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Should a Boxer be Forced to Retire When He Reaches a Certain Age?: A New TSS Survey

Ted Sares

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Tris Dixon’s new book, “Damage: The Untold Story of Brain Trauma in Boxing,” has stirred up considerable conversation among boxing people. In this vein, the survey question this time was whether a professional boxer should be forced to retire when he or she reaches a certain age? Here is what over 40 respondents said. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Jeff Bumpus — former fighter; writer: No. It’s the only thing that some people have. It’s a way of making a living in a dishonest game. Take that away from a person who can do nothing else and you create a problem where none existed before. He probably will be dead before brain injuries do their work.

Steve Canton — writer, author and head of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame: I don’t believe a boxer should be forced to retire at a certain age because each fighter is different and ages differently. The rigors of the sport affect each fighter differently. Rather than a certain age, perhaps medical testing should be the deciding factor.

Michael Culbert — former boxer: Every fighter is different. If a fighter can pass the proper physical exams, he or she should be allowed to box. Especially important are CAT scans and MRI’s on the brain for older boxers.

Jill Diamond — WBC International Secretary and Global Chair, WBC Cares:  Physiology differs. A person can be young and sustain enough punches to cause TBI years down the road, or be the kind of fighter that rarely gets hit, has fewer fights, or has a stronger neck and skull, etc. Until there are accurate tests to determine long term damage, I would rather see consistent, uniform and thorough testing rather than age.

Matt Farrago — former boxer and founder of Ring 10: Forced to retire? Absolutely not unless he or she is showing clear signs of serious or permanent damage. No two people are the same. Each fighter handles punches and damage differently. Plus, this is their livelihood. This is how they make a living or hope to. Who gets to make that call and how can the fighter be compensated for by a forced early retirement? A UNION has to formed.

Rick Farris — writer, former fighter, and head of West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame: I have strong feelings about “over age” boxers being licensed to fight. Those for it cite a few examples such as George Foreman to support their theory. Those against bring more credible evidence to support the risks involved. Trying to pick a specific age for mandatory retirement is difficult because all boxers age differently. I’m not going to get involved in this because it will not change one thing.

Bernard Fernandez – journalist, author, 2020 IBHOF inductee: Setting an arbitrary retirement age for boxers is not the answer to eliminating or even significantly reducing the possibility of traumatic brain injuries. Meldrick Taylor’s cognitive decline was beginning to be evident at 26; Bernard Hopkins still was mentally sharp after his final bout, when he was nearly 52. Not all fighters, or their brains, fit easy categorization. State commissions and physicians can only go so far in making assessments of any individual’s fitness for continuing in a hard profession.

Michael Finn — former fighter and president of RING 4: A boxer’s right to participate in the sport should be terminated when mental or physical defects are noticed in the person in question. The decision should be rendered by an independent medical staff.

Jeffrey Freeman (aka KO Digest), TSS writer: Of course not. Stop the sanctimonious wailing. Boxing is the hurt business. Under a proposal such as this it’s hard to see how George Foreman would ever get his triumphant last laugh at 45. Unless the age limit is 65, no.

Clarence George – writer, boxing historian: Wear and tear trumps age. Medical exams should be more regular and rigorous, and the doctor’s determination should be universally accepted by boxing commissions. It’s not unreasonable for the boxer to request a second opinion. If there’s medical agreement, however, that should be the end of the matter. If there isn’t, a third doctor’s opinion should be sought, in which case it would come down to a split decision one way or the other.

Dr. Margaret Goodman: — neurologist, author, former ringside physician, chairperson of VADA, 2021 IBHOF inductee:  “Age is just a number” and cannot be the sole factor. The timing of a fighter’s retirement should be multifactorial. “Ring age” is much more important—number of rounds a fighter has endured–including in the amateurs, stoppage losses and most importantly a yearly evaluation. Too few commissions are willing to deny a fighter a license and so they rely upon passing tests. It’s frustrating, often expensive and time consuming when determining if a fighter’s license should be denied, but to me, the most important role a commission has is determining fitness to box.  More often than not a commission doesn’t need costly testing to make that determination, but legal challenges often weigh in their determination. If we look at CTE autopsies–some of those individuals only had exposure when they were teens or college age….and may have had subconcussive blows–which may be of more significance than concussion itself. I agree that boxing is a young person’s sport, but that doesn’t mean we don’t include it—it means we have to look at the entire picture.

