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Articles of 2006

Post-fight Press Conference with Team Marquez

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Not many gave Chris John a chance of retaining his title against Juan Manuel Marquez. The Mexican warrior had the edge in big-fight experience and was thought to be the more technically proficient fighter. On March 4th Chris John proved the experts wrong and pulled out a slim, unanimous decision. So was it a hometown decision or a legitimate victory?

Below is the transcript of the post-fight interview done immediately after the fight ended.

TSS: How do you feel.

Marquez: Good. I’m ok.

Quintana: You people, what do you think?

Indonesian journalist: (Pointing to Scott Mallon of TSS) He’s the neutral guy. We are Indonesian so…

TSS: You want me to tell the truth? Ok, I think the rounds were very close.

Quintana: Yes

TSS: Some rounds were closer than others, they were very hard to score…but you’re in Indonesia and when they’re very close…..Some rounds Chris John was boxing and Marquez had a hard time hitting him. So when the crowd hears one punch, it may affect the judges. Really though, I don’t know what the scores should have been but it was a close fight and I think it was fair. Really, I think it was fair. I think you (Marquez) came on in the middle rounds and you were coming on strong. I thought, oh, now you’re going to get him. But then he started to dance, moving side-to-side, and it made it hard for you to hit him solid.

I don’t know about the points because there was one judge scored it 116-112 but they took two points away. So how can it be 116-112?

(Looking back, maybe two rounds were scored even which would mean the fight would have been 116-114, a totally appropriate and feasible score.)

Indonesian journalist: How about the number of rounds?

TSS: I think the scores were 8-4 John and I think that it was fair. Maybe it could go 7-5 but the rounds were close and for me, it’s very difficult sometimes because I’m watching though the camera. So when I see something I see in the beginning maybe he (Marquez) won the first and second round. The next couple of rounds John was boxing well and the later rounds he came on.

Marquez: You win the fight by landing the punches. This was a bad ending.

TSS: You did land some good shots.

Quintana: Of course the boxer who throws more punches is the one that wins but….like you said, we’re in Indonesia and….

TSS: if the rounds are close they are probably not going to give the round to him (Marquez).

Quintana:  Exactly.

TSS: I don’t want to make it sound like they took it away from him or anything like that. Chris John fought a very smart fight.

Marquez: Chris John is a very good fighter. Very good.

TSS: Yes.

Marquez: But I think I won a close fight.

TSS: You did land some good punches – I thought maybe one or two times I thought you hurt him, or stunned him.

Marquez: Three or four times Chris John was staggered.

TSS: Did you see his side from the body punches?

Marquez: The referee stepped in and would say “stop, stop, stop.”

Indonesian journalist: How about your opinion? How many rounds did you win?

Quintana: Like you said, it was a very close fight. Obviously those rounds belong to us. You people think, I mean people say it, they won’t give it to us. But, the decision is made. It is not fair, not to you people, not to the public that they give that decision. A unanimous decision, with a big difference. They did whatever they were supposed to do to win the fight; gloves, coming all the way here, many things put us at the disadvantage here.

TSS: So do you want a rematch?

Quintana: Of course, sure. If he wants to go somewhere else, the U.S., Mexico, anywhere else, of course.

Indonesian journalist: A rematch is a multi-million dollar fight. How much will you want?

Quintana: Who says that?

TSS: I think this fight was but….

Indonesian journalist: If the promoter asks for a rematch in Indonesia, would you take it?

Quintana: No…no, you think we want that?

Marquez: In Indonesia, maybe the fighter is killed or dead and he wins the fight.

Quintana: Any fighter can be dead and they still raise the hand. That’s alright though, we can take it.

Dr. Miguel Duran (Marquez’s doctor): This is a sport, it’s not work. You only need to write what you see. If you think throwing punches, well, who threw the punches? Don’t protect him (John) or try to protect him or whatever.

Quintana: Chris John is a great fighter and he didn’t need whatever the judges did; just to put him so ahead. I mean, that’s a lie. You people know it. You’re pretending like it’s alright.

