Mike Altamura Building a Budding Stable
By: Ken Hissner
In April of 2018 this writer met and was quite impressed with Australia’s Mike Altamura CEO of MJA Platinum. He brought in one of his 23 boxers, Ghana’s Isaac Dogboe, to challenge for the WBO World Super Bantamweight title in Philadelphia. Altamura advises Dogboe alongside manager, father and trainer Paul Dogboe.
Dogboe would win the title that night against Jessie Magdaleno, then 25-0, with an eleventh round knockout improving his record to 19-0. Dogboe, though from Accra, Ghana, resides in London, UK. In his first defense he scored a first round stoppage over Japan’s Hidenori Otake, 31-2-3, in Glendale, AZ. In Dogboe’s next defense he lost his title to Emanuel Navarrete by decision at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Other boxers Altamura directs include southpaw Paul “Showtime” Fleming, 26-0 (7), of Sydney, Australia. In December he defeated Thailand’s 2-time world champion Panya Uthok, 52-5.
Another is Luke “Action” Jackson, 17-1 (7), of Hobart, Australia, a 2-time Olympian. His only loss was challenging for the interim WBO World Featherweight title to Carl Frampton, 25-1, in August.
Then there are two former world champions. One is former IBO Lightweight champion Lenny “Lenny Zappa” Zappavigna, 37-4 (27), of Leppington, Australia, whose fought in the US in 4 of his last 5 fights.
The other former world champion is Billy “The Kid” Dibb, 43-5 (24), of Sydney, Australia, who held the IBF World Featherweight title. In his last fight he was defeated by Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 25-4-1, of the US, for the vacant IBF World Super Lightweight title by decision.
Red hot southpaw TJ “Power” Doheny, 20-0 (14), is the Irish born IBF Super Bantamweight champion residing in Bondi Junction, Australia. He went to Japan to beat their champion Ryosuke Iwasa, then 25-2, taking his world title. Doheny is scheduled to defend his title January 18th at New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater.
Another world champion is Moruti “Babyface” Mthalane, 37-2 (25), of Kwa Zulu-Natal, South Africa, the IBF World Flyweight champion. He won the title in July defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem, 8-0, out of Seoul, South Korea. In his first defense in December he stopped Japan’s Masahiro Sakamoto, 13-1, in Japan.
No. 4 WBO Super Middleweight Rohan Murdock, 24-1 (17), of Nerang, Australia, in December defeated Argentina’s Rolando “Peligro” Mansilla, 14-5-1, in Brisbane, Australia.
No. 7 IBF Featherweight Nathaniel “Cheeky” May, 20-1 (11), of Bunbury, Australia. In December of 2017 he stopped Brazil’s Aelio Mesquita, then 16-0, for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. In his lone fight in 2018 he defeated Russia’s Ruslan Berchuk, 11-8, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Last but not least is Jack Brubaker, 15-2-1 (7) of Cronulla, Australia, the former OPBF Welterweight champion.
Tai Tuiniua is their matchmaker. “As a promoter, you live and die by the fights you make and Tai has been instrumental in saving a number of my shows,” said Jake Ellis. Anthony Cocks is their author/guru Public Relations man, who along with this writer worked years for Doghouse Boxing. MJA Paltinum looks to operate 4-6 events in the Asia Pacific region in 2019.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Jennings vs. Dimitrenko, Hart vs. Gavronski
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Top Rank Promotions will promote an eight fight boxing card to be televised on ESPN.
The main event and co-main event of the evening will likely have future title bout implications. Bryant Jennings will face Alexander Dimitrenko in a heavyweight showdown in the main event of the evening and Jesse Hart will face Mike Gavronski in the super middleweight division.
The undercard is packed with local prospects and rising contenders which will help bring in fans from nearby areas to Atlantic City. Shakur Stevenson from Trenton, New Jersey, Jason Sosa from Camden, New Jersey, Christian Carto from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Thomas LaManna from Millville, New Jersey are all fighters with local ties that could be up for a title shot in the near future.
The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Jesse Hart (24-1) vs. Mike Gavronski (24-2-1); Super Middleweights
Jesse “Hard Work” Hart is the son of legendary Philadelphia Boxer Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and recently lost a close decision to current WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto Ramirez.
Hart, to his credit, has remained active since that loss and is back to his winning ways. He fought twice in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016. Four of his past five wins have been by KO/TKO.
Gavronski is a good boxer with a decent record. However, he is three years older than Hart and will be giving up about three inches in height and six and a half inches in reach.
He also fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Gavronski did not fight yet in 2018.
Jesse Hart also has an edge in power over Gavronski. He has twenty stoppage victories while Gavronski has fifteen. Hart has also never been stopped while Gavronski has been stopped once.
Hart also has the edge in amateur experience. He won the 2011 National Golden Gloves Championship and placed 2nd in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. Gavronski has no notable amateur accomplishments to speak of.
Hart has beaten the likes of Demond Nicholson, Thomas Awimbono, Alan Campa, Andrew Hernandez, and Aaron Pryor Jr. His lone loss was a close decision to Gilberto Ramirez.
Gavronski has beaten the likes of Andrew Hernandez, Thomas Awimbono, and Brian Vera. His losses were to Dashon Johnson and Tureano Johnson.
Dashon Johnson is a man that Hart beat in 2016.
Hart appears to have too much fire power for Gavronski to handle.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Bryant Jennings (23-2) vs. Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3); Heavyweights
Bryant Jennings is a solid heavyweight boxer who previously fought for the title but came up short against Wladimir Klitschko.
He’s fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017 and is looking for another title shot.
Jennings is facing a boxer that many consider to be past his prime in Alexander Dimitrenko.
Jennings, at the age of thirty three, is three years younger than Dimitrenko. He will also be giving up about four inches in height, but Jennings will have a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers aren’t necessarily known for their power. Dimitrenko has twenty six stoppage victories while Jennings has thirteen.
Both boxers have been stopped in their career. Dimitrenko has two stoppage losses while Jennings only has one.
Jennings had a brief amateur career but it was rather successful. He made it to the finals of the 2009 PAL Nationals and was a National Runner Up in the Golden Gloves National Championship. He also defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion , Stipe Miocic, as an amateur. To this writer’s knowledge, Dimitrenko has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Jennings losses were to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz. He has defeated the likes of Joey Dawejko, Akhror Muralimov, Don Haynesworth, Mike Perez, Artur Szpilka, Andrey Fedosov, Bowie Tupou, Steve Collins, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Maurice Byarm,
Dimitrenko fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018. His losses were to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, and Eddie Chambers. He has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Albert Sosnowski, Adrian Granat, and Miljan Rovcanin.
His win over Miljan Rovcanin is contested by many though and that was his last bout. The bout was originally ruled a split draw, but Dimitrenko team protested the result. It was later ruled a win for Dimitrenko because Rovcanin had three points deducted and accordingly he should have been disqualified after the third point deduction.
Jennings experience in fighting a taller elite fighter like Klitschko might prove valuable in Saturday’s fight. Dimitrenko won his last bout, but didn’t look particularly good doing so. Jennings isn’t known for his power, but he should be able to box intelligently and win a decision.
Interview with Miles Shinkwin: Chasing the British Title
By: Oliver McManus
Miles Shinkwin has seen a lot in boxing, a professional for six years, his career has had a fair few ups and downs with a bruising Southern Area title fight in only his seventh contest – against Joel McIntyre – really putting his name on the map before a British title challenge, two years later, ended in defeat to Hosea Burton.
His most recent fight, in March, ended in controversy with Liam Conroy landing a series of shots to the back of Miles Shinkwin’s head (though, for what it’s worth, Liam says they were legal) calling a halt to the contest.
Enjoying training again and with a wonderful family behind, Hertfordshire’s light-heavyweight is back in his groove and on the way to title fights – his first, for the English, hopefully coming on September 14th.
I caught up with him last week and here’s what he had to say –
How did you first get into boxing?
My grandad was used to box in the navy, my dad had five brothers who all boxed amateur and my dad, two uncle’s turned pro then my dad took over the amateur club that they were all at and when I was very, very young I went along and here I am now.
I knew your dad had the potential to be quite a good professional boxer, was it always destined for you, then, to turn pro?
Do you know what, I was at Watford for a couple years when I was about 12, football, and my dad said to me one day “I don’t care what you pick but you need to pick one” because the training night’s clashed, playing a game would clash too and he said boxing and football are both sports you can’t mess about with, because I was quite good at both, so I said I wanted to be a boxer.
He goes “don’t say that because of me, do whatever you want and me and your mum will support you”, so I chose boxing and I don’t think I’ve played more than five games since then and I was 12 at the time.
In the amateurs, you were a five-time national champion, I believe?
Yeah, five or six, something like that.
When you turned pro, did that amateur pedigree help you?
It’s hard to say it as a statement for everyone but for me I was very amateur in my style and if you look at fighters like Tom Stalker, for instance, his style was also very amateur and the pro ranks didn’t agree with him – no disrespect – and up until now it hasn’t completely agreed with me either so I think I spent too long trying to get out of my old style as opposed to trying to tweak it.
Until I joined Don I had tried to entertain people too much but because I’m not a puncher I felt like I had to have scraps and entertain people but that’s not my style, my losses have come through me scrapping.
If I could go back to when I started as a pro I’d definitely try to stick more to my amateur style.
It is quite a cliché that you learn more from your losses – have you found that to be true?
It is cliché, yeah, the first one I learned that if you lose your head then you lose the fight – I knew that before but this was the first time I experienced it – it’s really hard to say. When I beat Joel McIntyre for the Southern Area title – I was 7 and 0, 10 rounder at York Hall – absolutely boiling, broke my rib and I got cut and if I’d have lost that fight I would have learnt the exact same amount as if I won it because I went through it all.
Losses where there is an actual moment where you lose the fight, if that makes sense, like with Burton after the fifth round when I decided I was going to try and beat him up, that’s where I lost the fight. So you can learn things from the type of fight.
The Jake Ball loss just came at the wrong time for me, McIntyre rematch I shouldn’t have been boxing at the time because I hated the sport at the time and the last fight (against Conroy), I can’t really call it a loss really because it was illegal blows.
I’m glad you brought that up because let’s talk about the fight with Liam Conroy, tell me about it from your perspective…
The funny thing was that when we drove up on Wednesday, it’s quite a drive from here to Preston, and we were chatting away and he said “I’m going to pull the referee up before the fight, I’ve watched his fights and it’s a trait to punch to the back of the head”. I won’t lie, I hadn’t really watched much of his fights but we were in the changing rooms with the ref doing his usual pre-fight talk and these were his exact words, “I know you’ve been around for a long, long time, I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs but three things – obey my commands at all times, keep them above the belt and under no circumstances do you hit to the back of the head, it pisses him off and it pisses me off so don’t f***ing do it.”
Don was like “ah, sorted”… first round I hit him with a body shot and he hit me in the back of the head with a counter hook, square on the back of the head, top of my neck. The referee said stop and he said, to me, “keep your punches up” and the second round started but before it really got underway it was finished.
Anyone with a brain could see they weren’t legal punches.
Before the fight, how confident were you in winning?
I’m a notoriously slow starter, people with styles like mine genuinely are and when we’re cold it’s not great but going in I was fairly confident. I’ve stopped doing this now but after my fights, I used to tell myself what level I should be but I’ve stopped that now because I can’t take, well I haven’t managed so far, my gym performances into the ring and we can’t work out why that is. I’ve sparred all kinds of people – Groves, Lee, Cleverly – I was a world amateur, boxed Demetrius Andrade, lost 18-16 in a fight we fought I won comfortably so it’s not a question of IF I can do it, I know I can.
