Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 3rd to September 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
‘Time to Shine’ Prograis and Taylor Face-to-Face in London Ahead of Ali Trophy Final
USA’s Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Scotland’s Josh Taylor (15-0, 13 KOs) met on Monday in England’s capital at an intense kickoff press conference ahead of their highly anticipated WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
“I am excited to come to London, most fighters don’t get this chance in a lifetime,” said Prograis, WBA World Champion & WBC Diamond Champion.
The New Orleans native known as the ‘Rougarou, a werewolf-like creature of Louisiana’s folklore, does not see the final as a 50-50 match-up.
“Everybody always says they are going to beat me. Everybody says it was going to be a 50/50 fight but I blow everyone up. He is taller than me, he is longer than me, but you can’t determine my heart on the tale of the tape. And you can’t determine my IQ, Not to be cocky, but I can’t see him beating me.”
The beast from the bayou is up against ‘The Tartan Tornado’ from Prestonpans who is at least as confident in his own abilities.
“I am full of confidence,” said Taylor, IBF World Champion & WBC Silver Champion.
“I think I am bigger than him, quicker than him, stronger than him, and I punch just as hard as him. If he walks onto a shot I can get him out of there or I can out-box him for the full 12 rounds.
“I am headlining the show down here, tapping into the British fans, so I can’t wait,” he added. “Right now, I believe myself and Regis are the best two in the division, we are the guys to beat. And we are going to prove it on October 26. This is my time to shine and I am super confident.”
“This is it, the Champions League of boxing,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is a super final, the super-lightweight final for the Ali Trophy and ‘the man to beat in the division’. It’s not often you see the best against the best and this is one of the best fights of the year.
“I have watched them both and studied them extensively. Regis likes to keep his distance and is very fast in and out whilst Josh will come right at you and those two styles blend well.
“I can’t predict who wins. It’s really a dream to have two undefeated champions, two huge personalities in the final and we are very much looking forward to it.”
Prograis and Taylor entered the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Ali Trophy as the two highest-seeded boxers in a loaded 140lb bracket.
No. 1 seed Prograis earned his spot in the final by outdoing Terry Flanagan on points last October, and then went on to stop Kiryl Relikh in round 6 and take the WBA World title in the semi in late April. Meanwhile, second seed Taylor stopped Ryan Martin in round 7 last November and then proceeded to decision Ivan Baranchyk to claim the IBF World title in May.
The WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final at The O2 in London on October 26 is shown live via Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the U.S.
DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service, will exclusively bring U.S. fight fans the WBSS Season II Finals. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
Heavy: Fury vs. Schwarz Premieres on ESPN on September 12th
Tyson Fury walked to the ring for his Las Vegas debut June 15 dressed like Apollo Creed and flanked by showgirls. He was set to defend his lineal heavyweight title against Tom Schwarz, but first, the man who authored one of sport’s greatest comeback stories wanted to give the fans a show.
Two days before Fury returns to the ring to defend his crown against unbeaten contender Otto Wallin this Saturday, September 14 live and exclusively on ESPN+ (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT), director Peter Berg and Film 45 give viewers an intimate portrait of Fury and Schwarz in the days, and tense moments, leading up to their fight.
Produced and directed by renowned filmmaker Berg, the creator and executive producer of the multiple award-winning NBC drama series “Friday Night Lights” and several ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” installments, “HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” features behind-the-scenes footage of Fury and his then-undefeated challenger as they prepared for their showdown. The documentary is executive produced by Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll and Matthew Shattuck for Film 45, and it will premiere this Thursday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Fury won the lineal and unified heavyweight titles in November 2015 with a unanimous decision over longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko, but mental health and substance abuse issues nearly derailed his career. He returned to the ring in June 2018, and less than six months later, fought WBC world champion Deontay Wilder to a highly disputed draw in one of the sport’s most memorable heavyweight championship battles. Now a noted mental health advocate and motivational speaker, Fury is fighting for his boxing legacy and aiming to inspire those afflicted with mental illness.
“We are excited to provide a raw and intimate account of the Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight,” said Berg. “The documentary takes viewers into the minds and lives of the boxers as they navigate the pressures of the mentally and physically taxing sport.”
‘“HEAVY: Fury v Schwarz” is a terrific documentary and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to boxing fans on ESPN platforms, the home of combat sports,” Matt Kenny, vice president of programming at ESPN said. “Peter Berg is a master storyteller of exceptional credentials who has created an unforgettable portrait of Fury’s Las Vegas breakout moment.”
KSI and Logan Paul 2 Tickets On Pre-Sale Now
Presale tickets are now LIVE for the rematch between KSI and Logan Paul at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday November 9, live on DAZN in a fight presented by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Boxing USA in association with OP Talent.
The YouTube rivals clashed in August 2018 at the sold-out Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and was watched by over 1 million live pay-per-view buyers on YouTube, with the fight ending in a majority draw with KSI edging the battle on one card with two judges unable to split them.
Now the pair meet once again to settle the score in the ring with Paul welcoming his rival to his LA backyard, and this time they do so as professional fighters having passed their relevant medicals last week, and they will come face-to-face for the first time since their fight at a launch press conference in Los Angeles on Saturday September 14, which is when tickets will go on
The larger-than-life internet stars with over 40 million YouTube subscribers between them have been itching to get their hands on each other once again, as have their loyal armies of fans, and now the countdown begins to their second night in the boxing spotlight.
Devin Haney Training Camp Quotes
Rising star and undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KOs), has wrapped up training camp for his upcoming showdown with Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7 KOs).
Haney vs. Abdullaev, promoted by Matchroom Boxing and Devin Haney Promotions, will be a 12-round main event bout for the WBC interim lightweight championship on Friday September 13 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Haney, who will be making his first appearance at “The Mecca of Boxing” – Madison Square Garden, will look to make it a memorable one as he has plans to take over the lightweight division.
TICKETS START AT JUST $30 (PLUS FEES) AND ARE AVAILABLE FROM TICKETMASTER HERE
Here is what Haney had to say about the upcoming fight:
On his upcoming fight against Zaur Abdullaev:
“I know Abdullaev is focused, he’s been at the top of the rankings for a while now, so I know he’s ready to fight. He’s an undefeated fighter, who has beaten some quality opposition, so I take him very seriously. I’m just very excited to face Abdullaev because it will show the world my skills and why I am the new face of the sport.”
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp has been great. We started strength and conditioning with Coach Reggie at Phase 1. I really got stronger and I can feel the difference. I spent the next portion of camp at the SNAC System facility in the Bay Area working with Victor Conte. There I worked on my speed and explosiveness with well renowned track coach Remi Korchemny. I’ve had a world class training camp, with everything from strength and conditioning, to tremendous sparring, included with a lot of rest and recovery. This will be another memorable performance like my last fight on DAZN.”
On fighting for the WBC interim lightweight title:
“The WBC Interim World Championship means a lot to me. Some people kept labeling me a prospect when I knew I was so much more. Being able to fight for an Interim World Title means everything. This not only makes me the WBC mandatory for Vasiliy Lomacheno, but I’m able to do Interim Title defenses, until Loma is ready to fight. I believe the winner of Haney vs Abdullaev is in a really good position with the WBC.”
On headlining at Madison Square Garden on DAZN?
“This is something I’ve always dreamed about for sure. MSG is the most historic and iconic arena in all of sports. I’m headlining a card full of great fights. Heather Hardy (22-0) vs Amanda Serrano (36-1) for the WBO World Female Featherweight Title will be a very exciting fight. My good friend from Las Vegas, Michael Hunter (17-1) vs Sergey Kuzmin (15-0) will be a terrific fight as well. There are only two losses between all six of the fighters on the main card. This is my first time at the Hulu Theater, and I’m going to put on a helluva show. Everyone should get their tickets now, because it’s going to be a great night of boxing and entertainment.”
Padilla-Tomas Fight Headlines Peltz’ 50th Anniversary Card October 4th in Philadelphia
Junior welterweights Victor Padilla, of Berlin, NJ, and Romain Tomas, of Brooklyn, NY, will square off in the main event Friday evening, Oct. 4, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The eight-bout card, labeled Blood, Sweat & 50 Years, will celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Peltz Boxing Promotions. The card is being promoted by Raging Babe (Michelle Rosado) with J Russell Peltz serving as the matchmaker. First bout 7:30 p.m.
Going old-school on this one, Peltz has scheduled the Padilla-Tomas fight for six rounds, harking back to the first two decades of the 20th century when all main events in Pennsylvania were limited to that distance.
The 20-year-old Padilla, originally from Vieques, Puerto Rico, is a southpaw with speed and power. He has won all five of his fights by first-round knockout. In fact, he has only been in the ring for a total of six minutes, 29 seconds, in those five contests. Although none of his five opponents had a winning record when he fought them—their combined mark was 17-29-1 at the time—Padilla still is considered one of the best young pros on the East Coast. He is promoted by Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment.
The 30-year-old Tomas is originally from Emerainville in the Seine-et-Marne region of France, outside Paris. He brings an 8-2 record into the fight with Padilla. Tomas is coming off his biggest career win, a six-round decision over previously unbeaten (7-0) Omar Bordoy in Bordoy’s nearby backyard of Hampton, NH.
“Some of the greatest fighters of all-time appeared in hundreds of six-round main events during those 20 years at the turn of the last century,” said promoter J Russell Peltz. “In my 50 years in boxing, this marks the first time I have been involved with a six-round main event. When you’ve never done something before, often that is the best reason for doing it.
“Hall-of-Fame champions like Jack Johnson and Benny Leonard boxed six-round main events in Philadelphia during those years,” said Peltz. “How about Stanley Ketchell vs. Sam Langford or Joe Gans taking on Jack Blackburn? I would have loved to have seen those battles. Lew Tendler, Abe Attell, Terrible Terry McGovern, Rocky Kansas, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien. Philadelphia was the boxing capital of the country and six-round main events was the norm.
“I’m an old-school kind of guy so this is going to be fun for me. This represents the past and Padilla vs. Tomas will give us a peek into the future.”
The undercard is topped by three additional six-round rematches.
Junior middleweights Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, and Isaiah Wise, of North Philadelphia, meet in a rematch of their 2016 at the 2300 Arena, won by Zapata via majority four-round decision, the first loss of Wise’ career.
Zapata (6-2-4) also defeated Fred Jenkins, Jr., early in 2017 over six rounds in the same ring. Wise (7-2-1, 4 K0s) last boxed 10 months ago when he knocked out Andy Gonzales, of Worcester, MA, at the 2300 Arena.
Junior welterweights Gerardo Martinez, of Coatesville, PA, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, collide in the other six-round rematch.
Martinez (4-1, 1 K0) earned a four-round majority decision over Charles (13-19-1, 2 K0s) at the 2300 Arena. While Martinez has been idle since, Charles picked up a four-round points victory in June over Laquan Lewis, of Brooklyn, NY, at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
North Philadelphia welterweight Marcel Rivers (7-1, 4 K0s) will fight in a six round contest.
Four-rounders scheduled for Oct. 4 include: Shinard Bunch, of Trenton, NJ, vs. Rakym Dyer, of South Philadelphia, welterweights; Christopher Burgos, North Philadelphia, vs. Tyree Arnold, North Philadelphia, junior welterweights; Vinnie Denierio, Elmira, NY, vs. Seifullah Wise, North Philadelphia, lightweights.
Lightweight Shamar Fulton, of North Philadelphia, also will appear in a four-round contest.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Top Rank Promotions will partner with Peltz Boxing Promotions to put on an event at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The main event was originally scheduled to be a featherweight fight between Emmanuel Dominguez and Carl”The Jackal” Frampton, but a freak accident caused a facture in the left hand of Carl Frampton, and that fight had to be scrapped.
