Bellew vs. Haye Undercard Preview
By: Ste Rowen
With domestic dust ups, commonwealth honours and a world title fight, Bellew vs Haye isn’t the only intriguing bout taking place in London on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing Twitter Account
Paul Butler v Emmanuel Rodriguez
First up is a bout for the vacant IBF world bantamweight title, recently dropped by Ryan Burnett. Paul Butler, 26-1 (14KOs) takes on Puerto Rican, Emmanuel Rodriguez in an attempt to reclaim the belt he previously held in 2014 when he beat Stuart Hall via split decision. Eight months after that fight, Butler had vacated the bantamweight title to fight for the super flyweight version of the IBF. That night, the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ had his first taste of defeat when he was dominated, and ultimately stopped by South African, and currently WBA ‘Super’ bantamweight champion, Zolani Tete. Butler has rebuilt well since then, with a nine-straight win streak including a unanimous decision victory in a rematch with Stuart Hall, and although he heads into Saturday’s fight as the underdog, speaking to Sky Sports, Paul’s not falling for the hype surrounding Rodriguez,
‘When you watch him, you think he’s a special kid, but go through the rounds, watch his mistakes, there’s loads we’ve picked up on. He goes to his left pretty much every time, he’ll take a step to his right and then he’ll come straight back to his left.’
‘We’ve both got pretty similar styles, we both love a left hook to the body, we both love going head to the body…I know I’ve trained hard and I’m physically well, I’m sparring well. I believe under Joe (Gallagher) I can get in there with anyone and win.’
Emmanuel Rodriguez, 17-0 (12KOs) is yet to go the 12-round distance. The furthest ‘Manny’ has gone is 10 rounds, when he came up against Albert Guevara in 2016, earning a clear victory across all three scorecards. This will also be the first time Rodriguez fights outside of North America, with previous matchups taking place in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the US. Though on the surface Butler is showing no signs of concern for the momentum ‘Manny’ has gathered, there’s certainly attributes that will worry him. The Puerto Rican may have been taken the distance by Guevara, but he was teeing off variations of the left hand all night, and he’s not limited to his left. His precision of the right-cross has setup the finish against previous opponents.
Zolani Tete’s record going into the Butler fight wasn’t much to look at, and we saw what happened there. Speaking earlier this week, Rodriguez was eager for fight night to come around,
‘It has been a long road to this fight, but I am ready to win my first world championship. Paul Butler is a good fighter, but nothing can stop me…It doesn’t matter that we’re in his backyard, I’ve done everything right getting ready for this and I look forward to bringing the belt back to my beloved country of Puerto Rico.’
Lenroy Thomas v Joe Joyce
The sole heavyweight bout to grace Saturday’s card sees Commonwealth champion, Lenroy Thomas take on 2016 silver medallist, Joe Joyce.
Thomas, 22-4-1 (11KOs) was last seen in his ill-fated rematch with David Allen in March. That night, the two boxers clashed heads in the first round, cutting Allen enough for the fight to be called a technical draw. The Jamaican is yet to defend his commonwealth title since beating Allen in their first fight last year, fighting just once – discounting the Allen rematch – in an 8-round decision victory over 12-2, Ed Fountain, on the Wilder vs Stiverne 2 undercard.
Much like his fellow 2016 Olympians Filip Hrgovic and Tony Yoka, Joyce, 3-0 (3KOs) is being fast tracked through the rankings with previous bouts including a debut stoppage win over 12-3-1 at the time, Ian Lewison and more recently, a 38 second KO of big talking, big framed, but little fight, Donnie Palmer.
John Ryder v Jamie Cox
John Ryder will take on fellow southpaw Jamie Cox in a domestic showdown that’s sure to get the crowd going before the main event.
Ryder’s last outing was his explosive 5th round knockout of Patrick Nielsen on the undercard of Jamie Cox vs George Groves in October, and the Londoner wasn’t too concerned about having to wait so long for this next fight,
‘There was talk of other fights we were looking at, but they didn’t come off, that’s boxing. It was about picking the right fight, rather than going in there against anyone…I think our styles are geared up for a good fight, it’ll be a real treat for the fans.’
Jamie Cox’s Matchroom career hasn’t exactly set alight since making the switch from Frank Warren’s, Queensberry Promotions back in early 2017. Aside from the stoppage defeat to Groves, Cox has fought four times; 16 rounds against very limited opposition, but he recognises the step up in opponent he’ll be taking this weekend,
‘I’m expecting the best John Ryder. I’m looking forward to mixing it with him…He’s ranked across a couple of the governing bodies and it’s my goal to become a world champion. Beating John will open more doors…He likes to come forward and have a go and I’m always up for the fight.’
With Rocky Fielding vacating the British title, a win for either of these two, puts them firmly in place for the next shot at the Lonsdale belt.
Martin Ward v James Tennyson
With the Commonwealth, EBU and WBA ‘International’ super featherweight titles up for grabs, there’s a lot to play for when Martin Ward and James Tennyson enter the ring.
Ward, 19-0-2 (9KOs) has world honours in his sight heading into Saturday,
‘I’ve gone the traditional route and I’m glad I’ve done that…I want to progress to the world stage now. I’ve won everything there is to win and when I beat James, I want to start working towards world level.’
