Connect with us

Articles of 2006

Why I Like Lacy by KO2

Published

on

Writer/reporter Thomas Friedman wrote a book called “The World Is Flat: A Brief History Of The 21st Century” in which he presents a persuasive case that technological advances in transport and communication have made the world “flat,” or rather, a smaller place. On this shrunken playing field, it's no great feat for a startup company to get a hand up on the competition by outsourcing their call center to India, for example, where they don't have to pay US-level wages. Thus, their bottom line and prospects for growth are improved.

And you say to yourself, what dime-store bookworm blog have I stumbled on to? Hold on, and I'll tell you what this has to do with boxing, and Joe Calzaghe.

In about five years, the majority of championships will be held by fighters from outside the US. The trend is already apparent – especially in the lighter weight classes – and nothing should change that burgeoning development.

Upper echelon American athletes can expect to be better compensated, with less chance of catastrophic injury when they choose a sport like hoops or football, rather than pugilism to make their mark. But that day isn't here now. Non-Americans still need to come here to make the largest mark on the sport, the paying public and their legacy.

Joe Calzaghe has never bothered to do that. Why should he?

He shouldn't, if he's content to be a big fish in a smaller pond.

But he wasn't in that mode in July 2002, when promoter Frank Warren announced that he and Don King were in accord for a November Bernard Hopkins/Joe Calzaghe showdown.

Joe's fans were beside themselves. His boasts, that he was a pound-for-pound rock star, and that he was the best of Britain, after Naz and Lennox were downed, would be proved out. Right?

Umm, not so fast.

David Telesco was going to get a crack at Calzaghe, but that fell through. Once again, a credible opponent couldn't come to terms with Warren, so a less credible foe was chosen. Telesco was 23-3, and two his losses were early in his career, while another was to Roy Jones.

To be fair and balanced, there are people that will say Telesco priced himself out of a handful of title opps, so quite possibly the case here. But the step-in for Telesco was a clear drop in caliber, as was so often the case as Calzaghe amassed his 40-0 mark. Miguel Jiminez, a Puerto Rican with a record built on soft-touches, was chosen for the Aug. 17, 2002 WBO title defense. Warren was predictable in his pre-fight hype: “This is a tough fight for Joe,” the promoter said. “And there can be no slipups.”

Joe fans who may have preferred a tougher opponent were mollified by the promise that Hopkins was next on Joe's dance card. And if Hopkins blew it off, Calzaghe's fans knew, then probably Roy Jones would accept the challenge. That summer, RJJ promised Calzaghe would be a victim in 2003.

So Calzaghe handled Jiminez, better known to high rollers as a fulltime doorman at the MGM Grand in Vegas than as a fighter, with predictable ease, winning every round. But he didn't look scintillating in doing so.

No prob.

Roy blew away Clint Woods on Sept. 7, 2002, and made noise about Joe being next. The Big Test looked inevitable.

Not so fast.

Jones instead wanted a taste of the world of heavyweights. He pursued a heavyweight title fight, which he secured with John Ruiz (March 1, 2003).

Hey, Woodsy, you forgot about Bernard, I hear you say. What about him? Sorry, I forgot. Hopkins' deal with Showtime, Calzaghe's net, fell apart. So that match became incompatible. But, I hear you say, money talks and bull**** walks, Woodsy. If people all wanted a deal done, allowances could be made. Alliances could be forged for a one-shot deal, right?

Nope. The Big Test would have to wait.

Thomas Tate was to be the next Calzaghe WBO defense. But by now, we all know that he didn't actually fight the Welshman. Remember, a lesser stand-in always got the call? In this case, it was Tocker (not Tucker) Pudwill, after Tate busted an eardrum.

That wasn't Warren's fault, or Calzaghe's, of course. But a message could have been sent when Tate fell out. Warren and the Calzaghes could scour the lands and find a similar level, or even stronger, opponent. Instead, they tapped Pudwill. Hey, tickets got sold. That's the name of the game, right? And whispers were spread that maybe Calzaghe was under-enthused, so maybe an upset would ensue.

