Author Archives: Charles Jay

All the Details — Middleweights Alejandro Silva vs. Issah Samir

Posted on 12/21/2022

Details on the competitors in the eight-round middleweight bout between Alejandro Silva and Issah Samir, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Wednesday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out at the Boxing Insider YouTube page:

8 Rounds — Middleweights


Record — 19-0-1, 14 KO’s
Height — 5’10”
Weight — 156.4
Age — 29
Originally from —  Misiones, Argentina
Fights out of — Buenos Aires, Argentina

* Silva s currently ranked 28th in the world by the World Boxing Council (WBC) as a super welterweight (154 pounds).

* Made his professional debut in April 2016 with a second round TKO over Brian David Aranda.

* Sustained a draw in his third pro fight against Gonzalo Andres Chaparo. That is, thus far, the only blemish on his record.

* In February 2020, he won the Argentinian championship at 154 pounds with a 10 round decision over Emiliano Exequiel Pucheta. He defended that belt four times.

* Experienced a little adversity in November 2020 when he hit the deck in the fifth round against Javier Maciel, but he came back to complete a 10-round decision victory.

* Was involved in a rather bizarre incident in February 2021 when he faced Gabriel Omar Diaz. Silva had been holding Diaz, and had him in what amounted to a one-armed front headlock. But then Diaz bit Silva on the arm, hard enough to have Silva writhing in pain, and after a review, the referee disqualified Diaz.

* Scored a very good win in June of last year when he took care of business against southpaw Diego Ramirez, who came into the bout with a record of 23 – 4–1, winning a 10 round decision.

* Silva’s last flight was on September 2, scoring a fourth round stoppage of Jesus Pina Najera.

* Doesn’t mind playing the role of the aggressor, and knows how to cut off the ring. You can classify him as fundamentally sound.


Record — 19-1, 16 KO’s
Height — 5’9″
Weight — 156
Age — 33
Originally from —  Accra, Ghana
Fights out of — Las Vegas

* Samir grew up in Accra, Ghana, and he became familiar with the sport because his father did some boxing. He became highly decorated in his country, and won a silver medal at the 2007 All- Africa Games.

* He beat Bruno Julie of Mauritius to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. In the bantamweight division, he lost his opening round bout on points to Hector Manzanilla of Venezuela. Oddly, Julie, who also made it to the Olympics, won a bronze medal.

* Issah is the brother of Bastir Samir, who represented Ghana as a light heavyweight in the 2008 Olympics. Interestingly, Bastir had jumped from welterweight all the way up to light heavyweight in the space of a year in order to find a opening to qualify. And he is now 20 –0–1 as a professional.

* Issah turned pro in July 2011 with a second round TKO of Abdul Majid. In another odd twist, even though he had qualified just a few years before as a bantamweight for the Olympics, Samir made this pro debut at 155 pounds.

* He knocked out each of his first eight opponents. And to continue his quick climb up the ladder, he won the IBF World Youth title at 154 pounds in May 2013 with a third round TKO of Robizoni Omsarashvili.

* Won the 154 pound title in his native Ghana with a 12-round decision over Ishmael Tetteh (September 2012).

* All of his fights had taken place in Ghana until the last one, in December 2020, as he was stopped in three rounds from by Aidos Yerbossynuly, who was undefeated at the time. After being floored in the third, Samir paced around the ring but did not appear as if he wanted to continue.

* That fight took place in Kazakhstan, and there were three different “belts“ on the line: the WBA international super middleweight, the WBC Asian Boxing Council super middleweight and the WBO global super middleweight.…… For what it’s worth. Samir has not fought since. .

*This will be the first fight for him in the United States, although he lives in trains in Las Vegas.

* Samir is a pretty good standup boxer. Hold his hands high. Jabs a lot, and has a sneaky left hook.

* Refers to himself as a “cool and gentle guy,“ unless he is inside the ring, that is.

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All the Details — Super Middleweights Nadim Salloum vs. Decarlo Perez

Posted on 12/21/2022

Details on the competitors in the eight-round super middleweight bout between Nadim Salloum and Decarlo Perez, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Wednesday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out at the Boxing Insider YouTube page:

8 Rounds — Super Middleweights


Record — 9-1, 3 KO’s (*claims 11-1)
Height — 6’1″
Weight — 170.2
Age — 29
Originally from — Jounieh, Lebanon
Fights out of — Brooklyn

* Salloum was born and raised in Lebanon, and might be the first professional boxer with that distinction, considering that Mahmoud Charr, who has held the WBA “regular” heavyweight championship, was more or less raised in Germany.

