Connect with us

Articles of 2006

Boxing News: James Toney and Sam Peter Meet the Press

Published

on

On Saturday, Sept. 2, James “Lights Out” Toney faces Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter in a 12-round WBC heavy weight elimination bout on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at STAPLES Center in L.A. The two bruisers met the press via telephone conference call on Tuesday, August 8, and if insults were punches, both Toney and Peter gave as good as they got…

Sam Peter:  I am in Las Vegas training, waiting for James Toney. I thank everybody that put this fight together.  I am so excited because it is going to be an exciting fight.  I know nobody can tell what God's glory is, so I am ready to roll.

James Toney:  I am looking forward to Sept. 2.  I am fighting a very credible challenger in Sam Peters, second in the world to date.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to show everybody that I am the best heavyweight out there.  It is going to be a great show.  This is the kind of fight that the fans want to see. They want to see James fighting Sammy Peter.  It should be a vacation match.

Question:  James, what has training been like?  Are you doing anything differently?  Do you feel you're more focused? Are you doing anything differently? Do you feel this is a must win fight for you?

Toney:  Every fight I am in is a must win fight.  I went back to basics.  Same as with Holyfield, that is what I went back to.  It is going very well.   I have no complaints.

Question:   Sam, this is a crossroads fight. Do you feel it is a must win fight for you?

Peter:  Yes.  I am really sure this is a big fight and a big win for me because I am fighting a two-time heavyweight champion, two times challenging. So I am ready to prove I am going to be the next heavyweight champion of the world.  I thank Toney for giving me this opportunity to beat him.

Question:  James, some feel you could have defeated Hasim Rahman easily if you had come in at 225 instead of 237.  Have you thought about that?  Do you agree with that?

Toney:  I have gone back towards it. I thought I won the fight, but I should have come in better shape because I had a little cold before the fight. No excuse. But now we are here. I will jump right back into the frying pan. You don't know too many fighters today that will jump right back into the frying pan with a difficult fight. I don’t think anybody in boxing, but James Toney, is taking a tough fight after a tough fight. So I will be in great shape. I wish the fight was today, but it isn't. Three and a half more weeks, and I will be ready.

Question:  Do you have a target as far as what you want to come in for this fight?

Toney:  I am going to come in wherever I am comfortable at.  I am just excited.

Question:  Do you feel like it is time, especially from this fight, or maybe your next two, for James Toney to really go out there and prove it?

Toney:  Definitely. I am going to start with this fight. I was unhappy with the last fight, and we should be. It is like being on a football team. Even if your team had a draw, you are never happy with the results. You always want to strive for the perfection. And that is what I plan on doing. Like I said, I am just happy to get the opportunity to show that I am the best fighter in the world.

Question:  James, what kind of threat does Sam Peter pose to you?

Toney:  He poses a threat to everybody else, but not to me.  Don't get me wrong, he's a good fighter.  But he has never been in the ring with anybody like me before in his life.  It doesn’t matter if I fought middleweight or lightweight, or cruiserweight, James Toney can flat out just fight. I am a natural born fighter.  Everybody else was taught to fight.  That is the difference between me and everybody else.

Question:  James, Sam Peter is probably the biggest, strongest and fastest guy you fought at heavyweight. Do you agree with that?  If so, are you approaching this fight any differently?

Toney:  I don't approach any fight different. If you know me, you haven't ever seen me change my style for anybody. I am not that type of fighter. I do what James does best, and that is just fight. Ruiz is bigger than Sam Peter, and Rahman. Both are stronger than me. You see where that went. So it doesn't matter. I just know how to fight, period.  And that is what this is all about. James Toney flat out knows how to fight.  The best fighter in the boxing world, period, ever born.

Question:  Sam, James is very different than anyone you have fought, as well.  He is a very skilled fighter.  How do you approach a guy who is going to give you all kinds of angles and really knows every trick in the book?

Peter: Well, Toney hasn't fought anybody like me before.  Even though he has been two or three times champion of the world, I have my own training.  Nobody has seen Sammy Peter yet, but I think this fight will prove that people have things wrong about me.  I am a fighter, I am a boxer.  I can do anything.  Any kind of situation.  This is a great fight for me because I love the way Toney boxes.  I think this is going to put me in a good position.

Question: Sam, why do you think James is such a good fight for you and why do you feel you are going to win?

Peter: Because the ring man is going to be standing there with me.  I know I am going to catch him later on.

Question: James, you’re from Michigan, but you consider yourself a Los Angeles fighter, right?

