By: Paul Yates
Rising middleweight Carlos Gongora co-headlines a match at The Encore Boston Harbor this Friday in Everett, Massachusetts. The hard punching Gongora faces Mexico’s Alan Zavala in a scheduled ten rounder. The fight is expected to be an opportunity for Gongora, who is presently 16-0 with 12 KO’s, to showcase his skills and explosive hitting power.
Photo Credit: Joe Gallo
Standing 6’1″ and fighting from a southpaw stance, Gongora ranked among the world’s leading middleweights as an amateur, during which he fought more than several hundred matches. Representing his home country of Ecuador, Gongora boxed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He also participated in the 2007, 2009, and 2011 World Amateur Championships. Since turning professional in 2015, Gongora has been based in the United States. He currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and is 30 years old.
The lanky Gongora has impressed boxing aficionados with his agility, lightning quick reflexes, savvy ring tactics, and stalking, cat-like fighting style. His ring demeanor is best described as icily composed, or even eerily calm. Gongora packs one-punch knockout power in his left hand, and he often finishes opponents suddenly and unexpectedly with single, explosive shots to the head. The Ecuadorian delivers his left-handed power punch in the form of overhand blows to the jaw, roundhouse shots swung around his foes’ guards, and as uppercuts thrown from long and short distance.
Gongora usually boxes from long range, fully utilizing his height and reach advantages as he spears his opponents with long right jabs to the head and body. So far, Gongora’s defense has shown no flaws, as he effortlessly dodges blows by bouncing backwards on his feet and by leveraging his impressive upper-body maneuvering and agility. Foes who try to bull their way inside Gongora’s firing range are always tied-up and pushed away, or they are battered into retreat by the Ecuadorian’s heavy fisted counterattacks.
The flashy, one punch KO power in Gongora’s left hand, in addition to his height and unusually calm ring demeanor, remind this writer of 1980’s light-heavyweight champion Mike Spinks. Like Gongora, Spinks was a tall, wiry, thin boxer-puncher known for scoring dramatic, one punch knockouts. While Gongora’s money punch is his left, Spinks tended to dispatch opponents with his power-laden right hand, known to fans of that era as the “Spinks Jinx.”
Zavala, the opponent in Friday’s match, has earned a reputation as a strong, bullish, rough fighter who wins by mauling his opponents at close range. He has a professional record of 15-4, including 13 KO’s. Like most Mexican fighters, Zavala frequently unleashes hard, wide left-hooks to the head and body. He supplements his head-first offensive tactics by bobbing-and-weaving to dodge blows, and — unlike most Mexicans — he is not averse to dancing backwards in order to evade punches. At 5’11,” Zavala will be fighting at a height disadvantage against the rangy Gongora.
Although Zavala is regarded as a club fighter, he is distinguished in that he once lasted the distance against Jaime Munguia, the current WBO super-welterweight champion. The Munguia-Zavala match took place in 2015 in Tijuana, very early in the careers of both Mexican boxers. But considering that the hard-hitting Munguia is now regarded as one of the very best 154 pounders in the world, Zavala proved his mettle by finishing that bout on his feet.
Trained by Hector Bermudez and managed by Mike Criscio, Gongora has been promoted by Murphy’s Boxing since 2017. It is very probable that Gongora will eventually be rated among the world’s leading fighters in the middleweight and super-middleweight divisions.
In the main event on Friday’s promotion, NABA super-featherweight titleholder Abraham Nova defends his belt against Luis Ronaldo Castillo in a scheduled ten round bout. Nova is unquestionably the most advanced fighter on this evening’s card, as he is rated 6th worldwide by the World Boxing Association in the 130 lbs division. A native of Puerto Rico who was born to Dominican parents, Nova now lives in Albany, New York. His professional record is 15-0 with 11 KO’s. Nova was a heralded amateur, triumphing in 167 of 178 bouts and winning the prestigious New York Golden Gloves tournament five times. He also won the 2014 USA National Championships and participated in the 2015 US Olympic Qualifiers tournament. Nova is known for his exceptional athleticism, power, and speed of hand and foot. The Puerto Rican’s combination punching prowess, in addition to his ability to quickly alternate between offense and defense, has inspired many boxing experts to predict that he will eventually win a world championship.
Little is known about Castillo aside from his record, which is 20-3 with 15 KO’s. Castillo is 20 years old and has been fighting professionally since 2015. He has fought most of his bouts in his native Mexico. Earlier this year, Castillo fought twice in foreign countries and was knocked out both times. Australia’s Steve Spark stopped Castillo in four rounds in Toowoomba, and shortly after that, he was KO’d in four rounds by Jesus M. Rojas in Puerto Rico.
Another fighter with a stellar amateur background, Brian Ceballo, will appear on Friday’s card in a scheduled eight rounder. Ceballo, currently 9-0 with 4 KO’s, squares off against Luis Eduardo Florez of Colombia, who is 24-13 including 20 KO’s. Both fighters are welterweights. Ceballo’s amateur accomplishments include winning the 2014 Police Athletic League National Championships, taking first place in the 2016 National Golden Gloves Championships, and winning the US National Championships in 2017. Ceballo finished third in the 2015 US Olympic Trials.
The promotion will be rounded out by several other four round matches. Mansfield’s James Perella (4-0, 3 KO’s) faces Argentina’s Jose Aubel (8-5, 7 KO’s) in a welterweight fight. Perella is a tall, hard-hitting boxer who ranked among the nation’s best during his amateur career. In a cruiserweight bout, James Perkins squares off against Aaron Trecell Smith. Both fighters are from the Boston area and they are making their pro debuts. In another bout between debuting boxers, Brian Urday will face Greg Bono in the 135 lbs division. Both Urday and Bono are Boston area natives. The card will open with Boston’s Jonathan Depina making his pro debut against Michigan’s Robbie Thomas (0-1) in a lightweight bout.
By: Ken Hissner
Carlos “Mexicanito” Licona was born in Mexico City, MEX, and now at age 23 resides in Westminster, CA. On February 16th he lost in his first defense of his newly won IBF Minimumweight World Title at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA. His opponent ,the No. 8 ranked DeeJay Kriel, of Boksburg, South Africa, knocked him out the 12th and final round.
Licona turned professional in December of 2014 winning his first six fights in Mexico. In May of 2016 he made his US debut in his first six round bout defeating Cesar Sustaita, 3-2 (3), at Studio City, CA.
In November of 2017 after going 3-0 in the US Licona returned to Tijuana, MEX, and won a majority six round bout over Juan Carlos Diego, 8-0 (4).
In 2018 Licona went 4-0. After a win in Mexico in January he traveled to Ponce, PR, he went from a six round boxer to a ten round bout in April defeating Janiel “Pototo” Rivera, 16-2-3 (9), of PR.
In June Licona went back to Mexico defeating Jose Eduardo “Motorcito” Ramirez Armenta, 10-3 (4), by split decision over eight rounds. Licora received a cut over his right eye which kept it out of action for six months.
In December he took on top contender southpaw Mark Anthony Barriga, 9-0 (1), of the Philippines, at the Staple Center in L.A. winning a split twelve round decision for the vacant IBF World Minimumweight title. This was on the undercard of Wilder and Fury. He suffered pain in his left wrist and had a 180 day suspension unless cleared by a physician which he has done in order to be fighting 75 days later. With No. 1 and No. 2 rankings vacant Barriga is No. 3.
Licona’s opponent Kriel now 15-1-1 (7), has defeated his last nine opponents who all had winning records. This was not only his US debut but the first time fighting away from South Africa. His last fight was in March of 2018 making his first defense of his WBC International title over 12 rounds defeating the South African champion Xolisa Magusha, 10-2-1.Kreil won his title in July of 2017 defeating Dexter “Kidmama” Alimento, 12-1, of the Philippines.
