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Articles of 2006

Lamon Brewster Rocks and Rolls



It’s perhaps one of the quietest heavyweight world title fights ever staged when Lamon Brewster defends his WBO title against Sergei Liakhovich on Saturday. But that’s the way he does things.

Almost in a hush, the humble but skull cracking Brewster meets little-known Belarussian Liakhovich (22-1, 14 KOs) at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. The match promoted by Don King Productions will be televised on Showtime.

Not since Evander Holyfield held the distinction as the best heavyweight on the planet has a heavyweight reigned over the division with such humility.

In Brewster’s case, you definitely can’t associate quietness for weakness.

Ask Andrew Golota if the quiet Brewster (33-2, 29 KOs) lacked the necessities to make a good heavyweight champion. It took the L.A.-based prizefighter 52 seconds to figure out how to beat the perennial challenger out of Poland who had fought to a draw with Chris Byrd and lost a close decision to John Ruiz when he held a world title.

Or ask Vladimir Klitschko whose title was wrenched from his grasp with a stunning reversal of fortune after the huge Ukrainian fighter had bounced monstrous punches off Brewster’s head. In the fifth, Brewster took his turn at bat and Klitschko folded.

Brewster continues to roll against heavyweight challengers much like his nickname “Relentless.”

Liakhovich, like so many of the fighters out of the former Soviet Union area, is unknown but not without talent. He shares two foes with Brewster in Everett Martin and Joe Lenhart. The Belarussian knocked out Lenhart in nine while Brewster needed three. Martin went the distance with Liakhovich but couldn’t survive four rounds with Brewster.

Those numeric comparisons don’t necessarily add up to a victory for the heavier punching titleholder.

“Brewster is a real, real good champion. He has fought all of his fights with the power that he has, but if he fights the same fight like he fought before, it will not be enough to fight me,” said Liakhovich, 29, by telephone. “A lot of boxing is capitalizing when your opponent makes mistakes.”

Heavyweights continue to befuddle the boxing public. They pack so much potential for explosive entertainment with their massiveness and strength but often fall much short of expectations.

Only once since winning the title has Brewster failed to provide the explosions. Against Kali Meehan, a New Zealand heavyweight who had sparred with Brewster months earlier, their match leaned more toward a sparring session than a battle for the heavyweight title of the world.

Brewster acknowledged that his friendship with Meehan did affect his demeanor.

In his next match, Brewster blew out Golota in that fighter’s adopted hometown of Chicago and followed that with a trip across the Atlantic where he beat Luan Krasniqi with a ninth round knockout in Germany.

Only now are people beginning to accept Brewster as a true heavyweight champion.

“Whoever you think can beat me, just put them in front of me and ring the bell,” Brewster said during a telephone press conference. “I talk with my fists. That is the best answer I can give you or anybody in the world.”

With last week’s match between James Toney and Hasim Rahman ending in a draw, the spotlight has turned to Brewster’s WBO defense against Liakhovich.

“I would think it would end in my favor,” said Brewster of the new attention to his title defense. “I just hope that people will look at those fights and then compare them to my fights and make up their mind about whether they still underestimate or doubt me.”

Now trained by Buddy McGirt, who successfully guided Arturo Gatti to several million-dollar victories, Brewster feels he’s added an extra weapon.

“I needed a technician in my corner,” Brewster said.

McGirt shakes his head at Brewster’s ability.

“He doesn’t know how good he is,” McGirt said. “You haven’t seen the best of Lamon Brewster.”

Top 10 Heavyweights in the World

1. James Toney (69-4-3) – He’d be wearing the WBC world title belt today if he had lost another 15 pounds. At 235 pounds he was too heavy in his last fight against Hasim Rahman and tired midway through the fight and still got a draw. A Toney at 220 would be world champion. Weight is his greatest enemy. It’s hard to imagine anyone beating a svelte Lights Out. His next fight will tell the story as soon as he steps on the scale.

2. Lamon Brewster (33-2) – The hard-hitting heavyweight has a WBO world title defense this Saturday. Most people know he has one of the hardest chins in the business. He also can belt. But he takes too many punches. Maybe getting Buddy McGirt in his corner will help. He fights this Saturday against Sergei Lyakhovich and after that, start lining up all the other champions.

