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Ringside at the Cosmo: Frampton Wins Impressively; Valdez TKOs Lopez

Arne K. Lang

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Ringside at the Cosmo: Frampton Wins Impressively; Valdez TKOs Lopez

LAS VEGAS, NV — The Chelsea Theater at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas is one of the better fight venues in the country. The seats in the tiered rows in the balcony provide an excellent view of the action; there isn’t a bad seat in the joint.

Dull fights can spoil the ambiance, but Bob Arum’s Top Rank organization presented a strong card that delivered good entertainment throughout.

Valdez-Lopez

Oscar Valdez, a two-time Olympian for Mexico, made his first foray into the 130-pound class tonight after seven successful defenses of his WBO featherweight title. In the opposite corner was late sub Adam Lopez who was on the card and bumped into the main go when Valdez’s opponent came in 11 pounds overweight at Friday’s weigh-in.

In round two, Lopez took a leaf from Cinderella and knocked Valdez down hard with a short left uppercut after missing with an overhand right. For a moment, it seemed that a mammoth upset was brewing. But Valdez returned the favor in the seventh frame with a blistering overhand right that knocked Lopez down and almost through the ropes. Lopez beat the count but absorbed a series of unanswered punches, compelling referee Russell Mora to intervene. The official time was 2:53 of round seven.

Valdez improved to 27-0 with his 21st stoppage, but he earned his pay. At the end, he had a big welt under his left eye. The plucky Lopez fell to 13-2.

Frampton-McCreary

In the co-main, Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton, coming off a loss to Josh Warrington and an 11-month break elongated by a freak injury to his left hand, looked very sharp in winning a lopsided 10-round decision over Tyler McCreary.

Frampton’s game plan was to target the midsection of McCreary who had a four-inch height advantage. He implemented the plan to perfection. In round five he sank McCreary with a right-left combo, both to the body. In round nine, McCreary went down again from a fast 1-2, both lefts, to the liver. The fight went the full 10 with the judges in accordance:100-88. In the end, McCreary, who fell to 16-1-1, just wasn’t busy enough and couldn’t keep Frampton at bay with his longer reach.

Frampton had the crowd in his corner. When he was introduced, it seemed like half of Belfast was in the building. He improved to 27-2 and stayed on course to pursue a world title in a third weight class.

Teixeira-Adames

In a tumultuous 12-round battle sanctioned for the WBO “interim” 154-pound world title, Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira (31-1) came back from the brink to send the fight to the judges and emerge victorious with a split decision over previously unbeaten Carlos Adames (19-1).

Teixeira’s badly damaged left eye commanded frequent looks from the ring doctor. He also developed a cut under the right eye. At one point it appeared that Teixeira, who absorbed numerous head-snapping punches, would be rescued from further punishment by referee Robert Byrd. But he never stopped punching and the tide turned with seconds remaining in round eight when he landed a straight left that sent Adames sprawling into the ropes, a clear knockdown. That punch factored into the outcome as Teixeira prevailed by 114-113 on two cards, 116-111 on the other.

Other Bouts

In his best performance to date, super lightweight Arnold Barboza Jr advanced to 23-0 (10) with a fifth-round knockout of Florida-based Brazilian William Silva (27-3).

The undefeated Barboza, from South El Monte, CA, knocked Silva flat on his back with a sweeping left hook in round two and finished the job three rounds later with a vicious right to the liver. In a delayed reaction, Silva crumpled to the floor in obvious distress and was counted out.

In a torrid 8-round welterweight scrap that had the crowd buzzing, Salt Lake City’s Larry Gomez upset previously undefeated Brian Mendoza, winning a split decision (77-75, 77-75, 75-77). Albuquerque’s Mendoza, 18-0 going in, started strong and landed the cleaner punches, but Gomez (10-1, 9 KOs) never took a backward step and won over the judges with his power punches.

Also

Six-foot-six ex-Olympian Guido Vianelli (6-0, 6 KOs) needed only 44 seconds to dismiss Colby Madison. A short chopping right hand put Madison on the deck and referee Jay Nady waived it off as Madison was struggling to regain his feet. Madison, 36, declines to 8-2-2.

8 rounds super lightweights

Andy Hiraoka (15-0, 10 KOs), from Yokohama, Japan, stopped Rogelio Casarez (13-9), Batesville, Ark, in the second round. Hiraoka decked Casarez with a short right hand and then turned up the heat with a fusillade of unanswered blows, forcing the referee to intervene. The official time was 2:16 of round two. It was the fourth straight loss for Casarez

In a swing bout slated for four rounds in the welterweight division, high school senior Xander Zayas, who turned 17 in September, stopped North Carolina’s Virgil Windfield in the opening round. Windfield took a knee after absorbing a short right hand and when the situation repeated itself referee Russell Mora thought it prudent to stop the bout. Zayas (2-0, 2 KOs) has a seek-and-destroy mentality. The lanky Windfield, who was out of his element, falls to 2-3-1.

In the walk-out bout, recent Top Rank signee Jared Anderson (2-0, 2 KOs) stopped Stephen Kirnon (2-3-1) in 90 seconds. Anderson has great potential but keeping his weight in check could be an issue as he moves forward. He came in at 237 pounds tonight and looked a little too thick in the lower body.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams for Top Rank

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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.

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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.

insert

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.

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