Randy Gordon — former New York Athletic Commission chairman, host of “At the Fights” on Sirius Radio, historian, writer: Part of me says there should be a mandatory retirement while another part says everyone is as different as a fingerprint. If the retirement age in boxing was, say  38, that would eliminate such men as Mayweather, Foreman,  Holyfield, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, etc from competing. Some fighters are damaged goods in their early 30’s, while others (like Mayweather and Pacquiao) are still going strong in their early 40’s. With some fighters, obvious physical deterioration is noticeable in their 20’s. There should not be a mandatory retirement age, but rather, a commission or medical review board to handle each case individually

Allan Green — multiple world title challenger: No, as long as his or her health is intact they should be allowed to compete.

Lee Groves — historian, writer, author, CompuBox wizard and podcast panelist:  I don’t agree with a mandatory blanket age. We all are built differently and we all have different capabilities. Some fighters burn out by their mid-20s while others, like Foreman, Hopkins, Pacquiao, Mayweather, GGG and many more, can still compete well at a high level at an advanced age. What if Eder Jofre retired for good after his second fight with Harada? We then wouldn’t have seen one of the most remarkable comebacks in history — 25 fights, 25 wins and a second world title in a higher weight class at the age of 37. Medical and ring results and not an arbitrarily determined age should determine when a fighter should retire.

Henry Hascup — president of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, RING 8 official, and noted historian: No! Fighters grow old at different times. Fighters like George Foreman, Bernard Hopkins and Archie Moore were still competing at a high level well into their 40’s. While others like Terry McGovern, Tami Mauriello and Artie Levine were done by their mid-20’s! Styles play a big part as well; boxers usually last longer than sluggers.

Bruce Kielty — professional boxing booking agent:  Federal laws would prevail if an arbitrary age was chosen. The Chief Ringside Inspector should be qualified enough to determine if a boxer is unable to safely compete and his/her license be revoked. The boxer could then challenge the matter in a court of law, if desired.

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I am an old man. I just happen to be an old man that can fight. — Bernard Hopkins

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Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum – former head of the Michigan Boxing Commission: Age is not the problem…it is how many miles are on the car. Boxers start too young as amateurs when the brain and skull is not fully developed. Professionals can be placed on medical suspensions but be allowed in unregulated gyms to spar. In baseball a manager counts pitches not to ruin an arm, but in boxing it’s not the number of fights but the number of rounds in the gym and bouts that accumulatively cook in the crock pot for a serving of brain trauma.

Jim Lampley – linchpin of the legendary HBO Boxing announcing team, 2015 IBHOF inductee: Age is the wrong criterion for evaluation of a fighter’s pathology because just as styles make fights, styles identify careers. A gifted 37-year-old defender/counterpuncher is one thing, a gifted 37-year-old puncher/warrior is something entirely different. I am not sure what criterion I would suggest for this other than age, but I know for sure that age isn’t it.

Arne Lang — TSS editor-in-chief, author, historian: If I ran a state boxing commission, I would convene a panel and charge them with developing a formula for establishing a line in the sand — a boundary beyond which no boxer would be licensed in my jurisdiction. Yes, I know that’s just passing the buck, but so be it. And by the way, Evander Holyfield doesn’t need to be taking any more punches to the head, not even punches from oversized gloves in a glorified sparring session, and shame on anyone that would abet it.

Ron Lipton — former police official, veteran pro referee, former fighter, boxing writer and historian, inducted into both the NJ and NY State Boxing Halls of Fame: The sole determining factor is the physical and medical determination by the respective Boxing Commission’s medical staff once they have been  provided with the results of an MRI, cat scan, thorough blood workup, physical tests and exams involving reflexes, eye sight, hearing, cardio vascular fitness and the history of the individual applying for the boxing license. When approaching 50 years of age, prudent judgment is required. Some boxers are too old at 35, others can still fight at 50.

