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Articles of 2006

If He's Chicken, He's Cordon Bleu (That's Blue Ribbon for You Non-French Speakers)



LAS VEGAS, May 5 – He was talking about retiring again, that this could be his final fight, and I felt stabs of regret. We’ve had some personal history; I was the one who dubbed him “Chicken de la Hoya.” His people had me kicked out of a couple of press interviews. All in all, though, I had much respect for him. No, he was not the greatest fighter in the world, but the “Chicken” long ago crossed the road to hall of fame recognition.

And as he talked about maybe winning a world title tomorrow night would be a nice way to end it, a collage of memories hit me. James (Buster) Douglas had just sneaked the heavyweight championship out of Tokyo past Don King and Jose Sulaiman and was making an appearance for Steve Wynn at the new Mirage when I saw this 17-year-old kid for the first time. I had already heard of Oscar de la Hoya, knew that he spelled his name lower case d and l and possessed a ferocious left hook to the body.

It was the 1990 Goodwill Games trials and de la Hoya was everything I had heard and more, in fact, the second best young fighter I had ever seen. He turned out a lot better than Tony Ayala Jr., who last I heard was picking watermelons for the state of Texas in a prison outside Abilene. De la Hoya had leading man looks, terrific speed and that hook to the body. It took years and years to discover he also had a superior chin, ring smarts and fierce pride.

He might have been able to give Sugar Ray Leonard or Thomas Hearns a fight.

He won the Goodwill Games at 123 pounds, took an Olympic gold medal at 132 in Barcelona two years later and was dubbed the “Golden Boy” and that was no lie. I read some place he has made over $200 million in boxing purses, not bad for a son of illegal immigrants. That’s not counting a Grammy-nominated CD. He won titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds as a pro. He is going after another version of the junior middleweight championship tomorrow night when he challenges Ricardo Mayorga, the unhappy Nicaraguan, at the MGM Grand and for $50 you can see him on pay-per-view and suddenly he is talking again about the possibility this could be his farewell fight.

It’s hard to read de la Hoya. He plays defense in interviews as well as anyone, setting up high walls and moats. He used to talk about retiring by age 25, then 30 and here he is at 33 without having fought in almost 20 months. The last time we saw him in the ring, he was on all fours, punching the canvas instead of trying to get up from a Bernard Hopkins body shot.

In terms of class, there should be no doubt as to the victor tomorrow night, which is why de la Hoya has been the 3-1 favorite. The original game plan was to fight around the Cinco de Mayo holiday now, then have a big “farewell” fight Sept. 16 to celebrate Mexican independence. Now here he was saying that the reason he came back was because he had to erase the image of his crawling around on the canvas. Sure, as if everyone remembers Muhammad Ali for his last two hapless appearances, against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, or Sugar Ray Leonard being knocked out by Hector Camacho.

But now he was talking that maybe beating Mayorga, winning a title (which ain’t what it used to be), would be a nice way to leave, that it would “erase” those nights when “I can picture myself on the canvas with Hopkins, almost every night.”

He said “it can’t happen again.” Mayorga hits hard, but he’s certainly not as dangerous as the two men who have been most mentioned for a September fight, Winky Wright or Floyd Mayweather Jr. By then, Wright could be the middleweight champion of the world (hardly a sure thing when he meets Jermain Taylor next month).

He said “ninety-five percent of them stayed in this business too long and I don’t want to be like one of them.”

He said the game was “dangerous.” He said, “Come May 7, I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking.”

He’s made the business his business. Golden Boy Promotions is a major player, a natural rival of Bob Arum and Don King. He’s got more than 40 years on the old promoters. He’s got friends at HBO, ESPN and Telefutura. Hell, he’s got friends anywhere he wants. He’s the Golden Boy with the Midas touch.

I’m sure he’ll give me opportunity to criticize him again. That goes with the territory. Much of my Chicken-based humor was aimed at his promoter, Bob Arum. After de la Hoya squeaked by Pernell Whitaker – I was among the minority who thought Oscar was beaten – when asked about a rematch, Arum snapped, “Who needs it?” In other words, it was okay to give Julio Cesar Chavez, a faded pathetic version of the former star, another chance at taking a beating, but Arum wasn’t going to risk the boy who laid the golden eggs a second time against Whitaker.

Immediately after the fight, de la Hoya said he would be glad to give Whitaker another go. But that was another reason I called him “Chicken.” He didn’t stand up to Arum on the matter. In fact, he didn’t stand up to a lot of people, going back to his father.

He avoided confrontations. He fired trainer after trainer without even telling them. He dismissed managers the same way. Robert Mittleman and Steve Nelson, his original pro managers (having been subsidized by Arum to make sure Shelly Finkel didn’t get to the kid whose mother he buried), got a note under the door. Phone calls were never returned so, in order to finish off some business, they drove out to Oscar’s home. They saw him, but he saw them and quickly drove off.

Jesus Rivero, maybe the best trainer he ever had, used to walk around the gym with a broom in his hand so that Robert Alcazar, the guy who was with him in the amateurs, wouldn’t get wise to the fact that there was a more important voice in de la Hoya’s ear. Emanuel Steward came and went. Gil Clancy to this day hasn’t been notified that he’s been dismissed.

Nobody’s perfect. At the same time that he refused to be man enough to take the responsibility himself to fire someone, he has held on to some of his oldest ties, going back to kindergarten friendships.

