Tag Archives: larry

The “Byrd’s” A Good Example Of How Officials Can Ruin an Event


By: Ken Hissner

Have you ever watched a major show and they go to the score cards and you think “what fight were they watching?” A judge and referee can make a big difference in an event.

The first Kovalev-Ward bout with Kovalev the defending champion was a good example how a referee can influence a fight. Ward initiated 46 clinches in their 12 round fight without having a point taken away from him by referee Robert Byrd who has to be the slowest referee to react in the game today.

Byrd’s wife Adalaide a boxing judge in Nevada made news voting for Saul Canelo Alvarez 118-110 over WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin who chased Alvarez for all 12 rounds on September 16th. Byrd has been a boxing judge for some 30 years and should have had the fight much closer than what she did have it. Due to the many complaints from boxing people it’s understood she will be getting some “vacation time!” This writer had it 116-112 for Golovkin.

This writer feels Alvarez has not earned a rematch and should fight Danny Jacobs who gave Golovkin his hardest fight even if Jacobs may have outweighed him by 15 pounds or more. We don’t know since he refused to go to the day of the fight weigh-in. If Golovkin gained ten pounds in 24 hours Jacobs could have gained at least ten pounds more than that.

Golovkin should schedule his next fight as if he was given the decision he deserved and fight the WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders with all the titles on the line. Jacobs is scheduled to make his next appearance in November. The bout with Golovkin must have taken its toll on him to be off some eight months.

Nevada has become a joke for approving the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor bout with Mayweather 49-0 and McGregor 0-0. Roy Jones, Jr. did something similar in AZ fighting someone who had 6 amateur bouts and no professional fights. There should be “no exception” for these mismatches to be approved by these states just to “make money” from them.

New Jersey Boxing Commissioner and Hall of Fame referee Larry Hazzard, Sr., had the following to say: Unfortunately Boxing Judges and Referees can’t afford to have a bad night because most boxers only get one chance at that great moment of winning a world championship and/or captivating a great moment. I don’t buy into this corruption theory that’s espoused by some people but, I do sincerely believe that we don’t buy into this corruption theory that’s espoused by some people but, I do sincerely believe that we boxing administrators have a responsibility to make the necessary changes in the sport of boxing that will hopefully improve and enhance judging methodology.

We just can’t keep using the same judges and referees over and over for the major high profile bouts when there is a multitude of other officials who rarely get opportunities to display their abilities. We need to also, do an in-depth examination of the present scoring system and encourage judges to be more liberal with the numbers to paint a clearer picture of what is taking place round by round. A close round and a not close round, even when a knock down does not occur, is not deserving of the same 10-9 score. The New Jersey Commission has never been afraid to make changes for the betterment of the sport of boxing despite initial criticism. The replacement of the mouth piece and the wearing of rubber gloves by the referee and corner men were initiated here in NJ and criticized when initiated. Now both are standard practices around the boxing world.

Instant replay is another innovation which originated here in NJ.

We intend to explore a judging innovation very soon because if you keep doing things the same way, you will only get the same results.

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The Night “Butterbean” Dropped Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes!


The Night “Butterbean” Dropped Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes!
By: Ken Hissner

It was on July 27, 2002, when former world heavyweight champion Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes, 68-8 (44), was looking for a final “patsy” to end his career with. Holmes was known for “picking his opponents” to give himself an edge.

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Holmes “chose” a 334 pound “entertainer” who many felt was a “novelty act” in Eric “Butterbean“ Esch, 65-2-3 (48), from Jasper, Alabama, known as the “champion of the 4 rounder’s!” Only in his second and third fights did Esch have a pair of scheduled 6 round bouts and only stopped once in his career up until then. To give Holmes even more than an edge he demanded the bout be scheduled for 10 rounds. It’s no secret he was figuring Esch tiring if he even got to the sixth round.

The first round had Holmes moving as much as he could at 254 pounds and using his jab 90% of the time. Holmes had a 3” reach and a 3 ½” advantage in height. Only when they got into a clinch did Esch hit Holmes with a right hand to the side of the head of Holmes. In the second round Esch backed himself into a corner and challenged Holmes to come in and fight him there. Holmes came in and backed up that fast while Esch came out of the corner laughing.

In the third round the big punch of the round was a right from Holmes to the chin of Esch who “acknowledged” it was a good punch. In the fourth round Holmes did his usual “dirty trick” using his (football) straight arm left pushing Esch from the side of his head moving him a step or two to his left. Holmes got a warning from referee Chris Wollesen. Something Holmes had gotten away with his whole career and he let the referee know he didn’t like the warning.

