Joe Joyce Defeats Ivica Bacurin
By: Ste Rowen
Coming in as a last-minute replacement for original opponent, Richard Lartey, Bacurin’s resume includes the likes of Carlos Takam and Dillian Whyte. He was stopped by both those men, in fact Ivica always falls short whenever he takes a step up and unluckily for the Croatian, Joyce was another step up.
The ‘Juggernaut’, now 5-0 (5KOs), was on his opponent from the first bell, setting off heavy 1-2s as Bacurin did his best to circle the ring backwards. But with 1:17 left on the clock of the 1st round, Joyce shot a right and left to the top of Ivica’s head, sending him down and keeping him there.
Hughie Fury was in attendance at York Hall, and it seems a British-Commonwealth unification bout would be the obvious fight to make next.
Michael ‘Venom’ Page, a former kickboxer and BellatorMMA fighter, moved to 2-0 with a 2nd KO of, 1-5, Michal Ciach of Poland.
Aiming to ply his trade at light heavyweight, the enigmatic Page, much like his debut performance back in October, was unconventional in his approach to taking out Ciach. Low hands, bolo feints, and jelly legs all within the first round, ‘Venom’ jabbed at his foe, keeping the Pol ineffective and, with just over 40 seconds left on the 1st, dropped his opponent for the first time.
Immediately into the 2nd round, Page landed a huge right hand, sending Ciach to the canvas for a second time and signalling an end to the fight. MVP spoke post-fight,
‘It’s a crazy style, it’s not normal…What I find difficult is, people know who I am so it’s gonna be difficult to call out named fighters.’
Page’s debut win came against 2-11-1, Jonathan Castano so it’s unlikely we’ll see ‘Venom’ fast tracked like his gym mate, Joyce, but it will no doubt be entertaining whoever it is.
Savannah Marshall outclassed 8-2 (5KOs), Alejandra Ayala with a 2nd round stoppage to move to 3-0 (2KOs). The 2014 Commonwealth middleweight champion had already dropped her Mexican opponent before she forced Ayala into the corner and was unable to counter the power shots Marshall was sending her way, before the referee called an end to the bout.
As the only boxer to beat the current IBF and WBC super-middleweight champion Claressa Shields, the ‘Silent Assassin’ will no doubt be keeping a keen eye on the unified champion’s matchup against Hanna Gabriels, which takes place next week in Detroit.
Both fighting in their pro debuts heavyweights, George Fox, 26 and Phil Williams, 32, fought out a close matchup, which saw Fox, nicknamed ‘Future’ come out the victor with a 40-37 scorecard in his favour.
Super welterweight Tom Ansell handed Fonz Alexander his 83rd career loss (31st in a row) with a 40-35 decision victory.Now 4-0 (1KO) Ansell, 25, landed a huge overhand right in the 1st round to drop his opponent but, though the result was rarely in doubt, he was forced to go the 4-round distance with journeyman, Alexander.
Fighting for the vacant women’s Commonwealth lightweight title, Anisha Basheel of Malawi made lightwork of favourite, Sam ‘SJ’ Smith, now 8-2, to earn a 1st round TKO. Teeing off with heavy hit after hit from the start, the referee was eventually forced into ending the bout with Smith still on her feet. Basheel now moves to 8-5 (8KOs) and becomes the new 135lb Commonwealth champion.
Chris Davies moved to 9-0 with a 4-round points decision over 0-13-2, Callum Ide, but the super middleweight from London is yet to record a victory over a boxer with a winning record or earn a stoppage win.
Joe Joyce vs. Richard Lartey Preview
By: Ste Rowen
If March 2018 was the month of the heavyweight’s current elite, then June is surely it’s month for prospects…and Tyson Fury.
Last weekend saw the return of the lineal heavyweight champion from an almost 3-year hiatus; as well as 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, Filip Hrgovic moving to 5-0 (4KOs) with a 4th round stoppage over the previously unbeaten Mexican, Filiberto Tovar.
Photo Credit: Joy Joyce Twitter Account
Next week we’ll see 2016 gold medallist, Tony Yoka 4-0 (3KOs), take on former opponent of Luis Ortiz and Dillian Whyte, Dave ‘The White Rhino’ Allen in Paris; as well as Daniel Dubois taking on his biggest test in Tom Little at the O2 arena in London for the English heavyweight belt.
But this weekend, at heavyweight at least, belongs to current Commonwealth champion and 4-0 (4KOs), Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce who takes on 12-1 (9KOs), Richard Lartey of Ghana at London’s York Hall.
It’s been a sharp rise for the 2016 Rio silver medallist. Joyce started his pro career in a risky bout with Ian Lewison, who just 12 months previous to their fight, fought Dillian Whyte for the British belt, in which Lewison was eventually grinded down into a 10th round stoppage, of a fairly one-sided fight.
Even so, the risk was high for the ‘Juggernaut’, but the reward was eventually worth it. Overcoming a few awkward, early rounds until eventually finding his stride in his pro-debut and dominating his fellow Brit, forcing Lewison’s corner to throw in the towel in the 8th round.
From there, the talk from Joyce’s corner was big, including his promoter, David Haye eyeing bouts with the best of Britain, as well as attempting to goad Dereck Chisora into a fight with his protégé. More recently, Joyce called out Jerrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller on Twitter.
Joe was back out for his second and third pro bouts in February and March this year, spending just less than 4 minutes of combined time in the ring to knockout Rudolf Jozic, and America’s Donnie Palmer. Then it was onto his biggest fight yet, up against the Commonwealth champion at the time Lenroy Thomas, on the undercard of BellewHaye2.
The Jamaican turned up looking in great shape, he always seems to, but once the first bell tolled, his conditioning leant nothing to stopping the ‘Juggernaut’ hurtling towards him. Dropping his foe three times in total before the referee waved off the bout towards the end of the 2nd round, Joe Joyce was now the Commonwealth champion in just 4 fights. Quicker than Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Lennox Lewis and Trevor Berbick. Not a bad record to have, especially if Joyce manages to claim the British as well – currently held by Hughie Fury – within the next year.
It’s not just talent that’s seeing Joe put onto the fast track. At 32, even for a heavyweight, time isn’t exactly on his side if he wants his peak to coincide with facing the very best of his division.
His opponent on Friday will be fighting someone with a winning record for just the 4th time in his pro career.
Lartey knocked out 1-0, Nuzu Azuma in his 4th fight; was stopped by 11-0, Ergun Mersin in the 5th round of his one and only fight so far outside of Ghana; and in September last year he earned a 12-round decision over 13-7-1, Ibrahim Marshall in what would be his 6th fight of 2017.
It’s difficult to ascertain whether the Ghanaian is a worthy opponent for Joyce, his record, despite only 1 defeat, suggests not, and there’s next to no footage online of Lartey, but if nothing else, at least he’s active.
But on Friday night, if all goes to plan for Joyce, his opponent will play just a small supporting act in his performance. It gives the ‘Juggernaut’ an opportunity to defend the rainbow belt for the first time, and it keeps him active, and in the general boxing public’s minds for the future.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Saunders vs. Lemieux, Seldin vs. Ulysses, Douglas vs. O’Sullivan
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada will be the host site for an HBO Triple Header to take place on HBO World Championship Boxing.
The opening bout will be between Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and Yves Ulysse, Jr. in the junior welterweight division. The second bout of the night will be between Antoine Douglas and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the middleweight division. The main event of the night will be between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux for the WBO Middleweight title.
Photo Credit: Vincent Ethier/Eye of the Tiger Management
This fight card will help lend some clarity to the middleweight division behind the two current kingpins of the middleweights, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. This card will also feature Cletus Seldin, a popular Jewish fighter that HBO seems keen on featuring in the future.
The following is a preview of all three bouts.
Cletus Seldin (21-0) vs. Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-1); Junior Welterweights
The opening bout of the night is between the Hebrew Hammer Cletus Seldin and Yves Ulysse.
Seldin is a compact power puncher who has seventeen stoppage victories on his record. He’s thirty one years old and needs to make a serious run now if he ever wants to fight for a legitimate world title.
He’ll be about the same height as Ulysse as both are 5’7”. Seldin is also the more powerful puncher of the two. Ulysse only has nine stoppage victories to his credit. However, Ulysse is two years younger than his opponent.
Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Ulysse fought four times in 2017 and once in 2016, while Seldin has fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Neither boxer had a notable amateur career, but Seldin appears to have had more success than Ulysse. Seldin was a Long Island Amateur Champion and lost in the finals of the New York State Golden Gloves.
Seldin has defeated the likes of Robert Ortiz, Renald Garrido, Jesus Selig, Orlando Vazquez, and Bayan Jargal.
Ulysse has defeated the likes of Ricky Sismundo and Zachary Ochoa. His lone loss was in his last fight to Steve Claggett.
Seldin fights a style that leaves him open to counters but puts on an exciting fight for his fans. Ulysse has a good record, but is the underdog going into the fight.
However, Ulysse was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and will have the support of the fans in attendance.
Antoine Douglas (22-1-1) vs. Gary O’Sullivan (26-2); WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight Title
Antoine Douglas is a good middleweight prospect who’s rise to the top was briefly derailed when he faced and lost to Avtandil Khurtsidze. He has since won three fights in a row and looks to reclaim his spot as a can’t miss prospect.
Douglas is still young and is in the middle of his prime at twenty five years old. O’Sullivan is getting near the end of his prime and is currently thirty three years old.
O’Sullivan and Douglas have similar knockout power. Douglas has stopped sixteen of his opponents and has one stoppage loss. O’Sullivan has stopped eighteen of his opponents and also has one stoppage loss.
Both boxers fought once in 2016 and three times in 2017.
Douglas has defeated the likes of Juan De Angel, Istvan Szili, and Thomas Lamanna. His lone loss was to Avtandil Khurtsidze and he drew with Micahel Soro.
O’Sullivan has defeated the likes of Nick Quigley, Melvin Betancourt, Milton Nunez, and Matthew Hall. The two times he faced good opposition, Chris Eubank Jr. and Billy Joe Saunders, he lost.
Douglas has quick hands and is willing to throw combinations and take risky exchanges. But his opponent is a veteran with knockout power.
This fight should be a tense and close fight, but it’s a fight that Douglas should be considered a close favorite.
Billy Joe Saunders (25-0) vs. David Lemieux (38-3): WBO Middleweight World Title
The main event of the evening is between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux for the WBO Middleweight Title. The winner of this bout may set himself up for a future fight with either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez.
Both boxers are twenty eight years old and are in the midst of their prime. Saunders will have a slight inch and a half height advantage on Lemieux, but Lemieux has thirty three stoppage victories to his credit while Saunders only has twelve stoppage victories.
This will be Saunders first fight outside of the United Kingdom, but he doesn’t seem bothered by it. He recently stated, “I’m used to fight outside the UK, I’m a traveler of the world. I don’t care if there’s a million people. It’s just me and him in that ring, end of the story. As for the rest, I don’t care.”
Saunders does have a better amateur resume than Lemieux. He is a former Commonwealth Champion and competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Lemieux was the Canadian Junior National Champion in 2006.
However, Lemieux does seem confident in his power and his ability to hurt Saunders with his power. He stated, “I’ve never said that I doubted his chin. Regardless he will hit the floor. And whether I win by knock out or go 12 rounds, it’s no matter. But I will drop him and I will hurt him”
Saunders has defeated the likes of Willie Monroe Jr., Artur Akavov, Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jr., Gary O’Sullivan, Matthew Hall, and Jarrod Fletcher.
Saunders though has not been very active the past two years. He only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016.
It should be noted that his win against Andy Lee was a majority decision and his win against Eubank was a split decision.
Lemieux has defeated the likes of Curtis Stevens, Glen Tapia, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Hector Camacho Jr., and Elvin Ayala. His losses were to Marco Antonio Rubio, Joachim Alcine, and Gennady Golovkin.
The biggest intangible of this fight is the fact it takes place in Quebec, Canada and Lemieux is Canadian. The fans will be backing Lemieux in this fight and that kind of support has been known to influence the judges.
Saunders two biggest victories were close decisions in the United Kingdom. It’s unlikely he’ll get a close decision in Canada.
As long as Lemieux can keep up his energy and pressure for all twelve rounds it’s a fight that he can and should win.
Conor McGregor Brings In Hall Of Fame Referee Joe Cortez For Guidance
By: Sean Crose
First things first – I’d like to officially go on record stating that the judges could rob Floyd Mayweather on August 26th, should his fight with Conor McGregor go twelve rounds. McGregor is the more popular of the two combatants that night, and boxing judges have a long, rich and honored history of just love, love, loving the popular guy. So yeah, don’t be too surprised if Conor is awarded the biggest upset win in the entire history of sports simply for being his most awesome self (rather than by, you know, actually doing better in the ring than Mayweather).
Having gotten all that ugliness out of the way, we may as well just try to have as much fun as we can with this one, gang. While it’s hard, if not impossible, to scrub oneself clean of the grime of this charade (in a sense, we’re all like Lady Macbeth at this point), it’s also difficult not to admit that there isn’t at least some entertainment value to this whole nonsense. Yes, the fight is a joke. Yes, people are behaving incomprehensibly -even by today’s standards – by being so eager to pay a fortune to watch this farce. Yes, there’s little chance of McGregor winning fairly (remember what I said about those judges, though). But there’s also a level of silliness here that’s getting hard not to delight in.
Take the fact, for instance, that team McGregor has hired none other that legendary referee Joe Cortez to help the fellas out in camp (Why not the iconic Mills Lane, you may well wonder). Cortez, you see, is going to – wait for it – “teach them the rules of boxing before the fight against Mayweather.” Those are Cortez’ own words, by the way, brought you courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. I’ll give McGregor this, he’s taking things seriously. There’s nothing, after all, quite like preparing for the biggest fight in history than sitting down and learning the basic freakin’ rules before you step in between the ropes. And who better to teach those rules, really, than Cortez? Here, you see, is the man who is known throughout the sporting world as being “firm but fair.”
In all honesty, though, it’s almost all too easy to laugh without actually pausing to understand what’s going on. McGregor is an MMA fighter, and as such will most likely want to rough Floyd up any way he can so long as that roughing up adheres to the rules of the game. Seen in such a light, the whole thing makes sense. It also makes sense that Cortez is wearing his referee’s outfit throughout McGregor’s sparing sessions in order to give matters an authentic feel. When all is said and done, there’s probably a lot about this whole enormous spectacle that makes sense (as opposed to cents) when viewed through a certain perspective. That doesn’t make any of it appear any less ridiculous, however.
Oh well, at least we’re through watching humanity be debased via those “brilliant” press conferences we all had to endure just over a week ago. Things are truly looking up. RIght?
Boxing Insider Notebook: Guerrero, McGregor, Smith, Shields, Montgomery Brothers, and more
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 11th to July 18th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Mario Serrano
Robert Guerrero Announces Retirement
After giving fans some of the most thrilling fights in boxing, which spanned over sixteen hard fought years, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is announcing his retirement.
“First, I want to thank God for allowing me to have a wonderful career. I’m a kid from a small town in Gilroy, California, who made it to the mountain top of the boxing world. When I was a young kid growing up, I always believed in myself, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a small-town kid like myself, would be fighting in front of millions of fans.”
“I was blessed to win multiple world titles in four-divisions. A boxer’s career is a long and tough road. Many tears were shed, lots of blood, and tons of sweat. Many miles were traveled, thousands of rounds sparred, none were easy and nothing was ever given to me. I earned everything I got the old fashion way. I never ducked anyone and fought the best fighters in the world. I fought my way through every obstacle to make sure my fans enjoyed every second, of every round, of my fights.”
“I competed at super-bantamweight (122 lbs.) and won world titles across multiple weight classes, closing my career at welterweight (147 lbs.), fighting the big guys 25 pounds heavier. A good friend always told me I was God’s warrior, born to fight. I enjoyed every minute of every war. I represented my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the bible verse Acts 2:38 on my trunks. If I reached one person and brought that person closer to Christ, then it was all worth it.”
“I want to thank some very important people in my career starting with the most important person, my wife Casey, who has been with me every step of the way, my soul mate, my sweetheart, the one and only love of my life. My father/trainer Ruben Guerrero Sr. He’s the one who started it all and made me the man I am today, and the champion I was in the ring. He’s one of the best trainers in the world and I hope to be working side by side with him in the future. My mother Marcy Guerrero for being a great mother and supporter. My co-manager Bob Santos for all the sacrifices he made to get me to the top…I will always remember the early days when we made the most with very liitle. He always had my back and looked out for me like I was his brother. His wife Diane Santos who did a lot of secretarial work for me during my whole career. Both my grandparents on Martinez and Guerrero sides for believing in me. My brother’s Sammy, Ruben Jr., Victor, Randy and especially Eric, who has been with me my whole career, my shadow every step of the way, my right-hand man. My mother and father in-law, Shelly and Cary O’neal.
My cutman Ruben Gomez. My good friends, Pastor Mark Wilson, Dave Castro, Pastor Chris Avila, John Mersho, and Albert Guarado. My uncle Russel Sr., Russel Jr., Uncle Ricky, Hector Catano and Greg Amundson. I want to thank my co-manager Luis Decubas Jr. for taking my career to the next level. Santos and Decubas Jr. are more than managers, they are family to me. My publicist Mario Serrano, who has also been with me the whole ride, he is also family to me. All the fans and the community who stuck by my side when my wife was battling cancer…I will never forget the love you showed. There are so many people who have helped me, if I leave anyone off, thank you for everything.”
“In closing, I want to thank the most special man I’ve ever met in my boxing career, and possibly lifetime, a man who always does what’s best for the fighter, a man who has changed the sport of boxing, a man who has helped bless me and my family with a great life, and that person is my advisor Al Haymon. Not only is Al Haymon a spectacular advisor, he is a wonderful human being as well, a great man, and someone who cares. In a sport where most managers, promoters, and trainers turn their back on a fighter, when they no longer can perform, or are no longer beneficial to their interest, Haymon stands tall. Love and loyalty is tough to find in the boxing game, but for any boxer looking for it, you don’t have to look far, reach out to Al Haymon. I want to thank everyone, the fans included. I hope you guys appreciated the guts and glory I left in the ring. God bless you all.” ~ Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero
Claressa Shields Named 2017 ‘Biggest Powerhouse’ in Sports by Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Sports Awards
Budding women’s boxing superstar, community activist, role model and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Claressa Shields has been bestowed with another honor, as she has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award for “Biggest Powerhouse.”
In winning the prestigious award, which honors the heaviest hitters, strongest sluggers and unstoppable players in sports each year, Shields beat out a field of such well-known stars as Demarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
“It is a tremendous honor and great thrill to win the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award because it comes from the kids,” said Claressa Shields. “I work hard every day to show all children that nothing in life is impossible if you believe in yourself. If this kid from Flint can win Olympic gold medals, boxing world championships, and succeed in life, then you can do it too!”
Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says she deserves all the incredible accolades and honors she’s received.
“Claressa is a true champion of the people with her incredible story of overcoming adversity through her own self-belief and determination. Her accomplishments, inside and outside the ring, make Claressa a real-life American hero and an inspiration to every young person.”
22-year-old Shields (3-0, 1 KO), from Flint, Michigan, is currently in training for her first world-title shot on August 4 against German star and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler (16-0, 9 KOs). The 10-round super-middleweight match-up, will be televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation (10 pm ET/PT), and held at MGM Grand Detroit.
The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards are the only kid-oriented award show focusing on the world’s best athletes and each year’s greatest sports moments. Held at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, this year’s broadcast was once again hosted by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The winners were chosen predominantly by children’s online voting.
Witness Sports Management Signs Montgomery Brothers
Boxing veterans, Greg Hannely, founder of the Prince Ranch Boxing facility, and Jared Shaw have joined forces, as they are happy to announce the birth of Witness Sports Management (WSM), a boxing management company that will guide the careers of some of the best young fighters in the sport.
