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Articles of 2006

It Took Two Fights To Make Jaidon Right

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Jaidon Codrington will face Carl Daniels on August 5 at Madison Square Garden, in what his supporters are describing as the kairotic moment of his career. Codrington’s trainer, Nirmal Lorick, said that if Codrington doesn’t perform well against Daniels, “He should begin to look for other things to do with his life.”

Daniels is a former junior middleweight champion who at 35-years-old has lost five fights in a row, three by knockout. He is an unlikely guide to measure any fighter with, but he could prove vital in determining Codrington’s future.

Such is the precariousness of boxing, where prospects rise and fall as often as internet stock.

Codrington, a 22-year-old super middleweight from Queens, was once lauded as the second coming of Muhammad Ali, minus a few pounds. He was handsome, amicable, and skilled, and he quickly cobbled together a record of 9-0 with 9 knockouts.

His world was undone, however, on November 4 when he fought Allan Green in Miami, Oklahoma on Showtime. He was flattened in just 18 seconds in what Ring Magazine and ESPN.com called the best knockout of 2005.

Codrington’s career instantly went from thriving to adrift, much the same way that another New York City product, Tokunbo Olajide, who was knocked out by Epifanio Mendoza in the first round, went from a potential superstar to an underachiever. Olajide never regained the promise he showed early on. He last fought on November 20, 2004, losing a majority decision to Ian Gardner.

Eight months after losing to Green, Codrington is back: he fought twice in a span of eight days,on June 24 against Robert Marsh, winning a six-round unanimous decision in Columbia South Carolina. Seven days later on July 1, he knocked out Roy Ashworth (4-4, 0 KOs) at 1:36 of the third round in Manistee, Michigan.

Codrington didn’t flout any laws by fighting twice in eight days. The state of Michigan allows a boxer to engage in a match seven days after he has fought; the New York State Athletic Commission has a similar rule.

Nonetheless, for a fighter such as Codrington (11-1, 10 KOs) who was knocked out the last time he fought, participating in two boxing matches seven days apart might seem excessive.

And if one of the opponents was 20 pounds heavier, the situation might raise a red flag.

Codrington was facing a boxer on June 24 who was 9-40-2 and had lost 19 of his last 20 matches. What should have been a cakewalk for the New Yorker turned into a date with the dentist when Marsh, 30, entered the ring at 195 pounds, while Codrington weighed 176 pounds, according to Fight Fax, which received an unsigned fax from the South Carolina Athletic Commission after the show, indicating the weights, as did Boxrec.com.

Technically, both fighters were cruiserweights, but a 19 pound weight differential seems a bit gratuitous.

The South Carolina Athletic Commission disputed the weights, explaining the discrepancy as nothing more than a clerical error, according to a commission spokesperson, Jim Knight, who wrote in the following e-mail:

“It was reported to Fightfacts” – Fight Fax – “Codrington's weight was 176 and Marsh's weight was 195 for fight of June 24, 2006 in Columbia, SC. After review of the actual application, it appears the weight of Marsh was 186, and we have spoken to the promoter, and his records indicate a weight of 185.5 for Marsh.”

The South Carolina commission never sent Fight Fax the revised weights. The show’s promoter on June 24, Andrew Stokes, said in a phone conversation that Marsh was maybe 10 pounds heavier than Codrington, although he admitted to not having any official documentation at the time to support this.

Codrington’s bout in South Carolina was negotiated by Chris Gotti, his manager, and Lorick, his trainer, outside the sphere of influence of his promoters, Lou DiBella and Damon Dash, who released Codrington from his promotional contract to fight Marsh.

DiBella was unhappy with the circumstances surrounding the bout, casting blame on the state commission.

“If the weights were 20 pounds apart, then that’s a sure sign that the South Carolina commission is an oxymoron,” DiBella said in a phone conversation. “I had no knowledge that the guy was bigger. I had no knowledge of basically anything other than the guy’s record. I did not promote that fight. It was what the manager wanted. We let them do it outside of the contract, and I didn’t want to be involved with a South Carolina comeback fight against a sparring partner. I had nothing to do with selecting the opponent [for the first fight]. I knew he would fight seven days later, but when I saw the record of the opponent in South Carolina, I realized what the fight was likely to be. I made a couple of phone calls [after the fight] and heard that he didn’t get hurt at any point. If I had known about the weight difference in South Carolina, I’m sure I wouldn’t have allowed that fight to happen. Getting hit by a guy 20 pounds heavier seems inherently dangerous to me.”

Lorick, who said the difference in weights was around 10 pounds, and Gotti agreed to the bout on June 24 because they didn't want Codrington fighting on a big show like the one in Michigan, which DiBella promoted, without having the opportunity to perform at a smaller venue first. The card on July 1 in Michigan was televised nationally on Showtime and featured the sons of three former champions: James “Buddy” McGirt, Aaron Pryor and Thomas Hearns. Codrington's fight was not televised, but the atmosphere was still electric, according to Lorick, because Showtime was doing the card and Codrington’s dramatic loss to Green aired on Showtime.

The weigh-in for Codrington and Marsh was the same day as the fight instead of the day before, because Codrington's original opponent, Roosevelt Walker, was rejected by the commission and Marsh was a last second replacement. Codrington’s bout with Walker was supposed to be at 168 pounds.

Codrington doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. In the amateurs, he fought five times in eight days to win the 2002 National Golden Gloves, and he won the 2004 New York Golden Gloves weighing 178 pounds.

“Fighting twice in a week is no big deal,” Codrington said during a phone conversation after the first fight. “I need to get back on the horse and start galloping away. That’s why I want to start fighting so often. I’m not putting my body through much. I didn’t take any punishment in my last fight [against Marsh]. He hit me with a couple of good shots, but it made me feel good, made me feel like the fight wasn’t a fluke, or I didn’t have a glass jaw. I moved around and boxed him. I hit him with everything. He was heavier than me, so he could take a punch.”

Codrington was scheduled to fight on April 20 at the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom, but he withdrew from the card, seeking a more relaxed environment to fight in. Before his dramatic loss to Green, six of his first nine fights were held in New York.

“We didn't feel he was ready for New York yet,” said Lorick. “You know in New York, you have a hostile crowd, and we didn't want him fighting there. Now [after these two fights] he's ready.”

Against Marsh, Codrington angered his corner by soaking up several hard shots to the head. Stokes said it appeared Codrington was making himself a hittable target. “Jaidon got hit because he wanted to get hit,” said Stokes. “His corner started yelling at him to stop doing that. There were a lot of opportunities where he could have really hurt Robert, where he had him all turned around, but he let him regain his composure and pick up his head. He could have hurt him really bad if he wanted to. He's a really classy guy.” Codrington is now scheduled to fight August 5 at Madison Square Garden. After not fighting for eight months, Codrington will have fought three times in 43 days.

For DiBella, the episode in South Carolina crystallized why a national boxing commission is necessary.

“The idea that in the United States of America there aren’t uniform health and safety standards for a combat sport is preposterous,” DiBella said. “The government is getting involved with the steroid issue in sports, ok? I understand that. How do you allow men to earn a living by getting hit and have a number of states that ignore their well being? More than anything, we need uniform health and safety standards in boxing.”

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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