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Articles of 2006

Boxing News: Team Gunn Raises Ruckus

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They say the punch that does the most damage is the one you never see coming. The one we never saw coming this past Friday in Nashville was the third man in the ring.

We at Team Gunn want to share our thoughts on the worst officiated fight in recent title fight history. Before that, we do want to speak on the positive. We want to thank the good people of Nashville for their warm welcome and continued support of Bobby Gunn, the uncrowned cruiserweight champion. We proved this weekend in our home away from home that we are the true people’s champion.

Shelby Gross was the benefactor of a long count that puts Tunney-Dempsey II to shame. His disqualification-worthy tactics in round two were appalling, having no place in the confines of a professional boxing ring.

Because of the deplorable actions – and inactions – of referee Freddie Boges, we have officially filed a protest with the International Boxing Association, the Tennessee Boxing and Racing Commission, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and the state’s Attorney General’s office.

Our first area of concern was with referee Freddie Boges given permission to officiate the IBA world cruiserweight title fight on Friday, March 31, 2006. It has come to our attention that Mr. Boges lied about his being certified with the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC). All major sanctioning bodies and state commissions require all of their officials to be ABC certified. To be eligible to officiate a world title fight, you must supply proof of your certification. Mr. Boges failed to do so, before or after the match.

His lack of qualifications was apparent as early as the pre-fight instructions. He repeatedly deferred all questions to IBA Ratings Chairman Norm Longtin, rather than answer them on his own – simply put, perform his job.

Onto the fight.

Less than forty seconds into the round, Bobby Gunn dropped Shelby Gross for the first of two times in the round. Gross beat the count, but acted in accordance with his corner to spit out his mouthpiece and buy some time. Such audio can be overheard in the video, which was been supplied to IBA President Dean Chance, and ABC President Tim Lueckenhoff, among others. As a result, Gross was able to buy close to thirty seconds of recovery time.

He briefly recovered, but could not avoid the Gunn show. Bobby was all over him, sensing that his long awaited goal of becoming a world cruiserweight champion was well within reach in less than a round. Gross managed to absorb an enormous amount of punishment before a barrage punctuated by a vicious body shot laid him out flat on his back. According to the video – which is presently available for public viewing on promoter Fight Beat Entertainment’s website (www.fightbeat.com) – Gross was FLAT ON HIS BACK for twelve seconds, and off of his feet for a grand total of EIGHTEEN SECONDS.

Despite the referee’s obvious shortcomings, is it still too much that we ask a grown man to be able to count to ten? In this case, yes it was. There is no feasible explanation for Boges counting in super-slow motion. Nor does it excuse the fact that he stopped the count at nine (which was closer to eighteen seconds in real time). Instead of counting out Gross, he stopped and watched him rise to his feet. You don’t allow a fighter more time than the mandatory ten seconds a fighter is given to recover from a knockdown. Mr. Boges allowed such to occur, his actions obvious to everyone at ringside, including IBA Ratings Chairman Norm Longtin.

“(The fight) was the most incompetent performance I have ever seen by a referee,” said Longtin. “I went over with the commission what I saw transpire in the ring including the longest count I have ever seen – it was so slow that it reminded me of a refs count over two fallen wrestlers.”

The count lasted so long that everyone EXCEPT for Mr. Boges thought the fight was over. Even when he finally rose to his feet, Gross took out his mouthpiece and threw his arms in the air, unable answer the referee’s question. At that point, a member of the commission entered the ring with a stool – believing the fight was over, KO1 for Bobby Gunn. In any state, the commission will enter the ring with a stool the moment the fight is over. The reason is that they want to have the fighter seated and off of his feet as quickly as possible to maximize and expedite his recovery time.

Apparently, Mr. Boges was unaware of the rules in his own state, or even in what was literally his own ring. Instead, he waited for the ring to clear, and proceeded with the action. He never called time, which denied Bobby the chance to knock him out for the second time in one round.

Between the end of the first round and the start of the second round, the turnbuckle mysteriously and conveniently becoming undone. Who did it and why, we’ll leave up to you the fans and media. All we do know is that Gross was given even more time to recover from the enormous beating he absorbed in the opening round.

Even with the additional recovery time, Gross was still visibly shaken when the second round finally went underway. Bobby was still doing his thing in the ring, before getting clipped by a wild, hail Mary-like haymaker. Shelby capitalized, and soon put Bobby on the canvas for the first time in his career.

What took place soon thereafter easily ranks among the most despicable acts ever witnessed in a boxing ring. Perhaps not on the level of Mike Tyson chewing off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear, but certainly not too far behind.

Bobby was left defenseless on the canvas. Boges’ horrendous reaction time allowed Gross to race over, kneel down, stick his knees in Bobby’s chest and wail away on a defenseless target, hitting Bobby with fists and elbows. Boges FINALLY reacted to Gross’ life-threatening actions by bear-hugging him and body-slamming him to the canvas.