This bout was shown on FOX with Mexican Leo Santa “El Terremoto” Cruz, 36-1-1, of Rosemead, CA, defeating Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera, 26-3-2 over 12 rounds defending his WBA Super World Featherweight title for the fourth time in the main event.
By: Ken Hissner
Under his own promotion Devin Haney Promotions the unbeaten Devin “The Dream” Haney took on Juan Carlos Burgos in the main event ShoBox: The New Generation. This card took place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing were also part of the promotion.
In the Main Event No. 15 IBF ranked Devin “The Dream” Haney, 20-0 (13), of Las Vegas, NV, won a lopsided decision over Juan Carlos “Miniburgos” Burgos, 33-3-2 (21), of Tijuana, MEX, for the vacant IBF North American Lightweight Title, over 10 rounds.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
In the first round Haney moved using his jab while Burgos landed several left hooks. Burgos landed a long right to the head of Haney who was moving away at the time. In the second round Burgos kept throwing the left hook to the body while Haney mainly used his jab. Burgos ended the round with several left hooks to the body ending with a hook to the chin of Haney.
In the third round Haney missed quite a bit before landing a pair of chopping rights to the head of Burgos. Burgos landed a left hook to the chin of Haney. Haney missed with a right but followed thru landing a left hook to the chin of Burgos. Haney ended the round with a right to the chin of Burgos. In the fourth round Burgos from southpaw landed a lead left to the chin of Haney. Haney landed a chopping right to the head while Burgos landed a left hook to the chin of Haney. Haney stalks while Burgos stays against the ropes moving side to side.
In the fifth round Haney sticks and moves while Burgos lands solid left hooks to the body of Haney. Haney landed a lead right to the chin of Burgos who keeps chasing Haney. Haney hurt Burgos with a right uppercut to the chin. In the sixth round while against the ropes Haney landed half a dozen rights to the head of Burgos. Haney’s hand speed has made a major difference but the fans are starting to boo as Haney does too much running and countering when he stops moving.
In the seventh round Haney decides to stand his ground for close to a minute at the start of the round before he started moving again landing the jab. Referee Zachary Young warns both boxers about talking to one another. There was little action in the round with the crowd booing again near the end. In the eighth round both started landing body shots while in the middle of the ring. Burgos warned for rabbit punch. Burgos landed three left hooks to the body of a moving Haney as the booing starts up again.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
In the ninth round Haney is going to work landing lead rights and chopping rights to the head of Burgos. With just under a minute left in the round Haney rocks Burgos with several rights to the head. Burgos did little fighting in the round. In the tenth and final round Haney landed a double left hook to the chin of Burgos. Haney landed a solid right after landing the jab to the chin of Burgos who just can’t handle the hand speed of Haney. Burgos landed a double left hook to the head and body of Haney. The booing started again in the final minute. Haney landed the final punch of the fight a lead right to the head of Burgos.
Scores were 97-93 and 100-90 while this writer had it 98-92.
In a rematch Super Lightweight Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice, 13-0-1 (10), of Cleveland, OH, ended in a disputed split draw with Lightweight Armenian Zhora Hamazaryan, 9-1-1 (6), of L.A., CA, over 8 rounds. Mattice came in 3 pounds over the 135 contract weight.
In the first round Mattice starts out moving around the ring with Hamazaryan chasing. At the halfway point of the round Hamazaryan landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Mattice. Just under a minute Mattice landed his best punch of the round a right cross to the chin of Hamazaryan. Hamazaryan landed a right followed by a left both to the head of Mattice. In the second round Hamazaryan opened up with half a dozen unanswered punches. A left hook to the chin by Hamazaryan drove Mattice back several steps. Hamazaryan landed a left hook to the chin while Mattice came back with a chopping right to the head.
In the third round after each landing well Mattice got on his bicycle. Mattice is using his jab keeping Hamazaryan at bay. Hamazaryan warned for hitting Mattice behind the head. Mattice landed a combination at the bell. In the fourth round after both mixed it up Hamazaryan rocked Mattice with a left hook to the chin forcing Mattice to continue to hold for most of the remaining round. Hamazaryan rocked Mattice with a left hook to the chin driving him into the ropes.
In the fifth round Hamazaryan landed a 3-punch combination. Going into the final minute Hamazaryan was having his way with Mattice continuing to do more holding than punching. In the sixth round Hamazaryan landed a right uppercut to the chin of Mattice. Mattice warned for hitting on the break. Mattice landed a combination and then started moving around the ring again. Mattice landed a solid right just after the bell. The referee Ray Corona has done little to prevent Mattice from fouling.
In the seventh round Mattice was warned for holding down the head of Hamazaryan. Mattice landed a hard left knocking out the mouthpiece of Hamazaryan. Hamazaryan continued chasing Mattice landing punches and getting held and pushed by Mattice. In the eighth and final round Mattice was moving and jabbing until a right from Hamazaryan to the chin rocked Mattice. Mattice started showboating as Hamazaryan is all business. Hamazaryan landed the last punch of the fight a right to the chin of Mattice.
Scores were 77-75 Mattice, 77-75 Hamazaryan and 76-76. This writer had it 78-74 Hamazaryan.
German Super Middleweight Cem “The Champ” Kilic, 12-0 (7), of Sherman Oaks, CA, defeated DeAndre “The Axe Man” Ware, 12-1-2 (8), of Toledo, OH, over 8 action packed rounds.
In the first round there was no feeling out as both opened up. Originally set to be a middleweight bout Ware could not make it so they are in the super middle division. Kilic is much taller and landed several rights to the head of Ware. He landed four punches to the body. Both exchanged rights to the chin just prior to the bell. In the second round Kilic rocked Ware with a left hook to the chin while Ware came back with a solid right to the chin. Ware landed a hard right to the chin of Kilic. A Ware combination rocked Kilic just prior to the end of the round.
In the third round Ware landed a 3-punch combination. Kilic drove Ware into a corner but Ware came back rocking Kilic with a right hand to the chin. Ware worked his right well against the taller Kilic who used a good right uppercut. In the fourth round both came out throwing leather. Kilic showed blood from his nose. Kilic knocked out the mouthpiece of Ware with a right to the chin. Kilic landed half a dozen unanswered punches to the head and body.
In the fifth round Kilic started using his jab more setting up Ware with right hands. Ware landed three body shots at the halfway point of the round. Kilic landed a flurry of punches to the head and body of Ware. Both continue to throw a good amount of punches. In the sixth round Ware kept coming forward but walking into solid punches by Kilic. Ware landed his lead right to the chin of Kilic which has been his best weapon so far. Once again a Kilic right knocked out the mouthpiece of Ware.
In the seventh round Kilic landed half a dozen unanswered punches while Ware came back pushing Kilic with his head and gloves. Ware got a warning from Referee Tony Crebs for using his head. Both landed punches by bunches up to the end of the round. In the eighth and final round Ware came out throwing possibly he may be behind. It may have been the first clinch in the fight at the halfway point of the round. Ware has Kilic moving backwards. Kilic has never gone beyond four rounds. It was a very good fight.
Scores were 78-74, and 79-73 while this writer had it 77-75.
By: Ken Hissner
Golden Boy Promotions featured 20 year-old hot unbeaten knockout artist Vergil Ortiz, Jr. against former world champion Juan Carlos Salgado at the Belasco Theater, in L.A., CA, Saturday night over ESPN2.
In the Main Event Super lightweight Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 10-0 (10), of Dallas, Texas, knocked out the former IBF & WBA Super Featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado, 27-9-1 (16), of Mexico City, MEX, at 1:52 of the third round of a scheduled 10.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Page
In the first round Ortiz rocked Salgado with a left hook to the head. Halfway through the round Ortiz landed a left hook to the solar plexus of Salgado. In the second round Salgado drove Ortiz back several steps landing four unanswered punches. Ortiz was warned for pushing Salgado to the canvas on the back of his neck. Ortiz landed a right hand to the chin driving Salgado to the ropes.