Toney: I consider myself a trained fighter living here in L.A.

Question: You are going to fight the winner of Saturday’s fight.  What do you think about that fight?  Obviously, this fight appears to be much more attractive than that one.

Toney: Nobody wanted to see that fight.  Oleg Maskaev hasn't done anything since he beat Rahman seven years ago.  If he had beaten me like they said he would, he should have knocked me out, as bad shape as I was in when he fought me.

Question: So you were not in the best shape for Rahman?

Toney: Yes.  He should have knocked me out.  He did all this whooping before the fight, but when that bell rang, you saw how tentative he was.

Question: Since he didn't do that, what did you learn from that experience?

Toney: What I learned is give 100 percent when I am ready. That is what I learned.  But percent of  James Toney beat the best Rahman ever can be in.  Forty percent James Toney versus 110 percent when he tried his best.  He was scared to death.

Question:  James, you said you were only 40 percent for Rockman.  What about the other 60 percent?  What was the problem there?

Toney:  You saw him around my waist.  I had a little flu.  Like I said, I am going to do my thing.

Question:  So you had the flu?

Toney: I had the flu.  My whole crew knew about it, but I do what I do.

Question:  How are you now at this point?  Are you all recovered from that?

Toney:  Good.  I am 100 percent.  I am ready to go.  Whatever.  He did what he had to do.  We had an incompetent referee, Eddie Cotton.  But I am pretty sure we have a professional referee this time.  And I am ready to go.  I am excited.  Even though fighting in L.A., my adopted hometown, the fans will be there.  And it is on SHOWTIME boxing.  I am ready to go.

Question:  Was it because of just the weight and the flu that you had before the fight?  Because a lot of people felt, going into that fight, that you were going to win in a very, very clear-cut fashion.  Of course, officially it ended up being a draw.

Toney:  I still want to fight.  I have a credible opponent.  His people feel they can beat me, so put it up.  Put up or shut up.

Question:  And at what point is Father Time going to be a factor?  You are approaching the age of 38, an age which, especially a lot of heavy weights, start to think about hanging it up.

Toney:  Father Time?  I don't even know what that is.

Question:  Sam, Toney is a tremendous fighter in terms of defense, counter punching, fighting from angles.  A lot of things that are really old school.  You are a younger fighter and known more as a power puncher.  Have you adjusted your style, or are you going to adjust your style, to face Toney?

Peter:  I am going to walk through him.

Toney:  Oh, I like that.  Keep your promise.

Question:  Did you say you are going to walk through him?

Toney:  That is what he said.

Question:  Then what is your game plan going to be?  Is it going to be similar to the fighting you did against Klitchko, or is it going to be different?

Peter:  That is why I said I am going to walk through.  He is a very good fighter, but I know I am going to walk through him.  He is not going to stop me, he is not going to crack me.  I am going to walk through him.

Question:  What did you see in James' fight with Rahman that leads you to believe that you can walk through him?

Peter:  I see a lot of things.  It was an interesting fight.  But I saw a lot of things that Rahman was not able to do as a heavyweight.  But for me, I will rail on his body.

Question:  Have you adjusted any of your style since the Klitchko fight?

Peter:  It depends on who you fight.  Toney is the best fighter for me to prove that I am a real fighter, I am a real boxer.

Question:  What kind of sparring partners have you been bringing in to prepare for James.

Peter:  I have been doing what I was supposed to do, what I do for a championship.  The championship is different from any fight that you fight.  You have to do something different.  Because the people being around you, my sparring partners and everyone that is with me, we do something different.  Everybody will see on Sept. 2.

Question:  Do either of you guys want to make a prediction?

Toney:  I am knocking him out.  I am knocking him out.  Sammy, you are getting knocked out.

Peter:  You are still dreaming.

Toney:  Speak English.

Peter:  I am speaking English.  You are an American and you can't even understand me.

Toney:  You have a little Russian behind you.

Peter:  I am from Africa.

Toney:  Yes, you are from Africa.

Peter:  You don't even know where you are from.  Do you know where you are from?  You don't even know where you are from.

Toney:  I am from my mama, where are you from?  I am going to send you back on a banana boat, punk.

Peter: You don't know where you are from.  You can't even speak English.

Question:  James, what do you think is your big advantage is when you step in the ring?

Toney:  Look, Samuel is a strong guy for the guys he has fought.  But all the guys he fought were paid to lie down. You know that. I am for the best fight in the world.  You know what I am saying?  There isn't a strategy. It is just me being me.

