Billy C's: In My Opinion......


Bill Calogero

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Lemieux KO’s Stevens in three
By: Bill Calogero – Ringside - March 11, 2017

Verona, NY – David Lemieux stopped Curtis Stevens with a devastating left in the third round of their scheduled 12-round middleweight fight, which was the main event of a great card from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, broadcast on HBO.

The fireworks between Lemieux and Stevens started when the bell rang to start the first round. Both fighters landed hard shots on each other. Stevens seemed to have the tighter defense during the first and second rounds and looked like he was banking on taking Lemieux into the later rounds.

David Lemieux had other plans. Although he let his hands go freely during the first and most of the second, he began the third choosing his shots more carefully. Lemieux positioned Stevens against the ropes, threw a right hand, which Stevens tried to counter but David’s crushing left hook got to its target first, sending Curtis crumbling to the canvas, out cold. Referee Charlie Fitch waved it off immediately as Stevens lay motionless.

Curtis Stevens regained consciousness as he was removed from the ring on a stretcher.

The official time of the knockout was 1:59 of the third round. David Lemieux improves to 37-3 (33 KOs) and Curtis Stevens drops to 29-6 (21 KOs).

In the co-main event, Yuriorkis Gamboa won a ten-round unanimous decision over Rene Alvarado in a less than action-packed fight. Gamboa showed glimpses of excitement in the ring, letting his hands go, but for the most part, he fought a cautious fight against an opponent he should have had his foot firmly on the gas pedal.  

Alvarado caught Yuriorkis with a shot that put him down in the final round, but it was a flash-knock-down and did not seem to be hurt Gamboa at all. In the end, two of the three judges scored the fight 97-92 and the third saw it 97-93 giving Gamboa the win. Yuriorkis Gamboa improves to 26-1 (17 KOs) and Rene Alvarado drops to 24-8 (16 KOs).

In undercard action:
Yves Ulysse won via a TKO when Zachary Ochoa’s corner stopped the fight at the end of the 7th round of their Super Lightweight contest. Ulysse improves to 13-0 (9 KOs) and Zachary Ochoa loses for the first time, dropping to 10-1 (7 KOs). Keep an eye on Yves Ulysse.

Diego De La Hoya won an eight-round decision over Roberto Pucheta to improve to 17-0 (9 KOs) in a Jr. Featherweight match-up. De La Hoya needs to step up his competetion, but then again, it looks like his team are well aware of his short-comings. In my opinion, a fighter at 16 or 17 and 0 should have taken care of Pucheta prior to the final bell.  De La Hoya has a long way to go.

D’Mitrius Ballard stopped Zoltan Sera at 1:16 of the 4th round in their Super Middleweight bout to improve to 16-0 (12 KOs). Zoltan Sera drops to 26-12 (17 KOs).

Alex Rincon made his pro debut a successful one by stopping Shaun Lee Henson with a body shot at 52 seconds of the second round in their middleweight fight. Rincon is now 1-0 (1 KO) and Henson drops to 3-3 (2 KOs).

Damon Allen Jr. improved to 11-0-1 (5 KOs) by stopping Adam Mate at 1:05 of the second round of their lightweight fight. Mate drops to 24-11 (17 KOs).

Todd Unthank-May and Quinton Rankin fought to a split DRAW decision in their light-heavyweight contest. Unthank-May is now 10-0-1 (4 KOs) and Rankin 12-3-2 (9 KOs).

Another great night of boxing at the Turning Stone.






Remembering Muhammad Ali

Billy C & Sal "Rocky" Cenicola remember Muhammad Ali and open up the phone lines to hear some thoughts from the fans during a special episode of The Billy C Morning Show on 06-04-2016.










Too Many Titles = Less Value – We Need One World Champion Per Division!
By: Bill Calogero – – May 20, 2016

Once upon a time in the World of Professional Sports, to be labeled as Boxing’s “Heavyweight Champion Of The World” was the best honor you could obtain, as a professional athlete, hands down.   When kids played games like king of the mountain; when you won, you were “The Champion Of The World”.

As a boxing fan, it was easy to follow the sport of boxing when there were eight weight divisions and only one champion per division. The NORM was to become a pro fighter, work your way to being a prospect, then a contender. Since there was only one World Champion in each division, to make it into the top-ten contender list meant something. If you were the number ten ranked middleweight in the World, you were a dam good fighter.

Today we have seventeen weight divisions. We have a plethora  of sanctioning bodies, which all have titles in all of weight divisions. World Champions have become much too common, but it gets worse.

Let’s look at the top FOUR sanctioning bodies: WBC, WBO, IBF and the WBA. Of the top four, each one could have many world Champions in EACH division. For example, if we look at the Middleweight Division, each sanctioning body listed above could have a Super World Champion, a Regular World Champion, an Interim World Champion, a Champion Emeritus and a Champion in Recess. That ‘s FIVE middleweights all claiming to be the Middleweight Champion “Of The World”….all in ONE sanctioning body! Multiply that by four and we can conceivably have twenty middleweight fighters claiming to be the “Middleweight Champion Of The World.”

Add that each sanctioning body has their OWN top ten contenders, and you could have another pool of over forty fighters claiming to be a top-ten fighter.

What true value is there in being a World Champion? The value is a smoke screen made by the big promoters and TV Networks. They, for some reason, think the only way a fight will sell as a PPV or get great viewing numbers is if it’s for a “World Title”.

The other factor is that today, a manager and or promoter of a fighter feeds a potential good fighter a steady diet of cupcakes in order to build up his/her record so a network or larger promoter will have interest. Once that happens, the money in the sport of boxing can be made by the fighter and his team.

That is all great for the fighter, but what about the fan? What about the sport? Fighters used to want to prove they were the best by fighting the best. If that meant going up or down in weight, they did it…to prove they were the best.

Today, we see fighters who look for the easiest route to making big money that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I think all fighters should make as much money as possible, but the truth is fighters are not real fighters unless they are willing to fight the real fights.

The best way a young fighter can progress is to have his team find him progressively harder fights each time out in order to give the fighter the chance to GET BETTER.

A question I always ask during my show is this: If the best football team played the worst team every week for an entire season and went undefeated, are they really the best team?

Boxing needs to refocus on what made it the great sport it is. Young fighters need to fight. Fans need to support the local club shows and support their local fighters. The fighters must not be afraid to fight real fights. Most of all, the fans need to understand that a fighter with some losses, is not a bad fighter! The FAN drives the sport of boxing. If boxing continues on the course it’s currently on, today’s fan WILL lose interest. How could they not? When you have fights that have lines so out of whack, that you have to put up over $10,000 to win $100, something is wrong.

When we can all look to one fighter in each division as the “Champion of The Word” again, boxing will be back. As far as I know, there is only one world, so we should only have one World Champion for each division.  

We have one Football Champion. We have one Baseball Champion. We have one Hockey Champion. We have one Basketball Champion.

We need to have one Champion per division in Boxing. It’s time to right the ship!





Willie Monroe Jr. Tops Brian Vera
By: Bill Calogero - Ringside - January 16, 2015

Verona, New York – Willie Monroe Jr. won a unanimous ten-round decision over Brian Vera to retain his NABA & NABO Middleweight Titles as the main event at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, broadcast live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

Monroe controlled the fight from start to finish by using his superior hand speed and accuracy throughout the ten-round middleweight contest. He was able to counter punch very effectively, landing flush shots to the head of Vera, seemingly whenever he wanted to do so.

Vera, known for his toughness, had his best round during the 4th when he worked Monroe’s body relentlessly, but failed do any better than that throughout the encounter.

Monroe scored a knockdown during the fifth when Vera missed wildly with a punch that threw him off balance causing his glove to touch the canvas.

This was a signature victory for Monroe who should benefit nicely from a win over his best opponent to date.

Vera may want to consider hanging up the gloves, now losing his last four fights, three in the boxing ring and one in the pit for BKB.

One judge scored the fight 98-91, one had it 97-92 and the third saw it at 99-90 all in favor of Willie Monroe Jr. who improves to 19-2 (6 KOs). Brian Vera drops to 23-9 (14 KOs).

In the co-main event, Brandon Adams stopped Lekan Aken Byfield at 1:58 of the 2nd round to improve to 15-1 (10 KOs) in their scheduled eight-round middleweight match-up. Lekan Aken Byfield drops to 6-7-2 (1 KO).

Cornelius Whitlock dropped Greg Jackson with a devastating overhand right in the second round of their scheduled four-round welterweight contest. It looked as if the fight was over, however Jackson managed to get up and survive the round. During the third round, Jackson landed several hard shots, including two upper-cuts that sent Whitlock into the corner taking shot after shot and after not responding, the referee jumped in to stop the fight at 1:20 of the round. Jackson improves to 4-1-1 (2 KO) and Whitlock, who said, “I thought it was a quick stoppage”, drops to 3-2-1 (2 KOs).

