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The Blowout: Brief Encounters That Shocked and Amazed

Ted Sares

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the blowout

Some might refer to it as a mugging, but a mugging takes a bit of planning and solid execution though the distinction between the two is a very fine one. It’s not a one-punch icing because that kind of end seldom happens early (Tua vs. Moorer being a notable exception). No, the blowout is an unmitigated assault launched at the opening bell as the perpetrator comes flying out of the chute motivated to end things quickly and decisively. The reaction of the crowd is one of shock and awe which is magnified if the man perpetrating the blowout is the underdog. Often the victim doesn’t even land a punch. And after possibly two or more knockdowns, the blowout is ended by a merciful referee.

Dee Collier vs. Tex Cobb (Oct. 29, 1985)

Denorvell “Dee” Collier fought out of California during the 80’s and finished with a modest record of 13-9. However, he was not one to be taken lightly. He had an iron chin and excellent power and a close inspection of his record reveals wins over some very tough opponents. Before his short career was over, Collier would twice defeat Mark Wills in bouts billed for the California heavyweight title, saddle Alex Garcia with his first defeat, ice – yes, ice – Monte Masters and go 10 hard rounds with a prime Buster Douglas.

Collier fought Tex Cobb at the Reseda Country Club in California. The iron-chinned Cobb had lost three straight, but he had failed to go the distance only once in his pro career, that coming in his second match with Michael Dokes, a bout stopped on cuts.  In fact, he had been knocked down only once in his career, that coming in his most recent fight against promising Eddie Gregg.

If the heavily favored Cobb could score an impressive win, he might be in line for title bout against the heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks, or at least back in the mix. Collier, whose record was then 7-4, was seen as nothing more than a club fighter and Cobb was expected to score a decisive, if not early win.

At any rate, once the bell rang, the 6’4” Collier immediately used Cobb as a punching bag. Cobb’s legendary iron chin turned to glass as he became a basketball, hitting the deck four times before the bout ended at the 2:41 mark of the first round.

This was an old fashioned Texas dry-gulch with the rugged Texan being the ambushee. Like many other victims of a blowout, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and never had a chance. Collier had done what Holmes, Shavers and Norton could not do in 33 combined rounds. Tex had his lunch eaten in Reseda and the guy who did the eating was a mugger named Dee Collier.

James “Bonecrusher” Smith vs. Tim Witherspoon (Dec. 12, 1986)

 “I knew his mind couldn’t be on the fight. He wasn’t thinking about me. My plan was to be all over him. He embarrassed me the last time and I wanted to pay him back. I did.” – James “Bonecrusher” Smith

In their rematch (Witherspoon won lopsidedly over 12 rounds in their first meeting), Bonecrusher, a last-minute sub, flew out of the chute at the opening bell and hurt Witherspoon with a right hand 10 seconds into the fight. Then Witherspoon walked into a solid left hook with about 90 seconds gone and was knocked almost through the ropes and down – for the first time in his career. He got up at the count of four on wobbly legs.

Smith never let up as he cautiously moved in, sensing the kill. He then sent Witherspoon down in a heap with another big right hand. Terrible Tim got up at five, spit out a tooth, root and all, and was in terrible shape as The Bonecrusher charged in. The staggering Witherspoon was met with a right hand that dropped him for the third time. Referee Luis Rivera immediately invoked the three-knockdown rule and waved the fight over at 2:12 of the opening round.

This one was a big upset which added to the shock value. Also noteworthy is that Witherspoon did not land a single punch as he was being blown away.

Iran Barkley vs. Darrin Van Horn (Jan. 10, 1992)

If you think Barkley was mad before the fight, wait until he sees how many people are taking part of his purse.”—Bob Arum, after his fighter, Iran Barkley, beat Darrin Van Horn

The “Schoolboy” met Iran “Blade” Barkley (27-7) at the Paramount Theater in Madison Square Garden. This was Barkley’s turf, far away from the University of Kentucky campus where Van Horn was a part-time student. Van Horn, who held the IBF version of the world super middleweight title, was the favorite and his camp badly underestimated the Blade, who should not have been taken lightly under any circumstance

As the schoolboy entered the ring, you could see some confusion and maybe something else beginning to take hold on his face. He began to look like a deer caught in the headlights. The loud and raucous booing was not directed at his opponent this time; it was directly at him. He was the focus of derision. He was in the Blade’s house now and would be lucky to get out alive. The crowd smelled blood.

Meanwhile, the menacing-looking Barkley, wearing an old-school hooded robe, was pacing back and forth in his corner like a caged tiger, waiting for the bell to ring so he could launch what everybody expected to be an all-out bull rush. And that’s exactly what he did using a blitzkrieg attack.

The fight was almost anti-climactic as Barkley mauled the Schoolboy and dismantled him in less than two full rounds. Van Horn had come in with no game plan and ended up getting mugged in New York City (at a time when muggings in New York City were not all that unusual). After wobbling Darrin in the first round, Barkley decked the Kentuckian three times in the second before the slaughter was stopped 93 seconds into the round by referee Arthur Mercante Jr.

Dana Rosenblatt vs. Sean Fitzgerald ( Dec.10, 1993)

In a match between two fighters from Massachusetts — a match with more than a touch of old school ethnicity to it — “Dangerous” Dana Rosenblatt (16-0) met Sean “The Irish Express” Fitzgerald at Foxwoods. Fitzgerald was 18-1-2 with his only loss coming against Roberto Duran.

Team Fitzgerald was confident that the red-headed Irishman would beat the untested Rosenblatt. However, two minutes into the bout, Dana threw a 1-2 combination that sent Fitzgerald to the canvas, dazed and hurt. The fight ended 30 seconds later with Fitzgerald KOd following a Rosenblatt onslaught. This one was more shock and surprise than anything else as the Irish Express had been derailed.

Rosenblatt was somewhat of a specialist in blowout wins as Chad Parker and Howard Davis Jr, later found out. He finished with a superb record of 37-1-2

Lou Savarese vs. Buster Douglas (June 25, 1998)

This one was on a star-studded event at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut. The date was June 25 and I was there. In fact, I recall that Julio Cesar Chavez (with a monster entourage) fought Ken Sigurani on the undercard—yes, I said “undercard.”

Big Lou Savarese, who won his first 36 professional starts, was coming off a win over overmatched Brett Lally but he had lost his two fights prior to that, getting outpointed by George Foreman and then savagely KOed by David Izon.

Buster opened up with his patented stiff jab and some sharp fast-handed combos; he seemed ready to rock and roll. In fact, most thought he would win this one. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he was dropped by a perfect Savarese right. The fans were up and shouting. Then another more malefic right put him down and this time he was visibly hurt. The end was near. After launching a fast and furious volley, Lou ended matters. How do you say “blowout”? The entire affair took just 2.34.

David Lemieux vs. Elvin Ayala (June 11, 2010)

Shock and awe was expected and shock and awe delivered as Lemieux dropped the game Ayala three times in the first round. It would be a precursor to many more Lemieux blitzkrieg wins.

Fast Forward (2019)

Last month, on Jan. 18, Pablo Cesar Cano shocked the boxing world by dropping Jorge Linares three times and scoring a first round TKO. Cano’s size and power at 140 pounds were too much for Linares, a title-holder in three lower weight classes, suggesting that he move back down to 135 pounds.

The first knockdown came just 15 seconds into the match when Cano landed a clubbing right. Then, with 84 seconds on the clock, the second came from another heavy right overhand. Cano then wisely switched to a vicious left hook to send Linares down again and prompting referee Ricky Gonzalez to perform a mercy stoppage.

The seven examples above are representative of a certain kind of fight; a blowout. Can you think of any others that might fit the criteria?

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and Strongman competitors and plans to compete in at least three events in 2019. He is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

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Fast Results From Latvia: Mairis Briedis and the KO Doctor advance in the WBSS

Arne K. Lang

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briedis vs glowacki

The semifinal round of the Wold Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament played out today in Riga, Latvia, the hometown of Mairis Briedis who was matched against Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki. Both fighters had only one blemish on their ledger and in both cases their lone defeat came at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.

The fans left happily after Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) knocked out Glowacki (34-2) in the third frame. But it was messy fight that invites a lot of second-guessing and likely a challenge from the Glowacki camp.

After a feeling-out first round, Briedis cranked up the juice. An errant elbow landed behind Glowacki’s head, putting him on the canvas. For this discretion, Briedis was docked a point. A legitimate knockdown followed — Glowacki was hurt — and then another knockdown after the bell had sounded. The referee could not hear the bell in the din. It was a wild scene.

The fight was allowed to continue, but didn’t last much longer. Coming out for round three, Glowacki wasn’t right and Briedis pounced on him, scoring another knockdown, leading referee Robert Byrd to waive the fight off at the 27 second mark. It wasn’t Byrd’s finest hour.

