Connect with us

Featured Articles

Three Myths Explored On The 40th Anniversary Of Foreman vs. Ali

Published

on

It’s been 40 years since Muhammad Ali 44-2 (31) upset the boxing world as a 3-1 underdog and knocked out undisputed heavyweight champion George Foreman 40-0 (37) in the eighth round to become only the second fighter in history to reclaim the heavyweight title. Today, Ali, 72 and Foreman, 65, are America’s guest whenever they appear in public. With all the years and the passage of time, most have forgotten just how big of an event and fight Foreman-Ali was back on Oct. 29, 1974. Through the years there’s been so much discussed pertaining to the fight that it’s impossible to reveal anything that hasn’t already been hashed over ad-nauseum.

The fight took place in Kinshasa Zaire and was fought at the 20th of May Stadium. It was former Cleveland racketeer Don King’s first venture into big time boxing as a promoter and he titled it “The Rumble In The Jungle.” King used his gift of gab to coax all within his voice’s reach that the coming together of Foreman and Ali was symbolic. “The prodigal sons will be returning to Africa,” was his theme during the months leading up to the fight.

September 25th was the original scheduled date of the bout, but it was pushed back to October 29th when sparring partner Bill McMurray cut George over his right eye during a training session on September 16th. When the bout was postponed both Foreman and Ali were forced to remain in Zaire despite the fact that they both wanted to come back to the United States. However, the fast- thinking Ali turned the tables on Foreman and embraced staying there and roamed with the people of Zaire once word leaked out that George wanted to leave the country. In a short time Ali became a man of the people and by fight night Foreman felt as if an entire country was against him.

The fight started at four in the morning on Wednesday October 30th, 1974 in Zaire to accommodate audiences in the United States at ten in the evening Tuesday night October 29th. At the time George Foreman was thought to be the most unbeatable and invincible heavyweight champion in history. He demolished “Smokin” Joe Frazier in two rounds to capture the undisputed title in January of 1973. This was the same Frazier that Ali had to fight twice before he could claim a victory over him. In his second defense of the title Foreman mutilated Ken Norton in less than two full rounds in March of 1974, and yes, Ali needed to fight Norton twice before he could say he beat him. So the back-story for the “Rumble In The Jungle” was this: the only two fighters who ever defeated Ali just so happened to be two of Foreman’s easiest and most impressive victories. Foreman was often quoted saying in the weeks before the fight, “I hit a guy and it’s like magic. You see him crumbling to the floor. It is a gift from God.” And there were many astute boxing observers who saw Ali being the victim of the same fate. In fact it led George to believe that there was no way he could lose to Ali and it probably wouldn’t even be his toughest fight. If ever there was a supremely confident fighter before an historic bout, it was George Foreman before he fought Muhammad Ali.

The documentary “When We Were Kings” pretty much covered what transpired leading up to, during and after the “The Rumble In The Jungle.” However, there are three popular myths regarding the fight that neither the film nor anyone has ever really touched on or addressed. We start with the ring size, Foreman’s lack of a backup plan when the fight began to slip away from him, and the myth of Ali introducing the “Rope a Dope” strategy during the bout.

The Ring Size:

Much has been made about the loose ring ropes for the Foreman-Ali bout over the years. And yes they did have slightly more give than the ropes usually have around a boxing ring. And the reason for that was because the ropes were for a 19-foot ring. Before the fight Ali stressed he wanted a 20-foot ring and Foreman wanted a 19-foot ring. What they got in Zaire was a 16-foot ring. This is documented by the October 29, 1974 edition of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and countless interviews that referee Zack Clayton gave over the years after the fight. In fact this was discussed between me and Mr. Clayton when I mentioned it to him at the post fight press conference after Michael Spinks stopped Murray Sutherland in the eighth round on 4-11-82 to retain his WBA light heavyweight title in Atlantic City N.J. And Mr. Clayton confirmed to me that Foreman and Ali fought in a 16 foot ring in over 80 degree heat. He then added that he was somewhat surprised that, “Ali agreed to fight Foreman in a phone booth with ropes.”

The size of the ring was a definite benefit for Foreman because he knew the less room that Ali had to move and box the larger the advantage for him. The conventional wisdom before the fight was this: Ali would look to circle and box George from the outside, utilizing his superior hand and foot speed the way he did when he fought Sonny Liston and George Chuvalo the first time he fought them. Ali also circled and boxed and used the entire ring 20-foot ring for seven or eight rounds of his rematch with Joe Frazier in his last bout before challenging Foreman. As witnessed by re-watching the fight, Foreman easily crowds Ali after taking only three or four steps to either side in the smaller ring. One of the things Foreman worked on and stressed before the fight was his ability to cut the ring off and how that would force Ali to have to mix it up and trade punches with him. That was considered ring suicide against Foreman circa 1973-74. Aside from forcing Ali to wear cement boxing shoes during the fight, Foreman couldn’t have been blessed with a better advantage than fighting Ali in a 16 foot ring. The ropes may have been a little loose during the bout, but the size of the ring was a bigger issue and a huge plus for Foreman.

Foreman’s corner and strategy:

On the night that he defended his title against Muhammad Ali, George Foreman’s corner consisted of all-time boxing greats Sandy Saddler and Archie Moore, along with trainer Dick Saddler. Before the fight it was assumed in order for Foreman to beat Ali, all that it would take was for him to be turned loose when the bell rang. As long as George didn’t hit the referee he’d enjoy clear sailing and win the fight in a spectacular fashion. Back then Foreman was boasting about his two famous punches: the “anywhere punch,” as in, anywhere it lands it does damage and the “deep sleep” in the other hand. At the time the prevailing thought was, Ali isn’t strong enough nor is he young enough at age 32 to hold off Foreman, age 25, or dance and use his legs to avoid George’s two handed rampage. The thought that Foreman would need a plan “B” or have to adjust to what Ali did during the fight wasn’t even a consideration to anyone before the bout.

The dynamic of the fight changed towards the end of the first round when Foreman managed to blast Muhammad to the head and body, and Ali openly talked to and mocked George after getting hit flush. The thought that Ali wouldn’t crumble once George caught him good wasn’t even a remote possibility before the fight in Foreman’s mind. And as George has said countless times over the years, Ali drew from his ability to take his punch and became more confident, and conversely, George began to lose confidence in his ability to hurt or defeat Ali as the fight progressed. Yes, Ali used the “Rope a Dope” strategy during the fight, but in a 16 foot ring, it’s not like his legs and lateral movement would’ve been all that effective in neutralizing Foreman’s power and aggression. In essence, because of the small ring, Ali had no choice other than to fight Foreman the way he did.

Archie Moore stated that everything they did with George in training for the Ali fight was to get Muhammad to the ropes, to cut the ring and maneuver him against the ropes. What they didn’t work on was what to do once George got him there and for some unforeseen reason Ali was able to take George’s punch. What they overlooked, along with the rest of the experts was, Ali’s body and ring strength were equal to George’s even though he wasn’t as big of a puncher. As the fight proceeded it was obvious because of Foreman being the same height as Ali, his punches to the head were wide and from outside, making them easier for Ali to see, anticipate and pick off or parry. As opposed to, say, Joe Frazier who started his tighter shots from down low and came up with them, making it more difficult for Ali to see and defend.

Immediately after the fight Foreman’s corner was wrongly excoriated and unfairly criticized by many fans and media for not instructing George on what he should do because their “catch ‘n kill” style of attack wasn’t working. Ali was handling Foreman’s power and aggression and in the midst George was walking into Ali’s lead rights and lefts. However, there was nothing they could’ve instructed Foreman to do in the middle of the fight that would’ve altered the result. By the time Team Foreman realized that George wasn’t going to get the anticipated early knockout, the fight was four rounds old and Foreman was starting to tire from throwing the kitchen sink at Muhammad. Aside from urging Foreman to stop head hunting, there’s not much else they could’ve instructed him to do differently. Foreman’s biggest advantage over Ali was his overload of punching power, and if Ali could withstand his Sunday punches, which he did, Foreman wasn’t going to beat him. He certainly didn’t stand a chance of beating the faster hand and footed Ali by trying to out-box him or out point him from center ring.

Had Foreman eased up and not been so aggressive, he would’ve been throwing away his only path to victory in the fight. Foreman minus his aggression would’ve been a sitting duck for Ali’s fast hands and combinations. Had Foreman chose to box and fight more in a more measured way instead of going after Ali, Muhammad would’ve peppered him at will from outside the way he did George Chuvalo, Ernie Terrell and Mac Foster. If you remember, after George lost to Ali he returned to the ring 15 months later a more measured fighter under new trainer Gil Clancy. And he looked good against contenders like Ron Lyle, Joe Frazier, Scott LeDoux and Dino Dennis, fighters who had no means to get away from him while fighting on the move. Then he fought Jimmy Young. Against Young, Foreman fought much more measured than he did against Ali, hoping to conserve his energy and stamina. And what happened? Young peppered Foreman and won a decision over him because he never had to cope with the out of control wrecking machine that Ali had to confront. Jimmy never really had to address Foreman’s overwhelming power and strength because for most of the bout, George kept it under wraps looking to conserve his stamina and energy.

Try to imagine Foreman switching in the middle of the bout with Ali and fighting him like he did Jimmy Young. Ali was quicker, threw faster and harder combinations and had better legs than Young. Not to mention he was physically bigger and stronger. Had Foreman’s corner implored George to back off and pick his shots against Ali, sure, he might’ve lasted longer or even perhaps gone the distance – but he would’ve lost every minute of every round along with the fight.

So the reality is, Foreman’s corner shouldn’t be faulted for not having a plan “B” for George the night he fought Ali. The simple truth is, if Foreman couldn’t knock out Ali by forcing the fight and trying to make Muhammad fight and trade with him, he’s wasn’t going to beat him. There was nothing that Archie Moore, Sandy Saddler or Dick Saddler could’ve instructed Foreman to do in the middle of the bout, simply because there was no plausible plan “B” that they could’ve implemented to salvage the fight. As we learned, Foreman just didn’t match up with Ali.

The Introduction of “Rope A Dope” is a Myth:

Over the last 40 years since Ali defeated Foreman, the “Rope A Dope” strategy has been hailed as being some stroke of genius on Ali’s part that he invented on the fly during the fight. The “rope a dope” strategy was implemented by Ali during the second round of the fight. The strategy saw Ali go to the ropes and cover up with his guard high, thus allowing Foreman to punch at him. Sometimes Ali would get off a few quick one-twos in between Foreman’s already launched incoming bombs, hitting George squarely as he was coming in. And then George would reload and start the process all over again. Foreman used up a lot of his energy throwing looping punches at Ali looking to take his head off. Many of them grazed Ali and the ones that did get through, he took. Ali also out-wrestled Foreman in the clinches and held his head down by pushing on the back of his neck so George couldn’t get a good shot at him. This tired Foreman, along with Ali’s taunts of telling him to punch harder and calling him a big sissy. Finally in the eighth round Ali got off a beautiful combination that ended with a hard right hand to Foreman’s face and he went down. Foreman rose but didn’t beat the count and referee Zach Clayton waved the fight over.

Let it be noted that had any other fighter tried to beat Foreman using the “rope a dope” tactic that Ali employed against him, they would probably be beaten to death. The strategy worked for Ali because Muhammad was blessed with a concrete body and a cast iron chin. That, along with his very underrated mental toughness and constitution. The only fighter who could’ve beat George Foreman by allowing George to work him over, did. It would be suicide for any other “boxer” to try and duplicate what Ali did against the undefeated raging Foreman who didn’t believe anyone could stand up to his punch or beat him. The “rope a dope” worked against George Foreman and enabled Ali to regain the undisputed heavyweight title seven years after being stripped of it.

The myth of the “rope a dope” strategy is that Ali had used it unsuccessfully twice before he fought Foreman, only he didn’t name it. Ali tried to “rope a dope” Joe Frazier from the sixth round on during the “Fight Of The Century.” Only it didn’t work because Frazier’s shorter punches and everlasting stamina piled up points and won rounds. Frazier’s lower center allowed him to be in the perfect position to work Ali over to the body, and at the same time, stay low and slip many of Ali’s return shots to the head. Punching down and missing Frazier actually drained Muhammad’s stamina. Ali sought a quick knockout against Frazier, who was a slow starter. When he failed to get the quick execution, he realized that in order for him to finish the fight, he was going to have to pace himself and see if at the same time Frazier would punch himself out. Only Joe never slowed down and his body work against a stationary Ali against the ropes sapped Muhammad’s stamina. So the “rope a dope” strategy failed Ali the first time he tried it.

Ali also tried to “rope a dope” Ken Norton the first time they fought two years after he lost to Frazier. Ali didn’t think much of Norton as a contender and was in terrible shape for the bout. Ali thought he could toy with Norton and stop him whenever he wanted. Once he realized that that wasn’t going to happen and the fight was probably going to go the distance, he went to the ropes and tried to get Norton to punch himself out so he could come on late in the fight. In the process Ali suffered a broken jaw. Again, he fought off the ropes and tried to pick his spots, but like Frazier, Norton had built up a head of steam and never slowed down.

You’ll notice that after the “rope a dope” failed against Frazier and Norton the first time he fought them, Ali abandoned it for the rematches with both men. What he did was get himself into great shape and down to 212 pounds for both rematches. Ali was never that low in weight before or after his rematches with Frazier and Norton during his comeback in the 70s. And before both rematches he promised not to lay against the ropes and give away rounds. He promised to dance and use his legs and not be the stationary target he was the first time he fought Joe and Ken. And in both fights Ali boxed and danced beautifully for the first half of the fight and banked those rounds. He eventually came down off his toes for a few rounds, but just when Frazier and Norton started to get back into the fight, he started circling and moving again because he was in great shape. Down the stretch his movement and his ability to fight effectively in retreat, something he was great at, enabled him to even the score with the only two men who ever beat him.

Let it be said for the record that Muhammad Ali used his famous “rope a dope” strategy twice before he fought George Foreman, and it failed both times. The only difference is, Ali didn’t coin it the “rope a dope” after if failed against Frazier and Norton. What he said was, he needed to lay against the ropes and rest against Frazier and Norton because he was coming off a long layoff when he fought Frazier – and he wasn’t in top condition when he fought Norton.

It wasn’t until the “rope a dope” strategy finally prevailed for Ali against George Foreman that he smartly gave it a catchy name. That’s part of the genius of Muhammad Ali.

In closing, Ali used the “rope a dope’ strategy once after he fought Foreman, and that was during his first fight with Leon Spinks, a fight he lost. Guess what he said after fighting Spinks? He said I underestimated him and wasn’t in top condition, that’s why I laid back against the ropes and rested, hoping the inexperienced Spinks would tire. For the rematch a determined Ali was in great shape and danced and boxed for 11 of the 15 rounds the fight went. Ali won an overwhelming decision victory and became the first fighter in history to win the world heavyweight boxing title three times.

In hindsight the “rope a dope” strategy didn’t serve Muhammad Ali well. He was 1-3 in fights when he used it. However, the one time it worked for him just so happens to be the signature win of his stellar career And that was 40 years ago. We are getting old!

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Featured Articles

Junto Nakatani Turns in Another Masterclass on Saturday’s Tripleheader in Tokyo

Published

on

Junto-Nakatani-Turns-in-Another-Masterclass-on-Saturday's-Triplheader-in-Tokyo

In a rather odd juxtaposition, several of boxing’s best little men were on display today at Japan’s National Sumo Arena in Tokyo. The best of the lot, Junto Nakatani, improved to 27-0 (20 KOs) while tearing away the WBC world bantamweight title from Tijuana’s Alexandro Santiago (28-4-5) who was making the first defense of the title he won in Las Vegas in May when he upset Nonito Donaire.

It was a one-sided beatdown. Nakatani, who had a 5-inch height advantage, won every round before ending the contest in the sixth. The end came at the 1:12 mark when Nakatani terminated the affair with his second knockdown. The first came earlier in the round, the result of a straight left hand. The finisher was a big right hook.

With the victory, Nakatani became a world title-holder in a third weight class. He’s an outstanding talent, worthy of pound-for-pound consideration, and would be favored in a unification fight with Takuma Inoue.

Inoue, the younger brother of pound-for-pound king Naoya “Monster” Inoue, did his part to bring the match to fruition with a ninth-round stoppage of Filipino veteran Jerwin Ancajas in the main event. Inoue (19-1, 5 KOs) was making the first defense of the WBA diadem he won with a wide decision over Venezuela’s mildewed Liborio Solis. That title was conveniently vacated by Takuma’s renowned brother.

This figured to be the most competitive match on the card and Ancajas (34-4-2) had his moments before Inoue ended the contest at the 0:44 mark of round nine with a four-punch combination climaxed by a shot to the liver. Heading in, Ancajas, who had a long title reign at 115, was 9-2-1 in world title fights and hadn’t previously been stopped.

In the first of the three title fights, 29-year-old Kosei Tanaka became a four-weight belt-holder in record time with a unanimous decision over Mexicali’s stubborn but out-classed Christian Bacasegua “Rocky” Rangel. At stake was the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title.

Tanaka, who previously held belts at 105, 108, and 112, started slow but the outcome was never in doubt after he knocked “Rocky” to the canvas in the eighth frame. The judges had it 119-108, 117-110, and 116-111. With the victory, Tanaka improved to 20-1 (11). In his only defeat, he was stopped by countryman Kazuto Ioka. He hunkers for a rematch but, if it happens, he might wish that it hadn’t. Ioka is long in the tooth – he turns 35 next month – but is very good and shows no signs of slowing down. Rangel (22-5-2) had won nine straight heading in, but against questionable opposition and was making his first start outside Mexico.

The Teiken Promotions card was presented in association with Top Rank and aired in the U.S. on ESPN+.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Rising Contenders Gor Yeritsyan and Cain Sandoval Stay Unbeaten at Chumash

Published

on

Rising-Contenders-Gor-Yeritsyan-and-Cain-Sandoval-Stay-Unbeaten-at-Chumash

Two Southern California-based fighters cracked the top 10 list on Friday in Central California on the 360 Promotions card.

Armenia’s Gor Yeritsyan (18-0, 14 KOs) captured the WBC Continental Americas welterweight title with a steady and persistent attack against defensive-minded Quinton Randall (13-2-1, 3 KOs) of Texas at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.

“This is my first step,” said Yeritsyan (pictured with promoter Tom Loeffler). “Remember my name.”

Yeritsyan was always on attack but had prior knowledge and preparation under trainer Freddie Roach for the counter-punching style of Randall. He pounded away while rarely unleashing more than three-punch combinations. It was effective.

Randall was never over-run by the strong Armenian fighter but he rarely stepped into an offensive mode. That cost him over the 10 rounds and all three judges scored for Yeritsyan who captured the WBC title and will now be ranked in the top 10.

“My opponent was a very good boxer,” Yeritsyan said of Randall.

In a super lightweight match, young firebrand Cain Sandoval (12-0, 11 KOs) met former contender Javier Molina (22-6, 9 KOs) and had his knockout streak snapped, but still won by unanimous decision. The Sacramento fighter now has the WBC Continental Americas super lightweight title.

Molina has never been stopped and showed why over the 10 rounds. In his 15-year career despite facing knockout punchers such as Jesus Ramos Jr., Amir Imam, and Artemio Reyes, none of his losses were via knockout.

Despite a consistent Sandoval battering from the third round on, nothing seemed to penetrate Molina’s defense. But when Sandoval directed his blows to the body it opened up more opportunities and the Sacramento fighter maintained control.

After 10 rounds all three judges scored in favor of Sandoval by unanimous decision, but his knockout streak was stopped. Molina’s streak pf never being knocked out continues.

“I thought I would stop him,” said Sandoval. “I just want to win.”

Other Bouts

Central California’s Jorge Maravillo (9-0, 8 KOs) out-fought Santa Ana’s Jesus Gonzalez (7-2-1) in a six-round super welterweight fight. Maravillo, who is trained by Max Garcia in Salinas, used crisp rights to batter the gritty Gonzalez especially inside.

Maravillo was sharp throughout the fight and though his knockout streak was snapped it took a determined Gonzalez to gut out the fight after being dominated in the fifth round. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Maravillo.

Upland, California’s Daniel “Chuckie” Barrera (5-0-1) floored veteran Jonathan Almacen (7-10-3) twice in the second round with lefts. The end came at 2:35 of the round when Barrera knocked out the Filipino fighter with a left hook in a super flyweight match.

Cuba’s Osvel Caballero (5-0, 4 KOs) was too sharp and too strong for Jason Buenaobra (10-10-3) and won by stoppage at 2:22 of the fourth round in a featherweight fight.

A super bantamweight clash saw Mexico’s Alfredo Castro (10-0, 7 KOs) and Riverside, California’s Ezekiel Flores (4-3) engage in a back-and-forth battle for six rounds. Castro could not miss with the right cross and Flores could not miss with uppercuts. But two knockdowns by Castro proved the difference and he won by unanimous decision after six exciting rounds.

Photo credit: Lina Baker

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Avila Perspective, Chap. 274: Yeritsyan vs Randall at Chumash Casino, Japan and More

Published

on

Avila-Perspective-Chap-274-Violence-at-Chumash-Casino-Japan-and-More

Violence of an organized nature begins in the rustic and peaceful surroundings of Santa Inez, California as welterweights Gor Yeritsyan and Quinton Randall headline a 360 Boxing Promotions card at Chumash Casino on Friday.

Hours later, three world championship fights erupt in Japan. And hours after that, super middleweights tangle in Florida.

All will be streamed.

Undefeated Yeritsyan (17-0, 14 KOs) meets Randall (13-1-1, 3 KOs) for the WBC Continental Americas title on Friday, Feb. 23, at Chumash Casino. UFC Fight Pass will stream the 360 Boxing Promotions card.

Others on the card include undefeated super lightweight Cain Sandoval (11-0, 11 KOs) meeting Javier Molina (22-5, 9 KOs) in a battle set for 10 rounds. It’s a stronger test for Sandoval who has blasted out every opponent. Molina is one of the fighting twin brothers who both were Olympians.

Javier was an Olympian in 2008 for the USA and Oscar Molina an Olympian for Mexico in 2012.

“I’ve been hearing about Cain for a while, but I know my skills and experience will give me the victory,” said Molina who fights out of Los Angeles.

Sandoval, 21, last November won by knockout in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“Javier is a very good veteran who has had many more fights than me, but he’s never felt my power before,” said Sandoval who fights out of Sacramento.

Chumash Casino is located near one of the old California missions and built by the Spaniards in 1804. You can see open land for miles with the next nearest town of Solvang a short driving distance away.

Over the decades I’ve seen some memorable fights including Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley’s wild victory over Manuel Garnica in 2007 and Seniesa “Super Bad’ Estrada’s pro debut win in 2011 against Maria Ruiz.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tokyo Hosts Three World Title Fights

It’s a triple-header in Tokyo for real fight lovers.

Early Saturday morning at 1 a.m. (Pacific Time) three world title matches headed by WBC bantamweight titlist Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5, 14 KOs) of Mexico defending against Japan’s Junto Nakatani (26-0, 19 KOs) take place.

Santiago defeated legendary champion Nonito Donaire last July in Las Vegas in an upset. He also fought to a draw against Filipino slugger Jerwin Ancajas who is also on this card.

Nakatani is a big hitter and two-division world champion. He is very familiar with Mexican fighters and often trains in Southern California. I saw him in Maywood, California a year ago. He’s quite a fighter.

In the other co-main event WBA bantamweight titlist Takuma Inoue (18-1, 4 KOs) defends against former super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs) of the Philippines. Its speed against power.

A third co-main features WBO super flyweight titlist Kosei Tanaka (19-1, 11 KOs) defending against Mexico’s Christian Bacasegua (22-4-2, 9 KOs).

ESPN+ will stream the card live on Saturday.

Matchroom in Orlando

It’s a showcase for contenders.

Brooklyn native Edgar Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) “the Chosen One” meets United Kingdom’s Padraig “the Hammer” McCrory (18-0, 9 KOs) in the super middleweight main event on Saturday, Feb. 24. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card from Orlando, Florida.

Berlanga, of Puerto Rican descent, burst on the pro boxing scene by knocking out 16 consecutive foes. But ever since 2021 he has been unable to win by knockout. Five consecutive opponents went the distance.

Can Berlanga still punch?

Facing the Boricua slugger will be McCrory a 35-year-old from Northern Ireland who remains undefeated. To put it into perspective, the United Kingdom is filled with very good super middleweights and none have beaten McCrory so far.

Also on the card is Cuban Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz (2-0) defending a regional lightweight title against Mexican southpaw Brayan Zamarripa (14-2, 9 KOs). Cruz has blistering speed and an aggressive style as a pro.

Other interesting fights feature bantamweight prospects Antonio Vargas (17-1) and Jonathan Rodriguez (17-1-1). Both can punch but each lost via knockout. Whose chin will prove sturdier in this clash?

Fights to Watch (all times Pacific Time)

Fri. UFC Fight Pass 7 p.m. Gor Yeritsyan (17-0) vs Quinton Randall (13-1-1)

Sat. ESPN+ 1 a.m. Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5) vs Junto Nakatani (26-0).

Sat. DAZN 4 p.m. Edgar Berlanga (21-0) vs Padraig McCrory (18-0).

Photo: Tom Loeffler is flanked by Javier Molina and Cain Sandoval. Photo credit: Lina Baker

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Looking-Back-at-Willie-Pep-Through-the-Keyhole-of-a-Stormy-Day-at-the Orange-Bowl
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Looking Back at Willie Pep Through the Keyhole of a Stormy Night in the Orange Bowl

Jaime-Munguia-Hopes-for-Another-Fight-of-the-Year-Performance
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Jaime Munguia Hopes for Another Fight of the Year Performance

Conor-Benn-Crosses-the-Pond-toDefeat-Peter-Dobson-in-Las-Vegas
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Conor Benn Crosses the Pond to Defeat Peter Dobson in Las Vegas

With-an-Assist-from-Al-Silvani-Carl-Weathers-was-Magical-as-Apollo-Creed
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

With an Assist from Al Silvani, Carl Weathers was Magical as Apollo Creed

Jaime-Munguia-Scores-a-Definitive-KO-Over-John-Ryder
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Jaime Munguia Scores a Definitive KO Over John Ryder

Eric-Bazinyan-Improves-to-32-0-on-a-Flaccid-Night-of-Boxing-in-Montreal
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Erik Bazinyan Improves to 32-0 on a Flaccid Night of Boxing in Montreal

Avila-Perspective-Chap-271-Tim-Tszyu-in-L.A.-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 271: Tim Tszyu in L.A. and More

Who-Murdered-Peter-Bufala-A-Whodunit-with-a-Boxing-Backdrop
Featured Articles5 days ago

Who Murdered Peter Bufala? A ‘Whodunit’ with a Boxing Backdrop

Undefeated-Omar-Trinidad-Wins-a-Regional-Title-at-the-Commerce-Casino
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Undefeated Omar Trinidad Wins a Regional Title at the Commerce Casino

Oscar-De-La-Hoya-at-Mandalay-Bay-Then-and-Now
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Oscar De La Hoya at Mandalay Bay: Then and Now

New-Books-by-Bernard-Fernandez-and-Thomas-Hauser-are-Must-Haves-for-True-Boxing-Fans
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

New Books by Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser are Must-Haves for True Boxing Fans

Results-from-Las-Vegas-where-Teofimo-Lopez-Retained-his-Title-in-a-Dull-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Results from Las Vegas where Teofimo Lopez Retained his Title in a Dull Fight

Avila-Perspective-Chap-272-Super-Lightweights-Teofimo-Lopez-Tito-Mendoza-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 272: Super Lightweights – Teofimo Lopez, Tito Mercado and More

The-Hauser-Report-Foster-Nova-at-MSG-and-Other-Notes
Featured Articles7 days ago

The Hauser Report: Foster-Nova at MSG and Other Notes

Usyk-vs-Fury-Unravels
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Usyk vs. Fury Unravels

Jesus-Perez-Upsets-Jojo-Diaz-Wins-an-Unpopular-Decision
Featured Articles1 week ago

Jesus Perez Upends Jojo Diaz; Wins an Unpopular Decision

Avils-Perspective-Chap-273-Jojo-Diaz-O'Shaquie-Foster-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 273: Jojo Diaz, O’Shaquie Foster and More

Avila-Perspective-Chap-274-Violence-at-Chumash-Casino-Japan-and-More
Featured Articles2 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 274: Yeritsyan vs Randall at Chumash Casino, Japan and More

Fridau-Night-Fights-Nontshinga-Wins-by-TKO-in-Oaxaca-O'Shaquie by SD at MSG
Featured Articles1 week ago

Friday Night Fights: Nontshinga Wins by TKO in Oaxaca; O’Shaquie by SD at MSG

Fighters-from-Tijauna-are-on-a-Roll-Can-Alexandro-Santiago-Keep-Up-the-Momentum
Featured Articles3 days ago

Fighters from Tijuana are on a Roll; Can Alexandro Santiago Keep Up the Momentum?