In the fifth round when Esch would bull his way in Holmes would immediately tie him up with arms around his upper body. Esch would drive his right hand into the rib cage of Holmes some six times. At the end of the round Holmes looked confused and walked in a circle before returning to his corner. This was the first round Esch seemed to win. In the sixth round Esch received a small cut on the outside of his left eye that never became a factor in the fight.

In the seventh round Esch backed Holmes into a corner but Holmes quickly moved away and Esch “mocked” him for doing it. In the eighth round Esch landed his first left hook to the head of Holmes. He used a jab and right hands when he got close enough up until this point. Esch would bum rush Holmes starting with a right to the head and Holmes once again would evade Esch. This was the second round Esch took.

In between rounds the camera focused on Holmes who seemed to be huffing and puffing with some swelling around his eyes. In the ninth round Holmes was warned again having his stiff arm glove on Esch’s chin “lining him up” for the right. Once again Holmes showed his arrogance back talking to the referee.

Prior to the start to the tenth and final round Esch was standing in his corner while Holmes was slouched on his stool not moving until the bell sounded to start the round. At this point he had to be embarrassed that his idea of pounding on Esch the way he did Tex Cobb hadn’t worked. Esch would again dare Holmes to come into the corner where Esch backed himself into. When Holmes came in Esch rocked him with a right to the side of the head forcing Holmes to once again back up several steps. This was not the same Holmes who bounced in the ring for he was more flat footed from the start.

With approximately 0:25 left in the bout Esch landed a right to the kidney of Holmes. With less than 0:20 left in the bout Holmes threw a right hand landing on the chin of Esch who countered with a left hook to the body knocking Holmes into a corner and halfway through the ropes. The ruling is if you are saved from a knockdown by the ropes it is an official knockdown. Holmes was shaking his head in disgust by the referee’s call and count with about 0:16 left in the bout. After Holmes took an eight count Esch came in from a neutral corner but before he and Holmes could do anything the bell sounded the end of the fight. Esch seemed to want to congratulate Holmes but the latter turned his back to Esch. The fans were cheering as Esch was walking around the ring with his hands held high as in victory. Holmes on the other hand was leaning on the ropes facing the fans in obvious exhaustion.

For Esch it was a victory in itself going ten rounds for the first time.

Then came the decision of judge Vaughn LaPrade of 97-92, judge Phil Kornberg 98-91 and finally judge Peggy McCuen of 96-93 as did this writer score it all for Holmes. For the 52 year old Holmes it would be his final time in the ring. For the 35 year old Esch he would fight on for another eleven years following this bout with a draw and winning seven of his next eight fights. Like most boxers they seem to pick up a majority of their losses at the end of their careers Esch went 4-6 in his last 10 bouts before retiring in 2013.

“Holmes had respect. I only wish he wasn’t so afraid of getting hit. He ran the whole time. Guess that was respect for my power right there. I would have ko’d him if it were a twelve rounder,” said Esch. Esch will always be remembered for dropping the former heavyweight champion of the world Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes in the former champions final round of his career. He might even think “I retired Holmes!”

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Mark Holmes “Living in the Shadow” But Good Enough on His Own!


Mark Holmes “Living in the Shadow” But Good Enough on His Own!
By: Ken Hissner

Too many times when a boxer has an older brother or even a father like “Smokin Joe” and Marvis Frazier the one who “Lives in the Shadow” could be good enough to make it on their own. That was the career Mark Holmes had following in his brother Larry’s shadow, who was the world heavyweight champion! Mark finished with a 38-1 record with 17 knockouts.

Mark Holmes did well in the amateurs winning the 1977 PA Golden Gloves at #147 and turned professional in July of 1980 when the USA was boycotted by then President Carter. Between July and November Holmes won all of his 5 fights. He made his debut in Bloomington, MN, when his brother defended his WBC against Scott Le Doux. In Mark’s sixth fight he defeated Randy Rivers, 5-1-2 on the undercard of Holmes and Ali.
In Mark’s sixth fight came the future IBF light middleweight champion Buster Drayton, 8-1-1, of Philadelphia in Atlantic City, NJ, with Holmes taking a decision win. “I thought it should have been a draw,” said Drayton. In his ninth fight he knocked out Kenny Hodges, 5-1-2, on the Holmes and Berbick card.

