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The Brothers Canizales Put Laredo, Texas on the Map!


The Brothers Canizales Put Laredo, Texas on the Map!
By: Ken Hissner

Gaby Canizales, 48-8-1 (36), held the WBA and WBO Bantamweight titles while his younger brother Orlando held the IBF Bantamweight, THE IBA Featherweight and the IBC Super bantamweight titles.

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Gaby was born in 1960 and turning professional in 1979 while Orlando was born in 1965 and turning professional in 1984. Both became world champion putting their town of Laredo, Texas, on the map!
Gaby turned professional in Mexico winning his first 3 fights by first round knockouts. In July of 1980 he made his US debut in Laredo scoring a second round knockout. He scored knockouts in his first 9 fights before losing to Mario Nava, 9-3-1, in May of 1981 in their first of two fights. In the re-match in December Gaby defeated Nava, then 13-3-1.

“Gaby was managed by Dr. Luis Mendoza a Laredo physician throughout his early career helped Gaby. He was trained by a Mr. Infante as well as Tony Ayala, Sr. before Jesse (Reid) and then and later worked with Emmanuel Steward (Kronk) at the end of his career winning the Happy Lara bout in spectacular fashion. I worked with him until after the Chandler bout until he went with Kronk,” said Spagnola.

Gaby made his eastern debut in Atlantic City in June of 1982 winning the USBA bantamweight title stopping Diego Rosario, 14-1-1, in 5 rounds. He would go onto win his first 15 fights scoring 10 knockouts earning him a WBA bantamweight title fight against champion “Joltin” Jeff Chandler, 29-0-2, of Philadelphia, in Atlantic City, losing a decision over 15 rounds.

Gaby would bounce back winning 9 straight and 7 by knockout defending his USBA title twice. He stopped Ron Cisneros, 17-3 the fight after losing to Chandler, then stopped James Pipps, 23-0, and in what would be his fourth defense he decision Kelvin Seabrooks, 13-7. Seabrooks would go onto defeat unbeaten 1976 Olympian Louis Curtis and in his next fight win the IBF bantamweight title stopping Miguel Maturana in Colombia, South American, in May of 1987.

On the card where Gaby defeated Seabrooks his brother Orlando made his debut scoring a knockout in 2 rounds. Gaby would get his second chance at the WBA bantamweight title this time against Richie Sandoval, 29-0, who dealt the first and only defeat to Chandler for the title. This one took place on Sandoval’s turf in Las Vegas, NV. Gaby scored knockdowns in the first, third and 3 times in the seventh to take Sandoval’s title in March of 1986 some 3 years since suffering his first loss up until then to Chandler.

In Gaby’s first title defense 3 months later in June at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, he would lose over 15 rounds to Bernardo Pinango, 17-2-2, of Venezuela. He would return to the ring the end of the year and win 4 straight before returning to Mexico losing to Raul Perez, 34-1, being stopped in 9 rounds. It would be the only time Gaby would be stopped in his career of 57 fights. Perez would go onto win the WBC bantamweight title the following year.

Two fights later Gaby would defeat 1976 Olympian Louis Curtis to re-win the USBA title in Atlantic City in November of 1987. In his next fight he would lose that title to Kenny Mitchell, 15-7-3 by a 12 round split decision in Houston, TX. He would come back to win 5 straight of which 4 were in Arizona and the last one in Michigan.

In July of 1989 Gaby would return to Atlantic City and lose to Greg “The Flea” Richardson, 24-4, who would defeat Raul Perez in 1991 for the WBC bantamweight title. It would be Gaby who got a shot at Perez prior to Richardson losing over 12 rounds in their re-match at the Great Western Forum, Inglewood, CA, in January of 1990.

For Gaby he followed with a draw and 3 knockouts to get a shot at the vacant WBO bantamweight title against Miguel “Happy” Lora, 33-1, of Colombia whose only loss was to Raul Perez. The fight took place at the Palace, Auburn Hills, MI, with Gaby gaining a world title for the second time, scoring a second round knockout in March of 1991. Just 3 months later he would fight his final fight in losing to Duke McKenzie, 28-2, in London, UK, over 12 rounds. McKenzie would lose that title in 1992 but go onto win the WBO Super bantamweight title that same year.

By this time Gaby’s brother Orlando, 50-5-1 (37) had made 6 title defenses of his IBF bantamweight title. He had a record 16 as a bantamweight and was never stopped. He was inducted into the IBHOF in 2009. Orlando was having some career since making his debut going 11-0-1 before losing to future world champion and 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Paul Gonzales, 4-0, for his NABF title losing over 12 rounds though having him on the canvas in round 3. It was the first of two bouts they would have but would wait 4 years for that one.

