Connect with us

Articles of 2010

TSS TIDBITS: Donaire-Montiel Tix Info, La Bomba, Leon Moore, More

Published

on

LAS VEGAS, NEV (December 22, 2010) – Las Vegas hosts its first world title fight of 2011 when World Bantamweight Champion FERNANDO “Cochulito” MONTIEL defends his title against two-division world champion NONITO “The Filipino Flash” DONAIRE, in the latest chapter of the storied Mexico-Philippines rivalry, Saturday, February 19, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.  Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, the Montiel-Donaire world title tilt will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.)  The broadcast will open with undefeated NABO/NABA/WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion MIKE JONES defending his titles against Top-10 contender JESUS SOTO-KARASS in a rematch of their exciting battle which took place on November 13 on the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito pay-per-view extravaganza.

Looking for a great last-minute Christmas gift?  Yule love this!  Tickets to Montiel vs. Donaire, priced at $250, $125, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges, go on-sale Tomorrow!  Thursday, December 23, at Noon PT. They can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino).  Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Mandalay Bay at (877) 632-7400 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.  Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México, is only the fourth Méxican fighter to win world titles in three different weight divisions, joining Hall of Famer-elect Julio César Chávez and future Hall of Fame inductees Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Undefeated since 2006, eight of Montiel’s last ten victories (eight were world title fights) have been by stoppage.

Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in the Bay Area of San Leandro, Calif., is a consensus top-10 pound for pound fighter.  He enters this fight riding a nine-year, 24-bout winning streak, which includes an IBF/IBO flyweight title knockout victory of defending champion Vic Darchinyan, and a fourth-round blasting of former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko in his last fight on December 4. Nine of Donaire’s last 10 victories have come by way of knockout.

Co-promoted by Peltz Boxing, Jones and Soto-Karass return for an immediate rematch of their November 13 brawl.  After Jones decked Soto-Karass in the second round, Soto-Karass came back to almost pull out the victory in a fight most ringside fans and media thought could have gone either way.  In fact, Jones’ second-round knockdown of Soto-Karass provided Jones the one-point margin for a razor-thin majority decision victory instead of a Draw.  The judges’ scores were 95-94, 97-93 and 94-94.   

Jones (23-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA., has been attracting rabid fans to his fights in the friendly confines of Atlantic City and Philadelphia. He took on his biggest challenge on the biggest stage he has ever fought on when he tangled with Soto-Karass, successfully defending his titles and adding the vacant WBC Continental Americas welterweight title. Considered one of the hottest prospects in boxing, six of his last nine victories have come by knockout.  Victories over Brazilian strongman Juliano Ramos, Henry Bruseles, ending his five-year winning streak, Hector Muñoz and Irving Garcia, have catapulted Jones to the top of the welterweight ratings.  He’s rated No. 2 by the WBO, No. 3 by the WBA and the IBF and No. 4 by the WBC.

Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 16 KOs), of Los Mochis, México, boasts an impressive 13-2-2 (one No Contest) record, over his past 18 fights, dating back to 2005.  The only other blemish was a sixth-round technical loss to Alfonso Gomez last year.  Highlights of that period include knockout victories of former world champion Vince Phillips and undefeated contender Michael Rosales in WBC Continental Americas welterweight title fights in 2006 and contender David Estrada for the vacant NABF welterweight championship in 2008.  He is currently world-rated No. 8 by the WBC.

Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. PT with the first bell at 4:30 p.m. PT.  The HBO-televised fights will begin at 6:45 p.m. PT.

WORCESTER, Mass. (Dec. 22, 2010)
– As he prepares to go from promising prospect to legitimate contender, undefeated Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez’ recent magical mystery tour as a sparring partner in major training camps Australia, England and Miami provided him with invaluable post graduate boxing courses.

Dominican Republic-native Rodriguez (17-0, 13 KOs), arguably the world’s premier super middleweight prospect, is coming off of a sensational performance November 5 in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation, stopping James McGirt in the ninth round for the vacant WBC USNBC super middleweight title.

