By: Greg Houghton
Is it just me, or is it starting to get really frustrating continuously hearing about yet another star in combat sports testing positive for performance enhancing drugs?
It seems that, sure as the wind blows, we repeatedly hear of yet another pro athlete in combat sports who has been banned for using performance enhancing drugs.
If you look across the top ranked athletes in combat sports (in fact- contact sports in general including American football and rugby), most of those who are dominating their sport in this day and age are genetic freaks of nature that tower over their competition. In boxing, out of our world champions in the heavyweight division we’ve currently got Joseph Parker as our smallest who stands at 6”4 and weighs in at around 245lbs.
Arguably at the top of the heavyweight tree we have Anthony Joshua, at just shy of 6”7 and who came into the Wladimir Klitschko fight north of 250lbs. Anyone who saw that fight will be fully aware that this was over 250lbs of pure muscle.
In turn, the power that AJ is able to generate through his freakish genetics is such that he was able to do what only three before him had done in stopping ‘Dr. Steel Hammer’, a man with a professional record spanning over twenty years.
Size seems to be a prevalent thing as todays combat sports divisions are filled with huge athletes, with the bigger guy seemingly almost always having the upper hand. This is not just in the heavyweight division, anyone who saw Saul ‘Canelo” Alvarez fight Amir Khan last year will have struggled to comprehend Canelo weighing less than 175 in that fight, despite meeting their 160lbs weight limit the day before. We all remember how catastrophically this fight ended for Khan, although I doubt very much that he does.
So, it seems that for the most part, size is an advantage when in competition in combat sports. As we’ve established, the majority of the dominant forces across almost all contact sports today are genetic monsters who have been conditioning their cardio skills throughout their entire lives with the bodies they were born with. One way in which athletes, who have not been blessed with such rare genetics, can at least try to compete at this level is with a little help, so to speak.
As the doping tests become more and more vigorous and difficult for athletes in combat sports (throwback to how irritated GGG was at the Kell Brook weigh in on September 9th 2016, after a reported 11 hour shift with VADA in his hotel room the day before), we are seeing more and more athletes getting caught out. The annoyances resound right the way across combat sports as in MMA we’ve recently seen Jon Jones getting banned for an astounding third time!
A third time?! How on earth has this been allowed to happen?
Is a ban of a few months really enough? Granted, I’m not a professor in sports science, but it’s difficult to see how an athlete who was able to push their body’s cardiovascular and hypertrophy capabilities beyond it’s genetic potential through taking drugs, would not have an advantage over another athlete who was natural, sometimes as soon as six months later. Is this morally right? Should athletes who were caught doping be allowed back into the sport at all? It certainly doesn’t seem to be the populist view, we only have to observe the reaction that Justin Gatlin received time on time when facing Usain Bolt in competition. This very competition was labeled a number of times as good vs. evil.
It was with a very heavy heart that I read of Shannon Briggs’ testosterone levels measuring absurd times over the normal limit earlier this year. In fact, by being such a fan of the transformation that he’s made in his life (you’ve only got to hear his story on the Joe Rogan show to appreciate this), as well as his tongue-in-cheek promotional strategies which in turn made idiots of his competition, I and many others felt personally let down by hearing this news. Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs joins Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte and Lucas Browne as boxers from the heavyweight division alone, who have been banned for the use of PED’s in recent times.
Also as a huge fan of Jon Jones in the UFC, I… well, you know where this is going.
Evidence suggests that these days, the sports which we know and love, are seemingly dominated by the bigger guy. Therefore it stands to reason that this must affect the phycology of the fighter who faces them in the ring or the octagon. As these sports evolve, evidently so too does the genetic make up of those who reign within them. It’s easy to view performance-enhancing drugs as an attempted ‘leveling out’ of the genetic insufficiency, which many athletes today find themselves having. However, we must consider that if the shoe was on the other foot and todays naturally big athletes were the ones taking PED’s, the likes of Anthony Joshua would continue to develop their power beyond their genetic potential, lord knows to what effect.