Taras Shelestyuk improved to 10-0 (7 KOs) when he stopped Antonio Fernandez at 1:41 of the first of a scheduled eight-round welterweight contest. Fernandez, who was out cold, drops to 4-19-1.

Vitor Jones de Oliveira destroyed Michael Doyle at 1:24 of the first round of their scheduled six round lightweight match-up to improve to 8-0  (5 KOs). Doyle drops to 2-14-1 (1 KO).

In the opening bout of the evening, Cameron Allen won a four-round decision over Borngod Washington to improve to 6-17 (3 KOs) in their light heavyweight match-up. Washington drops to 3-16 (1 KO).






Finally a boxing referee elected to a hall of fame who actually deserves it
By: Bill Calogero – January 10, 2015

After suffering though several recent boxing referees, who have been elected to various halls of fame based on, in my opinion, questionable resumes,  the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame finally put someone in who deserves to be recognized as a Hall of Famer!

Ron Lipton was elected into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as part of its 2014 class.

Lipton has been involved in the sport of boxing his entire life. He is a former standout amateur fighter, a well-known and respected trainer, a boxing writer and historian and a teacher. When you add his performance inside the ring as a referee, it becomes a no-brainer.

Ron Lipton has refereed some of the biggest names in the sport of boxing and has done so around the world. He has never once been involved in a shameful display of refereeing or in any type of controversy.  He enters the ring in shape and ensures that the fighters abide by the rules and are safe at all times.

With the seemingly majority of referees we see out there today who seem to focus on getting themselves on TV, or coining a phase, or saying and doing things that draw attention to themselves, rather than the fighters and the fight that’s going on, Ron Lipton’s induction into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame is a breath of fresh air.

To watch Ron Lipton’s Hall of Fame induction CLICK HERE

CLICK here for Ron Lipton’s Bio

Click here for Ron and Brett Lipton.





Photo By: DownTown Leona Brown


Miller Retains WBF North American Light Heavyweight Title
By: Bill Calogero - Ringside - August 15, 2014

Saratoga, New York – Shawn Miller retained his World Boxing Federation North American Light Heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over Frank Filippone as the main event of a seven-bout card from Saratoga, New York, promoted by Take It Light Promotions.

The fight was an evenly matched contest from the beginning to the end. Both fighters seemed to know a lot about each other, despite meeting for the very first time. Filippone took the early rounds on the judges’ scorecards by out working Miller. Although it seemed every round was close except for one, the first five belonged to Filippone.

Each fighter landed a solid shot or two throughout. Miller was warned for hitting a little low and was very close to having a point deducted. It looked like Miller’s plan was to work the body; however it seemed that Filippone had the exact same game plan.

The seventh round was the turning point of the fight. Miller put his foot on the gas pedal and was the busier fighter sensing Filippone was slowing down. When the eighth round started, Miller picked up where he left off, pressuring Filippone, who wanted to fight more on the outside and utilize his counter-punching abilities, but Shawn threw and landed a crushing right to the side of the head that sent Frankie Filippone down. He seemed stunned a bit, but held on to finish the round.

Filippone came back to win the ninth, but the tenth and final round belonged to Shawn Miller, securing the victory. Shawn Miller improves to 14-1-1 (5KO) and Frankie Filippone drops to 16-5-1 (3 KO).

In the co-main event, Rayford Johnson got up off the canvas in the 5th round to upset Vincent Miranda in front of all his fans with a devastating KO at 2:38 of the 6th round to improve to 10-16 (5KO) in a Cruiserweight contest. Miranda loses the second fight of his professional career, dropping to 16-2 (9 KOs).

Anton Williamson won a close four-round majority decision over Michael Pryor to make his pro debut a successful one in their Jr. Middleweight match-up. Two of the three judges scored it 39-37 while the third saw it even at 38-38. Pryor loses his first pro fight, dropping to 0-1-2.

In Heavyweight Action, Kimdo Bethel-Boykin and Aaron Kinch exchanged bombs for four rounds and in the end; the fight was ruled a draw as all three judges scored it the same, 38-38. Bethel-Boykin’s record now sits at 7-1-1 (5KO) and Kinch leaves with his now at 5-3-2 (1KO).

In a bizarre Jr. Welterweight fight that only lasted slightly over two minutes, Joe Gbolo & Phil Nazario left the ring with a NC added to both of their resumes when a clash of heads resulted in Nazario not being able to continue. The strangeness came when it appeared that Nazario’s corner was given time, during the fight to work on the cut, without a doctor in the ring and Gbolo in a neutral corner. When the official announcement was made a chorus of BOOs echoed throughout the near-full Saratoga Community Center. Both Joe Gbolo, 3-0-2 (1KO) and Phil Nazario, 0-3, add a NC to their resumes.

In a battle between two young undefeated Jr. Welterweights, William Madera stopped Victor Vasquez at 1:45 of the first round to improve to 3-0 (2 KO). Vasquez drops to 1-1.

Opening the night was a four-round light heavyweight matchup that was a chess match but in the end, Louis King improved to 2-1 (1 KO) when he won a unanimous decision over Donovan Scott, who was making his pro debut. One judge scored it 39-36, one had it at 39-37 and the third saw it at 38-37 giving King the victory. Scott drops to 0-1.

All in all, it was a great night of boxing with a strong showing of support for the local fighters from their fans which created an exciting evening of action. A lot of credit has to be given to the match-maker, Diana Rodriguez for matching the contests the way they should be matched, as entertaining and evenly matched fights.  





Hallback Looks For 4th World Title
By: Bill Calogero – July 22, 2014

Plant City, Florida – Future female boxing hall of famer, Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback, 29 -8 -2 (12 KO), will be facing former Champion Victoria Cisneros for the vacant World Boxing Federation World Welterweight Title on August 22 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

Hallback will be attempting to win her 4th world title in four different weight classes.

She won the WIBF World Featherweight title when she stopped International Women’s Boxing Hall of Famer, Bonnie Canino in the 7th round on March 6, 1998 in only her 5th pro fight.

“Fists of Steel” then moved up and captured the IBA World Super Featherweight Title when she won a ten-round decision over Alicia Ashley on August 27, 2002. She added the WIBA World Super Featherweight Title to her collection when she won a ten-round decision over Layla McCarter on July 2, 2004.

Hallback moved up again and on June 13, 2008 she won a ten-round decision over Jeannine Garside to capture the IFBA World Lightweight Title in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Chevelle Hallback, seeking out only the best, challenged Holly Holm for the vacant WIBA World Jr. Welterweight title and lost a hard-fought ten-round decision.  

When she decided to go to Denmark to Challenge Cecilia Braekhus, she thought she would at least get a fair shot at Braekhus’ WBC, WBO & WBA World Welterweight Titles. She was wrong. In what was a brutal body attack, Hallback seemingly went on to win a close decision over Braekhus, only to be robbed by the judges with their official decision to give the nod and the W to the house fighter.

Hallback traveled to France to fight the tough Myriam Lamare on November 11, 2011 for the vacant IBF Female Jr. Welterweight Title. Chevelle once again brutalized her opponent with a non-stop body attack that had the crowd on its feet from beginning to end. Her punches beat up Lamare so bad, that Myriam was taken to the hospital for treatment after the fight and missed her own post-fight party. Once again, the judges took history away from Chevelle Hallback, awarding a decision victory to the home-town fighter, who was also the promoter of the event.

It’s no wonder that there aren’t many female fighters in the world today that are willing to enter the ring with Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback. She was voted in the top twelve Female P4P fighters ALL TIME by Ring Magazine in 2012. She has held the prestigious WBAN Championship Belt and is sure to be a first-ballot hall of famer when she hangs up the gloves.  She has begged Braekhus and Lamare for rematches, but neither is willing to get back in the ring with her.

It was impossible for Chevelle to get a fight after the Lamare fight.  Anytime Hallback’s name got mentioned for a fight, the response was always NO.

Chevelle was ready to move on to the next phase of her boxing life.

But she wanted one more shot at a 4th World Title. She wanted one more shot at Cecilia Braekhus. She wanted one more shot at obtaining her life-long goal of being the first female fighter to fight on HBO.

Thanks to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Panda-5-Star Boxing Promotions and the World Boxing Federation, her dream was kept alive.

On June 13, 2014, Chevelle Hallback was the co-main event on the China Smith vs. Mike Sheppard for the vacant WBF North American Heavyweight Title card, held at the beautiful Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa Florida. She fought a very tough Dominga Olivo out of New York City.  

Panda-5-Star Boxing Promotions gave her a chance. The Tampa Bay Times Forum gave her a chance. The WBF, who has the BEST Female World Champions, collectively, in the sport of boxing today, told her that if she performed well in her comeback fight, an opportunity to fight for a WBF Title would be there.

