Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Perez Squeaks By Lopez, Ellis Defeats Sosa
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Perez Squeaks By Lopez, Ellis Defeats Sosa
By: William Holmes
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions televised a card from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on ESPN Networks.
ESPN used to televised Friday Night Fights until Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions came along. However, ESPN appears to have stopped televising PBC events and the PBC has since taken over.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions Photos
Eddie Gomez (20-2) faced Dennis Dauti (14-2) in the welterweight division.
Gomez is from nearby Bronx, New York and was once considered by many to be a high level prospect but two losses to Rashidi Ellis and Francisco Santana has since damaged his stock.
Gomez had a tougher bout than expected against Dauti, but he showed that he’s still a good technician and won the decision with scores of 79-73, 77-74, and 77-74.
The co-main event of the night was between Rashidi Ellis (18-0) and John Karl Sosa (13-3) in the welterweight division.
Sosa started the bout off aggressively and was throwing wild punches, but he was unable to find his target. Ellis remained calm and was able to use his hand speed and elusive movement to keep Sosa uncomfortable and landing clean quick shots.
Sosa was able to hurt Ellis in the second round which forced Ellis to hold on, but Ellis was able to recover by the third round and take over the fight. Ellis was in control in the middle rounds but he did have a brief scare in the eighth round from hard uppercuts. Ellis however showed he was willing to change power shots with Sosa in the ninth and did enough in the tenth to likely win the final round.
Ellis won the majority decision with scores of 95-95 and 97-93 on the remaining two cards.
The main event of the evening was between Michael Perez (25-2-2) and Marcelino Lopez (32-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.
Perez was landing the cleaner punches in the early parts of the fight but Lopez was the aggressor and was pressing the pace. Perez did better work when Lopez was in tight, but Lopez was clearly the more aggressive fighter.
Perez was taking some hard shots in the final moments of the fourth round and Lopez continued to land hard blows in the fifth round. Perez went back to sticking and moving in the sixth round and was able to keep Lopez off balance.
Lopez connected with a beautiful left hook in the eighth round that sent Perez to the mat. Perez was able to beat the count and recover, but by the ninth round his right eye was damaged and had a cut above it.
Lopez was the more aggressive boxer and landed the harder shots, but Perez showed more movement and defensive ability.
It was a close bout that could have been scored either way, but the judges scored it 96-93 for Lopez, and 97-92 and 96-93 for Perez.
The Cuban Heavyweights Professional and Amateur!
The Cuban Heavyweights Professional and Amateur!
By: Ken Hissner
TEOFILO STEVENSON was 6:03 andin 1972, 1976 and 1980 won Olympic Gold Medals.He won World Gold Medals in 1974, 76 and 1980. He won Pan Am Gold in 1975 beat future WBA championMichael Dokes, 79 and a Bronze in 1971. He stopped Duane Bobickin 1972 after losing to him in 1971. He won the Val Barker Trophy in 1972. In 1976 he KO1 John Tate, future WBA champion andin 1981 defeated Jimmy Clark 1978 twice and in 1980 once and in 1982 he lost tofuture WBO champion Francesco Damiani. In 1984 he defeated future 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyrell Biggs and in 1986 beat Alex Garcia. He also defeated future WBA champion Tony Tubbs, Marvin Stinson and Phillip Brown. Stevenson was awarded the Merited Master of Sport of the USSR in 1972, 1976 and 1980. He is the only boxer to have received this. He died in June of 2012 at age 60 from heart failure.
FELIX SAVON was 6:00 and in 1992, 96 and 2000 won Olympic Gold Medals as a heavyweight. In Pan Am Games in 1987, 1991 and 1995he won Gold Medals. He won4 Central American& Caribbean Games and 4 World Cups. He was 362-21 with all losses avenged. He defeated RuslanChagaev twice. He KO’d DaVarryl Williamson. In 2000 Olympics he defeated Michael Bennett and retired at age 33. He won 6 world championships and aSilver Medal. He defeated Danell Nicholson and David Izon in 1992 Olympics. In 1996 he defeated Georgi Kandelak, Luan Krasniqi and David Defiagbon. In 2000 he defeated Michael Bennett, Sebastian Kober and Sultan Ibragimov. He defeated in Pan Am Games Michael Bentt, Shannon Briggs and Lamon Brewster. He is 67.
ALEXIS RUBALCABA was 6:08 and in 1999 he wonthe Pan Am Gold Medal. He representedCuba in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics at Super heavyweight. In 1997 World Games he won a Silver Medal. He is 44.
JORGE LUIS GONZALEZ at 6:07 was 31-8 as a professional. In 1983 won Pam Am Gold. He defeated Tyrell Bigss. In 1987 he won Pan Am Gold defeating Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis. In 1987 North American Championships he lost to Lewis.
ROBERT BALADO was 6:00 and was the 1992 Olympics super heavyweight Gold Medalist defeating Larry Donald and Brian Nielsen. He was World Championship Gold Medalist in 1989, 1991 and 1993. He was Pan Am Games Gold Medalist in 1991. He died in 1994 at age 25 in car accident.
JULIO CARLOS “BLACK PANTHER” GOMEZ was 6:03 1/2 and was the WBC cruiserweight champion and finishing at 55-4-1nc (39). He had 10 successful title defenses and moved up to heavyweight fighting twice with former heavyweight champion Oliver McCall winning the first which got reversed to NC but winning the second. He lost to VitaliKlitschko for the WBC heavyweight title and moved back to cruiser. He was 158-12 as an amateur and moved to Germany as a professional. He reversed 2 of his losses as a professional.
MIKE “THE REBEL” PEREZ at 6:01 won the World Junior championship in 2004. In 2007 he defeated Louis Ortiz in the Cuban National championships but lost to Osmay Acosta in the final. In 2007 he defected to Cork, IRE. He was 21-2-1 (13) as a professional finishing up in 2015 losing to Alexander Povetkin for the WBC Silver title at age 30.
ODLANIER SOLIS FONTEat 6:01 ½ was 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist defeating Sultan Ibragimov and David Haye. He won 3 consecutive World Championships in 2001, 03 and 05. In 1999 he defeated Felix Savon for the Cuban title and took 2 of 3 from him. He won the 1999 and 2003 Pan Am Games Gold Medals. His amateur record was 227-14. He is 22-3 (14) as a professional losing to WBC champion VitaliKlitschko in 2011. He won the WBC International, IBF Inter-Continental and the WBA Fedelatin titles. He is 36 and lives in North Miami, FL.
YANQUI DIAZ at 6:04 in 2002 came to Mexico and then Las Vegas, NV, and won 13 of his first 14 fights stopping Juan Carlos Gomez and defeating Vaughn Bean while losing to Tony Thompson. Then in 2005 and 2006 losses to Samuel Peter and Kirk Johnson followed by a pair of nc’s before losing to Damian Wills and Oliver McCall retiring at 30 the end of 2006 with a 13-5 (8) record.
ERISLANDY SAVON the nephew of Felix Salon in 2016 was Olympian Bronze Medalist. He won the Pan Am Games in 2015 and a Silver in the World championships. He won the World Junior championships in 2008. At the National Championships he lost in semi-final by DQ to Osmay Acosta. He is 26.
OSMAY ACOSTA DUARTE won the 2007 Pan Am Games Gold Medal and was the 2008 Olympic heavyweight Bronze Medalist. In 2009 he was the Silver Medalist in the World Amateur championships. At the 2006 National Senior championships he lost to Odlanier Solis at super heavyweight and dropped back to heavyweight winning the Central American Games. He qualified for Beijing in an Olympic qualifier defeating current WBC champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder. He retired in 2009 after finishing with a Silver Medal in the World Amateur championships at age 24.
LOUIS “KING KONG” ORTIZ at 6:04 was 343-19 as an amateur. In 2005 he won the PAN AM championships. In 2010 he came to Miami, FL, and won 5 minor titles as a professional in 2010 the FECARBOX, 2011 the Fedelatin, in 2012 the Inter-American, WBC and WBO Latino titles. In 2015 he won the interim WBA World title. He is currently 27-0-2 nc’s (23). He is the current No. 1 WBA, No. 2 WBC and No. 6 IBF contender at 37 turning 38 this month.
NANCIO CARRILLO represented Cuba in the 1968 Olympics losing in the first round to East German Bernd Anders.
Other Cuban heavyweight professionals: Nino Valdez, 48-18-3 (36), OmelioAgramonte, 50-21 (32), Federico Malibran, 34-22-1 (25), Antolin Fierro, 8-8 (8), Santiago Esparraguera, 46-21-4 (42), RoleauxSaguero, 25-21-1 (23), Goyito Rico, 28-12-1 (25), Young John Herrera, 42-22-3 (28) and trained Stevenson, Elieser Castillo, 30-7-2 (17), Julio Mederos, 21-19-3 (14) who was managed by Jake LaMottaand Jose Ribalta, 38-1-1 (27), 55-8 (26) as an amateur in Cuba.
Pro Debut Delayed For Aspiring World Champion: Interview with Dalia “La Pantera” Gomez
Pro Debut Delayed For Aspiring World Champion: Interview with Dalia “La Pantera” Gomez
By: Ron Scarfone
Promoter Blanca Gutierrez is known for her Beautiful Brawlers all-female amateur tournaments. Gutierrez wanted to use the experience she gained to promote all-female pro boxing events as well. Her first pro boxing event would have been on December 3rd in Pacifica, California. However, illness and injury to a few of the boxers forced the fight card to be postponed. One fight had already been cancelled due to one boxer being sick, so only four fights remained on the card. Gutierrez assured me that the event would continue because I had made plans to cover the event. I was on an airplane about 35,000 feet in the air when I received a text message from Gutierrez that two boxers got hurt. The event was going to be postponed for a few months. However, I did get to meet Gutierrez and a few of the boxers such as Dalia Gomez.
Former world champions Melissa McMorrow and Martha Salazar were scheduled on the card as well as Gomez who was going to make her pro debut against Samantha Salazar (no relation to Martha Salazar). Gomez competed in the Beautiful Brawlers amateur event and also fought in other amateur tournaments. Gomez works at the East Oakland Boxing Association (EOBA). Gomez is known as “Coach G” at the EOBA. According to the EOBA website, Gomez was awarded a basketball scholarship to attend The Evergreen State College and is the first to graduate from her family. In the women’s basketball team records for the college, Gomez is one of the leaders in steals and averaged two steals per game from 2004-2006. Gomez is also tied for fifth in steals in a game with 6 steals which she achieved twice. I watched a few videos on YouTube of Gomez being interviewed. Gomez talked about organic gardening in one of the videos. Gomez looks younger than her 34 years of age, but she has gained wisdom from her life experiences which have made her the person that she is today. I met Gomez at the Babyface Boxing Gym in Pacifica, California which is owned by Gutierrez. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Below is a transcript of our conversation.
Boxing Insider: How long were you an amateur boxer?
Dalia Gomez: Four years straight. About twelve years ago, I did fight for a couple of months just because I was on a break from my basketball scholarship. My first fight was actually against Queen Underwood who was an Olympian. I have been pretty much sparring for the last four years. I just won the Beautiful Brawlers and I won an international championship in Puerto Rico. I won the Golden Gloves.
Boxing Insider: You were at the Golden Gloves last year?
Dalia Gomez: Yeah, 2015.
Boxing Insider: In Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
Dalia Gomez: Yes, I was there, but I didn’t win that one. I did okay, but I didn’t win the split decision. I won the California State Golden Gloves.
Boxing Insider: When you won the California one, you qualified for the national one in Fort Lauderdale.
Dalia Gomez: Right. I didn’t have a coach. Everything happened these last four years. I trained myself until I finally found my pro coach who actually was training me for the last two or three fights and I have not lost with him. I definitely love his passion and his support.
Boxing Insider: So when you went to the amateur events, you didn’t have a cornerman?
Dalia Gomez: I did. Sometimes, Martha (Salazar) would help me or other coaches. When I went to the Olympic qualifiers, they helped me for a month, but they were always focused with their own fighters. I was pretty much training by myself. When I could, I would come to Babyface (Boxing Gym). Thankfully, Blanca (Gutierrez) always has an open door for me. I call Martha Salazar my tia (aunt in Spanish) of boxing. She is a dear friend to me now, somebody who I can look up to and call if I ever need anything. I’m definitely thankful that now I have a coach. I just work hard every day. I’m doing everything I can to make this pro debut happen.
Boxing Insider: I’m sure you are disappointed with the postponement of it.
Dalia Gomez: Yeah, I’m very disappointed because I’m not a spring chicken, so this is my last hurrah where I feel like this is something very important to me to get off my bucket list as a strong, athletic woman, somebody who has been playing sports all her life. I’m getting a little impatient, but I have to trust the universe that everything is happening for a reason. I feel like today was supposed to be my first win (as a pro), although I respect my opponent (Samantha Salazar) and she has five fights, so she has more experience as a pro in the ring than me, but we were definitely looking to take advantage of this opportunity. I was looking to win.
Boxing Insider: What weight were you going to be for this fight?
Dalia Gomez: 120 (pounds).
Boxing Insider: Super bantamweight. How many years do you plan on being a pro?
Dalia Gomez: I think three or four years, max four years, because I would be 38 (years of age). I do want to (eventually) settle down and have a regular job, just live a comfortable life. I do have a (college) degree, so I want to dedicate the next three years to just fight consistently. I’m the type of person, it doesn’t matter what name you throw out there, I will fight. I don’t know if that is just all women that are fighters that are not afraid to fight anybody. Yes, I do want to play the game and protect my record, but I think that I’m too old to be scared about anybody. It’s not about me calling out people, but I’m down. If I do what I am supposed to do and all the talent that I have, then I can win almost every fight. My coach always says “You got it, you do it.” You’ve got to believe in yourself. It’s so simple, but it is profound. Your mental and your heart which is your physical have to work in unison. That’s something that we’ve been working on in this camp. Physically, I was great. I’ve been knocking some sparring partners around with my power. If I freeze up, that’s not going to work. Just like anything in life, if you freeze up, you don’t make decisions, you don’t move forward, you are just stagnant. My opponent wasn’t going to be Sammy Salazar. My opponent was myself. I was going to give myself that win.
Boxing Insider: Do you have any aspirations to become a world champion?
Dalia Gomez: Yes, no doubt. I am lucky that in women’s sports, you are able to have that opportunity a lot faster than men. I am willing to do whatever. I am down to fight whoever, but also I think that you have to still play the game. I might have to maybe say no to certain fights and listen to my coach here and there, but in the end still, I just want to fight.
Boxing Insider: To get up to a world title fight, you know you have to fight 10 rounds, 2 minutes each.
Dalia Gomez: I’ve sparred 10 rounds before.
Boxing Insider: I’m not saying you are not capable of doing it. I know that the boxing commissions like the California State Athletic Commission want a gradual progression, like go from 4 rounds to 6 to 8 to 10. If you go from 6 to 10, they have to give special permission. Regarding the time that you have available, you want to get those fights that are increasing in rounds gradually from year to year so that you can be able to qualify for a 10 round fight.
Dalia Gomez: That’s something that I want to talk to my coach about. I’ll mention it to Blanca (Gutierrez) if she is willing to help as well. If it played out right, 2017 would be 4 rounders and maybe the last one (next year) would be 6. Maybe the beginning of 2018, 6. If we could push it that way, I will. I’m open to any way we want to chase to the world championship belt. We’ll see what happens.
Boxing Insider: Do you want a belt in particular? Does it have to be from a major sanctioning body or can it be from one of the lesser known ones?