The junior lightweight fight between Jason Sosa and Haskell Lydell Rhodes was elevated to main event status and the co-main event will be between Edgar Berlanga and Gregory Trenel in the middleweight division.
Other boxers on the undercard include two time Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez, as well as prospects Paul Kroll, Donald Smith, and heavyweight Sonny Conto.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Edgar Berlanga (11-0) vs. Gregory Trenel (11-4-2); Middleweights
It should probably be noted again that this fight was bumped up to co-main event status after Carl Frampton broke his left hand.
Berlanga is a 6’1 prospect from New York that has stopped every opponent he has faced at this point in his career. He’s a tall middleweight at 6’1 and took second place several times at the National Police Athletic League as an amateur.
Trenel doesn’t have any notable amateur experience. He’s 28 years old and only has three stoppage wins. He has never been stopped in defeat, but has losses to Vincenzo Bevilacqua. Mickael Sanches, Christopher Guedes, and Karim Hayani. None of those boxers are very well known.
Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Berlanga fought twice in 2019 and three times in 2018. Trenel fought once in 2019 and three times in 2018. However, Trenel has never fought in the United States before and the combined record of his past two opponents was 13-55-2.
This fight should be a blowout. Anything less than a stoppage victory for Berlanga would be considered disappointing.
Jason Sosa (22-3-4) vs. Haskell Lydell Rhodes (27-3-1); Junior Lightweights
Jason Sosa is a Camden native that formerly held the WBA Super Featherweight Title. He’ll likely have a large contingent of supportive fans in attendance since Camden is a short trip from Philadelphia.
Sosa is the same age as his opponent and will be giving up about two and a half inches in reach but will have an inch height advantage. Both Sosa and Rhodes have not been very active the past two years. Sosa only fought once in 2019 and once in 2018. Rhodes fought three times in 2018, but zero times in 2019 and zero times in 2017.
Neither boxer has an extensive amateur background.
Sosa has gone 2-2 in his past four fights, but two of his losses were to big time opponents. He has losses to Yuriorkis Gamboa and Vasiliy Lomachenko. He also has a loss early in his career to Tre’Sean Wiggins. He has a majority draw with Nicholas Walters and has defeated the likes of Reynaldo Blanco, Stephen Smith, and Javier Fortuna.
Fortuna was the biggest win of his career and he win the WBA Super Featherweight Title in that fight.
Rhodes has losses to Omar Douglas, Edner Cherry, and Sergey Lipinets. His notable wins were against Miguel Huerta, John Nater, and Yakubu Amidu. Rhodes briefly competed in MMA.
Sosa has to be considered a favorite, but Rhodes is a live underdog. The home field advantage should help Sosa on his way to victory.
By: Ken Hissner
Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions brought back big time boxing to Philadelphia Saturday, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center via ESPN before a well entertained crowd.
In the Main Event WBO World Junior Featherweight champion southpaw Jesse Magdelano, 25-1 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, tasted defeat for the first time losing to interim WBO champion Isaac Dogboe, 19-0 (13), of Accra, GH, who stopped him at 1:38 of the eleventh round of a scheduled 12.
In the first round Dogboe was the aggressor. Dogboe landed a solid left hook to the head of Magdelano but got countered with a 3 punch combination dropping him. Magdelano lead with a left hand to the chin of Dogboe hurting him but Dogboe tossed him to the canvas. In the second round Dogboe led with a right but got countered by a Magdelano left to the head. Dogboe rocked Magdelano with a lead overhand right to the head.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
In the third round Dogboe led with a right to the chin of Magdelano making him clinch. A left uppercut to the chin by Magdelano buckled the knees of Dogboe. Dogboe came back with a good combination to the body and head of Magdelano. At the bell Dogboe landed a hard overhand right to the chin of Magdelano. In the fourth round both landed with exchanges. A pair of rights to the head from Dogboe rocked Magdelano.
In the fifth round Dogboe dropped Magdelano with a vicious right to the chin. Then he went after him with a flurry of punches making Magdelano hold on. In the sixth round Dogboe drove Magdelano into the ropes on several occasions making him hold on. The sixth and seventh rounds were dominated by Dogboe though Magdelano was always dangerous. In the eighth round Dogboe continued to go after Magdelano with body and head shots. Dogboe told this writer prior to the fight he would “outsmart Magdelano” and that is the way he fought.
In the ninth round Dogboe backed up Magdelano without throwing any punches for the most part as Dogboe seemed to be loading up. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. had trouble at times sepeerating the two with Magdelano refusing to let go of Dogboe. It was a cat and mouse round with Magdelano getting chased.
In the tenth round Dogboe landed half a dozen punches hurting Magdelano who would pound on his own chest as if he was hurt but was. A body shot by Dogboe from a right to the body hurt Magdelano. Magdelano walked on shaky legs back to his corner. In the eleventh round Dogboe landed four unanswered punches. Seconds later a combination from Dogboe dropped Magdelano to his knees. Dogboe jumped all over him with body shots until a right uppercut dropping him until referee Esteves wisely stopped the onslaught. Dogboe made Magdelano pay for his remarks at the press conference!
Dogboe got off to a slow start but from the fourth round on it was all his fight. This humble God loving fighter will be taking the championship belt back to his home in Ghana! It couldn’t happen to a nicer God loving man!
Co-Feature Event Super Middleweight WBO No. 1 contender Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 24-1 (20), of Philadelphia, overwhelmed Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-3-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, at 2:26 of the seventh round for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
In the first round Hart came out like a wild man trying to end it early. He is not the puncher like his father. He has better tools but not the punch of “the Cyclone”. He controlled the entire round up until the final seconds when Nicholson hit him with a right knocking him across the ring into the ropes which should have been ruled a knockdown by referee Shawn Clark. In the third round Hart landed a left to the body causing a delayed knockdown. Hart landed a left hook to the chin of Nicholson almost dropping him.
In the fourth round Hart continued to man handle Nicholson throughout with Nicholson landing an occasional right to the head of Hart. In the fifth round Hart continued to throw the right hand bomb but got countered with a solid right from Nicholson on the chin. Nicholson kept slipping most of Hart’s wild punches but got hit enough not to win the round. Nicholson showed too much respect for Hart who at the press conference said “I looked up to him when I was just 14!”
In the sixth round Hart landed three right hands to the head while in close. Nicholson finally came back with a left hook to the head of Hart. Hart kept pinning Nicholson to the ropes where Nicholson was defenseless. A Hart uppercut to the chin of Nicholson rocked him. Nicholson landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Hart and came back with two more ending the round.
In the seventh round it was Nicholson turning aggressor. Hart looked like he was spent from all the punching he did earlier and all of a sudden he seemed to hurt Nicholson but went after him and missed with a left hook but seemed to push Nicholson to the canvas who argued with the referee Clark but wouldn’t get up. When he did the referee waved it off.
There was a controversy afterwards between both fighters almost coming to blows. The Nicholson camp and the fighter were unhappy with the ending but he lost every round and should have let his hands not his mouth do the talking.
Heavyweight Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 23-2 (13), won a close hard decision over Joey “Tank” Dawejko, 19-5-4 (11), of Philadelphia, for the vacant USA PA Heavyweight title over 10 rounds.
In the first round Dawejko landed several left hooks to the body of Jennings. Jennings came back with a double jab to the chin. Dawejko landed a double left hook to body and head of Jennings. Jennings depended on his jab the entire round. Dawejko was much more active. In the second round Jennings started off with a left hook to the head of Dawejko. Dawejko dug in a left hook to the body of Jennings whiono continues using his jab to chin and mid-section. Dawejko warned for low punch by referee Gary Rosato. Dawejko came back with a right to the head. Jennings ended the round with a solid left hook to the head of Dawejko.
In the third round Dawejko landed a lead overhand right to the head of Jennings. Dawejko landed a trip left hook to the body and head of Jennings. Jennings came back to do the same combination. In the fourth round Jennings landed a double jab to the chin. Dawejko came back with a combination to the head. Dawejko landed a right uppercut to the chin and followed with a left hook to the head of Jennings. Dawejko missed with a left hook while Jennings countered with his best punch a right to the head of Dawejko. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a low punch causing referee Rosato to warn him.
In the fifth round Dawejko landed a looping left hook to the head of Jennings. Both fighters exchanged good body shots inside. Jennings continues to use an effective jab. Dawejko continues to stalk him. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a solid right following a jab to the chin of Dawejko getting his attention. In the sixth round Jennings landed a left hook to the head of Dawejko knocking him off balance. Jennings halfway through the round started using the ring to avoid any exchanges giving away the round.
In the seventh round Dawejko went after Jennings with left hooks to the body and head. Jennings kept peppering Dawejko with his jab. Jennings countered Dawejko with a right uppercut to the chin. In the eighth round Jennings started thins off with a right to the body and head of Dawejko. Dawejko pinned Jennings to the ropes while Jennings tried to spin him off but ended in a clinch. Dawejko drove Jennings into a corner with a flurry of punches.
In the ninth round Jennings landed a good left hook to the chin of Dawejko who acknowledged it as a good one. Dawejko pushed Jennings into a corner forcing Jennings to tie him up. Jennings landed a lead straight right to the chin of Dawejko getting a reaction from the crowd. Dawejko ended the round with a combination to the body of Jennings.
In the tenth and final round Dawejko pinned Jennings against the ropes while referee Rosado again stepped in separating the two. Jennings knocked the mouthpiece of Dawejko out with a right to the chin. Jennings landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Dawejko. Dawejko landed a half dozen unanswered punches before Jennings landed a solid left hook to the head.
“I thought it was a competitive fight and maybe I should have done more,” said Dawejko. That was a statement from a very humble Dawejko. He did mention that he felt the referee separated them too much when he had Jennings against the ropes throwing punches. Both fighters showed respect at the press conference for each other and it seemed to carry on after the fight but from press row this writer was not able to hear Jennings comments and since the Executive Director Greg Sirb doesn’t allow this writer into the locker rooms after fights I was not able to talk to Jennings.
“Styles make good fights and I thought I came out with the win. With a new trainer I have to try to get what he wants me to do. I believe good things are coming. Joey is a slick fighter trying to set traps for me. It isn’t easy fighting a smaller fighter at times. I felt the scoring was what I felt it should have been. I was hurt once in the fight. He is a helluva fighter. We showed respect for one another knowing when we got warned from the referee it was not intentional on our parts,” said Jennings.
Judges all had it 98-92 for Jennings but this writer had it 97-93 for Dawejko. The press favored Jennings for the most part.
2016 Olympian southpaw Shakur Stevenson, 6-0 (3), of Newark, NJ, won by TKO over Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-1 (6), Dallas, GA, at 1:35 of the second reound in a scheduled 8.
In the first round Stevenson used an effective jab to control the pace. Stevenson hurt Riley with a straight left to the mid-section of Riley. In the second round a left hook from Stevenson drove Riley into the ropes. Stevenson knocked Riley down with a combination of punches. He followed up with an onslaught of punches causing referee Clark to call a halt.
Super Featherweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Robson Conceicao, 7-0 (4), of Salvador, Bahia, BRZ, pitched a shutout over Mexican Alex Torres “Azteca de Oro” Rynn, 6-2 (3), of Calgary, Ontario, CAN, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Conceicao dominated Rynn with good body work and occasional head shots. In the second round Conceicao continued with solid body work with both hands. Rynn kept switching from orthodox to southpaw and back. Conceicao landed a hard combination to the head and ended the round with a right to the chin of Rynn.
In the third round Conceicao kept landing with body punches but Rynn landed a hard counter right from the southpaw stance. From the third round through to the sixth Conceicao put on a good exhibition of his boxing skills.
All 3 judges and this writer had it 60-54.
Popular Bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0 (8), of South Philadelphia, won an easy decision over Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 8-5-1 (4), of PR, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Carto controlled with his jab. Rodriguez landed a left hook which was countered by a Carto right to the head. Carto landed a solid right to the head of Rodriguez who was coming forward. Carto landed a double left hook as the bell sounded ending the round. In the second round Carto landed a double jab followed by a left hook to the body of Rodriguez. Both fighters exchanged left hooks to the head. Carto landed a lightning fast lead right to the chin of Rodriguez. Carto continued to set the pace with his jab.
In the third round Carto landed a 3-punch combination to body and head of Rodriguez. Carto landed a left hook to the ribs of Rodriguez. Carto landed a jab follwed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued to make Rodriguez miss. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto at the bell. In the fourth round Rodriguez landed a double left hook to the body of Carto. Carto landed a double left hook to the body and head of Rodriguez. Carto controlled with his jab but got countered by a Rodriguez right to the chin. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto who countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.
In the fifth round both boxers landed several body punches. Carto hurt Rodriguez with a hard left hook to the head. Carto landed several lead rights to the chin of Rodriguez. Both exchanged rights to the head. Carto ended the round with a 3-punch combination to body and head. In the sixth round Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Carto. There was a clash of heads leaving a lump on the top of Carto’s head. While using the ring well Carto countered with rights to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued at times backing into the ropes and countered Rodriguez well.
In the seventh round both boxers exchanged rights to the head. Carto landed several counter left’s to the body of Rodriguez. Rodriguez landed a short right to the chin of Carto. In the eighth and final round Carto countered a Rodriguez left with a combination to the head. Carto continues to impress with each fight.
“He was a tough fighter. I thought I got head butted in the sixth round. It was a tough fight but I’m learning”, said Carto. His trainer is Mickey Rosati, his brother Frankie is the assistant and manager while cut-man Joey Eye rounded out team Carto.
Judges had it 77-75 twice and 78-74 while this writer had it 80-72.
Super Lightweight Kent “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Cruz, 14-0-1 (9), of St. Louis, MO, and Mohamed Rodriguez, 11-4-1 (4), of San Luis Potosi, MEX, drew in a lack luster 8 rounds.
In the first round the boxers felt each other out as Cruz stalked Rodriguez landing an occasional jab. Rodriguez missed with a wild left hook. Cruz landed a partially blocked right to the head of Rodriguez. In the second round Rodriguez missed with a wild right. Cruz landed a double jab to the chin of Rodriguez. Cruz missed a right and was countered by a Rodriguez left hook to the chin. Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Cruz just prior to the end of the round.
In the third round Cruz threw a pair of left hooks with the second one landing on the chin of Rodriguez. In close Cruz landed a left hook to the head of Rodriguez. Rodriguez missed with 3 punches. In the fourth round little action continued with Cruz using his jab. Cruz received a warning for hitting the back of the head of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez missed with a right while Cruz countered with a solid left hook to the chin of Rodriguez which was the best punch of the fight up until then.
In the sixth round Cruz continued using the jab. Cruz landed a right to the body of Rodriguez. Both boxers exchanged jabs to the mid-section. In the seventh round both landed left hooks to the head at the same time. Rodriguez continued to miss more than landing. In the eighth and final round Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Cruz and did a little dance. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the head of Cruz and missed with a second one.
The Judges had it 78-74 Cruz, 77-75 Rodriguez, and 76-76. This writer had it 77-75 Cruz. This entire fight was without anything to get the crowd into it.
Hot prospect Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 7-0 (7), of Allentown, PA, stopped Jorge Hugo “Dandy” Padron, 3-2 (3), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:11 of the first round in a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round Adorno stalked Padron landing a solid left to the body. Seconds later Adorno landed a jab followed by a wicked right to the ribs of Padron dropping him to a knee and unable to continue. Adorn brought many fans from the Lehigh County with him.
Opening the event Super Welterweight Marcel Rivers, 5-0 (4), of Philadelphia, stopped Ronald Logan, 0-3 (0), of the Bronx, NY, at 0:40 of the second round of a scheduled 4 rounds.
In the first round Rivers landed the first solid punch a right to the head of Logan backing him up several steps. Shortly thereafter a Rivers right to the mid-section backed Logan up several steps. Rivers continued to stalk Logan. Logan threw an overhand right that missed while Rivers countered with a combination to the head of Logan. In the second round Rivers landed a solid left hook to the head of Logan who started to run backwards until he fell on his own. Referee Rosato ruled it a slip. Upon rising Logan started to limp and indicated he couldn’t continue forcing the referee to halt the fight.
Ring announcer Lupe Contreras is back in the east and doing his usual great job.
By: Ken Hissner
Philly’s Avery Sparrow puts all his trust in his promoter IBHOF promoter/matchmaker J Russell Peltz. He is currently No. 14 in the WBO ratings due to a victory over previous No. 5 Jose Lopez.
This is what Peltz had to say about his fighter when he was introduced first while fighting an opponent from Nogales, Mexico on the first pro show at Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA, on March 9th.
“When I mentioned this to Brittany Rogers who coordinated the smoothly run show, she remarked “since when did J Russell Peltz care about such things as who enters the ring first?” Never once did Sparrow mention it to me later that shows he has bought into the Peltz Boxing system for which we need a name. You’ve heard of the West Coast offense in football and the Triangle in basketball, but we need a name for the Peltz Boxing system. Something like, as Michelle Rosado coined last week: “If you want a tune-up, go to Midas!”
Avery Sparrow never said one word about being introduced first. He never moaned that he was making substantially less money for March 9th than he made for November 30th when he upset Jose Lopez, the No. 5 ranked WBO junior lightweight contender in the world, on ESPN. He never argued that Jesus Serrano, 17-4-2, was not exactly “a walk in the park type of opponent”. He never threatened to pull out when he was 8 pounds over the contract weight 48 hours before the weigh-in. He simply went out there and destroyed a credible opponent in less than 2 rounds to secure his rating with the WBO and hopefully open the eyes of the other ranking organizations.
I cannot sit here and tell you that Avery Marcus Sparrow will win the world title but I can tell you that after 49 years in this sometimes wonderful, sometimes rancid business of professional boxing, I am grateful that he believes in me as much as I believe in him. I’m not going to worry if, when the money comes in, that some moron on the street will fill his head with negative thoughts about me. That’s part of the business, but as I head to the top of the stretch of my career, I am enjoying the ride.
Sparrow is 10-1 (4) and turned 24 in January. He turned professional in July of 2014 winning his first 4 fight, 2 by stoppage, before losing for the only time in his career so far by DQ in the 6th and final round to Jerome Rodriguez, 6-3-3, in October of 2015. He came back in March of 2016 to score a first round knockout in Dubai Night Life in Charlotte, NC.
Sparrow didn’t fight again until March of 2017 when he was pitted against one time Philly prospect Anthony Burgin, 10-2, when he won an 8 round split decision. In June he was up in The Sands in Bethlehem, PA, defeating Isaelin Florian, 6-0, of the DR and Reading, PA. In September he was put in with another 6-0 boxer named Joey Laviolette from Nova Scotia, Canada who he defeated by majority decision in 8 rounds. Two months later he defeated Lopez, who was 19-1-1 (14), at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, MD. This put him into the WBO Super Featherweight ratings.
In December of 2015 Peltz took Camden’s Jason Sosa who was 18-1-3, on a trip to a world championship. Sosa only had one 10 round bout prior to this. Sosa was pitted with Nicholas Walters the WBA World Super Featherweight champion who Sosa drew with in a non-title bout. In his next fight in June of 2016 Sosa defeated Javier Fortuna in Beijing, China, for the world title that Walters had given up.
Will Peltz lead Avery Sparrow to a world super featherweight title the same way? Only time will tell!
Boxing in Atlantic City has been prevalent for more than 45 years. One man who has been in the center of a lot of the action on the boardwalk has been International Boxing and Atlantic City Boxing Hall-of-Fame promoter and matchmaker J Russell Peltz.
The Philadelphia legend, who has promoted scores of cards in the shore town, is making matches for the February 24 card at The Showboat Hotel that will feature Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna vs. Gabriel “Tito” Bracero in a 10-round battle for the WBC Fecarbox Welterweight championship.
“I did my first fight in 1973,” said Peltz, who has run shows in just about every property in Atlantic City.
It is only fitting that Peltz is the matchmaker with promoter Rising Star Promotions in the South Jersey based promotional outfit’s effort to bring Atlantic City back to prominence as the the premier fight destination on the East Coast.
Peltz is hoping LaManna-Bracero is added to the memorable bouts that Peltz has been involved in Atlantic City:
1. August 31, 1981 at The Sands Hotel–Frank Fletcher vs Ernie Singletary.(PRISM)
“The fight was televised by local cable channel PRISM (Jim Barniak and Bob Wright, both deceased, did the commentary) and it was for Fletcher’s USBA middleweight title.
“This was the most brutal fight I ever saw, even more brutal than Matthew Saad Muhammad-Marvin Johnson I. This was a closet classic since few saw it on PRISM. The fight was toe-to-toe for seven rounds, no knockdowns, until ringside doctor stopped it between the seventh and eighth round. They coukd have fought this one in a phone booth.
“Singletary was taken to hospital after fight.
“Later, when we couldn’t find Fletcher, we broke into his hotel room, and he was out cold on the floor. We couldn’t get an ambulance so we (Marty Feldman and I) put him in the back of a police wagon and rode with him to the hospital where the doctor told us if we hadn’t found him he would have been dead.
“Singletary kept saying in the pre-fight buildup that no 12-2 TV fighter was gonna beat him. This was a reference to Fletcher getting into the first ESPN tournament and winning while Singletary had been plying his trade for years (24-2 then) and never got that kind of exposure, just on PRISM. Actually, Fletcher already had been on NBC once, beating Norberto Sabater.”
2. September 9, 1980 from Resorts–Mike Rossman vs. Al Bolden (PRISM)
“Ex-WBA light-heavyweight Rossman was getting beat up every round for 8 1/2 rounds against Al Bolden, of Pittsburgh, PA, and finally found a little light late in round 9 and came on to knock Bolden out at 2:32 of the 10th round and salvage the win. Bolden took the second knockdown in the 10th on his knees.”
3. March 13, 1983 from Resorts–Jeff Chandler – Gaby Canizalez (ABC)
“Jeff Chandler, in the most brilliant performance of his Hall-of-Fame career out-boxed, out-punched and out-muscled future champion Gaby Canizales, of Texas, over 15 rounds to defend his WBA bantamweight title for the seventh time by unanimous decision. No one thought he could stand up under Canizales’ body attack but it was Chandler’s body and head attack that kept Canizales at bay for the entire fight. Just magnificent.”
4. March 2, 1985 from the Sands Hotel–Gary Hinton vs Aaron Pryor (ABC)
“Unknown lefty Gary Hinton gave IBF 140 pound world champ Aaron Pryor all he could handle, but a 14th-round knockdown helped Pryor gain a 15-round split decision with Sylvester Stallone in attendance. He was our partner at the time with Pryor. It was Pryor’s last successful title defense.”