In what was a triumphant return to the ring after a two and a half year hiatus, Hallback showed why she has the nickname, “Fists of Steel” when she stopped Olivo in two rounds in front of 3000 of her fans at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

 The dream is alive and well.

“I am so thankful to the World Boxing Federation, the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Panda 5-Star team for this opportunity”, stated Hallback in between training sessions. She added, “I will not let my fans down and I look forward to winning the WBF Female World Welterweight Title on August 22. If all goes well, I can fight a few more times in Tampa and who knows, maybe one of those times we will be coming at you from the Tampa Bay Times Forum on HBO. But for now, August 22 will be a great fight that I am sure no one will want to miss.”

It should be a classic. Hallback fought Cisneros on December 3, 2010 in an all-out war that resulted in an eight-round split-decision win for Chevelle Hallback. Cisneros has wanted a rematch ever since that night in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I thought I won our fight in 2010”, said Cisneros. She continued, “After that fight, Chevy promised me a rematch. Then, we were supposed to fight for a title in New York, but at the very last minute, the promoter cancelled the show. I know Chevy is a class act and I knew she would honor her promise of giving me a rematch and I’m glad it’s finally here. I know Chevelle is looking to win her 4th World Title and she will be in front of her fans, but I plan to come home to Albuquerque with the WBF World Welterweight Title in August. I have waited a long time for this and promise that this fight will be a war.”



Martez Potter Dominates Maurice Amaro
By: Bill Calogero – Ringside – June 26, 2014 -

Liverpool, NY – Martez Potter’s hand-speed, movement, aggression and most importantly, punch-output resulted in a dominating victory over Maurice Amaro in their six round super middleweight contest, which was the main event of another exciting night of boxing in upstate, Western- New York, thanks to JKJ Championship Promotions.

Both fighters came out aggressively right from the start of the first round, but Potter remained in control, despite some rough and tumble tactics employed by Amaro. Potter, who gave up size, height and reach to his opponent, was able to score the more effective punches throughout the six rounds of action by using his jab to set up power shots. Potter’s accuracy seemed to frustrate Amaro who began reaching into his rough & tumble bag of tricks by the third round, landing several low blows, punches behind the head and a few elbows.

During the fourth round, Maurice Amaro began to take on the look of a fighter that needed to make something happen so he resorted to a steady low-blow attack. This twisting of the rules resulted in several minutes given to Potter in order to recover from a low blow that sent him to the canvas. Referee Dick Pakozdi gave Amaro two warnings during this round, with one being a definite stern warning not to do it again or he would take a point.

However, after approximately forty-seconds into the 5th round, Amaro once again landed an extremely low-blow that sent Potter to the canvas writhing in pain. Potter would take almost four full minutes to recover and once he was ready to continue, Pakozdi took a point away from Amaro and warned him once again that if he didn’t knock it off, he would be disqualified.

The sixth and final round was the same as the previous five; Potter’s superior skill-set controlled the fight in every way.

All three judges scored the fight the same, 60-53 giving Martez Potter the unanimous win to improve to 5-0 (1 KO). The low-blow-punching Maurice Amaro drops to 2-7 (2 KOs).

In the Co-main event, Aleem Whitfield got the near capacity crowd in a complete and collective frenzy as he over-whelmed Michael Mitchell. This fight seemed to be a great test for Whitfield, who going into the fight was undefeated with all of his wins coming by way of KO. Add some pre-fight drama between the two and the result was a devastating first round KO victory for Whitefield to improve to 5-0, with all of his wins coming by way of knockout. The official time was 2:45 of the first round in a scheduled six-round Cruiserweight match-up.

Michael Mitchell, who hails from NJ, drops to 3-4-2 and looks to rebound.

Undercard Action:
In a surprising outcome, and somewhat confusing, Chad Campeau made his pro debut a successful one by winning a four-round unanimous decision over Luis King in their  Cruiserweight contest.

King landed a stinging right, followed by a left hook to the jaw that sent Campeau down in round two. When he got up, he still seemed a little woozy, and looked like he would hit the floor again, but did not.

King hurt him again in the third, but then ran out of gas for the fourth. It seemed that despite the first round being close, King clearly won the 2nd and the third rounds. However, the official judges ultimately are the ones who decide the outcome of a fight and all three saw it the same, 38-37 all in favor of Campeau, who is now 1-0. King drops to 1-1 (1 KO) and wants a rematch ASAP.

In a scheduled four-round Jr. Middleweight bout between Jimmy Garcia and Michael Black, it appeared the raucous crowd was in for a back and forth battle as both raced to the center of the ring at the sound of the bell and began throwing and landing punch after punch. As the two exchanged bombs, Garcia landed a solid three-punch combination that floored Black. He was able to get up and was allowed to continue, but he didn’t last long. Still being in trouble, Garcia finished him off the way a fighter should, attacking him with crisp, accurate punches that had the referee waive off the fight at 2:47 of the first round.  Garcia is now 2-0 (1KO) and Black loses his pro debut by a TKO.

In what was the fight of the night, Joseph Shell and Dwayne Holman Jr., went toe-to-toe for the full four rounds of their Jr. Welterweight match-up. Both fighters had their moments during this non-stop-action-thriller. Despite each fighter landing and taking some serious shots, neither one hit the canvas. In the end, all three judges saw it the same, 39-37 in favor of Joseph Shell who earns his first pro win, improving to 1-2. Holman, who deserves props for his performance, drops to 1-2.

Luis Vargas made it a short night for him and his opponent, Josue Rivera who were matched up in a four-round Welterweight contest. Vargas came out fast and furious and within one-minute, the fight was over. The official time was a 56-second TKO of the first round for Vargas who made the best of his pro-debut. Rivera drops to 2-5 (2KO).

Opening this great night of action-packed boxing, was a four-round heavyweight contest between Ray Santiago and Eric George. Santiago shows signs of talent. He has hand speed and power. However, he also shows signs of lack of commitment, as he clearly is out of shape and fought in spurts. George on the other hand, used a game plan of reversing his attack during each round. His corner would yell “SWITCH” and George would focus on the opposite side he was currently working on. The game plan worked, as Eric George was able to keep the out-of-shape Ray Santiago over-thinking and taking too many punches, which by the end of the third round, had more blood being flung around than what you would see during a gruesome horror flick. In the end, all three judges scored it the same, 40-36 all in favor of Eric George who improves to 2-6. Ray Santiago, still looking for the first win of his career, drops to 0-4.

All in all, a GREAT night of boxing thanks to JKJ Championship Promotions and of course the match-maker, Diana Rodriguez. Boxing is back better than ever in Western-New York and we need to thank both JKJ Championship Promotions and Rodriguez for making it happen.






Photo By: Brian Blanco


By: Bill Calogero - Ringside - June 13, 2014

Tampa, Florida – Tonight, in an exciting slugfest, in front of a frenzied crowd of over 3000 in the beautiful state of the art Tampa Bay Times Forum facility, China "The Dragon" Smith won a ten-round unanimous decision over Mike Sheppard to win the WBF North American Heavyweight Title.

The fight was ten rounds of non-stop action which featured two heavyweights going toe-to-toe that had the crowd on their feet. Both fighters had their moments, landing crushing blows to the body and head of each other. There were no knockdowns, however the ferocity and force of the punches that landed, should have sent someone to the canvas, but giving credit where credit is due, both stayed on their feet.

Round seven was the best round for Sheppard, who staggered Smith several times, but in round eight, Smith came out firing and seemed to take control of the fight once more.

The tenth and final round could be an early candidate for round of the year. It featured both fighters throwing non-stop bombs toe-to-toe, which at the final bell had the crowd giving both warriors a standing ovation.

One judge scored the fight 97-93, while the other two saw it at 98-92, giving China Smith the win and the Title. Smith, who is now the new World Boxing Federation’s North American Heavyweight Champion improves to 35 –4 (27 KOs) and has now earned a spot in line to challenge for the WBF World Heavyweight Title.

Mike Sheppard, who put on a very game performance, drops to 21- 17 (9 KOs) and hopes to get back on track soon.



photo by: Brian Blanco

In the Co-Main event, which seemed to be what most in attendance came to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for, Tampa’s own and former World Champion and top pound-4-pound women’s great, Chevelle “Fists of Steele” Hallback finally found someone who was willing to step in the ring with her and made the best of it, winning by a devastating second round KO over the brave Dominga Olivo in their scheduled six-round Jr. welterweight contest.

Hallback showed all in attendance why current world Champion Cecelia Braekhus has been avoiding giving her the rematch she has asked for, by putting on a display of boxing rarely seen in Women’s boxing.

Her hand speed, defensive skill and punching power was over-whelming for the game Dominga Olivo, who tried her best to hang in there.

Hallback, who’s main goal is to land on HBO in a rematch with Cecelia Braekhus, who has been avoiding her like the plague, improves to 29-8 (12 KOs) and hopes to challenge for a World title in her next fight.