Dalia Gomez: I’m open to anything because exposure is exposure. My thing is to be able to also expose the program that I support and work at which is East Oakland Boxing Association. It is a youth program that offers more than boxing which I’m definitely proud of because it sets us apart from other boxing gyms (like) helping kids with homework, all these other things. You can check our website out (eoba.org). The green (WBC) belt would be awesome, of course. That’s the monster belt that everybody wants. As a Mexican, I would love to fight in Mexico. I really would like to fight in Guadalajara, Jalisco where my dad is from. I’m open for anything, any opportunity to just do great and make anybody proud, I’m hoping for that. Everybody wants the best.
Boxing Insider: Yeah, but why do you think the WBC belt is the most desirable?
Dalia Gomez: Who knows? It is what it is. It’s got the hype. It’s up there. They have the backing. They have the money.
Boxing Insider: The sponsors, the television.
Dalia Gomez: Correct.
Boxing Insider: Regarding what happened with Martha (Salazar) and Melissa (McMorrow), going to Mexico and losing by probably biased decisions, do you think about those things? Of course, you want to go to Mexico and fight there for a world title, but do you think about whether you will be given a fair shot?
Dalia Gomez: I feel, which is surprising to me because this is the way I felt about Martha (Salazar) because of her personality and her heart, but I feel like I can get the love that (Oscar) De La Hoya gets who is from East L.A. (East Los Angeles, California), Southern California. I’m originally from Oxnard (a city in Southern California). I used to live in Mexico for four years. I used to play for a semi-pro basketball team in Guadalajara, Jalisco. I feel like people will be able to reach and touch my passion and respect for my people. This is still Alta California which was Mexico. (Writer’s Note: In 1521, Spanish forces led by conquistador Hernan Cortes captured the capital of the Aztec empire which was called Tenochtitlan. The land was named California and was divided into Alta California which was Upper California and Baja California which was Lower California. Alta California was a colony of New Spain. Many people did not like Spanish rule and unfair laws that gave power to wealthy people from Spain. As a result, The Mexican War of Independence began in 1810. The war lasted for about a decade and Mexico gained its independence in 1821. Alta California accepted Mexican rule and became a province of Mexico in 1822. United States President James K. Polk’s expansionist policy of manifest destiny was based on the belief that the U.S. was destined to spread and expand across the North American continent to the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. wanted to buy Alta California, but Mexico refused to sell it. Consequently, the Mexican-American War began in 1846. In 1848, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed which ended the war and Alta California was ceded by Mexico to the United States. California became a state of the U.S. in 1850. Baja California is now part of Mexico.) I feel like once people understand that I respect and love my culture, my passion for the warrior within us, I think that I don’t have to worry. If I fight my fight, I will win and I won’t have to worry about the judges. That’s where that mental practice, that mental training will have to continue into play because if I think about the fights that Melissa had gotten robbed or Martha had gotten robbed, then that’s not going to help me. I cannot think about that.
Boxing Insider: When did you fight Queen Underwood?
Dalia Gomez: I was 21 years old.
Boxing Insider: What tournament was it?
Dalia Gomez: It was just a regular show, like a random little show. I started boxing because I lost my basketball scholarship because I made a mistake. The coach kicked me off the team. I was very sad because I was going to be the first to graduate (college) in my family. I was, by the way, because I got my scholarship back because I proved to her that I could be responsible. To stay in shape, I was working at the YMCA. I saw this boxing coach upstairs, but I didn’t respect boxing at the time. I went to him two or three times a week. I was young and the coach said “Do you want to fight?” I said “Sure.” I used to get into fights when I was a kid, so I thought I could do this. You can’t play boxing. I realized this as soon as the first round. My legs felt like Jell-O. I couldn’t defend myself and she just went 1-2-1-2. She had two years of experience. I had like two or three months of experience. At the time, they just said “You’re a girl, you’re a girl, about the same weight, fight.” Now, they would not put us together.
Boxing Insider: Did they put you two together because back then they didn’t have as much talent?
Dalia Gomez: No (other) girls and I happened to be in the same weight class at that time.
Boxing Insider: I see. Does Queen Underwood still fight?
Dalia Gomez: I think she is going to turn pro. She wasn’t in the 2016 Olympics. Only in the 2012 Olympics.
Boxing Insider: What is your job at the East Oakland Boxing Association?
Dalia Gomez: I’m the head USA Boxing coach and I’m also a Care Coach. I Care Coach five kids. I basically mentor them, help them get through the school year. I’m basically a counselor, like a high school counselor.
Boxing Insider: Is it a school?
Dalia Gomez: No. It is an after school program. It started as a boxing gym. Then, they opened different activities for the kids. If it wasn’t for boxing, we wouldn’t have all these other activities for the kids.
Boxing Insider: Do you eat organic food all the time?
Dalia Gomez: I try to, but it’s hard. It gets expensive. I grew up eating really well. (With) my dad, our fun meal was eating a lot of fruit. Maybe like the cantaloupe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but we were always loving fruit. I love my garlic and my onions.
Boxing Insider: And you have your own garden?
Dalia Gomez: At the East Oakland Boxing Association, we do. I don’t have a garden. I need to learn. I’m not a green thumb like my dad or my uncles. Maybe with time because it requires time. You have to take care of them. You have to water them.
Boxing Insider: Yeah. They grow weeds, so you’ve got to pull them out.
Dalia Gomez: (laughs) Yeah.
Gatti vs. Gomez: The Thunder’s Last Rumble
Gatti vs. Gomez: The Thunder’s Last Rumble
By: Ron Scarfone
In June 2003, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti and “Irish” Micky Ward completed their trilogy of three consecutive fights. Ward won by majority decision in the first fight. Gatti won the second and third fights by unanimous decision. The first and third fights won Fight of the Year honors. Ward announced his retirement after their third fight. However, Gatti remained active and won the vacant WBC super lightweight title which has a 140 pound weight limit.
Gatti successfully defended his title twice, but lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his third title defense. For his next fight, Gatti moved up to the welterweight division and won the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) welterweight title, but lost to Carlos Baldomir in his first title defense. Baldomir was the WBC welterweight champion, so his title was also at stake. Baldomir retained his WBC title and obtained the IBA title after defeating Gatti by TKO. Gatti was knocked down twice in the ninth round and the fight was stopped. Gatti was IBF super featherweight champion and WBC super lightweight champion in his career. Once Gatti moved up to welterweight, he could only win the lightly regarded IBA welterweight title. Nearly a year after Gatti fought Baldomir, Gatti was scheduled to fight Alfonso Gomez on July 14, 2007. This was a non-title bout in the welterweight division. Gomez is best known for being a contestant on the first season of The Contender television show.
At the time, I was working for the original Boxing Tribune website as an editor, writer, and videographer. The owner of the website asked me if I would make a video of Gatti training in Pompano Beach, Florida at Sultan Ibragimov’s gym. Ibragimov was the WBO heavyweight champion and had won the title in June 2007 against Shannon Briggs. I did get to meet Ibragimov a few months later and record his workout on video when he was preparing for his first title defense against Evander Holyfield. When I previously made videos of boxers in training, I just asked the boxer, his trainer, or his manager if I was allowed to. I found out that Micky Ward was training Gatti for this fight. Ward and Gatti were friends after their famous trilogy of fights. I was able to obtain Ward’s phone number and called him. I asked Ward if he would allow me to bring my digital camera and make a video of Gatti training. Ward told me that it would be okay with him if Gatti’s promoter said it was okay. I then called Main Events which was the promotional company for the fight and Gatti’s promoter. I talked to a woman and I assume it was Main Events promoter Kathy Duva, but I didn’t ask. I just asked if I could have permission to make a video of Gatti. She said if it was okay with Ward, then it would be okay. I told her that Ward said it was okay if Main Events said it was okay. She reiterated that if Ward said it is okay, then it is okay. Neither Ward nor Main Events wanted to make the final decision. I decided that I would go to the gym and tell Ward that they said it was okay, but not refer to who “they” are.
I knew what time the training was supposed to begin, but arrived at the gym earlier before anyone else. The gym was in a warehouse next to other warehouses of the same building. I assumed that Ibragimov and the other businesses there were paying rent. I saw a car park in front of the gym. Ward got out of the car and someone else did too. I stared at this person because I remembered that I saw him before, but I forgot who he was and where I saw him. He looked at me watching him, so I approached him. “You look familiar,” I said. “I’m Jeff Fraza,” he replied. I immediately remembered where I saw him before. Fraza was a contestant on the first season of The Contender television show in 2005. Gomez was also on the show during that time. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “I’m Arturo’s sparring partner,” Fraza said. Is it possible that Fraza was chosen as a sparring partner because of being on The Contender show? Did he have some inside information about Gomez? That probably was not the reason. Fraza was on the show only briefly and had to leave early due to having chicken pox. However, Fraza did return for the second season of The Contender in 2006. I believe Fraza was chosen to be Gatti’s sparring partner because he was a friend of Ward. Both Ward and Fraza were from the state of Massachusetts.
An African-American man was overseeing Ibragimov’s gym and he came to unlock the door. It was a small gym, but it had a ring and a speed bag. A large teardrop punching bag was suspended over the center of the ring. It looked like a wrecking ball. This type of bag can be used for punching and kicking. Gatti arrived shortly after the gym was opened. I took my digital camera out of my bag and talked to Ward. “They said it was okay,” I said. “Okay,” Ward said. Gatti put on a sweat suit. This is also known as a sauna suit. It helps athletes to lose water weight and also to increase their metabolic rate which stimulates the body to burn more fat. Gatti began jumping rope while wearing the sweat suit, so I recorded Gatti on video. Ward saw me and told me not to record while Gatti was wearing the sweat suit.
Obviously, Ward did not want Gomez to know that Gatti was having trouble making weight. I deleted the video and waited until Gatti removed the sweat suit. After several minutes of Gatti jumping rope, he removed the sweat suit and then he resumed jumping rope. I began recording the video of Gatti using the jump rope for a few minutes. Gatti then entered the ring. Gatti punched the large teardrop bag which was hovering over the ring. One time though, Gatti did a front kick to the bottom of the bag. Ward jokingly said “UFC” and then the African-American man also jokingly said “K-1.” K-1 combines martial arts such as karate, kung fu, taekwondo, Muay Thai, and kickboxing. K-1 fights take place in a ring and the fighters wear gloves similar to boxing gloves.
After Gatti was finished punching the teardrop bag, Ward entered the ring and put on focus mitts. It was interesting to see Gatti and Ward in the ring together again, but not as opponents of each other. Gatti punched the focus mitts worn by Ward. After this part of the training, Gatti punched the speed bag. I stood near Gatti and recorded him with my camera as he was training with the speed bag for a few rounds. Gatti briefly glanced at me while he was punching the speed bag and then he focused his attention on the bag. Gatti still had more training to do after this session. I was wondering when he was going to spar Fraza and if I could record that on video. Apparently, Gatti was going to spar Fraza later in the day. Nevertheless, Gatti did not want me to record him sparring Fraza. This was understandable, especially because he did not want to reveal any strategy before his upcoming fight against Gomez.
However, Gatti did offer to let me record him doing weight training at another gym. I politely declined because I was eager to edit the footage I already had. As I predicted, Gatti’s training video was very popular with boxing fans and the original Boxing Tribune website got a lot more views as a result. The website no longer exists, so the video is not available for the public to view.
I did not think Gatti’s fight against Gomez would be his last fight, but I did not expect Gatti to win. His training session was not grueling and he was wearing a sweat suit for part of the training in order to lose weight. If he was having trouble making weight, then that could affect his strength and punching power in the fight. Also, Gatti’s performance in his previous fight was a sign that Gatti’s skills were in decline. When Gatti was knocked down twice and lost to Baldomir who had nine losses on his record, that was reason to believe that Gatti was not as good at welterweight. The loss to Baldomir was only a year before his fight against Gomez. Gomez was not an elite boxer, but he had skills and only had three losses on his record which were all close losses by unanimous decision. Furthermore, Gomez was a super welterweight in his previous few fights before facing Gatti. Gomez was coming down to welterweight for this fight, but Gomez was a welterweight earlier in his career and seemed to do equally well in both weight classes and even fought at middleweight a few times when he was on the first season of The Contender. Gatti was at a disadvantage against an opponent like Gomez who had the versatility to fight at different weight classes. Gomez was also about eight years younger than Gatti who was 35 years old which is not very old for an athlete, but he did have a lot of brutal fights in his career which aged him.
The Tale of the Tape revealed that both Gatti and Gomez had the same arm length at 25 inches. Their heights were similar with Gatti at 5’8” and Gomez at 5’9”. The fight was televised on HBO. It was scheduled for ten rounds. The fight was in Atlantic City, New Jersey which is the state where Gatti lived. Of course, most of the audience wanted Gatti to win. HBO gave Gatti his choice among a few possible opponents and Gatti ultimately chose Gomez because he was viewed as beatable. Essentially, Gomez was handpicked. It turned out to be a bad decision for the reasons that I stated. After Gatti’s fight against Baldomir, Gatti was inactive for nearly one year. It was 356 days which was the longest inactivity of his career. Ring announcer Michael Buffer did not even say Gatti’s nickname “Thunder” when introducing Gatti. It was as if Gatti no longer had thunderous power in his punches. Instead, Buffer extended the o in Gatti’s first name Arturo for as long as humanly possible: “Arturoooooooooooooooooooooooo Gatti!”
In the first round, Gomez’s punches were more precise than Gatti’s. It was apparent that Gomez was bigger than Gatti even though they weighed about the same for the weigh-in. Gomez was counterpunching better than Gatti. As a result, Gomez landed some hard punches to Gatti’s head. Gatti did better in round two, but Gomez still probably won the round. Ward was in Gatti’s corner giving advice to Gatti during the break between the rounds. After round three, Ward told Gatti that he needed to throw more punches and combinations as well as use his speed. Harold Lederman of HBO unofficially scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Gomez for rounds one through three. In round four, Gomez continued his dominance landing hard left jabs, left hooks, and straight rights. After round five, Ward warned Gatti about Gomez’s right hand and for Gatti to keep his left hand up for defense. In round six, Gomez still was able to connect with the right hand. Lederman scored the sixth round in favor of Gatti which was a surprise to me. I thought that Gomez won the round. In round seven, Gomez landed a double right hand to the head that hurt Gatti. Gatti was being pummeled against the ropes. Gatti managed to remain standing. Gatti was then standing in one of the ring corners. Gatti and Gomez exchanged left jabs to each other’s head, but Gomez countered and landed a strong right hand to the head that floored Gatti immediately. Larry Hazzard entered the ring and waved his hands while the referee was counting. Then, the referee waved his hands after seeing Hazzard do this. Hazzard was the commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. Gatti was cut on the lip as a result of the knockout punch. The time of stoppage was 2:12 of round seven. Gomez won by TKO. Gomez landed 46% of his punches. Gatti landed only 21% of his punches. Gomez landed 216 punches and Gatti landed 74 punches. Gatti said after the fight that Gomez was stronger and the bigger man. Gatti also said that he is different when fighting at 140 pounds compared to 147 pounds, but he can no longer make the 140 pound weight limit. Gatti announced his retirement because he did not want to continue fighting at 147 pounds.
It was ironic that I found out about Gatti’s death while I was at a boxing event. On July 11, 2009, I was at the IBF bantamweight title fight between Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko. The fight was in Sunrise, Florida and Don King was promoting the event. I had a press credential, but there were a lot of journalists there. The original Boxing Tribune website was gone. I was sending articles to East Side Boxing. I was sitting behind other journalists and noticed a laptop screen of a writer. He was reading an article on a website and this was the title of it: Arturo Gatti Found Dead. I was stunned and saddened at the same time. How? Why? Gatti was 37 years old. Gatti was on his second honeymoon with his wife and baby in Brazil. Gatti was found dead in an apartment. Blood stains were on his neck and back of his head. Initially, the police in Brazil charged Gatti’s 23-year-old wife Amanda Rodrigues with Gatti’s murder. Police stated that Rodrigues used her purse strap to choke Gatti. Rodrigues’ purse was found stained with blood. However, Brazilian police ultimately concluded that Gatti committed suicide by using his wife’s purse strap to hang himself. The police made this conclusion after the coroner’s report was released. Gatti’s friends and family did not believe that Gatti would do such a thing. Private investigators from the United States who were hired by friends of Gatti concluded that Gatti had been killed by being hit from behind and then strangled. Rodrigues claimed that she was innocent and she was released from jail because the Brazilian authorities no longer considered her a suspect. I believe that Gatti was murdered.
