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Muhammad Ali Beat Four Olympic Gold Medalists


Muhammad Ali Beat Four Olympic Gold Medalists
By: Ken Hissner

At a boxing event in Atlantic City recently top boxing judge Steve Weisfeld asked “who beat four Olympic Gold Medalists?” About 15 minutes later he told me who it was.

In the 1960 Olympic Boxing Trials Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali boxed in the heavyweight division and lost to Percy Price of the Marines. Ali was able to then drop down to Light Heavyweight and made the team and went onto win the Gold Medal in Rome, Italy.

Upon turning professional he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. During his career he would go onto defeat four Olympic Gold Medalists starting with 1952 winner Floyd Patterson, 43-4. Ali entered the ring at 21-0. It was November 22nd in 1965. Ali was making his second title defense at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Ali was well ahead when the contest was stopped in the 12th of a 15 round fight. Referee Harry Krause was one of the voting judges in addition to being the referee. He had it 53-46 while Harold Buck had it 54-45 and Bill Stremmell 53-43.

On March 8th 1971 Ali in his third comeback fight took on the world champion who won Gold in 1964 “Smokin” Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This writer had it 7-6-1 going into the 15th and final round when Frazier knocked Ali down to take the decision by scores of 8-6 in rounds from referee Arthur Mercante, 9-6 by Artie Aidala and 11-4 by Bill Recht.

On March 20th 1972 Ali and Patterson had a return match with Ali stopping him in the 7th round on cuts for the North American Boxing Federation title at Madison Square Garden. At the time of stoppage referee and judge Arthur Mercante had it 6-1, Jack Gordon 4-2 and Tony Castellano 3-3.

On January 28th of 1974 Ali had his second fight with Frazier, 30-1, for the NABF title at Madison Square Garden. Referee and judge Tony Perez had it 6-5, Tony Castellano 7-4 and Jack Gordon 8-4.

On October 30th of 1974 Ali would regain the world title for a record third time defeating then champion “Big” George Foreman, 40-0 stopping him in the 8th round in what was called “the Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire, Africa. Scores at the time of stoppage were 4-2-1 by referee and judge Zack Clayton, 3-0-4 Norridine Adalla and 4-1-2 by James Taylor.

On October 1st 1975 Ali and Frazier, 32-2, would have their third fight called “the Thrilla in Manila” where Ali stopped Frazier at the end of the 14th round.

On February 15th 1978 Ali lost his world title to 1976 Olympic Gold Medalists Leon Spinks, 6-0-1, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Lou Tabat had it 145-140, Harold Buck 144-141 for Spinks and Art Lurie 143-142 for Ali.
On September 15th 1978 in their rematch Ali re-won the title at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA, before 63,350 in attendance. Lucien Lubert had it 10-4, Ernie Cojoe 10-4 and Herman Preis 11-4.

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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.

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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.

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Philly’s Fab Four Turned Professional in 2016 and Are 23-0-1!


Philly’s Fab Four Turned Professional in 2016 and Are 23-0-1!
By: Ken Hissner

This was to be the year 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, 8-0 (7), 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 a new name on the block ran by Chris Middendorf. Top Rank Promotions were not thrilled with Dunkin’s decision and neither was this writer.

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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 hedefeated 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.

“Boots” two brothers have been pro’s first. Farah “Quiet Storm” won the NABF Super Middleweight while the oldest brother Derek “Pooh” Ennis 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, 3-0-1 (2), signed with Dunkin and Victory Promotions along with Ennis. He trains at both Marion Anderson and Bozy’s Dungeon. Aaron Ford is assisted by“Bozy” Ennis. 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.

He was to fight in Philly along with “Boots” but hurt his hand. He is now scheduled to fight January 28th in Philly. In June both boxers 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 forNovember 11th in Philadelphia at 2300 Arena meeting Corey Edwards, 2-1. “I believe Boots, Tight and Christian are all great and I believe we will all do big things in boxing,” said Jones.

Darmani “Tight” Rock, 6-0 (4), 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.

Rock is next scheduled 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.

The final one of the Fab Four is Bantamweight Christian Carto, 6-0 (6), 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’sAuto RepairShop 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 RosatiHe is managed by Jimmy Binns, Jr.of Binns Management out of Las Vegas.

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.Cartofinished 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 Sugar House 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.

Two other Philly boxers Paul Kroll won the Olympic Trials but didn’t qualify for the Olympics while Mark Dawson fought to a draw in his debut and won his first fight in the Olympic Trials but suffered a cut and wasn’t able to go onto the next round. He is with Split-T Management under David Mc Water. He’s a former 2012 Jr. National PAL, 2013 Nation Silver Gloves, 2013 National Jr. Olympics and 2015 Youth Nationals champion with 75 amateur bouts. He is 19.

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Manos de Piedra: The Life of Roberto Duran


Manos de Piedra: The Life of Roberto Duran
By: Matthew N. Becher

​From the small country of Panama came one of the greatest boxers the world has ever known. Roberto Duran was born in El Chorrillo in 1951 and would grow up to be a four division world champion and boxing hall of famer. He would forever leave an impact on the sport and put his country on the map.

​Duran turned pro in February of 1968, at the age of 16. He would win that fight, and go on to win his next 31 fights, most of which took place in his native Panama. He fought at Lightweight and in that time would make a stop, at the age of 21, to fight Ken Buchanan for the WBA lightweight title at the most famous Arena in the world, Madison Square Garden. During this fight, Duran would formally introduce himself to the world, by winning his first of many titles and showing off his incredibly punching power. The same year Duran would lose his first title and fight to Esteban De Jesus, which he would avenge two years later in a rematch.

​For the next ten years Duran would stay atop the division, Unifying titles, until he decided to move up and challenge for the WBC welterweight belt, in 1980, against the undefeated American, Sugar Ray Leonard. This would be Duran’s most famous and impressive victory, as he beat Sugar Ray up from bell to bell. Duran showed the world that his brute force and fighting style was superior to the beloved Leonard’s speed and flashiness. He would become the best fighter in the world.

​5 months later, in the rematch, Duran would be part of another famous fight, the “no mas” fight. Duran quit in the middle of the eighth round, in a fight he was losing to Leonard, by telling the ref “no mas” (no more). Many stories have been told about why Duran stopped the fight. From stomach cramps to exhaustion to just being frustrated with the style and show that Leonard was displaying that particular evening. It would haunt Duran for the rest of his life.

​Duran would win and lose some more in the 1980s, winning a title in a third division by knocking out Davey Moore for the WBA super middleweight title. In his very next fight that year (1983) Duran would lose a hard fought decision against one of the greatest Middleweights of all time, Marvelous Marvin Hagler. His next fight after that would be another loss, back down in weight against Thomas Hearn’s.

​Even in defeat, Duran was still attempting to fight the greatest fighters of the era, regardless of weight class. He cemented himself as one of the “Four Kings” of boxing, a group of fighters consisting of himself, Leonard, Hearn’s & Hagler. They were the best of the best, strewn across weight classes, all meeting in the ring to prove who the best was. Duran was the lightest, which never even entered his mind. He took each one on, and established himself as one of the best ever.

​Duran would eventually become the middleweight champion of the world by defeating the extremely talented Iran Barkley in 1989. It was Ring Magazines “Fight of the Year” and it made Duran only the 3rd fighter to ever win titles in four weight classes.

​Roberto Duran would keep fighting into the 90s, taking on fighters like Vinny Pazienza, Hector “Macho” Camacho and William Joppy. His last fight took place in 2001 against the Hall of Famer Camacho. It would be Duran’s 119th fight. A career that spanned five decades. He fought his first fight in 1968 and his last in 2001….33 years.
​The man known as “Manos de Piedra” (Hands of Stone) would compile a records of 103 wins, 16 losses and 70 of his wins coming by way of knockout. He rose from extreme poverty in his native Panama to become the first man to ever beat Sugar Ray Leonard. His legacy will always be cemented as one of the greatest fighters ever. In 1999, the Associated Press rated him as the greatest lightweight and the seventh greatest fighter of the century. Ring Magazine would later name him also as the greatest lightweight ever and the 5th best fighter of the past 80 years. Duran would be inducted into the International boxing hall of fame exactly 5 years after his retirement in 2007.

Édgar Ramírez and Robert De Niro star in HANDS OF STONE

​On August 26th, a biographical film will be released about the life of the great Roberto Duran called, fittingly enough “Hands of Stone”, Edgar Ramirez will depict the great champion, as well as Robert DeNiro as Ray Arcel and Usher Raymond as Ray Leonard. It is a film that will need to fit a lot of information into a small time frame. Fifty years of fighting and historical boxing moments. One thing is for sure, they couldn’t have picked a better figure in the sport to make a movie about.

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