Dominga Olivo, who gave it her all, drops to 8-11-1 and looks to rebound soon.

Undercard results:
Noemi Bosques improved to 5-1-2 (1 KO) with a four-round majority decision over Elizabeth Anderson in their four-round bantamweight match-up. Anderson drops to 0-1.

Angel Martinez won a tough six-round decision over Devon Moncriffe to improve to 6-5-3 in their middleweight contest. Moncriffe loses for the second time in his career, dropping to 11-2.  

Justin Pauldo won a four-round decision over Coleman Johnson in a four-round lightweight match-up to make his pro debut a successful one. Johnson, also making his pro debut, drops to 0-1.

Opening the card, Jose Resendiz viciously knocked out Kherani Kessoon at 51 seconds of the first round to improve to 3-0 that got the evening started. Kessoon drops to 1-1.

All in all, a GREAT night of boxing, promoted by Panda-5-Star Promotions at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, who both have already announced their next event, which is scheduled for August 22, 2014. Expect another GREAT show potentially featuring at least one World Title fight!




Brandon Adams Looks To Win The Middleweight Boxcino Tourney - Photo By: Daxx


A Night Of Action at Turning Stone
By: Bill Calogero – Ringside – April 18, 2014

Verona, NY – It was a night of action at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, broadcast live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and promoted by Banner Promotions.

The boxing fans love ESPN’s Boxcino tournament and tonight, the middleweight finals were determined.

Brandon Adams and Ray Gatica were in a non-stop action packed fight that had the crowd in a frenzy! Gatica seemed to land more punches at times, but Adams landed the much harder ones throughout the eight-round slugfest. This fight boiled down to what you liked to see. Adams, who was clearly an underdog when the tourney started, landed some flush shots right on, what was proven to be, a solid chin of Gatica. Gatica would return the favor with throwing and landing more punches but they were not as powerful, but scored.

In the end, the final two rounds decided the fight and the bottom line was that Adams remained busy and Gatica slowed down slightly to give the majority decision to Brandon Adams. Two judges scored it 78-74 for Adams while the third saw it in favor of Gatica 77-75, to give the W and a trip to the Boxcino Middleweight final to Brandon Adams, who improved to 14-0 (9KOs). Ray Gatica drops to 14-3 (8 KOs) and is still a young fighter to watch.

The second semi-final put two very hot prospects against each other, one a boxer and the other a banger. Willie Monroe Jr., who clearly had the crowd behind him hailing from nearby Rochester, NY, started off in control and despite several hard shots by Vitali Kopylenko during the middle and final stages of the match-up, used superior boxing skill to outwork the undefeated Ukrainian who refused to give up until the final bell. Kopylenko nailed Monroe with several hard shots during the hard-fought contest, two of which knocked his mouthpiece out.

In the end, one judge scored it 78-74 while the other two had in 79-73, all in favor of Willie Monroe Jr., who improved to 17-1 (6 KOs). The very tough and talented Vitali Kopylenko drops the first fight of his pro career and left the ring with a 23-1 (13 KOs) record.

This sets up the Boxcino Middleweight Final between Brandon Adams and Willie Monroe Jr. on May 23 at the Turning Stone.

In the TV opener, Nat Heaven scored a devastating TKO over Donovan Dennis with a highlight reel right hand at 3:00 of round one. Heaven who came in as the so-called opponent, showed everyone in attendance and watching on TV that you need to fight the fight before you assume who will win. The 6’6” young fighter landed a right hand that dropped Dennis face first at the ten-second warning. Although he made it to his feet, it was obvious that he was in no condition to continue giving the TKO victory to Heaven, who improves to 9-0- (7 KOs). Dennis, who had to be helped to his corner, drops to 11-2 (9 KOs).

In other action, in a six-round Jr. Middleweight contest, Marcus Hall won a unanimous decision over Rafael Luna to improve to 7-6 (2 KOs). Luna drops to 3-8-3 (1 KO).

Simeon Hardy proved to be too much for Rahman Yusubov in a scheduled six-round Jr. middleweight match-up, dropping him three times in the first round before registering a first round TKO at 2:36 to improve to 12-0 (10 KOs). Yusubov drops to 9-15 (7 KOs).

Opening the card Jr., Middleweight Cecil McCalla won a workman like six round decision over Antonio Fernandes. All three judges scored the fight 60-54. McCalla improves to 18-0 (6 KOs) and Fernandes drops to 4-17-2 (0 KO).





Fowler Stops Abraham To Win BKB Lightweight Title
By: Bill Calogero - December 9, 2013

New Hampshire – Eric Fowler stopped Bryan Abraham at 1:58 of the 3rd round to claim the vacant BKB Lightweight Title in an action-packed main event of the BKB II event, broadcast on Direct TV on Saturday night.

The first round saw both fighters going toe-to-toe trading bombs in the 17-foot diameter pit. Fowler chased Abraham up the side of the pit during the round, which cost Bryan an eight-count and a point.

The second two-minute round of the scheduled seven-round Championship Main Event was another action-packed round. Both fighters landed devastating punches, but Eric Fowler was nothing less than relentless in his attack, catching his arch-rival with several hard shots when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Bryan Abraham lands a shot that immediately sent Fowler to the canvas and it looked like the fight could have been over right then.

But to Fowler’s credit, he got back to his feet and managed to finish the round. The third round picked up where the previous two left off, both fighters standing toe-to-toe exchanging bombs. Fowler landed a perfectly timed one-two combo that sent Abraham down. He was able to get up, but was still in a fog when the referee allowed the action to continue. A barrage of punches from Fowler sent Bryan Abraham down again and this time the fight was waived off by the referee at 1:58 of the third round, giving Eric Fowler the win and the First BKB Lightweight Title.

The Co-main event was nothing less than sensational. Eddie Caminero won a brutal seven-round decision over David Estrada to capture the BKB’s first Middleweight Title. David Estrada was sent to the canvas during the first round, but seemed to get in a groove after that. He landed many hard, flush shots to the chin of Eddie Caminero, but the warrior refused to go down. The sixth round was one of the best rounds of boxing I have ever seen and what kept both of these guys on their feet God only knows.

In the end, two judges scored the fight 67-65, while the third had it 69-63, all in favor of Eddie Caminero for the unanimous decision victory and the BKB Middleweight Championship.

Javier Garcia destroyed Allen Litzau to win the vacant BKB Welterweight Title. Litzau was down in the first but was able to survive the round to get into round two. Garcia again delivered a non-stop attack which sent Litzau down and out at 1:51 of round number two. The fight was scheduled for seven rounds.

Undercard Results:
Kin Moy won a five-round unanimous decision over Marc Antonio Torres in a Lightweight contest. One judge scored it 50-45 and the other two saw it 49-46 all in favor of Moy.

David Garcia stopped Louis Webster at 1:56 of the second round, in a scheduled five-round middleweight match-up.

Matt Doherty won a five-round decision over Kendo Castaneda in their lightweight match-up. All three judges saw it the same, 48-47 in favor of Doherty, giving him the unanimous decision win.

Eduardo Alicea stopped Teneal Goyco at 1:20 of the 5th and final round of their Middleweight contest.

Khurshid Abdullaev overwhelmed Jonuel Tapia during the first round and then finished him at: 48 into the second of a scheduled five-round welterweight match-up. Abdullaev will surely be a fan favorite in the BKB boxing circuit.

Raul Tovar Jr. & Agustine Mauras were going at it savagely until un-controllable cuts forced the bout to be stopped and go to the scorecards. One judge scored it 29-28 in favor of Mauras, while the other two saw it in favor of Tovar Jr., 30-27 & 29-28 giving him the Split Technical Decision victory.

Julian Pollard stopped Excell Holmes at 48 seconds of the first round to get a KO win in their scheduled five-round Heavyweight match-up.

Kekan Byfield won a unanimous decision over Jason Naugler in their five-round welterweight contest. All three judges saw it the same, 50-45 in favor of Byfield.

Don Mouton, fresh off retina surgery, won a close five-round decision over Jesse Orta in their middleweight fight. One judge scored the fight 48-45, one saw it 47-46 and the third had it even at 47-47, giving Don Mouton the majority decision win.

Josh Harris won a unanimous decision over the fat, overweight clown known as Jason Gavern in a five-round Heavyweight contest. Gavern hit the canvas in the first and 3rd rounds and in the end, one judge scored it 48-45 while the other two had it 49-45 all in favor of Josh Harris.

All in all, a great card in the second Bare Knuckle Boxing Event.

I personally am looking forward to the next event!





Glazkov Tops Wilson In Entertaining Scrap
By: Bill Calogero - Ringside - November 16, 2013

Verona, NY – Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov scored a ten-round unanimous decision over late sub Garrett Wilson in a very entertaining Heavyweight fight. It was the main event of a great boxing card held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino and televised on NBC Sports. The entire card was promoted by Main Events.