I still think about the fact that I met Gatti just two years before his death in 2009. His sparring partner Jeff Fraza died in 2012 as a result of being hit by an empty train on commuter tracks in Massachusetts. It was reported that Fraza was walking on railroad tracks and appeared to be talking on a cellphone. Police said that the train was travelling at 35 miles per hour. Gatti’s record was 40-9, 31 KOs. He was a world champion in two weight classes by defeating Tracy Harris Patterson for the IBF super featherweight title in 1995 and Gianluca Branco for the WBC super lightweight title in 2004. Gatti was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. There was debate by boxing fans as to whether Gatti deserved to be inducted. He would still be remembered even if he had not been inducted. Gatti was in four fights that won Fight of the Year honors and that is one of the main reasons why he was inducted. Gatti always wanted to give fans their money’s worth and was known as The Human Highlight Reel. Gatti’s fight against Gomez was the last time the “Thunder” rumbled and it was his last rumble. It would have been great if Gatti was alive to accept and see his induction into the Hall of Fame. Because of his tumultuous marriage and his untimely death, Gatti was not able to enjoy his retirement and his family and friends miss him. I am sure that the friends and family of Fraza miss him too. Rest in peace Arturo Gatti and Jeff Fraza.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ortiz, Ali, Ray Edwards, Gomez, Canelo, Ward, Kovalev, Smith, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ortiz, Ali, Ray Edwards, Gomez, Canelo, Ward, Kovalev, Smith, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 23rd to August 30th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
Sadam Ali and Eddie Gomez to Fight on Canelo vs. Smith Undercard
Fans at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas will be in for a treat on Saturday, September 17, as top welterweight contenders Sadam “World Kid” Ali (22-1, 13 KOs) and Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez (19-1, 11 KOs), make their grand return to the ring in respective 10-round fights. Ali and Gomez will be headlining the preliminary undercard which will start off the action on Mexican Independence Day weekend, ahead of the live Pay-Per-View telecast, on select channels before the pay-per-view event and digitally on HBO Boxing’s YouTube Page, www.GoldenBoyPromotions.com, www.ringtvlive.com and additional websites and outlets where Ring TV is available starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. PT.
Diving head first into the action in the Lone Star State this September will be the pride of Brooklyn, as Sadam “World Kid” Ali makes his grand return to the ring to take on Saul Corral (21-7, 12 KOs) of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico in a 10-round welterweight fight. The Bronx’s Eddie “E-boy” Gomez will also be participating in a 10-round fight defending his IBF North American Welterweight Title against Mexican fighter Dario “Maczio” Ferman (13-1, 10 KOs).
“The preliminary undercard for Canelo vs. Smith features a string of talented and exciting fighters to watch in the ring from rising welterweight contenders to young, thirsty lightweight and bantamweight prospects,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “On Sept. 17, Sadam Ali is determined to prove that he is still a force to be reckoned with after a difficult loss to Jessie Vargas earlier this year, and Eddie Gomez will show the fans that he is a threat not to be ignored in the hot welterweight division. Additionally, we have some of Texas’s most promising prospects on the card with Vergil Ortiz, Hector Tanajara, Jr. and Joshua Franco and as fight fans know – some of the best fighters in the sport have come from the Lone Star State. In addition to an exciting undercard, Canelo vs. Smith will be an event that celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with activities to enjoy and celebrate Canelo reclaiming Mexican Independence Day weekend for fight fans.”
Kovalev vs. Ward Tickets On Sale September 2nd
Tickets for the most anticipated fight of the year go on sale to the public on Friday, Sept. 2 at 11:00 a.m. PT. The Saturday, Nov. 19 showdown between No. 2 Pound-for-Pound* and WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and No. 4 Pound for-Pound* and Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) will crown the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets start at $55 and are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound for Pound” is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Luis Ortiz Splits with Golden Boy
Luis Ortiz has split with Golden Boy Promotions and will now be a promotional free agent.
Golden Boy Promotions spokesman Stefan Friedman told ESPN, “Golden Boy Promotions and Luiz Ortiz amicably parted ways. We are proud of the work that Golden Boy and Luis accomplished together culminating in his WBA Heavyweight interim championship victory and subsequent title defense. We wish Luis and his team all the best in the future.”
Former NFL Player Ray Edwards Signs with GH3 Promotions
GH3 Promotions is honored to announce the signing of undefeated heavyweight Ray Edwards to an exclusive promotional contract.
Edwards of Cincinnati, Ohio has a perfect mark of 11-0-1 with seven knockouts.
After a successful seven-year career as a defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League, Edwards has made professional boxing his full-time occupation.
The 31 year-old Edwards actually turned professional May 20, 2011 when the NFL players were entrenched in a lockout.
“Ray has shown that he has the physical tools to become a top heavyweight,” said GH3 Promotions CEO Vito Mielnicki.
“He has a ton of upside and with heavyweights, there is a chance to become a star very quickly here in the States. I think that because he has competed at a high level in the NFL, he has a chance to do that in boxing. We are looking to get him three fights before the end of the year. He is 6’6 255 lbs. and we will move him like like most heavyweights, steady but right and no rush. He will be at the top when it’s time. He is class act, well spoken and when he walks in a room u see his presence.
“I always loved boxing. I started doing in at as an off-season workout and just really enjoyed it,” said Edwards.
In his pro debut, Edwards won a four-round unanimous decision over Tyrone Gibson in Hinckley, Minnesota.
Edwards, who did not have an amateur fight, has increased his level of opposition and is coming off a 2nd round stoppage over Steven Tyner on August 26 in Minneapolis.
“It is a big deal for me to sign with GH3 Promotions,” continued Edwards. “Vito Mielnicki has a good stable with Antoine Douglas and Jerry Odom and this is the type of step I was looking for.”
Because Edwards was known for his prowess on the gridiron, his transition into the ring was not taken seriously.
“I was looked down upon because I was a football player. I have the right team around that will help develop my style. I have been in camp wiith (WBC Heavyweight champion) Deontay Wilder and I held my own, and I have confidence in myself.”
In what he thinks his move from the NFL to boxing can help persuade kids to start boxing, where in the recent past, a lot of the good young athletes have chosen other sports.
“I can help kids be passionate about boxing. Kids haven’t dedicated themselves and learned their crafts. People just see the finished products of fighters. I don’t listen to the negative comments and have good people around me.”
“I just want to stay busy and keep winning. Let me be great. In do time, people will see the finished product.”
In what playing at the highest level of professional sports, he can take into boxing, Edwards notes, “I p
played defensive line and I was focused on the ball. So I have learned to tune things out. It’s that tunnel vision that playing in front of 100,000 people, you learn that. Not to listen to the crowd and stay focused.”
When asked if what his former NFL fraternity thinks of his move to boxing, Edwards stated, “I still get support from my friends in the league. They are always asking when and where I am fighting, so I feel when the fights get higher profile, It will become a really big thing.”
Edwards will fight on September 15 against an opponent to be named in Philadelphia. The bout will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Sampson Lewkowicz Says Peralta No Longer a Cab Driver After Huge Upset Victory Over Robert Guerrero
Sampson Lewkowicz, promoter of suddenly red-hot welterweight David Emanuel “El Pirata” Peralta, says big changes are on the way for his cab-driving Argentinean fighter.