* Currently Salloum lives in Brooklyn, and came to the United States almost solely to pursue his career as a professional boxer. Along the way he sold what he owned and bet it all on himself. His family was originally against this quest, but now they’re firmly in his corner

* Salloum claims a couple of additional bouts in Mexico, which would bring his record to 11-1. Officially, as it stands now, his pro debut took place in Tijuana in November 2017, a first-round knockout of Dario Cervantes. He wasn’t as fortunate in his second bout, as he lost a majority decision to at Afunwa King.

* Since that defeat, he has reeled off seven straight wins. He was extended by Roger Robidoux at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens on March 24th, but came out of it with a six round decision win.

* His last bout was a sixth-round TKO over previously undefeated Jorge Leandro Capozucco at Sony Hall on October 13.

* Salloum is managed by Adam Glenn, son of the legendary trainer (and bar owner) Jimmy Glenn.

* He is known by the nickname The Unpredictable”. And to think of it, he is indeed quite unorthodox in his style.

* One of Salloum’s ambitions is to set up a gym in his native Lebanon someday and help develop the talent that he absolutely insists is there.


Record — 19-6-1, 6 KO’s
Height — 5’10”
Weight — 169.4
Age — 31
Originally from — Atlantic City
Fights out of — Egg Harbor, NJ

* Nicknamed “3mendo”

* Perez, who had a troubled chilhood, was brought up by his grandparents. His grandfather originally got him interested in boxing. And he went on to have an extensive amateur career, going 85-15, although he was not necessarily very decorated.

* Turned pro with a four-round decision over Hector Collado in July 2010.

* Perez was no stranger to Philadelphia gyms or Philadelphia rings. He had impressive wins in the City of Brotherly Love against Tyrone Brunson and Jessie Nicklow. He also decisioned Dante Moore, who was previously undefeated.

* Perez made a major breakthrough with a decisive ten-round decision over 23-0 Juan Ubakldo Cabrera in August 2015. That gave him nine wins over a ten-fight period and ultimately led him into a January 2016 bout with Rob Brant.

* The fight with Brant was for the NABA middleweight title. And it was no party for Perez, who had to reduce to 160 pounds for it. In the fourth round, Perez got caught with a right hand that knocked him out and almost sent him completely through the ropes. Brant went on to win the WBA title. Perez went on to lose to Dashon Johnson, a spoiler with a 19-19-4 record.

* In September 2018, Perez won an eight-round decision over Antowyan Aikens in a brutal bout where both men hit the deck. Perez won the New Jersey 168-pound title, but he did not fight again for three years.

* Returned from his hiatus with a TKO-3 over Lauro Alcantar. In his last bout, on March 26, he won a majority decision over Rance Ward.

* Has fought 142 rounds in his career. That’s almost 100 more than Nadim Salloum (46).

* Worked as a pharmacy tech for Atlantic Care Regional Medical Center.

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All the Details — Super Flyweights Andy Dominguez vs. Marvin Solano

Posted on 12/21/2022

Details on the competitors in the eight-round super flyweight bout between Andy Dominguez and Marvin Solano, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Wednesday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out at the Boxing Insider YouTube page:

8 Rounds — Super Flyweights


Age — 24
Record — 8-0, 6 KO’s
Height — 5’3″
Weight — 113.8
Age — 24
Originally from — Mexico City
Fights out of — Las Vegas

* Dominguez originally hails from the Mexico City area, but he’s not a city boy, describing himself as a farm kid. He moved to the Bronx at age ten, and says he was picked on by classmates to the extent that it landed him in a number of skirmishes. So his mom took him to a gym at the age of 13, and he’s been active in the sport ever since.

* He had 59 amateur bouts, and captured three New York Golden Gloves championships.

* His professional debut took place in August of 2020, with a four-round decision over Jonathan Correa Alamo. The only other opponent to go the distance with him was Ivan Vasquez last November.

* On March 26th, he knocked out Jeronil Borres with a body shot in the first round. In his next fight, on May 14th, he stopped Edwin Reyes in the fourth round to win the WBA Fedecentro flyweight title, which was vacant at the time.

* Currently, Dominguez is ranked 13th in the world as a flyweight by the World Boxing Association.

* He works behind a very good jab, and is known to be a good finisher.

* In his last bout, he finished it quickly, with a sensational one-punch knockout over Ricardo Caraballo in the Sony Hall ring on October 13.

