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Don King – 2 Samuel 1:19, 1:25, 1:27 “How are the Mighty Fallen”

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Don King promoted a fight card on January 29 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. But the more significant story is what happened before the fights began.

There was a time when King was the greatest showman outside the ropes that boxing has ever seen. Time and again, he promoted (and with his persona, added value to) spectacles involving legends like Muhammad Ai, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman that are a treasured part of boxing lore.

Equally important, King was black and from the streets. Rather than try to hide it, he stuffed it in people’s faces.

King forced America to accept him as he was on his terms. We’re not talking about an athlete, singer, or movie star who made his mark by entertaining people. We’re talking about commerce and economic control. At his most powerful, he created magnificent events and made tens of millions of dollars for himself in the process. He still stops any room he enters. But at age 89, he’s not a force in boxing anymore.

King is now a caricature of what he once was. His closest tie to power was on display on November 2, 2020 (one day before Election Day), when he issued a long rambling press release that endorsed Donald Trump and proclaimed, “My fellow Americans, we must never forget that God is in the plan.  God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to be performed. We the people prayed to almighty God, asking him to give we the people, the American people, some type of relief from the excruciating pain of oppression brought upon them from the corrupt rigged system’s establishment form of government. Almighty God answered we the people’s humble prayers to him by anointing Donald J. Trump to become the 45th President of the United States of America. Vote Trump, for a man who is a non-politician, a man who’s only obligation is to we the people and God. A man who is fearless, a man who could not be bought, bribed, intimidated or coerced, a man who is brave, courageous and bold.  President Donald J. Trump, our spiritually touched, god-sent leader of faith and hope.”

King’s January 29 fight card grew out of a purse bid that was ordered by the World Boxing Association for a bout between Mahmoud Charr and Trevor Bryan.

The WBA, at present, is the most shameless of boxing’s four world sanctioning organizations. Leading up to January 29, it had four heavyweight “champions.” Anthony Joshua (the most notable of the group) is the WBA “super heavyweight champion.” Robert Helenius is the WBA “gold heavyweight champion.” Charr was the regular WBA “world heavyweight champion” by virtue of beating Alexander Ustinov in his most recent fight on November 25, 2017. Bryan had last fought on August 11, 2018, when he beat B.J. Flores (a blown-up 39-year-old cruiserweight) to claim the WBA “interim” world heavyweight title. Neither Charr or Bryan has ever beaten a world-class fighter.

The WBA ordered a fight between Charr (promoted by Global Sports Management) and Bryan (promoted by King) to determine a mandatory challenger for Joshua. When the Charr and Bryan camps were unable to agree on terms, the sanctioning body ordered a purse bid that was held on March 2, 2020. King won the purse bid with an offer of $2,000,000. The only opposition came from Global Sports Management which bid $1,020,000. As the regular WBA champion, Charr was entitled to 75 percent of the winning bid (a projected payday $1,500,000).

King’s paperwork accompanying the purse bid said that the fight would likely be held on May 23, 2020, in Las Vegas, or on May 30, 2020, in Kinshasa, or Qatar, or Saudi Arabia. No knowledgeable observer expected him to make good on the bid. There were several postponements occasioned in part by the pandemic. Then the WBA demanded that King promote Charr-Bryan by January 29, 2021, or be declared in default of his promotional obligations. Things went downhill from there.

King announced that Charr-Bryan would take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel with Beibut Shumenov vs. Raphael Murphy in a WBA cruiserweight title fight as a co-feature. Shumenov has fought once since May 2016. Murphy was knocked out in 2017 by Hugo Trillo (whose record at the time was 2-0-1). Then Shumenov-Murphy fell through and it was becoming clear that Charr-Bryan wouldn’t happen either.

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The root of the problem was twofold. First and foremost, it was obvious that, if Charr-Bryan went forward, it would be a financial disaster for King. He had a $2,000,000 purse bid obligation for the main event plus undercard fighters to pay, travel expenses, and other costs. There would be no live gate because of the pandemic, no network license fee, and minimal pay-per-view sales. King simply didn’t want to pay $1,500,000 to Charr and $500,000 to Bryan.

