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Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga


Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga
By: William Holmes

Bob Arum’s “three amigos”; Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, and Jessie Magdaleno will compete on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson California on Pay Per View (PPV). This PPV will be produced and distributed by Top Rank Promotions without the assistance of HBO or Showtime.

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These three Mexican boxers have been training together in Carson, California in preparation for this bout and are ready to defend their titles. Also appearing on the undercard will be US Olympian Shakur Stevenson and Ukranian Olympian Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

The following is a preview of the three televised title bouts.

Jessie Magdaleno (24-0) vs. Adeilson Dos Santos (18-2); WBO Junior Featherweight Title

The first title bout of the night will be between Jessie Magdaleno and Brazilian boxer Adeilson Dos Santos.

Magdaleno has a deep amateur background and was the 2009 US National Champ as an amateur and a National Golden Gloves Champion. Dos Santos has no notable amateur background.

Dos Santos will have about a four inch height advantage and is the same age as Magdaleno. However, Magdaleno has seventeen stoppage wins on his resume while Dos Santos has fourteen stoppage wins, but was also stopped once.

Both boxers have been semi active in the past two years. Magdaleno fought two times in 2016 and three times in 2015 while Dos Santos fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Magdaleno has never tasted defeated while Dos Santos has gone 4-2 in his past six fights.

Magdaleno has beaten the likes of Nonito Donaire, Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castaneda. Dos Santos has no big name wins, and his biggest wins to date have come against opponents such as Devis Perez and Marcos Martinez. Dos Santos has lost to Fabian Oscar Orozco and Kid Galahad.

Dos Santos’ resume is void of big name opponents and his two losses came against fighters that are not considered by most to be world class boxers. He went outside of Brazil to fight twice, and went 1-1 in those bouts.

Magdaleno really let the boxing world he’s the real deal with his impressive victory over Nonito Donaire and has the potential to land some more big name fights in the near future. Dos Santos is an opponent who had success in Brazil, but little success either as an amateur or a professional outside of Brazil.

This should be an easy bout for Magdaleno and it shouldn’t be a competitive fight.

Gilberto Ramirez (34-0) vs. Max Bursak (33-4-1); WBO Super Middleweight Title

Gilberto Ramirez is considered by many to be the next Mexican boxer. Ramirez, who turned pro at the age of eighteen, is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion. His opponent, Max Bursak, has fought several high profile boxers and is a rugged veteran.
Ramirez will be seven years younger than his opponent and will have two and a half inch height advantage as well as a four inch reach advantage. He also has the power advantage as he has twenty four stoppage wins while Bursak only has fifteen stoppage wins.

Ramirez only fought once in 2016 due to an injury and fought three times in 2015. Bursak fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015. Bursak fights out of an orthodox stance while Ramirez fights as a southpaw.

Neither boxer has a notable amateur background, but Ramirez already has the better resume as a professional.

Ramirez has never tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Arthur Abraham, Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maksim Vlasov, Junior Talipeau, and Giovanni Lorenzo. Bursak has defeated the likes of Nick Blackwell and Brian Vera. His losses were to Zac Dunn, Martin Murray, Jarrod Fletcher, and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

This is another bout on this pay per view that shouldn’t be very competitive. Ramirez should beat the elder Bursak easily.

The bigger question is who will Ramirez face next? Arthur Abraham has already indicated that he wants a rematch, and fellow Top Rank Boxer Jesse “Hard Work” Hart has also called out Ramirez.

Oscar Valdez (21-0) vs. Miguel Marriaga (25-1); WBO Featherweight Title

On paper, this appears to be the best and most competitive fight of the night.

Oscar Valdez is an extremely talented boxer with a high level ceiling. He has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 2009 World Amateur Championships. His opponent, Miguel Marriaga, has no notable amateur background.

Valdez is four years younger than Marriaga but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height and one inch in reach. Both boxers have considerable power in their hands. Marriaga has twenty one knockouts on his resume while Valdez has nineteen. Three of the past five opponents of Marriaga failed to make it to the distance while Valdez is currently riding a win streak of five wins by stoppage.

Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Valdez fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015 while Marriaga fought three times in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Valdez has never been beaten and has defeated the likes of Hiroshige Osawa, Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda, Evgeny Gradovich, Chris Avalos, and Ruben Tamayo. Marriaga’s lone loss was by decision to Nicholas Walters, he has defeated the likes of Eduardo Montoya, Guy Robb, and Christopher Martin.

Oscar Valdez is a joy to watch and this Saturday should be no different. On paper it’s the most competitive fight of the night, but in the ring Valdez should blow out his opponent just like the other two Mexican boxers on the televised card are expected to do.

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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.

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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?

Apparently not.

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.

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