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Articles of 2006

Boxing News: Calvin Brock, Jhonny Gonzalez Meet the Press

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CALVIN BROCK Conference Call Transcript (Wednesday, February 15, 2006)

Calvin Brock:  I am training in California, Pennsylvania, and this is the best training camp I have ever had and I have never looked this good before. I am in great shape and looking forward to the fight on February 25 and putting on a very impressive show and making my record 28-0 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay.

Which of the fights, between McCline and Bostice, would you say was the tougher fight?

Calvin Brock: Jameel McCline. It was the biggest show, he was stronger, and I had to be on my toes. He was a bigger puncher. I had to work harder and throw more punches. I had to move a lot more and it was just a tougher boxing match.

How do you look at the Lawrence fight?

Calvin Brock: He did beat Jameel McCline and he beat the guy that I lost to in the Olympics – he gave him his first loss. He is not an opponent that I can take for granted. It is a boxing match that I had to look good at. It is a big show on PPV. If I want to become heavyweight champion this year I have to beat Zuri Lawrence. Zuri Lawrence will come in and try to make an upset and he won’t. I will go into the ring and look good against him and win impressively. I will show the world that I am deserving of a title shot and I am the one that is going to be king of the heavyweight division.

What do you see right now in the heavyweight division?

Calvin Brock: Right now I see a coup of impressive boxing matches coming up in the heavyweight division, with James Toney and Hasim Rahman and Chris Byrd and Klitschko. I am just looking to take the titles away one at a time from whoever is holding a title. Someone is going to lose that title this year. I don’t know which one, but somebody is. I am just looking forward to my chance.

These couple of impressive boxing matches coming up will draw attention to the division with fans around the world and I will take one of those belts away from the titleholders. They are there to be taken but at the same time I have to get on television. I have to win next Saturday and maybe again to expose myself to the boxing fans. Then there will be a bigger fight for when I go in and take the title.

I think I am going to get a title shot regardless. As long as I stay focused, the title shot is going to happen. I can’t see anyone else more deserving of a title shot than me. Who else are they going to go to?

Do you have a short list?

Carl Moretti:  You know who the champions are and you know who is fighting. There’s a short list, there’s a big list.  You can call it anything you want, but I think the plan right now…he’s got the right attitude. This title shot will not come about immediately. It is not like there is a clock ticking on Cal here and he’s got the right attitude. He’s fresh, he’s young, he’s a new face and people are starting to get to know him with each fight. So when that shot does come he will be better exposed and out there and it will be worth that much more. 

Everybody talks about Peter and Klitschko last September. If there was ever a fight that had so much hype leading up to it that proved nothing at the end of it, it was that fight. Our goal is that when he gets that shot he is going to shine and there will be no question. After that fight you are not going to be looking for the next guy, because he’s going to be the guy.

Calvin Brock: Exactly.

Last September, how close was the Klitschko fight to actually happening?

Carl Moretti:  We agreed on a number and we knew the timeframe. The only thing the Klitschko people forgot to do was get the sanctioning from the WBC. Other than that, we wanted to take the shot. Then, after seeing what Klitschko did in retiring, it probably would have been the right fight for Cal at that time. It didn’t happen and you live and learn and you go from there. I don’t know if it is blessing in disguise or not. We would have been ready to fight that night for sure, but some things you can’t control and that was one of the things. We move on and we find ourselves in ’06 and have a plan and we’ll take advantage of it.

Has it been disappointing after the McCline fight that there has been no follow-up?

Calvin Brock:  It is a little bit frustrating. I haven’t been back on TV since the McCline fight. I thought for sure that after I beat McCline that bigger things would have been in the making, other than my wedding. But this is a new year and I am back on television. So I am glad that the New Year is here and we have a new plan and good things are going to come this year.

Does looking at a Boxing After Dark date in the summertime motivate you?

Calvin Brock: It is motivating because it would be my first time on HBO. This is on HBO PPV, which I really don’t consider HBO because when they show the replay they will not be showing me. So it will be my first time on HBO and everybody has to make their first appearance on HBO and they are going to make that appearance as a main event. I am going to win and look impressive and hopefully after that, there will be something bigger.

What have you been working on to prepare for this fight?

Calvin Brock: I am working on everything – the jab, the fundamentals. I am working on making myself harder to hit and working on explosiveness and getting more power on my shots.

How do you rate your condition?

Calvin Brock: I’ve got a chin. In the late rounds, I get stronger as the rounds progress. I just went 12 hard rounds in my last boxing match with David Bostice. Right now I am in better shape than I was for that fight with David Bostice. I am coming in lighter for this fight am training hard and coming in lighter. I would go the distance – 15 rounds if I need to. No problem. I won’t be 218 – I think that is a little too light. We don’t want to get that light. I will come in at the mid 20s, somewhere between 222 and 225. I am my best at 225.

Is there anyone of the belt holders in particular that matches up well with you?

Calvin Brock: I will take them all. All of them will match up well with me because I can adjust. If anyone has seen me box, there is no style that gives me problems because I am versatile in my style. I can adjust and win a boxing match against anybody – no matter what their style is and no matter what their dimensions are. There will be no problem against anybody in the world; all of the title holders. When they step in the ring, there title is leaving them.

Who do you see in the upcoming heavyweight fights?

Calvin Brock: I would really like to be there to see them box. I really can’t comment on that. I really can’t call it.

Will you be willing to fight Sam Peter even though he is a friend?

Calvin Brock: I don’t know. If it came down to the right economics and we could come to an agreement we could. But right now I am looking at Zuri Lawrence and then getting a title shot and becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. 

WBO Bantamweight Champion Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Three-Time World Champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson

Jhonny Gonzalez:  I am Mexico City right now and I am doing all of my preparations in my gym. My gym is open air in the middle of the street and that is where I have trained since I was a little kid. Reporters, friends and sponsors stop by to watch me train in the middle of the street.

Mark Johnson:  Everything is going great and I am just ready to go. First I would like to say congratulations to the Gonzalez camp on winning the title. And thanks to them for giving me the opportunity to become the four-time world champ because if it wasn’t fort those guys I wouldn’t be in this position.

Mark, do you look at this as your last chance at a world title?

Mark Johnson:  Of course it will be my last chance at a world title shot. You know what they say: out with the old and in with the new. We have to think like that, in boxing a lot of people always think that that next fight is always going to be there. I have been sparring with Peterson and Barry Linby. And Lamont who is fighting Friday on ESPN.

Jhonny Gonzalez:  I have had southpaw sparring. They are very fast and very skilled boxers that move around and have the style like Mark Johnson – three southpaw fighters that have a very similar style to Mark Johnson.

My first step is next week against Mark Johnson and I want to have a good performance on HBO in front of a good audience. Then I want to move up to 122 and get bigger fights like Vazquez or Rafael Marquez. Marquez has said he doesn’t want to fight anymore at 118, so Jhonny is willing to chase him up to 122 to be a bigger bout.

Mark Johnson:  I want to thank the Jhonny Gonzalez camp because we wouldn’t be in this situation and that says a lot about a great champion that he is willing to take on anybody and everybody to show that he is the best at 118 and I would like to thank his team and De La Hoya.

Is weight an issue for this fight, or as you get older?

Mark Johnson:  Right now, I don’t have to come down as much as when I was fighting at 115. Since I am older now, I know my body a lot better. I think going into the Marquez fight we had a lot of ups and downs in camp, and of course you know we had a controversial decision in the first fight. And in the second fight I was going through family problems and a divorce. But I make no excuses about it. This time at 118, you don’t get an opportunity to be a four-time world champion in three different weight classes. So many fighters have tried and failed. I am one of those fighters that looks for the opportunity and that opportunity is right at my finger tips.