The tournament organizers anticipated the complication of a draw and assigned extra judges to eliminate this possibility. They did not anticipate the complication of a “no-contest.” If the outcome isn’t overturned, Briedis, a former WBC cruiserweight champ, is the new WBO title-holder.

Dorticos-Tabiti

In the co-feature, Miami-based Cuban defector Yunier Dorticos, nicknamed the KO Doctor, lived up to his nickname with a smashing one punch knockout of previously undefeated Andrew Tabiti. The end for Tabiti came with no warning in round 10. An overhand right left him flat on his back, unconscious. Referee Eddie Claudio didn’t bother to count. The official time was 2:33.

It was easy to build case for Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs). He was three inches taller than Tabiti, packed a harder punch, and had fought stronger opposition. But it was understood that Tabiti, now 17-1, had a more well-rounded game. Moreover, there were concerns about Dorticos’ defense and stamina.

Dorticos was ahead on the scorecards after nine frames. He rarely took a backward step and let his hands go more freely. And it didn’t help Tabiti’s cause that he was docked a point for holding in the sixth frame. Earlier in that round, an accidental clash of heads left Dorticos with a cut over his right eye. The ringside physician was called into the ring to examine it and let the bout continue.

With the victory, Dorticos became the IBF world cruiserweight champion and moved one step closer to acquiring the coveted Muhammad Ali trophy in what will be, win or lose, the most lucrative fight of his career.

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Angel Ruiz Scores 93 Second KO in Ontario, CA

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Angel Ruiz

(Ringside Report by Special Correspondent Tarrah Zeal) ONTARIO, CA – “Path to Glory” featured some of Southern California’s hottest prospects carving their image into the boxing world through the Thompson Boxing Promotions platform at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA Friday night.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Angel Ruiz (14-0, 11 KO) of Maywood, CA finished veteran Miguel Zamudio (43-13-1, 27 KO) from Los Mochis, Mexico with an impressive stoppage at 1:33 in the first round scheduled for eight.

At 21 years young, Ruiz (pictured) came into the night with four KO wins in his last four bouts and looking to continue his streak. A second-round body shot win over Gerald Avila (8-17-3) on May 10th and first round KO win against Roberto Almazan (8-9) just this year.

Ruiz was just getting started in the ring using his long distance and power punches to punish Zamudio.

Twenty seconds into the opening round, Ruiz’ mouthpiece went flying out and a timeout was called. Once the mouthpiece was placed back in, Ruiz administered a quick flurry of punches but with no exchange from Zamudio, referee Raul Caiz stepped in and stopped the main event fight.

After the fight interview Ruiz was asked about what he saw in the fight, “I see this guy. He wants to fight. He was trying to fight but I’m too hard. I got you.” Ruiz said. “I feel ready. I want to fight with the best.”

With 89 amateur bouts under his belt, although not signed with any promoters, Ruiz is verbally challenging Vergil Ortiz, “Vergil if you see this video, remember me”.

Brewart

In he co-main event, a six round junior middleweight bout, Richard “Cool Breeze” Brewart (6-0, 2 KO) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA won a unanimous decision over Antonio “El Tigre” Duarte (2-1) of Tijuana, Mexico.

Brewart was coming into the fight looking like the faster, more technical fighter of the two. Duarte over-telegraphed all of his punches, allowing Brewart to use his overhand right and awesome agility to angle out of reach.

Even after Duarte checked Brewart on the chin with a strong punch, Brewart’s power punches always ended the rounds. The judges scored the bout 60-54 twice and 59-55 for Brewart.

Other Bouts

A victorious unanimous decision at the end of a six-round toe-to- toe bantamweight fight was given to Mario “Mighty” Hernandez, (8-1-1, 3 KO) of Santa Cruz, CA over lefty Victor “Lobo” Trejo Garcia (16-11-1, 8 KO) from Mexico City, Mexico.

Continuous hard punches were exchanged from both brawlers starting at the bell of round one. Fans were excited after a flurry of punches and then a clear push from Hernandez sent Trejo to the floor at the end of round three, giving the crowd excitement for the coming rounds.

It deemed to be a bit of a challenge for both, as orthodox Hernandez managed to match southpaw Trejo’s overhand right punches with his own in response. After six rounds of continuous action two judges scored the bout 57-56 and one 59-54 for Hernandez.

In what would be an exciting and entertaining four-round heavyweight bout, Oscar Torrez (6-0, 3 KO) from Riverside, CA took on Allen Ruiz (0-2) of Ensenada, Mexico.