Tennyson, 21-2 (17KOs) who puts the WBA ‘International’ belt on the line, heads into the bout as the underdog but, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, ‘The Assassin’ believes his time is now,
‘Within the last year I have won an Irish title and the WBA ‘International’ title and won three 50/50 fights by stoppage…Now I’m going onto the biggest stage, and I can’t wait…Ward is quick and sharp and it won’t be easy, but we have our game plan and I’m ready for 12 hard rounds.’
Wasted Talent-Five Fighter Who Threw it All Away
By: Patrick Mascoe
To achieve greatness in any field in life takes a combination of talent, dedication, discipline and good fortune. The sport of boxing is no different. Add to that list the importance of physical and mental strength and you have the recipe for a world class fighter. To see a boxer who possesses all these qualities is rare. To see a boxer throw it all away is heartbreaking.
Boxing is a sport that requires a strong element of self-discipline. Some individuals like Bernard Hopkins and Dwight Muhammad Qawi used the discipline learned in boxing to change their lives. They went from nothing to something. Both men had served time in prison but used the lessons of the sweet science to keep them from returning to a life of crime. They became world champions and are true boxing success stories.
Unfortunately, the connection between boxing and prison does not always take on a positive narrative. For every convicted criminal who uses boxing to change his life for the better, just as many boxers throw it all away and travel in the opposite direction. They go from something to nothing. In order to be a great fighter, one needs to possess self-confidence and a feeling of invincibility. However, problems arise when one fails to distinguish between the rules inside the ring and the rules outside the ring.
Here is a list of five fighters who were undefeated and on the verge of greatness but threw it all away. For some, they felt their success in the ring placed them above the law and for others they could not leave their savagery solely in the ring.
HARRY SIMON: Before Prison – Harry Simon represented Namibia at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics and finished his amateur career with a record of 121-9. From 1998-2002, Simon was one of the best Jr. Middleweights in the world. In 1998, Simon defeated Winky Wright to win the WBO Light Middleweight title by majority decision. In 2002, Simon won the WBO Middleweight title. The fighter with a 23-0 record appeared to have a bright future ahead of him. Showtime had just started promoting him as a future star.
Unfortunately, that all changed when he was involved in a serious car accident that resulted in the death of three individuals. Due to the combination of his injuries and his appealing the charges presented against him for culpable homicide, then his time served in prison, Simon entered the ring only once in the next eight years.
After Prison – At the age of 38, Harry Simon commenced his comeback. He continually faced and defeated weak opposition back in Namibia where his name still garnered some recognition. Simon last fought in 2016. He is now 30-0, but at 45 years old, he is no longer a threat to contend for a title again. We will never know how good Simon could have been as his prime was wasted due to a poor choice he made while behind the wheel of a car.
IKE IBEABUCHI: Before Prison – Ike Ibeabuchi immigrated to the United States from Nigeria in 1993. In 1994, he won the Texas State Golden Gloves Tournament in the Heavyweight division. He turned pro and won his first 16 straight fights. He was then matched against another undefeated fighter, the 27-0 David Tua. Ibeabuchi defeated Tua by unanimous decision and established himself as a top heavyweight contender. In 1999, he face undefeated future WBO Heavyweight champion, Chris Bird. He made easy work of Bird, knocking him out in five rounds.
His career became untracked when people around him began to notice his behaviour becoming more and more erratic. He began insisting that people refer to him as “The President.” At the same time, he began to have run-ins with the law. He abducted the 15 year old son of his former girlfriend and then was involved in a car accident that caused permanent damage to the boy. He pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and received 120 days in jail.
In 1999, Ibeabuchi was 26 years old with a 20-0 record yet he would never fight again. That same year, he was arrested on a number of allegations concerning sexual assault committed against escorts. Ibeabuchi was deemed incompetent to stand trial. Medical experts assessed that he suffered from bipolar disorder. He was convicted of sexual assault and served 16 years in prison.
After Prison – Ike Ibeabuchi was released in November of 2015. After only 5 months, he was rearrested for violating the terms of his probation. Now 44 years old and still in prison, we will never know what he could have accomplished. According to Eric Raskin of HBO Boxing, “No heavyweight of his generation possessed more ability and no heavyweight of his generation possessed less stability.” As a result of his mental health issues, Ibeabuchi proved to be just as scary outside the ring as he was inside it.
TONY AYALA JR.: Before Prison – Tony Ayala Jr. was considered a boxing prodigy. He compiled an amateur record of 140-8 and turned professional in 1980 at the age of sixteen. With a record of 22-0 (20 KO) Ayala was garnering national attention. He was a savage brawler who had caught the attention of the boxing world, much the way Mike Tyson did years later.
On January 1, 1983 Ayala broke into the home of his neighbour and sexually assaulted her. Despite the fact that he was only 19 years old at the time, this was his third assault against women. Under the Repeat Offender Act, Ayala was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
After Prison – Ayala was paroled from prison in 1999 at the age of 36. He proceeded to do the only thing he knew – boxing. He won his first six comeback fights all by knock out. Eventually, he was defeated by ex-champion IBF Super Welterweight champion, Yori Boy Campas. Though his comeback had been stopped, his trouble with the law continued. In 2000, he was shot in the shoulder by a woman after breaking into her home. In 2004, Ayala was sentenced to ten years in prison for probation violations.
He was finally released in 2014, at the age of 51, with no possible chance to return to the ring. He began to assist in running his father’s gym in San Antonio. On May 12, 2015, Tony Ayala Jr. was found dead in the gym from an apparent drug overdose. Angelo Dundee once said, “Ayala could have been one of boxing’s greatest fighters.”
