Boxing Fan Expo Preview: 3 Things You Have to Check Out this Year
By Shakeria Hawkins Twitter: @ShakeriaHawkins
Mexican Independence weekend in Las Vegas is the place to be for boxing fans. This Saturday, September 15th, Box Fan Expo will be back in Las Vegas at Las Vegas Convention Center at 10am for its 4th annual event coinciding with the rematch of Canelo Alvarez and GGG Gennady Golovkin.
Box Fan Expo is the ultimate boxing fan experience, which gives boxing fans the opportunity to engage with top fighters, current and former world champions and boxing celebrities from the boxing industry in an up-close setting.
The general public tickets are still available and start at $30. With so much to see and do at the Box Fan Expo event, it can be a bit overwhelming to know exactly where to start, so we’ve put together our list of top 3 things you have to check out.
1. Box Fan Expo Invitational 2018
This is the perfect occasion to see boxing’s next megastar. Several highly-ranked and top fighters from the USA boxing amateur program will receive a special invitation to take part at the inaugural Box Fan Expo Invitational 2018.
This year’s Expo is sponsored by Mayweather Promotions and Adidas. you’re sure to find great swag! Hats, shirts, gloves and boxing equipment can always be found at the event.
3. Your favorite boxing superstars
Fighters that have already confirmed they’ll be in attendance are Errol Spence, Mickey Garcia, Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jessie Vargas, Thomas Hearns, Marco A. Barrera as well as female fighters Maricela Cornejo and Mia St. John and many more. Many boxing stars have attended the last three Expos such as Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marco Antonio Barrera, Roy Jones Jr., Marcos Maidana, Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Zab Judah, James Toney, Vinny Pazienza, Mikey Garcia , Mia St.Johns, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris , Riddick Bowe , Earnie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Abner Mares, Jorge Linares, Brandon Rios and many more.
Conor McGregor is Floyd Mayweather’s Biggest Fan
By: Kirk Jackson
The lifestyle is flashy. Luxurious cars, custom suits, jewelry, large houses, big pay days and plenty of trash talk.
Are we describing Floyd Mayweather or Conor McGregor?
Photo Credit: USA Today
It’s evident McGregor emulated the Mayweather blueprint; following the golden path to riches and is now closing in, capitalizing on millions with the conclusion of facing Mayweather in this mega-fight.
Taking in the full aspect of mental warfare; disrespecting opponents, flaunting his lifestyle and bragging about his abilities in and outside the ring/octagon.
“Conor stole the Floyd Mayweather gimmick to come out and talk about the money,” says mixed martial arts fighter and analyst Chael Sonnen, regarding Mayweather’s influence on McGregor.
“The bottom line is, he (McGregor) is exaggerating his wealth, it happens all the time.”
Many point and suggest Mayweather emulated the styles of old school wrestlers Gorgeous George, Ric Flair and egotistical persona’s of boxers like Hector “Macho” Camacho a younger Muhammad Ali.
It’s a fair argument. Mayweather however, like any true heel character, truly embodied and embellished his role as the villain.
Which of course led to more financial success
Haters and critics are actually your biggest fans. Haters waste time, energy and effort on those they hate. Whether it’s paying to see that athlete lose, or whichever the case may be, haters pay attention and drama sells.
McGregor is very intelligent and realizes this; however the hate one would think he should receive for his actions doesn’t necessarily resonate with him and the demographic he appeals to.
There’s a measure of double standards in play, as McGregor appears to be well received by most fans and media in spite of his obnoxiousness and disrespect towards opponents.
Conor has convenient complexion in this instance. One of the differences between he and Mayweather.
Observing McGregor discuss boxing tactics and technique, expanding on his favorite fighters is quite revealing.
Mentioning his admiration of Roy Jones Jr., Prince Naseem Hamed, he almost slipped up and mentioned Mayweather as well; remarking on Mayweather’s technique for working the pads while warming up.
It’s obvious McGregor studied Mayweather’s every single move, from inside the ring and out.
He wants to be Mayweather; he wants to be recognized as the best in his sport, he wants to be the highest paid athlete and he wants to transcend his sport (this fight against Mayweather is evidence).
A boxing match isn’t the end game for his level of ascension however.
Movies, television, fight promotion, various forms of entertainment is the end goal for McGregor. He is chasing Mayweather inside the ring so to speak and attempting to emulate his footsteps outside the ring.
Which brings into play an interesting dynamic analyzing this match-up of two prideful warriors.
McGregor studied Mayweather and must have some form of thought regarding his chances against the pound-for-pound boxing great.
His harsh words regarding Mayweather are hollow if he truly understands who he is facing.
Albeit Mayweather is 40-years-old and there is a chance of “Father Time” striking in this bout against Mayweather, who is two years removed from fighting.
But aside from that, McGregor knows Mayweather is a winner, well-trained, dedicated and a disciplined athlete he cannot take lightly.
It’s foolish underestimation on his part if he is taking Mayweather lightly and that’s where the similarities between the two end.
It’s likely Mayweather doesn’t view McGregor as competition inside the ring or out; although he may respect McGregor as a tough opponent and prepare as such.
Perhaps he views it as a student and teacher relationship between the two.
The student can study, learn and emulate the teacher, however ultimately the student and teacher travel different paths.
It’s a matter of if the student will fail the lesson, or will he surpass the teacher?
McGregor may talk brash, but it can be assumed he wants the crown Mayweather currently covets. The empire McGregor desperately wants to create may be at stake Saturday night depending on the result.
Mayweather and McGregor saw this fantasy match-up as a grand opportunity to capitalize on. There’s the notion from the mixed martial arts contingent (mostly McGregor fans) believing their Irish King took this fight prove he is the best fighter across all sports.
Current UFC fighter Cris Cyborg believes McGregor took the fight to show the world he is the best, although she does not believe in his chances to win against Mayweather.
“I don’t believe he will win the fight,” Cyborg said. “Mayweather will win this fight, for sure. He’s (Mayweather) at another level. But (McGregor) is brave, and he opened doors for mixed martial artists in boxing and for boxing fans to come to mma and vice versa. It will help our sport grow.”
Cyborg highlighted my point actually; emphasis on opportunity.
Because if McGregor truly wanted to fight the best boxer, he could choose an active boxer, in their physical prime.
Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Canelo Alvarez, plenty of guys to choose from.
McGregor saw a business opportunity. None of the aforementioned fighters possess the star power of Mayweather. With star power, comes opportunity, with opportunity, comes money.
There’s the possibility he can continue to ascend like the one he admires, Mayweather, or he can fizzle out like UFC contemporary Ronda Rousey.
Or who knows, perhaps he, along with UFC President Dana White can work with Mayweather at some capacity moving forward. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
Philly’s Fab Four Turned Professional in 2016 and Are 31-0-1!
Philly’s Fab Four Turned Professional in 2016 and Are 31-0-1!
By: Ken Hissner
The year was 2016 that five Philly boxers were to go to the Olympic in Brazil! The best looking prospect to come out of Philly since 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Meldrick Taylor in this writer’s opinion is Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 10-0 (8), from the Germantown section of Philly at 19. He was 58-3 in the amateurs. His father Bozy Ennis is his trainer and possibly the best in the city. Cameron Dunkin is his manager and Victory Promotions his promoter. He could have signed with Top Rank but Dunkin chose Victory Promotions promoted by Chris Middendorf. Top Rank Promotions were not thrilled with Dunkin’s decision who he usually works with.
Ennis defeated Gary Antuanne Russell in his first fight in the Olympic Trials and followed it with two more wins. Then in the box-off he lost back to back matches to Russell who was one of four men to go to the Olympics in Brazil. Bozy Ennis was not happy with the two losses but said “we beat him but they stole it. I’d give Russell the third time.”
Ennis made his professional debut in April in St. George Utah and stopped Cory Muldrew in 0:42 of the first round. He defeated Luis Ramos in 0:23 in Philly in May for his second win. In June he stopped Deshawn Debose in 0:20 of the first round in Springfield, VA, for his third win. Then in July for his third win he stopped Tavorus Teague at 1:38 of the fourth round in Rio Rancho, NM, for his fourth win.
In August in his fifth win he stopped Matt Murphy at 2:52 of the second round in Bristol, PA, for his fifth win. “Murphy had just stopped a 3-0 boxer in his previous fight,” said Ennis. He won his sixth fight when he defeated Eddie Diaz at 2300 Arena in Philly on September 15th. Diaz was from Compton, CA, one of the toughest areas in the country. Ennis is 5:10 and after competing at 141 in the amateurs he’s now a welterweight but just a couple of pounds over 141.”He’s doing pretty good defeating all the opponents he’s fought so far. Even I don’t always realize when he switches from orthodox to southpaw. After seeing him in the Diaz fight I am moving he up to 147 and no more 143 fights,” said Ennis.
“Boots” won his seventh fight on November 11th at the 2300 Arena where he stopped Chris Alexander, 4-3, in 4 rounds. Then he won his eighth fight on December 10th at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, stopping Marcus Becker, 3-4-3, in the sixth and final round. “I will be back in the ring January 28th at the 2300 Arena that my promoter Chris Middendorf of Victory Promotions is running. On January 28th “Boots’ knocked out Elvin Perez, 28-17-4, at 0:35 of the first round at the 2300 Arena. On March 31st at the 2300 Arena, Ennis won his tenth straight in a rough and tumble bout that saw him body slammed to the canvas and punched while on the mat. His opponent James “Shotgun” Winchester, 20-12, paid the price taking a vicious body attack and a cut over his right eye. He was looking to be DQ’d to prevent more of a beating but was able to stay on his feet for the entire six rounds losing 60-53 on all judge’s score cards.
“Boots” two brothers have been pro’s first. Farah “Quiet Storm”, 22-2 (12), won the NABF Super Middleweight while the oldest brother Derek “Pooh” Ennis, 24-5-1 (13), won the USBA Super welterweight and the PA Super welterweight titles. “Boots” has a combination of both brothers and then some of his own. He is orthodox but fights some of his bouts southpaw. He trains at “Bozy’s Dungeon” in North Philly run by his father over top of Harrowgate’s Boxing Club on E. Venago Street off Kensington Avenue.
In 2015 “Boots” won the National Youth title in January. In May he won the National Golden Gloves title. He took lost in the Olympic Trials in December and was asked to be an alternate but his father turned it down to turn professional. At the Olympic Trial Qualifiers in Philly he won all five bouts.
Joshua Jones, 4-0-1 (2), signed with Dunkin and Victory Promotions along with Ennis. He trains at Shuler’s Gym and is trained by Hamza Muhammad. Jones is 23 and a Super lightweight. He made his debut in April in Utah along with “Boots” stopping Jason Thompson at 2:33 of the third round.
In June of 2016 both Jones and Ennis were on the Springfield, VA, show where Jones stopped Christopher Kuhn at 1:52 of the first round. In July he fought to a majority draw with Ahmet Kayretli in Erie, PA, getting a 39-37 vote with the other two having it 38-38. “He could have done better but he certainly deserved the fight. The opponent came in at 139 and was 150 at fight time. Jones has a fight scheduled for November 11th in Philadelphia at 2300 Arena meeting Corey Edwards, 2-1.
“I believe Boots, Tight and Christian are great and I believe we will all do big things in boxing,” said Jones. He returned to the ring after four months on March 31st taking a decision over Dustin Arnold, 1-0, by scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37, at the 2300 Arena in South Philly.
Darmani “Tight” Rock, 8-0 (5), is a super heavyweight at 6:05 and averaging just under 250. He is trained by his father Wayne “Wiz”. They go between their own Rock Solid Boxing Gym at 2840 Chatman Street in Frankford section of North Philly. His promoter is Jay Z’s Roc Nation. In 2014 he won the Youth World Title in Bulgaria and in 2015 the US Nationals. He also won the 2015 National Golden Gloves. He made it as far as the Olympic Trials semi-finals.
In May Rock turned pro in D.C. stopping Carlos Black at 1:54 in round one in D.C. In June he stopped Bobby Favors who weighed 402 lbs. at 1:46 of round one in Quincy, MASS. In July he stopped Hassan Lee at 2:21 in round one in Pittsburgh. In August he won over Mike Kyle in Oakland 40-35 and a pair of 39-37’s. He is 20. In October he stopped John Orr in Winchester, VA. On November 19th in Las Vegas, NV, he defeated Brice Ritani Coe, 4-4-1, by decision, November 19th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Rock knocked out Solomon Maye, 3-7-2, January 20th at Bally’s Event Center in Atlantic City, NJ. “My dad has trained me since I started at 12 or 13. I feel that I will get better and better with each fight,” said Rock. On March 18th he won a 6 round decision over Jon Bolden, 8-10-1, at the Mountaineer Casino Ballroom, in New Cumberland, WV. At the 2300 Arena show he had his right hand bandaged which he said the injury went back to the Maye knockout.
The final one of the Fab Four is Bantamweight Christian Carto, 9-0 (9), of South Philly was an Olympic Trials Bronze medalist and went to the training camp in Colorado to help others after the trials. He is trained by Mickey Rosati, Jr. Mickey was a PA State GG champion. His gym is over his Business Rosati’s Auto Repair Shop at 1937 S. Chadwick St., in South Philly. “He is a rare breed who comes in the gym six days a week. I’ve trained him for the past 3 years. He’s a pleasure to train because he listens. He’s up to bantamweight,” said Rosati.
Carto was the 108 National Golden Gloves Champion in 2014 defeating Leroy “Lucious” Davila who was No. 1 in the nation and 4-0 now as a pro. “I was with him when he beat Davila who was the best in the country,” said Rosati. Carto finished third in the 2015 Golden Gloves. His father Frank is always there to support his son who is 20. His brother Frank, Jr. won the Novice at 141 in the Golden Gloves this year.
Carto turned pro at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA, stopping Rahkeem Parker who wouldn’t come out after three rounds. In his second bout he stopped Christopher Nelson at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City in the third round just 20 days later after his debut. In August in his third bout he stopped Jonathan Hernandez at 1:02 of the second round at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly. In his fourth bout on October 28th Carto stopped Angel Carvajal, 2-4, in the second round.
In his fifth fight on November 12th he stopped Leonardo Reyes, 5-10, in the second round. Carto has a big following which showed in his last fight with all the Carto shirts. He boxes well with good balance and is finding some punching power in the professionals. He won his sixth straight at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly on December 16th. He knocked out Harold Reyes, 2-6-1, in the second round. During the referee’s instructions to start the bout Reye’s trainer said “now you are in with a man.” Carto’s trainer Mickey Rosati said “I can’t believe he said that. That’s just not right.” After the first round of which Carto won big he pointed to the trainer of Reye’s in the corner saying something. After knocking Reye’s out in the second round Carto again pointed to the trainer with some choice words. In his seventh fight he stopped Sergio Najera, 12-28-2, of Mexico, at 2:06 of the third round at the SugarHouse Casino. In his eighth fight he stopped Rudolph “the Cutting Edge” Hedge, 10-4-3, of Jamaica after four rounds and not coming out for fifth round at the Fillmore, in Philly.
Carto on April 29th at the Liacouras Center won his 9th straight by stoppage over Samuel Gutierrez, 14-18-5 at the end of 5 in a scheduled 6.