Peter:  That was history.  We are talking present.  You always talk history.

Toney:  I am going to beat you, I will tell you that.

Peter:  Stop talking history.  You are talking history.  That was done.  You were done.  That is history.  Talk present.  You know what it means?

Toney:  I am going to back it up.  Who cares?

Peter:  Talk English.  Speak English.  You don't even know where you are from.  

Toney:  Shut up.  Shut up.

Peter:  You tell me to shut up.  You cannot even speak.

Toney:  Shut up. Get off the telephone.  You telephone talk, that's all you are.

Peter:  Don't worry.  You are in L.A.

Question:  Sam, what do you think your big advantage is against James.

Peter:  Well, I am going to knock Toney out, no matter what.

Toney:  Like I said …

Peter:  Shut up when I am talking.

Toney:  Shut up.  You are not anyone.

Peter:  Shut up when I am talking.

Toney:  Make me shut up.  Make me shut up, punk.

Peter:  Be quiet when I am talking.  Sammy is talking.  Be quiet when the …

Toney:  Climb a tree.

Peter:  Did you hear what I said?  Shut up when Sammy is talking.

Toney:  Whatever, man, whatever.  Say it.

Toney:  No more questions.  I am gone.  I have business to take care of.  He made me mad.

Peter:  Sit down and talk.  Sit down.  Right now.

Toney:  Shut up.

Peter:  Don't move.

Toney:  You are going to see me in a couple of weeks anyway.  Don't worry about it.

Peter:  I said keep quiet.  Sit down where you are right now.

Toney:  You are a telephone talker, that's all you are.  You aren't scaring anybody.

Peter:  Sit down, do you hear what I am saying?

Toney:  You're scared. I own you.  I am your master.

Question:  James, has the draw against Rahman served as a motivation for this fight?

Toney:  I don't need motivation. I am the best heavyweight in the world, best fighter in the world.  We put the challenge out to everybody. They stepped up and took it. They are going to regret it. Bottom line.  I will fight anybody, anywhere, any time.  I am big and bad as they come.  I blow houses down.

Question:  Sam, when you first heard you were going to get this fight, what was your reaction?

Peter:  I was thinking glory be to God.  Thank God.  Because this is what I was looking for, to be the heavyweight champion of the world. This is the opportunity. I was so excited that Toney gave me the opportunity to beat him, to become heavyweight champion of the world.

Question:  Were you surprised when this came?

Peter:  Well, I wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure until I met him in person, and then I saw how it is and everything was going through.  Then I was glory be to God.

Question:  James, do you think you are going to be able to lie on the ropes and allow the fighter to come to you.  Do you think that is an effective strategy against a guy like Peter?

Toney:  I fight everybody the same way.  If you watch my career, I knock them out.  It is like a Hollywood horror film when I get done with them.  Look at Rahman.  I swelled him up.  Even though I got a draw, I swelled him up.  Look at Ruiz.  All these supposedly big guys, tougher guys than me.  I have seen it all, I have been there, done that.  It doesn't matter.

Question:  This is a question for both fighters.  After the exchange that went on today, has this fight become more personal?

Toney:  It has been personal.  He signed a contract.  Anybody that signs a contract to fight me, it is personal.

Question:  How about you, Sam?

Peter:  Does that mean anybody that signs a contract?  It is a personal issue right now.  He signed a contract, I signed a contract.  We are ready to roll.

Question:  James, could you tell us what you think is going to happen in Saturday's fight?

Toney:  It is going to be a stinking fight.  I have a feeling Rahman might get knocked out.  He got knocked out once.  It is in the back of his mind.  It could happen again.  I tested him a couple of times.  If I had been like I should have, I would have knocked him out.   Rahman hasn't got the best ticker.

Peter:  Well, I thank everybody.  I thank all of my fans, being there for me.  I thank the good promoters for putting this fight together.  I thank my manager.  I thank James Toney, being a man and stepping over for this fight.  Everybody that is watching this fight, it is going to be a great show.  It is going to be a great fight.  So thank you, everybody.

Toney:  First and foremost, I want to thank the Man upstairs for giving me the opportunity.  I want to thank my promotional group, my whole management team, my pop, my wife.  Everybody around me.  Showtime — you know, the greatest network for boxing.  They only show the greatest fights and this is going to be one of them.  Thanks to STAPLES Center.  And the whole city of L.A. for hosting this.  It is going to be a tremendous night of fireworks on Sept. 2.  I can't wait.  Thank you.

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

Published

on

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.?

Continue Reading

Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending