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Articles of 2006

Patrick Burns, the Class Act of the Year So Far and Other Awards

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LAS VEGAS, July 3 – June went out reverentially with my buddy Royce Feour being inducted into the Southern Nevada Hall of Fame, a somewhat constricting view of someone who deserves more widespread acknowledgement. However, with July’s orderly succession, this is a good time to stop and smell the roses with my first half-ass half-year awards for TSS, to which Dear Reader, you are invited to participate.

But since this also coincides with a telephone call from my trainer of the half-year, let me give the first of my imaginary trophies to Patrick Burns. In fact, he was the nontrainer of the half-year as the victim of the worst backstabbing of the half-year. But the way he quietly handled it with great dignity gets him the nod also as the class act of 2006 so far.

Trainers are my favorite people and I’ve been lucky to have had long, one-on-one discussions with some of the greats, especially Eddie Futch, but also including George Benton, Gil Clancy, Ray Arcel, Jackie McCoy, Freddie Brown (Canastota, you’ll never see me until he gets admitted to the hall of fame), Wesley Mouzon, Quinzel McCall and the thankfully not late Angelo Dundee. I’d rather listen to Al Certo, Freddie Roach, Don Turner, Buddy McGirt, John David Jackson, Richie Giachetti, Lou Duva, Victor Valle and, of course, Emanuel Steward, than do my homework or mow the lawn.

Some were better than others. Some were willing to coerce a fighter from one gym to another. Others were more than willing to complain about that. Patrick Burns proved this half-year he was special.

Patrick got more out of Hector Camacho than probably all the above could have, got the aging Macho Man to go the distance with Oscar de la Hoya and knock out the even more aged Sugar Ray Leonard. Unfortunately, Patrick’s greatest work of art, the still-in-progress Jermain Taylor, was taken from him. He did not cry. There’s enough crying in boxing.

No, he did not watch Taylor escape with a lucky draw against Winky Wright, but it wasn’t because of tears in his eyes. He was busy with one of his other boxing projects. Besides, he said, “I didn’t want to watch it.” The wound was still very sore.

“I saw the replay,” he said. “I thought Jermain won by one round, but remember, I’m biased.”

Emanuel Steward had a leg up on trainer honors until Taylor-Wright. He managed to resurrect the careers of Wladimir Klitschko and Kermit Cintron. But he must lose points for Taylor’s performance against the smaller Wright. No knock on Steward, as expected, in only six weeks he could not fix all the leaks in Taylor. The balance was still bad, the hands still down, all the things that Burns was working on, too. But I thought Steward might have some kind of insight in how to neutralize Wright’s southpaw jab. He did not. It wasn’t long before Winky had stripped Taylor of one of his prime weapons, his own jab. Burns would not get into whether he thought Jermain might have won if he hadn’t switched trainers.

When he said, “I know Jermain better than anyone,” his point was that he understood why he still hasn’t heard from the fighter about the change in trainers. “Jermain,” he said, “is a nonconfrontational guy.”

The original idea, it was believed, was to add Steward to the corner. Burns didn’t treat it as an insult. He didn’t react publicly. But there were forces in Taylor’s life – and not necessarily Steward – who felt that Burns had to go. Burns doesn’t think it was promoter Lou DiBella, who he said called him to say he wasn’t taking sides. But it was known that Ozell Nelson, Taylor’s father figure who got the kid started in a Little Rock gym, and Burns were not getting along. And Norm Horton, who was brought in as a publicist, was a big Steward fan.

The point, though, is that even now, when Steward didn’t perform any miracles for the Wright fight – most of the ringside press whose opinions I respect had Winky winning clearly, though from television I had it a draw myself – Burns has maintained a dignified posture.

“People were a lot more upset about it than I was,” he said. “The way it went down. But I’m not going to cry in my beer,

“I’ve been through a lot tougher things,” said the Marine who was covered with shrapnel in Vietnam and then made a career of being a Miami cop.

He said Taylor was “a work in progress,” an Olympian, yes, but one who left the amateurs with little ballyhoo. He was not a “can’t-miss” future star. He was green and after 20 fights, Burns had him beating Bernard Hopkins twice – okay, if Taylor didn’t win either of those fights, how many other opponents took that many rounds against the longtime middleweight ruler? Burns will concede the first Hopkins fight was close, but he thought his guy won the second clearly.

“I must have been doing something right,” he said.

He’s been doing something right ever since he’s been stabbed. He refuses to bleed. He said he has a family to feed. He’s working as a coordinator/matchmaker for a Florida promoter, Big Star Productions. He said five or six established boxers have contacted him about the possibility of working their corners. One is reportedly Oscar de la Hoya, who hit 1992 Olympic gold with Burns a coach of the United States team, just in case Floyd Mayweather Sr. decides against working against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“Jermain Taylor does not define who I am,” said Burns. “I wish the best for him. He’s a very good guy.”

Now, on to the other half-ass half-year awards, but first, let me point you to the TSS Forum on the Message Board. Anyone with an idea for either a category or a nominee can join the fun there. Do not, I repeat NOT, reply to me directly. The way I operate computers, there’s a good chance your brilliance will be forwarded to empty cyberspace.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN: The George Kimball Fighter of the Half-Year is open to debate. My leader in the clubhouse, unfortunately, might not leave the clubhouse for the second half of the year. This is Joe Calzaghe, and maybe I’m giving him too much credit for his 12-round shutout of Jeff Lacy, who in retrospect was nowhere as good as I suspected. Still, Lacy was a lot more proficient than the Antonio Tarver who was dominated by Hopkins, so the grand old warrior goes off into the sunset without my half-award. Similarly, his old dancing partner and current business partner, Oscar de la Hoya, can’t be given too much credit for beating Ricardo Mayorga. I don’t care how Oscar looked, he still was beating a guy who had lost to Cory Spinks.

No, the only competition I see right now for Calzaghe must be Manny Pacquiao for his fiery vengeance against Erik Morales. The Pac Man, who brought in July with a very workmanlike battering of tough Oscar Larios, is now looking at a November rubber match with Erik Morales, whom he stopped in January.

Unless Floyd Mayweather Jr. beats a reputable opponent, his victory over Zab Judah will not get him any kind of award, except maybe nonfighter of the year. But for the first six months, that award – and granted Timor (The Timid) Ibragimov gave him some competition last month – must still be Jose Luis Castillo. Scott Harrison gets dishonorable mention.

Clerical error of the half-year: The California commission lady who mis-read the two judges who scored the final round 10-10 in the Marcos Antonio Barrera-Rocky Juarez fight, causing the result to be first announced as a draw. No wonder there is no longer a California commission.

Dennis Rappaport Bad Sport Award: Okay, first he doesn’t train and loses to Carlos Baldomir and then blames Don King for making him do interviews to hype the fight. Then he loses to Floyd Jr. and, sensing the end, hits Mayweather in the family jewels, following with a chop behind the neck – thus causing one of the Mayweather family jewels, Roger, to enter the ring and, with the ensuing entrance of Yoel Judah, starting a riot. Zab Judah’s worst behavior, though, was when he reportedly became physical with King – the promoter graciously denies this story – a 74-year-old man in poor health and who was already suffering from wounded ribs following a Ricardo Mayorga inspired melee at another press conference. As King once said when Mitch (Blood) Green chased him into a Madison Square Garden kitchen, “This is getting to be a dangerous business.”

Tony LaRussa Mismanager of the Half-Year: Nacho Beristain, of course, for turning down $700,000 for a rematch with Pacquiao and then taking Juan-Manuel Marquez to Indonesia to lose to Chris John for two cents.

Thomas Dewey Upset of the Half-Year: Starting with Baldomir over Judah, and continuing on the same card with O’Neil Bell over Jean-Marc Mormeck, there has been Sergei Liahkovich over Lamon Brewster and Carlos Quintana over Dandy Dan Rafael’s latest young superstar, Joel Julio. But I’m betting there’s at least one muck-raking wretch who thinks it’s Bob Arum escaping indictment from the Feds.

Dick Tracy Crime Stoppers of the Half-Year: I guess Clifford Etienne’s meltdown – armed robbery, kidnapping, attempted murder of a couple of cops etc. – that got him back into the pen, this time for life, takes the cake (with no knife) over Andrew (Foul Pole) Golota’s arrest for illegal possession of firearms. Sadly, Peter McNeeley – the poor guy who was given up as the human sacrifice to be Mike Tyson’s first opponent after three years plus in prison – was busted for allegedly driving the getaway car in an armed robbery. Always like Peter, hope it was all a mistake. If not, maybe when he gets out, Tyson can be his first opponent….Speaking of which, belated happy 40th birthday to Mike. There was a time when many thought he would never make the “over.”

Eugenia Daniels Award for Worst Judging: Hell, according to the Los Angeles Times “expose” of Las Vegas courts, it could be any of my hometown jurists.

Marc Ratner Award for Biggest Loss: No, it’s not the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which I’m sure will do fine with Keith Kizer as Ratner’s replacement. It was when I had half the world searching for my hearing aids after an MGM fight, only to learn when I went home, that they were exactly where I left them.

Anyway, you should have the idea by now. Contribute. It’s a good cause.

PENTHOUSE: No, I didn’t forget Carlos Quintana’s scintillating performance against Joel Julio – and let’s not banish Julio to the OUTHOUSE, either. He’s still a fine prospect. But fresher in my memory is Pacquiao, surviving a rough patch early in the third round, and showing much improvement in beating Oscar Larios. It looks like Freddie Roach finally has the Pac Man using both hands, plus there were some wonderful little feints – taking a Jersey Joe Walcott step to the right, then throwing a straight left to the whiskers – and moves against a sturdy foe who went to Manila not for the payday to score the big upset. By the way, though the fight was held at the same arena which housed the Thrilla in Manila, the graphics pointed out that the real location was Cubao, Quezon City. It should be hereby known, then, as the Thrilla in Cubao, Quezon City, Manila….One of the more delightful reasons to pick up the $40 pay-per-view was to hear the Colonel, Bob Sheridan, doing the blow-by-blow, ably assisted by Dave Bontempo. Sheridan has worked for Don King for a million years, and would never say a bad word against the man who has fed him so amply, without losing his neutrality. He had Meldrick Taylor way ahead of Julio Cesar Chavez, Buster Douglas virtually shutting out Mike Tyson. He really should be promoted to General….Congratulations, of course, to my buddy Royce Feour, but also to Richard Steele, who was one of the inductees to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame. On Aug. 5 in Johannesburg, Steele has been asked to referee a Laila Ali fight by Nelson Mandela, in what is expected to be the former South African leader’s last public appearance. Mandela gave great applause to Steele for refusing to work in South Africa while apartheid was the law of the land.

OUTHOUSE: King George III. I just thought we should remember why we’re celebrating this long weekend.

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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