In the first round, it looked like Garrett Wilson was trying to make it a quick night, throwing bombs in a very wild fashion and connecting with only a few. It suggested that he may not have been in the greatest of shape; however by the time the fifth round began, it was clear to all in attendance and everyone watching on TV that this was going to be a great fight through the end.

Wilson landed some decent shots to the head of the calm Glazkov, who was content picking his shots both to the body and head of the wild Wilson in both the first and second rounds.  The action picked up even more during the third, when an unintentional head butt opened up a cut over the eye Glazkov. Once the blood began flowing, it energized Garret Wilson who appeared to have won the round.

Glazkov took control of the fight during the 4th & 5th rounds, but Wilson came back to control rounds six & seven. During the second half of the 7th round, Wilson landed a solid upper-cut that seemed to put Glazkov in some trouble until the end of the round.

The last three rounds were controlled by Glazkov as Garrett Wilson began to run low on energy, but never quit as the fight ended with both fighters still standing.

In the end, one judge scored it 99-91, one saw it at 98-92 while the third had it 97-93 all in favor of Vyacheslav Glazkov. scored it 97-93, also in favor of Glazkov who improves to 16-0-1 (11 KOs). The very game Garrett Wilson drops to 13-7-1 (7 KOs) and will surely be back again to give someone else as much trouble as he gave Glazkov.

In the co-main event, Karl Dargan won a ten-round unanimous decision over Mike Brooks in a battle of two young undefeated lightweight prospects.

Brooks was the aggressor during the fight and was doing well pushing the action as he cut off the ring very impressively; however Dargan was able to land the crisper, harder punches as he counter-punched and employed superior footwork, hand speed and most importantly, accuracy.

One judge scored the fight 98-92 and the other two saw it as 99-91, all in favor of Karl Dargan. scored it 97-93 also in favor of Karl Dargan, who improves to 14-0 (7 KOs). Mike Brooks loses for the first time in his pro career, dropping to 11-1-1 (2 KOs).

Sevdail Sherifi and Quantis Graves opened up the night with a six-round majority draw in a very evenly matched cruiserweight contest. Sherifi’s record is now 9-2-3 (8 KOs) and Graves remains unbeaten at 9-0-1 (4 KOs).

Former World Super Middleweight Champion Isaac Chilemba won a workman like eight-round decision over the rugged Michael Gbenga in a light-heavyweight matchup. Chilemba improves to 21-2-2 (9 KOs) and Gbenga drops to 13-10 (13 KOs).

Andy Mejias seemed to get the benefit of a large home-town crowd with a four-round majority decision over Latif Mundy in their Super Middleweight match-up. One judge scored it even at 38-38 while the other two saw it the same at 39-37 in favor of Mejias who improves to 15-0 (6 KOs). Mundy drops to 10-9 (4 KOs).

All in all, another entertaining and competitive professional boxing card at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino. A lot of credit has to be given to the promoter, Main Events, NBC Sports and Garrett Wilson for keeping this card intact after Tomasz Adamek was forced to withdraw on Thursday.




Billy C with Mickey Ward Prior To Turning Stone Event


Mendez & Usmanee Battle To Draw

By: Bill Calogero – Ringside – August 23, 2013

Verona, NY – Argenis Mendez retained his IBF World Jr. Lightweight Title as the result of a twelve-round battle, which was officially ruled as a Majority Draw, with Arash Usmanee as the main event of Mike Tyson’s Promoter debut, broadcast live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

In what was an exciting fight from start to finish, which saw both fighters staggered several times, but no knock-downs, Mendez and Usmanee fought their hearts out and had the crowd on their feet cheering from the opening bell until the end of the fight.

In a nutshell, it seemed that Arash Usmanee was the busier fighter and pressed the action, but Mendez landed the more precise and seemingly harder shots, but at times, not enough. Mendez was able to avoid, deflect or roll with many of Usmanee’s barrage of punches throughout the fight, until the last minute of the final round, which somehow, he not only managed to stay on his feet, but staggered and almost stopped Arash as the final bell sounded.

Arash Usmanee took a lot of shots and looked it when the fight was over.  One judge saw it in favor of Usmanee at 115-113, while the other two saw it even at 114-114. I personally scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Mendez, as did Doug Jacobs of Integrated Sports, but HBO’s Harold Lederman saw it 115-113 in favor of Usmanee. In the end, it was the official scores that kept the belt with Argenis Mendez, whose record now stands at 21-2-1 with 11 KOs. Arash Usmanee is now sitting at 20-1-1 with 10 KOs.

The talk now from Iron Mike Promotions is that Mendez will be matched next with SMS Promotion‘s Yuriorkis Gamboa.

In the co-main event, behind the tutelage of Robert Garcia, Jesus Andres Cueller won a 12-round unanimous decision over Claudio Marrero to capture the Interim WBA Featherweight Title.  This fight was also action-packed from start to finish.  Cueller dropped Marrero in the 8th and had him in trouble several other times during the fight, but Marrero had his moments too, especially in round seven, when he was brutally landing shots on Cueller until the last minute when the tables were turned. In the end, round seven is a candidate for round of the year.

Round nine saw both fighters land bombs on each other, each coming out with damage which included a nasty cut over the right eye of Marrero and one of equal damage to the left eye of Cueller. Both corners kept the cuts under control through the remainder of the contest.

One judge saw it at 115-112, one at 116-111 and the third at 114-113, all in favor of Jesus Andres Cueller who improves to 23-1 with 18 KOs.

Claudio Marrero loses the first fight of his career, dropping to 14-1 with 11 KOs.

When asked how he thought his main and co-main fights went, Mike Tyson said, “I am very grateful to have been involved with two sensational Championship Fights. We had a few bad breaks in the first fight and in the main event, Mendez fought a great fight against a great fighter, which I thought he won, but all in all, both fights were what our team will continue to produce; action-packed match-ups.”  When asked how he felt being back in the boxing business, Mike Tyson said, “I feel like a homosexual in jail!”

The Undercard:
Welterweight Ed Paredes won a ten-round decision over Noe Bolanos to improve to 34-3-1 (22 KOs). Bolanos drops to 24-9-1 (16 KOs)

In a six round super middleweight match-up, Antoine Douglas won a workman like unanimous decision over Edgar Perez to remain unbeaten at 9-0 (6 KOs). Perez drops to 5-6 (3 KOs).

In a scheduled ten-round jr. lightweight contest, Alexei Collado stopped late-sub Guillermo Sanchez at 2:25 of the 5th round to improve to 17-0 (16 KOs). Sanchez drops to 13-10-1 (5 KOs).

The opening fight of the night put Dorsett Barnwell in with a non-interested-in-fighting Marlon Hayes in a scheduled six-round Heavyweight match-up. Barnwell hit Hayes at will and it was only a matter of time with the end coming at 2:14 of the third round, which, in my opinion should have come at 2:00 of the first round. This fight could have been stopped at any time. This was a one-sided fight with all the punches coming from Barnwell and Hayes not doing much. Barnwell improves to 10-0 (5 KOs) and Hayes drops to 23-12 (11 KOs).





Miller Captures WBF North American Light-Heavyweight Title
By: Bill Calogero - August 3, 2013

Whitehall, NY – Shawn Miller won a unanimous ten-round decision over Yasin Rashid to capture the vacant WBF North American Light Heavyweight Title in front of an energetic crowd in Whitehall, NY on Saturday night.

The first round was a feeling out round by both fighters. Each landed a few hard shots, which carried into the second round where the action picked up. Miller landed several solid right hands to the head of Rashid; however Yasin was able to counter-punch effectively to again make the round seem close.

When the third round began, Shawn Miller’s jab came alive and as a result was able to set up several hard shots to both the body and head. Yasin was focusing on countering punching and landed a solid shot that caused some swelling under Miller’s left eye, and was able to keep Shawn’s jab in check. During the last part of the round, Miller landed a left-right-left combination that sent Rashid back and then closed the round with a very solid right to the body that made the crowd jump to their feet and cheer.

The fourth round seemingly belonged to Yasin Rashid as he landed several solid right hands as he picked up the pace. Miller kept it close by bullying Rashid into the ropes and worked his body with left and right hooks.

Rounds five through nine Shawn Miller took over the fight. His punch output increased as he used his jab to set up solid left hooks to the body followed by rights to Yasin’s head. By the end of the 5th, Rashid’s right eye was swelling rapidly. At times, there were some heated exchanges, but Miller was getting the best of them to the crowd’s overwhelming delight.

The tenth and final round was Yasin Rashid’s best. He fought very aggressively and dominated the round.

In the end, the three judges scored the fight 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94 all in favor of the winner, and new WBF North American Light-Heavyweight Champion, Shawn Miller. Miller improves to 11-1-1 (4 KOs).

Yasin Rashid was upset with the scores as he and his team felt they had done enough to win, but nonetheless, he drops to 7-5 (2 KOs).

Shawn Miller and his team plan to return to Whitehall in October and hope to gain a WBF World Title shot soon.

When asked how he felt about winning a WBF Title Miller said, “I am so proud to have won the WBF North American Light-Heavyweight Title. The WBF is one of the best and well respected sanctioning bodies in the World and I am glad I was up to the task to come out on top tonight. My first goal was to win this belt and now we will do what we need to do in order to compete for a WBF World Title.”




Brinson Tops Melendez
By: Bill Calogero - Ringside - June 7, 2013

Nick Brinson, a late substitute, won a ten round unanimous decision over Jorge Melendez in the action-packed main event at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY broadcast live on Showtime.

A fight that saw both fighters hit the deck during the fourth round, exchange bombs for most of the ten rounds and jack up the crowd, seemed fitting for the International Boxing Hall of Fame weekend in Western New York.

Going into the fight, Brinson was clearly the underdog, but after the first three rounds, unofficially, I had Brinson up three rounds to none. As the fourth round began, Nick Brinson landed a quick right-left combo, which sent Melendez down, but he did not seem hurt at all, as he was up in a flash as the referee counted to eight and let the fighters continue.

Jorge Melendez was on the attack as the round continued. With about thirty-seconds left in the round, Melendez had Brinson against the ropes and landed several hard shots. All of a sudden, Nick Brinson was in serious trouble and was, for all intent and purposes, out cold on his feet. He did not go down and was given an eight count as the ropes clearly kept him upright. I’m really not sure how, but Brinson managed to get out of the round.

The rest of the fight was close, but Brinson seem to be dishing out the better of it during the Jr. middleweight bout and in the end, one judge scored it 96-92, one had it 98-91, while the third saw it at 99-90, all in favor of Nick Brinson, who improves to 15-1-2 (6 KOs). Jorge Melendez drops to 26-3-1 (25 KOs).

In other action, Jeffrey Fontanez won a split-decision over Jose Rodriguez in an eight-round Jr. Lightweight match-up. One judge scored it 77-74 in favor of Rodriguez, while the other two had it 76-75 & 78-73 in favor of Jeffery Fontanez, who improves to 12-0 (9 KOs). Jose Rodriguez drops to 19-11 (11 KOs).

Samuel Kotey got up off the canvas in the second round to remain undefeated in an eight-round lightweight contest against Guillermo Sanchez. One judge scored it 77-74, while the other two had it 76-75 giving Kotey the unanimous decision win. He improves to 20-0 (15 KOs) while Sanchez drops to 13-9 (5 KOs).

In a six-round Super Bantamweight contest, John Franklin improved to 5-0 (2 KOs) with a unanimous decision over Joshua Reyes, who suffered the first loss of his career, dropping to 4-1 (1 KO).

In the opening bout of the night, Raynell Griffin got back on the winning track by winning a four-round lightweight fight against Jose Saenz to improve to 7-15-2 (2 KOs). Saenz drops to 5-2 (3 KOs).




Cenicola Sets Record With Historic Win
By: Bill Calogero – Ringside – April 13, 2013

Fernandina Beach, Florida - For the first time in over twenty-five years, former top ten world ranked contender, Sal “Rocky” Cenicola, returned to the ring, setting a pro boxing record, as well as a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records, winning a four-round unanimous decision over Nate Petty in the main event of the Comeback To Reality Boxing card promoted by Elite Promotions, in association with LDLTV, Nine5Four Magazine and benefitting the Queen of Hearts Foundation.

Cenicola, 53, used the first round to shake off twenty-five years of ring rust, but by the time the second round started, Rocky put on a display of great defensive head movement and a fierce body attack that kept Petty off balance.

During the final round, Cenicola was snapping his jab and landing solid shots to Petty’s head completing a show that dazzled the sold-out crowd with his hand speed, body attack and head jarring uppercuts.

One judge scored the fight 39-37, while the other two had it the same at 40-36, giving Sal Cenicola the victory while improving to 19-2 (11 KOs). When asked if he planned on continuing his career after the fight Sal said, “I will think about it…maybe two more.”

Nate Petty, who came to fight and was in great shape, drops to 1-7 (1 KO).

The co-main event was a scheduled ten-round Heavyweight fight between Glendy Hernandez and Dieuly Aristalde. The fight was action-packed from the opening bell until the end.

Hernandez used his superior boxing skill to systematically breakdown the rugged Aristalde, who put Hernandez down early. As the fight wore on, Hernandez landed the harder shots including a vicious uppercut followed by a right hand that finished the fight at 2:58 of the eighth round.

Glendy Hernandez improves to 10-0 (6 KOs) and is a young heavyweight to keep an eye on.

Dieuly Aristalde, who is always fun to watch, drops to 9-6 (2 KOs).

Nat Heaven improved to 6-0 (5 KOs) when he over powered Terry Cox with several impressive shots during the first round of a scheduled four-round Heavyweight contest. By the time the clock hit 31 seconds into the second, the fight was over. Terry Cox drops to 2-2 (1 KO).

In a battle of winless Super Middleweights, Steven “Rocky II” Chadwick KO’d Cleavon Bradley with a devastating shot at 1:24 of the second round to improve to 1-4 (1 KO). Bradley drops to 0-2.

In an exciting featherweight bout featuring two pro debuting fighters, Brandon Ryals stopped Jason Somchay at 1:31 of the fourth and final round to get his first win and first KO as a pro.

Somchay drops to 0-1.




Augustama Stops McNemar In Two
By: Bill Calogero – RingSide – April 6, 23013

Miami, Florida – Azea Augustama has not fought in almost a year. One would think that after that long of a layoff, there would be some ring rust, however he displayed none in his scheduled ten round cruiserweight contest with David McNemar as the main event of a six-fight card at the Casino Miami Jai Alai Casino, broadcast live on

Augustama looked sharp, working the body and head of McNemar from the start of round one and by the time the second round began, McNemar was beginning to look battered, bleeding from the nose and mouth.

Augustama, who is technically a Light-Heavyweight, had no problem kicking it up a notch as the second round reached the mid-point.  As the round ended, it looked like Azea would begin the third round where he left off at the close of the second. Unfortunately, McNemar, who previously went the distance with Ryan Coyne and lost to BJ Flores via a controversial stoppage, chose to remain on his stool, giving Azea Augustama the TKO victory.

McNemar claimed to have injured his shoulder, which prevented him from continuing with the fight. He drops to 13-3.

Augustama, who said he plans on fighting again soon in his normal weight class, light-Heavyweight improves to 14-1 (9 KOs).

In the Co-Main event, in his United States debut, Kanat Islam stopped Yolexy Martinez in the second round of a scheduled six-round Jr. Middleweight match-up.

Islam looked great for as long as the fight lasted. He kept Martinez off balance by going to the body, then head, then head to the body and back to the head. Every punch he threw seemed to hurt his opponent. He sent Martinez down in the first round with a powerful shot that had Martinez is serious trouble despite the round coming to an end. As the second started, Yolexy was still feeling the effects of the knockdown he suffered during the first and as a result, a barrage of shots put him down and out officially at 31 seconds of the second round.

Kanat Islam improves to 11-0 (11 KOs) and looks to be a force to be reckoned with. Yolexy Martinez drops to 5-6 (4 KOs).

Hunter Sundberg won a four-round decision over Lamar Charlton in a lightweight bout. All three judges scored the fight the same at 40-35. Sundberg improves to 3-0, while Charlton drops to 1-3-1.

Stan Staniclasse went the distance for the first time, scoring a unanimous four-round decision over Jerrod Caldwell in an action-packed Light-Heavyweight match-up.  Staniclasse hit the canvas in the first round, but did not seem hurt. His lack of defense put him in harm’s way throughout the entire fight; however his offense carried him through, dropping Caldwell once in the second and twice during the third. In the end, one judge scored the fight 38-33, while the other two saw it at 38-34. Staniclasse improves to 4-0 (3 KOs), while Caldwell drops to 2-2-1.

Chaen Chess stopped Andres Saldivar at 2:59 of the first round to improve to 2-1 (2 KOs) in a scheduled four-round heavyweight fight. Saldivar, who was making his pro debut, looked to be in good shape, but was huffing and puffing after a minute of fighting. He drops to 0-1.

In the opening bout of the evening, Emmanuel De Jesus made quick work of John Andre, stopping him at 37 seconds of the very first round of a scheduled four-round Jr. Middleweight contest. De Jesus improves to 3-0 (3 KOs) while Andre remains winless at 0-3-1.




Vera Retains NABO Middleweight Title - Stops Bondorovas In Blood Bath
By: Bill Calogero - Ringside - March 29, 2013

Verona, NY – Brain Vera retained the NABO Middleweight title when Donatas Bondorovas could not continue after the end of the 7th round due to several severe cuts as the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, which was broadcast live from the Turning Stone resort & Casino.