In 1981 Holmes went 11-0 in such places as Las Vegas, Scranton, Atlantic City, Cleveland and Detroit. He was offered a chance in May of that year by this writer to appear in an exhibition because I knew I couldn’t afford to pay him what he was making he said “I’d love to. I haven’t fought in Easton yet.” This was on the show I was promoting at Easton H.S. with 10% of the profits going to St. Anthony’s where both Larry and Mark boxed as amateurs. Being told by Mark I’d have to get permission from his manager, Larry I did just that. I was told by Larry “I ain’t putting my brother on some rinky dink show!” Shame because it would take 6 years and the “last fight” of his career in August of 1987 for him to appear for the first and only time in Easton.

Though Mark fought 9 times in Pennsylvania it was only once in Easton. He fought in Scranton 4 times, Bethlehem 3, Allentown 1 and Easton 1. His brother fought in Scranton 8 time of which 5 were at the start of his career. Mark fought in Nevada 15 times. He fought on the undercard of 8 times.

In Mark’s twentieth fight in the main event he stopped Mike Baker, 42-16-1, in Las Vegas. Less than 3 weeks later he fought on the undercard of Holmes and Cooney defeating William Page. In July of 1982 he had a second fight with Fred Reed whom he had decisioned 11 months previously knocking him out in Madison Square Garden it being his only time he fought in New York.

In November of 1983 Mark stopped Henry Walker, 19-22-1, on the undercard of Holmes and Frazier and I don’t mean “Smokin” Joe. His brother may have counted that as a title defense but Marvis was 10-0 and not rated against the 44-0 champion.

In 1984 Mark only fought 3 times but in 2 of them he stopped rick Noggle, 15-5, in Canton, OH, and defeated Odell Hadley, 13-3-1, on the undercard of Holmes and Bonecrusher Smith. In March of 1985 he defeated Cecil Pettigrew, 20-7-1, on the Holmes and David Bey undercard.

In August of 1985 Mark had his biggest fight against USBA middleweight champion John Collins, 32-1-1, with 28 knockouts while Mark was 32-0. It was held in Scranton, over NBC Sportsworld. Collins had defeated former champion Oscar “Shotgun” Albarado, 57-11-1, Bill Bradley, 16-1, Teddy Mann, 26-9, Lenny LaPaglia, 19-0, Ken Whetstone, 22-1 and two fights prior to meeting Mark he drew with contender Alex Ramos, 21-2-1. So Collins came in with a very good resume. He was taller and had the reach on Mark.

In the corner for Collins was well known trainer Carmen Graziano and the best cut-man in the business Philly’s Eddie Aliano. In the corner of Holmes was his trainer and his brother Floyd, along with another great cut-man from Philly in Milt Bailey. In the first round Collins came across the ring throwing a right hand trying to catch Mark right away. Collins was throwing the harder punches while Mark used his jab well and landing a solid right to the right cheek of Collins with about 15 seconds to go in the first round causing an abrasion under his right eye.

In the second round Collins came out more aggressively landing a hard right to the jaw over the jab of Mark and down he went. It was doubtful he ever regained himself after that first knockdown. Collins would go right after Mark landing 4 punches and throwing Mark to the canvas that referee Frank Cappuccino ruled a slip. Collins was right on him landing a two-punch combination and a right on the way down of Mark. Cappuccino immediately and wisely waved the fight off at 2:05 of the second round.

Collins was asked by Ferdie Pacheco if Collins thought the first knockdown punch would land that cleanly? No I didn’t think it would land that cleanly but I am glad it did. He had a good jab. He was quick you know,” said Collins. Pacheco asked why he was standing right in front of a puncher, “my jab was working good in the second round but I just got caught. I feel I will go back to the gym and work harder,” said Mark. His brother said “I know he’s a better boxer than Collins but he has to be more disciplined.

Mark would return 13 months later at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem defeating Doug Mallett, 9-2. A month later back at Stabler he stopped Brian Porreca, 6-1. Several month later he defeated Philly’s Ernest Jackson, 13-7-1 the end of 1986. He would win his last 3 fights over 3 months starting in Jacksonville, and Ft. Myers, FL, before having his final fight in Easton defeating Jerome Kelly, 8-4-3. Mark was 28 years of age upon retiring from the ring.

This writer will be nominating Mark for the PA BHOF with inductees being known in February of 2017.