* Still maintains his Bronx ties, but he trains in Las Vegas.

* He has expressed that one of the reasons he’d like to become a world champion is to “have a platform to help and Inspire other people.”


Record — 24-7, 6 KO’s
Height — 5’7-1/2″
Weight — 114
Age — 32
Originally from — Managua, Nicaragua
Fights out of — Managua, Nicaragua

* Was a member of the Nicaraguan national team as an amateur.

* Turned pro in November 2012 with a four-round decision over Edwin Lara.

* Comes into this fight with an enormous advantage in experience over Andy Dominguez. Solano has boxed 178 rounds in his career and has been into the eighth round nine times. Dominguez has 18 total rounds under his belt and has never gone beyond four rounds.

* Solano won his first 13 pro fights, before moving up in level of competition.

* In December 2018, had an opportunity against Jeyvier Cintron, a two-time Olympian from Puerto Rico, but was disqualified in eight rounds.

* Won the WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight (115-pound) championship with a ten-round decision over Dewayne Beamon (11/16/19).

* In March 2021, Solano fought Juan Carlos Camacho (who was 11-1) on NBC Sports Network and lost a split decision over eight rounds. He was able to keep his distance and score from the outside for much of the fight. He went down three times from low blows, but it was the fourth one – which happened in the eighth round – that he felt was another low blow but was called a knockdown instead and may have made the difference on the scorecards in favor of the hometown boxer (Camacho is from Puerto Rico).

* In his last bout, Solano moved up in weight to challenge for the WBC Continental Americas bantamweight crown, but was stopped in three rounds by Ramon Cardenas. That was on August 14 of last year, and he hasn’t been in the ring since.

* Solano is tall for his weight, and is sometimes able to effectively use that to his advantage. He’s basically a stand up boxer who has to make use of his jab to control things with Dominguez.

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All the Details — Flyweights Sulem Urbina vs. Indeya Smith

Posted on 12/21/2022

Details on the competitors in the eight-round flyeight bout between Sulem Urbina and Indeya Smith, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Wednesday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out at the Boxing Insider YouTube page:

8 Rounds — Super Flyweights


Record — 13-2-1, 2 KO’s
Height — 5’2″
Weight — 114.8
Age — 32
Originally from — Sonora, Mexico
Fights out of — Phoenix, AZ

* Current world rankings in the flyweight division: #10 WBA, #10 IBF, #11 WBC

* Turned pro in July 2016 with a four-round split decision over Eloisa Martinez Zarraga

* Won her first 12 official results (there was a no-contest as well)

* Fought current flyweight champion Marlen Esparza a number of times in the amateurs. She also fought her as a pro, losing an eight-round decision in October 2020.

* Got herself a WBA flyweight title shot in July of 2021, losing a ten-round majority decision to Naoko Fujioka.

* Last bout was on August 6, a six-round split decision win over Jhosop Vizcaino

* Has fought 87 rounds as a professional.

* Is very active and popular on social media. Does some bikini modeling.


Record — 5-6-2, 1 KO
Height — 5’0″
Weight —  113.4
Age — 26
Originally from — New Orleans
Fights out of — Dallas

* As an amateur, Smith reached the semifinals of the U.S. nationals in 2015 and 2017.

* Made her pro debut in February of 2020 with a first-round TKO of Leanna Martinez

* Lost twice to Maryguenn Vellinga in amateur tournaments, and also fought Vellinga three times as a pro. Out of that “trilogy,” she’s had one loss and two draws. The latest meeting was a four-round draw on September 21.

* Was the first professional opponent of local favorite Christina Cruz, losing a four-round majority decision at Madison Square Garden on August 3 of 2021.

* On February 11, she moved up to 117 pounds, losing a six-round split decision to Fatima Dudieva. She had never fought above 112 pounds before.

* In her last outing, on November 22, she had a three-bout winning streak broken, losing an eight-round decision to Mikiah Kreps, in a fight that took place just a few doors down, at the Edison Hotel.

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All the Details — Middleweights Anthony Sims Jr. vs. Antonio Todd

Posted on 12/21/2022

Details on the competitors in the eight-round middleweight bout between Anthony Sims Jr. and Antonio Todd, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Wednesday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out at the Boxing Insider YouTube page:

8 Rounds — Middleweights


Record —  22-1, 20 KO’s
Height — 6’1″
Weight — 158.4
Age — 27
Originally from — Plainfield, IN
Fights out of — Los Angeles, CA

* Nicknamed “The Magician”

* Currently ranked #26 in the world as a super middleweight by the World Boxing Council (WBC)

* Sims was born in Plainfield, Indiana and grew up around the Indianapolis area. His father died when he was six, and that, according to him, put him into a lengthy period of psychological stress. He had difficulty in peer groups, and some of the abuse he suffered as a kid led him into the boxing gym.

