Author Archives: Charles Jay

Boxing Insider Fight Night — Michael Pirotton has more to fight for than most

Posted on 08/10/2023

Unbeaten heavyweight Michael Pirotton is a young man on a mission, and he’s got quite a ways to go. There aren’t too many world-class fighters who come from his part of the world, so to hasten the progress of his journey he is in the United States.

Like a lot of young fighters, Pirotton was inspired by Muhammad Ali. In his case, it was the rebellious nature of the great champ; the ability to live by his own rules and, if necessary, live with the consequences. And he loved a challenge. It was the competitive urge brought on by all this that drew him into a gym for the first time at age 17.

It was simple – a friend told him that even though he was a big guy (currently he stands 6-foot-5), that kind of size didn’t always mean so much in the boxing gym. To Pirotton, that was just fine. His posture was that he wasn’t looking to get by solely on brute strength, but with speed, savvy and intelligence, just like Ali, his idol.

So what you’re going to see from him as he does battle against Walter Jones on Thursday night in Boxing Insider Fight Night at Sony Hall is a guy who is committed to moving about the ring, jabbing and waiting for his opponent to make a mistake.

He talks of using his legs to help him implement a “mathematical approach” that has evidently worked thus far. He is a work in progress, having had just fifteen amateur bouts and just seven as a pro.

Pirotton’s roots are in Belgium, which has admittedly not been a hotbed of boxing activity, whether it is on the amateur or professional levels. And Burkina Faso (the former Upper Volta), where he has ancestry, hasn’t produced a whole lot either.

But his rationale was that if someone knew how to take West African talent and move it along in the pro ranks, it was Michael Amoo-Bediako, who handled Richard Commey of Ghana, who had held the IBF lightweight champion.

And ultimately, it was time to make that inevitable trek to America.

What came with that was a promotional contract with Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, who first kept him in Belgium and put him into action in his fifth pro fight against veteran trialhorse Igor Mihaljevic.

Going a full six rounds with an opponent of 20 bouts was a fruitful experience. And in his last two bouts, in Detroit and New York, respectively, he tallied victories over undefeated hopefuls.

On Thursday night, he’ll be encountering what is, by all accounts, his most difficult challenge, against Walter Jones, who also has a 7-0 mark and who made quick work of undefeated (9-0-2) Moses Johnson in his last bout just two months ago.

The list of great Belgian heavyweights is by no means long. Perhaps the best was Pierre Charles, who had nearly 100 fights, held the European title and registered wins over the likes of Young Stribling. And Burkina Faso has literally no one to speak of.

Can Michael Pirotton rise to the top, for the sake of his countrymen, in both nations?

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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Christina Cruz had long, adventurous path in amateurs

Posted on 08/10/2023

Forty-year-old Christina Cruz, fighting in the main event against Nancy Franco on August 10 at Sony Hall, has gotten to a late start in the pro ranks. Maybe part of the reason is that she got a late start in boxing, period.

Cruz did not start competing until the age of 22, but within one year of putting on gloves for the first time, she won herself a national title.

Six more national titles followed.

Anyone who follows amateur boxing in the New York City area is very familiar with Cruz’s story. She won ten New York Golden Gloves titles, which shattered Mark Breland’s record of five. So dominant was she in that competition; so fearsome was her reputation, that potential opponents would try to avoid the weight division she was registered in.

That kind of practice would result in little or no action in these tournaments. So what Cruz was register for entry in the 112, 119 and 125-pound divisions, and to make her decision right before the tournament as to which division she’d actually fight in. That way she wouldn’t encounter an empty field.

The circumstances surrounding her tenth and final title in the NYGG’s provided an adventure, at the very least. She had been at the Olympic training center at Colorado Springs, and had to get back to New York to compete in the finals. However, she had to deal with a blizzard, which sidelined a taxi she was riding in. When she was finally “rescued” by passing motorists and got to the Denver airport, the available flights were canceled. By the time she was able to get out, she did not arrive until the morning before her bout.

It didn’t matter. She won anyway.

Cruz actually has felt that the amateur ranks were “more like business” than the pros. And for some boxers, it can be more lucrative, in a sense. USA Boxing allows for expense money and sponsorships for competitors who are in the national program, and there are stipends for those who are of “elite” status. This can sometimes be a better deal than the pros get when they are starting out.

Politics sometimes don’t work to a boxer’s benefit either. Cruz went to the 2018 World Championships and lost a decision to an Indian named Manisha Maun, who was a hometown boxer insofar as the bout was being held in New Delhi. So she’s had to settle for two bronze medals on his mantle.

Making it onto the 2020 Puerto Rican Olympian team after missing out on a spot with the U.S. squad was a boost, but there wasn’t an Olympiad to compete in that year, because of the pandemic.

Ultimately, there weren’t many more mountains to climb.

We wouldn’t want to infer that Cruz’s life is incomplete without a venture through the professional ranks. She’s got a lot going on for herself; she is a graduate of DeVry University with a degree in computer science. She is licensed in real estate, and she has found her entrepreneurial stride as the founder of the Elite Lifestyle Academy, where she is a health and fitness coach.

But she simply loves the sport. And she’ll love it even more if she can box her way to a world title.

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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Dominguez coming hard after tenth straight win

Posted on 08/10/2023

Undefeated flyweight Andy Dominguez is a fighter who has traveled quite a bit around the Western Hemisphere. But at heart, he’s a New Yorker, and on Thursday night, he’ll take it to the ring on Boxing Insider Fight Night at Sony Hall against his tenth professional opponent, Mohammed Nil Ayikwei Aryeetey.

