the most impressive part of Alvarez’s win is he proved not only is he a true Mexican warrior in mentality but is one with a rounded skillset who does not need to rely on power alone for victory and if he continues improving we will see a modern era of a Mexican legend unfold before us. Saul Alvarez improved to 42-0 (30) and is now the WBC/WBA and Ring Magazine 154lb champion. Trout dropped to 26-1 (14).
In undercard action- lightweight Omar Figueroa improved to 21-0-1 (17) while capturing the division’s vacant WBC Silver and NABA belts by blowing out formerly unbeaten Abner Cotto 16(7)-0 via first round KO.
Super bantamweight Andres Gutierrez improved to 26(22)-0-1 by stopping Salvador Sanchez 30(18)-6(2)-3 via 5th round TKO to claim the vacant WBC Silver super bantamweight title.
Super flyweight Ivan Morales 21(13)-0 def. Raul Hidalgo 19-8 UD 8
Light middleweight Julian Williams 12(6)-0 def. Dashon Johnson 14-11-3 TKO 3
Light middleweight Jermall Charlo 13(8)-0 def. Orlando Lora 29(19)-4(2)-2 RTD 4
Super bantamweight Omar Gonzalez 6(1)-8(3) upset former IBO world Super Flyweight title holder Raul Martinez 29-3-0 via SD 4
Super featherweight Miguel Flores 11(6)-0 def. Guadalupe De Leon 8(4)-14(2) SD4
Super middleweight Terrell Gausha 4-0 def. Will Walters 0-4 UD4
Terrazas defeats Mijares in Mexico over 12rds to claim WBC super-bantamweight title
By: Daxx Khan - April 20, 2013
In Mexico City WBC Silver super bantamweight champion Victor Terrazas defeated former IBF super flyweight title holder Cristian Mijares in a close 12 round contest to claim the vacant WBC super-bantamweight title. Throughout the bout both fighters had their moments and left the judges with difficult task of choosing a clear cut winner. Judge Cathy Leonard seen things in favor of Mijares with scores of 113-114 while judge’s Nathan Palmer seen it 115-112 and Fernando Barboza it 114-113.
In other action former WBO featherweight title holder Juan Manuel Lopez 33-2 (30) scored a TKO win at 0:59 of the second round over Eugenio Lopez 31-25-1.
Middleweight Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez 25(20)-0 stopped Juan De Angel 9(9)-3-1 at 2:06 of the third round.
Super flyweight Jonathan Gonzalez 13-0 (11) remained unbeaten with a UD over Francisco Perez 7-3-1 with scores of 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75
Bantamweight McJoe Arroyo 13(7)-0 continued his rise toward title contention by outpointing Jairo Hernandez 9(3)-3(1) with final tallies reading 78-73, 77-74 and 76-75
Photo By: Bret Khan
Tracy Patterson Putting Hyland back on Track “Old School” Style!
By: Daxx Kahn - April 19, 2013
When I pulled into Absolute Auto Wednesday to have repairs done on my wife’s SUV I glanced toward the window of a room extended onto the shop that in the past I remember always being empty. My eyes blinked twice because there appeared to be a boxing ring set up. After speaking with Al the shop’s owner about what repairs I needed done on my wife’s vehicle curiosity got the best of me so I headed toward a side entrance that leads into the extended room. Despite half expecting to feel like an idiot and finding nothing more than some tow chains hanging up once I got there I chanced it anyways. Since my brain is more often than not in “Everything leads to boxing” mode between the hours of 5am and 7pm, hours I normally chase the sports up to the minute news sadly enough I would not have been shocked in the least if when I entered the room that was the case.
After opening the door instead of feeling like an idiot that mistook tow chains for ring ropes I was surprised to see former two division world champion Tracy Patterson and his protégé former interim WBA World featherweight title challenger Patrick Hyland 27(12)-1 hard at work preparing for Hyland’s upcoming May 18th bout. The room itself had no modern frills what so ever, looking around all I could see was a ring, speed bag, heavy bag, punch mitts, timer and other minimum basics needed to properly prepare for a bout. In other word’s Patterson and Hyland were training “Old School”!
As I stood watching the duo’s mitt routine almost immediately I noticed the overly hot temperature they were working out in. Within minutes sweat started to bead on my forehead making me wonder to myself “If I am sweating by just standing here why of all places did they pick this location to train?” Seconds later the timer sounded to end a round of punch mitt work and while Hyland used the break to grab a drink before the next session began I took advantage of the time to talk with Patterson.
During our brief conversation we spoke about how camp was going, what went wrong December 8th of last year when Hyland lost his first professional fight via unanimous decision when he faced Javier Fortuna for the WBA interim featherweight world championship and what the future holds for both if successful next month. Here is how our conversation went.
BILLY C BOXING- Tracy good to speak with you, I did not expect to find you and Patrick hard at work here of all places. How is camp going?
TRACY PATTERSON- Camp is going great, we are really picking things up now as the May 18th date gets closer. Patrick is looking to redeem himself after his loss last December out in Vegas to Javier Fortuna.
BCB- What did you guys learn in that loss to Fortuna in terms of things that need to be worked on inside the gym?
TP- I think it was more of Patrick being drawn in by being on a big stage for the first time that hampered him more than anything. He could probably explain himself better than I could. It was a good learning experience for him. Right now he is looking to get back in there and do it again.
BCB- I noticed that you guys have been working on some head movement and slipping punches. I don’t remember seeing much head movement or slipping of punches from Patrick in the Fortuna fight. In fact I don’t really remember those being his strong suits in any of his past fights. Are those aspects something you decided to concentrate on in camp due to the Fortuna loss?
TP- I think Patrick and I are more comfortable working with each other now. The more comfortable you get with a fighter the more you can teach him. We want him to have a more rounded defense especially now as he steps up in competition. Along with the improved defense we want to have him throw combinations after he avoids punches. I think on May 18th everyone will see an improved version of Patrick Hyland.
BCB- I often hear trainers here in the States say they have difficulties transitioning European fighters to have a more fluent American based style. Especially ones who have amateur backgrounds. On the other hand I have heard them also say they have difficulty transitioning European fighters who like to come in recklessly without regard for defense. Has either ever been an issue with Patrick since you have worked with him?
TP- Boxing is boxing, if a fighter is willing to learn like Patrick is its easy. Plus Patrick’s Father did a great job with him as an amateur on up to the professional ranks. Right now it’s just fine tuning getting him to do little different things. We are not trying to overload him all at once. A few things at a time and so far he is doing well.
BCB- His offense is great do you ever think he is a bit too brave for his own good? A fair example to what I am trying to get at would be how guys such as John Duddy and Andy Lee. Who both tried more to please the crowd them themselves by making sure they get the win even if not always in exciting fashion.
TP- No I don’t that is the case with Patrick. He showed that in the Fortuna fight once he realized Fortuna had enough power to possibly hurt him. Patrick used more defense, he evaded punches and did not just stand there, in fact I think maybe later on he became too defensive and it cost him the fight. During those last 3 or 4 rounds when he should have turned it up more to get over that hump on the cards he stayed defensive. Like I said though it was a learning experience and I think he learned a lot from that. He will be ready soon for the big stage again and prove he can do this at a high level.
BCB- If the phone rang tomorrow and a title shot was offered against any of the current champions at featherweight which champion do you think he would match up best with?
TP- I don’t think it would matter but we are going for the USBA title on the 18th of May and that will put us in a good position to go after the IBF title. Evgeny Gradovich is a tough fighter and Patrick would match up well against him.
BCB- As his trainer it sounds like you are pleased with the progress Patrick has shown in the gym since the Fortuna bout.
TP-Yes I am it was a little bit bumpy in the beginning because we had to adjust to a new gym but once we did things have gone very well.
BCB- You guys are going old school style here, as everyone else is looking for the comfortable modern facilities you two are working out in classic Kronk or Gleason’s atmosphere. No AC, no fancy dressing rooms, I am sweating just standing here talking with you. What made you decide to set up a small place out of the way when you could have easily went to a modern facility?
TP- That’s what working out is all about. We headed to the dungeon and the guys who come out of the dungeon usually come out ahead later on because they put in the hard work. This place is perfect for us it’s a nice area, we don’t have people coming in and out there are no distractions so we can focus on putting in the work. We are thankful to Al for letting us set up here.
BCB- Out of the fighters you have worked with over the years where would you put Patrick in terms of natural ability?
TP- I put him up there but I don’t always judge the fighter by natural ability but by the size of his heart and willingness to learn. In that sense I put him up with guys like Raymond Joval and Monte Barrett. He is willing to go into the gym and work hard every time he is in the gym. When a fighter is willing to put the work in they can achieve bigger goals.
BCB- If successful May 18th do you know if there is anything set up in terms of an immediate fight?
TP- I know there will be bigger and better things but I like to concentrate on one fight at a time. Right now the only fight we are concentrating on is this one coming up on May 18th. Take care of one before worrying about another and we can stay focused more on winning.
BCB- Well the champ you seem to have things in perspective and know what goals are set ahead to conquer. Thanks for speaking with me and I’ll see you fight night.
TP- OK talk to you then
Alicia “Slick” Ashley- Headed into boxing history Gleason’s Style
By: Daxx Khan - April 3, 2013
Ask Alicia Ashley why she transitioned from “Kick Boxing” to traditional boxing and more than likely you will jokingly hear “Because I am lazy and I don’t have to use my feet”. That of course is a hard line to buy when in boxing circles you’re known as “Slick”. The real reason is that like many Kick-Boxers and MMA participants she started using “Traditional” boxing training as a way to improve her hand striking ability. While doing as we have seen on several occasions the sport stuck with her, though I can’t name any other former MMA fighters or Kick-Boxers who have transitioned do so with the level of success Ashley has. In fact there are only a limited few fighters period over the last decade that can claim to possess her resume of achievements.
During a 4yr amateur tenure Ashley won NYC Golden Gloves championships in 1996, 97 and 98. USA Boxing National Gold Medals at 125lbs in 1997 and 1998, a 125lb title in 1997 during the first USA Boxing Women's National Amateur Championships. Then rounded it all off in May of 1998 by winning the 125lb division championship at the Women's National and Senior Junior Olympic Championships. Eight months later on January 29th 1999 Ashley brought that momentum with her to the professional circuit and has yet to look back.
Once turning pro her skills developed while fighting as an amateur combined with footwork that is partially credited to her background in dance before entering competition fighting allowed Ashley to bring the Women’s professional boxing scene something that it had not yet seen a defensive “Hit and don’t be hit” style. Prior to her debut genuinely skilled female fighters were limited to power punching offensive masters Lucia Rijker, Ann Wolfe, Laila Ali and Chevelle Hallback. The rest were either promoter protected Euro fighters who never fought away from home or sloppy undercard brawlers that had some sort of promoter “Gimmick” to entice mainstream attention. It’s been the “Hit and don’t be hit” style that has allowed longevity on a world championship level in Alicia’s career to extend beyond that of the other top female fighters who turned professional during the same time. At 45yrs old the current WBC female super bantamweight world title holder is boxing’s second oldest active major sanctioning body world champion, just behind IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins.
On April 20th at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Ashley will be defending her title against Chanttall Martinez. It will be the 13th world title fight she has taken part in. Being a champion on the road is nothing new to Ashley because all but 2 of her title fights have been outside the United States. Something else very few active champions Male or Female can claim to be “A world Champion who defends their titles around the world”. Win or lose April 20th she won’t be looking at retirement anytime soon, since she is rarely hit flush and has never been knocked off her feet her body has yet to show any physical effects from years of in ring activity. When I mentioned if she had any plans of retirement during a phone conversation she replied “I don’t feel 45, I am in great shape and can still physically do everything I could when I first started, So long as my body is able to perform there no reason to stop anytime soon”. She also followed up by stating when her body tells her its time she will not be one of those fighters who looks to hang around longer than they should.
When the time comes for Canastota’s “International boxing Hall of Fame” to start placing female fighters on yearly ballots I am certain Alicia Ashley will be a first ballot entrant. Despite being a true student of the game that states “There is always something more to learn” if she retired tomorrow her place in this sports history is already cemented. 12 championship bouts, world title reigns at Featherweight, Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight against opponents who to date have a combined 226-57-20 record, puts Alicia “Slick” Ashley in an elite category. So much that if you ever have the opportunity to enter “Gleason’s World Famous Gym” aside from seeing fighters training in every square inch of open space , pictures, fight posters and press clippings from past greats posted on the walls you will notice banners hanging from the ceiling. On the right side of the gym if you are facing that “Famous Yellow Sign” penned by the poet Virgil so many decades ago to lace up the gloves if you have the courage there will be a banner that says. “Gleason’s Gym Home of WBC World Champion Alicia Ashley”. Proving she is not only one of the best female fighters to date but a true “Lady of Gleason’s Gym.”
Robert Guerrero arrested for possession of a firearm at JFK
By: Daxx Khan - March 28, 2013
New York: - Five Time Multi-Division World Champion, Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, who is scheduled to face Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 4th for the WBC Welterweight Title was arrested this morning, on charges of possessing a firearm, while trying to board a return flight home to Gilroy, CA from New York's JFK International Airport. According to Ron Marsico with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police, Guerrero was attempting to check the gun in at the Delta Boarding Desk, when the arrest occurred. According to sources at the TSA, the issue was more than likely the manner in which Guerrero had the weapon packed for transport as across the country not the fact Guerrero possessed the weapon. Every jurisdiction differs in requirements for weapon transport.
MAKE NOTE: In no way, shape or form was Guerrero attempting to hide the firearm from authorities or board the plane without notifying authorities that the firearm was in his possession. As of the moment the Queens County District Attorney's Office is still deciding on which manner and degree they are going to file formal charges if any. Guerrero is licensed in the state of California to carry a firearm.
Log back onto www.BillyCBoxing.com tomorrow for full details , tune into TalkinBoxing with Billy C TV& Radio Show tomorrow morning to hear what Billy C has to say on what took place. Follow us on Twitter @TalkinBoxing for updates on this story as they happen
TYSON FURY PROMISE’S TO PUNISH CUNNINGHAM AT THE GARDEN
By: Daxx Kahn - March 20, 2013
On April 20th highly regarded and undefeated European heavyweight Tyson Fury makes his American debut when he faces former cruiserweight kingpin Steve “USS” Cunningham in New York City’s “Madison Square Garden”.
There was talk of a much anticipated showdown between Fury and fellow countryman David Price with the winner being a likely successor to the heavyweight throne currently ruled by long time division “King” Wladimir Klitschko. Price’s KO loss last month against former 2 time Klitschko victim aged American contender Tony “The Tiger” Thompson removed any genuine interest in that showdown, leaving Fury to look Westward for recognition outside Great Britain. While Fury holds a 6 inch height and 30plus pound weight advantage over Cunningham, “USS” is by far the best “Pure” boxer Tyson has met to date.
Last week I spoke with Tyson on his upcoming bout, asked his thoughts about Price’s loss against Thompson and where in his opinion he stands currently as possible contender for a Klitschko title shot. Never at a loss for words Fury had plenty to say about those topics and more.
Daxx Kahn- Tyson your United States debut is coming up on April 20th, when did you arrive from the UK for preparations?
Tyson Fury- I arrived in Canada about a week or so ago, I have doing some training at Casino Lac-Leamy in Ottawa for this fight, I’ll be going to New York Wednesday night.
DK- What happened at your recent press conference with Steve? I was unable to attend but according to reports received there was some commotion.
TF- I spoke my mind and he did not like it, he knows now that he is in for a real fight on April 20th.
DK- Do you think you got into his head with what was said? People have been questioning the confidence level of Steve going into this fight; he has lost 3 of his last 4 and been on the canvas a total of 3 times in two of those fights. He really is yet to get comfortable as a heavyweight did you plan on getting under his skin going into the conference or did it just workout that way?
TF- No like I said I just spoke my mind it happened to get under his skin and Nazeem Richardson’s, you would think that Richardson was going into the ring and not Steve with how he reacted.
DK- This will be your first time fighting in America are you excited to be able and showcase your talent’s live for American fans?
TF- Definitely, We have been talking about fighting in NY for quite some time now. In the past all the best fighters from Britain have come to America to fight, if all goes well we are looking to come right back again and fight somewhere else in the States.
DK- There was anticipation circling on a possible showdown between David Price and yourself. That would have been a very big fight in terms of not only a payday but indication who might take reign after the Klitschko brother’s departure. You must have been disappointed when he was stopped by Tony Thompson.
TF- No not really because he saved me a job, I am disappointed that a so-called prospect was taken out like that, an upcoming young fighter should not be getting taken out by a 40yr old man.
DK- If your saying that Thompson saved you a job and Price should not have been taken out by a 40yr old fighter I am guessing you did not think all that much of David in terms of a “Legit” prospect, am I correct in that assumption?
TF- No I don’t think he ever was I always said Price was a “FRAUD”! He has gotten by this far on goodwill and his promoter Frank Warren getting him the right kind of fights EASY fights. Soon as he stepped up he was knocked out so “GOOD RIDDANCE” to him. If he got knocked out by a 40yr old man he was not going much further anyway. If I was knocked out by a 40yr old man I would pack it in tomorrow!
DK- Speaking of knockouts do you think in order to impress American boxing fans you need to knockout Steve Cunningham on April 20th?
TF- Well I am not here to play games, STEVE CUNNINGHAM WILL BE KNOCKEDOUT! I have a good trainer we are prepared and when I fight Steve he is going to get knocked out. It’s all going to be good.
DK- After this upcoming bout against Cunningham should you win do you have your eyes set on anyone else in particular as your next step toward securing a world title shot?
TF- After this I am looking at Klitschko that’s who I want and I will chase him around the earth until he fights me.
DK- Since both Klitschko’s hold world titles does it matter which brother gets in the ring?
TF- I really don’t consider Vitaly much of a fighter anymore he is an old man who should retire. I WANT WLADIMIR but if Vitaly wants to step in the ring first I’ll take him.
DK- The last British heavyweight who promised to dethrone Wladimir demanding he get a title shot and chased the champion around David Haye embarrassed himself once he received that opportunity. Most feel he “Talked” himself into a bout against Klitschko. Haye by then unlike yourself was an already accomplished champion, are you trying to do the same by claiming you will chase Klitschko around until he fights you? If Wladimir accepted the challenge tomorrow and you lost that would cause quite a bit of damage to the future credibility of British heavyweights.
TF- Haye won the WBA title good for him; I am not really interested in any of that, I consider myself an “Irish” heavyweight not a British heavyweight. When I fight Wladimir I am going to do a knockout job on him it’s just a matter of time. I know that and he knows that, everyone knows that! I am the new “King” of the division a “King” in waiting.
DK- Even if you win against Steve what makes you worthy of a fight against Klitschko? I should say what makes you think you are ready for Klitschko.
TF- I know I am ready right now! Anyplace, Anytime, Anywhere I don’t care if it is Germany, Las Vegas, England, Australia, Africa or even Madison Square Garden. All he has to do is step in the ring and if he won’t fight me after I finish up with Cunningham he should retire.
DK- OK that really did not answer the question but before declaring yourself the next King of the division there is a guy over here everyone is looking highly upon named Bryant “By By” Jennings who might differ with your opinion. If you are looking to return to America and fight soon after the Cunningham bout should you be successful against Steve what about a showdown against him?
TF- Definitely, once I win the title I want to fight them all Jennings, Johnathon Banks, Deontay Wilder all the European fighters. Line them up and I will knock them out. I am the best fighter on the planet right now, I don’t want bums. The only reason I am fighting Steve Cunningham in America is because he was the only one willing to take the fight. So here we are, Steve Cunningham deserves credit for taking the fight.
DK- If and when you win a world title will you be a champion who defends abroad? These last few years it seems many champions despite the division want fights only on home soil.
TF- I will defend my title everywhere. I want to fight in America, China, Japan, Germany, South Africa a world champion fights around the world and that’s what I intend to do.
DK- Well you sound confident now it’s just a matter of living up to the promises and boast you have made. Best of luck to you.
TF- Take it easy.
Fury certainly can talk the talk now it’s just a matter of walking the walk. Since we spoke last Friday Tony Thompson has heard of comments Fury has made about him throughout the media and stated the following.
“He is a big man with a big mouth and no balls. He flaps his mouth being disrespectful to everyone yet he didn't have the balls to face his fellow countryman David Price who I managed to stop in two rounds. If I get in the ring with him I will serve him the same punishment. He carries on like he is already champion of the world when let's face it, who has he fought? I have a sneaking suspicion Cunningham is going to box his ears off and expose him for the fraud he is”
Looks like Tyson has talked himself into some other business to deal with like it or not before getting into the ring with Klitschko if he gets by Cunningham next month.
The Ladies of Gleason’s
Keisher “Fire” McLeod-Wells The only “Diva” who’s not all about herself!
By: Daxx Kahn - March 18, 2013
If you’re a follower of boxing and the name “Gleason’s” surfaces it’s nearly impossible not to think of all those legendary fighters that have spent countless hours inside preparing for bouts. Should you be looking to become a fighter and learn your lessons the “Old School” way Gleason’s gym is still “The Place to Be”. No frill’s or fancy equipment just a will to learn and desire to succeed.
Inside hangs a yellow sign with words painted on it penned by the poet Virgil that states “"Now whoever has courage, and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace up his gloves, and put up his hands." Those words were penned in reference to men and at the time they were written boxing was an all-male sport but today women are making their mark as well. Gleason’s gym has a group of ladies there that accepted the challenge Virgil put out all those years ago.
Multi-time NYC Golden Gloves champion, National USA amateur gold medalist and current WBC female super bantamweight champion Alicia “Slick” Ashley.
Former multi-time NYC Golden Gloves champion, currently undefeated and #1 world rated professional female heavyweight Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis.
Former 2011 USA national, 2012 NYC Golden Gloves champion and undefeated professional Heather “The Heat” Hardy.
Four time NY Golden Gloves and two-time Ringside world amateur champion “The boxing Diva” Keisher McLeod-Wells.
Each train inside those historic wall’s with every bit of heart as any man who has perfected his craft under the Gleason’s Credo. These ladies have left their mark on Gleason’s and over the next few weeks I will be profiling each individually because as fighters they deserve recognition for leaving a piece of themselves behind in every performance.
Recently I spoke with Keisher who first became involved with boxing as a way to build muscle tone after being turned down for a role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The Terminator” due to not fitting the part physically. Despite landing other acting roles afterwards boxing seemed to be her calling and she has 12 amateur championships to prove it. Her most recent professional bout on February 21st was dedicated to the memory of her younger sister Bronique who passed away after being a victim of gun violence during the fall of 2012. Despite the pressure of having her Mother in attendance, TV cameras running and emotions high she won a unanimous decision over Jacqueline Park.
During our conversation we spoke of her last bout, what it’s like being part of Gleason’s on a daily basis, being a mentor in the “Give a Kid a Dream” program and plans for the future. Here is how it went.
Daxx Kahn- Keisher thanks for taking time out to speak with me. You auditioned for a role in the Terminator movie and were turned down due to not looking the part physically. That’s when you became involved with boxing. Originally it was way for you to change your physique and add muscle tone; did you have any interest in boxing prior to then?
Keisher McLeod Wells- No not really, of course I knew about fighters like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson but that was about it. I played other sports growing up, I was not into boxing.
DK- How does boxing compare to your modeling and acting career? Has one helped benefit the others?
KMW- One benefit is that always being here at the gym keeps me in shape. Since I have been boxing it has opened doors for other jobs especially ones of an athletic nature.
DK- What’s it like being part of Gleason’s daily operations? As a boxer yourself is there ever a time when you think about the fact one day your name is going to be mentioned as part of the gym’s elite history?
KMW- I tend not to think about it except sometimes when tourist visit and I see their reaction to everything going on, then I’m like “Wow I am part of this”. I went to the Wild Card gym once while I was there a crowd was excited watching all the big name fighters there workout for upcoming fights. I thought to myself this must be what it’s like for people when they visit Gleason’s.
DK- Considering the way boxing has helped you improve your conditioning is a boxing style workout regimen something you would encourage everyone to try even those not interested in competing? I remember last year Perry D’Alessio (A White Collar boxing participant who helps head up Gleason’s “Give a Kid a Dream” program) telling me prior to becoming involved with boxing style workouts he never thought his body could reach such limits.
KMW- Yes I always tell people to try it at least once. Try other workouts also like Pilates or Yoga and see what works best because you never know. Look what happened to me I started out just to build up my body strength and I became a champion.
DK- In February you defeated Jacqueline Park on a televised event, that bout was dedicated to your sister Bronique who passed away last fall after being a victim of gun violence. How emotional was that win for you?
KMW- It was emotional. I was more worried about my Mom who was there, it was the first fight she was at since it happened so I was concerned how she would feel during the fight. There were both good and bad emotions.
DK- Each year you are one of the fighters on hand for Gleason’s “Fantasy” camp, which is also when the GAKAD program takes place. I know that is a major event for everyone at Gleason’s who participates and mentor’s the kids. What sort of impact do you see the program have on the kids?
KMW- The kids enjoy it, I wish I had something like that at their age to attend. It helps keep them off the street and they get to spend time with role models like Sonya (Lamonakis the currently #1 ranked female heavyweight professional in the world who is also a New York City School teacher) and Heather (Hardy a former Golden Gloves champion and currently undefeated Super Bantamweight). It teaches them to work hard and they lose weight something especially important because childhood obesity is a big problem in this country. It has positive outcomes.
DK- Is there any idea on when we can expect to see you in the ring again?
KMW- I was supposed to fight this month but during my fight in February I hurt my hand so right now I am not sure.
DK- What’s next for you outside boxing?
KMW- I don’t know yet. I am planning to get involved with more charities and anti-violence programs especially ones that focus on gun violence.
DK- Keisher thanks for speaking with me I know you guys are busy over there so I won’t take up any more of your time, best of luck on whatever comes next in your career.
KMW- Thank you.
Whatever does come next for Keisher in boxing or otherwise I have a feeling she will do well. So far whenever a roadblock has presented itself instead of being stopped in her tracks she has found a way around it. In doing so she has proved to possess the “Strong collected spirit” Virgil refers to on that famous yellow sign. That spirit will put her in boxing history books as a “Lady of Gleason’s Gym”.
Bradley and Provodnikov put on a show in Carson
By: Daxx Kahn - March 16, 2013
Leading up to last night’s WBO welterweight title fight between champion Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California there was a noticeable attitude change in Bradley. The once quiet, humble fighter from Palm Springs, California said he had been dis-respected by the public and media. He was sick and tired of not getting the credit deserved for beating Manny Pacquiao in June of 2012. Bradley who has scored only 2 stoppage win’s since 2007 with one being over a long past it Joel Casamayor predicted a knockout victory and promised us a “New” Tim Bradley would enter the ring. When the bell sounded a “New” Bradley did emerged in terms of aggressiveness but his heart and will remained the same. Luckily for him because he would need those two qualities that have served him so well in the past as his Russian challenger battered him unlike any other to date.
The fight started with both men going right after each other, Bradley was dropped in the first which referee Pat Russell in-correctly called a “Slip”. Until the end of round 2 the champion was bounced from pillar to post looking more like a pinball than fighter. When round 3 began a momentarily tired Provodnikov allowed Bradley a chance to find his rhythm though anything he landed was accepted with a smile by Ruslan and not the customary “Ok I am hurt but refuse to admit it” smile fighters often give when stunned. As the fight progressed Bradley opened up more scoring the volume of shots while Ruslan dazed him with every clean punch he landed. The two fighters waged war against each other so much to the degree both men’s corners at one point in time threatened to stop the bout should their man continue getting hit so often. Despite a grueling pace throughout neither man was willing to give an inch as the bell sounded for round 12. A bloodied cut Provodnikov would pursue a swollen Bradley who refused to be out-willed and with just seconds left dropped the champion once more but with time against him could not capitalize on his momentum as the bell sounded to end things. After 12 rounds of no- stop action both Marty Denkin and Jerry Cantu scored the bout 114-113, while Raul Caiz Sr scored it 115-112 all in favor of Bradley. Bradley improved to 30-0 (12) and Ruslan’s record now stands at 22-2 (15). No matter what the official outcome, how the fans at home or media scored it both men proved they were champions through and through.
In the Co-feature undefeated welterweights Jessie Vargas and Wale Omotoso also put on an exciting show. Omotoso who had rehydrated 18lbs since the official weigh-in used his “Seek and Destroy” style to drop Vargas during the second. After getting off the canvas and dealing with a cut Jessie eventually overcame the size and power advantage by out boxing “Lucky Boy”. Vargas won by scores of 97-92, 96-93, 96-93. Jessie improved to 22-0 (9) Omotoso dropped to 23-1 (19).
In undercard action featherweight Jesse Magdaleno stopped Carlos Fulgencio at 45 seconds of round 3. Magdaleno improved to 14-0 (10) and Carlos is now 19-10 (12).
Heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr remained undefeated stopping Matthew Greer at 2:53 of round 1. Ruiz improved to 18-0 (12), Greer drops to 15-10 (13).
Featherweight Gabino Saenz def Cesar Valenzuela via KO at 2:02 of the second round, Saenz improves to 9-0-1 (7), Valenzuela 3-2-1 (1)
Super featherweight Victor Sanchez scored a TKO win over Ramon Valadez at 2:39 of the first round. Sanchez boost to 4-5-1 (1), Valadez 11-4 (6).
Super featherweight Oscar Valdez improves to 3-0 (3) after stopping Carlos Gonzalez at 0:58 of the 4th. Gonzalez is now 1-3.
In their pro debuts welterweight’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Eridanni Leon Quintero met in a 4rd affair that had Kavaliauskas winning by UD.
Sal “Rocky” Cenicola- On his terms!
By: Daxx Khan - March 11, 2013
In a sport like boxing it’s often that fighters step inside the ring with some sort of ailment. Sore shoulders, bad back, tender hands etc. Of course not all those guys motto is “Be the Best You Can” far too many fighters even on a world class level are satisfied with “Be good enough to get by”. Sal “Rocky” Cenicola a former lightweight born in Teaneck New Jersey who fought during the 1980’s believes in the motto “Be the Best” that includes when it pertains to ingredients used at his restaurant “Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria” based in St. Simons Island Georgia.
In February of 1988 Sal suffered a severely torn hamstring; doctors advised that he should take some time off and recover. With a scheduled bout just days away his promoter thought otherwise. After being pressured by his promoter to fight he went against doctors’ advice and followed through with his bout against then unbeaten future world title challenger Louie Lomeli. The result was a second round KO loss for Cenicola knocking him right out of his spot as a top 5 rated lightweight.
If Sal would or wouldn’t have won that night should he had entered the bout uninjured we will never know. One thing was for certain and that’s if he was going to win or lose it would be with him being able to give it his all! Sal wasn’t going to let anyone even his promoter force him to do otherwise and in proving so he walked away from boxing.
Once a fighter always a fighter and in my experience the majority of guys despite what level they competed on when they retire always want that “One More Fight”. When considering the reason Sal Cenicola retired from boxing it’s certainly understandable why the desire for one more bout is inside him though he is the first one who has ever waited 25yrs before deciding to take that “ONE MORE”.
Come April 13th at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida Sal will have a four round bout against Nathan Petty. The event is billed as “Come Back To Reality” now don’t be misled Cenicola is not claiming this will be some sort of attempt at being a full time fighter. He is not looking to make a mockery of boxing coming back 25yrs after his last bout and get blown away in round one. The 53yr old NJ native is serious with his training. Former lightweight champion Nate Campbell is working with him and pushing Sal during sessions like he was any other fighter preparing for a big bout. Cenicola will be “At his best” come fight night win or lose!
Later this week I will be speaking with Sal about why he has waited so long to make this one last return bout. Then I will speak to him again before fight night to find out about how training has went and what he has in store for Petty once the bell rings. After the bout win or lose Sal and I will speak again on the whole experience and we will find out if the itch to return for his “One more” had been scratched. Make sure you keep logging on to follow us as we follow Sal “Rocky” Cenicola through his journey back to the ring on “HIS TERMS”.
Repercussion's- NYSAC owe's more than just the Spartan "Justice"
By: Daxx Khan - March 4, 2013
After reviewing considerable amounts of evidence, watching the same fight footage for hours, speaking with witnesses present, taking phone calls, making phone calls, gathering quotes and official statements from Tim Lueckenhoff, President for the ABC on glove policy, a conclusion has been made. “ON THE NIGHT OF MAY 12TH 2012 IN POUGHKEEPISE NY NYSAC FAILED NOT ONLY BRYANT PAPPAS, BUT BOXING PERIOD!” When Josh Williams and his team laced up the “Fuel” brand fight gloves (The Company is now known as Ediroc), there was no mal-intent on anyone’s mind. His team was being rushed for their ring walk, no one had yet supplied them with a pair from the promotion companies, Final Round and Snooki Boxing. Fearing their bout could possibly be scratched, team Williams’ grabbed the first gloves available. A pair of 10oz Fuel gloves, that more than likely were on hand for warm up’s. Arkansas, where Josh resides, was a long way home and to go back without a pay check makes it even longer, so if no one was bringing them gloves some improvising had to be made. Despite being the ones who applied the pressure to pick the pace up, Commission members waited until Williams was gloved before taking notice he was not wearing a pair of “Everlast” or “Title” brand gloves the events promoters were supplying. It was as Josh readied to leave the dressing room, the Commission conferred with one another on the glove brand, coming off as though they were unfamiliar with them for competition use. That’s when, according to witnesses on hand, Ralph Petrillo, head of boxing for NYSAC, was summoned.
When Petrillo arrived, he looked at the gloves already on Josh’s hands, noticing a tag that stated 10oz and gave his “OK”. No look inside, no feeling the gloves padding distribution, just a surface examination and acknowledgment the gloves were tagged with the correct weight. I have a pair of Everlast brand gloves hanging in my office that have never once been used, even for bag work, that are marked by the manufacturer as 10oz. However, inside there is a hole about the size of a silver dollar and the padding is starting to come out, due to all the people who have tried them on wondering what a real pair of regulation gloves felt like, yet only I know that hole exists. The surface is shiny as a dime, but I know for a fact they are not qualified for competition use. Only after looking inside the gloves would anyone know the hole exists. The gloves worn by Williams when he faced Pappas, might not of had a hole on the inside padding, but when looking at the still photos, video footage, and recalling my view from the ring apron, they were nowhere in the same condition on the outside as those “Everlast” gloves hanging on my wall.
A fighter bringing gloves to the venue is not unheard of, just as long as the Commission is aware prior to the gloves being put on, so they can be thoroughly examined. Pertaining to glove use, Tim Lueckenhoff, ABC President, stated to me the following- “In our inspector training seminars, inspectors are taught to supervise the wrapping of hands to ensure compliance with the regulations of their Commission regarding hand wraps. The inspectors are then told to mark the hand wraps with a permanent marker to ensure no additional tape is added. Inspectors are told to inspect the gloves for alterations before being placed on the hands and after being placed on the hands a winding of tape is to be placed on the wrist area, along with an identifying mark by the inspector to ensure again that the gloves are not removed. In some instance, a Commission will allow fighters to wear their own gloves or wear used gloves. In this case, inspectors are told to carefully inspect the gloves to insure they are not altered. Any gloves that are worn or appear to be altered should be rejected. There should also be identifying tags in the gloves to insure their sizes”.
NYSAC took shortcuts in using that procedure. IF followed correctly, there would not have been a reason to confer on the legitimacy of the gloves, or summon Petrillo at the last moment to ask his opinion. Ralph certainly did not inspect them in a manner outlined above. If he had, Brandon Foster, trainer for Williams, would not of stated to me in a phone conversation that they would have removed the gloves for inspection, “IF ASKED”, implying they never were. Careful inspection cannot take place for alterations or the padding conditioning, if already on the fighters hands.
Thomas Lamanna, who was working Williams’ corner has known previous ties with the “Fuel” company, so he was the obvious person to look at as the gloves original possessor, since no one else for one reason or another can account for where they came from. If he did or did not bring those gloves to the venue is no longer significant because if he did, they were brought for no other reason than to warm up his fighter. It is understandable why, if he did bring the gloves he would not admit to it, seeing how easily people would manipulate his bringing the gloves as sign of intentional wrong doing. After a lengthy discussion with Thomas, and his father Vinny, I find it hard to believe Thomas, if he did bring the gloves, had any ill intention or intention at all, in using them for a bout. Yet NYSAC still allowed him to be put under a public microscope, knowing he could possibly be the one that diverts attention, from their lack of professionalism.
Josh Williams and his team were put into an unfair situation. They traveled a long way to make their money the hard way, without the Commission or the event’s promoter seeming to care about anything more than time, they did what had to be done, “get ready to step into the ring ASAP or risk their paycheck”. I can honestly say that if in the same situation, I would have done the same exact thing.
Bryant Pappas suffered excessive punishment because the glove condition was poor. All anyone needs to do is look at the bout that is now on YouTube and see for themselves - this was no rough and tumble affair. The man is a college graduate that has been a professional and amateur boxer for some time. His experience allows him to know the difference between routine punishment and excessive. Win, lose or draw, he also had the right to question WHY his opponent was wearing gloves not supplied by the promoter. Since no one from his team had been given notice to enter Williams’ dressing room for the hand wrapping and glove process, its natural after suffering excessive wounds to become curious on what went on there. When they dismissed Pappas’ questions as nothing more than something of “annoyance”, it furthers the curiosity, as it would to anyone in his situation.
When NYSAC failed to comment on this situation, knowing there was a media investigation going on, they allowed Williams and Lamanna to be put under public scrutiny, rather than put an asterisk next to their own names. That further diminishes any respect they have as a quality Commission. It’s not the first time NYSAC has made it clear that the only thing that matters is THEM.
That attitude is already starting to cost them favor in the public eye, “THE PUBLIC WHOSE TAXES PAY THEIR SALARY”! Just a few weeks ago, at an amateur Golden Gloves event, Melvina Lathan, head of NYSAC, was on hand when protestors were calling for her job and handing out fliers. A few more incidents like that and mainstream media report of one as it happens, will leave Gov. Cuomo no choice but to take a serious look at things.
For the moment, anyone participating or looking to participate, in a NY based boxing event will be on guard, knowing the backlash that is already present, they will call media whenever the Commission fails to please them.
With knowledge they are under the microscope, NYSAC will not be able to use their “bullying” tactics in retaliation. To avoid any headaches promoters and fighters might start looking more towards neighboring states such as New Jersey or Connecticut to do business, knowing the better odds at getting a fair shake. Should that begin happening, it would cost NY some much needed extra revenue, all because a few questions could not be answered, and extra moment or two be taken to insure a proper glove inspection.
Bryant Pappas suffered the physical effects due NYSAC’s poor conduction of their duties, May 12, 2012, but others suffered after effects as well. Josh Williams and his team had some luster of their victory taken off, Thomas Lamanna was fingered as a possible cohort of wrong doing because of a past business venture. It’s shameful that, for the TRUTH on what took place to surface, things needed be brought this far. It all could have been avoided if NYSAC just did their jobs!
Does the “Spartan” deserve justice? YES, he does! Not so much for the gloves his opponent was allowed to use that caused excessive damage, but the treatment he was given afterward by New York State employees hired to look out for his well-being when he asked questions. On the same note, Josh Williams and Thomas Lamanna deserve justice considering the same Commission, allowed them to be put into a situation only they could have removed them from.
Maybe when someone applies for a license or permit that is controlled by NYSAC there should be an alternative option headline that states “BEND OVER AND GET SCREWED NOW, SO YOU CAN SAVE TIME AND MONEY LATER”.
Unless major adjustments are made to the way NYSAC’s current staff handles business, Gov. Cuomo will be forced to investigate and when he does, there are certain to be “repercussions”. When that happens the NY boxing scene will be just a little bit brighter, because knowing you don’t have to kiss ass and can concentrate strictly on business, will put smiles on a lot of faces.
Julio “The Kidd” Diaz- How will the numbers land this time?
By: Daxx Kahn - February 21, 2013
When reviewing the career of Julio “The Kidd” Diaz I noticed something and that is a #2 pattern associated with everything he has done inside the ring be it success or failure. Diaz is a former 2 time IBF lightweight champion, looking to make a run at becoming champion in his second weight class. His first professional loss came in 2001 two years after his debut. The loss was a split decision against Angel Manfredy where 2 judges had 2 point margins (Bill Clancy scored it 112-114; Ruben M. Garcia scored it 114-112) Diaz was deducted 2 points during that bout for low blows in 2 separate rounds the 4th and 9th.
From June 2008-January 2011 Diaz would alternate losing 2 bouts in a row then winning 2 bouts in a row. He has 2 wins and 2 losses on his resume in the month of April and when he faces Amir Khan on April 27th in the UK it will be the second country he has fought in. Khan his opponent is also a 2 time world champion who as a professional has only fought in 2 places the United Kingdom and United States with 2 of his three losses by stoppage.
Despite those numbers being all coincidence you would be surprised how many people take stock in such things especially athletes and odd’s makers. When I spoke to Julio the other day no inclination was given he ever thought about that number pattern or if he was the superstitious type. He did seem like a confident fighter who has set certain goals and knows at this point strategy is everything if he expects to succeed in accomplishing those goals.
Here is what Julio had to say this past Tuesday about those goals and what changes he has made to help assure he succeeds just hours after Golden Boy promotions confirmed his bout against Amir Khan was set in stone
BillyCBoxing- Julio how is everything on the west coast? I know you have been actively seeking a Bout with Amir Khan any word on how close that is to materializing?
Julio Diaz- Everything here is well thank you for asking, I received a call from Golden Boy promotions this morning confirming everything is finalized between Amir and myself for April 27th in the UK.
BCB- Why did you choose to seek a bout with Khan when there are champions out there who have open schedules coming up?
JD- He is a credible name looking to rebuild so I thought that would be the fight I could most likely secure. I would like to face Paulie Malignaggi for his WBA title but I have not put myself into a position yet that would give him any reason to accept my challenge. A win over Khan would maneuver me into a position that would better my chances at him feeling as though it would be a worthwhile fight for him.
BCB- Unless I missed something Amir is ranked as a light welterweight and Paulie has a championship at welterweight. You have had past issues when moving up and down in weight. Your last 5 bouts have been at welterweight the lightest being against Kendall Holt in May of 2011 when you came in at 141 1/2lbs. Why not seek another name at welterweight who is ranked somewhere in the top 15 rather than fight a ranked junior welterweight?
JD- For the Khan fight we agreed the lowest I would come down to is 143lbs and I only agreed to that because he has a marketable name with credit.
BCB- When Kendall Holt stopped you in 2011 as we already spoke about your official weight was 141 ½. Since you have beaten 2 younger naturally bigger welterweights and drew with Shawn Porter an unbeaten prospect. How is it you are able to deal with the power of legitimate sized welterweights but were stopped by a fairly average powered Holt who has spent almost all his career at 140? Also despite having the most success in your career thus far at lightweight I don’t think you ever lost a bout at welterweight. Why do you think that is?
JD- I had trouble making weight, in the Holt fight it had nothing to do with his power, I just had nothing to offer I was so weak and dehydrated. I was struggling to lose even 5lbs and I know the work was being put in at the gym. I now have a nutritionist who helps me. He has increased my knowledge of what foods to eat and in turn it changed my eating habits making it easier to manage my weight loss without risking my health. I was doing everything right at the gym but doing it all the wrong way in terms of diet, the wrong diet choices made things harder than they should have been.
BCB- Your last bout was a draw against Porter, afterward like always when a draw takes place on the cards opinions start flowing back and forth on who deserved the nod. Despite anyone else’s opinion what do you think should have been done differently on your part that could have secured you the “W”?
JD- I should have started faster; the plan was give away the first 2 or 3 rounds then use my experience to take over on the cards. I was brought in as the veteran on the way out to help the upcoming prospect gain experience and win over a former champion, that’s the way it works in boxing. Considering I made the fight close enough to have it scored a draw and Shawn was the promoter favorite in my opinion it’s the same as a win. The only thing that would have guaranteed me the win was a knockout. Now I will start preparing for my fight against Amir in April, work on anything that needs to be adjusted then go after a fight with Malignaggi assuming he wins his next fight coming up.
BCB- What other names at 147 besides Malignaggi would you like to fight if you are successful in your bout against Kahn? Since there is no guarantee that a fight with Paulie will materialize even if you both win your upcoming matches.
JD- There are a lot of good fighters at 147 right now I am going to concentrate on Khan and keep the plan of seeking Malignaggi. I don’t feel like a veteran on his way out, I would like the chance at 1 more world championship and then close out my career. The only way I would continue fighting after that or consider a drop in weight to fight anyone outside 147lbs would be against Danny Garcia.
BCB- What about Zab Judah if he beats Garcia in February?
JD- No I would only drop down to fight Garcia I just don’t like his attitude and the way he acts toward people it’s very dis-respectful
BCB- Well you’re not alone in that opinion that seems to be the general thought by everyone outside team Garcia I speak to lately. Where will you hold training camp in preparations for the Khan fight?
JD- At the Indio gym, there are a lot of good fighters who work out of that gym. Omar Figueroa and Timothy Bradley both train there.
BCB- When do you expect to make the trip over to England and become adjusted to the time difference etc.?
JD- We will go over probably 2 weeks or so before the fight this way we can make sure everything is perfect when we step into the ring.
BCB- You sound determined in the past you have rebuilt yourself anytime it was needed so I look forward to this bout and seeing how your new regimen benefits your performance. Best of luck speak to you when you return.
JD- Thank you.
When thinking about the way #2 has followed Diaz around and fact his last bout was a draw if I believed in superstition the worst that could happen to Diaz April 27th is an even scorecard though I am sure he will be giving it his all. Did I mention the fight is 2 months away? Only in boxing could such things happen without careful planning.
Photo By: Geo Imagezs
Justice for “The Spartan” Part 3- Brandon Foster claims “IGNORANCE”
By: Daxx Kahn - February 7, 2013
Having a conversation with Josh Williams head trainer Brandon Foster and deciphering his utter nonsense is slightly more frustrating than threading a needle blindfolded. Foster has contacted me twice since my series on what took place surrounding Bryant Pappas May 12th 2012 bout against Josh Williams began. In each conversation Foster has done nothing but, thrown blame towards others for what took place, been overly defensive, delusional and contradictive. All while unwittingly making my job easier by ADMITTING no inspection of Williams gloves had been conducted prior to the bout. During his attempts at alleviating any possibility that he or Williams might be partially at fault for what took place Foster has also stated he fears repercussions from NYSAC reinforcing their reputation as “Bullies”.