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Larry Hazzard, Sr., “You Name It and He Did It in Boxing!


Larry Hazzard, Sr., “You Name It and He Did It in Boxing!
By: Ken Hissner

Some people serve as boxers, martial artists, referees, judges, commissioners, chairman of officials, school principals, International Boxing Hall of Famers, or even literary authors, and actors. We can go on and on. However, few have filled all of these positions; except Larry Hazzard, Sr.

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Hazzard was a 3-time Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Champion in the 60’s and also won an AAU title. After graduating from Central H.S. in Newark, NJ, Hazzard received a Bachelor’s degree in education and a Master’s degree in administration from Montclair State University. He held positions as a physical education teacher, girls track team coach, athletic director, vice principal and principal for various Newark public and charter schools.

Hazzard earned a black belt in Ju Jitsu and was a martial arts instructor for 12 years. In 1967, at the age of 23, he became an amateur boxing referee and in 1978 he advanced to the professional referee level, where he was the “third man in the ring” for many events and title bouts around the world for sanctioning organizations such as the IBF, WBC and WBA. It was a time when boxing was blossoming along with the Atlantic City casino industry. He sometimes worked shows twice a week and quickly became known as the top referee in the Garden State and one of the best in the world.

In December 1985, Governor Tom Kean appointed Hazzard as Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. Hazzard quickly implemented his “no-nonsense” approach toward regulating boxing, and all other combative sports. During his tenure as commissioner, Hazzard initiated many new policies and procedures, which were adopted throughout the world as standard practices for the improvement of combative sports. He is most known for his strict regulation and innovations such as replacing the mouthpiece during competition, the use of rubber gloves for all referees, physicians and cornermen, and comprehensive medical testing requirements, including Brain CT scans, ophthalmology exams and communicable disease screenings for HIV, Hepatitis B and C. His accomplishments propelled New Jersey as leaders in the combative sports industry and as a result, Atlantic City became a major venue for some of the largest and greatest boxing events in modern day history. He is especially proud of his success in standardizing championship rules for both boxing and mixed martial arts, which have been adopted around the world as the Unified Rules of Conduct for Professional Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Championships.
Hazzard has denied rumors that he was fired in November 2007 by former Attorney General Anne Milgrim. “I left because it was the right thing to do at the time”, said Hazzard. Milgrim, herself, has been quoted as saying, “Hazzard did nothing wrong… We’re just going in a different direction.”

After a short retirement as NJ’s commissioner in 2007, he travelled around the world as Chairman of Officials, Education, Development and Supervision for the IBF from 2008 to 2010. In 2012 he was hired by NBC Sports Network to serve as their television expert for scoring and rules interpretation.

The author of two publications entitled “A Conceptual Approach to Refereeing” and “The Ringleader: A Boxing Referee’s Guide to Greatness”, Hazzard’s diversity does not stop there. He also appeared in Hollywood’s movie “Ali” where he played the part of Ali’s mentor, Zack Clayton, as the referee for “The Rumble in the Jungle” pitting Ali regaining his title from then champion George Foreman. Other acting credits include film appearances in “Homeboys” and “Undefeated”, as well as a cameo appearance in the television series, “Oz”.

Hazzard was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2010 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in the Non-Participant category for his longtime contributions to the sport as both a referee and administrator. He admitted it was one of the few times in his life that he was nervous when he got the call. He has received numerous other awards and recognitions over the years, as well.

In 2014 Under Governor Chris Christie, Hazzard was reappointed to the NJ State Athletic Control Board to regain his thrown as commissioner, continuing on his history-making journey of protecting the health and safety of contestants and preserving the integrity of combative sports. With many casinos closing over the past few years, Atlantic City is no longer the leading venue for major boxing events as it had been in years past. In 2016, New Jersey has only hosted 8 boxing shows but Hazzard is working diligently to revive major boxing events around the state. “We had 9 boxing events cancelled for one reason or another over the past 3 months,” said Hazzard. “It’s going to take some time, but we’re confident that major boxing events will return to NJ soon. We have already begun to attract Showtime, ESPN Sports and PBC televised events; not to mention the excitement that MMA and Professional Kickboxing has been bringing to NJ as well. We anticipate another PBC event with Danny Garcia, before the end of the year”, he continued.