It was a fight that showcased two similar styles of fighters, who each had their moments exchanging bombs from the first round until the stoppage.

For the most part, it seemed that Vera got the best of it, but he was also having trouble landing more than one or two punches at a time.

Bondorovas sustained the first cut, which was on the bridge of his nose during the first round. Both fighters landed hard shots to each other’s head and body. By the 5th round, there was blood flowing freely from Bondorovas’ nose, eye and mouth. The claret was flowing so much that both fighters were covered as were most ringside observers.

During the seventh, the fight heated up even more with Donatas landing several hard body shots that seemed to hurt Vera and as the bell sounded to end the round, all in attendance had the feeling the fight would go to another level at the start of the 8th.

Unfortunately, the fight never got to the eighth round. There was some confusion as to why the fight was stopped between the 7th & 8th rounds, but it appeared that Bondorovas gave his OK to stop the fight at the disapproval of his team and the nearly sold out crowd in attendance.

Nonetheless, Brian Vera officially got the TKO win to improve to 23-6 (14 KOs), while the game Donatas Bondorovas drops to 16-4-1 (5 KOs).

The co-main event was a letdown. In what looked like an extremely intriguing matchup on paper, the fight itself was certainly far from it. Umberto Savigne was too big and too strong for Jackson Junior Dos Santos.

The first round was a feeling out round with very little action, but that was the best round for Jackson Junior. Savigne dropped his opponent several times during the fight and in the 4th round, put the former undefeated Jackson Junior down three times with the end coming officially at 2:17, giving Umberto Savigne the TKO win in their scheduled ten-round Light Heavyweight fight.  He improves to 11-1 (8 KOs).

Jackson Junior Dos Santos, who was totally outclassed in this fight, drops to 14-1 (12 KOs).

Undercard Action:
Ukrainian Olympian Taras Shelestyuk stopped Kamal Mahummad with a solid body shot in the first round of a scheduled four-round Jr. Middleweight bout featuring two debuting fighters. Shelestyuk improves to 1-0, 1 KO while Kamal Mahummad drops to 0-1.

Evgenii Chuprakov won a unanimous four-round decision to improve to 5-0 (2 KOs) in his lightweight bout with Micah Branch. All three judges scored the fight 40-36. Branch drops to 1-4-1.

In a four-round welterweight contest, Lavais Williams and Calvin Pritchard fought to a majority draw. One judge scored the fight 39-37 in favor of Williams while the other two saw it even at 38-38. Williams now stands at 1-0-1 (1 KO) and Pritchard goes to 2-6-3.

In a six-round light-heavyweight match-up, Ryon McKenzie remained unbeaten by winning a unanimous decision over Steven Tyner. All three judges saw it the same, 60-54. McKenzie improves to 14-0 (11 KOs) and Tyner drops to 3-10-2 (2 KOs).

A middleweight fight that seemed more competitive than the scorecards indicated, Antoine Douglas improved to 5-0 (3 KOs) when all three judges scored the fight the same, 40-36 over John Worthy. Worthy drops to 3-6 (1 KO).




Promoters Don’t Promote
By: Bill Calogero – December 9, 2012

What’s wrong with boxing? Who’s the Heavyweight Champion? I USED to watch boxing. The last time I was into boxing, Mike Tyson was the Champion, etc., etc., etc.

These are the common lines or questions I get from people who find out what I do for a living. I always try to recruit more boxing fans, by answering their questions, but sadly for a boxing purist like me, it’s a tough sell these days despite, in my opinion, that we are currently experiencing a huge resurgence in pro boxing.

Regardless if boxing is or isn’t becoming more popular, the sport definitely has issues. Serious issues.

IN MY OPINION, you can actually blame everyone that’s  involved with the sport; Fighters, Managers, Promoters, Sanctioning Bodies, Commissions, TV Networks, Trainers, Fans, Media, etc., for multiple reasons.

The most common reason is greed with the overall lack of boxing knowledge coming in a close second.

The truth is we could blame all of above for the same reasons. That is, a Promoter, Manager, Fighter, Sanctioning body, etc., all could be accused of being greedy. The TV suit (executive) that makes the decision of choosing who will fight on his/her network based on some BS title being on the line, or an undefeated record showcased. Then there’s the appointed State Commission who makes a ridiculous decision to permit or prevent a fighter from fighting because of nonsense. These are just a few quick examples of non-boxing people in the position of making boxing decisions, which are ultimately controlling the sport.

What happens is that all of the people involved with the sport like to point fingers at everyone else and refuse to look in the mirror. The bottom line is that I could go on and on giving examples of why all contribute to the negativity that constantly surrounds our sport.

However, if you asked me to choose ONE part and or participant, so to speak, of the sport of boxing that we can blame, the one that is, IN MY OPINION, the most responsible for the problems we have,  then my choice would be the Promoter.

Let me start off by giving you the definition of a Promoter (which is from the word Promote, which includes Promoting, Promoted and Promoter) as described by the following:

The American Heritage Dictionary, Thorndike Barnhart Dictionary, Google Dictionary and

Promote – Promoted – Promoting
1.    To rise in position or rank of importance.
2.    To contribute to the process or growth and development of; further.
3.    To urge the adoption of;  advocate
4.    To attempt to sell or popularize
1.    An active supporter; advocate
2.    A finance and publicity organizer for a sporting or theatrical event.
3.    A person or thing that promotes something in particular.

Pretty straight forward, right? It is to me. The definition of what it means to be a Promoter: The bottom line is that you PROMOTE your product and or service.

If you’re a Boxing Promoter, then your Product is the fight and or the fighters you are promoting and the service is the actual promotion and the steps taken in order to successfully promote an event which will feature your fight or fighters.

We have many licensed promoters throughout the sport. Some run the sport, some are runners for the sport and there are an abundance of “Wanna-Be-Promoters” who dream of wearing their hair spiked up and making zillions of dollars……maybe even wearing an old dungaree jacket waiving a collection of flags from different countries at some point.

Yes, we have a lot of Promoters in boxing, but currently, there are only two who are really calling the shots. Why and how are they calling the shots? Because they get it….they PROMOTE. They invest in themselves, their fighters and their events by opening the checkbook.  The outcome: They make money. A lot of money.

That’s good for them, but is it good for the sport? Is it good for boxing to have two main promoters who basically run the sport? When there were three, it seemed to have worked a little better in terms of fighting outside blanket promotions, but now that there are only two major promoters who actually promote, what we don’t get is the top fighters from one promoter fighting the other promoter’s top fighters. What we do get are the best fighters that are under the same banner fighting against each other and fortunately, as of late, those match-ups have been very good.

HOWEVER, the real problem lies with that next level of promoter. Let’s call them the Level-Two Promoter. They are the ones who are in a sense providing the “opponent” for one of the top two promoters’ fighters.

Add to that the road in which the level-two promoter leads their fighters down to get their shot; a steady diet of cupcakes until they hit the magic number of 25 wins or so. NOW they are ready. Ready to take their beating and get that paycheck!

Why do they take a beating? Why don’t they perform like their record would indicate?

Because how can a young fighter improve when they are fighting fighters far less than their own level? If a good football team played the worst team every week, would they get better? Would they really be good? Young fighters, just like any team sport, have to increase their level of opposition in order to get better. Fighters don’t have teammates so to speak, but they DO deserve to get the opportunity to get better and better. They deserve to be tested. The weak road of over-protection and lack of productive movement is today’s blueprint to a world title shot or at the very least, a shot at a big payday.

The worst part about today’s blueprint to that big payday and or a title shot is that the level two promoter and all the smaller ones below him for that matter, don’t want to invest in their product, which is the fighter. These promoters don’t want to open their checkbooks and actually promote.  They want to spike up their hair and be the promoter, but they don’t want to actually promote. They want to make Mo Money, Mo Money and Mo Money. As a matter of fact, they don’t want to invest a penny. They just want to make the money. Very greedy and guess what, in the long run, very stupid.

Let’s look at two examples right now. The first is current World Champion Sergio Martinez. Sergio has been on most P4P top ten lists for a while. Most boxing people know who he is, who he has fought and understand how good this guy is. But up until his last fight, a win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., he was virtually unknown to the casual boxing fan and appreciated only by the die-hard fans.

Why? Is it because he doesn’t fight in the US, or on the big stage or on the major cable networks? No because he does. Is it because he hasn’t captured a world title? No…he’s won World Titles in multiple weight classes. Is it because he’s not a likable guy or a good role model? Absolutely not. Sergio Martinez is one of the good guys of the sport; a class act in and out of the ring. The kind of pro boxer we want and need as a role model and as an ambassador to the sport.

