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Hollywood Fight Results plus Notes on Super Fly 3 and More

David A. Avila

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Hollywood debut

HOLLYWOOD, Ca.-In his Hollywood debut, Ali Akhmedov won by stoppage against Jorge Escalante in a cruiserweight fight on Wednesday evening in a bout filled with curious moments.

Kazakhstan’s Akhmedov (12-0, 9 KOs) showed the sold out crowd at the Avalon Theater that he has good skills and power in beating the elusive Escalante (9-2-1, 6 KOs) in the fourth round of the 360 Promotions main event.

Akhmedov was patient in his attack against Escalante who switched from southpaw to orthodox throughout the cruiserweight fight. Though it never seemed to confuse the Kazakh fighter who trains with Abel Sanchez, it proved to be enough of a tactic to keep Escalante in the fight.

The third round saw Akhmedov trap Escalante in the corner and connect with a right cross that buckled the knees of the San Diego fighter who held the ropes to stay up. The referee properly called it a knockdown as the bell ended the round.

Boosted by the knockdown Akhmedov slipped into a more aggressive attack as Escalante moved away and seldom exchanged. Though no blows were actually connected, referee Zach Young suddenly stopped the fight. It was a curious stoppage and left people puzzled at 1:43 of the fourth round.

Co-Main Event

Abraham Lopez (10-1-1, 6 KOs) handed Gloferson Ortizo (12-1-1, 6 KOs) his first defeat by unanimous decision in a super lightweight match that was closer than the scores indicated. Each round saw Lopez use quicker combinations to score, but by the third round Ortizo began finding the range for his big blows.

A clash of heads or a blow by Ortizo caused a cut over the right eye of Lopez but the Rowland Heights fighter managed to score the more impressive combinations, especially a clean left hook in the sixth round to win the fight. One judge scored it 60-54 the other two 59-57 all for Lopez.

“He was a straightforward kind of fighter and very strong,” said Lopez. “The blood was pouring in my eyes.”

Other Bouts

Brooklyn’s Brian Ceballo (4-0, 2 KOs) stopped Bakersfield’s Tavorus Teague (5-21-4) at the end of the second round to win by knockout. A right uppercut caught Teague perfectly during an exchange and he was unable to continue in the welterweight contest.

Adrian Corona (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds versus Teodora Alonso (0-2) in a super featherweight fight. There were no knockdowns in the four-round bout. The judges scored the fight 40-36 twice and 39-37 for Corona who fights out of Rialto, Calif.

Elvina White (3-0) got the win by unanimous decision although it seemed Jasmine Clarkson (4-12) out-landed her in the super lightweight contest. White landed the more powerful blows but was often hit by Clarkson’s combinations throughout the four rounds. The southpaw stance and Clarkson’s defense seemed to spell victory for the Texan but the judges saw it otherwise. All three judges scored it 39-37 for White. Scores in the media section were divided evenly.

L.A.’s Vardges Vardanyan (2-0) won the battle of southpaws with a battering of Riverside’s Cameron Christopher (0-1) in a super welterweight contest. Vardanyan was the busier fighter against Christopher who mostly concentrated on defense and paid the price.

Marco Deckmann (1-0) stopped David Damore (1-3) at 2:58 of the second round of a cruiserweight fight. Deckmann fired a four-punch combination that badly wobbled the knees of the Arizona fighter.

Super Fly 3

It was boxing’s version of a movie premiere as 360 Promotions introduced its high-powered stars of upcoming fight cards at the Avalon Theater on Wednesday.

A third installment of the Super Fly series was introduced including world titlist Donnie Nietes for next month at the Inglewood Forum on Sept. 8. Also, World Boxing Super Series super lightweight tournament competitor Ryan Martin was introduced.

HBO will be televising Super Fly 3 to continue the successful venture that started two years ago when Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez filled the stands in the first installment against Carlos Cuadras in September 2016. That initial fight card proved to the network that boxing in the smaller weights was alive and well.

“Chocolatito was the one that opened the doors for the super fly divisions,” said Tom Loeffler, president of 360 Promotions. “It’s become the gold standard for HBO now.”

For those fans around in the 1960s and 1970s, this was not a surprise. During that era fighters like Chucho Castillo, Lionel Rose, and Ruben Olivares packed local arenas including the same Inglewood Forum almost every time they fought.

In Super Fly 3, one of the participants will be Juan Francisco Estrada facing fellow Mexican Felipe Orucuta in a WBC super fly elimination bout set for 12 rounds.

“Juan Francisco Estrada is actually the only one to participate in all the super fly shows,” said Juan Hernandez of Zanfer Promotions that promotes Estrada.

Also, WBO titlist Donnie Nietes of the Philippines is making his second appearance when he defends against fellow Filipino Aston Palicte in a 12 round clash.

Another on the card will be Japan’s Kazuto Ioka challenging Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo for the WBC super flyweight Silver title.

“In Super Fly 3 I plan to take a big step toward being a super fly champion,” said Ioka without a translator.

Arroyo arrived and said he expects another great Puerto Rico vs Japan battle.

“They have a lot of good fighters in the smaller weights and so does Puerto Rico,” said Arroyo.