In the last installment I stated this article would be a transcript of my conversation with Foster and why he fears NYSAC. That was before Foster contacted me a second time just hours after Billy C and I discussed updates of this situation on the January 31st TalkinBoxing with Billy C TV&Radio program. While our second conversation has importance to the overall scenario and will be shared with fans later on in this investigative report here is a transcript of our initial discussion.
Daxx Kahn- Brandon it’s Daxx Kahn you sent me an email asking if I would call you concerning Josh Williams bout against Bryant Pappas and the series I am working on pertaining to the gloves worn by Josh. What would you like to discuss?
Brandon Foster- I would like to talk about what you’re doing to Josh in your articles. It’s not fair.
DK- Not fair? How is an article based on fact’s that Josh wore a pair of gloves not inspected by the New York State Athletic commission unfair? What about fair to Bryant Pappas? According to witness testimony by several sources present that evening I have in my possession on audio the gloves did not come from the events promoters. Why would you wear a pair of gloves not supplied by the promoter?
BF- I don’t know that the gloves did not come from the promoter, that’s your opinion and just because it’s your opinion does not make it fact.
DK- You stated yourself that the gloves were not provided by the promoter and described the whole inspection process that evening. According to your comments of record when Felix Figueroa a NYSAC inspector realized the gloves on Josh’s hands were Fuel brand not Title or Everlast Ralph Petrillo was called in. When Ralph came in he never made you remove the gloves. His entire participation was a glance at the gloves then a comment “Yeah they are good”. That’s quite a detailed inspection huh?
BF- I never said that.
DK- Well how many other Josh Williams and Brandon Fosters were present that night and spoke with Mark Ortega about what took place surrounding the gloves Josh wore. Remember speaking with Mark? What I just mentioned was read off a transcript of that audio conversation would you like for me to play the interview for you?
BF- I forgot we spoke with him. What about when you mention a member of Team Williams said we refused to take the gloves off? It’s not my job or Josh’s job to inspect the gloves.
DK- No it’s not but that does not change the fact you both knew the gloves were not inspected properly and did not come from the promoter yet you wore them anyway. If they did not come from the promoter how did you get them? You must have brought them since no one else that night fighting on the card or involved had a pair of those brand gloves. The glove fairy did not leave them on Josh’s pillow. Point out where in my article does it say you refused to take the gloves off?
BF- You implied it though; it’s also a lie when you say someone from team Williams said the gloves were brought in from the outside. No one from Josh’s team said that, I know everyone from team Williams I am his trainer and none of us said any such thing. I am not familiar with the New York inspection process so I was not aware what took place was not a proper inspection.
DK- Well I have Rich (Last Name withheld in agreement he speak on what took place in the dressing room, Rich worked Williams corner that night and his testimony will later be released) on audio stating that the gloves came either from Thomas LaManna or brought with you guys. Rich stated that when the NYSAC inspector left the room you put the Fuel gloves on. THE INSPECTOR THAT WAS TO BE BRINGING BACK THE GLOVES JOSH SHOULD HAVE WORN. Rich also stated that when questions were asked by the inspector why your fighter was wearing those gloves you replied the Fuel brand company is Josh’s sponsor.
BF- Rich is not a member of Team Williams.
DK- He may not be a permanent member of Team Williams but he was for that evening. ANYONE who works the corner for the fight in an official capacity is a member of that team until the bout is over. What would Rich have to gain by stating such things?
BF- I don’t know but I swear we did not bring those gloves you need to believe me. Diana Rodriguez who is a matchmaker in NY brought this article to my attention and even she said it was “Bullshit”. So what does that tell you?
DK- Diana Rodriguez name carries the weight of a feather and you can tell her I said so, Diana proves her character with every mis-match she attempts to make. Maybe Diana can tell us where those gloves are now because they are not in possession of the commission since she says this is “Bullshit”. Those gloves were taken off in the ring soon as the fight ended. Never seen again, the video proves it or is the video trying to slander Josh as well?
BF- UMM I don’t think Diana knows where the gloves are. Maybe you don’t understand how things work in a dressing room. Maybe Billy needs to learn how things work in a dressing room because you guys don’t seem to know what goes on prior to a fight.
DK- Maybe you need to do some research and realize this is not my first trip to the rodeo. Do you really think I have gone this long in the business without being in dressing rooms? Billy has held promoter licenses, managed fighters and been an advisor to multi-time world champions aside from his media coverage. Don’t you think at some point in time he has been in pre-fight dressing rooms?
BF- Umm yeah I would guess so, I am sorry I did not mean to say that. I have only been doing this 4 or 5 years now. Josh is a kid that has had a rough upbringing he is learning as he goes along. This is hurting his chances at a career. I am afraid Josh will never fight in New York again. Since you involved his name in this.
(Foster then proceeded in giving me Williams’s life story).
DK- I did not involve Josh’s name into anything, Josh became associated with this issue the second you laced up those gloves without an inspector present and knowing they did not come from the promoter. If you are trying to guide his career and look out for him then you don’t do stuff like put gloves on him from a supposedly unknown source. In doing so you did him more harm than good. Why don’t you think Josh will ever be allowed to fight in NY again?
BF- We had a contract to fight in New York City on a DiBella boxing card. Josh was going to fight Lamar Russ right after your article the contract was cancelled. The commission is not happy with your article Diana Rodriguez told me. Don’t you care you caused that?
DK- Stop blaming me for this ok, second I don’t care with what Diana told you my concern is what took place that night in Poughkeepsie. If it was Josh on the other end of this I would be looking to rectify the wrong against him OK. As for the contract hundreds of contracts are withdrawn every year in this sport do you have anything besides what Diana said that shows I cost Josh this fight? Otherwise the only person that can give you that answer is the promoter.
BF- Yeah I guess so. We did not bring the gloves though and I would have changed them to any pair they wanted, the commission said there was no time to change or inspect the gloves further. You know how it is when they are rushing you. The bald guy Ralph (Petrillo) I think his name was said don’t worry just use those they are fine. Maybe I should not have put on the gloves when Felix (Figueroa) left the room. We just did not want to miss the fight they said they were going to cancel the bout if we did not get gloves on and were ready to go.
DK- So again where did they come from?
BF- They were just there when I looked over, there were a lot of people in the dressing room who might know, all I can say is I grabbed the first gloves that I could. Please give us a chance to explain what happened that’s all I am asking.
DK- I would like to hear what you and Josh have to say but it has to be on record.
BF- Do we have to be on record? I am trying to look out for Josh here.
DK- Yes it has to be on record or else there is no point in talking, no one is looking to make Josh out as the bad guy including Bryant Pappas. How can I leave Josh’s name out of it when he was the guy who wore the gloves that night? In the future maybe you will think first before doing such things. If you are looking to protect your fighter and help him make this a career that’s part of protecting him by not allowing him to be placed in situations like this. On a side note you are not helping his career by putting him in against guys like Lamar Russ who are stronger, bigger and have beaten better opposition just for the payday.
BF- Yeah I never thought about that, Lamar is a good fighter.
DK- If you would like to speak and have a chance to tell your side of things again it has to be on record. Do you have anything new other than what was already said to Mark Ortega? I already have that audio.
BF-I am just asking for the chance, thank you for calling me. I don’t want the New York commission mad at us. I want to make this all better so Josh can fight in New York again. Right now until we talk I know that will never happen.
DK- I will call you this week and we will speak. I am sure you guys will fight in NY again. No one is looking to hurt Josh’s career or even blaming Josh for what took place. This is about what NYSAC did wrong.
BF- Well we have already been told we will never be allowed to again. I just hope after we speak it will change someone’s mind. I will make sure Josh is ready to go on record. This is my fault I did not know the rules and I thought those other guys would help us. I wish I could tell you where the gloves came from for sure but I think you already know.
DK- That will all come out in the end. Speak soon.
BF- Thank you again I really appreciate it.
Foster never followed up with his request, I reached out to him several times during the weeks following the fore mentioned discussion. Each time he stated he would call right back yet never did. Until Jan 31st when my last installment was released. He was irate that I continued my series. Claiming he did not return my calls because Josh was “SHY”.
In my next installment read what happened when I contacted NYSAC and Ralph Petrillo’s contradicting statements.
Photo By: Geo-Imagez
Justice for the Spartan part 2- Everyone has a finger to point!
By: Daxx Kahn - January 31, 2013
Since my first installment, surrounding what took place both before and after Bryant Pappas’ bout against Josh Williams, several twists have occurred. New questions brought to light, old ones made more complicated, answers already known reinforced, idle threats issued and attempts made toward labeling the story as "FABRICATED". While this installment was reserved for a breakdown of the bout itself, Round by Round, Minute by Minute, I need to address those new twists and clear some misconceptions before going further.
In terms of "fabrication", it was made clear that evidence I possess now and any coming into my possession throughout be it audio statements, video footage, written correspondences or otherwise, would be released to the public as events unfolded. I DID NOT say or imply that information would be handed out by request. My refusal to do so does NOT equal "fabrication". IT does eliminate the ability for anyone involved, at fault or who might regret a prior statement they made, an opportunity at back peddling for self-preservation.
One old question answered with conclusiveness, despite never really being in doubt, is Josh Williams’ "Fuel" brand gloves worn during the bout, did NOT come from either promotional company involved. January 22nd I spoke with Brian Burke, head of Final Round Promotions who co-hosted the event with “Snooki Boxing”. During our conversation, Burke stated the following: "We had either Title or Everlast gloves for all the fighters use. When an equipment check was done we did not see a pair of “Fuel” brand gloves. I was surprised to see Josh wearing a pair of brown gloves, when he stepped into the ring, because I'd never seen them before then." When Bryant Pappas’ name was mentioned, Burke stated, "I think Bryant is a great guy, I respect what he does for the charities, I can’t say enough about him as a person. When I had seen him after the card, he was very swollen and covered with scratches. I have no explanation to give on how that could have happened, it wasn’t really an action packed fight. It’s a shame, I did my job that night, this falls on the Commission. If anyone can give you an answer it's them, that’s who I would be looking at”. Just before our conversation ended, Burke wanted assurance I was not seeking answers for any sort of legal representation Pappas might have secured. I assured him I was not (despite identifying myself when our conversation started) and that no one was pointing blame at either promotion company.
Brandon Foster, head trainer for Williams, contacted me via email shortly after my first installment was released requesting I speak with him. When we did speak over the telephone, Foster sounded desperate, confused and worried. “Why would you do this to Josh? Why are you slandering his name? I’m not sure if you know who matchmaker Diana Rodriguez is, but she sent me a copy of the story and even she said, “It was Bullshit”. This story is hurting Josh's career. We had a contract to fight in New York but right after your article was released that contract was cancelled. I am worried since Josh's name was involved, he will never fight in New York again." When I advised Frasier that hundreds of contracts are withdrawn every year in this sport and unless he can provide me something that shows my article cost Williams the supposed fight, there’s no way of knowing why the contract was rescinded. He then resorted to a tale of woe about Josh’s rough upbringing. When he was finished, I replied that I would certainly allow them to speak their peace and was curious if it differed from what they had said to Mark Ortega last year in an audio interview I possess. My only stipulation was anything stated would be "ON RECORD". Foster grew defensive implying that no such interview ever took place, after reading him some of the transcript, he withdrew that statement, agreeing to the ON RECORD stipulation, but has since to return any of my phone calls.
The numerous “idle” threats that have been issued to me through email, social media, and cell phone text are becoming monotonous. I also find it hard to take ANY threats seriously where the person/people issuing those threats refuse to identify themselves. I identify myself at all times, in any situation, why would others not do the same? Nonetheless, in attempts at humoring those who for one reason or another won’t reply to my return inquiries and have been obviously paying attention thus far, maybe they are capable at comprehending this much, and I will save them from further wasted efforts.
Boxing is a global sport. I have and will continue covering it as such. New York is NOT boxing, despite what NYSAC might believe. Though I do not believe NYSAC or anyone from NYSAC issued these threats of being “Blackballed” from all NY based events should I continue my investigational report. If I were “Blackballed” from future NY events, it would only reinforce the widespread rumors of bullying tactics, used by NYSAC against anyone who publicly disagrees with, points out faults or does not bend to their whims. I would not be the first nor last to receive such backlash after speaking against the current Commission. Until answers are provided, on how Josh Williams was allowed to wear gloves not supplied by the evening’s promoter, the gloves origin, and why no one made Williams take the gloves off for a proper inspection, the investigation WILL proceed.
Someone has the answers on what happened, it’s just a matter of time before we find out who that person is. People are already pointing fingers at one another. The more commotion that is stirred, the more fingers get pointed because when the dust starts settling, no one wants to be left holding the bag. If enough noise is made and Governor Cuomo’s office starts taking a look at things, not even the fear of NYSAC’S repercussions will be enough to make people keep their fingers to themselves.
Look for my conversation with Brandon Foster in its entirety Friday and find out why he fears NYSAC!
NYSAC BETRAYS PAPPAS
Will the "Spartan" receive justice?
By: Daxx Kahn - January 7, 2013
On May 12th 2012 in Poughkeepsie, NY, middleweight Bryant "The Spartan" Pappas entered the ring to face off against opponent Josh Williams, with nothing on his mind other than winning. Despite knowledge that no one from his team had witnessed Williams' hands being wrapped or gloves put on, he had little reason to worry about anything unusual because after all, the NYSAC inspectors were present. In 12 prior bouts, none of his opponents had lasted the distance and almost no one in attendance, except possibly Williams' team, thought this bout would be any different. It would not be until after the bout began, did he realize something was very wrong. As did many in attendance, I was covering the card and while standing against the ring apron taking pictures, I remember early into round one stating to the person standing next to me, "something's wrong with Pappas, he is not acting right, I've seen him fight on cards I covered before, looks like he is having trouble breathing. There is no way he could be tired, the first round is barely half way over". The other reporter replied "I agree, but someone told me he had cancer at one point in time, is it possible he is not feeling well?" I then replied back, "I don't think so yesterday at the weigh in's we spoke and he seemed healthy, we even joked around a bit". As the bout went on Pappas began swelling around his left eye extremely fast and by round 5, it was apparent, blood from his nose was running down the back of his throat making him very uncomfortable. Perhaps the most unusual thing noticed was the fact Pappas, who had a sizable height advantage, began developing lumps on top of his head similar to the kind often seen in either bare knuckle or MMA bouts when skin on skin contact takes place with force. As he walked back to the dressing room, you could also see oddly shaped abrasions on his face, neck and shoulder area. You did not need to be a detective to realize those abrasions were not caused by leather from newly or slightly worn boxing gloves. How was this smaller 5-4 fighter able to inflict so much damage on his larger foe who had never taken such abuse in 12 prior fights against better opponents?
After the event, team Pappas questioned the New York State Athletic Commission on Williams' gloves, where they came from and who inspected them. Those questions were met with short answers and, at one point in time, Pappas was told by Ralph Petrillo, head of boxing for the commission "I don't need to tell you anything it was not a title fight". Pappas' team, after the severity of his injuries, wanted to know where these "Fuel" brand gloves Williams was wearing came from since the promoter had supplied either "Title" or "Everlast" brand to all the other fighters on the card. They would learn that Josh Williams' "Fuel" brand gloves were brought to the venue by his team and he refused to wear the promoter’s gloves, claiming he needed to wear the Fuel gloves because they were what his sponsor required.
Since when is a fighter allowed to bring his own gloves from home? What's more when a NYSAC inspector entered Williams dressing room prior to the bout, Williams hands were already wrapped and his gloves were taped up, yet no one made him take the gloves off for even an inspection of the wraps. According to witnesses, the inspection of Williams' gloves, while they were on his hands, consisted of someone from the commission running their hands over the surface. At no point in time did anyone from the commission actually hold the gloves or inspect the inside.
Since that date, there are people in the NYSAC who were present when asked about the incident have been caught on audio contradicting themselves, refusing to pinpoint the exact extent in which Williams' gloves were inspected and even failed to properly explain the required inspection process, each time someone from the commission is asked to comment on the evening, more inconsistencies surface.
Bryant Pappas takes part in an already dangerous sport and as stated prior despite his team not being given an opportunity to watch opponent Josh Williams have his hands wrapped and gloves put on, he entered the ring believing the NYSAC had done their job properly leaving him nothing to worry about. That mistake put Pappas in unknown danger beyond that of your usual prizefight. The NYSAC commission failed to watch out for his safety and allowed him to absorb excessive punishment then back peddled to cover their tracks knowing they did not follow procedure, a procedure put into place so a fighter’s risk of serious injury is reduced to as minimal as possible.
Over the next few installments, I am going to break down the bout between Pappas and Williams round by round, share with the public before and after photos that will show the results of excessive punishment he received.
You will be able to view his Emergency Room discharge paperwork, letters from NYSAC in official letterhead, listen to audio interviews conducted by Mark Ortega that catches not only Ralph Petrillo, but Josh Williams and his team in conflicting stories. You will even learn of an admission by one of Williams own team members, that there was no inspection of his gloves by the commission and that Williams himself was unsure of exactly where the gloves came from. I will break down the condition of the gloves worn by Williams and supply an ON RECORD EDUCATED OPINION by boxing historian and expert Tony Triem, who examined pictures of the fight including ones of the "Fuel" brand gloves on Williams' hand that appear to have been tampered with. The gloves worn by Williams were removed prior to the ring announcer reading the results of the bout. Where are those gloves today?
I will provide clips of the fight where you see Pappas' unusual reaction to a smaller, less skilled Williams punches. Then explain a coincidental fact that 2 members of the commission and both promoters (Snookie Boxing and Final Round Promotions) of the event just happen to live within a short distance of one another, have outside interest together, and fraternize with each other on a personal basis, including the fact members of the commission have been seen associating with fighters of the event, publicly posing for pictures.
Lastly, before all is said and done, I will release a little information on Ralph Petrillo that many of you out there might find surprising, if not outright sickening.
Bryant Pappas never complained about his loss to Josh Williams, nor did he ever ask for the decision to be overturned to a no contest. All he ever wanted to know is how they allowed his opponent to enter the ring with neither his hand wraps nor set of personal gloves, subjected a required to inspection. Pappas has never claimed to be an elite caliber fighter. He has never called anyone out or demanded public attention. All Pappas ever asked for was a level playing field so that he could do something he enjoys and continue donating large portions of his purses to Sloan Kettering Hospital, to help with cancer patient treatment. Being a cancer survivor himself, the recent loss of a friend and fellow Yonkers police officer who succumbed to esophageal cancer and currently sits by while another friend hangs on, suffering from Pancreatic cancer, is a cause near and dear to his heart.
Men like Bryant Pappas who fight for not only himself but others, are hard to find in this world. When an injustice is done such as one that took place on May 12, 2012, it seems almost inexplicable how these "powers that be" could have let it happen, IN FACT, WHAT TOOK PLACE IS DOWNRIGHT CRIMINAL AND WHEN A CRIME IS COMMITTED AGAINST ONE OF OUR BRAVEST OR ANYONE ELSE, SOMEONE MUST ANSWER FOR THAT CRIME.
Again and I can’t stress this enough NYSAC allowed Pappas to be put into a situation that could have resulted in a life altering injury or worse yet turned fatal and someone will answer for their negligence. We all know no one from inside the commission will serve justice so now it's time for the public to decide. When all the facts are presented I have no doubt the public will demand the wrong committed against Bryant Pappas be rectified. Governor Cuomo will have no choice but make sure there is justice for "The Spartan".
In my next installment, I break down the fight tape with Tony Triem and Billy C, round by round, minute by minute, and punch by punch.
BRUCE SILVERGLADE- Just an everyday guy in a not so everyday business!
By: Daxx Kahn - December 17, 2012
Whenever someone who follows boxing hears “Gleason’s Gym” mentioned the elite fighters that have trained there even if just a short period of time normally come into conversation, a partial list of those who have used Gleason’s as home base or for single fight preparation include Muhammad Ali, Carlos Ortiz, Benny Paret, Jake LaMotta, Juan LaPorte, Oleg Maskaev, Mark Breland, Gerry Cooney, Zab Judah, Agapito Sanchez, Edwin Rosario, Mike McCallum, Roberto Duran, Larry Holmes and Hector Camacho. As stated that list is “PARTIAL” it would take an hour to name a complete list of top caliber pugilist who worked their craft at Gleason’s Gym. Bobby Gleason the gyms founder and afterward owner Ira Becker are well known stories in boxing circles though it baffles me why we hear little about current owner Bruce Silverglade. It could possibly be his low toned demeanor, extra busy schedule or fact he considers himself an average guy who happens to own Gleason’s and does not let that define who he is as a person.
A former Sear's employee Silverglade became involved in boxing during the mid-70’s full time despite it being his second career venture. He already contained vast knowledge of boxing because his father was a National PAL Co-founder. Like most once he started with the sport he could not get enough, beginning with amateur boxing as a ref and judge. That role would be followed by a Junior Olympic and Olympic team manager position. Silverglade started working with Gleason’s by promoting small pro shows at a nearby venue, in 1985 became a 50/50 partner after being offered the opportunity to purchase an equal share by then owner Ira Becker leading to sole ownership today. All that is common knowledge and can be read in dozens of places, what about Silverglade himself?
In his own words Bruce considers himself an everyday guy that as stated above “Just happens” to own one of the most famous Gym in boxing history. Silverglade is first to arrive each day and the last to leave each evening while in between a hectic schedule remains family orientated. What I personally find most impressive about Bruce is the fact he is a giver to the community around him, perfect example would be right after hurricane Sandy there were immediate press emails released by Gleason’s Gym stating they would be helping as a drop off point for donations to help those in need after the damaging storm. The gesture was not done for publicity reasons but a genuine want to help the surrounding community. Imagine going to drop off some canned goods for the neighborhood and running into 3 world champions and 2 Hall of Fame inductees as if it were just your average day?
In early fall each year Bruce and Gleason’s Gym participate in the DUMBO art’s festival, where artist from around the globe gather for a 3 day event to show off and sell their artwork. What other boxing GYM would be a part of such an event? Since it helps benefit the community Silverglade (whose wife is an accomplished artist) makes certain he does his part, using Gleason’s gym again as a way to do more than just have people come in to train or prepare for a bout.
The “Give A Kid A Dream” foundation that Silverglade started is another amazing community project held annually with assistance from his staff and gym members. It consists of a week-long trip where certain nominated kids from all over the United States receive an opportunity and participate in a GENUINE PROFESSIONAL STYLE boxing training camp. The attendee’s partake in combined educational and physical activities while learning from some of boxing’s most well-known fighters and current top caliber trainers. Instilling good sportsmanship and a positive attitude also is part if the agenda. It is a one of a kind event that I find to be inspiring considering we see little of those programs in boxing these days let alone on an annual basis. That is just another “ONE OF MANY” positive contributions Bruce makes a priority.
In the midst of all his community activities, owning one of the 3 most famous Gym’s in boxing history, dealing with TV and movie studios who always want to film some sort of show or scene at his business Bruce like every other average person still worries about making sure his bills are paid, staying grounded and never taking things for granted. All traits that speak volumes on his character as a person.
His most recent business venture is a branch of Gleason’s opened at the Manhattan based Mercedes Club located on 550 W. 54th street in hopes the new location expands Gleason’s style boxing to those in the “White Collar” industry.
Ever expanding and adding boxing into new avenues Bruce Silverglade remains one of this sports few good guys. If we had 2 dozen more like him there would still be a local boxing gym in every town across America, but then again if that were the case what would be anything different between him and every other person just looking to pay their bills and stay on top of things? Keep doing what you’re doing Bruce it’s greatly appreciated!
TROUT RETAINS TITLE AGAINST COTTO
By: Daxx Khan - RingSide - BillyCBoxing.com
Last night Austin “No Doubt” Trout retained his WBA 154lb title after facing Miguel Cotto in Madison Square Garden on Showtime TV. The bout began with Cotto coming out and applying pressure immediately. Austin for his part moved well while establishing the jab.
With crowd support behind him Cotto threw punches in bunches every time he managed to get near the champion and while not all connected he stayed busy early on looking a more intent fighter, ending those combinations with bad intentions but Trout’s speed was his clear advantage. In a fairly uneventful bout Cotto’s high defense managed to keep him out of any serious danger outside a small cut and some swelling over his left eye. Austin’s movement and jab did the same for him.
It was the last 60 seconds of round 12 when both me let leather loose continuously. Seemingly to me that was just in case scorecards were close which they were not because officially all three judges had Trout way ahead winning via UD as scores read 117-111 X2 and 119-109. In his post-fight interview Trout made it clear to Saul Alvarez who was sitting ringside a unification bout between the two was his next goal. Trout’s resume improves to 26-0 (14), Cotto now stands at 37-4 (30)
In undercard action-
Featherweight Jayson Velez 20-0 (15) def. Salvador Sanchez “The II” 30-5-3 (18) via TKO round 3, Sanchez was down in both second and third rounds. Velez claimed the vacant WBC Silver featherweight title for his efforts.
Super middleweight Daniel Jacobs 24(21)-1(1) def. Chris Fitzpatrick 15(6)-3(2) via RTD 5.
Lightweight Michael Perez 18(10)-1(1)-1 def. Fernando Carcamo 10(7)-5(1) UD 8
Super featherweight Jeffrey Fontanez 11(10)-0 remained unblemished after stopping Pedro Arcos 8(6)-4(2) at 1:23 of the second, dropping Arcos in both rounds.
Light middleweight Jorge Melendez 25(24)-2(2)-1 gained a 4th rd. TKO victory over James Winchester 16(5)-6 at :54 of that round
Light middleweight Eddie Gomez 12(8)-0 def. Luis Hernandez 10(6)-1 UD 6.
Middleweight John Thompson 10(3)-0 def. Elie Augustama 6(3)-6 UD 6.
Featherweight Jorge Diaz 17(10)-1 def. Victor Sanchez 3-5-1 UD 6.
Why Cotto versus Trout is bad business for Floyd Mayweather
By: Daxx Kahn - November 27, 2012
This upcoming Saturday we will witness an event that for one reason or another has not gotten all the attention it deserves from fans and media alike when Miguel Cotto takes on current WBA light middleweight champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Perhaps it’s that so many seem to be brushing Miguel Cotto off as a fighter whose best days are behind him despite the fact in previous years he has returned to silence critics each time he was written off. After Antonio Margarito doled out a frightful beating to Cotto in 2008 relieving him of the WBA welterweight championship, Miguel returned 6 months later in February of 2009 and claimed the division’s vacant WBO championship via 5th round TKO over Michael Jennings. June 2009 he would defend that belt against tough Joshua Clottey winning a split decision then on November 14th 2009 Miguel faced Manny Pacquiao and was subjected to an onslaught worse than he received from Margarito losing the crown won off Jennings 9 months prior. Inside 14 months Cotto suffered 2 brutal TKO losses and went 12 rugged rounds with Clottey after there was no one including myself who thought Miguel could continue as a top tier fighter.
Instead of hanging up his gloves something no one would have faulted him for Miguel moved up to154lbs and stripped a larger unbeaten Yuri Foreman of his WBA 154lb championship via TKO 9. Cotto a 3 division world champion next defended his belt against durable Ricardo Mayorga before avenging his loss against Antonio Margarito on Dec 3rd 2011, this time Margarito was punished quitting on his stool in round 10 due to a severely swollen right eye. I would say those are fairly impressive accomplishments for a fighter who supposedly has nothing left.
On May 5th 2012 Cotto faced Floyd Mayweather as is the theme for Cotto’s skeptics he was given no chance at even being competitive. Despite losing a unanimous decision Cotto would bloody Mayweather’s face and shook him up several times proving even in loss he is a factor among boxing’s elite. Dec 1st Cotto will again attempt to buck the odds when he goes for world title number 5 in his 3rd weight class. This time as challenger to younger, fresher, bigger and faster WBA light middleweight champion Austin Trout.
Austin Trout is somewhat of an enigma to mainstream boxing fans. Standing 5’9 ½” with a 72” reach he is a big 154lb fighter, in fact when I attended the Cotto/Trout NYC press conference and it came time for the media to have 1 on 1 time with the 2 fighters I actually said those exact words to Trout “Wow standing next to you I can hardly believe you can make 154” after laughing a bit he replied “I am always in shape and rarely have much weight to lose so everything on me is solid” the more fans get to see of Trout the more he becomes a likable figure perfect example being was that day during their NYC press conference. When it was Trout’s turn to speak at the podium fans in unison yelled out “Austin Who” when he was introduced and continued doing so whenever Trout’s name was mentioned by the Golden Boy media heads leading the event. A vast majority of guys would have taken the low road and retaliated with foul remarks instead Trout laughed it off in good fun.
Trout spent the early part of his career fighting in his home state of New Mexico so his international exposure was limited when he garnered the vacant WBA World light middleweight title by defeating Rigoberto Alvarez at home in Mexico then made 2 successful defenses inside just 5 months Austin’s name began being muttered by devout boxing fans. When he destroyed the tough Delvin Rodriguez in a co-feature for Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode June 2nd of this year fans who did not know of Austin Trout’s name prior certainly did after that performance.
That brings us to where we are today a young hungry champion in Austin Trout looking to make a statement against one of boxing’s most adorned veteran warriors Miguel Cotto in a place most consider Cotto’s home away from home Madison Square Garden. The fan base will certainly be in Miguel’s favor while youth, speed and power Trout’s. Youth versus experience, speed against craft the desire to win in both men, has everything needed for a great prizefight should you want my opinion.
Why is this bad business for Floyd Mayweather? Well his last bout that took place against Miguel Cotto earlier this year left many people questioning if he has lost a step, none else to date has bloodied Floyd to the point Cotto had or were most fans satisfied the victory was overly dominate despite scorecards. A win for Cotto on Dec 1st will put immense pressure on Floyd to rematch Miguel, a man who seems better in return bouts. Should Trout win a man with such a size, power and speed is exactly what Mayweather steers clear of if possible. In order for Mayweather to remain at 154lbs without an asterisk on if he really is top man there the winner of this contest cannot be side stepped. Who outside a fairly Green Saul Alvarez would be an opponent boxing’s public will approve of him facing in that division without horrendous backlash? Neither would make much noise when it comes to bargaining at the negotiating tables something Floyd loves to use as a way for his drawing out an actual signing of a contract leaving no excuses on why he should not sign. Each man is a legit threat to Floyd a fighter that spends more time away from boxing to pursue acting like a clown in public aging every minute he does. His only other option currently would be fight at 147, I don’t think he is in a rush to face either of the 2 top men there Robert Guerrero and Tim Bradley, Manny Pacquiao at this stage is an afterthought.
This fight possesses everything good for the business of boxing nothing good for the business of Floyd Mayweather. Dec 1st is just days away and this fight will make some waves despite whomever wins.
Senchenko derails Hatton’s return with a 9th round KO!
By: Daxx Khan - November 25, 2012
Last night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom former 2 division world champion Ricky Hatton attempted an in-ring return to boxing after a 3 year hiatus when he stepped in against former WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko. In attendance among the 20,000 or so fans was current WBA welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi who won that title from Vyacheslav by TKO (Cuts) on April 29th of this year and lost to Hatton by TKO in November of 2008. Malignaggi’s purpose for being in attendance was should Hatton have been victorious sign a big money rematch with Hatton.
The fight was competitive especially when you consider Hatton had been off for 3 years. Ricky’s come forward style often kept the former title holder defensive and fighting backwards, after losing round 1 Hatton would win the next 4 straight on most people’s scorecards. In round 6 the wear and tear on Hatton’s body outside boxing became a factor he was lunging in recklessly throwing sloppy looping punches almost even falling after missing a wild left hook. From that point on Senchenko began boxing smart throwing more than 1 punch at a time connecting against Ricky’s face often enough to swell his eyes, while Hatton also showed signs frustration. Ricky would catch Senchenko with an occasional power punch that would pause the ex-title holder a moment or 2 but Vyacheslav despite having a cut near his left eye responded with gestures for Ricky to “Bring it”. In round 9 Senchenko unleashed a liver punch devastating enough to end Hatton’s return attempt by KO. Hatton’s professional record now stands at 45 (32)-3(3) while Senchenko improved to 33(22)-1(1).
In his post-fight interview a visibly upset and disappointed Hatton commented “I’m sorry, I am not a failure, I did not want to go out like this. I trained very hard for this fight and I did not want to let anyone down”.
As stated above Ricky was competitive throughout the fight, he lost to a well-respected former world champion who possesses a solid chin and elite amateur pedigree. Hatton like a warrior went out on his shield having nothing to be ashamed of. Should he retire from in ring action or not he still offers much to the sport as a representative of good will and promoter.
In undercard co-attractions middleweight Martin Murray remains undefeated improving his resume to 25-0-1 (11) with a 6th round TKO over formerly undefeated Jorge Navarro 12(10)-1 while retaining his interim WBA World middleweight title.
Super bantamweight Scott Quigg 25(18)-0-1 def. Rendall Munroe 24(10)-3(1)-1 TKO6 in defense of his interim WBA World super bantamweight title.
Super featherweight Gary Buckland 27(9)-2(1) defended his BBBofC British super featherweight title with an 8th round RTD win over Stephen Foster 30(18)-4(1)-1.
Light middleweight Sergey Rabchenko 22(16)-0 retained his EBU (European) light middleweight title and gained the vacant WBC Silver light middleweight title with a 12 round split decision over Cedric Vitu 35(15)-1.
Middleweight Adam Etches 10(8)-0 def. Roman Dzhuman 26(12)-12(6)-1 via TKO 2
Featherweight James Dickens 13(5)-0 def. Franklin Varela 21(10)-8(3) UD
Lightweight Scott Jenkins 7(2)-0 def. Graham Fearn 6(1)-14(3)-2 KO 2
Hector “Macho” Camacho- Macho time will forever be his
By: Daxx Kahn - November 23, 2012
Hector “Macho” Camacho was the type person that commanded attention at all times, his personality would allow nothing less. Starting as a child when his family moved to Spanish Harlem from Bayamon Puerto Rico until his death in that same city on Thanksgiving Day the former 3 division world champion made sure he and the word “Macho” were known to be synonymous. After some trouble in his early teens for street fighting (most brought on because of his brash personality) and short stint in a detention center Camacho turned to boxing as an outlet. The sport came easily for Hector he had a natural athletic ability that allowed him to excel quickly winning 3 consecutive New York City Golden Gloves Championships. In 1978 he would win the 112lb sub novice, 1979 118lb open and 1980 119lb open. Turning professional on September 12th 1980 his mix of hand speed, footwork, killer instinct and outgoing personality made Hector an instant star! Male fans appreciated his tenacity while female fans adored the often outrageous ring outfits and “Macho” image. Camacho despite his antics was anything but flash that excelled only against second tier opposition. Throughout his career he won world titles in 3 separate weight classes from better than marginal champions.
During his prime Camacho was good as any fighter could possibly get, In 1983 Hector defeated Rafael “Bazooka” Limon for the vacant WBC Super Featherweight world championship. On August 10th 1985 as a lightweight Hector dethroned then WBC World Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Ramirez. March 6th 1989 Camacho once more moved up in weight for a highly anticipated bout against popular Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini to anoint the inaugural WBO light welterweight world champion winning via split decision making him a 3 division world champion something at the time that very few men could claim. In the spring of 1991 he and Greg Haugen (The first man to defeat Camacho) would trade that title in 2 split decision bouts, Haugen winning the first Hector the rematch 3 months later. That would be the last major world title win for Camacho he vacated the WBO title a year after his last bout against Haugen to challenge then WBC light welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez losing a unanimous decision.
Several years later Camacho with his best days behind him would receive 2 more opportunities as a welterweight to and claim a major world championship. In 1994 Hector faced fellow Puerto Rican native and then IBF welterweight world champion Felix Trinidad and on September 13th 1997 in one last hurrah he would meet WBC Welterweight World Champion Oscar De La Hoya. In both contest Camacho lost embarrassing one sided unanimous decisions. After the De La Hoya defeat Camacho continued to fight sporadically another 13 years losing his final professional bout against journeyman Saul Duran on May 14th 2010. Throughout his 30 year boxing career Camacho would face the likes of Rafael Limon, Cornelius “Boza” Edwards, Edwin Rosario, Ray Mancini, Vinny Pazienza, Julio Cesar Chavez, Roberto Duran, Ray Leonard, Felix Trinidad, Greg Haugen, Oscar De La Hoya, Freddie Roach and Luis “Yori Boy” Campas. He retired with a 79-6-3 record and was never stopped in any of those 6 losses.
Camacho’s personal life was not always successful as his professional one. A “Playboy” attitude had him father 4 children by as many women. Drug abuse and hot headed temper eventually led to his downfall. His outgoing personality often made fans overlook his outside boxing mistakes that would have ended the career marketability of most. I could continue going over highlights of Camacho’s career or speak about when I interviewed him prior to his 2000 bout against Billy Fox, though my personal most memorable Hector Camacho moment took place long before I ever covered any professional or even knew who Camacho was. It took place when I was around 12 or 13 years old in my Uncle Frank’s living room during a replay of Camacho versus Ramirez.
I had been visiting him my Titi Nancy and cousins for the summer when suddenly my Uncle who was hanging out in his “Man Cave” where he would sit watch sports etc. yelled my name real loud to quickly come in. Since he rarely invited me to watch TV at that age I was unsure on what he wanted thinking I may have been in trouble for acting like a clown in one way or another. When I walked in on TV was a fighter making his ring entrance so I knew right away this must have been one of his favorites, the last time he called me in so enthusiastically Alexis Arguello was getting ready to defend his championship a few years prior. The fight was a replay of Camacho versus Jose Luis Ramirez.
As Hector stood in the ring dancing Uncle Frank put his arm around me and asked who I thought was going to win, “I don’t know” and shrugged my shoulders then asked who he thought would win. “MACHO IS GOING TO WIN DIDN’T YOU SEE THE PUERTO RICAN FLAG” (Referring to Camacho’s ring robe decked out in sequins that designed a flag of Puerto Rico where our family originates). His shorts are all shiny and purple Uncle Frank I don’t think he will win I replied after. “That’s OK you’ll see” he told me as the bell sounded to start the fight. In round 3 Camacho dropped Ramirez for an eight count causing my Uncle to jump out of his seat yelling “SEE WHAT DID I TELL YOU THAT’S BECAUSE HE IS PUERTO RICAN”! Camacho would then continue out boxing Ramirez for the remainder and take his title in a 12 round unanimous decision. Of course being Puerto Rican had nothing to do with it but at 12 my knowledge was limited so I believed being Puerto Rican had everything to do with it and was then a life-long Camacho fan, as I got older I grew to appreciate his skillset of course.
I don’t know why I was surprised when I heard the news Camacho had been shot, considering he was always in and out of trouble and shot just a year ago, it should have shocked me none. I think I was more bothered by how things played out in the media afterward that bothered me. I wish he had gone more peacefully and with fewer complications but everything Hector did was full of commotion why would his death be any different?
Rest in peace now Hector, you fought the good fight right until the end and remained Macho throughout. Should you happen to come across Frank Morales on your way to sit with the other legends we lost in 2012 stop, take a few minutes and talk the fight game with him. I am sure you guys will get along after all your both Puerto Rican.
BOXING LOSES ANOTHER LEGEND; CARMEN BASILIO PASSES AWAY AT AGE 85
By: Daxx Khan - November 8, 2012
Carmen Basilio was everything we could ask for in a fighter, well-conditioned, determined and possessed a heart that brought him success his skillset alone could never have. From the moment he debuted in 1948 until meeting former lightweight champion Ike Williams in 1953 there was nothing about Basilio that made anyone think he would exceed journeyman status, entering the bout his record was a mediocre 31-10-4 many of those losses came due to being out-boxed by less than stellar comp. Upsetting the former champion with scores of 9-1, 9-1, 7-3 helped set up bouts against New York State Welterweight Champion Billy Graham where “The Upstate onion Farmer” claimed the title by official scores of 6-5-1, 7-5, and a questionable 9-2. Now that the NYS welterweight belt belonging to him a faceoff against reigning welterweight champ Kid Gavilan was fast tracked, Carmen would meet “The Cuban Hawk” on Sept 18th. Basilio would record his best performance to date losing a close split decision loss where “Kid” tasted canvas for a 9 count during round 2. One message was sent out that night and it was “You might beat me but it you’ll remember me for a long time to come afterward”. After the Gavilan loss and whirlwind 1953 Basilio would go 7-0-2 earning another welterweight title shot against now champion Tony DeMarco in June of 55, Carmen would this time win the championship stopping Tony in round 12 then duplicate his feat 5 months later in a rematch that Ring Magazine later declared Fight of the Year. His next 3 bouts would be against Johnny Saxton, twice in 1956 where the first meeting on March 14th would cost him the welterweight crown won off DeMarco, the second taking place Sept 12th when he would once more claim the championship and his second fight of the year honor.
1957 would be another monumental year for Basilio, on February 22nd he defended his welterweight title with success against Johnny Saxton via second round TKO of their third meeting then September 23rd pull of a career defining performance when he defeated “Sugar” Ray Robinson by split decision gaining a second divisional world championship and third Ring Magazine fight of the year award. Six months later in 1958 a 4th fight of the year bout would happen when he lost the middleweight championship to Robinson in a rematch on points when the pair met at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois. Each meeting won or lost against Ray was scored by split decision. This event was Basilio’s last as a fighter relevant to the title scene, he would go onto score a few wins over marginal opponents, lose back to back bouts against Gene Fullmer and in his last bout lose a lopsided attempt to claim the middleweight title from Paul Pender on April 22nd 1961 ending his career with a 56-16-7 (27) resume. 3 world title reigns in 2 division’s, 4 fight of the year honors and victory over boxing’s all time pound for pound greatest not bad for an upstate NY farm boy was it?
Basilio often stated later on in life long after retirement his favorite boxing memory was watching his nephew Billy Backus win the welterweight championship in 1970 stopping Jose Napoles on cuts, he was so beloved in upstate New York it he was the inspiration for boxing’s International Hall of Fame located in Basilio’s hometown of Canastota. My personal favorite Carmen Basilio moments took place at the Hall of Fame during weekend induction weekends when I could catch 10 minutes of his time to hear a story or two.
Your final bell has sounded champ rest easy knowing that while you begin your journey up there in heaven down here we are talking about how whenever you laced up the gloves win or lose gave em’ Hell! Thank You and God Bless.
THE GABRIEL RUELAS STORY PART 4- "TODAY I'M BACK HOME, HAPPY TO BE WITH MY FAMILY EVERYDAY & PART OF THEIR LIVES!"
By: Daxx Khan - November 5, 2012
When we last left off, Ruelas spoke about never being the same fighter inside after his 1995 bout against Jimmy Garcia when injuries sustained during the showdown had caused Garcia’s death. Despite every attempt to fool those around him, even himself everything was different, the desire just did not exist anymore. Until his decision to hang the gloves up for good in 2003 Gabriel would have only scattered success inside the ring. Since retirement, Ruelas personal life has been much like those last few years of his professional one, scattered with ups and downs. Like any fighter though, Gabriel keeps getting up when knocked down what’s more, like any champion he does not throw in the towel but pushes through. In this our final installment, Gabe shares what things have been like since hanging up the gloves, how he continues to struggle with Garcia’s death on a regular basis, time spent drinking excessively while searching for something new in life to replace boxing, rebuilding himself emotionally so he can be part of his family and everyday part of his sons lives. The truth about how Araceli Martinez Rose stole his life story, exaggerated facts without reason, and then ran off with what was to be a 60/40 business partnership in profits earned from the biography after claiming she had a piece of paper with Ruelas signature on it relinquishing rights to his own life story for a meager $1000.00. A paper genuine as the faceless figure leaning on ring ropes of their book with a replicated tattoo to match the one Ruelas has etched into his skin.
Ruelas is distinct from many fighters who reached the pinnacle of boxing in the fact that he stayed retired once that decision was made, especially due to the fact he left the sport on a loss! Almost every fighter who has achieved success in their career let alone championship glory thinks they have 1 more in them even those who leave on a win, those leaving on a loss seem to be almost driven mad with the idea that was their last career moment. Ruelas has stayed out of the ring since retirement but the urge still lies within him, I had thought maybe with Garcia’s death taking the in ring hunger out of him it was easy for him to walk away once the right time arrived. Gabriel states it has not been easy as he would often like it to “It’s been hard not attempting a comeback, many days I find myself wishing they would come up with some sort of league where retired fighters could fight one another to stay busy, sort of a “Senior Tour” but my wife and kids would never let me fight again. It’s very difficult to leave the thing that gave you so much happiness and of course it was how I earned my living.”
When I asked him how he deals with the quietness away from the spotlight (Another reason why so many fighters make comebacks not so much the urge to fight but the yearning of a crowd and attention that goes along with success) that’s when Jimmy Garcia’s name surfaced again in our conversations.
“It wasn’t so difficult at first because when I retired I felt I had done it all in the sport. I had already reached my dream, I became world champion. I also was so happy to win the W.B.C. title. That belt was always my favorite.
I do miss it a lot to this day, but because of what happened to Jimmy Garcia sometimes I wish I would have never walked into that Goossen gym as a kid. I often wish I was never a professional boxer.”
We started talking about the book on his life that has been a focal point of tremendous stress in his life since it began, I was unsure on how it came about was he approached? Did he reach out? What I learned was it had been a bit of both. There had been numerous offers to do a story on his career but all had been movies and each script seemed more off base than the last. That’s when the idea for a book entered his head thinking the Hollywood Magic would be avoided in altering things as they had actually took place. “I actually am the one that suggested to a friend that possibly I could get someone to help me write my life story. I was always being approached to make a movie of my life. We worked on quite a few scripts, but you know how “Hollywood” is. The producers wanted to make this phony story with my life mixed in it a bit. We did not like what we were hearing. I kept thought that a book was the only way to tell my story truthfully, like it really happened.”