3. Vladimir Klitschko (45-3) – Despite having a brittle chin Vladdie has become a more rounded fighter under trainer Emanuel Steward. He has the tools to beat any heavyweight in the world. Most people question his heart. He is meeting Chris Byrd in a rematch on April 22 in Germany. He beat him before so unless Klitschko breaks an arm or leg he’s going to win if he’s still breathing.

4. Chris Byrd (39-2-1) – Few heavyweights are as skillful as Byrd except for Toney. But Byrd lacks firepower in a weight division that demands it. He hasn’t knocked out an opponent in years. Don’t expect it to happen when he fights Klitschko in Germany. He’ll have to knock him out to win over there. It’s not going to happen. The Las Vegas-based Byrd has never gotten the big break. He’s come close but contractual constraints always kept him from receiving the big fight.

5. Samuel Peter (25-1) – He’s raw and as green as they come. But his punching power and will are strong. Now if he would only run a little to build up his stamina he might be champion today. He ran out of gas against Klitschko last year and came within a whisker of beating him. Even though his skills are limited, that beast inside of him makes him a big load for anyone.

6. Hasim Rahman (41-5-2) – The Rock has power, the Rock has experience, so why can’t he win another world title in the ring? He looked better than usual against Toney a few weeks back, but still only got a draw. That might be good enough against other fighters. We’ll see.

7. John Ruiz (41-6-1) – He lost his WBA title to the big Russian giant. Nobody cared. He has one of the worst styles in boxing with his hit and clutch method. But he’s still one of the better heavyweights. It won’t be a surprise if he wins another world title. Heavyweights beware.

8. Nikolay Valuev (43-0) – The big Russian giant maybe undefeated but he won’t fight out of Europe. Few have seen the seven-footer fight live. John Ruiz lost his title to him by decision but feels he was robbed. The only way to know is to see him face any of the top heavyweights outside of Europe.

9. Calvin Brock (28-0) – The banker turned boxer has big punching power. He’s improved more than any other fighter in the division but is that enough? He has a big match coming up this June in Las Vegas. One thing he has in abundance is heart. A lot of heart. That goes a long ways in the fight game.

10. Vassily Jirov (35-3-1) – The former cruiserweight champion has the skills, the stamina and the know-how to beat any heavyweight. He’s just a little too small to make a mistake. He was beating Michael Moorer handily until he made a mistake and then was counted out. He can’t make those slips against the big boys.

Local fight cards

Friday at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, Armando Dorantes (5-0) tries to maintain his undefeated record in a lightweight bout against Jorge Perez (6-2). Also, Adrian Aleman (2-1-1) meets Hesperia’s Jerry Pavich (1-1) in a junior bantamweight bout. For tickets or information call (323) 781-4871. The first bout begins at 7:30 p.m.

Friday at the Maywood Activity Center, Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson (20-1, 15 KOs) meets Darnell Boone (10-4, 4 Kos) in a welterweight match. Also, Oxnard’s Victor Ortiz (12-1, 8 KOs) meets Colton’s Freddie Barrera (10-0, 1 KO). For tickets or information call (323) 562-5020.

Friday at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Timothy Ray Bradley (11-0, 6 KOs) meets Eli Addison (8-0, 3 KOs) in a battle of undefeated junior welterweights. Also, Dominic Salcido (7-0, 4 KOs) meets the improving Odi Rivera (5-7-2) in a junior lightweight bout. Undefeated Cleotis Pendarvis (4-0) meets Ricardo Galindo in a welterweight bout. For tickets or information call (714) 935-0900.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Montell Griffin (47-6) vs. Norman Jones (28-14-3)
Fri. Telefutura, 9 p.m., Steve Luevano (29-1) vs. Adan Hernandez (14-4)
Fri. Showtime, 8 p.m. or 11 p.m., Freddie Barrera (10-0) vs. Victor Ortiz (12-1)
Sat. Showtime, 8 p.m. or 11 p.m., Lamon Brewster (33-2) vs. Sergei Liakhovich (22-1)

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch



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, 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



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


Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4


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


Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1


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



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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