If we tell you that Dominguez is a native of Mexico City, you would think that he grew up in that major metropolis. But the reality is, he’s a farm boy, as he was reared in that kind of atmosphere in rural Mexico.

He didn’t stay there all that long, however; Dominguez’s childhood was spent in the Bronx, which is where his family moved when he was just ten years old. There was nothing easy about his early years in the Big Apple. Slight of build, he speaks of lots of abuse that came from his classmates at school, as if learning the language and getting used to life in the big city weren’t enough.

But at the age of 13, he ventured into a boxing gym, and things changed relatively quickly, and not just from a self-defense standpoint either. Young Andy found out that he had a competitive fire, and he started to play his skills against those of others. He wound up having 59 amateur bouts, and in the prestigious New York Golden Gloves, he won three championships.

From there, it was just a matter of time before he turned pro, and he did so in August 2020 when he scored a four-round decision win over Jonathan Correa Alamo. In his first eight bouts, the only other opponent who was able to go the distance with him was Ivan Vasquez.

In May of last year, he registered a fourth-round TKO of Edwin Reyes to capture the WBA Fedecentro flyweight (112-pound) title, which was vacant at the time.

That victory brought him a world ranking, and as of right now he is positioned at #6 in the flyweight ranks according to the World Boxing Association, which means he is qualified to fight for a world championship right now.

His first fight at Sony Hall (last October) was electrifying, as he scored a one-punch knockout in the first round over Ricardo Caraballo, a 7-1 pro who had been a National Golden Gloves finalist. Then he came back to Sony on December 21 and went eight rounds for the first time in winning a decision over Marvin Solano.

Dominguez comes out and throws jabs that have some purpose, and once he’s got an opponent in trouble, it’s “katie bar the door,” as they say.

He also has various ways to go on the attack. Last March, facing Jeronil Borres, a 17-fight veteran, he landed a suffocating body shot to end things with fifteen seconds to spare in the opening round.

This is an explosive fighter, but also an effusive personality, who has drawn interest from a number of sponsors and will likely continue to do so. If the flyweight division has a future star, he’s right there in the running. And he now lives and trains in Las Vegas, who a number of stars are known to have been spotted.

He says that as a professional, he’d like to “inspire people.”

He inspires us already.

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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Gian Garrido has found the right place for himself… in the ring

Posted on 08/01/2023

Boxing often provides a way out for people who are in difficult circumstances. For some, it began as a way to stay out of trouble.

For Gian Garrido, who’ll be battling Edward Ulloa Diaz in a six-rounder on August 10 at Sony Hall, boxing has given him a lot of the tools necessary to carry on with all parts of his life.

Calling himself a “chubby, overweight kid,” Garrido says he first entered a boxing gym at age 17, and virtually from that moment forward, everything changed for him.

“Boxing gave me the discipline, not only inside the ring but outside,” he says.

A lot of fighters have been inspired by watching renowned pros in the ring. For Garrido, that exemplar was Floyd Mayweather Jr., the legendary multiple-division champion. But Garrido competed in the 178-pound division in the amateurs.

Garrido made his pro debut in the Dominican Republic in April 2021 with a first-round stoppage of Javier Mora Fortuna. He won his first three fights by one-round KO; he got a test in September 2022 as he took on undefeated (5-0) Israel Goldman, and he won a six-round split decision.

Garrido, who lives in Flushing, Queens, is well-traveled, having fought three times in the D.R., along with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Cleveland, Colombia, and Greenville, SC. This will be the first time he’s fought in New York City.

In his last bout, taking place on April 14, Garrido won a four-round decision over Pablo Jesus Rojas at the 2300 Arena in Philly. That brought the 25-year-old’s record to 10-0 (with seven KOs).

What’s interesting about Garrido’s career is that he has consistently come down in weight from the beginning. For his pro debut he came in at 175 pounds, but then he moved down into the super middleweight class, and for his last outing, he was a trim and ready 161-3/4. So it can be argued that he is in his best shape as a professional. And at 5’11”, he can do a more effective job of utilizing his height and reach in an approach that features a potent left hook.

Garrido is also dedicated to imparting some of the wisdom he’s picked up through boxing to others who either want to aspire to compete or just want to live a healthier lifestyle. In that way he is not much different from a lot of the people we’ve seen fighting at Sony Hall over the past year.

He is a trainer at the Bout Fight Club in Manhattan, which is co-owned by Brian Ceballo, the star NYC amateur and current junior middleweight contender who has fought on two of the Boxing Insider shows.

And no doubt he preaches that the physical part of the game is only part of it.

“Mentally, this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever encountered,” says Garrido. Indeed, mental strength will be his greatest ally as he enters the ring in Times Square on August 10.

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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Christina Cruz: The Hell’s Kitchen Kid is back in the ‘hood

Posted on 08/01/2023

The author Thomas Wolfe may have said, “You Can’t Go Home Again,” but don’t tell that to Christina Cruz. The New York amateur legend is back in her old neighborhood again on August 10 when she takes on Nancy Franco in the main event of Boxing Insider Fight Night at Sony Hall.

To say that Cruz was an outstanding amateur boxer would be like saying that Michael Jordan could hold his own on the basketball court.

She won TEN consecutive New York Golden Gloves championships. That’s an all-time record. She has also won three National Golden Gloves titles, three National PAL crowns and no less than seven USA National championship (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Along the way she beat a number of opponents who have gone on to great success in the pros, including Adelaida Ruiz, who is the WBC interim super flyweight champion, and Marlen Esparza, who currently holds the WBC flyweight title belt.