Gabriel found someone to put his story on paper for him Araceli Martinez Rose a news reporter from Mexico. She had no background in covering the sport and this would be her first attempt at this aspect of journalism. There is a big difference in reporting the daily news handed to you by a staff of fact checkers and gaining the trust of boxing’s tight knit community. It was a start though and not Hollywood so Gabriel was receptive to giving it a try. They met, discussed what the over-all goal was then came to an agreement on financial profit splits. Since Rose was an outsider in the sport Ruelas would help with contacts for her to meet with and gain insight from pertaining to his career moments.. Jimmy Garcia, Referee Mitch Halpern’s family, WBC head Jose Suliman all supported the cause thinking Ruelas would finally get his story told how it should be when suddenly things went terribly wrong. Martinez Rose was not all she appeared to be on surface developing a “Look at me attitude” while she did exactly what Ruelas had feared with allowing Hollywood to develop a movie about his life. Araceli Martinez Rose turned Ruelas life into a Novel full of exaggerations behind the ex-champions back. What’s more as the book gained attention she slowly but surely acted more as if Ruelas was the third wheel involved not focus. The best comparison Ruelas had for what took place was that feeling of coming home to find your home had been burglarized.
“I was in a partnership Co-OWNER of the book. I would provide the story, the introductions to fighters, referee’s, promoters, MY photos and MY time. Araceli Martinez Rose would write the story. We each had our role and agreed along with co-ownership, profits would be split 60/40. She was a first time author with no deal, no agent or experience in the boxing world. We did not sign anything between us and worked together for almost a year! Soon we started receiving a lot of press and offer from a publisher, that’s when the problems started. We tried sitting down to work out a deal on paper, but could not reach an agreement. Finally one evening after a long argument, she told me that she no longer needed my permission because she owned my rights forever. Claiming I signed over all my rights to her for $1,000.00, 5 months earlier. I NEVER SIGNED SUCH AN AGREEMENT AND TO THIS DAY HAVE NOT RECIEIVED A PENNY FROM THAT BOOK! She has won over 17 literary awards while lying to everyone about my lack of participation. Besides her forging my signature on that agreement, she is a sloppy journalist. I was never once given a copy of what she wrote to fact check before it was sent to print, as a result it’s full of factual errors, and exaggerated stories. This so called biography is really a novel. The first printing of the book had a picture of me on the cover, once I told her not to proceed unless we settled out differences she signed the deal without me, then shot a new cover with a fighter who’s face is obscured leaning on ring ropes and towel over his head. They photo-shopped the “Ruelas” tattoo on his arm, as if it were me. That shows how misleading and deceitful she is.
I do feel it is an injustice to anyone who reads it. I am a public figure, anyone has a right to write whatever they want about me, with or without my permission but that was not the case with this book. I let her into my home, into my life, my wife and children’s life, my mother and my sister’s life. I introduced her to Jose Suliman, the WBC, Jimmy Garcia and Mitch Halpern’s family. They all cooperated with her because they thought they were doing it with and for me. I feel sorry that I had confided in her. She stole my story right out from under me and I don’t have the money to take her to court. I feel like it must feel when a thief comes in to your home and robs you. It’s a horrible feeling.
Ruelas has learned to roll with the punches of life in doing so there have been times he’s needed to pick himself up and brush off his gloves. The pain of Garcia’s death continues to haunt him, as does the contortion of his life story by Martinez-Rose. His wife Leslie has stayed in the corner pushing him to go one more round and when he has debated giving up knowing his 2 sons still need him along with her support revives that championship attitude. I spent 4 1/2 years away from my family on a path of self-destruction, I thought I had lost everything my career, my family and most of all myself. I drank every day to numb myself from feeling pain. Today I am back home with them and an everyday part of my sons lives. I am so grateful and happy about that.
Gabriel Ruelas is a fighter the world knows what he was capable of inside a boxing ring, now we have learned of Gabriel Ruelas the man himself and though he might not train at the gym everyday preparing for his next big bout he continues fighting the battle of life. In a ring you have 3 minute rounds, chances to regroup change your strategy gather your wits and if need be a referee to save you from further punishment. Life is not always so kind and the only person who can save you is you, sometimes even a break to regroup won’t allow you to change your approach and when you get knocked down you often stay down for a long count. Ruelas keeps getting back up, changing his strategy then fights on. His corner seems like they are helping him make the needed adjustments so he can go one more round. Despite some changes in divisions and promoters he continues on as a champion of life and I am going to continue following him as those adjustments continue. I have a feeling before all is said and done we will be seeing him standing with his hand raised, big smile on his face wearing a sombrero with “Antonio Aguilar’s El Tapatio” blaring in the background.
Thank you Gabriel it has been my privilege to pass along your story to our readers, I think there will be another segment to come and when its ready I want to be there and tell it exactly how you want it told!
BUTE SUCCESSFUL IN RETURN BUT NOT READY FOR FROCH REMATCH
By: Daxx Khan - November 3, 2012
Last night on Wealth TV at the Bell Centre Montreal Canada Lucian Bute made his first
appearance in a ring since losing his IBF super middleweight title to Carl Froch earlier this year when he took on the undefeated NABF light heavyweight champion Denis Grachev. The fight started slow as each man was reluctant to let their hands flow free, by the third Bute was landing his left with some accuracy while Grachev landed wild rights. Mid-way through both men started to step it up and each were having their moments, Denis the more determined fighter throwing with authority and Bute accurate. As the championship rounds began it was either man’s fight to win, Lucian’s uppercut was connecting often and Grachev could not miss with his lead right lunges. The battle closed with both fighters swinging with all the power they could muster after a hard fought contest. When tallies were read judges scored the bout in favor of the former IBF 168lb title holder 115-113, 118-110, 116-112 making him the new NABF light heavyweight titlist. Bute’s record improved to 31-1 (24) and Grachev picked up his first defeat going home 12-1-1 (8).
Bute in the future needs to keep his back off the ropes and pick up his punch output because every fighter from 168-175 has learned the blueprint from Carl Froch and Denis Grachev making him easy pickings for future opponents. The Bute of last night in my opinion does not last 4 rounds in his rematch against Carl!
In the co-main event Light heavyweight Renan St Juste took on former Super Six tournament alternate Allan Green. Green entered the ring with a 5 inch height advantage against St Juste and it appeared early on he would use the one/two combination all night to win a safe decision. Green suffered a mental lapse that allowed St Juste time to land a big left hook and drop him in round 4. After a regroup between rounds Allan went back to the safe one two strategy as size eventually caught up with Renan causing the bout halted on the stool due to accumulated punishment. Green was declared winner by RTD 7 improving to 32-4 (22) while Juste stock dropped to 23-4-1 (15).
In Undercard action
Light Middleweight Mikael Zewski def Cesar Chavez via KO 37sec round 1, Zewski remains undefeated at 17-0 (13) Chavez drops to 20-4 (9).
Super Bantamweight Rodrigo Guerrero def Sebastian Gauthier TKO 2:31 rd 8. Sebastian was down in rounds 1 and 8. Guerrero improves to 18-4-1 (12) as Gauthier drops to 22-4 (14).
Super Middleweight Francy Ntetu 7(2)-0 def Schiller Hyppolite 5(2)-0 via MD 6. Schiller was down in round 3. Ntetu raises his stock to 8-0 (2) while Hyppolite drop’s to 5-1 (2)
Light Middleweight Sebastien Bouchard def Glisandy Mejia via UD 4.
Mejia was down in round 2. Bouchard improves to 4-0 (2), Mejia stands at 3-1 (2).
Heavyweight Bogdan Dinu def Eric Martel Bahoeli KO 2:52 rd 4. Dinu’s record raises to 8-0 (5) While Baholi drops to 7-3(2).
Lightweight Michael Gadbois def. Pedro Navarrete via MD 4. Gadbois improved to 9-0, Navarrete stands at 28-17-3.
KENYAN FIGHTERS SCAMMED
By: Daxx Khan - October 8, 2012
As a boxing journalist it is my job to report happenings of the sport provide fans unique views on topics and always give honest opinions despite what backlash might occur. One personal advantage of my job in which I take full advantage is the opportunity to place exposure on positive programs, causes or events. Anti-Bullying, Anti-Drug or Pro-Education events are ones I focus on most. Occasionally I will use my column to blast a promoter, manager or fighter for poor sportsmanship, mismatched events and not living up to their potential. Like stated earlier it’s my JOB to provide honesty despite backlash. Today I am using this space to expose a CROOK, SCAM-ARTIST, and LOWLIFE WHO TAKES OTHERS DREAMS AWAY TO FULFILL HIS PERSONAL GREED! Here is a letter I received recently from a friend of the BillyCBoxing Network that runs a positive program for inspiring boxers in Kenya billed as G-Rockers www.grockerssports.com
It pertained to a fellow who calls himself Mr. Njuguna that used the American based promotional company “Top Rank’s” name to his advantage when some local Kenyan warriors thought they might have been receiving an opportunity of a lifetime.
Here is a brief on a scam event held in Nairobi on 29th September 2012.
The Event was organized by a company calling itself TOP RANK PROMOTIONS which is owned by a gentleman called Mr. Njuguna Kabugo. It was an event that was "supposed" to be the best boxing event held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The venue was a place called Garden Square restaurant, it’s not a very big venue but a decent place for boxing event, the ticket prices were fairly higher than the usual prices we pay for boxing events in Kenya, the ticket prices were 1000/- and 5000/- respectively and was supposed to start at 6pm local time, I went there at 5:30 hoping to get a decent seat but to my surprise the ring was still being assembled, which was a bit suspect since every boxing event have the ring constructed hours before the event. We had to hang around for another hour before the ring was in place, and seats arranged, once again another surprise came up, the lighting was not proper, this is when we started suspecting something is wrong since the boxers were also getting restless, around 8;30pm the CEO of TOP RANK PROMOTIONS came out and said he has no money to pay the boxers, the event had to be called after a bit of chaos at the venue the promoter was whisked away to the police station, though he has since been released, the fans have not been refunded anything, the boxers were not paid a cent, the main event was supposed to be an female East African title fight between Fatima Zarika of Kenya vs. Hawa Daku.
Events like these are very negative for our local boxing and gives out a very bad image to the world. I do hope we can get professional promoters in Kenya, because many of our boxers are really getting conned.
Thank you again Daxx.
I will leave the name of the sender out to save him some backlash because when deciding to share this news after some extra research to validate I took that responsibility on willingly. In turn I would like to close with three statements on this situation.
First boxing is a tough enough sport to succeed in. Even if a fighter possesses all the talent in the world, without opportunity a chance to showcase that talent might never happen. Only a Vulture would seek out those who have the least amount of opportunities knowing they must take that chance even a doubtful situation should there even be the slightest hopes in being able to make their dreams come true.
Second I am glad these fighters found out before they stepped in the ring that no purse would be had for their efforts. While that does not change the fact each had trained hard, were heart-broken at a lost opportunity and discouraged they avoided any physical punishment. We often see 1 punch change a life for the worse this night could have been that night that happened.
Third Mr. Njuguna Kabugo you are no boxing promoter, THE REAL Top Rank Promotions would NEVER CHEAT THEIR FIGHTERS OUT OF AN AGREED UPON PAYDAY NOR WOULD THEY SEEK DESPERATE HOPEFULL’S TO CHEAT OUT OF THEIR DREAMS! It is with my most sincere wishes that you are forced to compensate these cheated fighters even if it means you becoming homeless and starving in the streets.
Hopefully the fans that were cheated out of an admission price don’t blame boxing as a whole and turn their back on the sport. If anyone should run into this Mr. Njuguna Kabugo or whatever his REAL name might be avoid him like the Plague he carries. Meanwhile let’s all hope someone comes up with an international cure for diseased scum of integrity like this.
“Road to Glory” Traveler’s Report- Who continues down the road and who has stalled?”
By Daxx Khan - October 1, 2012
The “Road to Glory” event promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Gary Shaw Productions held at the MGM Grand Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut provided some answers on exactly who will continue traveling that road, who needs to take a short pit stop and whose road has come to an end. It was an exciting night of action that had fans on their feet often. After sitting ringside for the evening’s festivities here are my final thoughts on their journey and overall grades for those fighters who took part.
Opening up the night was light heavyweight hopeful Isaac Chilemba 20-1-1 (9) versus journeyman Rayco Saunders 22-16-2. Chilemba was coming in off a win over Edison Miranda this past February, this bout should have showcased his abilities as Rayco is a lesser quality opponent by far instead despite a win showed many holes in the 25 year old South African’s game that needs to be worked on should he continue traveling. Issac abandoned his jab, fought flat and looked too hard for a KO late in the bout. When you have a 37 year old journeyman who has 40 bouts 16 losses with only one by way of KO a decade ago and your KO ratio is only 40%, don’t worry about a stoppage do your job and if it comes it comes if not just hone your skills against a man who has twice your experience and could pull a trick or 2 out of his hat should you slip. A win is a win though next time Chilemba needs settle down work on using his complete repertoire and realize that when your opponent is not fazed slightly by your biggest shots you could be hurting yourself more than him should you gas from excess exertion in vain. Chilemba gets a C+ for his efforts and passes enough to keep traveling for now. Issac improved to 21-1-1 Rayco dropped to 40-17-2. Rayco’s road ended long ago he was just a willing pedestrian that assisted Chilemba on his way.
Super featherweight Ryan Kielczewski 13-0 (2) def. Jeremy McLaurin 9-3 UD 6. Ryan is a fairly skilled boxer possessing limited power made his night harder than need be against McLaurin. With a strong fan base in the house he seemed overly worried about pleasing them fighting with his right hand low more often than he should have, ANYONE who has only 2 KO wins in 13 bouts against limited opp or not has no business keeping his hands low. Should you be exceptional in other aspects of your game or have the ability to stop your opponents with one punch like a Sergio Martinez type that’s another story, Kielczewski is asking for trouble with this approach! Due to quality of opponent and laxed concentration despite a win I give him a C for his performance. I suggest a pit stop to work on those much needed repairs before his “Road to Glory” ends abruptly in the near future. Ryan improved to 14-0 (2), McLaurin dropped to 9-4 (5) and won’t be going any further than where he is now.
Super bantamweight Luis Rosa 10(5)-0-0 garnered himself a C+ by stopping Victor Valenzuela 8(1)-4 (2) at the 1:21 mark of round 6. Victor could not be missed at any time during the bout and if Rosa would have settled down a bit the 6th round stoppage could have easily been a 4th round one. I can’t say too much negative about this fight though it was a big stage for the young Rosa, as he gains more face time his nerves will settle. I give him a B and can bet we see him further down the line.
Popular female heavyweight contender Sonya Lamonakis remained unbeaten when she won a majority decision over Tanzee Daniel, this was the third time these two squared off with Sonya winning a prior decision and then a draw in the rematch. Tanzee was game and did her best but had no answer for Lamonakis in your face style, even when she scored offense it was 1 punch at a time. Sonya while she dominated 85% of the action seemed often uninterested, that could possibly have been due to frustration on having to face the same opponent for the third time or she was looking toward her WBF title shot next month (Speculation on my part). Daniel now 4-2-1 has reached beyond what her ability should have let her and here on out will be nothing more than an available name. Sonya we all know will continue traveling the Road toward Glory. Next time let’s hope the “Scholar” raises not only her record from 7-0-2 to 8-0-2 but grade performance from a B- to an A+.
Danny O'Connor the popular New England light welterweight improved to 19-1 (7) when he walked over Josh Sosa 10 (5)-4 (2) inside 3 rounds. Danny really does not get a grade for this performance because facing a guy like Sosa should be considered testing with a cheat sheet. He stopped Josh in exciting fashion at 33 seconds of round 3 letting us know little more than he can punch. I give him an A for extra credit in excitement we will see him continue on his trip but after last night he really went no further than he was. Josh has never really started his trip.
Welterweight Antonin Decarie 27 (8)-1 scored high grades and traveled the furthest of anyone on the road Saturday when he upset the favored Alex Perez 16 (9)-1 with a stunning TKO at 2:54 of round 6. Decarie a light puncher who has fought mainly in Canada showed poise and ability to be not only a boxer but puncher should the need arise. Antonin broke Perez down not only physically but mentally, the crowd watched Alex become more dejected with every punch absorbed until he was just about knocked out of the ring in the 6th. Decarie earned an A for his performance plus the vacant NABF welterweight title. His trip not only continues but surpassed the speed limit in keeping things going. Alex needs a pit stop and somewhere to rebuild confidence.
Super bantamweight and multi division champion Vic Darchinyan 38 (27)-5 (1)-1 who has already been to where the Road to Glory takes you showed he is serious about attempting another trip by toppling previously unbeaten Luis Orlando Del Valle 16(11)-1 Via 10 round UD. Vic was able to use his experience and confuse Del Valle then bring the young prospect to places he has never been by fighting inside with every dirty trick he was able to get away with. Del Valle ate some monster shots from Darchinyan without faltering but had no answers for Vic’s herky jerky unorthodox rough tumble style. Darchinyan grabbed the vacant NABF super bantamweight title for his efforts. Vic gets an A- for his performance. Darchinyan might not reach the end of the road toward Glory again but showed he is on a serious road trip. Del Valle put up a valiant effort and might want to rethink the corner he travels with from here on out because they did little to help his efforts. I see Orlando continuing his journey after a short pit stop.
The main event pitted USBA super middleweight champion Edwin Rodriguez 22-0 (15) against Jason Escalera 13-1-1 (12) for the first defense of his belt. Edwin did as he promised leading up to the event, proving he could box and punch! In round one Edwin opened up on Escalera almost ending things there but Jason held on showing amazing heart not to mention chin. The bout never did go in his favor despite continued efforts, after many close calls on being flattened and what appeared to be a busted ear drum Escalera had to be saved by referee Steve Smoger at 12 seconds into round 8. Rodriguez gets a B for his performance because despite a win he looked tired often pushing his punches, possibly due to coming in at 188lbs fight night but he will certainly continue his journey down the road. In a loss Escalera gets an A+ not for his offense but amazing heart showed, hopefully after a short put-stop he refuels and heads back down the road.
Miguel Cotto/Austin Trout NYC press conference kickoff!
TROUT CREATED SOME DOUBT!
By: Daxx Khan - September 24, 2012
Yesterday in New York City at the El Museo Del Barrio on museum row located at 1230 5th Av Miguel Cotto and Austin made their first stop of a national press tour for their upcoming December 1st showdown that will have Cotto seeking yet another world title as he vies to claim unbeaten WBA 154lb champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout’s belt. As always Cotto was a class act the way he presented himself in conduct and appearance. Champion Trout was certainly just as reputable in his demeanor making this not only an event for a title belt but between two warriors who carry themselves like champions inside a ring and outside!
Golden Boy Founder and former multi division champion Oscar De La Hoya opened up festivities by announcing both participants and undercard bouts, followed by a raffle for fans in attendance. Two boxing gloves signed by both fighters and a Ringside set of tickets were given away then Team Cotto and Team Trout each had short opening statements before the fighters took podium.
Miguel Cotto gave Trout credit for being a young hungry champion with an impressive skillset though not tested on a fighter of his caliber.
Trout responded with Cotto being a legend in the sport already who has fought the “Who’s Who” in boxing adding in His name will be non that list of not only best fighters in boxing Cotto gas faced but have defeated him.
The crowd was mostly Pro Cotto as NYC is his second home in terms of drawing ability with overwhelming Puerto Rican population in New York adding to that adoration. When Trout was announce those fans in attendance would say in unison “Austin Who” then followed up by “Who’s Austin Trout”. Trout laughed it off in good spirits.
Later I was able to catch a short conversation with Trout and I asked him if this was a “No lose situation for him because he is relatively unknown and even if he lost a good performance would elevated him into main stream popularity. He replied “I don’t plan on losing but yes this is a “Win Win” situation for not only Miguel and me but the boxing fans because we will both come to fight to our fullest ability, Miguel is a warrior as am I but size, speed and youth are in my favor”.
When each was asked about the other top fighters in the division both stated right now all that matters is the fight between one another, after they will worry about other challenges to look past this one would be a mistake.
With size, speed, youth and demeanor considered not to mention mystery Trout might end up surprising those who don’t know enough about him to take him seriously. “I am looking to become a Cinderella Story, I want to be the fighter no one thought much of but stole the show, after this fight I promise no one will be asking “Who’s Austin Trout?”.
Former Heavyweight Title Holder Corrie Sanders Murdered at age 46 while at Nephews 21st Birthday Party!
By: Daxx Khan - September 23, 2012
Former South African heavyweight title holder Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders was no boxing phenom, nor he will not go into the boxing Hall Of Fame for his career achievements, other than his stunning upset of long time Heavyweight Kingpin Wladimir Klitschko most casual boxing fans are not even sure who he is. Truth is Sanders was often confused with a former American heavyweight journeyman who fought around the same time and shared the same name. Aside from all those mentioned Sanders had a huge heart, one heck of a punch and million dollar smile that said “I am just happy to be here, Thanks for having me”. He was a hard guy not to root for and those who were not rooting for him at bouts beginning found themselves cheering for the Golf Pro out of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa win or lose by nights end.
I met sanders in 1998 when he had been here in America to face off against former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion Bobby Czyz at the Mohegan Sun Casino. I had secured an interview with him through his people because outside of Gerrie Coetzee it was rare to see a South African heavyweight in the states and as a devout follower of the game did not want to miss the opportunity who knows how long it would be before the opportunity presented itself again, I never even thought of the fact he would score a major upset years later over a future hall of fame champion.
I remember when I walked up Sanders had this big smile on his face and extended his arm out to shake my hand 10 feet before I was near him. His cheerful demeanor gave no inclination this man was a fighter about to defend his championship in less than 36 hours. Sanders would stop Czyz in round 2 and retain his WBU championship then head back to South Africa. I did not follow his career in depth after because there were so many other high profile heavyweights vying to be #1 and Sanders was nowhere in that mix. Though I would catch replays of his fights because most ended with knockouts either scored by or scored against him, making for exciting moments.
In 2003 when he faced still unproven heavyweight commodity Wladimir Klitschko for Wlad’s little regarded WBO world heavyweight championship (At the time the WBO was just beginning to be considered a true major title, ABC madness still only really consisted of the WBC, WBA and IBF belts) most thought it would be yet another build up fight for the Ukrainian power puncher trying to shake the nasty taste left in fans mouth after his TKO loss 5 years earlier to journeyman Ross Purity. Corrie not only shocked all those who witnessed the event that evening but himself after catching Wlad with a huge shot while against the ropes dropping Klitschko who managed to get up but end up down just seconds later courtesy of Sanders relentless attack.
Once the bell sounded to end that affair Sanders ran around the ring shaking hands and hugging everyone in sight, the crowd was on their feet screaming in approval I found myself doing the same from 4000 miles away in the restaurant section of a local sports bar.
Corrie had only 1 high profile bout after that, once vacating the championship won from Wlad without a single defense Sanders would be brutalized by brother Vitaly 13 months later before being mercifully saved in round 8 by referee Jon Schorle. Some sporadic bouts would take place in Sanders career against no one of mention, he would retire for good February 2008 after a 1st round KO loss to Osborne Machimana in attempts to relieve Osborne of his South African heavyweight title. In retirement Sanders would spend time with his family and was an active golfer who many stated could have qualified as a PGA member.
While celebrating his nephews 21st birthday with family over dinner at a local restaurant on Saturday gunmen entered the establishment demanding money, once the employees handed over the cash the COWARD’S WHO ROBBED THE PLACE AND RECEIVED WHAT THEY HAD COME FOR BEGAN RANDOMLY SHOOTING PATRONS WITHOUT CAUSE!!! Sanders was shot twice one of those would be in his stomach a place most medical professionals will say is the most difficult place to remove the bullet while saving the victims life because so many internal organs end up damaged at once, it is also said to be the most painful place to be shot, Sanders was rushed to a local hospital and passed away early this morning after suffering throughout the evening.
Corrie may not have been a top notch world class fighter but he was a top notch world class person. He gave it his all inside the ring time and again win or lose. The only thing left to say is.
Thanks for everything Corrie you provided some great memories inside the ring. Let that Million dollar smile of yours brighten up the sky a bit while your friends and family play some rounds of Golf in your memory. You’ll sorely be missed.
Gabriel Ruelas Part 3- "The Pressure was on to keep what I had created"
By: Daxx Kahn - September 23, 2012
In part 2 of our segment Gabriel found himself feeling as though he discovered “Heaven on Earth”, with a successful debut in the books, first paycheck cashed, learning there would be a monthly stipend for he and brother Rafael to live on should they fight or not was something he never imagined. There was also the satisfaction of knowing those who doubted him growing up felt foolish because it was their doubt that helped motivate Ruelas to work harder toward his goal. What was next for this future world champion? A professional career was important but how about Ruelas personal life? When did he know that despite the wins on record he was not just another fighter but one with big things to come?
This installment Gabriel will share some answers on those topics, his most memorable career moment, favorite opponent, first career dilemma and what went through his head while Jimmy Garcia lay in a hospital bed due to injuries Ruelas had inflicted during their 1995 bout.
When I asked Ruelas at what point in time he knew success was on the horizon and there was more in store for his career than just becoming another belt holder who would happen to score a championship through careful guidance with-in boxing’s alphabet title madness he answered sincerely but not arrogantly that he knew from the beginning the ability was there. “I felt it even as a young kid, I did very well against the pros. It wasn’t just the sparring but working out with fighters more advanced than me that was a confidence builder. I knew before I won the title, that I was very good”.
In December of 1989 Ruelas met the woman he would later marry. Boxing still remained his main focus, knowing what could happen if he lost focus Ruelas carefully balanced the two. “I was 14-0 at the time and boxing was my life. My only commitment was to the sport. I had no time for girls or anything else. At the time she did not mind being second in my life. My main focus was to be world champion and I wasn’t going to let anyone get in the way. I found the right girl and I felt that she wanted it for me as much as I did. I was amazed that she understood the dedication it took and she gave me my space but yet still supported me”
When Gabriel faced Jeff Franklin in April of 1990 his elbow was purposely injured by Franklin so severely during their bout that medical professionals told him he may never fight again. That’s when his feelings that Leslie was the one for him throughout time were reinforced. “I thought that I would lose her because I wouldn’t become the world champion she thought I would. I thought I would end up going back to Mexico forget about boxing and the United States. She helped me very much to believe in myself with the everyday tasks during rehab. In a little less than a year I was back fighting on a major card. I will always remember that because it was a very important time in my life. I felt that I was so close to achieving my goal in boxing and suddenly it was all gone. We became very close during that difficult time, I knew then she was a keeper. We had our first son 4 years later. During a 6 month span in 1994 I was married, my first child was born, I won a world championship; and we bought our first house. It was a great year needless to say. The pressure was on now to keep what I had created”
We spoke of his world title win over Jesse James Leija, what went through his mind after the victory and how if at all it changed him as a fighter. Taking some time to reflect he responded “I felt I had finally accomplished my dream. Especially since I lost a close fight to Azumah Nelson in my first title shot, it was even more special to win because my brother had won the IBF lightweight title earlier that same year, I felt complete. The Ruelas Brothers were both World Champions and at the same time! I hate to say it but once I achieved my goal looking back I lost some hunger inside. It’s the worst thing that could happen a fighter feeling satisfied with their accomplishments while still active and I felt satisfied.
I questioned Gabriel on his favorite opponent and career moment aside from winning the championship of course. I learned over years the two do not always coincide, the moment does not always have to do with the opponent involved. One example that I can give of that reasoning is when a fighter once told me his favorite opponent was this guy that more than likely no one today has ever heard of, but the reason he was his favorite is because when in close the guy would tell a joke while waiting for the referee to break them apart. His most memorable career moment oddly enough had been one he hardly remembered at all because he lost the bout by stoppage leaving the event little more than a blur. What made it his favorite career moment was that fans and media often told him they appreciated his efforts for years to follow. Ruelas also had separate opponents in separate bouts for both categories. Part of my question was one he had never been presented with.
“Wow. I’ve never been asked who my favorite opponent was. I would have to say Troy Dorsey would be my favorite because he was such a nice guy. My most memorable moment would be against Azumah Nelson, during our first fight and the magnitude of that event. He was “The Professor” and already a legend; the bout took place in my home country of. We faced off in Mexico City, with 130,000 of my fellow countrymen watching.
Learning of his favorite opponent, most memorable event and finding out after winning the world title self-admittedly some hunger was lost made me wonder when thoughts of retirement began looming. Every fighter debates retirement more than once, most never follow through with that decision until long after the thought has left their mind. Some decide the time has come due to age others family obligations or perhaps some embarrassing losses brought on by the fact their body can no longer do what their mind tells it inside the ring. Ruelas had other factors involved that made him contemplate retirement yet like most fighters for one reason or another despite what might have been best continued on. Fate was playing a game with Gabriel because he regained all the hunger lost after becoming champion yet coincidence intervened pitting his conscience against need to take care of his family. The internal struggle on what to do presented itself just after his title defense against Jimmy Garcia.
“When Jimmy Garcia was in the hospital, before he died I said “If he dies, I will never fight again” Even though I took that statement back and continued to fight because it was how I earned a living for myself and family, I think deep down inside I meant it. I fought for a few more years and tried fooling everyone around me including my trainer Joe Goossen that I still had it in me. That I still had the fire to destroy someone in the ring I even tried fooling myself. That fire died though when Jimmy did and there was nothing I could do to change that”
In the next installment we will cover Gabriel’s life since retirement, what is going on today, how he looks back at it all and what he would have done in his life other than prize fighting should the opportunities have arisen. Concluded by how an opportunity that would have enabled him to share his story turned out nothing more than a regretted decision.
Gennady Golovkin- Is the preview better than the show will be?
By: Daxx Kahn - September 3, 2012
Gennady Golovkin has been somewhat of a myth to boxing fans outside of Europe and unless you’re a follower of the amateur program worldwide rumors of his punching power is all you have heard about this Kazakhstani slugger. The current WBA and IBO middleweight champion made his mainstream debut Saturday night at Verona, New York’s Turning Stone Resort & Casino on HBO television when he defended his titles against the tough, talented top 10 rated Grzegorz Proska. WHAT A DEBUT IT WAS!
Proska remember is no walkover opponent, he entered the match with a 28-1 (21) record, the only loss on his resume prior was to Kerry Hope of England in Hopes backyard, four months later Proska avenged that loss via TKO 8 at that same venue so he is no laydown opponent happy to just be there. In no point in time Saturday was Proska controlling the action, nor was he able to put Gennady on the defensive. The affair hardly even seemed competitive, the few power shots he did land flush had little to no impact on the champion. Proska has a 70% plus KO ratio mind you so he has some sting behind those bombs, Instead for his efforts Grzegorz tasted canvas in rounds 1, 4 and finally 5th when referee Charlie Fitch waved off the action after a delayed reaction from a body head combination dropped Proska on his face rendering him almost defenseless. It was not so much that he won or even won by stoppage that caught boxing’s attention, more so how easily Golovkin made it appear emphasizing to all watching “I AM THE REAL DEAL AND I WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH ANYONE AT MIDDLEWEIGHT WILLING”.
In case you’re wondering if Golovkin is just another power punching Euro level fighter that has grabbed gold due to careful matchmaking and in actuality has no genuine boxing ability his amateur credentials can answer that question for you. Gennady’s relaxed never seemingly flustered demeanor might be credited to the 2004 Olympic Middleweight silver medal winners 300 plus bout experience. In those 300 bouts there are wins over former IBF Super Middleweight champion Lucian Bute, Cuban standout Yordanis Despaigne, top tier Irish amateur and former world title challenger Andy Lee. He is also why American fighter Andre Dirrell went home with a Bronze in 2004 defeating Dirrell 28-18 during the Semi-Finals. He also holds 2 wins over fellow middleweight title holder Daniel Geale who just stripped Felix Sturm of his world titles the same night Gennady walked through Prosak.
The boxing public has been fooled by one time dazzling performances before just to be let down later on when the competition level rises, Gennady just beat a world class level fighter with ease and has the background to verify his skillset is complete in all aspects of the game. He would not be the first to fizzle later on despite the credentials and dazzling performances when in the mainstream eye. It’s almost like when Hollywood Television and movie studios promote an upcoming show or film; the best parts are in those previews to attract viewers. Once those viewers tune in they find out everything worth watching was already seen on their couch during previews. My question is “Have we seen the best part of Gennady Golovkin in his 5 round preview” after all there are some other established shows around that we know can deliver the entertainment value for our buck time and again. On October 15th we will see two of those go head to head, after will Gennady Golovkin be the next story plot for whoever should win that one? A bigger question might be will the winner of Martinez versus Chavez Jr be willing to share a stage with Golovkin anytime soon after watching what took place last Saturday?
We know this answer for certain “Gennady Golovkin put on a hell of a show against Proska” while waiting for one of the top names to free up their schedule and sign to face him we will have to keep tuning in if we want to see how this story line plays out, did we see the best of Golovkin in the preview or will he keep climbing the Neilson charts until he is king of the middleweight timeslot? I’ll keep watching until the plot unfolds and have a feeling I won’t be alone, his biggest challenge for the moment will be getting a co-star.
GLEASON’S GAKAD FANTASY CAMP WRAP UP- Bringing the dreams to reality and everyone goes home a CHAMPION FOR LIFE
By: Daxx Kahn - August 28, 2012
Camps final day was upon us and when I arrived everyone was enjoying lunchtime Barbeque. I sensed several different emotions in the air as I sat speaking with the group asking about their day to that point. One was Nervous energy mixed with excitement due to the evening sparring show they would participate in later on, knowing there would be a LIVE crowd on hand and recording of action provided some slight butterflies. Curiosity on how much their grueling workouts would benefit them come touch em’ up time was another. A few people also told me they were anxious to tell friends and family at home of the entire experience, finally some disappointment it would all be ending come morning also lingered. All those emotions proved point evident how much the experience had impacted their lives.
The day was fairly relaxed after afternoon mealtime; some campers took short brisk walks to help digest quicker others hiked over and cooled off at Honors Haven Waterfall. As the afternoon passed by rather quickly an early dinner time would arrive, then only a few hours until preparations for that evenings sparring event. At 7pm fighters gathered at the gym while spectators arrived.
The event was complete with not only fighters and crowd but roles one would see at any pro show. Keisher “Fire” McLeod-Wells would be the evening’s promoter, Bruce Silverglade Owner of Gleason’s was the Official Time Keeper. Sonya Lamonakis served as the event’s MC/ring announcer, former senior competitor Al Roth was referee and Gleason’s photographer Thierry Gourjon stood on the ring apron taking pictures.
Quality corner men/Ladies were not to be withheld either, working the RED corner was NJ GG trainer- Gleason’s NJ GAKAD head Jackie Atkins, One of USA Boxing’s most respectable coaches and NJ Boxing Hall of fame Inductee Don Givens followed by former Navy Boxing Champion Terry Southerland.
The Blue corner consisted of Lightweight great and hall of fame fighter Carlos Ortiz, Multi Division kickboxing Champion Devon Cormack and Current professional Heather “The Heat” Hardy.
Those who did not work a corner or have a designated position helped others prepare even I lent a hand with headgear and taping of gloves in between bouts. When the sparring matches began some of the prior mentioned served dual roles while all in attendance shouted encouragement, several current or retired professional fighters joined in ring festivities. In the Fantasy Camp portion match-ups pairings went as followed.
Dr. Bo Bowen (Who will be featured later this week along with GAKAD attendee CJ Read) matched up against John O’Brien, Steve Salomon of Long Island NY faced former world champion Juan Laporte, Kate McGorry met Elizabeth O’Donovan, Mike Etienne a personal trainer stepped in with former Super Middleweight Champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley, Maureen O’Brien showed he stuff when she sparred former Golden Gloves and current professional Heather “The Heat” Hardy. Rounding out the Fantasy Camp portion Shannon O’Neil of Ohio met with current world champion Alicia Ashley and finally Mike Tarnoff showed what he had after the bell rang against former Olympian and current Gleason’s trainer Martin Gonzalez.
During the GAKAD face-off’s Anthony Mendez battled Joselito Gonzalez; Oscar Lopez showed his skills against Matthew Nicelli, Layla Reyna touched gloves with Aulden Brewer, Jennifer Guzman and Carley Brewer showed what heart they possessed, Wysheen Robinson helped entertain onlookers when he boxed Roman Gonzalez, Kevin Barker who had practiced body work on the heavy bag with Iran Barkley that day prior fought evenly against Robert Merced.
Finishing those bouts were Paul Anthony versus Davon Mabry and CJ Read (Who will also be profiled later this week on his experience) against Antonio Arca in what might have been the most inspiring bout that evening, both young men were in for their very first sparring session. After a standing ovation for all involved Bruce Silverglade handed out awards to not only participants but appreciations to all that helped make the event possible. Once everyone had cleaned up they all gathered for a post event party, reminisced on the past week and shared goodbyes.
This was an amazing event to cover, hopefully I can cover the event every year here on out. I was able to meet some very inspiring people, forge a few friendships and see what the right type of encouragement can do for those who need it. The Gleason’s team and all those involved in working the camp should be proud of what they accomplished last week it took champions of not only the ring but in life itself to pull this event off so successfully. I want to wish everyone involved Campers, Trainers, coaches, and of course the person who started it all Bruce Silverglade the very best in the future no matter what they do. On behalf of the Billy C Boxing family thank you for allowing us to share the experience. You should all be PROUD OF YOUR HARD WORK AND WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED!
Photo: Devon Cormack (in red) spars with a camper
Gleason’s “GAKAD Fantasy Camp” Day 2- Time to put the work in!
By: Daxx Kahn - August 26, 2012
With opening day behind them, an introduction on what task lies ahead and good night sleep Gleason’s camp attendee’s prepared themselves for day two, if you are going to tell everyone back home you trained like a fighter it was time to “Put In The Work”! As with any camp what better way to kick off your morning then by building up an appetite during a 2 mile run starting promptly at 6:30 AM!
Once finished jogging boxers shuffled off to breakfast, after fueling up everyone was allowed a brief moment for clothing changes then directed straight toward the workout area where stretches, warm up’s, shadowboxing, meeting’s with trainers took place before beginning what it was everyone had come for and there would be NO SLACKERS ALLOWED. Considering Gleason’s Sparring Show would take place the following afternoon in front of a “LIVE AUDIENCE” and knowing there would be bragging rights at stake campers turned things up a few notches. Regardless if you’re a professional or just someone learning what it’s like to train like one “Nobody wants to lose ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS A CROWD WATCHING”.
In full force those on hand concentrated perfecting what they had learned prior while incorporating the day’s new lessons into the old. Carlos Ortiz played referee during sparring sessions, like any good ref if there was a lull in action Carlos broke the participants apart then in true referee fashion advised them to pick up the pace. When need be Ortiz would throw pointers toward whoever needed it with unbiased encouragement then step back to allow his pupils a chance to carry out instructions, those that did follow his advice managed to shine those who did not ate a jab or 2 though tasting a punch only encouraged them to try harder next time out.
Speaking of pupils Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis held the mitts and assisted trainee’s in practicing their combination punching. Then Sonya would demonstrate how to move in the ring not just by allowing those she worked with move around but also insisting they need become aware of their surroundings. This helped engrain the mindset that being fully aware of everything around you would later help avoid unneeded blows due to lack of concentration.
Current world champion Alicia “Slick” Ashley provided one on one lessons starting with Ohio’s own Shannon O’Neil. Former Featherweight champion Juan Laporte handed out one on one tutorship as well starting with reoccurring camp member Steve Solomon. Once a student had learned their exclusive lessons from Juan and Alicia they went to practice while another participant was given the same opportunity. On the opposite side of the spectrum Iran Barkley manned heavy bags showing how to properly dig to your opponent’s body should you have to wage war up-close and Don Givens walked through the art of attack punch by punch until fighters could recite his teachings letter perfect!
Rounding out the session Terry Strickland led all in attendance through a grueling “Core Conditioning” circuit that left everyone’s stomach feeling firm and body feeling the effects of a hard day’s work normally reserved for those revving up for a chance at championship glory.
A 2 mile run, Mitt work, Heavy bag sessions, sparring sessions, circuit training and maximizing the bodies core strength all inside 9 hours then heading off for dinner and study time on how the greats performed inside a ring on film sounds like any other fight camp I have attended. If I did not witness it for myself I may not have believed how much “Work” was put into one day of living a lifelong dream. Then again I know a few professionals that I witnessed training I cannot believe how lazed their routines were.
Log on Tomorrow for day threes recaps including how everyone fared during their exhibition bouts!
Sonia Lamonakis Works With A Camper
OPENING DAY AT GLEASONS GIVE A “KID A DREAM” AND “FANTASY CAMP” Week- (If this is Day 1, I can’t wait to see the rest!)
By: Daxx Kahn - August 24, 2012
I have covered fights in Japan, Vegas, New York, London, Germany, Mexico, Canada and South Africa, attended 10 IBHOF weekends, interviewed over 75 current or past world champions and sat press row for some of boxing’s biggest Pay Per View events. I can honestly say despite all those moments in my career opening day at the World Famous Gleason’s Gym “Fantasy Camp” and “Give a Kid a Dream” week has been one of my favorite experiences thus far as part of this sport.
My day began when I arrived at the “Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa” in Ellenville NY, once inside I shook hands with Gleason’s owner Bruce Silverglade, met top 5 rated female heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis and top 20 rated female super flyweight Keisher McLeod who were at the sign in desk assisting Bruce with greeting guest. While waiting for the last scheduled attendee’s to arrive I finally met Perry D’Alessio one of Gleason’s most known “White Collar” boxers that heads up their “Give a Kid a Dream” foundation along with his Manhattan CPA firm “D’Alessio Tocci and Pell LLP”. In July when we ran a series of articles on White Collar Boxing I spoke with Perry several times and even conducted an interview by telephone but until today had yet to meet him in person. While speaking with Perry lightweight great Carlos Ortiz would stop over and shake hands with me helping cap off a great 15 minutes since arrival.
Anxiously I next met the two people that were chosen by Bruce Silverglade for us here at the Billy C Boxing Network to follow throughout their experience. Fantasy Camp attendee Dr. Bo Bowen of Eustis Florida who shared a great story on former Florida State Heavyweight Champion Solomon “Jackhammer” McTier, Solomon was part of Ali’s training camp when preparing for his first Liston Bout. Rounding out my introductions would be one to “Gleason’s Give A Kid A Dream” profile choice 15 year old CJ Read of Louisville Kentucky (Once the camp is over both Bowen and Read will be profiled in separate stories on their week’s progression from beginning to end).
Prior to the first workout session there was a brief orientation where the kids shared something about fellow Camp attendee’s they learned through interviews of one another. All those who would be serving as trainers and responsible for making the camp happen were introduced along with the day’s itinerary, after it was time to head up for training.
Once training began I found myself in an atmosphere that mimicked that of any professional gym across the United States. Speed bags went “Rat Ta Tat”, Heavy Bags let out thuds, mitt work provided lessons in combination punching and jump ropes whizzed through the air. Carlos Ortiz shouted words of encouragement, Iran Barkley warmed up fighters, Sonia Lamonakis gave pointers on head movement and Terry Strickland helped perfect stances. There was no taking it easy on behalf of the trainers and none of the Fantasy Camp attendees wanted to slack off either, every fighter pushed themselves to the limit while every trainer helped maximize potential.
Where the youth section was concerned Multi Division Kick boxing World Champion and Gleason’s trainer Devon Cormack taught counter punching, Keisher McLeod gave lessons on how to hold your hands and not waste all your energy. Inside the ring renown trainer, level 4 USA boxing amateur coach and NJ Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Don Givens taught how to advance while jabbing, keeping tight defense while jabbing and ring generalship. Each one listened to their coach like prized pupils looking to score a 4.0 on their finals.
Now with Day 1 behind its time for all those at camp to get some rest and prepare for the new day because like any training camp as things precede so does the intensity of your workouts! Wake up time is 6:00am; Roadwork begins promptly at 6:30, followed by breakfast, training/sparring and studying fight footage to pick up on in ring habits of other fighters. Log on Saturday to see how day 2 went and updates on when we will have video of the action available for our fans to see for themselves what it was like to train like a professional fighter! Tune into the TalkinBoxing with Billy C TV & Radio Show next Thursday when I summarize the final day of camp.
Gabriel Ruelas part 2- Expectations were high on the Ruelas Brother’s to win impressively and we DID!
By: Daxx Khan - August 13, 2012
I see myself as a person that made the most out of the opportunities and from the events that happened early in my life. I was a kid and yet because I was so dedicated to achieving my goal in boxing, I didn’t get to enjoy the normal carefree life that most young people have. I don’t feel like the everyday man. I am certainly not the 9 to 5 type. I feel special because I achieved my goal and I am, and always will be a world champion, but I also feel a bit lost. I feel like an old man who is once again trying to find something he’s good at. It’s a double-edged sword but God willing the future will be bright. (On how Gabriel looks upon his life since retirement).
Last month I introduced fans to a series of articles that would begin to tell former Super Featherweight Champion Gabriel Ruelas story. That introduction included a short interview with Gabriel and promise I would pass along his story as it was told to me because no one can tell someone’s story better than who lives it.
When we left off Gabriel spoke of missing the gym routine on a daily basis and without a purpose behind those workouts lack motivation.
This time Gabriel discusses his amateur career, those moments just prior to stepping out of his dressing room for his debut, pressure felt to perform well and what it was like to cash his first check as a professional fighter.
ON HIS AMATEUR CAREER-
My amateur career consisted of about 50 bouts over a 4 year span. Like it is for most fighters my first bout was most memorable, I’ll never forget my opponents name John Adams. I put to use all my hard work and came out victorious winning by first round stoppage. I was so excited!
The interesting part about my amateur career is since I was not a U.S. citizen I could not fight on the 1988 United States Olympic team. When I tried to qualify for the Mexican team things became difficult not to mention political since I no longer lived in Mexico. In the final qualifying round I would lose a decision to future world champion Miguel Angel Gonzalez. After losing my attempt at becoming a member of the Mexican team it was time for a decision to be made. I spoke with Joe and Dan (Goosen) we agreed it was time to join the professional ranks. With my lessons learned as an amateur, work ethic and dedication my transition to professional came easy. Those lessons helped my success as a professional come easy as well.
