Harris & Evans Claim European Glory
By: Ste Rowen
The world of soccer spent Saturday fixated on Madrid and which team would claim European glory, and it was the same in Cardiff, and the Vale Sports Arena as, back in the boxing universe, fans in attendance focused on whether Welsh favourites, Jay Harris and Craig Evans would claim and, or keep hold of their respective European belts.
In the case of the main event; the home fans were treated to a masterclass performance from Swansea native, Jay Harris against former world title challenger, Angel Moreno.
Both Harris and Moreno went all guns flying in the first round, and somewhat surprisingly, it was Moreno that made the initial impact, forcing the home fighter back early. But the Welshman rallied towards the end of the opening round to force his Spanish counterpart on to the ropes and that’s where he stayed for the rest of the 1st. With just over two minutes gone of the second round, Harris sustained a cut to his left eye via a head clash as Morena attempted to manoeuvre off the ropes. But the unbeaten fighter, Jay Harris, maintained his early dominance throughout the 3rd.
The two men went tit-for-tat through the 4th and both looked tired before the round had come to an end. Moreno seemed a little more clinical, but Jay was much more the boxer forcing his opponent back. Into the 6th, the fight appeared to be tipping towards Harris, as Morena began to swing wildly; taking three to swing and ultimately miss one. The home fighter was looking confident and in charge, a changed man from the struggles of the opening round.
The bout was schedule for twelve rounds, but Harris continued to fight as if he was ready to lay down the finisher. The Brit continuously dominated off his 1-2 shots, and kept Moreno wanting for a clear, landing shot which never seemed available. Angel’s last bout saw him fall to a whitewash defeat to Charlie Edwards in a match-up for the WBC flyweight strap, and by the 10th, as Harris almost began to showboat with his movement, it seemed that, that was on the cards again.
Credit must go to Angel Moreno, 19-3-2 heading into tonight, as the Spaniard seemed up for the fight throughout the full twelve rounds, but passion doesn’t always match ability and as Harris’ trainer said between the 11th and 12th rounds,
‘‘You’re the European champion, don’t be stupid now.’’
Harris was indeed the champion, but he was clearly eager for a fight, with the crowd fully behind him. But both men made it to the final bell, and it seemed clear that hometown favourite, Jay Harris had overcome the European contender. The judge’s final scorecards came back as, 117-111, 119-109, 120-108. And post-fight, the new EBU European flyweight champion, now 16-0 (8KOs), spoke after the fight,
‘‘It’s all down to the sparring really. I wanna give a shout out to Kal Yafai, he’s been absolutely superb with me…The past eighteen months has been mega difficult. After winning the Commonwealth title I seemed to be forgotten about and I was on the verge of giving up.
I promised my girlfriend a Chinese on Sunday, and I promised my stepdaughter we’ll have a chippy Tuesday.’’
Craig Evans completed the Welsh double as he scored a rough and tumble ten round decision in his rematch with Irishman, Stephen Ormond, and keep hold of the lightweight WBO European strap. Still the European 135lb champion, spoke post-fight,
‘‘I boxed well, started to slow down a bit in the middle rounds; I weren’t listening to my trainer…He wanted me to move more and I started to play his (Ormond’s) game plan a bit more. ’’
Southpaw, Evans’ face was marked up well by the end of the bout, but the Welshman, now 20-2-2 (3KOs), maintained a pace that kept up with his Irish counterpart who seemed intent on vicious revenge. But the Belfast fighter was unable to catch the eye of the judges as the final scorecards returned as, 98-92, 97-92, 95-94 all for Craig; and the Welshman, post-fight, also let his prospective rivals, including fellow countryman Joe Cordina, know that he wasn’t afraid of any challenge,
‘‘I thought I was fighting him (Cordina) before I don’t really know, it fell through…Who wouldn’t want to fight for the British title, but if they move me on through a European title it doesn’t matter.’’
HBO Boxing Results: Jacobs Defeats Derevyanchenko in Slugfest, Hardy and Machado Win
By: William Holmes
HBO’s run as one of boxing’s premier destinations is coming to an end, and tonight may have been their last telecast from New York City.
HBO’s World Championship Boxing put on a triple header live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The opening bout of the night was rematch between Heather Hardy (21-0) and Shelly Vincent (23-1) for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title. Their first fight was considered by many to be a fight of the year candidate in 2016.
Hardy walked into the ring with a four inch height advantage.
Both boxers started the fight right where the left off, by throwing a large number of punches and landing several good shots. Hardy appeared the be winning the early rounds with more accurate punches and good body shots, but Vincent kept up the pressure.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Hardy appeared to have slowed down a little bit in the fourth round and may have given that round to Vincent, but she picked up her pace again in the fifth and sixth rounds and used a good consistent jab and strong hook to the body to win these rounds.
Hardy had a bad cut open up over her left eye in addition to an earlier cut over her right eye by the seventh round but she continued to fight on. Vincent had some blood coming from her nose at the end of the round and the volume of punches that both women were landing were showing it’s effect on their faces.
Vincent continued to press the action in the eight round and was able to land a few good shots to the body of Hardy, but Hardy landed harder counters and appeared to be landing with more power.
Vincent probably needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win this bout, but neither boxer were known for their power and neither came close to a knockdown, but still threw an incredible number of punches.
Heather Hardy remains undefeated with a decision victory by scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 99-91.
The next bout of the night was between Alberto Machado (20-0) and Yuandale Evans (20-1) for the WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title.
Machado is a rising star in boxing and looked to be the taller fighter in the ring.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Machado was able to land a good straight left hand early on to the chin of Evans that sent Evans to his butt on the floor. Evans was able to get back to his feet, but was staggered by a right hook and was met with a flurry of punches that forced Evans to touch the mat with his gloves for a second knockdown.
Evans returned to his feet and was checked quickly by the referee and indicated he could go on, but was met with another Machado combination that ended with a clean left hook that knocked Evans out and sent him crashing backwards to the canvas.
Alberto Machado wins by knockout at 2:25 of the first round.
The main event of the evening was between Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) and Daniel Jacobs (34-2) for the IBF Middleweight Title.
Both boxers showed they knew each other well in the opening round and respected each other’s power. Derevyanchenko let Jacobs know he was in a fight by landing a short right immediately after a break. Jacobs jab kept a good distance and he was able to score a knockdown with an over the top right hand. Derevyanchenko got to his feet and survived a Jacobs onslaught as the round came to an end.
Derevyanchenko was the aggressor in the second round and recovered well from his earlier knockdown. Derevyanchenko was pressing forward on Jacobs which forced Jacobs to switch to a southpaw stance to better keep a distance from Derevyanchenko’s right hand.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Jacobs did good work to the body in the third and fourth rounds but both boxers were loading up on their punches and landing hard shots.
Derevyanchenko attacked the body of Jacobs in the fifth round and had Jacobs walking backwards into a corner or rope several times throughout the round. Jacobs was able to land a few good shots this round, but Derevyanchenko was the aggressor.
The sixth round featured a lot of fireworks as both boxers threw with reckless abandon and landed hard shots to the body and head. Jacobs though appeared to be a little more accurately, but was still being uncharacteristically wild.
Derevyanchenko was breathing heavily by the seventh round but still coming forward. The body work of Jacobs was showing signs of paying off in this round as Jacobs still had snap in his punches while Derevyanchenko appeared to be losing steam.
Jacobs defense was much more effective in the eighth and ninth rounds and he was finding a home for his uppercuts. Jacobs had pulled ahead to a comfortable lead by the tenth round, but Derevyanchenko may have stolen that round with some successful flurries.
Jacobs looked like he would have been ok with boxing safely in the final two rounds, but Derevyanchenko made Jacobs work for his victory as Derevyanchenko continued to press forward and aggressively go for a knockout and had Jacobs looking exhausted as the fight came to an end, but Derevyanchenko took some hard shots in the process.
Daniel Jacobs wins the decision with scores of 114-113 Derevyanchenko, 115-112 Jacobs, 115-112 Jacobs.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko, Machado vs. Evans
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City will host an IBF World Middleweight Title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergi Derevyanchenko.
The undercard will feature two other world title bouts. The co-main event of the evening will be a WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title fight between Alberto Machado and Yuandale Evans. The first fight of the telecast will be a rematch between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title.
The fight between Hardy and Vincent was just recently added to the telecast and was originally scheduled to be on the untelevised undercard. Their first fight was a 2016 Ring Magazine Female Fight of the Year, and saw Hardy win by a majority decision.
Even though this writer does not remember their first fight being as close at the judges scored it, it was an action packed fight that should be entertaining for fight fans.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Alberto Machado (20-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (20-1); WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is currently co-promoted by both Golden Boy Promotions as well as Miguel Cotto Promotions. He holds the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title and is considered one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
He’s in the midst of his athletic prime at 28 years old and is one year younger than Evans. He has 16 stoppage victories on his resume, two more than Evans, and has been more active. Machado has stopped three of his past five opponents. Saturday will be his second fight of 2018, after fighting three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Evans will be fighting for the first time 2018, fought twice in 2017, and didn’t fight at all in 2016.
Both boxers have been fairly successful as amateurs. Machado was a national champ at the Junior, Junior Olympics, and Cadet Categories. Evans won a bronze medal in the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
Machado has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Rafael Mesnah, Jezreel Corrales, Carlos Morales, and Juan Jose Martinez. Every opponent that Machado has defeated since 2014 had a winning record.
Evans’ lone loss was to Javier Fortuna by TKO way back in 2012. He has notable wins against Luis Rosa and Billel Dib. Two of the past four fighters that Evans has faced had losing records.
Machado should win by a comfortable margin on Saturday, as Evans doesn’t have the experience of Machado and has been fairly inactive in the past few years.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (34-2); IBF Middleweight Title
Daniel Jacobs is one of Eddie Hearn’s top middleweights and he’s looking at potential bouts with either Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, or Billy Joe Saunders in the future on the DAZN network.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
But first he has to get past an under the radar Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who is better than most people realize.
Jacobs has 29 stoppage wins on his resume and nearly triple the number of professional fights than Derevyanchenko. Derevyanchenko only has 10 stoppage wins, but Derevyanchenko spent most of his early career fighting under the World Series of Boxing Banner, which don’t technically count as professional fights.
When Derevyanchenko fought for the World Series of Boxing he had over 23 fights and only lost once.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Jacobs was a Junior Olympics, Golden Gloves, and US National Champion. Derevyanchenko competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the most prestigious amateur event for boxing.
Jacobs two losses were a monumental upset to Dmitry Pirog back in 2010, and a close decision loss to Gennady Golovkin. He has defeated the likes of Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher, and Ishe Smith.
Derevyanchenko has never tasted defeat as a pro, but he did lose a World Series of Boxing match. He has beaten the likes of Dashon Johnson, Tureano Johnson, Sam Soliman, Kemahl Russell, Elvin Ayala, and Vladine Biosse.
The biggest notable difference on Saturday will be size. Daniel Jacobs will have at least a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a five and a half inch reach advantage. He looked even bigger when they faced off with each other. Both guys are still in their athletic prime, with Jacobs being 31 and Derevyanchenko being 32.
Jacobs shouldn’t overlook Derevyanchenko, for his amateur pedigree indicates he will be a tougher opponent than most expect. But Jacobs will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd with big fights on the horizon, this writer has a hard time imagining a scenario where he doesn’t walk out the victor.
Don’t Call It A Comeback, Part 2: Boxing Insider Interview with Yuandale ‘Money Shot’ Evans
By John Freund
On November 10th, 2017, Yuandale ‘Money Shot’ Evans scored a split-decision victory over previously undefeated Luis Rosa for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Featherweight title. The fight – which aired live on ShoBox – comes on the heels of Evans’ upset win over top-ranked Billel Dib in April. Due to contractual disputes, Evans had fought only twice in the 5 years prior to the Dib win. Boxing Insider interviewed Evans after the Dib victory, and below is our follow-up on the Rosa fight and what lies in store for Evans’ resurgent career.
Boxing Insider (BI): Congratulations on the big victory. What does it feel like to win a hard-fought battle on ShoBox in front of your home crowd?
Yuandale Evans (YE): It feels amazing, man. I was a bit edgy to hear that it was a split decision… I don’t want people to think I won the fight because it was at home. I want people to respect me because I’m a true champion and I pulled that ‘W’ out. But other than that it feels amazing.
BI: This was a classic boxer/brawler fight. During the early rounds, Rosa took the fight inside, and to a lot of people’s surprise you seemed willing to stay there. Were you trying to prove that you could brawl with this guy, or were you simply fighting on instinct and willing to trade?
YE: Mostly instincts and I was willing to trade with him. I wanted that guy tired. I thought that going in there and brawling with him was maybe the dumbest thing I ever did, but it actually turned into a positive because it was one of the most action-packed fights in years on ShoBox. I could have boxed him and wore him down with the jab, but I just felt like that guy is like a Raging Bull, and the only way you can get with him is if you really ‘get with him’ on his level. I can box and I can brawl, so I chose a different technique and just rolled the dice and tried that.
Like I said, the first round it wasn’t good to do that – but I don’t think it worked against me. The adrenaline, the action; I think that needed to happen. I think both fighters needed to be tested.
BI: During the middle rounds, you found your jab and began maintaining distance. How were you able to make that mid-fight adjustment?
YE: My coaching. My trainer. My corner – Barry Hunter – he was the reason I was able to make that adjustment. Barry just told me to have trust in him and trust in my jab. Seeing that Rosa could take a punch, I had to resort to Plan B, which was to box and to keep him turning. And while I was doing it he wasn’t touching me. He was getting frustrated. He even took his foot off the gas. I have 59 inches of reach and I’m 5’5” and 126lbs, so the best thing I could have done was box. I gave the viewers and ShoBox the brawler, but now it was time for me to box.
So I made a statement to the Featherwieght Division and to my up and coming opponents: I’m not to be messed with! I can box and I can brawl, and I also have defense. I was standing in the ropes and the corner and just was dipping shots with my hands down to my stomach. So I gave a little bit of everything just to show my weight class and ShoBox and my fans that ‘here you go, I’m gonna give you what you want to see.’
BI: He caught you with a strong right in the 8th. You seemed hurt, but you not only managed to survive, you came back and dominated the end of the round. What do you attribute that to?
YE: The 8th round – that was one of my favorite rounds. I feel like I lost that round, but I felt like I was smart with my decisions. He couldn’t hit going in; he landed a lot of shots but they weren’t effective. He landed that shot while I was lacking with my right hand – he caught me in an exchange and he wobbled me. I took one step back and I fell on my back leg. The biggest mistake he did was he rushed me. He rushes me and I grabbed him and all I was thinking mentally was ‘let’s play it smart.’ So I grabbed him and I waited. I was able to recover, and I stepped to the left and I hurt him. I hydrated right before the fight and lost weight the right way, so I was able to recover after a shot like that where I wouldn’t have been able to when I was a kid. It’s very important for a boxer’s career to recover, and I recovered fast.
I feel great about the way I went about that – after I got hurt, I did the right thing: I held him. If you’re hurt, just hold him (laughs). I ended up getting a lucky punch off after that. I was ready to get back in the game, and I ended up clipping him. Hats off to both fighters, we both survived, no cuts, so it was a great experience.
BI: The last 2 rounds turned back into a brawl, but you managed to land the cleaner, more effective punches. Did you feel like you were winning as the fight ended?
YE: Yeah, because I went to what I was told to go to from the start, which was boxing. I threw a lot of punches in the last round. Basically, I wanted the fight easier to be judged. This guy was sloppy; he was head-butting me, he was elbowing me, he was so tight in this fight that you couldn’t judge what he was throwing. He threw 4 jabs in 10 rounds, so nothing looked clean from his way. You could see him land shots, but nothing was exactly clean. Like I said on TV, this fight could be judged 3 or 4 different ways, but Evans landed the straighter shots and the cleaner, more effective shots.
For the 9th and 10th rounds though, I knew I had those rounds. I gave it my all, and I wanted it more than him. On his Instagram page, everyone is saying, ‘You got robbed.’ I’m like ‘Clearly you didn’t get robbed. An Ohio judge had you winning the fight.’ At the end of the day, it is what it is. I passed the test with him and came out with the victory.
BI: What did you learn about yourself after this fight?
YE: I got wiser. I got more mature and smarter about some things. I learned that I still make mistakes. My legs are too straight, my chin is too high. I learned that I still go into dog fights in the early rounds.
But I learned some things that I already knew as well. My entire layoff, I knew that I would come back stronger. I stayed dedicated, I stayed devoted to my craft. I told Billel Dib when I fought him, ‘Bro, you’re going on my old fights when I was knocking bums out. I can box, I have defense. I am way better than I used to be. You’re going to have problems with me.”
So I definitely learned that I matured and that I listen to my corner, and I also learned that I still make mistakes and that I’m still hard-headed and I like to brawl. So at the end of the day, I learned good and bad.
BI: After all the contractual issues you’ve had with promoters and managers, and the resulting inactivity, how does it feel to come back and win two big fights against top-ranked opponents?
YE: Oh my god man, it feels so good, man! Billel Dib was a top-10 guy in the rankings, and I was like a nobody. And then to come out and win this fight, it feels so good, man, because I know deep down inside that I belong. I have that passion – I put in those days and those hours. I sparred with Gervonta Davis, Rau’shee Warren, Luis Franco, Gamboa and Rigondeaux. I know deep down inside that I belong where I am right now. I just had to get in that position. I didn’t let a 3-year layoff break me down. I came from nothing, and I was back at nothing. So I just had to keep working, keep working, keep working. That’s all you have to do in life. You cannot fail by trying. You only fail if you don’t try at the end of the day. If you don’t succeed, that’s not failing – that’s still succeeding, because you tried. How can you lose if you try?
BI: The Featherweight division is one of the most stacked in boxing. Where do you think this performance places you? Are you in line for a title shot, or will you next face a top contender like Scott Quigg or Jesus Cuellar?
YE: In all honesty, I feel like that fight should put me in the top-10. And I want to fight the top-5. After a warrior-fight like that, I feel like, you can’t go wrong putting me in the top-10, and you can’t go wrong having me fight the top-5. I feel like I can beat Santa Cruz. I know I can beat Santa Cruz. I KNOW I can beat Santa Cruz. I feel like me and Frampton would have a war, but I can beat Frampton. I feel like Gary Russell is too little. I’ve grown up against Gary Russell. He’s fought against guys I fought against in the gym. And he’s a great fighter – I don’t discredit any of those guys. But when you have passion, you want those big fights. Those are the fights I want.
BI: You keep going the way you’re going, and I’m sure you will have a title fight some time soon. One final question: The Lomachenko-Rigondeaux fight is 2 weeks away. Who ya’ got?
YE: Rigo. I’m going Rigo. I grew up around him, sparring with him in Miami, and that guy is amazing. Lomachenko is great too, but nobody’s gonna beat Rigo. I can’t wait for that fight, man.
BI: We’re excited too. Congrats again on the big win, and hopefully we’ll see you in a championship fight of your own real soon.
YE: Thanks a lot, thanks for having me.
ShoBox Results: Luis Rosa Upset by Yuandale Evans
By: Ken Hissner
At the Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, OH, Friday night on Show Box The New Generation and promoted by DiBella Entertainment.
In the Main Event Featherweight Luis “KO King” Rosa, 23-1 (11), of PR/New Haven, Conn. Lost a split decision to Southpaw Yuandale “Money Shot” Evans, 20-1 (14), of East Cleveland, OH, for the WBC Continental Americas title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing
In the first round both fighters came out firing. Evans landed a good right uppercut knocking the head of Rosa back. Rosa came right back with several right’s to the head of Evans. At the minute mark left in the round Evans landed a solid double right hook to the head of Rosa. With half a minute left in the round Rosa landed a solid combination but Evans fired back with a combination of his own. It was an action packed round. In the second round Evans landed a solid straight left to the head of Rosa. Evans used a good jab while Rosa was swinging wildly in return. A good left hand by Evans got Rosa’s attention moving him back several steps. In the last 30 seconds of the round Rosa worked Evans into a corner landing a flurry of punches.
In the third round Evans landed four unanswered punches before Rosa fought back. At the halfway mark Rosa worked the body of vans well following up with a pair of rights to the head. With less than a minute left in the round Evans landed a three punch combination to the head of Rosa. In the fourth round Evans opened up with a flurry of punches. Rosa drove Evans into the ropes with a flurry of body punches. Evans used an effective jab throughout the round while Rosa went head hunting in an action round. Both were landing punches at the bell.
In the fifth round Evans came out firing his jab following with a left to the head of Rosa. Rosa drove Evans into a corner with a flurry of punches. Evans countered well as Rosa kept pushing him back with his head low coming forward with body work. In the sixth round Evans landed a very effective jab and was able to work around Rosa who worked the body when they were inside. At the halfway mark out of a southpaw stance Rosa landed a solid lead left to the head of Evans. Evans backing up countered well to the head of Rosa who was swinging wildly while coming forward.
In the seventh round Rosa kept moving around the ring with Evans on the offense. It seemed Rosa was taking the round off. In the eighth round Evans drove Rosa into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Rosa landed a solid right hand from a southpaw stance rocking Evans at the one minute mark. It was all Sosa up until a minute left in the round rocking Evans again with combinations to the head. With half a minute left in the round Evans turned the table rocking Sosa with combinations. Both were letting it all hang out at the bell.
In the ninth round with Rosa coming forward with body shots Evans countered with right hooks to the head. The fighters got sloppy with warnings from referee Shawn Clark to both fighters using dirty tactics. In the tenth and final round Evans once again started fast with Rosa coming forward with his head throwing punches. At a minute into the round Evans landed a solid left hand to the head of Rosa. The fight got wild with punches from both until Rosa pushed Evans to the canvas. Evans got up firing back while Rosa came forward throwing wild punches with both hands. Both fighters were throwing leather at the bell of a very exciting bout.
Scores were slow coming with scores of 96-94 for Evans, 96-94 for Rosa and 97-93 for Evans. This writer had it 96-94 for Evans.
In the co-feature welterweight Russian Radzhab “The Python” Butaev, 8-0 (6), of Los Angelos, CA, defeated Janer “Jafet” Gonzalez, 19-1-1 (15), of Barranquilla, COL, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Butaev was the aggressor. Just over a minute into the round Butaev rocked Gonzalez with a right to the head. Gonzalez held his hands up high while Butaev on contrast had his left to his side firing the right hand. In the second round both fighters mixed it up in the middle of the ring. Gonzalez became the stalker while Butaev countered well with his right. Not a lot of punches landing in the round.
In the third round just over a minute Gonzalez landed a solid right to the head of Butaev who countered back with a right of his own. Gonzalez may have did just enough to win the round. In the fourth round after a minute Butaev landed a solid left hook to the head of Gonzalez. Halfway through the round Gonzalez landed a good right to the head of Butaev who countered with a solid left hook to the head. There was too much posing on the part of both fighters.
In the fifth round Gonzalez landed a good left hook to the chin of Butaev. After a minute into the round Gonzalez rocked Butaev with a left hook to the head. Gonzalez opened up more in the round. In the sixth round after a minute Gonzalez landed a solid left to the head of Butaev. Gonzalez continued to stalk Butaev dropping his hands for the first time trying to get Butaev to open up.
In the seventh round Butaev became a little more active looking to land that one punch knockout. He outworked Gonzalez enough to win the round. In the eighth and final round Gonzalez landed a solid right to the head of Butaev after thirty seconds into the round. Butaev worked his jab more landing three without return. With less than a minute left in the round Butaev landed a good combination to the head of Gonzalez. George Nichols was the referee.
Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75. This writer had it 77-75.
2016 Olympian super welterweight Charles “Bad News” Conwell, 6-0 (5), of Cleveland, OH, won a lopsided fight over a game Roque Zapata, 4-2-3 (0), of Cold Pepper, WV, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Conwell used his jab while Zapata was busier for the first half of the round. Halfway through the round Conwell starts opening up with his jab and straight rights to head of Zapata. Conwell landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Zapata. With half a minute to go Zapata landed a good straight right to the chin of Conwell. In the second round after 30 seconds Conwell rocked Zapata with a right to the chin. In the second halfof the round Conwell landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Zapata. Conwell was looking for a knockout with every right hand. With less than a minute left in the round Conwell landed a solid right knocking out the mouthpiece of Zapata.
In the third round a solid right hand uppercut from Conwell on the chin of Zapata dropped him. Referee George Nichols got to the count of 9 before Zapata got up. With just over a minute left in the round a double left hook to the body and head by Conwell dropped Zapata again for a 9 count by referee Nichols. A game Zapata got up with a bloody nose and fought back well. In round four at the halfway point Conwell landed a solid right hand body shot hurting Zapata. Every right hand Conwell throws has bad intentions with one causing a cut over the left eye of Zapata.
In round five both fighters are mixing it up with Conwell getting the better of the two. A solid left hook to the ribcage by Conwell dropped Zapata. Conwell landed a good double left to the body and head of Zapata. Zapata has little power though fighting back landing his first combination to the head of Conwell. In the sixth and final round there is no quit in Zapata as Conwell is throwing bombs with his right hand. Conwell was warned for a pair of low blows. Conwell then went right after Zapata trying for the knockout. A game Zapata survived six lopsided rounds. Conwell’s manager Dave McWater got right in the ring as the fight landed congratulating his young warrior.
Scores were 60-51 twice and 60-53. This writer had it 60-51.
Heavyweight Junior Fa, 13-0 (8), of Auckland, NZ, dealt Freddy “Too Slick” Latham Jr., 9-1-2 (5), of Pittsburgh, PA, his first loss stopping him at the 1:07 mark of the first round in a scheduled 8.
In the first round a taller Fa used a solid jab followed by a straight right keeping Latham backing up. Fa opened up just after one minute landing over a dozen punches to the head and body of Latham who was defenseless in a neutral corner causing referee Clifford Pinkney to wisely step in to stop the onslaught.
DiBella Entertainment Boxing on Showtime Preview: Rosa vs. Evans; Butaev vs. Gonzalez; Fa vs. Latham
by B.A. Cass
You don’t have to be Freemason to gain entrance on Friday night to the Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, OH where DiBella Entertainment will put on an exciting line up of boxing matches. You don’t even have to be living in the Cleveland area because you can catch the main event, along with the two preceding undercard fights, on Showtime starting at 10 p.m. ET.
The three fights are part of the “ShoBox: Next Generation” series, and the first televised fight will be between Junior Fa and Fred Latham. The next fight will be between Radzhab Butaev and Janer Gonzalez.
The main event of the evening will be between Luis Ross and Yuandale Evens.
Charles Conwell (5-0) vs. Roque Zapata (4-1-3)
Great amateur boxers are often fundamentally more sound than great professional boxers. That’s because the sole objective of the amateur is to win and they do not have to think so much about entertaining the crowd.
Conwell, the youngest member of the 2016 Men’s USA Boxing Team, is just a year into his professional career and still maintains the integrity and solid defense strategy from his amateur days. And yet he’s fun to watch. He knows how to absorb punches without sustaining damage, and he has an impeccable sense of when to go for the kill.
He has won all five of his professional fights by TKO.
Roque Zapata is a jumpy fighter and throws punches as if his fists were just the extensions of his unraveled nerve endings. He moves wildly and can be dangerous. He may not be as skilled a boxer as Conwell, but he’s one of those fighters who could get hit in the face with a block of cement and barely flinch. He often unleashes his most brutal attacks on opponents after he has sustained significant damage himself.
Conwell has the reach advantage over Zapata, but Zapata has fought taller men before and beaten them. Plus, Zapata is unpredictable. He could give the fundamentally more sound Conwell a hard time.
Junior Fa (12-0) vs. Fred Latham (9-0-2); heavyweight
Fa, a New Zealander, made his professional boxing debut in February of 2016. Since then, he’s kept busy—extremely busy. In just over a year, he’s fought twelve times. That’s a remarkable number of fights for a boxer in today’s age—or in any age, for that matter. Fa is tough and brutal.
Pointing forward with his manicured little beard, the heavy-footed Latham knows how to work a clean jab. He likes to stand in one spot and punch, and it may prove difficult for him to move out of reach of Fa, who is known for his combination assaults.
Radzhab Butaev (7-0) vs. Janer Gonzalez (19-0-1); welterweight
The 23-year-old Butaev was born in Russia just two years after the fall of the Soviet Union. He is despot of the ring—cool, menacing, wielding complete power. Butaev has won all his fights, and all but one of these wins have been by KO.
Janer (19-0-1) makes his US fight debut when he steps into the ring to face Buteav. Janer, who has the advantage of experience, is unknown to US fight fans. Like Buteav, he’s undefeated, but we just don’t know what to expect from him.
However, we can expect one thing of this fight.
Both men will fight as if everything is on the line because everything is. This showcase fight has the potential to advance the career of the man who wins.
Luis Rosa (23-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (19-1); featherweight
Last seen in the sparsely crowded Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, CT where he defeated Carlos Osorio (then 13-6), the 26-year-old Rosa steps into the ring on Friday night as a man determined to win.
We all know that becoming a world champion requires something more than skill. It requires a dedication that borders on the psychotic and something else, something ineffable. Luis Rosa has that all of these qualities.
A smart inside fighter who knows how to make necessary adjustments during a round, Rosa often remains elusive in the ring despite the fact that fights at close range. He’s tough and likes to go
Evans is a different type of fighter, more of a pure boxer. But after suffering a first-round KO to Javier Fortuna in 2012, Evans stayed out the ring for nearly two and half years. He’s fought three times since his return in 2015, and he’s on a winning streak. The Cleveland born Evans is a skilled boxer and he will be fighting for the first in front of a hometown crowd.
Don’t discount Evens just because he’s been less active than Rosa. Disappointing his fans won’t be an option for him when he enters the ring on Friday night. Expect this to be one good fight.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Don’t Call It A Comeback: Boxing Insider Interview with Yuandale ‘Money Shot’ Evans
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: BOXING INSIDER INTERVIEW WITH YUANDALE ‘MONEY SHOT’ EVANS
By: John Freund
Yuandale Evans has fought 20 pro fights and maintains an impressive 19-1 record, but his toughest fight came outside of the ring as he battled his own promoters for years in what has sadly become an all-too-common storyline in professional boxing: The never-ending contractual dispute. Evans fought only twice in 5 years during the prime of his career, yet somehow maintained the mental and emotional fortitude necessary to remain in peak fighting condition. And just when he was about to call it quits, the Boxing Gods came calling in the form of a short-notice fight against former World Champion, Billel Dib… on a Lou DiBella card, no less! Evans made the most of his opportunity, scoring a hard-fought unanimous decision upset. We talked with Evans about his trials and tribulations, the long hard road to success, and what lies ahead for the man they call ‘Money Shot.’
Tell me about your background. Why did you get into boxing?
When I got into boxing, I was only 10. I have a younger brother who started boxing a year before the age amateur boxers are supposed to start fighting. So I was supporting him and traveling with him a lot, and I took a liking to it. Before that I was a straight-A student. I was into arts, drawing, coloring, computers – definitely computers – that’s one of the things I went to college for, computer engineering. I was always a laid-back, people-person. I didn’t know I could fight, because I never got into fights.
So what was that 1st fight like? A lot of butterflies?
Without the head gear and with the smaller gloves, I felt like a bird let out of a cage – like I could do anything I wanted – that I could hit, that I couldn’t be touched. And it was a lot easier for me, being that I have a pro-style, I’m a big puncher. I definitely was nervous – my debut was on HBO in Biloxi, Mississippi, on a Roy Jones Jr. undercard. So I was definitely nervous being that it was going to be televised.
After a promising start to your career, you suffered a 1st round KO in your only loss to a very tough opponent, Javier Fortuna. What happened in that fight?
Both of us being southpaws, I went up and he went over. He landed with a lot of power, and my gloves touched the mat, but the ref didn’t say anything! He didn’t call it a knockdown. I was a little confused by that, and I was hurt too. I had never been hurt before in my entire life! But oh man, I was hurt… and he rushed me with a bunch of punches and he pinned me on the ropes. My corner didn’t tell me to hold, and I had never had that experience before, so instead of grabbing and holding, or moving out of there, I continued to fight. It was just a case of me never being in that type of situation before, and not really knowing what to do.
After that fight, you had a 39-month layoff between 2012 and 2015 due to contractual issues with various promoters. What was that time like for you?
It was one of the worst times of my life. I had started going back to college, so I started getting in debt with student loans. And my team stopped believe in me. I actually left my trainer that I had been with since I was 10. I was really upset because I felt like I couldn’t get to where I should go or where I should be, but at the same time, I feel like I had to go through all that to become the man I am today.
How do you stay mentally motivated during those lean years?
I’ve always been mentally motivated. I’ve never had male role models, so I’ve always motivated myself to do better. I just decided to put in the work. I started getting back in the gym, getting in tip-top shape. I was at training camps, I was sparring everybody who was winning and fighting – every top guy. And everyone was promising me things, saying, “hey, we didn’t know you were still in the game, we’re going to get you signed.” It was basically all just to keep me in training camp, to get their guys more work.
Did you ever think of quitting?
Oh definitely (laughs). Right before DiBella called me, I was telling my fiancé, “I’m done with this.” I was at a point where I’m either going to work a job and go back to school, or I’m going to box. And being a boxer wasn’t paying the bills. I kept leaving jobs to go to training camp and to go to the gym and train for fights that I was getting called for.
Were you still getting a lot of calls?
Oh yeah, we were getting calls. It could be a guy that’s 100-0, and we’d say, “yeah, we’ll fight him.” They’d say ‘okay,’ and they’d give us a BS purse. We’d say, “yeah, we’ll take it anyway, we just want to get on TV.” And then a week or two down the line, they’d call and say, ‘Ohhh, Evans is too tough. We don’t want that type of fighter, we’re looking for a lower caliber fighter.’
Your last fight was your first in 1.5 years, and you took it on short notice – 1 month after you proposed to your fiancé – to face an extremely tough Billel Dib. Going into that fight, Dib was ranked #6 by the WBO. Not to mention he is the bigger guy, and you were jumping up in weight. How did you prepare for all of that?
I had 5 sparring partners. I sparred 2 junior welterweights, and 1 middleweight. I was doing resistance sparring with those guys – what that is, is no break/no bell, 4/4/4. I started swimming. I was dieting. I started running like 7 miles every other day. And I was doing the sprint-and-run workout that Adrian Broner taught me when I was in training camp with him. This was also the first time I actually watched one of my opponent’s fight videos. He fights tall, so I actually thought he was a lot taller (laughs)… I had a 6-foot sparring partner!
You scored a tough UD win, which has given you a lot of attention. What are your hopes for the future now that you have a spotlight on you?
I’m looking for titles, man. I’m back down at 126, and I’m looking for title fights at 126 – I’m looking to take that division over. I want to at least fight 2 more times this year, before the year is out. I’m looking for those big names.
What advice do you have for young fighters looking to sign with promoters? What should they look out for and be aware of?
My advice, for one: never give up. Even when it gets bad, even when it gets rough, even when you lose your first fight – never give up. Adversity should fuel your fire, it should make you want to go harder. Keep your focus, be level-headed, and just keep going and keep driving. As far as with the promoters and managers, it’s political. If you’re a money-maker, they’re gonna deal with you. If you’re not a money-maker, you have to become one… you have to become TV material. My approach is: be polite, be a gentleman, and be somebody that can kick ass too.
You were successful after two very long layoffs in your career. What advice do you have to any fighter looking to make a comeback after a long layoff?
My advice would be to stay in the gym. Stay mentally and physically in shape. Make sure your body can go those rounds. Dieting – I’m a small guy, I’m not a big eater anyway, so I can’t really give a dieting suggestion. I just stayed ready and I did a lot of sparring. I did 12 or 15 rounds just to be prepared. I sparred with junior welterweights and a middleweight to make sure I could take their punches. Just keep going hard and keep in shape and keep training.
Besides Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson, who’s the greatest boxer of all time?
Roberto Duran. I met him when I fought out in Vegas on B-hop and Roy Jones’ card. I got a pic too. He’s a great guy. He looks like a giant Super Mario brother (laughs).
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, and congrats on getting engaged – when’s the big day?
We’ve got the month – not the official date. September of next year, Cancun.
Great. Hopefully you’ll be a champion by then…
Hopefully I’ll be more than 1 by then!