* Sims is a cousin of Floyd Mayweather Jr. And there was a point where he trained under the supervision of Roger Mayweather and also Floyd Mayweather Sr.

* Sims asserts an amateur record of 188-13. He went to the semifinals of the U.S. Championships in 2012 and lost to Marcus Browne. He also medaled at the Olympic Trials.

* Fought in the 2012 Youth World Championships and was disqualified when he body-slammed his opponent.

* Actually did not sign with the Mayweathers as a pro because he considered it a “weak” deal.

* Made his pro debut in April 2014 with a four-round decision over James Lee Guy.

* He had only one other win by decision, which came over ten rounds at the Forum in Los Angeles against Vaughn Alexander (4/26/19).

* Sims registered nine first-round KO’s in his first twelve bouts, including a string of eight in a row.

* His only loss came on January 30 of 2020, a ten-round split decision to Roamer Alexis Angulo in Miami. Sims moved around a lot, but did not generate enough offense.

* Eight months after the Angulo loss, Sims went to Dubai and beat Hernan David Perez (8/13/21) for the WBA Intercontinental super middleweight (168-pound) title.

* Sims had found promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing through ex-welterweight champ Kell Brook. He signed a deal with Hearn, but eventually, that agreement came to an end. Sims has also, in the past, been in the promotional stable of Don King.

* In his last fight, he scored a third-round TKO of Manny Woods. That was last December 18, so that means he has been idle for a little over e year.

* Sims is extremely athletic, and moves very lightly on his feet. His best punch is probably a left hook.

* Has done a lot of work with youth, and would like to use success in boxing as a platform to work with even more youngsters.


Record — 14-6, 8 KO’s
Height — 6’0″
Weight — 159.2
Age — 28
Originally from — Atlanta
Fights out of — Atlanta

* Won his first five fights as a professional.

* Each of his first nine pro fights have taken place in the Atlanta area.

* Fought someone named “Arsenio Hall,” perhaps for comic relief, in South Carolina in December 2020, winning a four-round decision.

* Back in May, he fought unbeaten Connor Coyle for the NABA middleweight title. Todd was able to keep Coyle at bay early, but was not busy enough. However, he came on in the second half of the fight. Ultimately, he lost a ten-round split decision that was the subject of some dispute.

* Todd’s best pro win came on January 22, a ten-round majority decision over Hugo Centeno Jr., who came in with a 28-3-1 record.

* Last fight was a sixth-round TKO of Larry Smith (13-51-2). That took place on December 2.

* Paws a bit with the jab. But he’s calm, cool and patient. And he’s got some tricks in his bag (shoulder rolls, etc.). He’s difficult for anyone who is “green.”

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All the Details: Jr. Welterweights – Petros Ananyan vs. Paulo Cesar Galdino

Posted on 10/13/2022

Boxing Insider: New Beginnings

Details on the competitors in the eight-round junior welterweight bout between Petros Ananyan and Paulo Cesar Galdino, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out on PPV at

PETROS ANANYAN (16-3-2, 7 KO’s) is interested in climbing into the world title picture as he locks horns with Paulo Cesar Galdino.

PAULO CESAR GALDINO (12-5, 8 KO’s) is hopeful of following up a recent upset victory with another one, this time over Petros Ananyan.

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All the Details: Flyweights – Andy Dominguez vs. Ricardo Caraballo

Posted on 10/13/2022

Boxing Insider: New Beginnings

Details on the competitors in the six-round flyweight bout between Andy Dominguez and Ricardo Caraballo, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out on PPV at

ANDY DOMINGUEZ (7-0, 5 KO’s) looks very much like a star on the rise, and he’ll seek to continue his ascension as he defends his WBA Fedecentro flyweight title on Thursday night.

RICARDO CARABALLO (7-1, 2 KO’s) hopes that he can start fighting more often, and a win over Andy Dominguez on Thursday night could trigger that.


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All the Details: MAIN EVENT – Lightweights – Heather Hardy vs. Calista Silgado

Posted on 10/13/2022

Boxing Insider: New Beginnings

Details on the competitors in the six-round main event lightweight bout between Heather “The Heat” Hardy and Calista Silgado, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out on PPV at

HEATHER “THE HEAT” HARDY (22-2, 4 KO’s) figures she still may have a couple of chapters left to write as she cements her legacy in women’s boxing.

