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Articles of 2006

Oquendo Returns on Broadway Boxing



NEW YORK – In 130 years of flackery, boxing promoters and press agents have developed a code language of their own, subliminal messages the ticket-buying public are supposed to subliminally internalize without understanding why.

Calling a boxer “Irish” something or other, for instance, doesn’t necessarily mean that the fellow has a drop of Irish blood at all, but that he is Caucasian. If he is a “star-crossed challenger” it means that if he hadn’t had the bad luck to lose more fights than he’s won, he might even have been a contender. And when a boxer is introduced as “a veteran of 50 fights,” rather than by his record, you can usually take that to mean he’s probably 2-48.

Being quick with one’s fists is hardly a bad attribute, but when a heavyweight is called “fast,” it usually means he can’t punch. When the same boxer incorporates the F-word into his nom de guerre, one tends to wonder further.

On the other hand, the boxing world surely knows enough about Fast Fres Oquendo by now that opinions would likely remain unchanged even if he started calling himself Slow Fres. Fighting first for America Presents and then for Don King, he spent several years in well-earned contenderhood, but back-to-back losses in title fights (to John Ruiz at Madison Square Garden last year, and to Chris Byrd at the Mohegan Sun the in 2004) were enough to get him dropped by The World’s Greatest Promoter and dropped by the sanctioning bodies shortly thereafter.

Against Byrd Oquendo had been spectacular in losing a narrow but unanimous decision in a fight many thought he might have won, and he hung in with the rugged Ruiz until the 11th round of their New York bout last year. Still, that his two best career performances both resulted in losses does suggest certain inevitabilities in the future.

Lou DiBella signed the orphaned free agent a couple of months ago, and matched him against former Brazilian cruiserweight champion Daniel Bispo Dos Santos in the main event of DiBella Entertainment’s six-bout Broadway Boxing card at the Manhattan Center Thursday night.

Bispo is nothing if not durable, so it’s hardly surprising that the bout lasted well into the 9th round. Fast Fres controlled the action throughout, and had ample opportunities to display the attribute suggested by his nickname against his southpaw opponent.

“He was awkward, but I became more relentless as the fight went.” said Oquendo. “I needed to get the cobwebs out, but he was a tough and awkward guy. He’d never been stopped before.”

With the New York crowd voicing its displeasure from the third on, attrition had clearly taken its toll by the seventh, when Oquendo actually staggered Bispo with a jab, albeit a full-force jab thrown from the socket of his shoulder. At this point the Brazilian looked to be just hanging on.

By the ninth he was literally hanging on. As Oquendo pressed his attack, Bispo responded with a silly – and downright counterproductive – tactic. He draped his arm over Oquendo’s left shoulder and hung on for dear life, thus allowing Oquendo to hammer away at him with his right.

His right hand might not be the best weapon in Fast Fres’ arsenal, but he was able to do some serious damage with it against a man he knew couldn’t even fight back until he let go of him, which Bispo apparently had no intention of doing.

Mesmerized by this startling development, referee Joe Chiarantano allowed Oquendo to fire away at will, figuring that under the circumstances Bispo probably deserved anything he got.

After Oquendo had landed a dozen or so staggering rights the referee intervened. Chiarantano appeared prepared to administer a standing-8 until he remembered that rule wasn’t in effect, but he did halt action long enough to inform both boxers and the ringside judges that he was taking a point from the Brazilian for holding.

The moment he waved them back into action, Bispo once again grabbed Oquendo in a half-nelson, and that was that. It could as easily have gone into the books as a disqualification instead of a 9th-round TKO, which it was.

Bispo’s record is now 16-3, Oquendo’s 25-3.

“This is the best thing that could have happened to him,” said DiBella. “This guy (Bispo) has never been down. It wasn’t necessarily the best thing from the crowd’s standpoint, but it gave Fres a chance to loosen up and go some rounds.”

“I need another fight,” said Fast Fres afterward. (His promoter said he can have one next month he wishes.)

At a press conference earlier in the week, the promoter had suggested that an Oquendo win would restore Fast Fres to somebody’s Top Ten “in about a week.” Maybe he knows something the rest of us do not, but this didn’t look like win that was going to send anybody’s stock soaring.

But keep an eye on those ratings, folks. We’ll see whether Sweet Lou has as much juice with these guys as he thinks he does.

The co-featured bout saw Brooklyn super-middle Curtis Stevens’ record escalate to 11-0 with a second-round knockout of Flint, Michigan veteran Jose Spearman (24-10-2). The 36-year-old Spearman is no slouch: He’s been in with a few world champions and has been used as a trial horse by contenders working their way up the ladder, and as recently as last November he was brought to Providence to lose to undefeated Joey Spina and battled his way to a draw in a fight he would have undoubtedly won elsewhere.

He was no match for Stevens on this night, though. After a workmanlike first round during which the hometowner was obviously doing his homework, the Brooklyn boxer went to work. Late in the second, Stevens caught Spearman dropping his right as he threw a lazy jab, and caught him right on the jaw with a short but ferocious left hook, and Spearman was counted out with a second left in the round by referee Ricky Gonzalez.

In an All-Caribbean affair, Dominican middleweight Giovanni Lorenzo stayed unbeaten at 19-0 with a 3rd-round TKO of Christopher Henry (19-11) of Bridgetown, Barbados. Lorenzo had already dominated the first two rounds when he trapped Henry against the ropes in the third and cut loose with a barrage of unanswered punches. Belatedly realizing that Henry wasn’t going down simply because the ropes were holding him up, Lorenzo yanked his opponent off the ropes and threw him to the floor in the middle of the canvas. He probably should have been penalized for his amateurish rendition of what should have been a shrewd professional move, but Gonzalez instead started counting.

He didn’t have to finish, though. It was apparent that Henry was all done, and the referee waved it off at 2:35 of the third.

Promoter DiBella apparently has a soft spot for bald, white boxers. He had two of them in the same fight, but they didn’t last long enough to sell much Mister Clean. Washington Hago (2-1), a junior lightweight fighting out of Queens, put Denver’s Cliff Walker (0-4-1) down with a succession of right-hand bombs. Walker made it to his feet to beat Gonzalez’s count, but when he was immediately tagged by another right hand, Gonzalez took him into custody at 1:22. Although nearly a minute and a half remained in the round, nobody argued, least of all Walker.

Brooklyn Opponent Anthony Ottah (1-5-2) earned a draw with unbeaten Georgian Kevin Burnett (2-0-1) when the judges split three ways on the issue: Julie Lederman had Ottah winning 39-37, Ron McNair scored it 39-37 for Perez, leaving the deciding vote to Robert Perez, who had it (not unreasonably, we thought) even at 38-38.

Juan Cabrera, a Dominican middleweight now fighting out of New York, improved to 3-0 by knocking out Brooklynite Anthony Hunter (0-2) in two.

* * *

FEBRUARY 16, 2006

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Fres Oquendo, 219, Chicago TKO’d Daniel Bispo, 220, Sao Paolo, Brazil (9)

Kevin Burnett, 290, Augusta, Ga. drew with Anthony Chuma Ottah, 250, New York (4)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Curtis Stevens, 167½, Brownsville, NY KO’d Jose Spearman, 162¼, Columbus, Ohio (2)

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Giovanni Lorenzo, 156¼, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic TKO’d Christopher Henry, 152, Castries, Santa Lucia (3)

Juan Cabrera, 160½, Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep. KO’d Anthony Hunter, 162½, Brooklyn, NY (3)

JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHTS: Washington Hago, 130, Woodside, NY TKO’d Cliff
Walker, 129¼, Denver (1)

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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