On Saturday night, Peralta (26-2-1, 14 KOs), a 70:1 underdog, came out of retirement to win a surprise 12-round split decision over former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The victory, televised nationally on PBC on Spike, has changed 33-year-old Peralta’s fortunes in the talent-rich welterweight division.
“He is no longer a cab driver,” laughed a happy Lewkowicz, post-fight. “David came out of retirement to take this fight when I offered it to him. Now his life will change. He will go back to being a full-time fighter and I will find him another big fight to win.”
Lewkowicz, credited with discovering Manny Pacquiao and Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez among many others, says his Argentinean fighter was taken lightly because he had never fought outside his homeland, but he knew what he could do.
“David is very talented fighter and very tough,” said Lewkowicz. “We knew Guerrero was in a tough battle against him, but no one else did. And I thank the great champion Robert Guerrero for giving him the opportunity. He and his team have our utmost respect.”
Lewkowicz says he will get to work finding Peralta another big opportunity as soon as possible.
“You have to like David. He is very humble and honest and he fought his heart out and now everybody knows his name. He’s a special fighter and I’m very happy to be his promoter. He was only retired because he thought nothing would ever happen in his career. He’s back now and he’ll be in the gym full-time. His cab can wait. I will find him a big fight against another top contender and try to get him in line for a world title shot. Or if Robert Guerrero feels like he wants an immediate rematch, we would give it to him. He gave us the chance.”
Mason Menard Calls Out Terry Flanagan
Coming off another impressive SHOWTIME-televised knockout last Friday, Louisiana-based lightweight contender “Rock Hard Mighty” Mason Menard is setting his sights on WBO Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan.
“I would be more than happy to fight Terry Flanagan,” said Menard. “It would be a great fight. He’s a skillful southpaw, but he is touchable. With my power, that makes for a cat and mouse-type fight. I think sooner or later I would catch up with him.”
Menard (32-1, 24 KOs) of Rayne, Louisiana, was last seen taking out the capable Bahodir Mamadjonov in nine rounds in the co-main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation broadcast from Rochester, New York last Friday night. Before that, the 27-year-old scored a “Knockout of the Year” candidate over then undefeated Eudy Bernardo.
“He’s a star in the making with all the momentum in the world behind him,” said Menard’s promoter, Greg Cohen. “Mason is now the WBO NABO Champion and climbing up their ratings. Now that Felix Verdejo (whom Flanagan was supposed to fight) has been injured, I think Menard stepping in would make for a great match-up.”
However, Menard says he has his doubts that Manchester’s Flanagan will take the bait.
“Let’s just be real, after what I did to the last skillful southpaw (Mamadjonov) with only two weeks’ notice, I doubt he wants these problems.”
DiBella Entertainment Signs Fernandez and Roman
Looking to add to its ever growing stable of young, up-and-coming talent, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) has announced the signing of undefeated Spanish prospect Jon Fernandez and Puerto Rican amateur standout Jose Roman to exclusive long-term promotional contracts. Both Fernandez and Roman will be making their DBE debuts on the upcoming special edition Broadway Boxing card in the Premier Ballroom at the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT, next Thursday, September 1. Broadway Boxing is proudly sponsored by Nissan of Queens, OPTYX, Azad Watches, and Christos Steakhouse.
“I am happy to be coming back to Foxwoods with another great card, and to have the opportunity to showcase these two new additions to the DBE roster,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Promoting Sergio Martinez was one of the highlights of my career and I am proud to say that he and I have forged a lifelong friendship. Sergio told me that Jon is one of the best young fighters he has seen in a very long time, and I look forward to helping build the career of Jon Fernandez here in the States with my friend and great champion Maravilla.”
Regarding Roman, DiBella continued, “Jose Roman was a terrific amateur, and gained invaluable experience fighting on the Puerto Rican national team. He was one of the most sought out amateurs on the island and we are thrilled for him to call DBE his home. We are looking forward to featuring him in the US, as well as in Puerto Rico, and building him in front of the huge Puerto Rican fan base here on the East Coast.”
At just 20 years of age, the junior lightweight Fernandez (8-0, 6 KO’s) is one of the most promising young prospects to come out of Spain in years. Standing at 5’11”, Fernandez is extremely tall for the 130lb. division and has devastating power in both hands. Fernandez caught the eye of former middleweight kingpin and future Hall-of-Famer Sergio Martinez when he was still fighting as an amateur. Martinez immediately saw star potential and signed Fernandez to his promotional company, MaravillaBox Promotions, in 2015 and soon after began courting the young Fernandez to his own former promoter Lou DiBella. DiBella and Martinez made things official in June, signing Fernandez to a co-promotional deal at this year’s Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) awards dinner, where DiBella received the James A. Farley award for honesty and integrity in boxing.
“This is a dream come true. I still cannot believe it,” said Fernandez. “I am very grateful to Lou DiBella, one of the most important and prestigious promoters in the United States, for the trust and belief that he has placed in me and to Sergio (Martinez) for the potential he saw in me as a boxer. Boxing is my life and I want to be the best. Following in the footsteps of Sergio and becoming a world champion like him is my lifelong dream.”
“I have been watching Jon fight since his amateur days and truly believe that the sky is the limit for him,” said Maravilla Martinez. “With each passing fight, he continues to show vast improvement and I believe that he has the ability to become not only a future champion but a future star in this sport. Jon has to stay focused and continue to work, to learn and to give everything he has to this sport. For Jon to have the opportunity to sign with Lou at just 20 years old, an opportunity that I did not have until I was already 32, is amazing and he has to take full advantage of it. Jon has to destroy everything that is put in his path and with time, patience and hard work, he will achieve greatness in this sport.”
A native of the boxing rich city of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Roman began boxing at 13 years of age amassing a stellar 124-17 record along the way. Roman joined the Puerto Rican national team in 2012, winning three consecutive national championships from 2013-2015.
“I couldn’t be more excited to get my career underway behind such a great promoter as Lou. DiBella has done tremendous work with so many great fighters over the years, and I am looking forward to growing and shining under the DiBella Entertainment banner. It is every fighter’s dream to fight in the US, and now I have the opportunity to make my pro debut here, and for that I want to thank my manager Ricardo Figueroa and my trainer Emilio Lozado for getting me this amazing opportunity,” said Roman.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Monroe, Top Rank, Gonzalez, Barrios, Benavidez, Gomez, Saunders, and more
Boxing Insider Notebook: Monroe, Top Rank, Gonzalez, Barrios, Benavidez, Gomez, Saunders, and more
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 5th to July 12th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Banner Promotions Re-signs Willie Monroe Jr.
Banner Promotions is pleased to announce the re-signing of former world title challenger and Boxcino 2014 Middleweight champion, Willie Monroe Jr. to an exclusive promotional agreement.
Monroe of Rochester, New York has a record of 20-2 with 6 knockouts and is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision over fellow former world title challenger and Boxcino champion, John Thompson on June 11th in Verona, New York.
The 29 year-old Monroe turned professional in 2008 and won his first 10 bouts. Monroe won the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight tournament with wins over Donatas Bondorovas, Vitally Kopylenko, and Brandon Adams.
Those wins catapulted him into a bout with WBA/Interim WBC Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Monroe performed admirably in the bout, which took place on May 16, 2015 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“I’m excited to re-sign with Banner Promotions. Artie has been nothing but great to me, and he’ll put me in position to fight against the Danny Jacobs and Canelos of the boxing world,” said Willie Monroe Jr.
“It feels good to have a fresh start over. I am coming off of a huge win on Showtime vs. John Thompson, and I now have a great team watching my back with my brother, Trent Monroe, TJ Nolan and Adrian Clark as my Strategic Partner.”
“Doing what was best for Willie was the focal point in negotiations. We put our heads together and structured a great deal for Willie with Banner Promotions. I am looking forward to working with Artie to map out things for Willie,” said Adrian Clark, Monroe’s Strategic Partner.
“We are excited to have Willie back in the fold,” said Banner Promotions President, Arthur Pelullo.
“Willie has showed not only in the Boxcino tournament, but in his fight against Golovkin, that he is one of the top middleweights in the world. He had a great performance against John Thompson, and now he is ready for any challenge in the division. We will be actively pursuing all of those opportunities for Willie.”
Top Rank Signs Jose Gonzalez
Unbeaten featherweight prospect José ‘El Chocolatito’ González signed a multiannual promotional contract with Top Rank® the promotional company based in Las Vegas that is led by hall of fame promoter, Bob Arum.
As a professional fighter, Gonzalez, who was born and raised in Harlem, New York, marches undefeated with a record of 3-0-1 and 1 knockout. The fighter that is called ‘El Chocolatito’ amassed a 34-6 record as an amateur and won various amateur tournaments as: Junior Olympics in 2011 and Golden Gloves in 2014.
“I feel very blessed and thankful for my managers and Top Rank for giving me this opportunity to sign with the best promotional company,” said Gonzalez. This will motivate me to train harder every day and accomplish my goal of becoming a world champion,” guaranteed the 20-year old fighter.
‘El Chocolatito’, who describes himself as a classic boxer-puncher with knockout power, is trained by his father Martin Gonzalez, in the famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
Boxing runs through the Gonzalez’s veins. Martin represented Nicaragua in 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona and Jose is the cousin of world champion Roman ‘El Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, from whom he adopted his nickname.
“Jose is solid prospect who is always in entertaining fights and has a growing fan base. Along with his manager, Richard Anthony guiding him, his future is extremely bright,” said Carl Moretti, vice-president of Top Rank.
“It is a honor and privilege to work with the Top Rank family. Bob Arum and his team have been a delight to work with and we look forward to a long and happy relationship,” said Richard Anthony, manager of Gonzalez.
Details about Gonzalez debut under the Top Rank banner will be announced soon.
Barrios Defeats Boschiero on ESPN
Undefeated rising super featherweight contender Mario Barrios (16-0, 8 KOs) defeated former title challenger Devis Boschiero (39-5-1, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision (120-107 X 3) in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes from Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
From the opening bell, Barrios asserted himself as the aggressor, landing his jab at will and finding his distance early.
Barrios said, “Initially my game plan was to work the jab and see what would open (Boschiero) up. But as the rounds went by he didn’t seem like he was going to come at me. He just didn’t seem to want any action.”
A very tall super featherweight at more than six feet, the 21-year-old Barrios proved difficult for the stocky Boschiero to reach. However, near the end of the second round, the experienced Italian found a rare opening and landed several punches that briefly put Barrios on his heels.
In round three, Barrios regained control and coasted throughout the middle rounds, largely due to Boschiero’s hesitation to engage.
“It was pretty frustrating. I came out to put on a show for the fans, and unfortunately it seemed like my opponent was just trying to survive,” said Barrios. “I can try to press the fight all I want, but if he doesn’t want to fight it’s not going to happen.”
Boschiero, who challenged for a world title in 2011, added, “I had trouble finding my range tonight. He was tougher to hit then I expected.”
In round 12, Barrios scored the only knockdown of the fight, but Boschiero was able to get back to his feet and used the final seconds of the fight to execute his best combination of the night.
“I got to him in the final round,” said Bosciero. “But the opportunities were there when they weren’t in previous rounds.”
A victorious Barrios said, “This was my first 12-round fight, and it felt good to get the experience, I just wanted more intense action. But an ESPN main event takes my career to the next level. I’m just hoping for my shot at the title.”
Televised coverage kicked off with undefeated prospect Eddie Ramirez (14-0, 9 KOs) handily defeating Californian contender Jessie Roman (20-3, 9 KOs) by unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91 X2) in a 10-round super lightweight showdown.
David Benavidez Gets Right Back in the Gym
Just two days after dominating previously undefeated Francy Ntetu (16-1, 3 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions’ June 25th CBS card at New York’s Barclay’s Center, “El Bandera Roja,” David Benavidez, was back at his home gym in Long Beach, preparing for his next bout. The rising star had no intention of taking time off, and jumped right into an intense training regimen that included sparring with Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24KO), who was set to make his pay-per-view debut later in the month, but was sidelined this week with an injury.
“My last fight was hard, but I learned a lot,” stated Benavidez regarding his bout with previously unbeaten Canadian Ntetu. “It was great experience, getting rounds in.”
With only one exception, a six round fight that went the distance in 2014, Benavidez hadn’t fought beyond the second round, knocking out opponent after opponent.
“I feel better and more experienced,” Benavidez continued. “I have confidence knowing I can go into deep waters and finish a fight if I have to. I’m learning how to pace myself when I need to during a round, and I know that those later rounds made me a better fighter.”
As Benavidez prepares for his next fight, he’s focused completely on improving himself.
“I didn’t mind getting right back to the gym,” said Benavidez. “This is my lifestyle now. I just want to train. I want to look at what I did wrong in my last fight and fix it. I don’t want to get rusty in between fights. When I’m not physically training, I’m thinking about mistakes I made in fights, techniques that can be improved. I want to get better each fight, and I’m consumed by that.”
“It’s this commitment to success and improvement that sets David apart from other young men his age, and other fighters,” said Jose Benavidez, Sr., David’s father and head trainer. “This is what makes him different, and this is why he’s going to be the best.”
Gomez Suffers Injury, Velez vs. Alvarado New Main Event
The exciting 10-round super featherweight bout between Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (23-2-1, 16 KOs) and Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (23-7, 16 KOs) has been upgraded to the main event on the Estrella TV Boxeo Estelar, broadcast on July 15. The originally scheduled fight between Alfonso Gomez vs. Pablo Cesar Cano has been cancelled due to Gomez sustaining an elbow injury earlier this week.
Live from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, the event will feature a new televised co-main event between undefeated prospect Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (15-0, 11 KOs) of Boston and Luis “La Roca” Hernandez (12-1, 7 KOs) of Rio Pierdas, Puerto Rico in a eight-round super welterweight fight. Decorated amateur, Cesar Diaz of Palmdale, Calif. will make his professional debut and open up the Estrella TV broadcast in a scheduled four-round super bantamweight fight.
The event will feature former five-division boxing world champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard hosting a meet and greet at the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center ahead of the televised bouts from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Rob Brandt Wants to Face Billy Joe Saunders
Undefeated Minnesota-based middleweight Rob “Bravo” Brant would like to be the contender chosen to face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on September 17.
Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) announced last week he would be fighting on the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Liam Smith undercard on HBO pay-per-view in the United States, and WBO #9-rated Brant (20-0, 13 KOs) says he thinks he’s the right choice to face him.
“I have the utmost respect Billy Joe Saunders as an athlete,” said Brant. “I respect him so much that I would really enjoy giving him a grand welcome to the United States in the middle of the square circle.”
Brant has been on a tear for the last year, scoring important victories on national television, including a “KO of the Year” contending knockout over Decarlo Perez in January. During that time, he also won the NABA Middleweight and WBC Continental Americas Championships.
“Rob Brant is the perfect choice for Saunders in that fight,” said Brant’s promoter, Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions. “He’s red hot right now. He’s undefeated and makes for exciting fights and he’s got a fan following from his television appearances. Saunders vs. Brant makes great sense for boxing fans and from a business perspective.”
Cohen says he’s hoping to hear from Saunders’ representatives soon.
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Gomez Dominates Herrera, Lemieux and Stevens Win by Stoppage
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Gomez Dominates Herrera, Lemieux and Stevens Win by Stoppage
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada held its first ever boxing event as Golden Boy Promotions put on a WBC Middleweight Title bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan.
Three bouts were on the televised portion of the undercard, and the first fight of the night was between Patrick Teixeira (26-0) and Curtis Stevens (27-5) in the middleweight division.
Teixeira bumped up to the middleweight division from the junior middleweight division for this bout. He intends on going back down to the junior middleweight division.
