CLASSICAL NOTEBOOK OF BOXING HISTORY
IT SHOULD BE.
Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger successfully transitioned from
amateur to pro boxing . . .
SPRINGS, Colo. (June 13, 2018) -- Hall of Fame referee Steve
"Double S" Smoger, arguably the most recognizable and respected
official in boxing history, holds the unique distinction of
officiating in more states and countries than any of his peers.
Smoger ranks among the top six all-time, No. 2 American, in terms of
most pro boxing matches officiated (1015), including an incredible
220 world time matches. He has been a referee in some of the
greatest boxing matches ever - Vernon Forrest-Shane Mosley, Bernard
Forrest-Felix Trinidad, Kelly Pavlik-Jermain Taylor, Roy Jones,
Jr.-Hopkins, Micky Ward-Emanuel Burton, Andre Ward-Carl Froch and
Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II among the most notable.
has refereed matches featuring a Who's Who of Boxing: Mike Tyson,
Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield. Roberto Duran, Hector
Camacho Sr., James Toney, Mike McCallum, Vinny Paz, Floyd Mayweather
Jr., Arturo Gatti, Felix Trinidad, Diego Corrales, Gennady Golovkin,
Lucia Rijker, Christy Martin and so many others..
In addition to
the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Smoger has also been inducted
into four other Hall of Fames in New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia and Atlantic City.
As a youngster, Smoger got hooked on boxing, primarily because his
father was an "awesome fan", who religiously watched the popular
Friday night boxing series, Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, with his
son. Steve's father told him that boxing was the last version of
will and skill, one-on-one, to determine the
Smoger said he
was too small to play football, too short for basketball, so he
became a cross-country runner in high school. A friend invited
Smoger to the local YMCA in New Jersey to get checkout its boxing
program. Only one day working with a pro boxer was enough for Steve
to realize that being a boxer wasn't for him. But he still loved
he started refereeing amateur matches in southern New Jersey and
Delaware, Smoger got the break of his life that dramatically changed
his life. "Everything in life is timing," Smoger explained. "The
gentleman who gave George Foreman the small American that he proudly
waved after winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, Pat Duffy,
opened a gym in southern Jersey. I told him that I wanted to train
as a referee. I trained under the great Frank Cappuccino and then
had to honor to train with Zach Clayton. He trained to music so
referees moved without being herky-jerky. In 1978, I started
officiating then-AAU boxing and worked out of the Atlantic City PAL
gym, which remains a vibrant amateur boxing club. I'm still there 40
years later, serving on its Board of Directors, and I'm also its
the boxing gods shined on me. Casinos were coming to Atlantic City
in 1978 and boxing was involved at all the casinos there. I was the
district attorney in Atlantic City, so after work I went to the PAL
gym to workout with the kids. One day, the phone rang in the gym.
Nobody else was there, so I answered. It was the New Jersey Boxing
Commissioner, 'Jersey' Joe Walcott, who asked me who was in charge.
I said that, at that time, I was in charge. He said there was a pro
show that night and they were short of inspectors. He said that they
need somebody to watch the hand wrapping. I told him I was well
versed in hand wrapping and that was it, I was hired to work that
show and they gave me the royal treatment."
chief second was Chief Roy Johnson, who Walcott brought into the
state commission. He hired me in 1982 as a probationary referee. Two
years later, I was a licensed referee and, as they say, the rest is
is still a very active referee, traveling around the world to
officiate, as well as co-chairman of the International Boxing
Association (IBA) officials, and a valued USA Boxing Alumni
Association advisor. Steve has made several appearances at Alumni
Association gatherings across the country.
"I am honored
to be the 'unofficial' representative of all officials who've made
the transition from amateur to pro boxing," Smoger commented. "I'm
the only active referee (Alumni Association advisor) who made the
transition from the amateur to the pro level.
has always been No. 1, on boxers, and No. 2, coaches. USA Boxing is
the best group I've ever been associated with and, for me
personally, I've seen what amateur boxing does for kids in this
country. They learn under difficult circumstances, through boxing,
to successfully reach different levels in life. I enjoy watching the
development of youths who go through the USA Boxing program and do
enables boxers. My accent is on youths, to watch them grow and
develop, not turn pro, to better their lives."
Adonis Stevenson Training Camp Quotes & Photos
"I'm the best fighter in this division, period." - Stevenson
Light Heavyweight World Champion Stevenson Takes on
Two-Division Champion Badou Jack Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME® from
Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
15, 2018) - WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis
"Superman" Stevenson is
set to make his ninth, and perhaps most difficult, world title defense
when he faces two-division world champion Badou
May 19 live on SHOWTIME from Air Canada Centre in an event presented by
Premier Boxing Champions. As fight week events in Toronto near,
Stevenson shared some thoughts on his training camp and Saturday's
is a two-time world champion for a reason," said Stevenson. "I'm not
underestimating him. I know he's durable and that he has attributes like
good head movement and I'll have to be ready for everything."
Although many consider this Stevenson's toughest defense in at least a
few years, the champion's mindset is unchanged from any of his other
world title fights.
"Every fight is a big fight for me," said Stevenson. "This fight is
nothing different. Badou Jack is a good fighter and people think very
highly of him. But in my mind, he's just the next guy that I have to
With knockout victories in seven of his nine world title fights,
Stevenson has become known for exceptional power, especially in his
left hand. This serves as a strategy for the champion and is
something he trains for under the guidance of his trainer Javan
"I'm always going for the knockout," said Stevenson. "I'm still
ready for 12 rounds, but I want the stoppage every time. I'm hungry
for knockouts. If Badou comes in aggressive, this could end very
"You have to step into the ring with me to understand my power. If I
connect right just one time, that's it, lights out. We train
specifically for knockouts. You'll have to wait and see how I do it on
As the longest-reigning champion at 175-pounds, and the second
longest-reigning champion in boxing, Stevenson has established his case
as the best fighter in the division, something he looks to continue to
prove on May 19.
"I'm the king at light heavyweight," said Stevenson. "I beat the king to
become the king. I know that I've accomplished some great things and me
and my team plan to continue to do everything we can to stay on top.
"I'm the best fighter in this division, period. When I win on May 19,
I'll just be doing my job. People might still talk trash, but I'll still
be the champ."
Stevenson vs. Jack is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®telecast
beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT with featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr.
defending his title against mandatory title challenger Joseph Diaz from
the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel, Lee
Baxter Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and
available at www.ticketmaster.ca.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson Press Conference
Welterweight World Title Showdown Headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP
BOXING Saturday, January 20 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn &
Presented by Premier Boxing Champions
BROOKLYN (November 29, 2017) - Unbeaten welterweight world
champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Lamont Peterson went
face-to-face for the first time Wednesday at a press conference in
Brooklyn to discuss their world title showdown headlining action on
Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME. The event is presented by
Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins live at 9 p.m. ET/6
p.m. PT and will feature undercard attractions that will be
announced in the near future.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella
Entertainment and TGB Promotions, are priced starting at $50, and
are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com,
barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be
purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.
Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The SHOWTIME
CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via
secondary audio programming (SAP).
Here is what the press conference participants had to say
ERROL SPENCE JR.
"You're going to see the same Errol Spence that you're used to. I
can't look ahead because I know how dangerous Lamont Peterson is.
I've been in training camps with him and I know what he can do.
"I've seen too many fighters look down the road and get beat
before they get to the big fight. I have to be 100 percent focused
and hungry. I'm fully dedicated to this fight.
"Lamont can push me to even greater levels. I feel like he is a
better fighter than Kell Brook and has even more heart than Kell
Brook and he can bring out the best in me.
"I think it's going to start out as a boxing match, but as we go
on, it's going to be a dog fight. We both have big hearts. I've
never known Lamont to turn down any fight. Not a lot of people
wanted to fight me. The big names shied away from me but Lamont
stood up and said he'd fight me. This is going to be a hard fight.
"I used to watch Lamont and his brother Anthony Peterson before I
ever met them. I like their styles, the way they throw body punches
and the fundamentals that they learned from Barry Hunter.
"I think I can be known as the best pound-for-pound in the sport,
but I have to take it one fight at a time. I want to be the
undisputed welterweight champion. That should be everyone's ultimate
goal - to be the best fighter in the sport. But first I have a big
test ahead of me January 20.
"This is the business of the sport. I was a young guy when Lamont
was giving me advice. Now we've gotten to this point. It really
shows his longevity in the sport and how I've reached the ranks of
being a top pro fighter.
"Sparring with Lamont Peterson was really great work. It was a
learning experience. I was an amateur so I was going at a fast pace
and Lamont was being patient, blocking and countering and picking
his shots. He was fighting at a pro pace and I didn't really
understand it until I got farther into my career.
"You've seen me and Lamont fight. We're not in boring fights. We
have fan-friendly styles and you're going to get a really good
fight. We have the mentality to really go after it and give it our
all to get this win.
"I want the best in this division to all fight each other. It's
time for everyone else to stand up and proclaim that they want to be
great. That's how we get this division to the peak. I don't feel
like waiting to fight the best. I want to prove myself."
"This is a world title fight and I'm thankful for that. I try not
to make too much out of each fight. I just want to take it one fight
at a time. I've done this for 13 years as a professional. All fights
are the same. I'm going to go in there and take care of business.
"As a top fighter, you're obligated to take what comes on the
table. Regardless of who it is. It's boxing. It's a sport and we're
competitors. We want to go in there and compete to see who's the
best. We're going to treat it like business like we always do.