There were fights, too, where Oscar wasn’t exactly the bravest. The way he ran from Felix Trinidad Jr. over the last four rounds – four, not three – should have resulted in points deducted and/or a disqualification. I don’t blame him. Trinidad was about to come on so de la Hoya decided discretion was the sincerest form of flattery. Funny, during all the prefight hype, Trinidad and his promoter, Don King, imitated my heckles of “Chicken de la Hoya.” The island of Puerto Rico was plastered with Pollo signs. Even now, Ricardo Mayorga says he sparred with live chickens to prepare himself for Chicken de la Hoya.

After Whitaker, Arum gave de la Hoya one setup after another. David Kamau, the faded Hector Camacho, Wilfredo Rivera, Patrick Charpentier, the rematch with Chavez followed in undistinguished order. But the Chicken de la Hoya chants were heard in his own neighborhood.

Oscar was no Chicken. He finally told Arum to make some real matches. Okay, I thought maybe Ike Quartey held on to beat him. It was a close fight and de la Hoya showed cujones. He went up against Trinidad, tried Sugar Shane Mosley. He got his last great victory over Fernando Vargas.

An all-time great? Not for what he did in the ring. For all his growing up the scale, I believe Oscar’s prime was at welterweight. He would have been good opposition, but I doubt if he would have beaten Jose Napoles or Emile Griffith. He and Roberto Duran would have been a terrific matchup. At lightweight, you have to like Duran; at 147 pounds, de la Hoya is much closer.

But what makes de la Hoya special is by no means limited to his boxing. He was always a one-armed fighter – his left hand is his strong hand; he doesn’t have much of a right, though Floyd Mayweather Sr. has gotten him to throw it more. But in the counting houses is where he was truly Golden.

He was brilliantly brought up by Arum. It was the promoter’s job to protect him; it is mine to try and protect the public from de la Hoya-Charpentier mismatches. But he was smart enough to leave Arum. Twice. He has signed such stars as Hopkins and Mosley – if you can’t beat them, hire them – and Marco Antonio Barrera.

He is the poster child for all immigrants, legal or “illegal.” He knows this is an immigrant society and he has captured the American dream as no Hispanic-American before him, even Carmen Miranda or Desi Arnaz.

He has invested in the Hispanic community, building banks and hospitals. It takes a tough Chicken to make tender citizens. He is properly celebrated way beyond the ropes. Even as a boxing promoter, he brings something new to the business. The game has long suffered because few corporate suits want to be identified with it. Tomorrow night’s fight has three sponsors new to boxing – Baccardi rum, Coca-Cola and Southwest Airlines – who do not mind being associated with the Golden Boy. Few boxers of his stature can hold the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Part of me hopes he retires if he beats Mayorga. I don’t see him gaining any Brownie points by trying Winky Wright or Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September. At this stage (age), he can’t beat either. But if he doesn’t fight them, I will not call him a Chicken, at least not until Chicken is a sign of great respect. This Chicken has come first far too often to be mistaken for a yegg.

I won’t miss him that much as a fighter, and besides, he’ll be around for as long as he wants, or as long as boxing is permitted by civilization.

PENTHOUSE: Hasim Rahman, who would have been at tonight’s alternate dinner to the Boxing Writers Association annual affair, but is off on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He’ll be back in time for next week’s New York press conference to announce his Aug. 12 fight here against Oleg Maskaev.

OUTHOUSE: I was going to put Ricardo Mayorga in here for caving in and agreeing to accept whatever he signed for, but then he started making disparaging remarks about Don King, his promoter, so I decided to keep the W.C. unoccupied. Okay, let’s put in all the alphabets, just for old times sake. I don’t want to get into the reasons why I quit the Boxing Writers (a joke) and why Kevin Iole quit and why there may be a few other scribes at the alternative dinner tonight. Somewhere, my old rabbi, Barney Nagler, must be spinning.

MORE DIS AND THAT: There’s a possibility of a one-day eight-man heavyweight tournament in July in Australia, where money must grow in the Outback. The idea is four rounds for each bout, the first flight worth at least $100,000 going on up to the winner receiving $5 million. I was told this by John Hornewer, attorney for Chris Byrd, who says Byrd might join such invitees as Samuel Peter, Shannon Briggs, Michael Grant, Ruslan Chagaev, even that great Jewish nebbish, Roman Greenburg….My thought: Why would anyone put up so much money for Byrd? I mean, how can he lose a four-round decision as long as he doesn’t fight the way he did against Wladimir Klitschko last month….What bugs Hornewer, incidentally, is that Papa Joe Byrd had anticipated Klitschko’s ploy of sticking out the left arm and had worked on defensing that maneuver – knocking the hand away, punching the elbow, but Chris fought, as he would say, “knuckleheaded.”…There’s a Showtime card tonight in case you don’t want to pay $50 to see if Ricardo Mayorga shows up on time, but I think the MGM prelim between Joan Guzman and Javier Jauregui, plus a chance to watch Kassim Ouma, more than makes up for missing Alejandro Garcia and Jose Antonio Rivera….The pay-per-view card opens with a four-rounder with Jorge Paez Jr. His dad is here, looking as wild as ever, and talk about how time flies – in his 14th pro fight, 12 years ago, de la Hoya knocked out Jorge Paez Sr. in the second round to win the WBO lightweight title. Now he is co-promoting Paez’s son, an 8-0 lightweight with five knockouts….Mayorga says he’s hated de la Hoya ever since Oscar bloodied his idol, Julio Cesar Chavez. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to have a more personal reason for hating de la Hoya after tomorrow night.

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.?

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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

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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.

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