Also, King preferred that Bryan fight an opponent who he controlled so, no matter who won, Don King Productions would have the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA title under contract.

With these considerations in mind, King threw every roadblock possible in Charr’s path.

When a WBA title fight goes to purse bid, each fighters’ camp has the option of negotiating a contract with the winning promoter. If an agreement can’t be reached, the WBA form contract will govern the event. King sent Charr a contract that was unacceptable to Mahmoud. In response, Pat English (Charr’s attorney) sent King two contracts that had been signed by Charr. The first was the WBA form contract. The second was an amended version of the DKP contract. King had the option of signing either contract. Instead, he refused to sign either one (which was a breach of his purse bid obligations).

King also refused to fulfill his obligation to help Charr get a P1 work visa to travel from Germany to the United States for the fight. On January 22 (one week before the scheduled bout), Charr went to a United States consulate in Germany in person and, without paperwork from King, managed to get a visa to come to the United States. But without a signed contract from King, he couldn’t get a P1 work visa. Thus, on January 27, Carl Lewis (an attorney for DKP) declared, “What they have is the equivalent of a tourist visa. So, he’s more than welcome to come to Florida, see the sights and take in all the attractions he wants. But as far as the fight, that can’t happen without the proper documentation.”

On January 24 while the visa controversy was unfolding, King filed a request for an exception with the WBA that would grant him relief from his purse bid obligation to Charr and authorize the sanctioning of a bout between Bryan and Bermane Stiverne (another King-controlled fighter) for the WBA world heavyweight championship. Charr, King requested, would be designated as “champion in recess” because of his “unavailability.”

That occasioned a scathing letter from Pat English who, on January 26, wrote to Carlos Chavez and Julio Thyme (co-chairs of the WBA Championships Committee) and the other committee members as follows: “The application by DKP for Bryan to fight Stiverne is based upon a lie. Mr. Charr is available and has done absolutely everything he was supposed to do. At this point, he has picked up his visa. He has taken two VADA tests. He has submitted his medicals. He has taken a Covid test so he can fly. The truth here is that King simply does not wish to reach into his pocket and pay the purses he committed to at the time of the bid.”

Mahmoud Charr isn’t the most sympathetic person one can cast in the role of an aggrieved party. His WBA title came about as a consequence of a deeply flawed process within the sanctioning body. Also, two years ago, a technical ruling enabled him to dodge a bullet after VADA reported a positive test result for the presence of epitrenbolone and drostanolone in his urine. But fighters have short ring careers. And King was putting the finishing touches on wasting a year of Charr’s professional life.

Then things got truly bizarre.

On January 29 at 10:35 AM eastern time, Noryoli Gil of the WBA emailed a “resolution” from the WBA Championships Committee to eleven parties with an interest in Charr-Bryan. The resolution gave King everything he wanted. Based on the fiction that Charr had failed to fulfill his responsibilities under the WBA rules, the committee stripped him of his world title and declared him to be the WBA “heavyweight champion in recess.” The resolution also requested that the WBA Ratings Committee include Stiverne in its ratings and authorized a fight between Bryan and Stiverne for the regular WBA “world heavyweight championship.”

Prior to this ruling, Stiverne was unranked by the WBA, had been knocked out in his two most recent fights, and hadn’t won a bout since 2015. He’s 42 years old.

Oddly, the resolution was dated January 26. More oddly, eighteen minutes after it was sent, the WBA sent a second email to the same parties that read, “Dear Sirs, Please disregard this communication, it is not valid and it was send by an involuntary mistake.”

Then, at 1:26 PM, yet another resolution (also dated January 26) was distributed. This resolution declared that King had “complied with the formalities required in the Purse Bid regulations” and restored the relief he had sought (designating Charr as “champion in recess” and declaring that Bryan-Stiverne would be for the regular WBA “world heavyweight championship”).

The resolution also vacated the March 2, 2020, purse bid, but said that Charr would have the right to fight the winner of Bryan-Stiverne by May 30, 2021, pursuant to terms to be negotiated.

The WBA resolution ignored the fact that, after winning the March 2, 2020, purse bid,  King had refused t0 sign the form WBA contract (as required by WBA rules). Had he signed the contract, it would have enabled Charr to get a P1 work visa.