Upset did ensue. Stomach upset. Pudwill stank up the joint on Dec. 14, 2002 and gave Calzaghe (TKO2) no competition.

Come early spring 2003, Warren and Calzaghe weren't hoping for Hopkins anymore and instead set their sights on Howard Eastman.

Didn't go that way, as usual, so Byron Mitchell was snagged. Not a Hopkins level choice, but he was no Pudwill at the time. Though he had just come off a loss to Sven Ottke in March. Hey, wouldn't it have made to challenge Ottke? Yes, it would have. But it didn't happen.

Mitchell had a hard time making weight, but the fight finally happened. It was June 28, 2003 and it was a thriller, if quite brief. Mitchell stunned Calzaghe with a vicious right that sent him to the canvas early on in the second round. He rose, battled back, and stopped Mitchell later in the same round.

It was now high time for Calzaghe to grab a career-definer. He'd been dropped, so he was perceived as vulnerable. But he'd also roared back to grab victory from defeat's hungry jaw. It was time for one of the big boys. It was time for Warren to put network alliances aside, maybe take shorter money for a shot at an American legend. It was time…

…for Mger Mrktchian.

Who?

Hey, I agreed with Friedman on the “shrunken world” theory, but even with the Internet and all, Mrktchian was and is still an unknown in the division. An Armenian who fought mostly in Russia, he succumbed to Calzaghe on Feb. 21, 2004 (TKO7) in Wales. It was going to happen in December, but Calzaghe contracted the flu.

Same song, similar dance.

Sven Ottke had been the desired opponent this time, but Warren said he turned down a deal.

After the Armenian, rumored partners included Glen Johnson, then the IBF light heavy beltholder. Oh, and also the Jones/Tarver winner. None of the above panned out. Who's fault was that? That depends on who you ask. But Markus Beyer, the WBC titlist, also tuned down a Warren offer to fight Calzaghe.

Joe was being dodged like he owned Liston's fury, Tyson's uppercut, Frazier's hook and Jones’ speed.

But Johnson actually did take the bait. A date was set for June 2004. Warren, however, had trouble finding a suitable foe for Ricky Hatton, who was also to be on the card.

Then that impediment dissolved but another appeared. Calzaghe's bad back flared up a week before the June 12. Oh, and there was the arrest the week before. Calzaghe and his estranged wife Mandy had a row and the constables appeared.

Johnson called Calzaghe a “pussy” for pulling out and the Welsh star countered back. He said Johnson was the “pussy” and said he'd “lick” him.

I'm not making that up. Maybe they use different terminology over there…

The licking session never came off, though, and instead Calzaghe met Kabary Salem on Oct. 22, 2004. Hey, wait, I forgot the template I set up here…

Antonio Tarver was the notable potential challenger to flirt with Calzaghe this time. But that fight didn't happen because blah blah blah…

The Egyptian journeyman Salem took Calzaghe 12 rounds, and floored him in the fourth. After Calzaghe talked up his forthcoming plans. “I really need to move to light heavyweight,” he said. “I do believe the big fights will happen.”

He didn't.

They didn't.

Unless you consider Mario Veit rematch a biggie.

That one came off on May 7, 2005. Clint Woods flirted with Calzaghe and a bout with Brian Magee before Veit got the gig.

Calzaghe looked good in the TKO (6) win but why wouldn't he have looked good? He'd already blasted the guy out in a single round four years prior.

In the summer of 2005, the Lacy/Calzaghe entree started heating up. Lacy broke down Brit Robin Reid on Aug. 6, and called out the Welshman.

It looked certain. Warren was saying all the right things, Calzaghe's divorce trauma had faded. All systems were go…for Calzaghe to fight Evans Ashira.