"You already know when I fight, it's a feeling out process to
start, but in my head, I'm ready to go. It's going to get rough in
the trenches and we'll see who wants it more.
"I knew six years ago when Errol was in my camp that we'd get to
this point. I knew he would be a champion. For the most part, I've
seen him improve and progress throughout the pro ranks and I believe
he's going to keep getting better.
"I don't pay any attention to the outside noise. I respect
everyone's opinion. I just go out and train to do what I love to do.
I do this because I love to box. I'm not here to get on a list. I
truly love this sport.
"I can't worry about people thinking that Errol is the next star
in this sport. I believe that, but I can't worry about it. It is up
to me and my team to come up with the right type of strategy and
"I'm not too worried about figuring out his southpaw stance. I've
been around long enough and encountered enough southpaws. I'm
confident I'll be able to handle it.
"The size may seem like an advantage for Errol, but it's up to me
and my team to figure out the best way to negate it. I know who I
am. I'm a competitive person. Regardless of everything, I'm going to
come to win."
DERRICK JAMES, Spence's Trainer
"We have a game plan in place. We'll try to perfect everything
leading up to this one. We're working on making Errol a more
complete fighter every time out. He'll be better than he was when
you saw him against Brook.
"We're looking for the perfect fight. It takes a great fighter to
bring out the greatness in another great fighter. These guys are
high caliber fighters and it's about as good a matchup as you can
have in the division.
"These are two guys with the mentality to go after it. But they
also have technical skill. This is going to be an old school fight
between guys with real skills.
"It's one thing to do it, but it's another to teach. I've really
understood this sport since I became a trainer. Fighters are
developed, not born. I'm going to keep working with these guys on
the fundamentals so we can bring up the whole sport."
BARRY HUNTER, Peterson's
"When I look at Errol Spence, I instantly fell in love with him
because he reminded me of Lamont so much. They both have that dog
mentality. I've always known he was a special fighter.
"Lamont told me when he worked with Errol that he really liked
the kid. He knew he would be a world champion. I had to remind
myself that this is business. We have to fight our friends.
"These are the two guys who are ready to fight anybody. The fight
on January 20 is going to be one to remember. It's a fan-friendly
"Errol Spence is the best fighter in the welterweight division.
You have athletes that can fight and athletes who are fighters.
Errol and Lamont are both. They have the skills and they have the
ability to fight.
"To be the best in the world, you have to fight the best in the
world. All the greats have done it. In order to get back to the
glory days, we need to put the best against the best. I have
confidence in Lamont Peterson against anybody."
LOU DIBELLA, President of
"There are very few fights you could make that are better in the
welterweight division than this fight. It's going to take place at
the home of big-time boxing, here at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and
live on SHOWTIME.
"Errol Spence is one of the most talked about fighters in the
sport. Some think he could be the best fighter in the world. He's
consistently said he only wants to fight the best and on January 20
he will be fighting another champion and another great welterweight.
Lamont Peterson never backs down from a challenge and we know he'll
be ready for this fight on January 20.
"This is a great event that continues the run of significant
meaningful matchups on SHOWTIME. It's been great quality
programming. The fight cards have all been incredibly easy to
promote because the fights have been so strong. You have to make
fights with great fighters battling other great fighters. That's
what we need to energize our fans and our sport."
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive VP & General
Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
"As we come to the end of 2017 we look back on what has been a
really strong year. 25 nights of live boxing, 80 live boxing matches
and 27 world title fights. Not just title fights, but world title
fights featuring top ranked challengers against top ranked
"We've brought you the most watched fight of the year in Keith
Thurman vs. Danny Garcia right here at Barclays Center on CBS. It
was also the most watched primetime boxing match in nearly 20 years.
But we will not be resting on our laurels.
"We'll kick off next year with an incredibly strong card. Errol
Spence has grown up on SHOWTIME and we're proud of that. He made his
debut on ShoBox and won his world title on SHOWTIME. He has knocked
out nine straight opponents and in his last five fights his
opponents have an impressive record of 141-7-3.
"Not a lot of fighters are rushing to fight Errol Spence. Lamont
Peterson not only stepped up to the challenge, but he relinquished
his welterweight title to take this fight. That's the kind of
fighter he is. He has one of the strongest resumes in the division
and he's fought the best guys in the sport.
"We're thrilled to kick off the year with this matchup. It's
another great fight in the welterweight division, a division we've
been paying a lot of attention to for years. We'll see you on
BRETT YORMARK, CEO of Brooklyn Sports &
"We're coming off of an incredible 2017 for BROOKLYN BOXING. It
far exceeded my expectations. We're very committed to boxing, not
just now, but in the future. This fight kicks off what I think will
be a great 2018 for BROOKLYN BOXING.
"Lamont was on the first ever PBC card at Barclays Center in 2015
and Brooklyn is happy to have you back. Errol was here in the spring
of 2016 and we've had him as a fan several times, but we far prefer
having you here in the ring.
"Barclays Center is known for hosting 50-50 fights and this is no
different. We're thrilled to be holding this event here in Brooklyn.
We look forward to seeing you on January 20."
# # #
HURD/TROUT HIGHLIGHTS BROOKLYN BOXING ACTION
Brooklyn October 14, 2017
It was a Triple Header -- all jr.middle-weights, or
super-welters if you prefer, with the night having a very good
fight, a quick KO, and a boring snoozer as a main event.
Hurd (153.6) Vs. Trout (153).
Rd 1 Trout gets in
some shots as both fighters posture and feel each other out 10-9
Rd 2 Trout is
outfoxing and out-speeding Hurd. Hurd is having trouble adjusting to
the timing of his opponent, and gets hit with crisp lead left hands.
Rd 3 Hurd is
coming on, taking some crisp punches from Trout, but is willing to
take a couple to land his own. Hurd 10-9.
Rd 4 Trout comes
back and connects with brutal power shots. Trout 10-9
Rd 5 Trout and
Hurd exchange, however edge to Hurd, who is putting more pressure
on. Hurd 10-9.
Rd 6 Hurd revs it
into another gear and puts relentless pressure. Stuns Trout Hurd
Rd 7 Hurd,
bleeding from the left eye, dares Trout to hit him. He stuns Trout
on occasion Hurd 10-9.
Rd 8 more pressure
from Hurd, but he is showing signs of tiring also. Hurd 10-9
Rd 9 Trouts right
eye swells up and is bleeding. He has little left in the tank. Hurd,
bleeding from the left eye, is also showing signs of punching
Rd 10 Hurd is all
over Trout and is letting it fly to get Trout out of there.
Hurd staggers Trout, who wilts toward the corner. The crowd is
chanting "Stop The Fight!" Trout is wilting as the bell rings.
The referee and Doctor converse and the fight
is awarded to Hurd via 10th round TKO.
CHARLO (153.6) VS LUBIN (153.4)
A Charlo right puts an end to the fight at
2:41. Charlo is declared winner.
(153.6) VS GAUSHA (153.2)
The fight is a technical
and tactical bore, with Lara getting the edge in each and every
round. The final tally over 12 rounds had
Lara the winner 116-111, 117-110 (2X)
ITS ON! GARCIA/BRONER AT BARCLAYS ON JULY 29th
New York 6/20/2017 -- The official announcement of a fight
card featuring Adrian Broner and lightweight champion Mikey Garcia
in a showcase bout was held yesterday in the Chelsea in Manhattan.
Both fighters accepted this bout right away, in what seems to be a
hell of a barn burner and mega fight of the summer season. Broner's
trainer Mike Stafford stated that Broner will be in serious training
in Colorado Springs, away from the problems and distractions that
have plagued his fighter throughout his career.
And Garcia will be making a jump up in weight, and against a
legitimate fighter who carries power. Whether he can carry that
power up to 140 lbs ---- "we will have to wait and see till I enter
the ring" stated Garcia.
Broner hams it up at the New York Press Conference
The fight will be over twelve rounds, with no title at stake. "I'll
do whatever it takes to win" mentioned Garcia, who expects the best
and focused Broner on fight night. This is a crossroads fight for
both, with a victory being the key to lucrative matchups against
other top fighters in the future.
Broner, 27, has two losses, while Garcia is unbeaten as a
professional. Garcia served as a principal sparring partner of
Marcus Maidana in his preparation for Broner, which resulted in a
twelve round decision victory for Maidana.
As for Garcia, 29, this is the third bout, and biggest challenge,
since he was of two years due to promotional & management problems.
Garcia addresses media in NYC
Garcia has been installed as a slight favorite, but as always fans
must assume that a Broner with motivation will show up. "I see that
I am a 5-1 underdog", stated Broner, who feels that that is a big
mistake. How he deals with the pressure and counter-punching of
Garcia will be debatable till the opening bell, and the possibility
of a knockout or TKO is high. However or whatever the result, it
promises to be an interesting and intriguing fight.
LINEUP OF UP-AND-COMING PROSPECTS AND TWO FREE-VIEW BOUTS ADDED TO
ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV NON-TELEVISED UNDERCARD
2: “THE REMATCH” SET FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017
MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER, LAS VEGAS
PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®
LAS VEGAS, NV (June 1, 2017) –
Roc Nation Sports and Main Events are pleased to announce the
addition of four non-televised and two free-view fights, featuring a
talented slate of ones to watch, to the undercard of Andre
Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” on Saturday, June 17 at the
Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event
featuring the highly anticipated main event and a full undercard,
presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by
HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
non-televised portion of the action-packed undercard include
Georgian Enriko Gogokhia (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jonathan Steele (7-0, 5
KOs) of Dallas, Texas, in a six-round welterweight bout; Russian
Bakhram Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) vs. Gerald “G5” Sherrell (6-0, 2
KOs) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a six-round middleweight bout;
North Bergen, New Jersey’s John Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs) vs. an opponent
to be announced, in a four-round junior welterweight bout; and
Brooklyn, New York’s Junior “The Young God” Younan (11-0, 8 KOs) vs.