If Charr and his team choose to litigate the matter with competent counsel, King and the WBA could have major problems.

Meanwhile, logistically, the January 29 promotion was in shambles.

This was to be King’s first fight card as the lead promoter since August 28, 2015, when he promoted a four-bout card at the D Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas headlined by Bryan vs. Derric Rossy for the “vacant NABF junior heavyweight” title. And there were questions as to whether he was up to the task.

The January 29 fight card had been styled by King as “Return to Greatness” and had an announced pay-per-view price of $19.99. But King – once the unquestioned master of promotion – did nothing to promote the event. No interviews. No promotional appearances. Nothing.

Distribution was also an issue.

King had an agreement in principle with In Demand to distribute the fight on cable, but it fell through because DKP couldn’t meet In Demand’s technical transmission requirements. Direct TV was already off the table. And when some would-be buyers went to DonKing.com during fight week to order the event, the first thing that popped up on the screen was a warning that cautioned, “This Connection Is Not Private. This website might be impersonating ‘donking.com’ to steal your personal or financial information. You should go back to the previous page.”

That left FITE as King’s only reliable pay-per-view distributor. But King dallied in signing their distribution agreement. Two hours before the fight stream began, FITE had only 51 advance buys.

Then came the hour of reckoning. The telecast began at 7:00 PM eastern time. The only way it would have been pay-per-view worthy is if fans had been paid to watch it.

Once upon a time, King promoted events like Larry Holmes vs. Earnie Shavers at Caesars Palace with Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, and Wilfredo Gomez on the undercard. But he isn’t capable of putting the pieces of a big fight card together anymore. And it showed.

Don King Productions had announced that the telecast would include reruns of Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney, the first fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Frankie Randall, and the rematch between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad was substituted for Holyfield-Tyson II at the last moment. All of these fights are available for free in their entirety on YouTube.

Bob Alexander hosted the event and provided blow-by-blow commentary for the live fights. Nate Campbell was the expert analyst. The live fights were dreadful.

Bantamweight Joahnys Argilagos won a four-round decision over Ernie Marquez (who now has one win in his last thirteen fights). Ring announcer J.D. Lyons announced the score with the proclamation “All three judges score the fight exactly the same at 39-to-40.” Then cruiserweight Johnnie Langston won a lopsided 6-round decision over DeShon Webster (winless in his last five outings).

Shortly after ten o’clock, Lyons introduced Stiverne as “making his way to the ring.” But Bermane didn’t make his way to the ring. That left Alexander and Campbell to filibuster for twenty minutes and raised the issue of whether Stiverne might be engaged in a convivial discussion with someone about money.

Twenty minutes later, Lyons tried again.

“Once again, fight fans. Making his way to the ring . . .”

This time, Stiverne made an appearance followed by Bryan.

Lyons then began the in-ring introductions only to be cut short by an unseen prompt. He then told the handful of pay-per-view viewers around the world, “I guess we’re gonna do a national anthem. My apologies.”

By this time, Lyons looked like a man who’d be happy if he never announced another Don King fight card again.

The fight that followed was abysmal.

Bryan and Stiverne looked as though they’d trained at Dunkin Donuts. Each man weighed in at a fraction over 267 pounds. Trevor had fought his last fight at 236 pounds and now had a roll of flab hanging over the waistband of his trunks. Stiverne, whose best fighting weight was in the high 230s, looked pregnant.

It wasn’t even a good club fight. Stiverne threw one punch at a time and never set anything up, Bryan was a bit busier. His jab (which wasn’t all that good) was the difference. Choose your adjectives . . . Messy, sloppy, lumbering, plodding.

By round eleven, Stiverne was gassed. Bryan hurt him with a right hand and dropped him twice. Soon after the second knockdown, referee Frank Gentile stopped the fight.

It’s unclear how much each fighter will be paid. But neither fighter is expected to be happy with his purse. FITE is now believed to be projecting a total of under three hundred pay-per-view buys.

Don King was not seen live on camera or heard from throughout the telecast.