Hazzard will turn 72 in December and he could pass for someone in his 50’s. He has always kept himself physically fit and is a dapper dresser. At a press conference Hazzard, the Honorable Mayor Eric Jackson and Renee Aiken of Boss Lady Promotions highlighted their promotion on May 1st at the Sun National Bank Center, 81 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. Featured in the main event is well known Paulsboro, NJ, heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon along with a 10 bout undercard that includes “Bridge Wars” with NJ vs NY amateurs opposing one another. It’s the 1st Annual Mayors Cup. It will certainly be a full night of boxing.

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Weekly Round Up Around the World


Weekly Round Up Around the World
By: Ben Underwood

AFRICA

MAKABU RECIEVES AWARD

After Llunga Makabu’s devastating loss to Tony Bellew in liverpool,England last weekend, he has recieved the Golden Gloves Africa 2016 award on June 4th for being one of the top cruiserweights in the world.Even though Makabu lost his first title shot ,he is still touted to become a world champion and this award shows that he is embraced by Africa.

LARRY EKUNDAYO INJURED

Talented Nigerian Larry ‘The natural’ Ekundayo was all set to defend his African Union welterweight title against Tanzanian Saidi Mundi on the 4th of June at London’s famous York Hall, Bethnal green. Unbeaten Ekundayo unfortunately has a serious hand injury that he recieved during training ,in which the fight has to be postponed and rescheduled for later in the year.
Ekundayo won the vacated belt by outpointing Joseph lamptey in october of 2015. The other title he has lifted is the Prizefighter trophy in 2012.

Asia

KOSEKI VACATES WBA MINIMUMWEIGHT CROWN

Talented Japanese icon Momo Koseki has given up her WBA crown that she won by outpointing Ayaka Miyao in october. Koseki will continue to defend her WBC title and also looking to expand her Japanese record setting 16 defenses of the belt.Momo’s next bout will be announced shortly. Koseki has a record of 21-2-1,7 KO’s.

OKADA DEFENDS TITLE IN JULY

As I reported a few weeks ago that Suyon Takayama will challenge for Jack Brubakers OPBF welterweight belt on July 25th, another title fight will be added to the bill,this will be a bout for the Japanese Junior Welterweight belt held by Hiroki Okada.Japanese-Brazilian Cristano Aoqui is his opponent and with a win will extend his unbeaten record to 13-0 and will possibly set him up for an OPBF title shot.
Aoqui has been awarded this fight off the back of a thrilling win over Ryosuke Takami, Aoqui will be looking to win his first Japanese title. Cristano was once touted to fight Takayama up at welterweight but it seems the lower weight is the better option for him.

KAZUKI TANAKA WILL FIGHT SAKAMOTO

At the EDION Arena Osaka, Kuzuki Tanaka (5-0,4 KO’s) will be taking a massive step up in class when he takes on Japanese ranked Hideo Sakamoto. On paper this is a mouth watering clash which sees Sakamoto coming off a stoppage loss to Kentaro Masudo ,the Japanese champion and will be looking to get back into winning ways and will almost certainly come to fight.
The supporting bout will see Fuko Komura making her debut as a professional in a 4 rounder against limited Koari Nagai (0-1). This looks to be an easy bout for the school girl Komura ,but it is the chief support on the bill and could perhaps be more competitive than people think. the show will take place on august 7th.

WAKE VS GUZMAN DOUBLE HEADER WITH IOKA VS LARA

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On July 20th at the EDION Arena it was leaked that Kazuto Ioka (19-1, 11) will be defending his WBA Flyweight title against Nicaraguan Keyvin Lara (18-1-1,6 KO’s). This will be Lara’s first voyage into a world title fight and will be looking to take home the belt that Ioka won from Juan Carlos Reveco via a majority decision and retained it in a rematch by TKO. It must be noted though Lara looks to be up against it as Ioka is a former minumumweight world title holder (WBC and WBA), a Light Flyweight world champion (WBA) and after a split decision loss to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF Flyweight bauble came the Reveco fight that made him a 3 weight world champion.

The other title fight on the card shows Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12) go head to head with unbeaten Jonathan Guzman ,who has 21 vicories all inside the distance with 1 draw, for the vacant IBF Super Bantamweight title. Southpaw Wake of Tokyo, is former OPBF champion will have to have his witts about him as Guzman’s record suggests that he is obviously a banger. This bout is the co-feature and has been said to be in the negotiation phase for several weeks.

Also on the card Takahiro Yamamoto will be defending his OPBF belt against Filipino Rex Wao. Rex (11-2,9 KO’s) has lost 2 of his last 3 and surely needs to make a statement to keep his career alive.