5. November 19, 2011 from Ballys–Garrett Wilson vs. Chuck Mussachio
“Moving from light heavyweight to cruiserweight, Mussachio appeared to have out-boxed Wilson for 11 rounds in their USBA cruiserweight title fight, but Wilson drilled Mussachhio with a monstrous overhand right 41 seconds into the 12th round for the knockout win.”
Besides LaManna vs. Bracero, a terrific undercard has been assembled featuring undefeated fighters: light-heavyweight Frederick Julan (8-0, 6 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY; super middleweight Darren Goodall (5-0, 4 KOs), of New Milford, NJ; middleweight Omar Kabary Salem (1-0), of Brooklyn, NY; super lightweight Jahmal Dyer (4-0, 2 KOs), of Baltimore, MD.
FIGHT NIGHT TICKETS: $150, $80 and $55 and can be purchased at: www.risingboxingpromotions.com
More Atlantic City Boxing
By: Ken Hissner
How many times do boxers fight in a small facility and become world champions and “forget where they got their start?” IBF World Super Middleweight champion Charles “The Hatchet” Brewer was “the exception!”
Turning professional in August of 1989 on a Peltz Boxing show Brewer won his debut at the legendary Blue Horizon in North Philadelphia. “Due to a knockout Brewer’s 4 rounder aired on USA Network,” said Peltz. Ron Katz of Top Rank saw this fight and signed Brewer to a promotional contract. He would go onto win his first fourteen bouts of which two were at the “Blue” and a dozen in Atlantic City, NJ. He would then run into a southpaw “spoiler” named Robert Thomas and lost back to back split decisions. This writer at one time well after this period of time put Thomas into several matches as his “advisor”. Eight of those fourteen wins were by stoppage. After losing those decisions to Thomas Top Rank dropped him. Brewer would go onto win eight straight by stoppage. It all started with stopping fellow Philadelphian Willie Harris, 21-1 and later Mario Munoz 14-0 among those eight wins. J Russell Peltz signed Brewer starting with the Harris fight.
“He was an aggressive big puncher with a wide-open style combined with a questionable chin, which made his fights exciting and a Philly crowd pleaser. Evidently like fans in Argentina and Denmark, where the local fighter NEVER loses, Philly fans were smart to the max and had no problem with the visitor winning, so as long as he did it in style. That’s how out-of-towner fighters like Billy “Dynamite” Douglas became huge local draws. So with Brewer, fans could rely on a good action fight, and one with the drama of an opponent always having a “puncher’s chance.” – That quote came from long-time writer Jeff Jowett now with Seconds Out.
Brewer was Ranked No. 6 when his streak was stopped with back to back losses at the “Blue” to Lonnie Beasley, 20-1-1 and Rafael Williams 32-13. Two fights later he lost to Rodney Toney 18-0-2. He would then go onto win nine straight including winning the USBA title over Frank Rhodes, 22-3-3 at the “Blue”. Rhodes was managed then by former Philadelphia Eagle coach Buddy Ryan. “It still rates in my book as the best performance ever turned in by any fighter at the Blue Horizon. It was a terrific shut out if you can imagine a 12-0 bout terrific,” said Peltz.
Two fights later he would defend his USBA title at the “Blue” defeating Greg Wright, 13-1-1. This would lead him to earning a world title fight set-up by his promoter J Russell Peltz. It was June of 1997 defeating Gary Ballard, 22-2-1, when he stopped Ballard for the vacant title that Roy Jones, Jr., vacated in Tampa, FL.
In Brewer’s next fight in his first defense he went “back to his roots” to be the first and only boxer to defend a world title at the “Blue” defeating Joey DeGrandis, 23-3. Next up would be European champion Herol Graham, 48-5, in Atlantic City whom he stopped. In his next fight he went to Germany and stopped USBA champion Antoine Byrd, 31-6-1. On that card would be German Sven Ottke who improved his record to 12-0.
The German promoter must have seen something he liked and challenged Brewer in a title defense against Ottke just two months later. Brewer would lose a disputed split decision. The first loss to Ottke was my fault. I thought the judge from Italy was neutral but was in the bag. US judge George Hill had it 117-111 for Peterson. “The other judges had it 115-113 and 116-112 for Ottke. What a farce,” said Peltz.
It would take eleven months to get a rematch. In the meantime Ottke would win half a dozen fights during that period of time. In September of 2000 the outcome would be the same with Brewer losing by split decision. The US judge had it 116-113 for Brewer.
Brewer would win two of his next three fights and get an opportunity to challenge World Super Middleweight WBO champion Joe Calzaghe, 32-0, in Cardiff, Wales, losing a decision. “It was the only fight under me that Brewer was dominated. He had Calzaghe buzzed late in the seventh round when the bell rang,” said Peltz.
Brewer would then defeat three good fighters in Scott Pemberton, 24-2-1, Etianne Whitaker, 27-8-2 and Freeman Barr, 25-3 and become the No. 1 contender under Peltz. It would be over a year before he fought again and got a title fight. “The contract ran out and he signed with Lou DiBella. Those three bouts earned him a shot at the interim World WBO Super Middleweight title in Germany losing to Mario Veit, 44-1. His next and final bout would be a loss in Copenhagen in April of 2005 ending his career at 40-11 with 28 by stoppage. Per Peltz “Years later I told him God punished him for leaving me for those last two fights. He said “maybe so!”
“He was from the same neighborhood I was from. I knew his mother and father. I started training him at the 23rd PAL. From then on he started picking up everything and was a dedicated kid who came to the gym and did what I told him to do. He had all the heart in the world. He was a real good kid. He never got in any trouble. He won the title and held it for a while. When it was time for him to retire I told him he did okay and to get out while he was ahead,” said Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts.
Knowing Brewer on a personal note he would agree to answer questions for this writer.
KEN HISSNER: You went from fighter to writer after your career was over. You are not only best known to being a world champion but the “only” Philadelphia boxer to defend that title at the Legendary Blue Horizon. Whose decision was that?
CHARLES BREWER: We had a team meeting at Peltz’ office and he brought up the idea of hosting a World championship fight at the Blue. We saw that, it would be the first time in the history of the Blue Horizon, that a reigning, world champion, would be defending their title at the Blue, so that was a plus. History was going to be made by “The Hatchet” of course, the fight was on!
KEN HISSNER: Were Augie Scimecca and Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts (co-managers) in your corner for the most part of your career?
CHARLES BREWER: Augie came on board upon me turning pro in 89’. “Boogaloo” had been my trainer since I was 14 years old.
KEN HISSNER: You would face two boxers that would retire undefeated in Joe Calzaghe at 46-0 and Sven Ottke at 34-0. What was your opinion on both of them?
CHARLES BREWER: Calzaghe, definitely one of the best, gotta give credit where credit is due. He fought the smarter fight in our battle. Ottke? The WORST ROBBERIES I’ve ever experienced in my boxing career. (He would have gotten the decision if it were in the US with Calzaghe. He beat Ottke twice but lost a hometown decision.” – Bobby Watts)
KEN HISSNER: You were 15-2 at the “Blue”. Was that one of or the one favorite place for you to fight?
CHARLES BREWER: Well, not necessarily. Of course I loved the hometown admiration I received at the Blue and that I was becoming a household name there as well, but I wanted to through boxing see the world, and I am ever so grateful, to have traveled internationally through boxing.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and also thank you for so many exciting fights you gave to us fans.
CHARLES BREWER: Thank you…… Boxing Fans, for becoming fight fans of Charles “The Hatchet” Brewer.
By: Ken Hissner
J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing is well known to have Philly fighters against each other. Friday night at the 2300 Arena was no exception in South Philly. In the semi-final he had Philly super welterweights Isaiah Wise and Fred Jenkins, Jr. Coors and Parx Casino were associated sponsors. It was a very entertaining event.
Photo Credit: Peltz Boxing
In the semi-final bout Philly Super welterweight’s Isaiah Wise, 6-1 (3), of South Philly out slugged and dropped Fred Jenkins, Jr., 10-5 (3), of North Philly, twice in an all out Philly war in taking the 6 round decision.
In the first round both fighters were slugging it out when an overhand right on the top of the head from Wise dropped Jenkins. Shortly afterwards Wise again dropped Jenkins with a right hand just prior to the bell as referee Ron Bashir administered the 8 count. In the second round Jenkins came back as Wise went to the body and then the head. Though pinned against the ropes by Wise Jenkins rallied back. This is what promoter and matchmaker Peltz loves with Philly against Philly. In the third round Jenkins countered well before a right hand from Wise got his attention. Jenkins came right back with a right to the head of Wise. Jenkins came off the ropes landing a hard right to the head of Wise knocking his head back. Jenkins landed a hard left uppercut to the chin of Wise. Wise came back with a right hand that buckled the knees of Jenkins at the bell. The fans showed their appreciation at the end of the round.
In the fourth round Jenkins countered with a hard right to the chin of Wise who shook his head as if it wasn’t much. Wise came back with a right of his own stopping Jenkins in his tracks. This is an all out Philly war. Wise started dropping his hands while Jenkins took the round. In the fifth round Wise had a bloody nose but id didn’t stop him from going to war with Jenkins and rocking Jenkins with a hard right buckling his knees at the bell. In the sixth and final round Wise continued to be the aggressor while Jenkins countered. It was a Philly slugfest that the crowd loved. After Jenkins landed a right he was countered with a right by Wise who staggered Jenkins. At the bell both fighters were throwing leather as the crowd were on their feet.
Judge Rubenstein had it 60-52, Braslow 57-55 and Lundy 59-53 as did this writer.
In the Main Event Super featherweight Avery Sparrow, 8-1 (3), of North Philly, won a majority decision over former 4-time Canadian Amateur champion Joey Laviolette, 6-1 (4), of Nova Scotia, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Avery hurt Laviolette with a lead right to the mid-section making Laviolette grimace. Sparrow continued to go to the body while countering well. In the second round Sparrow continued to move around the ring outscoring Laviolette. In the third round Sparrow landed a solid left hook to the oncoming Laviolette’s chin. Laviolete keeps coming forward but seems to do more feinting than throwing. In the third round Laviolette finally started throwing punches while Sparrow welcomed the exchange. Laviolette seemed to finally get a round while Sparrow was given a warning from referee Esteves for an infraction just prior to the bell.
In the fifth round Laviolette landed a solid combination to the head of Sparrow. Sparrow continued to use the ring while Laviolette kept the chase. It was a close round with Laviolette working his way back into the fight. In the sixth round Sparrow used his jab effectively with a right hand at the end. In the seventh round Laviolete landed his best punch of the fight with a solid right hand to the chin of Sparrow. Sparrow started show boating after landing several punches. Laviolete didn’t seem impressed as he continued stalking Sparrow. In the eighth and final round Laviolete knowing he needs a knockout to win doesn’t seem to have enough left to do it. He is getting more offense from Sparrow then usual inside. Sparrow is trained by Vaughn Jackson.
Judge Dave Braslow had it a surprising 76-76 being overruled by James Kinney 79-73 and Anthony Lundy 80-72. This writer had it 78-74.
Super welterweight Elijah Vines, 5-0 (5), of South Philly, dropped Ishmael Altman, 0-1-1 (0), of Arapahoe, NC, twice causing Altman’s corner to wisely not allow him out for the second round.
In the first round of an even exchange Vines landed a crushing right hand dropping Altman. He quickly got on Altman and dropped him a second time with another right hand. At the bell Altman was tagged with a right hand and was guided back to the corner by referee Bashir. Altman’s trainer Don Turner wisely wouldn’t let his fighter out for the second round. Rev Thompson was in the corner of Vines who is managed by D&D which is Doc Nowicki and Dave Price.
In the fight of the night Welterweight Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 16-0 (10) of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, won a close decision over Dario “Macizo” Ferman, 14-3 (11), of Juarez, MEX, in an action packed 6 rounds.
In the first round at the halfway mark Rodriguez battered Ferman in the corner until Ferman managed to get out of the corner. Rodriguez rocked Ferman just prior to the bell. In the second round Ferman came fighting back in the round while Rodriguez knew he was in for a fight with the taller opponent. In the third round a war broke out with Rodriguez driving Ferman into a neutral corner until the latter slipped out of the corner. A hard right from Rodriguez drove Ferman several feet back into the ropes.
In the fourth round with both fighters taking turns being the aggressor Rodriguez landed several hard punches to the body of Ferman who acknowledged they were good punches. Just prior to the bell it was Ferman landing well to the head and body with the last punch going low at the bell with Ferman receiving a warning from referee Esteves. In the fifth round a lead right from Rodriguez got the attention of Ferman. In the sixth and final round Ferman landed a good left uppercut to the body followed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. The fight was at a fast pace with both fighters showing their skills. An overhand right to the top of the head of Rodriguez scored well but for some reason Ferman touched gloves as if it was a foul. The round was action filled with Ferman coming back well.
All 3 judge’s Rubenstein, Kinney and Braslow had it 59-55 while this writer had it 57-57.
Super middleweight southpaw Brandon Clark, 2-1 (1), of Columbus, OH, invaded Philadelphia only to run into Brandon Robinson, 6-1 (5), of Upper Darby, PA, who stopped him at 2:07 of the first round.
In the first round Robinson made first contact with a lead overhand right to the chin of Clark. Robinson continued to chase Clark and dropped him with a solid right to the chin. Quickly following up Robinson again dropped Clark with a right to the chin. As he hit the canvas for the second time referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. wisely immediately waved it off.
Super lightweight southpaw PR Victor Padilla, 4-0 (4), of Berlin, NJ, knocked out Javier Garcia, 8-16-1, of Gurabo, PR, now out of Philly, at 2:59 of the first round.
In the first round Padilla rocked Garcia with a right hook to the head. On at least two other occasions he rocked Garcia. Just seconds prior to the bell a left hand knocked out Garcia. No needed for a count from referee Bashir. “Chino” Rivas worked the corner of Padilla.
Welterweight Haitian Osnel Charles, 11-18-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ, was knocked out by Marcel Rivers, 3-0 (2), of Philly, at 1:41 of the fourth and final round.
In the opening round Charles seemed to have an edge over Rivers who at welterweight has dropped down a division. In the second round Charles landed a hard right but was countered well by a right from Rivers. Charles may have done enough to take the round.
In the third round with urging from his trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr. Rivers became more aggressive. The round turned into a slugfest with Rivers coming back to take the round. In the fourth and final round Rivers rocked Charles and followed up with a straight right to the chin of Charles knocking him out! There was no need for referee Esteves to give a count Charles was on the canvas for some time being administered by the ring physician.
Lightweight South Korean Jae Ho Kim, 6-5-1 (2), of Philly, lost a majority decision to southpaw Vinnie Denierio, 2-2 (1), of Elmira, NY,
In the first round Kim chased throwing wild punches while southpaw Denierio countered. No feeling out in this one. In the second round both boxers gave a workmanlike performance for the fans. Denierio’s landing at a higher rate than Kim who never keeps coming forward. Referee Bashir has warned Denierio twice for infractions. The last two rounds were similar to the first two with Denierio doing a little more than Kim.
In the walkout bout former amateur star Omar Kabary Salem, 1-0 (0), won his debut over Philly debut boxer Leon DeShields, 0-1 (0), over 4 rounds scoring one knockdown. He looks like a real prospect.
Salem dropped DeShields once in the second round. He looked like he was going to stop DeShields but the latter showed a lot of heart to hang in there until the end of the 4 rounds.
Salem was being cheered by a group of Brooklyn fans. All 3 judges Alan Rubenstein, James Kinney and Dave Braslow along with this writer had it 40-35.
Salem is trained by his father a former world title challenger known as the “Egyptian Magician”. His son was on the Egyptian Olympic team.
The ring announcer Steve Mittman did a fine job during an intermission introducing one of Philly’s most popular fighters in the past Randall “Tex” Cobb. No. 1 WBO contender Jesse “Hardwork” Hart was also introduced with his title challenge coming up on September 22nd.
By: Ken Hissner
IBHOF Promoter J Russell Peltz continues his tradition of Philly fighters fighting one another at the 2300 Arena in South Philly Friday night. In the Main Event he features Super welterweights Isaiah Wise against Fred Jenkins, Jr. There are 10 bouts scheduled with BAM Boxing’s Brittany Rogers also co-promoting and helping with the matchmaking.
Wise, 5-1 (3), has fought all his 6 fights at the 2300 Arena. Jenkins has fought his last 6 fights at the same venue. His father and trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr., is a PA BHOF trainer out of the ABC Rec Gym in North Philly.
In the co-feature Philly’s Super featherweight Avery Sparrow, 7-1 (3), taking on Canadian Joey Laviolette, 6-0 (4), of Sackville, Nova Scotia. The latter is a 4-time Canadian National Champion. Sparrow is 2-0 in 2017.
Philly’s Super welterweight Elijah Vines, 4-0 (4), is making his home debut against Gilbert Alex Sanchez, 5-7-1 (2), of Camden, NJ, who is coming back from 2 years of inactivity. Highly touted welterweight prospect Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 15-0 (10), of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, returns to action after 10 months taking on Dario “Macizo” Ferman, 14-2 (11), of Chihuahua, MEX.
Also on the under card are Philly welterweight prospect Marcel Rivers, 2-0 (1), Upper Darby Super welterweight Brandon Robinson, 5-1 (4), Philly lightweight Jae Ho Kim, 6-4-1 (2) formerly of South Korea, Philly debuting middleweight Leon DeShields and PR Super lightweight Victor Padilla, 3-0 (2), of Berlin, NJ, who is another good prospect will be among those on the undercard.
USA Comcast SportsNet will televise.
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 25th to August 1st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: HBO Sports
Gennady Golovkin Will Defend All his World Title Belts When he Faces Canelo Alvarez
Undefeated World Middleweight Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN wants to make one thing clear. On Saturday, September 16, when he faces Canelo Alvaraez, Golovkin is walking into the ring at the T-Mobile Arena the same way he walked out of the ring at Madison Square Garden, in his last fight — wearing all his world championship belts.
“GGG will be proudly defending all of his titles — WBC, WBA, IBF, and IBO — as well as looking to add The Ring magazine title to his collection when he steps into the ring against Canelo,” said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter. “Fans love this matchup. It’s not only the two best fighters in their division fighting each other in their prime, but also two of the most marketable fighters in the sport.”
Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Fathom Events, Tsesnabank, and Capital Holdings. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Episode #1 of 24/7 Canelo/Golovkin premieres Saturday, Aug. 26 on HBO immediately following the live World Championship Boxing doubleheader from the StubHub Center at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
HBO Sports Special Under the Lights: Canelo/Golovkin Debuts September 2nd
HBO Sports, widely acclaimed for its innovative and provocative boxing programming, examines the upcoming HBO Pay-Per-View® showdown between the two best middleweights today –Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin — when UNDER THE LIGHTS: CANELO/GOLOVKIN debuts SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 (10:00-10:20 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO® and HBO On Demand®, and at hbo.com/boxing, as well as other new media platforms.
In an intimate and unvarnished setting, UNDER THE LIGHTS: CANELO/GOLOVKIN will feature an engaging roundtable conversation hosted by HBO Boxing commentator Max Kellerman, combatants Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin and HBO boxing analyst and four-division champion Roy Jones, Jr., as they breakdown and examine the many skills and experiences each fighter will bring into the ring for the best boxing matchup of 2017. It’s the final time the two will see each other until fight week unfolds in Las Vegas.
For more information, visit hbo.com/boxing; become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/HBOBoxing; and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing. Follow the conversation using #CaneloGGG.
“Canelo vs. Golovkin” takes place Saturday, September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/ 5:00 p.m. (PT).
Super Channel to Air Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Miguel Marriaga in Canada
Super Channel subscribers in Canada will have the opportunity to watch superstar Vasyl Lomachenko, arguably the No. 1 pound-for-pound professional boxer in the world today, as the Ukrainian defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Association Junior Lightweight World Championship for the second time, this Saturday night (August 5), starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The 29-year-old Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) will be challenged by two-time world title challenger, dangerous Colombian knockout artist Miguel “The Scorpian” Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs), the WBO No. 10-ranked contender, in the 12-round main event.
Three exciting fights on the stacked “Lomachenko vs, Marriaga” card, promoted by Top Rank, will air exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
Super Channel has recently aired major boxing events live like Brook vs. Spence Jr., Pacquiao-Horn, and Eubank, Jr. vs.
“we are all ecstatic to be bringing this exciting bout featuring one of the world’s best boxers, Vasyl Lomachenko, to our viewers and to be presenting another top-notch card from legendary promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, to Canadian fight fans,” said Troy Wassill. Director of Programming, Domestic Distributors & Sports for Super Channel.
Lomachenko is regarded by many as the greatest amateur boxer of his time and arguably all-time having captured two Olympic gold medals (2008 & 2012) and three World Championships, reportedly losing only once in 396 amateur bouts.
Eight (7-1) of his nine fights during his three-year pro career have been in world title fights, including world title winning performances in two different weight classes, WBO featherweight and junior lightweight. Lomachenko has defeated world champions Gary Russell, Jr., Roman Martinez and Nicholas Walters.
Marriaga, who is moving up to junior lightweight to challenge Lomachenko, is a battled-tested challenger with good power and a strong amateur background.
In the 12-round co-feature, NABO & NABF lightweight champion “Sugar” Raymundo Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs) defends his titles against former two-time Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Featherweight World Champion Bryan Vasquez (36-2, 19 KOs).
Mexico-native Beltran, fighting out of Phoenix (AZ), is a two-time world title challenger who is knocking on the door for another world title shot. Beltran is ranked No. 2 in the world by the WBO, World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation (IBF), as well as No. 6 by the WBA.
Vasquez, fighting out of Costa Rico, is rated the No. 1 lightweight contender in the world by the WBA
In the eight-round Super Channel opener, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Esquiva Falcao (17-0, 12 KOs), the undefeated Brazilian middleweight, steps up in terms of class opposition to face Ivan “Terrible” Montero (20-2, 8 KOs), of Mexico.
To see the “Lomachenko vs. Marriaga” live, as well as more exciting boxing to come, fight fans in Canada can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.
Sadam Ali Captures WBA International Welterweight Title and Third Straight Victory with Decision Win Against Johan Perez
Sadam “The World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) took a decisive step towards once again fighting for a world title tonight with a unanimous decision victory against former two-time interim WBA Super Lightweight champion Johan “El Terrible” Perez (22-4-4, 15 KOs). The 10-round fight, which earned Ali the vacant WBA International Welterweight, was the main event of the latest edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN from Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
Ali, from Brooklyn, NY, fought in one of the toughest fights of his career against Perez, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, who had scored wins against the likes of Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai, Paul Spadafora and Steve “2POUND” Forbes.
“I give myself a 6 tonight; I felt off,” said Sadam Ali. “Perez was tough, very tall and awkward, and I was able to see that I have a lot to work on to be honest. I felt that my movement wasn’t right. I felt slow and off balance. I’m not too happy with my performance. I don’t want to make excuses, but my performance wasn’t as good as I expected. Now it’s time to go back to the gym and work on things I need to work on. That’s how I’ll get better, by seeing my mistakes and getting back to work in the gym.”
