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Articles of 2006

Busy Week in Pro Boxing

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Get ready for the busiest week in pro boxing.

Steve “The Mongoose” Quinonez is back, and with his little friend Jose Luis Cruz at Big League Dreams ballpark on Wednesday.

Well, Cruz is actually bigger than Quinonez, but the desert fighter is big among boxing fans in the Palm Springs area.

Quinonez faces the taller Ray Nahr (16-1, 14 KOs) while Mexico’s Cruz faces former world titleholder Sharmba Mitchell at the Cathedral City ballpark on Wednesday, May 3. Some of the fight card will be televised by ESPN2.

After losing a close fight against former world champion Stevie Johnston in January, Quinonez is back in the ring. A year ago the desert fighter handed James Armah his first pro defeat. That happened on May 5, 2005. May has always been a schizoid type of month for the Mongoose.

Last year he beat Armah, in May 2003 he lost to Michael Clark. In May 2002 he won a decision over Luis Ugalde, but in May 2001, he was stopped by Mickey Ward. Maybe he’s destined to win every other year. Maybe it’s only on even years.

Regardless, Quinonez is ready.

“After I lost to Stevie Johnston I took a couple of weeks off then got back in the gym,” says Quinonez (30-10-1) who has fought a list of boxers that would make other fighters cringe. Fighters like Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Steve Forbes, Lovemore N’Dou, Jose Luis Juarez and Juan “Pollo” Valenzuela to name a few.

Nahr, a 6-foot tall fighter out of Ghana, hasn’t lost a fight since Kid Diamond rocked his world in 2004. But now he’s looking to make a statement on national television. Quinonez knows this.

“I had to take this fight or else I wouldn’t be on television,” said Quinonez, 35, who could have taken an easier opponent on the non-televised portion of the card. “My hands are tied. At my age I don’t have time to wait around another year.”

Luckily, he’s had ample time and sparred perhaps the best fighter near his weight class in Julio “The Kidd” Diaz.

“Julio is almost the same size,” said Quinonez, who sparred with Diaz several weeks. “He’s a world class fighter.”

Quinonez is a world-class fighter too. Though he’s never won a world title, he’s bagged several regional titles in a fight resume that few can match.

In the main event, Mexico City’s “Chelin” Cruz (31-1-2, 26 KOs), who suffered his first and only career loss against Sugar Shane Mosley, gets another opportunity against a former world champion.

Mitchell (56-5), the former WBA junior welterweight title-holder, lost his last match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a blowout. Now he faces the tough Mexican who endured 10 rounds with Mosley.

“Cruz was a real clever fighter,” said Mosley two months ago. “He had this way of acting like he was firing a punch and would make you react, then the punch would come a blink later. It took me time to figure it out.”

The first bout begins at 5:30 p.m. The Big League Dreams Sports Park is located at 33700 Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City. For tickets or more information call (760) 324-5600.

Contender fights in Las Vegas

The Aladdin Resort and Casino hosts “Latin Warriors” on Thursday May 4, featuring Sergio Mora, Alfonso Gomez, Miguel Espino and Jonathan Reid. Yes, Reid too.

“I’m an honorary Latino,” said Reid (33-4, 19 KOs), who’s been living in Montebello, Ca. preparing for this return to the ring after losing a close fight to Espino last year. “I’ve been working hard and Sergio and coach Dean Campos have been taking care of me.”

Reid faces Ryan Davis (19-5-2) who lost to Carlos Bojorquez last year. In that fight, Bojorquez proved too aggressive for the boxing-minded Davis after a clash of heads caused a cut over the Mexican’s eye. He saw red and went into a rage against Davis. Reid is calmer but has made some changes to his style with the aid of Mora’s trainer Campos.

“I move around more,” said Reid, who always stays within a few pounds of his fighting weight.

“The guy’s like Bernard Hopkins, he’s a freak,” said Mora. “He’s always in shape.”

Also on the card will be Gomez facing Jesse Feliciano who is coming off a surprising win over Vince “Cool” Phillips. It should be a pretty rough match.

Mora meets the taller Archak “Shark Attack” Ter-Meliksetian (15-3, 12 KOs) in a middleweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds.

A lot of things have changed for Mora, but his intensity hasn’t.

“I’m still the same guy,” said Mora (17-0) who still lives in East L.A. with his mother and brothers. “It’s just that more people are coming at me that I haven’t seen in a long time. I don’t have the same amount of time as I had before because I’m training. But I’m the same guy.”

 Mora, 25, has been sparring with quick-fisted Larry Mosley, who fights at welterweight.

“Sergio Mora can fight inside or outside,” said Mosley.

Mora is looking for a victory to let people know he’s still out there.

Maywood fight card

Mexico’s Jose Luis Zertuche (18-2-2), the middleweight who knocked out Jesus “The Hammer” Gonzalez, meets Nicaragua’s Jose Varela (17-2, 12 KOs) in a 10 round bout on Friday May 5. The fight will be televised on Telefutura.

Giovanni Segura (13-0-1, 10 KOs), the heavy-handed flyweight prospect out of South Gate who stopped Francisco Arce and Juan Carlos Perez in a round apiece, gets to try out Valentin Leon (17-12-2, 8 KOs) of Colton. Segura, who is originally from Acapulco, has been raising heads with his go-for-broke style.

“He’s pretty good that kid,” said Lee Espinosa, who trains Julio Diaz.

For tickets and information call (323) 707-6770 or (323) 562-5020.

Coachella fight card

Venezuela’s 40-year-old Yobert Ortega (35-6-3) meets Ricardo Castillo (25-2), Jose Luis’s little brother, at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, California on Saturday night. Also on the card will be David Vasquez (17-10-3) meeting Priest Smalls (17-10-1). Vasquez returns to the ring after a two-year lay-off in a junior featherweight bout. The fight card is promoted by Julio Cesar Chavez and O2 Boxing. The first bout begins at 7 p.m., Ticket buyers will also be able to see Oscar De La Hoya fight Ricardo Mayorga on television. For tickets and information call (800) 585-3737.

Fights on television
Wed. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Sharmba Mitchell (56-5) vs. Jose L. Cruz (31-1-2).

Thurs. ESPN, 6:30 p.m. Sergio Mora (17-0) vs. Archak Ter-Melikesetian (15-3).

Fri. Telefutura, 9 p.m., Jose Zertuche (18-2-2) vs. Jose Varela (17-2).

Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Glen Donaire (15-2-1) vs. Cesar Lopez (18-2).

Sat. HBO pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Oscar De La Hoya (37-4) vs. Ricardo Mayorga (28-5-1); Kassim Ouma (23-2) vs. Marco Antonio Rubio (33-2); Joan Guzman (24-0) vs. Javier Jauregui (51-12-2); Jorge Arce (7-0) vs. Lowell Brownfeld (7-0).

Sat. Showtime, 9 p.m., Alex Garcia (25-1) vs. Jose Antonio Rivera (37-4-1).

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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