Four decades ago, Mark Kram wrote, “Don King is a man who wants to swallow mountains, walk on oceans, and sleep on clouds.”

There was a time when King seemed capable of doing all of those things. But not anymore.

Thomas Hauser’s email address is thomashauserwriter@gmail.com. His most recent book – Staredown: Another Year Inside Boxing – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. In 2019, Hauser was selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Thomas Hauser is the author of 52 books. In 2005, he was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America, which bestowed the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism upon him. He was the first Internet writer ever to receive that award. In 2019, Hauser was chosen for boxing's highest honor: induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Lennox Lewis has observed, “A hundred years from now, if people want to learn about boxing in this era, they’ll read Thomas Hauser.”

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Boxing Odds and Ends: A Travesty of a Heavyweight ‘Title Fight’ Jake Paul and More

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It’s official. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, a formal press conference was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, to announce the forthcoming fight between Mahmoud Charr, formerly known as Manuel Charr, and Kubrat Pulev. They will meet in Bulgaria’s capital city on March 30 at a 12,000-seat arena.

Charr vs Kubrat bears the imprimatur of a world heavyweight title fight (WBA version). Charr is considered the champion, notwithstanding the fact that others have held the title since he first laid claim to it more than six years ago.

The WBA, as we know, recognizes two champions in some weight classes, a “super” champion and a “regular” champion. The “super” designation was created in 2000. It was designed to segregate title-holders into levels of accomplishment. In theory, a “super” champion has made five successful defenses and is recognized as a world title-holder by at least one of the three other major sanctioning bodies. “Super” champions are allowed certain liberties with respect to mandatory title defenses.

The bifurcation was greeted with hoots of derision. The Panama-based WBA trivialized the sport.

Mahmoud Charr

Mahmoud Charr was born in Beirut but has resided in Germany since he was a little boy. He won the vacant title with a 12-round decision over unexceptional Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany.  It was a close fight. TSS ringside correspondent Phil Woolever had Ustinov winning 7 rounds to 5, but conceded that the verdict could not be called an injustice.

The title that Charr won was vacated by Ruslan Chagaev who won the belt from Fres Oquendo, lost it to Lucas Browne, and got it back by decree when Browne’s post-fight urine tests showed evidence of banned substances. But Chagaev never fought again. His fight with Browne was his last.

Charr’s first defense was to come against Fres Oquendo. Slated for March 23, 2019 in Cologne after being pushed back from September of the previous year, the match never came to fruition when Charr tested positive for two banned substances. Things get really muddled from here with Charr pushed to the sideline by legal battles complicated by Don King’s shenanigans. King arranged a fight in Florida between Charr and his fighter Trevor Bryan and succeeded in getting Bryan the WBA belt when Charr was unable to get a visa. The belt is vacant again after Bryan was knocked out by Daniel Dubois who, in turn, was knocked out by “super” champion Oleksandr Usyk.

There are more threads to this saga but let’s not go there. Suffice it to say that after defeating Ustinov, Charr was out of action for the next three-and-a-half years. He’s had only three fights since 2017 and to say that his opponents were men of low repute would be giving them the best of it. In his most recent assignment, in December of 2022, he scored a second-round stoppage over 46-year-old Swiss-Albanian slug Nuri Seferi. That brought his record to 34-4 (20). He has been stopped three times, most recently in 2015 when he was halted in five frames by future cruiserweight champion Maris Briedis.

Kubrat Pulev

Kubrat Pulev will have the home field advantage in Sofia. Charr will have youth on his side. He’s 39; Pulev is 42.

Pulev sports a 30-3 record. The losses came at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko (L KO 5), Anthony Joshua (L KO 9), and Derek Chisora (L SD 12). He last fought in December at the OC Hangar in Costa Mesa, CA, where he won a lopsided decision over Polish journeyman Andrzej Wawrzyk.

In a previous engagement here at the Hangar, a concert hall that seats a shade over 3,000, he TKOed Bogdan Dinu. That bout is remembered mostly for what happened after it ended. In an incident that went viral on social media, Pulev surprised Jennifer Ravalo, a self-styled journalist, with a kiss on the lips. That animated women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred and led to an 8-page spread in Playboy (of Ravalo, not Allred). The California State Athletic Commission fined and suspended Pulev and mandated that he undergo sexual harassment training. The suspension lasted 120 days.

The match between Charr and Pulev, says a blurb about it, is an “eagerly anticipated” clash between “two evergreen living legends.” We will let you provide the punchline, The winner is expected to fight Martin Bakole who was knocked out by Michael Hunter.

Jake Paul

Jake Paul, the enfant terrible of prizefighting, returns this Saturday on a card in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that will air on DAZN. Paul, an influencer who brought his big social media following with him when he took up fisticuffing, is coming off a first-round stoppage of Andre August, a no-name fighter from Texas. Saturday’s sacrificial lamb is a fellow from Dickinson, North Dakota (by way of Benicia, California) named Ryan Bourland.

Bourland, who is reportedly 35 years old but looks older, scored his signature win in 2018 when he avenged a previous defeat with a 10-round majority decision over Jose Hernandez. He has fought only one since then, TKOing a fighter with a losing record in a 6-rounder at a lodge on a remote Indian reservation in North Dakota. That improved his ledger to 17-2 (6 KOs).

Regarding Jake Paul, Thomas Hauser once wrote that he’s worked hard to become a better boxer and is “certainly better than a Golden Gloves novice.” There was a time when this reporter, perhaps naively, thought that Jake had the potential to become a legitimate top-15 cruiserweight, but his recent choice of opponents suggests that he is comfortable just spinning his wheels.

His bout with Bourland will play second fiddle to Amanda Serrano’s featherweight title defense against Germany’s Nina Meinke (18-3, 4 KOs). Although Amanda has a lot of mileage on her odometer, she is expected to have little difficulty with Meinke. In another bout of note, Puerto Rican campaigners Jonathan Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KOs) and Rene Santiago (12-3, 9 KOs) will meet in a 12-rounder with Gonzalez’s WBO light flyweight title at stake.

—-

Let’s conclude this write-up on an upbeat note. Hall of Fame boxing writer Bernard Fernandez, a frequent TSS contributor, informs us that his fifth and presumably final anthology is nearing completion with a likely release date of April or May. “Championship Rounds, Round 5” includes a foreword by Gerry Cooney and has drawn glowing reviews from the likes of Dave Kindred and Dr. Gordon Marino who both had an early peek at the manuscript. Kindred, a renowned sportswriter and author, was the subject of a 2021 piece on “60 Minutes.” Marino, a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, has written extensively about boxing for the Wall Street Journal.

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Results from Orlando where Berlanga KOed McCrory in a Possible Prelude to Canelo

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Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom organization was at the Caribe Royale tonight, a non-gaming resort near Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Unbeaten super middleweights Edgar Berlanga and Padraig McCrory squared off in the main event.

The fight started slow, but it soon became apparent that McCrory, a 35-year-old father of three from Belfast, Northern Ireland, was a domestic-level fighter, notwithstanding his undefeated (18-0) record. Berlanga, whose last five fights had gone the distance, roughed him up with some dirty tactics before taking him out in the sixth round with a crunching right hand that sent the Irishman face-first to the canvas. As McCrory pulled himself upright on rubbery legs, the towel flew in from his corner. The official time was 2:44.

As well-documented, Berlanga opened his pro career with 16 consecutive first-round knockouts. Nonetheless, he was let go by Top Rank in what purportedly was an amicable divorce. This was his second fight under the Matchroom banner. Eddie Hearn signed him with an eye on scoring a big-money match with Canelo Alvarez. The red-headed Mexican superstar is committed to returning to the ring in May on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas, but hasn’t yet locked in an opponent.

If Berlanga gets the nod, he would be a heavy underdog, but the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico angle (coupled with Berlanga’s new-found reputation as a dirty fighter) would make it an easy sell.

Co-Feature

In only his third professional fight, Cuban defector Andy Cruz was bumped into the co-feature. That was in recognition of his amateur pedigree. Among his accomplishments, he was 4-0 vs. Keyshawn Davis with the last win coming in the gold medal round of the Tokyo Olympics.

