PBC on Fox Results: Omar Figueroa, Jr., Marcus Browne & Adam Kownaci Win at Nassau Coliseum
PBC on Fox Results: Omar Figueroa, Jr., Marcus Browne & Adam Kownaci Win at Nassau Coliseum
By: Ken Hissner
PBC on FOX Network featured 3 major fights at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, Saturday.
In the main event returning after 19 months former champion now at welterweight Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr., 27-0-1 (19), of Weslaco, TX, returning after 11 months stopped southpaw former champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, 33-6-1 (18), of Gilroy, CA, at 1:30 of the second round.
In the opening round Guerrero won the inside fighting over slow starting Figueroa. In the second round Figueroa hurt Guerrero with a left uppercut to the chin. Seconds later Figueroa dropped Guerrero who came back strong only to be dropped again with a short right uppercut to the chin. In the third round Figueroa twice dropped Guerrero forcing referee Ron Lipton to halt the fight. The second knockdown was a questionable border line punch.
“We followed the game plan especially the right uppercut. The fun part of boxing is that he came fighting back between knockdowns. I want to fight at 140 in the future,” said Figueroa. It was an action packed fight.
In the co-feature light heavyweight 2012 Olympian southpaw “Sir” Marcus Browne, 20-0 (15), of Staten Island, NY, halted Seanie Monaghan, 28-1 (17), of Long Beach, NY, at 1:40 of the second round.
In the opening round after 40 seconds a lead left from Browne on the forehead of Monaghan dropped him. Being over anxious Browne landed a slightly low left hook punch giving Monaghan several minutes to re-coup. Browne had his jab continuously in the face of Monaghan. In the second round a solid right hook from Browne to the head started a dozen unanswered punches to the head and body of Monaghan who was up against the ropes defenseless forcing referee Steve Willis to halt the fight.
“I had to do what I had to do. Start with the jab and follow up with the rest. I started with the jab and landed a right hook. I want to thank God for keeping us safe along with Al Haymon. I want to fight Adonis Stevenson next and bring the belt back to New York”, said Browne. It was an ill advised fight for the Monaghan camp to take. He was a easy target setting up Monaghan with his jab and the rest is history.
Heavyweight southpaw Artur “SzpilaThe Pin” Szpilka, 20-3 (15), of Wieliczka, POL and Houston, TX, was stopped at 1:30 of the fourth round by Adam “Baby Face” Kownaci, 16-0 (13), of Lomza, POL, and Brooklyn, NY.
In the first two rounds Kownaci landed the harder and a much larger amount of punches while Szpilka was on the defense though had a bit more hand speed. Kownaci used his lead right well. In the third round Kownaci continues to force the action. A solid left hook .from Kownaci to the ribs of Szpilka got his attention with 20 seconds left in the round. In the fourth round Kownaci dropped Szpilka with a right, left right to the head. Kownaci jumped on Szpilka who had his arms to his side and taking four solid punches to the head starting with a right from Kownaci having Szpilka defenseless forcing referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. to call a halt.
Omar Figueroa Has a Face That Lies
Omar Figueroa has a Face That Lies
by B.A. Cass
In December of 2012, Golden Boy Promotions called up Omar Figueroa Jr.’s dad to say they had a fight for his son. After his dad got off the phone, he came up to Figueroa Jr. and said, “Guess what?” He looked scared, genuinely scared. “Guess who they want you to fight?”
“Who?” Figueroa Jr. said.
“Remember that kid I told you about?”
Figueroa Jr. remembered all right, mainly because his dad was constantly talking up Michael Perez, the Puerto Rican prospect. He liked the way Perez fought and wished his son could fight more like that. On occasion, he would even compare Perez’s artistry in the ring to Michelangelo.
“So what do you think?” his dad said.
“What do you mean, ‘what do I think’?”
“Well, would you fight him?
“Why the hell not?”
“I believe you can,” his dad told him.“But that’s a tough fight. You haven’t really been training.”
Technically, Figueroa had been training. But he had just celebrated his 23rdbirthday, and he was also going out at night and having a goodtime. Figueroa’s dad, who was his trainer at the time, believed in his son’s abilities but was concerned about his conditioning. Add on to this the fact that the proposed fight with Perez was slated for January 6th, only several weeks away.
“Let’s take it,” Figueroa Jr. said. It sounded like a bad ass fight to him.
So Omar Figueroa Sr. called Golden Boy back and then he reached out to Perez’s camp, who used an intermediary to make sure that Figueroa Jr. knew who he was going up against. “They want to make sure that you’re sure about taking the fight,” the intermediary said. “Does Omar know who Perez is?”
The answer was obvious. After all, as Figueroa Jr. says now, “I knew because my dad had been on his nut for the past year.”
“Well, you know, they just want to make sure you knew who he was. They figured you took the fight because you weren’t sure who he was.”
That’s when his father realized the Perez team was just fucking with them. And once the fight was arranged, he said to his son, “Alright, now you got to kick his ass.”
