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Straight, No Chaser — Thoughts on Fighters With Paralyzing Punches

Ted Sares

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Straight, No Chaser

Straight, No Chaser

“It is not often that a person in any line of work gets a chance to work with a legend [Emanuel Steward], well I was privileged enough to work with one for almost a decade. I will miss our time together. The long talks about boxing, the world, and life itself. Most of all I will miss our friendship—Wladimir Klitschko

Recently on the Broner-Theopane undercard, lightweight Robert Easter Jr. (17-0) showed why he’s a rising star with a devastating KO in the 5th round over former world champion Algenis Mendez (23-4-1)). The ending brought the crowd to its feet as the tall and lean youngster took out Mendez with a straight right that reminded onlookers of Thomas Hearns and his snappy one-punch knockouts.

And that’s the thing,—memories of “The Hit Man” brought back memories of the great trainer Emanuel Steward and his ability to give meaning to the phrase “Straight, No Chaser.” When Tommy took out Pipino Cuevas with his jackhammer right, it was the precursor to many more including the shockers that sedated James Shuler and Roberto Duran. But it didn’t end with Tommy. Still to come was Lennox Lewis and his poleax of a long right that rarely required a follow-up if it landed flush.  Then, in 2012, Emanuel was training heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, another who possessed a long right hand howitzer, when a grave illness forced him to take a leave of absence from training and eventfully caused his premature death.

David Haye and Anthony Joshua

Today, there are few that can lay claim to the phrase “Straight No Chaser” but one who can still paralyze an opponent is comebacking David Haye (27-2). “The Haymaker’s” last fight ended in 130 seconds when he knocked out overmatched Aussie Mark de Mori who had to be stretchered out.

As for the well-muscled Joshua (16-0), a world heavyweight champion in just 16 fights and 34 rounds, his two rights that ended Charles Martin’s ill-gotten reign are the poster child for this article. With blinding speed and raw power, no chaser is necessary when he connects with his straight right down the pike.

Enter Shannon Briggs

“I’ll put an end to the ‘let’s go champ’ movement. I’m changing it to ‘let’s go chump’.”—David Haye

“I don’t know what he’s trying to do, the [older] brother whipped his ass already and put him in the hospital…Imagine what the young one will do.”—James Toney

“He’s [Briggs] around and he’s here to fight, so that fight could happen if it’s the right fight and it makes sense,” —Anthony Joshua before the Martin demolition.

Briggs act is no longer amusing. It stopped being funny a few years back when “The Cannon” began knocking out the lowest level of fodder with pre-arranged left hooks to the body while at the same time stalking and trying to bait Wladimir Klitschko into a bout. The last time Briggs fought someone who had a pulse (as in Vitali Klitschko), he was sent to the hospital for an extended stay. Whether that horrendous beating knocked him into deferred dementia is within the realm of possibility, but far more likely is the probability that he is desperately trying to stay relevant in order to get one last big payday.

Finally, after gate crashing one press conference after another with his bizarre, albeit phony behavior and bile-inducing war cries of “Let’s Go Champ,” it appears that Briggs (59-6-1) might actually be getting a big fight –and more importantly  the attendant big payday. It’s now close to being confirmed that Briggs will fight on David Haye’s upcoming undercard, when Haye faces unknown Kosovo-Albanian Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0). Should Briggs win (he already met one condition by passing an MRI brain scan at Harley Street in London), Haye has promised to take him on next. Bizarre behavior aside, Briggs is as shrewd as a fox.

The two were involved in a scuffle as Anthony Joshua and Charles Martin concluded their weigh-in before Saturday’s IBF heavyweight title fight. An infuriated Haye has taken the bait where Klitschko didn’t. Haye says:

 “The big moron Shannon Briggs – everywhere I go, this guy keeps chasing me around…He can fight on my undercard – if he can win, if he can pass the medical, if he can pass the brain scan, then I’ll knock him out afterwards … He said he wants to do it. So he’s getting knocked out….if he can pass the brain scan, then I’ll knock him out afterwards….I’ll teach him a serious lesson in respect.”

If this fight is made, there will be no gift decision for Briggs (as there was against George Foreman); there will be no Zoltan Petranyi or Maurenzo Smith as his opponent.  No, what Briggs will be getting is a lethal straight with no follow-up shot necessary. And while the 44-year-old will finally get his payday, his stale imitation of Clubber Lang will thankfully end. At a time when Anthony Joshua shows class and humility, Briggs has become an embarrassment, even in a business known for shameless behavior.