CALISTA SILGADO (20-15-3, 15 KO’s) is one of the more experienced and well-traveled competitors in women’s boxing, and could present a challenge for Heather Hardy.

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All the Details: Jr. Middleweights: Ivan Golub vs. Wesley Tucker

Posted on 10/13/2022

Boxing Insider: New Beginnings

Details on the competitors in the 10-round junior middleweight bout between Ivan Golub and Wesley Tucker, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out on PPV at

IVAN GOLUB (20-1, 15 KO’s), the current USBA welterweight champion, steps into action for the first time in 14 months as he faces Wesley Tucker.

WESLEY TUCKER (15-3, 9 KO’s) has a real crossroads fight on Thursday night against USBA welterweight champion Ivan Golub.

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All the Details: Super Middleweights – Nadim Salloum vs. Ahuad Jorge Leandro Capozucco

Posted on 10/13/2022

Boxing Insider: New Beginnings

Details on the competitors in the six-round junior middleweight bout between Nadim Salloum and Ahuad Jorge Leandro Capozucco, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out on PPV at

NADIM SALLOUM (8-1, 3 KO’s) continues his climb up the boxing ladder in a six-round super middleweight bout.

AHUAD JORGE LEANDRO CAPOZUCCO (4-0, 3 KO’s) hopes to upset Nadim Salloum’s applecart on Thursday night at Sony Hall.

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Canelo vs. GGG: From the betting angle

Posted on 09/17/2022

By Charles Jay

Canelo Alvarez is consistently a favorite for his Saturday night bout against Gennady Golovkin (GGG). That’s not a secret. But there is some disparity in terms of the odds at which you can wager on either man.

It is not Boxing Insider‘s policy to advertise or promote any individual sportsbook, but we can make note of where the best stuff, the worst stuff and the variety is located.

We did a bit of a survey, like we usually do in advance of big fights, and while the consensus is that you would have to lay 5-1 (-500) on Alvarez, you can get better prices if you dig around. One of the “licensed” books, for example (and there aren’t that many of them) has him at -450, while at a sportsbook that is situated offshore, we have found -440. So if you really love Canelo here, that’s value for you.

But do you like the underdog? GGG has a certain range of prices, the best of which is +430, which is at a licensed book. Generally you can get anything between +350 and +395 on him. That kind of number will be favorable, IF you don’t think he has become too old to compete at this level.

Obviously the first two fights had some controversy about them. Most people – at least most people – felt as if GGG did more than enough to win the first bout, which ended in a draw. In the second bout, you could have made an argument either way.

As for the total rounds, there are sites you can go to where you can wager against any number of different round levels (with differing prices, of course). For the purposes of this article, we will use 10.5 rounds as our basis.

If you like this fight to go some rounds, you can lay a price as low as -200 on the “over” at 10.5. Most of the places we looked at had -210 up to -230. If you like the “under,” you are probably going to see +170 or +175 as the best odds out there.

There are also straight bets you can make on whether the bout will go the entire 12-round distance. We didn’t do a heck of a lot of research when it came to this, but one international sportsbook was showing -150 on the “Yes” proposition. As for the “No” part of it, the most attractive price we saw was +130.

Want to take a shot at what exact round it ends in? And who will be the winner in that instance? If you want to do this kind of thing, just for fun, you’d be looking, for example, at a price of +8000 (80-1) on Canelo and +10000 (100-1) on GGG to end the fight in the first round.

There are “groups” of rounds as well. Sometimes it’s two rounds, sometimes it’s three or even six. At one well-known offshore book, you’ll get a payoff of +650 for Canelo to win between rounds one and six, while Golovkin is +1400 to emerge victorious in rounds 7 and 12.

One of the better ways to wager on a fight (although this story is for informational purposes only) is to select the “exact result.” And what this means is you’ll not only pick the winner, but also pick the method by which the win is achieved. So we’ll use an example for the Canelo-GGG fight:

Alvarez by Decision or Technical Decision +110
Alvarez by KO, TKO or DQ +170
Golovkin by Decision or Technical Decision +600
Golovkin by KO, TKO or DQ +925
Draw or Technical Draw +1400

At those prices, I’ll be going with Alvarez by Decision.

Good luck tonight.