In the third round Ortiz landed half a dozen unanswered punches driving Salgado into the ropes. Both fighters exchanged right hands. Ortiz landed a left hook to the liver and down went Salgado causing referee Raul Caiz to wave it off.
“I do not want to get ahead of myself but I am looking to become a champion,” said Ortiz. At ringside, trainer Joel Diaz, Sr., proclaimed how great of a prospect Ortiz is whom he helped train.
In the co-feature Super Featherweight Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr., 14-0 (5), of San Antonio, TX, defeated Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez, 19-2-1 (16), of Maracaibo, VZ, over 8 rounds.
In the first round coming off his first loss Gutierrez is pressing Tanajara looking for a quick stoppage. Gutierrez was warned for hitting behind the head by referee Wayne Hedgpeth. Tanajara came back landing a left hook south of the border and receiving a warning. In the second round it was much closer with Tanajara giving as much as taking.
In the third round the highly regarded Tanajara started getting more offensive landing a double left hook to the body and head of Gutierrez. Tanajara rocked Gutierrez with a lead right hand to the head with less than a minute left in the round. In the fourth round both fighters exchanged right hands to the head.
Tanajara drove Gutierrez into the corner of the ring with a right hand to the chin.
In the fifth round Gutierrez landed a straight right to the chin of Tanajara. Gutierrez got a warning about using his head in clinches from the referee.
Tanajara worked his way back into the fight the past several rounds. In the sixth round once again Gutierrez looked to the ref for help and got hit with a right hand from Tanajara to the head. The fight seems about even at this point.
In the seventh round Gutierrez is getting spun around and holds Tanajara twice receiving warnings. Tanajara landed a left hook and when he tried it a second time he missed and ended up on the canvas. In the eighth and final round the clinching continued with the fight on the line one would think both would be looking to win the round not wrestle. Gutierrez landed several punches before taking a right to the head from Tanajara. Tanajara landed a right to the head of Gutierrez causing a cut over the left eye. I counted 8 clinches in this the final round.
Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. This writer had it 77-75.
Super Welterweight Ferdinand Kerobyan, 9-0 (5), of Armenia now in Glendale, CA, stopped Edgar Ivan “El Profe” Garcia, 7-17-1 (2), of Sonora, MEX, at 2:48 of the 2nd round of a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round the taller Kerobyan gave a punishing beating to the body for the entire round. In round 2 Garcia got in a couple of punches but Kerobyan took over with more of a body beating until Garcia finally fell to a knee forcing referee Raul Caiz to wave it off. “I want to return to 147,” said Kerobyan. He had a big amateur career in Europe.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Errol Spence Jr., a man many consider to be the world’s top welterweight and one of the world’s best pound for pound fighters, will be making his mandatory defense of his IBF Welterweight title against Carlos Ocampo. Spence will be returning to his home state of Texas to make his title defense.
This fight card will take place at the Dallas Ford Center.
The co-feature of the evening will be a WBA Junior Featherweight bout between Danny Roman and Moises Flores. Other prospects will also be appearing on the undercard including former world champion Javier Fortuna, Yordenis Ugas, Roberto Marroquin, and Stephen “Scooter” Fulton.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The following is a preview of the televised fights.
Danny Roman (24-2-1) vs. Moises Flores (25-0); WBA Junior Featherweight Title
The opening bout of the night is between Danny Roman and Moises Flores for the WBA Junior Featherweight Title.
Roman is twenty eight years old and three years younger than his opponent, but will be giving up three and a half inches in height and an inch and a half in reach. Roman is also the lesser puncher of the two. Flores has seventeen stoppages in his career compared to the nine stoppages that Roman has.
Neither boxer has a notable amateur career to discuss.
Roman has been more active than Flores. He fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and four times in 2016. Flores only fought once in 2017, and one round at that against Guillermo Rigondeaux, and once in 2016.
Flores lone blemish on his record was a no contest against Guillermo Rigondeaux, but he was getting badly beaten at the time and the referee actually originally ruled it a stoppage victory for Rigondeaux before it was later reviewed and ruled a no contest due to punches landing after the final bell. Flores has beaten the likes of Paulus Ambunda, Luis Cusolito, and Oscar Escandon.
Roman had to travel to Japan to win the WBA title. He has defeated the likes of Ryo Matsumoto, Shun Kubo, Adam Lopez, and Christian Esquivel.
Flores long layoff, which includes a very brief encounter with Guillermo Rigondeaux, will hurt him against a younger opponent. Roman isn’t known for his power, but his last loss was on 2013 and he has won sixteen fights in a row.
Roman likely won’t win by stoppage, but he should win a decision.
Errol Spence Jr. (23-0) vs. Carlos Ocampo (22-0), IBF Welterweight Title
Errol Spence is one of the top stars in the welterweight division and has held the IBF title since his thrashing of Kell Brook in May of 2017.
He’s looking for a big fight and a matchup with either Terrance Crawford or Keith Thurman is a fight that most fight fans are looking forward to. However, he first has to take on his mandatory challenger, on paper a clearly overmatched Carlos Ocampo.
Spence is a tall, rangy southpaw, and is in the midst of his prime at 28 years old. Ocampo has been relatively unchallenged as a professional and is only 22 years old.
Spence had a highly successful amateur career and competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Ocampo experienced some success on the Mexican amateur circuit, but not on world circuit.
Spence also has the edge in power. He has twenty stoppages on his record, including ten wins in a row. Ocampo only has thirteen stoppages to his record, and only has one stoppage win in his past four fights.
Spence has beaten the likes of Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, and Ronald Cruz. Spence fought once in 2018, once in 2017, and twice in 2016.
Ocampo’s biggest victories to date were over Jorge Paez Jr. and Charlie Navarro. He has never fought outside of Mexico. He fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Spence should win this bout relatively easily, and will likely get another stoppage victory.
By: Ken Hissner
IBF & WBA champion “A.J.” Anthony Joshua, of the UK retained his titles with a stoppage of Carlos Takam, at the Principality Stadium before an indoor record crowd of 78,000 fans, in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday, over Showtime.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports
2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, IBF & WBA heavyweight champion “A.J.” Anthony Joshua, 20-0 (20), of the UK, made his fourth defense halting No. 3 IBF contender, Carlos Takam, 35-4-1 (27), of Cameroon living in France, at 1:35 of the tenth round.
In the opening round Joshua stalked Takam using his jab as Takam kept moving his body to avoid being a stationery target. In the second round Takam led with his head banging into the nose of Joshua causing blood. Joshua went right after Takam in anger. With a minute left in the round Joshua landed his first combination to the head of Takam. All of Takam’s punches fell short or were blocked by Joshua. In the third round Joshua landed a lead right to the head of Takam. Halfway through the round Takam landed a stiff jab to the chin of Joshua. With a minute left in the round Takam landed a left hook to the head of Joshua. Joshua landed a short right uppercut to the chin of Takam with seconds to go in the round.
In the fourth round Joshua landed a lead right to the head of Takam. Takam came back with an overhand right to the chin of Joshua. With just over a minute left in the round a right uppercut caused a cut over the right eye of Takam as he was ducking. Takam landed a left hook to the chin of Joshua but was countered by a Joshua left hook that caused Takam’s left glove to touch the canvas. Referee Phill Edwards gave him an 8-count. In the fifth round Joshua opened up with a volume of punches. The referee asked the ring physician to take a look at the cut of Takam. The end of a 3-punch combination by Takam having the first two blocked laned an overhand right by Takam landed on the head of Joshua with a minute left in the round. With half a minute left in the round Takam rushed in landing several punches to the head of Joshua. In the sixth round at the halfway point Takam got inside landing a combination to the body of Joshua. With a minute left in the round Joshua landed a right-left combination to the head of Takam. Joshua landed a four punch combination just prior to the bell.
In the seventh round Joshua landed his jab well but just under the halfway mark Takam landed several right hands to the chin of Joshua. With under a minute left in the round Takam landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Joshua. Joshua landed a lead right followed by a right uppercut to the head of Takam just prior to the bell. In the eighth round Joshua controlled with his jab and an occassional right cross. Takam countered a Joshua right to the chin with his own right to the chin. Prior to the start of the ninth round the ring physician held up the start checking the cut of Takam’s. At the halfway mark Joshua landed a combination to the head of Takam. With a minute left in the round Takam started landing several combinations of his own. With half a minute left in the round Joshua took a back step for the first time in the fight.
In the tenth round Joshua and Takam were mixing it up with Joshua landing four punches when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight against the wishes of Takam.
“I want the next fight for a belt and Wilder here in the UK would be welcome. I can’t judge the officials with the stoppage,” said Joshua. His promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed a Joshua-Wilder fight must be made. It was not an impressive win for Joshua who seemed content to take the fight into his predicted tenth round.
In a week WBC champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 38-0 (37), defends his title against the man he won it from back in January of 2015 Haitian Bermane Stiverne, 25-2-1 (21), living in Las Vegas and the No. 1 contender for Wilder’s title. It will be two years since the only fight Stiverne had since losing the title a win over Derric Rossy on November 14th of 2015. New Zealand’s Joe Parker, 24-0 (18) holds the WBO title and lives in Las Vegas.
Jamaican heavyweight Dilian Whyte, 22-1-1 (16), of the UK, defeated Swede Robert Helenius, 25-2 (16), of Finland, for vacant WBC Silver title.
Khalid Yofai, 23-0 (14), of the UK, retained his title defeating Sho Ishida, 24-1 (13), of Japan, for WBA World Super Flyweight title.
Anahi Esther Sanchez, 1732 (9), of Argentina, lost to Olympian Kate Taylor, 7-0 (4), of Ireland, for the vacant WBA World Female lightweight title.
by B.A. Cass
The former champion Juan Carlos Payano made his Las Vegas debut last night against Alexis Santiago at Sam’s Town Live. Payano looked the stronger, more determined fighter from the start. He let his hands go immediately. He used his pawing jab to distract the younger, less experienced Santiago before throwing combinations that came from all angles. And although he managed to slip many of Santiago’s counters, Payano got caught by a straight right in the third round that snapped his head back and caused some bleeding above his right eye. His corner managed to control the damage, and Payano started the fourth round by getting in close to Santiago. But the frequency of Payano’s punches decreased, and he was no longer coming at Santiago from different angles. By the end of Round 5, it looked like the fight was starting to even out.
Photos Andy Samuelson/Pbc
German Caicedo, Payano’s trainer, understood what was happening and what Payano needed to do. Speaking of his work in the corner before the fight, Caicedo said, “I make it simple. I don’t say, ‘Give me a double jab, hook, left uppercut, step back and cross.’ No, no. If what he did worked, I’ll make it very simple. ‘Just like that. Repeat that round. Do what you did but be careful because he’s loading up an overhand right for you.’” Payano made the adjustment he needed, once again becoming the busier, more aggressive fighter. Payano’s team had expected a good boxer— perhaps even a better one than Juan Carlos, Caicedo conceded. And the taller Santiago had a clear reach advantage over Payano. If there was any hope for Santiago, it was to stay long and try to outbox Payano. Instead, he tried to crowd Payano, a strategy that didn’t work.
In the lower weight classes, many fighters don’t have the power to put their opponents’ lights out, and though he is a talented, aggressive fighter, Payano has never been a one-punch knockout artist. Casual observers tend to want to see that one devastating blow. But as Caicedo says, “Those aren’t the ones that do the damage.” By the end of the Round 6, Santiago was visibly bruised. And at one point during Round 7 , Santiago had to step back to take a deep breath—a brief, but startling moment that proved he was being outclassed.
“This fight is still yours to take,” Santiago’s trainer told him before the ninth round commenced, trying to motivate his fighter to at least even out the scorecards. He urged his fighter to give everything he had, but barring a clean right cross in the ninth, Santiago wasn’t able to land any damaging shots.
Santiago deserves some credit for being tough, for simply remaining in the ring for all ten rounds. “I don’t care who you are,” Caicedo said. “You keep someone off for ten or twelve rounds, whatever the fight ends up being, and punching over 150 a round because that’s Payano’s output. He doesn’t punch less than that. 95-100 punches per round. That’s tough to keep off.” But Payano was the superior fighter, and he won by unanimous decision.
What’s next for Juan Carlos Payano? For a while, his team was contemplating fighting Roman Gonzales, but then Gonzalez lost to Wisaksil Wangek. Gonzales and Wisaksil face off again in September, and if Gonzales wins, perhaps a fight with Payano could happen. There’s also the possibility of a third fight with Rau’shee Warren, but Warren recently went down to 115 and would need to come back up to 118. Caicedo thinks that Warren, Gonzalez, and Payano are the best fighters at 118 presently, but he also wonders about the possibility of a fight with Luis Nery, the kid who just beat the great Shinsuke Yamanaka. But until the next big fight is arranged, Caicedo just wants to keep Payano busy. “I wish we could be fighting three, four times a year. I make that very vocal to everyone at the Haimon ‘Institute.’ I let them know that this is a guy who needs to fight. And it’s not even that it has to be for huge money and big opportunity. Just keep him busy until that opportunity arises.”
Caicedo might be getting his complaints answered. There are rumors that Haimon will be putting Payano back in the ring as early as November. That would be good news for Payano because he’s pissed and wants his titles back. And after dominating Santiago on Tuesday night, he’s one step closer to making that happen.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
by B.A. Cass
German Caicedo scanned the room, trying to pick out Juan Carlos Payano from the crowd of young, eager-to-impress Dominican fighters. Caicedo was there with his brother-in-law, Henry Rivalta, and Shannon Briggs, who along with training for his upcoming fight against Vitali Klitschko, had just started a small promotion company of his own. The Dominican Commissioner of Sports had coaxed Rivalta to travel to Santo Domingo to check out a group of promising former Olympians in need of management and promotion deals. Caicedo was there only in an advisory role; Rivalta wanted his eye to scout fighters that they could sign.
Photo Credit: Andy Samuelson / Premier Boxing Champions
Payano was known as the “Captain” of the group, and Briggs and Rivalta had really been talking him up to Caicedo. However, they had failed to mention his weight, and by the things they were saying, Caicedo expected a seven-foot tall, 300-pound heavyweight. No one who fit that description was in the gym, though. And so Caicedo eventually steered Briggs and Rivalta over to group of guys who were working out and asked them where he could find Payano.
“He’s not here,” they told him. “He lives two hours away from here. He couldn’t make it. He doesn’t have the money for the bus.”
They got him on the phone and Rivalta sent him the money for the bus, and then they waited.
A few hours later, Caicedo heard people saying, “Juan Carlos is here. Juan Carlos is here.”
“There was a huge crowd,” Caicedo recalls. “As you can imagine in these third-world countries, they all want to sign. So every boxer in the country was at this building wanting to sign with this new company with a former heavyweight champion running it.”
And as Caicedo looked on, waiting for a massive figure to emerge from the crowd, he felt someone yanking on his shirt. Caicedo glanced down.
A young man of 5’5” stood before him.
“I’m Juan Carlos,” the young man said.
“What, you?” Caicedo said.
“Yeah, I’m Juan Carlos.”
“You’re like a hundred pounds.”
“What’d you think?”
Caicedo told Payano what he had thought, and Payano started laughing. “No, no, no,” he said.
Payano had learned to be wary of managers and promoters. He had met many of them already. Payano recalls, “They all were pushing the same thing: We will make you Champ and make you rich!” The only reason Payano had shown up at all was that his friend told him that Rivalta seemed honest. Still, he was skeptical. “When I was on the bus to Santo Domingo to meet the promoters, who were signing fighters.” Payano recalls, “I thought to myself, ‘Here we go again.’” But then he spoke to Rivalta, and later to Briggs; it put him at ease to know that a fighter and former world champion was involved. Still, it wasn’t until he found time to talk with the no-nonsense Caicedo that the deal was sealed.
Payano told Caicedo, “The only way I will sign with this promotion company is if you sign me to a management deal and you train me yourself personally.”
Caicedo was hesitant; he was there in only an advisory role. But then he thought, “What the hell? I don’t have any other fighter except Shannon. Win, lose or draw, I’ll have some time on my hands. Let me take the leap.”
Caicedo ended up signing a few other guys there as well, including Claudio Marrero and another former Olympian who didn’t pan out and ended up moving back. He told them the same thing he told Payano: “I don’t have one dollar to give you. I have a facility back home that’s a gym. I can convert one or two of the offices into bedrooms, and I can train you like a mule. I will take care of every single shark that comes your way that tries to steer you in a direction that is not beneficial. I will manage you like my own children. That’s what I can promise you.”
Caicedo returned to his gym in Miami and converted an office into a master bedroom, where Juan Carlos lived for the next six and a half years. Under Caicedo’s close watch, Payano has become one of the best fighters in his weight division. For Caicedo, Payano’s shining moment came in 2014 when he beat Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno, the longest reigning bantamweight world champion of all time, to gain the WBA Super bantamweight title. “The doctors stopped the fight in the eighth round,” Caicedo explains, “but we were ahead on every single score card and were on our way to getting the knockout.” Next, came his first fight with Rau’shee Warren. It was a close, dirty fight, and Payano won by split decision.
Caicedo wishes he had let Payano simmer in the championship before sending him to face Rau’shee for the second time. “That second fight with Rau’shee, I knew what they wanted,” he says. “I know the business. It’s not a secret. They wanted this American, this three-time Olympian to be Champion, and they were willing to pay anything to make it happen. I always tell all my guys if you ever win championships—you know, because I got nothing but Cubans and Dominicans and very few Americans—I say you’re going to win a championship because we train like dogs here. But you’re not the champion who’s the celebrated champion. You’re going to be the champion who’s holding the belt for whoever else they want to make a champion. So you’re going to get the fights, but you’re not going to get the easy fights. Even if you become world champions, they’re not giving you the tune up bouts, not like Deontay Wilder’s who’s got 35 nobodies. They’re giving Payano dog-dog fights. They don’t see the money behind a Dominican, a Cuban, there’s no fan base. Payano falls in that category because he’s not a one punch knockout artist. And even though he’s exciting for TV, he doesn’t have a fan base. So, I get the business. I don’t lie to the fighters so that they understand what the severity of being a champion and anything but Puerto Rican, Mexcian, and American.”
Two weeks before his second fight with Rau’shee, Payano broke the floating rib under the arm pit in the lead position while sparing with Stephon Young. There was some contemplation of postponing the fight. But the 500,000 dollar purse was too much to pass up. “I’m having a really hard time catching my breath and recovering,” he told Caicedo between rounds. But that was just information he was giving Caicedo so that Caicedo knew how to adjust to what he was asking of him. “There was never any question about whether they would stop the fight,” Caicedo says. “He’s made it very clear that he’s the type of fighter that if his arm falls off in the ring, he’s going to pick it up and beat you with it.”
Payano lost his second bout against Rau’shee, ending his short reign as world champion, but his purse from that fight allowed him to bring his family to America.
“It’s a tough, tough, tough business,” Caicedo says, “even tougher when you’re protecting people. Because someway, somehow, you always have to sell out …somewhere. And sometimes it’s at the expense of the fighters. And I didn’t. I didn’t, and I don’t. I refuse to do that. I may not have the best reputation among promoters and some managers for that reason. I tell it like it is.”
But according to Payano, Caicedo did that and so much more: “He didn’t promise fame and fortune, simply hard work, honesty and to protect and keep us away from all the scumbags in this business.” He often tells Caicedo, “You promised to the letter exactly what you said six years ago, and I want to thank you for being a father figure to me and an honest and disciplined man.”
Tonight Caicedo will be in Payano’s corner yet again when he steps into the ring to face Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, which will be aired on FS1 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
“We expect a very good boxer,” Caicedo says of Santiago. “We expect a great counter puncher. He’s not your typical Mexican fighter. He’s not just going to come forward, take four licks to give his four licks. He’s a good boxer. He’s as good or better than Juan Carlos. But we’re ready. And quite frankly, Juan Carlos is pissed. He’s super pissed. He wants his titles back. From what he’s been performing like, Alexis Santiago’s in for a rough, rough night. He’s got to keep up with over 150 punches a round. That’s no easy feat.”
Even if Payano becomes a world champion again, he may never reach the million-dollar payday that many lesser fighters receive on a regular basis. But perhaps he’s okay with that. He always tells Caicedo, “You promised to the letter exactly what you said six years ago, and I want to thank you for being an honest and disciplined man.” Of course, Payano deserves to give himself some credit. After all, he had the patience and intelligence to see through the sleek promises that promoters and managers were making him—promises of money and dreams and castles and Ferraris. And he deserves credit for all that he has achieved, in and outside of the ring. And just think of what he has achieved. Seven years ago, he couldn’t scrape the money together for bus fare to get from La Vega to Santo Domingo, and now he owns a small three-bedroom home in Miami Gardens. Everyone in his family has green cards. They’re working on their citizenships, taking English classes, and his kids are in school. Achieving all this couldn’t have been an easy feat, either. Payano’s in an enviable position. After all, why did all those young men show up to the boxing gym that day back in 2010 to meet Rivalta? Maybe they weren’t just there for a chance at fame and boxing stardom. Maybe they were after something else, something closer to what Juan Carlos Payano now has.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Josh Davis Stops Carlos Rosario at 2300 Arena in Philly Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
King’s Promotions returned to the 2300 Arena in South Philly on Friday night with 8 bouts and 46 rounds. They will be returning on June 24th with former champion Kermit Cintron and Tyrone Brunson.
In the main event lightweight Carlos “Rock Hands” Rosario, 7-2 (4), of Pennsauken, NJ, was down several times before being stopped by Joshua “Dynamite” Davis, 11-1 (5), of Wash. DC, at 1:49 of the seventh round in a scheduled 8.
In the first round it was a feeling out round with Rosario coming forward and Davis countering. In the second round Davis dropped Rosario with a left uppercut to the chin. In the third round it was close with the jab of Davis controlling things. In the fourth round Rosario had swelling under both eyes as Davis wasted little energy picking his shots.
In the fifth round Rosario landed his best punch so far a straight right to the chin of Davis. Rosario was switching back and forth from orthodox to southpaw. In the sixth round a counter lead right by Davis to the chin of Rosario put him down. In the seventh round Davis hurt Rosario having him out on his feet with a right to the chin followed up by a flurry of punches forcing referee Gary Rosato to wisely call a halt.
In the co-feature light heavyweight Amir Shabazz, 4-1 (1), of Philadelphia, lost a disputed decision to Antowyan “Iceman” Aikens, 10-3-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ, over 6 dull rounds.
In the first two rounds it was all Aikens with little opposition coming from Shabazz. In the third and fourth rounds Shabazz started fighting back keeping Aikens on the defense. In the fifth round Shabazz continued coming forward though suffering a cut along the left eyebrow.
In the sixth and final round Shabazz kept up what little action there was in this one.
Judge Rubenstein had it 60-54 while Vargas and Poturaj 58-56. This writer had it 58-56 Shabazz.
Lightweight Tyrone Crawley, 7-0 (0), of Philadelphia, shut out Juan Rodriguez, 7-7-1 (5), of Manasa, VA, over 6 rounds.
Judge Rubenstein had it 59-55 while Vargas and Kinney along with this writer had it 60-54.
In the first two rounds Crawley seemed to have a slight edge switching back and forth southpaw to orthodox. In the third round Crawley started putting his punches together with little return from Rodriguez. In the fourth round Crawley continued to move and jab always one step ahead of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez had a bloody nose from Crawley’s jabs. In the sixth and final round both let it all hang out. Referee was Bashir.
Super lightweight Steven Ortiz, 6-0 (2), of Philadelphia, scored a pair of knockdowns stopping Hector Rivera, 3-2 (2), of San Juan, PR, at 2:37 of the second round.
In the first round Ortiz had a snapping jab knocking the head of Rivera back. At the bell a left hook from Ortiz on the chin of Rivera dropped him. In the second round Ortiz was landing left hook after left hook until he finally dropped Rivera with one. Shortly after getting up Ortiz landed a right uppercut to the chin causing referee Rosato to stop it. Raul “Chino” Rivas was in the corner of Ortiz.
Lightweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, 9-0 (5), of Philadelphia, shut out survivor Brandon Sanudo, 5-4 (2), of Baja CA, MEX, over 6 rounds.
In the first round the first punch Velasquez landed was a solid jab almost knocking Sanudo down. In the second round Velasquez started landing power shots with both hands hurting Sanudo with a body shot making him start to run around the ring. In the third and fourth rounds Velasquez was chasing Sanudo landing more hard body shots.
In the fifth round Velasquez continued chasing down Sanudo. In the sixth and final round Sanudo did all he could do to survive the body shots from Velasquez when he caught up to him. Referee was Rosato.
Judge Vargas had it 60-53 while Kinney and Poturaj along with this writer had it 60-54.
In the opening bout Welterweight southpaw Vincent Floyd, 3-2-1 (2), of Philadelphia, scored several knockdowns stopping Rafael Montalvo, 3-6 (3), of St. Clair, PA, at 1:26 of the third round of a scheduled 6.
In the first round Montalvo had Floyd out on his feet against the ropes before Floyd was able to spin out of trouble. In the second round halfway through Floyd landed a straight left to the chin of Montalvo and down he went. In trying to get up he fell back again on his butt but did beat the count. Floyd would hurt Montalvo again just prior to the bell. In the third round Montalvo was going to the body side to side when all of a sudden Floyd dropped Montalvo. Upon getting up referee Rosato wisely stopped it.
Super lightweight Titos Gonsalves, 0-2 (0), of Philadelphia, was stopped after a pair of knockdowns by Gerardo Martinez, 1-0 (1), of Phoenixville, PA, at 1:47 of the first round.
In the first round Martinez scored a pair of knockdowns from right hands to the chin of Gonsalves before referee Bashir called a halt. Jimmy Deoria was in the corner of Martinez.
Junior welterweight southpaw Antonio “The Sniper” Allen, 0-6 (0), of Philadelphia, lost a lack luster decision to Demetris Williams, 1-2 (0), Philadelphia, over 4 rounds.
In the first round it was very close with Williams landing a solid right to the chin knocking Allen back several steps. In the second round Allen had a nasty cut above his left eye from a Williams right hand. In the third round a lead right to the chin by Williams rocked Allen. In the fourth and final round of a little action bout it looked like Williams may have pulled out his first win. Bashir was the referee.
All 3 judges Vargas, Rubenstein and Poturaj had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Carlos Rosario and Joshua Davis Headline at 2300 Arena Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions will be at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia this Friday with an 11 bout card and 60 rounds of boxing. In the main event Carlos Rosario, 7-1 (4), of Pennsauken, NJ, takes on Joshua Davis, 10-1 (4), of D.C. in an 8 round super featherweight bout.
In 6 round bouts will be light heavyweight Amir Shabazz, 4-0 (1), of Philadelphia takes on Antowyan Aikens, 10-3-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ.
Lightweight Tyrone Crawley, Jr., 6-0 (0), of Philadelphia takes on Juan Rodriguez, 7-6 (5), of Manasa, VA.
Super lightweight David Gonzales, 8-2 (2), of Philadelphia takes on Darius Ervin, 4-1 (0), of L.A., CA.
Lightweight Steven Ortiz, 5-0 (1), of Philadelphia takes on Hector Rivera, 3-1 (2), of San Juan, PR.
Lightweight Anthony Burgin, 10-3 (2), of Philadelphia takes on tba.
Super featherweight Thomas “TJ” Velasquez, 8-0 (5), of Philadelphia takes on Brandon Sanudo, 5-3 (2), of Baja California, MEX.
In 4 round bouts super featherweight southpaw Vincent Floyd, 2-2-1 (1), of Philadelphia takes on Rafael Montalvo, 3-3 (3), of St. Clair, PA.
Super lightweight Antonio Allen, 0-5 (0), of Philadelphia takes on Demetrius Williams, 0-2 (0), of Philadelphia.
Welterweight Lucas Dos Santos, 2-0 (2), of Miami, FL takes on tba.
Welterweight Titos Gosaves, 0-1 (0), of Philadelphia takes on Gerardo Martinez, 0-0 (0), of Phoenixville, PA. Doors Open at 6:00 PM and First bout at 6:30PM 2300 S. Swanson St.
Carlos Balderas: King, Me
By: Francisco Martinez
2016 U.S. Olympian Carlos Balderas is set to debut April 9th in Los Angeles, California a few hours away from his hometown of Santa Maria who he has become a poster boy for. On this April 9th which lands on a Sunday not by accident but by design a masterplan crafted by boxing guru, promoter Richard Schaefer as he plans to showcase his young, new talent as he kickstarts his RingStar Sports entity that will feature 3 Olympians in Carlos Balderas, bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez, Lindolfo Delgado along Freddie Roach pupil, Lithuanian, Eimantas Stanionis with the card being headlined by fan favorite, The Riverside Rocky, Josesito Lopez.
BoxingInsider.com had the opportunity to catch up with Carlos Balderas at the famed Wild Card boxing club in Hollywood. Being from Santa Maria which is close to Los Angeles in Southern California Balderas supporters should make the trip which makes his debut that much more significant knowing he will have an all eyes on me type of platform to showcase his skills in front of his friends and family “I’m excited and I’m looking forward to it. The reason I wanted to fight out here is because I wanna grow a bigger fan base here and I don’t feel like New York is really my market, you know. I wouldn’t mind fighting out there later on in the future but as of right now I want to grow a big, big fan base out here in L.A.”
Carlos explains as in a prior interview he said he chose to pass up on a fight date for his pro debut on the Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia card in New York at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. His uncle and long time trainer David who trains Carlos alongside his father Xenon added this to the conversation “step by step, you know, he’s gonna start with L.A. first cause like he said, Santa Maria is his hometown and now he’s trying to make L.A. his hometown then little by little Chicago, Texas…” all states with a rich boxing history and big Mexican fan base from which Carlos would greatly benefit from.
Father Xenon says L.A. was the starting point for Carlos at a young age of 7yrs old “I’m very proud of him. I’m very happy for what he is doing and I am pretty sure he’s gonna be a world champion, I promise you he’s gonna be a world champion” the Balderas family migrated from Mexico to the United States in what Carlos grandfather calls a “poor” early start in Santa Maria. As family the Balderas are as strong as a family can be and carry a support system that has manage to help guide Carlos to this point of his young and ambitious career as sacrifices after sacrifices is what kept them pushing through when times got really hard and difficult for them.
Carlos Balderas grandfather recalls when he pawned his watch at one point in time to help fuel the amateur part of his career and flash forward a few years later and Carlos did not forget and kept in mind as a young man exactly what his grandfather and family were doing to help keep his dreams as a young fighter alive. Carlos did not forget his grandfather’s unselfish act of loyalty and in return gifted the elder Balderas with his very own exclusive 2016 Olympic watch “well my family has always sacrificed for me, you know, my grandpa had once sold his watch so that I can go to a boxing tournament and I had always told myself that I was gonna pay him back and the day my Olympic watch arrived I just gave it to my grandpa to show him that I appreciated what he had done for me”
Something that didn’t surprise Carlos father, Xenon “those sacrifices, we went through a lot and when I see those things I know he’s grateful, I know he’s grateful and he’s thankful to the family” uncle David was also humbled by this act of maturity beyond his 20 years of age Carlos “you know what, Carlos being the grandson he feels like he needs to work for us, he feels like he has to work for his grandpa even though we tell him many times, all the time, you know what, relax this is your show you don’t have to work for us. You don’t have to carry us on your shoulders, you don’t have to do that but he’s like, no, no, no but one day I would like to pay my dad, my uncle, my grandpa for all the sacrifices. My grandpa sold his watch for me to go to the Olympics and all these types of things you know he remembers them”
Through these sacrifices Carlos Balderas has matured quickly and it has also humbled him. This April 9th at the Novo in downtown Los Angeles his journey as a professional boxer begins. His father Xenon promises Carlos will be a world champion and his uncle David expects for Carlos to shine on this Sunday and display his skills in front of a hometown crowd. Big expectations and ambitions from the Balderas family and what they have overcome to this point as they guided Carlos Balderas to this elusive April 9th debut has already been a victory as a team. Don’t miss it live April 9th at the Novo in Downtown Los Angeles for a actioned packed card that’s sure to entertain.
Follow all coverage leading up to the fight via #RingStarSports
GGG-Jacobs Undercard Results: Cuadras Victorious
By: Sean Crose
New York was home to one of the year’s top fight cards on Saturday as middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin threw down with the man who was widely regarded by many as his preeminent threat, Daniel Jacobs. There was also a fairly stacked undercard to behold, starting with former middleweight titlist Andy Lee, who returned from a lengthy layoff to face KeAndre Leatherwood. The southpaw Lee, 34-3-1, came out with a probing jab against Leatherwood, 19-3-1, in the first. It proved to be a tentative affair early on, with the still-arriving crowd starting to boo. Lee remained patient, however.
Things remained quiet throughout the second, as Lee tried to rid himself of ring rust and Leatherwood struggled with what seemed to be uncertainty. As the fight progressed, there looked to be an unwillingness on the part of Leatherwood to work the body, or to truly instigate any action. Perhaps it was due to the bright lights and a big name opponent, but he wasn’t challenging Lee a great deal. Halfway through the eight round affair, it became obvious that Lee might be willing to simply put in rounds.
Lee came alive in the 6th, however, landing clean and closing in effectively. Not an enormous amount of action came from it, though, and Lee essentially cruised to a unanimous decision win in a disciplined, if not exactly thrilling affair.
Next up was up and coming lighweight Ryan Martin, who put his undefeated, 17-0 record on the line against Bryant Cruz, 17-1-0 in a scheduled ten round match. Martin, who goes by the name of Blue Chip (get it?) looked sharp throughout the first four rounds, but Cruz was definitely game. By the fifth Martin was banging away, but Cruz – to his credit – showed he had a beard. That being said, there was little doubt Martin was the man in charge. And so the slow breakdown continued. Cruz was brave, but he couldn’t hold on forever. By the eighth, referee Harvey Dock stopped the bout.
It was time for Carlos Cuadras. The charming rogue of a super flyweight walked in the ring with a 35-1-1 record to face the 20-3-5 David Carmona. Cuadras was patient in the first and continued to dominate through the first three. Carmona had come to fight, though, which meant Cuadras had to box smart rather than whaling away. Things continued along at a fast pace throughout the next few rounds. By the seventh, though, it looked like Carmona might be coming on. And, to be sure, the following two rounds were competitive.
The last one was no blow out for either fighter, either. The judges gave Cuadras the nod – but he didn’t look like he did against Roman Gonzalez not all that long ago.
Already A Legend, Roman Gonzalez Still Wants To Challenge Himself
By: Sean Crose
“I have already accomplished a lot,” undefeated multi-division champion Roman Gonzalez said on a recent conference call. Without doubt, the Nicaraguan slugger known as Chocolatito has earned some well deserved accolades. Last November the man won a world title in his fourth weight class by grinding out a grueling win against Carlos Cuadras for the WBC world super flyweight title. His legacy assured, Gonzalez is turning his attention towards other matters. “Now,” he claimed on the call, “my goal is to hold onto my fourth world title in order to gain higher purses and more money.” Fighting at 115 pounds isn’t exactly easy for Gonzalez, however.
“Never did I think it was going to be easy campaigning in this division at 115,” Gonzalez said. “It takes time to get used to and I think that’s what is happening at the moment but I think I will be fine.” His battle against Cuadras certainly was no walk in the park. Defending champ Cuadras wasn’t in it to lose. Indeed, the undefeated Mexican made it clear that he saw Gonzalez was his ticket to the big time. And even though Cuadras lost the fight, he gained an enormous amount of respect from the fight world.
And now people, including, it seems, Gonzalez, are looking forward to a rematch. “As I look at a fight coming up against Carlos Cuadras again,” Gonzalez claimed, “I realize I have to train harder. Every opponent presents different challenges. I do believe that the second fight, the rematch, will be better.” First, however, Gonzalez has business to attend to in Madison Square Garden this Saturday. For, Gonzalez will be featured in the co main event of the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs card. His opponent? The hard hitting former champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the man who Cuadras won the super flyweight title from.
In other words, it’s not necessarily easy going for Chocolatito this weekend. Sor Rungvisai may not have faced a murderer’s row throughout his career, but he goes to the body like it’s no one’s business. What’s more, Sun Rungvisai, like Cuadras, undoubtedly sees a great future ahead of him should he beat the Nicaraguan legend. Then there’s the matter that Gonzalez’ last fight was an absolutely brutal affair. Such things can have an impact. Add all this to the fact that the man has already reached Olympian heights and it’s worth wondering if an upset might be in the air.
Still, this is Gonzalez fighting here, the fighter widely regarded as the best pound for pound boxer on earth. Whether that’s really true or not, Gonzalez is a force to be reckoned with. What’s more, he knows what it’s like to be on a big stage. “On any other show,” promoter Tom Loeffler said of Gonzalez-Sor Rungvisai, “it would clearly be the main event.”
The Prince of Mexico: Carlos Cuadras
By: Francisco Martinez
Coming off a controversial unanimous decision loss to Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras is looking to avenge that loss most in attendance would say was much more closer than that of the official judges scorecards would indicate. Some would argue Cuadras was indeed the winner on that night in Los Angeles at the fabulous Forum in Inglewood, CA, where a pro Gonzalez crowd blew the roof off the venue. Carlos Cuadras is set to fight March 18th in New York at the MSG on the Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs card. Also making his PPV debut via HBO.
“I’m happy about that. I plan to take advantage of the opportunity and put up a great spectacle that’ll leave a lasting impression like the last time so that the people want to watch me again” Carlos Cuadras is familiar with countryman and opponent David Carmona who’s coming in with a record of 20 victories and 8 knockouts. Cuadras remembers him from when both were 6-8 round fighters. Sums him up to be a durable fighter not offensive but can create and wait for openings.
Maybe something that helped him go 12 rounds in a unanimous decision loss to the Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue “Just imagine this, he went 12 rounds with Inoue and if I can knock him out that means the possibilities of me defeating Inoue are good. It would be great if we fought. I feel I have the power to knockout Carmona. He’ll go down” Naoya Inoue is perceived by boxing enthusiasts as the kryptonite to Cuadras last opponent 4 division champion Chocolatito, Roman Gonzalez whom Carlos Cuadras has unfinished business with but first is first both have matters to attend on March 18th and if successful on that night a lucrative rematch is possible.
A loss not taken as defeat by Carlos Cuadras as he truly believes he was the victor and wrongfully detached from his WBC 115lbs title. Cuadras looks to remove this thorn from his side as he likes to say at some point this year. Having been in the ring with Chocolatito, Cuadras had this to say about his rival “It surprised me he didn’t hit as hard as he claimed (smiles) I had a certain strategy because he said he had iron in each hand and who knows what else he was claiming. After I felt he didn’t hit as hard as he was saying I was able to stand (and trade) so he better brace himself for the next fight because I’m knocking him out. You better not back out cause I got your medicine right here”
Carlos Cuadras used his energetic charisma in taunting Chocolatito through out the process of promoting the fight once at the inaugural press conference by drinking a Nesquik chocolate drink in what he called a “chocolate break” bringing laughter from the press, media in attendance. In return the Nicaraguan crowd fired back at the weigh in by mocking Cuadras. Chanting “Princess” Cuadras going by the nickname of “Prince” Cuadras replied by warning them he would defeat Chocolatito and then they would have no choice but to show him respect.
The rematch hit somewhat of a roadblock due to money demands but not exclusively to the pay purse demanded from both. Roman Gonzalez promised Carlos Cuadras a rematch in front of the cameras convincing Cuadras and his trainer Rudy Hernandez that he would do just that. Rudy Hernandez simply said Gonzalez not living up to his word “sucked” as he went on to say “It’s hard when a person says they’re going to do something and they go on interviews and they talk about it and than they change their minds but it’s a business. At the end of the day we are fighting March 18th and if we’re to win and he’s to win his next option is he fights Carlos Cuadras or he vacates the title”
A mandatory rematch ordered by the World Boxing Council to try and put together one of the most anticipated fights this year. Carlos Cuadras expresses that the WBC title is being held hostage by Chocolatito claiming he is squeezing out another term from his title reign by taking on the Thailand rival Srisaket Sor Rungvisai whom Cuadras defeated soundly in 12 rounds about 3 years ago in Mexico. Cuadras goes on to says this about Chocolatito’s rival “He hits hard. Chocolatito is gonna have to have a good strategy. I want Chocolatito to win. I don’t want to fight the Thailand guy again I already beat him. I hope he wins and he better have a good training camp because the Thailand fighter is tough. He’s a danger to Chocolatito”
He goes on to say this about Chocolatito “He felt he wasn’t as big of a puncher as he thought he was and that’s why he didn’t want the 2nd fight. He looked to keep his title for one more fight because he knows it belongs over here. That belt is Mexico’s and you’re just borrowing it on behalf of Nicaragua” March 18th is the objective for both fighters then talks of a lucrative rematch can be explored by both teams who are under the same promoter Teiken promotions based in Japan. Teiken historically known for promoting the best smaller weight fighters in boxing.
The charismatic Carlos Cuadras a great talker who applies a mental stratagem for his opponent to overcome before even stepping into the ring and having to find a way of overcoming another obstacle in his pure boxing ability assures things are still professional between stablemate Roman Gonzalez by wishing him good luck believing he’ll need it and hopes all turns out right for Gonzalez as he relishes the opportunity to step back into the ring with what many consider the pound for pound #1 fighter in the world today.
March 18th Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Jacobs on HBO PPV a stacked card accompanied by Roman Gonzalez vs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for the WBC 115lbs title and Carlos Cuadras vs David Carmona at the Mecca Of Boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York. Don’t miss it.
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HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Chocolatito vs. Cuadras, Golovkin vs. Brook
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO will broadcast two world championship fights from two different venues. Pound for pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will be bumping up to the junior bantamweight division to chase after another world title when he faces off against Carlos Cuadras. If he is successful he will have won titles in four different weight classes. Earlier in the day knockout artist Gennady Golovkin will be defending his middleweight titles when he faces welterweight world champion Kell Brook.
The Gonzalez vs. Cuadras bout will take place at the Forum in Inglewood, California and the Golovkin vs. Brook bout will take place at the O2 Arena in London, England on Brook’s home turf. HBO will also be televising a rematch between Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jesus Soto-Karass in the junior middleweight division. Their previous fight was considered by many to be a fight of the year candidate.
The following is a preview of both world title fights.
Carlos Cuadras (35-0-1) vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0); WBC Junior Bantamweight Title
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is a three division world champion and considered by many to be the best pound for pound boxer in the world today. However, there are limits to how many weight classes an individual can be a champion in and he’s facing a legitimate junior bantamweight world champion.
Gonzalez will be giving up five inches in height and two inches in reach to Cuadras. Cuadras is also one year younger than Gonzalez, but both are in their physical primes.
They both have been fairly active in the past two years. Cuadras fought three times in 2014 and in 2015, and already fought once in 2016. Gonzalez fought four times in 2014, three times in 2015, and once so far in 2016.
They both had experienced success as an amateur. Cuadras is a Pan American gold medalist and a gold medalist in the International Junior Olympics. Chocolatito has an alleged record of 88-0 as an amateur, but does not have any notable international amateur tournament victories.
Chocolatito has beaten the likes of Yutaka Niida, Juan Francisco Estrada, Rocky Fuentes, Akiri Yaegashi, Edgar Sosa, Brian Viloria, and McWilliams Arroyo. Cuadras has defeated the likes of Marvin Mabait, Luis Concepcion, Dixon Flores, Koki Eto, and Richie Mepranum.
Gonzalez has more world title fight experience and has a record of 14-0 in world title fights. Cuadras has a record of 6-0 in world title fights.
Both boxers have considerable power. Cuadras has twenty seven stoppage victories, and three of his past five fights were by stoppage victory. Gonzalez has thirty eight stoppage victories.
It will be interesting to see how Gonzalez handles the length and reach of Cuadras. Gonzalez, who was a world champion in the minimumweight division, will likely be unable to jump additional weight classes if he’s victorious on Saturday and he has a very tough test ahead of him. This should be an entertaining and technical bout, but Gonzalez should be able to pull off the decision victory, but may have his chin tested in the process.
Gennady Golovkin (35-0) vs. Kell Brook (36-0); WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight Titles
Don’t let the fact that Kell Brook is jumping up two weight classes to fight Gennady Golovkin fool you. Brook is a large welterweight and Golovkin is a smaller middleweight. In fact, Brook has been weighing in heavier than Golovkin in the weeks leading up to the fight.
One of the biggest question marks about Golovkin is his age. He’s thirty four years old and doesn’t have many years left in his prime. His opponent is four years younger than him. Golovkin, however, will have a slight one and a half inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.
Despite the fact he’s a major star in boxing, Golovkin has kept a fairly active schedule. He has fought once in 2016, three times in 2015, and three times in 2014. Brook has been having trouble finding a big fight in the welterweight division and fought twice in 2014 and in 2015, and once in 2016.
Golovkin’s power is well known and can be considered legendary. He has thirty two knockouts on his resume and is in the midst of an incredible streak that consists of twenty two wins by knockout in a row. Brook’s power can’t be overlooked, he has stopped twenty five opponents and has one four of his past five fights by stoppage.
Brook will be fighting in front of his home crowd at the O2 arena and that will be a big advantage for him. He has defeated the likes of Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin, Ionut Dan Ion, Shawn Porter, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Matthew Hatton, and Luis Galarza.
The last person to go the distance against Golovkin was Amar Amari in 2008. He has steamrolled every boxer he’s faced since then. He has defead the likes of Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Nobuhiro Ishida, Gabriel Rosado, Kassim Ouma, and Grzegorz Proksa.
Golovkin has to be very careful to not overlook Kell Brook. Brook is a very good, technical boxer and is considered by many to be a top 10 pound for pound fighter. Golovkin’s power should be able to lead him to victory, but don’t be surprised if he knockout streak ends on Saturday night.