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Articles of 2006

Carlos Baldomir, the Real Welterweight Champion of the World



Carlos Baldomir continues to beat them where they breathe.

Welterweight world champion Baldomir walked into a hostile arena and strong-armed Arturo Gatti like a New Jersey mugger in the night while silencing an overwhelming pro-Gatti crowd last Saturday. The only weapons he had were his Santa Fe fists.

It was the second time in a row Baldomir had silenced a crowd, battered an opponent and taken a title. Last January, in New York City, he roughed up Zab Judah like a small boy slaps his sister’s Barbie doll.

This guy has no fear.

“I want Floyd Mayweather and Ricky Hatton,” said Baldomir after dropping Gatti twice in defense of the WBC title he kept after stripping Judah of all three major welterweight belts. Mayweather grabbed the vacant IBF and Hatton the vacant WBA after Baldomir refused to pay sanctioning fees to keep those titles. But he is the true linear welterweight world champion at this point having beaten Judah.

The rather small world champion impressed a lot of his comrades in the Los Angeles boxing gyms.

“He’s an old school kind of fighter,” said Macka Foley, a trainer at the Wild Card Boxing gym in Hollywood. “That guy doesn’t care who he fights or where he fights, he just shows up and takes care of business. He’s a real professional like the old guys used to be.”

At the LB4LB Boxing Club where Baldomir regularly trains and where he prepared for his two title fights, Terry Claybon, the owner of the gym, said Baldomir is the real deal.

“He comes in and asks that we turn off all the fans,” Claybon said of the Argentine’s request, where temperatures can soar above 100 degrees. “Every day he just comes in and works hard. He doesn’t fool around. He’s for real.”

Baldomir’s victory has boosted hope for many pro boxers in the Southern California area who are aware of the Argentine’s struggle for a title fight after years of marching into battle for little money and lesser fanfare. A few felt he would never amount to anything but a tough journeyman fighter who would take a punch. Now he’s the true welterweight world champion.

“He has a real awkward style,” said Art “Handsome Slim” Carrillo, a trainer in Mira Loma, California. “Gatti couldn’t figure him out, neither could Zab Judah. You didn’t see Judah asking for a rematch.”Now who does he fight?

How about Tijuana’s Antonio Margarito or Riverside’s Mark Suarez?

The rugged Baldomir fears no one in the ring, so why not seek a fight with Margarito or Suarez who both train in Southern California… just like the Argentine.

Margarito said he has no preferences.

“I’m ready for war or whatever they put in front of me. Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Carlos Baldomir, Ricky Hatton too,” said Margarito by telephone. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. We can talk about unifying the titles.”

Bob Arum, president of Top Rank that promotes Margarito, says the options are open for his fighter, but Baldomir does not fit into the plans.

“My fighter is a Mexican from Tijuana and Baldomir is from Argentina, who is going to watch the fight?” Arum said while in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“Look, Margarito is the most feared man in boxing,” Arum said during a telephone press conference last week. “He’s this era’s Marvelous Marvin Hagler. I remember when no middleweight would dare get in the ring with Hagler.”

With a no-nonsense aggressive fighting style Margarito has scared off most opponents like Judah, Mayweather and Hatton. His man versus child win over Manuel “Shotgun” Gomez made a believer over those doubters.


It was several years ago when I asked Gatti what he learned from his fight against Oscar De La Hoya in 2001.

“I’m not a welterweight,” he told me. “They hit too hard and they’re too big.”

That’s what I thought of as Baldomir battered Gatti for nine rounds. I barely gave Gatti one round in the shortened affair. But one thing is clear, Gatti is a lock for the boxing Hall of Fame. He just fought at a weight division a little too heavy for him.

Gatti is a class act. Those who met him will tell you, the Human Highlight Film had a lot of class in and out of the ring.

Suarez Wants Margarito

Just down the 60-Freeway in Riverside, Suarez has been waiting for his turn, but not patiently.

After beating seven consecutive opponents by knockout, Suarez was ranked number one welterweight by the IBF and was supposed to fight for the world title, but instead, Don King, who promotes Suarez, put him on standby and let Judah fight Mayweather for the vacant belt.

“We’re still ranked number one,” said Cameron Dunkin, Suarez’s manager, adding that the only offers coming from King were fights in New Jersey against Carlos Quintana for little money.

Suarez has quietly moved along in his training, just waiting for the signal that he’s fighting for the world title. Several months ago Suarez said he doesn’t care who he fights.

“I’ll fight anybody, even Antonio Margarito,” said Suarez who at 6 feet in height matches Margarito. “I don’t care who I fight.”

With Top Rank (who used to promote Suarez before Don King) challenging all welterweights and claiming no one will fight Margarito, it’s a natural fit to have Suarez meet the WBO titleholder from Tijuana. Margarito trains in Los Angeles. That fight would be a natural for Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Fans of both would fill up the arena.

But on Tuesday, members of Suarez’s team said the Riverside boxer signed to fight Kermit Cintron in late September. A venue was not revealed.

The Contender

Now on ESPN, The Contender reality boxing series returned two weeks ago on Tuesday nights with a roster of mostly veteran welterweight fighters including a former world titleholder Steve Forbes.

The first show featured a match between Ohio’s Michael Clark and Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage. At the beginning of the show Clark is seen ridiculing Bundrage’s technique and eventually picked him as his opponent. Bad choice. You see Clark was a natural lightweight and Bundrage a natural junior middleweight. Of course the much bigger guy won.

In the second episode Arizona’s Norberto Bravo challenged Chicago’s Rudy Cisneros and edged the younger fighter by split decision. It was one of the best bouts ever shown on The Contender series including last year. Cisneros looked like a new version of Diego Corrales and Bravo like this year’s Alfonso Gomez. It was quite a battle.

Speaking of The Contender, last year’s winner Sergio Mora of East Los Angeles does the analysis with Sugar Ray Leonard. He does a pretty good job. Mora is a well-spoken ambassador for boxing. He faces Eric Regan a 6-4 tall middleweight out of the Sacramento area on Aug. 25.

Fights on television

Wed. ESPN2, 6 p.m., David Tua (44-3-1) vs. Ed Gutierrez (15-2-1)

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Sultan Ibragimov (19-0) vs. Ray Austin (24-3-3)

Fri. Showtime 11 p.m., Jean Paul Mendy (21-0) vs. Dallas Vargas (21-2)

Sat. pay-per-view 6 p.m., Roy Jones Jr. (49-4) vs. Badi Ajamu (25-2-1)

Sat. HBO, 10 p.m., Vivian Harris (26-2-1) vs. Stevie Johnston (39-3-1)

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

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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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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