Paul Magno — boxing writer, author: No mandatory retirement age. All fighters are different and travel different career paths. Forcing retirement would’ve robbed us of Bernard Hopkins’ post-40 run as well as the late career exploits of Pacquiao, Mayweather, Marquez, etc. There should be, however, an oversight committee of experts and fight-knowledgeable physicians deciding, on a case by case basis, whether fighters should still be competing. But that opens up the question of how we could do something like that and enforce the committee’s decisions. As long as boxing continues to be a regulatory mess, fighters will continue to box under varying degrees of risk.

Don Majewski — historian and official of RING 8: I suppose a question of an individual’s right comes into play here. Different people age in different ways. On the whole humans are growing larger and living longer as to boxing; Wilfredo Benitez was finished at 25 and is near catatonic today at age 63 while Archie Moore did not win his world title until he was 36 – and held it for nine years and lived, relatively healthy, to 82 years of age. On the whole — as we are talking about a commercial enterprise (professional boxing) where the person (the boxer) is the commodity — I do not believe that any boxer who has not made it by age 40 should continue to fight. I would say that 90% of the professional boxers I’ve known past the age of 65 have had brain damage

Adeyinka Makinde – U.K. barrister, author, and contributor to the Cambridge Companion to Boxing: Boxers should not be forced to retire at a particular age. But boxing commissions should strictly enforce retirement based on comprehensive physical surveys with particular emphasis on the condition of a boxer’s brain and eyes. There would need to be a determined level of national and international co-operation over this. The quality of the fighter’s life after what is a limited time span of a career should be paramount notwithstanding the romantic tales of the likes of Joe Frazier and Gypsy Joe Harris, both of whom apparently fought half-blinded.

Robert Mladinich — former NYC police official, boxer, writer, author, actor, commentator, and God only knows what else: In the early 1980s, heavyweight Dave Zyglewicz sued the NYS Athletic Commission to be allowed to make a comeback at 38. Today he would be considered a spring chicken. To protect fighters from themselves, there could be individual medical evaluations after a certain age or amount of fights with strict criteria. One size does not fit all in life or in sports so putting an age limit on boxers would be well-intentioned but unfair.

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                     Retirement should be multifactorial — Dr. Margaret Goodman

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Gordon Marino – philosophy professor emeritus, Wall Street Journal boxing writer, trainer: Seems like a good idea to me despite the exceptions. My wife is a neuroscientist and work some with the professional fighters brain health study. The fact is as we age our brains shrink and there’s more room for them to be slammed against our skull or at least that’s how I understand part of the problem. Still, so many people who fight on into middle age are just doing it because they’re broke and they’re getting hurt.

David Martinez — writer and historian: I have always contended that NOBODY beats father time. I would be in favor of a specific age limit for professional boxers to retire, that has nothing to do with the amount of fights in one’s career. These days we are subject to retired boxers in participation with something called an “exhibition” … as said in a circus “ladies and gentlemen – let the show begin” and I can’t wait – what’s next – dancing elephants?

Layla McCarter – active boxer, world champion in multiple weight divisions: Definitely not. Age is not the factor unless they have slowed considerably and are taking damage. Everyone is different.

Diego Morilla — The Ring en Español/RingTV.co: The issue of  forcing retirement due to age or neurological damage is touchy and goes straight to the heart of boxing as a viable human activity. But the debate, to me, can be summarized in a simple question: are the proponents of this forceful ban or retirement willing to do the same for every human activity that implies irreparable physical or neurological damage? Are they rallying people in coal mines, chemical plants, virus-infested intensive care units or risky demolition or construction sites to leave those life-threatening, low-paying jobs because of the danger they face each day? As long as a person is free to earn a living legally and honestly, he or she is free to put his body at risk. And no other human activity exposes the hypocrisy of those who pretend to know how to judge other people’s exposure to harm better than boxing. Hence the occasional (and always futile) calls for its demise.

Joe Pasquale – elite boxing judge: As in any sport it is about condition, not age. Too many stoppages, injuries and concussions would make it a licensing issue for the Boxing Commission. Otherwise, retirement would be a personal choice.

Russell Peltz – legendary Philadelphia boxing promoter, 2004 IBHOF inductee: Not at all. Look at Hopkins. If they can pass all required post-40 medicals, why not let them fight?

Cliff Rold — writer, editor: No. Mandatory retirement age has never made sense. Fighters age differently.

Fred Romano — historian, author: I am not in favor of mandatory retirement. What we need are state commissions which are not unduly influenced by political or financial factors and that are supported by a sound medical review of potential participants.

Dana Rosenblatt — former middleweight champion of the world, motivational speaker, commentator: All fighters have physical differences that make them more or less susceptible to brain injury. Arbitrary age restrictions will not hurt a fighter’s chance of living a quality life after boxing. However, tell George Foreman that he can’t fight anymore at the moment he knocked out Michael Moorer and you not only rob him but also the world of true greatness and inspiration.

Ted Sares: TSS writer and historian:  For me, Dr. Bennet Omalu made the CTE breakthrough in football and Dr. Ann McKee connected football to boxing with her study of Paul Pender. Faced with massive legal action, football started to take responsibility. Boxing, however, continues to largely ignore the issues. One way (and there are others) to break through this denial is to establish a zero-tolerance age limit. Make it 40 or 42 or 45, but just do it.

Iceman John Scully — former fighter, elite trainer: Every fighter is completely different. Literally completely different biological forms. You have to go on an individual basis. If forced retirement was in effect, Bernard Hopkins would never have added to his legacy as he did and would never have been a world champion at a seriously advanced age for a boxer and Willie Pep wouldn’t have 229 professional victories. Fighters are all completely different physically and biologically and must be treated and dealt with accordingly.

Peter Silkov – British boxing writer, artist, founder of The Boxing Glove: Boxers should not be retired due to biological age but on a performance and health related system. We all know the fighters who have carried on fighting when they are already slurring or showing stark decline in the ring. Often it has nothing to do with biological age, more the mileage travelled inside the ring. Benitez should have been retired at 24 while Archie Moore and Bernard Hopkins were winning world titles in their late 30s and 40s. We have to stop fighters like Danny Williams. It’s all too obvious who needs to be retired for their own safety.

Mike Silver — author, writer and eminent boxing historian: Glad you are bringing attention to this important book. Focusing on age misses the point and diverts attention away from the main problem. There are some fighters who should be retired at 19 or 20. There are too many other factors to consider. No one should be allowed near a ring until they’ve read this book.

Alan Swyer — associated with the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame, movie producer (Boxeo, etc): Though age is certainly a factor, in a period when boxers have far fewer fights than before, imposing retirement at a certain age seems like a half-hearted solution. Think about the great Sugar Ray Robinson, who had thirteen fights in 1965 alone — and fought until he was 44 had no brain trauma. In contrast, Ferdie Pacheco told me that in Ali’s case the issue was not age, but the early signs of Parkinson’s. What we need is better coaching plus far better medical attention.

Bruce Trampler – Top Rank matchmaker, screenwriter, blogger, 2010 IBHOF inductee: It was considered remarkable that Jersey Joe Walcott was heavyweight champ at 38. Athletes age better today (Brady, Foreman, Hopkins,  Pujols, etc.) so there should be no age limit in boxing. However, fighters should be analyzed on an individual basis, from amateurs who have been getting hit in the head since age 10 to the sport’s senior citizens. I once asked a neurologist when brain damage showed during an exam, and his reply was “When it’s too late.” Kelcie Banks, a U.S. Olympian in 1988 at age 23, seemed damaged goods neurologically just four years later. He was a beautiful kid and was sadly allowed to fight on, struggling against very low-level opposition. Many top boxers now fight safely and competitively well into their late 30s and even beyond. We would never automatically say anyone over 75 should not drive, and boxers of any age should be examined separately before being licensed. I saw Jerry Quarry and Terry Norris pass physicals well past their “sell by” date, yet they were rejected for a license, as Kelcie Banks finally was, too. Amen.

Harold Weston Jr. — popular middleweight contender of the 1970s and member of NY State Boxing Hall of Fame: I have discussed this with many doctors and I have been in the ring with great boxers who are not doing well today. Some have passed. Boxing and football are sports in which anything can happen. If you engage with the best, you will get hit “hard.”

Gary “Digital” Williams — voice of Boxing on the Beltway: I’m not sure if it should be a certain age more than a certain condition. There is a boxer I know in his 40’s who is still competing well. But if the condition is bad, that boxer shouldn’t be competing.

Tim Witherspoon — former two-time heavyweight champion of the world: Yes, boxers should be forced to retire if they get too old. It’s just too much for the brain to handle. I also think there should be some test-taking to see if a boxer has brain damage. Safety should be the number one priority and also a boxing Union.

Peter Wood — former fighter, writer and author: No, he or she should not be forced to retire. Boxing should remain what it is—an outlaw sport for rugged individuals and risky iconoclasts. Good question.

Observations: Only four respondents (including yours truly) went for an age restriction. The overwhelming consensus can be summed up in three words: “everyone is different.” Clarence George’s response is especially well-stated and covers the bases nicely.

In summary and based on this survey, the issue is not age. It’s the punishment a fighter has taken and the damage it has done.

What do you think?

Pictured: The Quarry brothers, Jerry and Mike.

Ted Sares enjoys researching and writing about boxing. He also competes as a powerlifter in the 80-85-class. He can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com

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Dan Parker Bashed the Bad Guys in Boxing and Earned a Ticket to the Hall of Fame

Arne K. Lang

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Twenty-five years ago this month, sportswriter Dan Parker was formally ushered into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the non-participant category. Parker wasn’t there to enjoy the moment. He had been dead going on 30 years.

Dan Parker, who began his career in journalism as a court reporter in his native Waterbury, Connecticut, hired on with the New York Daily Mirror in 1924, was named sports editor two years later, and remained with the paper until it folded during a prolonged newspaper strike in 1963, a total of 39 years.

Parker has been underappreciated by historians of the sports page because he worked for a paper that didn’t make the cut when advances in microphotography allowed copies of old newspapers to be stored on microfilm. During this reporter’s days as a college student — and here I date myself – the only out-of-town papers archived in the school library were the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, and to cull something out of them for a term paper one had to commit to spending long hours manually scrolling through reels of microfilm on a clunky machine. The tabloids – and the Daily Mirror was a tabloid – were considered too lowbrow for serious research, and even today in the digital age, stuff by Dan Parker is hard to find if one doesn’t have the luxury of hunkering down for an extended stay in the periodicals section of the Library of Congress. His online omnibus consists entirely of scattered stories that were picked up by other newspapers and a few magazine pieces.

But among boxing writers, Dan Parker was a giant. He did more than anyone to cleanse the sport of the hoodlum element. The IBHOF electorate has come up with some curious choices in the non-participant category over the years, but in the case of Dan Parker they certainly got it right.

Parker was a big man, carrying about 240 pounds on his six-foot-four frame, but a man’s size is irrelevant when staring into the barrel of a gun and Parker was fearless when facing off with the goons that infested the fight racket. His best year, one might say, was 1955 when a story he authored for Bluebook magazine flowered into an award-winning, six-part series in the Mirror titled “They’re Murdering Boxing.” The series spawned an investigation that ultimately resulted in the imprisonment of Frankie Carbo, boxing’s so-called underworld czar, a man with a long rap sheet, and several of Carbo’s collaborators, most notably Philadelphia numbers baron Frank “Blinky” Palermo.

Parker’s friends urged him to lay off the hoodlums before something bad happened to him, but he ignored their counsel. “Everybody in boxing lived in fear of this enforcer (Frankie Carbo) but not Dan Parker. Nobody ever put enough heat on Parker to slow down his typewriter,” reminisced Hartford Courant sports editor Bill Lee.

Parker’s reputation as a reformer was well-established before he zeroed in on the machinations of Carbo and others of his ilk. In 1944, when a vacancy came up on the New York State Athletic Commission, Governor Thomas Dewey, who had made his reputation as a racket-busting District Attorney, offered the post to Parker.

It was easy money, but he declined. “What would I use for a punching bag if I were on the boxing commission myself?,” he said.

During a portion of Parker’s tenure with the paper, there were eight other New York dailies competing for readers. The Mirror was the paper of choice for well-informed boxing fans thanks in large part to Murray Lewin who came to be recognized as the city’s best fight prognosticator within the ranks of the newspaper writers. Lewin, the boxing beat writer, did the grunt work, attending all the little shows and writing up the summaries. Parker, as he freely admitted, was more interested in writing about sporting characters than about the games they played. And like his good buddy Damon Runyon, who wrote for the New York American (later the Journal-American), Parker was inevitably drawn to boxing and horseracing because that was where the most colorful characters were found.

Parker found time to write one book, a primer for novice horseplayers published in 1947 when horseracing was on the cusp of the boom that would lead it to becoming America’s top spectator sport (a distinction, needless to say, that wouldn’t last).

The book had a chapter on touts, one of Parker’s favorite subjects for his newspaper column. They were all charlatans, he wrote, an opinion that did not endear him to the bean-counters as they were forever cluttering up his sports section with ads from racetrack tipsters. Parker wasn’t afraid to make enemies on his own paper.

Believe it or not, but there were still folks back then who believed that professional wrestling was on the up-and-up. Parker educated them when he wrote a column that gave out all the winners on a show that hadn’t yet started.

The programs for the wrestling shows, which included the bout sheet, were published well in advance and then hidden away until they were needed. Parker procured a copy and from it was able to glean which wrestlers had won their preceding match.

“Dan was a shy, gentle, and kindly man with a quick sense of humor,” wrote New York Times sports editor Arthur Daley. But within his profession, he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The legendary Herald Tribune sports editor Stanley Woodward once likened him to Fearless Fosdick, a character in the L’il Abner comic strip who was a parody of Dick Tracy. Parker had a long-running feud with New York Daily News sportswriter Jimmy Powers which may have had something to do with Powers becoming a well-known radio commentator. In the eyes of the old guard, a true journalist didn’t do “electronic media.”

When Damon Runyon died from cancer of the larynx in 1946, several of his close friends, notably Parker and the famous gossip columnist Walter Winchell, a Daily Mirror colleague, got together and resolved to create a charity in Runyon’s memory. What resulted was a foundation that has raised millions for cancer research. Parker worked tirelessly on its behalf.

Daniel Francis “Dan” Parker died on May 20, 1967, at age 73. He was quite a guy.

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What Next for Gabriel Rosado?

Ted Sares

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What Next for Gabriel Rosado?

Bektemir Melikuziev, Freddie Roach, Edgar Berlanga, and Jaime Munguia are names that, one way or another, figured into Gabe Rosado’s stunning KO last Saturday night in El Paso. It overshadowed the impressive showing by Noaya “Monster” Inoue later that night in Las Vegas.

Rosado (26-13-1) is a well-documented bleeder and just might start spurting during the walk-in, but he is never, ever in a dull fight. The tougher-than-tough Philadelphian won Top Gore honors for his blood and guts TKO loss to Canadian middleweight star David Lemieux in 2014. The year before, he bled aplenty in his game but losing effort against Gennady Golovkin.

This time against Melikuziev, the unbeaten Uzbek, the fight ended in round three when the 35-year-old underdog beat the Eastern Euro fighter to the punch during an exchange of rights with Gabe’s landing first and sending the former amateur star into dreamland. The force of the blow was amplified by the younger and faster man coming forward with caution to the wind. And this time, there was no bloodletting.

The knockout should be a contender for KO of the Year. In fact, it was reminiscent of Juan Manuel Marquez’s explosive knockout of Manny Pacquiao in their final match.

Once again, Rosado (who is now trained by Freddie Roach) has revived his career and can count on at least one last decent payday. While many think Jaime Munguia would be a solid next fight, the thinking here is that Rosado could get carved up by the undefeated Tijuana veteran who has won 30 of his 37 fights by KO. Munguia is just too good.

The Catch 22

Rosado is an all-action fighter but scar tissue and his propensity to bleed is his worst enemy. It has cost him in the past. For such an offensive-minded fighter as Gabe, he is trapped in a terrible catch-22. If he can get the lead early and the bleeding is stemmed within reasonable limits, he can be a force, but not against the likes of Munguia.

If not Munguia, then who?  Here is one suggestion: How about “The Chosen One,” Edgar Berlanga (17-0) whose first round KO streak recently came to an end. Brooklyn vs. Philadelphia would be a nice added touch –not to mention the Puerto Rican factor. Could Rosado expose Berlanga as someone without enough experience, aka rounds? Would Gabe show that Berlanga is more Tyson Brunson that Edwin Valero?

Let’s make it happen!

Ted Sares enjoys researching and writing about boxing. He also competes as a powerlifter in the Master-class. He can be reached at  tedsares@roadrunner.com

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Fast Results from Las Vegas: Inoue Demolishes Dasmarinas; Mayer UD Farias

Arne K. Lang

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Fast Results from Las Vegas: Inoue Demolishes Dasmarinas; Mayer UD  Farias

LAS VEGAS — Top Rank was at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 19, for the second of their three June shows. In the headliner, WBA/IBF world bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue lived up to his nickname with a vicious third round stoppage of Filipino import Michael Dasmarinas.

Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) had his opponent fighting off his back foot from the opening bell. He knocked down Dasmarinas in the second with a left hook to the liver and twice more in the third round before referee Russell Mora waived it off. The official time was 2:45.

Dasmarinas brought a 30-2-1 record and hadn’t lost since 2014. But he was no match for the “Monster” who looks younger than his 28 years. Those body shots landed with a thud that could be heard in the far reaches of the arena. This kid is really good.

Mikaela Mayer continues to improve as she showed tonight in the first defense of her WBO world super featherweight title. Mayer 15-0 (5) turned away Argentina’s Erica Farias (26-5) with a 10-round unanimous decision in a fight that was frankly rather monotonous.

Mayer won by scores of 97-93 and 98-92 twice. Farias, who landed the best punch of the fight, didn’t have the taller Mayer’s physical equipment but yet landed the best punch of the fight. Her only setbacks have come on the road against elite opponents—Cecilia Braekhus, Delfine Person, Jessica McCaskill (twice) and now Mikaela Mayer.

The opener on the ESPN portion of the show was a lusty 10-round welterweight affair between Ghana native Isaac Dogboe and Glendale, California’s Adam Lopez. Dogboe, whose only losses came at the hands of Emanuel Navarette in world title fights, improved to 22-2 by dint of a majority decision that could have easily gone the other way. Dave Moretti had it a draw but was overruled (97-93 and 96-94).

Lopez, one of two fighting sons of the late Hector Lopez, an Olympic silver medalist, did his best work late, particularly in the eighth round. With the loss, his record declines to 15-3.

Other Bouts

Monterrey, Mexico super lightweight Lindolfo Delgado, a 2016 Olympian, was extended the distance for the first time in his career but won a wide 8-round decision over Guadalajara’s Salvador Briceno

Delgado won by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 twice while advancing his record to 12-0. Delgado’s best round was the eighth, but Briceno (17-7) weathered the storm. Briceno is 5-6 in his last 11, but has been matched tough. The six fighters to beat him, including Delgado, were a combined 78-3 at the time that he fought them.

Vista, California lightweight Eric Puente has yet to score a KO but he is undefeated in six starts after winning a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Antonio Meza (7-6). Puente, who is trained by Robert Garcia, knocked Meza down early into the fight with a sweeping left and was the aggressor throughout. The judges had it 57-56 and 58-55 twice.

Puerto Rican super lightweight Omar Rosario improved to 4-0 (2) with a fourth-round stoppage of Reno, Nevada’s Wilfred “JJ” Moreno (3-1) The official time was 0:47.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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