Junior Middleweight Yuki Nonaka (29-8-3, 9 KO’s) will also be defending his Japanese title against Ryosuke Maruki (12-3-1,7 KO’s)that he won in a bout with Kengo Nagashima for the vacant title in 2014.

SHIMIZU DITCHES THE VEST

There has been much speculation over the career of London 2012 bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu. Within the next 2 weeks it is said that Shimizu will end his career in the unpaid ranks and will be turning professional with the Ohashi stable of talented fighters.It is believed that Satoshi is looking to face top opponents fairly quickly as he has not really got time on his side having turned 30. The Amatuer stand out has a good relationship with the Japanese amatuer body and will be welcome back to the amatuers should he ever want to return. The announcement will be between June 10th and June 15th and we will look to see him out before the end of the year.

MARUTA IN BID FOR WBC YOUTH TITLE

Hinata Maruta has been fast tracked to his first title bid when he comes up against fellow unbeaten Wilbert Berondo in a 10 rounder for the WBC youth title at the Sumiyoshi Ward Centre on 31st July.Maruta is a big prospect and is expected to quickly work his way to world contension and this is a step in the right direction. Having only his 3rd fight with 1 stoppage Maruta is a heavy favourite to win the title but little is known about his Filipino opponent. Berondo has wins over Ricky Oyan and Arjet Caballes and he made his debut in 2014,nevertheless any unbeaten fighter will want to remain unbeaten and with 53 rounds under his belt is vastly more experienced than Hinata with a record of 10-0,4 KO’s.

KANEKO,SUEYOSHI AND OTO ALL VICTORIOUS

Records can be decieving as Daiki Kaneko a loser of 3 of his last 6 came out a deserved winner against Ribo Takahata at the Korakuen Hall via a 10 round decision (98-91 on all cards). While Kaneko was seeking a knockout throughout the fight the old tale came true ‘when you go looking for a knockout ,it never come’,and for his efforts Daiki had to settle for the decision. Now Kaneko can improve to 23-5-3, 15 KO’s ,while Takahata slumps to 12-7-1,4 KO’s.

In a minor upset Masaru Sueyoshi (12-1, 7 KO’s) recorded his 9th win in a row by outpointing Shingo Eto (17-5-1, 9 KO’s)as he stepped up in class to claim a hard fought 8 round decision with scores of 77-75,78-75, 78-74. Although many of the rounds were hard to score ,the right man was victorious.

Kenji Ono scored an 8th round stoppage over Takumi Suda ,which may mark a step towards the Japanese title. Ono (11-1,6 KO’s) is a very exciting fighter and he did not disappoint as his talent was shining through and was simply too much for Suda who now has an a record of 12-12-2, 3 KO’s.

HASEGAWA TO FACE HUGO RUIZ

Japans 2 -weight world champion Hozumi Hasegawa will make an attempt to become a 3-weight world titlist as he is set to take on WBC Super bantamweight champion Hugo Ruiz in Japan.There is no date set for the fight ,but it is rumoured to take place either in August or September . Hasegawa (35-5, 15 KO’s) is looking to impress in his home town and a win could make him a bigger icon than he already is and put him up there with the greats.

VIJENDER SINGH TO FIGHT KERRY HOPE

Indian superstar Vijender Sing is looking to extend his unbeaten record to 7 when he faces former European champion Kerry hope of wales for the WBO Asia Pacific Super middleweight title.Hope is fighting for the first time as a Super middle and has portrayed himself as the bad guy and has made it crystal clear that he is not there to make up the numbers. This marks Singh’s first bout in India having fought exclusively in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. the fight will take place at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on July 16th.

RICHIE WINS OPBF BELT IN STYLE

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Hikaru Nishida was confused and had no answer for the skills of Aussie Dwight Richie as he lost a lop-sided decision with scores of 118-110 on two cards and 119-109 on the other. For the first four rounds Nishida trying to pressure Richie but the speed of his light hitting opponent left him frustrated and while he had some success in the 6th round, it seemed to be a masterclass from the Australian. Nishida didnt have a plan B and Richie was the boss throughout the bout to run out the winner . Dwight improves to 14-0-0-4 with 1 KO and also claims the OPBF title in his first bout outside of his native Australia ,while Nishida is now 15-8-1,7 KO’s and is still the Japanese champion. Hikaru will defend his title in September

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