Junto-Nakatani-Turns-in-Another-Masterclass-on-Saturday's-Triplheader-in-Tokyo
Featured Articles6 hours ago

Junto Nakatani Turns in Another Masterclass on Saturday’s Tripleheader in Tokyo

Rising-Contenders-Gor-Yeritsyan-and-Cain-Sandoval-Stay-Unbeaten-at-Chumash
Featured Articles8 hours ago

Rising Contenders Gor Yeritsyan and Cain Sandoval Stay Unbeaten at Chumash

Avila-Perspective-Chap-274-Violence-at-Chumash-Casino-Japan-and-More
Featured Articles2 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 274: Yeritsyan vs Randall at Chumash Casino, Japan and More

Fighters-from-Tijauna-are-on-a-Roll-Can-Alexandro-Santiago-Keep-Up-the-Momentum
Featured Articles3 days ago

Fighters from Tijuana are on a Roll; Can Alexandro Santiago Keep Up the Momentum?

Who-Murdered-Peter-Bufala-A-Whodunit-with-a-Boxing-Backdrop
Featured Articles5 days ago

Who Murdered Peter Bufala? A ‘Whodunit’ with a Boxing Backdrop

The-Hauser-Report-Foster-Nova-at-MSG-and-Other-Notes
Featured Articles7 days ago

The Hauser Report: Foster-Nova at MSG and Other Notes

Fridau-Night-Fights-Nontshinga-Wins-by-TKO-in-Oaxaca-O'Shaquie by SD at MSG
Featured Articles1 week ago

Friday Night Fights: Nontshinga Wins by TKO in Oaxaca; O’Shaquie by SD at MSG

Jesus-Perez-Upsets-Jojo-Diaz-Wins-an-Unpopular-Decision
Featured Articles1 week ago

Jesus Perez Upends Jojo Diaz; Wins an Unpopular Decision

Avils-Perspective-Chap-273-Jojo-Diaz-O'Shaquie-Foster-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 273: Jojo Diaz, O’Shaquie Foster and More

New-Books-by-Bernard-Fernandez-and-Thomas-Hauser-are-Must-Haves-for-True-Boxing-Fans
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

New Books by Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser are Must-Haves for True Boxing Fans

Oscar-De-La-Hoya-at-Mandalay-Bay-Then-and-Now
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Oscar De La Hoya at Mandalay Bay: Then and Now

Results-from-Las-Vegas-where-Teofimo-Lopez-Retained-his-Title-in-a-Dull-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Results from Las Vegas where Teofimo Lopez Retained his Title in a Dull Fight

Avila-Perspective-Chap-272-Super-Lightweights-Teofimo-Lopez-Tito-Mendoza-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 272: Super Lightweights – Teofimo Lopez, Tito Mercado and More

With-an-Assist-from-Al-Silvani-Carl-Weathers-was-Magical-as-Apollo-Creed
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

With an Assist from Al Silvani, Carl Weathers was Magical as Apollo Creed

Conor-Benn-Crosses-the-Pond-toDefeat-Peter-Dobson-in-Las-Vegas
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Conor Benn Crosses the Pond to Defeat Peter Dobson in Las Vegas

Usyk-vs-Fury-Unravels
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Usyk vs. Fury Unravels

Avila-Perspective-Chap-271-Tim-Tszyu-in-L.A.-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 271: Tim Tszyu in L.A. and More

Looking-Back-at-Willie-Pep-Through-the-Keyhole-of-a-Stormy-Day-at-the Orange-Bowl
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Looking Back at Willie Pep Through the Keyhole of a Stormy Night in the Orange Bowl

Jaime-Munguia-Scores-a-Definitive-KO-Over-John-Ryder
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Jaime Munguia Scores a Definitive KO Over John Ryder

Undefeated-Omar-Trinidad-Wins-a-Regional-Title-at-the-Commerce-Casino
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Undefeated Omar Trinidad Wins a Regional Title at the Commerce Casino

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement