Anthony Joshua at Final Press Conference: “I Came to Take Over”
By: Hans Themistode
Since losing his Heavyweight world titles, Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) has been given plenty of time to reflect. Six months to be exact. He has assessed what went wrong on June 1st, earlier this year against Andy Ruiz Jr (33-1, 22 KOs) and looks forward to righting what he believes should never have happened in the first place.
Joshua was given one final time before the weigh in and subsequent fight, to take a look at Andy Ruiz Jr as they hosted a press conference in Saudi Arabia.
It was your typical presser but yet, something looked odd. That peculiar image came from Joshua as he sat in his seat at the presser with no titles in front of him. It was the first time since 2016 that Joshua no longer had a championship title placed in front of him.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
It’s an unfamiliar sight, but one that he knows very well.
“It’s interesting to be on this side of the table but I’m used to this position,” said Joshua. “Even when you are champion you have to have a challenger mindset. It feels like my 16th fight so I go back to that and I’m hungry, determined and focused on the goal.”
When a once proud champion tastes defeat for the first time in his or her career, the questions always seem to surface regarding whether or not they have lost a piece of themselves in the ring. Is their desire and will to win still as prevalent as it was before? In this case, the answer is an emphatic yes.
“I didn’t lose any heart, I didn’t lose any fire in my belly. I’m actually really looking forward to it. There’s no fear in my heart, no fear in my eyes, no fear in my mind. I’m just looking forward to putting on a show and I’m confident. The focus has always been there.”
Naturally, with such a massive event, it needed a venue to match. The city of Diriyah located in Saudi Arabia has played its part in delivering on a platform that is well suited for this level of a contest.
“This is the real Mecca of boxing. We are going to turn this into something special. I went to the venue and it is perfectly designed. I said my prayers and I took the time to really embrace what is going to happen on Saturday night.”
Everything about this moment just screams special. This is after all, a Heavyweight contest between two of the best that the division has to offer with the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles up for grabs. The winner of this bout will remember being apart of history. That might be your take on it, but not for the former champion.
“It won’t be a special moment because I know I belong here. When I regain those belts, I’m going to keep calm and remain focused. It’s not a time to celebrate. I have to keep a challenger mindset and move on to the next target.”
The former champion might speak of his challenger mindset, however, make no mistake about it. He wants nothing more than to regain his spot on the Heavyweight throne.
“I never came to take part I came to take over. I’m not here to put on a show. I’m here to win.”
Philly Wars Return to Philadelphia at 2300 Arena Friday
By: Ken Hissner
J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing is well known to have Philly fighters against each other. Friday night at the 2300 Arena was no exception in South Philly. In the semi-final he had Philly super welterweights Isaiah Wise and Fred Jenkins, Jr. Coors and Parx Casino were associated sponsors. It was a very entertaining event.
Photo Credit: Peltz Boxing
In the semi-final bout Philly Super welterweight’s Isaiah Wise, 6-1 (3), of South Philly out slugged and dropped Fred Jenkins, Jr., 10-5 (3), of North Philly, twice in an all out Philly war in taking the 6 round decision.
In the first round both fighters were slugging it out when an overhand right on the top of the head from Wise dropped Jenkins. Shortly afterwards Wise again dropped Jenkins with a right hand just prior to the bell as referee Ron Bashir administered the 8 count. In the second round Jenkins came back as Wise went to the body and then the head. Though pinned against the ropes by Wise Jenkins rallied back. This is what promoter and matchmaker Peltz loves with Philly against Philly. In the third round Jenkins countered well before a right hand from Wise got his attention. Jenkins came right back with a right to the head of Wise. Jenkins came off the ropes landing a hard right to the head of Wise knocking his head back. Jenkins landed a hard left uppercut to the chin of Wise. Wise came back with a right hand that buckled the knees of Jenkins at the bell. The fans showed their appreciation at the end of the round.
In the fourth round Jenkins countered with a hard right to the chin of Wise who shook his head as if it wasn’t much. Wise came back with a right of his own stopping Jenkins in his tracks. This is an all out Philly war. Wise started dropping his hands while Jenkins took the round. In the fifth round Wise had a bloody nose but id didn’t stop him from going to war with Jenkins and rocking Jenkins with a hard right buckling his knees at the bell. In the sixth and final round Wise continued to be the aggressor while Jenkins countered. It was a Philly slugfest that the crowd loved. After Jenkins landed a right he was countered with a right by Wise who staggered Jenkins. At the bell both fighters were throwing leather as the crowd were on their feet.