We were confident and the first round was first gear, he was missing me and I thought once I got warmed up I’d win it fairly easily but then, obviously, the second round happened.
Why do you think he doesn’t want the rematch? Surely from his point of view if he won fair and square the first time he can do it a second?
He can’t think that, if he’s got a pulse, Stevie Wonder could have told you they weren’t legal punches, before he blocked me on Twitter I sent him a photo of one of the punches and it was literally square to the back of my neck and he said it was legal. He knows it’s not true, after the fight I was gutted and everyone was telling me it was disgusting. On the night I said I wouldn’t talk about it so I couldn’t say something in haste that I’d regret and I was getting sent clips, I was thinking “that’s terrible” but Alex Steedman, the commentator, messaged me on Twitter saying “I’m so sorry we didn’t pull it up in the commentary, we couldn’t see it from the angle we were sat at but now I’ve seen it back it was horrendous”.
I knew myself it wasn’t legal but having him say it affirmed what I was thinking because at first it was just family and friends who, generally, try to pick you up but to have him, as an impartial guy, saying it just confirmed it in my mind.
If he were to come out and say “look, I threw some shots, I didn’t mean to” then that’s a different story. I do think that if you’ve hurt someone you should punch wherever until the ref says stop and it’s the referee’s job to say stop but there weren’t any warnings or anything like that.
Are you going to continue to chase the fight or this just drawing a line under it?
The macho man in me would say I want to fight him at all costs but we got an inkling he vacated a while back and I said to Steve (Goodwin), I don’t care if it’s for the belt or not, just get me the fight. I want to prove to everyone I’m better than him. He’s given away his bargaining chip, no-one is going to want to fight him now.
I’ll be fighting for the vacant title, I want to get back to British title level at least and this is the quickest way of doing it. Steve is sorting out an opponent and going through the board.
I was going to ask you about Steve Goodwin. How much of an impact has he had on your career?
I signed with Frank Warren in my second and I weren’t getting a lot of fights and then I did an interview when I was meant to box at Wembley Arena with the fight that Cleverly postponed three times. When you’re a four round fighter training eight weeks to get paid, relative, peanuts and selling tickets, covering costs, for it to keep getting put back is really tough.
In an interview, I sold a bunch of tickets, I did an interview with my local paper and I said, “I’m not happy but I understand if the main event, the whole card is off, I understand but it doesn’t stop me from being unhappy”. They ran the story as “Shinkwin unhappy with Warren” or something like that and I imagine one of them saw the headline without reading the story and they just didn’t put me on the shows.
Steve came up to me and said, “come fight on my shows, tell me the dates you want and I’ll put you on”. As it happens on the day of the weigh-in (Joel) McIntyre’s medical had run out so Steve, out of his own pocket, paid for a private doctor and everything to get it done on the day so he could be cleared. You tell me how many people would do that?
I resigned with Warren – god knows why, but I did – but Steve has always been on the phone to me and when I wanted a new manager, Steve was my first call and everything has been great since. He’s done a lot of things for me.
And when you fight on TV, do you feel a difference?
I’ll be honest with you I felt pressure with the Burton fight – for the first time in my life, in boxing, I was nervous in the changing room. Not really because of the opponent, I knew I could beat him, but the occasion got to me a little bit and it took me a while to come to terms with that because I’m, genuinely, quite a positive person.
If you don’t mind me asking, what do you make of Anthony Yarde?
It’s hard to say, he’s not fighting the best of opponents but he’s beating what’s in front of him and whilst everyone is talking about Buatsi, Buatsi has probably had 100 amateur fights, been to the Olympics, Yarde has had something like 15 so if he can get paid and learn on the job then I don’t see the need to rush him.
He looks the part, he looks the part. The big test would have been Burton, would have been a great test, people feel like Burton would have beaten him.
I was offered the fight once after I lost to McIntyre, I had “retired”, I hadn’t been in the gym and I was about 15stone and I got asked if I wanted to fight him and all I said was “fuck off” because they didn’t want to give me a fight to get back in, the McIntyre fight was meant to be in London, on a Warren show, and they promised they’d win the purse bids and then Steve won it in Portsmouth and I had to go fight in a nightclub and then Warren’s team tried to use me as cannon-fodder for Yarde. Just wasn’t going to happen.
If we look at your career what would you say has been your best performance?
Purely through what happened, I’d say McIntyre (the first one) – broke my rib – my first ten rounder and up against an unbeaten opponent but if you watch me spar you’d say “where’s this bloke been?. But I’ve not been as good as I can be.
How long do you reckon you’ve got left in the sport?
Light heavyweights can go, what, 34, 35 if they want to so I’ve got a few years, I don’t want to be in it forever, you don’t get any prettier or any more clever by being a boxer. Fight night is the easy part, it’s the sparring, the training, losing weight that’s the hard part.
You’ve said there have been points where you simply hated boxing. So, what is it that’s kept you going?
It was, I suppose, a sense of underachievement at one point. I would have regretted it if I gave up and I keep wanting the British title, that’s what I’m going for and I’ve got two young daughters who I don’t want to say “I boxed for a little bit but I gave up because I got beat a couple times” to, now I’ve moved on and things are more positive, I’m enjoying it. My gym is literally 10 minutes from my house whereas before I was traveling to Essex today.
A lot of things have changed, I’ve matured, enjoying training, loads of factors.
September 14th was your scheduled fight date, is that still it?
I wish I could tell you more but yeah, that’s what I’m training for.
In 12 months time where would you want to be?
I’ve given up planning in advance because it gets me nowhere but if I didn’t win at least a British title, in my career, I would have massively under-achieved so make of that what you will, if that’s next year then that’s great but if not I’ll keep working.
I’ve not had a lot of luck in my career, I’ve always had to travel – Burton in Manchester, McIntyre in Portsmouth, Jake Ball on a Matchroom show, Conroy in Preston – so it would nice to be the home fighter for once and put in a performance that I have got the talent to do. Just put in a good performance and take a look at the landscape of the British division.
Finally then mate, what sort of a sweet would you be?
I reckon I’d be something soft in the middle, hard on the outside. A mento, I’m a tough guy but I’m also a softie. Mini refresher, as well.
Mike Tyson Breaks Ground on 40-acre Marijuana Farm in California
By Bryanna Fissori
The “Baddest Man on the Planet” has announced that his next business venture will be in the cannabis industry. Former champion, Mike Tyson started off the New Year with a groundbreaking celebration on his 40-acre parcel of land in the small town of California City, California. “Tyson Ranch” is set to be a marijuana grower’s paradise.
January 1, 2018 marked the legalization of recreational marijuana in California. Now patrons 21 and older can purchase marijuana for recreational use and grow up to six plants per individual. Only 90 recreational business licenses have been allotted at this point, which is a small number given the state’s population. The industry is expected to generate $3.7 billion in its first year and $5.1 billion in 2019.
Tyson Ranch will be more than just a grow facility, though 20 acres are to be allotted for climate controlled cultivation. Tyson and partners Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen also plan on founding the “Tyson Cultivation School,” where people can take hands-on marijuana growing lessons from Tyson himself.
The former boxer is a long time proponent for medical marijuana, which has been legal in California for over 20 years. Tyson Ranch plans to conduct research to further define the benefits of cannabis for medical use. There is even a strain of marijuana named after Tyson.
After his career, Tyson admitted to using marijuana (an much harder drugs) during his matches. He tested positive after his October 2000 match against Andrew Golota, but has admitted to using the substance on multiple occasions. Many sports still have a zero-tolerance on marijuana, but some such as mixed martial arts are state specific with higher limits in states that have legalized cannabis.
“Tupac always wanted me to smoke weed with him, and I never did it, and I wish I did. That’s my biggest regret.” –Mike Tyson
Tyson Ranch is founded under the company name “Tyson Holistics,” which is said to be operated by a team of military veterans. Tyson has also trademarked the name “Iron Mike Genetics.”
That is not all that will be available on the company’s 40-acre marijuana amusement park-like mecca. Tyson Ranch will also feature a:
•Hydro-feed plant and supply store
•Corporate retreat facilities
•Premium “glamping” campgrounds and cabins (camping with luxuries)
•Garden with a water feature
There is no word yet on an official opening, which may be a ways out considering that the ground has only now been broken.
Tyson is not the only celebrity looking to get in on the “green rush.” Snoop Dog, Wiz Khalifa, Whoopie Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong, Cliff Robinson, Richard Branson and Roseanne Barr are all on board with legalization of marijuana. Many have developed their own strains, contributed to research efforts or showed interest in opening their own dispensaries. With California entering the market, the possibilities will be open to a whole new market of celebrities, many of which may interested in a marijuana based business closer to home.
Why Some of Boxing’s Most Famous Fighters Don’t Belong in the Hall of Fame
By: Patrick Mascoe
Being great and being famous are two very different things. However, one of the characteristics that often go along with greatness is fame. Sometimes being famous leads to the assumption that one is great, but they are not one and the same. For example, when a baseball player is inducted into Cooperstown there is certain unwritten criterion that the player is expected to achieve. In a sense, baseball has deemed that certain numbers quantify one as being great. It may be 3000 hits or 500 home runs. In hockey, 500 goals will get you into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In these sports, excitement, charisma, and entertainment value do not define greatness – statistics do.
Entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame is a lot more subjective. Statistics are still important, but charisma, courage, and bravery are also highly valued. As a result, not every boxer in the International Boxing Hall of Fame was great. Some were just very good. What allows them to be mentioned, in the same breath as the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis, are their intangibles.
Statistics can not measure a man’s will to win or his ability to take a punch. They don’t gage fan excitement or exhilaration. For example, Floyd Mayweather is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He exhibited greatness in the ring, was a multiple world champion, and remained undefeated throughout his career. Mayweather also possessed God-given talent that made it hard for the average fan to relate to.
When he clashed with Arturo Gatti, Mayweather made him look like an amateur fighter. Yet it was Gatti who could sell out venues and made every fight must-see-TV. The technically superior Mayweather was labelled “boring.” We as fans could relate to the Arturo Gatti’s of the world. We saw him labour and could appreciate his bravery and his tenacity. Floyd is boxing royalty while Gatti was boxing’s common man. Floyd Mayweather was great. Arturo Gatti was good, but made us feel great.
Arturo Gatti was not a great fighter. Nevertheless, in 2012 he was enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Gatti was not the only good fighter to enter the Hall. Other fighters also captured our attention. They shined so bright, we were mesmerized and captivated by their talents but failed to see their inefficiencies.
Here is my countdown of boxers who were very good, but not great, who rode a wave of excitement and adulation into the International Boxing Hall of Fame:
5. Matthew Saad Muhammad: In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Matthew Saad Muhammad was one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. He held the WBC World Light Heavyweight title from 1979 – 1981 and defended it eight times. He finished his career with a record of 49 wins, 16 losses and 3 draws. He was known as an all-action fighter, who was incredibly resilient. Just when it looked like he was on the verge of defeat, he would mount a magical comeback and win.
Muhammad was an excellent finisher and possessed considerable power. His one substantial weakness was his permeable defence. He fought every match as if he were working out on a heavy bag: all offense – no defence. His style made him fun to watch, but it also made him very easy to hit. Every fight, no matter how strong or weak the opposition, was a life and death struggle.