When speaking on turning professional Ruelas stated “There was added pressure for my brother and I because we were the only NON Olympians of the 88 games to sign with Top Rank that year. We not only had to win but do so IMPRESSIVELY and we did just that. On the night of my pro debut one thing was certain I HATED waiting in the dressing room, even the name Dressing Room implied you had to wait. I was so anxious when I arrived in the ring I did not want to even hear the referee’s instructions. I won by 1st round knockout over Raul Martinez.
Early on my proudest moment is when I cashed my check for my debut. It was 1988 and took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on TV; you can’t get much bigger than that. Following that victory I was paid $5,000 (if I remember correctly). I compared it to what a person’s average weekly salary might be and it was SO MUCH MORE! We also received a monthly stipend check for living expenses if we fought or not. I was in HEAVEN.
Those who doubted me growing up and told me I would never succeed motivated me. Every time someone doubted me I wanted to remember them and I still do. I had a few teachers at North Hollywood High School that stick out in my memory one in particular told me I would be working at a car wash when I finished school. That same teacher once told me “I wish you were a grown man so we could settle things in the parking lot”. I may have deserved that last one because I was very disrespectful to him in front of the other students. Looking back I think I did it as a way to get attention from other kids. Everyone thought I was a “Bad Ass” for back talking the teacher and it made me popular among other kids. I would kick my son’s asses if I ever heard them conducting that same behavior.
In the next installment, Gabriel’s path towards championship Gold, learning to live with success, balancing his personal and professional life.
The WBF looking to make ABCredibility in Boxing’s Alphabet organizations!
By: Daxx Kahn - July 23, 2012
The idea of another Sanctioning Organization throwing their hat (or in this case title) into the ring makes we want to give myself a V8 slap, Alphabet madness has certainly become a plague of sorts in boxing over the last few decades. On the opposite side of the coin I tell myself “Rome was not built in a day”, three years ago the very thought of another sanctioning body making the move toward MAJOR substantial worth would have made me do little other than let out a “Hmmpf”. I have given it some thought and looked into the new structure this organization has laid out, oddly enough I am intrigued. What can be for the worse? Considering current organizations are adding belts to their repertoire quicker than curtain call changes at a Broadway play we HAVE to at least allow someone to step in and give it the old “College Try”.
The World Boxing Federation is not some new pop up organization that appeared from nowhere; it has been around the sport for nearly 25 years, In 1988 the late Larry Carrier who was then owner of the famous Bristol International Raceway had been observing the sport in doing so he noticed the same mistakes being made over and again by current existing sanctioning bodies. Those continuous issues prompted him to give it a try at getting it right!
Shortly after its induction the WBF began having box-offs to establish world champions. Their first Heavyweight champion of note was Lawrence Carter who defeated former WBC world title holder Pinklon Thomas via TKO 7. Since then names such as Joe Bunger and even Evander Holyfield have been a WBF heavyweight champion. There have been notable names as WBF World title holders in all divisions. At Light Heavyweight Roy Jones held the WBF world title in the early part of this decade, Robin Reid held the Organizations Super Middleweight world title, Carl Daniels is a former WBF Middleweight champion those 3 men have all been multi time world champions in several organizations adding legitimacy to the WBF titles worth.
Joseph Agbeko has held the WBF world Bantamweight title as has Steve Molitor. Fitz Vanderpool is a former WBF world light middleweight champion and the legendary Samson Dutch Boy Gym out of Thailand held the WBF World Super Flyweight title from 1994-2002. As is often said a title is made by its champion that holds it. Those names mentioned above are an impressive list that we will see many of as future Hall of Fame inductees.
The WBF unlike many other sanctioning organizations has limited the amount of titles available meaning if there are not 5, 6 or7 different championships available per weight class quality will take over quantity. As of this moment the only titles available by the WBF in each division are a World Championship with Intercontinental and international titles being their minor belts. Regional belts are limited to Mediterranean, North American, All Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin Title’s. Sanctioning fees are also minimal.
To gain an idea of what some sanctioning bodies charge in fees they can exceed the average person’s yearly salary, the average reported fee is in the 3% of purse range. The WBF charges a fraction and they also make those fees publicly available on their website. If it is a male world title bout the fee is $5,700. Ladies pay 3.200,00. Intercontinental Title fees are $2,700. International Title fees- $2,200 Regional titles are sanctioned at $1,500 and Latino titles $1,000 per bout. Those figures speak loudly in terms of appeal, many of the major organizations currently find fighters abandoning titles rather than pay absorbent fees.
The WBF MUST prove what they are doing is for the better of boxing rather than just another added headache. Currently everything the WBF is doing while restructuring leans toward a positive direction. What happens from here on out sits entirely in the hands of the WBF’s executive committee.
President: Howard Goldberg, Vice President: Jean Marcel Nartz, Executive Director: Olaf Schroeder, North American Coordinator: Alan Santana, and everyone else at the WBF have a large task ahead of them. It would be unfair to not allow them a chance at bringing in an organization this sport can feel secure in calling the standard all others should follow. Time will tell if that goal is attained, I for one am willing to give them a fair shake, after all can they add anymore to the bedlam that currently resides?
Gabriel Ruelas- HIS STORY IN HIS OWN WORDS; AS ONLY HE CAN TELL IT!
By: Daxx Khan - July 9, 2012
I have talked with countless members of this sport over the years; it would take a good 3000 words just listing the names. In nearly 2 decades that would be expected and if the list was not that long then I have been doing a bunch of nothing outside pretending to be a boxing journalist. That is not the case though and while not always the easiest of jobs I have enjoyed every minute of it, more so appreciate beyond words the short amount of time these men/ladies allowed me to have a glimpse into their lives. More often than not articles are written as a way to give readers some informational history on the person I interview usually the article pertains to current events in their career or if the subject is no longer active it is a highlight of their best career moments. My questions are direct and based toward particular topics. Everyone has a story some more interesting than others but all have one regardless, no story though is better told by the person themselves because to fully be able and grasp something one would have to experience it first-hand. As a writer when doing a story or interview with someone it is my job to make sure I keep the reader interested, I do that by thinking of what would interest me most if I should happen to be the reader. This time that format will be changed slightly, the reason for that is I am being told the story of a man the way he lived it, how he still lives it and his plans for how it will continue on throughout his future.
Gabriel Ruelas is a former Super Featherweight Champion who was born in Mexico on July 23rd 1970. He came to the United States as a child with his brother Rafael who himself is a former Lightweight world champion. His career is a storied one that includes bouts against such greats as Azuma Nelson, Jesse James Leija and Arturo Gatti. Ruelas experienced the highs and lows of boxing inside the ring as well as out. This is an introduction to a long series of articles on Gabriel Ruelas' career and life though it is not me who is telling you his story but Gabriel himself. After this introduction interview from here on out Gabriel is going to share his story his way and all I will be doing is passing along what he has to say in his words. Join me as I am given an inside view into the life and career of Gabriel Ruelas, listen to what he has to say unedited, here on BillyCBoxing.com
Billy C Boxing-Gabriel when was it you knew that boxing would be you’re calling in life as a career?
Gabriel Ruelas- From my first fight or maybe even earlier, the first time I put on gloves it felt right and natural for me. In my first amateur fight I stopped the guy early. I knew I could do this for a living. I didn’t have anything else I was good at. I knew I could do something with my life with a positive reaction from people instead of being a good for nothing like everyone said about me.
BCB- How did you get started and where?
GR- We started in the San Fernando Valley, which is a bit North of Los Angeles. My older brother Juan was training here in this country to be a fighter with Greg Goossen. He sent a letter to Rafael and myself back home in Mexico when I was about 8. He said he wanted to bring us to El Norte (which is what we called the United States) to become boxers. We didn’t really know what that was. Once we got here in about 1978, we agreed to do what he said. I think we were both a little scared but we felt we had no choice but do, as our older brother wanted us to do. He started to train Rafael and I on his own. He would look for the toughest kids at the schools then put us to fight with any one he could find in the parks. We took to it pretty well. It was the only thing that I felt I was any good at. It was the very first thing that I did that gave me confidence about myself. My family always told me that I was good for nothing and also my teachers in school told me the same thing. Finally, I was good at something, real good.
BCB- Yourself and your brother Rafael were both world champions did you guys talk of becoming professional fighters and dream about holding world titles at the same time when you were kids?
GR-Not really. We never talked about boxing because we didn’t really know that was a sport or something you could do. All we were concerned with was coming to the US. We had older family out here and we just wanted to leave the ranch because there were not any opportunities there to better our lives. My older brothers and sisters were already working in the US and making money. We wanted to do the same thing, but never thought about boxing as little kids. Once we started with the Goossens and became amateurs doing well, we then allowed ourselves to dream of such a thing. Then I turned pro, and after my first fight knocking the guy out in 38 seconds, I thought “This is easy; I can become a world champion if I dedicate my life to it and work hard”. When Rafael turned pro and the both of us started winning, we both imagined being champions and we talked about what we would do with our money. Rafael would talk about investments and saving his money, and I would talk about spending it on cars and buying things for my family and myself. We were so different like night and day.
BCB- What was that feeling like inside after you stepped into boxing ring and won your first bout? Did you know then that a world title would be in your future?
GR- Not really but I didn’t think that far ahead. But I must admit the response after my pro debut was so positive that I thought “This is it! This is what I want to do in my life” Deep down I knew I could become a world champion. I believed in my-self for the first time.
BCB- In retirement what about boxing do you miss the most?
GR- I miss going to the gym every day. I could still do that, but the purpose is not there anymore. I miss the money and the freedom that money brings the whole lifestyle. I miss hearing my song played (Antonio Aguilar’s El Tapatio) for my entrance into the ring and as most professional athletes miss when they retire, I miss the cheers from the crowds.
Coming in the next installment is the beginning of success for Ruelas, when he begins to realize how boxing has truly changed his life and what he begins to learn about himself he never knew before.
MEET WHITE COLLAR BOXINGS PERRY D’ALESSIO- The man who had no intentions on taking an actual bout, At least 15 years ago when he first started out!
By: Daxx Kahn - July 5, 2012
I wrote an introduction recently providing readers some background on white collar boxing. Included in that article was its rise to international popularity and how events have benefitted numerous charities worldwide. After speaking with various participants, Bruce Silverglade of Gleason’s gym and reading about Alan Lacey a UK management consultant (whom co-founded the IWCBA International White Collar Boxing Association with Silverglade) one thing is for sure “THIS A’INT YOUR DADDY’S WHITE COLLAR BOXING”. My using that pun in meant to imply past stereo types conceived toward WCB pertaining and dedication participants put into each bout is exactly opposite of what many believe. The blows these men or ladies absorb are genuine there is no added fluff to protect them from harm. Glove sizes, head gear, length of bouts and rating systems almost mirror those of well-respected amateur boxing organizations. AIBA and USA Amateur boxing is real as it gets for those who aren’t professional’s, these WCB warriors are no different.
White Collar Boxing has its winners and losers, fighters score knockout wins or occasionally suffer knockout losses. Fights are often won in the gym and fighters in this sector learn why they can be lost there as well. Perhaps what I personally enjoyed discovering most is how these men and ladies not only gain a new outlook for themselves but towards those who bread their butter by stepping in a ring professionally.
Perry D’Alessio is a successful Manhattan CPA that partners in the midtown firm “D’Alessio Tocci and Pell LLP”. Having been a WCB participant for 15 years now, self-admitting if asked then would he ever actively compete you would have received a big NO. At that time his goal was to lose some weight and improve his over-all fitness level. Training with the gritty Hector Roca helped Perry accomplish those goals. It was Bruce Silverglade who encouraged him to step between the ropes.
Perry has developed a passion for boxing and its values so deeply he took over Gleason’s “Give a Kid a Dream Foundation” slightly more than a year ago. Fundraisers, boxing events, contest and raffles are used to help provide children who are not financially able otherwise attend a gym, purchase equipment and experience boxing first hand. When speaking with Perry his obvious pride at being able to provide these kids such opportunities is evident and rightfully so. He also discusses the sport with the passion rarely seen even in die-hard fans.
Billy C Boxing-Perry to start off what swayed a CPA toward boxing then get involved in White Collar events?
Perry D’Alessio- I started when I was about 29 years old looking to lose some weight, I met with Hector Roca who trained Arturo Gatti God bless his soul, Hector also worked with Hillary Swank preparing her for Million Dollar baby. Hector said come into the gym every morning at 7am until I tell you you’re allowed to take a day off. A few months later I was at 209lbs having lost about 35 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. Every morning I would start off running 3 miles across the Brooklyn Bridge. At that time Bruce asked me to be a representative for us and fight over in London, I told him “Fight I had no intentions on fighting” I agreed though. They flew me and about 6 other guys who I am still very good friends with over to participate. The event took place at the Broad Gate arena outside in front of 2200 people. I was the heavyweight fight of the night, after I was interviewed even though no one told me people would want to talk to me after the fight. I was on the front page of the “London Financial Times”, that was my first experience it was amazing!
BCB- Can you share a little bit of your background? Some people are under the impression White Collar boxers are nothing more than rich guys from privileged backgrounds who never had it anything but easy in life.
PD- My parents were immigrants who came here in their 20’s, we lived right outside Coney Island growing up. As kids we broke broomsticks and all chipped in to get a dollar sponge ball, that’s how we spent our days. One of the reasons why I took over the non-profit is because growing up we had no outlet and I wanted to help give kids an outlet. Today I am a CPA in mid-town where I have my own firm.
BCB- Since participating has your outlook on what devotion and dedication that goes into being a professional fighter changed? Have you learned that there is more to this than just hitting the bag a few days per week then getting in the ring to swing punches?
PD- In high school I had a football background playing center. Thing in boxing is if you are having a bad day there is no teammate to pick up the slack. I am only 5’10” and fight at heavyweight; most guys I fight are taller than me with a longer reach so I need to get my work done on the inside. I remember in one of my first fight’s it was against a hometown favorite and I was doing all my fighting on the inside, between rounds the referee came over told me to give the guy space. “His friends are here” I remember him saying quote un-quote it was something I found very strange. Me being a novice not knowing I did what the referee instructed. That allowed him to get in some good shots nearly knocking me out of the ring; I had no choice but to dig deep because there was no one else to rely on. I knew then that if I could get through that I could get through anything! I said to myself everything else in life after is easy compared to what I just went through. All of a sudden stuff like the phone call at work you don’t want to take because you know it will be aggravation means nothing you follow what I am saying.
I have heard some ridiculous things about White Collar boxing, like we fight with gloves so big it’s like getting hit with pillows, oversized headgear. I have seen guys get knocked out, nose bleeds and everything else that comes with being in the ring. There is nothing about it that is fake or padded.
BCB- I do, I have had many of those days myself. Would you recommend this sport to others be it on a full or part time basis?
PD- In my 15 years involved in the sport I think I have convinced maybe 2 people to try it but I talk about it all the time and I would recommend people to try it. I am involved so much that about a year or so ago I took over the “Give a Kid a Dream” foundation. We raise money that allows kids with limited incomes and their parents the opportunity to attend camp during the summer so they can participate in the sport, learn about its values, provides equipment for them to use. We had an event not long ago where the Manhattan District Attorney’s office boxed each other raising $50,000 and donated it to our kid’s foundation. There have been Harley Davidson Motorcycles raffled off all for good causes.
BCB- How has participating in the sport helped improve your daily life be it outlook on things or physically.
PD- It has taught me as I stated before to rely on myself and that I can get through anything if I believe in myself. It helped me get into top shape; I gained a whole new respect for those that do this for a living. The experience has been fantastic overall.
BCB- Great speaking with you Perry will see you this summer at the Gleason’s Fantasy Camp and Give a Kid a Dream event
PD- Ok sounds great I will see you there.
Next will be a follow up story with New York City Circuit Court Judge Phil Maier who has over 80 bouts currently. Then I will share some stories with White Collar Participants across the United States. Follow along as I learn more about a side of boxing we normally hear little about despite the Pro’s out weighing the Con’s.
White Collar Boxing- Making an impact on the sport in all the positive ways needed!
By: Daxx Kahn - July 2, 2012
When “White Collar Boxing” is mentioned usually 1 of 2 pre-conceived notions are brought to mind, first is “It’s just a bunch rich guys looking for a way to boost their ego’s by being able to claim they stepped in a boxing ring”, second is “Throwing punches while wearing over-sized gloves and puffed up headgear is not fighting”. The concept of upper level office executives who gross six plus figures a year sitting behind a desk yet still possessing the heart and desire of a fighter is hard for the general public especially those who are devout boxing fans to buy into. I must admit at one time I brushed it off myself as such but as the more I learn about it, why the participants compete, the benefits it provides and good causes it often supports my opinion has swayed greatly.
Thinking about boxing’s stereo typical persona of being a “Poor Man’s Sport” and “Means to an end” it’s easily understandable why those notions on White Collar Boxing are perceived, after all at one point in time only a man desperate to feed his family would allow themselves to be abused in such ways. Today “White Collar Boxing” is more of a term than classification because these men and ladies who partake truly fight hard, train hard and take this sport seriously. When including aspects such as money raised through these events often benefit charity, an organized commission exist worldwide much like the amateur program that includes rules not to mention safety precautions then this version of the sport suddenly becomes legitimized.
WCB started becoming popular during the early to mid-1990’s. After Fight Club a blockbuster hit movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton that portrayed everyday guys who would normally step nowhere near a gym let alone inside a boxing ring going at it toe to toe nightly in secret locations when their daily 9-5 was over as a way to release stress became a blockbuster hit in 1999 White Collar Boxing by some began being called “The Real Fight Club”. That of course was before there had been established rules and commission to oversee these events.
In America White Collar Boxing took off first, its heights soared so quickly that Brooklyn New York’s legendary Gleason’s Gym began sponsoring events. Alan Lacey a UK management consultant who became known to boxing fans after co-promoting the WBO middleweight title bout between Gary Stretch and Chris Eubank in 1991 is credited for bringing the sport to new levels over seas. Lacey himself took up boxing as a way to stay fit then visited Gleason’s gym where he par-took in a bout of his own after some coaxing. Alan seen an opportunity to make these events just as if not more popular overseas. The summer of 2000 Alan hosted an event billed as Capital Punishment in London. The event was brought to success much because of Gleason’s gym owner Bruce Silverglade bringing over a team of New York City Bankers to participate on the card, Lacey himself nearing 50 years old also competed on the event. Since there has been over 80 or more such events with success so high most are standing room only if a ticket is not pre purchased. Thinking about a team of bankers from the United States gearing up to step inside a boxing ring flashes a name inside my head, one many of you readers out there are familiar with former world heavyweight title challenger Calvin “The Boxing Banker” Brock.
These days the White Collar Boxing circuit is run much like organized amateur boxing, including glove size and standard headgear that we would see in the Olympics or Golden Gloves. There are required doctors and EMT’s attending ringside for obvious safety reasons. Come 2001 things had grown so extensively Silverglade and Lacey developed IWCBA (International White Collar Boxing Association) a commission that implemented todays set rules. In 2007 a world-wide organization entitled WWCBA (World White Collar Boxing Association) was developed. These organizations even have regional and worldwide ratings along with titles again much to the same effect USA Amateur or AIBA boxing.
A large amount of the proceeds brought in through these events are donated to various charities The White Collar Celebrity Boxing Events have generated millions for needy causes. Gleason’s Gym puts forth most of the income raised through their White Collar Boxing event’s to its “Give a Kid a Dream Foundation”. That foundation’s focused on providing those kids with a limited income a chance to work out, become part of the boxing experience and learn its lifelong positive values.
So readers can grasp how much White Collar Boxing has increased in popularity I would like to pass on something I myself just learned recently. Business Week magazine published a 2004 article stating 2 of the most famous boxing gyms in the world had a majority of its membership through those with White Collar backgrounds. Gleason’s reportedly at that time had over 65% of its members from a white collar background and Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym an astonishing 70%! Considering that was 8 years ago and WCB has grown since I have to say it sounds like a more than a bunch of high paid office execs looking for an ego boost.
Over the next couple weeks I will be speaking with 2 of Gleason’s most popular White Collar Participants. The first is Perry D’Alessio a successful NY accountant who partners with a large Manhattan CPA firm D’Alessio Tocci and Pell LLP that now leads Gleason’s Give a Kid a Dream Foundation. That article will be followed up by my conversation with Phil Maier a NYC circuit court Judge who thus far has partook in over 80 bouts. Hopefully by time I am finished more light will be shined in a positive way making some of you doubters become supporters. Look for the first installment this Thursday.
SUMMER IS HERE TIME TO GET IN THE GYM AND STAY POSITIVE!!
By: Daxx Kahn - June 19, 2012
As adults we work hard day in and day out to support our families regardless of the chosen profession it is a must if we want food, clothing and roof above our heads at night like it or not. The youth across America also have a job they must carry out on a daily basis and that job is for them to attend school, get an education so hopefully down the road they become productive members of society. Just as their parents or guardians do kids become bored when not pursuing the daily activity they are assigned and as boredom grows so does a need fulfill that void. We as grownups know of and can find a way to amuse ourselves without seeking out mischief for the most part anyhow but kids being kids will do anything that might pass a moment without thinking of consequences. Summers are long, parents are at work, the economy is weak and activities can be expensive.
A perfect example of the cost is near my town Pop Warner football can exceed $300 per child not including uniforms, trips or extra donations multiply that by 2 or 3 children and it is a nice chunk of change, pricing for other sports are similar. Summer camps even day camps can exceed $250 a WEEK per child. The average boxing gym charges $35-$60 per MONTH!
I am in no way trying to discredit any of those activities because all are positive and even those that are non-profit need to break even, what I am suggesting is giving boxing an alternative try. So those reading this know now just because a child participates in the sport it does not mean they need to actually step inside a ring and take punches in case you are tentative on that notion, they can learn a whole slew of lessons to carry them over in life positively.
Boxing teaches self-discipline in the sense of motivation, it teaches kids how to work well with others and encourage your peers to do better. Anger management is another focus because when you are angry mistakes are easily made, add physical activity through hitting the bag or mitt work it also helps remove frustration that is built up inside because children just as adults have a need for release, better to take that frustration out in a controlled atmosphere than one another on the street where that behavior escalates often leading to serious repercussions. Those same repercussions are ones we read on a daily basis across the country in newspapers many times ending in some sort of detention facility or worse. Throughout time boxing has been the savior of many young men and women worldwide even those who have already ended up on the wrong side of the tracks. Legends of the ring such as Mike Tyson, Ron Lyle, Bernard Hopkins used boxing to improve their life either before or after run in’s with the law. Jake LaMotta and Rocky Graziano spent time in reform schools. Each one lived a better more positive life due to their participation in boxing.
The positive impact of boxing is not just for those who are headed toward or have been in trouble either in terms of how it helped them become more productive members of society nor is it the stereotypical brute sport it was once labeled. Educated boxers are becoming more common also many colleges are offering scholarships for excelling in the sport as they do with basketball, football and baseball. The former undisputed lightweight champion Juan “The Baby Bull” Diaz attended law school. The sports 2 current top heavyweights Wladimir and Vitaly Klitschko both possess PHD’s. Popular female heavyweight boxer Sonya Lamonakis is a school teacher, each of the 4 names mentioned are not only skilled at their craft inside the ring and educated but are great role models for any kid.
I have been involved in boxing one way or another for nearly 20 years and every trainer, PAL league or gym that I have known to work with the youth all do so with utmost positive intentions. Each do so with hopes that sure it would be nice to see their pupils someday hold a world championship inside the ring but more importantly they become Champions outside the ring in Life! A few gyms and trainers that I personally know of that are amazingly dedicated to those aspects mentioned above if in my area I would recommend are the following though more often than not every boxing gym with a youth program all have the same intentions.
Vincent Kittle in Schenectady NY is the founder of an Anti-Gang-Drug and Bully program who operates out of the Schenectady Youth Boxing Gym. Then gym has helped many young men and ladies not only keep out of trouble but further their education by getting them into college on scholarships through the sport.
In Muscatine Iowa Ronald Williams and Ronald Williams JR run the Muscatine Boxing Club, sponsored by generous donations through people in community. Their goals are to provide a safe environment and positive learning atmosphere for the kids in the local and surrounding areas. Positivity is their middle name.
Four Corners boxing gym in Port Richey Florida. Professional Super Middleweight fighter Jose “CheloMan” Alonzo and the gym have sponsored kids to attend the gym if they meet the education curriculum required by the teachers of Hudson high school. Cheloman and his son have given speeches at the high school on the benefits of participating in the sport be it inside the ring or just attending the gym.
Summer is here our youth needs some positive outlets to help not only keep them entertained for the school break but also help them improve as young men and women in life’s everyday schedule. Look up a local boxing club near you and benefit from what thousands have worldwide. There are so many complaints about the sports shortcomings now let the sports positives come through for our kids of today who will be the grown-ups of tomorrow!
Photo By: BillyCBoxing.com
The Irish successfully Invade Poughkeepsie NY- Hyland defeats Archuleta, Pappas upset!
By: Daxx Kahn - Ringside - May 13, 2012
Final Round Promotions and Snookie Boxing co-promoted an event held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center Saturday May 12th that provided some intense action for local boxing fans. The card was headlined by Dublin Ireland native Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland who would face rugged journeyman Frankie Archuleta out of New Mexico in a Super Featherweight attraction. Hyland a touted prospect that now resides in Marlboro NY was looking to make a statement in front of hometown fans and he provided such statement in full.
It was obvious from the opening bell that Hyland would prevail, pursuing Frankie around the ring in “Seek and Destroy” mode. The theme “Irish Invasion” would live up to its moniker as Patrick intruded on any distance Archuleta could create then attack with vigor! When round 4 began Archuleta had yet to mount any offensive to his benefit and was caught on the ropes receiving a barrage of punches from Patrick, with plenty of time left before rounds end. Referee Benji Estevez stepped in saving Archuleta from further abuse at the 0:39 mark, Hyland improves his resume to 26-0 (12). After the bout I was able to speak with Hyland before leaving the ring and he expressed interest in fighting one of the top 10 ranked fighters at Featherweight or Super Featherweight. When current champions were discussed Orlando Salido the WBO featherweight king was mentioned specifically.
In a Co-Feature unbeaten Middleweight Bryant “The Spartan” Pappas of Yonkers NY stepped went against Josh Williams who made the trek from Batesville AR for battle. Williams boxed well and seemed to throw off Pappas timing but when the former policeman pounded William’s body it was apparent Josh did not like being hit in his breadbasket. Sometime during round 2 Pappas nose began to bleed causing his eyes to swell and that had a visible effect on Pappas performance but from my angle on the ring apron many rounds were too close for definitive scores. When all was over the judge’s scorecards read unanimously for Williams giving him all but 1 round, he deserved the win but by a slightly less gap in scores. Pappas dropped to 13-1-1 (13) while Williams improved to 6-4 (4).
In undercard action Super Featherweight Chazz McDowell who fights out of Poughkeepsie NY won a majority decision over 1-6-1 Tampa Florida resident Yuniel Ramos, McDowell improved to 6-1 (1). Ladies action seen Natasha Spence the Canadian light welterweight go at it against Racquel Bailey out of Oklahoma, entertaining back and forth action for the first 2 rounds had fans on their feet, at :45 of round 3 Spence caught Bailey with a big shot that forced a referee stoppage, providing Natasha her 4th win and 3rd stoppage over an opponent. In a middleweight attraction that opened the evening Valdarin Muriqi scored a unanimous decision over Phillip Burnette, Muriqi with scores of 40-36 improving his resume to 3-2.
STAR BOXING GIVES FANS “BANG FOR THEIR BUCK” SATURDAY AT THE MOHEGAN SUN CASINO!!
By: Daxx Kahn - May 7, 2012
ESPN Friday Night Fights had a 24 hour delay and was aired Saturday May 5th just prior to the Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto pay per view; the event was aired from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville Conn. After live action was over fans in attendance sat and watched the Miguel Cotto versus Floyd Mayweather event on Closed Circuit TV courtesy of Star boxing.
In the Main event former Olympian and undefeated middleweight Demetrius Andrade advanced his 16-0 record to 17-0 (13) by making quick work of 12-3 Rudy Cisneros of Chicago ILL. Just as round one was about to end Andrade caught Cisneros with a hook that put the Chi-Town resident on his back ending Rudy’s evening. Cisneros had to be removed from the ring via stretcher. Later he was seen out of the dressing room walking on his own in stable condition.
The most exciting bout of the evening was a 4 round lightweight battle between local Hartford Conn fighter Joseph “Chip” Perez 7-1-(2) and Oregon State warrior Juan Jaramillo. Perez was able to out box Jaramillo on the outside fairly easily but seemingly found himself back peddling against the ropes where he lost the majority of exchanges. Despite Jaramillo’s in close dominance judges had seen things for Perez due to ring generalship. Perez won a unanimous decision with scores of 59-55 across the board. Perez improves to 8-1 (2) overall.
3-0 Windsor VT Welterweight prospect Chris Gilbert faced Keuntray Henson who made the trek from Memphis TN for a shot at fighting on TV. The opening round was fairly exciting as Henson tried to knockout Gilbert throwing wild hooks with all the “Mustard” he could get behind his body. That strategy did not work well for Henson because after the first round he had used all his available gas. Gilbert stopped Keuntray in impressive fashion at 1:16 of round 3. Gilbert improved to 4-0 (3).
Light Heavyweight Reinaldo Graceski returned to his home in Springfield MA still unbeaten when he won a 4 round unanimous decision over Borngod Washington of Queens NY. Judges scored the contest 40-35 40-35 39-36 all in favor of improving Graceski’s record to 2-0.
Ladies Welterweight action was scheduled for 8 rounds between Victoria Cisneros 5-13-2 (1) of Albuquerque NM and Hartford CT’s Addy Irizarry 8-5 (2). There was an accidental head-butt in round 2 declaring the affair a “no-Contest”
Starting out the nights action in a light heavyweight contest was Robert Jackson of Alexandria VA making his pro debut against Tylon Burris 1-0 (1) a native of nearby Hartford CT. Jackson managed to bother Burris after a small nick began to swell his eye due to an accidental butt unfortunately for Jackson that was all he accomplished because Burris began to time his shots perfectly stopping Jackson at 1:53 round 2. Burris returned home still unblemished at 2-0 (2)
The crowd as I stated previously the crowd in attendance remained in the arena after the live action to watch Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defend his 154lb WBC title against veteran future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto face Floyd Mayweather with Cotto’s 154lb WBA world title on the line. Surprisingly the crowd showed just as if not more enthusiasm than those who were at the MGM Grand Casino in Vegas throughout the event.
A very enjoyable show by Star boxing along with that extra treat by providing Closed Circuit coverage from Vegas made Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino a reminder why Star Boxing has shined in 2012!
BOXING SCORES A KNOCKOUT IN QUALITY ACTION THE WEEKEND FOR 4/27/2012- New Champions, current ones cement their status, prospects rise, others fall hard!
By: Daxx Kahn - April 29, 2012
What a weekend fight fans as I have been saying for the last several months it is either “Feast or Famine” for viewers. Last week we had crickets and this week our ears still buzz from excitement. As always Billy C will give a complete rundown of the action while our team provides insight on all the past weekend’s events but while waiting for the show airings just in case you missed it here are some of the winners and losers.
Friday April 27th- On ESPN Friday Night Fights in a light heavyweight battle Denis Grachev stops Ismayl Sillakh to remain unbeaten, claim Sillakh’s NABF division belt and improve his record to 12-0-1 (8) while doing so. On the undercard Super Featherweight Javier Fortuna stops Yuandale Evans in round one to remain undefeated.
On Showtime television at the Buffalo Run Hotel and casino in Miami Oklahoma IBO Super Middleweight title holder Thomas Oosthuizen defeats Marcus Johnson by UD 10; Johnson was down in round 8 from a body shot. Thomas improves to 19-0-1, Oosthuizen’s IBO belt was not on the line. Super Bantamweight Luis Del Valle keeps his record unblemished by defeating tough Christopher Martin UD 10. Heavyweight prospect Joe “The Future” Hanks made quick work of Marcus Rhode ending Rhode’s night in less than a round.
Over to England fans witnessed former world title challenger Tony Bellow defended his BBBofC British light heavyweight belt via TKO 5 over Danny McIntosh. Undercard action had fans watch Middleweight Mark Thompson def. Martin Welsh via UD6.
In Sweden ladies action headlined when WBC Female Super Featherweight champion Frida Wallberg out boxed tough American Amanda Serrano handing Serrano her first pro career loss. Serrano despite losing a 10 round UD to Wallberg remains the divisions IBF ladies champion as her title was not at stake.
Saturday April 28th- On HBO in Atlantic City NJ the rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson took place with Hopkins WBC light heavyweight title on the line. After some shenanigans and drama as all Hopkins fights seem to have Dawson walks away with some satisfaction and his WBC title once again. Judges scored the bout in favor of Dawson by MD. Heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell overcame a tough first round where he was seemingly out on his feet after eating some big shots from Chazz Witherspoon. In round 3 referee Randy Neumann had to save Witherspoon from abuse as the ropes held him from falling, Mitchell claimed victory by TKO along with his first minor title as the vacant NABO heavyweight belt was up for grabs. Mitchell improved to 25-0-1 (19).
In California WBA World light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez raises his resume credential to 32-0 (27) when he defended his belt against Ramon Garcia Hirales via TKO 4. Welterweight knockout artist Wale Omosoto improves to 22-0 (19) defeating opponent Larry Smith by 8th round KO.
Heading south to Mexico IBF Super Featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado barely retained his strap when judges granted him a majority decision win over Martin Honorio. WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez defended his belt via unanimous decision over Elio Rojas.
Sunday in the Ukraine former IBF light Welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi earns his second world title in as many divisions when he upset the home town favorite and undefeated WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenco via TKO 9. Malignaggi is already slated to fight later this year in Brooklyn NY.
That’s the quick weekend round up fans, Tune into the Talkin Boxing With Billy C TV&Radio show LIVE Monday-Friday all this week on Fight Now TV or WWW.BillyCBoxing.com for a complete rundown of all the action for the past weekend’s events. Do not miss an episode so you can catch all the Billy C Boxing Network insiders’ opinions on how and why the action ended the way it did.
Jose”CheloMan” Alonzo- I am going to be back and I will not repeat those same mistakes!
By: Daxx Khan - April 27, 2012
Jose Alonzo who is perhaps more known by his moniker “CheloMan” has been a popular draw around the Tampa bay area of Florida since making his debut in April of 1999. Some of you might not be overly familiar with his name or work inside a boxing ring because he has kept a slow schedule, averaging about 1 fight per year. The slow schedule has much to do with the fact Jose has no promoter and he along with trainer Don Kahn are used to taking bouts on short notice. That situation would frustrate more fighters than less but Jose has a love for boxing so strong he is willing to overlook that minor inconvenience in exchange for an opportunity to practice his craft.
Even with a slow schedule going almost 13 years without losing can greatly affect a fighters confidence when that first loss does take place. On April 14th just four days shy of his 13th year as a pro Alonzo faced highly touted Super Middleweight prospect Lamar Russ who himself has yet to taste defeat. That bout did not go in Jose’s favor as he lost by 4th round TKO, a stoppage many felt referee Celestino Ruiz called in too quickly. If that is or is not the case Jose feels nothing bitter about what happened, in fact he will be the first one to say he is to blame for the loss not anyone else. Alonzo’s exact words to me were “I would be lying to everyone including myself if I made excuses why I lost”. When was the last time you heard a fighter admit he was beaten because his opponent was better inside the ring that evening? The last one that enters my mind is Joshua Clottey after his loss to Manny Pacquiao back in March of 2010. So when those words came from Jose Alonzo’s mouth he gained a large amount of respect from me.
I was able to speak with Jose recently about the Russ bout and what is next for him in boxing. Cheloman had plenty to say and all of it positive, that’s why I wanted to share our conversation with fans because win or lose it is how you react afterward that speaks volumes about your character not only as a fighter but person in general, Jose in that capacity comes off like a world champion. Here is what was discussed.
Billy C Boxing- Jose good speaking with you, I know you have been busy since your last outing on April 14th when you faced Lamar Russ. In that fight you came up a bit short how have you been since the bout?
Jose Alonzo- I have been fine, I want to thank the Lord for the strength and will helping me get up when I was knocked down in the Lamar Russ fight. I came up short against a great prospect, Russ and I have kept in contact since the bout he is a nice guy who I think has a big future ahead of him in boxing. I think that the ref might have stopped it a bit soon and did not give me an opportunity to recover after the knockdown but those things happen. After the bout some people said Russ hit me in the back of the head as I was going down and that might have affected my recovering from the knockdown. I could use that as an excuse but if that was the case it was an accidental blow. Should I use that as an excuse I would be lying to everyone and I would be lying to myself. Yes I think the ref should have allowed me more of a chance to recover but that’s not why I lost.
BCB- Has the loss discouraged you? I only ask because I know the first loss as a professional can be hard to overcome mentally for some guys. You have been fighting for 12 years on and off, over that time have gained a lot of experience and maturity. What advice would you give a young upcoming fighter who suffered their first loss?
JA- Pay attention to your environment, what makes you fall is in your hands. Listen to those around you when they are giving you advice to better yourself. Stay around those who have been with you from day one, those who never took a thing from you because they are out for your best interest not what they can get from you. This way you can turn to your friends at the end of the day, speak with them on what advice they might have without worries on why or if they are truly there in your best interest.
BCB- You had a fairly late start in boxing and your schedule has been fairly lax, will that schedule pick up in the future?
JA- I plan on becoming more active here on out. I don’t have a promoter so that’s why I don’t get as many fights as I would like. My trainer Don Kahn is who helps me decide on what fights to take; many times they are not with much notice. Prior to the Russ fight I was scheduled to be on another card but the bout fell through and instead of letting all my hard work and preparation be for nothing I stayed in the gym keeping in shape that’s when the call to fight Russ came. Maybe I was over trained for the bout who knows.
BCB- I heard a rumor though I cannot say it is true but the rumor is that you used to fight MMA is that true and if so the reason why you started out professional so late?
JA-No I never fought MMA that is just a rumor one I am hearing for the first time.
BCB-What is next in your career, any plans on another fight soon or are things up in the air at the moment?
JA- Right now July 14th looks like the next date I will fight. I have no definite opponent yet. I am returning to Puerto Rico right now and I will start back in the gym when I return. Then back to Florida where I will finish training before the fight.
BCB- What part of Puerto Rico do you reside in and where in Puerto Rico do you train?
JA- I train in Carolina Puerto Rico out of the Alexis Arguello boxing academy. My trainer is Don Kahn, my assistant trainer is Luis Birriel he is who I do mitts and other things of that nature with. Don Nelson my step father also does some work with me, he is my biggest supporter and has raised me since I was 1 ½ old. I have a solid team behind me.
BCB -What will we see different from you in future bouts?
JA- We studied tapes of the loss to Russ, we know what needs to be fixed so those mistakes do not happen again. My trainer told me what I did wrong in that fight and what I need to work on when I get back in the gym. I like to be told on what I did wrong in a fight so this way I know what I need to work on when trainers just keep telling you only what you do right there is no way to improve because eventually you think you’re doing everything right and that’s not always the case. Fixing those flaws and having a more active schedule is the plan right now. You will see an improved Jose Alonzo in the future one who will show he learns from mistakes and uses those mistakes to make him a better fighter.
BCB-Jose I appreciate speaking with you, I know you are about to catch a flight to Puerto Rico at any moment now, we look forward to your next bout when you have something set in stone drop me an email so we don’t miss it.
JA- I will make sure I do. I want to just quickly thank the Carolina Puerto Rico area for all their fan support. I also want to thank Hernando County Florida residents and everyone in the Tampa bay area for coming out and supporting me at my bouts. My trainer Don Kahn and everyone on my team for standing by me not only during the wins but now after a loss. I feel blessed, I have my health and I know I will only learn from this lesson and better myself as a fighter.
BCB- Sounds great, good luck in the future keep the hard work going in the gym and will speak to you again in the future.
JA- Thank You
Jose is a class act who hopefully makes his return a successful one. It’s good to see a fighter who makes no excuses for a loss and uses that loss as motivation to improve. We will keep our readers posted on Chelo Mans next appearance in the ring.
Taylor defeats Truax after late round Flashback, Lara makes statement!
By: Daxx Kahn - April 21, 2012
Former middleweight champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor made his second appearance to the ring after a two year plus layoff when he suffered back to back KO losses against Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. On December 30th 2011 Taylor stopped unknown Jessie Nicklow perhaps giving him a sense of false confidence, it inspired him to hit the gym and take another bout in what he hopes will be a continuous track that stops at him once again being a world champion. Last night at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi Mississippi Taylor stepped in against undefeated 28yr old Caleb Truax.
Jermain looked fantastic early on, boxing wonderfully using his jab as the set up for combinations and while he was not hurting Truax the gap in ability was very evident. Truax never stopped giving his full effort showing that his appearance was not one to make Taylor look good and in round 8 a sneaky right hand from Caleb dropped Taylor on his rear bringing a moment from his past back to haunt him. In all of Jermain’s previous 4 losses he was winning handily early on then around round 7 he started to slow, causing 3 of those 4 losses to end by stoppage. Caleb was fitting well into what seemed like a Jermain Taylor rerun because round 7 was Taylors lowest offensive output of the bout up to that point. One thing that we witnessed in this bout that we have not in the past when concerning Taylor is he knew enough to hold when in trouble, if he had applied such ring smarts when facing Carl Froch or Arthur Abraham he might have those 2 names on his win list instead of being stopped in round 12!
When the affair ended, Taylor was announced the victor with scores of 98-91, 97-92, 97-94. During his post-fight interview Taylor acknowledged his moment of fear that past incidents were reliving themselves, further stating that he had to say inside his head “Get Up don’t let this happen to you again” and rose off the canvas he did. As his post-fight interview continued on he made it clear the only way to beat Jermain Taylor was to knock him out and he was going to return again to the drawing board fix some still defensive flaws then take his next step toward title contention.
When looking at the fight against Truax unless some major changes are made Taylor might not want to pursue another chance at being champion, he is still a marketable name that looks good on a resume and he might fix his in ring flaws but can he fix his ability to take a punch?
In what would have been a Co-Main event Erislandy Lara returned to action against Ronald Hearns after losing one of boxing’s worst decisions in 15 years when he out boxed Paul Williams in Atlantic City New Jersey July 9th 2011. I say what “Would Have” been a Co-Main event because Lara made a bold statement to everyone at 154lbs walking over Hearns in just 1:34 of round number one.
In off air action Heavyweight Kelvin Price defeated Arron Lyons by unanimous decisopn after a 10 round battle. Middleweight J’Leon Love stopped Ibahiem King in round 3 and 154lb prospect Steve Martinez defeated Marcus Thompkins by KO in round 2.
Is Vic Darchinyan having trouble knowing when to call it day?
By: Daxx Kahn - April 9, 2012
Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan is the type of battler that draws attention and makes fans excited to see what will take place come fight night. An unpredictable “Herky Jerky” style, one punch KO power and just the right amount of trash talk leading up to bouts has made him “THE FIGHTER TO SEE” under 135lbs. WAIT SORRY SCRATCH THAT!!!. I was thinking about Vic Darchinyan of old, these days Vic is a different fighter, one who despite bravado in what he says and heart displayed inside the ring has become more like a bull broken on the rodeo circuit than “Raging” he once was.
In 2000 Darchinyan entered the pro ranks true to his “Raging Bull” moniker, knocking out every opponent in his path; those he did not KO were given sound beatings and outpointed easily. It was years before his arrival that boxing seen a fighter under the lightweight limit dominate with such power and despite his awkward movements that often made Darchinyan’s style look sloppy foes appeared to have no answer for it. In 2004 when Darchinyan captured his first world championship ending then unbeaten Irene Pacheco’s IBF World Flyweight reign he had already developed a cult like following worldwide. In 2005 after Vic added the IBO flyweight belt via 8th round stoppage over Mzukisi Sikali a buzz began on him being pound for pound worthy. The winning ways along with invincible aura continued to surround Darchinyan as he dispatched Diosdado Gabi, Jose Victor Burgos, Glen Donaire and Luis Maldonado. Come 2007 when Vic signed to defend his IBF/IBO flyweight championships against Nonito Donaire most felt Donaire would be picked apart and exposed as an overrated prospect, Donaire who was not in the least bit intimidated by Darchinyan’s track record remain composed, exposed Vic’s unorthodox style as one easily countered and stopped the Australian based Armenian with a brutal left hook country in round 5.
Since his loss to Donaire, Darchinyan has been successful, winning multiple titles at Super Flyweight and even one at Bantamweight, despite those accomplishments Vic has lost some of that “Swagger”. I often liken him to a small version of Mike Tyson because it seems that any opponent who is willing to take the fight to Darchinyan or remain calm enough to out think him inside the ring has little issue with making him appear ordinary. At 36 years old his natural reflex abilities are diminishing, he can no longer make the Flyweight or even Super Flyweight weight class comfortably and his power at Bantamweight has been a forgotten factor. Since 2010 Vic has had one quality performance and that was a split decision loss to Abner Mares where both men traded knockdowns during Showtime’s Bantamweight tournament. A Technical Decision win in round 5 that helped Vic claim IBO bantamweight gold over Yohnny Perez due to the bout being halted after an accidental head butt and single defense of that strap over unknown Evans Mbamba in Darchinyan’s native Armenia is all he has done of relevance these last 30 months, good wins yes but not impressive for a man who just several years prior had been so highly thought of by boxing’s critics.
In Darchinyan’s last 2 bouts he has either helped showcase his opponent’s skillset or shown outright frustration by making it apparent his body can no longer do what his mind wants it to. When he faced WBA Super world Bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno in December of 2011 Vic lost a wide unanimous decision, his frustration inside the ring might have been most evident in that bout as he had been deducted points for throwing Moreno to the ground. This past Friday when Darchinyan sought out WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka’s title in Tokyo Japan and was once again easily out boxed losing by wide margins on all 3 judges’ scorecards.