PAUL SPADAFORA: Before Prison – Paul Spadafora had an amateur record of 75-5. However, his professional career almost never got off the ground. As a passenger, involved in a car chase with police, he was shot in the Achilles tendon. Once he started focussing on his boxing career, he proved himself to be an elite talent. In 1999, the undefeated Spadafora was victorious in his showdown with Israel Cardona to win the IBF Lightweight title. He went on to defend his title six times.
The year 2003 was the beginning of Spadafora’s downfall. His continual personal problems outside the ring ended up destroying his career. He was arrested in the shooting of his pregnant girlfriend and followed that up by running his car into a parked police cruiser while intoxicated. Add to that a drug possession charge and you have a career in a permanent holding pattern. On February 23, 2005, Spadafora was sentenced to prison for the attempted murder of his girlfriend.
After Prison – After a 32 month layoff, Spadafora returned to the ring, winning his comeback fight by KO. Before he could fight again, he was back in jail for parole violations. Once again, upon his release, his extracurricular activities continued to hinder his boxing career. He was again charged with DUI, along with assault and brandishing a knife while making threats.
In 2017, Spadafora had another run-in with law enforcement when he was arrested for assaulting his mother and stabbing his half-brother. As if that wasn’t enough, he was also charged with uttering threats against Pittsburgh police. Despite a world title and a 49-1-1 record, Spadafora completely underachieved. With his boxing career now over, Spadafora needs to work on getting his life in order. That will begin by completing a court ordered drug and alcohol program.
EDWIN VALERO: Before Prison – Venezuelan boxer, Edwin Valero, compiled an amateur record of 86-5 with an incredible 57 knockouts. On February 5, 2001, Valero was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. He was not wearing a helmet and as a result, he suffered a severe skull fracture. He needed surgery to remove a blood clot. The injury prevented Valero from turning pro and even after his recovery, there were complications. Due to irregularities in his MRI, he was not given permission to fight in the U.S.
Edwin Valero began his professional career fighting mostly in Japan and Latin America. He competed from 2002-2010 and amassed an amazing 27-0 record, with all his victories by way of knockout. Valero obviously possessed phenomenal power and fought with a high degree of aggression. The result: two world titles, an undefeated record, and emergence as a national hero in Venezuela.
His manager claimed that Valero suffered from mental health issues and needed help. He also allegedly suffered from drug and alcohol abuse. Documents show that Valero’s wife had been admitted to hospital three times as a result of falling down stairs. His behaviour on her last visit was so volatile towards the doctors, nurses and police that he was sent for a six month psychiatric rehabilitation stint. Was this a result of his earlier motorcycle accident, from boxing or a combination of the two? We may never know for sure. Sadly, on April 18th, 2010, Valero’s wife’s body was discovered in a hotel. She had been stabbed three times. Valero was arrested after admitting to hotel security that he had committed the crime.
After Prison – A day after being arrested, Valero was found hanging in his cell. The man who was invincible in the ring took his own life. Edwin Valero, much like Ike Ibeabuchi, needed people around him who cared more about him as a person than as a boxer.
Ironically, the brutality and savagery that is responsible for the success of some fighters is also the characteristic that is responsible for the downfall of others. Boxing is a violent sport that attracts aggressive individuals. It is only those fighters who can leave or separate their life in the ring from their life outside the ring that truly prosper.
Why Did Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Avoid Paul “Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora?
By: Ken Hissner
Floyd Mayweather, Sr. entered the gym and asked “when are you going to let my son spar with that Pisano?” Jess Reid replied quickly “how about setting it up but it has to be 6 rounds not 4 rounds.” Reid told Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” that he trained the Uncle Roger to a championship and knew the Mayweather style well and that Spadafora could beat him and it would be a good thing for his career. So they went to the Mayweather gym and Spadafora got the best of Mayweather, Jr. over 4 rounds. Mayweather asked Reid if that could be enough and Reid shot back at his no it wasn’t especially since your father has been shooting his mouth off about you handling Spadafora. The next 2 rounds are on www.youtube.com and by the end of the sixth round Mayweather, Jr. went down on the canvas just lying there exhausted. Several times a match for the two fighters was on the table but the Mayweather’s never followed through.
Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” seemed to have it all but he also hung out with the wrong crowd but that was his decision to make. Here was a good looking Italian kid from McKees Rocks, PA, and a southpaw to boot. He had an amateur record of 75-5 under the watchful eye of PK Pecora.
Just past Spadafora’s twentieth birthday in October of 1995 he turned professional at Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh scoring a decision over Steve Maddux over four rounds. He came in at 132 pounds and from that point through his first fourteen fights on May of 1997 he was brought along slow against only one opponent with a winning record. “I took over as head trainer for his fight with Bernard Harris, 11-2-1, in his first eight rounder in August of 1997,” said Yankello. That was without question the toughest opponent up to that point for Spadafora.
Spadafora won two more fights before 1997 was over. In March of 1998 Philadelphia’s Troy Fletcher, 13-5-2, of the fighting Fletcher family was brought in. His two brothers which included Frank “The Animal” and Anthony were the “two bad boys’ whit Anthony doing life as a member of the Junior Mafia and Frank having just got out of prison this past year. Troy was on a four fight losing streak at the time. This was at the Avalon Hotel in Monroeville that Spadafora captured an eight round decision.