The reason Sergio Martinez has had to wait until virtually the end of his career to become known is because he was not promoted correctly. If he was, he would have been well-known long before his exciting win over Chavez. Don’t get me wrong, his current promoter has done a great job with him, but that has only been over the last several years or so since the two began working together. Sergio Martinez should be a household name, but unfortunately, he’s not.

Another great example is Andre Ward. Here’s a young kid, in his prime, a World Champion, undefeated, seemingly getting better and better, a guy who has fought nothing but the best and no one has ever heard of him. Talk about a good role model and all around good guy, Andre Ward should be the example of what all young fighters should want to emulate. This guy is a top Pound-4-Pound fighter and no one knows him.

Again, the die-hard boxing fan knows who Andre Ward is, but ask Joe Sports Fan. The same guy who can tell you who won the World Series, can give you an opinion on the NHL situation, can rattle off the NFL scores from the weekend and knows who won the Laker game last night, doesn’t have a clue who Andre Ward is. As a matter of fact, he may not even be able to tell you who the World Heavyweight Champion(s) are.

Promoters don’t promote. If they did, we would know who their fighters are. They are the same ones that say boxing is dead. Is it? If you look at boxing over the past ten years, it’s as clear as day that the match-ups, interest level and availability of boxing has grown immensely. We are in a resurgence in pro boxing and the fans ARE coming back. But for how long?

Many boxing people complain about the top-two promoters. Most don’t like that they are running the sport, have all the TV dates, have the best fighters between them, get to pick the Sanctioning belts they want, or what fighters they want to match their fighters with, etc., etc., etc. But the truth is they DO invest in their fighters. They DO promote their fighters. As a result, boxing has become their baseball so they get to pitch. The fans that are coming back, which is resulting in the resurgence in boxing, is because they (the fans) are coming to see THEIR (the top two promoters) fighters. The ones they hear about because they are promoted.  Nonito Donaire, Bam Bam Rios, Saul Alvarez, Adrian Broner, Chavez Jr., these are the fighters that are selling tickets because they are signed with the only two promoters in boxing who actually promote. The two promoters that INVEST money into their fighters and of course, the same two promoters that are running boxing today.

The worst part of this is the fact that the other promoters are ok with it. The reason is because they don’t want to risk their own money to make more money investing in their fighters. They can move them along against the cupcakes on the small club show scene very inexpensively. They get their fighters to look good on paper and hope they can hit the lottery and be an opponent to one of the Big Boy’s fighters. AND the best part is sometimes their guy even wins. Just look at Sergio Martinez or most recently, Austin Trout. True, more often than not their guy loses, and we never see much more of them, but the money was made. Not as much if they invested a few bucks, but hey, they didn’t have to risk anything either.

Boxing needs promoters that are willing to invest money into their product, which is their fighters and their service, which is their promotion company. If they did that, then maybe boxing fans would know some of the young talent that does exist. Fans need to follow their fighters like everyone did when Mike Tyson was fighting, when Hagler and Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard were all fighting. Everyone knew who they were, even if they didn’t follow boxing, they knew these guys. THAT’s what boxing lacks today. The connection between the fan and the fighter….the connection that a good job of promoting creates.

When a promoter signs a fighter, that fighter needs to make sure that his/her choice of promoter will include their willingness to promote them…that is to make sure people outside the die-hard boxing fan will know who they are. With that comes value. There’s no value in facing less than stellar opposition over and over and then finally getting in the fight of your life, waking up in the dressing room wondering what went wrong and then a year later, find yourself working at the local convenience store.

Promoters need to promote. They need to invest in their fighters and they need to help build up fighters so that they can have a long career…a quality career and one that they can actually earn a living at. In the old days, being a professional boxer meant you learned a trade. Boxing IS a trade. Promoters owe it to the fighters they have in their stable to make sure the public knows them. Facebook and Twitter is not enough ladies & gentleman! Invest in your fighters. Progressively increase the level of opposition so your fighters get better. Let them get into a war or two early on. Promote them and the fans will get to know them and will want to follow them. That creates long-term value, not a one & done (one big paycheck) scenario.

Consider this: In the early days of boxing, during the bare-knuckle era, boxing was not legal. You could be jailed if you were caught boxing, promoting or even watching a boxing event. With laws like that you would think it would have been almost impossible to stage a boxing event if you were a promoter. If I told you that it was the norm for a promoter to sell tickets to boxing events that had no date, no time or no location on the tickets….would you believe me? If I also told you that these events would routinely have five, ten and even twenty thousand fans in attendance, would you think that the promoters of yesteryear did a good job of promoting?

I think if today’s promoters would stop being so greedy and invest a few bucks into their fighters, not only would it be better for the fighters, the fans and the sport, it would be more financially rewarding for them. All they need to do is look at the Top Two promoters right now to see that.

Promoters need to promote.



Guerrero Proves He’s An Elite Fighter
By: Bill Calogero - November 25, 2012

After watching Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero dominate Andre Berto Saturday night, IN MY OPINION, Guererro deserves his shot at boxing’s elite fighters. Beyond any doubt, he has officially arrived into the elite fighter category.

His performance against Berto, which resembled what I had predicted would come from Andre Berto himself, should have left no doubt in the boxing world that “The Ghost” has earned a shot at either of the top two fighters in the world today, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear, when I say Guerrero has earned his Elite Status, I mean he has earned it the old-fashioned-boxing-way….. IN THE RING.

In April of 2011, Guerrero fought and dominated Michael Katsidis. He fought as a lightweight. After that fight, I thought it was the best performance of his career. Then he underwent shoulder surgery. After the surgery, he started calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Welterweight. I thought he was crazy.

We had him on the show. After the interview, I thought that he was calling out Floyd to earn a payday because the shoulder surgery would prevent him from continuing his career. It made sense: Land a big fight against one of the biggest draws and go off into the sunset. Mayweather didn’t bite.

Robert Guerrero then made the smartest move of his career. He skipped over the Jr. Welterweight division and took on a legit welterweight, a quality welterweight in Selcuk Aydin. Again, I had my doubts. I knew Robert was talented, but jumping up two weight classes and facing an opponent like Aydin was going to be too much. That’s what I thought going into the fight even though I picked “The Ghost” to win the fight, deep down I thought he would fight tough but lose. I was wrong again.

Robert Guerrero dominated Selcuk Aydin and again, after the fight, I felt THAT was his career best performance. Once again, he called out Mayweather and once again I felt it was utter nonsense.

The Berto fight was announced. Going into the fight, like I had done before, I picked against Robert Guerrero and once again this kid from Gilroy proved me wrong and once again “The Ghost” put on a career performance by dominating Andre Berto. Guerrero “out-Bertoed” Andre Berto.

Now, I see a different Robert Guerrero. I see a fighter with incredible heart. I see a fighter that has deceiving hand speed. I see a fighter who can adjust on the fly. I see a fighter with a solid team behind him. I see a fighter with a granite chin. Guess what? I see a fighter who can beat Floyd Mayweather.

That’s the good news. The bad news, after watching him withstand everything Berto could throw at him, Robert Guerrero may have shown Floyd many reasons to look elsewhere for his next opponent.

Floyd Mayweather has perfected choosing the easiest opponent available to him. Do you think for a minute that Mayweather will want any part of a fighter who refused to get hurt by a puncher who can punch harder then Floyd dreams about? Will Floyd want any part of a fighter who refuses to lose? Will Floyd want to face someone who has the inner strength that Guerrero has?

NEVER. Floyd will NEVER challenge himself like that despite the BS that regularly flows from his lips. Floyd does not have the talent, heart or desire to prove to old-timers in boxing like myself that he belongs in the All Time Great category. Instead, he will fight the fights he has an 80% or more chance of winning. To test himself against a fighter in his prime like Guerrero is simply not in Floyd’s plans.

If Floyd fights again, look at either a faded Pacquiao (assuming he doesn’t dominate Marquez) or a raw Canelo Alvarez. Don’t count on him stepping to the plate and fighting Robert Guerrero anytime soon. Floyd’s not man enough to do that. He’s not stupid enough to do that. He’s not an All Time Great because All Time Greats DO exactly that….they fight the BEST out there. Floyd wants no part of the best.

Too bad. It would be a great fight, but in my opinion, Floyd’s blueprint of fighting opponents he has decisive advantages over and protecting his 0, I’m looking for him to search in the opposite direction of Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero for his next opponent.

As for “The Ghost”, he IS an Elite, Pound-4-Pound fighter.  I would like to see him fight Bradley or Pacquiao next, but we have that Golden Boy-Top Rank thing going on, so look for Guerrero to face Devon Alexander, Joseito Lopez, or Kell Brook in his next fight.

In My Opinion, it won’t matter which fighter in the Welterweight Division he faces because Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero will beat all of them.

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is a much-welcomed breath of fresh air in the sport of boxing.

I have a message for Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero: Welcome to the big-time my man!