When we break down what Muhammad did in the ring, you have to wonder why he is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. First of all, he lost a quarter of his fights. Yes, eight of his losses came at the end of his career, but they are still losses. Almost twenty fights into his professional career; he was still being matched against fighters with losing records. Even after winning a world title and right up to his retirement, he fought boxers with losing records.
Muhammad did defend his title eight times. However, none of those title challengers stood out as being exceptional. In one of his most illustrious fights, in 1980, against Yaqui Lopez, he was hit with twenty unanswered punches. He was on the verge of having the fight stopped, only to come back and knock out Lopez in the 14th round. Ring Magazine declared it the “Fight of the Year.” Yaqui Lopez was a solid fighter but he was a fighter who, during his career, challenged for a world title five times and lost all five fights.
The only truly great fighter Muhammad ever faced was Dwight Muhammed Qawi. They fought twice. Qawi won the first match and took Muhammad’s Light Heavyweight Title by way of a ten round TKO. In the return match, Qawi won again, this time in six.
Muhammad defeated a number of good fighters, but he never beat a great fighter. Many of his victories were against weaker competition and when he did fight good fighters, he had his hands full. He also lost 16 times during his career. Did he have the heart of a champion? Was he entertaining? Was he incredibly courageous? Yes. Yes. Yes. Was he a great fighter? No.
4. Arturo Gatti: He was known as an absolutely fearless all-action fighter. Much like Matthew Saad Muhammad, Gatti had a supernatural ability to endure punishment while always pressing forward. He held the IBF Jr. Lightweight Title from 1995-1998 and the WBC Super Lightweight Title from 2004-2005. He retired with a record of 40 – 9.
Gatti was involved in the Ring’s “Fight of the Year” on four different occasions. He defeated Gabriel Ruelas, was defeated by Ivan Robinson, and had both a victory and a loss against Micky Ward. These fights were character defining, monumental battles for Gatti, but the men he faced were themselves not great boxers. They were like him, good solid professionals.
His will, power, and iron chin always made him a formidable opponent. However, he was easy to hit and was often out-boxed even in victory. In Gatti’s first defence of his IBF Junior Lightweight Title against Wilson Rodriguez, he was completely schooled and had been taking a hellacious beating before coming back to stop Rodriguez in a desperation finish. Against Angel Manfredy, another good fighter, but never a champion, Gatti was again completely out boxed and the fight was stopped in the eighth round.
When Gatti actually faced Hall of Fame level competition, he came up considerably short. He fought Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. Neither fight was even close. Against Oscar, the fight was stopped in five rounds and against Floyd, the fight was stopped in six. These outcomes showed that although Arturo was a great fighter to watch, he simply did not posses the same calibre of skill as the elite fighters of the day.
Arturo Gatti may very well have been one of the most exciting fighters of his generation. He possessed a great chin, great power, and a great heart. Despite those valiant qualities, he was not one of the all-time greatest boxers in history.
3. Ray Mancini: If you judged Mancini only by his boxing style, you would swear that he and Arturo Gatti came from the same family. Like Gatti, Mancini was an in your face, aggressive pressure fighter. He had decent power and a granite chin. Whatever he lacked in skill, he made up for with unbelievable heart. Mancini held the WBA Lightweight Title from 1982-1984 and retired with a record of 29 – 5.
Mancini garnered national attention, not only for his entertaining fighting style, but because of a heart-rending background story. His father, veteran boxer Lenny “Boom Boom” Mancini, missed his opportunity to fight for a world title because of WWII. Ray, who idolized his father, took up boxing with the idea that he could finish what his father had started.
After compiling a 20-0 record, Mancini was given the opportunity to fight for a world title. Unfortunately, it was against Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello, arguably one of the greatest boxers of his era. Mancini fought bravely and took the fight to Arguello, but was eventually stopped in the 14th round. For the media and for boxing fans, this only made Mancini’s story more compelling. He won his next two fights and was again given a title shot, this time against Arturo Frias for the WBA Lightweight Title.
Mancini stopped Frias in the first round after almost being stopped himself. His fairy tale life story had now taken on the happy ending that all fans had wished for. Along with being a good fighter, Mancini always appeared to be a genuinely good guy. He went on to defend his title four times against the likes of Ernesto Espana, Duk-koo Kim, Orlando Romero, and Bobby Chacon and fought two non-title fights against George Feeney and Johnny Torres. Bobby Chacon was the only recognizable fighter Mancini faced as champion, and he was a natural featherweight who had moved up in weight for this fight. This would be Mancini’s last professional victory.
Eventually, Mancini lost his title, as well as a rematch to Livingston Bramble. He then lost bouts to Hector Camacho and Greg Haugen before retiring. Mancini was both exciting and entertaining. During his career he faced off against three Hall of Famers. He lost to two of them and defeated one. Mancini’s sentimental story was greater than his skills. I can’t help but think that without the story, he wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. Instead, he would be regarded as being very similar to the likes of Vinny Pazienza, an entertaining fighter who is on the outside of the Hall looking in.
2. Prince Naseem Hamed: He was known for his elaborate ring entrances, his unorthodox boxing style, and his one punch knock out power. Nassem reigned as the WBO Featherweight Champion from 1995 – 2000. He retired from boxing with an impeccable record of 36-1. Always a polarizing figure, some feel he was one of the greatest featherweights of all time, while others including his former promoter see him as one of boxing’s greatest underachievers.
Prince Naseem’s story is not about what he accomplished, but rather about what he never tried to accomplish. He defended his WBO Title a total of fifteen times. This was back in a time when the WBO was even more insignificant than it is now. His resume of title defences was a who’s who of no-name, average fighters; Said Lawal, Daniel Alicea, Remigio Molina, Tom Johnson, and Jose Badillo. Prince Naseem never fought the best fighters available at the time of his reign. The fighters he never faced tell us more about him than the fighters he defeated; Azumah Nelson, Jeff Fenech, Gabriel Ruelas, Arturo Gatti, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Diego Corrales, and Johnny Tapia.
Prince Naseem fought the vast majority of his fights in the UK, where fans obviously seemed unbothered by the lack of aggressive matchmaking. It was only when he came to the United States that the Prince was really tested. He knocked out a very good opponent in Kevin Kelly in the 4th round of their epic battle at Madison Square Gardens. Despite the victory, Kelly was able to expose Naseem’s defensive shortcomings as he put him on the canvas three times.
In 2001, Prince Naseem finally engaged in a high profile fight against a world-class opponent, Marco Antonio Barrera. Barrera had agreed to move up in weight in order to fight the larger Naseem. How did the Prince fare against a legitimate Hall of Fame fighter? He was given a complete boxing lesson. Not only did Barrera beat Prince Naseem physically, it looked like he beat the will to fight right out of him. When Barrera lost to Junior Jones, he demanded an immediate rematch. When he lost to Erik Morales he came back and fought him two more times. What did Prince Naseem do after losing to Barrera? He fought someone named Manuel Calvo, was booed by his hometown fans for his poor performance, and never boxed again.
Prince Naseem was far more flash than substance. Yes, he had a great record, but so did Butterbean. It’s not his many victories over subpar opponents that we should measure him by. It is his one loss and all the fighters he avoided that really define his legacy. Yes, he was famous, more for his ring entrances than anything else. That should get him on “Dancing with the Stars”, but not in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
1. Mike Tyson – From 1985 – 2005, Mike Tyson was the biggest name in boxing. Much like Prince Naseem, Tyson was a polarizing figure, both inside and outside of the ring. Once dubbed “the baddest man on the planet”, Tyson was the Heavyweight Champion from 1986-1990 and again in 1996. He was an intimidating force who possessed great power and fought like a ravenous predator. Tyson was well on his way to greatness. He became the youngest man ever to hold the heavyweight title and by February 10, 1990, he had a record of 37-0 with 33 knock outs.
Dramatically, the very next day, everything would change for Tyson and his cloak of invincibility would be shredded by Buster Douglas. Douglas was a tall rangy fighter with an excellent jab. He was a skilled fighter who often lacked motivation, yet against Tyson he refused to be intimidated. Despite being a 42-1 underdog, Douglas knocked Tyson out in the 10th round. It was at this point in his career that Tyson’s quest for greatness ended. No longer the intimidating figure he once was, his life began to fall apart.
He engaged in, and won two tough fights against Razor Ruddock. Then in July of 1991, he was arrested and convicted of rape. He spent the next three years incarcerated at the Plainfield Correctional Facility. Upon his release, he returned to the ring and defeated Frank Bruno to become the WBC Heavyweight Champion. The victory helped set up a much anticipated and long awaited fight against Evander Holyfield.
Going into the Holyfield fight, Tyson was considered a heavy favourite. Evander Holyfield was 34 years old and was thought to be washed up. Much like Buster Douglas, Holyfield was not apprehensive about facing Iron Mike and his celebrated reputation. By the end of the night, it was Holyfield’s reputation that had been boosted after stopping Tyson in the 11th round.
Their immediate rematch lasted only three rounds. Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear not once, but twice and was subsequently disqualified. This was the action of a man who chose quitting over fighting. As a result of his actions, Tyson had become a pariah. Numerous boxing commissions refused to grant him a license to box. In 2002, in Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tyson once again challenged for the heavyweight title. This time he faced off against Lennox Lewis. Lewis dominated the match, winning by knockout in the 8th.
Throughout his career, Tyson fought four Hall of Fame fighters. He defeated Michael Spinks, a great light heavyweight masquerading as a heavyweight and a well past his prime Larry Holmes, who came out of retirement for an appealing pay cheque. He was thoroughly beaten by Lennox Lewis and lost to Evander Holyfield twice – once by knockout and once by disqualification (which was nothing more than a way to quit rather than being knocked out again).
Why is Mike Tyson in the Hall of Fame? The most memorable thing he ever did in a ring was to bite a man’s ear off. Tyson had a great start to his career however, along the way he was exposed as nothing more than a bully and a quitter. Tyson did not just quit against Holyfield. He also quit in the last fight of his career against journey man boxer Kevin McBride. Tyson could have been great; in the end I don’t believe he was even one of the top three best heavyweight fighters of his era. Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and Riddick Bowe were all superior to Tyson.
In conclusion, all five fighters mentioned on this list had one thing in common; they were aggressive warriors that endeared themselves to boxing fans. They were all great to watch, but they themselves were not necessarily great. Based on the intangible qualities of courage, bravery, and determination, I believe there is an argument to be made on behalf of Matthew Saad Muhammad, Arturo Gatti, and Ray Mancini, being in the Hall of Fame. However, there should be no room in the Boxing Hall of Fame for imposters like Prince Naseem Hamad and quitters like Mike Tyson, no matter how famous they were.
Ramírez vs. Reed and Beterbiev vs. Kölling Headline ESPN Card
By: Eric Lunger
Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (23-0, 12 KOs) looks to make a statement in the super lightweight division this Saturday night as he takes on Jose Carlos Ramírez (20-0, 15 KOs), an undefeated number 3 world ranked contender and former 2012 US Olympian. Reed, a five-foot six southpaw from Waldorf, MD, had a stellar amateur career. He has been brought along carefully as a professional. Now, with Terence Crawford moving up to welterweight, the 140-pound division is open for a number of fighters to make an impact, and 24-year-old Reed hopes to be one of them.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing
Ramírez, 25, hails from Avenal, CA, and is riding a three fight KO streak. With significant amateur background as well, and with trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, Ramírez made the transition to the professional ranks with ease. At five-foot ten, Ramírez is tall and rangy, and he will look to maximize his height and six-inch reach advantage. With a classic Mexican style, expect the California native to stand in the middle of the ring and throw. In his last outing, Ramírez stopped Jake Giuriceo (20-5-1, 5 KOs) with an onslaught of left hooks to the body and punishing overhand rights.
Mike Reed, on the other hand, is a calm and deliberate fighter. He likes to figure out his opponent in the ring, and then go to work on perceived weaknesses. The matchup is an intriguing one: aggressive puncher in Ramírez versus deliberate southpaw tactician in Reed. Conditioning and experience in the late rounds could be issues for both fighters. Reed has had only two ten-round bouts (both went the distance and both were unanimous decisions), whereas Ramírez has gone the distance only once in his professional career. Headlining an ESPN card will also add pressure and nerves for both guys. There is a lot at stake: both fighters undefeated, both looking for a title shot in the wide open super lightweight division.
In the co-main event, Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs), a Russian-born fighter who resides in Montréal, Canada, takes on Enrico Kölling (23-1, 6 KOs) of Berlin, Germany, for the vacant IBF light heavyweight world title. Beterbiev, as his record indicates, is a fearsome knockout puncher, and he has claimed that former champion Andre Ward vacated the title rather than face his mandatory title challenge. Be that as it may, Kölling has fought only in Germany, and once in South Africa. He will have his hands full Saturday night, as Beterbiev packs dangerous power in both hands. What Kölling does have in his favor is experience, which he will need, having gone the full twelve-round distance three times in his career. The German is also well versed in the European amateur ranks, which may prepare him for a fighter of Beterbiev’s caliber. Whether he is prepared for Beterbiev’s pressure and power is another question.
The venue is the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA, making this a home fight for Ramírez, who sold out the building last December. Tickets may be purchased at select Save Mart Supermarkets, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 800 or at the Save Mart Center Box Office.
Both fights will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App.
WBSS Results: Briedis Defeats Perez By Decision
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night the Baltic country of Latvia hosted its first ever world championship fight as the World Boxing Super Series came to town. However, neither the pre-fight hype, nor the electric atmosphere inside Arena Riga could turn this highly anticipated match-up into an exciting fight.
The third quarter final of the Cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series saw WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis step into the ring with former heavyweight contender Mike ‘The Rebel’ Perez, with Oleksandr Usyk awaiting the winner in the semifinals.
The early rounds set the tone for what descended into an ugly scrap. In round one ‘The Rebel’ seemed the busier fighter, throwing more frequently and forcing Mairis onto the backfoot.
Round two was when the Latvian started to lay the groundwork for his own game plan. This time Briedis seemed comfortable on the backfoot, initiating a jab and hold tactic that continued relentlessly throughout the fight. The bout looked like it would set alight in round three as Briedis was cut on his left eye by a head clash, which the referee ruled Perez to be at fault for and docked the Cuban a point. For a brief period, Briedis seemed apprehensive, even causing a second-head clash which seemed to effect Perez more than it did the champion.
From round five however, the Latvian regained his composure and dominated right into the championship rounds. His holding wasn’t pretty but it was a strong enough base to work off as he started to land more frequently. By round nine, and arguably earlier, Mike Perez, 22-2-1 heading into tonight, seemed all out of ideas and was caught by a big right uppercut underneath the chin which, although he seemed to recover quickly, definitely shook him up. Enough for him to incorporate Briedis’ tactics of holding long enough to avoid any further damage.
In round ten Briedis was finally docked a point for persistent holding after much protest and frustration from Perez but by then the Latvian had an air of superiority about him. Perez began to rush forward with no real effect and he needed a knockout going into the final round. It never looked like coming.
There was the question of whether Mike’s power would have the desired effect coming down in weight, but in truth we still don’t know if it can. Briedis frustrated Perez throughout, never taking a clean hit from the Cuban nor veering away from his own game plan. Jab-Hold with the occasional combination flurry or eye-catching shot was enough to see Briedis pick up a clear points win, 116-110, 115-111, 114-112.
It’s hard to watch Briedis, now 23-0-0. Tonight, along with his last outing against Marco Huck to win the WBC title, prove why, but up next is tournament, fan favorite, Usyk. It’s a match-up touted for early 2018 and as well as a place in the WBSS final, Usyk’s WBO and Briedis’ WBC Cruiserweight world titles will be at stake. There’s enough there for us to forget about how tonight played out and salivate over how good the upcoming semifinal should be.
Krzysztof Glowacki v Leonardo Bruzzese
The main undercard bout of the night saw World Boxing Super Series reserve, and former WBO World Cruiserweight world champion Krzysztof Glowacki, 27-1-0 before tonight, ease to a stoppage win over Italian Leonardo Bruzzese (18-3-0).
The Polish southpaw dominated from the first bell, landing almost every time with a perfect left hand. And the domination continued through the second. Bruzese, who had fought all but one of his fights outside of Italy, began to land slightly more but it wasn’t a problem Glowacki couldn’t deal with.
The Pole almost ended it at the end of the second and then again through rounds three and fourth. His punches consistently sending Bruzzese onto the ropes, with only a solid chin keeping Leonardo in the fight. But he was never truly ‘in’ the fight as Glowacki hammered at his opponent with precision, power and most tellingly, ease.
Krzysztof finally landed a punch with the desired effect, firing a left hook in round five which dropped Bruzzesse and then again soon after, forcing the Italian to drop down on both knees as the referee waved the bout off.
Glowacki would’ve been a worthy participant in the World Boxing Super Series with or without tonight’s win but what tonight shows is that he’s a clear number of levels above the fringe fighter status. Let’s hope he’s not called upon but if he is, people would be wise to not overlook him as a world class contender at the 200lb limit.
Some of the Pet Peeves Boxing Writers are Concerned About
By Ken Hissner
This writer has been writing for approximately 10 years. I sometimes say “the only thing more crooked than boxing is politics”. For example we see commissions that are not the most honest favoring certain people over others. By messing with managerial contracts favoring the managers and one sided hearings are a pair of examples what happens. One for instance in PA was holding a hearing for a boxer who was not allowed to have anyone but an attorney which he had. The manager came in with a non-attorney and was allowed an unlicensed backer to be allowed to listen in on an intercom. Obviously the boxer lost. The Boxing Director ruled in this case.
Pertaining to a referee I always remember Mills Lane when he did the rematch between Holyfield and Tyson. Lane knew Tyson had fouled Holyfield biting his ear and when over to the then Nevada commission head who more or less said “how would you stop a fight of this magnitude for this MINOR infraction?”
I believe that same commission head went to a much more violent sport like MMA after that. Mills returns and tells the fighters to continue and Tyson proceeds knowing he didn’t get penalized for what he did takes it one step or should I say 10 times further and bites off a piece of Holyfield’s ear knowing he is losing and will not be able to overcome Holyfield for victory. Mills had actually gone to the Tyson corner after the first infraction and they seemed to threaten him if he stopped the fight. Mills wasn’t a referee much longer after that fight.
Another example being Nevada who seem to have the most prestigious fights yet when referee Robert Byrd allowed Andre Ward to initiate 46 clinches against Sergey Kovalev and was never deducted “one point” just several warnings. That was in their first fight. All three judges had Ward ahead by a point so if just one point was deducted by Byrd for holding it would have been a draw and Kovalev would have retained his title. I had Kovalev ahead by 5 points based on 8-4 in rounds plus the knockdown. Go to www.youtube.com and see what I mean.
Byrd is without question the slowest referee to react of the Nevada referees. Was he being racist in his actions favoring the black fighter over the white fighter? Why Kovalev’s management or promoter allowed a black referee since Kovalev had the 3 titles and Ward none is beyond me. I suggested once to a manager who had the black fighter against a Spanish fighter to get a neutral person such as a white referee. The fight was great and close and the referee made no difference and their fighter won a decision.
It’s been my experience when I was a matchmaker for a short period of time a ring physician came over prior to the fight and told the referee who by the way now serves as a commissioner to stop the fight if the one fighter in particular “looks” like he is hurt. I told the ring physician “you can’t tell a referee that in advance”. The fight was stopped in the first round without that fighter being cut or knocked down. The promoter had to have a hearing based on too many stoppages on this promoter’s card. The top promoter who had just as many stoppages as this one was also suspended for 30 days.
The commissioner Jimmy Binns, Sr. held that meeting. I was told by the promoter Bob Connelly not to attend. I attended and sat at the table directly across from Binns. When I spoke up and informed Binns that the referee at the table Rudy Battles (now PA Boxing Commissioner) was told by Dr. Davidson to stop the fight if the boxer even looks hurt Binns said “what do you know about boxing?” I replied “maybe you would know something about boxing if you were to come to the weigh-in.” I had my matchmaker’s license revoked for that remark.
When Binns was replaced by Harold McCall he came to me during a boxing event and said “come into my office for I want to reinstate your matchmaker’s license”. I never did go in and never did matchmaking again. It is the hardest position of fights for the match-up may look good on paper but you never know how the fight is going to be.
Pennsylvania had a good secretary on the commission in Frank Walker. He worked behind the desk not running the shows. Now during Binns time he and Walker’s assistant were sent to work out of Harrisburg some 100 miles away instead of Philadelphia where the commission office was. Both Walker and his assistant suffered health problems and were replaced by Binns. Binns put Greg Sirb in charge as Boxing Secretary and he changed his title to Boxing Director. He runs all the events unless two are on the same night while the three commissioner’s sit there never correcting anything he does. When I let it be known in my report the entire press were told by a promoter you’ll never to sit at ringside again the promoter should have the right to where the press sits and not the Boxing Director.
This writer has found infractions on commission members and brought it to the attention of the state without any action being taken or even considered. It’s not what you know but who you know in this business too many times. I will continue to write what I see and not what the promoter or commissioner wants to see.
This writer has been banned from press row by two promoters because they “don‘t like what I write”. Guess what? That hasn’t stopped me from writing up their shows as I see them!” When Philadelphia had back to back shows with 14 bouts and 13 ended it knockouts in a bunch of mismatches this writer questioned it causing one of the promoters say “you should write what you see” while the other pulled my press credentials.
Recently in VA a rarity happened when Lamont White, 0-7, scored a knockout win over Roger Belch 8-0 at Norfolk on May 13th. Why the commission approved of the fight in the first place is strange but the way it turned out was even stranger.
Just thought I would “air out” some of the things writers can be faced with when they are “honest to a fault!”
Will the Real “Iron Mike” Please Stand Up?: Mike Tyson Hit with Trademark Infringement Lawsuit
Will the Real “Iron Mike” Please Stand Up?: Mike Tyson Hit with Trademark Infringement Lawsuit
by Bryanna Fissori
What’s in a name? Apparently the make-or-break of a career according to “Iron Mike” Landrum Sr. who flied suit on June 30th for trademark infringement against Mike Tyson with whom he shares the same ring name.
This is round two for the “Iron Mikes.” Both fighters now retired and in their 50’s have had vastly difference careers, though Landrum insists that this is strongly because of the confusion of who is who between the two men. Landrum is reportedly 6-4-1 in his professional career, though that record is not available on boxrecs and is hardly similar to Tyson’s record of 44-5-2. In 2010 Landrum attempted a similar suit, but it was dismissed for lack of merit. At the time, a case was also brought by Landrum against the Spike TV series “Knockout Sportsworld” for using the “Iron Mike” name but was dismissed early due to lack of timeliness in process service. Neither case ever saw a jury.