Rodriguez tuned-up for his fight against McGirt as a sparring partner for Daniel Geale (24-1, 15 KOs) during a 10-day working stretch in Australia. Geale later knocked out Roman Karmazin in the 12th round of their IBF middleweight title eliminator.

Rodriguez parlayed the Geale training camp lessons into even more career-enhancing experiences for 10 days in England with Carl “The Cobra” Froch (27-1, 20 KOs), who went on to defeat Arthur Abraham by way of a dominant 12-round unanimous decision for the WBA super middleweight crown in the Super Six Tournament. Edwin followed that by working two weeks in Miami with WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who fought a 12-round draw with Bernard Hopkins this past weekend.

“It’s been a great experience,” Rodriguez spoke about his sparring ‘journey’ that’s brought him around the world. “I’m at the point now where I want to get where they are. I’ve learned from working with all of them but the most important lesson is that elite athletes do not put on more than 10 pounds walking around weight between fights.

“All of these training camps haven’t been too much different – they were all intense. Geale is hungry to get there (world title) and he really worked hard. All three are very good athletes. I wasn’t surprised that Carl won so convincingly because I know how powerful Carl Froch is with his style, Abraham wasn’t able to run through Carl like he had against most opponents. His training was about using his long jab to keep Abraham outside. Everything worked off the jab and Carl perfectly executed his game plan. Every time we sparred, he worked on that plan but a few times we ended-up banging. He just caught himself and went back to using his jab, not letting me – acting like Abraham – walk through like Abraham likes to do.”

Froch, after defeating Abraham, publicly acknowledged Rodriguez’ work, saying, “Sparring with Edwin was brilliant. He is very fast, can punch with both hands, and stays in there. I feel he has far more natural ability and speed than Abraham; big respect for Edwin Rodriguez because he got me ready for this.”

Next stop for “La Bomba” was Miami at Pascal’s (26-1-1, 16 KOs) training camp with Edwin playing the role of Jean’s opponent last Saturday night, living legend Bernard Hopkins, in preparation for their Showtime showdown in Quebec City.

“Training with Pascal was different than for Froch,” Rodriguez remarked. “They didn’t do nearly as much sparring, it was more tactical. Froch may have had more tactical days at his training camp but I wasn’t there until 10 days at the end. Pascal has a good trainer from Cuba, Pedro Diaz, who has had 20 Olympic gold medalists. I spent Thanksgiving with him and his family. To an extent I did what they expected Hopkins to bring to the table. What they were really looking for was competitiveness from me to help him.    

“They had everything there: cooks, strength coaches, nutritionists, sports physiologists…you name it. And I got to take advantages of all these people. I can tell you that everybody there worked like animals. It was a very good training camp; well organized with everybody working hard.”

Rodriguez’ next fight is set for January 14 in Key West, Florida on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights in the 10-round co-feature against Aaron Pryor, Jr., son of former world champion Aaron Pryor.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Edwin started boxing in 2001 and he developed into one of the top amateurs in the United States, compiling a solid 84-9 record, including gold-medal performances in the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament. Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Dominican Republic, became the first Massachusetts boxer to win the middleweight title at The Nationals since “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler in 1973.

Rodriquez is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, managed by Larry Army, and trained by Peter Manfredo, Sr.


NEW YORK (December 22, 2010)
– Boxing 360 has announced the signing of WBC No. 3 rated super bantamweight Leon “Hurry Up” Moore to an exclusive promotional contract.

The 31-year-old southpaw Moore (27-2, 22 KOs), from Guyana, is the reigning PABA and WBC CABOFE super bantamweight champion, as well as the former NABA, Guyanese and CABOFE bantamweight titlist.

Another Boxing 360 fighter is Guyana super middleweight champion Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen (12-0-1, 7 KOs) who recently defeated Nick Brinson for the vacant New York State title.