TSS: That’s how it will always be though. I thought around the seventh or eighth he was catching him more.

Marquez:  You watch the fight, maybe in round eight or nine, the referee said, “you’re punches, you’re punches (keep them up).” I was not the popular fighter and could not fight how I wanted.

Quintana: You cannot be confident of throwing more punches.

TSS: Taking two points away, that’s a lot.

Quintana: Yes, that’s a lot. Those punches weren’t low.

TSS: I have to look at my photos.

Quintana: Look at the video.

Dr. Miguel Duran: You know if you have bad intentions on the punches and he didn’t.

TSS: No, I know he didn’t intentionally throw the low blows.

Dr. Miguel Duran: Chris John moves the elbow and it happens. It’s a regular thing in boxing. They weren’t so low.

TSS: What’s next?

Quintana: Obviously we need to go back to Mexico and relax a little bit; then he’s going to go back to the gym. We’ve got some plans for him and for Rafael to do some things together in May and we’re going after that.

Indonesian journalist: So will you move up in weight?

Marquez: We’ll take it, but as you saw he was 125, 125½ pounds and he has no problem making the weight. Whatever is the offer and whatever is out there in the market, we can move up or stay. It doesn’t matter.

TSS: What about moving up to meet Pacquiao, you think it’s too much weight?

Quintana: He can do 130, 126, no problem, he’s a professional and trains hard. Obviously, it counts when you train and you wait six months in training for the fight to happen and then come all the way over here. Obviously it’s a drain.

TSS: This is a fight I didn’t want to see either fighter lose. Both are nice guys, good fighters and I don’t want to see anyone lose.

Quintana: We appreciate your honesty because like you said you saw a close fight, the rounds could go either way; obviously, though, you’re not the only journalist.

TSS: Well – when they announced his name, there were no cheers. For coming here I think he’s got grande juevos. It was a difficult fight.

Quintana: In this position, it’s difficult.

Indonesian journalist: You’re no longer with Bob Arum.

Quintana: No, you’re about to hear it, next week (this week).

TSS: Definitely not Bob Arum and definitely not Don King?

Quintana: No, definitely not. You will hear it next week though.

Indonesian journalist: Next week?

Quintana: Yes – next week. Calm down. You’re so hyper!

Dr. Miguel Duran: This is his profession and in this profession you know you win and you lose. You have to prepare yourself for this.

Quintana: We can take the defeats. We can take any losses, but not the way they did it. I mean, we can say whatever we say, but just for you we wonder if you people are professional. You need to write whatever happens and don’t just go with the flow.

Indonesian journalist: Forget about the deductions; how many rounds did you take?

Quintana: We took seven, yes, seven. Seven to five.

TSS: Would there be anything you would have done differently?

Marquez: There’s nothing to do differently. We did what we had to do; go after him, throw punches and counterpunch. He was running and running.

Quintana: He’s a great fighter, but whatever way can you win. Knock him out? He was smart. He did what he was supposed to do.

Marquez: Never did I fight in a ring this big.

TSS: One thing he said before – was this a twenty-two foot ring?

Quintana: Twenty-four.

TSS: Maybe it would have been better if it was eighteen.

Quintana: Also, the mat was different.

TSS: Was it soft or firm?

Marquez: It was ok, not too soft, not too firm.

Marquez (through Quintana): It was the water. The mat was slick from the rain the night before. But what got me out of my rhythm was the ref. Because I wasn’t confident of throwing more punches because the ref was after me and the low blows.

Quintana: I think I did what I was supposed to do in the ring. We both used Winning gloves, but of course he likes Reyes better. The Winning doesn’t fit well. We explained it to the WBA, the commission, but that’s another thing.

Anything else? Finished?

Indonesian journalist: Will you make a protest to the WBA?

Quintana: Yes. Anything else?

TSS: Have a safe trip back.

Quintana, Marquez, Doctor Duran: Thank you.

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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