And so, for the moment things will remain the same. Those who use performance enhancing drugs will continue to break the hearts of their loyal and adoring fans and be given as little as six months to go and think about what they’ve done, all the while training on the gains that PED’s could have initially given them. I’m not suggesting for a minute that these very athletes don’t work just as hard as those who are clean and don’t deserve to be where they are in their own sports. However, you have to feel for those who have grafted their whole lives without the use of performance enhancing drugs and have fallen slightly short because of this. If this is such a prevalent thing that combat sportsman must insist on defying their genetics, then perhaps it would be an idea to open a league of ‘natural’ boxers and MMA fighters, parallel to a league of those who insist on juicing.
The winners of the ‘not natural’ competitions could perhaps be part of a men’s support group, along with the ‘not natural’ bodybuilders of today and exchange ideas on how to inject safely. Either that or exchange ideas on safe Viagra consumption, in Jon Jones’ case…
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna & Anthony “Juice Money” Young Win at the Claridge in AC!
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returned to the Claridge a Radisson Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night. Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna and Anthony “Juice Money” Young won in a pair of exciting 8 rounders.
In the main event welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna, 23-2 (9), 149.5, Millville, NJ, scored a shut out over durable southpaw Carlos Winston Velasquez, 24-29-2 (15), 149, Managua, NIC, over 8 rounds.
In the first round LaManna boxed well and slipped punches from Velasquez well. In the second round it was more of the same though Velasquez did land some punches. In the third round an over hand right by LaManna rocked Velasquez. A punch from LaManna south of the border got Velasquez angry and he drove LaManna into the ropes. In the fourth round a lead right from LaManna to the chin of Velasquez hurt him.
In the fifth round it was all LaManna hurting Velasquez to the body with left hooks to the body and straight rights to the head of Velasquez. In the sixth round a solid right to the chin from LaManna hurt Velaszuez. In the seventh round LaManna controlled from bell to bell. In the eighth and final round it was all LaManna who dropped Velasquez at the 10 second warning from the timekeeper. Referee David Fields administered the 8 count and time ran out.
All 3 judges Joe Pasquale, Kason Cheeks and Lawrence Layton scored it 80-71 as did this writer. “I want a name fighter in August like Cintron, Judah or Hernandez-Harrison,” said LaManna.
In the co-feature welterweight Anthony “Juice Money” Young, 17-2 (6), 149, Pleasantville, NJ, won an exciting battle over Cuban George “El Te ribble” Sosa, 15-9 (15), 148, Reading, PA, in 8 rounds.
In the first round Young impressed with punches from various angles, and slipped every one of them coming from Sosa. A lead right by Young to the chin of Sosa had him holding on. In the third round Sosa landed a 3-punch combination. Young came back working the body and head of Sosa. In the fourth round they exchanged right hands to the chin. The action heated up in this round.
In the fifth round a left hook to the body by Young hurt Sosa. In the sixth round Young landed a 3-punch combination driving Sosa into a neutral corner. It was a wild round of both fighters rocking one another. In the seventh round a left uppercut to the chin of Sosa by Young knocked his head back. Another action packed round. In the eighth and final round Young twice hurt Sosa first to the body and then to the head. Sosa came back battling to the end.
Judges Pasquale and Cheeks 80-72 and Layton 80-71 with this writer 78-72. “I only had two weeks to train,” said Sosa. “I hurt him to the body and thought I would stop him,” said Young.
Atlantic City super middleweight southpaw Gabriel “Gabby” Pham, 9-1 (4), Pleasantville, NJ, 171, won a lack luster decision over Edgar Perez, 7-21 (3), 172, PR out of Chicago, IL, over 6 rounds.
