President Donald J. Trump Inducted into Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame
By: Ken Hissner
“Donald Trump couldn’t make it due to his day job,” said ACB HOF President Ray McCline. It brought quite a bit of laughter at the CLARIDGE a Radissan Hotel Sunday in Atlantic City, NJ.
Master of Ceremony NJB HOF President Henry Hascup and Ring Announcer Nino Del Buono did a fine job introducing the inductees. India Mercer, daughter of WBO Heavyweight champion Ray “Mercilus” Mercer did a great version of the National Anthem. Atlantic City Mayor Frank M. Gilliam Jr. also spoke.
The four “Special Contributors” were Trump, Mark G. Etess (accepting Don Hurley), former IBF President Marian Muhammad and former WBC President Jose Sulaiman (accepting Jill Diamond WBC Honoree). Officials being inducted who were present were judges Joseph Pasquale and Jean Williams.
Media inductees there were photographer Ray Bailey, and writers Bernard Fernandez and David Weinberg. Of the four Operations inductees Diane Fisher-Cristiano was there and had the audience in an uproar of laughter and got a great ovation when being introduced. She has been a long time promoter and was most worthy of her induction.
Fighters being inducted who were there were former Cruiser and Heavyweight champion Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield who accepted his award first. He had another engagement and wanted to get going first but took about 20 minutes in his acceptance speech which was a good one.
Mercer got a great round of applause when he was introduced for his induction. WBA Bantam champ “Joltin” Jeff Chandler, NABF champ Richie Kates and WBA Heavy champ Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon were well received by the audience upon being introduced.
Hector Camacho Jr accepted for his father the late Hector “Macho Man”. Two division world champion Bobby ”Chappie” Czyz got a great ovation from the audience and had the them in stitches. He was followed by Vinny “Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza and they traded humorous jabs back and forth. Paz turned it into an R rated event and it can’t be in print the comments he said. He did say his most satisfying victory other than winning two world titles was stopping Dana Rosenblatt (in their first of two fights with Rosenblatt taking the second one).
In attendance were NJ Boxing Commissioner and IBHOF Referee Larry Hazzard, Sr., former Olympic, Light Heavy and Heavy champion Michael “Spinx Jinx” Spinks, 3-division world champ Iran “The Blade” Barkley, WBO Light Welter DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, champ Legendary matchmaker Don Elbaum, Referee Alan Huggins, Olympic and WBA World Welter champ Mark Breland, NJ and PA inductee cut-man Joey Eye, trainer Aaron Snowell, judge George Hill, writers Danny Serratelli of Brick City Boxing, Frank Bartolini of Boxing News, Joe Santoliquito of Ring Magazine and this writer.
2nd Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Inductions Sunday at Historical Claridge Hotel & Casino
By: Ken Hissner
There will be 21 inductees Sunday going into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame at the Claridge Hotel & Casino. It was quite an event in 2017 and it looks like it will be another good night.
In the Boxers category there will be WBU Super Cruiserweight, WBA Cruiserweight and IBF World Light Heavyweight Champion Bobby Czyz, WBA Heavyweight Champion Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon, WBA, WBC & IBF Cruiserweight and Heavyweight Champion Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight and WBO Light Welterweight Champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, WBA Bantamweight Champion “Joltin” Jeff Chandler, IBF Lightweight and WBA Light Middleweight Champion Vinny “Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, WBO Heavyweight Champion Ray “Merciless” Mercer and NABF Champion Richie Kates.
In the Trainers and Cut Man category will be trainers Carmen Graziano, George Benton and cut man Ralph Citro. In the Operation category will be promoters Bob Arum, Dan Duva, Diane Fischer-Cristiano, and Ring Announcer Ed Darian.
In the Officials category will be Judges Jean Williams and Joe Pasquale. Also, Former Heavyweight Champion and NJ Boxing Commissioner “Jersey” Joe Walcott. In the Media category will be writers Bernard Fernandez and David Weinberg. Also, photographer Ray Bailey.
There will be numerous guests including Hector Camacho, Jr., Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC, Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Mark Breland, Marlon Starling, Iran Barkley, DeMarcus Corley, John Scully, Larry Hazzard, Sr., Steve Smoger, Dave Bontempo, Freddie Roach, Aaron Snowell, Plaxico Burruss, Eddie Alvarez, Clinton Portis, Jill Diamond and Mayor Frank M. Gilliam, Jr.
Sweet 16 Inducted into Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame
By: Ken Hissner
The 2018 Inductees were announced at the Ring One Veteran Boxer’s Association monthly meeting Saturday by Chairman John DiSanto. There will be 16 boxing people inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame in May at their annual banquet.
Heading the list will be former middleweight contender Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, 18-6-1 (12). He won USBA and ESPN titles. One of the opponents he knocked out Ernie Singletary, 26-6 (8), will also be inducted. Both are in the Modern Boxers category. Singletary defeated Tony Braxton, Teddy Mann and Al Styles.
Also in that category inducted are Bethlehem’s Angel Cruz, 26-6-2 (7), who defeated one-time world champions Alfredo Escalara and Saoul Mamby. This writer’s first boxing main event promotion in 1981 with Cruz and Sammy Goss in a draw. Pittsburgh’s Johnny Morris, 27-11 (16), was the PA State Middleweight champion. He defeated Tony Dupas, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and split with George Benton. Flyweight Larry Torpey, 14-4-1 (2), won a National AAU Championship in 1941. They are the 5 inductees in the Vintage category.
Inducted in the Modern Boxers category are led by Mike “No Joke” Stewart, 48-8-3 (25), from DE, who fought in PA some 18 times. He held the USBA title and defeated Ivan Robinson, Terron Millett, Chucky T and Ebo Elder. Featherweight Tony “Dynamite” Green, 23-6-1 (15), was the PA State champion and fought for the WBC featherweight title. He defeated Myron Taylor, Julian Solis, Tommy Barnes and Harold Rhodes.
Super Middleweight Marvin Mack, 18-8-1 (10), fought for the IBF world title in South Korea losing a disputed decision to Chong-Pal Park. He won the WBC Continental Americas title knocking out “Poncho” Carter. Mark Holmes, 38-1 (17), of Easton defeated one-time world champion “Buster” Drayton, Ben Serrano and Mike Baker. The brother of Frank Fletcher inducted is Anthony Fletcher, 24-4-1 (8), who was the PA State lightweight champion. He defeated one-time world champions Freddie Pendleton and Livingstone Bramble.
In the Non-Boxers category they were led by cut-man Stan Maliszewski, and followed by trainer “Pop” Bates, promoter Mike Acri, Dr. George Bonner and trainer Willie Reddish, Jr.
In the Old Timer’s category the lone inductee was former world heavyweight champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 51-18-2 (32). He defeated Ezzard Charles, Harold Johnson, Joey Maxim, Jimmy Bivins and Curtis Sheppard.
This meeting went well. This writers Friday didn’t go so well waiting for former WBC 2-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia to make an appearance at his gym for close to an hour with other members of the press. He finally showed 50 minutes late and went directly to his dressing room and was still there at 3pm when I left.
Then straight to the press conference for Saturday’s boxing event at the 2300 Arena. Boxing Director Greg Sirb decided to put the weigh-in in place of the press conference which was scheduled for 5:30 and at 6:30 it was still not started as this writer left the 2300 Arena. When there are obligations made by Garcia and Hard Hitting Promotions pushed aside by Sirb it isn’t fair to the public or the working press but that’s Philadelphia’s boxing for you.
Did Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran Duck Colombia’s Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes?
By: Ken Hissner
The boxing world knew that both Roberto “Hands of Stone” and Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes would be IBHOF inductees someday and they were right.
Duran ruled the lightweights after his defeat of Scotland’s Ken Buchanan on June 26th 1972 at Madison Square Garden. He was 31-0 when he suffered his first loss that to Puerto Rico’s Esteban “Vita” DeJesus, 31-1 (only loss to Antonio Gomez), at Madison Square Garden in a super lightweight match. Duran was knocked down in the first round and lost by scores of 5-4, 6-3 and 6-2.
DeJesus would drop down to lightweight and win the NABF title from Ray Lampkin, 19-0-1, in his next fight. It took until March 16th 1974 in Panama City to get his rematch with Duran and got knocked out in the 11th round. Like in their first match Duran was knocked down in the first round. Duran would sometimes get up to 200 pounds between fights. By then DeJesus was 42-1 and Duran 41-1.
Duran would win 4 non-title bouts coming in at 139 three times and 140 once. In December of 1974 Duran in a title defense scored a first round knockout over Japan’s lightweight champion Masataka Takayama, 21-5-1. In March of 1975 in his next defense it was his turn to defeat Lampkin, 29-3-1, stopping him in the 14th round. Lampkin’s was rushed to a hospital afterwards.
Duran won four more non-title bouts before defending against Mexico’s champion Leoncio Ortiz, 30-5-2, knocking him out at 2:30 of the 15th and final round. In his next fight he defeated former WBA Super lightweight champion Saoul Mamby, 18-8. Just 19 days later he was in Erie, PA, dropping 6 pounds and defeating the local boxer Lou Bizzaro, 22-0, knocking him out in the 14th round.
In October Duran scored a 1st round knockout over Alvaro Rojas, 15-7, of Costa Rica. In January of 1977 he knocked out Vilomar Fernandez, 19-5-1, in the 13th round. Two more non-title wins and in Philadelphia in September in a “grudge match” he defeated Edwin Viruet, 22-2, over 15 rounds. This writer got a picture with him prior to the fight. I have never seen anyone skip rope better than Duran.
Next up would be his final defense at lightweight in a “rubber match” with DeJesus, 52-3, stopping him in the 12th round at Caesers Palace in Las Vegas also capturing the WBC title in addition to keeping his WBA title.