The Montgomery Brothers, Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., out of Macon, Georgia, are WSM’s first signees. The highly touted trio, who were all decorated amateur standouts, are trained by their dad, Michael Montgomery Sr.
“I want to make sure it’s known how excited we are to be signing with Jared and Greg,” said Michael Montgomery Sr. “I’m happy that my boys are going to be represented by some folks that have been involved in boxing for many years. Greg and Jared have been wonderful to work with. My boys and I are very grateful and we are ready to take the boxing world by storm.”
Greg Hannely, is a well-known figure in the sport as he guided the careers of former world champions, Clarence “Bones” Adams and Steven Luevano, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. His passion for boxing has brought him back to the sport he loves, and he wants nothing more than to build a stable of world champions.
“I’m very thrilled to be back in boxing, especially after signing the Montgomery Brothers.” Greg Hannely said, “Their father, Michael Sr., has been grooming all three boys to fight like professionals. They all have very exciting styles and I believe they will be well received to everyone who witnesses them fight. The Prince Ranch Boxing gym in Las Vegas will be available for the entire Montgomery family. These are good kids with strong family values. Their future is bright.”
Jared Shaw, son of world renowned boxing promoter Gary Shaw, has been around the sport since he was a young child. After spending many years learning from his father, Jared, developed a knack for spotting talent.
“If you like pressure fighters with knockout power, then you’ll love the Montgomery Brothers.” stated Jared Shaw. “Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., were all great amateurs with over 400 fights combined, but their styles are suited for the pros. All three of them have heavy hands and the ring intelligence to make adjustments on the fly. Greg and I are ecstatic to be working with the entire Montgomery family. This is a fantastic start to our new management company.”
“As co-managers, Greg and I started WSM with the idea of cultivating our fighters,” Shaw continued. “We want to be looked at as more than just a financial asset. We will provide are stable with the needed resources that will help them become better fighters. We will house are guys at “The Prince Ranch” in Las Vegas, getting them the best sparring in boxing. Our goal is to make sure they have no distractions that will hinder their development.”
About Mikhail Montgomery
Nickname – 50Khail
Height – 5’7
Weight – 122 (Super-Bantamweight)
DOB: – December 24, 1996 (Age 20)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (120-12)
Pro Record – TBA
“Jared came to us a few years back and told us he was interested in signing us. The bond started back then and now that we are older, it’s good to look back and see that he’s still with us. He’s a man of his word and kept his promise. I’m excited that WSM is going to take me and my brothers under their wing.”
About Maliek Montgomery
Nickname – Mayhem
Height – 5’8
Weight – 130 (Super-Featherweight)
DOB: – September 17, 1995 (Age 22)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (149-12)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“Signing with WSM has been a blessing to me and my family. Jared has been around for a few years now and we trust that he and Greg will take us to the top. My dad talked about this day for many years, signing with a good management team. Now that it’s here, I’m ready to start knocking out folks.”
About Michael Jr. Montgomery
Nickname – NA
Height – 5’11
Weight – 147 (Welterweight)
DOB: – March 11, 1994 (Age 23)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (150-20)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“I believe everything is going to work out great with Jared and Greg. Fighting in the pros is new to me but I think I’m going to make an immediate impact. I got my first knockout in my pro debut earlier this year and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Petition Demands Budweiser Drop Conor McGregor Over Bigoted Remarks
A Care2 petition is asking Budweiser to drop professional mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted comments ahead of his August match against Floyd Mayweather. The petition has gathered over 6,700 signatures.
VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/391/537/851/
McGregor is projected to make $100 million in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August, in what could be the most viewed, highest grossing pay-per-view fight of all time.
But Care2 members are calling him out for his bigoted comments.
Leading up to his 2015 match against Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo, McGregor said:
“If this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work.”
“What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop.”
“I think I’m going to have him come and clean up my airplane.”
“These remarks should have caused major brands to drop any association with McGregor long ago. Now that he’s gearing up to cash in on his history of bigoted comments, the time has come,” the Care2 petition reads. “Please sign this petition to ask Budweiser to drop Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted remarks!”
Last week, during a four-day promotional tour for the Mayweather-McGregor match, which takes place in Las Vegas on August 26, Mayweather made a quip using stereotypes about Black men: “A lot of media are saying I’m racist against black people. That’s absolutely f****** ridiculous. Do they not know I’m half-black? Yeeeeeah. I’m half-black from the belly button down.”
McGregor is reportedly worth $35 million.
Joe Smith Jr. Fights Nine Rounds with a Broken Jaw
Popular Long Island light heavyweight contender JOE SMITH JR. (23-2-0, 19 KO’S), gritted his way through Saturday’s ten round battle with SULLIVAN BARRERA (20-1-0, 14 KO’s), after suffering a broken jaw early in the 2nd round. Even with a broken jaw, Smith Jr. dug deep to fire away at the skilled Barrera until the final bell, in which he ultimately fell short by scores of 96-93 and 97-92 twice.
In a fight that had the cheering crowd on their feet throughout, Smith and Barrera went to war from the opening bell. Prior to breaking his jaw, Smith wasted no time showing his sheer power as he drilled Barrera with a hard left hook to the forehead in the opening round sending Barrera sprawling to the canvas. Barrera, hurt from the knockdown, showed his proven grit and determination by rising and finishing the round.
Although having his jaw broken in the second round, Smith continued to fight hard throughout the fight which featured excellent two-way action. Smith showed a great chin and tons of heart as he tried his best to fight through a debilitating injury. Smith landed some heavy blows stunning Barrera on occasion but Sullivan outworked him to grab the decision on the judges scorecards.
“Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round but in the second round he sustained a broken jaw,” said JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of STAR BOXING. “It’s a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago and frankly it’s amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight.”
In his only other previous loss, Smith also suffered a broken jaw against Eddie Caminero five years ago.
Continued DeGuardia, “After spending part of Saturday night at the UCLA Medical Center, Joe will have surgery later this week in New York and we’ll know more then about a time frame for his full recovery. We congratulate Sullivan Barrera on his victory.”
We at Star Boxing are extremely proud of Joe for fighting this fight under such extreme conditions as are all his fans who came to the fight last night from Long Island and those who watched on HBO. Joe Smith is a true warrior and epitomizes what a real fighter is supposed to be.
Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
By Adam J. Pollack
On Saturday July 15, the Forum in Los Angeles will feature several highly entertaining matchups. The main event features WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt, 31-1, 28 KOs, vs. Takashi Miura, 31-3-2, 24 KOs, two punchers who love to fight. Although Berchelt likely will win, for he has the superior talent and skill, this is one of those fights that you watch simply because you know that regardless of the result, both guys will fight hard, in entertaining fashion. Miura forces the fight with hard punches and can take some big ones, and both of these guys can hit.
Photo Credit: Kyte Monroe/BoxStats
If you are looking for a really hard-punching intriguing 50-50 type match-up, in which the outcome truly is in doubt, Joe Smith, Jr., 23-1, 19 KOs, vs. Sullivan Barrera, 19-1, 14 KOs is the fight for you. The very heavy-handed Smith, Jr. has freakish power, such that regardless of what the score is in a fight, if hits his opponent, the fight can be over in the blink of an eye. Remember, he knocked out Bernard Hopkins, who although old, had never been stopped before, and was a guy who knew every trick and artifice of the game. He also knocked out Andrej Fonfara in the very 1st round, and Fonfara had gone the distance with Adonis Stevenson, knocked out Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and beaten Glen Johnson and Byron Mitchell.
Smith Jr. is going up a very tough man in Sullivan Barrera, a guy whose only loss was a decision to Andre Ward. Barrera knocked out Jeff Lacy in 4, Karo Murat in 5, and handed the hard-punching then 17-0, 14 KOs Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy his only loss, stopping him in the 7th round. Like Smith Jr., Barrera can punch. So this is likely to be another hard-punching bang-‘em-out war. The likely winner is unclear.
Also on the card, undefeated WBA Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales (21-0, 8 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, 24-12, 14 KOs, who recently stopped former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last fight. Castellanos has managed to score several upset victories, defeating Rocky Juarez and then-undefeated Ronny Rios, in addition to Gamboa, so he seems to thrive on his underestimated underdog status. The undefeated Corrales won the championship by handing then undefeated Takashi Uchiyama his first losses, both by knocking him out and winning the rematch by decision. This is a really solid, competitive contest.
Other quality match-ups on the card include:
Mercito Gesta, 30-1-2 vs. Martin Honorio, 33-10-1
Manny Robles, Jr. 12-0 vs. Christian Esquivel, 30-11
Horacio Garcia, 32-2-1 vs. Diuhl Olguin, 11-16-3
Ryan Garcia, 9-0, vs. Mario Antonio Macias, 28-21
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Horn, Eubank, Abraham, Joe Smith Jr., and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Horn, Eubank, Abraham, Joe Smith Jr., and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 28th to July 5th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
ESPN’s Telecast of Battle of Brisbane Between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao Highest Rated Boxing Telecast Since 1995
ESPN’s live telecast Saturday, July 1, of the “Battle of Brisbane” (10 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET) averaged a total live audience (television and streaming) of 3.1 million viewers across the ESPN and ESPN Deportes networks, according to Fast National ratings from Nielsen. It was the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable television since 2006 and ESPN’s highest-rated boxing telecast since 1995.
The WBO World Welterweight Championship main event between Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), the Filipino legend and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, against undefeated No. 1 contender and Brisbane’s favorite son Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) (12 midnight to 1 a.m. ET) peaked during the final half hour of their fight with 4.4 million viewers across both networks. Horn defeated Pacquiao by a controversial unanimous decision.
On ESPN, the telecast averaged a 1.6 household rating and 2,812,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable TV since 2006. Carlos Baldomir vs. Arturo Gatti on HBO on July 22, 2006, earned a 1.6 household rating.
“The Battle of Brisbane” was also the highest-rated boxing telecast on ESPN’s networks since 1995. Danell Nicholson vs. Darren Hayden on ESPN, on December 21, 1995 earned a 1.7 household rating.
Highest Ratings for Boxing Telecasts on Cable in Last 10 Years
DATE NETWORK MAIN FIGHT US HH Rating
7/01/2017 ESPN Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn 1.6
9/26/2009 HBO Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Arreola 1.4
4/19/2008 HBO Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe 1.3
5/03/2008 HBO Oscar De La Hoya vs. Steve Forbes 1.3
5/09/2015 HBO Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland 1.3
“The Battle of Brisbane” on ESPN Deportes averaged 206,000 viewers, including 308,000 viewers in the final half hour of the event, making it the most-watched fight on ESPN Deportes since Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares on August 29, 2015, which had an average minute viewing audience of 355,00
ESPN’s telecast had a streaming average minute audience of 78,000, with 392,000 unique viewers, and 14.4 million total minutes streamed. Based on all three measures, the fight was the most-streamed boxing event on record on ESPN’s networks. On ESPN Deportes, the telecast had a streaming average minute audience of 1,400, with 7,800 unique viewers, and 253,000 total minutes streamed. Based on all three measures, the fight was the most-streamed boxing event on record on ESPN Deportes. Streaming provided a combined additional 2.6% lift on top of the television audience for both networks.
“The Battle of Brisbane” is available to stream now on the ESPN app.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs. King Arthur Abraham to Air on PPV in the United States
One of boxing’s most polarizing and exciting young fighters faces a dangerous three-time, two-division world champion, as Chris Eubank Jr. defends his International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight Championship against “King” Arthur Abraham on Saturday, July 15, available to watch on Pay Per View in the United States, starting at 2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT, live from SES Arena, Wembley in London, England.
“Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham”, promoted by Poxon Sports in association with Team Sauerland, is presented in the United States by Integrated Sports Media and Protocol Sports Marketing, Ltd.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” live in the United States on cable and satellite PPV via iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In Canada, the event will be available on television to fight fans that subscribe to premium pay television network Super Channel.
Outside of North America, “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” is being distributed to broadcasters worldwide by leading boxing television rights distribution firm, Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd.
Only 27 years old, the British-born Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) enters the contest with less experience than Abraham but with power, a mean streak, and meaningful boxing pedigree. Eubank Jr. has won 16 of his last 17 fights by stoppage.
His father, Chris Eubank Sr. (45-5-2, 23 KOs), is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight and middleweight world champion. Eubank Sr. co-trains and manages his son, in addition to being an idiosyncratic presence in and around his son’s fights, and the British fight scene.
A former Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Middleweight World Champion, Eubank Jr. captured the IBO title this past February, stopping Renold Quinlan (11-1, 7 KOs) in the 10th round. His July 15th fight versus Abraham will mark the confident young champion’s first IBO title defense.
“Abraham is a strong, come forward fighter,” Eubank Jr. said, “but he’s one-dimensional. He’s very good in that one dimension, but a one-dimensional fighter cannot beat me. I see a lot of holes in his game and I’m going to exploit those holes ruthlessly.”
The IBO No. 1 rated Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs) fights out of Berlin, Germany. “King” Arthur is a two-time WBO super middleweight world champion, as well as a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight world champion. The powerful Armenian has a sensational 18-4 (9 KOs) record in world championships, 7-4 (4 KOs) against former or current world champions. Noted victims during his 17-year professional career reads like a Who’s Who of Boxing in the 160- and 168-pound divisions, including world champions Raul Marquez, Hector Javier Velazco, Jermain Taylor, Robert Stieglitz thrice, and Giovanni De Carolis. Abraham has also defeated world-class opponents such as Martin Murray, Paul Smith twice, Lajuan Simon, Edison Miranda twice, Khoren Gevor, Sebastian Demers, Kofi Jantuah, Kingsley Ikeke, Robin Krasniqi and Howard Eastman.
Four of Abraham’s five career losses have been to world champions Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Stieglitz and Gilberto Ramirez. Stieglitz is the only opponent to stop Abraham, who has won 10 of his last 11 fights, the most recent a 12-round unanimous decision win over Krasniqi (46-4, 17 KOs) this past April in Germany.
“I will make sure that I’m in top shape and ready to secure a great victory,” Abraham remarked. “I know Chris Eubank, Jr. is a good fighter, like his dad. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I am confident I will beat him.”
Also airing live is the 12-round International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight World Championship match as popular Welshman “Lightning” Lee Selby (24-1, 9 KOs) makes his third defense of the title he captured May 30, 2015, when he won an eighth-round technical decision over previously unbeaten Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs).
Selby will be challenged by former WBA Featherweight World Champion Jonathan Victor “Yoni” Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs), of Argentina, who is the IBF No. 1 contender.
Additional PPV fights will soon be announced.
Taras Shelestyuk and Ruben Villa Defend Unbeaten Records on Saturday Night
In the “Locked n’ Loaded” main event, welterweight Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (16-0, 10 KOs) made quick work of Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-3, 11 KOs) by knocking him out in the third round Saturday night from Omega Products International in Sacramento, Calif.
Shelestyuk, who is ranked No. 5 by the WBO, predicted a knockout win in his prefight interview with the Olympic bronze medalist (London 2012) saying he planned to be aggressive from the start.
“I didn’t want this fight going the distance,” said Shelestyuk, who attributes the aggressiveness to new trainer Joel Diaz. “Joel and I worked on increasing our punch output and it showed in this fight.”
Shelestyuk, who is from the Ukraine but now makes his home in Los Angeles, rocked Rodriguez in the first round. He connected on a two-punch combination that sent the Mexican to the canvas. In the third round, Shelestyuk struck early and often, earning the knockout win at the 2:05 mark.
Top featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (7-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. delivered a beating to overmatched veteran Jonathan Alcantara (7-16-2, 1 KO) of El Salvador. Villa, who swept all three scorecards (40-36), looked equally comfortable fighting on the outside or in the pocket.
“I think this fight showed how versatile I am,” Villa said. “I boxed him well and mixed it up inside without taking any hits. It was a solid performance.”
Villa, indeed, looked the part of an elite prospect. He was aggressive the entire fight, yet was extremely disciplined on the defensive end.
“There’s no doubt I frustrated him,” Villa continued. “I could tell he was having a hard time. I never let him relax.”
Shelestyuk and Villa are co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing
Joe Smith Jr.-The Light Heavyweight Division is Back
Following his recent knockout of boxing legend BERNARD HOPKINS, Long Island fan favorite JOE SMITH JR. moved right into the mix in the light heavyweight division, boxing’s deepest and most exciting.
Working full-time as a union laborer in the New York City area, Smith (23-1-0, 19 KO’s) will take a short break from wielding the sledgehammer as he finalizes training for his upcoming 10-round showdown with fellow highly ranked contender SULLIVAN BARRERA, (19-1-0, 14 KO’s), on Saturday, July 15 from The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles and telecast live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark (9:50 p.m. ET/PT).
Most recently a new #1 Pound-for-Pound in boxing from the light heavyweight division was heralded as ANDRE WARD defeated SERGEY KOVALEV for the second time on June 17, defending the WBA/IBF/WBO Light Heavyweight Titles. On June 3, longtime WBC Light Heavyweight Champion ADONIS STEVENSON stopped highly ranked contender ANDRZEJ FONFARA.
In addition to those two champions the division is filled with world class fighters and highly regarded contenders including ARTUR BETERBIEV, DMITRY BIVOL, OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK and ELEIDER ALVAREZ .
“It’s true the division is truly heating up and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said the 27-year-old Smith Jr. “The winner of my upcoming fight moves right into the top of the mix in the division.”
“With my last two knockouts I have the full confidence that the sky is the limit for me in this division, I want to achieve my dream of becoming a world champion.”
Smith Jr. is promoted by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING who has developed the heavy handed Long Island native over the last few years into a world ranked contender and holder of the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title.
“Timing is always very important when bringing along a fighter to a higher level,” said DeGuardia. “We started working together a few years ago and our plan was to continue developing Joe’s talents and present him with the right opportunities for success. This is a formula we’ve used many times in the past in building fighters the right way.”
“When the opportunity came to fight Andrzej Fonfara we believed as a team that Joe was ready and he was spectacular in the first round knockout victory. The same with fighting Bernard Hopkins, it was a great opportunity and Joe put on another star making performance.”
“With the Sullivan Barrera fight the stakes are even higher but we feel this is another great opportunity for Joe, back on HBO which has built many stars over the last forty years.”
Oscar Negrete Overpowers Sergio Frias to Take Home NABF Bantamweight Championship
In one of his best performances yet, the still undefeated and newly crowned NABF Bantamweight Champion Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs) overpowered the rugged and resilient Sergio “Frio” Frias (18-7-2, 9 KOs) with a technical knockout victory in the main event on Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN live from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
“I want Caballero next,” said Negrete, calling out Randy “El Matador” Caballero who was scheduled to fight in the main event originally. “Tonight with Sergio Frias, I knew I was winning the fight; it was more of waiting for either the knock out to come about or get the unanimous decision. I felt like my jabs were the most effective, because after watching his fight against Archinean, our team noticed that he didn’t move his head a lot. There’s a couple more of these belts that I need to add to my career.”
“El Jaguar” was focused and in control of the fight, catching Frias on the ropes in several stand and deliver exchanges attacking the body consistently. In the last couple of rounds, Frias attempted to claw his way back, nailing Negrete with a couple of uppercuts that stunned “El Jaguar”. It was a heavy exchange in the eighth round that cause Frias to become unstable, and before the ninth round could commence, Frias’s corner called the fight, awarding the technical knockout win to Negrete.
A slew of VIPs attended the card, which marked the 50th show that Golden Boy Promotions has put on at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino including former IBF and WBO Featherweight Champion, Mexican actor and circus performer Jorge “El Maromero” Paez, NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr., Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Jesus “El Renuente” Soto Karass, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, and Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy.
In the co-main event, super lightweight contender Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (19-0, 11 KOs) of Chattanooga, Tennessee participated in a 10-round slugfest against Marcos “El Tigre” Jimenez (22-8, 15 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The two fighters went toe-to-toe with each other, however Martin managed to outclass his opponent.
“He was a tough, very defensive fighter,” said Ryan Martin. “It was hard for me to get him to open up because he would only throw a shot once he knew he could land it clean. This was my first time going the full 10 rounds, and by the eight, I was like ‘darn, he’s still standing?!’ Overall, I felt that I could be more consistent with my style, and I wish I would have listened to my coaches more while I was in the ring, but I am satisfied with my performance and despite not getting the knock out, I’m glad that I got the win.”
Heavy-handed Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (5-0, 4 KOs) from San Diego, Calif. demolished Devon Jones (2-5, 1 KO) of Fairfield, Calif. in a scheduled four-round match-up of lightweights that only made it to the 1:04 mark of the first round. “El Conde” handled his business with two knockdowns: the first with a left hook, the second a finishing blow of an overhand right.
“We were the swing bout, so I tried to send everyone home as early as I could,” said Genaro Gamez. “Of course I’m so excited for this win, I’m trying to keep my knock out streak alive.”
Retaining his unblemished record and champion title, WBC Youth Super Featherweight Champion Lamont Roach, Jr. (14-0, 5 KOs) dazzled the crowd with his skills in the ring against Sonora, Mexico’s Jesus “Chuito” Valdez (20-3-1, 9 KOs) for their 10-round super featherweight bout. Valdez landed impressive uppercuts that sent the crowd gushing for more, however Roach, Jr. went straight to the body, and worked-in his swift power combinations. In the last round, Roach gave a beating to Valdez, chipping away at him with consecutive blows to the head, leaving the resilient Mexican unbalanced. The judges scored the bout unanimously in favor of Roach, Jr. with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93.
“The icing on the cake would have been if I could have knocked him out, so I feel like this was an okay performance,” said Lamont Roach, Jr. “He was a tough opponent, and he was able to catch me a couple of times.”
Welterweight KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (17-1-1, 7 KOs) made a comeback from the first loss of his career taking on Zurich, Switzerland’s Dennis “Dennis the Menace” Dauti (14-3, 7 KOs) in eight-rounds of non-stop action. The hungry fighters both pressed on aggressively, engaging in heavy exchanges, however “The Truth” was always a step ahead, utilizing his height and reach to his advantage. Dauti was unable to properly adjust to Gibson’s style, but nevertheless, was able to step into moments of dangerous exchanges. The judges scored the bout at 80-72, 79-73, 77-75, awarding the unanimous decision to Gibson.
“This fight gives me a confidence boost,” said KeAndre Gibson. “Most fighters who come from overseas are pretty awkward in their styles, and he was no exception – he had strange head and shoulder movements that could have become accidental head-butts. I just want to be able to get those tough fights, so I think this puts me back in there.”
Hot off his professional debut, Luis Feliciano (2-0) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga impressed the crowd with his easy conquest over Baltazar Ramirez (3-3, 3 KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In the six-round super lightweight bout, Feliciano displayed his growing ring generalship, preventing Ramirez from landing any significant punches with his effective counter punching. All three judges scored the bout accordingly with scores of 60-54.
“I feel like we came in and we executed the game plan just how we had trained,” said Luis Feliciano. “I wasn’t sure what type of fighter we were getting, and once you’re in the ring styles change. He was a tough guy, and he took a lot of my punches.”
Opening up the card, Philadelphia’s Damon “No Smilin” Allen (12-0-1, 5 KOs) battled ring veteran Gamaliel “El Platanito” Diaz (40-17-3, 19 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round super lightweight match that made it to the sixth round. Allen showed growth from his previous fights, forcing Diaz to taste the mat various times throughout the bout. The doctors called the fight during the sixth round, due to an accidental head-butt, forcing the judges to go to the cards. The scores were 57-56 for Diaz, 58-55 for Allen, and 57-56 for Allen, awarding “No Smilin” the split decision victory.
“I don’t know if it was actually a head butt that he got from me, I just remember going off on him and unleashing my punches,” said Damon Allen. “It doesn’t matter if it was a split decision or if it would have ended unanimously – I was going to win regardless. I love taking on veteran fighters for this reason. I feel that I learn a lot about my skills and how to improve for the better.”
One Eye & a Bag of Tricks That Was Philly’s “Gypsy” Joe Harris
One Eye & a Bag of Tricks That Was Philly’s “Gypsy” Joe Harris
By: Ken Hissner
In the 60’s the baddest gym in Philadelphia was the 23rd PAL on Colombia Avenue. Such boxers as “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, “Cyclone” Hart, “Sugar” Hart, “Classy” Al Massey, Jimmy Young, “Boogaloo” Watts, “Smokin” Joe Frazier and the one-eyed “Gypsy” Joe Harris trained there.
“I came to the 23rd PAL from the 39th PAL and was one of the few boxers. The others there liked to go to war. One day in order to see whowas the baddest guy in the gym insteps none other than “Bad” Bennie Briscoe and “Gypsy” Joe Harris into the ring. There was no referee or trainers involved. It was only for about a one when police officer Duke Dugent who ran the gym with an iron hand jumped in the ring pulling the two of them apart! Duke yelled at the two and said NEVER AGAIN! You’ve heard of Philly Gym Wars?
This was best of the best,” said Al Massey.
Briscoe was the AAU 147 champion and had a jab coming up from the floor like a sledge hammer always coming forward. Harris on the other hand was as slippery as you could get using angles (due to the eye) with arms wrapped around himself and weaving around hard to hit.
“He don’t make plans because he don’t know what he going to do until he do it,” said Willie Reddish (trainer). Born in Camden, NJ, word is Harris was “bag snatching” on Halloween and got hit in the right eye with a brick! He was a jokester so when he took eye exams he joked and got by them.
I was there the night Harris was fighting “Irish” Bobby Cassidy, a southpaw, who was holding Harris with his right hand on Harris’ left shoulder and he still couldn’t hit him! He had a bald head and could slip punch after punch.
Harris’ biggest win was over then welterweight champion Curtis Cokes in a non-title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He would be asked afterwards “where’s the party?” He replied “ain’t no party here man, I’m from Philly!”
Today Cokes would have been stripped of his title for he was “nowhere to be found” when Harris showed up in Dallas for the rematch this time for the title! There was no ring in the hotel lobby and Cokes was “out fishing” per the local newspaper with picture in a row boat! Harris would move up to middleweight never to get close to a title fight again.
Harris turned professional in November of 1964 in Worcester, MASS, stopping Fred Walker in 3 rounds. In 1965 he went 9-0. In 1966 he defeated C.L. Lewis over 6 rounds in a bout filled with bad blood between the two of them. In May of 1966 he took on fellow Philly fighter Johnny Knight, 14-4-1 improving to 13-0 with the last 12 fights all in Philadelphia.
In October of 1966 Harris took on fellow Philadelphian Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, 22-2-1, stopping him in 6 rounds though coming off the floor in the third round. Next up was Cuban Jose Stable, 27-8-2, defeating Sidney “Sweet Pea” Adams and C.L. Lewis in NY. Then he defeated Cokes, Philly’s Charley Scott and Hayward in NY before coming to Philly to defeat Dick Turner, 19-0-1. In 1965 he lost in a title fight to Emile Griffith before returning to Philly losing to Percy Manning. He would lose to Harris in 1966.
Harris would go onto stop Knight in a rematch in 1967. Then he had the non-title win over Cokes weighing 151 improving to 18-0 at MSG before returning to Philly weighing 160 defeating Teddy Wright, 46-15-10.He would return to Dallas in the co-feature to Cokes defending against France’s Francois Pavilla. Harris posted a win but was at 158 ½ while 3 months later down to 152 in a war against Miguel Barreto, 15-1, winning a close one. Then coming off the canvas in the ninth to defeat Cassidy and win a rematch with Barreto. In February of 1968 he beat Dick DiVeronica, 38-8, just 6 months to his career ending fight against former world champion Emile Griffith, 55-9 in Philly.
Just before the Griffith fight Harris would marry a bar maid in Atlantic City and disappear showing up at the 23rd PAL Gym. “I only had a week to get him back in shape for Griffith,” said Duke Dugent (ran the gym). He was up to 160 losing to Griffith over 12 rounds. His offense was not there but his defense was. His 24 bout win streak was stopped. This fight set an indoor attendance record in Philly.
Getting back into the ring with Manny Gonsalves was to be his comeback fight when it was finally discovered at the examination he had no sight in an eye. The charade and career for Harris was over. It was blamed on a gym war with C.L. Lewis who thumbed him and Harris hit him in return in the “family jewels!” With a blood filled eye it brought the attention of the physician.
This writer made an attempt to get Harris to either Puerto Rico or Canada where he would possibly be able to fight. I was with him at the 23rd PAL with Dugent and we went to his family doctor to get the records to prove he had been blind fighting for some time but the doctor was not there. I never saw Harris again and he never fought again! Harris was one of the most “colorful” boxers out of Philadelphia in their history! He was only 22 and lived another 22 years before dying from a heart ailment at age 44! He is still talked about in Philly gyms this day.
More Boxing History
Louis-Galento: A Hype Master Proves He’s More Than Just Hype
Louis-Galento: A Hype Master Proves He’s More Than Just Hype
By: Sean Crose
Tony Galento had some kind of left. Just how powerful was the stocky heavyweight’s power punch? Powerful enough to send the great Joe Louis off his feet. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, nothing is. Yet Galento isn’t remembered today for that left of his. Rather, he’s better remembered for his nickname, “Two Ton Tony.” If that moniker strikes you as a bit over-the-top then it still serves its purpose. For Galento was a master of hype. A product of Orange, New Jersey. Galento looked more like Edward G Robinson than a prize fighter, and he played his off-center persona to the hilt.
Nutrition? How’s pasta, chicken and plenty of booze sound for a man in training? Ring aura? Galento is said to have avoided bathing before a bout in order to disgust his opponent in the ring. Smack talk? A story claims Galento once heckled iconic comedian Jackie Gleason so endlessly during one stand up performance that Gleason, remembered today for playing “The Honeymooners’” Ralph Kramden, tried sending the fighter “to the moon” (needless to say, things didn’t end well for Gleason that night). Showmanship? Galento once fought a bear. Need more evidence? According to BoxRec: “On May 1, 1931, Galento fought three times and won all three fights. He reportedly drank beer between rounds.”
Make no mistake about it, Galento was a character. He also really knew how to promote himself. Here’s the thing, though – Galento knew how to fight, as well. This wasn’t just some circus act come to life, this was a real contender who was a danger to any man he faced. And so it was, that on June 28th, 1939, Galento met the great Joe Louis for the heavyweight championship of the world. Unsurprisingly, Galento played up the opportunity to the hilt. “I can lick the bum!” he claimed in classic, over-the-top fashion. No one, though, seems to have thought the man had much of a chance. Why would they have? It was the great Joe Louis he was facing, after all.
The night of the fight, Galento entered the ring, stocky and balding as always. Yet his manner just before the bout exuded the kind of antagonistic confidence that only a master of mind games can exude. During the pre-fight faceoff in the center of the ring, he reached forward and rubbed Louis’ head. Louis, however, remained gunfighter cool. Shenanigans weren’t a part of the man’s makeup – at least not in the ring. And, like all great fighters, the champion knew not to take the bait from a man clearly trying to make him lose the all-important mental battle.
The first round was something of a surprise. The aggressive Jersey slugger had a crouched, awkward style that Louis wasn’t able to figure out. What’s more, Galento was firing that potent left, which was finding a home on his opponent. By the second round, however, Louis found his range and was able to effectively send his stocky foe to the mat. Galento got up, but by the third round it was clear the man’s less than stellar conditioning was starting to get to him. For Galento’s movements had slowed and his awkward style had become choppy. In short, he was no longer as effective as he had been minutes earlier.
Sure enough, from the look on Galento’s beat-up face, it appeared as if the fight were over for all intents and purposes. Then, however, the unbelievable happened. Backed up near the ropes, Galento fired a perfect overhand left perhaps a millisecond after Louis launched his own left to Galento’s body. Louis went down…to the explosively vocal shock of the crowd. Not that Louis was down for long. Indeed, the champion may not have even been on the mat for a full second before he was back on his feet, ready to fight again (he was given no count). Still, Galento had, if only for a moment, backed up the hype.
And, sure enough, Galento was still able to land aggressively and hard afterwards. He was also able to hold Louis behind the head and punch, as he had previously for brief moments before tough guy referee Arthur Donovan would step in and break things up. Still, by the fourth, Louis’ great skill set proved to be too much. Backing his man up, the champion was soon able to make Galento’s head look like a punching bag. Before the round was over, Galento collapsed onto the canvas for the last time after Donovan got in between the two fighters. It wasn’t a single blow that did Galento in, it was the accumulation. Technically speaking, Louis sent his feisty antagonist to the mat without a punch. Indeed, it was the series of Louis’ brutal shots seconds earlier that led to Galento’s odd, delayed-reaction defeat.
After the bout, Louis took a much deserved vacation to Atlantic City. Long after his run-in with Galento, though, the famous champion was still able to recall Galento’s pre-fight antics with clarity. “Tony berated me something terrible before the fight,” he admitted, “He got to me, and I hated him for it. I never hated anybody before. I decided to punish him before I knocked him out.” Some guys simply have a knack for rubbing certain people the wrong way. Others guys actually love doing it. Galento was just one of those guys who loved doing it.
More Boxing History
Joe Smith Jr. Interview: “I have to make sure I take full advantage of these opportunities”
Joe Smith Jr. Interview: “I have to make sure I take full advantage of these opportunities”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Joe Smith Jr. is the heavy hitting light heavyweight that took the boxing world by storm in 2016. The native Long Islander, who sports an impressive 23-1 19KO record, solidified himself as one of the top guys in the 175lb division.
Smith traveled to Chicago to face the favored, Andrzej Fonfara, and knocked out the Pol in 1 round. Smith then got his big shot against Bernard Hopkins, headlining a televised HBO main event.
Not only did Smith send Hopkins off into retirement, but he did so by becoming the first person to ever knock Hopkins out and he literally knocked him out of the ring.
Smith is preparing for his first fight of 2017, this time against a fellow hard hitting light heavyweight in Sullivan Barrera. The fight takes place at the Famous Forum in Inglewood, California live on HBO, July 15th. We spoke with Joe to see how he was doing ahead of another big time fight.
Boxing Insider: What has changed in your life since the Hopkins fight?
Joe Smith Jr.: More and more people are recognizing me and seeing I’m the real deal. After the Hopkins fight, finishing him the way I did, people loved it and are giving me a lot of credit for it.
Boxing Insider: Are you still working your construction job, or are you done with all that?
Joe Smith Jr.: At this time I am off. After the Hopkins fight I went back for a couple weeks. I took off and started focusing more on the boxing.
Boxing Insider: So you are completely done and are full time boxing now?
Joe Smith Jr.: No, I’m still in the Union. I still go back to work, I like to go to work here and there to clear my head and keep me busy.
Boxing Insider: In the Hopkins fight, what was it like to retire a legend, in the fashion that you did?
Joe Smith Jr.: It was great. I’m happy that I got that opportunity to fight Hopkins and win the way I did.
Boxing Insider: You are promoted by Star Boxing. How would you rate them getting you these big fights in the last couple years?
Joe Smith Jr.: They have been doing a great job. Star Boxing has been getting me big fights and I have to make sure I take full advantage of these opportunities. Train my ass off so that they can get me more big fights.
Boxing Insider: There was talk about a fight with you and Adonis Stevenson. What ever happened with that fight?
Joe Smith Jr.: I started training for Stevenson. I took off of work, and then just nothing happened with it. I was hoping for the opportunity, but instead he fought Fonfara, who I knocked out in one round. I didn’t really hear much about it, we thought we were fighting him the whole time. So, they found somebody else (Barrera) and I’m just training for that.
Boxing Insider: What was your reaction when you found out that Fonfara would be getting a second shot at Stevenson?
Joe Smith Jr.: I thought it was wrong, but I guess he wanted to make some money and take an easy fight.
Boxing Insider: You’ve had a seven month stretch between the Hopkins fight and this upcoming one against Barrera. How do you think the long layoff will affect you?
Joe Smith Jr.: It’s been a long time since people have seen me in the ring, but I have been training the whole time since the Hopkins fight. I’ve been back in the gym two weeks after for Stevenson and that fell through, and then I just started preparing for the next guy until I had a fight.
Original Gangster: Antandil Khurtsidze Arrested In Organized Crime Roundup
Original Gangster: Antandil Khurtsidze Arrested In Organized Crime Roundup
By: Sean Crose
Okay, I admit that title is a bit disingenuous. The truth is that here in the United States of America, one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Therefore, middleweight Antandil Khurtsidze, who was arrested on Wednesday in a roundup of people reputedly connected to what the United States’ Attorney of the Southern District of New York referred to as “a Russian and Georgian Criminal Enterprise,” has done nothing wrong in the eyes of society. Still, the man is now up on charges and his upcoming title bout with Billy Joe Saunders is at least temporarily kaput. That does not constitute a good day.
Specifically, Khurtsidze, a 33-2-2 product of the nation of Georgia who now lives in Brooklyn, is standing accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud and with breaking the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act. If convicted, the man can face decades in prison, be fined a ton of money and eventually end up under supervised release. The group Khurtsidze is reputedly connected to is known as the Shulaya Enterprise, a Russian/Georgian crime syndicate led by one Razhden Shulaya.
Among the Enterprise’s alleged operations are: illegal poker establishments in Brighton Beach, the extortion of gamblers and business owners, the attempted high tech defrauding of casinos, the theft of 10,000 pounds of chocolate (it’s true), the theft of other cargo shipments, the employment of a female Enterprise member to lure in and rob unsuspecting males (after rendering the victim’s unconscious with gas), the movement of untaxed cigarettes, the intention to open an after hours club (where, among other things, illegal narcotics would be sold), plans to bribe law enforcement, and forgery. With an assortment of charges, such as a “murder for hire conspiracy” and “conspiracy to sell firearms to a felon” lodged against its members, the Shulaya Enterprise appears to be quite a fearsome group – at least on paper.
All of this, of course, leaves middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders high and dry. He and Khurtsidze were supposed to fight in England this July. Now that his opponent has far more pressing things to attend to, Saunders will have to wait for another opportunity to fight. This, of course, only adds to the strangeness of Saunders’ title reign, which has consisted of twitter rants, long periods of time outside the ring and a ho-hum performance against Artur Akavov last December.
Still, Saunders’ future looks to be far brighter than Khurtsidze’s is at the moment. Sometimes it’s good to put everything in perspective.
Louis-Conn II: A Heavyweight Title Fight Comes To Television
Louis-Conn II: A Heavyweight Title Fight Comes To Television
By: Sean Crose
For those who don’t know, Joe Louis was one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. What’s more, he was one of the greatest boxers of all time. Believe it or not, these are facts that few fight analysts and/or historians will ever argue against (boxing know-it-alls are a traditionally ornery bunch). As in the case of Ali (and precious few others) Louis’ greatness is pretty much universally accepted. Just how good was the guy? Well, from the year 1936 to the year 1950, the man didn’t lose a single fight. Not. A. Single. Fight. Oh, and he had well over thirty bouts during that time span.
Jack Sharkey, James Braddock, Max Baer, Max Schmeling, and Joe Walcott were just some of the notables Louis met and bested during his notable run. Impressive stuff for a man widely known for taking out one no-hoper after another (for a while, Louis’ competition was known as “the bum of the month club”). Yet, while Louis is rightly regarded as one of the most dominant boxers to ever slip on a pair of gloves, there were men out there known to present the guy with a challenge. Schmeling beat him the first time they met. Walcott gave him almost more than he could handle. Even the over the top “Two Ton” Tony Galento had Louis briefly taste the mat.
One fighter that gave Louis more trouble than the man could have possibly imagined, though, was Billy Conn. A product of Pittsburgh, Conn had a less than terrific start as a boxer, before finally getting the hang of things and collecting a whole lot of wins for himself. After winning and defending the light heavyweight title, however, Conn decided to go for greatness and take on Louis for the heavyweight championship of the world. It was a bold and daring move. Louis wasn’t just any heavyweight, after all. And besides, moving up to take the biggest prize in sports against a bigger man (Louis would outweigh Conn by at least twenty pounds)was a daunting challenge in and of itself.
Yet Conn almost pulled it off. Meeting Louis at New York’s Polo Grounds on the evening of June 18th, 1941, Conn employed incredible boxing skills to frustrate Louis and avoid the impact of the champions’ frightening power punches. Not only was Conn proving to be the great Louis’ equal – he was handily beating the man. Then came the thirteenth round. The slick, slippery Conn decided to play tough guy after surprisingly hurting his opponent. Yet the results of Conn’s hubris were entirely predictable…Louis ended up winning by knockout that very round. The story, however, wasn’t over. After the Second World War, which saw both Conn and Louis serving in the military, the two fighters were to meet again, on June 19th, 1946, at Yankee Stadium.
A lot of time passed since the first fight, however, and the world had changed in incredibly dramatic ways. The United States, previously seen as a kind of marginalized, movie making nation where poor people were apt to move, was, as a result of the war, now the world’s great power, deeply engaged in a “cold war” with the Soviet Union for the direction of civilization (hard to believe, but true). What’s more, American life itself had changed since Louis and Conn had first squared off. Television, which had been around for years, was about to really take hold with the American public. And boxing was to become one of the young medium’s prime attractions.
And what better way to bring boxing to tv fans than to broadcast a live rematch between the great “Brown Bomber” and his slippery foe?
Unfortunately, the second fight wasn’t nearly as thrilling as the first. “He can run, but he can’t hide,” Louis claimed beforehand, in perhaps the first utterance from a fighter that absorbed itself into everyday language. Louis was right. He was able to end Conn’s second attempt at glory in the eighth round. Conn’s big moment had passed, having slipped into the vapor of time half a decade and a full historical era earlier. Still, the rematch between Louis and Conn served it’s purpose, bringing a heavyweight title fight to a groundbreaking new medium. Make no mistake about it, boxing is still living in the shadow of that long ago night in New York
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 25th to May 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
“Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” to Air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes This Week Featuring Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The Golden Boy Media and Entertainment production of “Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” will air this week on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr.
“We are very excited to further our partnership with ESPN by having Mano-A-Mano air across the ESPN family of networks as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. mega fight on Saturday, May 6.
We’ve had a successful start to the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN series, and this is just the next step in what we hope to be a long partnership with ESPN” said Oscar De La Hoya, executive producer of “Mano-A-Mano” and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
“Mano-A-Mano The Battle for Mexico” – Air Schedule:
• Monday, May 1 available on ESPN’s VOD Platforms
• Tuesday, May 2 at 8:30pm ET – ESPN Deportes
• Wednesday, May 3 11:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Thursday, May 4 at 9:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Friday, May 5 at 7:30pm ET – ESPN 2
“Mano-A-Mano” goes behind the scenes of the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. megafight as Golden Boy Media and Entertainment takes you into the camps of Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) as they prepare for their Saturday, May 6 showdown. “Mano-A-Mano” also features exclusive interviews with Canelo, Chavez, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Eddy and Chepo Reynoso, as well as others from around the fighters’ fight camps and promotion.
“Golden Boy Media and Entertainment has established itself as a leader in boxing television production for live, scripted, and documentary programming,” said Golden Boy Media and Entertainment Executive Vice President David Tetreault. “Golden Boy’s new partnership with ESPN creates the foundation for new and exciting programming that boxing fans will truly appreciate as they gear up during Canelo-Chavez, Jr. fight week.”
Deontay Wilder Conference Call Highlights
American Heavyweight Champion hosted a media conference call prior to the fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. Below are a few select quotes from the conference call.
“I love this fight for these guys. I love it for the sport of boxing. The fans seem to be well in-tune with it and I think this is a super fight for the heavyweight division.
“I can’t wait for it. I can’t wait to see what happens and hopefully those guys go in healthy and come out the same way. This is a very dangerous sport, especially when you’re trying to perform and put on a show.”
On what Wilder sees as vulnerabilities in Joshua..
“There’s a lot of flaws that Joshua has, but Joshua is still young in the game as well. A lot of people look at Joshua and they’re going off of his physique and they’re going off of the hype that their countryman has brought to them.
“If you really look deep down and soul search and look at his resume, with all of the guys he’s fought … that sometimes makes a person look busier than what he is. There’s a lot of flaws in all of us though, to be honest. Nobody will ever be perfect in the ring. We only try to be our best and that’s the only thing you should go off of.
“I am looking forward to this fight and I can’t wait. I want Klitschko to come in and fight. You can always be hyped for a big fight but it’s all going to boil down to what fighter is going to bring what to the fight. I think he’s ready and he’s going to show a lot of things. He’s going to teach Joshua a lot of different things in the ring, as well, and we’ll see if Joshua has any flaws or not.”
On potentially fighting the winner later this year…
“Hopefully. There are a lot of people that are involved in this. If it were just solely up to me then I’d be 1,000 percent confident, but it’s not just me. That’s what the fans want. I’ve been wanting to give the fans what they want my entire career. Unfortunately, I am one of those fighters that’s always getting the short end of the stick. I only can work with what I can work with.
“I am very confident that I am the best in this division. I am very confident that I will unify this division. I am very confident that I will retire on top, undefeated as well. I’m just waiting for my moment. I’ve been sitting patiently all of this time, even in the start of my career and I’m sitting patient now. I’m just looking forward to my turn.”
On why it’s important for him to be ringside in London…
“When you have guys that are competing against each other at the top, it’s only right for me to be there. I’m not just going out there to be on Sky Sports, I am for sure going there to scout. All the other heavyweights come to my fights. They’re not just there to be a fan. They’re there to scout and look for different openings and certain signs.
“I am definitely going over to scout. And maybe we can make a mega-unification bout.
“I want to go get [Joseph] Parker. Parker doesn’t have an opponent right now. I’m fresh. I’m ready and what would be better than me and Parker fighting for the unification and then have another unification where winner takes all at the end of the year? Then, 2018 you can start off the year with nothing but mandatories.
“The heavyweight division is getting exciting. This is the heavyweight division, and we’re already coming out of that dark place and we finally got light. Don’t take it back. Don’t go backwards when we’re moving so freshly forward. With that, I want to move it more forward. I want to give the fans what they want, and they want a unification. They want one champion and I’m trying to make that happen. So here I am Joseph Parker.”
Fans to Receive Exclusive Commemorative Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. Fight Poster at Movie Theaters Across the Country
On Saturday, May 6, fight fans watching the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. superfight on the big screen will also each receive an exclusive commemorative fight poster with the purchase of a ticket (while supplies last). The Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. poster, issued by Fathom Events, features both fighters against a Mexican flag backdrop ready to meet in the ring to settle their boxing feud once and for all.
Cinemas across the U.S. will play host to a Cinco de Mayo weekend mega-fight with a pulse-pounding live broadcast event featuring two of Mexico’s finest boxers: “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” in a historic showdown that will rival the biggest fights in Mexico’s rich boxing history. Former two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) will square off against former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Presented by Fathom Events and Golden Boy Promotions, the one-day cinema broadcast is set for Saturday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. CT / 9:00 p.m. ET, live from the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” cinema event are on sale now at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 250 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Memorabilia on Steiner Sports Auction Block
When heavyweight immortals Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier squared off for the third time in 1975 in the Philippines, it climaxed a bitter rivalry in a fight that many, including The Ring Magazine, rank as the #1 Fight of All-Time. Steiner Sports Memorabilia is now offering fans a chance to own a piece of history with an original promotional poster from the “Thrilla in Manila,” hand-signed by both Ali and Frazier.
The “Spring Fever Auction” has over 1,600 collectibles, and this one is certainly one of the rarest. The poster is a lithograph of an original Leroy Neiman painting, and features both Hall of Fame boxers in the classic fighter’s stance. The opening bid on this piece of boxing history was $500, but after spirited bidding over the past several weeks – six bids to date – the action is at $1,302. Visit http://auction.steinersports. com/ to bid. The auction closes at 10:00 pm on May 6.
Contact: John Cirillo, email@example.com, Diego Isio, firstname.lastname@example.org
Other boxing memorabilia featured includes:
•Muhammad Ali Signed Boxing Trunks
•Muhammad Ali Signed Gloves
•Mike Tyson Signed WBO Championship Replica Belt
•Oscar de la Hoya Signed Boxing Glove
•Joe Frazier Signed Boxing Glove
•Manny Pacquiao Signed Photo
David Lemieux Media Workout Quotes
Fighting as the co-main event to Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Former IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) makes quick return to the ring after spectacular knockout over Curtis Stevens in March to face tough Middleweight Contender Marco “Dorado” Reyes (35-4, 26 KOs) on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Below is what David Lemieux and his trainer had to say yesterday at their April 26 media day:
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight Champion:
“I’m in better shape than I was against Stevens. I only took a week off before heading back to the gym. I could not pass up the opportunity to fight on the May 6th card as the co-main event for Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., while all eyes will be on us. I love the Mexican fans who always put on a great atmosphere during the fights.
“Reyes is a solid opponent, but I am very confident in my abilities. I don’t think he will last long in the ring against me. I intend to make another statement on May 6.”
MARC RAMSAY, Trainer to David Lemieux:
“It’s going to be a good fight, especially in the early rounds. We are facing a bit of a kamikaze boxer, which we must take very seriously. You have to have a good defense and a good approach.
“When it comes to technique, David really is superior, so it’s going to have to show. He is very conscious of the extent of the importance of this fight.”
Jerome Conquest to Take on Daniel Perales in Co-Feature Bout on Friday, May 12th at the Sugarhouse Casino
Jerome Conquest will take on veteran Daniel Perales in the scheduled six-round super lightweight bout that will serve as the co-feature on Friday night, May 12th at The SugarHouse Casino
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.
The bout will support the already announced main event that will pit Christopher Brooker (11-3, 5 KO’s) taking on Oscar Riojas (14-7-1, 4 KO’s) in a super middleweight bout scheduled for eight rounds.
Conquest of Philadelphia, has a record of 6-2 with one knockout, and will be making his first start in 2017.
The 31 year-old is a three-year professional, and trains out of the Joe Hand Boxing Gym under the tutelage of Wade and Randy Hinnant.
Conquest has a win over Christian Molina (4-1), and is coming off a close six-round unanimous decision defeat to Victor Vasquez on August 5, 2016 in Philadelphia, and I watched his most recent fight.
“I am happy to be back in the ring for the first time since my last fight in August. I am coming off a broken foot. I watched two of his fights. His fight against Damon Allen and I saw his last bout.. I think he is tough. He didn’t show too much in his last bout, but I know he is a tough guy, and I know he is not coming all the way from Mexico to get knocked out,” said Conquest
Perales of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 10-9-1 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old Perales is a six-year professional, and has faced some stiff competition.
He has faced six undefeated foes. Perales should be familiar to local fight fans, as he has dropped bouts to Frank De Alba and Damon Allen.
Perales has been on the wrong end of his last three fights with the latest being six-round unanimous decision defeat to Hector Tanajara on March 23rd in Indio, California.
Brooker of Philadelphia has a record of 11-3 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old is known for taking on anyone at anytime.
The combined record of his last seven foes is a staggering 92-9-3, with Brooker winning five of those bouts, and Brooker has appeared on national television three times.
Brooker is a two-year professional, who already has wins over Leo Hall (8-0), John Magda (11-0), Antowyan Aikens (10-1-1), Gabriel Pham (6-0) & former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (28-7-1).
Brooker has dropped his last two bouts to Ronald Gavril (16-1) in a bout that Brooker was even on the scorecards before being stopped in the final round. On January 20th, Brooker dropped an eight-round unanimous decision to undefeated Ronald Ellis (13-0-1) in Atlantic City. That fight was shown live on ShoBox: The New generation.
Riojas of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 14-7-1 with four knockouts.
The 33 year-old Riojas in a four year professional, who won his first 11 bouts. Like Brooker, Riojas has not shied from tough competition as the combined record of Riojas opponents that have defeated him are 81-1-2.
Riojas and Brooker have two common foes as Riojas has dropped fights to Gavril and Ellis.
Riojas is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision over Roberto Nafate on April 6 in Leon, Mexico.
Why Is Disappointment Such An Enormous Part Of Boxing?
Why Is Disappointment Such An Enormous Part Of Boxing?
By: Sean Crose
Seanie Monaghan wanted to fight Adonis Stevenson. He was disappointed. Adonis Stevenson wanted to fight Joe Smith. He was disappointed. Gennady Golovkin wanted to fight Billy Joe Saunders. He was disappointed. Billy Joe Saunders then wanted to fight Gennady Golovkin. He was disappointed. Welcome to boxing, where disappointment seems to sometimes reign as undisputed pound for pound king. The other night, while I was at the Mohegan Sun Casino to see Sullivan Barrera top off an entertaining card by besting the overmatched Paul Parker, I found myself less than a foot away from talented junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade.
I asked the skillful Rhode Islander what he had in store for the future. The answer, unfortunately, was nothing at the moment. Andrade, you see, had wanted to face Cuban slickster Erislandy Lara, but ended up being – you guessed it – disappointed. The point of this piece isn’t to point fingers at any of the fighters mentioned above (or below), but rather to illustrate what a frustrating endeavor boxing can be…especially for those who are doing the fighting. It was clear sitting near Andrade, for instance, that the man keeps himself in shape and has expert knowledge of the skills required for success in the ring. His last fight wasn’t even televised in the states, however, and his future, at least at the moment, is grey.
Again, the point here isn’t to support or condemn Andrade (though he’s certainly an engaging guy to speak with). The point here is merely to illustrate the vast, some might even argue infinite, figurative desert so many fighters tend to find themselves in. Part of this, of course, has to do with the fact that boxing has no single controlling authority. This can be frustrating, but at least there’s not one or two people who get to pick who does and doesn’t become a star.
Then again, there’s also the matter of cherrypicking, which seems to be more relevant than ever these days. Fighters, even up and comers, can act like marketing experts, even when they’re not. Instead of trying to be Floyd Mayweather, boxer, some pugilists seem to aspire to be Floyd Mayweather, millionaire. There’s a huge difference between those two entities, but it looks as if some, if not many, fighters are afraid to recognize it. Such thinking leads, of course, to disappointment among fans, possible opponents and perhaps even the fighters themselves. Fighters, after all, SHOULD care about legacies if they have the chance to create them.
Look, disappointment has been a big part of boxing since at least the time John L Sullivan made it clear he wouldn’t fight the likes of “Prince” Peter Jackson because of Jackson’s skin color. That doesn’t mean there should be as many disappointed souls in the fight game as there seems to be, however. Just because disappointment is a natural part of everyone’s life doesn’t require it to play a leading role. The question, of course, is how can anyone, much less fans, actually deal with this issue plaguing the sweet science? No one appears to have a single satisfactory answer.
Oh well, at least Barrera seemed happy in the wee hours of Saturday morning as I said hi to him walking out of the arena and into the busy casino. For the record, he was supposed to have fought Artur Beterbiev on the 21st of April, but pulled out of the match, having to settle instead for some work against Parker. I think it’s safe to say people were disappointed by that particular turn of events.
The Night Joe Louis Became An Icon
The Night Joe Louis Became An Icon
By: Sean Crose
Joe Louis is a pleasure to watch. Unlike many fighters who might be considered “Old Time,” there’s nothing archaic about Louis when one sees him go through an opponent. Styles may have indeed advanced – or diminished, depending upon how you look at it – since Louis’ time, but Louis was very much a modern fighter. For he was fast, exciting and very fluid. Footage of Louis shows that he wasn’t clunky, as Jack Johnson might appear to contemporary eyes, or wildly undeliberate, as Dempsey might seem. No, Louis on film is very much a craftsman, and an exciting one, at that. Watching the man’s fights – at least those of his prime – can be truly entertaining.
Although he was from the American South, Louis was very much a product of the city of Detroit, where he was raised. His first twenty plus fights showed just how brilliant the guy was, as he knocked out competitor after competitor. Here was a man who was the complete package, both skilled and aggressive. He was also an African American who white Americans might actually find acceptable. Although such a thing shouldn’t have mattered, it sadly did in Louis’ time. And the fact that the Detroit native was unassuming and easygoing – in other words, the exact opposite of Jack Johnson – greatly helped Louis along his career path.
Yet Louis was about to come across a major stumbling block while he was still in his early twenties. German heavyweight Max Schmeling might have been seen by some as a has been by the time Louis began to rise to the top of the heavyweight division, but the truth is that appearances can be deceiving. A former heavyweight champion of the world, Schmeling was confident he could best the young upstart, despite what people may have thought of his own career. Needless to say, Schmeling’s confidence paid off when he met Louis in the ring on June 19th, 1936 at Yankee Stadium.
For Schmeling ended up stopping Louis in the 12th round. It was one of those cases where an old master comes around and takes a flashy newcomer to school. Schmeling, strong, smart and disciplined, was able to best his man in impressive fashion. Louis, however, simply wasn’t a man to curl up in a ball and die on account of a single, albeit devastating, defeat. He went on to win his next eleven fights, ten of them by knockout or stoppage. But that wasn’t all, Louis also picked up the heavyweight championship of the world along the way, knocking out a game James Braddock in Chicago’s Comiskey Park just over a year after the Schmeling battle.
Louis was, in a sense, on top of the world. Not only was he a thoroughly dominant champion, he was the first African American to be heavyweight king since Jack Johnson decades earlier. And if that weren’t enough, Louis was arguably the best heavyweight titlist to date. Johnson and Dempsey were great, but Louis looked like he may well have been on another level entirely. He was something different – a standout – not only because he was an African American sports star, but because he was an explosive talent, as well. Sure, he had lost to Schmeling, but that was old news, right?
A rematch was eventually set for June 22nd, 1938, exactly one year after Louis bested Braddock. It was indeed an important and significant title matchup for the world to look forward to. Believe it or not, however, it was a battle that would have dark political implications surrounding it. “Because Schmeling was from Germany,” the International Boxing Hall of Fame points out, “the bout took on a broader meaning.” The IBHOF also states that during his career, Schmeling’s “title and image were used as a propaganda tool by Adolf Hitler to demonstrate Aryan supremacy.” And so a boxing match became a symbolic battle between freedom and tyranny.
The battle, however, was over about as soon as it started. This wasn’t going to be any replay of the first match, as far as Louis was concerned. He simply pummeled his man, knocking the former champion down several times before finishing Schmeling off in highlight reel fashion. Dempsey-Willard may have been the most brutal heavyweight title fight in history, but in its rapid onslaught of highly skilled violence, Louis’ knockout of Schmeling remains one of the most impressive – and frightening – in boxing lore. Needless to say, the heavyweight champion of the world had been avenged and the free world had struck a symbolic blow against the forces of injustice.
Yet, while all that is true, a keener eye is needed when it comes to the story of Louis and Schmeling. How odd it was, for instance, that the American hero of a global drama (and make no mistake about, Louis was, and perhaps still is, viewed as the hero) was black at a time where racism was the norm. Louis doesn’t get much credit for it, but – despite his flaws – he helped show his country that African Americans were not only equal to white Americans, but could actually be looked up to by white Americans, as well.
As for Schmeling, the poor guy really got a raw deal. He may have been from a country run by a mad regime, but you weren’t apt to find the guy making plans to round up Jews, march on Poland, or bomb London night after night. Schmeling wasn’t only a pawn of some evil forces, he was actually a pretty decent man. “Many years later,” the IBHOF claims, “it was revealed that Schmeling risked his own life by hiding Jewish children in his hotel room and helping them escape Germany.” Not exactly the picture of a goose stepping Nazi thug. Later in life, when Schmeling was a successful businessman, he went out of his way to help out Louis financially after his former foe had fallen on hard times.
In an age where biting irony is considered the height of sophistication, it’s refreshing to look back on the story of Louis and Schmeling, a tale where irony acts as a positive rather than as a tool of vicious snark. For an African America proved to be the role model his country needed, while his opponent proved to be far from the villain easy thinking would make him out be.