“We’re excited to sign a talented fighter like Moore,” Boxing 360 Director of Boxing Bob Duffy said. “He’s a world-class contender at super bantamweight and bantamweight. We can’t wait to bring him to fight in the United States and position him for a world title fight next year against (WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki) Nishioka or any of the world champions at 122 or 118 pounds.”

Moore captured the WBC CABOFE and NABA bantamweight belts in September 2009, when he won a unanimous 12-round decision against former 2-time world champion Maurico Pastrana. Last January, Leon won a unanimous 12-round decision versus Indonesia Boxing Association champion Marangin Marbun for the vacant PABA crown. In his last fight (Nov. 16), Moore won a 10-round decision against Breilor Teran in Guyana.

Other Boxing 360 fighters include USBA heavyweight champion and IBF #15 rated Maurice “Sugar Moe” Harris, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada, Mike Mollo, Joshua “Juice” Harris, Emad Ali, former world champion Alejandro “Naco” Berrio, Angel “Toro” Hernandez, and “King” David Estrada.

Go on line to www.boxing360.com for more information about Moore, Allen, or any of the Boxing 360 fighters.

SPEEDBAG I trust you are as stoked as I with that big Samuel Peter may find himself in a position to obtain the right to fight another Klitschko, and get pummeled for a third time? The IBF wants Eddie Chambers to face Derric Rossy, and Tomasz Adamek to face Peter. The winners would meet, and the victor in that clash will be the No. 1 contender, and gets to tangle with Wlad. Nothing personal against Peter, but go Chambers, go Rossy, go Adamek. Two strikes Oct. 2008, stopped in the eighth by V; Sept. 2010 stopped in tenth by Wlad) against the Brothers K means you're out of the running. Or should

Comment on this article

Articles of 2010

Judah To Fight Mbuza March 5 In NJ

Published

on

30

Totowa, NJ – Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO, announced their promotional firm won the purse bid held at IBF headquarters in East Orange, NJ, Thursday. The bid was for the right to hold the IBF's junior welterweight title fight between Zab Judah of Brooklyn, NY and Las Vegas, and South Africa's Kaizer Mabuza.

IBF Championships Chairman, Lindsay Tucker explained, “It is a 50-50 split of the earnings between the two fighters. Kaizer is ranked No. 1 by the IBF, and Judah is No. 2. Where the fight will be held is up to the winning bidder.”

Judah (39-6, 26 KOs) is promoted by Main Events and his own firm Super Judah Promotions, and Branco Milenkovic, of South Africa, promotes Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KOs).

Kathy Duva confirmed the fight will take place at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, late February or early March this year as part of Main Events' Brick City Boxing Series.  (Saturday Update: the fight is March 5th, in NJ at the Pru Center. The bout will be part of a PPV card.)

“We are very happy that Zab has the opportunity to fight for the IBF Junior Welterweight title right here in New Jersey.  Winning this fight will put Zab right in the mix with the winner of Bradley-Alexander and Amir Khan.” Duva elaborated, ” Zab will work very hard to win this fight so that he will be one step closer to his ultimate goal of unifying all of the Junior Welterweight titles by the end of 2011!”

Comment on this article

Continue Reading

Articles of 2010

UFC 125 Preview: Frankie Edgar Vs. Gray Maynard

Published

on

UFC_Edgar_and_Maynard_Dec._2010
Few predicted Frankie Edgar would grab the UFC lightweight championship last year but he did. Most felt he would eventually win it but Edgar not only took the title, he beat one of the best mixed martial artists in history to do it.

Edgar (13-1) has emerged from the milieu of nondescript MMA fighters to become one of the more brilliant performers for Ultimate Fighting Championship. Next comes a rematch with Gray “The Bully” Maynard (11-0) tomorrow at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. UFC 125 will be televised on pay-per-view.

All it took was not one, but two victories over BJ Penn.