“I need rugged fights like this. Johan might not have a big name but he came to fight and not only for a paycheck. So, these kinds of fights are exactly what I need to get into title contention.”
In the televised co-main event, Alejandro “El Elegido” Barrera (27-3, 17 KOs) of Nuevo León, México scored a split decision victory against Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez (20-3, 11 KOs) of the Bronx, NY in a 10-round Welterweight bout.
Barrera, who is a student of the Hall of Fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristáin, brought a busy style from the outside that nullified Gomez’s counter-punching offense. When Gomez would try to counter, Barrera would step back and throw counters of his own. Or, like in sixth round, Barrera would simply overwhelm Gomez with volume punching.
During an explosive seventh round exchange, Barrera was cut by a headbutt above his right eye. Then, only a few seconds later, Gomez dropped Barrera with a thunderous counter left hook. The back and forth action continued into the final rounds, with Barrera winning by two scores of 93-96, while one judge it 95-94 for Gomez.
“I feel very happy with the victory, but at the same time I feel tired because it was a tough fight,” said Alejandro Barrera. “There were many headbutts. He is a very dirty fighter, but I already knew his boxing was fast-paced. I studied it and trained for it. Now, I’ve got to rest and continue training hard.”
Pablo “The Shark” Rubio, Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) of Los Angeles, California scored a tough split decision victory against David Perez (8-2, 4 KOs) of Houston, Texas in a non-televised swing bout. Two judges scored the fight for Rubio with scores of 58-56 and 59-55, while one judge scored the fight 60-54 for Perez.
Topping off the ESPN3 live stream, Patrick Teixeira (27-1, 22 KOs) cruised to a unanimous decision victory against Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez (19-6-1, 9 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona in an eight-round super welterweight collision.
Teixeira, a native of Santa Catarina, Brazil, used his rangy southpaw stance to box from the outside and to set up straight left hands to the head and left hooks to the body. However, in fifth round, Teixeira injured his left hand, which forced him to rely on his jab and footwork even more for the later stretch of the fight.
Although he was cut below his left eye in the eighth and final round, Teixeira earned an easy victory after not having fought since his first defeat in May of 2016. Teixeira won with two scores of 80-72 and one score of 79-73.
Kicking off the ESPN3 live stream, Daquan “King” Arnett (16-1 9 KOs) of Winter Park, Florida shook off an almost two-year layoff by cruising to a unanimous decision victory against Tijuana, Mexico’s Jorge “Pantera” Silva (21-14-2, 17 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight fight. Arnett controlled the action throughout the fight by calmly walking Silva down from one side of the ring to the other, using touch jabs to blind Silva before unleashing hard combinations to the head and body.
Silva was deducted a point in sixth round for holding Arnett excessively. After two more rounds of boxing, Arnett earned himself three scores of 80-71.
In the first fight of the evening, Alfredo Escarcega (3-0) scored a majority decision victory against Rodolfo “Rudy” Gamez (1-4) in a four-round super lightweight fight.
Another All Philly War in Line as Wise-Jenkins Collide
It may be just a six-round fight, but the match between North Philadelphia junior middleweights Isaiah Wise and Fred Jenkins, Jr., is sure to be treated by the fans like a main event when the fighters collide Friday evening, Sept. 8, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
Topping the 10-bout card is an eight-round junior lightweight contest between Avery Sparrow, of Philadelphia, and former four-time Canadian national amateur champion Joey Laviolette, of Nova Scotia, Canada. First fight begins at 7.30 p.m.
Wise ( above left), 25, is a relative newcomer, having compiled a 5-1 record since turning pro early in 2016. He has scored three knockouts, losing only by decision to Philly-killer Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA.
In two fights this year against Wisconsin-based fighters, Wise got off the canvas to stop Jeffrey Wright in four rounds and he outpointed Mark Daniels over six.
Jenkins,30, is the veteran of the two, owning a 10-4 record since turning pro in 2011. He has scored three knockouts and he is managed and trained by his dad, Fred Jenkins, Sr., an ex-pro junior middleweight himself and a member of the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame as a trainer.
The biggest win on the resume of Jenkins, Jr. came in 2014 when he knocked out Jeremy Trussell, of Baltimore, MD, in four rounds at the 2300 Arena. He also has defeated Alex Sanchez, of Camden, NJ, and Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ.
Wise has had all six of his professional fights at the 2300 Arena. Jenkins is 4-3 in the building.
In an era where Philadelphia fighters often balk at fighting each other, neither Wise nor Jenkins appear to have a problem with the match.
“Fighting someone from the same city doesn’t bother me at all,” said Wise. “This is a business and this fight will show me where I stand.”
Jenkins: “It’s all about winning. I’m trying to climb the ladder and if I beat Wise then I can get another shot at Zapata.”
Zapata, who fights Elijah Vines, of Philadelphia, on the same card, owns victories over both Wise and Jenkins, both by decision, both at the 2300 Arena.
The only other foe common to both Wise and Jenkins is James Robinson, of York, PA. Wise and Jenkins each defeated Robinson by decision, Wise over four rounds and Jenkins over six.
Seven additional bouts complete the Sept. 8 card. Among those featured will be welterweight Marcel Rivers, junior welterweight Victor Padilla and featherweight Crystian Peguero.
Mayweather Promotions Announces the 8th Titans of the Trade: Breakfast of Champions at MGM Grand
Mayweather Promotions is preparing for this signature event for the 8th consecutive time! Titans of the Trade: Breakfast of Champions is set to take place on the morning of the Mayweather vs. McGregor weigh-in, Friday, August 25 at MGM Grand. This event celebrates the continuous achievements of individuals who are influencers the sports and entertainment world to make it what it is today.
This year’s theme is Dream, Conquer, and Sparkle-exemplifying the acknowledgement of those who have shined or sparkled in their respective professional fields. The ability to shine bright within the industry is noteworthy and deserves recognition and presentation of one of our prestigious awards.
Honorees from our 2016 Titans of the Trade affair include: first African American VP in Major League Baseball history; Marian Rhodes, former WBC World Champion; Alicia Ashley, 2016 Olympian; Vashti Cunningham, Chi-Town’s finest breakers; The Monster Kids, and Premier Boxing Champions’ President of Boxing Operations; Sylvia Browne-Owens. Honorees to be recognized at the upcoming event include: multi-talented musician and actress; Tally, undefeated boxing world champion and MMA fighter; Heather Hardy, UC-Riverside’s top performing female basketball player; Simone Decoud, former UNLV softball coach; Shan McDonald, and remarkable boxing referee; Sparkle Lee.
Young Trailblazer Award recipient- Tally is an up and coming multi-talented rap artist, songwriter, actress and musician from sunny Nashville, Tennessee. Growing up, Tally took interest into becoming an artist when she began making YouTube covers, landed lead roles in her school plays, and starting playing the guitar, which helped her songwriting skills.
Music always played an important role in her life and that landed her a star role in the second season of Lifetime’s The Rap Game. After being eliminated after the first episode, she didn’t let that deter her future success. She continued to focus on her music career, ultimately landed her another opportunity on the third season of The Rap Game, as well as performing at the 2017 Radio Disney Awards.
Young Trailblazer Award recipient- Simone Decoud has made headlines due to her continuous success as a point guard at UC-Riverside. This Riverside native has been a three-time, All-Big West Honoree, who has averaged 11.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game this season. Simone has finished her junior year in college as the team’s seventh all-time leading scorer and second on the career assists list and expects to graduate with a degree in Media Cultural Studies. After graduating, she will look to begin her professional basketball career overseas.
Golden Glove Award recipient- Heather “The Heat” Hardy has let her talent do all the talking. She has contributed to diversifying the sports industry by her remarkable success as a female boxer and strength through her continuous achievements in the industry. Being a single mother and a professional boxer has come with a lot of hard-work and dedication but Heather has conquered her adversities through recognition in combat-sports. Her most recent achievement was her TKO win at her MMA debut against Alice Yauger on June 24th. Heather is also unbeaten in the boxing ring with 20 wins, 4 KO’s and the WBC super bantamweight & featherweight world titlesTitans of the Trade Award recipient- Shan McDonald was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame after leading the Rebels to 511 victories in 17 seasons, seven-straight NCAA tournaments from 1990-96, and three appearances in the Women’s College World Series. The former UNLV softball coach drove her team to break, or tie, 30 school records, which helped earn her the ‘all-time winnings coach’s title. She has proven to be a true titan in sports.
Meritorious Achievement Award recipient- Sparkle Lee has lead a reputable career as a boxing referee that has helped reshape the image of the ‘third man in the ring’ for all women. She has made history on countless occasions including as the first female referee to be inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Her love for boxing started as a routine workout at Gleason’s Gym in the 80’s and transpired into a career of 30+ years, paving the way for female referees to follow.
In addition to our honorees, the event will be hosted by, TV personality and fashion designer; Angel Brinks. Plus 2 special guest performances by talented Las Vegas native; Cabria Anderson and singer and songwriter, Jade Novah.
This year’s Titans of the Trade: Breakfast of Champions- Dream, Conquer, & Sparkle is sponsored by: The Money Team, Mayweather Sports, MGM Grand, SHOWTIME, FNOM, Screaming Images BoxRaw, Alexandre Crepin, Fight Label, Versace Fragrances, Smooth Operators Salon, Too Pretty Brand, and PINTA USA.
“Hammering” Hank Lundy & Jaron “Boots” Ennis in Philly Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Lightweight “Hammering” Hank Lundy, 27-6-1 (13), returns to Philadelphia for the first time since 2009. Also on the card is Philly’s welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 11-0 (9), the best looking prospect in Philadelphia since 1984 Olympian Meldrick Taylor. Peltz Boxing, BAM Boxing and now Raging Babe continue to bring the fans competitive bouts.
Peltz is an IBHOF promoter and matchmaker. Brittany Rogers is one of the youngest promoter-matchmakers in the country and though in her 20’s knows her boxing especially learning from Peltz who goes back to 1969 when he promoted his first show.
There was a press conference Wednesday night at the Xfinity Center in South Philadelphia. There are eleven bouts scheduled but by fight night Friday several will probably be cut out. Boxing Director Greg Sirb gets quite upset when there are more than seven bouts. Raging Babe speaks Spanish and was able to speak to the main event opponent of Lundy in Danny Evangelista, Jr., 20-7-2 (16), from Mexico City in a scheduled 8 round bout.
Lundy is quite outspoken and though failed in a title fight with unbeaten Terrance Crawford at 140 proclaims he will be the 135 champ. He has lost 3 of his last 5 fights and was backed by his promoter from CES Promotions out of Rhode Island telling all in attendance about Lundy fighting Crawford with an injury.
When boxers return to their home base Peltz said in so many words they are at the end of their career. Lundy is 33 and in his eleventh year of boxing. He has returned to his trainer “Cornbread” Ramey who is one of the most respected trainers in Philadelphia.
On the other hand Ennis is trained by his father “Bozy” Ennis who may be the best or one of the best trainers in the city and runs “Bozy’s Dungeon” in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. His son has won all 11 fights in but his fourteenth month since turning professional in April of 2016 under manager Cameron Dunkin. Dunkin chose Chris Middendorf’s Victory Promotions instead of Top Rank who are one and have been one of the best promotional groups in the country for years. Middendorf promoted a pair of shows in Philadelphia and hopefully won’t be returning after the mismatches he put on. Ennis has fought 6 of his 11 fights in Philadelphia and another in close by Bristol, PA. His bout is against Wilfredo “EllZurdo” Acuna, 16-20 (12), of Mauagua, NIC, scheduled for 6 rounds.
Also on hand were super welterweight Mark Daniels, Jr., 3-0 (1), a Native American from Crandon, WI, who as Peltz said was “not hesitant to come to Philadelphia to fight a Philadelphian in Isaiah Wise, 4-1 (3), who is a tough opponent and that’s the way Peltz does his matchmaking putting on competitive fights. This is for 6 rounds.
Well known trainer Don Turner now having a camp in Arapahoe, NC, is from the Philadelphia and brings in a pair of boxers to debut here knowing this area will develop out of town boxers as it did in “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Eddie Mustapha Muhammad. He has brought with him super welterweight Ishmael Altman who will face Philadelphia’s Tyree Crowder also in his debut. The other from NC is southpaw Heriberto Polanco who will fight Brooklyn’s Omar Kabary Salem, both in their debuts.
In a welterweight bout two out of state boxers face each other in a 6 round bout in Juan Reyna, 6-6-1 (2), of Brownsville, TX, against Alvin “Iron Majik” Varmall, Jr., 10-0-1 (8), of Catskill, NY. Philadelphia’s prospect Scott Kelleher, 5-0 (3), is returning to action after 13 months and will meet Dion Richardson, 1-1 (1), of Newark, NJ. Another prospect from Philadelphia is Crystian Peguero, 1-0 (1), who made his debut in March. He will meet Saquan Felton, 0-1, from Rochester, NY. Peltz said “I’m bringing a match between lightweight Marko Bailey, 4-0 (3), of Durham, NC, and Vinnie Denierio, 1-1 (10) of Geneva, NY, who I was told was a barnburner in their recent meeting.
Peltz doesn’t always care if the boxers are from the city if he knows they will give the fans something to cheer about.
Philadelphia’s super lightweight Nahir Albright, 1-1 (0), will meet debuting Sultan Zamir Uulu, of KYR now living in Philadelphia. Finally Philadelphia’s welterweight Marcel Rivers, 1-0 (1), meets Jamaal Gregory, 1-0 (1), of Charlotte, NC.
First bout is at 7:30PM and you know a Peltz show always starts on time. It is at the 2300 Arena at 2300 S. Swanson St. at the Front and Oregon area. Peltz said the event is already sold out.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night in Oxon Hill, Maryland the Theater at the MGM National Harbor will be the host site for the next installment of HBO World Championships Boxing.
Three bouts will be televised, including a junior lightweight title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa in the main event of the night, a light heavyweight fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yuniesky Gonzalez, and a cruiserweight title fight between Aleksandr Usyk and Mike Hunter.
The non-televised undercard will feature boxers such as Mike Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) vs. Yunieski Gonzalez (18-2); Light Heavyweight
The opening bout of the night will be between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yunieski Gonzalez in the light heavyweight division.
Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds. Gonzalez was a member of the Cuban Amateur Team and had a record of 345-27. Gvozdyk represented the Ukraine in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won the bronze medal.
Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and will be about three inches taller than Gonzalez. Gvozdyk has also been incredibly active the past two years and four times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Gonzalez fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015.
Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and stopped ten of his opponents and currently has six straight stoppage wins. Gonzalez lost twice and went 2-2 in his past four fights.
Gvozdyk has already beaten the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Tommy Karpency, and Nadjib Mohammedi. Gonzalez doesn’t have the resume of Gvozdyk and has beaten the likes of Maxwell Amponsah and Jackson Junior. His losses were to jean pascal and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.
Gonzalez is a good test for Gvozdyk and this is a rare fight where we see two notable international amateur stars face off in the ring early before their twentieth professional fight. But Gvozdyk is the better skilled boxer and has the bigger wins, he should emerge victorious.
Oleksandr Usyk (11-0) vs. Michael Hunter (12-0); WBO Cruiserweight Title
Oleksandr Usyk is one of the Ukraine’s most prized prospects and he will be stepping into the ring with a former United States Olympian.
Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers. Usyk has stopped ten of his opponents and Hunter has stopped eight. Usyk will have a slight one inch height advantage but Hunter will have an inch and a half reach advantage.
Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds, but Usyk experienced a lot of success on the international stage while Hunter experienced success on the national stage. Hunter is a former US National Amateur Champion and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics but failed to medal. Usyk was a gold medalist in the 2012 Olympic games.
Usyk has defeated the likes of Thabiso Mchunu, Krzystzof Glowacki, and Pedro Rodriguez. Surprisingly, all of his wins thus far in his career have come against opponents with winning records.
Hunter has yet to face any significant opposition and has defeated the likes of Isiah Thomas and Phil Williams.
This should be an easy win for Usyk, despite the fact his opponent has a good amateur background.
Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) vs. Jason Sosa (20-1-4); WBO Junior Lightweight Title
Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko is considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, pound for pound boxer in the world. He fought for a world title in only his second professional fight and is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and a two time World Amateur Champion.
His opponent, Jason Sosa, has more of a Rocky upbringing in the sport of boxing than Lomachenko. Sosa has no notable amateur achievements on the international stage and was born and raised in poverty stricken Camden, New Jersey. He won a world title with an upset stoppage victory over then WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Javier Fortuna and is now in the biggest fight of his life.
Lomachenko will have about a one inch height advantage on Sosa but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Lomachenko’s lone loss was a disputed split decision loss to an overweight Orlando Salido early on in his career. He has since destroyed every other opponent he has faced.
He has already defeated the likes of Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Suriya Tatakhun, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez before he even competed in his tenth professional fight. Lomachenko has stopped five of his opponents.
Sosa has fifteen knockouts to his credit and one stoppage loss. His lone loss was to Tre’Sean Wiggins in 2010, early on in Sosa’s career. He has defeated the likes of Javier Fortuna, Stephen Smith, Jerry Belmontes, Michael Brooks, and Angel Ocasio. Sosa did have a disputed draw with Nicholas Walters, but many felt he lost that fight.
Jason Sosa is a good gritty boxer that consistently puts on entertaining bouts. He has the heart of a champion, but Lomachenko is on a different level than Sosa and that should be immediately apparent.
It’s hard to envision a scenario where Sosa gives Lomachenko problems and this should be a relatively easy bout for Lomachenko.
Anthony “Bad Boy” Burgin loses split decision to Avery Sparrow in an All Philly War at 2300 Arena Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Peltz Boxing, BAM Boxing, Joe Hand Promotions and Raging Babe returned to the 2300 Arena in South Philly with an all Philly main event. J Russell Peltz and BAM Rodgers served as matchmakers. This was the way Philly boxing should be!
In the main event lightweight Anthony “Bad Boy” Burgin, 10-3 (2), of N. Philly, lost a split decision to returning after a year Avery Sparrow, 6-1 (3), of N. Philly, over 8 rounds. Burgin was dropped once.
In the opening round Sparrow showed his quickness outworking Burgin. In the second round Sparrow continued being the quicker of the two but Burgin landed a “bolo punch” right to the midsection of Sparrow. It was a close round. In the third round Burgin came alive. It was a good round for Burgin who had been very methodical up to this point.
In the fourth round Sparrow landed a 3-punch combination getting Burgin’s attention. Burgin continued being the aggressor for the most part. A hard left hook by Burgin to the chin got Sparrow’s attention with about a minute left in the round. It was another close round. In the fifth round Sparrow outmaneuvered Burgin scoring points. Sparrow continues with hands low dancing around using angles to score points. In the sixth round Burgin drove Sparrow into the ropes with a combination. A right uppercut by Sparrow dropped Burgin to the canvas. He was able to box his way out of the round. In the seventh round Sparrow kept stepping around landing the jab but Burgin was landing the harder punches with left hooks to the head of Sparrow. In the eighth and final round Sparrow looked spent but kept moving as Burgin landed powerful left hook’s to the body. Both fighters let it all hang out right up to the bell.
Judge Myra Grant 76-75 Burgin, Judge Steve Weisfeld 76-75 Sparrow and judge John Poturaj 77-74 Sparrow as did this writer. Gary Rosato was the referee.
Super welterweight Fred Jenkins, Jr., 10-4 (1), of N. Philly, suffered a mild upset losing to Panama’s Roque Zapata, 3-1-3, of Culpeper, VA, by decision over 6 rounds. That’s two in a row for Zapata over Philly fighters.
In the first round Jenkins worked well to the body but got tagged midway by a right from Zapata on the chin. Just prior to the bell a short right by Zapata to the chin of Jenkins dropped him to a knee. He was up immediately but took the count from referee Bashir. In the second round Jenkins outworked Zapata who had a sneaky right that came out several times on the chin of Jenkins stopping him in his tracks. In the third round Jenkins did a workman like job and knocked out the mouthpiece of Zapata with a left hook to the chin.
In the fourth round Zapata started getting busier than he had in the first two rounds. He rocked Jenkins with a hard left hook to the chin. Jenkins lands punches well but leaves himself open for a counter. In the fifth round Zapata was beating Jenkins to the punch. An overhand right from Zapata to the chin rocked Jenkins. A Zapata right to the chin of Jenkins just prior to the bell had him wobble back to his corner. In the sixth and final round Zapata was looking for the knockout landing several power punch rights to the head of Jenkins who seemed to be fighting on instinct after being hurt bad at the end of the previous round.
Judge Jasper 57-56, judge’s Poturaj and Weisfeld 59-54. This writer had it 58-56.
Heavyweight Cassius Chaney, 9-0 (5), of W. Philly, won a majority lack luster decision over Tommy Washington, Jr., 6-10-1 (2), of Lansing, MICH, over 6 rounds.
In the opening round Chaney used his height and reach to out box Washington until a minute left in the round when Chaney landed 3 power punch right hands to the chin of Washington. In the second round Chaney continued to box Washington until a minute left in the round when Washington had enough and let it all hang out swarming over Chaney. By the end of the round Chaney was back in control. In the third round Chaney continued using his jab in a slow round.
In the fourth round at the halfway point Washington backed Chaney into a corner and landed a flurry of punches. Once back into the middle of the ring Chaney regained control. In the fifth round Chaney seemed to be running out of gas as Washington became more and more aggressive. In the sixth and final round of a close round Chaney rocked Washington with a right hand to the chin knocking him back several feet but he tied Chaney up until the bell sounded.
Judge Gail Jasper 57-57, John Poturaj and Steve Weisfeld 59-55 for Chaney. This writer had it 58-56 for Chaney.
Super welterweight Isaiah Wise, 4-1 (3), of S. Philly, stopped Jeffrey “The Prototype” Wright, 4-6-1 (4), of Milwaukee, WI, at 0:32 of the 4th round of a scheduled 6.
In the opening round it was all Wise with double left hooks to the body and head. The only moment Wright had was at the midway point of the round landing a stunning right to the chin of Wise having him hold on until his head cleared. In the second round Wise had Wright going thru the ropes and kept punch him before referee Rosato finally pulled Wise off. Wise was dishing out plenty of punishment until a right hand from Wright landed on the chin of Wise and down he went taking a knee.
In the third round it was all Wise with wicked body shots until a left hook to the body dropped Wright who beat the count but was dangerous to the end of the round. In the fourth round a flurry of punches by Wise dropped Wright. He beat the count but was obviously finished. Referee Rosato wisely stopped the bout.
Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 3-0 (3), of Allentown, PA, electrified the fans and stopped Marco Ocano, 1-1 (1), of Agua Prieta, MEX, at 0:45 of the first round. Referee Bashir counted him out.