HBO’s Tony Williams is confident of the third tournament.

“It’s not easy getting fighters from other countries to participate,” said Williams the HBO executive. “Super fly series is one of our best successes.”

Ryan Martin

The super lightweight contender made his Hollywood debut several months ago at the Avalon and arrived to meet the press after learning he was selected to participate in the World Boxing Super Series tournament for super lightweights.

“I’m excited about this tournament,” said Martin who moved up from lightweight to super lightweight and has fared better. “I know Josh Taylor is a good fighter and strong. I’m in a division where they are all strong.”

The tournament consists of eight participants from around the world including fellow American Regis Prograis. The tournament takes place sometime in the near future.

Pension Recipient

The California State Athletic Commission gave retired boxer Greg Puente a pension check following the fight card at the Avalon. Commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez gave the check to Puente for an amount of near $16,500.

Retired boxers who fought for a certain amount of rounds in California are eligible for retirement funds. A follow up story will be published explaining the requirements.

Or you can inquire through the CSAC.

Photo credit: German Villasenor

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Odds Review for Friday’s Boxing on Telemundo

Miguel Iturrate

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boxing odds
South Florida promoter Tuto Zabala Jr has a seven fight card planned for the Osceola Heritage Center in Kissimmee this Friday, February 22nd that sees three undefeated prospects headline the show. For more than two decades, Zabala Jr has promoted the sport in Mexico and Florida and Friday’s event will air on Spanish language Telemundo in the United States, so check your local listings for start times.
A pair of ten round bouts hold the main event spots as undefeated Yomar Alamo faces veteran Manuel Mendez at welterweight and likewise unbeaten Carlos Monroe takes on Jonathan Tavira in a middleweight bout.
The 23 year old Alamo is from fight hungry Puerto Rico and he is considered a key piece to promoter Zabala Jr’s plans to run shows back on the island. The 28 year old Mendez once carried the ‘prospect’ label as well but Mendez is 1-3-1 in his last five fights. The experience of being in there with the likes of Sonny Fredrickson (19-1) and undefeated Johnathan Navarro (15-0) will make him Alamo’s toughest test to date. The welterweight division is crowded and Alamo is going to need to keep winning beyond Friday to get noticed, but he already banks on the fervent support of his “boriqua” crowd. Promoter Zabala Jr may be wondering if matchmaker Ruben DeJesus picked the right guy in Mendez. Alamo’s record in Puerto Rico looks to have a good bit of fluff. He didn’t face an opponent with a single pro win until his seventh fight. He faced 40 year old vet Edwin Lopez in 2016, but Lopez hurt his hand in the first round and could not continue, so Alamo is largely untested.
Middleweight prospect Carlos Monroe looks to go 12-0 as he steps in to his first bout scheduled for ten rounds. Veteran Jonathan Tavira provides the opposition for the 24 year old Monroe, who turned pro in December of 2017 and notched 10 fights in calendar year 2018. Monroe has been brought along carefully, as the combined record of his 11 opponents stands at 46-98-8. Tavira has been in there with the likes of Arif Magomedov, Dario Bredicean and Esquiva Falcao, all undefeated fighters on the way up. Tavira hits hard but he has been stopped five times in his six losses, so look for Monroe to improve on his eight KOs to date.
2016 U.S. Olympian Antonio Vargas looks to improve to 10-0 in an eight round bantamweight bout against Lucas Rafael Baez (34-17-5). Vargas was originally scheduled to take on Wilner Soto, a veteran with a 21-5 record and he was a big favorite in that match-up.
Below are the current lines as we start off fight week.
Fri 2/22 – Osceola Heritage Center – Kissimmee, Florida
Welterweight 10 rounds –
Manuel Mendez(16-4-1) +160
Yomar Alamo(15-0)         -210
Middleweight 10 rounds –
Jonathan Tavira (17-6)            +550
Carlos Monroe (11-0)             -1050
Bantamweight 8 rounds –
Lucas Rafael Baez        +1150
Antonio Vargas            -2450
(Opponent change for Vargas, line should be similar for new opponent Lucas Rafael Baez)

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Blake Caparello Looks To Grab WBA Regional Belt This Friday