In the opening round the taller Pham controlled with his jab. In the second round Pham opened up a bit more. In the third and fourth rounds there was little action. In the fifth it wasn’t until seconds prior to the bell the taller Pham landed a flurry of punches. In the sixth and final round Pham landed a good combination to the head of Perez.
All 3 Judge’s had it 60-54 along with the writer. Fields was the ref.
Middleweight Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 6-0-1 (3), 157, Toms River, NJ, and Oscar “The Machine” Valdez, 1-2-1 (1), 158, Batesville, AR, fought to a majority draw over 4 rounds.
In the first two rounds it was full of action with Thomas outworking Valdez. In the third round there was plenty of action with Thomas getting the better of it. In the fourth and final round Valdez landed a flurry of punches putting Thomas into the ropes. It was too little too late for Valdez.
Judges Pasquale and Cheeks had it 38-38 while Layton 39-37 for
Thomas as did this writer. Ric Vera was the ref.
Light heavyweight southpaw Frederick Julian, 5-0 (3), Cambault, FR, now out of Brooklyn, 172, stopped Jose Valderrama, 5-20 (3), 169, Manati, PR, at 1:17 of the sixth and final round.
In rounds one and two it was all Julian with jab and straight lefts to body of Valderrama. In round three Julian landed a pair of lead lefts to the head of Valderrama. In the fourth and fifth rounds Julian continues to press the action with straight left followed by jab to the head of Valderrama. In the sixth and final round Julian scored a pair of knockdowns with left uppercuts to the midsection of Valderrama causing referee Bashir to call a halt.
Lightweight Tomas Romain, 3-1 (0), Paris, FR, out of Brooklyn, 133.5, won over southpaw Lamont “Strongman” White, 1-8 (1), D.C., 137.5, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Romain landed a combination to the head of White controlling the round. In round two White continued to come forward but was getting countered by Romain. In the middle of the round both fighters exchanged combinations. In the third round Romain led with a pair of rights to the midsection of White. At the bell White landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Romain. In the fourth and final round it was the best of the fight with both letting it all hang out while White landed a solid left to the chin of Romain.
Judge Cheeks had it 39-37 while Pasquale and Layton 40-36 along with this writer. Bashir was the referee.
Super featherweight Donald “No Love” Smith, 5-0 (3), Philly, 127.5, defeated Sidell Blocker, 1-8-1 (0), Pleasantville, NJ, 129,
In the first round it was all Smith landing solid punches to the chin of Blocker. In the second round Smith landed several lead lefts to the chin of Blocker. A lead left from Smith on the chin of Blocker rocked him. In the third round Smith is countering well against the aggressive Blocker. In the fourth and final round a low blow by Blocker put Smith down. He took 5 minutes to recoup from Referee Vera. Smith landed a solid left uppercut to the chin of Blocker to end the round.
All 3 Judges had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Super welterweight Elijah “Vicious” Vines, 4-0 (4), Philly, 153, stopped Tyrone “Shoe Laces” Paige, 0-5 (0), Batesville, AR, 156, at 1:43 of the third round.
In the first round switching from orthodox to southpaw Vines dropped Paige with a right hook to the chin. In the second round a lead right by Vines to the head of Paige stunned him. In the third round a left hook by Vines to the chin of Paige drove him across the ring. A left hook by Vines to the nose drew blood and dropped Paige. Referee Bashir saw enough and waved it off.
In the corner of Vines were Rev. Thompson and Danny Davis. Vines is managed by Doc Nowicki.
In the opening bout a rematch southpaw Dan Pasciolla, 9-2-3 (0), 247, Brick, NJ, and Lemarcus “Freight Train” Tucker, 4-2-1 (2), 219, Batesville, AR, fought to a 6 round majority draw.
In the first round a right to the head by Tucker brought blood from the nose of Pasciolla. In rounds two and three Pasciolla used an effective jab with a counter left to the head of Tucker. In the fourth and fifth rounds Pasciolla took the fourth and Tucker the fifth. In the sixth and final round a Pasciolla left uppercut knocked the head of Tucker back. Pasciolla suffered a small cut on the outside of his left eye brow.