The following are taken directly from the ABC’s home page (www.abcboxing.com) in regards to actions to be taken in the event of an intentional foul:

A. Intentional fouls
1.  If an intentional foul causes an injury, and the injury is severe enough to terminate the bout immediately, the boxer causing the injury shall lose by disqualification.
2.  If an intentional foul causes an injury and the bout is allowed to continue, the referee will notify the authorities and deduct (2) points from the boxer who caused the foul. Point deductions for intentional fouls will be mandatory. 
3.  If an intentional foul causes an injury and the injury results in the bout being stopped in a latter round, the injured boxer will win by TECHNICAL DECISION if he is ahead on the score cards or the bout will result in a TECHNICAL DRAW if the injured boxer is behind or even on the score cards.
4.  If boxer injures himself while attempting to intentionally foul his opponent, the referee will not take any action in his favor, and this injury will be the same as one produced by a fair blow.
 5. If the referee feels that a boxer has conducted himself in an  unsportsmanlike-like manner he may stop the bout and disqualify the boxer.

None of the above was ever enforced by the referee. Instead, Boges warned Gross that the next time would result in a disqualification. Whoop-de-damn-doo. The only recovery time Bobby was afforded was the mandatory eight-count and the time it took to recover, clean and re-insert his mouthpiece, which was exited as a result of the deplorable tactics exuded by Gross.

There’s not much to be said about the rest of the round. Bobby tried his hardest to recover, but was out of it. Admittedly, the fight should have been stopped after the second knockdown. But Bobby is a warrior to the very end, and was able to sell to the referee that he was able to continue. That’s not saying much, though – with this referee, all it would have taken to be able to fight on was to utter senseless babble. He did somehow remain on his feet for the remainder of the round, trying his damnest to fight his way back into the fight. But Gross was the fresher of the two at that point, and his final blows put Bobby out for the night.

That said, Bobby was not granted the same opportunities at the end of the round, as was Gross during the second knockdown of the first round. Bobby’s head slammed to the canvas just as the timekeeper FINALLY rang the bell to end a round that lasted nearly five minutes. All he had to do was beat the count and then be escorted back to his corner. From there, he could be evaluated after a full minutes’ rest to see if he was fit to continue for round three. Instead, Boges counted to eight and then evaluated him. Bobby couldn’t keep his footing and the fight was stopped.

What we have a hard time digesting, though, is the inconsistent actions of the referee. Gross was granted the benefit of the doubt in the opening round. We were not given the same opportunities in round two. Hey, give us eighteen seconds to rise from a knockdown and the chance to mount our fallen opponent and freely swing on him, and we’re right back in the fight.

What we at Team Gunn are protesting is what Gross was ALLOWED to do – in order to win the fight. Gross did all of that, because an unqualified, incompetent referee afforded him the opportunity to do so.

Our protest is predicated on the following facts:

– Mr. Boges was granted permission to officiate a world title fight with supplying sufficient proof of being ABC certified (simply, because he is NOT ABC certified), therefore violating the rules set forth by the IBA, ABC and the Tennessee Boxing and Racing Commission.
– As evident on the video replay, Mr. Gross was flat on his back for approximately twelve seconds in the end of the first round, and took eighteen total seconds to recover from a knockdown, only to benefit from a count so slow, a ten-count in instant replay would have taken less time.
– As also evident on the replay, the turnbuckle became undone in between the first and second rounds. All that can be seen for the moment is a hand reaching in from the Gross camp. The next screen shows the turnbuckle on the canvas, off of the ring post.
– Also evident on the replay is Gross’ intentional foul and life-threatening beating given to Gunn on the canvas, which was not handled by the referee in accordance of the Association of Boxing Commissions.

We have said our peace, and turn the matter over to the proper authorities: the International Boxing Association, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the Tennessee Division of Commerce and Insurance. We can only hope for a swift and just resolution to this matter. Mr. Gross should be disqualified – in fact, declared the losing fighter via first-round knockout. Bobby Gunn should be crowned the IBA world cruiserweight champion, or at the very least have the fight declared a no-contest, and a mandatory rematch be issued.

Before we close, we would like to thank the IBA for allowing us the opportunity to fight for the title. We would also like to thank the people of Nashville for once again opening their arms to Team Gunn. Finally, we would like to thank first-time promoter Jake Donovan o/b/o Fight Beat Entertainment for taking a huge risk in putting the show together. It was because of his efforts that we were able to make it to a ring and fight for the world title. It was because of an incompetent official’s efforts that were denied to the chance to be crowned world champion.

Finally, we part with this: for years, we struggled with the perfect nickname for Bobby Gunn. “Irish” Bobby Gunn was not unique, nor did it reflect his global following or his Canadian upbringing. Other nicknames have been offered, but none were fitting. After Friday night, Bobby has finally earned a nickname befitting his courage in the ring: “Braveheart” Bobby Gunn, The uncrowned people’s champion.

We thank those who offered their overwhelming support regarding what took place this weekend, and patiently await the outcome.

Sincerely,

Team Bobby Gunn
The People’s Champion

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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