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Articles of 2006

Boxing News: Update from Main Events

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UNDEFEATED . . . BUT NOT FOR LONG:  Caesar’s Palace’s Open-Air Amphitheater will serve as host for one of the year’s most anticipated fight cards.  On June 24 four undefeated boxers will square off in an electrifying doubleheader of 12 round bouts. In the main event Calvin Brock (28-0, 22 KOs), heavyweight boxing’s hottest contender, will risk his undefeated record when he battles fellow undefeated contender Timur Ibragimov (21-0-1, 13 KO’s) in a 12 round bout.  In the co-feature Joel Julio (27-0, 24 KO’s), boxing’s hottest prospect, challenges fellow undefeated prospect Carlos Quintana (22-0, 18 KO’s) in a 12 round WBA Welterweight Eliminator . . . Tickets, priced at $250, $200, $150, $100, and $50, are available through Ticketmaster (Las Vegas: 702-474-4000; Los Angeles: 213-480-3232), online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Caesars Palace Box Office 10am-10pm 7 days per week.

Joel Julio is training in Vero Beach, FL with James “Buddy” McGirt and Roberto Quesada. McGirt’s son, James McGirt, Jr., and Alex Perez are serving as sparring partners for Julio . . . Julio was featured in the May 22 issue of ESPN: The magazine . . .

Carlos Quintana is training in Catalina, PR for the Julio bout.  Manager Rafael Joglar reports that Quintana has been in camp for about a month, under the guidance of trainer Jose Bonilla. Bonilla has worked in the past with Fres Oquendo, Joel Casamayor, and Jose Nieves . . .  Joglar says that Quintana understands the magnitude of the bout and the quality of his opponent: “Carlos thinks Julio is a very good boxer and a very tough opponent. He recognizes Julio’s punching power and the velocity of his punches. This will be a very tough fight and Carlos knows that this is the most important fight of his career. But Carlos also believes that he is very experienced and that he will know how to handle anything that Julio can show him” . . .

***NEXT WEEK:  BROCK, IBRAGIMOV CAMP NOTES***

“I DO”:  On Feb 25 Raul Martinez (14-0, 10 KO’s) tied the knot with Martha Patricia Sanchez. On June 24 the undefeated bantamweight prospect hopes to celebrate his four month wedding anniversary with a victory over Alex Becerra (18-3, 8 KO’s), the toughest opponent he has faced since turning pro on May 8, 2004. The San Antonio native knows that Becerra “had a good amateur career and that he is currently ranked in the top-10 by the WBO.  He’s a strong fighter that I’m not taking lightly” . . . . . Martinez will spend the last three weeks of training camp at Poncho Rosales’ Gym in Mexico City.  Among the notables who have trained there is former world champion Miguel Angel Gonzalez. Martinez hopes his luck will change with the switch in locales from San Antonio and Georgetown to Mexico. While training in the two Texas towns, Martinez managed to lose his wallet, to nearly ruin his digital camera by leaving it in the front pocket of a laundered pair of shorts, and to get ticketed for not making a complete stop at a stop sign. . . In his last bout on April 14, 2006, Martinez captured a unanimous decision Adalberto Davila in Monterrey, Mexico (W 10).  It was the first time in his career that Martinez fought 10 rounds . . .

GATTI:  Fewer than 2,000 tickets remain for the July 22 world championship bout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, between Arturo Gatti (40-7, 31 KOs) and WBC world-recognized linear welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir (42-9-6, 12 KOs).  Of the 2,000 tickets left, 1,100 are priced at $50. Tickets, priced at $400, $250, $150, $100 and $ 50, can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 . . .  Gatti-Baldomir will be televised on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing Series,” marking the 20th time in Gatti’s career that he has fought on the network.  He is among the top-five boxers who have most appeared on the HBO network . . .

JULY 22 UNDERCARD:  Undefeated contenders Malik Scott and Giovanni Lorenzo will headline the July 22 undercard.

Scott (24-0, 10 KO’s) will box in an in an eight round heavyweight bout against James Walton (21-8-2, 11 KO’s). The bout will be Scott’s first under trainer Joe Goossen.

Lorenzo (20-0, 12 KO’s) will compete in a 10 round jr middleweight bout. He has been training in the Dominican Republic and helping his younger brother Melvin Lorenzo prepare for a Central American tournament next month.  Giovanni will arrive in New York on Sunday to begin his seven-week camp here in the U.S. . . . Lorenzo plans to use the July 22 bout as a springboard for a high-profile bout by year’s end.  Two of the opponents being discussed are undefeated Brooklyn, NY native Sechew Powell and undefeated prospect Ireland’s John Duddy . . . Lorenzo’s views on his two potential opponents are on opposite ends of the spectrum:

“Powell is all talk and hype. He is not a real fighter.” Lorenzo was upset by Powell’s open support for Archak Ter-Meliksetian during the Lorenzo-Ter-Meliksetian bout on March 10. 2006 at “Back To The Future II”: “He was rooting like crazy for Archak. He even followed Archak into the ring.  In fact, when I stopped Archak at the end of the seventh, people tell me he cried, OH NO!  I don't think he really acted like someone who wants to fight me—and for good reason because he knows I will knock him out”.  Lorenzo also added, “When Powell fought Archak he ran from him and went 10 boring rounds. I knocked his lunch out of him [Archak] and I'll do the same to Powell. If he runs he will not be able to stand up to my body shots. I will break him down. He looks too soft in the middle. If he fights like a man,  I will knock him out cold and then people will realize who the best 154-pounder in New York is” . . .

Lorenzo had nicer things to say, however, about John Duddy: “I like him. He is a great fighter who has all the abilities that I have:  speed, power, and he fights the way fighters should. He takes risks in the ring. He is the best prospect to come along since me. He is exciting, and most of all he is a nice respectful person who will be a world champion. I would love to fight him in NYC. He would bring out the best in me. Imagine what the atmosphere in MSG would be like with all my Dominican fans and all his Irish fans.  That would be exciting they would need extra security” . . .

DIAZ-SIM II: Main Events has won the purse bid to promote the rematch between WBA World Lightweight Champion Juan Diaz (29-0, 14 KO’s) and WBA #1 mandatory challenger Lakva Sim (21-4-1, 18 KO’s).  Diaz defeated Sim on July 17, 2004 to win the WBA title . . . Main Events plans to stage the bout on the Mosley-Vargas II fight card on July 15 . . .

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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