The blueprint on how to defeat Vic Darchinyan has been laid out by several fighters, his power while still respectable has become no more a threat than any other fighter’s past mid-level caliber and he is showing the frustration of those issues when boxing. A jump up in weight would be a disaster, to drop back down might be too much of a toll on Vic’s ageing body, 36 for a heavyweight is more like 40 for fighters under the welterweight limit, pushing his body further will add to those years quickly. What is left for Darchinyan at this stage? In my opinion maybe 1 or 2 carefully thought out opponents that could assure him victories then retirement before that decision is made for him by some young gun looking to use his name to help jump start him into the next level of pay scales.
Vic Darchinyan is a warrior through and through, even a one sided knockout loss would not discourage him, it would more than likely only fuel his fire to continue on with a need to avenge that loss. The Donaire KO loss was in 2007 and Vic still talks about a rematch every chance he gets, since 2007 Darchinyan has declined while Donaire has improved such a rematch would certainly spell doom for Vic. What the heart wants often over rides what the mind already knows, you can see in Darchinyan’s bouts that his heart wants the dominate victories, yet as stated prior the frustration that runs through his mind is evident when he does stuff such as throwing his opponent to the ground as he did in his bout against Moreno. I think it is time for Vic to reassess his position because things will only become more difficult from here on out. I have to wonder if the heart of Darchinyan actually is having a hard time allowing his mind to know when it’s time to call it a day. I could be wrong and Darchinyan is just having a rough patch his next bout or 2 will give us that answer for certain, regardless of that answer I hope Vic follows the advice of his own body, we have seen enough fighters trying to grasp on for one more moment in the sun, it’s not a glorious sight no matter who that fighter might be.
Bert Randolph Sugar- The passing of an Icon
By: Daxx Kahn - March 26, 2012
In terms of boxing journalism added with all around knowledge of the sport Bert Sugar might have been the most accomplished and recognizable figure to ever take on those task. Having written some 75 plus book’s, a former editor and publisher of “The Ring” Magazine, owner of Boxing Illustrated Magazine who even dipped into Baseball journalism when he wrote “Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame-A living history of America’s Greatest Game”, a book that was published and out on stands in 2009, Sugar set the standards for all those to follow that decide to take up his craft.
Like with many of the “Old Time” historians, trainers or fighters of this sport I made it a point to become friends with Bert so I could learn from the best, though we were in no way best buddies we did shoot the breeze several times a year, I was always able to ask him some advice on how to best approach a controversial topic. If I was somewhere that he should happen to be present at and the day had become long, dragging or just plain out boring Bert knew how to liven things up, even if it was nothing more than a few sarcastic remarks directed towards the most long winded person on hand.
In 1991 the prefight week for Ray Leonard versus Terry Norris had been a long one, everyday it felt like a bad trip to the amusement park, much of this had to do with the fact Leonard was looking to wind down his career by exiting with a much doubted victory over Norris and of course Ray needed all eyes on him at every moment. Come fight night all of us who partook in the press week had had enough of it all, Bert himself by this time was on cruise control rolling with the punches so to speak. What would take place in the Madison Square Garden press room on fight night as we waited to sit ringside has stuck in my mind as though it took place yesterday.
Mind you before starting to reads this I was only 19 years old, I was like a fish out of water at such a big event and had only covered a few small local shows prior to this. Bert all week had been a true superstar to me; he was the “MAN” in boxing journalism yet took the time each day to see how I was making out with my progress. I think that week I also learned more horrible one liner’s than any person should in 5 lifetimes but with the jokes coming from Bert Sugar and impressionable age I was at he could have said “What do you call Potato chips between your living room furniture cushions? Couch potato’s” I would have busted a gut. Bert and some others had had a few drinks in them, all anyone would say about the upcoming bout was “I hope Norris gets Leonard out of there early so I can get the hell home”, suddenly a lady walked into the room who was loud, obnoxious and demanding that she be treated with respect as she barked out orders to everyone. That lady was no one special she had gotten in on a boyfriends credential and that had her thinking she was some VIP who was doing us all a favor just by providing her presence”. This went on for 10 minutes before Bert had enough, in true Bert Sugar style he belted out “WHO THE HELL IS THIS BROAD AND DID SHE NOT READ THE SIGN THAT SAID UNLESS YOU ARE A MAN OPINIONS WILL BE GIVEN NOT LISTENED TO”!!! Just as sudden and obnoxious was her entrance so was her wrath because in the next 3 minutes Bert was given a mouthful of obscenities that even had him blushing. Once the lady ran out of steam, instead of an apology or even trying to ignore what just took place Sugar stands up with half a smile then blurts out “Well now that your done maybe you can go see if there is more food in the back then stop by the men’s room to give it a quick wipe down before I have to make a deposit”!!! Next he tapped me on the arm and whispered “Let’s get out of here before she has me in the ring for the Co-Main event” then he shuffled out the door with me in tow.
After I would speak with Bert 2 or 3 times a year and ask advice on how to approach a certain fighter or promoter on a touch topic, usually he said “If they won’t be honest just tell it the way it is and who cares if anyone likes it”, it might now have always been the best way to approach things but it sure has made for some interesting moments for me.
I will miss Bert as will the entire boxing community; he was a living ICON, who had a way about him that cannot be mimicked because anyone other than Bert would be laughed out of the sport should they try. Farewell my friend, rest in peace and try not to raise too much commotion up there, last thing I would like to have happen is find out you have been tossed out for not playing well with others before I arrive. Keep them laughing and maybe pick up a new joke or two, in the meantime I’ll keep telling it how I see it with hopes I don’t get myself in too much trouble doing so. Maybe when I attend the Hall of Fame in Canastota in June of this year I can find myself a pair of plaid pants before arriving and wear them in memory of you.
MARTINEZ STOPS MACKLIN IN A TOUGH BATTLE-EDWIN RODRIGUEZ VERSUS GEORGE DISAPPOINTS!
By: Daxx Khan, RingSide - March 18, 2012
An afternoon in New York City, some Corned Beef Sandwiches and night at the fights is how I like to spend St Patrick’s Day; this year was no different as I sat ringside for Sergio Martinez vs. Matthew Macklin the main event of a card billed as “The Real Middleweight Championship Get Your Irish Up”.
With a strong representation of native fan bases present for both fighters the air at MSG was thick with excitement. Martinez walked to the ring looking very confident while Macklin looked slightly unsure of himself that appearance would be nothing but a ruse once bell signaled to begin action. In round one neither man did much more than try to feel each other out, Macklin was a bit more active so I would have edged the first to him. Rounds 2, 3 and 4 belonged to Macklin no questions asked because Martinez fought almost like he was unsure of what approach he wanted to take against Macklin. When Martinez was the aggressor early on Macklin would tie him up and get off some inside work. In round 7 Martinez was caught off guard and went stumbling back after a slight punch landed on him causing his glove to brush the mat causing an official knockdown. After that Sergio became riled up and in round 9 he started letting off fluent shots, my personal thoughts were “This looks just like the Darren Barker affair from October of last year”. Once round 11 began Macklin was swollen, dejected and offering little more than a chance for Sergio to get in target practice, Matthews corner saved him from further abuse in between rounds by stopping the affair giving Sergio a 11th round RTD victory.
On the undercard of the night Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez and Don “The Bomb” George fought a dull affair. It was especially disappointing since their meeting had been dubbed by promoters as “Bomb’s Away” and promises from Edwin in press conferences that he would knockout George never even seemed close to happening nor did he seem as if he was making an attempt to do so. Edwin boxed smarter than Don but with little fireworks fans felt almost cheated. The last 2 rounds had George looking for one big shot to end Rodriguez’s night. Unfortunately that shot did not land and Edwin won a comfortable Unanimous decision victory.
In untelevised undercard action the “Irish” fighters came ahead in all their bouts, Super Middleweight Kevin Rooney Jr stopped Anthony Shuff. Heavyweight Thomas Hardwick won a 4 round unanimous decision over TJ Gibson. Light welterweight Carl McNickles won a majority decision over Danny McDermott and light heavyweight prospect Sean Monaghan continued his unbeaten streak by outpointing Erik Watkins in a smartly fought contest.
In 154lb action Charlie Ota sent Gundrick King home a loser via TKO round 7. Undefeated heavyweights Jason Pettaway and Magomed Abdusalamov threw some massive leather at one another with Mogomed coming ahead earning his 14th professional win, all 14 of those wins have been by stoppage!
The night was eventful and enjoyable for all in attendance except maybe Sergio Martinez. I would not be bold enough to believe that Martinez was exposed or slipping but he did show boxing’s public one major flaw in his game that flaw is “Sergio Martinez has a bad habit of fighting down to the level of his competition”. When Martinez faces highly regarded competition such as Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik or Serhiy Dzinziruk he shines, lesser caliber fighters like Matthew Macklin or Darren Barker that shine fades.
Martinez who turned 37 February 21st cannot afford to have performances like the one he did Saturday because his career has a short shelf life left. Chances for a big money showdown against another top caliber opponent might not come to him as fans will lose interest. Sergio has all the tools but why he does not utilize them at all times baffles me to the point of frustration, his stock has dropped greatly and in my opinion Martinez drops from the number 3 pound for pound fighter in boxing to 6th.
Sergio Martinez could be the “Show” that people come to see but right now he is “The show stopper”, there is nothing wrong with that unless you’re a Middleweight Champion seeking fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr or Manny Pacquiao. Meanwhile Sergio needs to just keep on winning while Father Time allows his body to perform. One of these days should he continue waiting until the late rounds before showcasing his abilities when in with lesser competition he will fall victim to an upset loss.
As Greg Haugen once told me “I don’t care if I fight my Sister 100 times she is going to win at least 1 because eventually she will figure me out” Saturday night Martinez provided any middleweight looking for a chance at becoming the divisions King to figure him out! A younger bigger, stronger Julio Cesar Chavez Jr the WBC middleweight world champion won’t crumble so easily, without Mayweather or Pacquiao as an opponent that is the highest profile bout available for him currently. If he can’t hurt Chavez Jr a late fight rally won’t earn him a victory over Julio, only start a legacy for the young man looking to get away from his Fathers shadow! Boxing has some new drama now we need sit back and see how it unfolds.
MICHAEL ALDEGUAR- A CLASS ACT SOME PROMOTERS SHOULD MODEL THEMSELVES AFTER!
By: Daxx Khan - March 5, 2012
It is not often I feel compelled to give a promoter their just due for a job well done, after learning of what Michael Aldeguar did this past Saturday I could not ignore his good deed and how he did right by fans in attendance! This is what happened and fans please judge for yourself if you agree Michael deserves the praise allotted!
Saturday Michael promoted a card in Bohol Philippines at the Carlos P. Garcia sports complex, slated that evening were 9 bouts scattered in several weight classes. The Main Event was to be Ray Bautista versus Genaro Garcia battling it out at featherweight. As promised Genaro Garcia showed up to the venue only it was Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia that was expected not Genaro “El Panteriya” Garcia who had actually arrived. HOW THE HAY DID THAT HAPPEN? I am confused as everyone else on this with the exception of Aldeguar who I am sure was baffled as one could possibly get but mistakes are made and it is what you do to rectify those mistakes that count most.
The commission really had no legitimate reason to cancel the card due to the fact almost all fight cards include a “Bouts are Subject to Change” policy in case there is a last minute injury or something to that effect, adding that into a promoted card safe guards all involved for such reasons. Aldeguar took things into his own hands despite the evening proceeding as planned, instead of short changing his fans by not providing them a bout they paid to see even if the undercard fights were all in order. Boxing fans were treated to a night of action for FREE!!! Yes FREE!! Michael Aldeguar refunded everyone who paid for a ticket in full, paid all the fighters on the card out of his pocket despite no profit being made at the gate in doing so he proved that there are still some promoters who care about the fans who make this sport evolve by pouring out there hard earned money to see fighters in action.
That was a true CLASS ACT on behalf of Michael Aldeguar who lawfully did not have to refund the money; he took the high road by doing his best to keep everyone happy. A good night of action despite the opponent mix up, a show of caring for fans and making sure the fighters who did arrive were still able to showcase their abilities has earned Michael my BillyCBBoxing.com boxing Good Guy of the month vote. I can only hope others see his generous and proper handling of the situation then follow suit!
Gabriel Campillo- I have a surprise for Tavoris Cloud
By: Daxx Khan - February 15, 2012
Saturday February 18th Showtime boxing has a stacked card to take place, one of the most interesting and exciting bouts on that bill will be current IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud defending his title against former division WBA champion Gabriel Campillo. Despite who wins the matchup will force some very high profile contest to take place in that division for 2012. Cloud will be looking to make a statement I am sure as he bring his 23-0 record inside the ring with his title but if Campillo has his say it will be he that goes home holding gold!
Campillo who as we all know has had some tough bouts these last couple of years, trading wins with current division WBA champion Beibut Shumenov and in his last outing fighting 12 rounds for a SD against Karo Murat. Recently some changes have been made to Campillo’s camp that has seemed to rejuvenate the former champion. One part being is that he is now managed by Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. Sergio has also had Gabriel share training camp with him teaching Campillo the importance of diet, sleeping patterns, in ring movement and overall ring smarts. Gabriel stated the experience has never had him feeling more prepared or more confident when entering a bout.
With his IBF title opportunity just 3 days away Gabriel was kind enough to spare some time and speak with me despite his full schedule. Here is how our conversation went and why he is confident of victory!
BillyCBoxing- Gabriel how are you doing today? Thank You for speaking with me so close to your bout against IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud this Saturday. I know you just arrived in Texas yesterday afternoon how was your trip?
Gabriel Campillo- It was good going I am rested; I have spent the past few months in training camp with Pablo Sarmiento and team Martinez, actually since November. I feel strong and plan to surprise everyone this Saturday the 18th.
BCB- Your training camp in preparations for this bout went very well from what I understand. Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez was also in camp with you preparing for his upcoming bout against Matthew Macklin. Is this the first time you have shared a camp with Sergio?
GC- I have trained before with Sergio but never for this amount of time. In the past we trained in Spain sparring and working on other things together. Now Sergio is my manager and it was totally different. Whoever is in camp with Sergio needs to adapt and put in the hard work just as he does there is no one allowed to take it easy during training.
BCB- I am not familiar with your training methods but I have seen some of what Sergio does in his workout routines. I know he has some complicated drills, works very hard on stamina and movement. Is there anything different you did in getting ready for Cloud than in past camps? Has working alongside Martinez in training given you anything that might add an extra edge so to speak for when you step in the ring Saturday?
GC- It was tremendous and much different than past camps. I was well educated on what foods to and not to eat. What is the best time to get up, go to bed so I have proper rest. It was almost like being in the Army, the camp was nothing like I ever experienced before, I made a lot of sacrifices but it was terrific!
BCB- In a media press release sent out there was a quote included made by you that went something to the effect of “Fighting in my opponents home country motivates me, I want to prove them wrong”. Can you explain exactly why it gives you so much motivation? Usually fighters dread facing any opponent let alone one who is a world champion on home ground.
GC- I love to surprise people and to be underestimated. When I am being underestimated it motivates me even more. When that happens it allows me to be able and do things in the ring I could not before. When I am underestimated by not only the fighter I am facing but press it brings out the best in me.
BCB- Tavoris is more than likely the hardest hitting opponent you have faced in your career thus far. You yourself are not known as a power puncher but more of a refined boxer, should Tavoris turn this bout into a slugging match are you prepared to stand and trade with him need be?
GC- Everyone has their own style but I will not be forced to fight the way that is best for him, I will fight the style that is best for me.
BCB- You have stated publicly that you have a “Surprise” in store for Cloud when the bout takes place. Is there something in Tavoris style your trainer Pablo Sarmiento and yourself have noticed that can be exposed Saturday and if so can you give us a hint on what that might be or do we have to just wait and see what that surprise is just as Cloud will?
GC- When you have a champion like Tavoris Cloud who depends on only his power and with how slow he can be there is nothing else. Intelligence, speed and fighting clever are all it will take to win.
BCB- If victorious this weekend would you like to pick up your rivalry with Beibut Shumenov, each of you hold a win over the other in what were very close contest. Boxing fans appreciate nothing more than “Rubber Matches” especially ones that will unify world titles.
GC- Right now I have a very tough fight ahead of me Saturday. I will not discuss any future opponents until after my bout February 18th then I will think about other opponents but right now I just want to concentrate on winning this fight, then I will discuss future fights.
BCB- Gabriel I know you must be tired after your trip yesterday and have a long day ahead of you so I will not take up any more of your time. I want to Thank You again for speaking with me on such short notice and wish you “Good Luck” Saturday, it should be an exciting bout. I hope we can speak again in the future and when we do it will be as a “2 time light heavyweight champion of the world”.
GC- Thank you and after this fight I would be happy to talk with you and answer any other questions we did not get a chance to talk about today.
This showdown is one that could change the light heavyweight landscape and should create some very exciting face offs to come in the division. I for one look forward to it and will tune into Showtime Saturday for the action.
IF PACQUIAO VERSUS BRADLEY WON’T SATISFY FANS NOTHING WILL!
By: Daxx Khan, February 14, 2012
Since it was released to the mass public that Manny Pacquiao will be facing Timothy Bradley this upcoming June there has been an outburst of displeasure by fans and media members alike that is almost alarming. Looking at this matchup the only valid issue personally I can see as one that digs under the skin of boxing followers is once again two top rank fighters have been pitted against one another keeping the wealth from being spread around. Aside from that issue what more is wrong with this match up?
OK just to clear something up before I go on “YES I KNOW EVERYONE WANTED TO SEE PACQUIAO FACE FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR MAY 5TH” the nonsense that’s taken place between both camps these last two years at negotiation tables has knocked more luster off that showdown than both fighters combined have knocked opponents out. Seriously in a recession economy such as this one when our general public hears neither camp can agree on terms for a bout where each fighter will make anywhere from 25 million dollars and up a piece it’s a slap in our faces, especially when the promotion companies will request around of $50.00 in pay per view fees! It matters none on who is to blame for what in terms of the fight not being signed other than greed and ego in both camps, what matters is boxing’s public has been slapped in the face by team Mayweather and team Pacquiao by dangling the possibility in front of us then pulling it away as if we are Donkeys chasing the carrot that makes us forget were lugging a cart behind us. Empty promises are all that has been delivered to us and in my eyes it serves both men right should they never meet and profit off the encounter!
If we can get past Mayweather versus Pacquiao for a moment, look at this matchup on paper, think about both men’s last 7 or 8 bouts, what they are capable of and this fight is honestly one of the best boxing can ask for currently, it also has some intriguing aspects that will build a climatic interest as it nears. Manny Pacquiao has built himself into legendary status since his 2008 bout with a bigger Oscar De La Hoya, one where he beat a much bigger man to such an extent he quit on his stool, despite Oscar being weight drained it was a rather impressive feat. Continuing from there Manny defeated Ricky Hatton by KO in 2:50 of round 2, that bout happened at 140lbs where Ricky was unblemished. Next was Miguel Cotto who possessed the WBO welterweight title, after a lopsided beating Cotto had to be saved in round 12, his face was nothing more than a grotesque mask of swelling and blood, four months later that title would be defended against rugged Joshua Clottey. Joshua Clottey was able to do nothing more than cover up and land an occasional jab during the affair after the ending Joshua stated “This is the first time I can say I know I lost without question”. Returning villain and Cotto mauler Antonio Margarito met Manny next in the Jr Middleweight class for that division’s vacant WBC world title; Margarito would lose as well and like Cotto before him end up a mask of blood and pain before all was over. Six months later Shane Mosley fell victim to Pacquiao as his aging body could not cope with Pacquiao’s speed winning not a single round on the judge’s scorecards and in his last bout Pacquiao would face off against heated rival Juan Manuel Marquez at a contracted weight of 144lbs. Pacquiao took his new celebrity status more serious than his showdown squeaking by with a majority decision victory giving inclination his skillset might be fading away if even just a tiny bit. Six dazzling performances followed by a narrow point’s victory makes us wonder if Pacquiao could be ripe for a fall. Who better than a hungry divisional leader that does not know how to lose could assist in getting answers to that question?
Timothy Bradley has stuck his toe into the 147lb waters just once in his career but when he did Bradley emerged victorious against then unbeaten Luis Carlos Abregu. Since this fight will take place at welterweight and Tim has visited the division it should hold little to no effect on him. Added on top Tim is also fast enough for Pacquiao to have concern and has shown in past bouts an uncanny ability to adapt when need be. Bradley earned his first world championship in 2008 by dethroning Junior Witter in the United Kingdom, Junior’s homeland. He would defend that title four months later against top rated contender Edner Cherry earning the “W” by wide unanimous decision. In April 2009 Bradley partook in a unification bout against then 140lb WBO champ Kendall Holt. Bradley would overcome adversity for the first time after being dropped early to emerge victorious as judges final scores read 115-111, 115-111 and 114-112. August of 2009 former lightweight kingpin Nate Campbell stepped in with Bradley and was being beaten soundly until an accidental head-butt caused a 3rd round NC. December 2009 current WBA light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson would suffer his first loss at Timothy’s hands by UD after tasting canvas in the third round. July 2010 would be Tim’s initial visit to 147 when he as mentioned above defeated unbeaten Luis Carlos Abregu.
Bradley would return to light welterweight on Jan 29th 2011 and participate in his 2nd career title unification bout, highly thought of WBC champion Devon Alexander would be the opponent. Bradley would win that bout reclaim the belt back he vacated and remove the “0” from a third top 10 fighter in a row. After taking a short break Tim would return to dismantle former lightweight champion and crafty veteran Joel Cassamayor, stopping the Cuban warrior at round eights 2:59 mark. Bradley’s whirlwind of success these last four years, has him now ranked in the top 10 pound for pound on the consensus of credible list.
I ask again after what’s been mentioned, hints of Pacquiao slipping ability wise even if slightly and Bradley constantly improving. Both men being ranked top 10 pound for pound, quality of opponents each has toppled since 2008 then throw in a possibility Tim might be in better shape than Manny physically what is there not to like about this match up? Compare quality wise this faceoff with bouts some of our sports champions are partaking in, remove the Mayweather fight not surfacing and your opinion if it is one against the signing of Bradley/Pacquiao might change. We can all speak on what fights we want to see take place and should happen but until they do lets appreciate what is being given to us and right now it cannot get any better than this.
THE LOSS OF A LEGEND AND FRIEND- ANGELO DUNDEE PASSES AT AGE 90
BY: DAXX KHAN - February 7, 2012
Whenever the sport loses one of its members there is always a wave of momentary quietness that blankets across all else taking place until everyone grasp and accepts that loss. As in everyday life we feel the loss of certain members more than others depending on how they impacted us over the years, with that being said despite their level of contribution we never take death of any member be it in ring competitor or otherwise lightly. When those who achieved success far beyond what our imaginations could even fathom hear the final bell an unexplainable emptiness becomes present regardless if that person has been inactive for a long duration. I always have and always will make an effort to give any member of our sport who passes away some sort of mention be it print, radio or television media, when you think about sacrifices these people make to chase their dream and keep the game evolving it is the least that can be done to honor them. Boxing is a sport where even the biggest of rivals share deep respect for one another, it may not always be verbalized publicly but that respect does exist; more so than in any other sport. On February 1st 2012 boxing lost another all-time great and man who rightfully was considered a living legend Angelo Dundee.
I sit here with a heavy heart as I type because not only was Angelo Dundee a man I admired because of his achievements in this sport but someone who I had many vast conversations with throughout the years and grew to become friends with. I could sit here and type for hours on Angelo’s accomplishments, great fighter’s careers he guided or trained but anyone who has followed boxing even in a casual sense could provide that information. Since his passing countless articles and news stories highlighting his career as a boxing trainer have been printed or aired internationally so all I would be doing is being repetitive if I should spend this time highlighting Dundee’s career. Instead I decided to share some personal memories and stories about Angelo.
It was about 8 or so years ago when I checked my email account and there was an inbox message entitled “Interviews with Angelo Dundee needed”, my first thought before even opening the email was “Yeah this should be a good one”. Now keep in mind I receive 100’s if not 1000’s of emails a week ranging from media press releases to public relation rep's looking for added exposure on a fighter, the only time I read interview request in tag lines is when it concerns a prospect that boxing’s mass public has not become familiar with yet. If such tag lines pertain to well-known top caliber fighters or other high profile figures of boxing it makes you scratch your head because after reaching a certain level rarely do mass emails get distributed requesting interview opportunities. So I opened the email expecting it to be some sort of spam release on an article or public appearance Angelo had made that someone was looking to have posted as is normal practice except there was no attachment just a request with contact information. Curiosity despite my better judgment got the better of me and I contacted the sender. Surprisingly enough all checked out to be genuine and I was provided with Dundee’s home phone number, later that day I gave the number a call and one of the nicest ladies I have ever spoken to answered the phone. I introduced myself the reason for my calling and asked if Angelo was available, the lady informed me Angelo had just went to the store on an errand for her then advised me of a good time I can reach Angelo. I did not have a chance to reply or thank her for her assistance before she had thanked me for taking interest in speaking with Angelo and promised she would make sure he was available when I called back at the time she provided, next she asked where I was located then small talk took place on NY weather followed by a story on some severe cold she had experienced during a visit to NY many years back, the polite lady was Angelo’s wife Helen. Up until her death in 2008 I would have the honor of speaking with Helen anytime I called the Dundee home as she is who always seemed to answer, I have yet in my life spoken to a nicer person I have never met.
When I spoke with Angelo the first time our topic was one based on a visit he made to a boxing gym for kids he had been really supportive of, over the years he had made many public appearances at gyms that ran amateur programs in attempts to bring exposure to them. Angelo did these not because of the boxing aspect but fact these gyms kept kids off the street and out of trouble, he felt that when kids became involved with boxing programs what discipline learned there would help them become respectable adults, if they should enter boxing professionally later in life was not his focus, molding them into productive adults was more important. The last interview I did with Angelo based on one of these visits was in March 2008 after he returned from Louisiana’s “Ragin Cajun Boxing” gym ran by Beau Williford.
I am not sure exactly what I said in our initial conversation that Angelo found to be interesting but from then out whenever we spoke the conversation would sway from its intended topic and end up about everything but. I don’t think there was ever a discussion between us that lasted less than two hours, once we spoke about traffic for 45 minutes. I wonder if the reason of our lengthy talks had anything to do with a funny quirk he had when we spoke and that was Dundee never ended a conversation with closure, suddenly mid-sentence no matter what we were speaking about or how long we had been on the topic especially when speaking over the telephone he would blurt out “Oops look at the time I just remembered I have to go and do something I will talk to you again later” then just go about his business. The very next time we would speak Angelo would pick up right where he left off finish his last thought on the subject then we would start a new conversation. He would never end a conversation by saying “Goodbye” just end it mid thought, I never did find out if that was something he did with everyone he spoke to. Angelo was always good on his word when he said I will talk to you later except he would pick up our conversation at the most inconvenient times of day. My telephone would ring before sun up 4:30, 5:00 or 5:30 am in days following, as I would get out of bed in half a fog to answer if I did not reach it in time the machine would pick it up and Angelo would be on the other end with a message that normally went something like this “Daxx it’s me Angelo Dundee remember the conversation we had the other day, well I thought about something I wanted to ask you about, I guess you’re not home so give me a call back when you get this” followed by no more than a click. I loved talking with Angelo but that habit drove me nuts especially because if I did not answer quick enough by time the machine grabbed the call everyone in the house was awake. Those out there who have kids know if they are between ages 2-12 having them awake at 5:00am can make for a long day! Truthfully I really did not care though because as I stated speaking with Angelo was always a pleasure no matter what topic or time of day.
Aside from our conversations on what he was doing currently or about what was taking place in boxing at that moment when I could get Angelo to talk about boxing’s glory days or behind the scenes scenarios that took place with one of the countless Hall of Fame greats he trained I listened like a kid mesmerized! Those moments were ones that reminded me this was not just a friend that I talked shop with but a man who had seen and done it all. He would tell me about he and his Brother Chris’s childhood, the very first fight he worked a corner in when Chicky Ferrara brought him to Fort Hamilton and just threw him a roll of tape to wrap a fighters hands before his bout. I laughed until I almost cried when he spoke on telling Chicky he did not know how to wrap hands and Chicky said just do it and shut up, having mock boxing bouts with pal Jimmy during his military service that were all staged for show until Jimmy would throw a punch to his belly then end the affair. I know people who would pay to hear his tales about Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard and how hard it was to get bouts for Tommy Bell.
I will never forget those talks and I remember every word he ever told me of every story he ever told me. In 2008 when Helen passed I was saddened not only because she was such a nice person but because my friend lost his wife that he loved so much. Tomorrow will be a week since Angelo passed it had been a few months since I spoke to him by telephone, the last time I spent any time with him was at 2010’s boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend for a few hours in-between his greeting fans. It seems so very long ago, I imagine that is because I know I will not have an opportunity to do so again.
The next time my phone rings at 5:30 am I will be in my normal AM fog half expecting to see Angelo’s number on the caller ID. When it is not his number that appears I will remember he has moved on to a better place so I will not be sad, just a bit disappointed we never did say goodbye before he left. I like so many will miss you my friend, someday we will meet up again and when we do I look forward to hearing more of your stories. Until then God Bless and Thank You it was my privilege.
Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez and Don “The Bomb” George conference call highlights.
By: Daxx Khan - January 31, 2012
On St Patrick’s Day March 17th HBO boxing will be at Madison Square Garden televising a card hosted by DiBella Entertainment entitled “The Real Middleweight Championship Get your Irish Up”. Headlining that cards main event will be Middleweight King Sergio Martinez defending his crown against Irish slugger and top 10 middleweight contender Matthew “Mack the knife” Macklin. That evening on the undercard a Super Middleweight showdown will be featured when two exciting rated battlers Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez 20-0 (14) meets hard hitting Don “The Bomb” George. All those who have seen either man in action know both possess major power in their hands and neither knows how to take a step backwards meaning from bell to bell leather flows freely.
Today a conference call was held between these two Super Middleweight contenders and if it is any inclination on what is to take place March 17th we are all in for a treat! Here are a few highlights from that call.
The presser opened up with Larry Army a DiBella Entertainment executive manning the affair for DiBella CEO Lou DiBella who was not feeling well. Larry highlighted the cards events to take place introduced both fighters teams then Don Georges manager Mike Michaels of Cestus Management.
Mike stated his appreciation for all who were participating then made a statement of “We know Don will win this bout, there is no doubt in our minds”. Rodriguez’s camp replied “Edwin has yet to taste defeat and on March 17th he is not going to start learning what being a loser feels like. Somewhere in those statements offense was taken by Larry Army as he felt disrespected by the fact Mike Michaels was so adamant George would be victorious. Larry chimed in directing comments towards Michaels about being disrespectful by being so adamant, Michaels replied “What am I supposed to say our guy is going to lose”. Larry followed up by telling Michael no he should feel confident but it was the manner in which the comment was made that made him feel disrespected. Larry then told Michaels that if he was so confident that Don George would beat Edwin how about they both put each fighter’s purse up for grabs winner take all!
After some more banter it was Rodriguez’s trainer Ronnie Shields that played mediator cooling off both men so the event could continue making the following statement in doing so “Both fighters are credible, both teams should feel their fighter will win. This bout will be better than the main event because each fighter gives it all they have in the ring”. Soon after both fighter’s made the following statements before question and answer segments opened.
Edwin Rodriguez- This is a dream come true to be on both HBO and fighting in Madison Square garden on the same night. Donavan is a good fighter who does not know how to take a step back but I trained very hard for this fight, I am ready. This is a fight we have both been talking about for a while now it will be a great fight.
Donovan George- I want to thank DiBella and HBO for this opportunity, I was supposed to fight in Madison Square Garden a long time ago but my scheduled opponent did not pass his EKG so I had a rain date waiting. This is going to be a great fight; it has always been a dream of mine to fight in Madison Square garden. I am looking forward to facing Edwin he is a good fighter and I am bringing my very best for that evening.”
During it all I was able to squeeze in a few questions of my own for each fighter. Here is what my inquiries were and what the men had in reply.
Daxx Kahn- BCB: Don you are only 2 fights removed from your 2010 loss against Francisco Sierra, those bouts combined lasted 9 rounds. In your professional career you have never been past eight rounds, Edwin has been 10 rounds several times. Considering all I mentioned above with the layoff and only 9 combined rounds since your loss have you done anything in your camp different preparing for this bout than you usually would to compensate for those issues?
Don George- Nothing different really, I trained hard for this fight; I am prepared to go longer than 8 rounds should I need to. The layoff was my fault I had gone to Mexico for a while but that did not work out. I have never been more motivated for a fight than I am for this one, we did bring in a strength and condition coach to help build my stamina. My loss motivated me to work harder it was a bad loss and I was embarrassed on national TV so I don’t want that to happen again.
Daxx Kahn- BCB: Edwin Don has some serious power in his hands out of his 22 wins 19 have come by knockout. You yourself have a fairly impressive KO ratio yourself, 14 of your 20 wins have come by stoppage. We have seen you show some pure boxing ability though. Your resume has a higher caliber of opponents on it but none have had anywhere near the punching power Don does. Don as you stated yourself does not take a step backwards, do you feel you will be able to use your boxing ability to beat Don or will you stand, go to war with him throw caution to the wind and let whoever has the better chin decide the winner of this bout?
Edwin Rodriguez- We know who has the better chin, I have never been down in my career. I expect a great fight, my trainer Ronnie Shields has set a game plan, I am just going to follow the plan Ronnie set out for the victory.
Daxx Kahn-BCB: Thanks to both men and good luck to both.
Star Boxing Shines at the Paramount!
By: Daxx Khan - January 29, 2012
Saturday Star Boxing hosted a 7 bout even held in Huntington Long Islands Paramount Theater headlined by welterweight prospect Chris Algieri. The night featured 4 welterweight bouts, a light welterweight bout, a middleweight bout and one heavyweight showdown. Out of the 14 fighters on the bill 6 were unbeaten and 3 were making their pro debuts adding to the excitement on who we will be watching as future stars.
The night began with upcoming singing sensation Urica Rose singing a fabulous rendition of our national anthem that had everyone in attendance showing appreciation by giving her a standing ovation. Also in the crowd were former top level contenders and world champions Gerry Cooney, Junior Jones and Kevin Kelly.
The evening did not disappoint anyone in attendance as each fighter put forth complete efforts helping Joe DeGuardia’s promotional company start out the 2012 season off on a high note. Here is a recap of the evenings events as I witnessed them live from press row.
In the main event former Kick boxer turned boxer 27 year old Chris Algieri continued his winning ways by dominating Curtis Smith in their eight round meeting. Algieri looked as if his transition never happened and fistic arts minus the feet have always been his niche. The two men faced off in the welterweight division and Algieri never allowed Smith an opportunity to show his talents by keeping him on the defensive. Chris used his jab to the head and body then followed up with combinations that kept him well ahead on all three judges’ scorecards, the only time Smith was able to mount any type of reasonable offense is when Algieri took short breaks during rounds to pace himself. At bouts ending score cards read 80-72, 80-72 and 78-74 all in favor of Algieri. Chris improved his record to 13-0 (6)
Newly signed welterweight 5-0 Cletus Seldin made himself an easy night’s work by stopping Tyler Pogline in round one. Seldin was all business when his tenacious offense “Shell Shocked” Tyler putting him in a daze before the Colorado Springs native even had a chance to break himself a proper sweat. Seldin advanced his resume from 5-0 to 6-0 (4) making him not only a potential prospect but one with dynamite in his fist.
Issouf Kinda impressed all those in attendance when he not only out boxed but beat up Angel Rios for eight straight rounds without a missed beat. Kinda used his jab to set up combinations, opened a cut over Rios right eye early on then targeted that cut throughout. Rios who seemed to gain a large amount of weight overnight tired easily and Issouf took full advantage as well he should have. Tired and out of Shape Rios ended up nothing more than a showcase performance for Kinda who won a wide unanimous decision on all three judges’ cards, Issouf’s record also remained unblemished as a pro improving from 11-0 (5) to 12-0.
Rich Neves 1-0-1 gained victory number 2 after a hard fought 4 round faceoff with Anthony Birmingham who was making his pro debut. Neves won a unanimous decision that truthfully could have gone either way, Birmingham despite the loss should be proud of his efforts.
The contest itself set the pace for the remaining welterweight bouts mentioned above.
In middleweight action 1-0 (1) Raul Nuncio was given all he could handle when Anthony Jones who like Anthony Birmingham stepped in for his first pro battle looking for win number one. In a give and take matchup the affair ended a majority draw leaving both men unbeaten.
Heavyweight’s Adam Willett and Aaron Kinch met in an action packed four rounds. Willett moved nicely frustrating Kinch as he jabbed then avoided looping hooks, after the first two rounds it appeared Willett would win a lopsided decision victory but at the start of round three Kinch began to pour on pressure putting Willett to defensive mode landing anywhere and everywhere. The pressure certainly helped Kinch who was down two rounds on the scorecards and helped himself remain unblemished as official scores read 38-38. Willet walked away with his resume 2-1-1 and Kinch 1-0-1.
The night’s opener was a light welterweight bout, Queens NY native William Shammar Whitt made his debut taking on Jayson Sia. Whitt fought aggressive using his jab from the outside to set up combinations that swelled Sia’s face early on, in round one a clash of heads gave Sia swelling above his right eye, when the bout ended Sia was battered bruised and still winless. Shammar showed potential for a bright future in his first outing winning a unanimous decision with scores of 39-36 across the board.
Star Boxing put on a quality evening of entertainment that was well worth the price of admission, should their upcoming February 4th card in Albany New York’s Times Union Center have half as much excitement 2012 will be a BIG year for them indeed.
Isaac “Golden Boy: Chilemba- Ready to take the bite out of Pantera February 3rd!
By: Daxx Kahn - January 26, 2012
On February 3rd at the Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel located in Las Vegas Nevada DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Sampson Boxing promotions will be co-promoting an event titled “SuperBrawls” featuring what should be a stacked card of bouts. The Main Event features hard punching Edison “Pantera” Miranda against Malawi born South African based light heavyweight contender Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba in a contest that is almost certain to propel the winner into world title contention. As most reading this already know ANY bout involving the popular hard hitting Columbian native Miranda is guaranteed to have fireworks, when he has an opponent who is willing to fight toe to toe it can only be that much more exciting.
Edison’s opponent Isaac Chilemba is one of those opponents. The 24 year old Chilemba who originates from South Africa is not a fighter to be overlooked and certainly isn’t coming into this bout as an “Opponent” for Miranda, in fact you can switch that around because should Chilemba win he will be exactly where he wants and that is title contention. Miranda has been a dangerous foe for all those he has faced thus far win or lose his losses have come by the hands of boxing’s elite anyone shy of the top tier level has not faired all too well, Chilemba currently teeters on that status.
On paper Chilemba’s professional record reads 18-1-1 (9) not a bad start when you think about it but while building that resume his accomplishments back up the numbers game that is often misled by thrifty match making. In 2008 he won the African Boxing Union Super Middleweight title, in 2009 he claimed the WBO African Light Heavyweight title, African Boxing Union Light Heavyweight title and WBC International Light Heavyweight title. In 2010 Isaac’s streak continued when he dropped back to Super Middleweight and claimed the divisions vacant IBO World Championship besting then unbeaten Michael Bolling. Those events led up to this February’s faceoff with Miranda.
I was able to catch a few moments of Isaac’s time today and discuss the upcoming Miranda bout and more, here are some highlights of that conversation.
Billy C Boxing- Isaac how are you? February 3rd you will be facing the hard hitting Edison Miranda, I know your trainer Dan Birmingham is a guy that likes to have a game plan in place for his guys going into bouts. How did camp go for this upcoming fight?
Isaac Chilemba- Training went well I worked hard for this fight, I came here about 3 weeks ago and started working with Dan, My long time regular trainer Alan Toweel came with me he and Dan have been working together on a strategy. I have faith in both men and faith I will win this bout.
BCB- Edison is a hard puncher who has been in with some of the best as both a middleweight and Super Middleweight. Even in bouts he lost he remained dangerous throughout, care to share your game plan with us?
IC- Styles make fights; they can make it hard or easy depending on the styles in the ring together. I have studied Miranda’s fights and every move he makes in the ring. I know he likes to come in, fight hard and throw his punches hard. After everything I have seen there is nothing that disturbs me. I will out work and I will out punch him for the victory.
BCB- You are a former IBO Super Middleweight world champion yourself but have spent the majority of your career fighting in South Africa are you excited to be fighting in Las Vegas?
IC- Yes this is a big fight for me and the beginning of my career as a big name fighter. This is even bigger than my IBO title win because this will take place in Vegas and be the main event on ESPN. So in my opinion this is a big move for me.
BCB- I read somewhere you stated you were going to make a statement in this bout and are not leaving it up to the judges, what about Miranda makes you think a knockout is in the works?
IC- Edison is a hard puncher who does all he can to get the KO, when the time comes I will outwork him in the ring and out class him as a fighter. This is my chance to show the world what I can do, I am not going to look for the knockout but if the chance should come I will take it. I am going in there to gain a victory and put my hard work to use if the chance to knock him out comes I will take it from there but I am not going to just look for the knockout alone.
BCB- In your opinion will this bout be the highest profile one of your career?
IC- In the sense that it will be in Las Vegas and on ESPN I think so it gives me the opportunity to be on television worldwide. I am going to use this opportunity and show the world what I am capable of doing in the ring.
BCB- It must be a privilege to train under one of the best in the business today Dan Birmingham, how did you two start working together?
IC- My manager Jody Solomon and co-manager Damian Ramirez along with Lou Dibella were talking about a trainer who could help by working along with my usual trainer Allan Toweel, Dan Birmingham’s name came up they spoke to him and he agreed. Dan is a great trainer who has worked with many great fighters having two trainers who know what they are doing working in your corner together assisting each other is a good thing.
BCB- The light heavyweight division is a bit up in arms on who the number one fighter in the division is especially after the Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson event. In your opinion who is the top guy to gun for at light heavyweight?
IC- The light heavyweight used to be strong and had a strong champion back in Roy Jones days but right now it is up in the air. Chad Dawson is a good fighter and clever but not like champions of the past. The IBF champion Tavoris Cloud is also another good champion. They are the best in the division right now and I am looking to meet one of them one day.
BCB- You have moved around from Super Middleweight to Light Heavyweight back down to Super Middleweight and now again you are campaigning at Light Heavyweight. Will you be staying at this weight class from here on out or do you plan to move back down again?
IC- At the moment I am still growing so I am comfortable at light heavyweight, 168 is not hard for me to make but at light heavyweight I am comfortable so I will be fighting in this division as my body grows more I do not have to worry about weight.
BCB- Any idea on what is next for you after this bout or are you waiting for this outcome before making future plans?
IC- Right now I am focused on the upcoming bout, my managers Damian Ramirez and Jody Solomon will make that decision after this bout along with my promoter.
BCB- Isaac Thank You for your time I look forward to your upcoming bout February 3rd, hopefully we speak again after you win your next world title.
IC- Thank you for speaking with me.
Whoever should win this fight one thing is for certain fans will see plenty of leather exchanged and the winner in a high profile bout before years end. I for one look forward to it.
JOEL DIAZ JR- I am confident and ready to go this Friday!
By: Daxx Khan - January 19, 2012
Boxing fans love nothing more than an upcoming fighter with dynamite in their fist, when that fighter has pure boxing ability as well it is our sports version of “The Daily Double”! 19 year old Joel Diaz JR fits that description to a “Tee”, a former top level amateur that left those ranks possessing an impressive 85-10 record Joel brought what composure learned during his time there with him into his professional venture. Since his professional debut in July of 2010 Diaz is perfect on paper holding an unblemished 6-0 resume with 5 of those 6 coming by stoppage.
While training for a separate bout that was to take place in Woodland Hills CA Diaz team received an offer to become a last minute replacement on January 20th’s Showbox undercard headlined by Rico Ramos and Guillermo Rigondeaux. The opportunity was too good for team Diaz to turn down so without hesitation they signed the contract almost instantly. Guy Robb will be Diaz opponent for the upcoming evening, Robb who is himself an upcoming unbeaten 7-0 prospect shares a common opponent with Diaz, that opponent is Hugo Ramos and while both men emerged victorious Julio did so in a much more spectacular fashion.
I was able to speak with Julio yesterday in-between last minute preparations for this weekend’s Showbox card that will take place in Las Vegas, here are some highlights of that discussion.
Billy C Boxing- Joel Thanks’ for speaking with me so close to your upcoming bout on ShoBox this weekend against Guy Robb. How do you feel and how did training camp go for the bout?
Joel Diaz JR- Camp went good, I am very confident coming in to this bout. I was originally training for a bout in Woodland hills on the 20th but my manager called me with a last minute opportunity to fill in and fight on Showbox, it was an opportunity I had to take.
BCB- This will be your first ShoBox appearance, that is a big stage for a young upcoming fighter such as yourself. I was going to ask if that added any pressure on you mentally during training but you were already in training for a separate bout when this opportunity presented itself. Since learning of this upcoming Showbox appearance has it created any extra nervousness?
JD- No I feel the same just because it will be aired on TV does not affect how I will perform. I am clear minded, I feel confident and I am ready to go.
BCB- You train out of the “Wild Card” gym if my information is correct, has training alongside some of the biggest names in boxing helped you at all? Have you picked up any pointers from the other more established fighters during your time there thus far?
JD- Yes I do train out of the Wild Card gym, I have been for about a year now. When I first started I was like the black sheep and had to earn respect of the other fighters who already trained there. I would spar with veteran fighters and show I was genuine. I have picked up a lot of pointers for certain. With so many veteran fighters and established ones who have been in the sport for years you see things that might work for you. I take bits of whatever looks good to me that the vets are doing and see if it works for me, if I can get quality results I continue working on those pointers. What might look good but does not suit my style well I just continue working on what does.
BCB- You have some pop to your punches stopping all but one of your opponents to date. I have seen some of your bouts and you are well rounded, do you look for the KO or is the power something that just comes natural to you?