Judges Cheeks and Layton had it 57-57 while Pasquale 58-56 Pasciolla as did this writer. Fields was the ref.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna Returns to the Claridge in AC Saturday!
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returns to the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night with a 9 bout boxing event. Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna will be in the main event with Anthony “Juice” Young from Atlantic City in the co-feature.
Welterweight Lamanna, 22-2 (9), faces Mexican southpaw Carlos Winston Velasquez, 24-28-2 (14), now out of Union City, NJ, over 8 rounds. “I am looking forward to a great fight on Saturday. I am not taking a 54 fight veteral like Velasquez lightly,” said Lamanna. In the co-feature there will also be Atlantic City’s welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young, 16-2 (6), against George “El terrible” Sosa, 15-8 (15), out of NJ, over 8 rounds.
There will be 7 other bouts featuring Atlantic City’s super middleweight Gabriel “GPHAM” Pham, 8-1 (4), heavyweight southpaw Dan Pasciolla, 9-2-2 (0), of Brick, NJ, super middleweight Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 6-0 (3), of Beachwood, NJ. From New York will be light heavyweight Frederick Julian, 4-0 (2), of NY, all in 6 round bouts and lightweight Tomas Romain, 2-1 (0), of Brooklyn in a 4.
From Philadelphia will be super featherweight Donald “No Love” Smith, 4-0 (3), and super welterweight Elijah Vines, 3-0 (3), in 4 round bout’s. First bout will be at 7pm.
“Everybody’s on Steroids” – The Concerning State of MMA
By Jaime C. Feal
During the hype for his first fight against Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz said it best: “Everybody’s on steroids.” Diaz went on to stop McGregor at UFC 196, and then McGregor was pulled from a potential rematch at UFC 200 due to not fulfilling media obligations. That decision by Zuffa brass turned out to be a big error, as their replacement main event between Jon “Bones” Jones and Daniel Cormier fell through when Jones was pulled from the card due to a positive test for PEDs. Cormier went on to beat last minute replacement Anderson Silva in a fight that saw the crowd boo heavily due to a lack of action. Furthermore, the Cormier-Silva fight was demoted to co-main event and a woman’s title fight between Miesha Tata and Amanda Nunes ended up headlining UFC 200. And the return of WWE superstar and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, the fighter that drew the most viewers, ended up testing positive himself as was revealed by USADA the week after UFC 200. Because of an exemption Lesnar received as a late addition to the card his results did not come back in time to stop him from competing, and he will not be fined by USADA or the UFC for his positive test. Lesnar’s opponent Mark Hunt has publicly demanded he be compensated and has blasted the UFC for “throwing him under the bus.”
To make matters worse, former Featherweight title contender Chad Mendes was popped for a positive test recently and suspended 2 years by USADA, just like Jones was suspended for 2 years. The fighters can appeal their suspensions and try to reduce them, but ultimately the UFC has an enormous problem on their hands with fighters using PEDs before competing against one another in the cage. The timing of the 4 billion dollar sale of the company amidst all the positive tests is also suspect. It could be said that Station Casino and Zuffa owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertita cashed out at the right time.
Not only are fighters getting suspended left and right, but other fighters who are theoretically clean are livid. Then you have superstar fighters like Georges St. Pierre who are prime for a comeback, but have expressed concerns about stepping in the cage against juiced competition. Finally, the fans can’t be happy to see their favorite fighter(s) and sport being tainted by steroids, masking agents, and PEDs. The crisis is similar to the steroid epidemic in the 90s in Major League Baseball where even the biggest superstars were using. Now that the UFC is under new ownership, the new owners and management have a chance to affect immediate change. The sport is inherently exciting, fast-paced, and action-packed. We don’t need to artificially increase the explosiveness of the sport as baseball did with the home run. When you have two athletes competing against each other in a combat sport fairness and safety are of the utmost concern. MMA as a sport has worked hard to become regulated and accepted, and a lot of that work can be undone if somebody is seriously hurt in the cage by an opponent who tests positive for PEDs. This epidemic needs to get cleaned up quickly in the interest of all parties. Let’s hope it does.
Bob Arum Bashes UFC For Drug Tests, Dismisses MMA Fans As Trump Supporters
By: Sean Crose
Who knew Bob Arum was such a picture of virtue? For decades now, the man has stood atop – or near the top – of what has been known as the red light district of sports…boxing. Yet it was another combat sport that Arum took the time to bash recently – the Ultimate Fighting Championship, better known as the UFC. Truth be told, the mixed martial arts league has been hit hard recently with news that numerous of its top fighters have tested positive for drug use. Needless to say, Arum had choice words regarding the matter of drug testing:
“I don’t think,” he stated, “(it) is particularly necessary as far as fighters are concerned. Most fighters obey the rules. It’s probably more necessary in MMA because they appear to be unconcerned with the testing.” Ouch. Yet the man wasn’t done. Not by a long shot. “What the hell?” he asked rhetorically. “As long as the tests come out after the fight, right? Everybody’s collecting money. Just saying. just saying.” Just saying indeed.
Arum then moved on to addressing the recent sale of the UFC, for a reported four billion – that’s billion – dollars. “Good luck to them,” he stated. “And for some reason they can buy off lobbyists so they’re not subject to the Muhammad Ali Act like promoters are in boxing – just saying.” That’s right, one of the biggest players in boxing has accused the UFC of some seriously shady tactics. By the way, word is Arum is interested in doing business with Al Haymon, who some suggest has also broken the Muhammad Ali act. Yet Arum had even more things to say, going so far as to attack UFC fans – many of whom happen to be die hard boxing fans, as well.
“In boxing,” Arum said, “we have a lot of minorities, African-American, Hispanics, Jewish promoters, people like that.” Never mind the fact that the UFC has fighters such as Jon Jones, the Diaz brothers and others, the guy had a point to make. “And,” he said, speaking of those in the boxing game, “pretty much, we’re Democrats. MMA people they’re for Trump. You ever look at an MMA audience? Of course they’re for Trump.”
Bob Arum the uniter.
UFC honcho Dana White, who himself has a strong boxing background, obviously had some things to add to the conversation. “Arum is the biggest dirtbag in all of sports,” he claimed. “I look forward to sticking around and continuing to kick his ass in every aspect of our business.” With all that in mind, UFC fans await the rematch between Conor McGregor, who was recently interested in boxing Floyd Mayweather, and Nate Diaz, who has helped train Andre Ward as a sparring partner. Clearly those two men don’t seem to have a problem with boxing and MMA coexisting. Then again, they aren’t Bob Arum. McGregor and Diaz have mouths on them, to be sure, but neither can stir the pot quite the way Mr. Arum does.
Then again, few can.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Wilder, Arreola, Diaz, Vasquez, Rising Promotions, and more…
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.
Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola Submit to VADA Testing
Heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and two-time title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola have both enrolled with the world-renowned Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (“VADA”) to conduct the anti-doping program leading up to their Saturday, July 16 showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
“Despite the short lead time to Wilder vs. Arreola, I am happy to report that VADA is in place as the anti-doping agency in accordance with the WBC Clean Boxing Program,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “VADA is a preeminent and reliable service and its relationship with the WBC evidences a commitment to a cleaner sport.”
This marks the second straight training camp in which Wilder has enrolled with VADA. VADA testing, in accordance with the WBC Clean Boxing Program, was in place for Wilder’s scheduled May 21 defense versus Alexander Povetkin, which was canceled following Povetkin’s positive test for Meldonium. In addition, Wilder has submitted paperwork to VADA and the WBC to participate in year-round anti-doping testing that is expected to commence later this summer.
Bob Arum Reserves Mandalay Bay for Manny Pacquiao
Nothing is official, and it appears to be an unlikely possibility since Pacquiao is now a Senator of the Philippines, but Bob Arum has caused a stir in reserving the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for October 15th just in case Pacquiao decides to come back and fight.
There are many possible opponents for Pacquiao if he decides to return and fight. Two leading candidates are Terence Crawford and Adrien Broner.
However, this is just pure speculation at this point. http://www.latimes.com/sports/boxing/la-sp-sn-boxing-pacquiao-arum-crawford-broner-thurman-20160629-snap-story.html
Undefeated Domonique Dolton to Face Levan Ghvamichava
Undefeated Domonique Dolton (17-0-1, 9 KOs) battles Georgia’s Levan Ghvamichava (16-2-1, 12 KOs) in the 10-round super welterweight main event of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday, July 12 from Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California.
Ghvamichava was originally scheduled to take on Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz, who is now facing undefeated welterweight Sammy Vasquez Jr. in PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes action Saturday, July 16 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Televised coverage on July 12 begins at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT and features undefeated prospect Malcolm McAllister (7-0, 7 KOs) battling Brazil’s Gilberto Pereira (7-2, 4 KOs) in eight-rounds of super middleweight action while undefeated prospects Thomas Hill (6-0, 1 KO) and Marcos Hernandez (7-0, 2 KOs) compete in an eight-round super welterweight fight.
A highly regarded fighter out of the late Emanuel Steward’s Kronk Gym, the Detroit-native Dolton battled to a draw in an exciting matchup against Oscar Molina on FS1 and FOX Deportes last September. The 26-year-old took home victories over Victor Fonseca and Juan Carlos Rojas in 2015 and owns wins over Donatas Bondorovas, Richard Gutierrez and Jonathan Batista in his eight-year career.
Ghvamichava will look to rebound from a defeat in his last bout after riding a five-fight win streak that had dated back to 2013. The 30-year-old took down previously unbeaten fighters Jonathan Garcia and Chris Singleton in 2014 and followed it up with triumphs over Cameron Kreal and Cosme Rivera in 2015. Originally from Poti, Georgia, Ghvamichava now trains out of Hayward, California.
Orozco and Diaz to Headline HBO Latino Boxing
As California battles through a sizzling heat wave, the Summer of 2016 will get even hotter on Saturday, July 30, as two of SoCal’s undefeated top rising stars return to the ring. Undefeated welterweight Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (24-0, 16 KOs) of San Diego is set to participate in 10-round main event while Golden Boy Promotions stable mate and undefeated NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr. (20-0, 11 KOs)of South El Monte, Calif. will be featured in the 10-round co-main event. Both fights will be televised on HBO Latino Boxing.
With Orozco ranked as number one by the WBC and in the top 10 by all major world sanctioning bodies and with Diaz crashing the WBC, IBF and WBO rankings, the stakes have never been higher as world-class boxing returns to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. Opponents for Orozco and Diaz will be announced shortly.
“Antonio Orozco and Joseph Diaz, Jr. are two fighters quickly rising to the top in Golden Boy’s stable of talent, with both poised to become world champions in the near-future,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “This card will be action-packed, making for an exiting summer event that fans should not miss on July 30 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and HBO Latino Boxing.”
Sammy Vasquez to Face Felix Diaz
Undefeated welterweight rising star Sammy “The Sergeant” Vasquez Jr. (21-0, 15 KOs) is set to battle former Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz (17-1, 8 KOs) in the 10-round co-main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, July 16 from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Diaz replaces former world champion Luis Collazo, who was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a torn calf muscle.
“Sammy Vasquez Jr., a U.S. Army veteran and undefeated contender, against once-beaten former Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz is an excellent matchup between two rising stars in the welterweight division,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Following last week’s tremendous battle between Thurman and Porter, I am excited that PBC on FOX is showcasing the welterweight division once again on network television.”