Duran would go onto win 8 non-title bouts coming in as high as 151 in one of them. In June of 1980 he won the WBC World welterweight title from “Sugar” Ray Leonard, 27-1, at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada. In the rematch in November came the humiliating loss to Leonard at the Superdome in New Orleans quitting in the 8th round.
Duran would go 4-2 before winning the WBA Super welterweight title stopping Davey Moore, 12-0, for his title in the 8th round in June of 1983. In his next fight he stepped in with WBA, WBC & IBF Middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, 57-2-2, losing a close 15 round decision by scores of 144-142, 146-145 and 144-143.
In Duran’s next fight in June of 1984 he suffered a devastating loss to former welter and super welter champion Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, 38-1, in the second round. In February of 1989 he would win the WBC Middleweight title that Iran “The Blade” Barkley, 25-4, held by split decision at the Convention Hall, in Atlantic City, NJ. He had Barkley down in the 11th round. He would end up his career in July of 2001 with a record of 103-16 with 70 by stoppage at age 50.
Now let’s look at Cervantes. In December of 1981 he got his first title shot against Argentina’s Nicolino “El Intocable” Loche, 103-2-14, losing every round for the WBA World super lightweight title. In October of 1972 Cervantes would win the same title from Panama’s Alfonso Fraser, 30-4-1, at Panama City with a 10th round knockout. It was just four months after Duran defeated Buchanan. That’s about as close as they met.
In Cervantes next fight and first defense he won a split decision in San Juan, Puerto Rico, over Josue Marquez, 26-5-1. Just a month later, he got his revenge defeating Loche, 110-3-14, who couldn’t come out for the 10th round due to a cut. Just two months later he gave Fraser a rematch, 31-5-6, stopping him in the 5th round.
In September of 1973 Cervantes was home in Bogota, Colombia, stopping Argentina’s Carlos Maria Gimenez, 72-2-3, in the 5th round. On December 5th he was back in Panama stopping Japan’s Lion Furuyama, 30-5-2, over 15 rounds. Just two days prior to this in Panama Duran was winning a non-title bout knocking out Tony Garcia, 13-2-4.
Cervantes would win three more title defenses starting with Chang-Kil Lee, 22-1, with a 6th round knockout in March of 1974. In July he would knockout in 2 rounds Victor Ortiz, 25-6. In October in Japan he would knockout Shinichi Kadota, 35-7, in 8 rounds.
In May of 1975 it was Cervantes’ time to meet DeJesus, 45-2, knocking him down in the 1st, 12th and 15th rounds winning a lopsided decision in Panama. In November back in Panama he would stop Australia’s Hector Thompson, 55-4-2 in the 7th round. Duran the following month was in Puerto Rico defending against Mexico’s Ortiz. Cervantes was 5-0 in Panama and maybe that is why Duran never challenged him with either he or his people seeing how good Cervantes was.
In March of 1976 Cervantes in his eleventh title defense would lose his title to 17 year-old Wilfred Benitez, 25-0, by split decision in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cervantes never got a return match. In January of 1982 Benitez then the WBC World Super champion would defeat Duran. After five wins Cervantes would get another shot at the vacant WBA title in June of 1977 in a rematch with Gimenez, 98-8-4, stopping him in the 4th round.
After a pair of title defenses Cervantes would go to South Africa and stop Norman Sekgapane, 51-6-1, in the 9th round. He had another three defenses including two against Miguel Montilla, 33-4-3, stopping him in the second one. In between those two defenses he was in South Korea defeating Kwang Min Kim, 15-0-1, by split decision. That gave Cervantes sixteen defenses.
Next up in August of 1980 for Cervantes would be future Hall of Famer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, 24-0, stopping Cervantes in the fourth round at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum. The hanger-on’s swarmed Pryor to the point he couldn’t get interviewed. Cervantes would go onto win his next four fights before losing his final one in December of 1983. His final record was 93-12-3 (45), while Duran ended up 103-16 70). Both would become IBHOF inductees. What a fight that would have been if they ever met. Duran vacated his lightweight title in January of 1979 after defeating DeJesus in their third fight. He would “skip” super lightweight and go onto welterweight eventually winning that title, the super welter and middleweight titles. He never challenged Cervantes for the super lightweight title. What a match that would be between Cervantes and Duran.
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.
Is Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko 2017 Fighter of the Year?
By: Ken Hissner
The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukranian Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1, living in Oxnard, CA, moved up from holding the WBO Featherweight title to defeating WBO World Super featherweight Roman Martinez in June of 2016, and defeating in his first defense the former WBA Super World featherweight champion Jamaican Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters, 26-0-1 by stoppage in 7 rounds.
In Lomchenko’s second defense in 2017 in April defeated WBA World Super featherweight champion (his title not at stake) Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-1-4, of Camden, NJ, stopping him in the 9th round at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, MD, stopping Sosa’s 17 fight winning streak.
In Lomachenko’s third defense in August he stopped Colombian Miguel Marriaga, 25-2, in the 7th round, at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, CA.
In December Lomachenko in his fourth defense stopped the former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, WBO World Super bantamweight and WBA Super World bantamweight champion Cuban Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux, 17-0, in the 6th round.
Lomachenko was 396-1 in the amateurs while Rigondeaux was 463-12. This was a major event having a pair of two-time Olympic Gold Medalists meeting one another.
Lomachenko is now considering seeking moving up the lightweight to gain his third division world title. Egis Klimas is his manager who also has WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, of Russia, living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, among many other boxers and promoted by Top Rank.
Another considered for “Fighter of the Year” was Anthony “A.J.” Joshua, 20-0, in April, defending his WBA Super world heavyweight title stopping former Super World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, 64-4, and stopping Carlos Takam, 35-3-1, in a not too impressive defense.
Also considered was IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1, of KAZ, living in L.A. who in March defeated former WBA World Middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, at Madison Square Garden, in NY and in September getting robbed being held to a split decision draw by former WBO World Super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, NV.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Groves, Arum, Holyfield, Hernandez, Eubank, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 21st to November 28th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Holyfield and Arum Headline 2018 Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Class
Evander Holyfield and Bob Arum headline the 2018 inductees into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) has announced its 25 member 2018 Induction Class, which also includes President Donald J. Trump. This epic event will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 1 – 3, 2018.
Atlantic City, New Jersey Mayor-Elect Frank M. Gilliam Jr. commented, “The future of boxing in Atlantic City is brighter than ever. Being the newly elected Mayor of the City of Atlantic City, New Jersey it gives me great honor to be a part of bringing the 2nd Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend back to our Great City. I believe boxing and Atlantic City has always been a natural fit and we see it returning to its glory days, and under my administration, we plan on welcoming it back wholeheartedly: Congratulations to the ACBHOF “2018” Inductees!”
The Claridge Hotel serves as the signature Corporate Sponsor for this knockout weekend, “The Claridge is proud to be in partnership with the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and to continue to promote professional boxing’s exceptional history in Atlantic City,” says Cem Erenler, Vice President/ Operations & Business Development for TMJ Properties, the owner and developer of The Claridge. The iconic hotel, which is now part of the global Radisson brand first opened in 1930. “Hosting this signature event is in the best traditions of The Claridge, which for more than 80 years has been Atlantic City’s center for exciting events in sports and entertainment,” Mr. Erenler said.
Evander Holyfield stated: “I have many great memories fighting in Atlantic City, and I am honored to be inducted into its Hall of Fame.”
The 2nd Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration Weekend will honor some of the world’s most prominent trailblazers from the sport of boxing: President Donald J. Trump, José Sulaimán, and Bob Arum are just a few names who will be enshrined with the 2018 induction class. Also expected to be in attendance; current and former boxing champions, and VIP Guests for a fun-filled weekend that’s highlighted by a black-tie evening, and the acclaimed, unforgettable Induction Ceremony.
“The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is here to stay! The epic success of our 2017 Inaugural Induction weekend was pivotal to our brand value in the boxing and business community,” said Rodrick Green Vice President and Business Strategist for ACBHOF. “We are excited about the economic and sports entertainment impact the ACBHOF will continue to have in Atlantic City. Thank you for your support and be reassured that at the 2018 Induction Celebration the bar will be raised even higher.
Over the next several weeks there will be updates on the schedule of events, room packages and expected VIP appearances on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites and social media platforms.
“We’re excited about the ACBHOF 2018 Induction Class; I believe our nomination committee did an incredible job in selecting a diverse and richly deserving group of individuals. I’m extremely proud of this class because it contains three remarkable women: Diane Fischer-Cristiano, Jean Williams, and Marian Muhammad. The ACBHOF team along with our partners and sponsors are looking forward to June where we will pay homage to our 2018 inductees,” said Ray McCline ACBHOF President and Founder.
Tickets for Groves-Eubank Jr. Sold Out in Seven Minutes
It took seven minutes to sell out the Ali Trophy semi-final bout between WBA Super World Champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and IBO-Champ Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1,20 KOs) at the Manchester Arena on February 17, 2018.
Europe’s largest purpose-built indoor arena will be at capacity to witness what promises to be the biggest Super Middleweight night in years.
“This is a sensational start to the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” said Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa’s CEO.
“I said before we went on sale that the fight between Groves and Eubank Jr. represents the boxing event fans cannot afford to miss, and I am happy to say that I was right.”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “This is clearly the fight everyone wanted and I am sure this super-fight will capture not only a nation but a generation of fight fans.”
“The build-up is going to be huge and we can’t wait to go to Manchester for a sold out event between two spectacular rivals and world-class fighters.”
“We will work hard over the coming weeks to release extra tickets to meet the huge demand for this fight.”
The build-up to the all-British grudge match begins today when Groves and Eubank Jr. come face-to-face at a kickoff press conference at 2 pm in London.
ITV will be live streaming the press conference on ITV Box Office, YouTube and Facebook.
The Ali Trophy super middleweight semi-final between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. will be live on ITV Box Office on February 17.
Lucas Matthysse and Jorge Linares to Headline HBO Card at Los Angeles Forum
Two of the world’s most exciting fighters, Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) and Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs), will kick off the 2018 boxing year with a bang as they compete in separate world championship bouts on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, California. This special double main event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET/PT.
The first co-main event will see the 35-year-old Matthysse, an absolutely thunderous puncher out of Chubut, Argentina, facing undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0. 28 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Welterweight World Championship.
“I am honored to be able to fight for a world championship in just my second fight at welterweight,” said Matthysse, a former interim world champion at 140 pounds who has defeated the likes of former two-division champion Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, formerWBO Junior Welterweight Champion Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov and former three-division titlist Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto. “I understand I am facing a younger, undefeated opponent, but I am confident that ‘The Machine’ will emerge victorious.”
Since turning pro at the age of 15, Kiram has torn through an astounding 38 opponents, with 28 of them never hearing the final bell. He won the interim PABA Welterweight Championship in just his sixth fight and defended it – and the full PABA Welterweight title – more than 30 times over seven years. This will mark his first fight outside of Thailand.
“I understand not many people know me in the U.S., but they are in for a big surprise on Jan. 27,” Kiram said. “I have never been defeated, and I am fully confident that I will return to Thailand with the WBA Welterweight World Championship around my waist.”
In the second co-main event, Linares, a 32-year-old Venezuelan considered one of the top fighters in the world, will make his second trip to the ‘Fabulous’ Forum in a row to defend his multiple lightweight world championships against the once-defeated Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs).
“I have travelled all over the world to win and defend my titles, and I am looking forward to having my hand raised in victory once again in America,” said Linares, the three-division world champion who holds victories over world champions and contenders such as Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla, Kevin “Mighty” Mitchell and Gamaliel “El Platano” Diaz. “I know that Gesta has speed and power, but he hasn’t been at this level before, and on Jan. 27, he’ll know what it’s like to face a world champion.”
Gesta, a 30-year-old from the Philippines, has not tasted defeat in six fights, beating quality opponents including Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez and former contender Martin “El Brochas” Honorio. Gesta is getting his second shot at a world championship more than five years after dropping a unanimous decision to Miguel “Titere” Vazquez for the IBF World Lightweight Championship.
“I know firsthand how long it takes to get a shot at a world championship, and I will not allow this opportunity to pass me by,” Gesta said. “I understand Linares is a great fighter, but I know I have the skills, speed, power, and great coaching which will get my hand raised in victory.”
“What a way to kick of 2018 – with two of the top fighters in the sport taking on younger, hungry challengers,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “It’s not often you get two main events on one card, but that is what we will have on Jan. 27 at the “Fabulous” Forum. This card will help keep the momentum that boxing established in 2017.”
“This is a very important fight for Argentine boxing, for Lucas Matthysse and for Arano Box,” said Mario Arano of Arano Boxing. “Matthysse is ready to be a world champion, and we are more than sure that his win will make huge waves throughout the entirety of the Republic of Argentina and South America.”
“Thailand has never had a Welterweight World champion before,” said Taweesin Terry Laosuwanwat, Manager and Promoter of Kiram. “We are making history here, and Tewa [Kiram] will do anything to win this fight. Tewa has never lost before, and he will keep his undefeated record against Matthysse.”
The remainder of the undercard and the ticket information for this stacked event will be announced shortly.
Jose Lopez to Take on Avery Sparrow in New Co-Main Event on November 30th ESPN Show
Super featherweight contender José “Wonder Boy” López (18-1-1, 13 KOs) of Carolina, Puerto Rico will now take on Avery Sparrow (8-1, 3 KOs) in the new co-main event of the Nov. 30 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. The event will also feature the headlining debut of Lamont Roach, Jr. (15-0, 6 KOs) as he defends his WBC Youth Super Featherweight Title against Rey “Flash” Pérez (21-8, 6 KOs) in the 10-round main event. ESPN3 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) will air the fights live at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Undercard will stream on ESPN3 at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fight at 11 p.m.ET/8 p.m. PT.
López, a 23-year-old contender who is coming off a four-fight win streak, has earned two regional titles since making his debut in Sept. 2011. In 2014, Lopez defeated veteran Leivi Brea to win the Interim WBC Fecarbox Super Bantamweight Title via first-round technical knockout. Two years later, López captured the WBO International Super Featherweight Title by defeating Edgar López Sasso via stunning second-round knockout. López was originally scheduled to fight against Miguel “Miguelito” González, but González was forced to pull out due to an injury suffered in his left arm when sparring.
Sparrow, who is also 23-years-old will took to take advantage of his first co-main event opportunity. The Philadelphian is coming off a four-fight win streak, defeating two undefeated prospects in his last two fights.
Fairfield, California’s Manuel “Tino” Ávila (22-1, 8 KOs) will take on Nick Otieno (31-12, 13 KOs) of Nairobi, Kenya in an eight-round featherweight fight. Ávila will return after his only defeat, which was in a tough battle against Joseph Diaz, Jr. on the Canelo vs. Chávez Jr. undercard in May of this year. The featherweight contender is looking to get back into the 126-pound mix before the year ends.
In the night’s swing bout, George Rincón (2-0) of Dallas, Texas will take on Jihad Wise (3-3, 1 KO) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a four-round 140-pound clash. Rincón’s brother, Alex Rincón, was originally scheduled to be in the swing bout, but the welterweight prospect who is currently signed to Golden Boy Promotions was forced to pull out and undergo surgery as he has been diagnosed with appendicitis.
Luther Smith (9-1, 8 KOs) of Alexandria, Virginia will open the night of boxing in a four-round bout in the cruiserweight division against an opponent that will be announced shortly.
Roach, Jr. vs. Pérez is a 10-round super featherweight fight for the WBC Youth Super Featherweight Title and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop, Never Settle.” ESPN3 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) will air the fights live from MGM National Harbor at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fight at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT.
Tickets for Roach, Jr. vs Pérez are on sale and are priced at $75 VIP, $75, $55 and $35, not including taxes or fees. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Ticketmaster Contact Center at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.goldenboytickets.com.
Nico Hernandez Injured, Fight Posptoned
Due to an injury suffered by 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez last week at training camp, this Saturday night’s “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” card, presented by KO Night Boxing LLC, has been postponed until February 10, at the same venue, Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
The 21-year-old Hernandez was scheduled to headline the event in his hometown against Hungarian flyweight champion Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas flyweight championship.
The promoter plans to keep the card intact, as much as possible, and he is hopeful that Ajtai is available to challenge Hernandez for the IBA Americas title.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of boxing, but the good news is that Nico will be 100-percent ready to go February 10th,” promoter John Andersen said. “I know that Nico feels that he’s letting everybody down but, at the end of the day, all that really counts is his health. He’s a tough kid who has his entire pro career ahead of him.”
“Over the last six months, Nico has become like family to the Hartman Arena staff,” said Hartman Arena Executive Director, Ben Bolander. “We wish the best for him and hope for a speedy recovery, so we can see him back here in February fighting for the title.”
TIckets to the December 2nd event will still be honored at the February 10 event. If ticket holders, are unable to attend the new event date, full refunds will be offered at the point of purchase. Tickets will remain on sale for the February 10, 2018 event date.
The Real Fight of 2016
by B.A. Cass
The fight between Francisco Vargas and Orlando Salido, which seemed to be just about everyone’s pick for 2016 fight of the year, was certainly a good fight. But thirty seconds into Round One and the two men were already in their first clinch, something that turned into a bizarre twirl. A minute later, Vargas was walking Salido back as if they were partners in an intermediate ballroom dance class. Yes, there were moments of intense onslaught by both men, and yes, the majority of the fight was brutal and entertaining. However, it was nowhere near as thrilling as the best fights of the past.
Over the week I watched nineteen fights, both female and male, from 2016. I had originally intended to watch twenty-four, but five of the female fights were not available online. (Click this link to get the full list of the fights I watched: http://bit.ly/2x65wKk.) I had two criteria for judging these matches. The first was that the opponents had to be well matched, meaning no early round knockouts or clear domination. The second was that that the fight had to be thrilling from beginning to end. This, unfortunately, disqualified Amanda Serrano, who KO’d Olivia Gerula in the first round of their fight. And while it was a pleasure watch the skilled Jelena Mrdjenovic, she was the more talented fighter in both her fights that I watched. On the male side, I was impressed by all of what I saw except by the Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora fight, which seemed to me just like two really big guys punching each other in slow-motion.
And while I was deeply impressed by the Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santo Cruz bout (I gave it runner up), one fight stood out from all the rest. And that’s Heather Hardy vs. Shelly Vincent, my pick for “2016 Fight of the Year.”
The public animosity between these two fighters has been well-documented. Vincent spent years trying to secure a fight with Hardy, going so far as to show up at Hardy’s fights to taunt and ridicule her. Their fans exchanged vicious words. Hardy’s mother may have even been involved in a physical altercation with Vincent at The Roseland Ballroom, though that has not been confirmed. In other words, this was the real deal, an epic fight three years in the making.
But put aside all that, and put aside the historic nature of the fight. (It was the first female boxing match televised in the US in over 20 years.) In fact, put aside everything and anything that didn’t take place in the ring that night at Coney Island’s Ford Amphitheater because it was, from beginning to end, a spectacular fight. There was no clinching, not a single moment when either fighter tried to save energy. Hardy and Vincent simply gave everything they had from the first bell to the last.
The New York based Hardy won by split-decision, which didn’t surprise Vincent, who had traveled from Providence to take the fight. “It being in New York, I knew from the gate that unless I knocked her out, I wasn’t going to get a W over there,” Vincent recently told me. “I had it six rounds to four. And two rounds she beat me. I admit that. She beat me those two rounds. But clearly I dominated. I kept moving forward.”
Devon Cormack, Hardy’s trainer, obviously doesn’t agree with Vincent’s analysis: “At no point did I feel Heather was losing the fight,” he told me over the phone. “She made the adjustments as the fight went on, more than Shelly did.” Still, Cormack acknowledges that it was close. “It wasn’t a perfect thing having a split decision, but I didn’t think it was that far removed, which is why I thought it made for an excellent fight.”
Vincent’s trainer, Pete Manfredo Sr., can’t figure out why there hasn’t been a rematch. All he knows is that it should have been done already. “It was the fight of the night, and it even had Errol Spence on the card that night. I thought Vincent/Hardy was a much better fight for the crowd, even the television crowd.”
Let’s be honest, though: if a rivalry like this occurred between two male boxers and their much-anticipated, widely-viewed fight ended in a close, split-decision win, the rematch would have already happened.
Still, Hardy remains hopeful for the future of women’s boxing. “If you put Holly Holm with someone like a Katie Taylor, or one with Cecilia Brækhus, that would be a huge money fight—maybe not in America but it would be a huge money fight because so much of the country follows MMA. Even when I had my first MMA fight, I got tens of thousands of new followers. I was on the MMA radio show with Ariel Hawani and like a hundred people had tweeted it out. And so the more public demand, the more popular it gets, the easier it will be.”
Let’s hope Hardy is right. Let’s hope that the gods of the boxing world come together and align the stars to make this rematch happen. In the meantime, you can see Shelly Vincent fight in person at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino on September 15th. (Buy your tickets here: http://bit.ly/ShellyVincent). And, though her opponent has yet to be announced, Heather Hardy is set to return for her second Bellator fight on October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Reynoso, Connecticut Hall of Fame, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 8th to August 15th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Eddy Reynoso and Abel Sanchez Conference Call Quotes for Canelo vs. Golovkin
Eddy Reynoso, head trainer for Canelo Alvarez, and Abel Sanchez, head trainer for Gennady Golovkin, recently held a media conference call to discuss the upcoming bout between both of their fighters. Below is a few select quotes from that conference call.
Q. Obviously, the competition is between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, but I know that trainers are competitive, also, and certainly want to win for their own careers and obviously for their fighters’ careers. I want to know from your perspective, when you say it’s the two best fighters in boxing in a big, big fight that we have on September 16, how do you look at it in terms of the competition between yourself and your opposing trainer, Eddy Reynoso?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think at this point if you consider those two fighters the best fighters in boxing, these are the two best trainers in boxing, also. Eddy and Chepo have done a great job with Canelo, and I think we have done a great job with Gennady.
The winner on the 16th is not necessarily the best fighter in boxing, but the best fighter that night. Same with the trainers. I think that the competition between us needs to be there so that we can prepare our guys to be the best they can be that night.
Q. Can you also tell me, we’ve seen Gennady knockout so many opponents, obviously didn’t get the knockout in the fight with Danny in March but he had a 23-knockout streak before that. But Canelo has had some spectacular knockouts himself in his recent fights; not necessarily Chavez fight but prior to that.
Both guys are looked at as punchers in this fight and they are both obviously very good boxers. When you look at the matchup, do you think this is more of a fight where Gennady is going to be the guy to be the biggest puncher or is he going to be the one to have to get the win to out-box Canelo? How do you view this matchup?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I see both guys being aggressive and I see Gennady being more physical. I see Gennady trying to dictate the pace. Canelo has proven that he’s a warrior. We’re looking for a tough fight.
I think that both guys are going to hurt each other, and they may go down. But I think we will be treated to a throwback fight like in the mid 80s when the four kings, the five kings, were around.
Q. You say you might see Gennady get knocked down. In his entire professional career and amateur career, there was no evidence of him being seriously hurt in a fight or even close to going down. Is that because you have that much respect for Canelo’s punching power, or are you just trying to hype this up a little bit?
ABEL SANCHEZ:No, no, I have respect not only for his punching power, but I have respect for Eddy and Chepo doing the things that are necessary to counteract some of the things that we’re going to be doing.
I think it’s a fight where it’s going to be a chess match at the beginning and then once you get past that point where they are trying to see what each other is doing, they are going to go at each other. And it’s going to be up to us in the corner to make sure we dictate what we want done and make sure that we come up with a different plan if the first one is not working.
Q. Similar to what I asked Abel as is related to the competition that exists between the trainer, Abel Sanchez was the 2015 Trainer of the Year, has got a lot of credit for the work he’s done, not only with Gennady but for some other fighters. Eddy has never been the Trainer of the Year. I think a lot of the people think the winner of this fight might be the Fighter of the Year. How big of a deal is it for Eddy to compete against another outstanding trainer like Abel Sanchez and maybe etch himself as a possible trainer of the year if his man gets the big victory?
EDDY REYNOSO: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you. Look, at the end of the day, the most important thing for us is that our fighter wins. We’re doing everything necessary. We’re preparing so that happens come fight night.
Look, at the end of the day, with the results come all the recognitions and everything else will come with it. But the most important thing for us is to win September 16.
Q. To both Abel and Eddy, look, in the past, Freddie Roach, Mayweather Senior, they have all gotten the attention of the boxing world as some of the best trainer, but today, all eyes, all focus, is on Eddy Reynoso and Abel Sanchez. How important is it and how motivating is it that you guys are the top trainers right now and all eyes are on you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, I’m extremely proud that two Mexicans are guiding the two best fighters in the sport and we are going to be meeting each other for supremacy on the 16th. I will be extremely happy that the fans recognize the fact that it’s not only Canelo as a Mexican, but Gennady has a Mexican style, but Eddy and I are both very proud Mexicans.
EDDY REYNOSO: We’re very, very happy to what we have achieved and happy doing what we love. And we’ve got to keep advancing, keep doing what we do best, and that’s winning and advancing; so that one day, hopefully not too in the distant future, we can be considered as one of the best in the game.
Q. Eddy, when GGG was introduced to mainstream, the American public, he was introduced with the label of “Mexican-style.” And that could be with influence, obviously, of his trainer being Mexican, Abel Sanchez. But the question is: Do you see him as a Mexican-style fighter?
EDDY REYNOSO: Yeah, you know, it obviously has some things of the Mexican style, because his trainer, there’s influence there. He’s taught him some Mexican style of fights. But let’s not forget at the end of the day, he’s from Kazakhstan; that’s where his roots are, and although he may have a little bit of the Mexican style that he’s been taught, at the end of the day, he can’t have the full Mexican style.
Q. To Abel, do you think that after September 16, after the fight, the winner will be considered pound for pound No. 1 in boxing?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I don’t think that’s something for me to say. I think that the journalists and the media at large and the fans will have their opinion. But I think that fight on the 16th, we have the two best boxers in the sport going at each other, so they can determine that.
But going back to what you asked Eddy, I think the Mexican style — part of the Mexican style that Golovkin has adapted, that the fans really, really like is the fact of his aggressiveness. It reminds us of some of the fighters of the past, great Mexicans of the past, like Julio Cesar Chavez and some of Olivares’ fights, and some of the old-timers that they used to give us those great, entertaining fights.
CANADA AMATEUR STAR LAVIOLETTE
HOPES TO ENHANCE HIS REPUTATION
AGAINST SPARROW SEPT. 8 IN PHILLY
Junior lightweight boxer Joey Laviolette may have a big reputation in Canada, but he is a virtual unknown in the United States. The 29-year-old native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, hopes to change that when he takes on Avery Sparrow, of Philadelphia, PA, in the scheduled eight-round main event Friday evening, Sept. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
The Sparrow-Laviolette contest tops a 10-bout card which begins at 7.30 pm.
Laviolette may be only 6-0, 4 K0s, as a pro, but he had a prolific amateur career in which he won 85 out of 111 bouts and four Canadian National Championships. He also was a member of the Canadian National Team from 2009 to 2011.
“My father used to train, although he never competed as a boxer, so he took me and my brother Matt to the gym when I was 10 years old and I just never left and that’s how I got started,” Laviolette said.
“When I was in high school I played recreational basketball and ice hockey but I never competed on a school team or in an official league.”
As for going up against a talented fighter like Sparrow (7-1, 3 K0s), Laviolette does not appear to be intimidated or fearful.
“It’s a big opportunity to showcase my skills against a good fighter,” Laviolette said. “This will be my first professional fight outside of Canada, but going to somebody else’s hometown to fight never bothered me as an amateur and I don’t think it will bother me as a professional.
“I competed in the Francophone Games in Lebanon (for French-speaking countries) and the Panama Games in Mexico and in various tournaments in Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States a couple of times and I won the Ringside Tournament there in 2009.
“I feel I’m right where I need to be at 6-0 and this is a perfect point in my career to have a true test against Sparrow.”
A pro since 2012, Laviolette has boxed twice this year against a pair of Mexican featherweights. He out-pointed Juan Manuel Benitez over four rounds and stopped Emmanuel Villamar in six. Both fights were in New Brunswick, Canada.
Away from the ring, Laviolette works as a carpenter during the day and he also is a musician, occasionally taking part in small acoustic performances in local pubs in Nova Scotia. He plays the guitar and refers to himself as an intermediate piano player. His favorite Canadian fighter is Arturo Gatti, but his all-time favorite is Sugar Ray Leonard.
Laviolette has been married to his wife, Lisa, since 2012, and they have a 4-year-old daughter, Breah.
“I know there is a lot of buzz in Philadelphia and the boxing community about this fight with Avery Sparrow, a true test for me,” Sparrow said. “I feel truly blessed to have the family I have and the ability to compete in a sport that has captivated me since my dad first took me to the Citadel Boxing Gym when I was 10. This next fight with Sparrow is everything I have been training for up to this point.”
CES Boxing, FightNight Live to Partner for August 26th Pre MayMac Show Free on Facebook
Fight fans who want to whet their appetite prior to Mayweather-McGregor will be able to do so on Saturday, Aug. 26, thanks to a new partnership between veteran promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook series. CES Boxing and the tech-forward, fan-friendly Facebook broadcast platform are set to deliver once again – this time from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut – from 6-9 p.m. ET on that Saturday before action heats up in the desert later that night.
Highlighting the CES Boxing card at Foxwoods’ Premier Ballroom is New London, Conn., native Jimmy Williams (13-0-1, 5 KOs), as he defends his WBC-USNBC Welterweight Title against veteran Bronx N.Y. pugilist Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs). Also appearing on the card: New London’s Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs), Hartford’s Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs), Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass., and others.
“CES Boxing starts the fireworks with a live, action-packed card at Foxwoods Resort Casino leading up to the Mayweather-MacGregor PPV,” proudly states CES President Burchfield Sr. “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Linacre Media to broadcast this event worldwide on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook page.”
Tickets are priced at $55, $90, $155 and $325 and can be purchased online at cesboxing.com, foxwoods.com, or ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 401-724-2253 or 800-200-2882. As an added bonus, all CES ticket holders receive a free, reserved seat to the exclusive Pay Per View showing of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor in Foxwoods’ Grand Theater.
“We’re happy to be involved in what will be a great night for fight fans all over the globe,” said Mark Fratto, Principal of Linacre Media. “In addition to the great crowd that Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and Team CES is sure to deliver with a packed, local card and the May-Mac PPV following on the big screen at Foxwoods, we’re thrilled to deliver all of the action from coast-to-coast and around the world through our Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE channel. We hope a lot of boxing and MMA fans having fight parties will enjoy our free New England Facebook show on any device before turning their attention toward the desert and Showtime.”
The numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform. The July Roy Jones Jr. “Desert Showdown” from Phoenix, the May “Slugfest at the Sun” from Mohegan Sun and the June “Rosemont Rumble” from Chicago drew audiences of 65,000, 44,000 and 31,000, respectively, with more than 6,000 of hours of LIVE video consumed by Facebook users. In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 27,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 15,500 “likes” or “loves,” more than 9,000 comments and 1,600-plus shares.
Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has been delivered to fans absolutely free since its May 2017 launch courtesy of corporate partners like Barbour One 9, Talent Management and Entertainment Production (www.barbourone9.com) and Northeastern Fine Jewelry (www.nefj.com).
On Saturday night, August 26, live from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., fans can expect a high-impact, multi-camera streaming experience complete with graphics, animations, replays, interviews and an announce team anchored by blow-by-blow announcer Michael Woods of the TalkBox Podcast, NYFights.com and The Ring and analyst Xavier Porter of BrooklynFights.com, Notorious Boxing and the “Shoot the 5” radio show. To provide spectators with a fully-interactive ringside experience, commentators will ask and respond to questions from the Facebook audience throughout the broadcast.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features multiple camera angles, graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.
More FIGHTNIGHT LIVE dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/
Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced
The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has announced its six-member Class of 2017 to be inducted during the 13TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, October 28, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The new CBHOF inductees are pioneer boxer “Professor” Charles Hadley, ring physician Dr. Tony Alessi, international boxing judge Clark Sammartino, referee/judge Dick Flaherty, boxing writer Dan Parker and boxer/boxing contributor Hugh Devlin, Sr.
“We continue to break barriers at CBHOF as we induct ‘Professor’ Charles Hadley who may have been the best ‘pound-for-pound fighter of his era,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. Like many black athletes of this period, he never received the recognition he richly deserved. The CBHOF will rectify that this year. Other members of this year’s class are equally deserving and represent all aspects of this great sport. Dr. Alessi is not just an accomplished ring physician but also a world-renowned sports doctor. Clark Sammartino is one of the best judges in boxing. Dan Parker is an International Boxing Hall of Famer whose career as a reporter is unparalleled in any sport. Hughie Devlin Sr.’s contributions to this sport in Connecticut are immeasurable. We look forward to seeing boxing fans of all ages at this year’s dinner. It will be a wonderful evening for our inductees, our award winners, and especially for their family and friends.”
Fighting out of his adopted hometown of Bridgeport, Tennessee-native “Professor” Charles Hadley (25-13-6, 14 KOs) was the reigning World Colored Heavyweight Champion from 1881-1883. His professional career was from 1869 to 1891.
A familiar figure at ringside for major fights at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, Dr. Tony Alessi is a graduate of the University of Rome who moved to the Nutmeg State after completing his residency and neuro-muscular fellowship at the University fo Michigan. Alessi is a neurological consultant to the Connecticut State Boxing Commission, as well as the NFL Players Association and New York Yankees Player Development. He is based in Norwich, where he CEO for a medical management company.
At the height of career as a boxing judge, Clark Sammartino would average 100 bouts a year, including 10 world championships. A Providence native and Brown University graduate, he started judging boxing matches after he retired as an oral surgeon. The 80-year-old Sammartino has judge fights involving some of boxing biggest stars such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and many others.
An accomplished referee/judge from Braintree, Massachusetts, who now lives in Glastonbury, CT, Dick Flaherty has worked numerous notable fights featuring Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Vernon Forrest and Sal “Canelo” Alvarez, among the more notables. Flaherty is best known for judging the first of three Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward fights, held at Mohegan Sun, voted the 2002 Fight of the Year), in which Dick scored the Round of the Year (ninth), 10-7 for Ward, and the fight, 94-93, in Ward’s favor. His score proved to be the difference as Ward won a 10-round split decision.
Waterbury, CT-native Dan Parker was a Waterbury sportswriter back in the early part of the 20th Century, whose articles in the New York Daily Mirror later exposed corruption in boxing. He exposed International Boxing Club (IBC) corruption and, due to Parker’s crusade, it was disbanded. Parker is induced in the prestigious International Boxing Hall of Fame, as well as the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Hugh Devlin, Sr. (22-13) made his professional boxing debut in 1927 at the age of 18, stopping Johnny Lorenzo in New Bedford, Mass. He developed into one of New England’s top featherweights, fighting across Connecticut in New Haven, West Haven, Waterbury and New London. Devlin’s contributions to the Norwich boxing community made him an icon in southeastern Connecticut. He opened a restaurant in New London where menus were shaped like boxing gloves.
Individual Connecticut award winners were also announced: Jimmy Williams, Conn. Professional Boxer of the Year; Kevin Bonilla, Conn. Amateur Boxer of the Year; Hector Rosario, Contribution to Boxing; Danny Schiavone, Professional Boxing Official of the Year; Sachs Medina, Amateur Boxing Official of the Year:
Tickets for the CBHOF 13th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, will soon go on sale and be available to purchase by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails from 6:00- p.m. ET (cash bar), followed by a full sit-down dinner.
Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 13th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or past CBHOF inductees.
The Legend of Salvador Sanchez
By: Kirk Jackson
Salvador “Chava” Sanchez 44-1-1 (32 KO’s) was an amazing fighter accurately fitting the mantra, “A talent gone too soon.” He passed away 35 years ago, yet his influence still permeates throughout the boxing world.
On August 12, 1982, Sanchez perished in a collision involving his white 1981 Porsche and two trucks on a highway north of Queretaro, Mexico.
Trainers, fighters, fans still to this day remark on the extraordinary skill set of Sanchez and wonder what could have been.
Although he passed long before I was even thought of, I can’t help but look back and pay respect to one of boxing’s greatest fighters. Plus Sanchez possessed a cool curly fro.
The Hall of Famer was a complete boxer possessing speed, power, an endless supply of energy and excellent counter-punching abilities.
Analyzing Sanchez’s style, one of his greatest strengths was his balance and footwork. This allowed Sanchez to thrive offensively and defensively as he was renowned as a great counter-puncher.
When observing Sanchez, one may say, “He has a tendency to move and bounce around a lot.” And what may appear as wasted movement, is actually Sanchez finding his rhythm, range and timing his opponents.
Sanchez was always able to effectively transfer his weight from the back foot to the front foot, transitioning from offense to defense seamlessly.
This required balance, maintaining proper distance between his feet, bending of the knees, shifting weight; intricate stuff. The movements are subtle but masterful when a lens is placed on the significance.
These movements along with balance allowed Sanchez to thrive off punching in between the exchanges; a rare skill not many fighters possess.
For example, long reigning middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin rarely counter punches his opponents. He doesn’t really have to.
Golovkin is so effective from an offensive standpoint with his ability cut the ring off and force fighters into retreat mode with his precision and power punching.
When fighters actually attempt to fight back or better yet initiate the attack, they can push back Golovkin and temporarily nullify his momentum.
Examples include former welterweight champion Kell Brook and former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs.
When someone throws combinations at Golovkin, he has a tendency to shell up with his high guard, not utilizing head movement or trying to punch in between the exchange.
One of Sanchez’s patented moves was to dip down and shoot a punch from a low angle; an awkward punch often catching opponents by surprise.
From a defensive standpoint, although an elite counter-puncher, Sanchez had a tendency to get hit every now and then.
What Sanchez did effectively however, was roll with the incoming punches; by rolling with the punches, the defender can lessen the impact and mitigate the damage.
Comparatively speaking, Floyd Mayweather for instance is a different type of counter-puncher. Mayweather has a series of defensive tactics and tricks to smother punches and effectively dodge attacks.
Mayweather is prone to dodge the incoming punch with a pull-back countering motion; straightening his spine and snapping his neck back, pulling his head out of range and countering (typically with a right hand) in return.
Many times when Sanchez would avoid a punch he would come back with a series of punches (as opposed to one) in return.
Even while eating a punch, he is bouncing off his toes, springing into action and hurling several punches back in return.
Sanchez also had a tendency (much like Mayweather) to use his forearm for offensive and defensive purposes. It’s probable the self-proclaimed “TBE” intently studied Sanchez in his younger years.
Standing 5’ 7” with a 68 inch reach he was monster at featherweight. Due to his ability to slip punches and his mastery of range, Sanchez was essentially effective in close-quarters, within the pocket and from the outside.
Along with blazing hand speed, Sanchez appeared to have an endless supply of energy. He is one of the more well-conditioned athletes you’ll ever see. For any anime nerds out there, his level of endurance is similar to the Nine-tailed fox in Naruto.
It can be said, one attains greatness through experience and Sanchez certainly started young.
Sanchez turned professional at the young age of 16; similar to boxing prodigy Wilfred Benitez (turned pro at age 15) and current great fighter in the making Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (turned pro at age 15).
Five years into his professional career at the age of 21, Sanchez captured gold winning the WBC Featherweight Championship by stopping Danny Lopez in thirteen rounds on February 2, 1980.
Sanchez would knock Lopez out again four months later.
Over the course of 29 months, including 9 title defenses, Sanchez essentially faced and defeated the best fighters in the featherweight division. Ruben Castillo, Juan Laporte and Patrick Ford were impressive fighters.
Sanchez’s busy schedule matched his busy style in the ring.
Lopez, Wilfredo Gomez and Azumah Nelson are the most notable names and impressive wins on the resume.
His highest profile fight was arguably against the WBC super-bantamweight champion Gomez. The Puerto Rican star 32-0-1 (32 KOs) was undefeated at the time and stopped in eight rounds; serving as one of the quintessential bouts in the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry.
1981 was a big year for Sanchez as he shared The Ring honors as “Fighter of the year” along with Sugar Ray Leonard.
Sanchez successfully defended his WBC featherweight title for the ninth and final time stopping Nelson in fifteen rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 21, 1982.
Unfortunately less than a month later, tragedy struck and Sanchez lost his life.
We can only wonder the path and series of fights that awaited Sanchez. A rematch with Nelson or Gomez was a possibility.
Or even greater aspirations and a meeting against another legend Alexis Arguello was a possibility. Sky was the limit for Sanchez.
Sanchez undoubtedly had a large impact on boxing, influencing the likes of Mayweather, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ricardo Lopez, Juan Manuel Marquez and countless others.
All we can do now is speculate the what if’s and celebrate the moments he created in the thing. As a fan of the sweet science, I’d like to thank Salvador Sanchez for all of his contributions.
Crolla and Burns set for “Battle of Britain”
By: Thomas B Nicholls
British Lightweight stars Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns are set to do battle at a packed Manchester Arena on October 7th.
Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn announced the bout earlier this week and Sky Sports will broadcast the crossroads clash.
Both Crolla & Burns have been relieved of their world titles in 2017 and with their careers in jeopardy, it’s a simple “must win” for both men.
48 fight veteran Scot, Ricky Burns was convincingly beaten in his unification fight with Julius Indongo back in April, the Namibian southpaw outclassed Burns with a slick performance and is now set to tackle P4P star Terence Crawford.
Similarly, Mancunian Crolla lost his rematch with Jorge Linares in March as he had no answer for the Venezuelan’s s elite and elusive fighting style. Linares is now set to defend his world honours against British Olympian Luke Campbell at the end of September.
Burns will no doubt be backed by the partisan “Tartan Army” as he bids to find his former glory. Burns is Scotland’s first and only three-weight world champion and at 34, he knows he must win if his career is to get back on track.
Burns said “It’s going to be a great fight, there was a lot of talk in recent weeks, the response we got was unbelievable. People want to see it and now the deal is done I’m looking forward to it.”
“It doesn’t bother me where I fight, there will be a good crowd coming down from Scotland. It’s a fight the fans have been getting up for and I’m sure they will turn up in their numbers.
“When I held world titles at super-featherweight and lightweight, Crolla’s name was always mentioned but it never happened.
“He’s a great guy and a great fighter, I don’t think you’ll get much trash talk in the build-up. The best man will win on the night.”
Bookmakers SkyBet have installed Crolla as the pre-fight favourite, perhaps favouring the youthfulness of the Manchester man. Both fighters will be desperate for the win as a defeat could determine the end of their career.
Speaking of the importance of the fight, Crolla said “All I want to do is be involved in big fights and Ricky Burns is a three-weight world champion. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s a great fighter and only lost to the very best.”
“I’m looking forward to going to battle and putting on a display for the fans. Camp started a few weeks ago and I’m in a good place. “It’s at a good time for both of us. A win puts us back in the mix for titles. I’m not going to say the loser has nowhere to go, but it’s going to be a tough road back. We’re both coming off losing our world titles and the incentive is to win the fight and get back in the frame.”
Despite there being no title on the line, this has the foundations to be a fight for the ages. Both men conduct themselves impeccably outside of the ring and there was little trash talking in the press conference, it’s clear to see that their energy will be channelled in to resurrecting /prolonging their careers.
If I was to give my prediction, for whatever it’s worth, I predict Ricky Burns the victor in a barnstorming 12 round war.
Top Rank on ESPN Results: Lomachenko Breaks Down Marriaga, Beltran Decisions Vasquez
By: William Holmes
Top Rank Promotions continued their relationship with ESPN tonight by placing one of boxing’s pound for pound superstars, Vasyl Lomachenko, on the main event in a WBO Junior Lightweight Title Bout.
The Microsoft theater in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s card with an announced attendance of 4,102. The NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame ended late and the first undercard fight was shown on ESPN2.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Arnold Barboza Jr. (16-0) and Jonathan Chicas (15-2) started off the telecast halfway through the bout and both boxers scored a knockdown by the sixth round.
The crowd responded well to this bout as Chicas was going for an upset and had Barboza hurt several times throughout the bout.
The final scores were 76-74, 77-73, and 78-72 for Arnold Barboza Jr,
The next bout of the night was between Raymundo Beltran (33-7-1) and Bryan Vasquez (36-2) in the lightweight division.
Vasquez came in overweight and was unable to fight for Beltran’s titles. However, Beltran looked significantly bigger than Vasquez inside the ring.
Both boxers started off in the orthodox stance in the first round and Beltran was showing good head movement while landing his straight right hands and counter lefts. Vasquez switched stances during the first round, but was not effective with it.
Beltran went to the body more I the second round and landed several hard shots in the last thirty seconds. Vasquez tripped Beltran at the end of the round.
Vasquez started off the third round strong but Beltran took over in the second half of the round. Beltran’s best combination of this round started off with two hooks to the body followed by a left hook to the head.
Vasquez was able to land an impressive wind up right uppercut on Beltran in the fourth round, but Beltran walked right through it and seemed unaffected. Beltran had Vasquez backing up with jabs to the body and head in the fifth round but may have been out landed by Vasquez during their exchanges.
Vasquez appeared to be more willing to exchange in the sixth round, but Beltran’s punches were noticeably more effective and had more pop behind them. Beltran landed an impressive right hook around the high guard of Vasquez in the seventh and looked to be establishing firm control of the fight.
Vasquez had a decent eighth round and proved to be elusive for Beltran and at the start of the ninth round Beltran had a cut by his right eye.
Vasquez and Beltran clashed heads in the tenth and Vasquez probably needed a knockout to win. The blood was obscuring the vision of Beltran but he was able to avoid succumbing to a last round knockdown.
Beltran was bloodied but walked away with a close win. The final scores were 95-95, 96-94, and 96-94.
The main event of the evening was between WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1) and Miguel Marriaga (25-2).
Both boxers showed a lot of upper body movement in the opening round but Lomachenko was the boxer that was applying the pressure. Marriaga was able to land the early punches but Lomachenko began to land some good combinations as the round came to an end.
The pressure by Lomachenko continued in the second round and he was able to land hard left uppercuts and punches from all angles.
Marriaga was tagged with hard lefts to the head and body in the third round as Lomachenko was starting to settle into his grove. Lomachenko landed two consecutive straight left hands on Marriaga that sent him to the mat. Marriaga was able to get back to his feet and Lomachenko willingly backed into a corner and waived Marriaga forward. Marriaga came forward and threw several punches at Lomachenko, but was not able to land anything of significance.
Lomachenko’s pressure continued into the fifth round but he suffered a cut near his left eye due to a clash of heads.
Lomachenko’s pressure and hand speed had Marriaga back pedaling while getting peppered from all angles in the sixth and seventh rounds. Marriaga looked like he was hurt in the sixth round from a consistent body attack by Lomachenko.
Lomachenko looked like he was going for the stoppage in the seventh round as he was landing heavy shots and taking a lot of risks. Lomachenko was able to score a late round knockdown and Marriaga looked mentally defeated as he went back to his corner.
Marriaga’s corner told the referee their fighter was unable to continue before the start of the eighth round.
Vasyl Lomachenko dazzles once again with a 7th round TKO.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Pacquiao, Shields, Atlantic City, Hernandez, and more..
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Pacquiao, Shields, Atlantic City, Hernandez, and more..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 13th to June 20th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Canelo vs. Golovkin Tickets on Sale June 22nd
Tickets for the Saturday, Sept. 16 showdown for supremacy between lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and IBO/IBF/WBA/WBC Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), for which fans have been clamoring, will go on sale Thursday, June 22 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. In what may be boxing’s best, most competitive fight in 2017, the mega-event will feature two of the most popular and powerful fighters in the storied middleweight division fighting for ultimate supremacy and glory.
Tickets for Canelo vs. Golovkin are priced at $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700, $500 and $300, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 10 per person at the $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700 price levels and a limit of two (2) per person at the $500 and $300 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.
Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Tsesnabank and Capital Holding. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®
Claressa Shields Dominates to Win WBC Silver Belt
In just her first eight-round fight, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields scored a spectacular unanimous decision victory last Friday, June 16, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit to win the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Title.
Shields (3-0, 1KO) dominated tough Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc (4-2-1), winning all eight rounds on all three judges’ scorecards en route to adding the WBC Silver belt to her NABF Middleweight Championship belt. LeBlanc was simply no match for the blazing fists of crowd favorite Shields, who has convincingly established herself as a world championship-class contender in women’s boxing after just three professional fights.
Shields’ bout was the main event of a jam-packed Detroit Brawl event which set a new gate record for promoter Dmitriy Salita’s popular Detroit-based series.
“Claressa is one of the best boxers in the world!” said Dmitriy Salita. “Regardless of gender, her skills and experience are that of the elite fighters in the world. She is improving with each fight and the sky is the limit. Claressa is ready for the top fighters in her division and we will work on making a big championship fight happen next.”
In the 10-round co-main event, transplanted Detroit cruiserweight Alexey Zubov moved to 15-1, 9 KOs with a surprisingly easy 10-round decision over Detroit’s highly regarded Demetrius Banks (9-1, 4 KOs).
From the opening bell, the superior work rate of Zubov told the story, as the confused Banks had no answers for the big Russian’s jab. All three judges scored the fight 99-91. There were no knockdowns.
“Two of the best cruiserweight prospects in the world met in Detroit,” continued Salita. “The winner is now a real contender, ready to fight the best in the world. Alexey is much improved since his time training with Sugar Hill at the Kronk Boxing Gym. The magic of Kronk is alive and came to life in Alexey’s performance. Great things on the horizon for him!”
Another of Salita’s growing stable of promising contenders, Detroit bantamweight Ja’Rico O’Quinn (7-0, 5KOs) had too many tools for the outgunned David Martino (2-3, 2 KOs) and won by dominant unanimous decision (60-54, all three judges). A talent to watch, O’Quinn basically walked the determined Martino into his lightning-fast shots for six rounds.
“Ja’Rico’s defense was superb in his fight. His opponent was rarely able to even touch him. He is going to be a force at 118 lbs. in the not-too-distant future.”
Another surging contender from the Salita stable, junior welterweight wrecking ball Bakhtiyar Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) needed just 1:41 of round one to chew up and spit out Mexico’s Cesar Soriano. Eyubov targeted the body of Soriano and took away his breath with thudding left hoods to the liver that ended things quickly. Eyubov is an animal.
“Bakhtiyar went up a weight class because no one will fight him. This fight showed why,” said Salita. “He is too strong for most fighters to stay in with for very long. He will be in a big fight in the near future. He’s ready.”
ESPN and ESPN Deportes to Exclusively Air Manny Pacquiao Fight Live from Brisbane, Australia
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the only sitting Senator to capture a world championship belt, will add another first to his burgeoning list of Hall of Fame-caliber accomplishments with his live debut on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (also streaming live on the ESPN app) on Saturday, July 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET. The fight will be called ringside by ESPN commentators Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas. They will be joined by guest analyst Timothy Bradley, Jr., a former two-division world champion recently trained by Teddy Atlas who has met Pacquiao three times in the ring, winning their first match in a decision. ESPN Deportes will pair Jorge Eduardo Sanchez and Juan Manuel Marquez to call the main event in Spanish, with prefight commentary from Pablo Viruega, Leopoldo Gonzalez, Claudia Trejos and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against undefeated No. 1 contender and Brisbane’s favorite son Jeff “The Hornet” Horn at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. This will be the first time Pacquiao has not fought on pay-per-view since Sept. 10, 2005, when he stopped Hector Velazquez in the sixth round — 12 years and four weight divisions ago.
ESPN’s coverage of “The Battle of Brisbane” will begin on Friday, June 30th, and includes live coverage of the Pacquiao and Horn weigh-in at 7 p.m. ET within SportsCenter on ESPN and within Golpe a Golpe on ESPN Deportes. During the week of June 26, classic Pacquiao fights will also be available on demand and streaming via the ESPN app, on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes, including Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton (5/2/2009), Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (11/12/11) and Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley (4/12/14).
The July 1 telecast will also feature Irish Olympic hero Michael Conlan (2-0, 2 KOs), from Belfast, in a six-round featherweight bout against Jarrett “Juarez” Owen (5-4-3,2 Kos), of Brisbane, and International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (24-1-1, 16 KOs), of Cavite City, Philippines, defending his title against top-rated contender Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8 KOs), of Kobe, Japan. The live telecast will open with an eight-round middleweight rumble between Shane Mosley, Jr. (10-1, 7 KOs), of Pomona, Calif. and son of former three-division world champion “Sugar”
Shane Mosley, and David Toussaint (10-0, 8 KOs), of Canberra, Australia.
Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez Stops Jose Rodriguez in the Third Round
Wichita hero and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Nico Hernandez, dominated Jose “Mexican Diablo” Rodriguez in last night’s “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” main event, which aired on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” was a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC. TITLE Boxing is the official apparel and gloves partner for Knockout Night Boxing.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (2-0, 2 KOs) came out fast, rapidly firing combinations that consistently landed to his opponent’s head and body. Hernandez was as electric in the ring as the sky outside, battering the over-matched Rodriguez, finally dropping him midway through the second round.
The extremely sharp Hernandez floored Rodriguez again in the third with a right-left combination but the tough Mexican rose again. The onslaught continued briefly as the Olympian pounded Rodriguez (2-1, 2 KOs), knocking him down for the third time and final time as referee Kevin Champion counted him out at 2:38.
“I came out with a victory, it can’t get better than that,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I put him down a few times. I was happy with my performance. I was trying to get out of her to celebrate with my family and friends.
“I didn’t expect him to keep coming, getting up and still coming forward. I’ll talk to my promoter and coaches and see what’s next.”
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Inducts 24 Charter Class Members
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) Inaugural Induction weekend held on May 26, 27 and 28th was a smorgasbord of boxing royalty, celebrity guests and legions of boxing fans. ACBHOF mission is to create visibility and awareness through annual inductions ceremonies; boxing champions, as well as the boxing community at-large will have their names enshrined into immortality by being inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
“Watching my vision come together with the assistance of Rodrick Green, the VP of Business Strategy, and Angela Crockett our Communications Director, along with the rest of my team and countless other supporters and fans across the country, who’ve embraced this endeavor has been overwhelmingly impressive.” – Ray McCline, Founder & President
The trio of events, which were sponsored by the Claridge – a Radisson Hotel, kicked-off May 26th with a pre-reception and welcome address in the VÜE Rooftop Bar. The 150 guests included: Red Carpet Host Whitney Ullman, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Councilman Frank Gilliam, Dr. Nina Radcliff, Flo Anthony, Aaron Snowell, Lillo Brancato, Alan Goldberg, Ray Mercer, Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Iceman John Scully, Tracy Patterson, Milton Luban, Chuck Zito, Grandy Twins, sponsors and stakeholders alike.
“The Claridge – a Radisson Hotel was proud to have hosted Atlantic City’s first Boxing Hall of Fame induction class. It’s events like this that make hospitality and history come to life in this city. From the Fight Fan Expo to the Gala it was a pleasure to see new faces and passion throughout a weekend of exceptional events. We look forward to hosting the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame events for years to come at The Claridge – a Radisson Hotel.”- Cem Erenler, V.P. of Hotel Operations & Business Development
On May 27, the festivities continued into the Fight Fan Experience, a festive boxing themed environment that included a Boxing Fantasy Camp, Pop-Up Barber Shop, Jack Johnson Exhibit Icons of Boxing, The Legacy Exists Joe Frazier Scholarship Fund, James O’Neal Sculptures, The Press of Atlantic City Exhibit, Food vendors and music by DJ Young Hitta.
The evening of May 27th concluded with an Honoree Gala in the Art Gallery celebrating “Women in Boxing.” Host for the evening, Nino Del Buono. Honorees included: Cathy Burke, Marian Muhammad, Joan Pierce, Renee Aiken and Althea “Vern” Saunders.
The culminating Induction celebration concluded Sunday, May 28th with a little over 500 guests. The master of ceremonies for the ceremony, President of NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, Henry Hascup. The star-studded Charter Class members included: Don King, Michael Spinks, Larry Hazzard, Steve Smoger, Mike Rossman, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, J Russell Peltz, Dave Bontempo, Ken Condon, Robert Lee, Sr., Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate Mr. Ray McCline, Roy Foreman, Rodrick Green, Angela Crockett and all of the wonderful people responsible for the great Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend which took place on May 26th, 27th, and 28th. The event was an astounding success and it allowed many of us, who attended, the opportunity to relive some of the exciting moments of our past boxing history. The establishment of the ACBHOF will also ensure that the great legacy of Atlantic City Boxing, will be remembered and celebrated for many years to come!! Once again congratulations and I look forward with great anticipation to next year’s celebration. God Bless!!” – Commissioner Larry Hazzard, NJ State Athletic Control Board
Posthumous Inductees: Arturo Gatti (received by Sofia Bella Gatti); Leavander Johnson (received by his Son); Mathew Saad Muhammad (received by Mustafa Ameen); Lou Duva (received by Dino Duva); Jack Obermayer (received by his daughter Ellen Kaplan); Bert Sugar; Dennis Gomes (received by his daughter Danielle Gomes and Mrs. Gomes); Mike Hall, Sr. (received by his son Mike Hall, Jr.) and Dr, Frank Doggett (received by his daughter Yvonne “Missy” Doggett).
“It was such an incredible honor to be part of such a historic event. We had a blast at the HARD Kickoff party with Michael Spinks and Ray Mercer. It was so amazing to see all the young kids enjoying the Boxing experience. They are the new generation of Atlantic City Boxing. The Highlight of the weekend for us was the Gala, it was truly a memorable evening. Congratulations to Ray McCline and the inductees on a successful Inaugural Induction. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame will be a staple destination for Boxing Fans in the years to come.” – Gregory V. Posella, President & Co-founder HARD Beverage
Former Miss America, Suzette Charles, Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Band and saxophonist Parris provided entertainment for the evening. Entertainment was coordinated by Kevin Crump.
Title Sponsors: Hard Lifestyle Beverages, Designer Wraps and Hammer Fiber Optics. The Atlantic City Police Athletic League is ACBHOF’s charitable arm. Keebler Media was the official ACBHOF videographer.
Other sponsors and supporters: City of Atlantic City; Triax 57; 2300 Arena; FantaSea Resorts; Adams Boxing; Rumble TV Network; Tina Davido Promotions; Abrams Boxing, Adams Boxing, Plush Vodka, Punzoné Organic Vodka, House of Genesis and WBC.
While the menus consisted of scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres and signature drinks, the Honoree cake designed by Cake King of Queens and the unveiling of Commemorative Paintings by Nicolosi were stunning show stoppers.
Another extraordinary highlight from the weekend was when Arturo Gatti’s 11-year old daughter Sofia Bella Gatti accepted her father’s award alongside his longtime friends Chuck Zito and Mike Sciarra.
Ward Stops Kovalev With Violent Body Attack
Ward Stops Kovalev With Violent Body Attack
By: Sean Crose
No one could have predicted this. No one.
For Andre Ward stopped the frightening Sergey Kovalev…with body blows in the eighth round. Truly, it was a stunning and brutal end for the light heavyweight title fight. For it was Kovalev who was long known as the terrifying ring monster. Ward, on the other hand, was seen more as the tactician. Yet ultimately the bout came down to tactical destruction. Seeing Kovalev crumpled helpless by the ropes was simply stunning for fight fans to see.
Photo Credit: HBO
It was some kind of fight.
And, sure enough, the fight seemed VERY close throughout. Kovalev’s shot were hard and he was as aggressive as they came as he stalked Ward about the ring. The night, however, ultimately belonged to Ward “I’ve never been the most talented,” Ward claimed after the bout, as he thanked Jesus. “I’ve never been the biggest.” He didn’t need to be, either. Even though it looked to this writer that he was losing almost as many rounds as he was winning, Ward’s body attack took a brutal toll on his Russian nemesis.
Kovalev claimed that Ward hit him low on several occasions. On the last occasion, however it seemed as if Kovalev was feinting injury from a submarine shot that wasn’t actually a submarine shot. Indeed, the shot seemed to land on the beltline at worst. Perhaps Ward sensed it, too, for Kovalev was clearly hurt shortly thereafter. And then the Oakland native went for the kill, ending things by tearing into the body rather than the head. It proved to be a perfect strategy, as referee Tony Weeks stepped in and stopped the bout.
It was an interesting night of boxing in other ways, as well. For Guillermo Rigondeaux knocked out Moises Flores with a shot that clearly landed after the bell closed the second round of their super bantamweight fight. Whether the shot was launched before or after the bell rang was a matter of some debate – but it was the Miami resident’s bout…at least for the time being.
In earlier fights, Dmitry Bivol stopped Cedric Agnew in a light heavyweight bout that made it clear that Agnew no longer has the skill which once troubled Sergey Kovalev a few years ago. Earlier still, Luis Arias dominated Arif Magomedov in the fifth round of a middeweight affair.
Ann Wolfe Interview: “I was a pure Jr. Middleweight and everybody I fought at Jr. Middleweight I put to sleep!”
Ann Wolfe Interview: “I was a pure Jr. Middleweight and everybody I fought at Jr. Middleweight I put to sleep.”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Ann Wolfe is best known as “the baddest woman on the planet”. She was a professional boxer from 1998-2006. Wolfe amassed a professional record of 24 wins, 1 loss (which she avenged, twice) and 16 wins by way of knockout. She did all this while holding 4 weight class titles simultaneously. Ann Wolfe’s story is one of poverty, crime and destitution. Boxing became her salvation and she became, arguably, the greatest female fighter of all time.
Most recently, Ms. Wolfe starred in the box office smash hit “Wonder Woman”, where she was specifically casted by director Patty Jenkins to play the role of “Artemis”. Jenkins announced on Twitter when Wolfe got the part, “Who else should be one of the greatest warrior Amazons, but the best female boxer in history”.
We were able to speak with Ann Wolfe about her humble beginnings, her thoughts on the state of boxing, Wonder Woman, and being a role model for young females.
Boxing Insider: What was it like filming a big blockbuster movie? Did you enjoy the filmmaking process?
Ann Wolfe: It was OK. As long as I have something to do, I’m happy.
Boxing Insider: Did the people on set know you are this great boxer or did they just think you were some unknown actor?
Ann Wolfe: No, Patty Jenkins personally looked for me. She wanted me to play Artemis. Her husband was a Thai boxer and they wanted me. So she looked for me, so I didn’t cast for Artemis.
The other actors knew who I was, because Patty filled them in. Gal (Gadot) would walk up and talk to me, she was really nice. Chris (Pine) was also very nice. Gal looked at me and then at Patty Jenkins and said “that is Artemis”. They knew, and it was weird because they are actors and big Hollywood stars and they were excited to meet me.
Boxing Insider: Did any of your boxing training help translate to your role as Artemis?
Ann Wolfe: Yes, all of it did. Because using a sword, in boxing you are taught to keep your hands in tight, but with the weapons they wanted you to be more open. It was easy because I was able to use the balance that I have,to use the Axe really well.
Boxing Insider: As an ambassador for female boxing, why do you think it hasn’t caught on in the same way that the UFC female fighters have?
Ann Wolfe: Number one, the UFC is a little more engaging. It’s a new sport itself, so you don’t have to have a lot of skill. Boxing is the sweet science. So if you want to begin in the grass roots of boxing where women are on the same level as guys, you are talking hundreds of years. Men have been boxing everyday all day for a hundred years. So it will take some time. You will need to bring more young girls into the gym starting at 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. And it would have to be 100,000 of them. If you look at MMA, you don’t have an amateur MMA. You have some of these young men like James Kirkland who had 140 amateur fights, I had 3. My skill level was I was just powerful as hell, I didn’t know how to actually box in the beginning. I was just punching them, the skill level wasn’t there. You will have one or two females that are really skillful, but who are they gonna box to get better. MMA is just more exciting because you kick and throw people on the ground and whatever. But people tuned into a fighter like me because I put people to sleep.
Boxing Insider: Who are some of your favorite fighters?
Ann Wolfe: Its gonna sound weird, but Glenn Johnson is one of my favorite fighters, because he was one of those throwback fighters that could lose a fight, and then come back and win. I like Andre Ward, I like Alfredo Angulo, he had a great passion. Most people would think that I don’t like Floyd Mayweather, but I like Floyd. He understood on how to keep winning, I don’t care what anyone says, he kept the passion in his boxing and in his training to win. A lot of people lose that. They get the money and they don’t want to train and Mayweather trained the same as when he had no money and persisted to win. And my favorite fighter is the greatest fighter to ever walk on this earth, and that is Sugar Ray Robinson.
Boxing Insider: Do you expect a call from the Hall of Fame pretty soon?
Ann Wolfe: No, I am already inducted into the female boxing hall of fame and I don’t know if the International Boxing Hall of Fame has any females in it. I don’t know and if I don’t, I’m ok with it. At this time in my life I understand that. I never want to say I’m the greatest fighter as a female, but if you go back and look at my career. I have 3 or 4 amateur fights and in two and a half years I cleaned out the entire, from welterweight to Super Heavyweight. Everybody doesn’t understand that I was going down to 152, up to 175, down to 168. I was a pure Jr. Middleweight and everybody I fought at Jr. Middleweight I put to sleep. If you look at what I was doing and how I did it, I just don’t see no one doing what I did. I held and defended 8 titles in 4 different weight classes. That is like a 106 pounder fighting someone at 175. If I would have just stayed at Jr. Middleweight I wouldn’t have made it exciting, because I’m 150lbs and I’m fighting the Super Heavyweight champion of the world and knocking her out. That’s what people don’t realize, we were never the same size. So I was putting middleweights, Light heavy’s, heavies and Super Heavy’s to sleep. And it got to a point where no one would fight me, so I retired. I will never box again because I went 2 years and no one would fight me at all, zero. That’s when I started training fighters.
Boxing Insider: So what is next for Ann Wolfe? Will we see you return to training fighters or is acting now a serious thing?
Ann Wolfe: I really want to turn toward the acting, because I liked it and a lot of kids can get, what people don’t realize I have put 160 kids through school. I had a gym full of children. Some of those kids slept in the gym. Some of those kids lived in the gyms. I went to those kids schools. I think with the training, I can’t make a fighter have that passion that I have, and it takes years to develop a fighter. Right now I don’t have it in my heart to pour out all of me into that one person, because you don’t know if they are gonna have that same passion when it’s time to have it. I’ve never trained anyone that I haven’t known as a child. I knew Kirkland when he was 12. Every one of them I started training when they were kids. This is not about just the fight game for me. It is a sport for troubled children that are drawn to violence and that type of life. Boxing has that violence part in it, but it also has structure and dedication and the whole nine yards. You get that little bit of violence that you were drawn towards, but it can save a lot of kids.
Boxing Insider: Whatever happened to Vonda Ward after that famous KO?
Ann Wolfe: She had to go to the hospital. I sent a lot of ladies to the hospital. If you go and look at my record, a lot of the people I knocked out never fought again, or maybe one time and that was it. Valerie Mahfood was my only loss and I came back and beat her twice. She said that was the hardest she had ever been hit in her natural life, man or woman.