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Articles of 2006

Boxing in Asia, Singapore Slingin'

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The city-state of Singapore is a major business hub in Asia; known as the Lion City, it officially gained it’s sovereignty in August of 1965. Generally thought of as the country with strict laws and harsh punishment, it has the highest standard of living in Southeast Asia. Despite its extraordinary growth and prosperity, the country has never been thought of as a major sports powerhouse and it’s professional boxing scene only has been sporadic at best in the past few decades. In the past 6 months however, two pro cards have taken place and more are planned in the future.

Singapore’s boxing history began in the 1930’s, before it achieved its independence. In the forties and fifties, the country was known as “The Mecca of Boxing” in Asia and produced a handful of journeymen fighters.

In 1989, Indonesian fighter Ellyas Pical successfully defended his WBA super bantamweight belt against Mike Phelps of the U.S.

It would be seventeen years before another event would take place; in June of this year, The Sweet Science was on hand to see Indonesia’s Daudy Bahari score a unanimous decision over Bart Abapo of the Philippines.

The number of fights and the pool of Singaporean fighters in the past thirty years has dwindled to zilch but promoter John Leung and manager-trainer Barry Pestana are doing their part to bring back the days of old.

This Thanksgiving at the Sun-Tec Convention Center, Leung’s company, Pure Details, promoted a show headlined by Philippine fighter Dondon Sultan (14-7-2, 7 KOs) and Eddie Delic (11-7-2, 2 KOs) of Australia for the vacant WBF (World Boxing Foundation) welterweight bauble.

Sultan won the belt when he scored a twelve-round unanimous decision in a sloppy but engaging matchup. Delic started quickly and controlled the fight until he suffered a cut in round four from an unintentional headbutt. The remainder of the bout was competitive but Sultan was too strong and in the end the judges scored in his favor.

”I’m so thankful I have finally achieved my dream of winning a world championship,” said Sultan. “Maybe now I can box in Las Vegas in a big-money fight.”

That’s the idea in boxing, to make the big money, but Sultan has quite a ways to go before he’s ready for Mayweather, Cotto or Margarito.

The Thanksgiving show consisted of four pro and two amateur bouts and while the bouts weren’t exactly Ali-Frazier or Hagler-Hearns, they were entertaining. The crowd got their money’s worth and boxing in Singapore took another baby step forward.

”We certainly hope to make Singapore a major boxing hub here in Asia,” said Leung. “Hopefully we can get some more sponsors and continue to promote better and better events.”

WBF president Mick Croucher concurred, stating “Singapore has the corporate muscle and definitely has the ability to become Asia’s premier boxing venue.”

Only time will tell…

On the undercard:

Emmett Gazzard (5-0, 5 KOs) without a doubt the best fighter on the card, dished out a beating to Thailand’s Saensak Singmanasak (12-15-2, 6 KOs) before stopping him in round six of a scheduled twelve-round bout.

Two Singaporean fighters fought on the card, one winning and one losing.

In a scheduled four-round bout, David Alexis (0-1), the thirty-eight-year-old Singaporean making his pro debut was on TKO’d in the first round by Dennadai Sithdara (6-4, 2 KOs) of Thailand. Alexis had an extensive amateur background, winning a bronze medal in the 1993 SEA Games but was ill prepared for his first pro bout and was taken out in 2:30.

Mohammad Nor Rizan took on Thailand’s Pornthep Kawponkanpim (7-6, 2 KOs) in his second pro start. It looked as if another fight wasn’t going to make it to the second round when Nor Rizan flattened the Thai but the thirty-five-year-old Kawponkanpim rose to meet his fate and was pummeled for three straight rounds before the referee finally called a halt to the slaughter. Nor Rizzan has some skills but it will be interesting to see how he fares when he faces someone who fights back with his fists instead of his face.

Showdown in Singapore Results:

Sun-Tec Convention Centre

Dondon Sultan UD12 Eddie Delic(Wins WBF Welterweight Belt)Judges scores: 115-112, 115-112, 117-113

Emmett Gazzard KO6 Saensak Singmanasak

Dennadai Sithdara TKO1 David Alexis

Mohammad Nor Rizan TKO3 Pornthep Kawponkanpim

News and Notes

On the December 5th King’s Birthday celebration, former WBA trinket holder Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (50-3-2, 39 KOs) stopped Iran’s Omid Gholizadeh (0-6) to win his fiftieth fight and sixth straight since losing his belt to Panama’s Vicente Mosquera. Sor Nanthachai has been languishing since the loss and at thirty-six doesn’t have much time left to make a run at a title. Certainly not enough to be wasting his time against fighters of the caliber of Gholizadeh. The Iranian boxer has fought all his fights inside Thailand and has yet to win a fight.

Also on the card, featherweight Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (17-0, 8 KOs) scored a seventh round TKO over Vinvin Ruffino (12-6-2, 5 KOs) to keep his run at a WBC belt alive.

* * *

Ring Magazine has launched a ratings advisory panel to help make The Ring Ratings even better. The panel consists of over thirty journalists from four continents who will review the ratings on a weekly basis and if necessary make recommendations. The editors will continue to make the final decisions, however all recommendations will receive serious consideration. The Ring Ratings Advisory Panel is the latest step in the publication’s effort to restore much-needed credibility and integrity to the sport of boxing. The WBA’s ridiculous situation with their cruiserweight champions is just one more of the countless examples illustrating how The Ring Ratings are advantageous to the alphabet soup policies.

Travis Simms is apparently the WBA Super Welterweight Champion of the World “In Recess,” whatever that means.

* * *

On the undercard of the Winky Wright – Ike Quartey matchup, Filipino sensation Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista (21-0, 16 KOs) continued his roll towards a super bantamweight title. Bautista’s constant barrage of body shots caused sixty-two fight veteran Brazilian champion Giovanni Andrade to throw in the towel at the start of round four in their scheduled twelve-round bout. Bautista’s style is reminiscent of a scaled down version of Tito Trinidad; his economy of motion and pinpoint accuracy are certain to garner the Filipino a title.                                                                             * * *

Japan’s Nobuo Nashiro, one of the four super flyweight belt holders, scored a unanimous decision over Eduardo Garcia of Mexico to make the first successful defense of his title. Nashiro won the WBA’s belt in July of this year when he TKO’d Martin Castillo in round ten.

* * *

The WBC has ordered a face-off between two of their top ranked Thai fighters in the super bantamweight division. Saenghiran Lookbanyai (Singwancha), ranked second, and Napapol Kiattisakchokchoi, who holds the top spot, are scheduled to meet at the beginning of next year. The date and locale of the fight will be announced later this month.

Upcoming Title Fights in Asia

December 17, 2006 – Chungmu Art Hall, Seoul, KoreaRodolfo Lopez vs. In Jin Chi

December 20, 2006 – Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, JapanKoki Kameda vs. Juan Jose Landaeta

December 23, 2006 – Indoor Tennis Stadium, Jakarta, IndonesiaMuhammad Rachman vs. Benjie Sorolla

January 3, 2007 – Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, JapanCristian Mijares vs. Katsushige KawashimaEdwin Valero vs. Michael Lozada

February 18, 2007 – PhilippinesZ Gorres vs. Fernando MontielGerry Penalosa vs. TBAJimrex Jaca vs. TBA

February 24, 2007 – Tenggarong, IndonesiaChris John vs. Jose Rojas

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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