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Articles of 2006

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Panchito’s Coming Back

Former contender Francisco “Panchito” Bojado returned to Southern California after spending several months in New Mexico where he worked with other boxers and members of Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“I spent some time with some of those guys but I’m anxious to get back to boxing,” said Bojado, 22, whose last bout took place July 24, 2004 against Jesse James Leija. “I’m coming back to the ring and I’m ready to go.”

The East Los Angeles prizefighter rose in jackrabbit fashion with scintillating knockout wins; the first nine opponents were belted out. But most of those opponents were junior lightweights or lightweights. Once he ventured into junior welterweight territory he began to find stiffer chins in the 140-pound limit.

Bojado’s first loss came against Juan Carlos Rubio, a tall junior welterweight with the solid chin and devil-may-care attitude most Mexicans possess. Though he avenged that loss, it showed the speedy East L.A. fighter had reached a threshold where connections by his left hook and right cross did not finalize a bout.

The loss to Leija seemed to sour Bojado to boxing altogether.

“I shouldn’t have lost that fight,” said Bojado (16-2, 11 KOs), who had been trained by Floyd Mayweather Jr. a few weeks prior to that fight. But a contractual obligation to Oscar De La Hoya meant Mayweather could not put the topping on the cake. In stepped Buddy McGirt, but they were two strangers in the ring.

“I’ve got Floyd Mayweather back,” Bojado said happily. “As long as Oscar isn’t fighting at the same time Floyd can work with me. It’s going to work out fine.”

Bojado seeks a fight this coming June and is currently looking for a promoter.

“I’m a free agent,” he said, his contract with Main Events has now elapsed. “I’m looking at all options.”

One option he has ruled out: fighting any heavier than 140 pounds.

“I’m going to stay below that,” said Bojado. “The taller guys have moved out of the division.”

Ironically, Bojado was last seen at a Golden Boy Promotions event.

“I’m talking to everybody. I’m taking my time,” he said.

McCarter Wants Mrdjenovich

Layla McCarter, 26, considered one of the best female prizefighters in the world and a member of the pound-for-pound club, will be matched against Puerto Rico’s Belinda Laracuente at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado on April 1 if things work out. As always, female bouts tend to fall out.

It’s been nine months since she faced Jelena Mrdjenovich for the second time. During that fight she suffered a horrible fractured arm just below the elbow. She continued on against the Canadian fighter and loss a unanimous decision. Four months earlier she beat Mrdjenovich convincingly.

“That’s the fight I really want, I want Jelena,” said McCarter (18-12-4) by phone. “We need to do it again.”

That second fight was an eliminator for the WIBA super featherweight title and was held in Edmonton, Canada. Mrdjenovich is now the WBA junior welterweight champion.

“She won’t fight outside of Canada,” McCarter said.

Instead of waiting for the return bout, the Las Vegas-based McCarter opted to jump back in the ring despite the five-inch scar that trails down the inside of her arm.

“My arm is good, it’s healed, it’s ready. I’ve been ready for a couple of months but haven’t been able to get any action. I was supposed to fight March 11 but they couldn’t find an opponent,” she said. “So we ended up with Belinda on a different date.”

Laracuente jumped into fame with her skillful showing against Christy Martin back in 2000. Though she didn’t win against the veteran world champion, it showed her ability to box.

“She is a good name fighter. I’m not making any money for this fight but I’m trying to get back in action,” said McCarter, who is trained and managed by Luis Tapia.

But in the back of her mind, the former Washington resident penciled in the Canadian fighter for the future.

“They just don’t want to fight again. We offered $5,000 dollars, which was more than what they offered me up there. It would be the third fight. We’re one and one. Anyway, she owes me one more so we have to do that,” McCarter said of WBC junior lightweight title-holder Mrdjenovich’s team. “They don’t want to lose. They know they can’t beat me with two arms. I went twice, cheap. If she comes to the U.S., I will just do it. I’ve fought two in her home turf. The third one should be here.”

McCarter says after Laracuente, there are plans to meet Holly Holms the current IBA junior welterweight titleholder and then France’s Myriam Lamare, the undefeated WBC and WBA junior welterweight titleholder.

World titles are at stake in those proposed fights, but revenge is her favorite dish.

“I want Jelena outside of Canada,” McCarter says with cold precision. “I don’t care how much I get, I just want to fight her a third time.”

Toney Hosting a fight card Thursday

James Toney’s boxing promotion company Lights Out Promotions in conjunction with Final Round Entertainment has a fight card this Thursday featuring Daniel Judah (20-1-3, 10 KOs) against Joseph “the Hungry Lion” Marwa (19-7-1) of Tanzania in a cruiserweight bout. The action takes place at the Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills, California. The doors open at 6:30 with the first bout expected to begin at 7:15. For tickets or information call (818) 251-9717.

Expected to attend the boxing show in the San Fernando Valley are Toney himself, who has a date on March 18, with Hasim Rahman for the WBC heavyweight title in Atlantic City. Also, Zab Judah and family should be in attendance as well at the Woodland Hills show.

Heavyweight Jason Gavern out of Pennsylvania is also on the card. No opponent has been named at press time.

Augustus and Morua in Tucson

Emanuel Augustus (32-25-6, 17 KOs) faces Mexico’s Arturo Morua (22-7-1, 13 KOs) in a matchup between classic boxer versus unorthodox boxing genius at the Desert Diamond Casino on Friday March 10, in Tucson, Arizona. Don’t miss it. You’ll never see two better boxers with worse records than this pair. It should be a boxing clinic.

Augustus, perhaps one of the most underrated boxers in the lightweight and junior lightweight divisions, has that knack of making opposing fighters look pretty ridiculous. But not in his last bout against Colombia’s Jaime Rangel, a muscular puncher who traded bombs with Brownsville, Texas-based Augustus.

Though the bout ended in knockout, Augustus took some pretty heavy shots. He said he wanted a knockout so that the judges couldn’t rob him again.

Morua, a lanky fighter out of Guadalajara, had been riding a winning streak and had a shot at the WBC title if he could beat Naoufel Ben Rabah. He didn’t. He was flat and lost by decision in Las Vegas. Before that, he had beaten Omar Weis, Carlos Maussa, James Crayton and Jung Bum Kim in succession. That’s a pretty impressive streak.

We’ll see if Morua’s stand up boxing style can offset Augustus unique movement and sharp counters. It should be advanced boxing at its best.

For ticket prices call (520) 393-2799 or go to Ticketmaster.com

Woods Lauds Calzaghe

IBF light heavyweight titleholder Clinton Woods sent his congratulations via press release to Joe Calzaghe the victor over Jeff Lacy in their super middleweight showdown last Saturday. Though he predicted a win by Calzaghe, his fellow countryman’s performance exceeded expectations.

“I always knew Joe was going to win but I never had any idea that Joe would win every round like he did,” Woods stated. “I think all of British boxing will be just as proud of Joe’s win as I am.”

Woods, who captured the vacant IBF crown with a fifth round knockout over Rico Hoye a year ago, welcomes a match with Calzaghe.

“Before the Lacy fight, Calzaghe said that he thinks he deserves a straight crack at my title, without any other fights at light heavy. And I totally agree,” Woods stated. “Joe’s record speaks for himself and I’d be delighted to defend my title against him. I have my fight in May and then I have my mandatory against Glen Johnson (who has a draw and win over Woods), which is another huge fight in Britain.”

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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