With a nod to the late Thelonious Monk.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing.

Check out the latest Boxing News and Videos, only at The Boxing Channel.

 

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Pico Rivera Summer Fights See Cruz, Vega and Flores Win

David A. Avila

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Pico-Rivera-Summer-Fights-See-Cruz-Vega-and-Flores Win

PICO RIVERA, Ca.-Along the San Gabriel River on a soft summer evening, Red Boxing Promotions brought another slew of hot local prospects to the forefront on Saturday.

Chino’s Daniel “Cuetito” Cruz (3-0) burst into the fight like an energy bomb and simply overwhelmed southpaw Phillip Bounds (0-4) with lightning combinations to win by unanimous decision. More than 700 fans saw the Red Boxing fight card.

Though it was only his third pro fight, the high intensity prizefighter Cruz (pictured on the left) exhibited a level of confidence that allowed him to attack with impunity for the first two rounds.

Cruz switched to southpaw and had even more success against the lefty Bounds. The speed of Cruz proved too much to overcome for Bounds who tried different approaches but couldn’t find an antidote for Cruz who won by unanimous decision 40-36 on all three cards in the super lightweight match.

“I’m excited, I wanted to put on a good show,” said Cruz, 20. “I’m coming for all of the big names. Cuetito is here.”

Andre Marquez (2-1) overwhelmed the much taller Alvin Brown (0-8) from Louisiana with a whirlwind style that ended in a knockout in the fourth and final round of their super featherweight match. A left hook caught Brown flush and Marquez followed up with four more blows, forcing Brown to take a knee at 1:41 of the fourth round. Marquez was ruled the winner by knockout by referee Sharon Sands.

“My plan was to work his body,” said Marquez. “It worked out perfectly.”

Welterweights Bradley Pena (0-0-1) and Ed Nunez (0-0-1) blasted each other for four rounds, with Pena starting fast and Nunez ending strong. No knockdowns were scored in the fight that started the night and ended in a draw.

Main Bouts

A light flyweight clash saw Axel Vega (13-2-1, 8 KOs) of Ensenada, Mexico knock out Tijuana’s Giovanni Noriega (2-5-2) with a triple left hook in the second round. Vega, 19, trained out of Compton for this fight.

Welterweight prospect Steven Rodriguez (8-0) suffered a cut on his forehead due to a clash of heads but still managed to out-perform Las Vegas fighter Ryan Picou (3-12-1) after four rounds. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Rodriguez. But Picou gave a stubborn defense against the constant rushes of Rodriguez and was able to score on occasion.

Santa Barbara’s Angel Flores (6-0, 4 KOs) defeated Mexico’s Roberto Almazan (9-12) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a super lightweight contest. Flores knocked down Almazan twice in the last round to clinch the win and get the victory by a landslide.

In the audience was former world champion Arturo Frias of East Los Angeles who won the WBA world lightweight title in 1982 and fought numerous times at LA’s  fabled Olympic Auditorium. Also in attendance was current super flyweight contender Adelaida “La Cobra” Ruiz of Los Angeles who is scheduled to fight on October 12 at the same Pico Rivera Sports Arena. Red Boxing Promotions will be staging the event.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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Fast Results from Russia: Kovalev KOs Yarde in the 11th

Arne K. Lang

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Fast-Results-from-Russia-Kovalev-KOs-Yarde-in-the-11th

The consensus of opinion regarding tonight’s fight at Chelyabinsk between Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde was that….well, there was no consensus, save that it would not bode well for Yarde if both fighters were still standing at the final bell. Fighting in his hometown, and with a monster payday reportedly looming against Canelo Alvarez should he win, “Krusher” was unlikely to get the worst of it if the fight went to the scorecards. But there would be no controversial decision. In a fight that started slowly and then shifted Yarde’s way, Kovalev stemmed the momentum, took charge in the 10th, and then closed the show in the next round with a scorching left hand that left Yarde flat on his back, gasping for air.

In handicapping the fight, Kovalev certainly had more check marks in the plus column. A former three belt champion and the reigning WBO 175-pound title-holder, Kovalev would be appearing in his 16th world title fight, his second with Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt, with whom he had great rapport. By contrast, Yarde, although undefeated (18-0), had answered the bell for only 51 rounds and had defeated only nine fighters with winning records. Moreover, the Englishman had fought only 12 amateur fights before turning pro.

However, at age 36, Kovalev was getting long in the tooth and in some of his more recent fights he had stamina issues. Moreover, there was a school of thought that Yarde was a beast. In his 30 fights, amateur and pro, he had scored 28 knockouts.

Yarde’s first good round was the seventh and he followed that up with a very strong eighth in which he hurt Kovalev and had the Krusher looking tired. But the assumption that he had paced himself brilliantly proved to be a mirage. As the bout moved into the home stretch, it was the younger man that was more fatigued.

Kovalev backed Yarde against the ropes and hurt him in the 10th. The Russian repeatedly had success with his hard left jab (shades of Larry Holmes) and it was a jab that ended it. Yarde was too exhausted to make it to his feet and was counted out.

Kovalev reportedly has already agreed to meet Canelo in November or December. Tonight he may have added an extra zero to his purse.

Kovalev vs. Canelo, likely at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, will be a blockbuster. Let the hype begin.

Co-Feature

The co-feature between knockout artists Aleksei Papin and Ilunga Makabu wasn’t expected to last the distance, but it went the full 12 and was a highly entertaining affair climaxed by a great 12th round. When the smoke cleared, Ilunga, who went to post a slight favorite, improved to 26-2 (24) by dint of winning a majority decision. It was the second straight win on Russian soil for the Congolese southpaw who fights out of Johannesburg. In his previous go, he stopped Dmitry Kudryashov in the fifth round at Ekaterinburg.

Papin was 11-0 going in with 10 knockouts but the 31-year-old Russian, a former kickboxing champion, was moving up in class against Makabu, a former world title challenger. In the 12th, Makabu scored a knockdown with a straight left after buzzing Papin with a left-right combination, but Papin wasn’t badly hurt and came back to rock him in the final seconds. The knockdown seemingly spelled the difference as two judges had it 115-113 with the third scoring it even (113-113).

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Tanaka and Hatanaka Stay Undefeated in Nagoya

Arne K. Lang

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Kiyoshi Hatanaka, the former world super bantamweight champion, now runs a boxing gym and promotes fights in his hometown of Nagoya. The top fighters in his gym are 24-year-old Kosei Tanaka, who has already won world titles in three weight classes, and Kento Hatanaka, Kyoshi’s 21-year-old son. Both were in action today and both were victorious, but not without anxious moments.

Tanaka, the reigning WBO 112-pound champion, improved to 14-0 (8 KOs) with a seventh-round TKO of Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1) in an action-packed bout. There were five knockdowns in all, four by Tanaka, before the referee waved it off with merely a second remaining in the seventh stanza.

Gonzalez took a knee after being hurt by a body punch in round three. But he returned the favor, knocking Tanaka down with a counterpunch in the next stanza, and seemingly had the fight in hand when he dominated the fifth. But Tanaka regained the momentum and scored three knockdowns in Round 7 to close the show.

Kosei Tanaka is overshadowed as a sports personality by countryman Naoya “Monster” Inoue, but is carving out quite a legacy. At age 19, in only his fifth pro fight, he defeated WBO minimumweight (105 pound) champion Julian Yadras of Mexico. He then gathered in titles at 108 and 112, accomplishing the hat trick in only his 12th pro fight, tying Vasiliy Lomachenko’s record.

With only a few pounds separating each of the lowest weight classes, Tanaka likely isn’t done jumping up in weight. There’s already talk of a showdown with 115-pound title-holder Kazuto Ioka. But Tanaka has indicated that he wants to expand his opportunities overseas, following the example of Inoue. There are still holes in his defense, but that makes for exciting fights and a match between him and someone like “Chocolatito” Gonzalez would be worth the price of admission.

Jonathan Gonzalez, a southpaw with a good amateur pedigree, had fought his previous three fights in Kissimmee, Florida. When in his native Puerto Rico, he trains in the same gym as former super bantamweight and featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez. We certainly haven’t seen the last of him.

The 10-round co-feature between super flyweights Kento Hatanaka and Jaysever Abcede was also a crowd pleaser that saw both combatants score knockdowns. Hatanaka improved to 10-0 but was extended the distance for the first time in his pro career. Abcede, a noted spoiler from the Philippines, saw his winning streak end at four and fell to 19-9. The scores were 95-93, 96-93, and 96-92.

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