Cruz, 28, was expected to win as he pleased against his Mexican opponent, Bryan Zamarripa, and he did win all 10 rounds on all three scorecards, but in common with many great Cuban amateurs, he seemed to lack something in the power department. Zamarripa was 14-2 heading in.

Other Bouts of Note

In a 12-round welterweight contest that was devoid of drama, Uzbekistan native Shakhram Giyasov, an Olympic silver medalist who has lost precious few rounds as a pro, won a lopsided technical decision over well-recycled 34-year-old Mexican Pablo Cesar Cano.

Giyasov (15-0, 9 KOs) sent Cano (35-9-1) to the canvas in the third round with a body punch. At the end of round 11, as their feet were tangled, he pushed Cano to the canvas and the Mexican ostensibly suffered a broken ankle when he fell. That sent the bout to the scorecards where the decision (109-99 x3) was a formality. With the victory, Giyasov earned a shot at WBA belt-holder Eimantas Stanionis.

The 12-round bantamweight match between Antonio Vargas and Jonathan Rodriguez, two fighters of Puerto Rican descent, was framed as a WBA bantamweight title eliminator. Rodriguez, the underdog, floored Vargas in the opening stanza. He had scored a stunning first-round knockout of 27-1 Khalid Yafai in his previous start and it appeared that another upset was brewing. But the match quickly turned one-sided in favor of Vargas who put Rodriguez on the canvas in the very next frame (and had two points deducted for hitting him after the bell) and then put him down again at the end of round seven with a sweeping left hook after which Rodriguez’s corner properly pulled him out.

Vargas, a 2016 Olympian who had home field advantage in Florida, improved to 18-1 (10 KOs) and became the mandatory opponent for Takuma Inoue who won earlier today in Tokyo. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s Rodriguez declined to 17-2-1.

The opening bout on the TV portion of the card was a 10-round flyweight affair that looked like a runaway for showboating Yankiel Rivera until gritty Andy Dominguez made things interesting.

Rivera, who improved to 5-0 (2), was Puerto Rico’s lone representative in the Tokyo Olympics. In Mexico-born Andy Dominguez, he was fighting a former three-time New York City Golden Gloves champion who was also unbeaten (10-0 heading in). Rivera dominated the match but was caught napping in round nine and Dominguez, although all busted-up, hurt him and almost put him down. That was most lopsided round of the fight, but also the only round that Dominguez won in the eyes of the judges.

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

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

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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+.

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Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Jesus Perez Upends Jojo Diaz; Wins an Unpopular Decision

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Featured Articles2 weeks ago

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

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Featured Articles5 days ago

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

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Featured Articles3 days ago

Results from Orlando where Berlanga KOed McCrory in a Possible Prelude to Canelo

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Featured Articles1 week ago

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

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Featured Articles6 days ago

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

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Featured Articles3 days ago

Rising Contenders Gor Yeritsyan and Cain Sandoval Stay Unbeaten at Chumash

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Featured Articles3 days ago

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

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Featured Articles1 day ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A Travesty of a Heavyweight ‘Title Fight’ Jake Paul and More

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Featured Articles1 day ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: A Travesty of a Heavyweight ‘Title Fight’ Jake Paul and More

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Featured Articles3 days ago

Results from Orlando where Berlanga KOed McCrory in a Possible Prelude to Canelo

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Featured Articles3 days ago

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

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Featured Articles3 days ago

Rising Contenders Gor Yeritsyan and Cain Sandoval Stay Unbeaten at Chumash

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Featured Articles5 days ago

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

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Featured Articles6 days ago

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

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Featured Articles1 week ago

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

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Featured Articles1 week ago

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

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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 Articles2 weeks ago

Jesus Perez Upends Jojo Diaz; Wins an Unpopular Decision

Avils-Perspective-Chap-273-Jojo-Diaz-O'Shaquie-Foster-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

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

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Featured Articles2 weeks ago

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

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Oscar De La Hoya at Mandalay Bay: Then and Now

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Featured Articles3 weeks ago

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

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

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

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Featured Articles3 weeks ago

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

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Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Usyk vs. Fury Unravels

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Featured Articles4 weeks ago

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

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Featured Articles4 weeks ago

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

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