If you’re not familiar with Penn, he’s one of the most versatile fighters in MMA history and had been nearly unbeatable in the 155-pound lightweight division. That is until he clashed with Edgar. Until he met New Jersey’s Edgar, the Hawaiian fighter chopped down lightweight opponents with ease. It was only the heavier welterweights he had problems against. Namely: Canada’s Georges St. Pierre.

Edgar showed poise, speed and grit in defeating Penn in back-to-back fights. The world took notice.

“You know, if I keep winning fights, the respect will come eventually,” said Edgar during a conference call.

Now Edgar will find out if he can avenge the only loss on his record.

“I just think I grew as a fighter. You know, mentally, you know, physically I, you know, possess differently skills, increased – you know, I think I boxed and got better, my Jiu-Jitsu got better and, you know, just have much more experience now,” Edgar says.

Maynard seeks to find out if Edgar has added any more fighting tools to his repertoire. Back in April 2008, the artillery shelled out was not enough to beat the Las Vegas fighter.

“It’s a perfect time. He had the chance and, you know, he took it and the time is now for me and I’m prepared,” said Maynard (11-0). “Any time you’re going up against the top in the world, you evolve and change and so I’m prepared for a new fight, so it will be good. I’m pumped for it.”

Though Maynard’s record indicates he is unbeaten that’s not entirely true. He did suffer a defeat to Nate Diaz during The Ultimate Fighter series and subsequently avenged that loss last January.

The UFC lightweight title is in Maynard’s bull’s eye.

“Looking to take the belt for sure,” said Maynard. “We’ll see on January 1.”

Edgar versus Maynard should be a good one.

Other bouts:

Nate Diaz (13-5) faces Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1) in another welterweight tussle. Diaz is the only fighter with a win over Maynard. Anyone watching TUF remembers Maynard tapping out from a Diaz guillotine choke. The Modesto fighter has a tough fight against South Korea’s Kim.

Chris Leben (21-6) fights Brian Stann (9-3) in a middleweight fight. Leben is a veteran of MMA and if an opponent is not ready for a rough and tumble fight, well, that fighter is not going to win. Stann dropped down from light heavyweight and we’ll see if the cut in weight benefits the Marine.

Brandon Vera (11-5) meets Thiago Silva (14-2) in a light heavyweight match up. Vera is trying to rally back to the promising fighter he was tabbed several years back. Silva is a very tough customer and eager to crash the elite. A victory by either fighter could mean a ticket to the big time.

Clay Guida (27-8) versus Takanori Gomi (32-6) in a lightweight bout. Guida has become one of the most feared fighters without a title. No one has an easy time with the long-haired fighter. Gomi lost to Kenny Florian but knocked out Tyson Griffin. Can he survive Guida?

Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis (22-8) clashes with Jeremy Stephens (18-6) in another lightweight fight. Davis is a go-for-broke kind of fighter and is looking to get back in the win column after a tumultuous battle with Nate Diaz last August. Stephens needs a win too. In his last bout he lost to Melvin Guillard.

Comment on this article

Continue Reading

Articles of 2010

Borges Looks Back, And Forward With Hope

Published

on

PacquiaoClottey_Booth_6

As the end of another year approaches, there’s no need to invoke Charles Dickens to describe what went on in boxing. It was neither the best of times nor the worst of times. It was just too much time spent on The Fight That Never Took Place.

For the second straight year the sport could not deliver The Fight, the only one fans universally wanted and even casual fans craved – the mix between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao.  No one has to be singled out for blame for that failure because this time there’s plenty to go around on both sides. The larger issue is what does it say about a sport when it cannot deliver its top event?

What would the NFL be without the Super Bowl? Where would major league baseball be without the World Series? Golf without the Masters? College basketball without March Madness?

They would all be less than they could be and so it was with boxing this year. Having said that, the sport was not without its signature moments. It was not bereft of nights that left those of us with an abiding (and often unrequited) love for prize fighting with good reason to hope for the future.