In May Filipino Amado Cabato, 45-26-8, was brought in. Spadafora would stop him in the seventh of an eight putting Cabato into retirement. It was only the third time Cabato had been stopped in eighty-nine fights. Four weeks later Spadafora fought for his first minor title defeating Jose Aponte, 14-9-2, over twelve rounds for the vacant IBC Lightweight Title at the Mountaineer Casino Race Track & Resort in Chester, W.V. He found himself a “second home” fighting there.
In October of 1998 it was Sam Girard, 17-5-1 who in his two previous fights lost to Israel Cardona, 27-2, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., then 13-0. Spadafora would shut him out winning every round of a ten at Chester, WV.
After going unbeaten in twenty-three fights Spadafora got his first national exposure on ESPN2 defeating Rocky Martinez, 29-2, snapping his nine fight winning streak in January of 1999. In August after scoring another win in March was his opportunity to fight Israel Cardona, 31-2, for the vacant IBF World Lightweight Title scoring a lopsided decision at Chester, WV. It looked like the future was finally very bright for the “The Pittsburgh Kid!”
In Spadafora’s first defense in December of 1999 came Australian Renato Cornett, 30-2-1, at the Law Convention Center in Pittsburgh winning the first ten rounds finally stopping Cornett on cuts in the eleventh round. What followed was a fight many people still talk about when Spadafora came off the canvas twice in the third round to battle back and defeat Victoriano Sosa, 24-1-1, of the Dominican Republic by scores of 114-112-115-112 and 116-111, at the Turning Stone Casino, in Verona, NY. Sosa would go 11-0-1 before getting another title fight but it was losing to WBC Lightweight champion Mayweather, then 29-0, over twelve rounds, in April of 2003.
During the rest of 2000 Spadafora would have successful title wins over former IBC Champion Cleveland’s Mike “The Hammer” Griffith, 23-6, and Canada’s Billy Irwin, 34-3, with a non-title win in between over Rodney Jones, 23-0. “I didn’t work the corners for Sosa and Griffith, it was Jesse Reid.
In 2001 Spadafora in a title defense defeated Texan Joel Perez, 31-4-2, in May. In August Philadelphia’s Chucky “T” Tschorniawaky, 20-3-1, in a non-title bout would be all but shut out. In 2002 he would only have two fights, both defenses defeating Angel “El Diablo” Manfedy, 39-5-1, with all scores 115-113 in March. Manfredy in his previous fight won an IBF eliminator defeating Julio Diaz, 23-0, to earn the title shot at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. “I felt the Manfredy fight was relatively easy for Paul even with a weight problem and probably only about 60% of himself at best. The only real damage of any kind that he suffered in that fight was from a head butt,” said Yankello. Then Denmark’s Dennis Holbaek Pederson, 43-1, came into Chester, W.V. in November bringing his IBC Lightweight title. Spadafora won by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice.
In May of 2003 in a unification bout with two time Olympian who was 239-15 in the amateurs the Romanian Leonard Dorin, 21-0, out of Montreal, who held the WBA Super World title the two of them battled in a bloody bout with both receiving facial cuts with Spadafora getting a 115-114 nod and Dorin a 115-113 nod. The final judge had it 114-114 as did this writer. Please go to www.youtube.com to see this one and you will not be sorry. Spadafora countered Dorin who did nothing but head hunt with that right hand of his.
Both received cuts as early as the third round. Spadafora was examined by the ring physician after the eighth round. Dorin seemed to have an edge after the first twelve rounds by a couple of points.
Spadafora took the last two rounds to even the score. HBO Judge Harold Lederman had it 115-113 for the much shorter by five inches Dorin while ringside commentator Larry merchant like this writer called it a draw. Both fighters received forty-five day suspensions. The referee was Philadelphia’s Rudy Battle did an excellent job as the referee and is currently one of the PA Commissioner’s. It would be the last title fight for Spadafora. For Dorin he would stop Chucky “T” and be knocked out by the WBC World Super Lightweight Champion Arturo Gatti that ended Dorin’s career at 22-1-1.
For Spadafora he would also move up to Super Lightweight in 2004 shutting out Ruben Galvan, 20-4-2, in April and stopping Francisco Campos, 18-0-1, in the tenth and final round in July. Spadafora would receive a 30 day suspension due to a cut over his left eye.
In December Spadafora’s outside the ring problems would start big time. He would be arrested for a shooting and be released posting a $50,000 bond. He would not go the prison and boot camp until February of 2005 serving thirteen months on a twenty-one to sixty month sentencing. He would be parolled in May of 2006. He would be out of the boxing ring for thirty-two months returning in November of 2006 after his release from prison in April of 2006. The glory days seemed over for Spadafora.
In Spadafora’s first fight back in the then annual day before Thanksgiving show at the Avalon Hotel in Erie, PA, he stopped Frankie Zepeda, 16-3, in the fifth round. In March of 2007 he won a split decision over Ireland’s Oisin Fagan, 17-3, after being deducted a point in the eighth round for low blows. He was back in jail on a parole violation in May of2007 getting released in August of 2007 due to not enough evidence available to continue his parole violation.
It would be thirteen months before Spadafora would return to the ring in April of 2008 winning all eight rounds at the Avalon Hotel over Shad Howard, 13-10-3. It would be another fourteen months before his next fight stopping Ivan Orlando Bustos, 25-12-3, of Argentina in June of 2009. Three months later in September he would defeat Jermaine White, 17-3, over eight rounds at Heinz Field VIP Tent in Pittsburgh.
In March of 2010 Spadafora would spend his next six fights “on the road” starting with stopping Ivan Fiorietta, 24-5-2, of Italy in the eighth round of a scheduled ten at the War Memorial Auditorium in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In March he would travel to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, forcing the former interim IBF International champion Alain Hernandez, 18-8-2, who refused to continue after five rounds.
Spadafora and his promoter Mike Acri had a dispute with Spadafora bringing a lawsuit. He would re-enter the ring in August of 2012 defeating Ecuador’s Humberto Toledo, 39-7-2, over eight rounds in Chester, WV. He would end the year in December defeating Nigerian Solomon Egberime, 22-3-1, out of Australia who was the WBO Oriental Super Lightweight champion over ten rounds.
In April of 2013 Spadafora defeated Robert Frankel, 32-12-1, for the vacant NABF Super Lightweight title over ten rounds in Chester, WV. for the third straight fight at this location and the fifth on the road. Now it was Spadafora taking his 48-0-1 record fighting for the interim WBA World Super Lightweight Title against Johan Perez, 17-1-1, of VZ, for the fourth straight bout at the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in Chester, WV. This bout went right down to the wire. The ring announcer announced “we have a majority decision. Judge Glen Feldman had it 114-114, Judge James Tia 115-113 and Judge Rex Agin 1117-111 for the winner Johan Perez!”
“He fought a good fight. I fought my heart out and am not ashamed of nothing. I may have dislocated my left elbow. I felt I hurt him to the body. I’m disappointed with my performance. I was reaching because I couldn’t get in close enough,” said Spadafora.
It would be July of 2014 when Spadafora “returned home” for his final fight at Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh. He took on veteran Hector Velazquez, 56-21-3.
Spadafora had an easy night with scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72 over eight rounds.
There was always talk of a comeback and he sparred with current contenders. Since the WBC 105 pound champ Chayaphon Moonsri of Thailand improved his record to 49-0 it might mean Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will be fighting again to stay one win ahead of him. If it was going to be with either McGregor or Spadafora who do you think he would pick? It’s a no brainer. Why did Floyd Mayweather, Jr., avoid fighting Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora?
Paulie Malignaggi Leaves Team McGregor – On Bad Terms
By: Sean Crose
In what should come as a surprise to no one, former two time boxing titlist Paulie Malignaggi is at odds with the Conor McGregor camp. McGregor, who is in training for an extremely lucrative novelty boxing match with retired pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather, had brought on Malignaggi as a sparing partner – at least ostensibly. Now, however, it appears to Malignaggi at least that McGregor wanted to “exploit” the popular fighter/television announcer for his own aggrandizement. Pictures have emerged online of McGregor seemingly getting the better of Malignaggi in the ring, pictures which Malignaggi claims tell a false tale.
“I pretty much talked s–t that whole sparring session while I beat the breaks off him,” Malignaggi tweeted Friday morning. “The push down was his frustration from it.” The “push down” Malignaggi refers to can be interpreted in one of the online photos as a knockdown on the part of McGregor. For in the picture, it’s Malignaggi on the canvas while McGregor is on his feet. Sure enough, Malignaggi has challenged the UFC, the mixed martial arts league which McGregor is a part of, to publish video of an entire twelve round sparing session the two men had (presumably the session where the pictures emerged from). “The video exists UNEDITED of rounds 1 through 12 Tuesday night,” Malignaggi tweeted, “let the fans see.”
That, frankly, is not likely to happen, at least not until after the fight between McGregor and Mayweather goes down on August 26th. In the meantime, Malignaggi has left the McGregor camp – and clearly not on good terms. “Hate to say it,” Malignaggi tweeted, “but it’s clear when I look back at my time there that there was an agenda from the start, too many clues.” If Malignaggi was, in fact, set up in all of this, it comes to some as no surprise. The popularity of McGregor rests largely on his ability to appear as a less than respectful loud mouth. His abrasive – some would say antisocial – antics are as much a part of the man’s reputation as are his skills in the octagon, the aptly named fenced in area where most MMA bouts are held.
Oddly enough, abrasiveness is a major selling point in what many believe is more a pop culture event than a legitimate sporting contest. Mayweather has mellowed in recent years, but he was – and remains – a household name in part by engaging in obnoxious, over the top rhetoric. It’s a tactic McGregor has taken hold of in his own combat sport and run with – to enormous success. Now both men may well earn nine figures a piece for their showdown, which many feel will not be competitive, as McGregor has never once engaged in a professional boxing match. Both the Mayweather and McGregor camps, however, have been trying to sell the public on McGregor’s chances in the ring later this month.
Not that the public needs to be sold. McGregor has an enormous, nearly cult-like following in awe of his abilities, whether those abilities are merely perceived or are, in fact, real. It’s arguable that most everyone else interested in the bout, however, views it more as a spectacle than as a sporting contest or are simply unaware of the differences between a boxing match and a mixed martial arts contest. In short, Malignaggi’s public airing of his grievances may only add to hype.
American Boxers Fighting Out of Japan Back to 1961!
American Boxers Fighting Out of Japan Back to 1961!
By: Ken Hissner
Japan is a hot bed for boxers with quite a bit of activity on the small island. In the past such boxers as America’s Steve “Flasher Ishibashi” Smith was one of those boxers to win Japan‘s National Title.
Japan produced 209 boxing events in 2016. Already in 2017 they have had 46 events with 20 scheduled into June. Some prominent boxers have come from Venezuela but not in the numbers of American’s who primarily were serving in the US Military in Japan when turning professional.
Having turned professional in April of 1971 Smith was 8-2 while fighting out of Japan including two bouts in Australia and South Korea while living in Japan. In his eleventh bout he won the Japanese middleweight title knocking out champion Cassius Naito, 24-3-2 in February of 1973.
In Smith’s next bout after becoming Japan’s champion he was knocked out by Billy “Dynamite” Douglas, 26-6-1, who was brought in from the USA. He would go onto win five of his next six fights in Japan including re-winning the vacant Japanese middleweight title in April of 1974. This would be when Smith decided to return to the city he was born in Philadelphia, PA.
In October of 1974 Smith would make his USA debut on the undercard of the Emile Griffith and “Bad” Bennie Briscoe undercard. He defeated out Nick Peoples, 6-17-1, at the Spectrum. He would soon meet up with the tough competition of future world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, 10-1, in January of 1975 at the Spectrum and Philly’s Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, 30-10-4, at the legendary Blue Horizon in April losing both by stoppage. In October he would travel to Paris and was stopped by Jean Mateo, 26-3-1. He would return to Philadelphia scoring three consecutive wins including over Bobby Payton, 10-0, and Willie Warren, 41-26-1. He would then run out his career in four bouts on the road including a stop in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lived in Tokyo, Japan.
The first to this writer’s knowledge was George Carter, 20-11 (10), of Lakeland, GA. He would debut in Japan on May of 1961 defeating Japanese veteran Hachiro Tatsumi, 77-24-6, over ten rounds. He would fight out of Japan with occasional bouts in the USA until the end of his career in July of 1972.
After Carter won two of his first ten round bouts in Japan he went to Philadelphia in January of 1962 and was defeated by one of their best future boxers in Dick Turner, 10-0-1, at the legendary Blue Horizon. After winning one of two bouts in Massachusetts Carter would return to Japan losing two bouts including one to South Korean Olympian and future world champion Ki-Soo Kim, 9-0-1, in January of 1964.
Carter wouldn’t fight again until the end of 1966 losing in Japan then going to Korea in a rematch with Kim who was then 25-0-2. After being inactive for almost a year he would go onto win seven of his next eight bouts in Japan. In February of 1970 he won the Japanese super welterweight title defeating future WBC & WBA super welterweight world champion Koichi Wajima, 13-1, only to lose the Japanese title two months later to Wajima by split decision.
Carter would go onto win four out of five all knockout wins earning an April 1971 Japanese middleweight title bout with champion Turtle Okabe, 16-8-4, winning the title over ten rounds. He would go onto win his next four bouts including two title defenses before going to Australia and losing to world contender Tony Mundine in February of 1972. Some five months later back in Japan Carter would lose what would be his career final bout in July of 1972. He lived in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.
Kevin Palmer, 24-1-1 (15), out of New York City debuted in Japan in February of 1993 living in Yoksuka, Kanagawa, Japan, until his final bout in August of 2001. He would go 8-0-1, then winning the vacant Japanese middleweight title stopping Naotaka Hozumi, 6-0, in the tenth and final round.
In Palmer’s second defense he defeated Yoshinori Nishizawa, 10-8-4, whom he had drawn with previously. In September of 1996 he won the OPBF middleweight title defeating Jung-Mo Kim, 17-1-1, over twelve rounds. He would go onto win his next ten bouts including five title defenses before losing his first and last bout in a rematch to Naotaka Hozumi, 17-2-1 in August of 2001.
Another American boxer who found success in Japan was Frederick Roberts, 38-7-2 (20), from the Bronx, NY, fighting as Rick Yoshimura. He would lose his first two bouts in New York starting in 1983 before moving to Akishima, Japan, in November of 1987 going 15-3 winning the Japanese super lightweight title and dropping back to lightweight taking that title. He would make twenty-two defenses including a draw. In February of 2001 he would fight to a draw for the WBA lightweight title to Japan’s Takanori Hatakeyam, 24-1-2, over twelve rounds. He would not get a rematch and went onto losing his last two bouts with the final one in October 2003.
Carlos Elliott, 26-3 (22), out of Huntsville, AL, debuted in Japan in 1983 until 1991 winning the Japanese super welterweight title in 1985 and the OPBF title in 1987. In his fourth bout he knocked out Chung-Jae Hwang, 26-2, in South Korea. He would lose in an attempt to win the Japanese welterweight title and another loss in Indonesia. He was 25-1 in Japanese rings. In his final bout he February of 1991 he would lose to Gilbert Dele, 26-0-1, for the vacant WBA super welterweight title in Guadeloupe. He lived in Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan.
Charles Bellamy, 26-3-2 (17), from New York City, fighting as Charlie Ota debuted in Japan in 2006 going onto with both the Japanese and OPBF super welterweight titles in 2010. While living in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan, he had two fights in New York. In March of 2012 he defeated Gundrick King, 16-7, at MSG, and in November of 2013 defeated Mike Ruiz, 17-7, in Brooklyn.
Following the Ruiz fight in May of 2014 Bellamy lost to future and current WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo, 23-0, in Montreal, CAN, over twelve rounds. In his next fight in December he would lose by split decision to Yuki Nonaka, 26-8-2, in an attempt to regain his Japanese super welterweight title in December. He would go onto win one bout in 2015 and one in 2016 before fighting to a draw in his last bout in January of 2017 to Yuki Beppu, 14-0.
Paul “Takeshi” Fuji, 34-3-1 (29), of Honolulu, Hawaii, would debut in Japan April of 1964 winning five bouts before returning to Hawaii winning another five bouts. Upon his return to Japan he won the vacant Japanese super lightweight title in June of 1965.
In November of 1965 Fuji would return to Hawaii gaining a win before losing to Johnny Santos, 27-2, over a two week span. In September of 1966 he won the OPBF super lightweight title. In April of 1967 he won the WBC and WBA super lightweight titles knocking out Italy’s Sandro Lopopolo, 39-4-5, in Tokyo, where he was residing. He made a defense in November of 1967 knocking out Germany’s Willie Quatuor, 57-6-5. In November of 1968 he lost his WBA title to Argentina’s Nicolino Locche, 89-2-14, in Tokyo. He would go 3-0-1 before retiring in May of 1970 in his final bout.
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Sullivan Barrera Looking To Shine On HBO Latino Card
Sullivan Barrera Looking To Shine On HBO Latino Card
By: Sean Crose
The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut is home to Main Events Boxing’s Rising Stars Series, which offers glimpses at some possible future stars in regularly presented fight cards.
With the likes of Sergey Kovalev on its roster, it’s clear Main Events knows how to build up a talent, so the matches offer up and coming fighters the possibility to truly make their marks. On this Saturday, however, Main Events and Mohegan Sun will present a showdown with one of the light heavyweight division’s top ranked fighters. For Sullivan Barrera (18-1) will be facing Paul Parker (8-1) in a ten round battle.
Barrera, a Cuban slugger who now resides in Miami, was a rising star who was given the opportunity to face Andre Ward just over a year ago on Ward’s home turf of Oakland. Ward pulled away with a unanimous decision win, but Barrerea was able to come back with a knockout victory against the undefeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. Barrera was then lined up to face acclaimed contender Artur Beterbiev in a title eliminator, but the fight fell through. Enter Parker, who was last seen winning a split decision over Lionell Thompson on the PBC back in February of 2016. Before that, Parker had been stopped by Shabranskyy in Philadelphia.
Although not well known, it has to be noted that Parker possesses an awkward style which accompanies his lanky frame.
Furthermore, Parker has been in the spotlight before (there was that PBC fight), which may well help him, as his bout with Barrera will be aired live on HBO Latino. Still, it might be hard to imagine the Toledo, Ohio native getting past his more well known foe on Saturday.
Barerra, simply put, may just be too sharp and disciplined in the ring for Parker to take real advantage of him.
Still, one never knows what will happen if Parker is able to land solidly with that overhand right he likes to throw.
This weekend’s card will also feature a crop of up and coming fighters, hoping to establish themselves in the business (this is a Rising Stars card, after all). Notable among undercard fighters is Vaughn Alexander, a 7-0 middleweight who has knocked out all but two of his opponents. He’ll be facing the 14-3-9 Andres Calixto Rey on the televised portion of the card, as a fight between Arif Magomedev and Elias Espadas had to be called off due to a sickness. Needless to say, it’s an enormous opportunity for St. Louis native Alexander.
Philly’s Fab Four Turned Professional in 2016 and Are 23-0-1!
Philly’s Fab Four Turned Professional in 2016 and Are 23-0-1!
By: Ken Hissner
This was to be the year that five Philly boxers were to go to the Olympic in Brazil!The best looking prospect to come out of Philly since 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Meldrick Taylor in this writer’s opinion is Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 8-0 (7), from the Germantown section of Philly at 19. He was 58-3 in the amateurs. His father Bozy Ennis is his trainer and possibly the best in the city. Cameron Dunkin is his manager and Victory Promotions his promoter. He could have signed with Top Rank but Dunkin chose Victory a new name on the block ran by Chris Middendorf. Top Rank Promotions were not thrilled with Dunkin’s decision and neither was this writer.
Ennis defeated Gary Antuanne Russell in his first fight in the Olympic Trials and followed it with two more wins. Then in the box-off he lost back to back matches to Russell who was one of four men to go to the Olympics in Brazil. Bozy Ennis was not happy with the two losses but said “we beat him but they stole it. I’d give Russell the third time.”
Ennis made his professional debut in April in St. George Utah and stopped Cory Muldrew in 0:42 of the first round. He defeated Luis Ramos in 0:23 in Philly in May for his second win. In June he stopped Deshawn Debose in 0:20 of the first round in Springfield, VA, for his third win. Then in July for his third win he stopped Tavorus Teague at 1:38 of the fourth round in Rio Rancho, NM, for his fourth win.
In August in his fifth win he stopped Matt Murphy at 2:52 of the second round in Bristol, PA, for his fifth win. “Murphy had just stopped a 3-0 boxer in his previous fight,” said Ennis. He won his sixth fight when hedefeated Eddie Diaz at 2300 Arena in Philly on September 15th. Diaz was from Compton, CA, one of the toughest areas in the country. Ennis is 5:10 and after competing at 141 in the amateurs he’s now a welterweight but just a couple of pounds over 141.”He’s doing pretty good defeating all the opponents he’s fought so far. Even I don’t always realize when he switches from orthodox to southpaw. After seeing him in the Diaz fight I am moving he up to 147 and no more 143 fights,” said Ennis.
“Boots” won his seventh fight on November 11th at the 2300 Arena where he stopped Chris Alexander, 4-3, in 4 rounds. Then he won his eighth fight on December 10th at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, stopping Marcus Becker, 3-4-3, in the sixth and final round. “I will be back in the ring January 28th at the 2300 Arena that my promoter Chris Middendorf of Victory Promotions is running.
“Boots” two brothers have been pro’s first. Farah “Quiet Storm” won the NABF Super Middleweight while the oldest brother Derek “Pooh” Ennis won the USBA Super welterweight and the PA Super welterweight titles. “Boots” has a combination of both brothers and then some of his own. He is orthodox but fights some of his bouts southpaw. He trains at “Bozy’s Dungeon” in North Philly run by his father over top of Harrowgate’s Boxing Club on E. Venago Street off Kensington Avenue.
In 2015 “Boots” won the National Youth title in January. In May he won the National Golden Gloves title. He took lost in the Olympic Trials in December and was asked to be an alternate but his father turned it down to turn professional. At the Olympic Trial Qualifiers in Philly he won all five bouts.
Joshua Jones, 3-0-1 (2), signed with Dunkin and Victory Promotions along with Ennis. He trains at both Marion Anderson and Bozy’s Dungeon. Aaron Ford is assisted by“Bozy” Ennis. Jones is 23 and a Super lightweight. He made his debut in April in Utah along with “Boots” stopping Jason Thompson at 2:33 of the third round.
He was to fight in Philly along with “Boots” but hurt his hand. He is now scheduled to fight January 28th in Philly. In June both boxers were on the Springfield, VA, show where Jones stopped Christopher Kuhn at 1:52 of the first round. In July he fought to a majority draw with Ahmet Kayretli in Erie, PA, getting a 39-37 vote with the other two having it 38-38. “He could have done better but he certainly deserved the fight. The opponent came in at 139 and was 150 at fight time. Jones has a fight scheduled forNovember 11th in Philadelphia at 2300 Arena meeting Corey Edwards, 2-1. “I believe Boots, Tight and Christian are all great and I believe we will all do big things in boxing,” said Jones.
Darmani “Tight” Rock, 6-0 (4), is a super heavyweight at 6:05 and averaging just under 250. He is trained by his father Wayne “Wiz”. They go between their own Rock Solid Boxing Gym at 2840 Chatman Street in Frankford section of North Philly. His promoter is Jay Z’s Roc Nation. In 2014 he won the Youth World Title in Bulgaria and in 2015 the US Nationals. He also won the 2015 National Golden Gloves. He made it as far as the Olympic Trials semi-finals.
In May Rock turned pro in D.C. stopping Carlos Black at 1:54 in round one in D.C. In June he stopped Bobby Favors who weighed 402 lbs. at 1:46 of round one in Quincy, MASS. In July he stopped Hassan Lee at 2:21 in round one in Pittsburgh. In August he won over Mike Kyle in Oakland 40-35 and a pair of 39-37’s.He is 20.In October he stopped John Orr in Winchester, VA. On November 19th in Las Vegas, NV, he defeated Brice Ritani Coe, 4-4-1, by decision.
Rock is next scheduled January 20th at Bally’s Event Center in Atlantic City, NJ. “My dad has trained me since I started at 12 or 13. I feel that I will get better and better with each fight,” said Rock.
The final one of the Fab Four is Bantamweight Christian Carto, 6-0 (6), of South Philly was an Olympic Trials Bronze medalist and went to the training camp in Colorado to help others after the trials. He is trained by Mickey Rosati, Jr. Mickey was a PA State GG champion. His gym is over his Business Rosati’sAuto RepairShop at 1937 S. Chadwick St., in South Philly.“He is a rare breed who comes in the gym six days a week. I’ve trained him for the past 3 years. He’s a pleasure to train because he listens. He’s up to bantamweight,” said RosatiHe is managed by Jimmy Binns, Jr.of Binns Management out of Las Vegas.
Carto was the 108 National Golden Gloves Champion in 2014 defeating Leroy “Lucious” Davila who was No. 1 in the nation and 4-0 now as a pro. “I was with him when he beat Davila who was the best in the country,” said Rosati.Cartofinished third in the 2015 Golden Gloves. His father Frank is always there to support his son who is 20. His brother Frank, Jr. won the Novice at 141 in the Golden Gloves this year.
Carto turned pro at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA, stopping Rahkeem Parker who wouldn’t come out after three rounds. In his second bout he stopped Christopher Nelson at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City in the third round just 20 days later after his debut. In August in his third bout he stopped Jonathan Hernandez at 1:02 of the second round at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly. In his fourth bout on October 28th Carto stopped Angel Carvajal, 2-4, in the second round.
In his fifth fight on November 12th he stopped Leonardo Reyes, 5-10, in the second round. Carto has a big following which showed in his last fight with all the Carto shirts. He boxes well with good balance and is finding some punching power in the professionals. He won his sixth straight at the Sugar House Casino in Philly on December 16th. He knocked out Harold Reyes, 2-6-1, in the second round. During the referee’s instructions to start the bout Reye’s trainer said “now you are in with a man.” Carto’s trainer Mickey Rosati said “I can’t believe he said that. That’s just not right.” After the first round of which Carto won big he pointed to the trainer of Reye’s in the corner saying something. After knocking Reye’s out in the second round Carto again pointed to the trainer with some choice words.
Two other Philly boxers Paul Kroll won the Olympic Trials but didn’t qualify for the Olympics while Mark Dawson fought to a draw in his debut and won his first fight in the Olympic Trials but suffered a cut and wasn’t able to go onto the next round. He is with Split-T Management under David Mc Water. He’s a former 2012 Jr. National PAL, 2013 Nation Silver Gloves, 2013 National Jr. Olympics and 2015 Youth Nationals champion with 75 amateur bouts. He is 19.