On the world stage, Cruz won two bronze medals at the World Championships, but her ambition was really to box in the Olympics. That dream was very close; she had been the runner-up in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, which left her off the team. But her Puerto Rican heritage enabled her to try out for that team, and she won a place. She would have been one of the favorites representing Puerto Rico in Tokyo.

But as we know, the pandemic forced the postponement of the Games until 2021. So Cruz simply decided she was going to turn professional instead. And she did so just blocks away from where she grew up, in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. At the Theater at Madison Square Garden, she scored a four-round majority decision win over Indeya Smith, who has fought a couple of times at Sony Hall, including a win over world-rated Sulem Urbina.

Then it was a pair of decision victories over Maryguenn Vellinga, also at the Garden. She left New York for her last bout, an eight-round decision over Amy Salinas in Kissimmee, FL, just outside Orlando.

So she has four pro bouts and 22 total rounds. Cruz is now 40 years old; because she wanted to take part in the Olympics, she waited that long to enter the pro ranks. But now that she is committed, it would behoove her to put her foot on the gas pedal.

Certainly she has the ability to do it. And if there were concerns about her ability to go beyond three or four rounds, she went a strong eight against Salinas, winning all but one round on two of the judges’ scorecards.

In the pro ranks, Cruz has endeavored to be a little more stationery than she was in the amateurs, but she is still very adept at being able to keep a distance between herself and opponents. In that regard she’ll be challenged by Franco, who should keep coming forward and is intent on getting to the inside.

Let’s be honest; by this time Cruz is probably farther advanced than many of the pros who are in the world ratings. So we could probably count on a fast track to a championship opportunity. The only question is, what will she do with it when it comes?

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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Nancy Franco has a world of experience on her side

Posted on 07/28/2023

Nancy Yesenia Franco de Alba, boxing under the ring name of Nancy Franco and sporting the nickname “Chatita,” has been just about everywhere and done just about anything there is to do in the sport of boxing, even going as far as winning a world title. She comes to Sony Hall on August 10 with a chance to revive her career if she can beat amateur legend Christina Cruz.

Franco is a native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and she comes from a family that is very familiar with boxing, as her father and brother both competed as amateur. For her, there was not a whole lot aside from boxing when she was a youngster, so she embarked on a career in the ring. She’s now been doing it for 14-1/2 years, and intends to be a professional until the age of forty.

She made her pro debut way back in November 2008, stopping Araneli Luna in three rounds. It didn’t take her long to get to the main event level, as she boxed a ten-rounder in only her fifth professional bout.

Opportunities came to her relatively early, as she fought for the WBC Youth minimumweight (105-pound) title in January 2011, losing on a sixth-round stoppage to Ibeth Zamora Silva. She failed again for the same title 17 months later when she lost to Anami Torres.

She reached the top of the mountain in November 2013, when she traveled to Japan and captured the IBF world minimumweight crown with a ten-round decision over Kayoko Ebeta. Unfortunately she lost that title to Victoria Argueta the following May, but was able to regain the belt in a rematch, taking a split decision in February 2015, making her a two-time world champion.

She then had a chance to unify the championship, chasing WBC 105-pound laurels. But on another trip to Japan, she lost a decision to Yuko Kuroki. Undaunted, she moved up in weight, to the light flyweight class, losing a ten-round verdict to Yesica Bopp. Just a few months later, she tackled Seniesa Estrada and lost an eight-round decision at the L.A. Forum. Estrada is currently a WBC and WBA champion and one of the brightest lights in women’s boxing.

Then there was a move back down in weight and yet another opportunity to fight for a world title, this time for the WBA 115-pound belt against Anabel Ortiz on July 2017. This resulted in another ten-round decision defeat. Franco has lost seven of her last nine bouts, and that includes a stoppage loss to Adelaida Ruiz, in which she was vying for a WBC “silver” title at 115.

But the truth is, Franco has faced almost nothing but world-class fighters, going back to the early part of her career. And she certainly intends to improve on her last outing, which was an eight-round decision loss to then-undefeated Tania Enriquez, which was last May in Tijuana. A lot of fighters say they will face anyone, anywhere, at any time. With Franco, those claims are not empty.

Currently she sports a record of 19-17-2 (with 5 KOs), but she has been beaten inside the distance in only three of those losses. She has gone eight rounds or longer 15 times. And that might mean a great deal against Cruz, who has only boxed 22 rounds as a pro.

What you can expect from Franco in the ring is a fighter who will try to consistently come forward, looking for opportunities to counter punch. She has a sturdy chin and shows a lot of stamina. At the very least, she has enough savvy to give world-class competitors a legitimate challenge.

And if that challenge were to result in a win, it would be oh so sweet for Nancy, who just so happens to be the daughter of a candy maker.

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Boxing Insider says…. Come one, come all – to Sony Hall

Posted on 06/29/2023

If you asked anyone about their trip to Sony Hall in New York’s Times Square area, whether it’s for a concert or Boxing Insider Fight Night, they will invariably tell you about that long, winding staircase that is required to get down to it. This unique venue is located literally in the basement of the Paramount Hotel on West 46th Street, right there among the storied Broadway theaters that have housed many legendary performers.

In fact, if you go outside and look across the street and to your left, you’ll see the Richard Rodgers Theater, which has been home to the record-breaking musical “Hamilton.” And the Hamilton Gift Shop is right next door to Sony Hall.

Fight fans may not appreciate this all that much, but the space Sony Hall occupies was once a nightclub that was known the world over. It was called “Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe,” and it featured dancers who were all at least six feet tall, which gave it considerable cachet. Rose, of course, was a famous Broadway producer who was immortalized in the movie “Funny Girl” as the husband of legendary comedienne Fanny Brice (for which Barbra Streisand won an Oscar). Rose hired an unknown Gene Kelly as a choreographer, and that began Kelly’s road to stardom.

When “On Golden Pond” was transferred from one theater to another on Broadway, it landed at Sony Hall, which was known as the Century Theatre at the time. It was a Tony Award winner. Numerous other events were held there, including the 50th anniversary luncheon for Vanity Fair. And there was a unique “immersive” (meaning that it removed barriers and involved the audience) production of “Queen of the Night,” which ran for two years.

In recent years the Blue Note Entertainment Group has acquired the venue, after which a partnership with Sony – which included the naming rights – was arranged. Over $20 million has been put into a restoration, which took place in advance of the “Queen of the Night” run. That’s not to say it doesn’t have the feel of an “old school” nightclub, because it does. But it’s also special and different, and there is the advantage of technology; whatever is state-of-the-art in audio and video, Sony Hall has it.

Boxing Insider Promotions started doing boxing events last August with an amateur show. In October, they moved into the professional ranks. And they’ve been going strong ever since. The consistency of their efforts is establishing Sony Hall as one of those classic boxing showcases where the atmosphere and ambiance become part of the show.

And those shows will keep coming. Boxing Insider has scheduled a number of dates at Sony Hall, and as you can see, there will be events in consecutive months from August through October.

Come and join us!

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Watch the June 29 Sony Hall Card – Streaming Free From Boxing Insider

Posted on 06/29/2023

It’s often said that the best things in life are free. And that is especially the case the televised fights from Boxing Insider Promotions.

What people may not realize, since we’ve been conditioned in what is now an age of pay-per-view (PPV), is that as boxing grew again in the 1970s and 1980s, “pre-selling” itself for PPV in that time, with exposure that came on free television.

And there is less of that now than there has been for a while. Everything else is something people have to pay for. Yes, even on cable television, which requires a fee.

The term “PPV” has, for a long time, been associated with those events of extreme significance.

But the pattern now is that even shows that may not have customarily been pay-per-view caliber in the past carry a fee to watch them. That includes a lot of small streaming services.

And while there is an aspect of such a thing that makes it more “democratic” for smaller promoters to participate in paid viewership of their fights, in some cases representing the only availability, one has to wonder whether this kind of thing does the sport – and business – of boxing any good in the long run.

After all, if the idea is to bring new fans into the fold, and to keep old ones, this kind of thing does not address that issue, as most of the telecasts attract only a few hundred viewers.

So that’s something of a dilemma.

Some folks would argue that the more accessible boxing is to the public, the better it will be.

Thankfully, Larry Goldberg of Boxing Insider Promotions is one of those people. And he is putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak.

Goldberg is making his shows at Sony Hall free of charge to the public through his organization’s YouTube channel. And it’s not a second-rate production either, as one might see from a streaming service. Viewers who have not been fortunate enough to acquire one of the tickets for the live atmosphere at Sony Hall need not despair, as they can catch the action on a live basis.

And any viewer who isn’t able to see the show as it’s happening doesn’t have to go into a panic, as Boxing Insider’s productions can also be viewed on demand. Ultimately the show is edited so that consumers can see each of the fights on the card individually.

It’s all a question of the model that is employed. Rather than the “DTC” (direct to consumer) revenue model, this gravitates to the advertiser-supported model, just like what exists on over-the-air (terrestrial) network television or certain non-subscription movie streamers like Freevee.

It is, in effect, a disruption of what the marketplace in boxing has become.

Goldberg’s eventual objective is to create a streaming channel for boxing, which would include the actual fights themselves, along with podcasts, video shows and other “shoulder” programming. It’s all very exciting for the organization, which has become the busiest New York-based boxing promoter in the city.

So if you would like to see the June 29 show as it’s happening, please use this link:

…. and enjoy!

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Here’s the lineup for Boxing Insider’s June 29 NYC fight card

Posted on 06/29/2023

Here is the complete lineup for the June 29 boxing card at Sony Hall, presented by Boxing Insider Promotions:

8 Rounds — Junior Welterweights

Kurt Scoby
New York, NY
11-0, 9 KOs
143.1 Pounds


Hank Lundy
Philadelphia, PA
31-13-1, 14 KOs
139.8 Pounds

This could be the last chance saloon for Lundy, a 39-year-old who has been an NABF champion and a world title challenger (against Terence Crawford) but has lost five consecutive fights. He’s fought too many world-class opponents to list. And he’ll have to bank on his edge in experience against Scoby, a power puncher who passed his biggest career test with flying colors by knocking out John Mannu last time out.

8 Rounds — Junior Middleweights

Brian Ceballo
New York, NY
14-1, 7 KOs
159.8 Pounds


Mitch Louis-Charles
Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada
7-3-2, 4 KOs
153.2 Pounds

Ceballo is on the road back from his only career loss, back in San Juan against Nicklaus Flaz. He was a highly-decorated amateur, winning national titles and sporting a #1 national ranking. He has a promotional deal with Tom Loffler, who knows talent when he sees it, having guided the careers of Gennady (GGG) Golovkin and Wladimir Klitschko. Louis-Charles has the ability to surprise; he is coming off his best career win, scoring a fourth-round stoppage of 9-0 Josniel Castro in January.

8 Rounds — Junior Welterweights

Terell Bostic
Wyandach, NY
8-1, 1 KO
139.8 Pounds


Matthew “Lefty Gunz” Gonzalez
Ridgewood, Queens, NY
12-0-1, 8 KOs
140.2 Pounds

Bostic beat Clay Burns on a decision at Sony Hall in April. He’s a slick boxer but does not have a lot of power. Gonzalez, nicknamed “Lefty Gunz,” is, of course, a southpaw, and has not fought since 2021, when he drew with Dakota Linger. He’s tough, fast and can punch.

6 Rounds — Welterweights

Arnold Gonzalez
New York, NY
11-0, 6 KOs
150.6 Pounds


Alejandro Munera
Medellin, Colombia
8-7-4, 7 KOs
146.2 Pounds

The personable Arnold Gonzalez looks like a star in the making, and was a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao before he even turned pro. Munera’s record is a bit deceiving in that five of his seven defeats have come at the hands of unbeaten opponents. He comes in here on just a few days’ notice.

4 Rounds — Junior Lightweights

Raymond Cuadrado Jr.
Ridgewood, Queens, NY
7-0, 3 KOs
130.8 Pounds


Yeuri Andujar
San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
5-5-1, 3 KOs
131.4 Pounds

Known as “The Scientist,” Cuadrado is technically-sound and can hurt opponents to the body. His dad is in charge of amateur organization USA Metro Boxing in the New York area. Andujar hung tough in a fight with Pablo Cruz, possessor of a 22-4 record, boxing to a draw. In his last fight, he came off a 15-month layoff with a TKO loss to former National PAL champion Bruce Carrington.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

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Who’s keeping club fights alive in NYC? Boxing Insider, that’s who

Posted on 06/29/2023

Once upon a time, when boxing captivated a much larger segment of the country, the boxing scene in New York City thrived as a vibrant and electrifying atmosphere that enchanted both ardent sports fans and the general public alike. This was, for the most part, in an era when football, basketball and hockey had not made enough significant inroads to dislodge boxing from its place right near the top.

It was the 1930s, 40s and 50s. And a seat at the fights was the hottest ticket in town.

During this particular time, the city itself boasted a remarkable variety of fight venues, each with its own unique charm and history. Of course, some of them were decidedly “major league.”

Madison Square Garden, located in midtown Manhattan, was undeniably the crown jewel of boxing arenas. It stood as the epitome of grandeur and hosted some of the most monumental bouts of the time, becoming synonymous with the sport itself. The Garden, as it was affectionately known, was at that time located on Eighth Avenue, between 49th and 50th Street.

But Madison Square Garden was not the only venue for big-time boxing in New York City. The city also humming elsewhere. The Polo Grounds, the renowned baseball stadium in upper Manhattan, occasionally transformed into a boxing arena, welcoming thousands of fans to witness epic battles within its hallowed grounds. Many, many championship fights were held there. It goes without saying that Yankee Stadium, on occasion, had the world’s attention for a championship fight.

However, there were also a lot of “clubs” which featured locals, in addition to the occasional world-class contender. St. Nicholas Arena, nestled in the heart of Harlem, emerged as a prominent venue, attracting a vibrant community and showcasing local talent in electrifying matchups.

In point of fact, a multitude of smaller, more intimate venues peppered the city, satisfying the appetite fans had for boxing. Legendary halls like the New York Hippodrome, Ridgewood Grove Arena and Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, the Bronx Coliseum, Harlem’s Star Casino, and the Fugazy Bowl in Coney Island all staged compelling events over those decades.

Then there was the Eastern Parkway Arena (the site of Joey Maxim’s victory over a young Floyd Patterson), where Hall of Famer Teddy Brenner was the matchmaker.

Aside from this, any number of armories around the city held boxing shows. When television started to emerge, some of those places had televised events spread across the major networks. And naturally, radio was a key player as well.

The frequency of boxing shows during this era was nothing short of staggering. At one point there were as many as fourteen fight clubs operating on a regular or semi-regular basis. It was not uncommon for several shows to take place on the same night, as the New York State Athletic Commission was one busy governing body. The commission was so prominent that in this era that preceded multiple sanctioning organizations, the fighters they recognized as champions received universal acclaim.

Yes, boxing was king in the Big Apple. But what happened?

Well, many things factored into it.

One of them was the migration out of the city and into the suburbs, which started to take place gradually shortly after World War II. There simply weren’t as many fans who could take a cab or hop on a subway and get to the fights, and parking at many of these venues was limited. Another was the rise of television, which brought a world of visual entertainment into everyone’s living room, at a minimal cost.

The television era also brought fights that were televised. So fans did not have to leave their homes to see some of the sport’s brightest stars. And there was competition emerging from other sports like football and basketball, which were starting to occupy a more prominent place in the landscape – with the help of television revenue.

So the clubs – and their place in New York City boxing – gradually disappeared.

The effect was that there weren’t as many opportunities for fighters to develop their careers. And that simply hurt the sport – and the business.

These days, it’s a whole new ballgame, with a different look.

There is plenty of championship action at the Garden and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, putting on club shows – the ones that serves the grass roots – is more difficult than ever. But there is a need. And currently the organization that is filling that need is Boxing Insider Promotions, headed up by Larry Goldberg, a native of the Atlantic City area who now lives in Manhattan.

After moving to New York, Goldberg, who was operating his Boxing Insider news site, started to do some boxing of his own, training at the Mendez Gym in the city. And what he noticed was that a lot of local fighters simply did not have an outlet in the area to ply their trade, because not enough promoters were active.

In a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, that represented an opportunity. And Goldberg found a venue that was to his liking – Sony Hall, which is located in the Times Square area.

Goldberg got his feet wet by doing an amateur show last April, then made the decision to progress into pro boxing in order to provide a comeback fight for Heather Hardy. He’s been doing his shows regularly ever since, with a series of dates booked at Sony Hall.

Although some competitors with a national presence have found their way onto the Boxing Insider shows, Goldberg’s principal objective is “to put on local shows with local talent,” and he’s had some of the best talent in the area in the Sony Hall ring. By and large, they are bring a nice following with them; friends, fans and family who don’t have to travel very far. Occasionally there’s a neighborhood dispute to be settled between people from rival gyms, as was the case on April 27, when Sydney Maccow and Christian Otero battled in a very lively six-rounder.

There are different story lines that come to life on each show. And Boxing Insider Promotions is establishing a reputation for consistency, which is important.

And suddenly Larry Goldberg is the busiest NYC-based promoter in the largest city in the United States – one with the grandest boxing legacy.

While he was offering some commentary on the April 27 show, Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella, a frequent collaborator of Goldberg’s, explained that while producing club shows in New York was very expensive, “if we don’t do it, the sport’s going to suffer. Club boxing is the heart and soul of New York boxing.

“I’m happy to help him out. I’m happy to put fighters on his (Larry’s) cards, because he’s doing it the right way.”

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

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Matthew Gonzalez hopes to have ‘Gunz’ blazing on June 29

Posted on 06/28/2023

Matthew Gonzalez has not fought in a while, but he’s going to change all that. And he better fight like hell on June 29 at Sony Hall, because he’s got the very capable Terell Bostic in front of him in an eight-round feature presented by Larry Goldberg and Boxing Insider Promotions.

The 27-year-old hails from Ridgewood in Queens, and showed some aptitude toward boxing at an early age. In an amateur career that had 64 bouts, Gonzalez won five national junior titles.

But he took a little hiatus from boxing for a while before resuming and embarking on a pro career.

His debut came in May 2017 when he knocked out Raekwon Speight in the first round. He often found himself fighting opponents with much more experience. But those challenges weren’t daunting for him.

It’s been a while since Gonzalez has actually fought. In his last bout, he sustained a six-round draw with tough Dakota Linger in October 2021. Interestingly enough, in his next bout, Linger knocked out contender Josue Vargas in two rounds.

Gonzalez first encountered his current trainer-manager Joe Zagarino in Teofimo Lopez’s training camp. Zagarino, a former amateur boxer, had some fighters in the camp, and sparred a little with him.

Zagarino says “We had chemistry. It was instantaneous.”

He fell in love with the fighter’s skill set and competitive nature.

“He is a violent artist,” Zagarino says of Gonzalez. “He creates opportunities, and dictates pace. he constantly imposes himself on his opponent, and he’s loose, fluid and creative….. and mentally he has the goods.”

Zagarino says that Gonzalez’s balance and footwork have become better since he’s been working with him, and that he is implementing analytics to further give his fighter an edge.

A southpaw, Gonzalez has adopted the nickname “Lefty Gunz,” and with “freakish hand speed,” as Zagarino puts it, he is able to make that moniker stick.

He certainly wants everything fast; at the Westbury Boxing Club, where he trains, he usually prefers the sparring that comes from talented amateurs, because with only three rounds in their bouts, they have a tendency to operate at a much more consistent pace than the pros.

He may find that kind of pace very advantageous against Bostic, along with what Zagarino calls a “brutal” left hand that has laid more than one foe to rest. Gonzalez is 12-0-1 with eight KOs and has plenty of attitude. He’s got a relatively sizable following he’s bringing with him to Sony Hall.

And it’s likely he’ll be back after this. Zagarino explains that for all of the New York City metropolitan area, Larry Goldberg and Boxing Insider Promotions are “a big deal” now because of the consistency of their shows in the largest market in the country.

And that’s the truth.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

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Raymond Cuadrado wants you to believe the science

Posted on 06/28/2023

Well, there is very little question that Raymond Cuadrado was born into boxing. In fact, he had gloves on when he was just one year old.

Hailing from the Ridgewood area of Queens, Cuadrado has been around boxing since childhood because of the involvement of his father (Raymond Sr.) who is not only a trainer and owner of the Brotherhood Boxing gym, he is also the president of the local governing body of amateur boxing – USA Boxing Metro.

He actually started to box at the age of ten. And his passion for the game overrode some of his other aspirations, including baseball. He is also a certified EMT, but put pursuing that on hold because he was too dedicated to his training.

He traveled around a lot for various boxing competitions, and didn’t do too badly when staying close to home, making it to the finals of the New York Golden Gloves at Madison Square Garden in 2019.

Everyone was talking about his “Boxing IQ,” and it should be no surprise about that, considering that the game is more or less embedded in him. His cerebral and technically-sound approach to the sport has earned him the nickname “The Scientist.

After 80 amateur bouts, he decided to play his trade at the professional level. His debut took place in April 2021, as he stopped Alexis Chavarria inside of one round. Decisions over Michael Land, Saquon Felton, Andrew Bentley and Joseph Cruz Brown followed.

But his last two fights have ended inside the distance. On April 1 he stopped Usiel Hernandez in three rounds, and then, on May 20, he knocked out Akeem Jackson in one round.

On the June 29 card he faces Yeuri Andujar, who sports just a 5-5-1 but has been in there with a lot of experienced fighters. Just a couple of years ago, at about the same time as Cuadrado was turning pro, Andujar boxed to a draw with Pablo Cruz, who had a 22-4 record.

Chances are, he’s not studying a lot of footage on Andujar. He prefers to take care of his own business, getting his game prepared in the gym, and then he’ll figure out a way to adapt to whatever his opponent does.

That’s not to say his father won’t know the opponent very well, and one thing he knows is that he isn’t going to let his son get off course.

Raymond Jr. is a very solid stand-up boxer who has demonstrated that he has a firm grasp on the lost art of body punching. That’s one route to victory, but he’s got a few more.

And you can bet there will be a crowd. Because of Cuadrado’s deep ties to boxing, which go all the way back to the amateurs, he is well-liked, well-respected and well-followed. So he’s going to have a loud and enthusiastic fan base on hand at Sony Hall.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

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Brian Ceballo is definitely going places

Posted on 06/28/2023

Sooner or later, Brian Ceballo is going to get an opportunity to show that he can compete for a world championship. And when that happens, he plans to be ready for it.

He will be headlining the June 29 card at Sony Hall that is presented by Boxing Insider Promotions, taking on Miotch Louis-Charles in a scheduled eight-rounder in the junior middleweight division.

Ceballo was not just a good amateur; he was the best in the country at one time, compiling a 206-13 in the non-paid ranks. Highlights included five New York Golden Gloves championships, along with a number of national titles.

He won the 2014 National PAL title, beating James Perella, who is now 15-0 in the pros; he captured the 2016 National Golden Gloves, and won the U.S. Championships in 2017, defeating Quinton Randall. In the process, he avenged a loss he suffered to Randall in the previous year’s finals. He also competed in the World Series of Boxing.

Even with all of this, and his presence as a USA Boxing Athlete’s Representative, Ceballo was disappointed with the politics that existed in the amateur structure, as he thought he was on the short end of some unjust decisions. And that is something that triggered his entrance into the professional ranks.

He debuted as a pro with a first-round stoppage of Luis Alberto Lopez Longoria in March 2018. In just his sixth pro fight, he went in the ring with Daniel Calzada, a veteran of 38 bouts, and won a four-round decision.

Certainly he was not coddled; he scored wins over a couple of unbeaten fighters at Madison Square Garden – in June 2019 he won an eight-round decision over Bakhtiyar Eyudov (14-0-1), winning all eight rounds on one of the scorecards, and four months later he stopped 16-0 Ramal Amanov in three rounds.

In his next two fights after that he beat opponents with a combined record of 20-3.

But he stumbled last October in San Juan, losing an eight-round majority decision to Nicklaus Flaz. So it was important that he come back with a flourish, and indeed he took a rather impressive eight-round decision over Luis Alberto Veron at Sony Hall on April 27.

Ceballo is a “favorite son” of the famous and prestigious New York Athletic Club, home of many of the movers and shakers in the Big Apple. He trained there as an amateur and also trained other boxers.

A graduate of New UItrecht High School in Brooklyn, who also took a degree in finance from DeVry University, he aspires to be an entrepreneur, and is now a partner in his own gym – the Bout Fight Club on Fulton Street in Manhattan.

Ceballo is currently 14-1 with seven KOs. He is handled by promoter Tom Loffler, who is well-known for helping to guide the careers of Wladimir Klitschko and Gennady Golovkin. Loffler is very impressed with Ceballo’s ability to transcend boxing with his marketability.

And soon, more of the world will know all about it.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

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Arnold Gonzalez is one guy who’s plotting his own course

Posted on 06/26/2023

Arnold Gonzalez is a 28-year-old welterweight who is refreshing, in that he knows where he wants to go and how he wants to get there. The owner of what he describes as “:an educated left hand,” he also owns himself, which is rare in boxing these days.

An enterprising young man who is the consummate self-starter, he moves ahead in his professional career on Thursday, July 29 at Sony Hall as he is featured on the latest card presented by Boxing Insider Promotions.

Gonzalez grew up in Harlem, a graduate of A. Phillip Randolph High School, he contemplated college, and was accepted at John Jay College, with a career in criminal justice in mind.

However, the boxing bug bit him, and so he bypassed the collegiate life. Fortunately, he was able to make his mark in a big way. Gonzalez was a New York Golden Gloves finalist in 2015 and then went higher, winning the National PAL (Police Athletic League) tournament, along with the Sugar Bert national tournament, in 2018.

He picked up a sponsorship from the New York Athletic Club, a prestigious organization which numbers some of the most prominent citizens of the Big Apple among its members.

He also got involved in the fitness industry, and typical of his attitude toward most things, he gave it a balls-out effort, establishing a base through which he gained some financial independence.

Gonzalez was looking to expand his horizons in preparation for turning pro, and toward that end he directed himself to Southern California, and specifically to the now-legendary Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

That, of course, is the domain of Freddie Roach, and when Gonzalez walked in on Christmas day, 2018, he was seeking experience. He actually got more than he bargained for. On this particular holiday, the gym was empty, except for Roach, Gonzalez and its most distinguished resident, Manny Pacquiao. The eight-division champ was getting himself ready for a bout with Adrien Broner, and as Gonzalez explained to Roach that he had a style like Broner’s, Roach decided to put him right into a sparring session.

Gonzalez admits it was “a little nerve-racking” to find himself in the ring with a living legend before his professional career had even gotten started, but in retrospect, he calls it “the best Christmas present I could ever have.”

The sparring was lively, enough that when Gonzalez was ready to leave town, Roach convinced him to stay. So he also helped Pacquiao prepare for his fights against Keith Thurman and Yordenis Ugas. And in this process, Gonzalez relocated himself to Southern California, where he currently trains under Julien Chua. .

PacMan also used his influence to get Gonzalez’s pro career rolling. That career began in February 2019 with a win over Stacey Anderson in Nebraska. He’s also fought four times at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, competing on PBC-promoted cards.

Gonzalez’s lineage is from Ecuador, and he fought several times there as well, including a fifth-round stoppage of Jose Luis Prieto to win the UBO (Universal Boxing Organization) Intercontinental welterweight championship, a title he defended last December with a win over Jesus Bravo.

One of the things that is unique about Gonzalez is the degree to which he has gone about directing his own career. He is self-managed, and that is by no means an accident. It is, for this moment at least, the most efficient way for him to do business.

He understands that it is difficult getting promoters to get on the phone, for example, and talk directly to a fighter, without a buffer (i.e., a manager or an agent) in between. But “all it takes is one conversation with them to know where my head is at.”

“Boxing is a business that’s all about networking,” Gonzalez says. “It’s such a small world that you’re going to wind up running into everybody again.”

That was exactly the circumstance that led him into the July 29 card. Gonzalez had, at one time, sparred with Larry Goldberg at the Mendez Gym in New York. A few years later, as Goldberg became a promoter with his Boxing Insider Promotions, Gonzalez went to a show at Sony Hall, bought a seat in the front row, and re-introduced himself to Goldberg.

And so here we are.

Precisely where this will all end for Gonzalez is anyone’s guess. He says he has a sizable clientele of personal fitness pupils around the Los Angeles area. He has plans to continue managing himself; one of his command decisions is that he will eventually drop from 147 to 140 pounds. At the right time, he will decide upon a team with which he will proceed to higher levels. He expects that at some point in 2025, he’ll be in the top ten and ready to challenge for a world title.

A number of things have to fall into place. But would you bet against that happening? WE wouldn’t.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

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Kurt Scoby chose boxing over football – and wants to show he was right

Posted on 06/26/2023

“Hear me on this: Kurt Scoby is going to be a major star and a world champion … AND he punches holes through walls.”

— Promoter Lou DiBella

There was a time when boxing may not have been a part of Kurt Scoby‘s ultimate plan. Perhaps if it was up to him, he’d be rushing for over a thousand yards in the NFL right now.

But that was not to be. So he’ll have to settle for being a potential world champion in the world of professional boxing.

He’s doing just fine, with a record of 11-0 and nine KOs, but he’s got an obstacle coming up, as he will face off against former world title challenger Hank Lundy on the June 29 card being presented by Boxing Insider Promotions.

It wouldn’t be all that unusual for us to tell you that this is a fighter who’s had a tough upbringing. But Scoby’s might have been tougher than most. Hailing from Duarte, CA, Scoby had a home life filled with abuse, and later went into foster care, where he found himself in fourteen different home situations. Along the way, he became one heck of an athlete.

Scoby was at once a football player and a boxer. At Monrovia High School in the greater Los Angeles area, he was a premier running back, rushing for a monstrous 13.5 yards per carry and scoring 35 touchdowns as a senior. In one game he actually had 287 yards on only twelve carries.

Of course, this was going to bring interest from major college programs, and Scoby accepted a scholarship offer from Fresno State. But he redshirted there, and then transferred to Azusa Pacific (famously the alma mater of Christian Okoye), where he rushed for 2704 yards in three years, averaging over six yards an attempt.

For football, Scoby was listed between 180 and 190 pounds, and may have been even heavier than that. He had to do a lot of weight manipulation to accommodate both football and boxing. The truth is, he says he found a real home in the boxing gym – in this case, the Duarte Boxing Club – and he won a California Golden Gloves title as part of a career that had about 150 bouts.

During the 2020 pandemic, he came east in search of a trainer and some experience in the Big Apple. He got a plan ticket for $11 from Los Angeles to New York, and admits “It was crazy doing what I did.” He wound up at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, under the tutelage of Don Saxby, who he says has been a father figure for him.

His professional career got underway in September 2020 with a first-round stoppage of Pablo Luna. Admittedly, most of his opponents have been lesser lights, and he dispatched them accordingly. So the criticism was that he was relatively untested.

That was supposed to change on February 17 of this year, as he was matched with John Mannu, an undefeated Australian southpaw nicknamed “The Beast” who had vanquished unbeaten foes in each of his two prior bouts.

This fight, a feature on ShoBox from Topeka, KS, turned out to be a showcase for Scoby, who overwhelmed his opponent with a second-round stoppage, scoring four knockdowns.

He had arrived…… almost.

And as his journey continues, he’s got a notable team surrounding him. That includes not only Saxby, but co-managers Daniel Gonzalez and Brandon Stump; Leon Taylor, a former pro light heavyweight and gym legend, who once dropped Michael Spinks in sparring, and Vlacheslav Papka, a fitness specialist with a lot of technology behind him, who helps keep Scoby fine-tuned.

Yeah, maybe Scoby CAN punch through walls. But this is a step-by-step process, and the next step is against a wily veteran who has been in the ring with some of the best in the business.

Maybe this guy can cross the goal line after all.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

More Headlines