Diaz to Face Ito for the WBO World Super Featherweight Title
By: Ken Hissner
Top Rank, All Star Boxing and Tuto Zabala, Jr. bring a world boxing title bout along with 8 other bouts at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Florida on Saturday that will be shown on ESPN+.
Unbeaten No. 1 contender Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz, 23-0 (15), of Barranquitas, PR, will be taking on No. 2 contender Masayuki Ito, 23-1-1 (12), of Tokyo, Japan. This is scheduled for 12 rounds for the vacant WBO World Super Featherweight title.
Photo Credit: Peter Amador / Top Rank
Two fights ago, in December of 2017, Diaz defeated US boxer Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz, 18-2. He stopped him in 3 rounds for the vacant NABO super featherweight title. In his most recent fight, a NABO title defense, he stopped Dominican Braulio “El Chavo” Rodriguez, 19-2, in 4 rounds in March of 2018. He has fought in the US in 14 of his 23 bouts with the rest in PR. Earlier in Diaz’s career he defeated US boxer Ray Ximenez, 13-0, for the vacant WBO Youth Featherweight title in San Juan, PR, in April of 2016.
Ito has held the WBC Youth World Lightweight, OPBF Super Feather and WBO Asia Pacific Super Feather titles. This will be the first time he has fought out of Japan. He defeated Filipino Jeffrey “The Bull” Arienza, 9-1-1, for the WBC Youth World Lightweight title stopping him in 10 rounds. He stopped Japan’s Dai Iwai, 17-3-1, in the tenth round for the vacant OPBF Super Featherweight title. In title defenses he defeated Japan’s Shingo Eto, 17-3-1, stopped Filipino Ernie Sanchez, 15-7-1, in 11 rounds.
Ito defeated Japan’s Takuya Watanabe, 30-6-1 along with winning Watanabe’s OPBF Super Featherweight title by decision over 12 rounds. He defended the OPBF title stopping Filipino Lorenzo “Thunderbolt” Villanueva, 33-2, in 9 rounds in April of 2017. He followed in 2017 stopping Filipino Glenn Enterina, 11-2-1, in 6 rounds and in March of 2018 stopping Filipino Vergil Puton, 17-9, in 9 rounds in his most recent bout.
In the co-feature Welterweight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero, 24-3-1 (5), of Brooklyn, NY, takes on Artemio Reyes, 25-2 (20), of Colton, CA, who is on a 10 fight 8 knockout winning streak over 10 rounds. Bracero has wins over Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita, 35-1-1, in 2013 and knocking out Danny O’Connor, 26-2, in 2015 in the first round.
Middleweight southpaw Esquiva Falcao, 20-0 (14), of Vitoria, BRZ, takes on southpaw Jonathan “Oso” 17-5 (13), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Ray Beltran Becomes Champ in War with Moses
By: Bryant Romero
Another Top Rank card on ESPN is in the books and the fans who attended at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada were treated to a great fight in the main event.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing
On the undercard, the A-sides to each bout delivered in expected victories as Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (22-2, 13 KOs) demolished an overmatched Akhror Muralimov (16-4) in just three rounds. Also, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (5-0, 2 KOs) scored a wide unanimous decision win over Juan Tapia (8-2, 3 KOs) in what was his first scheduled eight-rounder of the 20-year-old’s 10 month pro career.
In the co-featured bout, the “Mean Machine” Egidijus Kavaliauskas (19-0, 6 KOs) defeated his most notable opponent to date by stopping former world champion David Avanesyan (23-2-1) in the sixth round. The bout started out slowly as Kavaliauskas slowly but surely broke down Avanesyan with big counter power shots, rocking the former champion with hooks and overhand rights. The mean machine was simply too strong for the Russian fighter as referee Tony Weeks was forced to put a halt to the bout after consecutive unanswered blows were delivered to the head and body of Avanesyan.
Finally in the main event, Ray Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) was a heavy favorite to pick up the vacant WBO lightweight strap against 39-year-old Paulus Moses (40-4, 25 KOs). However, it was a much more difficult than expected for Beltran as Moses withstood the early onslaught and began to gain confidence as the bout progressed. The Nambian fighter started to gain momentum in the middle rounds opening cuts on both of the eyes of the Mexican fighter with an accurate jab and big straight right hands.
Despite fighting with cuts over both eyes for nine-plus rounds, Beltran dug deep and got a second wind in the last quarter of the fight as Moses began to tire.
Beltran closed the fight strong establishing more distance between himself and his opponent, getting tagged less, and scoring several power shots of his own. The late rally seemed to seal the deal for Beltran as he was awarded with a comfortable unanimous decision win. The Mexican immigrant won the WBO lightweight title in his fourth attempt as his ongoing pursuit for a green card may finally come to an end.
Brooker and Conquest Win at the SugarHouse Casino Friday in Philadelphia!
Brooker and Conquest Win at the SugarHouse Casino Friday in Philadelphia!
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions once again sold out the SugarHouse Casino Friday night for the second straight show. They will be back in a week at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia with Carlos Rosario taking on Joshua Davis in the main event.
In the main event super middleweight Christopher “Ice” Brooker, 12-3 (5) out of Philadelphia, defeated southpaw Oscar Rojas, 14-8-1 (4), of Monterrey, MEX, in an action packed 8 round bout.
In the opening round Brooker was having problems against his second straight southpaw opponent while his trainer was encouraging him to come forward. In a close round Rojas landed more punches. In the second round Brooker drove Rojas into the ropes only to be hit by countering combinations. Brooker finally broke past the jab of Rojas driving him into the ropes with body punches. In the third round Rojas landed a solid lead left to the chin of Brooker who comes back with a left hook of his own knocking Rojas into the ropes which should have been called a knockdown by referee Esteves, Jr. In the fourth round Brooker goes into a crouch and gets caught with a flurry of uppercuts from Rojas. Brooker caught Rojas with a solid left hook to the head out of a clinch.
In the fifth round Brooker came forward with a double right to the head of Rojas. Brooker drove Rojas into the ropes but got countered with left uppercuts from Rojas in a round almost to hard to call. In the sixth round Brooker landed several left hooks driving Rojas back several steps. Brooker finally lands a lead right to the chin of Rojas. Brooker was much busier as Rojas slowed down. In the seventh round Brooker drove Rojas into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Both fighters knocked heads causing a lapse in the action. A right hook by Brooker to the head of Rojas almost scored a knockdown. In the eighth and final round a counter left hook by Brooker to the chin of Rojas got his attention. Rojas drove Brooker into his corner with a double left hook. At the bell Brooker landed a solid right to the chin of Rojas.
Judges Poturaj, Jasper and Rubenstein all had it 78-74 while this writer had it the same at 78-74.
Lightweight southpaw Jerome “The Conqueror” Conquest, 7-2 (1), of Philadelphia, pitched a shutout over game Daniel Perales, 10-10-1 (5), of Saltilo,
MEX, over 6 rounds.
In the co-feature opening round with Perales coming forward Conquest landed a good combination to the head of Perales. Conquest kept the jab in the face of Perales allowing him to get any offense going. In the second round Conquest counters Perales with combinations to the head. A solid right-hook from Conquest knocked the head of Perales back. The hand speed of Conquest is keeping Perales on the defense. A 3-punch combination by Conquest had Perales head spinning. In the third round Perales finally lands a lead right to the chin of southpaw Conquest. At the bell Conquest from the corner landed a solid left to the head of Perales.
In the fourth round Conquest landed a left uppercut knocking Perales off balance. Perales landed a solid left hook to the head of Conquest who countered with a left to the head. Conquest continued to beat Perales to the punch. In the fifth round Perales knowing he was behind starts throwing punches in bunches until a left to the head from Conquest stops him in his tracks. Perales started showing his frustration as Conquest is landing punches in bunches right up to the bell. In the sixth and final round Conquest is catching Perales coming forward in desperation but getting hit in the head. Peales lands a flurry of punches backing Conquest into the ropes bringing a smile to the face of Conquest. It was Conquest the rest of the round dealing out punches to the head of Perales.
Judges Poturaj and Gradowski 60-54 and Rubenstein 59-55 while this writer had it 60-54.
Super middleweight Blake Mansfield, 4-1-1 (2), of Burlington, NC, lost a hard fought majority decision to southpaw Henry Beckford, 5-6 (1), of
Coram, NY, over 6 rounds.
In the opening round the much taller Beckford used a solid jab keeping Mansfield at bay before coming in under the jab with some uppercuts to the chin of Beckford. A lead right to the chin by Mansfield rocked Beckford at the bell. In the second round Beckford’s jab is keeping Mansfield looking for an opening landing several uppercuts when he gets inside. Beckford’s been warned several times by referee Esteves, Jr., for leaning on top of Mansfield and using his forearm to the head. In the third round another warning to Beckford for holding behind the head and hitting by referee Esteves, Jr. Once again Beckford uses the foreman to the throat of Mansfield and gets away with it. A lead right by Mansfield to the chin of Beckford had him holding on. Mansfield had a welt under his right eye by the end of the round.
In the fourth round several uppercuts to the chin by Mansfield had Beckford holding on. Beckford landed an overhand left to the head of Mansfield then Beckford fell backwards barely staying on his feet. Mansfield turned southpaw landing several right hooks to the head of Beckford who looks like he is out of gas by continuing to grab Mansfield into a clinch. In the fifth round Mansfield lands an overhand right to the head of Beckford who had his right hand caught on a rope strap. Beckford was losing his trunks as referee Esteves again pulled them up. In the sixth and final round Mansfield continued to come forward knocking the trunks of a holding Beckford. Mansfield got inside working uppercuts with both hands to the mid-section of Beckford. Beckford continues to push Mansfield to the ropes while holding him completely out of gas. Mansfield gets in several rights at the bell almost knocking Beckford off his feet.
Judges Poturaj 57-57, Gradowski and Jasper had it 58-56 while this writer had it 57-57.
Cruiserweight southpaw Sam Orapeza, 2-0 (1), of Philadelphia, scored a pair of knockdowns in a wild brawl defeating Kyle McNutt, 1-3 (1), of Battle Creek, MI, who had Orapeza out on his feet at the final bell in a 4 round bout.
In the opening round McNutt came out using his jab as Orapeza was throwing leather to the body an ending it with a solid left to the head of McNutt. A lead straight left by Orapeza to the chin of McNutt and down he went taking the count of referee Bashir. A lead left by Orapeza to the head of McNutt drove him into the ropes. In the second round both fighters exchanged shots to the head. Orapeza was landing lead lefts to the head with McNutt covering up. McNutt came back with a good body attack. A lead left by Orapeza to the chin of McNutt rocked him. McNutt landed several uppercuts making Orapeza fall into him. Then McNutt ended the round with three left hooks to the head of Orapeza. In the third round McNutt used his jab well while Orapeza may be tiring. Orapeza came back driving McNutt into the ropes but McNutt countered Orapeza back blooding his nose. Orapeza with his many backers screaming for him started throwing punches in bunches. In the fourth and final round a lead right by McNutt landed well on the chin of Orapeza who came back landing an overhand left on the chin of McNutt dropping him to the canvas. Referee Bashir gave him the 8 count. Both fighters landed solid punches as McNutt had Orapeza out on his feet at the bell.
Judges Jasper 38-37, Gradowski 39-35 and Rubenstein 39-36 with this writer having it 39-36.
Super lightweight Jeffrey Torres, 3-0 (1), of Philadelphia, defeated southpaw Kashon Hutchinson, 2-3 (1), of Reading, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the opening round Hutchinson used a jab to keep Torres at bay. Hutchinson landed a left uppercut to the mid-section of Torres whose defense is wide open with hands to his side. In the second round Torres landed a left hook to the chin of Hutchinson knocking him back several steps. Torres pinned Hutchinson against the ropes getting half a dozen punches in before Hutchinson spun out. A solid left hook by Torres at the ten second mark was followed by another seconds later knocking the mouthpiece out of Hutchinson. In the third round both boxers were exchanging head shots forgetting the body blows. Hutchinson landed a 3-punch combination with no return from Torres. A counter left hook by Torres rocked Hutchinson. In the fourth and final round Hutchinson started using his jab as he did in the first round but Torres was countering with lead rights to the head. Torres can’t miss with those lead rights down the pike landing on Hutchinson’s head.
Judges Rubenstein and Poturaj 39-37 and Gradowski 40-36 with this writer 39-37.
Bantamweight Harold Lopez, 1-0-1 (1), of Allentown, PA, scoring a knockdown had to settle for a draw with Basyzber Baratov, 2-1-2 (0), of Philadelphia, over 4 rounds.
In the opening round a counter right to the head from Lopez rocked Baratov. Half a round later it was Baratov with a right to the head rocking Lopez. There was no feeling out in this round. In the second round Baratov rocked Lopez with a combination to the head. In this round there were more wild misses than punches landed. In the third round a Baratov lead right caught Lopez on the side of his head getting his attention. Lopez landed a straight right to the chin of Baratov driving him into the ropes. Baratov came back with a right to the head of Lopez. Then Lopez rocked Baratov into the ropes and shortly after dropped him with another right which was a questionable call by referee Bashir. In the fourth and final round both are swinging for the fences with as many misses as hits. It got very sloppy in there until Lopez rocked Baratov with a right to the chin.
Judges Gradowski 39-38 Lopez, Rubenstein and Jasper a 38-38 draw, and this writer 38-37 Lopez.
In the opening bout super featherweight Chaise Nelson, 5-1 (3), of Dayton, OH, came off the canvas to gain a narrow decision over southpaw Bryan Nevarez, 2-5-1 (1), of Carolina, PR,
Nelson took the first and was winning the second round when a straight left from Nevarez dropped him just before the bell. Referee Esteves, Jr. counted as the bell sounded and Nelson was up. In round three Nelson came back to take a close round. In the fourth and final round both boxers were trying for the knockout. Elson was landing some haymakers but Nevarez hung in there.
Judges Rubenstein, Jasper 38-37 Gradowski 39-37 this writer 38-37.
Christopher “Ice” Brooker Headlines at SugarHouse Casino Friday!
Christopher “Ice” Brooker Headlines at SugarHouse Casino Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions with CEO Marshall Kauffman and David Feldman come back looking for another sold out arena Friday night at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia!
A press conference was held at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia Tuesday on 1001 N. Delaware Avenue. There will be seven bouts with a total of 38 rounds of competitive boxing. First bout at 7pm.
Philadelphia’s ever popular super middleweight Christopher “Ice” Brooker, 11-3 (5), will be in the main event looking to stop a two fight losing streak as he takes on southpaw Oscar Riojas, 14-7-1 (4), from Monterrey, MEX, over 8 rounds.
Promoter Kauffman said “no soft fights for the fighter’s only entertaining fights. We sold out the arena in our first show and expect to do it again in our second show here at the SugarHouse Casino come Friday night”.
“I made the mistake of trying to box instead of my usual aggressive style in my last fight. There will be none of that this time,” said Brooker. He had a new trainer in his corner last fight named Muhammad Aziz who will be there again. “I didn’t have a big amateur career so every fight is a learning experience for me,” said Brooker.
First boxer to speak was Philadelphia’s cruiserweight Sam Orapeza, 1-0 (1), a cruiserweight and former MMA fighter at 13-3 with all knockout wins. “I look to knockout every opponent they put before me,” said Orapeza. He debuted at the SugarHouse Casino March 11th scoring a first round knockout! He will face Kyle McNutt, 1-2 (1), of Battle Creek, MI. Like BrookerOrapeza is all action!
The co-feature will be headlined by Lightweight Jerome “The Conqueror” Conquest, 6-2 (1), of Philadelphia who had his trainers Wade and Randy Hinnant there. “I broke my foot but wasn’t diagnosed properly and did my roadwork for 17 weeks before it was discovered broke. I was out for 6 months but it feels fine now,” said Conquest. He is matched with veteran Daniel Perales, 10-9-1 (5), out of Monterrey, Mexico, over 6 rounds.
David Feldman let all in attendance know that “Sam, Chris and Jerome didn’t have it easy growing up and it prepared them for the sport of boxing”. Bantamweight Harold Lopez, 1-0 (1), who is out of Allentown and who was on the Puerto Rican Olympic team is backafter scoring a first round knockout on the last show. He faces Sergio Aguilar, 2-5 (2), of Mexico City, Mexico. Anytime a Puerto Rican and Mexican meet it usually means fireworks!
From out of state will be Featherweight Chaise Nelson, 4-1 (3), of Dayton, OH, will be in a 6 round bout. He will be in against his sixth straight Latino opponent in Bryan Perez Nevarez, 2-5-1 (1), of Puerto Rico. Also from out of state is lightweight Jeffrey Torres, 2-0 (1), out of CT, who takes on Kashon Hutchinson, 2-2 (1), of Reading. Torres wins were both in Philadelphia. In a 6 rounder is super middleweight Blake Mansfield, 4-0-1 (2), coming in from Burlington, NC, taking on Henry Beckford, 4-6 (1), of Coram, NY.
Also on Saturday at the Grundy Arena in Bristol, PA, on 475 Beaver Street will feature southpaw Derrick “Take It to The Bank” Webster, 22-1 (11), out of Glassboro, NJ, who will face southpaw Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone, 22-5-1 (7), from Norfolk, VA, who is on a 6 fight winning streak for the WBFInternational super middleweight title over 10 rounds!
There will be a female bout in the co-feature with super lightweight Tunisian IkramKerwat, 7-1 (5), out of Frankfort, Germany against Atlantic City welterweight Althea “Lady Thunder” Saunders, 3-3-2 (0), who is known at times to sing the National Anthem. It will be for the WBF Junior Regional title over 6 rounds.
On the undercard will be Trenton’s Mike Hilton, 5-0, Camden’s Vidal Rivera, 5-0, New York’s MikkelLesPierre, 15-0-1, Asbury Park’sDarryl Bunting, 3-1-2, and Pensacola’s Frederick Wilhite, 5-0.
New to the area will be promoters Deuce Promotions, Mis Downing Promotions and K5 Promotions per Marc Abrams who is the PR man for both shows.
Diaz wins by decision; Clary Upset
Diaz wins by decision; Clary Upset
By: James Cullinane
Featherweight prospect Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz of Puerto Rico improved his record to 18 – 0 (11KO) winning a unanimous decision over Raul Hirales (22-6-11, 11KO) of Mexico in the main event of the Top Rank Boxing sponsored “Solo Boxeo” at the Osceola Heritage Park Exhibition Hall in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday night.
Diaz, promoted by Top Rank and a stable mate of WBO Latin American Lightweight Champion, Felix Verdejo, was headlining his first card and did not disappoint the predominantly, Puerto Rican crowd.
Diaz landed sharp, clean body shots and combinations throughout the fight and was never in trouble against Hirales, one of the toughest opponents he has faced to date.
As the fight progressed Hirales was able to land some clean shots to the head of Diaz, but each time he did, Diaz countered effectively with crisper, harder combinations that stifled any momentum Hirales hoped to build. Diaz worked harder and more effectively each round, never leaving the outcome of the fight in doubt.
Both fighters came out slugging in the eighth and final round with Diaz finishing strong to seal the victory.
Earlier in the night, in a stunning upset, previously undefeated, Top Rank featherweight, Toka Kahn Clary (19-1-1, 13 KO), was knocked out in the first round by Jhon “The Disaster” Gemino (15-7-1, 7KO).
Clary, the more aggressive fighter from the start, showed glimpses of his speed as he flicked his jab at the shorter Gemino. But Gemino was a quick study and midway through the opening round countered one of Clary’s jab with a perfectly timed, overhand right that cracked Clary across the chin and dropped him to the canvas.
Clary was unable to get off the mat and was still clearly dazed long after the referee counted him out. Gemino leapt for joy in his corner as he was declared the winner at 1:30 into the first round. A huge underdog coming into the fight, this was by far Gemino’s biggest victory as a professional.
In the most entertaining fight of the night, Super Lightweight, Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (14 – 0, 10KO) outslugged Brazilian Claudionei Lacerda (17-16-1, 12 KO) in an eight-round thriller, eventually winning by unanimous decision.
Rodriquez, also a Top Rank fighter, almost suffered the same fate as Clary as Lacerda came out swinging and dropped Rodriguez to a knee with a crunching left to the body early in the opening round. Fully intending to end the fight, Lacerda followed up after the mandatory eight with a wild flurry that Rodriguez was able to fend off with good defense.
As Lacerda slowed his attack, Rodriguez, a former Golden Gloves Champion (141 lbs) from New Jersey, was able to climb back into the fight with several hard lefts that rocked Lacerda. The action went back and forth for the remainder of the round and set the tone for the rest of the fight.
Fully recovered from the knockdown, Rodriguez came on strong and clearly won the second and third rounds by connecting with several, hard combinations that hurt Lacerda.
Though outmatched, Lacerda showed great heart and stayed in the fight with his aggressive counterpunching in the fourth. In the fifth round, Rodriguez stunned Lacerda with a hard right to the head, but Lacerda still would not quit, coming back and having perhaps his best round in the sixth.
In the seventh, Lacerdo hit Rodriguez with a clean, uppercut that shook Rodriguez, but only momentarily. “Hammer Hands” then turned it on to finish the round strong, punishing Lacerda with a series of strong lefts to the body and head. The eighth and final round was more of the same as Rodriguez and Lacerda gamely mixed it up.
Rodriguez landed a hard, right to Lacerda’s chin midway through the final round that hurt Lacerda and excited the crowd, but he was unable to finish the tough Brazilian and the outcome was left to the judges.
A physical fight with lots of clinching between exchanges, both fighter’s faces were red and swollen at the end of the bout. The final scores were 77-73, 78-72, 78-72 all in favor of Rodriguez.
The final Top Rank fighter on the card, Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera (8 – 0, 5 KO), was dominant in his victory over Raul Chirino (7 – 3, 3 KO) of Miami.
In his one round of action, local, Orlando boxer and fan-favorite, Rivera beat Chirino high and low, bloodying Chirino’s nose and pounding his ribs. A crisp uppercut after a body shot midway through the round forced Chirino to take a knee for a mandatory eight count.
More punishing body blows by Rivera, one of Top Rank’s most highly regarded prospects, and Chirino had the fight taken out of him. He barely survived to the bell ending the first round and was unable to answer the bell for the second. The win kept Rivera’s professional record a perfect eight wins against no losses.
2014 Golden Glove (152 lbs) winner Sammy Valentin (8 – 0, 6 KO) of Tampa, FL defeated Gledwin Ortiz (4 – 2, 3 KO) of the Bronx, NY with a 3rd round knockout in a competitive, back and forth fight. Valentin caught Ortiz with a hard right on top of the head that dazed Ortiz midway through the third, then followed with a flurry of lefts and rights, culminating with an upper cut that dropped Ortiz to the mat. Ortiz beat the count, but was still wobbly, forcing referee Frank Santore to call off the fight.
Jonathan Irizarry (2 – 0, 2 KO) of San Juan, Puerto Rico overwhelmed Nolasco Tomas (0 – 2, 0 KO) scoring a knockout 1:32 into the first round to score his second consecutive knockout victory to begin his professional career.