Miguel Iturrate

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Caparello
This Friday night in Australia, light heavyweight contender Blake Caparello returns to action as he faces youngster Reagan Dessaix for the WBA’s Oceania title in the main event of a planned six fight card at The Melbourne Pavilion.
Dessaix currently holds the belt that Caparello held back in 2017, and the 22-year-old is hoping a win on Friday will put him on the international radar. It is where Caparello, who enters this fight as a 32-year-old, has been and hopes to get to again.
Those are the basics of Friday’s main event, the youngster Dessaix making a significant leap in competition level as he looks to get ranked internationally, while the veteran Caparello is hopeful a win will propel him closer to another world title shot.
Caparello laid claim to the IBO’s world title at 175 pounds back in October of 2013 when he won a comfortable unanimous decision over veteran Allan Green. Caparello, who was 17-0-1 at the time of the Green fight, went on to an introductory fight in the United States, and a win there saw him earn an August of 2014 title shot against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.
Caparello has to feel he was close to a world title as he had the feared Kovalev down in round one before the “Krusher” took him out in round two. Since then, he has fought Isaac Chilemba and Andre Dirrell, extending both ranked veterans the full fight distance. The March of 2018 loss to Chilemba was for the WBC’s world title, and Caparello managed to go 2-0 the rest of the calendar year.
Green, Kovalev, Dirrell and Chilemba. The bottom line is that Dessaix had a solid amateur career in Australia, but there is no one with resumes like the men Caparello has faced when asked to step onto the world scene.
The WBA’s current world champion is Dmitry Bivol (15-0), who is making the fourth defense of his title in March against hard hitting Joe Smith Jr. The veteran Caparello could mount a case for a mandatory shot against either man with a win on Friday, while Dessaix would likely have to keep fighting and winning before earning a shot at a world title.
The co-feature bout is for the Australian title at 154 pounds and sees 31 year old Billy Klimov facing Joel Camilleri. Camilleri is favored as he has had a lot more professional experience than Limov, who turned professional at 29 years old. Strictly regional stuff here.
Both fights have lines at some of the sportsbooks. Check out the numbers as they were at the start of fight week below.
Fri 2/22 – The Melbourne Pavilion – Victoria, Australia
WBA Oceania Title
Light Heavyweight 10 rounds –
Reagan Dessaix(16-1)         +255
Blake Caparello (28-3-1)    -365
Australian Title
Super Welterweight 10 rounds –
Billy Limov (4-0-1)     +200
Joel Camilleri(16-5-1) -280
Check out the link for the live event right here. http://www.epicentre.tv/events/blake-caparello-v-reagan-dessaix/

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Will Fury’s Deal With ESPN Torpedo The Fights That Fight Fans Want to See?

Arne K. Lang

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Fury's deal with ESPN

For the past few weeks, boxing fans have been led to believe that the rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was ever so-close to being a done deal. But in the world of professional boxing where Machiavellian characters seemingly hold all the positions of power, nothing is ever a done deal until it’s finally finalized. Today’s announcement that Tyson Fury has signed with ESPN is the latest case in point. It’s a three-fight deal that will reportedly earn the Gypsy King $80 million if he can successfully hurdle the first two legs.

As Thomas Hauser has noted, what we have in boxing today is something similar to leagues in other sports. There’s the Top Rank/ESPN League, the Matchroom/DAZN League, and the PBC/Showtime/FOX League. We would add that these are intramural leagues. Occasionally there’s cross-pollination, similar to when the Yankees play the Mets in a game that counts in the regular season standings, but basically the boxers in each league compete against each other.

We have no doubt that WBC/WBA/IBF heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua will eventually fight Wilder and/or Fury, but it now appears that these matches, when they transpire, will have marinated beyond the sell date. The action inside the ring may mirror the Mayweather-Pacquiao dud.

A match between Joshua and Wilder is already somewhat less enticing than it would have been if it had come to fruition last autumn. The odds lengthened in favor of Joshua after Wilder’s raggedy performance against Tyson Fury on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.

True, the Bronze Bomber almost pulled the fight out of the fire with a thunderous punch but he was out-slicked in most of the rounds and it wasn’t as if he was fighting a bigger version of Pernell Whitaker. Before that fight, casual fans were less tuned-in to Deontay Wilder’s limitations.

It was reported that the Wilder-Fury rematch was headed to Las Vegas or New York, but that Las Vegas fell out of the running when the State Athletic Commission insisted on using Nevada officials. Fury was the one that balked.

In hindsight we should have seen that this was fake news. No Nevada officials were involved in Fury-Wilder I. The judges were from California, Canada, and Great Britain. The California judge voted against Fury, scoring the fight 115-111, a tally for which he was excoriated. The judge from Great Britain, like many ringside reporters, had it draw. The TV crews, especially the crew from Great Britain, left no doubt that Fury should have had his hand raised and the controversy made the hoped-for rematch more alluring.

So who will be Tyson Fury’s next opponent? Speculation immediately centered on Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev.

Pulev, who turns 38 of May 4, sports a 26-1 record. He was slated to fight Anthony Joshua in October of 2017 but suffered a torn biceps in training and was forced to withdraw. In his most recent bout he outpointed Hughie Fury, Tyson’s cousin. He’s currently ranked #1 by the IBF.

On Dec. 8 of last year, Bob Arum announced that he had hammered out a deal to co-promote Pulev. It was subsequently reported that Pulev’s first fight under the Top Rank/ESPN umbrella would be against Finland’s Robert Helenius on March 23 in Los Angeles. Six days ago, the distinguished European fight writer Per Ake Persson told his readers that the fight had fallen out, ostensibly because the parties could not come to terms.

Tyson Fury is the most charismatic white heavyweight to come down the pike since Gerry Cooney and the big galoot is bigger than Cooney ever was as he has avid followers on both sides of the Atlantic and Cooney didn’t have social media to enhance his profile. I have little doubt that ESPN will recoup their investment in him. However, deals in boxing are never consummated with an eye on uplifting the sport – on patching things up with the disaffected – and here’s yet another example.

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