Ruiz to Face Gormley in Heavyweight Showdown on July 16th
An intriguing heavyweight showdown will go down on Saturday, July 16, as WBO #5-, IBF #5-, and WBC #7-rated and current NABF heavyweight champion Andy “The Destroyer from Mexicali” Ruiz (27-0, 18 KOs) has agreed to face comebacking KO artist Joshua “Josh Dempsey” Gormley (22-4, 21 KOs) in his next ring appearance.
26-year-old Ruiz, from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, will face the determined and upset-minded 41-year-old Gormley, from Torrance in a non-title fight in the 10-round main event of Salita Promotions’ next “Detroit Brawl” installment at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit.
Ruiz has made four successful defenses of his NABF Championship. Before that, he held the WBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight Championship and made an additional three successful defenses before relinquishing. In his last in-ring appearance, he stopped former world title challenger Ray Austin in the fourth round on May 14 in Studio City, California.
Gormley, who bills himself as a distant relative of former champ Jack Dempsey, reportedly trains with Dino Spencer and Luis “Chiro” Perez at the 5th St. Gym in Miami, Florida. He is on a three-fight KO streak since coming back from a 16-year layoff in late 2015. Despite having had no amateur boxing career, Dempsey fought his way to up-and-comer status in the late 90s and was a fan favorite. He also worked with former champion Lennox Lewis as a sparring partner. Gormley is a former California State Wrestling Champion and MMA fighter and the older brother of UFC fighter Chase Gormley.
Anthony “Juice” Young to Headline Next Rising Promotions Card
On Friday night, July 22nd, welterweight, Anthony “Juice” Young will headline a great night of boxing against Ariel Vasquez in a scheduled 8-round welterweight bout at The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City.
Welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will take part in a six-round co-feature bout against Eduardo Flores.
The card is promoted by Rising Promotions.
“We are excited to be running our fourth show in seven months at The Claridge,” said Debra LaManna of Rising Promotions.
“We are starting to build a reputation for putting on well matched and exciting cards at The Claridge and July 22nd will be no different.”
Young of Atlantic City has a record of 12-2 with five knockouts will be looking for his second consecutive victory.
The 28 year-old won his first ten bouts that was highlighted by a victory over Jose Javier Calderon (4-1).
This will be Young’s 6th (and 4th consecutive) fight in his hometown.
He is coming off a 6-round unanimous decision victory over Juan Rodriguez on April 29.
Vasquez of Managua, Nicaragua has a record of 12-14-2 with eight knockouts.
Vasquez, 29 years old turned professional in 2005 and fought his first 11 fights in his native Nicaragua. He twice fought Juan Antonio Rodriguez for the WBC Youth Featherweight title and held undefeated Eliezer Landas (10-0) to a draw in a bout for the WBA Fedecentro Super Bantamweight title.
He has faced six undefeated fighters including his last two. In his last outing, Vasquez lost a unanimous decision to Jose Felix Quezada (9-0) on May 17 in Carlton, Minnesota.
LaManna of Millville, New Jersey has a record of 20-1 with eight knockouts.
The 24 year-old LaManna turned professional in 2011 and won his first sixteen bouts that were highlighted by wins over Ashandi Gibbs & Jamaal Davis.
Since suffering his only loss to world ranked Middleweight Antoine Douglas on ShoBox: The New Generation, LaManna has won four straight which includes a 6-round unanimous decision over rugged Ayi Bruce on September 26th in Beach Haven, New Jersey. In his last bout, LaManna stopped Kendal Mena (20-3) in four rounds on March 19th at The Claridge in Atlantic City.
With a win, LaManna will be back in September in a high profile bout.
But he will have to get past Flores, who is a veteran of 47 professional fights (23-21-3, 15 KO’s).
Flores of Quito, Eciador is a battle tested fighter who has faced a bevy of champions and top contenders