“I recruited Orlando after seeing him in the Texas State Golden Gloves final destroying National contender Brian Lonon from the powerful U.S. Army team in the finals. Orlando’s older brother Rick, a school teacher in Houston area at the time and brought me to meet the family and help him convince I would take care of their youngest son. I agreed to arrange a part time job for their Orlando in case his boxing dream didn’t work out and rather to live with the other fighters in the apartment I had for them so he could live with Rick in his home.The Canizalesfamily are an amazing crew, five boys raised humbly and with incredible support by their parents. All five achieved a minimum of a four year college degree. I could not think of a single championship quality fighter I have ever known with this type of resume, let alone a family legacy. So proud of the fact both brothers I got to work with are great successes in their post-fight careers.Husbands, fathers and careers giving back to their communities,” said Spagnola.
Orlando would go on a 23 fight win streak following the loss taking the NABF flyweight title in November of 1987, and winning the USBA super flyweight title in his next fight stopping Olympian Louis Curtis, 14-2-1, in 2 rounds in Atlantic City. This earned him a IBF world bantamweight title bout with Kelvin Seabrooks, 25-13, who also lost to brother Gaby on the card when Orlando debuted. Orlando was well ahead stopping Seabrooks in the fifteenth and final round.

Four months later Orlando would defend his title at the Freeman Coliseum, in San Antonio, TX, scoring a first round knockout over Miami’s Jimmy Navarro, 20-1, who he had down twice. In June of 1989 he would give Seabrooks a re-match almost 11 months since their first fight stopping Seabrooks, this time in 11 rounds again in Atlantic City.

In January of 1990 Orlando would travel to the UK and defeat the British champion Billy Hardy, 22-4-1, in a 12 round split decision. In June Orlando would finally get a re-match with the only man to have defeated him by this time, Paul Gonzales, 14-1, in El Paso, TX. It would be his fourth defense and he made it a short fight stopping his opponent in the second round on cuts.

Just 2 months later Orlando would knockout the USBA champion Eddie Rangel, 23-4-2, in 5 rounds in Saratoga Springs, New York, in his fifth title defense. After a non-title win he would give Hardy a re-match in Orlando’s home town of Laredo at the Civic Center Arena in May of 1991. Their previous fight was in the UK by split decision. He had Hardy down in the third round and stopped him in the eighth. It was his first return to Laredo since making his debut almost 7 years previously. Before the year was out he made defenses over the NABF champion Fernie Morales, 28-4, of Mexico, in Indio, CA, easily winning over 12 rounds. Unbeaten WBA world super flyweight champion from Japan Katsuya “Spanky-K” Onizuka was in camp with Orlando preparing for a defense of his own. Then at the end of 1991 he stopped British Commonwealth champion Ray Minus, 39-6-1, of the Bahamas, back in Laredo in 11 rounds. It was the third world title try for Minus.

In April of 1992 Orlando made his ninth title defense defeating Colombian Francisco Alvarez, 32-5-4, in Paris, France, over 12 rounds. In his tenth defense he defeated Filipino Samuel Duran, 36-7-1, stopping his 15 fight winning streak. In his eleventh defense he had a close fight with Clarence “Bones” Adams, 26-0-1, before stopping him in the eleventh round in France. All three judges had it 96-94 through 10 rounds. Adams would eventually become the WBA super bantamweight champ.

In Orlando’s twelfth defense in Houston a No Contest in the third round against South Africa’s Derrick Whiteboy, 33-3-1, who was on a 20 fight win streak. It was a clash of heads that caused a badly cut left eye of Orlando’s. The NC was later changed to a TD3. There would never be a re-match. Two fights later Whiteboy lost his South African title.

It would be 5 months before Orlando’s next defense, his thirteenth defense, easily defeating Colombian Juvenal “El Zulu” Berrio, 24-3, in South Africa over 12 rounds. In making his fourteenth defense he stopped Mexican Gerardo Martinez, 29-1, of San Jose, at the San Jose State Events Center in 4 rounds. In his previous fight Martinez defeated Eddie Croft, 18-0, for the WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight title.

In Orlando’s fifteenth defense he stopped Filipino Rolando Bohol, 34-13-3, in the fifth round at the Convention Center in South Padre Island, TX.In his sixteenth defense he defeated 1992 Olympian Sergio Reyes, 10-0, of Ft. Worth, TX, at Martin Field, Laredo, TX. Reyes was knocked down in the third round.
In January of 1995 Orlando attempted to move up to challenge for the WBA World super bantamweight title that Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Vazquez, 41-6-2, was champion. It would be his ninth defense and he was on a 13 fight win streak. The fight was held at the Freeman Coliseum, in San Antonio with Orlando losing by split decision. The two judges that voted against him had it 116-115 and 115-113 while the judge who favored him had it 117-113. He actually had more points than Vazquez when you added them up. It dropped his record to 38-2-1.

In June Orlando couldn’t make the 118 bantamweight anymore so he came in at 135 scoring a second round knockout over Kino Rodriguez, 8-5-2 who came in at 126. In July defeated Johnny Lewus, 16-1, out of Chicago, IL, for the international Boxing Council Super bantamweight title over 12 rounds, in Stateline, NV. Two months later he defended against Danny Aponte, 14-0, of Terrytown, LA, stopping him in 7 rounds, at Biloxi, MS, putting him into retirement.

Two months later Orlando defended against Mexico’s Julio Cesar Portillo, 14-4-1, stopping him in the second round. He would then travel to MSG in New York taking on New York’s Junior Jones, 39-2, the former WBA world bantamweight champion in his third IBC defense and lose by split decision over 12 rounds.Jones would go onto win the WBO super bantamweight title at the end of the year stopping Marco Antonio Barrera’s unbeaten streak at 43-0.

In Orlando’s next fight he won the International Boxing Association featherweight title in a rematch with Sergio Reyes, 11-2, stopping him in 10 rounds, in Chiba, Japan. He would score a pair of stoppages in non-title bouts and in July of 1997 win a majority decision over Dominican Edwin “Lightning” Santana, 22-1-3, in Las Vegas.

Over the next 15 months Orlando would win three non-title bouts as a lightweight. He would move down to super featherweight in December of 1998 and lose at the legendary Blue Horizon, in Philadelphia, to Puerto Rico’s Richard DeJesus, 13-5, out of Wilmington, DE, by majority decision. It was the seventh win in eight fights at the Blue Horizon for DeJesus. The decision was controversial so they would have a rematch. It would be 6 months before they would have a rematch at the Blue with Orlando winning by stopping DeJesus in 6 rounds.

Orlando would end his career in his next fight in September of 1999 in a super featherweight fight losing to Frankie Toledo, 35-3-1, of Paterson, NJ, by split decision. Toledo would go onto win the IBF world featherweight title.

Orlando would end up with a 50-5-2 record with 37 knockouts and was never stopped in those 57 fights. He
won the IBF bantamweight title defending it 16 times. He also won the IBC super bantamweight and the IBA featherweight titles. He was 34 while his brother Gaby retired at age 31 having won both the WBA and WBO bantamweight world titles. All together their combined records were 98-13-3 with 73 knockouts.

“Gaby was a wonderful fighter and very talented. Orlando was the best fighter I worked with,” said Spagnola. Reid added, “Orlando and Gaby were both tremendous fighters. Orlando was the super real deal.”

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Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016


Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
By: Jordan Seward

With the new year approaching it’s time to reflect on the best boxing action of 2016, so in no particular order….

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Orlando Salido vs Francisco Vargas

The two Mexicans treated us to a classic right up to the final bell for Vargas’ (23-0-2) WBC World Super Featherweight title. Vargas, coming off the back of Fight of the Year for 2015 faced a true, steely warrior in the 36-year-old Salido (43-13-4). It was a back-and-fourth slug fest between two champions who don’t know when to quit. In the end the pair couldn’t be separated and the judges correctly scored it a draw.

Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu

The real life rocky story that saw Bellew (28-2-1) finally crowned a world champion. Just after starring in the new rocky film ‘The Bomber’ got his third bite at the cherry facing a dangerous and feared Congolese who had chalked up 18 knockouts in 19 fights. A packed crowed inside his beloved Everton football club’s stadium were stunned when Makabu (19-2) sent Bellew rolling over at the end of the first. The Everton man climbed off the canvas Balboa esque and rallied to stop Makabu in the third with a flourish of heavy punches to claim the vacant WBC World Cruiserweight strap.

Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora

This one had it all. Filled with controversy from the start these two Heavyweights threw everything but the kitchen sink. A table was thrown though. At a press conference. Which, as a result meant the British title wasn’t on the line. But after all the talk, the bad mouthing and the attempted scrapping Whyte (20-1) and Chisora (26-7) done it properly in the ring and fought out a clean and action-packed-12-rounder. Both men were rocked and absorbed a lot of punishment, but Whyte’s superior stamina was just about enough to nick it for him on the judges’ scorecard by split decision.

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Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter

Thurman (27-0) was getting in the ring with probably the best opponent he’s faced. The only man to previously have defeated Porter (26-2-1) was Kell Brook, but, in a fierce competitive fight, Thurman successfully defended his WBA World Welterweight title dishing out Porter’s second loss of his career with a 115-113 unanimous decision. Although the announcement was greeted by booing, the stats suggested Thurman deservedly had his hand raised at the end, landing 43.6% of his punches while his opponent made 35.6%.

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Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev

The fight that everyone scored differently. It was a fight we all wanted as soon as Ward made the jump up from Super-Middleweight. The defensive suave of Ward (31-0) met the aggressive power of ‘The Krusher’ (30-1-1) at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. The American, fighting on home turf, was put down in the second round for only the second time in his illustrious career. But Ward, as Ward does, after falling behind on the cards managed to take the second half of the fight and claim Kovalev’s WBO, IBF and WBA Super World Light Heavyweight titles by unanimous decision.

After Capturing Light Heavyweight Titles, What is Next for Andre Ward?

Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

After unifying his IBF super-bantamweight title by outpointing Scott Quigg, the Northern Irishmen capped off his impressive year by adding Leo Santa Cruz’s (32-1-1) WBA Super World Featherweight belt. ‘The Jackal’ (23-0) jumped up a weight division and battled it out with the Mexican champion in an absolute barn burner. After a hard and punishing 12 rounds it went to the judges’ scorecards and Frampton, was given the nod. Now, just for us, they’re doing it all again at the MGM Grand on the 28th January. Not a bad way to start the new year.

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Hosea Burton vs Frank Buglioni

Words were exchanged between the pair in what was a heated build up to this Light-Heavyweight contest for the British title. But when the fighting started it quickly turned in to a very watchable and enjoyable scrap. Both Burton (18-1) and Buglioni (19-2-1) continuously plowed forwards, in attempts to assert their dominance. They were both taking serious damage and in the twelfth-round Burton’s chickens came home to roost. The 28-year-old was slowing down and deserved to hear the final bell but with just one minute left in the bout Buglioni landed some hurtful blows and the ref waved it off.

Thomas Williams Jr. vs Edwin Rodriguez

A fiery, hard fought contest… while it lasted. At the StubHub Center, on the undercard of Andre Berto’s knockout win against Victor Ortiz, Rodriguez, (28-2) displayed courage, grit, determination, and, a chin. In this two-rounder, it was Williams Jr (20-2) who was landing the more powerful and hurtful shots but a number of times Rodriguez remained upright and proudly came firing back. In the end, it took a monster left hook to knock the resolute 31-year-old out.

Gennady Golovkin vs Kell Brook

As far as unexpected fights go, this one took the biscuit. You couldn’t have called it. This was not a fight many had in mind, but, when it was made it was all the talk. The IBF World Welterweight champion, Brook, jumped up two weight division to face the feared Middleweight kingpin at the O2 Arena. Looking in great shape and as confident as ever the Englishman made a great start to the fight. However, as the fight went on we began to realise Brook wouldn’t be making history as Golovkin’s power started to take its toll and Brook’s trainer, Dominic Ingle threw in the towel stopping proceedings in the fifth round.

Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso

After prizing away the WBA World Lightweight title from Darleys Perez in their second meeting, Crolla, (31-5-3)made his first defence against the man who, effectively, sent world title challenger Kevin Mitchell into retirement. As expected, the Venezuelan (19-1-2) started strong and, typical of a Joe Gallagher fighter, Crolla did not. He absorbed some early punishment and probably lost the first five rounds. It became clear after six though, that Crolla’s tactics were spot on, as the challenger noticeably began to tire. He had thrown all he had and was on empty, Crolla seized his chance and overwhelmed his opponent, eventually stopping him in the seventh.

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A Look At Salido-Miura


A Look At Salido-Miura
By: Brandon Bernica

​This past week, a knuckle-loaded slugfest between veterans Orlando Salido and Takashi Miura was finalized for December 17th. Instantly, the boxing world rejoiced at the pairing, familiar with the intensity with which each man fights with.

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​Salido (43-13-4), the grizzled veteran from Mexico, had made a name for himself for being in all-action fights. His mixed draw with Francisco Vargas this year was considered the fight of this year by many ringside observers. The former two-division champion also holds longstanding rivalries with Juan Manuel Lopez and Roman Martinez, engaging in crowd-pleasing affairs with each man.

​Salido’s biggest win came against one of the greatest amateurs of all-time, Vasyl Lomachenko, in a controversial bout. In Lomachenko’s second pro outing, Salido edged the fight on the cards despite weighing in overweight and firing a string of low blows.

​Meanwhile Miura (30-3-2) shares a common opponent with Salido in Vargas. Miura led much of that fight until Vargas turned the tables and knocked him out in an entertaining finish. Wins over Gamaliel Diaz, Billy Dib, and Sergio Thompson punctuate the Japanese fighter’s solid career. His only other loss came at the hands of his native rival Takashi Uchiyama in Japan.

​Salido-Miura promises nothing but non-stop action. Both fighters thrive on wearing their opponents out in grueling wars of attrition. The caveat here is that each man has also shown vulnerability in past fights. Both men are open to be hit and have been knocked out in the past. You can all but guarantee the fight will either be a long, taxing battle or a quick, explosive fight.

​One angle of the promotion I would love to see uncovered is the budding rivalry between Japan and Mexico. Both countries sport fighting cultures that celebrate fighting with guts and gusto, pressing forward until your opponent calls mercy. With classic fights between the two countries in recent years such as Arakawa-Figueroa, Kamegai-Soto Karass and Miura-Vargas, the evidence begs the question: why don’t we explore this rivalry more? Clearly, it works, and it can expose U.S. fans to a rich boxing scene in Japan that often flies under the radar.

​2016 has been rough for boxing, to say the least. Fighters continue to rot in the throes of inactivity, pining for an opportunity to advance their careers. Just as we’re about to lose all the hope attached to our boxing fandom, we get fights like this one that restore our faith in the sport. We recall those earliest of fights in our memories that drew us to the action in the ring, a grotesque display of fisticuffs that, for some reason, we can’t take our eyes off of. If Salido-Miura fails to meet our expectations, boxing in 2016 will end much like how it played out throughout the year: disappointingly.

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HBO PPV Undercard Results: De La Hoya and Diaz Win Easily, Monroe Decisions Rosado


HBO PPV Undercard Results: De La Hoya and Diaz Win Easily,
By: William Holmes

Golden Boy Promotions and HBO put on a four fight pay per view card tonight live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Diego De La Hoya (15-0) , the nephew of Oscar De La Hoya, opened up the card in the division against Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2) in the super bantamweight division. This bout was for the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight Championship.

De La Hoya was seven years younger than Del Valle and was taking a big step up in competition. De La Hoya was looking for his straight right counter early in the first round but was able to find range with his jab. Del Valle was knocked stumbling backwards into the corner in the middle of the round from a three punch combination, and the few punches he landed didn’t phase De La Hoya.

The second and third rounds were similar in that Del Valle would start off strong and De La Hoya would finish the roung strong. Del Valle showed he was willing to exchange with De La Hoya and held his own during their exchanges, but by the end of the third round it was De La Hoya who was winning the exchanges more frequently.

De La Hoya was tagged early in the fourth round with a sharp right cross, but he fired back with digging body shots. De La Hoya remained the aggressor for the remainder of the fourth and looked like he hurt Del Valle several times. De La Hoya also had control during the fifth round and was able to pop shot Del Valle at a safe range.

Del Valle was hit hard with a straight right counter in the first minute of the sixth round, and he remained tentative for the remainder. By the seventh round Del Valle’s right eye was showing signs of swelling. De La Hoya punished Del Valle to the body and to the head and was physically imposing his will.

Neither boxer stepped on the gas pedal in the eighth and ninth rounds, but De La Hoya was in clear control and landed the higher number of punches.

Del Valle needed a knockout in the final round to win the bout, but that knockout never came.

Diego De La Hoya remained undefeated with decision victory with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.

Joseph Diaz Jr. (21-0) and Andrew Cancio (17-3-2) was the next bout of the night in the featherweight division.

Joseph Diaz was a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and was four years younger than Cancio.

Diaz, a southpaw, stuck to the body in the opening two rounds and was looked very comfortable in the ring. He was able to avoid the punches of Cancio with solid upper body movement and kept his head an elusive target.

Cancio was able to get within striking range in the third round, but took a pounding from Diaz when he got in tight and got his nose busted in the process. Cancio was unable to handle the hand speed of Diaz.

Cancio was able to briefly trap Diaz in the corner in the opening minute of the fourth round and landed some solid body shots, but Diaz took control in the final two minutes and had the head of Cancio snapping backwards from several crisp punches.

Diaz really turned up the pressure in the fifth round and pounded Cancio throughout with combinations at will. Cancio looked outclassed and bewildered, and was simply out of his league.

Diaz’s dominance inside the ring wasn’t impressing the crowd as a wave broke out at the stadium in the sixth round, but at this point it was even clear to the regular fans in attendance that Cancio stood no shot.

Cancio corner was thinking about stopping the fight before the start of the seventh round but they sent him back into the ring. But this round was no different from the previous rounds and he was a punching bag for the talented Diaz.

Diaz’s offensive output dipped in the eighth round, but he still landed at a higher clip and the harder punches. Cancio’s corner repeatedly asked him if he wanted them to stop the fight, but Cancio refused and went back out for the ninth round. Hwoever, in the middle of the round Cancio’s corner wisely decided to stop the fight.

Joseph Diaz impressed with a TKO victory at 2:27 of the ninth round.

Gabriel Rosado (23-9) and Willie Monroe Jr. (20-2) met in the final bout of the televised undercard in the middleweight division.

Rosado looked like the taller fighter, but he was standing straight up while Monroe was boxing with his knees slightly bent. Monroe was able to stay out of Rosado’s range for most of the first round and boxed Rosado effectively by landing the higher number of punches, but none of them could be considered power shots.

Neither Monroe nor Rosado took many risks in the second or third round, but Monroe was landing more punches than Rosado and fought very defensively. The fans started to boo and whistle the lack of action in the third round.

The wave started again in the fourth round, and Monroe continued to safely outbox Rosado. Rosado complained to the referee in the fifth round from an apparent backhand landed by Monroe, but offered little offense after the complaint.

Monroe was sharp in the sixth round and landed several straight left crosses and quick counter jabs. Monroe was able to continue to stay out of the range of Rosado in the seventh round as Rosado was mainly landing at air when he threw punches, but he was pressing the pace and that could have factored in his favor in the eyes of the judges.

Rosado was able to land a few flurries at the end of the eighth round and may have stolen it. It was his most effective offensive output at this stage of the bout.

A cut opened up near the back of the head of Rosado in the ninth round and the referee briefly stopped it to get it attended to, but afterwards both boxers finally threw power shots and both landed heavy shots. Rosado may have scored a knockdown at the end of the round, but the referee ruled it a slip.

Rosado was pressing forward more in the tenth round, but he was not able to land any punches of note while Monroe side stepped him and pop shotted him from the outside.

Rosado needed at least a knockdown in the final two rounds in order to win the bout,but a headbutt in the eleventh round badly swelled and cut the left eye of Rosado and made it much more difficult. Rosado ended the fight better than he started, but it was too little too late.

The judges scored the bout 116-112, 118-110, 117-111 for Willie Monroe Jr.