Hungarian Zoltan Sera (28-12, 19 KOs) in a six-round super
special free-view will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and will
be available on YouTube.com/HBOBoxing, cable, satellite, and telco
channels prior to the main event lineup. The first of two free-view
telecasts pits undefeated top prospect Tramaine “Mighty Midget”
Williams (10-0, 3 KOs) of New Haven, Connecticut, against tested
veteran Christopher Martin (30-8-3, 10 KOs) of San Diego,
California, in an eight-round junior featherweight showdown.
"A lot of people
don't even get one chance in life but I’m blessed to have gotten
two, so I have to take advantage of it,” said Williams. “I don’t
feel any different going into this fight, it’s just another day. My
past success came from hard work and that was a gift. Christopher
Martin is a good and tough fighter. He has been in there before
against good opponents but they're not Midget.”
“I’m looking to
use my experience against Tramaine Williams on June 17,” said
Martin. “I believe that is going to play a big part in me
winning—whether by decision or knockout.”
THURMAN VS. GARCIA FIGHT SETS RECORD AS HIGHEST
GROSSING NON-NETS SPORTING EVENT AT BARCLAYS CENTER
Highest Attended Boxing Event at Barclays Center
BROOKLYN (MARCH 6, 2017) –
Saturday’s highly anticipated showdown between Keith “One Time”
Thurman and Danny “Swift” Garcia ranked as the highest-grossing
non-Nets sporting event in Barclays Center history. The event also
set a record for boxing attendance at Barclays Center with 16,533.
The Saturday, March 4 matchup of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)
on CBS saw Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) become the unified welterweight
world champion with a split-decision victory over Garcia (33-1, 19
KOs), defending his WBA belt and picking up Garcia’s WBC crown on
boxing’s biggest stage in primetime on CBS. The judges scored it
116-112 Thurman, 115-113 Thurman and 115-113 Garcia. This was only
the third time in history that undefeated fighters unified the
This live broadcast of the PBC Showtime Championship Boxing on
CBS, placed CBS as the No. 1 network in prime time on Saturday
night, according to Nielsen overnight ratings.
On Saturday, it was also announced the WBC Welterweight
Eliminator between former 147-pound champions Andre Berto and Shawn
Porter will take place Saturday, April 22at Barclays Center. The
winner of this Berto-Porter matchup becomes the mandatory challenger
"I HEAR THAT BUD IS FIGHTING IN APRIL. IT'S TIME
FOR CRAWFORD TO FACE A REAL CHALLENGE!"
New York, NY (1/20/17) - Dominican Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) ended
a successful 2016 as a world ranked junior welterweight contender
with another two impressive victories added to his ledger. He is
determined to continue that momentum this year by facing the biggest
challenges. The top name on his hit list remains WBC/WBO junior
welterweight world champion Terence Crawford.
"I spent half of last year calling out Crawford. He went the easy
route, facing John Molina, who entered their December title fight
three pounds above the weight limit and was way overmatched. Now, it
is time for Crawford to face a real challenge," said Diaz.
"It doesn't look like he'll be fighting Pacquiao any time soon. I
am highly ranked by the WBC and WBO, and I am willing to go to
Omaha, if that's what he wants. I respect Crawford as a champion and
would love the opportunity to knock him out in his hometown. My
promoter Lou DiBella is ready and willing to talk to Bob Arum to get
a deal done. It would be a great fight for boxing fans. Let's get it
Diaz closed out last year fighting in his native Dominican
Republic for the first time in three and a half years, breaking down
his opponent en route to a TKO victory, on December 16, in Santo
Prior to that, Diaz won a thrilling 10-round war against highly
regarded, undefeated contender 21-0 Sammy Vasquez in Birmingham, AL.
The bout was shown live on FOX, and served as the co-main event to
Deontay Wilder's heavyweight title defense versus Chris Arreola.
The Vasquez fight came just nine months after Diaz lost a
questionable majority decision to former IBF 140lb. champ Lamont
Peterson in his adversary's backyard. Wins over 15-1-1 Emmanuel
Lartei, 13-2-2 Adrian Granados, and 23-1 Gabriel Bracero earned Diaz
the shot against Peterson.
Following the win over Vasquez, Diaz, the only boxer to win an
Olympic gold medal for the Dominican Republic, signed a long-term
promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment. Ranked no. 5 by
the WBC, no. 13 by the WBO and no. 15 by the IBF, Diaz is anxious to
prove that he belongs among boxing's elite.
"Arum and I have worked together for a long time," said Lou
DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Diaz facing Crawford
is a very attractive fight, one that promises a lot of action, and I
am confident that we can get it done. We'd be happy to fight on HBO
and in Omaha, or anywhere else. While many fighters are avoiding
Crawford, Diaz is ready for the challenge. The question is, does
Crawford want it?"
"Terence Crawford is someone we've been going after for a while,"
said Diaz' manager Jose Nunez. "We would love the opportunity to
fight for the world title. Diaz wants to face the best and the best
at 140 pounds is Crawford. He continues to maintain his conditioning
and will be ready when called, hopefully in April. It all depends on
whether Crawford wants to step up to the challenge."
Op: Klitschko -- Career unfulfilled?
Why Wladimir Klitschko Never Became the Star He
by Kevin Kennedy
The lengthy career of Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko has been
one that first became a true international story when he captured
the gold medal in the Super-heavyweight division at the 1996 Summer
Olympics in Atlanta. From there, he quickly found success as a
professional, becoming the WBC International heavyweight champion in
just his 17th bout.
That victory over American Marcus McIntyre was a third round
knockout came in February 1998. Yet by December, Klitschko had lost
the title to another American Ross Puritty by getting knocked out in
the 11th round. He would go on to recapture and then lose the title
three more times, the last time coming on November 28, when he lost
the title to American Tyson Fury in a unanimous 12-round decision.
Over his two decades in the ring, Klitschko has defended his
titles 28 times and reigned for the second longest period of time.
The title defenses are a heavyweight boxing record, yet his image
pales in comparison to boxers that are in this rare stratosphere.
Names like Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes continue to
resonate decades after they last fought, yet Klitschko is dismissed
as a pretender to this throne, never named among
the best of his generation.
Boxing experts and fans have never really accepted Klitschko for
a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that his style of
considered boring to watch.
More technical than physical, no one really speaks about the
devastating power the 6-6 Ukranian can unleash during a bout. It’s
been put on display a few times but he’s usually content to slog
through a match and move on. That’s something that annoys ticket
buyers who paid plenty to watch that power be wielded.
One of the more damning indictments of Klitschko is that he’s
never really been content to challenge other fighters. They have to
bring the fight to him, with many of those opponents also
eliciting some anger.
That’s because many of them have been considered substandard, a
modern day version of Joe Louis’ so-called Bum of the Month club. In
both cases, the eventual result was essentially already determined,
yet Klitschko did nothing to change the negative perception that
such a designation brought.
Klitschko’s career began with that raw power before evolving into
the more-criticized style he still employs. That change coincided
with the arrival of
the legendary Emanuel Steward
in 2004 and led to a steady stream of victories. Even after Steward
died in 2012, Klitschko didn’t change this approach, which brought
professional, if not popular success.
Another reason that Klitschko isn’t in the hallowed talk of past
heavyweights is due to the fact the MMA fighting has been able to
erode plenty of boxing’s stature when it comes to major fights.
Those brutal bouts grab more attention, in contrast to Klitschko
forging ahead with his strategic approach.
Legacies can be difficult to craft, with Klitschko seemingly
destined to have his dismissed by boxing aficionados in the years
JOHN DAVID JACKSON & VIRGIL HUNTER
TRAINERS DEBATE QUOTES, VIDEO & PHOTOS
Kovalev-Ward “Pound FOR POUND”
set for Saturday, November 19
at T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
presented live by HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®
Photo Credit: Main Events
Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan
HBO Boxing News: John David Jackson and
Virgil Hunter Trainer Debate (Click to Watch)
LAS VEGAS, NV (November 17, 2016)–
World renown trainers, John David Jackson and Virgil Hunter, squared
off in a debate moderated by HBO Boxing InsiderKieran Mulvaney on
Wednesday, Nov. 16, ahead of Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward “Pound
For Pound” showdown on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,
John David Jackson is the trainer of WBO, WBA and IBF Light
Heavyweight World ChampionSergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs).
Virgil Hunter is the trainer of Two-Time World Champion and 2004
Olympic Gold MedalistAndre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs). Here is
what the trainers had to say:
John David Jackson, Trainer of Sergey Kovalev:
“Alright, thank you very much it’s nice to have the press out
here and I’m glad you made it out the Sergey Kovalev
– Andre Ward fight is a fight
that I am glad was made for a lot of reasons, but one reason is for
the fans because this fight was deserved. In boxing today, there’s
too many fights that aren’t being made these are the best fighters
in the world so it definitely had to be made.
“Decline I say because when you look at his past (Ward’s) last
five years and the way he dominated 168. He fought different fights
and he fought a different way.