I watched Gonzalez and he is good. He was great in [his last] fight and very strong. Now I am 100% and I’m ready to go. Then I had a torn triceps muscle in my left arm.

How do you feel about self-promotion?

Mark Johnson:  It is hard for fighters to promote themselves. Fighters like me in the lower weight classes, we need promoters because we are not getting the 9 or 10 or 2 million dollars, so we need guys like the Lou DiBella’s and De La Hoya’s that are legitimate. Of course this is a big leap for him in the 118-pound division. And not only is it a great leap. You have Mark Johnson, who is older and he lost his last fight, so let’s give him a big leap and that’s what they are doing. Any sport you are in it is always, out with the old and in with the new.

Do the naysayers motivate you?

Mark Johnson:  I am a professional at everything I do. Some people say that I am over the hill. That doesn’t motivate me. What motivates me is trying to become a 4-time world champ in three different weight classes. Trying to do something that hasn’t been done since Sugar Ray Leonard.

If you lose the fight, is that it?

Mark Johnson:  You know, every fight, I say, “I don’t know.” We always say we are one punch away from losing, that’s how boxing is. I would like to try to do some things with DiBella, try managing. Try to make it on their team if I am not successful. People always say that a great fighter has one great fight left. Hopefully this will be my one great fight and me and Jhonny Gonzalez will put on a great show.

Jhonny, will you anything different against Johnson?

Jhonny Gonzalez:  It has been a special tribute to fight Mark Johnson. He’s going to come out and do a lot of things. He’s going to move a lot and use a lot of the ring. He is very experienced. We did our preparation different this time for Mark Johnson.

Is there a story behind the way you spell youe first name?

Jhonny Gonzalez:  There was an error when my dad put me on the register in Mexico. There was an error where the put the letter H. That’s why it is spelled that way. But that has helped people recognize me a little more because my name is misspelled.

Mark, do you have a preference of fighter that you’d like to fight?

Mark Johnson:  The only problem I would have is that he’s a southpaw. If you’ve watched my career, I’ve been fighting those types of guys. A lot of those guys are strong, hard punchers and they would have taken the ring away. Make no mistake about it – it is going to be a great fight. I’ve watched him coming up and he’s a great fighter and styles make fights and he has one of those styles that will make a great fight.

Can you compare this to the Montiel fight?Mark Johnson:  It is almost the same thing. They were building Fernando Montiel and I got in great shape and I beat him. There is always a situation where they want to build young fighters against older names and this is almost the same thing.

Do you want to get him into the late rounds?

Mark Johnson:  That is one of the things that is never discussed. Do we want to take him late and then drown him? I will go in there and see how it goes and we will deal with it. I am just going to go in there and be a true professional and a true fighter and a boxer and win the fight – whatever it takes to do that. That’s what I am trying to do.

How do you feel about this fight?

Mark Johnson:  I don’t think I would have signed this fight if I was just looking for a good fight. I want to become four-time world champion. No question about it. Rafael Marquez moving up to 122. Who wins this fight is the No. 1 guy for 118. This is a great opportunity for me to become a four-time world champion. Every fight I go out I give it my all. I’m not the type of fighter that looks to give a great fight; I fight to win. And I look forward to giving a great show. This shows a lot about Jhonny Gonzalez, even though I am at the age I am. Look at the fighters that wouldn’t fight me, like Michael Carbajal, Roberto Gonzalez, Tony Ayala, Boneless Adams, Danny Romero. So it says a lot about the De La Hoya people and Jhonny Gonzalez and the heart he has to step in the ring with me. I am overwhelmed by this opportunity to become four-time world champ.

Jhonny Gonzalez:  Mark, we are very thankful for you thanking us for giving you the opportunity. Jhonny respects you also. That’s why he took the fight because he respects your career and all that you have done in boxing.

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

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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 allAfrica.com, 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

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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

Featherweight

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

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4

Bantamweight

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

Flyweight

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

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1

Minimumweight

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

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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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