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Canelo-Bivol: My Quick Take on the Big Fight

Posted on 05/07/2022

By Charles Jay

My quick take on fight between Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol is that we are looking at something that’s going to go the distance. And then we can kind of go from there. I don’t know if Bivol comes into this affair thinking in terms of a knockout victory. Clearly that has not been his strategy in recent defenses of his WBA light heavyweight title. His last six fights have gone the distance, and he has won all of them easily by decision.

You should pay attention to the score cards as well. He has won those fights by an average of 25.7 points, spread across the three scorecards of the judges. That is 8.6 points per card. And that actually tells us some of the story here.

Obviously, he has had complete control of those bouts. What do you think the chances are that this relative stand-up boxer is going to just stand there and peck away at Canelo and just write the same script round after round? Now mind you, I’m not saying that Alvarez is going to go out there and steamroll him; after all, Bivol is a legitimate light heavyweight, and Canelo, at 5 foot-8 and moving up from where he’s been most comfortable in weight, is not necessarily someone I would expect to control this fight with power.

But he doesn’t really have to. He can control the fight with activity. And you know what I mean when I say that. You often hear announcers talk about how one of the fighters has to be “busier.” More activity often translates into more points on the cards. From what I have seen of him, Bivol does not strike me as someone who is going to have a high work volume, at least in terms of the kinds of things that are going to keep Canelo consistently on the end of his punches. I think he likes to keep a distance between himself and his opponent, get a jab out there, and pick and choose the spots where he wants toengage. He’s good defensively, so he’s got that going for him.

But is he getting pushed all that much by these opponents? Has he had to go all out for all or most of the twelve rounds? The indications are that this hasn’t happened. And I can envision something different happening against Canelo.

Alvarez throws body punches, which is a point in his favor. That may have to be the case, especially if he’s looking to get low and get under Bivol’s punches. And what I see as I visualize this fight is that Canelo can probably indeed be the busier fighter. And Bivol might not have enough firepower to really make him pay when he comes inside. Against other light heavyweights, perhaps Artur Beterbiev, there might be a different story. But I don’t know that Bivol can be thinking any other way but that he intends to outbox Alvarez.

That being said, I am looking for this to go past 10.5 rounds, and I’m using a price of -275 for that. Rather than lay – 525 on Alvarez (your price may vary), I would take the exact method of victory as we have seen – 165 on Canelo to win a decision (you may be able to do even better than that).

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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Q&A: Ex-Champ Sonya Lamonakis Talks Amateur Boxing and ‘Boxing Insider Fight Night’

Posted on 04/28/2022

By Charles Jay

When you endeavor to do something different, it helps to have people to provide the proper guidance. And that’s why Boxing Insider was fortunate to be able to work with someone like Sonya Lamonakis, who currently serves as Vice President and Registration Chair of USA Boxing Metro, which governs amateur boxing in the New York metropolitan area.

They’ll oversee “Boxing Insider Fight Night,” which takes place on Thursday night at the Sony Hall in Times Square (235 W. 46th Street, to be exact).

Most of you probably know Sonya from her days as a professional boxer. She campaigned for the better part of seven years as a heavyweight, in a career that was highlighted by a decision win over Carlette Ewell to win the IBO championship in December 2014.

Possessor of a master’s degree in education, she is now a math teacher in the New York City public school system.

We did a little Q&A with her about amateur boxing on all levels.

Q: How do you observe amateur boxing impacting the young people who get involved, as far as their future is concerned, whether they progress to the next level or not?

A: Well, you ask, why do people box? People box for different reasons. Some get involved for a future, some get involved for the love of the sport, and some get involved for personal growth. If you plan on being a successful professional fighter having an extensive background in the amateurs will help. You can see when the big fights come, which professionals had amateur careers. All the boxers on top now have had amateur experience, that’s where you learn your craft, fine tune, and decide whether or not this life is for you.

Q: How lively is the amateur boxing “scene” in the NY Metro area as compared to other areas you’re aware of? Is it on the upswing?

A: Well, being the VP of USA BOXING METRO, and the registration chairwoman, we are ranked in the top 3 in America. The National office in Colorado counts on Metro as a leading example of how a successful LBC should run.

We are one of the top performing LBC (local boxing committee) in the country. We have a big membership of athletes, coaches, doctors, and officials. We host over 80 sanctioned shows a year. We have athletes come from other LBC’s to compete in Metro shows. We run the most sought after tournament in America, The Ring Masters, for their chance to box at Madison Square Garden, other popular venues include, the Barclay Center, Sony Hall, Classic Car Club of Manhattan and also our famous gyms like Gleason’s Gym Church Street Boxing, and Gotham.

Q: Having a show (and hopefully a series of them) at this particular venue, in Times Square – does it have the potential of helping to raise the profile of amateur boxing in the area?

A: Yes, premium venues motivate athletes to join USA Boxing Metro, for the chance to compete at a venue where other big celebrities have competed at.

Q: Would you say the future of amateur boxing on a national and even world level is promising, despite the turmoil that we see on these higher levels?

A: Yes, the future of amateur boxing is promising, boxing has been around since ancient times and will be around in the future. It’s only getting bigger and better. Remember the famous author, who didn’t like women’s boxing said, “The only thing square in boxing is the ring”

Q: As we discussed, you hold down a full-time job. How in the world do you find time to devote to all these amateur boxing shows in the NY area (and I have seen that schedule – it’s robust)?

A: Teachers are good at planning and preparation. Lucky for me, I have a great team with me. We all work together for the success of the LBC. We have a board of directors that volunteer to make this organization a success.

Q: How’s our guy Larry (Goldberg, of Boxing Insider) coming along in this new pursuit of his?

A: Larry is doing great because he has the right team behind him. He has always supported amateur boxing, women’s boxing and even my own journey in boxing. We are looking forward to a great partnership with Larry and on building premium shows for our athletes to get the chance to box under the bright lights.

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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Step Into History at Sony Hall

Posted on 04/28/2022

When customers come down the winding marble staircase to enter the main room at Manhattan’s Sony Hall for Thursday’s “Boxing Insider Fight Night,” they’ll also be stepping into a bit of history, to say the least.

What many people may not realize is that Sony Hall started out as a nightclub. And what an amazing nightclub it was.

In point of fact, it was one of the most famous venues in the world for nightlife, thanks to the stewardship of the noted Broadway impresario, Billy Rose, who might be best known for his work with the Ziegfeld Follies, as well as being the husband of the legendary performer Fanny Brice, immortalized in film by Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl.”

The nightclub, which was called “Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe,” opened in 1938 and was unique in many respects, including the fact that their contingent of dancers, the “Long-Stemmed Roses,” were all at least 6-foot-2!

A movie – by the same name as the club – was released in 1945, with the likes of Betty Grable and Dick Haymes starring.

The venue also served as a springboard for some all-time greats, including Gene Kelly, of “Singing in the Rain” fame, who got his first full-time job as a choreographer at the Diamond Horseshoe.

Sony Hall (235 W. 46th Street, in the basement of the Paramount Hotel, st to re-open soon) is located right off Times Square, across the street from the Richard Rodgers Theater, where the great musical “Hamilton” is currently playing, and at one time it also served as a theater itself, hosting, among other productions, the original Broadway transfer of the Tony Award-winning “On Golden Pond.”

Through the years, it has taken a circuitous path to where it is today, including several name changes. And it has hosted a wide variety of events, including Vanity Fair’s 50th Anniversary party and the rather unconventional immersive theater production, “Queen of the Night.”

The venue underwent a $20 million renovation less than a decade ago. Sony Hall, as such, opened in March 2018 with an emphasis on concerts. But it has also hosted other events, and now it is set to become a pivotal location for amateur boxing in the New York metropolitan area.

As Sony has long been a world leader in technology, there is a futuristic feel to the hall, in the respect that it supplies spectators with a rich experience using state-of-the-art cameras and 360 Reality Audio.

But that “new school” sensibility does not leave the “old school” hanging out to dry. When Sony took over, they made sure that the structure of the venue maintained its historical integrity. In other words, it still has the look of a Gay Nineties nightspot, as Billy Rose originally intended.

Well, that’s no less than the best of both worlds.

For Thursday’s “Boxing Insider Fight Night” spectators, the atmosphere of Sony Hall will create an intimate set of surroundings with which to enjoy the Ring Masters tournament bouts (overseen by USA Boxing Metro). The sightlines are perfect; no matter if you are ringside, at the tables, on the stage or in general admission, you’re going to be close to the action.

So enjoy!

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Bright Lights Big City: Boxing Insider Hosts Thursday “Fight Night”

Posted on 04/27/2022

By Charles Jay

Boxing Insider Fight Night.

That has a nice “ring” to it.

In a minute, I’m going to talk a little more about my friend and colleague who’s behind it. For now, suffice it to say that he’s jumping right into the deep end of the pool and he’s doing it with a considerable degree of panache.

And in the process, his event has become part of one of the bigger boxing weekends New York City has seen in a while, culminating in the much-anticipated clash for the women’s lightweight title between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, which takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Sure, that might ultimately serve as the main course for some people, but there’s quite an appetizer in the offing on Thursday night as USA Boxing Metro (the governing body for amateur boxing in the city and the surrounding area), along with Boxing Insider, presents an installment in the Ring Masters championship tournament, with functions as an official National Golden Gloves qualifier (show time at 7 PM, doors open at 6 PM).

And boy have they come up with a first-class venue. Sony Hall (235 W. 46th Street) is one of the premier venues for live events in Manhattan, located right off Times Square. It’s in the Broadway theater district. Let’s put it this way – if there was a matinee of the world-renowned musical “Hamilton” on Thursday (there isn’t), you could go to that and walk right across the street and into Boxing Insider Fight Night.

I am largely engaged in the business of making predictions. My prediction is that you’d have a better time with the boxing.

And you’ll be helping the overall community to boot.

What I’ve noticed is that there are sixteen different clubs within the USA Boxing Metro area that are being represented at the show. That, in and of itself, represents an incredible amount of volunteerism.

For those of you who might not realize how amateur boxing works, the vast majority of the people involved in engine run – and by that I mean the trainers, corner people, officials, administrators, and even those who promote these shows – has a full-time occupation outside of boxing, and they devote their time and effort to this pursuit essentially on a volunteer basis. They work with the youngsters. They undertake all the travel. They take long bus rides, if that’s what they have to do. They give a lot.

And when it comes down to it, they all have something in common, in that they are doing it because they have a great love and appreciation for boxing. They are dedicated to growing the sport. If you observe these people and what they do, as I did while involved in amateur boxing shows, you ask yourself, “How do they do it? How do they get the energy to put forth all this time and labor, which is a precious thing?”

Fortunately they find it. And everyone’s a little luckier for it.

Sure, whenever you get a bunch of people together, politics has the potential to creep into it. This is not untrue on the national or world level, and you may have read about it from time to time.

But nobody should confuse this with the often cutthroat world of professional boxing. This isn’t a bloody battle between adversaries as they chase the almighty dollar. No one is getting rich here. When it really comes down to it, as you’re talking about the Local Boxing Committee (LBC) level, everybody’s oar is in the water, stroking more or less in the same direction.

And that, I believe, deserves your support.

When Larry Goldberg, the publisher of Boxing Insider, told me he was going to take the journey into presenting this show scheduled for Thursday, and more events subsequent to that, I encouraged him all the way.

And in my opinion, he couldn’t have been in better hands.

Sonya Lamonakis is the Vice President & Registration Chair for USA Boxing Metro (Ray Cuadrado is the president). You may remember her from her days when she was an active pro boxer; indeed, she was he IBO’s female world heavyweight champion.

These days, she’s one of those people I referred to a second ago. She has a full-time job as a schoolteacher in the New York City Public Schools, and on top of that, for all intents and purposes, her and her team handle the details on all of these local shows from A to Z. And in case there’s any doubt, there are quite a few shows to coordinate.

She is, to put it simply, indispensable.

I’ve been associated with Boxing Insider and Larry Goldberg, off and on, for about twenty years. So let’s just say I’ve practically watched him grow up.

And one day, after many years having published his site, he decided he was going to so something not a lot of people in his position would do. He decided he was going to learn everything he could about the nuts and bolts of this sport, and the business behind it.

He started by working out in boxing gyms, primarily Mendez Boxing on East 26th Street, under the tutelage of real, live, legitimate trainers like Jose Guzman and Henry DeLeon. At first, I didn’t think he was serious, but after he showed me a few nicks and bruises from his sparring sessions, I became a believer.

That’s the kind of activity that fosters some new-found appreciation for the sport. And so now he’s putting his money where his mouth is, by moving into the area of promotions, which brings a whole new set of things to discover.

He’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. He’s dripping with enthusiasm. And if you ask me, he’s handling it like a world contender.

He’s now taking part. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that amateur boxing needs to make a “comeback,” particularly in the New York area, it doesn’t hurt to have more people who can help solidify the foundation, because it is so important for the sport to thrive. It does keep kids out of trouble. It does change lives. And that’s what my friend is contributing to.

So I’m proud of the guy. And he’s going to be around for a while.

So if you’re not doing anything on Thursday night, come to the Sony Hall. And if you DO have plans, change them. It’ll be worth your while.

When you get there, find Larry or Sonya (or any of the participants, for that matter) and tell them you appreciate what they’re doing.

It’ll mean a lot.

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