Three times promoter Bob Arum took the sport into massive stadium venues just like the good (very) old days and each time boxing drew a far larger crowd than its many critics expected. Twice those fights involved the sport’s leading ambassador, Pacquiao, who brought in crowds of 40,000 to 50,000 fans into Cowboys Stadium against inferior opponents Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. Imagine what he might have done had Mayweather been in the opposite corner?

While both fights were, as expected, lopsided affairs, they showcased the one boxer who has transcended his sport’s confining walls to become a cultural icon and world celebrity. Pacquiao alone put boxing (or at least one boxer) on the cover of TIME and into the pages of such varied publications as Esquire, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, the American Airlines in-flight magazine and even Atlantic Monthly.

As history has proven time and again, that is what happens when boxing has a compelling personality to sell it and Pacquiao is that. Mayweather is such a person as well,  but for different reasons.

The one night he appeared in a boxing ring, he set the year’s pay-per-view standard against Shane Mosley while also leaving a first hint of dark mystery when he was staggered by two stinging right hands in the second round.

Mayweather was momentarily in trouble for the first time in his career but the moment passed quickly and Mosley never had another. By the end he had been made to look old and futile, a faded athlete who’d had his chance and was unable to do anything with it. So it goes in this harsh sport when the sands are running out of the hour glass.

As always there were some surprising upsets, most notably Jason Litzau’s domination of an uninterested and out of shape Celestino Caballero and Sergio Martinez’s one-punch demolishment of Paul Williams. The latter was not so much an upset as it was a stunning reminder that when someone makes a mistake against a highly skilled opponent in this sport they don’t end up embarrassed. They end up unconscious.

SHOWTIME did all it could to further the future of the sport, offering up a continuation of its interminably long but still bold Super Six super middleweight tournament as well as the launching of a short form bantamweight tournament which already gave fans to two stirring and surprising finishes with Joseph Agbeko decisioning Jhonny Perez and Abner Mares upsetting Victor Darchinyan in a battle of contusions.

While the Super Six has had its problems – including several of the original six pulling out – it also lifted the profile of former Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward from nearly unknown to the cusp of universal recognized as the best super middleweight in the world this side of Lucian Bute. If Ward continues winning he’ll get to Bute soon enough because that’s why SHOWTIME signed a TV deal with the Canadian and America may get its next boxing star if Ward proves to be what I think he is – which is still underrated and underappreciated.

HBO and HBO pay-per-view put on 23 shows, few of them compelling and many of them paying big money to the wrong people while doing little or nothing to grow the sport that has helped make their network rich. But they did have the knockout of the year – Martinez’s second round destruction of Williams – and some fights in the lower weight classes that were left you wanting more.

Two new names popped up who are causing the kind of fan reaction that also gives us hope for 2011 – American Brandon Rios and Mexican Saul Alvarez. They are two of the sport’s brightest young prospects because each comes to the arena the old-fashioned way – carrying nothing but bad intentions.
Aggression and knockouts still sell boxing faster than anything else and each exhibited plenty of both this year and left fans wanting to see more. Alvarez is already a star in Mexico without having yet won a world title and Rios is the definition of “promise.’’ Whether the star will continue to shine and promise will be fulfilled may be answered next year and so we wait anxiously to find out.

Backed by Golden Boy Promotions, there is no reason 2011 shouldn’t be Alvarez’s year and if it is people will notice and remember him because he has a crowd-pleasing style that is all about what sells most.

That is what boxing needs more of – fresh faces and new stars… so as fans we should root for guys like Alvarez, Ward, Rios and young Brit Amir Khan, who is a star in England but still a question mark with a questionable chin but a fighter’s heart here in the U.S.