“Yeah, I know,” Figueroa Jr. said. “I’m gonna fuck him up.”
Long before the fight with Perez, Figueroa Jr. had been looking for a place to train because he and his dad weren’t getting along at all. That’s how Joel Diaz came into the picture. Golden Boy Promotions showed Diaz a video of one of Figueroa Jr.’s fights and asked if he would help prepare him. At that time, Diaz was training a couple of young kids who were tough professional fighters. And when he saw those videos of Figueroa Jr., Diaz recalls thinking, “Eh, any of my boys will beat him. I don’t see anything special about him.” But he agreed to meet with them anyway.
And so, two days before Christmas, father and son traveled from Weslaco, their small Texas town on the border of Mexico, and joined Joel Diaz at his training camp in Indio, California. “I’ll never forget it because I still talk about it today,” recalls Diaz. “He came to the gym, and I started working with him. Wow, was I wrong. He has a style that really works for him. He’s very explosive; he has a lot of power, he can hit. From that point on, I was like, OK, I can work with him.” Diaz prepared Figueroa Jr. for a tough fight against Perez, which to the surprise of many he won when Perez’s corner threw in the towel after the 6th round.
According to Diaz, his relationship Figueroa Jr. got better every time, every fight. But in 2014, Figueroa Jr. decided to resume training in Texas with his dad so he could live close to family. A lot has been made of that decision and even more has been made of his year and a half hiatus from the sport. After all, it’s uncommon for such a young fighter to take so much time off. But it wasn’t simply the injuries that forced him to take a break. “I’d been dragging,” Figueroa explains. “It got to the point where I was kind of annoyed. I was starting to dislike what I was doing. I attribute that to the injuries I was having because they weren’t letting me enjoy my job. I mean not being able to train, missing weight, knowing that I wasn’t a hundred percent going into the ring with these guys, it weighed heavily on me. Mentally I was in a very bad place.”
Omar Figueroa Jr.’s last professional fight occurred in 2015 when he faced Antonio Demarco, a fight he won by unanimous decision. For much of the fight, Figueroa overwhelmed his opponent. In the first two rounds alone, Figueroa Jr. threw close to 300 punches. And it took until the end of the 3rd round for DeMarco to finally let his hands go. That’s when he caught Figueroa Jr. with a solid right hook. Figueroa Jr. stepped back and, before coming back in with his left hand, he paused a moment and smiled. We all know boxers taunt each other with their smiles, often using their smile to cover up the fact that a punch has landed and they’ve been hurt. But Figueroa Jr.’s smile wasn’t like that. His smile seemed remarkably innocent, like he was happy, if not just a bit surprised, that a real fight was starting up. Here was a young man who looked like he was having fun.
Figueroa Jr. makes his long-anticipated return to the ring this Saturday in a fight against Robert Guerrero at the Nassau Coliseum in Unionville, Long Island. Guerrero’s been dismissed by many as a fading fighter clearly past his prime, a fighter who has lost four out of his last six fights. Still, Figueroa isn’t taking him for granted and is prepared for a hard ten rounds. “Knowing I’m getting into the ring with someone like Guerrero, it brings the nerves back, a little bit, being out so long,” Figueroa says. “And I know it’s not an easy fight at all. It brings the nerves back, and I miss that feeling.”
Figueroa Jr. might strike some as being too polite to be a fighter—and perhaps a bit too nice looking. Joel Diaz, who has again come on board as his trainer, is the first to admit that his champion has a baby face. “You see the face of Omar Figueroa and you don’t think he has the heart that he has. His face is not suitable for his heart. It’s very deceptive. But he’s never been dropped. The more you hit him, the more he’s on you.” Anyone who has seen Figueroa Jr. fight knows that this is true.
Can we expect to see anything different from Figueroa Jr? Aside from feeling healthy, strong, and rested, Diaz doesn’t think so. “Omar’s never going to change,” Diaz says. “He’s never going to change his style of fighting. His strategy’s never going to change. He’s always going to be the same.” However, Figueroa Jr. believes his time away from boxing has matured him as a fighter. And Diaz admits he’s been working with Figueroa to improve his defense, so we perhaps we’ll get a glimpse of a smarter Figueroa Jr. on Saturday night.
The Figueroa Jr. vs. Guerrero fight might not be the match up of the year, but it will be fun to watch.As Diaz says, “Styles makes fights.” And the style of both these fights is not going to leave room for a lot of space. Diaz doesn’t expecteitherfighter to go back. “They’re both going to be in the ring and crash on the inside,” he says. “They’ll exchange in the middle of the ring from the beginning bell to the end.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Figueroa, Guerrero, Shields, Caballero, Negrete, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Figueroa, Guerrero, Shields, Caballero, Negrete, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 23rd to May 30th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Former World Champions Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero to Meet in Welterweight Brawl
A matchup between exciting former world champions Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KOs) and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-5-1, 18 KOs) headlines an action-packed night of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, July 15 in the first boxing event at the newly-renovated NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from the first boxing event at the Coliseum since Mike Tyson headlined in 1986.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and showing fans what I’m known for – exciting fights,” said Figueroa. “I’ve been quietly training and preparing in Indo, California with Joel Diaz and now it’s time. I’m looking forward to a great fight with Robert Guerrero on July 15 in front of a New York crowd. I can’t wait to show everyone at the Coliseum and on FOX and FOX Deportes what ‘Panterita’ is all about.”
“Both me and Omar Figueroa like to bang on the inside, which should make for great entertainment, but Omar is going to find out on July 15 that he’s facing a man who has his back against the wall and is going to leave everything in the ring,” said Guerrero. “I’m going to give the millions who’ll be watching on FOX and FOX Deportes a fight to remember. This is going to be a classic Mexican war and I’m coming out on top.”
The FOX and FOX Deportes broadcast will see unbeaten contender “Sir” Marcus Browne (19-0, 14 KOs) battling undefeated Long Island native and fan favorite Seanie Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs) in a light heavyweight showdown.
“I have fought more times at Barclays Center than anyone, so it’s exciting to get to fight in a new venue not too far from home,” said Browne. “We might be in Seanie’s immediate backyard, but I’m just down the block, so he really isn’t any more at home than I am. I know he’s a hard-nosed fighter with a come-forward style. I’m preparing for a tough opponent. A win won’t come easy, but we have to take care of business. I am just ready to display my talent on national television and continue my climb toward a world title.”
“It is a dream come true to be fighting at the Coliseum, which is literally right next to the track where I run every day,” said Monaghan. “It is an honor to represent Long Island in the first boxing event held at this venue in 31 years. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time, and I feel that this bout will bring a new chapter in my career. I have a lot of respect for Marcus Browne, but let the best man win. On July 15, I am putting everything on the line.”
Also televised in prime time, Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs)meets Adam Kownacki (15-0, 12 KOs) in an all-Polish heavyweight showdown that promises fireworks.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and give my fans another exciting fight,” said Szpilka. “With two Polish heavyweights fighting, you know there will be power and pride on display. I’m training harder than ever to get this victory in front of the great Polish fans in New York. This will be my first step towards getting back to fighting for the heavyweight world title.”
“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Kownacki. “Most of my past fights were at Barclays Center, so fighting at the Coliseum will be a new and exciting experience. I am training very hard. A win on July 15 puts me one step closer to becoming a world champion. Szpilka will not stand in my way.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale Thursday, May 25 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE beginning Friday, May 26 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.
“Boxing’s grand return to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is going to be wall-to-wall action,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes main event between Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero is destined to be a bloody slugfest. The co-featured bout between Staten Island’s light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne and Long Island’s undefeated ‘Irish Rocky’ Seanie Monaghan will bring the heat on a summer night in Long Island. While Marcus and Seanie will bring in a big local crowd, the heavyweight grudge match between Poland’s Artur ‘The Pin’ Szpilka and Polish American Long Islander, by way of Brooklyn, Adam ‘Baby Face’ Kownacki will pack the house with Polish fans. As a Long Islander, I am proud to promote the first fight card at Nassau Coliseum in 31 years. July 15 will be a fun, action-packed night of boxing entertainment from beginning to end; the remainder of the card will be stacked with old-school brawls including local talent.”
“The Coliseum has a rich history in boxing, having hosted notable fights with the likes of Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Gerry Cooney, among others,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “We are thrilled to build on the sport’s heritage on Long Island, and to bring boxing back to the venue 31 years later with a major event on network television.”
A high volume puncher with an exciting style, Figueroa has returned to training with Joel Diaz in California leading up to this fight and looks to make his presence felt on July 15. Representing Weslaco, Texas, Figueroa is undefeated since turning pro in 2008 and won a lightweight world title by defeating Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 Fight of the Year standout. He followed that victory up with successful defenses against Jerry Belmontes and Daniel Estrada. The 27-year-old most recently defeated former world champions Ricky Burns and Antonio DeMarco in his last two outings.
Born and raised in Gilroy, Calif., Guerrero is always in exciting contests having gone toe-to-toe with Danny Garcia in a FOX main event in 2016 and Keith Thurman sandwiched around a hard fought victory over Aron Martinez. Prior to 2015, the 34-year-old picked up victories over Andre Berto, Secluk Aydin and Michael Katsidis while winning world titles in multiple divisions. The brawling warrior has been in several “Fight of the Year” candidates throughout his career, including a memorable brawl in Southern California with Yoshihiro Kamegai in 2014, and he also challenged former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
The undefeated Browne enters this fight after an electrifying performance in February that saw him drop former title challenger Thomas Williams Jr. before knocking him out in round six. The 26-year-old defeated previously unbeaten Radivoje Kalajdzic in April 2016 after a big 2015 that saw him defeat veteran contenders Gabriel Campillo, Aaron Pryor Jr., Francisco Sierra and Cornelius White. The 2012 U.S. Olympian fights out of Staten Island, New York after an exceptional amateur career that saw him win the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship at light heavyweight.
One of the most popular fighters representing Long Island, Monaghan looks to solidify his first world title shot when he faces Browne on July 15. Monaghan competed in the 2009 New York Golden Gloves before turning pro, reaching the final before dropping a memorable contest to fellow Long Island-native Joe Smith Jr. He has yet to taste defeat in as a professional while battling a slew of veterans eager to test his championship mettle. Monaghan added two more victories in 2016 as he stopped Janne Forsman in five rounds and beat Fernando Castanedo in December.
The always entertaining Szpilka returns to the ring after a defeat at the hands of heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder in 2016 as he attempts to get back on the path towards world title contention. The aggressive-minded 6-foot-3 Szpilka, had a four-fight win streak entering the Wilder bout as he picked up a 10-round unanimous decision over former cruiserweight world champion Tomasz Adamek in 2014 and stoppage victories over Yasmany Consuegra, Manuel Quezada and Ty Cobb in 2015.
A two-time New York Golden Gloves champion, five of Kownacki’s last six victories have come at Barclays Center and he now hopes to bring that winning mindset to the Coliseum. Originally from Poland but now living in Brooklyn, Kownacki stopped previously once-beaten Joshua Tufte in January of this year after 2016 saw him earn a stoppage of Jesse Barboza in June and a decision over Danny Kelly in January. He will take on the toughest test of his career in his countryman Szpilka.
Undercard Announced for Next Detroit Brawl Show at Masonic Temple Featuring the Return to Michigan of Claressa Shields
The undercard has been announced for promoter Dmitriy Salita blockbuster “Detroit Brawl” on Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit and it features an impressive mix of local and international prospects in high-stakes match-ups.
Thus far, five exciting bouts are scheduled in support of the eight-round main event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, Michigan, taking on Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship and the 10-round co-main event between undefeated Detroit cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (9-0, 4 KOs) and Detroit via Russia’s Alexey Zubov (14-1, 9 KOs).
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats $100, Floor Seating $100 & $55, and balcony seating $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
In the night’s main supporting bout, undefeated welterweight pulverizer Bakhtiyar Eyubov (12-0, 10 KOs) of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan, will look to stay busy waiting for his next high-profile step, as he attempts to inflict his crowd-pleasing style on always-tough Cesar Soriano (27-35-1, 16 KOs) Iztacalco, Mexico, over six rounds.
In another of the chief supporting bouts, Detroit’s rising talent and “Great Lakes King” Ja’Rico O’Quinn (6-0, 5 KOs) returns to action in a six-round bantamweight brawl against David Martino (2-2, 2 KOs) of San Felipe, Mexico.
Also scheduled is an all-action six-round super welterweight battle between Antonio Urista (7-2, 2 KOs) of Lansing, Michigan, and highly decorated former amateur star Serdar Hudayberdiyev (3-0, 2 KOs) of Turkmenabat, Turkey.
Opening the night will be a six-round super lightweight tilt between Staten Island, New York via Kazakhstan’s Dimash Niyazov (10-0-3, 4 KOs) and Grand Rapids, Michigan, veteran Ramon Guevara (10-24-2, 6 KOs); as well as a four-round welterweight bout between undefeated Jacob Bonas (2-0-1, 1 KO) of Bellville, Michigan, and Clinton Township, Michigan’s Tony Brooks (1-1).
“This is an exciting show from top to bottom,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “Every fight has been chosen for its excitement level. I am proud to be presenting it to the boxing savvy fans of Detroit, America’s comeback city and home for world-class boxing.”
More fights, opponents and rounds will be announced shortly. On fight night, doors open at 7:00 pm and the fights begin at 8:00 pm.
Irvin Gonzalez Starting to Make Waves in Super Featherweight Division
New England’s top prospect with 10 pro fights of less, undefeated hometown favorite Irvin Gonzalez, is on a fast track going into his June 10th headline fight in the third installment of the “New England’s Future” series, at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 3” is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
The 21-year-old Gonzalez (6-0, 6 KOs) takes on Raul Lopez (10-2-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx (NY), in an eight-round main event for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) All-American super featherweight championship.
Pro boxing returns to the DCU Center for the first time in 11 years, ironically, when promoter Jose Antonio Rivera defeated Alejandro Garcia, by way of a 12-round unanimous decision, for the World Boxing Association (WBA) World super welterweight title.
“I am excited to watch Irvin’s boxing career flourish,” promoter Jose Rivera remarked. “He has all the tools to become a world champion. Fighting for the UBF championship will be the first of many and I am glad that we are able to give him this opportunity. I see big things for Irvin and I hope fans come out Saturday night, June 10th, to support him and the other local boxers.”
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Gonzalez said. “I’m blessed to be fighting in Worcester for my first title. It’s not a big title but it’s like taking baby steps to a world title. Since I started boxing at the Boys & Girls Club, I always wanted to be like Jose, a three-time world champion. Now, it’s my turn, and I’m fighting again in my city.”
Gonzalez has a perfect pro record: six rights, six wins by knockout. However, he’s only had fought a grand total of eight rounds, and June 10th he’s in a scheduled eight-round match. The well-spoken youngster isn’t concerned with the step up in rounds and opposition.
“I’ve been asked about that by a lot of media, trainers and other fighters,” he explained. “I’ve always trained like it’s for a world title fight, 12 rounds, so I’m not worried about going into deep water. I’m in magnificent shape, three weeks before the fight, and even in the amateurs I’ve always gotten stronger as the fight went along. In sparring, I get stronger, so going eight isn’t a problem for me.
“I don’t really know much about my opponent. He won a few national titles but hasn’t fought too often. I’ll see what he brings into the ring and then adjust. I know I’m taller.”
Gonzalez learned a lot when he was a sparring partner for Guillermo Rigondeaux in Florida that was supposed to be a six-week training camp that ended after three weeks due to Rigondeaux’ fight being cancelled.
“I learned a lot about different training methods that I now use,” Irvin continued. “His techniques are phenomenal. I was around a world champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist and I saw his work ethic. After all he’s accomplished, he still has a great work ethic, and I learned from him that a fighter need continue working like he does until the day it’s all over. It’s not all about money, it’s having fun every day, doing what we love.”
Randy Caballero to put NABF Super Bantamweight Title on the Line Against Oscar Negrete
Undefeated NABF Super Bantamweight Champion and Coachella native Randy “El Matador” Caballero (24-0, 14 KOs) will make his first title defense close to home as he takes on Los Angeles’ Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete (16-0, 6 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in a 10-round main event for the June 30th edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
This marks the 50th show that Golden Boy Promotions has put on at Fantasy Springs.
Former IBF and WBO Featherweight Champion, Mexican actor and circus performer Jorge “El Maromero” Paez (79-14-5, 51 KOs) will be the VIP guest for this June 30th Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card. Best known for a fight career spanning nearly 20 years and three weight divisions, Paez faced many of the boxing greats in the 1990’s including Oscar De La Hoya, Genaro Hernandez, Rafael Ruelas and Jesus Chavez. As the VIP guest of the night, Paez will be in attendance for the fights and will be on hand to meet fans; sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN broadcast begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes at 10 P.M. EST/7 P.M. PST
Caballero, a former IBF Bantamweight World Champion, looked impressive coming back after a long layoff on the inaugural edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN in March, taking a unanimous decision off of a game and rugged Jesus Ruiz. Now, Caballero takes on an undefeated fighter for only the second time in his career.
“I’ve told everyone who will listen that my goal is to regain a world championship belt, and this is another step on that path,” Caballero said. “I know my opponent is undefeated, but he’s never been in the ring with anyone close to my ability, and I’m confident that I’m going to take his “0” on June 30.”
Negrete has built a solid resume culminating with a shutout, unanimous decision over Victor Ruiz on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas.
“I’m excited to compete for my first regional belt, especially on ESPN,” Negrete said. “People may overlook me, but after June 30, everyone will know that I am a force in the super bantamweight division.”
In the co-main event, standout amateur and WBC Youth Super Featherweight Champion Lamont Roach, Jr. (13-0, 5 KOs) of Washington, D.C. will defend his title for the first time against a soon-to-be-named opponent in a 10-round scrap.
Hoping to make TV time, heavy-handed Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (4-0, 3 KOs) from San Diego, California, returns to Fantasy Springs for the first time since knocking an opponent clear out of the ring last September. This time, he will take on Miguel Barajas (2-2, 1 KO) from Guadalajara, Mexico in a six-round match-up of super featherweights.
On the non-televised portion of the card, lightweight contender Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (18-0, 11 KOs) of Chattanooga, Tennessee will bring his unblemished record to the desert in an eight-round fight against a soon-to-be-named opponent.
Welterweight KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (16-1-1, 7 KOs) will look to come back from the first loss of his career when he takes on Dennis “The Spartan” Dauti (14-2, 7 KOs) of Naousa, Greece in an eight-round affair.
Hot off his professional debut, standout amateur Luis Feliciano (1-0) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga will be back in action for a six-round super lightweight showdown against Baltazar Ramirez (3-2, 3 KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
And opening up the card, Philadelphia native Damon “No Smilin” Allen (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will put his undefeated record on the line in an eight-round match-up of lightweights against a soon-to-be-named opponent.
Tickets for the event will go on sale Friday, May 26 start at $25 and will be available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.FantasySprings.com
Omar “Super O” Douglas Robbed by Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry!
Omar “Super O” Douglas Robbed by Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry!
By: Ken Hissner
At the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, Tuesday night “the 3 Blind Mice” in a Kings Promotion Omar “Super O” Douglas of Wilmington, DE, got robbed while Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry of the Bahamas now out of Wauchula, FL, got an “early Christmas present”. If the Boxing Director Greg Sirb doesn’t at least check judge Morgan’s 98-92 there is something rotten in Denmark! “Sirb said they are all world class judges when I questioned the scoring,” said Mr. Douglas.
In the main event super lightweight Omar “Super O” Douglas, 17-2 (12), of Wilmington, DE, was robbed when Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry, 36-7-2 (19), of the Bahamas now out of Wauchula, FL, was given the 10 round decision.
In the opening round Cherry controlled with hard rights to the head of Douglas until the latter started going to the jab and body. In the second round Douglas adjusted well in another good round of boxing. He landed several nice overhand rights to the head as Cherry would go to his own left. In the third round with Cherry chasing Douglas showed good movement landing right hands following an effective jab. Two of Philly’s top trainers “Bozy” Ennis and “The Breadman” were calling out instructions. The trainer of Douglas is Doug Pettiford.
In the fourth round Douglas was moving up and down throwing Cherry off. It’s been a very competitive fight but Cherry seems to have problems with the movement of Douglas. In the fifth round Douglas landed a power jab that snapped Cherry’s head back. This was a major test for Douglas coming off his first loss in his last fight. In the sixth round a Douglas left hook to the body drove Cherry back several steps. A solid lead right by Douglas on the chin of Cherry got his attention. At the bell a Douglas left hook to the chin almost dropped Cherry.
In the seventh round both landed left hooks at the same time. Douglas is now chasing Cherry starting to land a jab to the body and a left hook to the head driving Cherry back several steps at the bell. In the eighth round Cherry is back to chasing knowing he is behind late in the fight. Cherry landed a hard right after the bell for the second straight round without warning from referee Gary Rosato.
In the ninth round it was first Douglas then Cherry who landed hard rights to the head. Douglas continued to work the ring very well with Cherry very slow afoot. In the tenth and final round both fighters continued another round of Cherry chasing but walking into counters by Douglas. In the final 10 seconds both went all out trying to steal the round.
When it was announced judge Kevin Morgan had it 98-92 this writer agreed not even considering he had voted for Cherry while Steve Weisfeld and Ron McNair had it 96-94. This writer had Douglas the winner 98-92. This show should be under investigation by Sirb.
In the first televised bout super featherweight southpaw Frank Santos DeAlba, 22-2-2 (9), of Reading, PA, won a controversial decision over Ryan “Polish Prince” Kielczewski, 26-3 (8), of Quincy, MASS, over 8 rounds in a good match-up. Once again it took too long for the scores.
In the opening round DeAlba was the aggressor working nice behind a jab while Kielczewski was countering well at times holding his hands too low but a little faster hand speed than DeAlba. In the second round with hands low and slipping punches Kielczewski rocked DeAlba with a lead right to the chin. In the third round it turned out to be the best up to that point for DeAlba who got his shots in as much as Kielczewski. The locals are trying to urge DeAlba on but he doesn’t need it being the professional he is. In the fourth round it was DeAlba landing a good combination to the head of Kielczewski who kept it in the middle of the ring and paid the price. Halfway through the round Kielczewski was back on moving more.
In the fifth round it was back and forth with Kielczewski having a good round being the faster of the two. In the sixth round Kielczewski with hands down stands in front of DeAlba daring him to hit him on the chin while countering DeAlba. In the seventh round the action picked up even more with both exchanging punches mostly to the head. De Alba knowing he is behind coming out for the eighth and final round knew he needs it bad. Within 30 seconds both butted heads. DeAlba is swinging for the fences as Kielczweski uses the ring with an occasional counter right to the head of DeAlba. It was a big round for DeAlba.
Judge McNair had it 80-72 and must have been watching the round card girls instead of the fight. Both Weisfeld and Morgan had it 77-75. This writer also had it 77-75 but for Kielczweski. Rosata was the ref.
Super lightweight Naim “The Dream” Nelson, 13-3 (1), of Philly, lost to southpaw Tre’Sean Wiggins, 8-3 (6), of Newburgh, NY, by technical decision at 0:34 of round 5 due to an accidental head butt forcing the judges to go to the score cards.
In the opening round Nelson seemed reluctant fighting a southpaw in Wiggins who did enough to take the round. In the second round Nelson was a little busier but Wiggins jab seemed to still take the round. In the third round Nelson used a good body attack when he had Wiggins against the ropes. Otherwise Wiggins seemed to be continuing to control in the middle of the ring.
In the fourth round Nelson’s right eye started to swell from right hooks by Wiggins. Nelson kept coming forward but Wiggins countered him well causing a cut over the right eye of Nelson. In the fifth round the cut was bad enough that referee Esteves, Jr., stopped the action and brought Nelson to his corner to get checked and the ring physician stopped the fight. The cut was caused by an accidental head butt. They went to the score cards and all 3 judges had it 50-45 as did this writer.
Featherweight Stephen “Scooter” Fulton, 11-0 (5), of Philly, returned to action after 9 months winning a action packed match over southpaw Luis “Zurdo” Rosario, 8-1-1 (7), of Cidra, PR, over 8 rounds.
In the opening round Fulton showed the skills the Philly fans were used to seeing. He easily handled Rosario. His lead right hands to the mid-section were something to watch. His quickness had Rosario on the defense with hands held high. In the second round Fulton continued doing well until halfway through the round when Rosario landed his best punch of the fight landing a straight left to the head of Fulton. It didn’t take long for Fulton to be back in control though it was Rosario’s best round of the first two.
In the audience supporting Fulton were Frank Carto (whose 8-0 son Christian followed Fulton into the ring), Philly’s top trainer Bozy Ennis ( with his unbeaten son Jaron “Boots” Ennis following Fulton into the ring) and unbeaten Todd Unthankmay coming off a March 11th draw. Also former WBC 2-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and his father/trainer Angel were at ringside.
In the third round Rosario started getting to Fulton more though it was relatively even halfway through the round. The second half of the round was Rosario’s. In the fourth round Fulton was getting pinned on the ropes and on the defense for most of the round. Rosario was landing power punches to the head.
Fulton was able to equal the power of Rosario but had better boxing skills. Fulton hit the canvas but it was ruled a slip by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., who called it correctly. In the sixth round Fulton returned to take control for the first time since the second round. Keeping his distance is what Fulton did with Rosario still holding his own but not good enough to take the round. In the seventh round it was all Fulton changing his style daring Rosario to hit him while countering well especially to the body hurting Rosario at one point. In the eighth and final round Fulton continued his command of the fight slipping and countering well in return.
Judge Steve Weisfeld had it 79-73, Ron McNair 78-74 and Kevin Morgan out in left field had it 80-72. This writer had it 77-75.
Super featherweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, Jr., 8-0 (5), of Philly, continued his winning ways defeating Wilfredo “Fredito” Garriga, 3-6-1 (2), of Juan Diaz, PR, over 6 rounds of action. Velasquez is out of the Danny “Swift” Garcia stable.
In the opening round Velasquez used a strong right hand to the body and head of Garriga but when he missed it went right over Garriga’s head. In the second round Garriga starting out using his jab but Velasquez was right on him. His jab was more of a range finder rarely landing but his follow-up right was strong to the head and body of Garriga. In the third round the same pattern seemed to follow with Velasquez being the more offensive while Garriga had little offense.
In the fourth round Velasquez had Garriga in the corner landing a number of punches until Garriga forced a clinch. In the fifth and sixth rounds Velasquez continued forcing the action and showed some defensive skills of slipping what little punches Garriga threw.
All 3 Judges had it 58-56 while this writer had it 60-54.
Super middleweight Jimmy Kelleher, 4-0 (3), of Scranton, PA, defeated Jose Valdaramma, 5-19 (3), of Manati, PR, in a well fought 4 rounds.
In the first 2 rounds Kelleher showed some nice skills especially on the offense. In the third round Valdaramma rocked Kelleher who came back gamely. In the fourth and final round the fans were on their feet for this one as both fighters were landing bombs. Kelleher comes from a fighting family with two younger brothers in the amateurs. The fans started chanting “Jimmy, Jimmy” to the exciting young Kelleher.
Judges McNair, Somma and Friscia along with this writer had it 60-54. For some reason it took 5 minutes to add up the scores. Dali was ref.
In the opening bout middleweight Ryan Wilczak, 3-0 (2), of Scranton, PA, stopped Courtney McCleave, 2-7 (1), Concord, NC, at 3:05 of the second round. Even though the bell sounded the referee still counts.
In the opening round McCleave was the aggressor in a close round up until he was hit in the right eye and dropped. He beat the count of referee Dali but his right eye was just about closed. A half a minute later Wilczak landed a right uppercut to the midsection of McCleave knocking him down for a second time in the round. He tried but didn’t beat the count as the bell sounded ending the round.
Super middleweight Devin “The Bearded Assassin” McMaster, 1-1 (0), of Allentown, PA, was stopped by Gregory Clark, 2-1 (1), of D.C. at 1:28 of the fourth and final round.
In the opening round it was Clark with hands to his side for the most part countering with rights to the head while McMaster was the aggressor always coming forward. In the second round it was all Clark dropping McMaster with a long right to the head. He beat the count of referee Dali but continued to take too much punishment.
In the third round it was all Clark almost landing at will. McMaster showed plenty of heart but little defense. In the fourth and final round Clark landed one right hand after another to the head. He pushed McMaster into a neutral corner and landed too many punches to count when referee Dali finally stopped it. Clark did too much showboating for the locals.
Super featherweight Hector Bayanilla, 1-0-1 (1), of Allentown, PA, and Jordan “Da Kid” Peters, 1-0-1 (1), of D.C., fought a war to a majority draw.
In the opening round that had plenty of action Peters jab may have pulled it out. In the second round all hell broke loose as Bayanilla was landing one right hand after another but showed little defense as Peters did his share of landing but not enough to take the round.
In the third round Peters used an effective jab trying to keep Bayanilla at bay. Once again in turned into a war with the Bayanilla fans going wild in a close round. In the fourth and final round both fighters took turns landing haymakers. This fight will be a tough one to follow. By the last 30 seconds Peters was landing the heavier punches.
Judge Mike Somma had it 39-37 for Bayanilla while judges McNair and Weisfeld had it 38-38 as did this writer. The referee was Rosato.
Timekeeper was Fred Blumstein.
Omar Douglas & Edner Cherry at Sands Bethlehem Tuesday!
Omar Douglas & Edner Cherry at Sands Bethlehem Tuesday!
By: Ken Hissner
Kings Promotions will be promoted an event of boxing Tuesday night April 4th featuring in the main event Omar “Super O” Douglas, 17-1 (12), of Wilmington, DE, coming off his first loss to face veteran Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry, 35-7-2 (19), of the Bahamas out of Wauchula, FL, in a 10 round super featherweight match. This will be featured over FS1.
On the undercard will be Readings Frank Santos DeAlba, 21-2-2 in a major bout against Ryan “Polish Prince, 26-2 (8), of Quincy, MASS. Also featured are Naim Nelson, Stephen Fulton and Thomas “TJ” Velasquez all from Philadelphia.
Besides the before mentioned on the undercard are local Jimmy Kelleher and also Ryan Wilczak, Devin McMaster, Juan Sanchez and Hector Ayanilla.
Opening bout is 6:30pm at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.
PBC Card in Philadelphia had its Ups and Downs
PBC Card in Philadelphia had its Ups and Downs
By Eric Lunger
I happened to attend the Danny Garcia vs. Samuel Vargas PBC event Saturday night in Philadelphia. The experience was a pleasure all around, except, unfortunately, for the main event. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first I’ll offer a few observations about watching live boxing in Philadelphia. First off, the Liacouras Center is a wonderful venue; parking, access, concessions, the arena staff – everything was top-notch. And the arena feels small and big at the same time: when seated close to the ring, the blazing lights make you feel like the ring dominates the whole building; but if you wander up to the upper decks, you can sit by yourself in the massive bank of seats looking down on the spectacle. I did so for Garcia’s ring walk, and watching his massive entourage snake its way to the ring between the crowd-control barriers was like watching an ill-intentioned dragon slither out of a burrow.
The crowd was an interesting mix of folks from almost all walks of life. I was surprised and pleased by the congenial and carnival-like atmosphere. Everyone was courteous, in a cheerful mood, and there was a sense of camaraderie in the building, like, “Hey, we’re all here for fight night!” Not the usual Philly sports crowd – I’ve been to a Flyers game where they booed the Zamboni driver. There were well-dressed folks; there were folks in jeans and sweatshirts. There were couples out for date night. It was also very much a home-town night, in so far as the promoters had a done a nice job matching local prospects against good, but not world class opponents. Omar Douglas, from Wilmington, DE, and Jarrett Hurd, from Maryland, were loudly supported by their traveling fans.
There are some interesting things about watching boxing live, as opposed to on TV. First thing I noticed was how tense the crowd was during the bouts. A boxing crowd goes from tense quiet to an explosion of sound in split-second. A good shot or big punch is immediately punctuated by a crowd reaction. But most of the time, the crowd is tensely observing the action, with occasional members yelling instructions to the fighters, which I doubt they hear. A corollary of the relative quiet is that the punches are audible. A “thudding” punch is not just a cliché – its real. Second thing I noticed was that I didn’t miss having TV commentators interpret the fight for me. I had to really focus on what was going on in the ring and I had to rely on my own interpretation of who won that round, or why so-and-so stopped using his jab, or where a certain fighter’s strength lay. It made for a much more immersive and active experience.
Watching boxing live also underscores how dangerous boxing really is, and why defensive boxing is such an art. The punches are fast, accurate, and hard. Javier Fortuna in the first round of the first televised undercard made one error, and Omar Douglas caught him with a brutal hook inside: Fortuna went down like he had been shot in the head. From then on, Fortuna fought from the outside, boxed, jabbed, moved, and never again got in range of that short hook. That bout developed, after the first round knock down, into a classic battle between a come-forward puncher (Douglas) and a dancing, southpaw boxer (Fortuna). Fortuna edged out Douglas on the cards and the crowd was not happy with the decision, though I think it was correct.
The second undercard was entertaining and compelling as well, but for other reasons. Jarrett Hurd is a talented and fundamentally trained boxer with a complete skill set. He is also a big super welterweight – keep you eye on him in the future. His opponent, a very tough and very professional Jo Jo Dan, took a lot of punishment, landed a number of his own shots, but didn’t have the power at this weight to do damage. Hurd was patient, methodical, and precise, landing increasing damaging blows through Dan’s defense. The referee called off the bout at the right time, as Dan took more damage without returning fire.
I wish I could say something positive about the main event, as I think the Garcia camp has taken enough abuse in the media, but Samuel Vargas (nothing against him personally) was a gross mismatch. The fact that he lasted seven rounds testifies to his toughness, if nothing else. Garcia blasted him at will. The partisan Garcia fans loved it, but it was lesser end to a better undercard. It was a shame because the Liacouras Center is a great venue to watch boxing, and the undercard deserved a better main event.