Seven years later, and 30 years or so since last competing, Landrum is giving it another shot. This most recent cause of action was filed June 30, 2017 in the Nevada Ninth Circuit District Court. The case calls for $55 million in damages and an injunction to cease use of the name by Tyson. Apparently the value of the “Iron Mike” label has gone down since the 2010 lawsuit, which requested $115 million. There even seems to be some suggestion through Landrum’s social media and YouTube channel, that he would be interested in real ring battle of the “Iron Mikes.”
There is no specific federal statue of limitations on trademark infringement cases and the limitation is left to state policy, but generally Nevada uses a four year statute (Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. et al v. High Impact Design & Entertainment, et al).
The common law Doctrine of Laches defense is also available in Nevada when the defending party’s circumstances have been significantly changed due a delay in bringing the cause of action. So, maybe if Landrum would have sued 30 years ago, before “Iron Mike” Tyson became a household name he would have a much more realistic chance, but given the application of the doctrine it is unlikely.
Neither the legal nor athletic cards seem to be stacked Landrum’s favor.
The World Boxing Super Series Begins
The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher
Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.
In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.
The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.
1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)
Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)
The first round of the tournament looks like this.
Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)
Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.
The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.
“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).
This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.
Mike Tyson Interview: “I’m not looking to be a chairperson, I’m not looking to be ambassador”
Mike Tyson Interview: “I’m not looking to be a chairperson, I’m not looking to be ambassador”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Mike Tyson is the most recognizable face on the planet. He rose to boxing stardom in the early 80s, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion ever. His insane punching power, brashness and bravado made him a household name. It also made him public enemy number one and the Baddest Man on the Planet.
Tyson has since grown up, he is currently 50 years old and raising his family in the suburbs of Henderson, Nevada. He has very little involvement in the sport that made him a superstar and keeps busy with work and different ventures. He is currently starring on the Fox television program “Super Human”. His cartoon series “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is set to begin its 3rd season on The Cartoon Network. Mike also just released a new book “Iron Ambition: My life with Cus D’Amato”.
Mike can be seen every once and a while at a boxing match, but very rarely is he in the public eye as he once so heavily was. Yesterday afternoon I was able to speak with Mike one on one and ask him a few questions about his early life in the sport, what he thinks of things now, and what the future may hold for him.
Boxing Insider: What was the boxing scene like in the Hudson Valley and Catskills in your teenage years?
Mike Tyson: All excitement. It was very exciting and I always looked forward to it and it was a really great part of my life.
Boxing Insider: Since you are a boxing historian, do you have any idols that may not have gotten the recognition they deserved?
Mike Tyson: A lot of guys like Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Larry Holmes, guys like that.
Boxing Insider: In your career as a fighter, is there anything you would have liked to change?
Mike Tyson: Shit, wish I won them all.
Boxing Insider: Can todays state of boxing return to its glory days?
Mike Tyson: I think so. Well, we have a great heavyweight out now named Anthony Joshua. And I think he can change the whole thing around.
Boxing Insider: It’s been a year since the passing of the great Muhammad Ali. Ali used his celebrity to speak up on many social views. Do you see yourself ever stepping into the now empty spot that Ali has left?
Mike Tyson: Well that is not what I want to do in life. What I want to do in life is just be a respectful man and just take care of my children and guide my family in the right direction. I’m not looking to be a chairperson, I’m not looking to be ambassador or anything in that capacity.
Boxing Insider: Right now, who would you say is your favorite fighter to watch?
Mike Tyson: Wow, I got Errol Spence as one of them. I like the Charlo brothers, I like to see them fight. I like to watch Shawn Porter fight. I love watching Lomachenko, he is my favorite fighter so far.
Boxing Insider: Who do you have as an overrated fighter?
Mike Tyson: Overrated? I don’t know, they are all fighting real good now. They just need to fight each other, that’s all
Boxing Insider: The biggest fight that is happening right now is Canelo vs. GGG, but the biggest fight being talked about is Mayweather vs. McGregor. What do you think that fight does to Mayweather’s legacy?
Mike Tyson: I don’t know, its gonna make him a lot of money and that’s what he likes to do. So he’ll make a lot of money in that fight. That’s the best thing to happen for boxing.
Boxing Insider: Do you think boxing took more from you then you got in return?
Mike Tyson: No, it gave me everything that I took from it. It was all fair.
Boxing Insider: Anything going on with you in the boxing world?
Mike Tyson: No boxing stuff, just television and movies and TV.
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Celebration a Big Success!
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Celebration a Big Success!
By: Ken Hissner
Ray McCline’s idea of creating the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame was a big success over the weekend. Especially on Sunday night with 24 inductee’s before a large crowd at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City!
Master of Ceremonies was the New Jersey Hall of Fames President Henry Hascup who did an excellent job. There were some excellent acceptances starting with legendary matchmaker Don Elbaum’s stories. He has worked in over a thousand shows over the years. “This is incredible. My mentor J Russell Peltz is here and the man I got started Don King!” He went onto say how Jimmy Carter was running for president at the time and how King called him Jimmy and Carter called King “President!” In King’s hometown of Cleveland Carter won big taking not only the black vote but the Jewish vote. King took credit for both! He brought in then Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) for an exhibition to help a children’s hospital.
Hascup first brought up Mike Hall, Jr. whose father Mike was being inducted. He trained world champion Virgil Hill amongst others. This writer saw him earlier and said “it’s good to see you are still alive” not knowing I was talking to the deceased’s son. Another Atlantic City native Bill Johnson came forth whose brother Leavander was the IBF lightweight champion winning in Italy and passed away shortly after a battle in NV losing his title but going out like a warrior! “My brother loved the sport and the people involved with it,” said Johnson. Hascup said “Leavander gave his life for the sport!”
Althea Saunders sang the national anthem. She is still an active boxer from Atlantic City. As expected Larry “The Easton Assasin” didn’t show and “Iron” Mike Tyson didn’t either but was seen via video accepting his induction from AZ. Inductee Ken Condon known for his PPV work talked about being in Barbados when he left his wife upstairs to go downstairs in the hotel to watch Spinks-Holmes II. It caused an obvious argument he said.
Michael Spinks drew the most attention afterwards signing autographs, getting pictures taken by many fans of his and being interviewed. Press members included AC Press writer David Weinberg, John DiSanto of Philly Boxing History, Bernard Fernandez formerly with the Philadelphia News, Joe
Sangrito formerly of Ring Magazine, Frank Bartolini of the Rinaldi Brothers newspaper, Marc Abrams and his beautiful wife, with Abrams doing an excellent job with the PR work for the event. Keebler Media was taping the event and this writer representing Boxing Insider.
Representing his father Lou Duva was Dino Duva still an active manager saying “today would have been my father’s 95th birthday.” Duva put on the first world title bout in Atlantic City with Joey Giardello fighting Dick Tiger. “My father always said never forget your roots,” said Duva.
Accepting for the absent Holmes was one of “Smoking” Joe Frazier’s daughters Weatta.
An emotional wife and daughter of the head physician in Atlantic City was none other than Dr. Frank Doggett. “He graduated from Howard Universities Medical School in 1948 and was chief surgeon for the Atlantic Police and Fireman. He referred to the boxers as his boxers. If he was here he would simply say thank you.”
Nicoli the artist was on hand showing a portrait of Don King which went up for bid with no takers. One of the VP’s of the board who did the electing was Rodnick Green VP Strategy & Business Development for the ACBHOF who proclaimed how another well-known inductee Steve “Double S” Smoger who was inducted into the IBHOF in 2016 helped the kids at the AC PAL! Smoger known to be one of the best speakers in the business talked about how Elbaum ran weekly shows at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino for five years and how he worked many of them as a referee. He has received many awards and is one of the best of all time.
Fan and press favorite writer Jack “KO” Obermayer who passed away approximately a year ago was well represented by Freddy Blumstein one of the best timekeepers in the business who said “my wife curses the day I met KO because I am away from home so much.” Eric Bottjer one of the best well known matchmakers in the business called Obermayer his best friend. Obermayer’s daughter and his partner Darlene, who flew in from Wyoming, saying “he was the love of my life!”
Roy Foreman another VP who managed his brother George and who lives in the area and is now promoting shows in Houston, TX, was well received by the audience saying “without the boxers we wouldn’t be here!”
Mustafa Ameen spoke in behalf of inductee Matthew Saad Muhammad how the nuns found him on the Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Parkway at the age of 4 left there by his brother at his mother’s request due to having too many kids. Saad’s adopted brother Joe Johnson was in attendance. Ameen talked how Saad put up a 10k award if anyone would come forward telling him who would know anything about his identity. As it turned out someone did and told him his real name was Antonio Loach. They appeared on Good Morning America and Saad was not too fond of being called Antonio. Ameem talked of Saad’s religion of being a Muslim. When Saad passed away there was a funeral at a mosque and then at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Saad told me personally during an interview “I’m no longer a Muslim.”
Elbaum spoke how he got King into the business as the first black promoter and took him to New York introducing him to Madison Square Garden’s promoter and matchmaker. King said “they are all white!” Elbaum told him “don’t say that again for we are all Americans adding Kings famous known phrase Only In America!” Elbaum went onto say how Tropicana gave him a two year contract, living quarters and agreed to run every Tuesday night.
Current NJ Commissioner of boxing Larry Hazzard, Sr. did an excellent job speaking of how he spent 13 years in the amateurs working as a referee and becoming one of the tops in the world and becoming commissioner. After leaving office the current governor of NJ Chris Christy brought Hazzard back for his old job.
Smoger talked about starting out as a timekeeper from 1978 to 1982 and starting to ref in 1984 and becoming the referee in a world title fight just two years later. He said how he worked shows for Peltz, King, Frank Gelb and Duva. He gave a large amount of credit to Deputy Commissioner Bob Lee who couldn’t make the event. “He treated me like gold,” said Smoger. He also gave a lot of credit and would expect the next induction to be the then commissioner and former heavyweight champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott. He went onto say except for referee Pat Russell he was the longest serving referee in the country.
Former world light heavyweight champion Mike “The Jewish Bomber” Rossman accepted his award and walked off the stage without saying a word. He had his Local 30 Roofers jacket on and the roofers bought 40 tickets.
Dave Bontempo another inductee spoke well and how ESPN recruited him from AC and how the game has changed since the Atlantic City Press had him cover boxing. He went onto say how boxers like Bennie Serrano became well known fighting at the Tropicana for Elbaum. He added it was 20 years ago today he met his wife Suzie and being married for 32 years.
Peltz, a well-known matchmaker and promoter as well as being one of the few promoters doing his own matchmaking spoke as well as anyone at the podium. He ran shows while attending Temple University at the age of 22 in 1969 and brought in “Bad” Bennie Briscoe on his first show. He said “we didn’t need any med’s in those days only a boxer with a heartbeat or without.” How in 1970 he brought in IBHOF trainer George Benton to headline a show and paid him 1k while the show itself cost $800 to run prior to this. Benton’s manager insisted Benton’s return but Benton was not to be found at the gym he trained so Peltz got another headliner. When Benton showed up with his old yellow suitcase weeks before the event Peltz told him he was replaced because he wasn’t ever in the gym. Benton called his manager Gramby who got Peltz on the phone and said “isn’t your word good enough?”