“In Andre I see many thing but you know what on that night they
might not show. He may become totally different but we are prepared
for what he brings to us.
“Andre has a lot of strengths. You know when you look at him or
when you really study him he’s a well schooled fighter he listens to
everything Virgil preaches and he definitely absorbs it. The one
beautiful thing I’ve noticed from that is he trusts Virgil. When you
trust your trainer that speaks volumes for you, you listen to
everything he tells you to do, so any game plan that Virgil advises
he’s gonna follow.
“I really studied Andre these past few weeks I have a great
appreciation for what he does because looked and I said you know
what his style was similar to mine. I was busy in my fights, I was
very captivated in my moves, I set traps for my opponents. As soon
as I sat down and recognized what he does, I like what he (Ward)
does he’s very smart.
“Once I really sat down and studied Andre and Virgil I had to sit
back and give them all the credit they deserve I kinda sold them
short a couple years back.
“He don’t need to worry about the knockout if the knock come it
come but if it doesn’t we are prepared to go 12 hard rounds to get
the victory by decision.
“We knew going in that this was the fight that would make Sergey
a household name his names good but being in a fight with a name
like Andre ward makes it even better.
Virgil Hunter, Trainer of Andre Ward:
“Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward ‘Pound For Pound’ is going to be a
historical initiation. As far as preparing for this fight, we’ve
been preparing for it from the first time that he started boxing.
“Each fighter is different but you have the masses, the critics
who need to be impressed by a certain way that a victory comes up.
We came out of the garage from a one-and-a-half-year layoff and
fought Sullivan Barrera. He was the number one contender at the
time, so it was a dangerous fight until the fight was over, then
Barrera was garbage. Nobody is ever going to be satisfied. That’s
just the nature of the game so you have to be satisfied with
“I’m very attuned to body language, I’m very attuned to tone of
voice, and from what I hear, from what I see, it’s safe to say that
there is a lot of disarray in that camp. What I mean by that is I
don’t even know if Coach Jackson is getting the respect he is due in
that camp but time will tell. For instance, why do we have to make
an excuse for Kovalev in Russia for selling tickets and things.
Don’t you have a team who could have taken care of that? You’re
supposed to have a team to take care of that to take the pressure
off the fighter.
“I believe somebody probably told Kovalev to say that Ward is a
dirty fighter because you go eight, nine weeks and all of a sudden
he is a dirty fighter? Kovalev will learn, one day, to not be
everyone’s robot and do what they tell and ask him to do. He does it
because he’s loyal. It doesn’t even sound like him. That’s not him
saying that. That’s not in his character. That is his promoter
saying that. It’s nothing but if he kicks Ward, he’ll get kicked
back. Simple as that.
“We know Kovalev is a dangerous fighter, we give him all he’s
due. I give Coach Jackson all he’s due. The coaching fraternity is a
very tough fraternity. We are the first ones to get the blame. The
fighter never takes full responsibility for his shortcomings. The
fighter always has other people in his ear, telling him there is a
better way, so I understand what he goes through as a coach.
“I just want the best Andre Ward and the best Sergey Kovalev. If
Kovalev wins the fight, my respect goes out to him. If we win the
fight, my respect goes out to him because they can’t be great unless
they fight each other. Sometimes two people come out of that
situation looking great. I wish the best to both of them regardless
of what happens.
“‘Do I believe that Ward will exhibit mental toughness? Yes,
without a doubt. Do I believe that Kovalev will exhibit it? I’m sure
he will as well, and that’s the making of a great fight.”
Kovalev vs. Ward "Pound For Pound", a 12-round mega-fight for the
WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,
is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions
and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel &
Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux, Zappos, Jordan Brand
and Shoe Palace. The championship event will be produced and
distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00
p.m. PT. Tickets are available on
and the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Isaac Chilemba Returns to the Ring to Face
Oleksandr Gvozdyk on Kovalev vs. Ward "Pound for Pound" Undercard
Saturday, November 19 from the T-Mobile Arena
Presented Live by HBO Pay-Per-View®
Las Vegas, Nevada: Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba
(24-4-2, 10 KOs) will return to the United States on Saturday, Nov.
19 to face dangerous light heavyweight prospect and NABF Light
Heavyweight Champion Oleksandr "The Nail" Gvozdyk (11-0, 9
KOs) in a ten round bout as part of the Kovalev vs. Ward "Pound for
Pound" pay-per-view telecast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las
Vegas, NV. The bout will be presented by Main Events in association
with Top Rank. The event will be produced and distributed live by
HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Chilemba, 29, a native of Blantyre, Malawi fighting out of
Johannesburg, South Africa, is coming off a hard-fought loss against
WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey "Krusher"
Kovalev. Isaac holds the impressive distinction as only the second
fighter in Kovalev's career to go the full 12 rounds. The only is
future Hall-of-Famer Bernard "The Alien" Hopkins. In doing so,
Chilemba managed to raise more than a few eyebrows among boxing fans
In this redemption fight, Chilemba will have a tough challenge
against Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 29, of Kharkov, Ukraine. Despite having
only 11 professional bouts, Gvozdyk is a top-ten ranked light
heavyweight in the WBC, WBO and IBF. Since making his professional
debut in 2014, Oleksandr has defeated the first 11 opponents he has
faced, stopping nine of them for an impressive 82% knockout-to-win
ratio. In his last bout Gvozdyk secured his fifth straight stoppage
and made his first successful defense of his NABF Light Heavyweight
Title against Tommy Karpency in Las Vegas in July.
When asked about this match-up Chilemba responded, "Firstly, I
thank Main Events for standing by me and for this opportunity. I
thank my manager, Jodi Solomon, for always standing by my side and
believing in me. I thank HBO, my fans, and all boxing followers
around the globe. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, with a good amateur back
ground, who is a highly as a rated and undefeated as a pro. I'm
going to work with my idol, the person I look up to most, Roy Jones
Jr. This is a huge opportunity for me to train with him, learn from
him, and have him in my corner. Not only is he the greatest, but he
cares and has love for the game. I'm looking forward to getting back
in the ring, and completing what I should have done in my fight
against Kovalev, but 10 times better than ever!"
This fight will be the first time Isaac will be working with his
new trainer and legendary fighter, Roy Jones, Jr. who said, "Isaac
is a very exciting fighter with a lot of upside. I am very excited
to be training him and be part of his team now. I look forward to
seeing much bigger and better things from him in the future. He is
fighting a very good opponent so we look forward to this challenge.
I can't wait to start to work with him."
Chilemba's manager, Jodi Solomon, added, "I am very grateful and
happy that Main Events gave Isaac the opportunity to be on this
card. I have no doubt he will come into the ring with as much
determination and heart as he did against Kovalev and prove that he
has what it takes. Also having Roy Jones Jr. in his corner I believe
will only bring out an even better Isaac."
Gvozdyk said, "I am really happy to have this opportunity to
fight on such a big card like Kovalev-Ward. Thanks to Top Rank, Main
Events and to my manager Egis Klimas to make my goals come true!
Chilemba is a tough opponent and I am expecting a tough fight. It's
a good test for me and I will pass it!"
Oleksandr's trainer, Robert Garcia, added, "Oleksandr Gvozdyk is
an Olympic medalist with a lot of amateur experience, great skills
and tremendous power. Chilemba is a very good fighter who lost a
decision to Kovalev. I think Chilemba will bring the best out of
Gvozdyk. Gvozdyk is very dedicated and came to the USA to become a
world champion and this fight gets him closer to that dream."
Gvozdyk is managed by Egis Klimas who also manages Sergey Kovalev.
Klimas said, "I want to thank our promoter and Chilemba's promoter,
Main Events, for giving us this great opportunity. A special thanks
to Isaac for taking this fight right after his severe fight against
'The Krusher.' Isaac look good in his last fight and we hope he can
bring the same kind of performance or even better to the ring on
November 19. We are very excited as bouts like this one will make
this great show better and better. See you in Las Vegas on November
19 or on HBO Pay-Per-View."
According to Main Events' CEO, Kathy Duva, "Isaac was a warrior
against Sergey Kovalev. That was a tough battle for both fighters.
Many fighters would have preferred a tune-up fight after facing
Sergey Kovalev for 12 rounds but Isaac has the heart of a champion.
He wasted no time getting back in the ring and demanded the toughest
opposition we could find for him. This should be a great match-up on
November 19 in Las Vegas."
"This is a huge opportunity and a step up fight for Oleksandr
especially fighting on this card. We believe he's ready but there's
only one way to find out and we'll all have the answer on November
19," said Carl Moretti, VP, Top Rank.
Kovalev vs. Ward will take place Saturday, Nov. 19 at
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The event will be produced and
distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00
p.m. PT. "Pound for Pound" is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation
Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and sponsored
by MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
New Book on Panama Al Brown - Boxing's First
Latino World Champion.
Win By KO Publications is proud to announce the
release of Black Ink, by Jose Corpas. Black Ink is the long overdue
biography of Panama Al Brown, a boxer so unpopular, fans stormed the
ring and nearly killed him in an attack that might be considered a
hate crime today. Outside the ring, the leaders of the "Manly Art"
were so determined not to have a gay boxing champion that they
stripped him of his recognition, without an explanation. But Brown
was too good, and eventually fought his way to become recognized as
the first Latino world champion. In this riveting book, Jose Corpas
makes sure Al Brown is never forgotten.