JD- The power just comes natural to me; I don’t look for the knockout though if it presents itself of course I take it. I do not rely on my power to win fights, in fact I have been speaking with my manager and promoters about stepping up the competition so I can get more rounds in and work on my boxing ability more.
BCB- As a 130 pound fighter you are fairly tall and at just 19 years old your body has a lot of growing to do yet before fully maturing. How long do you feel it will be before you will need to move up a division?
JD- I think about a year or so. I told my manager and promoter I want to win a title at 130 then move up, I want to win a world title in this division first. I have no issues currently making the weight so assuming I can continue to make the 130 pound limit with no issues I will fight here until I win a title then I will make the move to lightweight.
BCB- Can you tell the readers who might not know you as of yet a little about your amateur career?
JD- I started out at 8 years old and continued as an amateur until I was 18. My record as an amateur was 85-10; I have a good amateur background that helped me gain the confidence I have as a professional. I was a silver medalist in the nationals and from 2007-2010 was a finalist in the National Pal tournaments.
BCB- Coming out of Palmdale California there has to have been many fighters growing up from the surrounding areas to look up towards, was there anyone in particular that inspired you?
JD-Well as we like to say “My brother from another Mother” (Laughs) Chris Avalos was a big inspiration for me coming up, his father trained me during my amateur career there was always good communication between us and it helped greatly so if I was going to name someone that would be it.
BCB- You will be facing another unbeaten fighter on the 20th Guy Robb do you know much about your opponent?
JD- I know he is 7-0 with 3 knockouts and he is a little bit shorter than me but that is about it. My team does the scouting and watches the tapes of my opponents I don’t like to see footage of my opponents before I face them. My team does the scouting, watches the tapes and I just follow the plan they layout for the fight.
BCB- I seen some where you are billed to fight again in Cicero Illinois February 17th but no opponent has been given is anyone lined up or are you still waiting to see who that opponent will be?
JD- I know I am still on the card but no news on who my opponent will be yet. I will be fully prepared though to give the fans what they came to see.
BCB- Julio it has been good speaking with you, I know you are busy with last minute preparations like I stated earlier, is there anything you would like to add before closing?
JD- Just want to say I appreciate everyone that supports me and for you guys taking the time to speak with me.
BCB- Thanks again I look forward to speaking with you in the future and good luck Friday!
Remembering those who have passed in 2011!
By: Daxx Kahn - january 2, 2012
Each years end is reserved for celebration’s to promote peace, reminiscing about good times with friends and hopes the year to follow is better than the last. It is also the time of year we look back upon those we lost and sit quietly wishing in our hearts they were still here to celebrate the arrival of a brighter future.
Boxing is a sport with no seasons, no set times to fail or succeed it is an “In the moment” type atmosphere always because you never can tell when a star is about to emerge or fizzle, that has always been part of its mystique it probably always will be.
It takes more than just those Pay Per View stars or world title holders to make this sport evolve, Journeymen, referees, managers, promoters, journalist and announcers all serve important roles, sadly enough we do not realize just how important they are until they pass.
I like to take the start of every year to quickly make mention of those we lost the year prior, they gave us their all and left us with countless memories so before new stars emerge I feel we owe them a moment of respect. Some names you will know right away without having to elaborate on who they were, others maybe not so much but make no mistakes each one left a mark on this sport that will be spoke of in generations to follow even in briefly. Despite what level they fought at in the ring or contributed outside of it, their efforts despite how long or short were appreciated
In no particular order a roll call of those who heard the final ten counts in 2011.
Joe Frazier- Former United States Olympic medalist that went on to become a legend in heavyweight boxing’s “Golden Era”. Frazier fought the best and only lost to Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. His first bout with Muhammad Ali is still considered last century’s true “Super fight”. Jimmy Ellis, Jerry Quarry, Buster Mathis, Oscar Bonavena and Bob Foster were all victims of “Smokin Joe”. Frazier lost his battle with Liver Cancer on November 7th 2011. He was 67 years old.
Ron Lyle- Ron a top heavyweight contender of the 1970’s lived a turbulent life, he spent time in prison prior to a boxing career turned his life around to become one of this sports most feared all time punchers. After learning the craft of boxing in prison Ron was released had a short amateur career then went to become a force as a professional heavyweight. Ron faced Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Young, Jimmy Ellis, George Foreman and even had the battle of power punchers with Earnie Shavers where Lyle came off deck in round 2 for a 6th round KO victory. Ron passed after complications of a stomach ailment at age 70.
Butch Lewis- Butch was a colorful promoter and fight manager known for wearing tuxedos and no shirt as he guided the careers of the Spinks brothers. Butch was 65.
George Benton- Middleweight contender of the 1960’s that held wins over Jimmy Ellis and Joey Giardello. After boxing he studied under the legendary trainer Eddie Futch. George worked Joe Frazier’s Corner for the Thrilla in Manilla battle against Ali. George went on to train greats such as Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield, Mike McCallum and Meldrick Taylor. George was 78 years old.
Billy Costello- A native of Kingston New York Billy won the WBC 140lb championship and was a true workman in the ring. Billy won the title from Bruce Curry defended it three times before retirement. Billy worked as a fight judge after his in ring career ended. He passed at 55 years old after battling lung cancer.
Genaro Hernandez- One of the most likable people one could ever meet, also the first fighter to provide Floyd Mayweather Jr a shot at becoming world champion. Genaro held both the WBA and WBC Super Featherweight titles. His WBC title win came over Azuma Nelson. Genaro succumbed to a long battle with cancer before going to rest in June of 2011. Floyd Mayweather Jr was so moved he paid for Hernandez funeral.
George Kimball- Boxing writer, Author and historian
Gil Clancy- Trainer of countless greats, Gil at one time or another was the main man in the corners of George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya, Emile Griffith, Jerry Quarry, Gerry Cooney and Ken Buchanan to name a few. He was 89 years old.
Bouie Fisher- Famed Philadelphia based trainer who was most recently known for guiding Bernard Hopkins. Bouie also trained Ivan Robinson and Hasim Rahman in the 1990’s.
Henry Cooper- Sir Henry might be Britain’s most beloved fighter of all time. Henry is most known world-wide for his dropping Muhammad Ali in their 1966 battle Henry lost in round 6 due to cuts. Henry was 76.
Nick Charles- Nick might have been one of if not the most respected announcer over the last 25 years. As a member of the Showtime team Nick called countless major battles. Nick passed away after a long battle with Bladder cancer.
Scott LeDoux- Heavyweight contender and fight announcer.
Other names that we will miss who passed in 2011 include- Oscar Pita, Pat McMurty, Virgil Atkins, Jack Bowers, Harry Carpenter, Tom McNeely, Terry Smith, Gary Mason, Kevin Cestone, Wayne Bethea, Hector Lopez, Lionel Rose, Giulio Rinalidi, Arthur King, Michael Murry, Manny Liebert, Vince Fratello, George Walker, Rafael Guzman, Mark Conn, Mario Diaz, Brinatty Maquilon, Clarence Mosley, Bobby Grasso, Sean Casey, Jack London junior, Bert Hornby, and Thomas DeJohn.
Each person named above will be greatly missed; we THANK THEM for all they gave to our sport. One of the BillyCBoxing family fans Rick Gagne shared this short story on meeting Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota New York.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Frazier at Grazianos bar in Canastota during the 2001 Hall of fame weekend, he was a friendly guy and once we shook hands we discussed his knockout of Bob Foster and various other bouts during his career it was a real honor. I also met Big Ron Lyle we spoke of his turbulent life and how boxing helped change it into something positive. I remember how emotional he was during his acceptance speech. I was also honored to meet Ron Lyle I got the sense from that meeting just how much boxing helped his life.
Thanks Rick for sharing your story with us it only adds to the quality of gentlemen both men were. Now let’s look forward to a great 2012 in boxing and hope 2012’s end of year list is much shorter!
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero- " Floyd Mayweather has too many holes in his game to beat me"!
By: Daxx Kahn - December 13, 2011
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is one of boxing’s most inspirational fighter’s; during his decade long professional career thus far he has claimed five different versions of a world title in three different weight classes. Those who have followed Robert’s backstory know that this has all been accomplished while standing by the side of his wife Casey as she battled Leukemia without faltering. That alone shows the mental fortitude Guerrero possesses, that same mental strength is carried into the ring for his bouts. Currently sporting a record of 29-1 with his only blemish being a split decision loss to Gamaliel Diaz on December 2nd 2005, a loss avenged six months later via six round stoppage that set up his first world title bout against Erik Aiken in September 2006 for Aikens IBF Featherweight title. The champion would retire in round eight after taking a one sided thrashing, when the scorecards were reviewed Guerrero was ahead by nine points on two judge’s cards and seven on another’s reinforcing his dominance that evening. Since that victory Robert has won multiple world belts at Super Featherweight and Lightweight.
Little did the masses know a nagging shoulder injury followed Robert along throughout these conquests, until earlier this year when Robert was scheduled to face hard hitting Marcos Maidana in what was to be his 140lb debut. During training camp while preparing to face Maidana that long term injury became aggravated so much surgery was necessary to repair it, many questioned what his future would hold afterward. Amazingly enough the surgery was not only a success but exceeded expectations, Guerrero is doing so well he actually has more power in his arm, reports estimate a minimum of 10% added power will be permanent allowing him to perform at peak ability from here on out.
When Robert makes his return he would like to face off against Floyd Mayweather a man who seems to have “Target” painted in his back. Every fighter from lightweight through middleweight who is top ten rated also wants that opportunity, a bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao the number one and number two ranked pound for pound fighters in boxing has been talked of for so long it may never happen, several other names have been considered front runners as viable Mayweather opponents. Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, former 140lb champion and Pacquiao stable mate Amir Khan are others but since Khan lost his titles December 10th when he faced Lamont Peterson that should be one less name in the “Money Mayweather” sweepstakes inching Guerrero up a notch or two.
Skeptics believe that Guerrero only wants the Mayweather fight because reports of how well his shoulder has progressed are false and he wants a big payday before cashing out. Other naysayers state Robert has not even established himself as a 140lb fighter let alone earned a shot at Floyd who fights at 147 pounds. Guerrero has stated publicly he is willing to face another fighter top rated in that division if need be.
I was able to speak with Robert about the surgery, progress in healing, and his return and why Mayweather would be a fight he can win despite odds against him. Also addressed in our conversation was the belief he just wants a big enough money bout to cash out. Here is a portion of our conversation.
Billy C Boxing- Robert how is everything? You have been stating in public that you wanted to face Amir Khan in what would be a “Loser step aside in seeking a Mayweather showdown” bout. Khan lost his titles and perhaps slot in the “Money Mayweather sweepstakes” as Khan was a front runner to face Floyd. Do you feel that has made you job a bit easier in securing yourself a bout against Floyd?
Robert Guerrero- Everything is going good, I actually picked Peterson to beat Khan I knew Khan’s time for a loss was coming and people were under estimating Lamont. Congratulations to Peterson for a great fight and win.
BCB- How is the shoulder? We have reports of the progress from your camp along with those at the physical therapy facility you attend. Reports from outside sources and hearing it from the man himself are two different things though. Is it true you are expected to have a 10% power increase in that arm?
RG- The arm is great, I have no pain January 5th I will be back training full force so I am excited. I have not felt this good since I was a kid boxing. People did not realize I had been performing with an injury for most of my career, this is the first time in my professional career I will be fighting at 100% capacity. I will be stronger in that arm and I cannot wait until I can hit someone inside the ring, it’s time to “Rock and Roll”!
BCB- While waiting to sit at the negotiating table to face Mayweather a fighter known to drag out negotiations along with a need to face Amir Khan in elimination on contract bids removed what plans are on the docket career wise?
RG- If I cannot get Floyd I want the next best available, I want to fight only the best, like I said I am going to return at 100% so I will be at my best. I already told my promoter Golden Boy Promotions to start working on a bout with Mayweather next. I would like to have a May 5th return bout against Floyd.
BCB- What in Floyd himself not in your abilities is it you see that might be a weakness that you can expose in your favor?
RG- Floyd will be 35 years old in February, age catches everyone even him. If you look at his last two fights against Victor Ortiz and Shane Mosley you see despite his winning he was getting caught with shots he would have never been caught with before. I will expose the weaknesses I see in him, I have studied Floyd and watched tapes of his recent last few fights over and over again. I am a student of the game I look for habits of a fighter in the ring or flaws that suddenly begin. I will expose his weaknesses I see and beat him.
BCB- Floyd is a 147 pound fighter, before you had a chance to establish at 140lbs you immediately went on the shelf with an injury. Critics are stating what has Guerrero done to deserve a shot at not only one of the top two pound for pound fighters but one that is a welterweight, while established welterweights should be given that opportunity until you make bones in the welterweight division. What do you have to say about those critics statements?
RG- I am willing to fight whoever I need to, as for size that means little Floyd has fought guys bigger and smaller than him so have other top fighters. I am actually bigger than Floyd. Fighters weigh in the day before the fight and Floyd usually weighs 145-146 then on fight day he is 147-148 pounds. I weigh in on weight the day before the fight but by fight day I am rehydrated to 147-148 pounds sometimes even in the low 150’s. At the days end it is not who was bigger or smaller it is about who was more skillful and carried out his game plan.
BCB- Is 147 pounds a weight you would be comfortable at? Would it be too much of a strain on your body right now considering your recent surgery despite how well you are healing?
RG- I am fine at 147pounds, I can make that weight class with no problems and like I said I rehydrate now to even 150 pounds sometimes it is just less weight for me to cut. With my arm being stronger and me fighting at 100% healthy I would be perfectly comfortable in a 147 pound fight.
BCB- Outside of Floyd who possibly might face Pacquiao finally this spring who else are you targeting as a possible opponent while waiting to get your chance to face Mayweather?
RG- I want to face any of the other top fighters in or around my weight class. I don’t care if it is Lamont Peterson, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, Marcos Maidana or even Andre Berto. I just want to fight the best guys available.
BCB- Have you been doing any sort of boxing type regime workouts? Has there been any heavy bag work or sparring sessions yet to test how the shoulder will hold up in a boxing bout type setting?
RG- No not that stuff yet, January 1st I get clearance to go full force so I will start on that stuff then. I have been working on my strength and conditioning, my movement staying in top shape and sharp on everything else though.
BCB- Floyd is a guy who knows how to mentally get under the skin of his opponents at times giving him an advantage before the bell rings, how will you handle his mind games?
RG- People that know me and what I have been through know how mentally strong I am! Let me ask if they know anyone else who is able to be with their wife, support her 100% while she is going through a battle against cancer while having a career like mine winning world titles against top opponent’s in three weight classes. Floyd cannot get under my skin, I know it is all a show he is mentally weak he needs to constantly reassure himself of things. Floyd needs to be patted on the back all the time that’s why he has all those yes men around him. Why else is he constantly spouting about 42-0, I ain’t been beat yet 42 have tried and 42 have failed. If you are secure you don’t have to remind everyone always about the same thing over and over. None of that impresses me what will Floyd do when he realizes that I am not bothered by any of it. If he has no mental edge or is not being told how great he is he won’t know what to do with himself. I have the edge over him in that department.
BCB- What is your opinion of Floyd over-all and his antics outside the ring or statements he makes about how great he is as a fighter?
RG- He is falling apart, like I said he always needs to be told how great he is because unless someone is telling him or he is reminding us of something he accomplished he is not happy. He has an anger issue like when he went off on Larry Merchant aside from many other people who disagreed with him or had something to say in opinion different than his. It is like Mike Tyson after Buster Douglas things just started to fall apart because he lost all the people around him telling him how great he was. Without all the praise Floyd will do the same, I have the Grit to beat this guy and I will May 5th I am ready if he is. When I fight Floyd I will beat him I am bigger than he is a lefty, mentally stronger, I have everything that he does not. It will actually be sad to witness because after I beat him he will just be mentally broken down and his whole life will fall apart because he won’t have that perfect record to make himself feel important and constantly rub in people’s faces.
BCB- Robert good luck in securing the bout or another big bout while waiting for your opportunity against Mayweather to materialize. It has been great speaking with you as always and we can’t wait for your return to the ring regardless of who it is against.
RG- Thanks like I said I just want to fight the best there is for me to face. May 5th I will be back hopefully it is Mayweather I am beating but no matter who it is I just want it to be the best available.
BCB- We will hear more on these topics later this week when you appear on Talkin Boxing with Billy C, Thanks for your time.
RG- Sure thing thanks.
Holly Holm- I will retire without another loss!!
By: Daxx Kahn - November 30, 2011
Woman’s boxing and a “Pound for Pound” number one status to be taken seriously? The last female fighter who had such an honor attached to her taken seriously by all boxing fans was named Lucia Rijker. Yes the “Dutch Destroyer” was good enough to be considered in that caliber even among male fighters, Lucia was pound for pound talented PERIOD not just in the female division. A lull hit the division for quite a few years, that has all changed, just in case you ladies boxing skeptics are not aware we have a flood of female talent that can equal most of the men in boxing. This Saturday at the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque New Mexico two of boxing’s best ladies go at it to decide the number one female fighter in boxing today, personally I feel both are just as if not better than half the current “Belt” holders going on the men’s side and anyone who has seen either in action will probably agree.
In one corner we have Holly “The Preachers Daughter” Holm’s her current record is 30-1-3, she has been a world champion since 2004 without a single loss and on that resume are some impressive names not a cluster of “I’ll try it until I get hit too hard” opponents. Mary Jo Sanders, Mia St John, Christy Martin, Ann Saccurato and Chevelle Hallback have all tasted defeat after stepping in with Holly. Anne Sophie Mathis will be across from her Saturday a fighter to be feared for her power and respected for her ability.
Anne Sophie Mathis the French KO artist looks to come into Holm’s backyard of New Mexico and take her championship. Anne herself has held a world title since 2007, stand’s 5’11” and in her 25 victories 21 have come by stoppage and during her tenure thus far Anne has suffered defeat only once. Mathis who holds a strong claim to being the best female fighter in the game today, plans on making her way to New Mexico Saturday and paying “The Preacher’s Daughter” a visit to take care of some business. That business being making it clear it is HER that is the number one female fighter in the world. Just as I mentioned Holly’s impressive resume of opponents defeated above, Mathis has a list of attributes, just as impressive. When the two face off Saturday, the action is guaranteed to rival that of any high profile bouts on the schedule for this weekend. Earlier today, I was able to catch up with Holly for some last minute banter prior to her showdown. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
Billy C Boxing- Holly, so far you have beaten the “who is who” of the upper echelon since 2004 and you are New Mexico’s favorite fighter, so it seems by your popularity there. How has training camp been for you leading up to your bout against Anne Sophie Mathis this Saturday ?
Holly Holm- It’s been good, no problems, was a fun camp, we worked on a lot of important things. Now, we are just going to go in there and execute the benefits of all our hard work.
BCB- You have been a world champion longer than most active male fighters going today without losing hold of your championship for even a moment. If I am not mistaken, and I might be, but if I am not, in the sport of boxing as a whole, I believe you are currently the longest reigning welterweight champion. How does that make you feel knowing that you have set a bar for the top male welterweights to try and parallel ?
HH- I am glad that I have been successful for so long, I am going to keep working at being so successful, I mean, who really wants to lose, right ? Nobody of course, and I don’t want to either. It is my goal to finish out my career without another loss. People say that’s something nearly impossible, but I say I can.
BCB- . This bout is being considered one to declare the number, pound for pound female in the sport, just the fact female boxing even has a pound for pound list that is being paid so close attention to, speaks volumes at how much female boxing has evolved over the years. Knowing that it will be you and Mathis at the number one and number two positions after this, must make you feel like you are on top of the world, did you ever expect at any point of time, leading into your pro or during your professional career you would be the face of female boxing in terms of what other female professionals aspire towards ?
HH- I never thought about turning Pro. It was something that, during my amateur career, was presented to me. Once I turned professional, I never thought about being a World Champion, again it was something that my team stated to me one day the topic just came up about me fighting for a world title, amazingly I developed the ability to become a world champion. I am proud of my accomplishment, but even if I win this bout and earn the number one pound for pound ranking, there will always be others waiting. I will not consider my accomplishments fully achieved because of the fact there is always someone waiting to face you and fill your position. I will continue to be the best that I can be. I am not trying to have other fighters aspire to be like because if you are a professional fighter you are going to aspire towards being the best and if I rest for even a moment, on my past accomplishments, there will be somebody ready and able to take my place. Right now, I will just work as hard as I can and continue to keep facing the best opponents available.
BCB - Ok, I have to ask you this, there have been a few straw polls floating around amongst fans for this week’s upcoming bout, thus far, it is a 50-50 split on who is going to win, you or Sophie. The reason why I have to ask you this question is that, out of the 50% that pick Mathis to walk away with the victory, 50% of THOSE think that she is going to stop you within the distance, what are your thoughts on those who feel Sophie will win by Stoppage ?
HH- That is understandable why people would feel that way, considering out of her 25 wins, she has stopped 21 of her opponents. Anyone can be stopped on any night with the right shot landed. I don’t think she is the hardest puncher I have faced. I doubt she can hit much harder than Ann Saccurato or Chevelle Hallback. She is just another woman as I am and it all comes down to who puts on the best performance.
BCB- Last question Holly because I know you have a busy schedule, you fight the majority of your bouts in your home state of New Mexico. Does it give you an advantage to fight in front of the home crowd so often?
HH- Yes and NO, at home you have the crowd behind you but you also have that pressure of not wanting to let anyone in the audience down and you want to make every fight in front of them exciting. When you fight in your opponent’s hometown you have the knowledge that they are all rooting against you but you want to prove you are the better fighter that can boost your adrenaline and give you an advantage as well. They both have their advantages along with disadvantages.
BCB- Holly it has been great speaking with you, best of luck Saturday, Billy will be ringside calling the action so everyone here at Billy C Boxing will be rooting for you. Hopefully next time I speak about this matchup with someone I will start off by saying “When I interviewed the ladies NUMBER ONE POUND FOR POUND RANKED FIGHTER JUST DAYS BEFORE SHE FACED SOPHIE MATHIS”.
HH- Thank you I appreciate the support.
A Day at the legendary Gleason’s gym and talk with Bruce Silverglade!
By: Daxx Kahn - October 23, 2011
Is there really any reason for me to continue on? Anyone who knows a stitch about our sport’s vast history can attest the name speaks for itself, all I can do is refresh memories! When speaking on THE place to train for boxer’s Gleason’s is Ray Robinson, Hank Armstrong, Jack Dempsey and Willie Pep rolled into one! Gym founder and one time welterweight fighter Peter Gagliardi who later changed his name to Bobby Gleason first opened its doors in 1937, I find it impossible Bobby had even a single inclination what monumental list of “All-time greats” would later perfect their craft in the Brooklyn based establishment. Today Gleason’s proprietor Bruce Silverglade continues operating this almost 75 year old training mecca, personally overseeing everything from membership and daily maintenance to making sure everyone feels at home during their workout sessions. Bruce is the first to arrive every morning and last to leave every night! His dedicated schedule is perhaps more rigorous than those who win championships after training there.
When walking inside Gleason’s due to status one might expect a luxurious modern day facility but those expectations are quite opposite on what you will witness. The smell of sweat looms, banners and pictures of legendary warriors serve as décor. There are four rings set up so boxers can practice foot work, spar with piers while learning to take directions from their corner. Heavy bags, speed bags, double end bags, jump rope areas and mirrors for shadow boxing are scattered throughout. Novice amateurs just becoming acquainted with their craft stand alongside established title holders “Rat-Tat-Tating” speed bags, no one is given VIP status. Gleason’s is “Old School”, the basics, those same basic’s that Jake Lamotta, Benny “Kid” Paret, Roberto Duran, Johnny Saxton, Aaron Pryor and Hector Camacho built careers on. Even a young kid named Cassius Clay who was preparing for the bad Sonny Liston called Gleason’s headquarters before changing his name to Muhammad Ali.
Last week when I visited Gleason’s aside from normal daily operations Nonito Donaire provided an open workout, West Point Academies “Female Boxing Team” was in attendance for valuable sparring and two ladies professional world champions were finishing last minute title defense preparations simultaneously. During that bustle Bruce was generous enough to set aside time and speak with me between as he also prepared for that evenings amateur boxing show.
Here are some highlights from my conversation with Bruce Silverglade, in it he gives insight on the gyms history, day to day operations, opinion’s about some of boxing’s current hot topics and why everyone at Gleason’s from weekend warrior through elite pugilist are treated equally.
BillyCBoxing- Bruce good to see you, thank you for having us at the Billy C Boxing family as guest. You have quite a busy day going on. Nonito Donaire will be doing his open workout raising Breast Cancer awareness, some ladies champions finishing up final touches, you guys are preparing for tonight’s amateur card, West Point ladies team is here not to mention a packed house of regulars. Is this a normal day for you?
Bruce Silverglade- Saturday’s are normally very busy, we have people from all over the tri-state area coming in, business men and women who do not get a chance to come in during the week to workout are here, this is there day to get in sparring. The West Point ladies team just happens to be here getting in sparring for their girls, all 12 members along with coaches have arrived, we are getting ready for tonight’s amateur show, Nonito Donaire will be here soon for his open workout as well. That’s the way I like it here very busy when if it is not busy I am not happy.
BCB- Gleason’s has a list of world champions, contenders and amateur greats who have worked out here that could make a list to China, is there a set schedule for general members to workout compared to the professionals? Does everyone get the same time with same privileges?
BS- No separation as far as I am concerned, everyone is an equal member all pay dues equally. I have had request for high profile fighters to us the gym privately while I close it to the general public and I refused. On occasion I will section off a portion for maybe a photo shoot or movie shoots but not the entire gym. Muhammad li worked out here, Mike Tyson has worked out here many times and the gym was not closed for them so I will not do it for modern day champions either. If you are a world champion and need a heavy bag but someone is on it you have to wait, same if you are a business person or anyone else. Everyone here gets equal treatment in my eyes.
BCB- For you this is your everyday job, just like the guy who gets up every day headed into his office, construction job, factory job and so on. After all these years, all the great fighters you have seen pass through these doors and continue to enter these doors is there ever a time you sit back watching it all thinking to yourself “WOW I can’t believe what I have here, this is where the best of the best come to do their thing and I am part of it”?
BS- Everyday! I am the first one here at 5am, the last one to leave at 10 or 10:30 pm and it is because I LOVE IT! The people are great, we have not only champions and world class fighters but actors, celebrities, politicians and everyone between who step inside. This is just a fun place to be and I enjoy every minute being part of it.
BCB- Bruce you hear the mutters about boxing fading out, it will soon be a dead sport or it’s not what it used to be. General fans know the names of big time boxing gyms like this one or Wildcard, but we do not see the small local gym’s like we used to. 15-20 years ago every city had dozens of gyms, today with boxing gyms not being as abundant do you think it gives that perception? Does it make people believe since there are so few left today the sport is less accessible, contributing to less influx of younger fighters entering boxing?
BS- Yes but it is not the availability of gyms but availability of boxing, when you say people feel boxing is less popular today I do not agree with that statement. I think it is more popular today and the reason I say that is because even with less boxing gyms the bigger gyms like Gold’s or Crunches all have some sort of boxing workout routines, there is an interest in boxing type workouts, they have a section of the gym set aside for the workouts. They usually don’t have rings but introductions to the boxing workout routine and when people reach the maximum those places have to offer people start looking for places like Gleason or local gyms. They realize the benefits of boxing workouts both physically and mentally. What you are speaking of is lack of professional cards, and the impact MMA is having on boxing. We have a lack of exciting bouts, while MMA has abundance but boxing has its up’s and downs. It has even been banned at times, Muhammad Ali brought boxing back at a time it was down, Ray Leonard helped boxing at a time its popularity was down. Proof of boxing’s popularity is the talks of Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather a fight I think will happen around may of 2012, how could boxing be fading if two me are going to get a combined payday of $100,000,000? How could promoters offer that unless it will be the most popular fight in history? Why are there fewer Gyms because there are less fighters entering boxing due to how hard it is to get fights unless you have a strong promoter behind you. When we get a new wave of stars like the 80’s when Hagler, Hearns and Leonard all competed at once boxing will flourish again in popularity, then we will see a time when it lags again there has always been that cycle.
Bruce had much more to share with us, opinions on topics from Bare Knuckle boxing through modern day training methods, plus his personal reason on why it is hard to make a champion who is more than just a belt holder in today’s era. Due to length constraints part two will of my Gleason’s installment will be available this weekend and you DON’T WANT TO MISS WHAT BRUCE HAS TO SAY ON THOSE TOPICS!
HOPKINS SUFFERS SHOULDER INJURY!! DAWSON HAS BOGUS BELT!
BY: DAXX KAHN - October 17, 2011
Bernard Hopkins has a questionable past when it comes to over dramatics and on October 15th when he faced Chad Dawson in defense of his WBC light heavyweight championship, viewers once again thought Hopkins was practicing for a future acting career after being witness to another boxing sham. The bout was pretty much going as most expected with Hopkins moving around trying to frustrate Dawson and Chad doing little more than hoping Bernard would just allow him to have his way. The veteran frustration tactics our former 46 year old champion employed did their job and had Dawson mentally mind screwed by round two. Dawson ducked low at one point to avoid a Hopkins lunge, Hopkins took advantage by leaning on Chads back in attempts to continue fighting at a style comfortable for him and instead of Dawson allowing the ref to do his job Chad took things in his own hands by lifting Hopkins off the canvas football player style then shoving him off causing Hopkins to land on his shoulder.
It did not appear like an overly hard fall but the second Hopkins hit canvas he grimaced in agony, history of his over acting caused most to doubt injury and rightfully so. Slow motion replay showed a different story, he had an involuntary response of extreme pain not an exaggerated one, there was no delay nor did he overplay it, if anything his lack of emphasis directed on pain caused more skepticism! By time they announced Dawson earned the Victory via TKO due to Hopkins not continuing he was talking with corner men holding an icepack on his shoulder.
Dawson began acting like a crazy man, cursing, screaming at fans, stating over and over “I am the champ now $%#& you”! In a post-fight interview he sternly said he would not rematch Hopkins instead he wanted to fight Jean Pascal the man who took his belt and the man Hopkins claimed it from.
Hopkins was examined at California Hospital medical center by Dr. Sam Thurber who after test confirmed Bernard did suffer an “Acromioclavicular shoulder separation” or in laymen terms “AC separation”. The AC is what connects the collar bone and shoulder blade allowing you free movement of the arm.
So what now? Hopkins was seriously hurt and even if he was not Dawson acted more like a street punk that a “Champion”. We don’t know how Chad feels today, maybe the moment disrupted him, it can happen to anyone but there better be some damage control quickly.
A rematch win or lose is in order, this is an empty title win and for Dawson to pretend otherwise is a mockery! Hopkins earned his perceived doubt by the public Saturday because of previous actions, why Dawson committed PR suicide is beyond me. Hopkins has had a great career and other than gaining personal gratification doing this again is fruitless. Dawson no matter what happens from here out will remain with an question mark above him should he not apologize, rematch Bernard or make himself the most exciting fighter in boxing today.
Both men are just another long line of top caliber fighters who have embarrassed themselves in 2011 and disgraced boxing. As far as I am concerned both should turn their purses over to Antonio DeMarco and Jorge Linares, after all that was the true main event. I am sure they will soon as some “Flying Pigs” are available to do so.
Bantamweight “Kingpin” Nonito Donaire Open Workout for Breast Cancer at Gleason’s Gym!
By: Daxx Kahn - October 16, 2011
WBC/WBO Bantamweight champion and pound for pound ranked Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire stopped by Brooklyn’s world famous Gleason’s gym Saturday October 15th for an open public workout to raise awareness in the “Fight against Breast Cancer”. Donaire arrived in New York City Friday November 14th and took in sights with his wife before gearing up to greet fans. The Champions main reason for being in NYC is to finish final touches before defending his titles against two division champion Omar Andres Navarez October 22nd but this became a perfect opportunity to support a cause near to Nonito’s heart. It was explained during the session that a close family friend passed not long ago from the illness and Donaire will dedicate this bout in their memory.
When Donaire entered Gleason’s he was greeted by a large ovation not only from fans but other fighters training in the establishment. As he wrapped his hands to begin working out a Q & A session took place with both public and press inquiries being addressed. In describing his first night in NYC “Last night my wife and I were looking at the lights from the city skyline in amazement, it was like a Christmas tree display without a tree, the city is so busy this is a tough place to live because unless you’re up to speed everyone just passes you by”. One fan asked what his first impressions of NYC were aside from what had already been expressed and Donaire replied jokingly with a famous line out of Robert De Niro’s “Taxi Driver” movie “Are you talkin to me”!
Media members inquired about future career plans and if Donaire would be willing to face Featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa a bout widely discussed recently. “It is possible, I walk around pretty heavy for a guy in my weight class when not training. I need to first deal with Navarez next Saturday before anything. I want to keep moving up divisions, however high my body will allow but I am going to do it one division at a time, every division from Bantamweight forward has some good fights to be made, I want to conquer one weight class before moving onto another, how can you say you were the best in a division unless you beat every top fighter that division had to offer? I am not going to jump up in weight and skip divisions just to make a quick money fight”.
When he was wrapped and stretched Donaire gave some inspirational words to West Point Academies “Ladies boxing team” that were at Gleason’s gaining valuable sparring before an upcoming tournament. While he spoke to the West Point ladies Nonito was generous enough to allow his title belts to be passed around as fans held them posing for pictures.
Just like the pound for pound rated Filipino star carries himself like a champion inside a ring, he did so outside it on Saturday. October 22nd when he faces Navarez at Madison Square Garden he will need more than a good guy personality to retain his championship, unlike some other names recently win or lose I am certain Donaire will not disappoint.
Interview with BILLY C BOXING 2011 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE EARNIE SHAVERS
By: Daxx Kahn - October 14, 2011
The 1970’s heavyweight boxing scene needs no accolades spoken about it, the men who fought at that time performed at a level no words can do justice. Those who were considered “Contenders or Prospects” would more than likely have been at minimum “Belt Holders” in any era that proceeded. Each man had one or more things they could do better than anyone else not only during that time but in history period. The man I spoke with Thursday afternoon was one of those men from that era who could do one thing better than almost anyone in our sports history. He hit HARD!
Look in a boxing dictionary of terms and next to power puncher will be a picture of Earnie Shavers, some dubbed him “The Dark Destroyer” others “The Acorn” but all almost certainly called him “Sir” if they were smart. Earnie was a top contender throughout that era, he faced each opponent with intensity and will to win, while he would come up short at times a lasting impression was always left in the minds of not only fans but opponents. Ron Lyle, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, Jerry Quarry, Jimmy Young and Jimmy Ellis all stepped into dance with Shavers. Some defeated him while others lay on their backs after but each had great respect for the man out of Garland Alabama when the evening was over.
This year Earnie will be inducted into the BillyCBoxing Hall of Fame by popular request, alongside Leon Spinks, Greg Haugen, Marlon Starling and John Scully, Shavers will stand on the podium to receive just due. I was able to get a short moment with Earnie recently to ask his thoughts on being inducted and how he looks back on his career before the November 19th event. Here are a few highlights of that conversation.
Billy C Boxing- Earnie how is everything going today? How does it feel to know that not only fans of Billy C Boxing and TalkinBoxing with Billy C still remember your career but fans world-wide, calling for your induction into the Billy C Boxing Hall of Fame November 19th.
Earnie Shavers- Really good, I fought in a golden era of boxing and I did pretty well so I appreciate the fans greatly. I am also excited to be inducted into the Billy C Boxing Hall of fame.
BCB- When you fought in the 1970’s it was like your earlier mention “The Golden Era of Heavyweight boxing”, did you or to your knowledge any other fighter active at that time realize that everyone was setting the bar for all future heavyweights to aspire towards?
ES- No but I am glad we did, there were so many great fighters at one time it’s amazing. I don’t think anyone thought we would be looked upon so highly in the future but it is an honor to have fought then.
BCB- When you look in the boxing dictionary under the word “Power Puncher” you picture sits beside it, what was your favorite punch to catch opponents with?
ES- The right uppercut I loved it and if I could I liked to follow it by a straight right hand. I think both were my best punches.
BCB- What is your opinion of today’s heavyweight division? Other than the Klitschko brothers who would be top heavyweights in any era if for nothing than sheer size are there any current heavyweights that impress you?
ES- No not too many, but I don’t blame them I blame the trainers it is not the fighters fault. I don’t think they are handled as well or pushed as hard in the gym as we were. I don’t think it is because of a lack in skill but a lack in training methods.
BCB- Can I ask what is your single favorite moment in your career was? I don’t necessarily mean victory wise but just moment in itself.
ES- Probably when I fought Ali, it was a great fight and so many people were watching it around the world. It was a big night in boxing for me.
BCB- What piece of advice would you provide an up-coming fighter today if they asked for a word of guidance?
ES- Make sure you have the desire to fight if you expect to succeed, dedicate yourself to your craft completely and train hard for every bout. Keep a good diet, leave women alone when training and never prepare for any fight as if it will be an easy one.
BCB- Anything you would like to say to the supporters of Earnie Shavers who are waiting to meet you at the Hall of fame ceremony November 19th?
ES- I love them all for allowing me to be inducted after all these years, it feels great knowing they still remember me and I appreciate each one of them for their support.
BCB- Earnie just as it was a pleasure to see you inside the ring during your career it has been a pleasure speaking with you today, I look forward to seeing you November 19th.
ES- Thank you and I will see everyone at the event.
Why a loss to Hopkins will take the “Bad” out of Chad!
By: Daxx Kahn - October 12, 2011
After his decade plus reign as middleweight champion and some 20 title defenses during that tenure Bernard Hopkins cemented a place in history among boxing’s elite long before relocating to light heavyweight on June 10th 2006. His multiple championship wins including becoming our sports oldest fighter to ever win a world title on May 2011 since are nothing more than “Icing on the cake” so to speak. When he defends his newly owned WBC belt against Chad Dawson, a man who once possessed that same title October 15th there is nothing that can deter from Hopkins career including a loss. When looking at the fight on paper Hopkins should be considered a long shot to win when factoring Dawson is 17 years younger, well rounded, less battle worn, a former division kingpin and pound for pound ranked fighter.
Chad Dawson though has much more than just a title to win, he has a future to worry about and if not for certain circumstances a loss to Hopkins would not even be an issue considering “B-Hops” ability to freeze time in a physical ability aspect. It is what Chad has done career wise since winning the belt from Tomasz Adamek in 2007 that has caused this microscope to be placed upon him! Two follow up title defenses against Jesus Ruiz and Epifanio Mendoza by knockout raised Dawson to superstar status. Wide margin unanimous decision victories over former aging division leaders Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver seemed to have the light heavyweight division wrapped up solid for Dawson especially since he had re-matched both men leaving no doubts who was the number one man. It was between his rematches with Tarver and Johnson in May and November of 2009 questions arose about Dawson’s desire, fans were stating he seemed unhappy in the ring, there was no passion present, in short Chad Dawson appeared like a man who “Hated” his job!
August 14th 2010 Dawson stepped in the ring with former Super Middleweight Jean Pascal to make championship defense number seven, fighting like a man stuck in mud Dawson lost a wide margin decision. In his return nine months later against former belt holder Adrian Diaconu, Chad would this time win by unanimous decision but again look unhappy leading to and during the bout. What has suddenly caused “Bad” Chad to appear as “Un-Glad” Chad during his performances?
Possibly Dawson had been unhappy with his training camps, he has decided to work with former trainer John Scully instead of Emanuel Steward for the Hopkins bout if that is inclination? One other possible aspect is Dawson might not have been challenged enough by his competition causing him a lull, he would not be the first or the last top caliber fighter to have that issue. Dawson is the man to answer those questions all we can do is speculate but there is obviously a dim light instead of burning flame inside Dawson if judging on recent performances alone.
Chad Dawson needs to go out on October 15th looking to make a statement, he cannot enter the ring just trying to win because fans right now have had enough with fighters and that mentality they want to be dazzled. Should Dawson win a boring lackluster decision marketability for future bouts shall remain low even if he is the champion. If Dawson wins against Hopkins, continues his drab efforts in victories succeeding, after his next defeat there will be almost no chance of him ever becoming marketable again because interest in his career will have faded long before his skills, then Dawson will have every valid reason to appear unhappy during bouts.
Chad Dawson needs to defeat Bernard Hopkins October 15th in dominating fashion, fans must see a version of Dawson that merits his “Bad Chad” moniker because if not Hopkins will be adding one more achievement to his already long list and that will be “The man who took the Bad out of Chad”.
Andy Lee avenges his loss to Brian Vera but leaves critics unimpressed!
By: Daxx Kahn - October 2, 2011
Andy Lee is the type of boxer that makes promoters dream about bank vaults being installed into their basements to hold all the money that will be made. What 6’2” middleweight with a strong amateur pedigree, knockout power and fan friendly persona wouldn’t? In his first 15 pro bouts Lee went unbeaten with 12 of those 15 by way of KO, despite there being limited competition on that resume a buzz about what success lay ahead was already being whispered. When Andy stepped in against 15-1 Brian Vera a fighter known more for his ruggedness than skillset on March 21st 2008 nobody prior to opening bell doubted win number 16 would result in Lee’s favor.
Vera tasted canvas in round one fueling Lee’s confidence causing him to throw every shot afterward with bad intention, those intentions cost the former Irish Olympian dearly because once round five began Vera stood strong while the hard hitting prospect stood breathing hard with an empty tank. Brian known to this day for impressive stamina and heart capitalized on the situation, swinging recklessly landing often enough that referee Tony Chiarantano called a halt to the action in round seven due to accumulation of punishment. In just a little over 20 minutes Andy Lee went from prospect to overrated hype machine.
The loss hit Lee’s ego harder than Vera ever could have, he was at first confused by what went wrong until later when having time to reflect on how after being in control of things early it was he that referee Tony Chiarantano rescued from further punishment. When I spoke to Andy just after his proposed bout against John Duddy fell through in 2010 the Vera loss came up and he stated “I started to think I could knock everyone out, I read too much of my own press, in the bout I did not pace myself became tired and paid for it. It was a very valuable learning experience that I grew from”. Eleven bouts later Lee was given a chance to redeem himself on this past Saturdays Sergio Martinez versus Darren Barker undercard, true to his word Andy proved he had learned his lesson. Vera was knocked down in round two but instead of becoming overzealous Lee stayed composed, he used head movement and made his punches count instead of looking for a bonanza strike. One noticeable difference in defense was Andy keeping his left hand held high to block Vera’s wild overhand rights, in round 9 when he began to tire he rode his bicycle until ready to return fire. The end result was a unanimous decision that showed all but 2 rounds being scored for Lee.
What does this say about the future of Andy Lee? That is questionable but certainly he has shown improvements in his game, at only 27 years old and being such a favored pupil of Emanuel Steward there is plenty of time for building a more rounded fighter who can bring success. Boxing’s middleweight division is not overly strong, outside Sergio Martinez who sits head and shoulders above the rest. There are plenty of alphabet titles up for trading, in three or four more bouts Lee will certainly be a handful for any of the current belt holders. A showdown between him and WBC “Regular” world champion Julio Cesar Chavez JR would draw big numbers.
Watching Andy Lee progress at minimum will be interesting regardless of what direction he heads, personally I hope this win propels his confidence in a positive manner and he does not become wrapped up in his own press again. Lee is the type guy that is good for boxing’s image and his personality makes you want to root for him. As a fan I look to one day congratulating him on a world title win, as a realist I have doubts but having your doubts erased can be a good thing. Like everything in boxing time is the only way we can get a positive answer, the clock starts now!
Even Man O War was put to Stud!
By: Daxx Kahn - September 28, 2011
Man O War is perhaps the greatest racing horse of all time from 1919-1920 every major victory achievable in the sport belonged to him, his only loss took place during a “Sanford Memorial Stakes” race caused by mishap. What happened according to history is there were no starting gates at that time, horses would follow a net barrier that would rise to begin the race, when the net raised Man O War was not in position and despite being so far behind the other runners he finished second. Once he reached his peak the 4 year old was retired, put to stud and enjoyed his final days becoming sire to many future champion foals. The decision on being sent to pasture was not the stallions of course but those who owned the mighty animal, they knew he could not perform at the top level forever and just because the horse was retired did not mean off to Glue Bottles. His being sent out to stud actually raised the animal’s mystique because had been unrivaled and by breeding future champions it enforced the horse’s legendary bloodline. Since his last race every champion steed has had to try and live up to Man O Wars reputation and has been compared to him, never has he ever been compared to another. That is what defines true greatness and appreciation by fans.
Boxing sadly does not have anyone to make retirement choices for those elite that help our sport evolve, no one tells them it is time to hang it up while still on top and enjoy their next venture. Instead they are allowed to continue on until hitting rock bottom or their presence starts hurting the pocketbook. This hurts not only all the career efforts they have worked so hard in achieving but the entire sport by bringing down the quality. Let’s put aside the politics, favors, hesitance for change and concentrate solely on what the fans want, because anyone with a computer, radio or television will recognize the names on this list as ones being almost repetitive in terms of negative out looks. If the following retire soon they can still be those future people in their position are compared to not against.
Referees- Russell Mora and Joe Cortez have both played “The third man” role for countless world title bouts, each developed reputations as consummate professionals. When it comes to being a ref each could be considered “Pound for Pound” until the last 2 years anyhow. Russell Mora has shown to be a liability by letting fighters take un-needed punches despite it being apparent they are out on their feet. Mora has failed to count knockdowns and penalize fighters for infractions, to make matters worse each of these mishaps were in favor Mexican fighters causing fans to cry “Bias”.
Joe Cortez a referee who coined “Remember I am fair but firm” has lived up to that catch phrase for nearly three decades, suddenly he was seen being overly friendly to fighters prior to their bouts he was officiating, the fights reflected that friendliness. Cortez has been known to let one fighter get away with something the other had been reprimanded for. Recently he lost control of the Victor Ortiz versus Floyd Mayweather match when he deducted a point from Ortiz for head butting in round four, Joe seemed confused after calling time in, even checking with ringside officials if the fight was ready to continue, his blunder resulted in a very controversial ending. Add the fact Cortez seems more interested in being in front of the camera than doing his job, no wonder people have begun to dub him “Hollywood Joe”.
These two have brought on cries of “Boycott” from fans during any future events they officiate, chances that it happens are slim but just the inclination speaks loudly.
The HBO announce team- Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley and Harold Lederman since the 1980’s had been boxing’s “Messiah’s” of broadcasting. I cannot think of anyone offhand who overly support a single member of that trio but as a team what more could be asked for? Jim’s on the spot blow by blow, Larry’s blunt input and Harold’s usually pin point unofficial scoring became legendary. Changing additions of an added fourth man during broadcast ranging from fighters, trainers and outside color commentary guest kept things fresh. Gil Clancy, Fran Charles, Al Michaels, Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Emanuel Steward, Roy Jones JR, Barry Tompkins, Max Kellerman and even for a limited time Howard Cosell all joined the broadcast during one or many occasions. So what happened?
Today the team often strays from in ring action during bouts to other conversations, they cheerlead house fighters praising their dominance over opponents only after 30 seconds into a bout with only 2 punches thrown. Criticism of fighters beyond what is appropriate increases and their personal life scandals are becoming a running joke among listeners. One example of their downslide came after Sergio Martinez knocked out Paul Williams in their 2010 rematch, after the bout ended instead of providing Martinez his proper due for a job well done, they concentrated disbelief that Williams could be stopped in such a fashion, furthering their new “Cheerleading” approach.
Questions have been asked if the team actually is slipping or they are being forced to approach their announce style differently by the network, either way they have become subpar even by local show standards. Fans are demanding new blood at HBO boxing, don’t believe me? Try watching an HBO broadcast fight with a group of diehard boxing fans and half the evening will be spent listening to pot shot jokes toward them. If the fans do not take them seriously than how can what they are calling be taken seriously?
Fighters- Erik Morales, Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones are all guaranteed hall of fame inductees headed for disaster. Erik Morales just won his fourth division world title after struggling against a young unknown feather fisted last minute replacement opponent with no world class experience. He enters the ring at career high weight’s and manages to survive on instinct alone, the WBC just about handed him a 140lb belt thinking they would be doing him a favor, instead they are just prolonging the inevitable.
Evander Holyfield once a Phenom who could absorb tremendous punishment while demonstrating incredible cardio that allowed him to out will bigger stronger opposition now takes that same abuse from other long past their prime opponents who at their best were B caliber. He shows signs of being punchy during interviews while talking about his never ending quest to defeat a mighty Klitschko brother, fighters that even in his prime more than likely would have fallen to.
Roy Jones at one time showed athletic ability that awed onlooker’s has not beaten a prime opponent in 8 years, he has been brutally knocked out in 4 bouts and two of those stoppages came in two of his last three outings. Jones enters the ring looking scared of what is to come, his reflexes are slowed beyond half that in his prime and at cruiserweight power is non-existent. Jones still insists on fighting and has often ben heard stating he will not retire unless he has to be carried out of the ring on a stretcher.
It does not take a genius to realize these once great warriors are their own biggest enemies, I wish I could say they are still allowed to fight because there is money being made off them but that is not even the case. The rule in boxing is “protect yourselves at all times” why is there no safe guard on what to do when we know a fighter can only protect himself to a limited extent before the contracts are signed?
Each of these names listed above without a doubt knows what the public is saying about them, contrary to what they might think it is not personal just a matter of fact and if they were still on top of their game they would be reading about someone else. There comes a time everyone despite their craft must know when it is time to walk away, those who do not might need that decision made for them. There are far worse things to happen than being put out to stud.
GEORGE BENTON PASSES AWAY AT AGE 78!
By: Daxx Kahn - September 20, 2011
Philadelphia has produced some great fighters in history and produced even more of the sports toughest! On Monday September 19th 2011 one of those fighters George Benton passed away. George who was born May 15th 1933 had a pro career spanning just over two decades and in that time he faced some of the best around. Rubin Carter, Joey Giardello, Bennie Briscoe, Jimmy Ellis and Luis Manuel Rodriguez are just a few names Benton shared a ring with while an active participant. When George hung the gloves up in 1970 he had been part of 76 bouts many took place in boxing’s once historically rich talent laden venue “The Blue Horizon” where USA television network held its popular “Tuesday Night Fights series”. The early 1960’s had Benton the #1 middleweight contender for then champion Dick Tigers belt, George was supposed to get the shot former Benton opponent Joey Giardello received after Benton beat Joey on points in August of 1962. Through careful matchmaking Giardello’s manager Lou Duva weaseled the opportunity for his guy instead after Giardello defeated Tiger they never did offer Benton a shot at becoming champion. The duo perhaps was equally smart as underhanded. After being shot in his back due to an altercation over Benton’s sister in a bar, George retired March 4th 1970 holding a record of 62-13-1 being stopped only twice. That bullet never was removed.
After boxing as a participant George went into training, a pupil of another all-time training great Eddie Futch, Benton learned his craft well enough to be in Joe Frazier’s corner when Joe and Muhammad Ali met in Manila Philippines October 1st 1975. George also worked the corner of Leon Spinks when “Neon” Leon upset Ali for the heavyweight strap February 15th 1978.
Oddly enough George would later work with Lou Duva the man who cheated George out of his Middleweight title shot and Duva promotions. In the almost 20 years he worked with Duva, George held roles as head trainer for boxing phenoms like Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor and Mike McCallum.
George we thank you for all you gave our sport, you will be missed!
What happened to the contender?
By: Daxx Kahn - September 19, 2011
I remember the days when being a contender for a world title meant something, in the classic Marlon Brando flick On the Water Front his famous “I could have been a contender, I could have been somebody” line is repeated today by those whose parents were not even alive at the film’s release date. A reason for that aside from Brando being a Hollywood legend is what the phrase itself implies “just to contend for a world title made you special”, titles were few those who wanted them were plenty so being in a top 10 spot alone was impressive. There has always been what is referred to as the “Gimme” defense meaning a champion takes an easy fight almost certain he will win, a “Gimme” is to keep the champion active while allowing fans to see their divisional kingpin in action as his team lines up a top quality match. There is nothing wrong with the “Gimme” bouts assuming they are occasional. As the amount of world titles become increasingly available so do “Gimme” defenses, so clever are these type bouts today match makers rely on what “Paper” shows to legitimize the signing of such bouts to argue fans dissatisfaction.
Saturday September 17th 2011 Erik Morales sought his 4th division world title facing Pablo Cesar Cano an unbeaten 21 year old who sported 22-0-1 on his resume, of course that resume had not even one single perennial journeyman on it. Morales at first was slated to step in with hard hitting Lucas Matthysse, a brutal puncher hailing from Argentina but complications arose so Cano had become someone available that could be sold on his unbeaten record nothing more. It was a good thing for Morales in truth because an inexperienced Cano who had never even faced a top 25 ranked opponent provided Morales all he could handle. If not for a cut over Pablo Cano’s left eye causing the stoppage in round 10 Erik Morales “Gimme” sub was doing well enough to possibly win. If Matthysse had been that nights opposition Morales most likely would have had his retirement nudges decided for him.
The last man Erik Morales faced Marcos Maidana who by coincidence is a fellow countryman of Matthysse will defend his WBA interim world title Friday against Russia transplant Petr Petrov, now fighting out Spain Petrov has a fairly impressive 29-2-2 record, like Pablo Cano Petrov has not one recognizable name in his win column. So poor is that quality resume Petrov faced an opponent in March that had been on a 6 bout losing streak. How can his vying for even an interim strap in a “Gimme” defense be justified?
A few weeks ago I had written about the overabundance of world and minor title belts, that epidemic is bad enough but when title belts are being put up for grabs between fighters not ranked or fighters who hold belts defend against opponents not even rated in the top 25 we are reaching levels beyond rational explanation. Why bother even having a fight take place? Boxing is a ruthless sport both inside the ring and in the negotiation tables. The punches are supposed to be exchanged between fighters, yet boxing’s public is who takes the worst beating. I still wonder how many rounds the fans are going to take punishment for before someone steps in and saves us from ourselves.
Is Floyd Mayweather fooling us or showing another side of himself?
By: Daxx Kahn - September 16, 2011
Ever confident and ever the salesman Floyd Mayweather JR is rounded at every aspect of the sport, love him or hate him fact is fact! I ask the question headlined in this article because Floyd Mayweather has been saying things lately we have never heard come from the Grand Rapids Michigan native prior. He actually praised Victor Ortiz ability several times! He spoke not in a way to hype Saturday’s September 17th PPV showdown but almost as he is preparing himself for what might not turn out his way. The last few weeks Floyd has been quoted saying “Victor is a young hungry lion who deserves respect”, “Victor is an amazing athlete” and “I want to thank the press for keeping me relevant”, Floyd “Money” Mayweather is thanking the press? This is the same Floyd known to recite the phrase “I doesn’t matter if you love me or hate me you will all still pay attention and buy my fights” so often the man should own copyrights. On HBO’s 24/7 series he has behaved like the same old Floyd, it seems almost by accident this appreciation and praise leaks out. Did I mention his seemingly new found love for Mexican fans Floyd took 5 minutes assuring those in attendance was rooted deep inside him? Can we assume this appreciation developed after his 2007 ring walk in a sombrero that he did not bother to make sure was at least worn properly?
During a final pre-fight press conference held Thursday September 15th for the event promoters have dubbed “Star Power” Floyd discussed being rocked by Shane Mosley during their 2010 meeting, he stressed overcoming that moment and dominating the remainder of that bout afterward yet did so very calmly. What if this was Floyd of 2009? The former pound for pound King would have been ranting and acting insulted it was ever mentioned, this time it seemed as though he was admitting inside a boxing ring not even he was invulnerable. I’d almost believe Mayweather has matured except his gesture to bite Ortiz nose off during a stare down, pretending he is on the phone with a stack of $100 bills during a 24/7 episode and childlike tantrum when kicking Floyd SR from his Vegas gym refuses me sanely considering such possibility.
How can one man go from a full blown clown making even the most tolerant fans shell out $60 in hopes they see him starched outright looking up toward ring lights one minute to a guy those same people can envision as being everything right in boxing the next? In Chazz Palminteri’s mafia flick “A Bronx Tale” gangster boss Sonny says “If I had to choose between being respected and feared I rather be feared” meaning respect only goes so far when greed kicks in respect is over and even those who respected you most will turn on you. Floyd almost has a similar mindset when he tells us he can care less if we love or hate him just so we pay to watch him. Floyd should watch the movie and see how Sonny’s life ends because once Sonny is murdered no one cares, the feared mobster becomes irrelevant then is quickly forgotten by almost everyone, becoming an afterthought even to those who supposedly were his friends. Should Floyd lose a bout and there is nothing left enticing fans to spend $60 out of curiosity in seeing if he can keep that coveted “0”, than he too will be irrelevant and a quickly forgotten afterthought in boxing by most, even “Moneys” supposedly dedicated fans. A book showing records of our fighters in ring achievements throughout time is the only place where Mayweather’s legacy shall standout. He will be mentioned only when fans talk about dates and bouts but hardly the fighter himself. Yet he proves that he possesses the personality that can quickly change even if he should lose his “0”.
What is this to be made of this recent Floyd Mayweather? Is he trying to let fans know he is truly not a self-absorbed arrogant individual entirely? Could Floyd be hinting that much of what he says is merely done in terms of entertainment value not to be confused with who he actually is, hoping that doing so might help relieve much of the distain more than less of boxing’s community express openly towards the “Money Mayweather” persona handed to us more often than not. Possibly Floyd knows his remaining prime is short and wants to go out as a good guy? Is this the first time he is uncertain of how the outcome might end so he is attempting to spare himself too much backlash should he lose? Maybe it’s just one more Mayweather psychological game plan so no one knows how they should read his overall attitude? That is a lot of questions asked, certainly I have no answers to them and I can guarantee Floyd won’t be calling in the next 36 hours to provide me ones. The only person that could give us those answers is Victor Ortiz, let’s hope he gives them in full come fight night.
Berto defeats Zaveck for IBF welterweight title- New chapter or same old Berto?
By: Daxx Kahn - September 6, 2011
Andre Berto was very subdue in press outings leading up to his bout against Slovenia’s IBF welterweight title holder Jan Zaveck that took place Saturday September 3rd 2011 on HBO’s boxing after dark. The taunts by media and fans had put a chip on his shoulder, Berto felt disrespected by all who blasted him for losing the WBC welterweight belt against Victor Ortiz this past April, one of 2011’s most exciting face-off’s thus far. The buzz called him overrated, a champion who only lasted so long because of handpicked opponents and even “Exposed”. Those comments stung Berto deeper than any punch ever had, Andre could not understand why after five title defenses and only one career loss he was being treated like a has been who actually never was. As someone that’s followed Berto’s professional career from beginning it’s perfectly understandable how he had become so confused and bitter by this. Glancing back at Andre’s career thus far, analyzing his bouts, reviewing his all-around persona and willingness he shows by getting up every time he has been knocked down we are hard pressed to find one performance not worth the price of admission something few champions today can claim. Yet instead of appreciating a performer who gives us what Berto does every time out we find ways to downgrade any efforts demonstrated. Climbing through ring ropes as a “World title challenger” for only the second time in his career Andre let his hands talk for him as he vied against Zaveck, never taking one step back providing us one more water cooler chit chat performance that has boxing’s most historical weight class shifting gears again.
Jan Zaveck might not possess the popularity many other welterweights currently active today do nor does he have the most recognizable opposition on his resume, what Zaveck does possess is a well-rounded game that’s solid in all areas. True Zaveck lacks Pacquiao’s lightning speed, Mayweather’s amazing defense, Randall Bailey’s brutal power and Mosley’s elite caliber experience but when you watch Zaveck in action there is little anyone but utmost critics can find much flaw in. Zaveck from opening bell gave what he took with amazing accuracy, never taking one step back, doing a good job delivering while a fair job avoiding showing heart throughout. Berto who is known for speed and power busted the IBF champions face up causing his right eye to swell shut and his left appeared to be following suit soon causing Jan’s corner to halt the fight providing Berto his second world title in 29 fights and probably 26th memorable career performance. After when speaking with HBO commentator Max Kellerman Berto did not brag and he did not come off arrogant despite all that was said about him leading into the affair, instead he judged his performance as a B admitting satisfaction of that performance based solely on his return after a loss. Andre Berto himself might not have stated this but I will say anyone who discredits this victory speaks purely out of ignorance in terms of boxing knowledge because as Zaveck’s skill set was outlined above, this victory came over a legit world class champion.
What I personally noticed during the affair and what will eventually become his downfall is Berto has not improved in terms of defense. Jan who has respectable punching power certainly is no knockout artist and in some rounds when he landed at nearly 50% if he possessed a slightly harder punch the outcome might not have gone in favor of Berto. It was clear Andre stepped up his already impressive offense and his speed certainly matches that of any top tier fighter active today including Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. Working with a nutritionist keeping his diet balanced providing proper vitamins, protein levels and other often overlooked important necessities of that nature seemingly helped Andre’s stamina because after a blistering pace through five rounds he looked just as energized when the bout began. Each improvement mentioned will do little for his future if he continues to take accumulated shots, a fighter does not need to be knocked out for those shots to take long term effects because little by little each one chips away at your body’s ability to continuously absorb punishment. One day like a flash flood without warning shots you could walk through prior seem like thunder and lightning attacking at once, when that day happens all the offense, speed, heart and power will be of little use.
Lack of defense has always been Andre Berto’s Achilles heel, if I have ever been critical of Berto over time it has always been that single aspect of his game. I am not sure what goes on in Berto’s camp but remain curious why they have not prioritized this single flaw in almost 30 bouts, I find it impossible to believe team Berto cannot see this weakness needs to be addressed should Andre want to excel past world class into elite status. Speed, power and combination punching are already engrained into our new IBF welterweight champion truthfully those abilities cannot be improved on much, Berto is only 27 but constant receipts of unneeded shots can shorten a career by years. Overall athletic ability is something Berto is blessed with so upping his defense should not be hard to do, when he reaches 30 little by little that natural gift will fade some so he will need to have a plan B.
Roy Jones JR is a name that I liken to Berto, all the god given natural ability but too much reliance on that ability, when Jones began to age and he could no longer move so nimbly, today Jones enters the ring almost waiting to be knocked out. It would be a shame if Berto should suffer a similar fate in his future due to lack of concentration on his only weakness especially when he is physically able to make those adjustments.
Andre Berto faced Luis Collazo in January 2009 and had the toughest bout of his career up to that point, he returned five months later with improvements beating Juan Urango almost effortlessly proving he can recognize and improve on weaknesses. Slightly under a year later Andre returned to defend against former welterweight title holder Carlos Quintana, once more showing improvements from his prior outing, furthering evidence of his ability to improve. Losing the WBC belt to Ortiz put a fire in Berto we have not seen previously, in what’s seemingly become repetitious Andre once more showed improvement during his beat down of Jan Zaveck. The improvements were once more focused in areas Berto already supersedes most, improved everywhere but areas or should I state “SINGLE AREA” the IBF title holder lacks.
Andre is serious, dangerous, and talented beyond words. Once again “World Champion” is a phrase he has earned to be associated with his name, he has shown he wants to silence critics who have been so skeptical, why is he not working on the only area for anyone to be critical of? A new chapter in Andre Berto’s career began when claiming the IBF championship off Jan Zaveck but is it really just the same old Andre Berto? Unless one adjustment is made despite being a Berto supporter I have to say “Yes”, books have many chapters though and until the end we have no idea what will happen next. I for one will keep following the Andre Berto story hoping that final chapter throws us a curve we never expected. It will be up to team Berto on how long it is before the story ends.
When is it time to say “No More”?
By: Daxx Kahn - September 2, 2011
I am all about free enterprise; it is what separates Communism from Capitalism, without free enterprise we would never see industry grow. The sport of boxing separates itself from many other professional sports due to free enterprise. In boxing unlike most organized sports you can vary your arrangements from bout to bout and make adjustments that favor your chances of winning or allow your opponent the luxury of adjustments in their favor in return for a larger portion of purse pay out. Glove type, ring size, catch weights, who enters first, drug testing cut offs, location and even choice of referee’s have all been some very important bargaining chips during contract negotiations. Some give a fighter physical advantages others mental advantages both equally important on fight night. On the money side of things fighters have negotiated a share of the PPV buy’s, ticket sales, profit splits and even in some cases a portion of future purses of an opponent. Assuming there is nothing written against it in a state athletic commission or sanctioning body rule books it can be negotiated on. The possibilities of contract stipulations for a bout are almost endless, the question now is has free reign in certain aspect’s gotten so out of control boxing’s become its own worst enemy? There are a few aspects that need be controlled by those outside the bargaining room and out of the hands of sanctioning bodies for the good of boxing entirely not just for a benefit that pertains to one designated bout.
Referees who show incompetence or favoritism in not just one but several events are allowed to remain in big fight situations without having to rebuild and prove they can handle the high pressure of those situations. An example of such is Referee Marlon Wright who blew a major moment in 2008 during his overseeing IBF Super Middleweight champion Lucian Bute’s first of two title defenses against Librado Andrade in Quebec Canada. During round 12 exhausted and stunned Bute was out on his feet, held up only by the ring ropes finally collapsing in a corner. When it came time for counting Wright looked confused on what to do, he spent more time telling Andrade what corner to go in than concentrating on Bute’s knockdown. The inability to cope cost Andrade winning the IBF 168lb title. Instead of giving Wright a rebuilding stage to assure he would be able to handle the situation next time he was back officiating an IBF light welterweight title bout 2 ½ months later in Montreal. February 2011 Nonito Donaire nearly decapitated Fernando Montiel in a WBC/WBO bantamweight faceoff, the bout only lasted 2 rounds but almost from opening bell Montiel was being beaten senseless, referee Russell Mora allowed the match to continue until Montiel was nothing more than limp, Brush it off as a referee not wanting to stop a contest too soon giving him benefit of the doubt and he blows a major call just four months later in another title fight when Michael Katsidis knocks Robert Guerrero down but Mora calls it a slip. Mora continued to referee big name contender bouts and in just another four months was the third man for another championship affair. August 13th he allowed Abner Mares to hit Joseph Agbeko low in double digit numbers! Video showed his view was in perfect alignment, why had no one reviewed his past performances and allowed him to partake in not only another world championship but Showtime’s Bantamweight tournament final! How often does a referee have to err and in how short amount of time before someone in authority takes a close look is beyond me but you don’t need a PHD to see what is wrong in those two scenarios, two of countless scenarios over the last five years.
A increasingly never ending epidemic where Judges’ scorecards differ vastly or favor lopsidedly in the wrong direction is boxing’s version of Herpes, it goes away for a short amount of time but will flare up monthly guaranteed, I liken it to Herpes because as the adage goes “It is the gift that keeps on giving while someone got screwed”. There are 3 judges for a reason but with 3 judges who are supposed professional’s scorecards should be 2 maybe 3 points apart in either direction at most. When 2 judges score bout 115-113 for fighter A and judge 3 scores it 117-111 for fighter B obviously someone has no clue on what they are watching. Professional boxing is scored on four basic guidelines, while everyone has slightly different opinions on these guidelines everyone should be somewhat in agreement on what substantiates the meaning of each.
Clean Punching- The common definition of clean punching is when a fighter lands on the face or sides of head, front or sides of torso without being partially deflected by his opponent.
Effective Aggressiveness- A fighter is able to come forward use his offense while taking minimal punches in return, this does not mean just coming forward flinging shots but being controlled in their manner.
Defense- Fighters are able to avoid taking damage and return fire on a regular basis, this does not include running away from your opponent.
Ring Generalship- Controlling the pace of the bout, using the ring to your advantage, making your opponent fight the type of fight that favors you.
Judges should all know the true meaning of each aspect and should all be in some agreement when scoring these bouts, if a judge constantly disagrees from his piers with wide marginal differences in score results some sort of red flag should go up, maybe it is time to remove them or some sort of training should be implemented. Possibly judges should be forced to score bouts in an “Internship” capacity before being allowed to score actual bouts. Sit on the sidelines as judge #4 who has no input on a bouts final outcome but is to be evaluated on a 5 bout basis checking on his accuracy compared to more experienced officials. How about courses before being licensed as judges of prizefights, could it be possible that maybe judges should be assigned a position for each bout? Judge #1 scores clean punching, Judge #2 Effective Aggressiveness, #3 defense and all include Ring Generalship in their criteria. The next bout an official takes part in they must be assigned a different position if last bout judge B scored aggressiveness in their next bout that judge scores defense. If judges were forced to expand their knowledge or expertise maybe it could minimize the amount of absurd decisions handed down in the wrong direction. Aside those mentioned in terms of judging above corner men and trainers learn a judges habit’s, they know what impresses certain officials and train their fighters to sway opinions. Shoe-Shine techniques for example are still used to this day in hopes of edging close rounds in a fighters favor. The mass of punches despite little power or accuracy can make people think that fighter is the fresher man who is in control.
“World Champion” was once a term that held prestige not only in boxing but around the entire globe. We forget what seems so long ago is boxing consisted of only eight weight classes, there were no “Super” or “Junior” divisions, there was only one world title in each weight class not 5. In the 1960’s other sanctioning bodies began to surface until the 1980’s when boxing momentarily capped off at what became known to all as “ABC” titles. Alphabet titles that were recognized as legit sanctions were the WBA, WBC and IBF, if three different men in a division each held a separate portion of a “World” title fans could usually separate who was the best in that lot and whoever held more than one version or the “Ring Magazine” world title unquestionably capped the top honor. Fans were somewhat unhappy because there was always some sort of confusion on the legitimacy of who was “The Man”, yet it became manageable to follow. Today there are so many versions of a “World Title” one would have to quit his day job if they wanted to keep tabs. Minor title belts just add to the hectic arrangements of ranking participants, like the expansion a single world title into multiple, minor titles have spread like a plague in their own right. Fans 20 years ago knew who ever held a NABF, NABA, minor title would soon be a player in the top 10. Currently today over 20 titles minor or world exist in each weight class and in some cases sanctioning bodies have several versions of a world title. This overkill gives holding a championship little merit except for one to say they are a champion. Sitting here thinking off the top of my head without including regional belts I was able to come up with the following belts most sought after by fighters be it world or minor.
WBC World, WBC Silver, WBC Diamond, WBC Youth, WBC International, WBA World, WBA Super World, WBA Intercontinental, IBF World, IBF International, IBF Youth, IBF Inter-Continental, WBO World, WBO Inter-Continental, WBO NABO, BBBof C, IBO World, IBO Intercontinental, IBO Youth World, IBA World, EBU, WBF, WBB, that excludes Federbox, Caribbean, Oriental and Mediterranean version’s. Take what is listed above, the fact each one is active in every division and you end up with over 360 belts. Having over 20 different versions of a championship to be won is each division kind of takes the prestige away from holding a title no? Former light heavyweight contender and trainer John Scully asked once “How can a fighter from Virginia vie for a Mediterranean belt and a guy named Sullivan from Arkansas be the Latino champion”? Talk about stripping a title of its value even more! Since that question was asked by Scully an answer never was provided on how someone who has never eaten at a Taco Bell let alone have a drop of Latin blood in them become a “Latino” champion.
Are these so called titles being made just for the sake of making a bout more interesting? Is it just a ploy to extract extra sanctioning fees? Why are organizations being allowed to surface from practically thin air and institute even more belts? Apparently all you need is money for the cost of licensing, have a belt manufactured and you are a legitimate sanctioning body. What’s worse is other active major organizations are hard pressed to dispute the legitimacy of these new start up’s because they are issuing new belts faster than roadrunners on caffeine. Try explaining to a kid how much less a dollar buys today than it did in 1970 and they will look at you with blank expressions no matter what analogy provided with your explanation, with so many title belts available how can you get the point across on what it took to become a champion or how prestigious being one was in 1950 when all they know is over abundance? It would be like stressing the importance of a financial budget to Paris Hilton. Past greats are actually having their accomplishments downgraded because there will be no way to emphasize what they went through in becoming “Champion”. When this happens of course boxing will have “Husky”, “Petite” and “If only I could have lost 2 pounds on weigh in day” divisions. If that sounds overly sarcastic just remember talk of a WBC “Absolute” champion.
I will not sit here pretending to have solutions for the problems, I am not sitting here trying to blast anyone involved with boxing’s disarray because what seems like an easy fix never is. I am not trying to be over critical to judges, referee’s, sanctioning bodies, state athletic commissions or promoters because again there job is not easy despite how it appears from outside looking in. I will sit here and say boxing needs some fine tuning before what needs fixing becomes beyond repair. Free enterprise is what has helped boxing reach the monumental stature it has but if no guidelines are set that same free enterprise will also crumble our sport from inside out. People that say “Boxing is dead” or “Boxing is dying” must know that is just a fable, boxing will always continue on if simply for no other reason than fans love to see two people beat the tar out of one another. The luster that makes boxing shine has certainly dulled, eventually should this trend continue we will lose the ability to shine again. It will be only those who like to watch two people beat each other silly that continue tuning in on a regular basis, the appreciation for the art will have faded. One day finally we might wake up and have nothing more than glorified tough man contest with higher paychecks without realizing it even happened. If that day should arrive than it will be a sad one for me because I have invested decades following the sport, learning its history, sincerely appreciating what each fighter brings every outing despite the level they compete on chasing their dream of one day becoming a champion. I might even rethink my position on Free Enterprise.
When will too much be too much? An overweight person with a heart condition never thinks about healthy eating and exercise after their triple Bi-Pass procedure. A smoker never thinks on quitting until emphysema kicks in despite warnings on the side of every cigarette pack. Boxing might not think about doing something about these situations until such extremes are reached. When that day comes though my articles will be based on “What has Fighter X done to deserve a Non-Title bout”. Since by then almost everyone will be champion their toughest opponents will be Referees and Judges, leaving me little else to discuss.
BILLY C BOXING 2011 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE GREG HAUGEN
By: Daxx Kahn - August 25, 2011
Three time world champion Greg Haugen is a tough customer who had some of boxing’s most memorable matches during the mid-1980’s through mid-1990’s. If you would choose one aspect of the game that Haugen mastered better than anyone else going during his career it would be a hard pick because in earnest Haugen never truly did any one thing better that the rest. It was the fact Greg could do anything well enough to hang with anyone that made him special, he countered well enough to trouble come forward aggressive fighters, he hit just hard enough to keep opponents respectful of his authority and his heart was never one questioned. Those qualities also allowed Greg to remain exciting throughout his career because as we know “Styles make fights” and his style helped avoid dull affairs despite what his competition brought to the table.
A trilogy with Vinny Pazienza had Haugen trading the IBF Lightweight title between the two from 1987-1988. An attitude problem on behalf of Hector Camacho had Greg trade the WBO light welterweight belt with “Macho” in 1991 but it was his KO win over Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini in 1992 that might have set up Greg’s most high profile career bout. On February 20th 1992 Haugen was slated to face Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez in Mexico City, Mexico for Chavez WBC light welterweight title. Julio at the time was unbeaten in 84 pro bouts and in prefight build up Greg stated Chavez had fought many “Tijuana Taxi Drivers” to help build his record. Those words caused frenzy among Mexican boxing fans and drew in a live gate of 132,247 observers, it was the worst night in the career of Washington State’s 3 time world champion because he was stopped inside of 5 brutal rounds. In a post-fight press conference when asked if his opinion of Chavez opponent’s on record had changed, he simply replied “Those must have been some tough cab drivers”.
After his loss to Chavez Greg continued to fight for 7 more years winning most but losing some, picking up minor titles along the way and even another rivalry as he traded wins with Paul Nave going 1-1-1 in their trilogy. Over a decade after retirement fans still remember and appreciate the thrilling moments Greg provided us during his almost 20 year career earning him yet one more honor. This time that honor will be awarded on November 19th as one of Billy C Boxing’s 2011 Hall of Fame inductees. Like I have with all the inductees this year I was able to speak briefly with Greg on his feelings about being inducted and a few career moments, here are a few excerpts from out conversation.
BILLY C BOXING- Greg how are things going? In November you will be one of the inaugural inductee’s in the Billy C Boxing Hall of Fame, the fans have called for you to be given some due because they appreciate all the great fights you provided them. How does it feel knowing that after being retired for well over a decade the fans still appreciate you?
Greg Haugen- It Makes me feel good, it seems that the IBHOF is becoming a popularity contest more than anything and put in who they want instead of who the fans are asking for. I appreciate this induction
BCB- You had some great rivalries in your time and might have had more rematches than almost anyone else of your era, Vinny Pazienza, Hector Camacho and Paul Nave to name a few. Who was your favorite opponent?
GH- Vinny was a come forward fighter, so was Ray Mancini and those are the type guys I liked fighting, I preferred to counter punch so when guys came straight at me without taking steps back it was the fight I wanted. All the guys I faced with that come forward style are the ones I liked best.
BCB- Your rivalry with Vinny Pazienza was one of the eras most heated and you guys threw a lot of leather toward one another. Do you and Vinny talk these days or where there some genuine hard feelings that lingered?
GH- No he is my buddy and I respect him. Once in a while we go back and forth on Face Book talking about our fights but no hard feelings. We had three tough fights and he won two on paper but he did not beat me twice. I don’t talk to him every day but I do speak with him and I wish him well.
BCB- What is your favorite career moment be it inside the ring or outside?
GH- The Jimmy Paul fight, everyone thought I had no chance because Jimmy was such a tough guy and respected champion at that time. My first fight with Hector Camacho was another one people thought I could not win because Hector was on such a roll and undefeated. Those two fights are very memorable for me, it is always good when you pull off a win when people had given you little chance.
BCB- My standard question for all of this year’s inductee’s is, are there any words of advice you can pass on to some of today’s upcoming prospects that you wished was something you instilled in yourself more during your career?
GH- Condition, Condition, Condition! Train hard and stay in top shape always, I went into some fights not in the best condition and I lost because of it or they were harder than they should have been. Stay in top shape and you will be able to do so much more, conditioning is #1 when it comes to being a fighter because late in the fight the guy who is in the best shape will finish strongest.
BCB- Greg Thank You it has been great talking with you for a few minutes. I will see you on November 19th.
GH- Thank You.
BILLY C BOXING 2011 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE LEON SPINKS
By: Daxx Kahn - August 19, 2011
An Olympic Gold Medal winner in the light heavyweight division while representing the United States at the 1976 games Leon Spinks quickly became one of boxing’s story book success’s. Turning professional in January of 1977 Leon won his first five bouts by stoppage before fighting the much more experienced late Scott LeDoux in October of that same year. Scott having 23 more bouts and 30lbs over Spinks, Scott was lucky enough to walk away with a draw but what he did not know at that time is that he assisted setting up the Gold Medalist in gaining a title shot against a fading Ali who was seeking a much needed impressive victory. Muhammad’s camp figured who better than Leon, a skilled small framed heavyweight that had Olympic glory, undefeated record and despite five knockout wins in 7 fights possessed little enough power to threaten Ali’s chin. The combination could make Muhammad appear still invincible. Ali, his camp and boxing fans were all mistaken because it would be Leon who used Ali to make himself appear as heavyweight boxing’s man to beat because when their 15 round battle was over Leon was declared our new WBA/WBC heavyweight champion of the world, to this day it ranks among boxing’s biggest upsets.
The WBC would strip Spinks of their title when he chose to rematch Ali seven months later instead of their #1 mandatory Ken Norton. That decision might have been the most costly of Leon’s career because Ali regained his title via unanimous decision on September 15th of 78’ making Ali boxing’s first three time heavyweight champion, Spinks would lose his next outing to unbeaten Gerrie Coetzee by first round KO then win his next 4 earning him a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Larry Holmes June 12th 1981, after being fairly competitive in rounds one and two Leon was stopped at 2:34 of the third round. Leon would continue boxing 14 more years during that time he won some minor titles but never could regain the form he once had early on. Known as “Neon Leon” because of his life in the boxing spotlight and celebrity fan following outside the ring Spinks to this day is known and loved by fans. His world championship victory is one boxing will forever talk about and changed the course of heavyweight boxing forever, it is also one that has earned him a rightful spot in Billy C Boxing’s 2011 Hall of Fame. I spoke with Leon for a few moments on how he feels about his induction and how he looks back upon his career, in a style that can only be presented by Leon here is some highlights from our conversation.
Billy C Boxing- Leon how is everything? Congratulations on being voted into the Billy C Boxing Hall of Fame, how does the honor make you feel?
Leon Spinks- It feels real good to be inducted, I am glad to have this honor and still have fans.
BCB- Leon you are one of boxing’s most memorable characters, you won the heavyweight title off Muhammad Ali after only 7 fights and history was written. Your career was a storied one, what was it like to make history?
LS- Real good, it always feels good to win. Winning the championship was great and knowing people still remember the fight is a great feeling.
BCB- You won a gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games for the United States at light heavyweight, what was a bigger honor becoming a gold medalist or heavyweight champion?
LS- Winning the Gold Medal was my biggest honor. I was representing our country and won the medal while representing our country. I don’t think anything can be better than that.
BCB- The name Spinks is one of the most well known in boxing, it started with you, than Michael and afterward Corey. Did you ever think starting out you would reach the level of popularity you have?
LS- No I never did, I am just happy to have had the career I did and happy to know fans still remember me.
BCB- Leon I give you the question I have asked all out Hall of Fame inductees and that is what advice can you give young upcoming fighters of today?
LS- Listen to what people say, it does not matter what they say just listen and think about what was said before making any decisions about your career. It is important that guys listen to what is going on around them and not just the positive things.
BCB- Leon thanks for taking your time out to speak with me. I will see you November 19th, and again congratulations of your induction.
LS- Thank You
2011 Billy C Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee “Iceman” John Scully!
By: Daxx Kahn - August 15, 2011
As a former golden gloves champion and nationally ranked amateur fighter John Scully could have never imagined during those years exactly how full circle his professional career would go. A popular staple of the light heavyweight and super middleweight contender scene throughout the 1990’s Scully was in with some top caliber names. World champions and title challengers Michael Nunn, Henry Maske, Graciano Rocchigiani and Tim Littles were all given the toughest battles to date when they faced Scully, it is not just in ring performances that have made this Connecticut native so popular among fans it is his involvement with boxing since retirement that has helped his status grow.
In the mid 1990’s John tasted some success working with amateur fighters while he was an active professional so when he hung the gloves up for good in 2001 it seemed natural that he should gravitate towards training once again. The decision turned out to be fruitful because since Scully has worked with top prospects and top ten rated fighters in multiple divisions. Names such as Matt Remillard, Lawrence Clay-Bey and Matt Godfrey have all benefited from Scully’s guidance. On an even higher level Scully helped Mike Oliver win an IBO Super Bantamweight title, Liz Mueller a WIBF lightweight title and Jose Antonio Rivera a WBA junior middleweight championship. One time WBC light heavyweight king and pound for pound ranked Chad Dawson was also partially brought along by John who worked with Dawson in the mid part of last decade, those credentials mentioned above has helped make him one of the top trainers going currently.
Appearances on ESPN, HBO, ESPN classic and several high profile pay per view cards solidify boxing’s overall respect for John’s opinion. A autobiography entitled “The Iceman Diaries” that highlights his career in boxing will be available soon and add boxing author to his list of accomplishments, once that is released John will have genuinely done all there is to do in boxing except winning a world title of his own.
November 19th 2011 “Iceman” John Scully will be inducted into the Billy C Boxing inaugural Hall of Fame, his past and possible future accomplishments along with outcry for his induction from fans has made this long overdue honor possible. I briefly was able to ask a few questions of the soon to be inductee and his opinion on the decision to induct him based on his career, the fact fans are who decided he gets in along with a small portion of advice to upcoming prospects. Here is what Ice had to say about it all.
Billy C Boxing- The Billy C Boxing Hall of Fame is not in a competition with other Hall of Fame’s nor is it trying to pass itself off as a more prestigious event. This is something the fan’s asked for and it is the fans who decide gets in rather than a panel of so called expert’s. How does it feel knowing boxing fans have called for “Iceman” John Scully to be given his deserved respect?
“Iceman” John Scully- It is honestly very surreal, very amazing, unbelievable almost. When I was a fifteen year old kid I got my name in the local paper for the first time and I sat there staring at it that day savoring the moment, wondering if I would ever even see my name in print again for boxing. Now all these years later to be inducted into a class that includes the likes of Leon Spinks and Ernie Shavers, guys I really looked up to so much as a kid, it's just like a fantastic dream to me.
BCB- Aside from worldwide exposure, awards or any other type accolades that go with having been such a high profile part of boxing all these years what is one thing in boxing you gained in your life? Something that makes you appreciate the fact you stuck with the sport through thick and thin. When I ask this question of other fighters some say it’s the people they have met or friendships they developed through being part of the sport. Other guy’s tell me its life lessons they have gained over their career be it good or bad, what about for John Scully?
ICE: Oh, it is definitely, without a doubt, the people I have met and the places I have been able to see because of my being involved in the boxing game! When I was a kid I always wanted to travel and see different places that I had read about in my father's books and boxing has pretty much allowed me to see every place I always dreamed of visiting. I actually have a chapter in my book entitled "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" where I discuss many of the wonderful places I've seen and people I've met because of the boxing game.
BCB- One single piece of advice for upcoming fighters that you think would help them greatly in the future. Something you wish someone told you early on in your career that would have been very beneficial.
ICE: I always tell all the younger guys two things. First I tell them that they may not be the fastest, quickest or slickest guy and they may not be the hardest puncher or strongest guy, either. So they would be wise to look around the gym every day and see who is training the hardest and make it their business to train harder than whoever that person may be. Being in the best shape possible is probably the one thing you can really control about yourself.
The other thing is something that the great former light heavyweight champion Archie Moore once told me in a letter and it's a piece of advice I have taken to heart ever since I was fifteen years old.
He told me, "Treat your body as a great champion should because you have this one until the day death calls you home."
BCB- Thank You Ice for the comments congratulations on your induction Will see you November 19th.
BILLY C BOXING 2011 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE MARLON STARLING
By: Daxx Kahn - August 10, 2011
Marlon Starling spent most of the 1980’s either with a title belt around his waist or in the ring vying for one, going a career 45-6-1 (27) from 1979-1990 he had the all the gut’s heart and determination any fan could ask from any fighter. Those who know of Starling’s career can attest he was as good as anyone going and better than most. In his six losses only once was Starling ever defeated unanimously and that was in his second bout against Donald Curry in February of 1984, Curry had won a split decision when the men met first on October of 1982 but their rematch provided viewers a different scene outside the victor. Marlon self-admitting just could not get the edge over Curry that night at any point in the bout no matter what he tried. Speaking of the bout he states “My corner kept telling me to back him up but I couldn’t, I knew the night would be a long one when I caught him with an uppercut that had knocked guys out in the past and Donald just replied HUMMPH”. Marlon would lose once more in 1984 to Pedro Vilella by majority decision than go on another five bout win streak until his next loss in 1986 against Johnny Bumphus. The two fighters head’s collided in round six and Johnny suffered a cut severe enough to force the bouts halt, according to the rules when a bout is halted due to an accidental head butt any time after round four a winner must be decided by going to judges’ scorecards, Bumphus slightly ahead allowed him to gain a technical decision win. Marlon who has never been one to dwell on bad luck dusted himself off and won his next four straight setting up a title bout against then WBA welterweight champion Mark Breland. In one of the sports last 15 round bouts Starling pulled off a victory by stopping the favored Breland TKO11. Starling would defend his belt once before re-match Breland eight months later retaining his title in a draw. Hard luck would again catch up with the “Magic Man” out of Hartford Connecticut in his next title defense when he took on Columbia’s undefeated knockout artist Tomas Molinares. In what was a competitive bout where each man gave then took Molinares hit Starling after the bell sounded ending round 6, putting the WBA champ down for what was the first and only time in his career. Referee Joe Cortez instead of taking time to evaluate what had taken place counted Marlon out despite the clear infraction of rules awarding Molinares the victory and WBA title. “I remember the bell ringing to end the round and I remember getting ready to return to my corner but that’s all I remember of the night after that” said Starling of the affair. Later the New Jersey state athletic commission would reverse the decision declaring it a no contest but the WBA failed to return Starlings title to him.
Once again undeterred by a mishap Starling would prepare for another high profile championship faceoff this time it would be against popular British fighter and then WBC welterweight titlist Lloyd Honeyghan. The bout was set in Caesars Palace Las Vegas on February 1989 and went Starlings way from opening bell, after abusing Honeyghan for eight straight rounds referee Mills lane took mercy upon the champion and called a halt to the battle in round nine awarding the bout and WBC title to Starling making him a 2 time welterweight champion. Starling would defend the title successfully once before stepping up in weight on April 14th 1990 to challenge then undefeated IBF middleweight champ Michael Nunn, Starling would lose a majority decision to the bigger Nunn then resurface at welterweight in August of 1990 with his WBC title up for grabs against Maurice Blocker. Marlon having been cursed by majority decision losses throughout his career suffered the fate one last time, without a world championship to defend Marlon decided it was time to take a bow and gracefully step away from in ring action. “I was slowly losing my desire to compete even before that match, so once I lost the title I decided it would be best to retire. I don’t say retire though, I tell people I quit boxing because when guys say I am retiring they always come back for one more bout. I was not going to be one of those guys who would return for just one more bout, when your time to leave the sport is here it’s here. I see these guys coming back after supposed retirement losing, retiring again just to return and keep going about this cycle is crazy, it hurts their whole legacy, everything they worked so hard for” Starling stated in a recent discussion with Billy C Boxing.
Since leaving boxing Marlon Starling has gone onto enjoy retirement out of the constant spotlight occasionally attending public boxing functions and meeting his fans who he still holds dear in his heart. Starling has also turned much of his focus toward working with those who have mental disabilities, “They show what it is like to overcome true challenges, they give it their all and they never give up, how can you not want to be around people who have such a positive attitude”. Several times a week he also teaches a boxing class in his local gym to help people stay fit “The people who take part in my classes like it because it is different than the regular workout regimen, I am not doing it to discover the next world champion I just do it because I enjoy the sport, I enjoy working with people and if I can help them get in shape through boxing good, besides most of the people who attend my classes are older and long past their fighting years”.
Tuesday August 9th I was able to Speak with the former two time welterweight champion a little bit about his career and how he feels being part of Billy C Boxing’s inaugural 2011 Hall of fame induction event. Here is a portion of our conversation.
Billy C Boxing- Champ glad I could catch a short moment of your time, congratulations on your induction into the Billy C Boxing Hall of Fame. The fans called for Marlon Starling to be recognized for his ring achievements once more, how does it feel knowing the fans still talk about Marlon Starling?
Marlon Starling- It’s a great honor, I thank the fans and I support them. I am glad to know that I was able to give them some great fights I hope they appreciated me half as much as I did them.
BCB- Marlon you fought some very good and very tough guys during your career. Mark Breland, Lloyd Honeyghan, Simon Brown and Michael Nunn to name a few, win or lose what was your toughest in ring battle?
MS- Marlon Starling, I know you wanted a specific name but truthfully I was my toughest fight. Making sure I went to the gym, stayed in shape, prepared for the bouts so when I came in the ring I was ready. I faced so many guys and they were all tough, sometimes what you thought was going to be an easy fight from the way it appeared on paper turned out to be the toughest and same for the ones you thought would be tough turned out to be much easier than expected. I fought Mark Breland, Simon Brown, Floyd Mayweather Sr, I sparred with Tommy Hearns and Virgil Hill on many occasions. I could not say who was the toughest.
BCB- Do you still remember how you felt the night you won your first title? What was that feeling like?
MS- Yes I do, I look back now and say to myself if I had made $20,000,000 I would have left boxing because I achieved my dream and after becoming a world champion there is nothing higher, I accomplished what many people thought I could not but once I did people told me I had to rematch Breland to get my full credit after I faced Mark in a rematch I was told Lloyd Honeyghan had to be beaten before I could get my credit so I fought and beat Lloyd. You never get full credit for what you accomplish but it was a great feeling.
BCB- Other than winning your world titles what part of your career was the most memorable for you?
MS- Maybe my fight with Tom Molinares? I was hit after the bell, that was the only time I was ever down and do not even remember what took place I just know he hit me late and I was counted out, they changed the decision to a no Contest but they did not let me keep my WBA belt. That’s why they say “Protect yourself at all times” and why the light in the corner they have is so important so you know the bell is coming, then things like that can help be avoided.
BCB- What does Marlon Starling do these days to keep busy in his spare time?
MS- I work with mentally challenged people, I never thought that as an ex-boxer I could do such a job but I really enjoy it. They say you are not supposed to take your work home with you but sometimes you cannot help it, there are people you work with you cannot help but think about after work. There was one guy I worked with he was in his 60’s and he was just great you really learn to appreciate things when seeing the struggle they go through. I fall in love with these guys because they never give up and always keep trying. I also teach boxing classes, I am not training anyone to be a professional or anything, I am not looking to become a trainer I just teach classes to people as a way to help them stay in shape, how to throw a proper punch, some are older guys who like to get exercise but are looking for something different than regular gym workout’s.
BCB- Marlon thank you for your time I hope to see you at the event on November 19th.
MS- Thank you Daxx it was nice talking to you.
Carina “La Reina” Moreno- The former Champion still has some fighting left to do!
By: Daxx Kahn - August 3, 2011
Carina Moreno might only be 5’2” tall but she has the heart of any heavyweight in the game today. Starting out as a kick boxer in her home state of California she gave up the sport shortly after winning the California State amateur title due to lack of competition. Her trainer Rick noble suggested boxing as another outlet and with the 2000 Golden Gloves tournament coming up soon they wasted no time in preparing for the transition. Tasting success in the tournament Carina decided to continue boxing traveling the country either winning or placing in the top 3 of every tournament she entered, once every female amateur tournament was exhausted and no female bracket available in the 2004 Olympics to aspire toward it was time to turn professional. On July 3rd 2003 Moreno began what has thus far been a stellar career.
Winning her first 8 bouts Carina received an opportunity to face the much more experienced Wendy Rodriguez on January 21st 2006 for the then vacant IBA female flyweight championship, things did not go well for Moreno who lost by TD6 due to a cut over Rodriguez right eye that happened in round 4 after the 2 fighters clashed heads. Moreno was starting to take over the bout at the time of the stoppage. In her next bout seven months later she would again face a more experienced foe Stephanie Dobbs this time the NABF female flyweight title would be awarded to whoever won. Dobbs had 36 more professional bouts than Moreno but the extra experience mattered none because Carina swept the scorecards winning a UD. That win started a swarm of success as Moreno would win her next 12 picking up 4 world titles in 2 different weight classes. In October of 2009 Carina’s winning streak would halt as she headed down towards Mexico way to defend her WBC female minimumweight championship against Anabel Ortiz, dealing with hometown judges, fighting on the road and nagging shoulder injury proved too much for Moreno who lost by UD.
After a year long break to help repair the injury Moreno who had just been cleared by her physician to begin training again in mid-November of 2010 would receive a call to face WBA/WBO light flyweight womens champion Yesica Yolanda Bopp in Yesica’s home country of Argentina in January of 2011. Knowing her training camp would be short and fact she had a year plus layoff did not deter Carina from accepting the challenge after all a title shot is a title shot, again it proved to be a costly decision because she would lose a 10 round UD. 8 months later fully prepared and fully healed Moreno makes her return once again. This bout will be against Chantel Cordova on the undercard of Robert Guerrero vs. Marcos Maidana if successful Carina will resume her plans at seeking another world championship. I was able to speak with “La Reina” Tuesday about her upcoming bout, recent losses, life outside boxing and her future plans. This is what she had to say.
BILLY C BOXING- Carina nice to speak with you, how are things going? Right now you are in the middle of an 8 month layoff when can we expect to see you in the ring again?
CARINA MORENO- Everything is great, I will be fighting on August 27th, I actually just got done with a run a little while ago to help build my cardio even more. It has been 8 months since I have been in the ring so I am very excited to be back, I am also honored to be fighting on the undercard of Robert Guerrero vs. Marcos Maidana. I have known Robert since my amateur days so it will be good to be fighting on the same card.
BCB- You have been very successful in your career, winning multiple world titles in several divisions, at one time you were on a 13 bout win streak, your last two outings came up a bit short what happened in those fights? Did you have bad training camps, were there any nagging injuries?
CM- I went into the Anabel Ortiz fight with a nagging shoulder injury that had not been addressed, after the bout I took a year off attending physical therapy so the shoulder could regain its full use again. There was severe swelling to the nerves and muscles from over use to the point I actually could not lift the arm one day, thankfully it was not necessary for surgery. The call to fight Yesica Bopp in Argentina came with short notice, I had just been given clearance in mid-November by the doctor to start training again and by time everything was finalized there was only 3 weeks to prepare, it was a bad decision to take the fight on such short notice after such a long layoff. I give Anabel and Yesica all the credit, I am not trying to take anything away from their win, I just think if I was better prepared and was fully healed I would have won those bouts. That time is past, now it is time to get back in shape and resume my career, I will be in front of a hometown crowd for this fight with many supporters so I feel positive on winning.
BCB- You were a kick boxer at one point in time if I am not mistaken, what happened that made you decide to transition into regular boxing?
CM- Yes I was an amateur kick boxer, I won the California State title in my weight class but Kick Boxing was fading off and I did not have many opponents so my trainer Rick asked if I wanted to try boxing. The 2000 Golden Gloves were approaching in San Francisco so I said why not. I did very well and continued boxing ever since.
BCB- History in this sport has shown that most people who started out kick boxing fail to make the transition into mainstream boxing successfully for whatever reason, you on the other hand have managed to do it very well. What about boxing do you prefer over kick boxing?
CM- There are more fights available in boxing, I love the training and everything else that goes with the sport. At first I had a bit of a hard time remembering not to kick, in kick boxing when your opponent gets near it is an automatic reaction to put the knee up so they cannot get close enough to hit you but I broke the habit in sparring, I never made the mistake of kicking someone that’s a good thing.
BCB- After winning world titles in multiple divisions (Light Flyweight and Flyweight) what else is there in boxing you feel is left to accomplish?
CM- I still have the hunger, I love the sport just as much as when I started, I would like to rematch the fighters I lost against. My first loss was against Wendy Rodriguez, the bout was ended early due to an accidental head butt I would like to rematch her if possible. My bout against Anabel Ortiz I felt I won, she had no power and was just barely touching me with her shots, they had no effect on me but I was fighting in Mexico near her hometown, going into a fight on the road you are 3 rounds behind before the bell rings and I guess in Mexico they score points based on a fighter being able to land slapping shots to the body. I would like to face Yesica Bopp again after a full training camp. If I could get the chance to make up those losses I would be happy.
BCB- You are 29yrs old and fight in a weight class where most men are either getting ready to or have retired by this age minus a few exceptions, ladies seem to have a bit more longevity to them in terms of what their body still allows them to do as they get older. When you retire be it next year or 10 years from now are you going to stay involved with the sport after? Women’s boxing is on the rise more than ever a fighter with your credentials could help teach or be an inspiration for upcoming fighters.
CM- People ask me that all the time, the thought has not crossed my mind. My losses have been close bouts; I still enjoy the sport, the competition and still have the desire to become champion again so right now I am not looking toward retirement. I own a gym with my trainer Rick called the Noble-Moreno boxing located in Watsonville California, I love working with kids it would be great to work with one and bring them to a championship or help them reach top amateur status. When I retire I will definitely remain involved with boxing.
BCB- I read where you used to work in your families restaurant, Taco’s Moreno Taqueria is the name of the restaurant if my information is correct, do you still work there or have you moved onto your own business ventures?
CM- No I still am part of it my family has owned the original one for 28 years, I go on weekends and help out. My brother and I opened up another restaurant with the same name not long ago this is the third Taco’s Moreno Taqueria and it is doing well.
BCB- Just as some insight about you for your current fans or fight fans in general who only know of your work in the ring, what does Carina do on her off time? Are you a big enthusiast in other sports, are you involved in business?
CM- I am a business woman, right now I am concentrating on the restaurant I own with my brother and running the gym, in the future I will get involved with other business projects. During my off time I like photography especially black and white photos I am always taking pictures. I like fishing a lot and playing with my dog he is a mini bull terrier named Bobby, we go to the lake he likes when I throw sticks in the water for him to swim after, everyone calls him “Bobby the Bulldog Moreno”.
BCB- Carina it has been a pleasure speaking with you, I look forward to seeing you in the ring soon any last comments before we end our conversation.
CM- I want to thank fans for all the support, I am coming back to win another world title and I hope they can all see my fight on August 27th. I expect to win this bout, take a few tune up’s a few 6 round bouts maybe some 8 rounder’s than hopefully I will be back in challenging for a world title again.
BCB- Carina it has been good speaking with you good luck on the 27th I hope I can interview you again after you win another world title.
CM- That would be great thank you.
Randy Caballero- Ready for the next level!
By: Daxx Kahn - July 31, 2011
Golden Boy Promotion’s upcoming prospect Randy Caballero is one of those fighters to watch out for because he has “Success” written all over his future. A good amateur pedigree, well rounded boxing ability, dedicated training habits and positive attitude are all part of what puts Caballero on the road to a bright future. In 2011 Caballero has been active inside the ring fighting six bouts in seven months, winning all by dominate fashion, July 1st Randy claimed the WBC Youth International Super Bantamweight Title his first of what he hopes will be many more to come. The momentum and fanfare Caballero is beginning to build up can be attributed much towards Telefutura’s popular “Solo Boxing” series where he has appeared several times leaving lasting impressions with viewers. This must all be considered a blessing up to this point for the young man out of Coachella California, who just a few years ago had been forced to make a life altering decision after injuring tendons in his hand so severely they needed surgery for repair. Caballero had to decide if he should wait for an opportunity to become part of the United States Olympic team by fighting as an amateur for another 2 years or turn professional immediately, knowing that during those 2 years he could possibly reinjure the hand and such an injury might not only squash Olympic hopes but professional ones as well. After speaking with his family they all decided it would be better to not risk both opportunities so on March 25th 2010 Caballero would step in against Gonzalo Nicolas for his pro debut winning by first round stoppage.
Since Caballero has turned professional he not only gains experience during bouts but as part of training camps with elite caliber world champions such as Abner mares and Nonito Donaire, both of whom Caballero has sparred with immensely, when Donaire was training for his bout against Fernando Montiel Randy was his chief training partner, such things speak loud volumes in terms of what the future holds for Randy. I spoke with Randy back in March when he had been finishing preparations for his upcoming bout against Hugo Ramos, since then he has racked up 4 more victories and a minor title. Wednesday I was able to speak with him briefly about how it feels to be the owner of his first minor title and what is coming up next in his career. I learned he has been working with some other upcoming prospects while still doing his best to be a role model for neighborhood kids who also have hopes of one day turning professional. Here is how our conversation went.
Billy C Boxing- Randy good speaking with you again, last time we spoke was in March just a few days prior to your bout against Hugo Ramos. Here you are four fights later with a minor title belt around your waist; momentum is certainly behind you and your team must be pleased with your progress.
Randy Caballero- I could not ask for more, I am living my dream right now. I know this is only a youth title but I am grateful to have won it and this should be the first step towards a major belt. My team has been behind me all the way, I have my promoter Golden Boy Promotions to thank for these opportunities.
BCB- You have had six bouts this year already, now that you have won a belt are you going to slow down a bit and start targeting some named opponents or will you keep this schedule until you get into a high profile bout?
RC- Whatever Golden Boy Promotions has planned is for me next is what I will do, my promoter handles my bouts and schedule. I did have a fight lined up for August that was cancelled so most likely I will return sometime in September.
BCB- Your only 20 years old, you have not fully matured physically, the last time I interviewed you the plan was to seek a title at 118lbs then move up, since you have a jumpstart in the 122lb division is the 118lb weight class now out of the picture? If that is the case is it due to the fact 118 is just too small for you?
RC- I am going to take things one step at a time, I am in no rush, I am still learning. I am lucky enough to have my Dad behind me and the manager I do. 118lbs is still a good place for me to be and seek out a title opportunity, we will see how things work out but I have no problem making the weight.
BCB- I know you have had hand problems in the past that needed surgery to correct but it had been doing well, have there been any new issues?
RC- No my hand feels great it is 100%. I used to get pain in it, but everything is fine now, I can throw hard shots without any problems. My Dad still worries about it.
BCB- You have developed a strong following on Telefutura boxing broadcast when will you be back in action on a Telefutura fight card?
RC- I am not sure exactly when I will be back on TV, my promoter is handling that.
BCB- I know you have worked with Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares in some of their training camps during the past, have you been working in the camp of any other champions since?
RC- I have been working with other fighters like Charles Huerta and Chris Martin. They are both really tough guys who are on top of their game. It feels good to knowing I can get in with them and hold my own. It gives me confidence to say I worked with them, Abner Mares, Nonito Donaire and performed well.
BCB- Is the Coachella Boxing Club still your main base of operations? You were working with some of the kids there including your younger brothers are they still training?
RC- I still work out there, I try to be a role model for the younger kids showing them they can do more than just hangout on the street. My younger brother recently was in a tournament and won his division my other brother is back in the gym working out keeping busy.
BCB- Things could not seem to be going better career wise for you; everything thus far laid out by your team has worked to the letter. When is your next fight and are you defending the WBC Youth international Super Bantamweight title in that bout?
RC- I don’t know if it will be a bout with the title at stake or not, I just know I will probably return in September other than that I am not sure, my promoter will let me know once things are set.
BCB- It has been good speaking with you again Randy, I look forward to your next bout any closing comments?
RC- I just want to thank the fans for their support, I appreciate talking with you guys from Billy C Boxing Network, I want to say hello to everyone in Coachella valley and let people know to follow me on my website WWW.RandyCaballero.com
Rances Barthelemy- I don’t overlook anyone!
By: Daxx Kahn - July 25, 2011
Cuban born Rances Barthelemy is one of a long line in Cuban amateur fighters that has defected from the small island and found their way to America in hope’s they might one day become a professional world champion. Some most recent Cuban sensations that might ring a bell for today’s younger fans are Joel Cassamayor, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Guillermo Rigondeaux. The first name Rances might not sound familiar but the last name Barthelemy probably rings a bell because Rances is the younger brother of current Super Bantamweight hopeful and 2004 Olympic light flyweight gold medal winner Yan Barthelemy. Yan defected with Gamboa and Orlander Solis in 2006 while the Cuban national team was in Venezuela; Rances defected shortly before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Rances might be similar to his older sibling in terms of seeking their dreams but outside that the two are their own men. Often in boxing a younger sibling follows the coattails of their older brother but if you should speak with Rances and Yan’s name come’s up you will learn while he has admiration for his brother he wants to make his own bones in the sport. Anyone who has seen Rances in a boxing ring can attest he is more than capable of creating those bones and then some.
Rances has had a few hardships in terms of public exposure, some failed TV appearances due to time constraints have kept mass audiences viewing him at work, aside from that small hindrance Rances who is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions is being guided well thus far. The promotion companies have kept him busy, inside a little under two years Rances has fought 12 times, winning all but 2 inside the distance. July 29th Rances will vie for his first minor title when he faces off against Gerardo Robles at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas Nevada. At stake will be the vacant UBO International Super Featherweight title if he wins this could help fast track Rances into mainstream boxing and one step closer to a top 10 major sanctioning body rating.
I was able to speak with Rances after a workout Saturday morning along with his Co-Promoter and managing partner of Bad Dog productions Richard Dobal. I was impressed at Rances positive outlook and grounded plans for the future. This is how our conversation went, read it here exclusively on the Billy C Boxing news network.
Billy C Boxing- Rances how is everything? Congratulations on your upcoming UBO International Super Featherweight Title bout, how are last minute preparations going?
Rances Barthelemy- Thank you I am glad to be speaking with the Billy C Boxing News Network. Everything is well, I am grateful to have this opportunity in challenging for a UBO belt. Preparations have gone great! I have doubled my training efforts for this bout. I am looking to keep my undefeated record and win my first professional title. Hopefully this will open opportunities for me to challenge for other titles down the road.
BCB- This will be your 13th professional bout in just under 2 years that is certainly an active schedule, has keeping this busy helped fully transition you from the amateurs into the professional rankings? Often fighters with extended amateur pedigrees take longer than others to adjust, you seem to have made that adjustment well.
RB- I feel it has helped, I had 3 other bouts that were supposed to happen but fell out for one reason or another so if not for that I would be going into my 16th professional fight July 29th instead of my 13th. Keeping this pace along with help from promotional team and trainer Orlando Cuellar has been instrumental.
BCB- Richard you guys at Bad Dog Productions, Leon Margules and Warriors boxing are not easily impressed and do not sign just any fighter who comes in off the street looking for a bout. How did Rances become part of the promotional banner?
Richard Dobal (Bad Dog Productions Rances co-promoter) - It was through one of our other fighters featherweight Luis Franco. We were starting to partner with Warriors boxing who was the exclusive promotion company for events at the Hard Rock in Miami. Franco is friends with Rances and brought him along to the gym one day for a workout. We were blown away by Rances size, speed and power, so we contacted Warriors. They were just as impressed when seeing him in action; Rances did not have a promoter so it was just natural for us invite him to be one of our fighters.
BCB- Rances out of your 12 wins 10 are by stoppage, an impressive KO% ratio for an upcoming fighter. Since turning pro thus far the longest you have been is 4 rounds, your opponent Gerardo Robles has gone 8 rounds at least 3 times. Should you need to go the full 8 will this work against you or do you feel confident in being able to finish strong?
RB- I don’t know if the knockouts have been a blessing for me or a negative. I never go into a fight looking for the knockout, if my bout is set for 6 rounds I go in with the mindset that I will be fighting for 6 rounds or whatever the distance might be. I make sure I train to go the full duration every time and I just let the knockout happen, if it does great but if not I am ready to finish every round. If you want to be successful you can’t go in expecting to win fights by KO, having that mindset it will hurt your career.
BCB- Your older brother Yan winning a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens must have been a great motivator for you coming up. Since turning professional Yan has had success but he has also had a few minor stumbles, have you been able to use Yan’s success and shortcomings to your advantage?
RB- Absolutely a motivator, when I look at Yan it is like looking in a mirror. I see the positives of his career and it helps me stay positive, I see mistake’s he may have made that caused some of the speed bumps he has experienced as a professional and I know to avoid them. Having an older brother in the same sport is an advantage.
BCB- We have had some great fighters over the years from Cuba, Kid Gavilan, Kid Chocolate and Joel Cassamayor to name a few. Currently we have Yuriorkis Gamboa, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara. How long do you think it will be before we are mentioning Rances Barthelemy alongside those names?
RB- Hopefully this bout is the first step in achieving that goal. Lack of TV exposure has hurt me greatly in that department, I had been on the schedule for swing bouts a few different occasions but I missed being aired due to time constraints. I have no complaints about it, my time will come when I am in a significant bout and when people see me my name will gain recognition. When that happens you will hear me mentioned along with the Gamboa’s, Rigondeaux’s and Lara’s.
BCB- If successful July 29th is up next for you or are you waiting to get past this bout before making any future plans?
RB- There is nothing scheduled currently, I am concentrating on Robles only right now and I am not looking past him at all. I would like to be able to see what’s coming next in the future for me but I can’t see into the future so I need to focus on my task ahead and worry about what’s next after.
BCB- Rances I know you are busy and have been in the gym working this morning, I want to thank you for speaking with me and wish you luck on the 29th. Next time we speak I hope our conversation begins with my calling you champ. Any last words to those out there who support you?
RB- Thank You for your time I appreciate the interview, I want to say hello to all the boxing fans out there and reassure you the next time we speak you can call me champ. I have been training at 100%; I am ready for this bout so I know I can win.
BCB- Good Luck, I look forward to the bout.
FNF- Raising the bar in boxing excitement!
By: Daxx Kahn - July 18, 2011
2011 has been darn exciting thus far minus a few stumbles and bouts that failed expectations. Bernard Hopkins became the oldest world champion in history defeating Jean Pascal, Orlando Salido ended Juan Manuel Lopez impressive run, Jorge Arce stopped undefeated Wilfredo Vazquez JR claiming his 4th division world title, Manny Pacquiao banished Shane Mosley as a top tier fighter, Lucian Bute’s continued dominance as IBF Super Middleweight champion while waiting for the Super Six winner, Carl Froch’s win over Glen Johnson, Timothy Bradley’s unification title win over Devon Alexander and Andre Wards beat down of Arthur Abraham have all been more then we could ask for. Every bout mentioned either created cooler talk for Monday morning or cleared up some confusion in the perspective divisions they took place.
Everything cannot be all Peaches and Cream though because we have been tormented with never ending talk of Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather JR to the point “Gag” order’s should be placed on both camps, Tomaz Adamek in his quest toward earning his upcoming WBC Heavyweight title shot against Vitaly Klitschko on September 9th has been less than impressive despite defeating Kevin McBride in April perhaps showing inclination of a drab outcome, our long awaited over hyped heavyweight unification showdown between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye was simply dreadful. A horrible fiasco in Atlantic City July 9th when Paul Williams was unfairly given a nod over Erislandy Lara that brought the suspension of judges who participated in that bout helped highlight this year’s low points leaving a bad taste in fans mouths. The two true low points of 2011 happened so recently it has set a dismal tone for the rest of our upcoming year, understandable considering both bouts will leave long term “Black Eyes” on boxing and events like these have tendency to trigger domino effects of more like them to follow.
The ESPN Friday Night Fight’s series is one almost all boxing fans look forward to because it provides us our boxing fix in between high profile bouts and die-hard fans appreciate the action despite the level of those involved. ESPN FNF series also provides news around the sport for casual fans that do not have the time to follow boxing’s events in depth. It allows fighters on the slide a chance to rebuild fan followings or last ditch moments in a spotlight and gives viewers first glance looks into what the future may hold for potential prospects. We have become reliant on ESPN FNF series for reasons mentioned yet many do not expect too much from the series because competition from other major networks lowered the amount of elite caliber fighters who take place in ESPN bouts due to budget negotiations. These last few weeks through well thought of matchmaking FNF has been just as if not more exciting than its competition putting pressure on those other networks and its fighters to step it up. These last two weeks the FNF fighters could possibly have raised the bar too high making expectations for other network events unreasonable. I sit here against the fence trying to figure out if this is a good thing or bad!
The July 8th addition of FNF had a sizzling card topped off with Super Middleweight’s Jesus Gonzales and Francisco Rivera vying for the division’s vacant NABF belt. The two men fought intensely traded knockdowns and ended with Gonzales winning by unanimous decision, before the night’s end fans were swarming the internet stating they hoped Saturday’s high profile bouts were half as thrilling. Slated for Saturday was Lucian Bute vs. Jean Paul Mendy for Bute’s IBF Super Middleweight crown, Brandon Rios vs. Urbano Antillon in a grudge match for Rios WBA lightweight strap, Paul Williams vs. Erislandy Lara and Kermit Cintron vs. Carlos Molina in 154lb showdowns. All are higher profile fighters then those who fought on ESPN and only Rios vs. Antillon matched the intensity of the FNF card.
July 15th FNF had Raymond Serrano vs. Daniel Sostre in an action packed 8 round welterweight opener with Serrano coming out winner by UD and their main event consisted of Pawel Wolak a come forward all action brawler looking to slug with Delvin Rodriguez at 154lbs. Delvin was returning after a year layoff and his prior four bouts before the layoff had not favored him well so expectations originally had been limited on what Rodriguez could provide. Instead of a Wolak showcase as many expected we were treated to an all-out war! Wolak fought his usual non-stop full onslaught style giving Rodriguez pressure he was hoping to avoid while Rodriguez stayed in the pocket relaxed throwing back everything he received never wilting even slightly something Wolak was hoping would not happen. When the affair ended Rodriguez was exhausted, Wolak was swollen with a hematoma above the right eye, fans stood screaming and judges scored it a draw. Guess what? Those results brought not one complaint by fans, broadcasters or even the fighters themselves as it had been that good! In the post-fight interview both men acted like gentleman, there were no excuses why each man could not execute certain strategies, both stated what they could have done better and both applauded one another’s efforts. It seemed almost strange to witness such behavior after what has taken place recently in boxing. Was this bout a thriller by accident or did ESPN put more thought into making the matchup then we did in terms of how the bout could turn out?
I do not want to get overly excited or begin patting anyone on the back prematurely because it has only been 2 weeks in a row that FNF has raised the standard for televised bouts but if they have a few more events like these past two it will put immense pressure on HBO and Showtime to add a wider variety of fan friendly bouts. It could also encourage those holding pay per view events in 2011 to consider what they are asking fans to spend $50 on considering those same fans are provided quality action packed showdowns by ESPN free. It could cause even the sternest followers to reconsider shelling out hard earned duckets for minor reward.
Hopefully we have not yet witnessed the best of FNF this year, even if we have they already set the bar for every other outlet to aspire toward. Obviously ESPN knows it is not always the status of fighters that produce the best bouts but styles. Unless other networks can televise bouts remotely close in terms of excitement look for viewing audiences to drop and money to be lost. If ESPN continues to provide quality like that as of late and others do not follow suit for one reason or another personally I am not going to put up a fuss because more than not ESPN fighters of today are boxing’s top stars of tomorrow. It’s always nice having something to look forward to.
Chris Arreola- The fighter we wish was champion!
By: Daxx Kahn July 09, 2011
Heavyweight contender Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola has had the boxing public’s full attention since 2006 when he racked off six straight stoppage victories, in 2007 after stopping then heavyweight title hopeful Malcolm Tann inside of 3 rounds, attentions increased twice fold and continued to increase until his showdown in December of 2009 with WBC heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko. The bout would take place at Los Angeles’s Staple Center Arreola’s back yard, yet despite that advantage Chris would lose by RTD 10 after giving a valiant effort. His loss was not looked upon harshly though by neither critics nor fans considering Klitschko has been such a dominate champion. Returning three months later to stop Brian Minto inside of 4 rounds the Klitschko loss seemed nothing more than a stumble. April of 2010 when he faced off against former two division champion Tomaz Adamek different questions did arise not only to the public but seemingly Chris Arreola himself.
The night would start out well for Arreola, fighting at the Citizen’s Bank Arena in his home state of California with a house full of supporters, outsizing his opponent by 2 inches and 30lbs Chris pushed Adamek back with his punches keeping a solid pace. Rounds one through three were Arreola’s with little doubt, at the end of round three Adamek began having issues with a shoe because the sole had separated and he was unable to move well adding to Chris’s advantage. When the bell sounded to end round four Adamek’s corner taped the shoe repairing the split allowing Adamek full mobility and ability to move freely, with Tomaz picking up his pace momentum began to swing towards his favor as Arreola’s stamina faded. When it came time to read the scorecards a swollen discouraged Arreola had suffered his second loss in seven months. Questions flooded Monday’s media headlines most often directed towards Arreola’s dedication in training and his lack of defensive focus. Chris was stopped by Klitschko seven months prior because he was practically impossible for the WBC heavyweight King to miss, Adamek who is by no means a big puncher at heavyweight had swollen his face and shut one eye backing up the need for improved defense. Chris had not been less than 250lbs for a fight since June of 2008 hinting roadwork and cardio also were not a concern in training camp. If adjustments were not made Arreola would have to rely strictly on punching power to remain a top contender, history has proven punching power can get you far but has severe limitations, those limitations often shorten careers severely!
David Haye entered the heavyweight division in 2008 after a stint as cruiserweight champion. He possessed one punch knockout power and a brash attitude that had fans hoping would liven up the drab weight class. When he became the WBA heavyweight title holder after defeating Nicolay Valuev November of 2009 his trash talk against the Klitschko’s began immediately, fooling many into thinking a new era might be on the horizon. That trash talk turned to a garbage quality performance when Haye was dominated by Wladimir Klitschko July 2nd 2011, it left hopeful fans once again disgruntled with heavyweight boxing. Truth is since turning heavyweight Haye has been anything but exciting inside the ring and his talk is what kept fans wanting to see what happens next. Dull affair after dull affair against opponents long past their best we were given promises that next time things would be different. Once defeating Monte Barrett he promised to destroy Nicolay Valuev, despite his title win it was a boring event Haye fought safely, the same promises did not happen when he faced John Ruiz or Audley Harrison. They were stoppage wins against faded opponents, one who kept a minimal schedule the other was never a top ten fighter in his best day. Since being duped by Haye’s talk and false promises fans will more than likely not be duped by another heavyweight fighters words again, at least not in the near future. Chris Arreola is a fighter not talking, Chris Arreola is not calling out names or making promises. Chris Arreola is letting his actions speak for him.
Since losing to Adamek in April of 2010 Arreola has fought four times, during that time he has worked hard in the gym bringing his weight from mid-250 down to mid-230. His physique is not and has never been chiseled but it’s tremendously obvious how much slimmer he is with increased stamina without a loss in power. Arreola has been very open about his new training habits, posting workouts on YouTube.com in attempts to share his new found attitude when preparing for bouts. His busy fight schedule allows him to put his hard work to use while helping figure out what areas need more focus.
Arreola has attempted to revamp himself before but has never seemed so dedicated, with continued dedication along with his current skillset Arreola can return some needed attention back to the heavyweight’s legitimately. Should Arreola also improve his defense at minimum he can be the divisions number three man.
In top condition Arreola versus David Haye, Eddie Chambers, Alexander Povetkin, Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora, Tony Thompson or an Adamek rematch would all be fan friendly. While the Klitschko brothers assume number one and number two ratings at heavyweight Arreola would be the man all the top contender’s target. Since Wladimir and Vitaly have beaten just about everyone there is to beat Arreola would be the man they all sought if they have hopes on receiving another title shot, this would force them to face each other as well, generating movement among the ranks.
These are all just assumptions and hopes of course but it is possible, at minimum to see Arreola against some names mentioned would make bouts worth taking interest in. I personally hope Arreola can keep up what he is doing so something can happen, Chris was once the “Next Big Thing” at heavyweight and at 30 years old there is no reason why he can’t assume that role once again.
Even if Arreola only keeps up his new outlook long enough to gain another title shot I would not be overly disappointed because at least he will enter the bout looking to win sparing us the grief of having to hear endless rants leading up to and sorry excuses after. If Arreola should win a world title unlike David Haye I can almost be certain he would make sure he did his best to keep it instead of being happy just to be there. What more could be asked of a champion?
REMEMBERING FORMER LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION BILLY COSTELLO 1956-2011
BY: DAXX KAHN, June 30, 2011
I had an article about this weekend’s upcoming heavyweight title bout between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye prepared to head up my column until Mondays results. I had a pretty good debate on why and why not the bout was worth the attention along with status of “Super Fight” but when hearing of Billy Costello’s death Wednesday afternoon after a long battle with lung cancer I lost steam on that topic. At this year’s 2011 Hall Of Fame induction weekend a group of us spoke among each other about Billy hoping he somehow would get well and reminisced on his career. Genaro Hernandez had just passed away from his battle with cancer a few days prior so thoughts of another one of our sporting favorites suffering the same fate was a bit depressing and with the event being a celebration we did our best not to let the moment dampen our good time. I knew Billy only on a professional level and once while covering a fight card in Albany he judged that I had totally disagreed on the score it became habit for me to bust his chops whenever I covered cards where he was a judge. I would sit behind him or inside the ring barrier taking pictures constantly ask him if he was watching or I would say “Wow did you see that combo Billy” when a fighter would land one worth mentioning. He would usually give me a look indicating I should shut up and once even verbally told me so but always when leaving at the end of the card I would shake his hand and he would tell me see you next time. The last time I talked to Billy was at a local card in Poughkeepsie New York on July 10 2007 while doing a story on Featherweight and co-main event fighter Luis Del Valle. I sat no more than 3 feet from Billy next to the ring apron for about 6 or so bouts but was breaking in a new photographer so the most I said to him was “How are things champ”, shook his hand and went about my business. Billy’s prime and his championship reign happened before I was a teenager but for all my years I will remember Billy for his first title defense against Ronnie Shields that took place at Kingston’s Municipal Auditorium on July 15th 1984 almost 23 years before the last time I spoke with him.
I was eleven years old and had just met Floyd Patterson a week or two before coming out of a gas station in Poughkeepsie with my father’s youngest brother Lou we always called “ Uncle Spider”. I had been jazzed because I knew Floyd fought Ali and at that age Ali to me was just short of a god. Once I had gotten Floyd’s autograph Spider asked me if I wanted to see live fights in Kingston coming up with our local world champion Billy Costello defending his belt for the main event, I had no idea who Billy was but at 11 any fights were a big deal to me. We attended the card and Billy defended his belt in fairly impressive fashion defeating Shields by unanimous decision. On our way out my uncle was able to grab a fight poster off the wall and I must have shown it to every kid I knew over the next month bragging about Billy’s defense. My only knowledge about the sport then is what my Father had taught me, most of that was about fighters from the 1930-1950’s because he had a small film collection and would let me watch them with him on our projector using the wall for a screen. He mainly concentrated on heavyweights and middleweights so anything below was foreign to me, with my poster and single viewing of Billy Costello though suddenly had me thinking I was his fan club president.
I would attend more fights, see more on television and start learning about boxing as a whole the next couple of years. Billy lost his title just after my 12th birthday and when he faced Alexis Arguello in 2006 a fighter my whole family revered my interest in him would fade by time I had reached my teens. I never gave thought how much that first time I seen Billy would mean to me later in life, I also never expected to become a diehard boxing fan that would take up the sport as amateur then journalist. I can’t say it would have mattered if it was Billy Costello or Joe the Plumber I seen that night in Kingston, the experience that has stuck with me and I have shared that story with my kids several times, chance has it that it was Billy Costello. Kind of funny in a coincidental way how I would run into Billy decades later while covering bouts and end up busting stones, especially since at one time I was in awe of his professional status. I might not even have given Billy’s passing the in-depth thought I have if not for the fact the man who brought me to see Billy defend his belt all those years ago had not passed away in April from the very same illness. Hopefully if they ever meet up Billy does not hold Uncle Spider responsible for the aggravation that wise ass journalist would give him later in life.
Thanks for all the memories in the ring and out, you will forever be remembered as a champion.
Rosendo Alvarez- Tell them “El Bufalo” is Back!
By: Daxx Kahn, June 22, 2011
Rosendo Alvarez has been training and thinking for six straight months now. Thinking about the past, present and his future. Past thoughts have been on prior mistakes, achievements and promotional issues. Present thoughts have been about going to the gym, getting in top condition making sure he stays mentally focused. His future thoughts have been on the certainty of once again repeating those past moments this time minus the mistakes and heartache. One thing he has not thought about was turning 41 years old last May 6th because currently in boxing age no longer dictates when permanent retirement looms. The loss of a fighter’s natural physical ability is being taken away by “Father Time” later then in past eras. Bernard Hopkins proved that by becoming boxing’s oldest title holder in history defeating a much younger Jean Pascal for the Light Heavyweight Championship May 25th 2011, Glen Johnson proves it by continuing on a world class level approaching his mid 40’s, Grady Brewer proved it by stopping upcoming highly thought of world ranked prospect Fernando Guerrero on ESPN’s most recent airing of Friday Night Fight’s claiming a minor belt for his effort and Rosendo Alvarez sees no reason why his name cannot be included in that list.
This is the same Rosendo Alvarez that held a WBA minimum weight title making 5 defenses before losing it to all-time great Ricardo Lopez by split decision. When Alvarez lost his belt to Lopez he changed scenery moving up to light flyweight, shortly later Rosendo would again possess a WBA crown. This time the title win would come March 2003 over undefeated Beibis Mendoza who held a light flyweight victory over Alvarez via round 7 DQ, as the pair had met just around 8 months prior for the divisions then vacant WBA title. Alvarez only other loss came in his last bout April 2006, when he challenged Jorge Arce for the WBC interim title losing by 6th round KO, Arce was on a 26 bout win streak going into the match up.
Since his time away Rosendo Alvarez has been taking care of his personal life, fixing issues that were looming with his former promoter Don King, resting his body and waiting for a perfect moment to return, from what is being said as of now that return is scheduled in September. He will make his return at a higher weight class then he left, it is a weight class packed with big names and pound for pound rated champions. Most notably would be Nonito Donaire, Vic Darchinyan, Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko. Attempting a return in the bantamweight division at 41yrs old after being away for five years could mean either Alvarez is reaching beyond what he should or he is about to join boxing’s 40 plus club that has members such as those mentioned above and will be making the youngsters of today appear to be underachievers.
I spoke to Rosendo this past Saturday with his Trainer Marco Caballero present; we discussed why he believes this return will be successful, what went wrong previously and his new positive outlook as a 41 year old former champion. A former champion ready to take on a division chocked with talented younger elite caliber warriors who are not going just allow Alvarez to get another chance on the big stage without something being said about it.
Daxx Kahn- Rosendo, Marcos good speaking with you both today, I know Rosendo has had a big workout. How long have you been back in the gym Rosendo?
Rosendo Alvarez- I have been back in training for about six months now, I was debating it for a while, my girlfriend encouraged me after talking about it with her, she said “Yes it is what you love and do best” so it motivated me. Last time my then promoter Don King did not do justice by me, I dealt with promotional issues for some time, even after my last bout. I am no longer signed with King and I am ready to start fresh.
DK- Five years away from the sport without even a single fight, you are now 41 how will it affect you or has it effected your training thus far? A long time to be away and return to a full fighter’s training regimen at any age let alone 41.
RA- I like the gym; I like to work hard in the gym. I don’t mind it and I am handling it well, coming in everyday giving it my all has me in good shape. I will soon be in top shape ready to step inside the ring.
DK- When do you think that time to step back inside the ring will be and at what weight class?
RA- like I said I train hard, I like the gym. I have been working everyday with Marcos Caballero and his son Randy. In September I will be able to step in at 118lbs with anyone willing, after that I will continue to train harder, keep busy and later on hopefully 115lbs.
DK- I am not trying to keep harping on about your age but in the lighter weight classes we all know speed is very important, we also know that speed in one of the first things to leave a fighter, it’s is the added five year layoff with the age that I have to wonder about. Do you think that time off has served as an asset for you, allowing your body to regenerate from what damage it absorbed during your career prior.
RA- I think so, my girlfriend told me “Your only 41, Bernard Hopkins is 46 and just became the Light Heavyweight Champion”. I am a natural inside the ring; my experience will serve me well also. I have been fighting my whole life for my friends, family, for myself. I became a champion in the past multiple times, I did it with less discipline I have now, maybe discipline is something I should have had more of then. The past is the past; it is time to work towards my future. If I am well trained, if I use my discipline, my ability I will become a champion again.
DK- Fighting at 118lbs is several weight classes from your championship days, the punches are harder and right now the division is packed with top caliber fighters some rated pound for pound. Will the size difference be something you feel you will need extra time to adjust getting used to?
RA- No it won’t I started out in this sport a 115lb fighter, that was a well-trained 115lbs, I was asked to fight at 105lbs by my promoter and other people involved with my promoter to help make a fight. I was successful and they wanted me to stay there, it was very hard making the weight, I would have to double the road work, double everything and eat almost nothing to make weight. I was able to do it long enough to win a championship, I was able to maintain and defend the title 5 times before losing to Ricardo Lopez. I moved up after the loss but even a weight class higher was difficult to make and I won a world title belt there also still pushing myself to make weight. 118lbs is good for me and like I mentioned maybe 115lbs if I am able to later. I can make this weight and make it training proper, keeping healthy in doing so yet giving it my hardest efforts.
DK- Are all your promotion issues with Don King now settled? Was it promotional issues that helped you decide to retire after the Jorge Arce Loss or did you just feel it was time?
RA- I combination of things, I was going through personal problems outside the ring as well. I was dealing with a divorce, I was unhappy with my promotional situation and I did not train the way I should have for Arce, I never spoke about it before and I am not using it as an excuse because I should have been more focused. After the fight I went back to the dressing room and everyone had just left me there. I was in my dressing room alone with no one to even leave the building with.
DK- That solidified you decision to leave then despite you still had a contract that was in effect? There were fights still fights available for you.
RA- I have been fighting since I was a kid; I had to learn to defend not only myself but family and friends young. I was offered a chance to fight Abner Mares after the Arce loss, I would have made good money, my promoter Don King said no and would not allow it. I lost all motivation after that, my promoter was preventing me from making a living; I did not even want to train after that.
DK- Who are you being promoted by now?
RA- Currently I am in negotiations with a promoter, I have been offered in the past by Golden Boy Promotions to have an opportunity with them. After I step back in the ring it will give me more opportunities.
DK- If you could say in one sentence something to let the fighters know they should be put on notice and they should worry what would it be?
RA- “EL BUFLO IS BACK”
DK- Good Luck Rosendo.
RA- Thank You
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR WINS WBC MIDDLEWEIGHT GOLD, BUT IS HE READY FOR THE BIG TIME?
BY: DAXX KAHN, June 06, 2011
Saturday June 4th Julio Cesar Chavez JR followed in his legendary father’s footsteps by claiming a WBC title belt. The middleweight championship win came by unanimous decision over long time veteran and WBC interim middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik who fights out of Germany and has a reputation for being a fundamentally sound fighter with little power, so little in fact that out of his 30 wins only ten have come by way of stoppage.
Zbik showed superior speed and movement throughout the bout early, Chavez who looked almost two weight classes larger had a hard time catching Zbik on the outside and an even harder time sustaining a string of steady jabs that would allow him to step in and let loose his superior power. Once the young Mexican fighter did manage to get close Zbik held down Chavez head in a way similar to that of a Maui Thai plumb minus the knees of course, the tactic seemed to backfire on the German titlist because once his head was held low Chavez was able to unleash a nonstop attack to Zbiks body that had the German fighter often wincing in pain. When looking back on the bout the infighting made for an entertaining evening by not allowing a “Cat and Mouse” routine as it was clear Zbik had no intention on squaring up with his younger foe and Chavez JR certainly did not have enough speed to chase Zbik down. Come the start of round ten both fighters looked to be tired due to styles employed by each man, unless a person has experienced such situations it can be difficult to describe how physically draining it can be for a person to pull your neck forward while you attempt to unleash your attack and what effect constant body punching at any angle can implore.
After 12 entertaining rounds the final result was a legit not interim WBC middleweight champion since Sergio Martinez was no longer considered the WBC world champion after stopping Paul Williams March of 2011 to become the “Diamond” belt holder. With that result some questions on both Sebastian Zbik and Julio Cesar Chavez JR were brought to surface. Questions that may very well be important in terms of what direction the 160lb division is headed toward the future.
Zbik is clearly a talented fighter who possesses a solid chin; it is his power that might restrain his career from reaching world title status again at least anytime soon. Up until last Saturday Zbik has fought primarily in Germany with a few slight exceptions but he has never fought outside Europe. Once Zbik returns to Germany he might pick up exactly where he left off facing decent B caliber opponents garnering enough wins that should the right time present itself he could fight for another world title, more than likely winning it on a decision because a stoppage over another world class opponent at this juncture is very unlikely. At minimum he can return to fighting, continue his career with a fair amount of success even picking up some regional or minor titles based strictly on thoughts of fighting at or near home for the duration. It is possible that Zbik rebuilds himself adds a little bit more power to his repertoire then returns as a threat to the top tier of 160lbs, I mention adding a little bit more power if he is capable because Zbik can box very well punch minus pop is Sebastian’s weakness . What is next for him remains to be seen but certainly his career is not near over.
Julio Cesar Chavez JR is a whole different story with him we have a legacy in boxing that is only 25yrs old with unlimited potential except for a certain obvious few things that need corrected sooner than later. Despite his now being a world title holder it is clear JC Jr. cannot box!! Yes he has 43 wins with 30 by stoppage but Zbik proved that once Julio is put in a situation he isn’t used to there is no plan B. A world class fighter who continuously had his head pulled down by an opponent with much less power that did not throw punches while doing so is one who has serious work to do inside the gym, also a fighter who holds a world championship that possesses zero defense and to this day has not proven he can sit down on punches to hurt another top tier opponent is one that has trouble coming his way. Potential is a great thing to have when you are young but that potential needs to be built on, without sounding insulting because I like the kid and have hopes for his future career Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has been fighting less than stellar opposition thus far, he has beaten a large quantity of what old timers used to call “Cab Drivers” meaning second rate or part time fighters, he has defeated some B level competition many on the way out and while speaking honest here if his father was not the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez SR we would know almost nothing of junior if based on merit alone.
Currently Julio has one thing going for him and many against him. The one thing in his favor is he’s marketable! Even the most casual fans know his father and are interested in what the son can offer, so money is to be made, add the fact he is undefeated at least for the moment he can draw fans who are interested in making comparisons between father and son, once a loss occurs that marketability will drop dramatically. His lack of world caliber experience is overly apparent, it is also apparent his defense could be called almost mediocre at best. Most importantly Sebastian Zbik exposed the fact any fighter with decent power and fair boxing ability can hit Julio at will because Zbik did hit Julio often even snapping the head back on occasion. Since Saturdays title win a huge target has been put on the back Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Currently Arthur Abraham who is now out of Showtime’s Super 6 Super Middleweight tournament, Kelly Pavlik who is just one fight removed from being a middleweight, WBA title holder Felix Sturm, IBF title holder Daniel Geale, hard hitting contender Andy Lee and Dmitry Pirog are all seething at the idea of facing this young champion with poor defense, inability to fully get his potential power off when need be and name that can attract dollars.
I hope someone has informed Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. these men will be hunting for him, I hope they told him they can all hit harder than Sebastian Zbik did and I mostly hope they are going to work even at this moment to fix what flaws are transparent because if not then Mexico’s younger Chavez will reign as a champion for only the amount of time his promoter can finagle “Suitable” opposition. When comparing the quality of those who sit in the middleweight top ten skills wise and the flaws that young Chavez after 44 professional bouts that finagling can last only so long.
The Chavez express is rolling along nicely, it is a trip that if handled correctly should bring great things for this young man. Should things be handled poorly and the trip will end quickly, maybe even sooner than anyone expects, certainly sooner than 25 year old Julio Cesar Chavez JR expects. Let’s hope that is not the case because with the pedigree behind him and those who handle his career I see no reason why this young man should have nothing but great things ahead of him.