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Articles of 2006

Morales-Pacquiao II Fight Predictions



Saturday night, live from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, and broadcast on HBO PPV, Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao do the rematch of their first bloody war. El Terrible took that initial bout with a dominant undisputed decision, but since then lost to Raheem and looked pretty shopworn. Still, he’s the bigger man with the bigger career and Pac-Man, who may also been on the downside of a tremendous run, should have his gloved hands full. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Pacquiao-Morales II.

Not quite sure what to make of this fight. Even though the scores were a little tight the first time they fought, I thought Morales handled Pacquiao pretty easily and seemed to have too much height and boxing ability and just too many skills for the hard-charging Pac-Man to deal with. The fight shouldn't be any different this time around. No matter how much strategy Freddie Roach imparts to Pacquiao, once the fight begins he pretty much does things his way: straight ahead behind a jab left hand, which won't be enough for Morales, who has much to prove after embarrassing himself against Zahir Raheem. Morales by UD.
Mitch Abramson

Morales obviously went into the Zahir Raheem fight with a big head. He figured Raheem wasn't in his class, and trained like it. The result was the worst performance of his career. But he didn't take a beating, and was in a lightweight class that was completely unfamiliar to him. He'll rebound in typical Morales fashion in the Pacquiao rematch. He is reported to be in tremendous shape, and he will be determined to knock off the stain of the Raheem debacle. He is taller and bigger than Pacquiao, and it was apparent in the original fight that Pac-Man doesn't have the punch at 130 pounds to hurt Morales. He'll counter Pacquiao's strong rushes and back him up with harder punches. No reason to think this one will be any different, as a reinvigorated “El Terrible” repeats his unanimous decision victory.
Matt Aguilar

When you have determination and stamina and guts, you can get very far in the sport of boxing. When you have determination and stamina and guts and talent, you can get even further. Morales is the more talented fighter and that will be the difference in this fight. I chalk up Morales' last loss to a lack of focus, not a decline in ability. To me, he's not a washed up fighter by any means. I think he stops Pacquiao in the 11th round.
Robert Cassidy Jr.

We've got a bleeder. I've seen Manny Pacquiao enough to know that about him. If he can avoid cuts, he's got the skill and punching power to take down Erik Morales. Although, the hard-popping Pac-Man won't knock Morales and will have to settle for the decision.
Jesse K. Cox

Another tough pick, but I'll go with Morales by decision. All things being equal, he's just naturally a little bigger than Pacquiao, and when you weigh 130 pounds, a “little bigger” means something.
Rick Folstad

I predict Manny Pac by unanimous decision. Freddie Roach has fine-tuned his little dynamo's skills, banished all the distractions, solved the glove dilemma and put him on the road to defeating Morales.
Amy Green

Erik Morales is convinced he's the stronger, more technically proficient, fighter. Manny Pacquiao believes he's prepared to fight a much more effective fight this time around. Aside from something unforeseen related to the weigh-in, ala Gatti-Gamache or Castillo-Corrales II, Morales is my pick to win the rematch with Manny Pacquiao. The Morales jab and his ability to counter with the right hand put the southpaw Pacquiao in a situation where he had to counterpunch more than he liked. Pacquiao's natural aggression played right into Morales' strength – a humming lead jab, hard hooks to the body after scorching straight right hands. As a general principle, the straighter Morales punches off the counter the more consistently he scores. Against Barrera Morales' punches tended to arch more, against Pacquiao they tended to get straight down the power alley. Look for some dangerous moments, perhaps for both fighters, and Morales being the better 'catcher' finds an advantage in any situation that comes down to all out aggression balanced against the ability to absorb punishment. In a fight that goes the distance look for Morales to box, counter, punish and stand in when necessary for a unanimous decision, intermittently relying on his legendary chin to hold up against Pacquiao's rocketing left cross.
Patrick Kehoe

Deja vu all over again … Manny Pacquiao gets the gloves he wants and won't have the distractions that were pointed to as part of his downfall in the first bout against Erik Morales. Unfortunately for PacMan, the biggest distraction in the fight was El Terrible and his persistent, accurate shots. Assuming the judges continue to award points for sharp accurate punches as opposed to Manny's less-technical aggression, look for Erik Morales to again win to a close decision in another exciting fight. It wouldn't be a surprise if both fighters are hurt at some point and both are likely get cut. And let's not forget that Pacquiao started as a 108-pound pro and is now fighting at 130; Morales is the stronger man at the weight. If a boxer beats a puncher then Morales eats up PacMan, again.
Joey Knish

A good big man beats a good little man, right? Morales is the former, Pacquiao the latter. This rematch won't come down to gloves (Cleto Reyes vs. Winning) or luxury penthouse suites or Pacman fever affecting workouts at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym. It'll come down to Pac. being a featherweight (126) who, while still fast, powerful and tough at 130, doesn't make the proper adjustments when plan A fails. Hey, I'm still waiting to see the fabled “Manila Ice.” Remember the punch he was going to unveil last time around? Instead of relying on his bread-and-butter one-two, his team claimed to have developed a three. I didn't see it, did you? There may be no need for Manila Ice if he just sticks with the body this time, which had Morales keeling over as if he had eaten a spoiled burrito. Pac makes numerous mistakes and has not evolved technically; he's a one-dimensional slugger. But, oh, what a dimension it is! Expect another great fight. And another decision in Morales' favor.
Zachary Levin

The gloves had too much padding, the cut affected his vision and there were too many distractions in training camp. Shouldda, couldda, wouldda…The only thing missing is Don King and the trips around town to pick up his dry cleaning and round card girls. Manny Pacquiao can make all the non-excuses he wants for his loss to Erik Morales, but the bottom line is he let his emotions get the better of him the first go-round and he wasn't able to do enough to win. Freddie Roach may have the perfect strategy for Pacquiao to defeat Morales but the best laid plans often go awry and in this case once the battle heats up, say goodbye to Pacquiao's strategy. Filipino boxing fans are rabid to the point of lunacy; they now impatiently wait for their beloved Pacquiao to avenge his defeat. It's not to be however. Morales is a more technically sound fighter who knows how to beat Pacquiao. And he will. Morales by unanimous decision.
Scott Mallon

With Morales losing his last fight to Zahir Raheem, it is easy to see him losing this one too. However, Pacquaio will be more than willing to go mano a mano with him, which should benefit Morales. Morales W 12.
Bob Mladinich

Despite the lack of distractions that supposedly left Pacquaio unfocused and ill prepared for their first fight, Morales is still the bigger, stronger man with the more effective jab.  In contrast to his last fight with Zahir Raheem, Morales will enter this fight fit and focused. The Pacman’s aggressive, open style is tailor-made for the Mexican who will, once again, land more jabs, combinations and counterpunches. Both men withstood the other’s best shots and managed to remain on their feet, so a KO is unlikely. Morales by UD.
Jonathan M. Morgan

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch



Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia



There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9


Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4


Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10


Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1


Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak



LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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