TRIO OF DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT PROSPECTS PICK UP VICTORIES OVER THE
ABEL RAMOS BOUNCES BACK FROM FIRST CAREER LOSS
SECURES KNOCKOUT VICTORY IN MEXICO
DARDAN ZENUJAJ EARNS VICTORY ON BERTO-ORTIZ II UNDERCARD
LAMAR RUSS RETURNS FROM A YEAR-AND-HALF LAYOFF WITH FIRST ROUND KO
New York, NY (5/2/16) - This past Saturday night, DiBella
Entertainment saw a trio of its prospects pick up victories on
separate cards as Abel Ramos, Dardan Zenunaj and Lamar Russ all
added to the win column of their respective records.
Ramos, returning for the first time since his lone loss as a
professional at the hands of red-hot undefeated prospect Regis
Prograis on ShoBox in December, scored a third-round knockout over
Javier Mercado (23-11-2, 21KO's) in Mexico. The former amateur
standout saw his record improve to 15-1-2, 10KO's, and is set to
return later this month in his home state of Arizona, as he looks to
gear up for another big fight in the talent-laden 140lb. division.
Like Ramos, Zenunaj (12-1, 9KO's) also fought on the December ShoBox,
when he upset and stopped previously undefeated prospect Bryant Cruz
in a thrilling junior lightweight contest. Returning for the first
time since career-best victory, Zenunaj pounded out an eight-round
decision over tough Mexican Naciff Castillo.
Following a year-and-half layoff, middleweight Lamar Russ scored a
devastating one-punch, first-round knockout over former two-time
world title challenger Antwun Echols in front of his hometown fans
in North Carolina. Russ (16-2, 8KO's) was involved in a bad car
accident in August of 2015, and took off the rest of the year to
recover and get himself back into fighting shape. There are many
attractive fights to be made in the 160lb. division for the college
graduate Russ, who, in 2013, dropped a competitive decision to
three-time middleweight world title challenger Matthew Macklin on
Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov Ready to become a World
Champ at Cruiserweight
By David Selwyn
,2015) Team Shumenov conducted a media only workout today in a
private gym in sunny Las Vegas. Shumenov looked strong and in
condition during his drills. He was hitting the pads held by an
assistant trainer and also conducted some defensive drills. After
the workout, TrufanBoxing.com was able to sit down with him and ask
him a few questions . . .
DS How do you feel at this weight ?
BS I feel great. When I first came to this country ,I was a solid
240lbs. People told me I was too short to fight at Heavyweight
or Cruiserweight so I became a Light Heavyweight. In the last
few fights it became very difficult to cut weight. I feel great at
this weight and I plan to be a unified world champion
DS Have you watched any fight tapes of your July 24th
opponent B.J. Flores ?
BS No. I let my coach Ismael Salas watch tape and he comes up
with a game plan. It is my job to follow his game plan
DS Can you tell me a little about you new coach?
BS Sure. Coach Salas coached many great amateur boxers
in Cuba. He made a lot of them amateur world champions He now
also works with Yuriokis Gamboa and Rances (Bartelemy).
come you did not have a trainer in your corner when you fought
Bernard Hopkins ?
BS I could
not find a coach. I had a few fights that I self trained. With
Coach Salas I am learning something new everyday and it is great !
DS Thank you
for your time Bebiut
BS Thank you
Dave. The pleasure is all mine . I hope I can show the world that
I can be a World Champion again My manager Al Haymon will help me
get to the top once again
WBC MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION MIGUEL COTTO TO FIGHT DANIEL GEALE
ON JUNE 6, 2015 AT BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN
TELEVISED LIVE ON HBO®
PRESENTED BY ROC NATION SPORTS + MIGUEL COTTO PROMOTIONS
On Thursday, April 16, Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions
hosted a press conference at The 40/40 Club in Manhattan to announce
the next highly anticipated battle for Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s),
the reigning WBC Middleweight and Ring Magazine World Champion and
the first native of Puerto Rico to become world champion in four
different weight classes. On June 6, 2015, Cotto will defend his
titles against former Two-Time World Champion Daniel Geale (31-3, 16
KO’s) of Australia in a fight that will be televised live on HBO
from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Here’s what the participants had to say:
Miguel Cotto: “All I have to say is I’ve been here for the past two
days and I’m eager to get back to Los Angeles and get into another
training session and get back to New York on June 6. All I have to
worry about is my mindset during the fight. I know Daniel is a great
fighter and I’m going to do my best as always to bring a good and
exciting fight to all the fans. See you all on June 6.”
Daniel Geale: “I’m as excited as you can ever imagine. This is a
great moment for me. And come June 6, it’s going to be a hell of a
fight and I can’t wait to walk away with the titles.”
Michael Yormark, President & Chief of Branding and Strategy of Roc
Nation: “Today is a historic day for Roc Nation and our boxing
division. Muhammed Ali once said ‘he who is not courageous enough to
take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ At Roc Nation, we
decided to launch our boxing division in August of 2014. We knew we
were taking a risk. We knew that we were entering a sport that was
established with a long history in a deep-rooted culture. It took
courage, but frankly Roc Nation is nothing if not courageous…we’re
committed to promoting the biggest fights and the biggest fighters.
Now just a few short months later, we stand here with one of the
best fighters in the world, announcing a world championship bout
inside the new mecca of boxing, Barclays Center, and broadcast on
the standard bearer for live boxing telecasts, HBO. It took courage
and risk to get here but this is a proud moment for all of us.”
Hector Soto, Miguel Cotto Promotions: “Miguel Cotto is back and he’s
in his second home in New York. As everyone knows, it’s been a
tradition for the past couple of years that Miguel fights on the eve
of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, so it’s an honor to fight during
that time again. On June 6, Miguel Cotto will defend his
Middleweight WBC Championship against a tough opponent, Daniel Geale.
Have no doubt, it will be a great fight at Barclays Center and
everyone will enjoy the fight especially the Puerto Ricans. Miguel
Cotto will be ready, will train as hard as always and be ready for
the challenge Daniel Geale brings.”
Gary Shaw, Gary Shaw Productions: “If you look at Daniel’s fight
against Sturm, when we went to Germany and lifted the belt and
became the world champion, that’s the Daniel Geale you’re going to
see on June 6. You’re going to see a great fight. Miguel Cotto is a
great fighter. Daniel understands that and we have a great deal of
respect for him, but on June 6 on HBO at Barclays Center, it will be
a whole new night. It will be a night when Daniel Geale takes the
belt back to Australia.”
Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets: “Boxing
is a big part of what we do at Barclays Center. We’re very
passionate about it and very deeply committed. This will be our 13th
big night of Brooklyn Boxing in just two and a half years and I am
proud to say that Barclays Center is the new mecca of boxing in this
country. Miguel Cotto has a storied history in New York, so we are
delighted that he is calling Barclays Center his new home in this
Tickets, priced at $500, $350, $250, $200, $150, $100, $50 and $25,
not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale
Wednesday, April 22 at 10:00 AM ET. Tickets will be available at
www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American
Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Thursday, April 23
at 12:00 PM ET. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800)
Cotto vs. Geale, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBC and Ring Magazine
Middleweight World Championships, takes place Saturday, June 6 at
Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will be televised live on HBO. The
fight is presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions
in association Gary Shaw Productions and is sponsored by Cerveza
KLITSCHO-JENNINGS IS SET FOR APRIL 25th
Undercard to be announced
HBO to Cover Event
Klitscho back at MSG after 7
New York Feb 4th: "I'm back!" said a proud
Wladimir Klitscho at a press conference at the Garden today, as he
hopes to defend his heavyweight title for an 18th time against an
upstart from Philadelphia, Bryant Jennings. Jennings brings a 19-0
record into the contest, and has two consecutive victories against
then unbeaten fighters in his last two bouts.
Klitscho, who last defended his title at the
Garden in 2008 (a lackluster event, to say the least) hopes to bring
some excitement and entertainment to town on April 25th.
And many heavyweight champions defended their
titles successfully at the Garden. Jack Dempsey defended in 1920
against Bill Brennan and Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali,
Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes are just some of the other names who
successfully defended their championship belts at the Garden.
"He's Rocky Balboa" stated the champion,
donning a silver suit and looking younger than his 38 years, and
even quoted Frank Sinatra as he looked at his opponent "if you can
make it here, you can make it anywhere." And true, both have made
it, and Jennings plans to bring his best when the two collide.
"I know there will be a knockout, whether its him or me" stated the
challenger, who laughed off the Balboa comparison.
Klitscho, 63-3, with 53 KO's, is third in the
history of title defenses, behind Joe Louis (25) and Larry Holmes
(20). He currently holds the IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO, and Ring Magazine
DREAM FIGHT ; PIPINO CUEVAS -VS- ARMANDO MUNIZ
When I think of some of the best fighters in recent years who
never won a title. I can not help but think of Jerry Quarry and
Yaqui Lopez. Pierre Fourie and “Bad” Bennie Briscoe also come to
mind. Without a doubt another one is Armando Muniz. Born in 1947
Muniz turned professional in 1970 and won his first twelve bouts. In
1971 he drew with rugged Oscar “Shotgun” Albarado. Then came big
wins over Gil King and Clyde Gray. Muniz suffered his first loss
when he was out boxed by the great Emile Griffith in 1972. There
were also losses to Raul Soriano and Jose Martin Flores but he
closed the year halting Adolph Pruitt for the NABF welterweight
title. In all Armando had eleven fights in 1972 !
In 1973 Muniz lost the NABF title to cagey Eddie Perkins. He was
also upset by Zovek Barajas. The following year saw Muniz lose again
to Perkins. He also lost to the capable Marcos Geraldo. He blitzed
Billy Lloyd in one round but dropped a verdict to smooth boxing
Angel Espada. Armando ended the year on a big note though defeating
the highly regarded Hedgemon Lewis. The win over Lewis earned him a
shot at the great Jose Napoles and the world welterweight title. In
a bout with a highly controversial ending a badly cut Napoles was a
awarded a technical decision after twelve rounds. The details of
this fight would make for a story in itself. The controversial
ending led to a rematch and this time Napoles won a fifteen round
decision. In between his two bouts with Muniz, Napoles gave up the
WBA version of the title. Angel Espada would beat Clyde Gray to
claim the vacant crown.
Napoles would eventually lose his title to England’s John H.
Stracey. The Brit in turn would lose his title to Carlos Palomino.
In 1977 Muniz would challenge Palomino for the WBC championship. In
a great fight Palomino stopped Muniz for the first time in his
career in the fifteenth and final round. Muniz stayed in the mix for
a rematch beating Barajas in their return encounter. He was upset by
Jose Palacios but he came back to stop the rated Pete Ranzany. Next
came a 1978 rematch with Palomino and Carlos retained his title by
decision. Sugar Ray Leonard was then looking to move up in the
ratings and who better to fight then a four time world title
challenger. Muniz was no longer the fighter he once was and Leonard
was a rising superstar. Ray stopped Muniz ending his career. In 59
fights Muniz posted a 44-14-1 record with 30 KO’s.
Pipino Cuevas is inducted in the International Boxing Hall Of
Fame. I was not sure if I agreed with that honor but when you look
at his championship reign, one has to be impressed. He won the WBA
version of the welterweight crown in 1976 when he upset Angel Espada
in two devastating rounds. Until losing his title in two rounds to
the fearsome Tommy Hearns in 1980, Pipino racked up eleven defenses.
He was a crushing puncher with a wrecking ball left hook that left a
trail of broken bones and victims. He was in a word, awesome.
What if…In the building of a possible unification showdown
between Palomino and Cuevas, the Cuevas camp decided to meet Muniz
and use him as a “measuring stick” so to speak. Let’s say the fight
took place in 1977 after Armando’s first loss to Palomino. This
would be for Pipino’s WBA title. This bout would have been a huge
draw in Los Angeles. Who would have won ? Here is one possible
ROUND 1- Cuevas comes out fast and wastes little time introducing
himself. Firing away with both hands he quickly has Muniz on the
defensive. Armando is using all his guile to avoid the onslaught.
Finally a big left hook drops Muniz to his hands and knees late in
the round. Armando is up at “5″ but seems to be OK. The bell sounds
before Pipino can follow up.
ROUND 2- Pipino is again going after Muniz in earnest. Some
punches are missing but the ones that are landing hurt Armando.
Muniz is just trying to weather the storm at this point. Again
another Cuevas left hook drops Muniz on his side. This time Muniz
takes the “8″ count and is able to ward off Cuevas until the bell.
ROUND 3- Cuevas is like a machine that never stops throwing
punches. Most of them are bombs. Muniz is wobbled a few times but he
keeps his feet. When possible Armando is digging in some body shots
but Pipino is still in charge.
ROUND 4- The pattern of the fight is the same as Muniz has all he
can do to hold off Pipino’s relentless attack. At this point Cuevas
has a huge lead and it seems like only a matter of time before Muniz
will cave in.
ROUND 5- For the first time in the fight Muniz has landed some
meaningful punches. A left hook got Pipino’s attention and later a
straight right. Cuevas has slowed down a bit but he is still very
ROUND 6- There were some pretty good exchanges in this round and
again Cuevas hurt Muniz. Armando managed to stay upright but Cuevas
pulled out the round to add to his commanding lead.
ROUND 7- Muniz is mixing his punches well to the body and head
and Pipino appears to be bothered. Cuevas is still winging away and
draws blood from Armando’s nose. Still Muniz was the busier fighter
this session and he is awarded the round.
ROUND 8- Cuevas is still launching bombs but now he is missing
more then he is landing. Muniz is matching punch rate with Cuevas
and his punches are more accurate now. A couple of nice combinations
by Muniz jolt Pipino. Another round for Armando.
ROUND 9- The Cuevas corner is trying to fire up their charge.
Pipino continues to come forward occasionally landing a good punch.
At this point though his work rate has diminished and Muniz has
landed some effective counters and is still working Pipino’s
ROUND 10- Although Muniz has rallied he is still far behind on
the cards with three rounds left. Both men are showing the marks of
a very intense battle. Cuevas appears to be tiring while Muniz seems
rejuvenated. A hard straight right stuns Pipino after he missed a
wide left hook. Armando then stepped in with his own left and Cuevas
is down. Pipino is up at four but looks confused. The two are
trading shots and Pipino’s legs buckle from another hard left but he
does not go down. Finally the bell sounds as the crowd is in a
ROUND 11- Muniz is looking to land another big shot but he is
wisely not loading up. He is throwing short punches in nice
combinations. He is now slipping most of Pipino’s arcing shots and
countering well. A body shot seems to freeze Cuevas for a moment and
a sharp left hook to the temple sends him staggering across the
ring. Muniz follows with a flurry that drops Pipino to his knees.
Cuevas is up at “6″ but he is in a bad way. Muniz is teeing off as
Pipino is now defenseless. Just as the referee is jumping in Cuevas
slides down the ropes. The referee waves it off at 2:03 of the
eleventh round. The winner and NEW, WBA welterweight champion,
For whatever reason a unification fight between Carlos Palomino
and Pipino Cuevas never took place. It should have. All the
ingredients for a classic fight were there. I personally always
thought that Palomino was the better man. One reason why is because
he defeated who I thought at the time was the #2 welterweight in the
world, Armando Muniz. There is a good chance that if Armando would
have received a title shot with Cuevas he may have finally won that
elusive world title.
Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez Decides to Continue
After lengthy discussions with members of his team, now-former
WBC Middleweight Champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez has decided to
continue his boxing career.
Determined to return and erase the terrible memory of what
happened against fellow-great Miguel Cotto in June, 39-year-old
Martinez will next face a top-10 contender with the goal of
recapturing his world title.
"Miguel De Pablos (Business Manager) and I met with Sergio at his
home in Madrid and he says he is 100% healthy and ready to do what
it takes to return to the very top of boxing," said Martinez advisor
Lewkowicz says Martinez will first undergo a full battery of
head-to-toe testing from top specialists in New York, but pending
full medical clearance, the former champion will be returning to the
ring on a mission.
"Against Cotto, Sergio was badly hurt in the opening round from
the first left hook that landed," continued Lewkowicz, "after that,
he remembers only pieces and had very little control of his body and
especially his legs. He fought entirely on instinct. It was the
worst night of his entire career and he is coming back to prove he
is a superstar fighter who just had a bad night."
Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) had been favored to defeat the smaller
Cotto when the pair met last month at Madison Square Garden. But one
monstrous Cotto left hook a minute into the fight led to three
first-round knockdowns and an eventual 10-round stoppage loss.
While many speculated that Martinez's previously injured knee had
affected the southpaw's normally cat-like agility in the fight,
Lewkowicz says it was not the case.
"He got caught with an unexpected punch and it disconnected his
body. It happens in boxing, especially against a puncher like Miguel
Cotto. If you look at the tape of the fight, look how slow his hands
were. A bad knee doesn't cause your hands to slow. It was clear it
was not the real Sergio in the ring that night."
Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, who will continue as
Martinez's promoter, says a great fighter like Martinez deserves the
benefit of the doubt if he still feels he can compete at an elite
"Obviously June 7 was a terrible night in the ring for Sergio
Martinez," said the always outspoken DiBella. "But he says he can
still do it and that he's totally committed to winning back his
title, so I stand behind him. He's already come back to do great
things after a stoppage loss to Antonio Margarito earlier in his
career and he's positive he can do it again. So we're going to put
him in with someone who can get him in line for a title shot and see
what he can do. If he doesn't look to be the same fighter anymore, I
will be the first to admit it, but he deserves the chance to prove
it was just an off-night in an otherwise stellar career."
No opponent or return date have yet been finalized, but an
announcement will be made in the near future.
Adam J. Pollack
Angeles May 11
On Saturday night, Bermane Stiverne won the vacant WBC
heavyweight belt with a 6th round knockout over Chris
Arreola. The fight was filled with twists and turns, and an ebb and
flow which made it difficult to predict how ultimately it would turn
As they approached the ring, Arreola clearly
was the crowd favorite. They cheered for him wildly. Conversely,
Stiverne received boos. Both men were a massive 239 pounds. This
writer was on record as disapproving of any weight above 230 for
Arreola, and his appearance confirmed my thoughts. There was surplus
flesh in evidence.
In the 1st round, Stiverne was
cautious but landed the cleaner and harder blows. Arreola worked
more but did not land as cleanly on Stiverne, who used a flicking
jab from far away, and a tight guard when in close along the ropes.
When Stiverne landed, one could tell that Arreola felt the blows,
because he showed respect and backed away a lot more than usual. A
couple blows really rocked Arreola’s head. Stiverne appeared to be
using a trap style, playing defense for a while, and then launching
vicious fast powerful blows on occasion. Stiverne round.