He needed the rounds, he said. Even with his history of injuries, be it back, hands or elbows, Calzaghe and Warren thought it wise to engage in a warm-up bought prior to a November 5 matchup with Lacy, the heavy-handed Floridian with a filthy left hook in his arsenal.

So what happened?

What do you think happened?

It was predictable as an episode of Gilligan's Island. Calzaghe broke his left hand in a points win. “Nobody is more frustrated than me,” said the lefty afterwards.

It was a fractured metacarpal. But really, wasn't it a fractured brain?

The man is semi fragile and 33-years-old. Why take a chance?

The Ashira fight defies conventional wisdom and as a strategic gambit is indefensible.

Whatever.

The Big One is at hand.

The Career Definer happens tonight.

All the postponements, cancellations and fantasy matchups are all forgotten if Calzaghe takes down the heavily hyped left hooker, Lacy.

But I can't shrug off the assembled bungles, excuses and missteps that plagued Calzaghe up to this day, the day he says he's clamored for since 1997.

Can you shrug off the bungles, HBO analyst Max Kellerman?

“He's declined enough now that Lacy's very dangerous,” Kellerman says. “Three years ago I would have picked Calzaghe, but now it's different.”

So why, Max, do you think Calzaghe hasn't come to our shores and tested himself?

“Europe is a self-contained world,” he says. “In a third-world country you need to get out and make your mark. In Wales? Not so.”

Al Bernstein doesn't think Calzaghe has ducked hard fights and The Big One.

“I don't think he's deliberately taken the easy road,” says the Showtime analyst. “He kept saying he wants to go to the States but he has never found the appropriate way.”

Bernstein makes an astute analogy when asked if perhaps Calzaghe could have come to the States to prove his worth, or taken on a top level foe in the UK.

“I have to commend him for staying at home with his family,” he says. “But many Hollywood stars choose to live somewhere else, but they ply their trade there. Alan Alda commuted from NY during MASH. Calzaghe lives in Wales but that has never precluded him from getting on a plane.”

Larry Merchant, the HBO poet/analyst, doesn't completely dismiss the contention that Calzaghe has ducked The Big One. “But maybe he's like a thoroughbred,” he says. “He needs a big event to get excited.”

All those busted deals. All those spurned offers. Was it Warren's fault? Did he want to keep his cash cow away from the slaughter? Could he have sweetened the pot on several occasions and secured Calzaghe one of the Big Fights the Wales icon said he wanted? Probably. But Calzaghe likes his cozy home in South Wales. He could have told Warren to get it done if he really, truly, desperately craved The Big One. He could have told Warren that he'd take less so Hopkins, or Ottke, or Johnson, or Michaelczewski or Roy would just do it. That never happened, to my knowledge. Calzaghe never said, 'Screw it, Frank, give them what they want. I want A Test. Give me The Big One.'

The Big One is here. But now Calzaghe is 33, with a history of fragility on his resume. He takes on a challenger that has some oversized balls, one who isn't afraid to take a plane to bring the pain. Jeff Lacy is a tad over-hyped and credit for that belongs to promoter Gary Shaw, who has landed him a high-profile fight in which he's likely not going to get whacked around, even if he is outboxed by a legitimate veteran talent. Lacy has fought journeymen-level competition on his rise, and may well not be ready to seal the deal with the vastly more experienced Welshman. If that vaunted left hook hasn't hit home by the fifth round, how does he proceed, against a crafty lefty?

I'm picking Lacy tonight, though, bolstered by that old adage: actions speak louder than words.

Joe Calzaghe, whether it's because he likes Welsh home cooking, or whether his promoter didn't want to see his revenue stream dry up, hasn't demanded The Big Fight, The Big Test, The Career Definer, until now. It could be argued by a first year law student that he's even avoided The Big One. That doesn't bode well for the Welshman.

Lacy KO2.

(Special thanks to ESPN The Magazine writer Tim Struby for insight and material.)

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

Published

on

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.?

Continue Reading

Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending