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Forty-six Boxing Notables Wax Nostalgic in the Latest TSS Survey

Ted Sares



TSS Survey

Welcome to the second TSS Quarterly Survey of 2019. Our survey question this time was “If you could have a ringside seat to any boxing event in history, which fight would you choose?” There were many duplicate picks but also some unexpected choices. Enjoy.

BONES ADAMS — trainer, former WBA world super bantamweight champion: Ali vs. Foreman. Ali at his best.

RUSS ANBER — elite trainer, cornerman, and owner of Rival Boxing Equipment: The first fight that popped into my mind was the June 22, 1938 rematch between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. Considering the outcome of the first fight, coupled with the social and political implications which surrounded the rematch, I would dare say that it was the most important fight in the history of boxing. What I wouldn’t have given to be there!

MATT ANDRZEJEWSKI — TSS boxing writer: Harry Greb vs. Mickey Walker. They were two of the greatest ever fighting for the middleweight title. It was reportedly a classic give and take battle that featured plenty of sustained action as well as an incredible performance by Greb whom I consider to be the greatest fighter of all time.

DAVID AVILA — TSS West Coast Bureau Chief: I’d love to have been ringside for Jack Dempsey vs Gene Tunney and the long count in Chicago at a time when Al Capone ruled the city. That was a pretty emotional fight that people argued about for many decades. It was Jack Dempsey’s last fight and Gene Tunney fought only one more time.

TRACY CALLIS – eminent boxing historian: I’d love to be at ringside for the Tommy Ryan-Tommy West fight of March 4, 1901 in Louisville, Kentucky. It was the third time they had fought. This contest was not a boxing match as we know it, it was truly a fight. Blood, butting, other fouls, etc. Would love to be at ringside yes, but not too close for there was blood splattered everywhere. Ryan complained to the ref that West was butting. The ref told him to butt him back. They kept fighting.

STEVE CANTON — President of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, author: The second Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling bout because of its importance and significance during World War II. The utter destruction of Schmeling and redemption by Joe Louis was unbelievable and I could only imagine the feelings of those in attendance. It was one for the ages.

JILL DIAMOND — International Secretary, WBC With the golden anniversary of Ali/Frazier I coming up March 8th, 2021, if I went back in time, could I wish for any other ticket? History! Glamour! Champions!

CHARLIE DWYER — former professional referee and member of U.S. Marine Corps Boxing Hall of Fame: Ali-Frazier I. In my estimation, it was the biggest mega fight ever.

STEVE FARHOOD — Showtime announcer, former editor of The Ring magazine and 2017 IBHOF inductee: That’s an easy one: The Rumble in the Jungle. Incredibly significant. Unique. Dramatic. And since I covered only the last two fights of Ali’s career, both of which were losses, I would like to have seen him win!

RICK FARRIS — President and founder at West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame: I’d like to have sat ringside for the last Ike Williams-Beau Jack lightweight title bout. The one where Williams is battering the defenseless Beau Jack in the corner, then held Beau up by the throat and turning to the ref  said, “What do you want me to do, kill the man?”

BERNARD FERNANDEZ — TSS Mainstay and lifetime member of the BWAA: March 8, 1971, Madison Square Garden, Joe Frazier’s 15-round unanimous decision over Muhammad Ali in arguably the most-anticipated boxing match, and maybe even sport event, of all time. I was the young sports editor of a newspaper in south Louisiana  at the time, my days at ringside at major fights still a bit off in the future. But anyone who cared about boxing, and I did, wanted to be in the Garden in New York for this one.

If I am allowed two honorable mentions, I’d go with Roberto Duran UD15 Sugar Ray Leonard on June 20, 1980, in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and Aaron Pryor TKO 14 Alexis Arguello on Nov. 12, 1982, in Miami’s Orange Bowl. But, really, there are a lot more I could mention.


“You know, you’re in here with the God tonight” – Ali

“If you are God, you’re in the wrong place tonight – Frazier


 JEFFREY FREEMAN (aka KO Digest) — TSS boxing writer: Hagler-Hearns, brief enough? Eight minutes. I’ve got my popcorn and I’m ready to rumble.

RANDY GORDON — former head of the New York State Athletic Commission, SiriusXM radio host, and author of Glove Affair, his recently released memoir: I’d absolutely have to be in Havana, Cuba, on April 5, 1915, for the Jack Johnson-Jess Willard heavyweight title fight. I have to see for myself if Johnson took a plunge in the Havana heat, or was really beaten by the far-less-talented Willard.

LEE GROVES — writer, author and the wizard of CompuBox: The first fight that came to mind was the rematch against Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale at Chicago Stadium on July 16, 1947. That’s because the fight has been described as among the most thrilling in the history of the sport, yet the only footage is grainy, brief and shot from the crowd. Was this fight everything that it was portrayed? Being there would settle that question for me.

HENRY HASCUP — boxing historian and President of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame: Harry Greb when he beat Gene Tunney. There is no film that we know of where Greb is actually in a boxing match so I would love to see how he beat one of the All-time Greats!

CHUCK HASSON — noted boxing historian and co-author of Philadelphia’s Boxing Heritage: I can’t help it. I would like to relive the time my dad took me to Atlantic City for my 17th birthday present to watch my idol Joey Giardello win the middleweight title with his career masterpiece beating Dick Tiger for the middleweight championship. The euphoria I experienced that night I would like to relive one more time. Nothing since in boxing has given me the pleasure of that night.

JACK HIRSCH — former President and now lifetime member of the BWAA: The Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries fight in Reno, Nevada, on July 4, 1910. It was arguably the most historical event in sports history. I would have been fascinated to see the attitudes of those at ringside.

KEVIN IOLE — Yahoo combat sports journalist: March 8, 1971, Ali-Frazier I. The biggest sporting event of my lifetime. Where else would I rather be?

MIGUEL ITURRATE — matchmaker, judge, promoter and TSS writer: The first Billy Papke fight with Stanley Ketchel in Milwaukee on June 4, 1908. The fight is well documented and there was a who’s who of athletes there, including Frank Gotch, the champion wrestler. Ketchel was defending his world middleweight title and the two would go on to fight three more times. But oh to be there for that first one….

STUART KIRSCHENBAUM — former head of the Michigan Boxing Commission: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, June 22, 1938. Boxing transcended the sport that evening and was on the world stage for the most important social and political ramifications. During my term as Boxing Commissioner in Michigan little did I know that my own life would become intertwined with the Brown Bomber. From meeting him ringside and time spent with him at a victory party following Hilmer Kenty from the Kronk Gym becoming the first world champion from Detroit since Joe Louis.  Later on, I would become the personal guardian for Joe’s widow Martha till her death and burial next to Joe in Arlington Cemetery. Joe’s best childhood friend Freddie Guinyard gave me the glove that Joe had given him …the glove that knocked out Schmeling.  On Guinyard’s wishes, along with the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, we donated that glove which proudly stands in a granite and plexiglass showcase in Detroit dubbed “The Glove That Floored Nazi Germany”. From Joe’s hand….to Max’s chin…to my home…to the City of Detroit…a proud journey indeed.

BRUCE KIELTY — matchmaker, historian: Ali vs Frazier #1. No explanation necessary.

JIM LAMPLEY — linchpin of the HBO Boxing announcing team for 31 years, 2015 IBHOF inductee: Louis vs Schmeling II. One of a tiny handful of famous sports events whose sociopolitical impacts rocked the world. First time ever a majority of white Americans rooted for a black man to beat a white man. Stands alone for me.

ARNE LANG — TSS editor-in-chief, author, historian: I missed the first fight between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo. It happened at a time when I was out of the boxing loop. Several of my friends were ringside and they all say it was the greatest fight they ever saw. I regret that I missed it.

JIMMY LANGE — former boxer and promoter: In a close call with Ali-Frazier 1, I would choose Louis vs Schmeling 2. It was one of the most significant events in sports history. A black man carried the U.S. on his shoulders to keep his title from the envoy of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Max was undeserving of such a villainous tag. After everything Joe Louis did for this country, the government turned on him and he died with much less dignity than he should have.

RON LIPTON — former fighter, retired police officer, pro referee and inductee into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame: I’d pick the one I missed but wanted to see very much–the shootout with Charlie “Devil” Green and Frankie DePaula where Charlie stopped Frankie in two in M.S.G.  I’d also liked to have been at ringside for Jose “Chegui” Torres v Charlie “Devil” Green. I was sitting near Green when they came and got him to fill in for Jimmy Ralston. That was something to see when he floored Torres and they had to drag Jose back to the corner, he came out next round and stopped Charlie. I wish I had been closer to ringside which I usually always was.

ADEYINKA MAKINDE – UK barrister, author and contributor to the Cambridge Companion to Boxing: I’d liked to have been seated alongside Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks in Yankee Stadium for the return match in 1938 between the “Brown Bomber”, Joe Louis, and the “Black Uhlan”, Max Schmeling. A truly historic night given Louis’ clinical and brutal revenge in a heavyweight title bout, as well as the significance of defeating the (unwilling) Nazi poster boy of Aryan racial supremacy.

SCOOP MALINOWSKI – writer, architect of Biofile: I’d go back and see the fight that was the most important of my childhood-one I saw on closed circuit TV at Totowa Ice World. This fight took over my life at age 14 and it turned out exactly as I hoped and wished. June 20, 1980, Montreal, Duran over Leonard.. It was Duran’s highest moment. And if I could go into the Ted Sares Time Machine, second stop would be Duran vs. Moore at MSG. I’d like to have sat next to Mike Tyson up in the nosebleed seats. He told me he was doing “Duran Duran Duran” chants. Unbelievable atmosphere that night. Third trip…Dempsey vs. Willard. Love Dempsey in that fight, and my hat would fit right in at ringside.

DAVID MARTINEZ – historian: James J. Corbett vs. Peter Jackson, May 21, 1891, San Francisco, CA. This was a most exhausting fight of wills to the end.  After 61 grueling rounds, the referee called this historic heavyweight bout to a halt – the decision officially ruled a draw!

ROBERT MLADINICH– former  fighter, writer, author: Dempsey-Willard. Outdoors on the 4th of July with Dempsey, the Mike Tyson of his time, fighting a giant. Can’t imagine a more exciting event.

ERNESTO MORALES (aka GINO FEBUS) — former fighter, writer: Louis vs Schmeling rematch to capture the fight and all the atmosphere leading up to it; the crowd, the buzz, the anticipation, ring walk, introduction… ALL! I’ve wondered about the political environment at the time: pro American, anti-Hitler/Nazi, anti-Negro, the KKK..and the Battle for World Boxing Supremacy! Along with the fears that Max would take the heavyweight crown to Germany and the horrifying thought of it NEVER returning!! Remember, Max had already KO’d Joe and even made it look somewhat easy. America had plenty to lose, especially Black America! But Joe pounding Max as he clung to the ropes and his trip to the canvas must’ve been awesome, a sight to forever behold. Don’t believe there was a complaint in the Stadium that night because it ended so quickly, only cheers and sighs of relief!! Wish I could have been there.


“Louis measures him. Right to the body. Left up to the jaw and Schmeling is down. The count is 5, 5, 6, 7, 8…The fight is over on a technical knockout. Max Schmeling is beaten in the first round!” –William Broadwater (AFRO)


CHRIS MORRIS — former boxer, writer: Hearns v Leonard 1. That epic fight hooked me on the sport. Our guy lost that night, but Hearns had an impact on me. So much so, my first son is named Santana Hearns.

JOSEPH PASQUALE — boxing judge: I’d go back again to my ringside seat 1979 MSG, NYC. Duran/Palomino and Weaver/Holmes. MSG Boxing at its best!  Not a judge then, just a fan. Still a fan.

RUSSELL PELTZ – venerable boxing promotor and 2004 IBHOF inductee: Johnson vs. Jeffries.

ADAM POLLACK—author, publisher, and boxing official: Any John L. Sullivan fight in the early 1880s because there is no film of him fighting, so we can’t know for sure exactly what he looked like in action in his prime other than via written accounts.

FREDERICK ROMANO — author and former ESPN researcher: While being at Ali-Frazier I or Dempsey-Firpo would be a thrill, I would use this one wish from the boxing Jeanie to experience something we have never seen- something not on film. Sullivan-Corbett, Johnson-Langford,  Greb’s victory over Tunney or  Zale-Graziano I,  would make me very happy. This morning I am in the mood for Johnson-Langford.

DANA ROSENBLATT — former world middleweight champion, commentator, inspirational speaker: Rosenblatt vs Pazienza 2. Far and away my favorite fight of all time.

LEE SAMUELSTop Rank publicist emeritus and 2019 IBHOF Inductee: That’s easy. Hagler vs Hearns in one of the most all out explosive battles of our time – think about that one every day.

TED SARES — TSS boxing writer: Louis vs Schmeling 2 because of the intense social and political backdrop. Close second is Christy Martin vs. Deirdre Gogarty (March 16, 1996). Blood and guts undercard war that stole the show from Tyson-Bruno and put women back on the boxing map.

 TOM SCHRECK — boxing judge: Do I have to pick one? 1. Ali v Frazier I, the enormity of the event would have been something to experience. It transcended boxing. 2. Hagler v Leonard, Sugar Ray’s performance was genius 3. Tunney v Dempsey I, brawn v brains.

ICEMAN JOHN SCULLY — manager, trainer, commentator, writer, historian, former boxer: I’m always torn between the first Ali-Frazier fight and the first Leonard – Hearns fight. For me those are my two biggest and the ones I would revel in being able to attend.

PETER SILKOV – boxing writer: There are so many to choose from, but my feeling at the moment would be Ali vs Foreman. Ali’s greatest night and the most extraordinary fight for the heavyweight title ever!

MIKE SILVER — author, writer, historian: A ringside seat to the Sullivan vs. Corbett fight. Huge historic importance. A seismic event for boxing’s future. And who isn’t curious to see the great John L. actually fighting!

ALAN SWYER — filmmaker, writer, and producer of the acclaimed El Boxeo: I chose the match in which welterweight Carmen Basilio won a split-decision over middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson. Though Robinson was to my mind the greatest fighter of all time, he was not at that point in his career at his best. Nonetheless, the battle — the fight of the year in 1957 — was the quintessential demonstration of will, stamina, endurance, and above all courage from two noble warriors.

GARY “DIGITAL” WILLIAMS — the voice of “Boxing on the Beltway”: I‘d loved to have been ringside for Ali-Frazier 1 and to have witnessed all the hoopla and the cultural and social significance surrounding that bout. I was only seven years old when that bout took place.

BEAU WILLIFORD — former boxer, trainer and manager and the face of boxing in Louisiana: Joe Frazier v Jerry Quarry at Madison Square Garden!!!

PETER WOOD — writer, author, former fighter: The fight I would watch is a hideous spectacle–and not politically correct…It would be the battle-royal in which Tom Molineaux, a Virginian slave, fought other hapless slaves, in which to earn his freedom and ultimately a shot at the heavyweight title. (Editor’s note: What has been written about Tom Molineaux’s days in America — before he went off to England — lacks any sort of rigorous documentation and is perhaps best understood as folklore. The conventional wisdom regarding inter-plantation slave fights has also been challenged.)

BOB YALEN —  holder of numerous executive positions in the boxing broadcasting industry and currently President of MTK Global: There are so many to choose from with so many reasons…Corbett-Sullivan to see the birth of modern boxing, Dempsey-Willard to check Jack’s gloves, Tunney-Dempsey to time the long count, the list goes on…but I think I may choose the Willard-Johnson fight in Havana so I could finally put to rest what really happened at the end of the fight from my own perspective (and talk to everyone I could).

Observations: Like a boxing match, this one pitted the old vs the not-so-old. Ali vs. Frazier 1 and Louis vs. Schmeling 2 garnered the most mentions, but Dempsey, Tunney, Johnson and Sullivan also got their due, as did Hearns and Hagler. In the end, it came down to The Fight of the Century (1971) vs. the Louis -Schmeling rematch (1938).

One mild surprise was that only a few mentioned Harry Greb who has been hailed by far more than a few as being the best of the best. However, there is no live footage to back this up. Henry Hascup and Fred Romano mentioned Greb in this vein with both referring to Greb’s sole victory over Gene Tunney in 1922.

Ted Sares 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). He is an active power lifter and Strongman competitor in the Grand Master class and plans to compete in 2019.

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Weekend Recap: Hits and Misses

Kelsey McCarson




Boxing is a global sport and multi-faceted entertainment spectacle.

There were a wide variety of cards over the weekend displaying those properties with everything ranging from an important title fight for a pound-for-pound superstar against a formerly elite champion hoping for one more big win, to a new titleholder attempting his first defense against a highly regarded prospect, with even a fight between two YouTube celebrities thrown in the mix for good measure. 

Here are boxing’s biggest hits and misses from a weekend that began on Friday in Japan (Thursday in the U.S.)  with Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire and ended on Saturday with Jamel Herring vs. Lamont Roach Jr. in Fresno and KSI vs. Logan Paul in Los Angeles. 

HIT: Huge Win for Boxing’s Little Monster 

Naoya Inoue suffered two fractures to one eye socket during a grueling World Boxing Super Series-winning performance against Nonito Donaire in Saitama, Japan. Inoue defeated a resurgent Donaire by unanimous decision in one of the best fights of the entire year. The 26-year-old captured the WBA bantamweight belt to go along with the IBF and The Ring magazine titles he already carried into the fight. 

More importantly, Inoue was finally tested against a quality opponent who appeared to have a real chance to win the fight. But Inoue’s sharp jabs, solid footwork and amazing athletic skill combined with some old-fashioned championship guile to produce the single most important win in Inoue’s already impressive career. 

After the fight, Inoue signed a multi-fight deal with Top Rank. That means his star power is finally about to be fully unleashed in the U.S. and while that’s a huge win for the Japanese dynamo, its also a pretty big win for us, too. 

MISS: Shocking Purse Size Disparity Between Saturday’s Main Event Participants 

Logan Paul and KSI each made $900,000 in their professional debuts on Saturday night in Los Angeles. Jamel Herring only made $300,000 for his title defense against Lamont Roach who made $100,000.

Something just seems off about that.

It’s not that I don’t understand the economics. The reason why the two You Tubers were able to make so much money in their professional debuts was because of their star power. More global interest plus more ticket sales in a big venue equals more money for the combatants. 

It just seems wrong that they would make three times as much money as Herring, a former Marine who won his first world title against Masayuki Ito in May and defended it on Saturday night against Roach Jr. on ESPN+. 

HIT: The Shrewd Gambit of BJ Saunders and Devin Haney

WBO super middleweight titleholder BJ Saunders and secondary WBC belt holder Devin Haney both swallowed their pride to appear on the undercard of the Logan Paul vs. KSI card. Here were two elite professional fighters with real boxing fan bases choosing to play second-fiddle to a couple of guys who were the main event for the sole reason that they had millions of subscribers on YouTube. 

But it seems shrewd for both Saunders and Haney to have taken the risk. Nobody knows how much good it might do for their careers or how many people from that much younger and very different audience might have discovered an attraction to the sweet science buried within them that night for the first time. Still, Saunders and Haney gave themselves chances to find new fans from a world that otherwise might never have even known they existed. That’s something. 

Besides, they got paid well and were able to grab wins that will move their careers forward no matter how everything else works out. It was a savvy move that other fighters might have been too proud to make. 

MISS: Bad Night on a Big Stage for Referee Jack Reiss

Referee Jack Reiss is one of the best at what he does, but he didn’t have a great night in officiating KSI’s split-decision win over Logan Paul. In fact, it seemed from the start that he was over-involved and constantly making his mark in a fight that should have been left to the two fighters. 

During the third round, KSI landed a blow behind Paul’s ear that probably should have been scored a knockdown. Riess ruled it a slip.  In round four, Paul landed an uppercut that hurt KSI badly, then the novice held KSI behind the head to land another one as his opponent was going down to the mat. Reiss took two points away from Paul, something deemed overly punitive by many who watched the fight. 

In the end, two scorecards were in KSI’s favor 57-54, 56-55 with one for Paul at 56-55 so Reiss’s rulings seemed to be crucial to the outcome of the fight. Boxing results should always be left to the fighters to solve, even for two celebrity newcomers to the sport. 

HIT: Jamel Herring’s Veterans Day Weekend Title Defense

Could there have been any better weekend to pit Herring against Roach Jr.? 

Herring, 34, from Rockville Centre, New York, qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London while being an active-duty Marine. The fighter served his country nine years as a soldier including two tours in Iraq. After competing in the Olympics, he began his professional career. 

To most eyes, Herring appeared at the time to be a hard worker who probably didn’t have what it took to become a world champion. In fact, boxing writer Cliff Rold shared on Twitter recently that he had tabbed Herring in an article he wrote as one of the less likely members of the 2012 team to excel as a professional and that Herring had emailed him after reading it to tell him he was wrong. 

Herring’s grand entrance included being escorted to the ring by two Humvees and 300 Marines. He went on to outwork Roach over twelve rounds to further solidify why never doubting a Marine is some pretty good advice. 

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3 Punch Combo: Under The Radar Fights, Elton Dharry’s Improbable Journey and More

Matt Andrzejewski




Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Roberto Ortiz, Alberto Palmetta vs. Erik Vega Ortiz, and the Improbable Journey of Elton Dharry

THREE PUNCH COMBO — There is no preeminent fight this week, but there is still a lot of boxing that will be broadcast on various platforms. Some very good fights are falling under the radar including one that should be an all-out slugfest.

On Saturday night, the latest edition of Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch will be streamed from Mexico. The card is headlined by two entertaining 140-pound brawlers in Pablo Cesar Cano (32-7-1, 22 KO’s) and Roberto Ortiz (35-4-2, 26 KO’s) who will meet in a bout scheduled for ten rounds.

Cano, 30, has been a pro now for over 14 years. After back to back losses in 2017 to Fidel Maldonado Jr. and Marcelino Lopez, Cano’s career seemed to be headed toward permanent journeyman status. However, he recently revived his career with a pair of upset wins.

In September of 2018, he scored a technical decision over the previously undefeated Ruslan Madiyev. And earlier this year, Cano pulled a stunner when he stopped former three division champion Jorge Linares in the first round. Those wins put Cano back in contention at 140 pounds where he is currently ranked sixth by the WBC.

Ortiz has a glossy record but he is 0-3-1 in his last four fights and is now in a similar place in his career to where Cano was in 2017. At 34, Ortiz finds himself in desperate need of a win over Cano to regain any hope of one day fighting for a world title.

Stylistically, these fighters are perfectly matched to make for an entertaining scrap. Both are pressure fighters who aren’t afraid to mix it up. And they each are more than willing to absorb a few punches just to create the opportunity to land their own shots.

There is something else to keep in mind about this fight. While both fighters have been stopped on multiple occasions, they don’t necessarily have the weakest of chins.

In the case of Ortiz, he suffered his knockout losses to three very big knockout punchers (Lucas Matthysse, Cletus Seldin and Vergil Ortiz Jr.). In the case of Cano, his stoppage losses have mostly come due to cuts and/or swelling around his eyes.

And it should also be noted that while both fighters are heavy handed punchers, neither would be considered to have one punch knockout power.

The above is my way of saying that we have two brawlers who like to slug it out with better chins than they are given credit for and who don’t possess that one punch power to suddenly end a fight. This can’t be anything but an extended all-out shoot-out.

ShoBox Returns

The acclaimed prospect-oriented series ShoBox returns on Friday from the WinnaVegas Casino & Resort in Sloan, IA. Consistent with the history of this series, the six fighters in the televised tripleheader have a combined record of 65-1. The main event is an intriguing welterweight clash between Alberto Palmetta (12-1, 8 KO’s) of Argentina and Erik Vega Ortiz (16-0, 9 KO’s) of Mexico.

Palmetta, 29, had a long and distinguished amateur career that culminated with him representing Argentina at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Co-promoted by Sergio Martinez of Maravillabox Promotions and Sampson Boxing, this is his fifth appearance on US soil, but his first as a headliner in a nationally televised card.

Palmetta is very athletic and his overall game is multifaceted. I would even go as far as describing him as a poor man’s Sergio Martinez. Fighting as a southpaw, Palmetta mixes his attack, sometimes working behind the right jab using his legs and in other spots attacking aggressively from various angles. The amateur experience shows in his overall game as his footwork is superb and his movement is very fluid. He possesses very fast hands and what can best be described as heavy-handed power.

For all that appears to be good about Palmetta’s game, there are some weaknesses. He has a bad tendency of holding his right hand low and as such is vulnerable to getting clipped with his opponent’s left hook. And he does have an early knockout loss on his resume. Was that an aberration or are there issues with his chin?

There is not a lot known about Vega Ortiz. There’s very limited video of him available online. The press release for this fight says that Vega Ortiz possesses “an all-out pressure style similar to many of his fellow countrymen of Mexico,” but the limited video I was able to see differs greatly from that description.

Vega Ortiz appears to be a natural counter puncher. He is not aggressive but likes to work behind the left jab, circling his opponents, waiting for counter opportunities. When those opportunities arise, he will open up and throw combinations. But he is also more than content to wait for those moments and work cautiously behind the jab.

Vega Ortiz is not that athletic nor does he possess quick hands or devastating power. But he has decent skills and defensively keeps a tight guard with good head movement.

I like this fight because I think Vega Ortiz could present an interesting puzzle for Palmetta to solve. Will it be a slugfest? Probably not, but I think it will have its moments. Palmetta will look to lead and try to find openings through the tight guard of Vega Ortiz. And when Palmetta does open up, Vega Ortiz will look to counter, particularly with the left hook upstairs. On paper, it’s a classic competitive ShoBox fight that should provide good action.

The Improbable Journey of Elton Dharry

On September 11th, 2009, Elton Dharry dropped a four-round unanimous decision to Isander Beauchamp on a small show in Plymouth, Mass. The loss dropped Dharry’s record to 3-5-1.

Ten years and 21 straight wins later, Dharry finds himself in a position that once seemed improbable. On Friday, he will face off against 20-0 Andrew Moloney for an interim title belt in the 115-pound weight division. The contest will take place in Moloney’s home country of Australia and be broadcast in the United States on ESPN+.

Dharry’s career trajectory is starting to look relatively similar to that of Tevin Farmer and Orlando Salido. Similar to those two, Dharry received some tough on-the-job training in the early portion of his career. In his sixth pro fight, for example, he dropped a four-round unanimous decision to future three division title-holder Leo Santa Cruz.

Thinks started to click for Dharry following his loss to Beauchamp. He pulled a few mild upsets along the way and with the exception of a period in 2017 has stayed relatively active. In his two most recent outings, he scored his best wins. In May of 2018, he scored a ten round unanimous decision against Oscar Mojica. And earlier this year, Dharry won a ten round unanimous decision against Gilberto Pedroza to set up this opportunity against Moloney.

From the video I have seen, I don’t think Elton Dharry should be considered such a substantial underdog. Dharry likes to apply pressure working behind an excellent well-timed left jab from the orthodox stance. He throws fluid, heavy handed combinations and makes a point to work his opponent’s body. And defensively, he does keep a tight guard with very good head movement.

Moloney, who is more athletic, is going to try to box Dharry. But Dharry’s pressure and body punching could be a major factor as this fight progresses. Keep in mind we have not seen Moloney in a fight where he has been substantially pushed down the stretch.

Make no mistake about it, Dharry can fight and it’s not out of the question to think he may continue his improbable journey with an upset on Friday in Australia.

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KSI Beats Logan Paul and Haney and Saunders Win Title Fights in L.A.

David A. Avila




LOS ANGELES-Two celebrity stars made their pro debuts in the main event and filled the arena with youngsters of all ages including more than a few brought by their moms on Saturday night.

KSI (1-0) defeated Logan Paul (0-1) by split decision to the cheers of some and the jeers of others before a packed Staples Center after a six round cruiserweight fight. It was the main event despite two legitimate world championship bouts that also took place before more than 13,000 fans.

It was a rematch of an amateur fight that took place year ago in the United Kingdom. This time no head gear.

After a year of intermittent training with professionals, the British-based KSI trained mostly in the U.S. and Paul trained in Los Angeles and both showed what they had learned.

Fans screamed loudly as if Mike Tyson were facing Lennox Lewis.

It was a strange yet electric atmosphere.

KSI opened the fight with a determined effort as Paul calmly avoided the windmill rights and lefts delivered his way by the British social media star. Aggression was the name of the game.

Back and forth the two went with KSI mostly the aggressor and Paul content to jab to the head and body and avoid the wild swings coming his way. Fans screamed at the near misses as if Babe Ruth had swung and missed at a fat curveball in the middle of the plate.

KSI grabbed the momentum with his constant attacks and was seemingly on his way to a solid win when Paul connected with a right uppercut. The bigger and taller American star Paul pushed down on the staggered Brit and hit him with the free hand and followed that with another blow to the back of the head. The British fighter stumbled a bit and referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight to allow KSI time to recover and to inform the three judges that he was deducting two points from Paul for the two infractions.

“I would have won,” said Paul about the deductions.

KSI resumed attacking the bigger man but caught some shots from Paul.

“I don’t stop. He hit me with a few little shots here and there,” said KSI. “I don’t stop, I’m a dog man.”

Paul was the bigger man and had his moments in the latter half of the six-round fight but did not seem to believe in his strength. He never took advantage of his superiority in power.

After six rounds one judge scored it in favor of Paul 56-55, but two other judges saw it otherwise 57-54 and 56-55 for KSI.

“I just want to say fair play to KSI, you’re one of the toughest people I know. I wish you the best,” said Paul.

World Title Fights

WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) brought his flash and precision expecting to show off to the new fan base, but Dominican fighter Alfredo Santiago (12-1, 4 KOs) had other ideas. Still, Haney ran away with the win via unanimous decision.

Things looked good when Haney floored Santiago in the fifth round with one of his flashy combinations punctuated by a right uppercut. Down went the taller Santiago but he managed to survive the onslaught.

For the remainder of the fight both contestants managed to entangle each other as each sought to establish ground. Haney looked to unload one of his slick combinations but the Dominican fighter closed ground to take away Haney’s ability to unload his lethal combinations.  It was holding and more holding for the remaining seven rounds.

Devin Haney attacks Santiago Alvarez

After 12 rounds all three judges scored it for Haney 120-107 who retains the WBC lightweight title.

Haney said he hurt his shoulder midway in the fight, but despite the injury he was intrigued by the different fans that attended the boxing card.

“I’m very excited it’s a whole new fan base,” said Haney.

BJ Saunders

WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) may have been out of sorts in the Los Angeles climate but after 11 rounds of adapting to the air and Argentina’s Marcelo Coceres (28-1-1), the southpaw Londoner lowered the boom to win by knockout.

It took a while but he got the job done.

Saunders had never fought on American soil and seemed not quite sure what to do with the Argentine slugger who was also making his American debut.

BJ Saunders KOs Coceres

After 10 rounds of slipping and countering the left-handed super middleweight switched into high gear and unloaded with a blistering four-punch combination and down went Coceres. The crowd erupted after a rather slow fight. Coceres got up and tried to hammer it out with Saunders and was caught with a perfect right uppercut and down went the Argentine a second time. Again he got up and Saunders moved in for the attack and was on his way down from what looked like a slip but referee Ray Corona looked at the fighter and decided to end the fight at 1:59 of the 11th round. Saunders retains the WBO title.

“That performance was not worthy,” said Saunders after the knockout win. “I knew in my own mind I had to get him out of there…I had to go for the knockout.”

Saunders seeks a fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the new light heavyweight world titlist, but who is also the WBA super middleweight titlist. Alvarez is also the top money-maker in the prizefighting world and anybody that fights the Mexican redhead will make a huge pot of money.

Saunders also has a message for Alvarez:

“If you want to become full weight world champion take me now. I want Canelo Alvarez and now is the right time,” said Saunders.

Other Bouts

NABF super featherweight titlist Ronny Rios (32-3, 16 KOs) buzz sawed Colombia’s Hugo Berrio (28-8-1, 18KOs) with a withering body attack that kept got worse and worse until the knockout ending.

A lead right cross floored Berrio who looked like he was expecting anything but the right cross after absorbing body shots for three rounds. The end came at 2:56 of the fourth round. Referee Tom Taylor stopped the fight through mid-count exactly at the same time as Berrio’s corner fired in a white towel of surrender.

“I didn’t even know he was going to go down,” said Rios about the impact of his right hand knockout. “I’ve been practicing on sitting down on my punches.”

Local fighter Diego Pacheco with his long arms knocked out Aaron Casper with that seemingly elongated right after several rounds of pummeling in a super middleweight fight.

Pacheco, 18, kept the pressure against the veteran fighter but had some problems when Casper crowded him inside. But after several rounds of entanglement South Central L.A.’s Pacheco figured out the solution and floored Casper with a crisp right cross. Casper beat the count but was met with an eight punch barrage that sent the Georgia fighter down for good. Referee Rudy Barragan stopped the fight at 2:49 of the fourth round.

“He has a tremendous heart, he’s a warrior and I tip my hat to him,” said Pacheco of his fallen opponent.

Nikita Ababiy (8-0, 6 KOs) was the winner by disqualification over Jonathan Batista (19-16) in a super middleweight fight scheduled for four rounds. After Ababiy hit Batista behind the head and was deducted a point, the fight resumed and Batista slugged Ababiy repeatedly after the bell prompting referee Ray Corona to disqualify Batista at the end of round one.

Reshat Mati (5-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Cody Peterson (1-6) at 1:41 of the second round in a super welterweight match. Mati fights out of New York but is an Albanian native.

Another Celebrity fight

Josh Brueckner (1-0) of Michigan powered through Huntington Beach’s Tyler Smith (0-1) in a four round battle between former MMA fighters making their pro boxing debuts in a cruiserweight bout. Brueckner showed more speed and offense than Tyler who seemed bent on defending the rushes of his foe. After the victory Brueckner proposed marriage to his girlfriend Katie with whom he shares a popular Vlog on the Internet.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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