Connect with us

Articles of 2006

The Bettor Part of Valor



LAS VEGAS– Visitors stopping by 555 East Washington Avenue here Thursday morning can expect an educational experience regarding the politics of boxing regulation, procedure, and very important business.

That’s the where and when for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to begin formal examination of specifically what happened, and who may be guilty, regarding the tenth round fracas that insanely interrupted Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s wonderful winning effort against Zab Judah.

The who, what, and why of Dukeville’s latest entry into the journal of kooks and killazs is much less clear, blocked out in a blur of blockheads, besieged bystanders, and heavily-armed security.

“Discretion” will be defined, Vegas style. That’s the key word here involving twosomes, three-ways, and all sorts of professional engagements, including those listed in the commission rulebook.

Freeze frame video will expose some truths, but there’s no way to capture the emotional frenzy that eclipsed a great night of boxing. That intangible, undeniable energy is one of the primary, or primal, reasons people pay big bucks to check out the action.

Most witnesses got more than they bargained for Saturday night, in a communal circus that gave just about everybody inside Thomas and Mack Center an adrenaline jolt.

One person said to have anticipated the worst was Roger Mayweather, Floyd’s uncle and trainer, who reportedly warned Floyd to expect the type situation that occurred when Judah played lowball and back-of-the-headhunter.

Uncle Roger was also the first person to charge into the ring. Advocates for Judah’s position might point to premeditation.

“People who should not have been in the ring got in from both sides,” said Keith Kizer, soon slated to replace Marc Ratner as Executive Director, “The commission is going to take a very close look and decide what, if any, discipline should be issued. We’ll see. I think Mr. Roger Mayweather has a lot of quite hard questions to answer, and if the commission isn’t pleased (with his explanation) you may have seen him in a Nevada ring for the last time. The good news, and most important thing, is no one got hurt.”

Again, intangible emotional energy and discretion come into heavy play. In some cases they’re the same, in some unfulfilled desires they’re quite the opposite.

Floyd Mayweather kept his cool, and elevated his public persona. Mayweather seemed patiently amused during the melee, as he had during most proceeding moments of the fight. Judah also stayed in character. Apparently thriving on the anarchy and ready to pump up the volume.

Up until round ten of Mayweather-Judah, it had been an almost flawless fight card. Too bad the arena was less than a quarter full until after the Diaz-Cotto warm-up act.

Twenty-six-year-old Jorge Arce, 111, 44-3-1(33), continued his offbeat yet sincere progress into international recognition of the type he enjoys in Mexico. Arce overwhelmed faded Rosendo Alvarez, 120½, for a knockout at 1:54 of the 6th.

“I promised to knock him out and I did,” said Arce. “I want an even bigger fight, so I can represent Mexico.”

Alvarez, now 37-3-2 (24), couldn’t make near the contracted weight, and did one of those fistic-style, Dorian Grey agings every round. He did manage to give a glimpse early of what things might have been like a few light years ago, cutting Arce’s right eye and raising the usual lumps on Arce’s grinning, more than willing face. A spear to the ribs sank Alvarez to a knee and he wisely chose to wait as ref Vic Drakulich counted ten.

“I thought Arce wasn’t that good, but he is,” admitted a pale Alvarez. “I should have prepared better. I was so weak before the fight I vomited.”

Juan Diaz, 135, 29-0 (14), absorbed all sorts of big shots from Jose Miguel Cotto, 134, 27-1 (19), but Diaz landed even more in defense of his WBA title. Diaz looked like a possible star as he earned a wide but still extremely demanding unanimous decision. Both undefeated fireplugs came out blazing. They spent much of the fight trading blasts, head-to-head, over the beer sign at center canvas.

“Every time I hit him with a combination he hit me right back,” said Diaz. “Next, I’d like to a unification fight against the winner of (Jose Luis) Castillo and (Diego) Corrales.”

That’s a big step, all the way to the top. Diaz, who tried vainly to fill in for injured Jesus Chavez against Marco Antonio Barrera, believes he’s ready.

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr, 147, improved his record to 25-0-1 (19), with a second round stoppage of game but overmatched Tyler Ziolowski, 146½, 5-1 (5). Chavez has already beaten up on enough six round fighters to take a more risky assignment.

Wes Ferguson and Jose Manuel Lopez got the house rocking with a wild, afternoon preliminary at 135 pounds. Ferguson, now 13-1-1 (8), took a 10 round majority decision that could have gone either way. Lopez is now 16-2 (9).

In the early appetizer, Sal Garcia, 123, 14-3-2 (7), scored a comeback TKO over Juan Ramon Cruz,

124½, 13-2 (9).

Vanes Martirosyan, 154, 8-0 (5), continued to impress, with a stoppage of Tefo Seetso, 151½, 2-2-1.

 Of course, what ended up most vivid image, and stealing the scene, was the mini-riot. Just as there’s no way to materially capture emotional highs, the same goes for lowlifes. It could have been worse. Throughout the main event there was a hostile herd pushing toward ringside.

There was definite danger in the rarified air, which included Beyonce, Jay-Z, Usher, Magic Johnson, and Toby Keith.

Outside the well-escorted VIP area said danger was more than likely hidden in more than one a–hole’s pocket. Arena Director Daren Libonati told Kevin Iole of the Las Vegas Review Journal that metal detectors found an unidentified member of one of the fighters’ camps to be packing a pistol, presumably loaded.

The gun was reportedly returned to a vehicle, for which the Strip was much safer. Ringside, more than thirty police officers, more than twice the usual amount, had been deployed in light of “bad blood.”

Las Vegas’s finest may have added fuel to the fire when they swarmed the ring with SWAT-like precision, but their well-armed presence assured no more fools would rush in. This duty usually involves little more than checking out the well rounded scenery, and doesn’t appear a tough assignment to staff. But tonight was one of those nights where LV Metro proved their constant, invaluable necessity. Too bad an episode of “COPS” wasn’t filmed.

The line between marketing and mayhem is a thin one here.

There is indeed much to learn, and consider. The thuggish “Sworn Enemies” theme played up gritty potential surprises. Truth in advertising.

Vegas recently passed certain ordinances against some rap scenes. Is boxing next? Considering potential liability or loss of income from ringside VIPs, it’s another touchy issue.

Thursday. Ten AM PST. Discretion defined, dissected, and dispensed.

The Nevada Commission will do their best, business as usual. It’s a shame not everyone inside the ring Saturday night can say the same thing.

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.?

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading