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Articles of 2006

Baldomir Destroys Gatti in A.C.



ATLANTIC CITY – Arturo Gatti’s ring gallantry will be recalled as long as man celebrates boxing, but on what could have been his last trip to center stage, the proud warrior wasn’t particularly proud, nor did he look much like a warrior.

“I don’t know (about retirement), but after this performance it’s certainly something I’ll have to consider,” said Gatti after being battered by Carlos Baldomir in Saturday night’s WBC welterweight title  fight at Boardwalk Hall.

Historically it has been unwise to allow Gatti to turn a boxing match into a back-alley brawl, but in the case of the 35-year-old Argentinean champion it was like throwing Brier Rabbit into the briar patch. Baldomir is a natural 147-pounder (Gatti is not), and from the outset he was more than willing to trade punches, confident that he would get the better of the exchanges.

Although Gatti himself declined to use it as an excuse, he was virtually a one-handed fighter for the last four rounds. Moments into the sixth, he tried to block a Baldomir body shot with his right glove, and took the shot off the wrist.

Arturo winced and clearly shook the hand, but said later that he didn’t think it was broken. (He ought to know; he’s broken it enough times before.)

“I don’t know what happened,” said Gatti after the fight. “It just locked on me.”

Although it may have hastened the inevitable, Baldomir had the fight well in hand even before the injury. From the first round on, the champion was able to reach Gatti with right-hand leads, with the result that Baldomir essentially disdained the jab.

As always, Gatti was willing, and probably threw more leather in Baldomir’s direction in the first round alone than had Zab Judah in twelve back in January when Baldomir won his title, but Gatti was unable to exact much damage even when he did connect, and spent much of the evening in uncharacteristic retreat.

Although Baldomir was warned twice for punches that strayed below the beltline, he was never seriously imperiled. By the third he had opened a cut below Gatti’s right eye that bled throughout the balance of this methodical destruction.

By the fifth, the overwhelmingly pro-Gatti crowd had lapsed into an eerie silence. Given the direction the bout had taken, it was plain that Gatti was going to need a miracle to pull this one out, on this night Arturo didn’t have one in him.

Gatti periodically switched to a southpaw stance, but not necessarily as a concession to the injury, since he was dabbling in the tactic even before he hurt his hand. If it was meant to confuse, it appeared that it probably confused Gatti as much as it did Baldomir, and Arturo quickly switched back each time he tried it.

Over the last few rounds, Gatti even took to deliberately sitting on the second strand of the ring ropes. He claimed later that he was “trying to use my experience,” but it appeared to be more a case of availing himself of the referee’s inexperience, since Wayne Hedgepeth allowed the illegal tactic to go on unimpeded.

Gatti was actually down twice in the eighth, though Hedgepeth ruled both to have been slips. The first one clearly was, but the second appeared to have been aided by a fusillade of punches unleashed by Baldomir. The referee presumably declined to call a knockdown only because he couldn’t tell which punch had put Gatti down.

It was clear, in any case, that this wasn’t going to go on much longer, and it didn’t. In the ninth Baldomir pinned Gatti to the ropes, where he nailed him with a right uppercut and then unloaded a left hook that sent Gatti face-first to the canvas.

Arturo got up from that one, but when he tried to escape, he ran out of room. Baldomir isn’t a knockout puncher, but he’s a much better finisher than previously suspected, and once he trapped his quarry on the ropes after the first knockdown, he waded in to unload another uppercut, a right hand, and then crashed a left off Gatti’s jaw that sent him down for good.

Whether Gatti could have made the count is a moot point, because there wasn’t one. Hedgepeth unhesitatingly waved it off the instant he hit the floor.

“I tried to box him,” said a rueful Gatti before leaving the ring. “But he’s very strong, and he was getting stronger as the fight went on – and he had my style down.”

Baldomir, a 2-1 betting underdog going in, didn’t seem surprised by the ease of his victory.

“The punches Gatti threw didn’t hurt me at all,” said the champion through an interpreter. “He had his left hand down (low) so I knew I could hit him with the right.”

Pre-fight concern that the all-New Jersey slate of officials might come into play was apparently misplaced. Over the first eight rounds, Gatti had won just one, two, and three rounds on the judges’ slates. (The Sweet Science had it 78-74, Baldomir going into the ninth.)

If you were an Arturo Gatti fan, this wasn’t the way you wanted to see him go out: CompuBox punch stats revealed that Baldomir outlanded Gatti by a 267-161 margin, and while the two each connected on 51 percent of their power shots, Baldomir landed 110 more of them than Gatti did.

The posses were still milling around in the ring when Baldomir was summoned, and led, still shirtless and in his trunks, to a position on press row, where he donned a headset and was interviewed on Argentinean television.

(In the absence of an interpreter, we only caught one word of the interview: “Mayweather.”)

It had been the 20th HBO appearance for the crowd-pleasing Gatti, and just before he took his leave of the ring, possibly for the last time, he huddled in an embrace with manager Pat Lynch. We couldn’t hear that whispered conversation, either, so we can only hope Lynch was saying what we hope he said: “It’s been a great run, Arturo. Now go enjoy the rest of your life.”

That Gatti had attracted a sellout crowd of 12,763 (an Atlantic City record for non-heavyweight fights) to Boardwalk Hall only meant that there were more people on hand to boo Malik Scott than ever before.  Scott has never lost as a pro, nor did he lose a round on a single scorecard in his fight against Marcus McGee Saturday night, but it’s hard to imagine a more tedious 25-0 heavyweight.

Although the Philadelphian handled McGee (15-11) with ease, the audience vented its displeasure throughout, applauding only derisively at the announcement of the ‘eighth and final round.’

Irish middleweight James Moore extended his perfect pro slate to 8-0 with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Jorge Gonzalez (4-1) of Chicago. Judges Lynn Carter, Shafeeq Rashada, and Paul Venti all scored it a shutout for Moore at 60-54.

Giovanni Lorenzo, the Dominican-born New York middleweight, registered his 21st win in as many pro fights with a sixth-round TKO over Canadian Bryon Mackie (27-13). Lorenzo had punished Mackie throughout, and referee Alan Huggins halted the bout at 51 seconds of the sixth when the Canadian’s corner ran up the white flag.

Polish middleweight Mariusz Cendrowski eked out a majority decision over Nebraska journeyman Patrick Thompson (10-7-1) to remain unbeaten at 15-0. Carter and Venti each scored it 77-75 for Cendrowski, while Rashada had the bout even at 76-all.

A pair of New Jersey welterweights remained unbeaten in earlier undercard action: Henry Crawford (11-0-1) of Paterson scored another lopsided shutout (60-54, three times) over Mexican Roberto Valenzuela (17-25-2), while Newark’s Alex Perez (6-0) stopped his Denver opponent David Hernandez (3-4-2) at 2:45 of the fourth.

JULY 22, 2006

WELTERWEIGHTS: Carlos Baldomir, 147, Santa Fe, Argentina TKO’d Arturo Gatti, 147, Montreal, Que.  (9) (Retains WBC title)

Alex Perez, 148, Newark, NJ TKO’d David Hernandez, 145, Denver, Colo. (3)

Henry Crawford, 148, Paterson, NJ dec. Roberto Valenzuela, 148, Agua Preita, Mexico (6)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Malik Scott, 255, Philadelphia dec. Marcus McGee, 229, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (8)

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: James Moore, 155, Arklow, Ireland dec. Jorge Gonzalez, 156, Chicago (6)

Maritusz Cendrowski, 156, Wroclaw, Poland dec. Patrick Thompson, 156, Lincoln, Neb. (8)

Giovanni Lorenzo, 160, Santo Domingo, D.R. TKO’d Byron Mackie, 158, Toronto, Ont. (6)

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

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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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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