Teixeira’s height and reach advantage was evident immediately, but Stevens was able to work around that by showing a lot of head movement and being the more active puncher. He was able to hurt Teixeira with a quick jab, and was able to land his left hook several times. Teixeira had to hold on several times and was outworked by the older Stevens.
Teixeira was moved back by a straight right hand from Stevens in the opening seconds of the second round, and Stevens followed it up with a hard left hook. Stevens was able to block most of the punches of Teixeira, and then landed a right hook that sent Teixeira down. Teixeira got back to his feet but was still wobbly, and the referee waived off the bout.
Curtis Stevens wins by TKO at 1:04 of the second round.
After the fight Stevens stated, “The name of the game is to knock people out and that’s what I did tonight. I feel great to get back into the game after my one and a half year break. I really want Lemieux, but I will take whatever I can get. My head is right, and I’m ready to take on whoever.”
The next bout of the night was between Mauricio Herrera (22-5) and Frankie Gomez (20-0) in the welterweight division.
Gomez was the more aggressive boxer in the first round and found a home for his lead left hook several times. Herrera looked a little rusty in the opening round and tied up with Gomez whenever he got in close.
Gomez controlled the action in the second round and was able to land and connect with his punches before Herrera could fire off his. Herrera had a cut under his left eye by the end of the round and Gomez was able to punctuate a strong round with a quick combination.
Herrera looked visibly frustrated at the start of the third round, and he came out more aggressive than the previous rounds and was able to land a few body punches. But, Gomez was sharper with his counter punches and still remained in control.
Gomez’s power punches were landing with regularity in the fourth round, and he had Herrera backing into a corner and taking some hard power shots. Gomez’s aggression continued in the fifth round and he had caused a small mouse to swell up under the right eye of Herrera.
Gomez dominated the sixth and seventh rounds while Herrera was able to offer little offense in return. By the eighth round Herrera looked exhausted and looked defeated in the ring.
Herrera clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout, but that knockout never came.
Frankie Gomez wins a clear decision with scores of 100-90 on all three scorecards.
Afterwards Gomez stated, “It feels good to get this victory. I trained really hard and it paid off. I’m ready to take on my next challenge and take on the best at 140. I want to thank my fans, and I’m glad I was able to put on a good show for them.”
The final bout on the undercard was in the middleweight division between David Lemieux (34-3) and Glen Tapia (23-2).
Glen Tapia bumped up in weight to take on the toughest opponent of his career, and he may have regretted it immediately. Lemieux was banging hard shots to the body and head of Tapia in the opening round and was ripping hard punches into the body of Tapia.
Lemieux had a very strong second round and had Tapia hurt several times. Tapia’s punching power paled in comparison to Lemieux, and Lemieux looked like he was close to scoring a knockdown.
Tapia was able to land a few straight right hands in the third round, but Lemieux still landed the harder shots and his left hook was giving Tapia problems.
Lemieux finally scored a knockdown in the fourth round from a hard left hook followed by a right hand to the top of the head. He was able to beat the count, but Tapia’s corner stopped the fight and did not allow the fight to continue.
Lemieux protested the stoppage, but he was taking a lot of hard shots.
David Lemieux wins by TKO at 0:56 of the fourth round.
Afterwards Lemieux stated, “This victory means the world to me. It proves all the doubters that Lemieux is back. When I first got offered the fight, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. We made sure to have the best training camp possible and within the first round I knew I was dominating. I knew after the first round that I would knock him out. I’m ready to be among the best in the middleweight division and become a world champion again.”
HBO PPV Preview: Herrera vs. Gomez, Tapia vs. Lemieux, Khan vs. Canelo
HBO PPV Preview: Herrera vs. Gomez, Tapia vs. Lemieux, Khan vs. Canelo
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions will partner up with HBO to broadcast at least three fights on pay per view.
The brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for this card in which Canelo Alvarez will defend his WBC Middleweight title against Amir Khan. Two other fights are on tap for the card as David Lemieux looks to bounce back from his loss to Gennady Golovkin when he takes on “Jersey Boy” Glen Tapia in the middleweight division. The opening bout on the card should be between Mauricio Herrera and Frankie Gomez in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts on the pay per view.
Mauricio Herrera (22-5) vs. Frankie Gomez (20-0); Welterweights
The opening bout of the night should be a coming out party for Frankie Gomez.
Freddie Roach once called Frankie Gomez his most prized prospect in the Wild Card Gym, and he has the amateur pedigree to back up that claim. Gomez won the 2009 US National Championships as an amateur in 2009 and has yet to taste defeat.
Mauricio Herrera will be a major step up in competition for Gomez and he is a crafty and tough veteran. Herrera however, is thirty five years old and will be eleven years older than Gomez. Gomez will be about a half an inch taller but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Herrera has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division and fought in the junior welterweight division in his last fight.
Gomez’s biggest concern should be his recent lack of activity. He only fought once in 2016 and in 2015, and twice in 2014. His only big victories have come against Vernon Paris and Jorge Silva.
Herrera has beaten the likes of Hank Lundy, Johan Perez, Ji Hoon Kim, and Mike Dallas Jr. His losses have come to Jose Benavidez, Danny Garcia, Karim Mayfield and Mike Alvarado.
Herrera is the perfect test for Gomez at this stage of his career and it’s a test that Gomez should pass. Gomez’s past three wins have come by decision and Saturday should be no different.
David Lemieux (34-3) vs. Glen Tapia (23-2); Middleweights
This is a crossroads fight for both Lemieux and Tapia and both are coming off of tough stoppage losses. However, both boxers are under the age of thirty and have plenty of time to make another title run.
Lemieux is known for his incredible power and has stopped thirty one of his opponents. Tapia only has fifteen stoppage victories. Tapie will have an edge in height and reach, as he is an inch and a half taller and will have a three inch reach.
Lemieux won several Canadian Amateur Championships but did not compete in the Olympics. Tapia placed in several golden gloves tournaments as an amateur, but did not enjoy success on the international level.
Lemieux has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Hector Camacho Jr., and Elvin Ayala. His losses were to Gennady Golovkin, Joachim Alcine, and Marco Antonio Rubio.
Tapie has defeated the likes of Daniel Dawsom, Abraham Han, and Ayi Bruce. He has lost to Michel Soro in a mild upset and James Kirkland.
Tapia’s chin has been exposed as suspect in recent fights and he will have a difficult time avoiding the power of Lemieux. A victory for Lemieux in combination with his drawing power in Montreal will likely lead to another future title shot for him.
Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1) vs. Amir Khan (31-3); WBC Middleweight Title
Amir Khan has been chasing a mega fight with either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao and has come up short. He surprised everyone by signing on the dotted line to fight the current WBC Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez.
Amir Khan will be jumping up two weight classes to take on the bigger Canelo. Khan is four years older than Canelo and has the faster hands. He will be giving up about a half an inch in height but will have about a half an inch reach advantage.
Canelo does have a clear advantage in power and has the stronger chin. Canelo’s lone loss was by decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and two of the three losses for Amir Khan were by knockout. Canelo has stopped thirty two of his opponents while Khan has only stopped nineteen.
Canelo has also been the more active boxer. He fought twice in 2015 and in 2014. Khan only fought once in 2015 and 2013, but did fight twice in 2014.
Khan does have the edge in amateur experience. Khan won the silver medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and Canelo won the gold medal at the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships and then turned pro at the age of fifteen.
Khan’s losses were to Danny Garcia, Breidis Prescott, and a disputed decision loss to Lamont Peterson. He has beaten Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, Louis Collazo, Julio Diaz, Carlos Molina, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, and Paul Malignaggi.
Canelo has defeated the likes of Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erisandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Vazquez.
Khan’s speed could give Canelo problems, but it will be essential for him to stay out of the range of Canelo’s punches. Canelo looked very good in his last bout against Miguel Cotto and he has more power in his hands than Garcia and Prescott, both boxers that were able to stop Khan.
The most likely scenario is that Canelo will use his size to his advantage and trap Khan by the ropes and stop him before the championship rounds.