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Dichotomy of Light and Dark


Dichotomy of Light and Dark
By: James Cullinane

On Saturday night, June 11th, at promptly 6 p.m., Orlando-based boxer, Jean Carlos Rivera, made his Madison Square Garden boxing debut.

Rivera’s was the first bout on a busy Garden card that night, a card headlined by up-and-coming superstar, Vasyl Lomachenko. As is the norm when bigger names than yours are on the marquee, there were more empty seats than not at the opening bell. For the lucky few that were in attendance, and those, like myself, watching the live stream on TopRank.tv, Rivera rewarded our patronage with something special.

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An undefeated, Puerto Rican, boxing prospect, Rivera began the six-rounder by establishing a lightning fast jab to keep his opponent off balance. As the rounds progressed, Rivera’s boxing skills were on full display, culminating in a thunderous, right that dropped his opponent thirty seconds into the final round. The dazed opponent valiantly rose to his feet to beat the count, but Rivera calmly stalked him into the ropes, landing several more hard blows before the referee mercifully waved the fight off.

It was by far the biggest fight of Rivera’s burgeoning career and, to date, his best. He dominated from start to finish, displaying the skill and strength that have those in the know whispering of a future world champion, some even comparing him to a young, Miguel Cotto.

As one who trains at the same Orlando boxing gym with Rivera, I went to bed Saturday night thrilled about his victory, thrilled about his future and eager to talk with him in the gym next week when he would officially put New York behind him and begin training for his next fight.

When I woke early Sunday morning, my joy for Rivera was shattered, replaced with unmitigated sadness as I began hearing about the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub; a sadness that morphed into numbed emptiness as the scope of the horrific event gradually came into focus.

Even as I sit here now, a full day and a half after this unfathomable tragedy, my mind is overwhelmed. I find myself thinking how terrified those clubgoers must have been once they realized what was happening. I think about the victims – the dead, the wounded, the traumatized survivors who fled for their lives. I think about the friends and families, unable to even remotely imagine their pain.

What I want to think about is Rivera’s debut in Madison Square Garden, how he felt stepping into that famed venue where the shadows of so many boxing greats still linger. I want to think about his future and how his dedication and devotion to the craft of boxing, the hours of training he puts in every day, is finally beginning to pay off. I want to contrast the darkness that has fallen over my city with the brightness of a young, Latino man who is doing things the right way to build a better life for himself and his family; a young man who one day will make all Orlandoans proud.

But I can’t do that right now. The sadness. The madness. It is too overwhelming; too senseless. For now, the darkness is stronger than the light.

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What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?


What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Jordan Seward

Vasyl Lomachenko created history last Saturday in Madison Square Garden by becoming a two-weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight.

The Ukrainian, who had an illustrious amateur career before he turned pro, delivered a brutal fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez to strip away and claim his WBO super-featherweight belt.

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Lomachenko (6-1) has now won world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight. The Ukrainian gold medallist won his first world title when he handed Gary Russell Jr (27-1) his first and only career defeat, with a majority decision victory to claim the vacant WBO world featherweight title. Although this was his second bite at the cherry.

Orlando Salido (43-13-4) was due to make his first defence of the WBO world featherweight belt against Lomachenko in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight but Salido came in over weight and was subsequently stripped of the belt. The much bigger Salido slugged his way to a split decision victory and is the only blemish on Lomachenko’s professional record to date.

The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing can be a difficult one, but the Ukrainian was undoubtedly ready to make the leap way before he actually did. Before turning pro, the double Olympic champion achieved just about everything that can be as an amateur and boasts an incredible record of (396-1), the only loss coming to Albert Selimov. This sort of amateur pedigree stands a fighter in very good stead to progress on to the professional ranks and Lomachenko is testament to that.

Lomachenko nurtured in the amateur ranks and bought over his speed, skill and power to the professional game seamlessly, it was there for all to see, but questions hung over his head after the defeat to Salido. Many suggested he wasn’t ready to fight at world level and needed more time as a professional before fighting for a world title. How wrong they were. If it wasn’t for Salido coming in over the 126lb limit the story could’ve been different. Not that it mattered as he claimed the very same belt a fight later and hit back at his critics by beating a 24-fight veteran in Gary Russell Jr and winning a world title in just his third professional fight.

And now, at just 28-years-old and seven fights in, it seems Lomachenko is destined to replicate the success he had in the amateurs in the professional game. The Ukrainian is already unquestionably one of the biggest rising stars of modern boxing and has proved he is the real deal in the professional ranks. The only thing left to ponder, is who’s up next for Lomachenko?

It all depends on what weight division he wants to operate in, there’s huge fights out there for him at featherweight and super-featherweight. A unification fight with the IBF world super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-0) makes sense and would certainly appeal to an American audience. Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) is a name being bandied about as he returns to the ring after eight months out against James Dickens (22-1) on the 16th July.

The Cuban shares two Olympic gold medals with Lomachenko and has stated in the past he would fight the Ukrainian at 126lbs. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top of this super fight with the speed and power of Lomachenko and the defensive control and swagger of Rigondeaux.

Even a fight at lightweight is a possibility. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) has fought in America in his last two fights and has just won the WBC world lightweight title and could be a potential next opponent for the skilful Lomachenko. If he hasn’t already cemented his position among the world’s top pound for pound fighters, becoming a three-weight world champion in just eight fights surely would.

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HBO Boxing Results: Lopez wins Controversial Decision; Salido and Vargas fight to Majority Draw


HBO Boxing Results: Lopez wins Controversial Decision; Salido and Vargas fight to Majority Draw
By: Matthew N. Becher

In the wake of the death of the Great Muhammad Ali, HBO aired a boxing card which proved to be the best way to pay tribute to the former Heavyweight champion of the world. Live from Carson, California at the StubHub Center a pair of fights in the Featherweight division, one between two rising prospects and the other between two champion veterans was held.

Between the undercard and main event HBO presented a very nice tribute to Muhammad Ali. The StubHub Center was lit up in cell phone cameras, while chants of “Ali, Ali, Ali” rang out. Michael Buffer led the tribute with a great speech as they tolled the traditional 10 count.

March 31, 2016, Los Angeles , Ca.  ---  Former 3-time world champion Orlando Salido (R) and WBC Super Featherweight world champion Francisco Vargas(L) at the ESPN studios to talk about their upcoming HBO 12-round title fight, Saturday, June 4, at the StubHub Center in Carson Ca.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Team Salido  -  copyright 2016
Photo Credit: Chris Farina- Team Salido

Abraham Lopez (20-0-1 15KO) v. Julian Ramirez (16-0 8KO): Featherweight

The fight started out extremely fast, with hard punches from both fighters. Ramirez was on the balls of his feet, bouncing around, while his counterpart Lopez began landing heavy accurate punches. Ramirez was more of the sharp shooter, efficiently landing a strong, straight left hand.

The second and third rounds provided the same quick pace action, with both fighters going toe to toe, landing heavy shots, to the surprise of Lopez, who most likely thought Ramirez as a non-contact boxer.

During the middle rounds the pace slowed down tremendously, and went from a brawl to a boxing match, which is exactly what Julian Ramirez was hoping for. Both fighters suffered cuts on accidental head butts, due to the southpaw and orthodox styles.

Ramirez proved that he could brawl when need be, but could more than out box the undefeated brawler in Lopez. Even though Ramirez was bothered by the flowing cut on his right eye, which he constantly pawed at, he was none the less able to stick to his game plan, landing more than 50% of his power punches. Ramirez has put himself in the position to take on someone that he believes to be the best fighter in the sport and test his own worth in Guillermo Rigondeaux.

The judges did see it differently and all saw the winner of the fight in Abraham Lopez. This was very much a controversial decision, as Lopez look battered, bruised and tired at the end of the fight.
Lopez UD10 97-92(2x), 98-92

Francisco Vargas (23-0-1 17KO) v. Orlando Salido (43-13-3 30KO): WBC Featherweight title:

What was billed initially as a “Fight of the Year” candidate on paper did not disappoint in its advertisement. Both fighters delivered on action, ditching any kind of defense very early in the first round and beginning to just brawl as soon as they could.

Trading shots, and toe to toe fighting was the norm of the fight. Vargas attempted to use his boxing skill, but was eventually made to fight inside the phone booth as the veteran Salido never stopped coming forward, both men throwing every shot with bad intentions, looking to stop their opponent.

The sixth round was the closest to a knockdown for Vargas, wobbling Salido and nearly sending him to the canvas. Vargas tried to put his opponent down, but ended up punching himself out, giving Salido a way to make a comeback.

The last third of the fight was just as brutal as the first half with both men in- fighting, landing blistering shots to the others head and body. These are the fights that people talk about for years, and take years off of a fighters lives. This style of fight is what separate fighters, that puts fear in to other fighters hearts.

It could have gone either way. Both men left their souls in that ring, entertaining the fans and leaving it all on the line. Fight of the year candidate? That is the least we could give these two warriors.
115-113 Vargas, 114-114 (2x) Majority Draw

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HBO World Championship Boxing: Vargas vs. Salido Preview


HBO World Championship Boxing: Vargas vs. Salido Preview
By: Matthew N. Becher

This Saturday night from the StubHub center in Carson, California, Golden Boy Promotions will telecast a possible fight of the year candidate live on HBO. The undercard will pit two young, undefeated prospects in the featherweight division who have been showcased on smaller Golden Boy cards, and will look to use this opportunity to expose themselves to a very large audience and possibly set themselves up for bigger fights in the upcoming year.

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Julian Ramirez (16-0 8KO) vs. Abraham Lopez (20-0-1 15KO): Featherweight

Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez is a fresh faced, 23 year old slick boxer out of Los Angeles, California. Ramirez is the nephew of former world champion Genaro Hernandez. Ramirez comes from a very good amateur background, compiling a record of 73-5 and going on to become a four time National PAL champion. He has won his last three meetings, over Raul Hidalgo, Hugo Partida and Christopher Martin, by Unanimous decision, slowly stepping up the quality of opponent. Ramirez is a fast handed southpaw who is very much looking to get to that next level of opposition.
Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez is also a young fighter looking to take advantage of the exposure he will receive on this undercard. Though a little older than his opponent, the 28 year old Lopez has also stayed very busy in the last year, winning all of his fights by stoppage. His lone draw on his record came last year against a much more experience fighter in Juan Carlos Martinez, who has been in the ring with the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Juan Carlos Burgos, Bernabe Concepcion and Mikey Garcia. Lopez is a brawler and will look to use his power to win this fight.

Francisco Vargas (23-0-1 17KO) vs. Orlando Salido (43-13-3 30KO): WBC Featherweight championship

Both fighters in this main event are come forward, punch for punch, warriors in the ring. They exemplify the “Mexican Style” of boxing that is one of the most entertaining styles of fighting the sport has to offer. Vargas is coming off of an unbelievable performance last November, in a fight that went on to win the BWAA fight of the year award, against Takashi Miura. Not only did Vargas get off the canvas and work through an awful cut on his eye, he was able to knock out Miura, who seemed unstoppable.
Vargas and Salido are similar in their fighting styles, which can at time resemble fighting in a phone booth, but they come from different backgrounds. The 31 year old champion, Vargas, was a highly decorated amateur who represented his native Mexico in the 2008 summer Olympics in China. Salido, who is only four years older at 35, has been a pro since he was 15 years old. This will be his 60th professional fight, and he has seen it all. Where Vargas does have some big wins against Miura and Juan Manuel Lopez, which is really the extent of his accomplishes as a professional. Salido, who has been pro since 1996 has been in the ring with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez, Mikey Garcia, Vasyl Lomachenko and Roman Martinez.

When they say styles make fights, this is the type of fight they are referring to. On paper, fireworks are already starting to go off, and both of these men do not want to leave anything back once the final bell is rung. We expect the fight to live up to the hype and commend both fighters for putting aside any legal, contractual or ego garbage aside and get ready to fight.

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Boxing Insider Interview with Orlando Salido: “I do see this fight ending with a knockout!”


Orlando Salido Interview: “Because of our styles, I do see this fight ending with a knockout”
By: Matthew N. Becher

Orlando Salido is a former, multi divisional world champion who became a professional boxer in 1996, at the age of 15. He fought 6 times in 1996, his debut year, against grown men, and has never looked back. At the age of 35 he has been in the ring with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Juan Manuel Lopez, Mikey Garcia, Vasyl Lomachenko and Roman Martinez.

On June 4th, in his 60th professional fight, he will look to once again become a world champion, as he takes on undefeated Francisco Vargas at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Earlier this week we were able to speak with Orlando and talk to him about his career and upcoming title fight.

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Boxing Insider: This will be your 60th professional fight, 20 years pro. How much longer do you plan on fighting?

Orlando Salido: I feel great, mentally, physically. I know what I need to do every fight to get ready. It’s always a question of how you “look”, how you “feel” after a fight. I know this is an important fight and we’ll see what happens in this fight, then I can see what happens next.

Boxing Insider: With a fighter like Francisco Vargas, does this have to be an all-out “brawl” or could this be a fight that goes the distance?

Orlando Salido: Because of our styles, I do see this fight ending with a knockout, but in Boxing you never know. You may think you are going against a certain style and then guys don’t fight like they always fight. People change in the ring. I think it will be a very good fight, either way.

Boxing Insider: About a month ago, Vargas tested positive for a banned substance. What do you think about fighters that test positive?

Orlando Salido: I know someone on his team must have made a mistake with that. I’m not even thinking about it. I’m focusing on my fight, and what I need to do to win. It’s going to be a tough fight, a hard fight, and that is all I am thinking about. That is all I care about, getting ready for the fight.

Boxing Insider: Was there any reason why you did not decide to cancel this fight?

Orlando Salido: No, the way I see it, I do not know what benefits him or what helps with the drug he supposedly took. That’s what you have to live with. We had the opportunity here. An opportunity to fight for a world championship, an opportunity to fight for a title I always wanted. I’m ready to go.

Boxing Insider: You have 13 losses in your career, but have gone from a stepping stone fight to a multi division world champion. What do you say to the fans that are infatuated with the “zero” loss mentality?

Orlando Salido: I never been a fighter that goes in thinking of defeat. I always go in thinking about winning. I prepare myself to win every time I step in the ring and to give the fans what they want. The results, sometimes don’t matter to me. But as long as the fans are entertained with a good fight and enjoy watching me fight, that’s all I can do. Just doing the best I can and have the results be what they are.

Boxing Insider: Out of all the great fighters you have taken on in your career, who would you say was “the best I’ve ever faced”?

Orlando Salido: I would have to say Juan Manuel Marquez. He was a great counter puncher, great technician in the ring. He wouldn’t let me do anything. He was always a step ahead of me, whenever I thought of doing something he already knew what I was trying to do. That was, without a doubt the best I have ever fought.

Boxing Insider: Do you want the winner of June 11th’s fight between Rocky Martinez and Vasyl Lomachenko?
Orlando Salido: If I do come out a winner against Vargas, I would love to rematch Lomachenko who has said he wanted another fight against me. As long as they pay me the money that it is worth.

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