In the 2nd round, Arreola really
got going and clearly outworked Stiverne, who appeared to just be
loading up and looking for the one big shot. Stiverne spent a great
portion of the round on the ropes and in corners covering up,
playing defense, though he was being struck on the body and head
with some shots. Still, Stiverne remained calm and even spoke to
Arreola, something he did throughout the bout. Arreola would flurry
with combinations, and then back away as Stiverne took his turn
moving forward, but doing little but flicking jabs that mostly
missed owing to being thrown from too far away. They were mostly
being used as deterrents and range-finders. Stiverne only
occasionally landed his big right, but not enough to win the round.
He seemed to be loading up and not concerning himself with points.
the 3rd round, Stiverne landed some nice jabs and rights,
but Arreola was still outworking him, especially when he got Bermane
to the ropes. His flurries to the body and head had the crowd
excited. Again Arreola was doing the work, Stiverne playing
rope-a-dope defense, and loading up for the occasional big counter,
not working much. It was Arreola’s round on superior work rate. He
wasn’t hurting Stiverne, but was landing enough to win points.
in the 4th round, Stiverne flicked jabs and mostly
missed, using a paltry output. Arreola continued outworking him,
particularly when he got Stieverne to the ropes. One had to wonder
whether all of Stiverne’s big power punching was tiring him so much
that he simply could not throw very often, given the energy output
necessary for his big blows. This was another Arreola round.
The 5th round revealed a shift in
the fight. Stiverne’s strategy to allow Arreola to work, but not
land effectively very often, started to pay off. Arreola started to
slow down, not throw as often, and move in more slowly. This allowed
Stiverne to outbox him, using his quick outside blows to outland
Arreola. Stiverne’s quick flicking jab was especially useful,
hitting the head and body, and he occasionally hooked off of the
jab. At one point, a big left hook rocked Arreola’s head. One had to
cringe at the big blows Stiverne landed whenever he landed in this
bout. When Bermane did land, there was no partial blocking by Chris.
Stiverne landed some nice rights to the body and head as well.
In the 6th round, Arreola continued
moving in too slowly, both his guard and offensive output
diminishing. Stiverne timed him with a powerful right, Arreola’s
body gave out and he crumpled to the canvas. He gamely continued,
but a barrage decked him again. He continued yet again, but the
blows were rocking his head, and his legs were giving way, despite
his efforts to continue. Hence, Referee Jack Reis saw the inevitable
end and stepped in and stopped the bout. Functionally, the bout was
over when Arreola went down the first time. It was only his
toughness and heart that kept him going.
Should Yield Fireworks
Adam J. Pollack
time I saw Christobal Arreola was in 2001 at the National Golden
Gloves in Reno, when he was just 178 pounds. His conditioning was
tremendous, and he could really take a punch. Chris was an
entertaining relentless warring machine. He won the tournament. I
Fast forward several years, and Arreola was a
professional heavyweight. He was using the same style, taking it to
guys, working the body and head, usually stopping his foes. He could
still take a punch too. The only difference was he was bigger.
However, Arreola continued getting bigger, and
bigger. He still took it to guys, but his footwork slowed down, he
threw less punches, and he got a bit slower. Because he was not
making his opponents defend blows often enough, his defensive
liabilities were getting exposed, and he was getting hit even more.
He was still tough, and he had a heck of a chin, so he was always in
fun fights. But the plodding Arreola got outboxed and outlanded by
guys like Klitschko and even the smaller Adamek. Arreola struck me
as a guy with a lot of ability, who could have been more, but never
fully achieved his potential, owing to lack of discipline,
particularly in regard to his diet.
Here and there Arreola would train hard, watch
his diet a bit more, and get down in weight. But then he would slip
back into old habits, particularly for the fights that were the most
meaningful. It was almost as if he could not help himself. Perhaps
it was psychological. Weight and lack of training discipline could
When Arreola took on Bermane Stiverne, a fast,
hard hitting, big, strong man with skill and ring generalship,
instead of showing the discipline he needed to be at his best, Chris
was a little less than what he needed. He again came into the ring
too heavy. And once again, in a very good fight, Chris lost. He
applied the pressure, threw some hard blows, but was just a bit too
slow of hand and feet, and kept a pace that was within Stiverne’s
comfort level. And so Chris lost the decision, and rightfully so.
Yet, as always, Chris was fun to watch, because he took the
punishment, got dropped by a brutal right to the nose, and kept
trying, which is why he is still a fan favorite.
time to suffer was in the gym, in training. Mike Tyson once said
something to the effect that believe it or not, the hard part about
fighting isn’t the fighting, but the training. When one trains hard
and well, the fight should be easy.
Arreola has been selling himself for this
fight as being in better shape, more motivated and disciplined,
having trained like he knew it might be his last chance for the big
time. And yet, I keep thinking to myself that a leopard doesn’t
change its spots, nor a zebra its stripes. People are who and what
they are. The past is usually a harbinger of things to come. I don’t
like Arreola when he is much over 230 pounds. I think he is too
sluggish when very heavy. So although people can change, can get
motivated for the big one, as we saw with Buster Douglas
against Mike Tyson, I will have to see it to believe it. The past
usually repeats itself unless there is some fundamental alteration
of style or preparation.
possible that Arreola is telling the truth and has learned, adapted,
improved, and trained harder than he did the first time he met
Stiverne. It is also possible that Stiverne may be so full of
confidence that it has become overconfidence. Bermane has been
talking about knocking out Arreola. If he fights with that as his
goal, it will be a fun fight for sure, and he will likely be giving
Arreola his best chance to win. Boxing smart won the fight for
Stiverne the first time. If he wars too much, he might regret it,
because Chris can hit, and Chris can take a punch. The more you try
to knock a guy out, the more likely it is that either you can be hit
back, or you tire yourself out trying to earn the knockout. If
Stiverne does that, then Arreola has a much better chance to win,
and Stiverne may be the one with the regrets.
Ultimately, regardless of what scenario plays
out, I think it will be an entertaining fight. I don’t ever recall
seeing Arreola in a boring fight. And rest assured, win or lose,
Chris will give the fans a heck of a post-fight interview as well.
The fight, which is being held at the USC
Galen Center in Los Angeles, can be seen live on ESPN on Saturday
SHAWN "SHOWTIME" PORTER DEFENDS HIS IBF
WELTERWEIGHT WORLD TITLE AGAINST FORMER TWO TIME TWO DIVISION PAULIE
"MAGIC MAN" MALIGNAGGI ON SATURDAY, APRIL 19
THE DC ARMORY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
TRIPLEHEADER TO AIR LIVE ON SHOWTIME®
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2014)
- Two world championship fights on one night is great for boxing
fans. But Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME believe that three is
even better. So, on Saturday, April 19, joining the title fights
between Bernard "The Alien" Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov and Peter
"Kid Chocolate" Quillin and Lukas Konecny there will be a battle for
the IBF Welterweight World title between champion Shawn "Showtime"
Porter and former two-time and two division word champion and
current NABF Welterweight titleholder Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi,
making this tripleheader at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. a
"I fought hard to get this title. Paulie says he wants it, but is
he willing to go through me to get it?" said Porter, who won his
crown with an impressive win over Devon Alexander last December.
"Fighting Malignaggi is like fighting Alexander. They don't have the
strength or power to keep me away, and I will steamroll Paulie on my
way to victory April 19."
"I'm excited to be back in a title fight so soon after my win
over Zab Judah. I will become a three-time world champion on April
19," said Malignaggi. "Porter is a good fighter and I'm sure he'll
be a champion again in the future, but he doesn't have the tools or
experience to beat me."
A native of Akron, Ohio, unbeaten Shawn "Showtime" Porter
(23-0-1, 14 KOs)showed on Dec. 7, 2013 that all of the rave reviews
he received since his amateur days were well deserved, as he scored
a 12-round unanimous decision win over Devon Alexander to win the
IBF Welterweight World title. The win followed impressive
professional victories over Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco and Alfonso
Gomez that put Porter at the top of the 147-pound weight class. Now
the 26-year-old begins his reign on April 19 against "Magic Man."
When he's not winning awards for his commentating work on
SHOWTIME broadcasts, NABF Welterweight Champion Brooklyn's Paulie
"Magic Man" Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KOs) is proving that, at 33, he's
still one of the top welterweights in the world. Winner of six of
his last seven bouts, with the only loss coming via split decision
to Adrien Broner last June, Malignaggi was in top form when he
defeated Zab Judah last December, and on April 19, he has the
opportunity to become a three-time World Champion.
Hopkins vs. Shumenov, a 12-round fight for the IBF, IBA and WBA
Light Heavyweight World Championship, will take place Saturday,
April 19 at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. The event is promoted
by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Casamigos
Tequila. In the co-features, Peter Quillin puts his WBO Middleweight
World Title on the line against Lukas Konecny in a 12-round bout and
Shawn Porter faces Paulie Malignaggi in a 12-round welterweight bout
for his IBF World title. The live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®
telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) and
will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).
INVADES MILLINIUM THEATER FEB 27th
Brooklyn, NY (January 14, 2014)--On Thursday night, February 27th
at the Millennium Theater in Brooklyn, New York (1029 Brighton Beach
Ave), Dmitry Salita's Star of David Promotions will be back with
another edition of the Brooklyn Brawl series.
