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The Avila Perspective Chapter 12: An Old School Showdown

Millennials, welcome to old school boxing.When undefeated Ryan “the Flash” Garcia (15-0, 13 KOs) meets Carlos “The Solution” Morales

David A. Avila

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Millennials

Millennials, welcome to old school boxing.

When undefeated Ryan “the Flash” Garcia (15-0, 13 KOs) meets Carlos “The Solution” Morales (17-2-3, 6 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio on Saturday, Sept. 1, it’s reminiscent of the days when fighters from the same gym battled against each other.

That’s old school.

Garcia, 20, and Morales, 28, both trained at Legendz Boxing in Norwalk and know each other well. With more than 100 gyms in Southern California that’s becoming rarer each year. The battle will be shown on Facebook at the Golden Boy Fight Night page.

Back before 1950s television, the main event fighters had only a few gyms in Southern California. The Main Street Gym was the primary choice for the top fighters of the day and often boxers would cross paths every day before facing each other at the Olympic Auditorium, Hollywood Legion Stadium or other venues.

Guys like Chalky Wright, Richie Lemos, Henry Armstrong, and Ceferino Garcia in the late 1930s saw each other regularly and fought each other. In the late 1940s you had Manuel Ortiz, Enrique Bolanos, Art Aragon and Carlos and Fabela Chavez who were not related.

A song was composed by the late Lalo Guerrero about the Chavez boys who fought everybody and were known for their bloody wars. They were raised in the “Palo Verde” area, a Latino neighborhood until bulldozers smashed their homes and many others to build Dodger Stadium in the late 1950s.

The song is called “Corrido de Boxeo” and was sung by Guerrero and produced by Ry Cooder on the album called “Chavez Ravine.” It mentions the Chavez boxers who were regulars on the Los Angeles fight scene and lived in the area where the Dodgers now play. It’s a classic album from 2005, the year the old Chicano crooner passed away. He was a big fight fan and attended many of the wars at the Olympic.

A new golden age has emerged with Southern Californians battling each other once again.

Facebook

Garcia and Morales represent the new era of prizefighting with social media armies built up via cell phones and likes. Both live in Southern California which has been a bastion for prizefighting since the late 1890s. It’s only growing bigger each year.

Facebook with its army of analytic experts has uncovered this fact and will showcase the coming boxing card on its mammoth platform. They already streamed one fight card that garnered more than 17 million reacts.

No other area in the world boasts as much interest in professional boxing as Southern California. Golden Boy Promotions, which is based in Los Angeles, has hooked into the population by signing many local fighters to its company. Morales and Garcia are among the thousands that visit and train in local boxing gyms on a daily basis hunting for the golden goose.

“I get hit for a living,” says Morales proudly who works at a Los Angeles area diner when not slipping on the boxing gloves.

It took Morales five pro fights before he ever was announced the winner. It describes the natural tenacity of the Mexican-American fighter who has three kids and works a daily job. After tasting his first win Morales did not lose another bout until fighting in Puerto Rico where he gave Alberto Machado all he could handle for a regional title a year ago.

Morales will need that tenacity against the tall and talented Garcia whose rabid fans will arrive to witness the fight on Saturday.

“The kid has a lot of followers,” said Morales who knows Garcia has more than 1 million followers on a social media account Instagram.

Garcia has a youthful energy and openness that surprises people who meet him for the first time. There’s no false modesty, in fact there’s the opposite. The Victorville boxer will tell you he’s good and politely ask that you watch his next fight.

Girls openly ask him for dates and propose marriage.

“It’s going to be bigger than the last show. I think there is going to be even more girls this time,” said Garcia about the return to Fantasy Springs and about his marriage proposals. “I get them (proposals) every day. I get about 10 offers every day.”

But can he fight?

Blessed with speed, power and height, the energetic Garcia has basically knocked out everyone he’s faced except his last opponent Jayson Velez who’s known for having an iron chin. Another opponent in Tijuana was blasted down numerous times but allegedly biased referees refused to acknowledge any of the knockdowns.

Garcia shrugs at the past.

“I just want everyone to be hyped when I fight,” says Garcia.

In a mere two years the Southern California-bred prizefighter has blitzed through competition with the blinding speed of one of his combinations.

This match up permeates nostalgia.

These bouts between local fighters were regular before the age of millennials. But now with the burgeoning Southern California fight scene and the interest by social media giants like Facebook, what’s around the corner?

“This Facebook deal was made for me,” says Garcia.

Social media recognition is a millennial thing, but locals fighting each other, that’s old school.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

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Daniel Jacobs Edges Past Gabe Rosado on a Matchroom card in Florida

David A. Avila

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Former world champion Daniel Jacobs needed the last round to win by split decision against upset-minded Gabe Rosado and keep his place in line on Friday for lucrative super middleweight matchups.

But when the ring announcer erroneously announced the winner was from Philadelphia, confusion reigned for a moment until Jacobs was correctly called the winner.

Brooklyn’s Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs) jumped out ahead against Philly fighter Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KOs) and held on for the win in front of no fans at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. For a second, many thought Rosado had won.

Both were careful during the first three rounds measuring each other’s distance and looking for openings to counter. There were very few.

It was the kind of fight expected by those who know boxing: two veterans with immense experience against top-flight world champions. Mistakes were few.

Jacobs, a former middleweight world champion, had fought Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in close but losing efforts.

Rosado had battled Golovkin too, six years ago in a bloody affair that ended in a loss. He had also lost to other champions like Peter Quillin and Jermell Charlo. But none were able to knock him out.

Both were aware of each other’s reputation. Bitter words had been exchanged for years and now they finally got their chance to prove their mettle and they did.

Though Jacobs was recognized as a knockout puncher, Rosado’s resilience was just as well known. Both neutralized each other for most of the fight with their feints and jabs to the body. Neither was willing to leave openings for each other.

Jacobs scored big with a left uppercut at the end of the seventh round. While Rosado wowed viewers with a sizzling right cross in the 11th round.

It was 1950s style, boxing with intelligence. Each found it difficult to land combinations, let alone find openings to score knockout blows. Instead, they had to be satisfied with scoring enough to convince three judges the actual winner.

Neither was able to pull out ahead with any conviction.

After 12 rounds one judge saw Rosado the winner 115-113 while two others saw Jacobs the winner 115-113 to give him the win by split decision.

“It felt just a little weird. It felt like a sparring match,” said Jacobs about fighting without fans in the audience. “This wasn’t a valiant effort.”

Rosado was certain he was the true winner.

“I thought I won the fight. I surprised him,” said Rosado who trained with Freddie Roach for this fight. “I’m a veteran, I know how to fight.”

Indeed, he does.

Jacobs now stands poised to fight one of many super middleweight champions in need of a marquee name.

“I live to see another day,” he said honestly.

Other Bouts

Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov (10-0, 6 KOs) proved he was not an easy touch and knocked out former world champion Julius Indongo (23-3, 12 KOs) to march forward in the welterweight division while grabbing the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title.

In a fight featuring southpaw versus southpaw Yeleussinov caught Indongo with a roundhouse left the first time they exchanged and down went the former super lightweight world champion. Indongo beat the count and survived the round.

Indongo wasn’t as lucky in the second round as Yeleussinov again connected with a left and down went the fighter from Namibia again. He would not get up at 1:24 of round two giving the knockout win for Yeleussinov.

A battle between undefeated heavyweights saw Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov (3-0, 3 KOs) use roundhouse rights to stagger the heavier Sahret Delgado (8-1) to win by knockout in the third round. Majidov actually helped Delgado get to his stool after knocking him out on his feet at 47 seconds of the third round.

Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1) defeated Mason Menard (36-5) by majority decision after a 10- round lightweight fight that saw a lot of clinching and leaning.

Nikita “White Chocolate” Ababiy (10-0) out-fought Detroit’s Brandon Maddox (7-4-1) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds in a middleweight clash. Ababiy hurt Maddox with body shots but found Maddox more resilient than expected.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

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Pradabsri Upsets Menayothin, Ends the Longest Unbeaten Streak of Modern Times

Arne K. Lang

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During the wee hours in the Americas, a big upset was brewing in Thailand. In Nakhon Sawan, a city roughly 150 miles north of Bangkok, Panya Pradabsri (aka Petchmanee CP Freshmart) out-pointed Wanheng Menayothin (aka Chayaphon Moonsri) in a domestic clash with international significance. Manayothin entered the bout with a 54-0 (18) record and was making the 13th defense of his WBC world minimumweight title.

Pradabsri had been defeated only once in 35 previous starts, but only 11 of his 34 victories had come against fighters with winning records. According to ringside reports, he kept Menayothin at bay with good fundamentals, a stiff jab, and good lateral movement. All three judges had it 115-113. The fight wasn’t without controversy as Menayothin finished stronger and many folks scoring off the live video thought that he had done just enough to retain his title.

How good was/is Menayothin? That’s a question that serious boxing fans will likely debate for decades.

In the summer of 2019, Menayothin signed a co-promotional deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. At time, GBP president Eric Gomez described him as one of the best fighters in the world. “We really want to bring him to the U.S. so people can see how talented he really is,” Gomez told England’s Sky Sports.

Menayothin was expected to make his U.S. debut in April of this year, but the pandemic ruined that plan. Earlier this year, he announced his retirement, but rescinded it after only two days.

Scottish boxing historian Matt McGrain, who has an exclusive arrangement with this web site, had lukewarm opinion of the Thai mighty-mite although he rated him the second-best 105-pound boxer of the decade, trailing only his countryman Thammanoon Niyomtrong (aka Knockout CP Freshmart).

“He is disciplined, strong, brings good pressure and is armed with a very decent range of punches,” said McGrain, “(but his record) is comprised mostly of men any competent fighter would be expected to beat.”

Although only one boxer from Thailand has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (Khaosai Galaxy, class of 1999), the Southeast Asia nation has produced some outstanding boxers over the years – Chartchoi Chionoi, Sot Chitalada, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to name just a few. The difference between these fighters and Wanheng Menayothin is that they all left the comfort zone of their homeland to score one or more important wins on foreign soil.

Menayothin may yet display his wares in a U.S. ring. But at age 35, an advanced age for small fighters in particular, we won’t get to see him at his best and now that his bubble has been burst, disinviting further comparisons to Mayweather and Marciano, the curiosity factor has been tempered.

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Yoka vs. Hammer Kicks Off the Thanksgiving Weekend Slate on ESPN+

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PRESS RELEASE— Tony Yoka, the dynamic heavyweight punching Parisian, aims to impress in his ESPN platform debut. Yoka, who won a super heavyweight gold medal for France at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will fight veteran Christian Hammer in a 10-rounder Friday at H Arena in Nantes, France.

Yoka-Hammer will stream live and exclusively this Friday, Nov. 27 in the United States on ESPN+ beginning at 2:55 p.m. ET/11:55 a.m. PT.

The ESPN+ stream will also include the return of unbeaten 2016 French Olympic gold medalist Estelle Yoka-Mossely against Pasa Malagic in an eight-round lightweight bout. Yoka and Yoka-Mossely, who have been married since 2018, welcomed their second child in May.

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Earlier this year, Yoka inked a promotional agreement with Top Rank, which will co-promote him with Ringstar France.

“Tony Yoka’s potential is limitless, and he is a grounded young man who is motivated to be a great professional fighter,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “France has never had a world heavyweight champion, and I believe Tony is the one to bring the sport’s biggest honor home.”

The 28-year-old Yoka’s stellar amateur run included a berth at the 2012 London Olympics and gold medals at the 2015 World Championships and 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Before his triumph in Rio, he’d already defeated the likes of former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker and current undefeated prospects Joe Joyce and Ivan Dychko. At the Rio Olympics, he defeated Croatian standout Filip Hrgović in the semifinals and edged Joyce in the gold medal match.

As a professional, Yoka (8-0, 7 KOs) made his debut in June 2017 with a second-round stoppage over the previously undefeated Travis Clark. Apart from a decision win over Jonathan Rice in his second outing, Yoka has stopped every foe, including durable Englishman David “White Rhino” Allen and former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko. He made his 2020 debut Sept. 25 and stopped former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas in one round.

Hammer (25-6, 15 KOs) has fought many of the leading heavyweight names during his 12-year career, falling short against Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin. He’s notched myriad upset victories, including a highlight-reel knockout over David Price and a 2016 split decision over Erkan Teper for the WBO European belt. In March 2019, he went the 10-round distance against Ortiz and has not been stopped since Fury forced him to retire on his stool after eight rounds in their February 2015 clash.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

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