A surprising uppercut from Ruiz, in the beginning of round one, put Torrez on the canvas and every eye in the room were all fixated on both brawlers. The look in Torrez’ eyes were more calculated, as he was careful from then on.

Wild punches were being thrown from Ruiz without fear of repercussion, but then a quick liver shot from Torrez sent him to his knees. After a couple of seconds to adjust back into the bout, Ruiz was then checked again by left hook to the chin knocking out his mouthpiece. There were 20 seconds left in round two and the round ended with no mouthpiece.

Torrez showed he was stronger and the more technical fighter and finally ended the bout by KO with a right hook to Ruiz’s body at 1:08 in the third round.

Jose “Tito” Sanchez, a rising featherweight prospect with two knockouts in his first two fights and training under star trainer Joel Diaz, out of Indio, CA, took on veteran Pedro “Pedroito” Melo (17-20-2, 8 KO). Even with his low experience in the professional boxing world, Sanchez showed his maturity in the ring by controlling the fight when following Melo around the ring and landing clean left hooks and powerful body shots. After four rounds Sanchez won by 40-36 on all three cards.

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Is the UFC Purchasing Premier Boxing Champions?

Miguel Iturrate

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UFC Purchasing PBC?

Several news outlets are reporting that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company Endeavor is in talks with Al Haymon to purchase the Premier Boxing Champions. The deal is far from happening and will be complicated if it is completed. Let’s look at some of the details.

Dana White has been the face of the UFC since the brand was purchased by Zuffa in 2001 and over the years he has repeatedly hinted about invading the world of boxing. In his early days as the UFC’s head honcho, White even challenged his biggest star, Tito Ortiz, to a boxing match. The match never happened but to this day White will tell you he would have beaten Ortiz in a fight under Queensberry rules.

In more recent years the UFC co-promoted the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather Jr match and White, although he would vehemently deny it, also had to have at least tacitly approved of Oscar De LaHoya’s promotion of the third bout between Ortiz and his rival Chuck Liddell. That match-up was likely assessed by White this way: “If Oscar wants to promote MMA let him lose his money,” but he didn’t stand in the way of De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions.

White’s name has also come up in connection with Anthony Joshua. White is said to have had a huge offer ready for the then heavyweight champion, but he backed off when the realization hit that he could not make matches for Joshua in the way he is accustomed because he had no roster of potential opponents. However, White has been insistent that the UFC will “100 percent get into boxing.”

Under new owners Endeavor, White cannot operate like he did under old owners Zuffa, but if the deal goes down it is likely because White crafted some type of long term vision that he sold to Endeavor co-founder and CEO Ari Emanuel (pictured).

When Endeavor purchased the UFC in July of 2016 for a reported $4.05 billion, White agreed to guide the company for at least five more years, of which roughly two are up.

On the flipside, it is difficult to see Al Haymon relinquishing control of PBC. More than likely Haymon would stay in charge of the PBC wing and Endeavor would serve as a cash cow to keep what he has built going.

Haymon must stay aboard for another reason, though few will say it. The reason is ethnicity. If Haymon is left out, that would basically leave Leonard Ellerbe and his boss Floyd Mayweather Jr as the only prominent African-American promoters in boxing and that would not be a healthy situation.

Premier Boxing Champions has a diverse group of fighters among the over 200 pugilists under contract. Some are African-American as are many of Haymon’s key employees and associates. Frankly, at least a portion of those fighters and employees would not feel the same comfort level they have with Haymon if Emanuel, a member of an influential Jewish family (his brother is former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel) and Vegas power broker White were abruptly substituted.

Another effect on the PBC model is on the promotional end. Haymon has cobbled together a group of promoters that operate regionally under his PBC umbrella. The model that Endeavor brings with the UFC will have a more centralized approach to promotion. How will the new owners deal with Lou DiBella in NY, James Leija and Mike Battah in Texas, and Tom Brown in California? Throw in the aforementioned Ellerbe and Mayweather, who operate primarily in Vegas but also in the Washington DC and Baltimore area. How will the promoters who work with the PBC see their relationship change if Haymon left and Dana White was in charge?

Haymon has built the PBC over the years into a big business. He has the PBC on FOX and Showtime whereas the UFC, which previously partnered with FOX, now has a long-term deal with ESPN. This suggests that if a deal is made, PBC and the UFC will have to operate as completely separate entities under the same umbrella, at least for the foreseeable future. And even that might be further away from happening than most people realize.

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