Peltz remembered that and once brought in Gramby’s prize attraction heavyweight Tex Cobb to headline. He was to get 20k but got a bigger offer of 500k from MSG and Peltz reminded him of “isn’t your word any good?” Cobb fought for Peltz. Peltz said Cobb once said “I didn’t lose to Larry Holmes, I just lost the first 15 rounds.”
Gelb talked about how over 500 shows were run in AC from 1982-85 and how “Russell stole half of my stories.” Gelb’s sons were also in attendance. He said “when the NFL went on strike NBC decided to put on boxing in its place and how inductee Arturo Gatti sold out the Boardwalk Hall six consecutive times. Gatti’s beautiful daughter Sophia was there who was 3 when her father passed away. She spoke well of her father and how blessed she was to have him for a father.
King gave credit to Arthur Goldberg as “his boss who called King the light of the boardwalk starting him off at Bally’s.”
Chuck Zito formerly a Hell’s Angel’s biker accepted for Gatti. “He fought here 23 times and got Fighter of the Year from Ring Magazine 5 times. Bill Johnson talked about his brother winning his first 23 (including a draw) fights. “My oldest son’s wanted to box and the youngest was Leavander.
Former world heavyweight champion Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon and Qawi were two who learned to box at the PAL.
Former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi said “someone saw my work on the streets of Camden and fought with their fists, no guns.” Spinks who defeated him along with being the first present light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title from Holmes thanked his Lord and Savior. The Lord worked through me and gave him all the honor and glory.
Hazzard had played the part in the Ali movie of Zack Clayton. He thanked McCline and Foreman and gave thanks to his wife Patricia along with their family. “She married me and the sport of boxing,” said Hazzard. “We had 3 fights in one day by USA Boxing, CBS all at different places like the Tropicana and the Boardwalk. Hazzard went on to say “it was better to stop a fight a little early than too late.”
Lindsay Tucker of the IBF spoke in accepting Lee’s award who was President of the first IBF with Tucker saying “Bob couldn’t make it tonight but was elated.”
King would be the final speaker giving one of his shortest speeches. “I started in Atlantic City in 1972 thanks to Elbaum. We had 8 world title bouts in Atlantic City promoted for and about the people. I started at the top with Ali,” said King. He said how current President Donald Trump helped him and what a great job he is doing now as President.
Current mayor Don Guardian spoke to close the event.
Mike Tyson’s Appeals of His Rape Conviction, Revisited
Mike Tyson’s Appeals of His Rape Conviction, Revisited
By Adam J. Pollack
To this day, debate continues regarding whether or not former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson received a fair trial which lead to his conviction for sexually assaulting Desiree Washington. Perhaps the best information regarding the debate is from the appellate court decisions themselves.
Refusal to Allow Impeaching Witnesses to Testify
In his appeal,Mike Tyson argued that the trial court erred when it refused to permit him to call as witnesses three women who came forward during the course of the trial: Carla Martin, Pam Lawrence, and R Renee Neal, all of whom would have contradicted Desiree Washington’s version of events.
Martin was anticipated to testify that Martin and Lawrence were in a car parked in front of the Canterbury Hotel at approximately 1:40 a.m. on July 19, 1991, waiting for a friend, Renee Neal. While there, Martin observed a limousine pull in front of the hotel. Martin saw a man and a woman “hugging and kissing” in the backseat of the limousine (who turned out to be Tyson and Washington).Ms. Martin exclaimed to Ms. Lawrence that the two were all over each other. Martin would testify that she then observed the African-American woman with shoulder-length curly hair and Tyson, whom Martin immediately recognized, exit the backseat of the limousine and enter the hotel. As Tyson and the woman entered the hotel together, Martin saw Renee Neal, who was exiting the hotel, bump into the couple. Martin also observed that, as the couple entered the hotel, the woman “move[d] toward Mr. Tyson until their upper bodies appeared to be touching, and she appeared to put her arm in Mr. Tyson’s.”
Lawrence, if called as a witness, would testify that she heard Ms. Martin remark that the two people in the limousine were all over one another. Ms. Lawrence looked over and saw two persons sitting in the backseat of the limousine in close proximity to one another.
Neal’s testimony would be that she “observed the man and woman [who had exited a gold limousine] holding hands as they entered the hotel.”
Their testimony would have contradicted Desiree Washington’s version of events, for she testified that Tyson hugged and kissed her when she first got into the limousine at her hotel, but no further physical contact occurred in the limousine thereafter, and that she walked into his hotel behind him, not arm-in-arm or holding hands.
The trial judge ruled that the witnesses had come forward too late, and that the Defendant took too long to notify the Court about their existence and intent to use them. The trial began on January 27, 1992. The witnesses came forward to the defense team on January 30, 1992. The prosecution was first notified about the witnesses on February 2, 1992.
In Tyson v. State, 619 N.E.2d 276 (Ind.App. 2 Dist., 1993), in a 2 to 1 vote, the Indiana Court of Appeals refused to reverse his conviction and grant Tyson a new trial. The Court agreed that it was clear that the anticipated testimonywould have contradicted the testimony of Washington that there was no physical contact between her and Tyson after the limousine left her hotel.
Nevertheless, as impeaching evidence, the Courtof Appeals held that the excluded testimony was cumulative. Washington was impeached on other points, including the details of the rape. For example, fellow Miss Black America pageant contestant Madeline Whittington testified that Washington told her she was going out with Tyson and stated, “This is Mike Tyson. He’s got a lot of money. He’s dumb. You see what Robin Givens got out of him.”
Pasha Oliver, one of Washington’s roommates during the pageant, testified that Washington told her Tyson restrained her during the rape by pinning her wrists together and covering her mouth with his arm or hand, and that she asked Tyson to take her home after the rape and he refused, which made her angry. Again, Washington expressly denied both of these things.
Further, there was additional testimony that Washington gave conflicting accounts of how the incidents in question occurred.
The majority noted that the dissent argued that the excluded testimony was not cumulative, but “is different in kind and character from other evidence adduced at trial.” It made this statement based upon the conclusion that “the manner in which Tyson and D.W. acted toward each other shortly before the acts complained of has extreme relevance to whether or not Tyson might have reasonably believed, from all the surrounding circumstances and events, that D.W. consented even though as a factual matter she did not consent.”
Yet, ultimately the Court of Appeals held that the evidence of the conduct that occurred between Tyson and Washington in the limousine before they entered the hotel and their conduct as they entered the hotel was not crucial, considering the spectrum of evidence that corroborated the determination that Tyson reasonably and honestly believed Washington would consent to sexual conduct in the future, and the spectrum of impeaching evidence that was admitted during the course of the trial, including Washington’s inconsistent descriptions of the critical details of the conduct that occurred in Tyson’s hotel room. Therefore, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the testimony of Martin, Lawrence, and Neal was not vital to Tyson’s defense.
Exclusion of Evidence of Desiree Washington’s Prior Sexual History and Incidents With Her Parents
Tyson also argued that the State’s examination of Washington, as well as its opening and closing arguments, left the jury with the impression that she was a “sexual innocent whose religious beliefs prohibited any premarital sex and who was far too naive to understand the implications of going to Tyson’s hotel room in the middle of the night.” Tyson cited portions of Washington’s testimony which he asserted created an impression of innocence, including that she was active in her church, a doer of good deeds, and an award-winning student. He contended that the State’s characterization of her during opening and closing arguments as a “kid” with “eyes this big” who put on her “jammies” before bed and who expected to go home “the same girl” after her date with Tyson further enhanced this image.
Hence, he argued that he should have been able to challenge and impeach this impression of an “angelic image” by cross-examining her about her sexual history and prior sexual conduct. However, the Court of Appeals held that Tyson’s legal counsel failed to preserve the issue, even though it specifically requested to be allowed to enter such evidence into the record, and the judge refused.
Tyson further argued that the trial court erred in preventing him from referring to incidents between Washington and her parents which would have given her a motive to fabricate the rape charge. Again, the Court of Appeals held that counsel failed to preserve the issue properly, even though his counsel had requested to admit the evidence and make an offer of proof, which request was denied.
Admission of Hearsay Evidence
Tyson argued that the trial court erred by admitting into evidence an audio tape of the phone call Washington placed to 911 24 hours after he allegedly raped her. The Court of Appeals ruled that at most, it was harmless error.
Erroneous Jury Instructions
Tyson argued that the trial court should have provided the jury with several requested jury instructions, which was prejudicial to him. He wanted instructions regarding mistake of fact and reasonable belief. He argued that even if in fact Washington in her own mind was not consenting, if a reasonable person in Tyson’s position mistakenly believed that she was consenting, then he could not be found guilty.
Tyson testified, “I believe that we had both made it clear earlier that day what was going to happen. … I’m sure we made it clear.” Tyson testified that earlier in the day, soon after he had met Washington, he explained to her “that I wanted to fuck her,” and she responded, “Sure, just give me a call.” At nearly 2 a.m., he picked her up from her hotel, she went with him to his hotel, and they went into his hotel room and had sex.
He said Washington responded in a positive manner to his kissing in the limousine while riding to his hotel, and that while he was kissing her in the hotel room she was “dropping her jacket, you know, getting her jacket off quick.” He also testified that he complied with Washington’s request not to ejaculate in her and that he asked her to stay the night.He further testified:
Q.: Did you undress her?
A.: I did.
* * * * * *
Q.: What happened then, Mr. Tyson?
A.: As I’m kissing her, she’s moving fast. I’m kissing her. She dropping [sic] her jacket…. I’m kissing on her neck and I’m kissing her around the ears, the back of her neck, her chest, her nipples, her stomach, and I believe she had a white shirt on as well. She’s trying to get that off. So I came back while she was taking it off and she had taken off those shorts–she had some shorts. She took off her shorts. I took my shirt off at the time. She had took [sic] off her underwear and the underwear dropped to her knees, and I pulled the underwears [sic] off, and then I took off–I had shorts that I had took off [sic]. I continued kissing on her body.
Q.: Then what happened?
* * * * * *
A.: We were having oral sex a little while, and she had told me to stop, and she had told me to come up, come up. She said, “No, come up.”
Q.: Meaning what?
A.: Indicating that she wanted me to insert my penis in her.
* * * * * *
Q.: And what did you do then?
A.: She had told me not to come in her. She said, “Don’t come in me, don’t come in me. I’m not on the pill,” and I pulled back and I ejaculated on her stomach and her leg.
Washington testified that when Tyson saw she was crying during the rape and after the two acts of criminal deviate conduct (oral and digital sex), he asked if she wanted to “get on top,” to which she responded in the affirmative without “then explaining to him that she agreed to go on top only because she thought it would enable her to get away,” and that she asked Tyson to, “Please put a condom on” and said, “I don’t need a baby.” Tyson argued that such statements would give a reasonable person the belief that she was consenting, even if she was not.
Washington’s testimony on direct examination included:
A.: I walked out of the room, out of the bathroom … and then I glanced over and I saw the Defendant in his underwear….
Q.: What was your reaction?
A.: I was terrified.
Q.: What did you say?
A.: “It’s time for me to leave.”
Q.: Like that?
Q.: And his response?
A.: “Come here.” And he grabbed my arm, and then he was, like, “Don’t fight me. Come here,” and then he stuck his tongue in my mouth.
Q.: What did you do?
A.: Just pulled back…. He started saying, “Don’t fight me.” I tried to fight him…. It was like hitting a wall. It didn’t do anything.
Q.: What did he do next?
A.: He started taking off that outer jacket that I had on. He started taking that off, and I’m like, “Get off me. Stop. Get off me,” and he just kept going. Then the next thing I knew, he put me down on the bed or slammed me actually down on the bed, and he started grabbing the rest of the stuff down, and he kept kissing me and kept saying, “Don’t fight me, don’t fight me, relax, don’t fight me.”
Q.: Did you try to negotiate with him?
A.: Yeah. That was after he put his hands in me, his fingers, in my vagina.
Q.: Okay, How did he get his hand down there?
A.: He was between my legs, and he just put his fingers in there, started jamming them in really, really hard, and that’s when tears started to come to my eyes, and I was, like, “Owww, please, stop.”
Q.: Did you mention to him that you were worried about pregnancy?
A.: Yeah. That was–he started to pull out his penis, and he was over me, and I just freaked out and I started saying anything because I knew that hitting him and stuff wasn’t going to help me. So, I just started saying anything that I could think of, like, “Please, I have a future ahead of me. Please, I have college. I can’t have a baby. What are you doing?” You know, “Please put a condom on.” I was just–anything to get him off of me so that I could get out of there, and he was just, like, “Well, I don’t have anything and I know that you don’t.” I’m like, “Please, I don’t need a baby. I don’t need a baby.” I was begging him. I was saying anything that I could say to him, and nothing worked. He was just, like, “So we’ll have a baby,” and he just jammed himself in me…. [H]e exposed his penis.
Q.: What did he do then?
A.: He jammed it in my vagina.
Q.: What did you do?
A.: I screamed out–not screamed, but I was like, “Owww,” and then I just started crying and I–
Q.: Pain again?
Q.: Did you tell him you hurt?
A.: Yes…. It was just excruciating. It just hurt. He just slammed himself in me. It just felt like someone was ripping me apart. I don’t know how to explain it. It just hurt.
Q.: Okay. What efforts, if any, did you make to try to get loose, to try to get away?
A.: I was trying to punch him and stuff like that. I was trying to back up. I was trying to do a lot of things. Nothing worked.
Q.: Okay. What’s he doing while you’re trying to do all this?
A.: He was telling me not to fight him, and then he started saying, “Don’t fight me, mommy. Don’t fight me,” and he just kept going. He just kept slamming himself really hard.
Q.: Did you change position?
A.: At one point, he said, “Oh, you’re crying,” and he stopped for a second and his voice started to, like, be a little bit normal again, and then he just turned evil again, and really mean, and his eyes got all mean, and he just kept going really hard, and then he goes, like, “Well, do you want to be on top?” and I thought I could get away. So I said, “Yeah,” and I was crying when I said it, and he flipped over. Then I tried to get away, and he was, like, “I told you not to fight me,” and he slammed me back down again and rolled back over again.
Q.: Okay. Do you have any idea as to how long he remained inside of you?
A.: Until he was done…. Until he ejaculated.
Q.: Did you see him do that?
Q.: Tell us what he did.
A.: He pulled back and there was stuff coming out, and he said, “I told you I wouldn’t come in you. Don’t you love me now.”
Q.: He said, “Don’t you love me now?” and what was your response?
A.: I just looked at him like I was disgusted.
Tyson argued that “[a] properly instructed jury could have found (or entertained a reasonable doubt) that these exchanges could have led a reasonable person to believe that Desiree Washington consented, even if in her own mind she may not have been consenting.” The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s rejection of his proposed jury instructions, holding that the facts did not merit such instructions.
Prejudicial Closing Argument
The defense argued that prosecutor Greg Garrison improperly prejudiced the jury when in closing argument he read edited portions of U.S. Supreme Court Justice White’s dissenting opinion in United States v. Wade,388 U.S. 218 (1967). The portions read stated,
“Law enforcement officers have the obligation to convict the guilty and to make sure that they do not convict the innocent. They must be dedicated to making the criminal trial a procedure for the ascertainment of the true facts surrounding the commission of a crime. To this extent our so-called adversary system is not adversary at all, nor should it be. But defense counsel has no comparable obligation to ascertain or present the truth. Our system assigns him a different mission. He must be and is interested in preventing the conviction of the innocent, but absent a voluntary plea of guilty, we also insist that he defend his client whether he is innocent or guilty. The State has the obligation to present the evidence. The defense counsel needs to present nothing, even if he knows what the truth is. He need not furnish any witness to the police or reveal any confidence of his client or furnish any other information to help the prosecution’s case. If he can confuse a witness, even a truthful one, or make him appear at a disadvantage, unsure, or indecisive, that will be his normal course. Our interest in not convicting the innocent permits counsel to put the State to its proof, to put the State’s case in worse [sic] possible light regardless of what he thinks or knows to be the truth. In this respect, as part of our modified adversary system and as part of the duty imposed upon honorable defense counsel, we countenance or require conduct which in many instances has little, if any, relationship to the search for the truth.”
The Court of Appeals held that the objection was not preserved properly, because Tyson’s counsel objected only to the prosecutor reading case law in general, not the particular case.
Selection of the Judge by the Prosecutor
Tyson argued that he was denied due process because the prosecutor was able to select the trial judge who would preside over his case. He argued that the current system of assigning criminal cases to particular divisions in Marion County erroneously permits the prosecutor to determine the particular room within the criminal division to which a case is assigned, for the prosecutor knows which judge handles cases in which room. It was fundamentally unfair to allow the prosecutor to choose the judge he wanted;the inference being that a different judge might have issued different rulings throughout the trial.
On July 29, 1991, the Marion County prosecutor filed a petition requesting that a special grand jury be convened to investigate Washington’s allegations against Tyson. Pursuant to Indiana law, IC 35-24-2-14 (1988), the prosecutor could file this petition with any judge in Marion County; and he chose to file it with Judge Gifford, who was presiding in Room 4 of the criminal division. In this way, the prosecutor selected the particular room and, in the absence of a valid motion for change of judge, selected Judge Patricia Gifford as the presiding judge.
The Court of Appeals ruled that because Tyson failed to show that he was prejudiced in any way by the selection of the particular room or judge, he was not deprived of his due process rights.
And yet, the Court of Appeals also said,
“However, we strongly urge the criminal division of the Marion County Superior Court to change the method by which cases are assigned to the rooms in the division. The existing system of filing cases is totally inappropriate and must be abandoned in favor of a system in which the prosecutor cannot control the assignment of a case to a particular judge. Presently, the criminal division of the Marion County Superior Court lacks the appearance of impartiality that is required to maintain the confidence of the public and the accused in the system.”
Despite this “totally inappropriate” method which “lacked the appearance of impartiality” required to maintain the confidence of the public and the accused in the system, Tyson’s conviction was not reversed.
The Dissenting Opinion
In his strong dissent from the majority opinion, Judge Patrick Sullivan argued that Tyson’s conviction should be reversed and he should have been granted a new trial. He believed that Tyson had not been afforded a fair trial or a level playing field. “My review of the entire record in the cause leads me to the inescapable conclusion that he did not receive the requisite fairness which is essential to our system of criminal justice.”
This judge believed that the three excluded witnesses for the defense should have been allowed to testify. Defense counsel could not have revealed the witnesses sooner, because they were not yet known. Further, they had a duty to conduct a reasonable investigation before seeking to add witnesses. They acted reasonably and diligently.
“Not only was there no discovery order breach, there was no delay, substantial or otherwise. Even if there were some degree of unexplained delay, given the absence of bad faith upon the part of the defense, the State at most would be entitled to a continuance. … Failure to request a continuance constitutes a waiver of an alleged discovery breach. … Not only did the State not seek a continuance, it categorically stated that it did not want a continuance.”
This judge recognized the potential importance of the excluded testimony:
“The State’s position with respect to the prejudice to its presentation of evidence becomes somewhat schizophrenic, and most certainly inconsistent. On the one hand, the State attempts to diminish the importance of the testimony of the three witnesses by asserting that it would have had minimal impact upon the issues and was meaningless as merely cumulative. On the other hand, the State has acknowledged that the excluded testimony might have grave implications for a successful prosecution. It so indicated by emphasizing the great lengths to which the State would have to go to combat this testimony. It is clear that the State did not think the evidence to be merely cumulative. The State was very concerned “given the impact of these witnesses on this case, given the notoriety of this case, given what this case is all about…. These witnesses clearly would have been telling a story wholly different than the story we had.” …
As earlier noted, we are restricted in validating the ruling of the trial court to the reasons she gave. The trial court did not base its exclusion of the testimony upon a determination that the proffered evidence would merely be cumulative. The majority here, however, utilizes a conclusion to that effect to affirm the ruling. In doing so it errs.”
The dissenting judge also believed the majority confused the differences between cumulative and corroborative evidence in its justifications.
“It is my view that the majority erroneously or inadvertently uses the term “cumulative” interchangeably with the term “corroborative”. Cumulative evidence is that which goes to prove what has already been established by other evidence. … Corroborative evidence tends to corroborate or to confirm while cumulative evidence merely augments or tends to prove what has already been proved. … Evidence which brings to life some new and independent truth of a different character, although it tends to prove the same proposition or ground of claim before insisted on, is not cumulative, within the true meaning of the rule….
The testimony sought to be admitted here was different in kind and character from other evidence adduced at trial. It went to an issue or issues and to facts or observations not covered by other evidence. It was not cumulative. It may have been in the nature of corroboration with respect to the crucial facts surrounding and immediately preceding the sexual acts but that very aspect of corroboration is what made the exclusion of the evidence prejudicial to the defense.”
The dissenting judge took the majority to task for calling the evidence merely impeaching, as if that was not crucially important to the defense, and also noted that Tyson’s proposed jury instructions regarding mistake of fact should have been provided to the jury:
“One aspect of the majority opinion considers the excluded evidence as merely impeaching in nature and holds that it was merely cumulative of evidence which impeached D.W. “on other points”. … I strongly disagree. Even if the offered evidence were to be construed solely as impeaching, impeachment upon one issue is not cumulative of impeachment upon other issues. …
The evidence of record, to which the excluded evidence is thought by the majority to be cumulative, demonstrates that the jury was entitled to believe that there was consensual sexual contact in the hotel room. There was testimony to that effect from Reverend Katherine Newlin, who attended D.W. at the hospital. … At a very minimum, such testimony gives rise to a strong and reasonable inference of consensual sexual contact in the hotel room. It is baffling indeed, therefore, that the majority proceeds to cavalierly discount the defendant’s reasonable belief contention.
The manner in which Tyson and D.W. acted toward each other shortly before the acts complained of has great relevance to whether or not Tyson, at the time, might have reasonably believed, from all the surrounding circumstances and events, that D.W. was consenting–even though as a factual matter she did not consent. …
The issue is not whether Tyson reasonably believed that D.W. would consent. It is whether he reasonably believed that she was consenting. In this sense, then, the exclusion of the testimony from Martin, Neal and Lawrence was particularly prejudicial and that prejudice was magnified by the failure to give instructions with respect to mistake of fact, reasonable belief or to instruct that the degree of culpability, i.e., knowing, was applicable to the essential element of compelling force.
In holding that the evidence excluded was “only minimally corroborative of Tyson’s testimony” with respect to D.W.’s receptiveness to Tyson’s physical advances, the majority usurps the jury function. It is totally inappropriate for this court to convert speculation as to the credit and weight which a jury would give certain evidence or the impact of such evidence upon their consideration of other evidence into a holding as a matter of law.
Without question there was error in excluding the testimony of Ms. Martin, Ms. Neal and Ms. Lawrence. Without question that error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This judge believed that “the excluded testimony of Ms. Martin, Ms. Neal and Ms. Lawrence would have added to the factual mix before the jury and may have reasonably tipped the deliberative balance in favor of acquittal.”
Tyson’s Second Appeal
In Tyson v. State, 626 N.E.2d 482 (Ind.App. 2 Dist., 1993), Mike Tyson alleged that his conviction should be reversed as a result of newly discovered evidence, which was that all along Washington had planned to sue Tyson in civil court, despite previous claims to the contrary.
However, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that Tyson’s counsel had failed to ask Washington if she expected to receive any monetary benefits from her experience; if she had retained a lawyer named Ed Gerstein to pursue a civil suit; if she had any written agreement with Gerstein; if she had contemplated bringing a civil suit; if she had the present intent to sue Tyson; if she had discussed selling her media rights with anyone; if she wanted to sell or had contemplated selling her media rights; or if she believed she could exploit her experiences with Tyson in any other way.
Nevertheless, Tyson argued that his attorney’s lack of diligence should be excused because Washington and her parents, in their depositions and at trial, testified perjuriously, falsely, or misleadingly in order to obscure his ability to discover the family’s financial motives. In particular, Tyson claimed he was unable to put the “critical fact” before the jury that Washington had consulted with attorney Ed Gerstein “with a view towards instituting a civil action against Tyson” because “[t]he Washingtons took the position, at their depositions and before the jury at trial, that Gerstein … was retained only for defensive purposes….”
Although Judge Sullivan concurred with the majority in this ruling, he noted his belief that indeed, “D.W. and her parents gave misleading testimony.”
“While I agree that Tyson’s counsel failed to use reasonable diligence to discover the full details of the retainer agreement between D.W. and Edward Gerstein, I am unable to agree with the majority that the testimony of D.W. and her parents was not misleading. Although perhaps many of the various answers given with respect to the relationship with Gerstein were literal responses to the questions as phrased, and although the witnesses certainly had no duty to volunteer information, in light of the facts known by the witnesses, the answers were misleading.
D.W.’s answers carried the clear implication that Gerstein was retained only to “help me through this”, i.e., the criminal trial, and that when the trial was over, her parents would pay him. Additionally, she belied the fact that she was the client when she testified that Gerstein was counsel for the family. More importantly, when asked whether there had been any discussions between Gerstein and the family concerning compensation, she unequivocally said: “No.” …
Mrs. Washington testified that Gerstein was counsel for the family but that there was no written agreement relating to the relationship. In light of the fact that Mrs. Washington was a signator to the retainer agreement between Desiree Washington and Gerstein, that answer was also misleading.
Mr. Washington, also a signator to the agreement between D.W. and Gerstein, stated that he had retained Gerstein’s services but categorically stated that the purpose was “to help ward off the media”… He also denied that any consideration whatsoever had been given to the possibility of a civil suit against Tyson. … Further, he denied that he had a contingency fee agreement with Gerstein and stated that his only agreement was to pay expenses. Again, in the context of the facts, the natural and logical implication of the testimony of all three witnesses was that there was no contingent fee agreement with Gerstein with regard to representation in civil proceedings.
In point of fact, the retainer agreement was entered into and signed on August 1, 1991. Although Donald C. Washington and Mary B. Washington were signators, as well as D.W., the agreement clearly states that D.W. is the only client–not the “family” and not Mr. and/or Mrs. Washington. It also clearly spells out that the purpose of the agreement is not to get D.W. or the family through the criminal trial or to “ward off the media,” but rather was to procure legal representation regarding possible civil liability on the part of Tyson and others as a result of the “incident” of July 19, 1991.
If the information given by these witnesses were the only information available to defense counsel, the deposition and trial answers would have been sufficiently misleading as to indicate that further inquiry or issuance of a subpoena ducestecum would be wasteful and unavailing.”
Nevertheless, this judge believed that based upon the knowledge already possessed, Tyson’s trial counsel simply did not ask the right questions. Hence, the lack of due diligence defeated Tyson’s “newly discovered evidence” argument, despite the fact that his counsel had been misled.
The Indiana Supreme Court declined to consider or hear Tyson’s appeal at all, deadlocked at 2-2 in its vote whether to consider the case for further review (the fifth judge recused himself). A majority vote was needed. Hence, the Court of Appeals’ decision stood.
Author Adam J. Pollack is the owner of winbykopublications.com, has written several books about early heavyweight champions, is a boxing referee and judge, and is a practicing attorney in Iowa City, Iowa.
A Weekend to Remember at Atlantic City’s Boxing Hall of Fame!
A Weekend to Remember at Atlantic City’s Boxing Hall of Fame!
Coming to Atlantic City the weekend of May 26, 27 and 28 is a weekend to remember among boxing royality as the 2017 Atlantic City inductees will be inducted into their Hall of Fame. The Claridge a Radison hotel will be the place to go.
The inductees go on and on such as “Iron” Mike Tyson, *Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, *Leavander Johnson, Michael Spinks, *Matthew Saad Muhammad, Larry “the Easton Assassin” Holmes, Mike “the Jewish Bomber” Rossman, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, *Lou Duva, Mike Hall Sr. *Bill Johnson, Don King, Frank Gelb, Russell Peltz, Don Elbaum, Larry Hazzard Sr., Dr. Frank Doggett, Steve “Double SS” Smoger, Dave Bontempo, *Jack “KO” Obemayer, *Bert Sugar, *Bob Lee, Ken Condon and Dennis Gomes. *posthemous
The ACBHOF was established in 2014 and at the Vue the doors open at 5pm to 8pm on Friday May 26th. Also the same day presented will be “The Art of Music & Boxing” at the Celebrity Theatre doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm to 11pm.
On Saturday May 27th “Fight Fan Experience” at the Conference Center doors open at 9:00am and will run from 10am to 4pm. “2017 Honoree Gala” at the Art Gallery doors open at 7:00pm and event 7:15 to 11pm.
On Sunday May 28th “Inaugural Induction Ceremony” at Brighton Park from 9:00am to 1pm. Go to www.acbhof.com for information.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Lomachenko Dazzles, Usyk and Gvozdyk Victorious
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Lomachenko Dazzles, Usyk and Gvozdyk Victorious
By: William Holmes
The Theater at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland was the host site for tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing card featuring three Ukrainians in the televised portion of the card.
This fight was sold out with an announced attendance of 2,828.
The venue is a new one for boxing and there doesn’t look like there’s a single bad seat in the house and the casino, which opened in December, looked exquisite.
The undercard featured several young victorious high level prospects such as Michael Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.
The opening bout of the HBO televised card was between 2012 US Olympian Mike Hunter (12-0) and 2012 Ukrainian Olympic Gold Medalist Aleksandr Usyk (11-0) for the WBO Cruiserweight Championship.
Usyk, as the other Ukrainian boxers, had a very large and vocal contingent in attendance.
Hunter took the center of the ring and Usyk jabbed from the outside in the opening round. Usyk’s first big punches of the night were some straight left hands in the first round, but Hunter’s jabs kept it close and it could have been scored for either boxer.
Hunter had a good second round and was the more active of the two boxers, but Usyk was taking the punches of Hunter well. Usyk pressed forward in the third round and he had the head of Hunter snapping backwards with a lot of his punches that landed in the fourth.
The fifth and sixth rounds were clear rounds for Usyk as he appeared to be wearing Hunter down and landed several hard, clean, combinations that get the crowd to its feet and whistling.
Usyk connected at a high percentage in the seventh round and had Hunter back pedaling. Usyk landed some heavy blows in the eighth round and looked like he was close to sending Hunter to the mat.
Hunter tried to go punch for punch with Usyk several times in the ninth and tenth rounds, but he didn’t have the power nor the accuracy of the Ukrainian boxer.
Hunter was fighting well, but likely needed a knockout in the final two rounds to pull out the victory, but he didn’t fight like he needed a stoppage and seemed content with throwing his jab while never really going for the knockout blow.
Instead it was Usyk who had Hunter staggered and wobbly by the ropes in the final round as he went for the stoppage. Usyk was able to score a knockdown in the final round and he followed it up with a furious rally in an attempt to stop the bout. Hunter somehow stayed on his feet and threw just enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the bout.
Aleksandr Usyk wins the decision with scores of 117-110 on all three scorecards.
The next bout of the night was between Yuniesky Gonzalez (18-2) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) in the light heavyweight division.
Gvozdyk and Gonzalez felt each other out by exchanging jabs in the first round and both boxers landed some punches, but Gvozdyk was landing more combinations while Gonzalez was looking for the knockout punch.
Gonzalez spent most of the second round chasing Gvozdyk around the ring while Gvozdyk landed some eye opening combinations.
Gonzalez opened up the third round by throwing everything into his punches but was very wild. Gvozdyk stayed patient and landed short straight right hands that had Gonzalez hurt and followed it up with a combination that sent him to one knee. Gonzalez was able to get back to his feet and ate several hard combinations from Gvozdyk. Gonzalez eventually succumbed to the pressure of Gvozdyk and was sent crashing to the mat.
Gonzalez’s corner jumped up to the ring apron and stopped the bout. Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by an impressive TKO at 2:59 of the third round.
The main event was between pound for pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) and Jason Sosa (20-1-4) for the WBO Super Featherweight World Championship.
Lomachenko’s legion of supporters greatly outnumbered the fans of Sosa in attendance.
Lomachenko and Sosa fought a near even first round with both boxer showing good head movement and angles.
Sosa did well in the second round and Lomachenko had to complain to the referee about a possible low blow and a head butt. Lomachenko ended the second round strong with a flurry and may have stolen it with that flurry.
Lomachenko showed off his fancy footwork in the third round but Sosa was landing and throwing some good punches of his own.
Lomachenko had a very good fourth round and was landing some incredible combinations from unique angles. He also had Sosa hurt with a hard straight left hand.
By the fifth round Lomachenko was landing his punches at will and they were coming in lightning quick. Lomachenko was toying with Sosa in the sixth round and landed several good body blows.
Sosa, despite his best efforts, couldn’t find his target in the seventh round as the reflexes of Lomachenko just appeared to be too much for him.
Lomachenko battered Sosa in the eighth round and looked close to knocking him down when Sosa’s back was against the ropes. Sosa though showed incredible heart and grit and was able to survive the unbelievably accurate combinations of Lomachenko.
Sosa attempted to bait Lomachenko in the ninth round by willingly eating some combinations and unleashing an occasional bomb, but he was unable to land any punches.
Sosa, who had taken a beating the entire fight except for the opening round, looked like a beaten down man at the end of the ninth round. He would not come out for the tenth round.
Vasyl Lomachenko wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (16-0) defeated Ramses Agaton (17-3-3) by knockout at 2:58 of the fourth round in the welterweight division.
Patrick Harris (11-0) defeated Omar Garcia (6-7) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
Jesse Hart (22-0) defeated Alan Campa (16-3) by TKO at 0:44 of the fifth round in the super middleweight division.
Michael Reed (22-0) defeated Reyes Sanchez (26-10-2) by decision with scores of 99-91 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.