Those guys and others not yet as well known are the future of boxing, a sport that for too long has been recycling the likes of Mosley (as it will again in May for one last beating against Pacquiao in a fight that's a joke), Bernard Hopkins (who can still fight although it is unclear why he bothers or where it’s all headed), Roy Jones and, sadly, even 48-year-old Evander Holyfield, who continues to delude himself but not many other people into believing he will soon unify the heavyweight title again.
If fighters like Ward, Alvarez, Rios, Khan, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto and middleweight king Sergio Martinez continue their rise they could be the antidote for the art of the retread that Arum and Golden Boy have been forcing fans to buy the past few years at the expense of what boxing needs most – fresh faces.

The heavyweight division, which many believe determines the relevancy of boxing to the larger world, remains a vast desert of disinterest here in the US. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, hold 75 per cent of the title belts but few peoples’ imaginations in the US, although to be fair they are European superstars and don’t really need U.S. cable TV money to thrive economically.

Each defended their titles twice this year, Vitali against lame competition (Albert Sosnowski and Shannon Briggs) and Wladimir against better fighters (Sam Peter and Eddie Chambers) but not competitive ones. Sadly, there is no American on the horizon to challenge them, a comment on the division and on our country, where the athletes who used to be Joe Louis or Muhammad Ali now opt for the easier and frankly safer road of the NFL or the NBA. Who can blame them considering all the nonsense a fighter has to go through to just make a living these days?

The one heavyweight match that would be compelling and might lift the sport up for at least a night would be either of the Klitschkos facing lippy WBA champion David Haye. The fast-talking Brit claims to not be ducking them but he’s had more maladies befall him after shouting from the rooftops how much he wants to challenge them that you have to wonder if Haye is simply a case of big hat no cattle syndrome.

For the sake of the sport, we should all be lighting candles each night in hopes our prayers will be answered and Haye will finally agree to meet one of them. It may not prove to be much of a fight but at least it will give us something to talk about for a few months.

Whatever Haye and the Klitschkos decide the fighter with the most upside at the moment however seems to be Sergio Martinez.  He has matinee idol looks, a big enough punch to put Paul Williams to sleep with one shot and a work ethic second to none. The Argentine fighter had a year for himself, starting with a drubbing of Kelly Pavlik followed by his demolishment of Williams. Those kinds of victories, coupled with his Oscar De La Hoya-like looks, are the type of things that if HBO or SHOWTIME would get behind him could allow Martinez to capture the attention of both fight fans and more casual ones.

In general, Hispanics fighters continued to dominate much of the sport’s front pages with Juan Manuel Marquez’s two victories in lightweight title fights leading that storyline. His war with Michael Katsidis is a strong candidate for Fight of the Year and his technical skill and calm demeanor make him the uncrowned challenger to Pacquiao. The two have unfinished business that should be settled this year if Arum stops standing in the way.

Two other fighters who gave us moments to remember in 2010 were Juan Manuel Lopez, who knocked out three solid opponents including highly respected Mexican warrior Rafael Marquez, and Giovani Segura, who won four times (that’s three years work for Mayweather) in 2010, all by knockout. Along the way, Segura defeated one of the great minimum weight fighters in history, slick Ivan Calderon, to win the belt on Aug. 28.

Lastly, boxing gave us another magical cinematic moment as well with the release of “The Fighter,’’ a film based on the life and hard times of junior welterweight scrapper Micky Ward. The film has won rave reviews and many awards and seems likely to have several of its actors nominated for Academy Awards, most notable Christian Bale for his sadly humorous portrayal of Ward’s troubled half brother, former fighter Dickie Ecklund.

Boxing has a long history of providing the framework for memorable movies and it did it again with “The Fighter,’’ a film that did more for boxing than any promoter did all year.

All in all, it wasn’t the best of years for boxing but it was a good year that picked up speed in the final months and, like that great golf shot you finally hit out of the rough on the 18th, left us with reasons to hope for a better year in 2011. If somehow it gives us Mayweather-Pacquiao, the emergence of Alvarez and Rios, the ascension of Martinez and Haye vs. the best available Klitschko in addition to the kind of solid performances that always come along, it could be a year to remember.

Comment on this article

Continue Reading

Trending