In the main event undefeated Cruiserweight contender Steve Bujaj
(10-0, 6 KO's) is primed to stay undefeated as he fights in his
first 8 round fight. The native New Yorker is Coming off an
impressive performance on December 18th, when he stopped Mike
Bissett in five rounds at Webster Hall. Steve is looking for another
stoppage. Trainer of champions Billy Jilles said that the former
Golden Gloves champions is " Best prospect in NYC"
In the co main event, Polish sensation Michael Chudecki (8-0, 3
KO's) looking to go for his first title as he takes on the tough,
rugged and experienced Raphael Luna (4-6, 1 KO) in a Lightweight
bout scheduled for eight rounds. Chudecki is coming off a six round
unanimous decision over Joshua Nieves on December 18th at Webster
Hall. Luna of Albany, New York coming off a NYC fight of the year
candidate a 6 round draw against the undefeated Dimash Niyazov on
December 18th at Webster Hall.
Jr. Middleweight Contender Steve Martinez (13-1, 10 KO's) of
Bronx, New York is looking to make his way back to the ring and
climb up the ranks. "I am the best Jr. Middleweight in New York and
one of the best in the world. Now I am climbing up again, watch
out!" said Martinez.
US Iraqi war veteran, undefeated Jr. Middleweight contender Shawn
Cameron (6-0, 4 KO's) of Brooklyn, NY is dedicating his fight to the
all the US military troops around the world. Cameron will compete in
a 6 round bout.
Also seeing action in a six round bout will be Jr. Lightweight
Angel Garcia (6-2, 2 KO's) of Brooklyn.
Fast and exciting undefeated Dimash Niyazov (4-0-2, 3 KO's) of
Staten Island, NY is looking to impress his fans in a four round
The always-exciting Peter Reyes (4-0, 2 KO's) of New York will
see action in a 4 round Middleweight bout. Former national Golden
Gloves champion Jr. Welterweight Marcos Suarez (1-0-1) of Bronx, NY
will also be on the card.
"I am grateful that we have such a full roster of talent for the
show," said Dmitry Salita. "It is going to be a great and exciting
night of boxing. I am excited to see Shawn Cameron, a war veteran
that protected the United Stated to see action in the show! It's
going to be a great night of bxing!"
Doors open at 6PM.
Tickets can be purchased at
, firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (646)481-5558
Top Super Featherweight
Arash Usmanee to Face Mexican Slugger Juan Antonio Rodriguez on
Friday Night Fights, January 10 at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma,
On Friday, January 10, promoters Greg Cohen Promotions, DiBella
Entertainment, Brian Halquist Productions, GH3 Promotions will
proudly present "Battle at the Boat 94", a night of high-level
professional boxing, televised live, worldwide by ESPN in the I-5
Showroom of the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington.
In the night's main event, IBF #8-ranked Afghani-Canadian Arash
Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs) will face Mexican KO artist Juan Antonio
"El Mozo" Rodriguez (25-4, 23 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight
And in the televised co-feature, longtime top contender and Erik
Morales conqueror Zahir "Z-Man" Raheem (34-3, 21 KOs), the former
Philadelphian turned hometown Tacoma hero, will continue his
comeback against an opponent that is TBA.
On the undercard, former top cruiserweight contender Lateef
"Power" Kayode (19-0, 15 KOs) will make the second appearance of his
31-year-old Usmanee, was born in Afghanistan, is now based in
Montreal, but trains in Las Vegas with former champion Eddie Mustafa
Muhammad. He was last seen fighting to a draw with current IBF Super
Featherweight Champion, Argenis Mendez, in August of 2013. In a
battle many felt the aggressive Usmanee had won, the fight was
declared a majority draw with one judge scoring for Usmanee.
Puebla, Mexico's hard-punching southpaw Juan Antonio Rodriguez
was last seen n November of this year, scoring a TKO 4 over Javier
Mercado at the Centro de Convenciones IMSS, in Tlalpan, Mexico.
Rodriguez has been very competitive against top level opposition
including former IBF Featherweight Champion Billy Dib, but has just
fallen short. The fight against Usmanee will be his chance to join
the upper ranks of the division.
37-year-old Zahir "Z Man" Raheem was a top-level featherweight
for many years and scored a nationally televised win over
all-time-great Erik Morales and dropped a highly questionable
decision to multi-world champion Acelino Freitas. He began his
comeback earlier this year and has notched three victories since
stepping away in 2010. He was last seen scoring an impressive TKO 2
over Tim Coleman at the Emerald Queen Casino.
Undefeated 30-year-old Nigerian Lateef Kayode is best known for
fighting to a draw with world champion and Roy Jones conqueror
Antonio Tarver in June 2012. Kayode began campaigning as a
heavyweight earlier this month and scored a devastating TKO 2 over
Travis Fulton at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.
"I am happy to be working with so many great promotional firms to
bring this sensational event to the fans in Tacoma. We are expecting
a total sell-out, standing room only." said event promoter Greg
Cohen. "Arash Usmanee is the uncrowned champion of the world and I
congratulate ESPN for recognizing his importance and putting him in
another main event of one of their exceptional broadcasts. The
entire night will be terrific. There is also a full undercard of
local prospects. I expect this to be one of the best shows of the
"We are very excited to be working with Friday Night Fights once
again," said Brian Halquist. "We have now been working with Zahir
for over a year now and are absolutely ready for a national
showcase. Being 3-0 with 3 knockouts, Zahir has done everything we
have asked of him and more. After Zahir defeated Morales there were
always questions surrounding a Raheem vs. Pacquiao fight, leaving
behind some unfinished business. He belongs on the world stage and
that's where we're going to take him."
COLLIDE APRIL 20th
FURY - CUNNINGHAM
at THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
Explosive 6'9" heavyweight contender and former
unbeaten, Irish, Commonwealth and British Heavyweight Champion Tyson
Fury, 20-0, 14 KO's, will make his New York debut on Saturday afternoon,
April 20th when he takes on former
cruiserweight World Champion Steve USS Cunningham, 25-5, 12 KO's, at The
Theater at Madison Square Garden.
This fight is an official IBF Heavyweight Voluntary
Eliminator fight for the #2 position between #9, Tyson Fury and #12,
Steve Cunningham. The winner will become #2 and must meet #1 or the
leading available contender to establish the mandatory challenger for
Heavyweight King Wladimir Klitschko. The fight will be broadcast at 4PM
ET on NBC as a special 2 hour afternoon presentation of NBC Sports
"Cunningham's got all the tools; a former World
Champion, good fighter, he's got a lot of skill. I'm looking to put on a
devastating performance; the best of my career to date." said Fury. "I'm
absolutely ecstatic to be fighting at Madison Square Garden; it goes
back in history and I can't wait to put my name with a long list of
Champions who have fought there - I'm a historian of boxing myself so
this is definitely the pinnacle of my career so far."
Mick Hennessy, Hennessy Sports CEO, said, "I'm very
proud to say that Tyson Fury's American debut is taking place at Madison
Square Garden, New York, this is a dream debut in the US for Tyson as
this fight is also being shown live on network TV (NBC). It just doesn't
get any better than this.
Steve Cunningham is ecstatic, "I'm looking forward to
getting back in the ring on April 20th to face Fury. For the first time
in my career I have a guy coming to my country to face me. I am certain
he's never faced a fighter like me." He added, "What an amazing
opportunity to fight in historic Madison Square Garden and return to NBC
again. I am prepared to fight a great fight and come out with a
Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO, "Giving Steve the
opportunity to fight on NBC again - in a bigger venue for another shot
at the #2 position in the IBF - after his controversial decision loss to
Tomasz Adamek in December is what Main Events and Fight Night are
all about.' Duva added, "Steve put on a fantastic performance against
Adamek and deserves to be rewarded with this fight. We also get to
introduce Tyson Fury, a young heavyweight contender, to the American
public in a true crossroads match."
BOXING AND THE STATE OF
The history of great boxers to come out of the fine state of Ohio is
rich and glorious. Many came well before my time. Jimmy Bivins and
Johnny Risko. Joey Maxim, Paul Pirrone and the great Ezzard Charles.
Need I go on ?
In my time that stretches back some forty years, this state has produced
a fine array of talent in several weight classes. Let’s start with James
“Buster” Douglas who re- wrote the definition of “upset” when he creamed
Mike Tyson. Michael Dokes and Tony Tubbs will forever be in the record
books as heavyweight titleholders.
The most popular big guy of my era was the thunderous punching Earnie
Shavers. Ted Gullick and Mike Koranicki were better then average leather
Bernard Benton was a top flight cruiserweight as was hard punching Jeff
Lampkin. The outstanding Prince Charles Williams was one of the best
light heavyweights of his time. Go ask the astute Bobby Czyz for
references. Doyle Baird of Akron met the likes of Nino Benvenuti, Emile
Griffith, Don Fullmer and Jean Claude Bouttier as a middleweight. He had
to go up to 175 to secure a title shot. At that weight he was outclassed
by the capable Vincente Rondon. Roy Dale lost to the great “King” Carlos
Monzon in a non-title encounter.
Aaron Pryor was the “Man” at 140. Two wins over Alexis Arguello cemented
that. At 147 he was kayoed by Ohioan Bobby Joe Young. Bobby failed in
his title try but Ohio produced two great champions at 135 lbs. in Ray
“Boom Boom” Mancini and the hard punching Harry Arroyo. Greg Richardson
dazzled them at 118 pounds.
There were many tough fighters like Carl and Mike Griffith. How about
Ralph Moncrief who stopped Michael Olajide and Sanderline Williams who
fought a draw with James Toney ? Craig Weber beat Frankie Randall and
Kelly Pavlik has now been added to this long line of outstanding Ohio
boxers. The legacy continues.
Adonis Stevenson, courtesy of Sugar
Photo courtesy Ed Diller, DBE