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Articles of 2006

De La Hoya-Mayorga from both sides of one man, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

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This conversation was overheard and recorded a recent evening within the glowering study of their fireplace-lit den.

JEKYLL:  Oh, May the sixth, Mr. De La Hoya vs. Mr. Mayorga… the elation I felt… to experience Oscar back within the squared circle… to put it simply, his ability was far-reaching, Kudos, I say… the most eloquent of fistic waltzes he performed upon the most primitive of opponents.

HYDE: HOGWASH!!! That crap was a waste of money, no wonder people feel like lambs brought to the bloody slaughter. $50 bucks I invested and all I saw was Mayorga being bounced around the ring like a friggin’ double ended bag

JEKYLL: But that is the nature of boxing my good man, on occasion one may hold witness to a 30 second Armageddon, at other times one may witness 12 rounds of unrepentant hostility, and then again one may uncover a 12 round tedious tiff… it’s the unpredictability that entertains… it…

HYDE: UNPREDICTABILITY? That garbage was more predictable than the following day of the week… not a hint of resistance from Mayorga, with the exception of an uppercut, which he practically apologized for throwing in the first place. Kinda like when Duran touched gloves with Hearns after the 1st round and then remembered he was supposed to be mad – so he waved him off. The phony windbag…

JEKYLL: Now, now… Mayorga attempted to defend himself yet Oscar was nothing short of scintillating fistic perfection. The accuracy was legendary.

HYDE: I am going to be sick.

JEKYLL: Not on the Persian carpet please… There was a certain eloquence to Oscar’s punching… It was as if his acute fists were speaking in rapier-like strokes! The most celebrated of artists could not have painted a finer picture.

HYDE: Claptrap! It was because he was painting on a “blank canvas.” You see the way Mayorga threw his punches? No real intent on his part… he…

JEKYLL; He has always fought in the wild manner of which you speak, and at the time he defeated Vernon Forest you could not find an individual who would say Mayorga does not fully comprehend the manly art of self-defense.

HYDE: I don’t know… Something smelled fishy and being in Vegas, that fight was far from the docks, know what I am saying? Oscar has never in his life taken a fight unless it was advantageous for him to do so… get a hangnail a week before the fight? He pulls out. Gets an abrasion on his butt in sparring, pulls out… the only time you’re supposed to pull out, as a man, is if…

JEKYLL: Cease your balderdash, unwitting savage, for I sense feelings of abhorrence within you; a covetousness that I had never though possible before. I am aware of your past career as a pugilist and you contend that Oscar was a “protected fighter,” no? Is that what this is all about?

HYDE: Um, YES and no…

JEKYLL: There – for nothing you say can be held as responsible journalism, nor can it be held to be an accurate opinion of the evening’s events and happenings. What you hold true is tainted by that little greed seed named abhorrence

HYDE: I don’t know about any abhor-nothing, but your sensing of hate… well it’s not a hate for him but for what he stands for. The liquefaction of real boxing. His sort destroys the sport. Turning it into a spectacle…

JEKYLL: Surely you jest… Oscar dumbing down boxing? If anything he brings boxing up from the dregs from which it was wallowing. De La Hoya has only ever fought with heart and class…

HYDE; First of all, let me tell you something, boxing is completely a “sport” that allows a person to express themselves from their soul… physically if not mentally, the way in which an individual fights reflects his true nature. This isn’t acting, it is primitive analysis on a combative scale…

JEKYLL: Ah, a beast attempting to wax philosophical with me… I would do battle but never do I do such with an unarmed man!

HYDE: Blasé, blasé… all I am saying is whatever “heart and courage” Oscar may or may not have shown isn’t what he is going to be remembered for… that won’t be his legacy no matter how many blowouts or wars he has in the future. Lemme tell you something, before telling you something else, everyone can run faster with the wind at their backs. His bouts have always been this short of being “fixed.” And not fixed in the conventional sense of the word, fixed in the sense that the only time he fights someone is when he either has a physical advantage over his opponent or they are coming off significant losses and are therefore safe to fight. When he was good and ready and his opponent was bad and unready.

JEKYLL: Au contraire mon bristled hair… Wouldn’t you like every situation to be in your favor? Is that not referred to as good management?

HYDE: That isn’t the point!

JEKYLL: Keep your voice down when addressing me, I expect a modicum of decency…

HYDE: He has secured his future, if that is what his aim was, but when it comes down to character… that thing that defines an individual… well, let me just say that most fighters were dropped into the middle of the ocean and told to swim. This guy was dropped in the middle of the ocean but landed on a luxury ocean liner, and that’s what the people relate to… Mexican, American, Korean, African, Myass-ian… above all else, in balanced individuals, they like displays of character and overcoming adversity. Winning when you are supposed to win ain’t no thing.

JEKYLL: Many have not, including you…

HYDE: Why I oughtta…

JEKYLL: Tut, tut, my good man-beast, I only beg to differ… he has had to overcome tremendous adversity… His origins are East LA, so lest ye forget, this young man was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he had to work for everything he has. While others decided to party and lead the “good” life, he applied himself to betterment via his vocation… Now I ask you, is it fair that he should be maligned for those choices?

HYDE: No, but maybe for the fact that when he gets someone in trouble he tends to flail his punches.

JEKYLL: Persnickety, you wish you could flail so effectively…

HYDE: Hey, I got the floor now! He whines when a punch strays low, he complains about a decision being unfair when he has had his share of “gift decisions”… witness the Pernell Whitaker fight.

JEKYLL: Listen to me my savage counterpart… there are many portholes to another dimension, not only one. Understand? You may prefer the rough-and-tumble/let me fight until I’m brain dead/carry them out on their shield-type boxers, but I for one feel different. Oscarrrrrrrrrr is good for boxing, he brings commerce and interest to the sport. Feel good in the fact that there are differences, for in this diversity there are more choices.

HYDE: I just want real fighting… is that too much to ask for? Whether a guy’s style is to run around the ring, or run into punches, it don’t matter! If Oscar ever fought at a disadvantage or at a time when someone was top of their game I don’t know it… and that’s what real fighting is… Not this staged circus. You may like your fisticuffs watered down, but I want my juice uncut!

JEKYLL: He beat Vargas!

HYDE: Vargas had already been KO’d severely in a loss to Trinidad first…

JEKYLL: He beat Whitaker, one of the greatest fighters…

HYDE: Who was at the end of his turn AND he didn’t beat him either. Oscar was dropped in that fight…

JEKYLL: You are highly inebriated…

HYDE: The video don’t lie my friend… Pernell definitely won that fight… and the next thing you want to tell me is De La Hoya is one of the best pound-for-pounds of all times… and you will never be able to say that and you know why? Because he never rose to the occasion… Sure Ray Leonard had some bull—- fights, money fights, but he earned them, just as Ali did.

JEKYLL: Well I like him and I will not participate in this witchhunt any longer. This character assassination has gone far enough…

HYDE: This isn’t an attempt at character assassination, this is all about boxing. I am not saying he isn’t a nice guy, I only make reference to his boxing ability given what he has shown throughout his career, damn it, and I will be heard!

JEKYLL: I think you have said quite enough! With me being the dominant personality that I am, I banish you back into the dark recesses of my mind.

HYDE: And if I don’t want to go?

JEKYLL: There will be consequences and repercussions… a little self-flagellation.

HYDE: Ha! You would cut off your nose to spite your face.

JEKYLL: I have done it before and I will do it again, now off with you and may you never show your hairy visage around me again!

HYDE: I will go for now, but I will be back… as sure as your multiple personality disorder… I will be back.

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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