Judge Rubenstein had it 60-52, Braslow 57-55 and Lundy 59-53 as did this writer.
In the Main Event Super featherweight Avery Sparrow, 8-1 (3), of North Philly, won a majority decision over former 4-time Canadian Amateur champion Joey Laviolette, 6-1 (4), of Nova Scotia, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Avery hurt Laviolette with a lead right to the mid-section making Laviolette grimace. Sparrow continued to go to the body while countering well. In the second round Sparrow continued to move around the ring outscoring Laviolette. In the third round Sparrow landed a solid left hook to the oncoming Laviolette’s chin. Laviolete keeps coming forward but seems to do more feinting than throwing. In the third round Laviolette finally started throwing punches while Sparrow welcomed the exchange. Laviolette seemed to finally get a round while Sparrow was given a warning from referee Esteves for an infraction just prior to the bell.
In the fifth round Laviolette landed a solid combination to the head of Sparrow. Sparrow continued to use the ring while Laviolette kept the chase. It was a close round with Laviolette working his way back into the fight. In the sixth round Sparrow used his jab effectively with a right hand at the end. In the seventh round Laviolete landed his best punch of the fight with a solid right hand to the chin of Sparrow. Sparrow started show boating after landing several punches. Laviolete didn’t seem impressed as he continued stalking Sparrow. In the eighth and final round Laviolete knowing he needs a knockout to win doesn’t seem to have enough left to do it. He is getting more offense from Sparrow then usual inside. Sparrow is trained by Vaughn Jackson.
Judge Dave Braslow had it a surprising 76-76 being overruled by James Kinney 79-73 and Anthony Lundy 80-72. This writer had it 78-74.
Super welterweight Elijah Vines, 5-0 (5), of South Philly, dropped Ishmael Altman, 0-1-1 (0), of Arapahoe, NC, twice causing Altman’s corner to wisely not allow him out for the second round.
In the first round of an even exchange Vines landed a crushing right hand dropping Altman. He quickly got on Altman and dropped him a second time with another right hand. At the bell Altman was tagged with a right hand and was guided back to the corner by referee Bashir. Altman’s trainer Don Turner wisely wouldn’t let his fighter out for the second round. Rev Thompson was in the corner of Vines who is managed by D&D which is Doc Nowicki and Dave Price.
In the fight of the night Welterweight Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 16-0 (10) of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, won a close decision over Dario “Macizo” Ferman, 14-3 (11), of Juarez, MEX, in an action packed 6 rounds.
In the first round at the halfway mark Rodriguez battered Ferman in the corner until Ferman managed to get out of the corner. Rodriguez rocked Ferman just prior to the bell. In the second round Ferman came fighting back in the round while Rodriguez knew he was in for a fight with the taller opponent. In the third round a war broke out with Rodriguez driving Ferman into a neutral corner until the latter slipped out of the corner. A hard right from Rodriguez drove Ferman several feet back into the ropes.
In the fourth round with both fighters taking turns being the aggressor Rodriguez landed several hard punches to the body of Ferman who acknowledged they were good punches. Just prior to the bell it was Ferman landing well to the head and body with the last punch going low at the bell with Ferman receiving a warning from referee Esteves. In the fifth round a lead right from Rodriguez got the attention of Ferman. In the sixth and final round Ferman landed a good left uppercut to the body followed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. The fight was at a fast pace with both fighters showing their skills. An overhand right to the top of the head of Rodriguez scored well but for some reason Ferman touched gloves as if it was a foul. The round was action filled with Ferman coming back well.
All 3 judge’s Rubenstein, Kinney and Braslow had it 59-55 while this writer had it 57-57.
Super middleweight southpaw Brandon Clark, 2-1 (1), of Columbus, OH, invaded Philadelphia only to run into Brandon Robinson, 6-1 (5), of Upper Darby, PA, who stopped him at 2:07 of the first round.
In the first round Robinson made first contact with a lead overhand right to the chin of Clark. Robinson continued to chase Clark and dropped him with a solid right to the chin. Quickly following up Robinson again dropped Clark with a right to the chin. As he hit the canvas for the second time referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. wisely immediately waved it off.
Super lightweight southpaw PR Victor Padilla, 4-0 (4), of Berlin, NJ, knocked out Javier Garcia, 8-16-1, of Gurabo, PR, now out of Philly, at 2:59 of the first round.
In the first round Padilla rocked Garcia with a right hook to the head. On at least two other occasions he rocked Garcia. Just seconds prior to the bell a left hand knocked out Garcia. No needed for a count from referee Bashir. “Chino” Rivas worked the corner of Padilla.
Welterweight Haitian Osnel Charles, 11-18-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ, was knocked out by Marcel Rivers, 3-0 (2), of Philly, at 1:41 of the fourth and final round.
In the opening round Charles seemed to have an edge over Rivers who at welterweight has dropped down a division. In the second round Charles landed a hard right but was countered well by a right from Rivers. Charles may have done enough to take the round.
In the third round with urging from his trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr. Rivers became more aggressive. The round turned into a slugfest with Rivers coming back to take the round. In the fourth and final round Rivers rocked Charles and followed up with a straight right to the chin of Charles knocking him out! There was no need for referee Esteves to give a count Charles was on the canvas for some time being administered by the ring physician.
Lightweight South Korean Jae Ho Kim, 6-5-1 (2), of Philly, lost a majority decision to southpaw Vinnie Denierio, 2-2 (1), of Elmira, NY,
In the first round Kim chased throwing wild punches while southpaw Denierio countered. No feeling out in this one. In the second round both boxers gave a workmanlike performance for the fans. Denierio’s landing at a higher rate than Kim who never keeps coming forward. Referee Bashir has warned Denierio twice for infractions. The last two rounds were similar to the first two with Denierio doing a little more than Kim.
In the walkout bout former amateur star Omar Kabary Salem, 1-0 (0), won his debut over Philly debut boxer Leon DeShields, 0-1 (0), over 4 rounds scoring one knockdown. He looks like a real prospect.
Salem dropped DeShields once in the second round. He looked like he was going to stop DeShields but the latter showed a lot of heart to hang in there until the end of the 4 rounds.
Salem was being cheered by a group of Brooklyn fans. All 3 judges Alan Rubenstein, James Kinney and Dave Braslow along with this writer had it 40-35.
Salem is trained by his father a former world title challenger known as the “Egyptian Magician”. His son was on the Egyptian Olympic team.
The ring announcer Steve Mittman did a fine job during an intermission introducing one of Philly’s most popular fighters in the past Randall “Tex” Cobb. No. 1 WBO contender Jesse “Hardwork” Hart was also introduced with his title challenge coming up on September 22nd.
ShoBox Results: Miller and Menard Win Convincingly, Eyubov and Nieves in Close Bouts
ShoBox Results: Miller and Menard Win Convincingly, Eyubov and Nieves in Close Bouts
By: William Holmes
Tonight’s edition of ShoBox The New Generation was broadcast from Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, New York and featured a heavyweight bout between prospect Jerrell Miller and Fred Kassi (18-5-1) in the main event of the evening.
Bakhtiyar Eyubov (10-0) met Karim Mayfield (19-3-1) in the opening bout of the night in the welterweight division.
Eyubov has knocked out all of his opponents and has never gone past the third round, while Mayfield has lost three of his last four fights but he has faced some top notch competition.
Eyubov comes out to try to touch gloves but Mayfield instead cracks him in the face with a straight right hand and came out firing. Eyubov was able to momentarily slow down Mayfield with a straight right counter, but Mayfield came right back out firing. Eyubov began to turn the tide of the first round in his favor after landing a hard left hand followed by a right that stunned Mayfield. Eyubov ended the opening round throwing wild punches.
Mayfield tried to crowd Eyubov in the second round and threw a high number of punches, but Eyubov was able to mix up his combinations to the body and had Mayfield’s mouth open wide by the end of the round.
Mayfield had a much better third round and at times was moving Eyubov backwards. Eyubov appeared to be losing steam as the round progressed and Mayfield looked more confident. By the fourth round Eyubov looked like he no longer had the power advantage and Mayfield was throwing and landing significantly more combinations.
Mayfield was counter punching was crisp in the opening half of the fifth round, but Eyubov was effective to the body in the later stages of the round. Eyubov did well in the sixth round by dancing and landing quick pop shots on Mayfield, but the seventh round could have gone either way as both boxers landed hard power shots.
The eighth round was similar to the previous, with Eyubov pressing forward ripping hooks to the body and Mayfield landing counter combinations. Eyubov was deducted a point in the eighth for a low blow.
The final two rounds could have been scored for either boxer, but Eyubov was the aggressor and never stopped coming in.
The bout was close and the judges scored it 95-94 Mayfield and 95-94 on the other two cards for Eyubov.
Bantamweight Antonio Nieves (16-0-1) faced Alejandro Santiago (11-2-1) in the second bout of the night.
Santiago has fought most of his career below the bantamweight limit and the size advantage for Nieves was evident from the start.
Nieves threw mainly jabs in the first round and was able to touch Santiago from the outside, but he didn’t press forward to try to use his size to his advantage. Santiago countered well in the second round and displayed some surprisingly quick hands in the third round, but Santiago was occasionally hit with a lead jab cross combination.
Santiago had a good fourth round by countering Nieves after he threw his shots, but Nieves looked like he switched tactics in the fifth by re-focusing on his jab. Nieves did have a cut open above his right eye in the fifth.
Nieves tried to trap Santiago in the sixth round but Santiago was able to move out of the way before Nieves could land any significant combinations of note, and when Nieves did land a combination Santiago would answer with his own.
By the seventh round Santiago had landed ten more punches, but neither boxer was landing hard shots that hurt their target.
Santiago made a strong case for himself in the eighth round by turning Nieves and by popping in and out with sharp combinations. Santiago also surprisingly hurt Nieves in the ninth round despite the fact he only has three stoppages to his resume.
The final round was also close and tough to score, like most of the rounds before it.
The final scores were 96-94 Nieves, 96-94 Santiago, and 95-95 for a split draw.
The next bout of the night was between Mason Menard (31-1) and Bahodir Mamadjonov (18-2) in the lightweight division.
Mamadjonov fought out of a southpaw stance and Menard fought out of an orthodox stance. Menard was the longer boxer and pressing forward, while Mamadjonov was able to land good body shots and left hooks in the first round.
Both boxers were stepping on each other’s feet in the second round, but Mamadjonov looked to be able to control the distance better and was more effective with laying traps for his opponent.
Mamadjonov was looking stronger in the middle rounds and opened up a cut over Menard’s left eye in the fourth round. Mamadjonov focused on that eye in the fifth and sixth rounds and just looked like the more experienced boxer.
Menard had a huge seventh round when he scored two knockdowns. The first one was from a double right hand on Mamadjonov by the corner that sent him down, and later with a body shot that forced Mamadjonov to touch the canvas with his gloves.
Mamadjonov may have won the eighth round and recovered nicely from the two knockdowns in the previous round, but Menard was pressing the action. Menard rocked Mamadjonov in the ninth round with a hard straight right hand and pounded on him by the ropes. Mamadjonov went out on his feet and collapsed to the floor when the referee stepped in between them. The referee immediately stopped the fight when he fell to the floor.
Mason Menard with another big knockout at 2:26 of the ninth round.
The main event was between undefeated Jarrell Miller (17-0-1) and veteran contender Fred Kassi (18-5-1) in the heavyweight division.
Kassi came in several pounds overweight than his usual fighting weight and he was tentative in the opening frame. Miller was able to block most of Kassi’s punches and kept walking forward lookingfor the perfect opportunity. Miller ended the round by digging some hooks into the body.
Miller was clearly not afraid of Kassi’s power in the third round and at times he seemed like he was willingly taking punches to his head in order to land one punch in return. He did have Kassi hurt with body shots in the second.
Miller had Kassi hurt in the third round with a right hand to the temple followed up with a barrage of digging hooks to the head and body. Kassi looked like he was close to hitting the mat, but didn’t go down.
Kassi refused to come out for the fourth round due to an injured right hand. Jarrell Miller remains undefeated with the technical knockout.