Ocano came out aggressively running into several left hooks by Adorno. Adorno landed an overhand right to the chin of Ocano having him out on his feet when referee Bashir wisely stepped in and stopped it. Adorno’s many fans went ballistic with the quick stoppage.
Lightweight southpaw PR Victor Padilla, 3-0 (3), of Berlin, NJ, scored a pair of knockdowns stopping Carlos Castillo, 4-5 (3), of Tucson, AZ, at 0:48 of the first round to the delight of his many fans.
Castillo raced out but ran into a left hook from Padilla and down he went. Shortly after Castillo got up he attacked Padilla with both throwing bombs until a Padilla left hook dropped Castillo face first to the canvas. He beat the count and argued with referee Blair Talmadge that he wanted to go on but the fight was over. Padilla had many fans going wild with the quick stoppage.
Super middleweight Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 5-0 (2), of Beachwood, NJ, easily defeated Mike Rodriguez, 0-5 (0), of Springfield, MASS, over 4 lopsided rounds. Referee Bashir had to break up the fighters throughout due to the holding of Rodriguez.
In the opening round Thomas took it to the much taller Rodriguez who spent the entire round doing more holding than punching. In the second round referee Ron Bashir saw enough of the holding and took a point from Rodriguez. In the third round and fourth round the awkward Thomas continued to outwork Rodriguez who continued holding.
Judges Jasper 39-36, Poturaj and Grant 40-35 as did this writer.
Super bantamweight PR Crystian Pequero, 1-0 (1), of NE Philly, made a sensational debut stopping Alonzo Davis, 0-1 (0), of W. Philly, at 2:12 of the third with a vicious body attack for the count.
In the opening round both fighters came out going at it. In the final minute Pequero landed hard rights to the side of Davis on two occasions hurting him. In the second round Pequero continued with the body shots until near the end of the round also going to the head having Davis out on his feet at the bell after receiving four body shots from Pequero.
In the third round with his fans yelling “Pequero, Pequero” Pequero continued working the body of Davis. A right uppercut to the midsection sent Davis down taking the count on one knee from referee Talmidge. In the corner of Pequero was Javier Varella.
In the opening bout flyweight Basyzbek Bartov, 1-1-1 (0), of KYR, NE Philly, won a split decision over Tyrone “T-Bone” Arzeno, 0-0 (0), of N. Philly, in an all action bout.
In the opening round both boxers let it all hang out. It was back and forth with Arzeno possibly having a slight edge. In the second round it was all Baratov putting pressure on Arzeno having him hurt against the ropes just prior to the bell. In the third round it was more of the Baratov did what he does best and slug. Arzeno’s round.
Judge Poturaj 39-37 Arzeno, Judge Grant and Jasper 39-37 Baratov. This writer had it 38-38. Chuck Diesel in Baratov’s corner and Chino Rivas in Arzeno’s corner.
Flyweight Ernesto Almodovar, 1-0 (0), of NE Philly, scored a knockdown and won a decision over 34 year-old debuting southpaw Steven Lopez, 0-1 (0), NE Philly, who never stopped trying, over 4.
In the opening round the southpaw Lopez boxed well keeping Almodovar on the defense until a lead right hand by Almodovar landed on the chin of Lopez dropping him. In the second and third rounds Almodovar used the lead right to keep Lopez in check. In the fourth and final round Lopez Almodovar got the better of the mix though it was Lopez coming forward not able to block the right.
Judge’s Jasper and Poturaj had it 39-36 while judge Weisfeld and this writer had it 40-35.
Ring announcer was Steve Mittman while Mike Mittman and Marc Abrams did the commentating for GFL-TV. Next show is June 2nd.
Two Philly Boxing Events This Weekend Friday & Saturday!
By: Ken Hissner
There have only been 3 events in Pennsylvania this year and 2 of them were in Philly and sub-par shows. This weekend the two top promoters bring shows in Peltz Boxing and Kings Promotions.
On Friday at the 2300 Arena in South Philly J Russell Peltz brings in what he does best in Philly vs Philly on top! Underneath he will have 10 more fights which is quite unusual for Peltz.
In the main event lightweight Anthony “Bad Boy” Burgin, 10-2 (2), has spent the last 8 weeks in Puerto Rico under trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas. “The new things I learned and did there helped bring my talent to another level physically and mentally. The feeling of fighting the main event in Philly is unbelievable. I have been sparring with Michael Perez and a few other guys from PR,” said Burgin.
His trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas had this to say “Anthony looks amazing like he’s fighting for a world title.”
In the opposite corner that night will be another Philly fighter in Avery Sparrow, 5-1 (3). “Camp has been the best ever. I feel the best I have ever felt in my whole career. We worked hard and smart,” said Sparrow. His trainer Greg Jackson had this to say, “Everyone knows what it is. Everyone is coming to see Anthony Burgin get his head chopped off. This is an execution!”
The semi-final will pit super welterweight Fred Jenkins, Jr., 10-3 (1), against returning visitor Roque Zapata, 2-1-3 (0), who in his last fight defeated Philly’s Isaiah Wise. “I saw him fight Isaiah Wise and it was a good fight. One thing I noticed he threw a lot of punches and Wise was still fighting,” said Jenkins, Jr. His father train had this to say “Fred looks superb. Whatever Zapata brings to the table Fred is ready to match it,” said Jenkins, Sr.
“I am not worried about coming to his backyard or being the underdog. In my MMA days and in boxing I’ve been fighting in the other guy’s back yard a lot and I love it,” said Zapata. His trainer Eric Zamora had this to say “he’s very focused and hungry for this fight. He’s put in enough hard work to have his hand raised on March 10th!”
On the undercard will feature two of the best Puerto Ricans from the area in separate bouts in Victor Padilla, 2-0 (2), of Berlin, NJ, and Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 2-0 (2), from Allentown, PA. Isaiah Wise, 3-1 will be back. Also returning from out of CT will be heavyweight Cassius Chaney, 8-0. Philly’s Marcel Rivers, 1-0 and Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 4-0, from Blackwood, NJ.
Completing the 10 undercard fights will be debuting Puerto Rican Crystian Peguero, of Philly and Basyzbek Baratov, 1-1-1, of KYR, and now Philly, Ernesto Almodovar debuting from Philly.
First fight will be at 7:30. Besides Peltz, BAM and Joe Hand Promotions along with Park Casino and Coors Light will handle the promotion.
On Saturday night Kings Promotion will have one of Philly’s knockout artists on top in Tyrone Brunson, 23-6-2 (22), facing Brandon Quarles, 18-3-1 (9), of Alexandria, VA. Philly’s David Gonzales, 8-1-2 (2), Tyrone Crawley, Jr., 6-0 (0), with Daquan Johnson, 2-0 (2), of Cherry Hill, NJ, will be taking on Philly’s Vincent Floyd, 1-2 (0). Carlos Rosario, 6-1 (3), of Pennsauken, NJ, Upper Darby’s Brandon Robinson, 1-1 (1), and debuting Philly boxer Terry Crowder as well as Philly’s Sam Orapeza will feature 8 fights.
The event will be at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly.
Tevin “American Idol” Farmer Defends NABF Title in Philly on Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Philadelphia’s Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 23-4-1 (5) defends his NABF super featherweight title he won back in March at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Peltz Boxing is doing the promotion with associates BAM Boxing, DiBella Entertainment and Joe Hand Promotions.
Farmer has won his last 16 fights and is ranked No. 3 in the WBC, No. 7 in the IBF and No. 10 in the WBO. His last loss in 2012 was to now unbeaten IBF super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico. Farmer would love a rematch for his IBF title.
The Philly southpaw is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and trained by Raul “Chino” Rivas in New Jersey. One of the boxers sparring with Farmer has been WBA super featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa out of Camden, NJ, who are friends and spar on a regular basis.
This will only be the second Philadelphia appearance for Farmer since 2013. His last fight was in the same 2300 Arena in October of 2016. If you haven’t seen Farmer you will be impressed to see his unusual style. He brings back memories of “Gypsy” Joe Harris though there was only one “Gypsy”.
There are 8 bouts on the card with Philly’s Garrett “Ultimate Warrior” Wilson, 16-11-1 (9), against Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers, 7-8-2 (0), of Hawley, PA, in a heavyweight bout. Don’t let Capers record fool you. He’s won his last 2 bouts including over a 17-2 boxer and Philly’s Pedro Martinez in his last fight. Wilson also defeated Martinez in his last Philly appearance in October of 2015.
There will be a pair of top prospects making their debuts with Victor Padilla out of Berlin, NJ, and Joseph Adorno, of Allentown, PA, in separate bouts. Doors open at 6pm and first fight at 7pm and when J Russell Peltz says that’s the starting time you can bank on it.
Jason Sosa Retains WBA Super featherweight title over Stephen Smith!
By: Ken Hissner
Camden, NJ, resident Jason “Canito” Sosa, 20-1-4 (15) made his first title defense a successful one in Salle des Etoiles, in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Saturday night defeating his No. 7 contender the UK’s Stephen “Swifty” Smith, 24-3 (14), over 12 rounds.
It was a hard fought fight with Sosa dropping Smith within seconds of the second round with a left hook to the head. Smith survived but in the third round received a cut just under the right eye brow that bled the rest of the way from a Sosa flurry. Several times the ring physician was called into the ring to inspect the cut. This may have caused Smith to do too much holding throughout the fight.
Early in the fight Sosa was too strong for Smith winning five of the first six rounds. Smith came back to take rounds seven and eight with the ninth close. Sosa finished up like a champion taking the last three rounds.
“He executed everything we worked on. The referee warned him once but should have been more forceful. He’s only had 3 amateur fights. Every time he fights the UK fighter had several hundred fights. It was really a good performance on Jason’s part. We would like to unify by fighting IBF champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, 22-0” of Puerto Rico. He barely got by Stephen Smith in April of this year,” said Rivas.
Scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 116-112 all for Sosa. In his corner was his trainer and manager Raul “Chino” Rivas assisted by Rashiem Jefferson. At ringside the UK’s Tony Bellew’s had it 8-4 in rounds with the first round even while Dave Caldwell had it 9-3 in rounds. This writer had it 10-2 in rounds.
“Sosa is one of the strongest 130s around if not THE strongest. With only 3 amateur fights he is still learning and has 100% faith in his trainer and in me. He landed some terrific body shots. Smith also landed some good punches and on one occasion he did buzz Sosa but only briefly. Smith also went to the body and was never intimidated but the difference in punching power was obvious. Again, I have to hand it to the WBA for sending 3 judges who were not in the least intimidated by the hundreds of Brit’s screaming every time Smith threw a punch, whether it landed or not. Sosa is the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing….still gets no respect. They keep writing how he got a gift draw with Walters, then trailed big before stopping Fortuna and he was just a 6/5 favorite over Smith. His last 3 fights have been in New York, China and France and the combined record of those 3 guys at fight time was 79-3-1 with 56 KO’s though he went 2-0-1,” said J Russell Peltz.
Smith lost in another title bid in April of this year losing to IBF champion Jose Pedroza at Foxwoods Resort in CT. He has held the British Super featherweight, and the WBC International Silver Super featherweight titles. For Sosa he hasn’t lost in his last seventeen fights which include’s three draws. Right next to Sosa afterwards was his friend and sparring partner Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, who is No. 5 in the WBC super featherweight rankings and Sosa had this to say about Farmer “We train together every day (Cherry Hill, NJ and both trained by Chino Rivas). I have learned a lot from him. I wouldn’t be champ today if it wasn’t for him,” said Sosa.
Afterwards Smith said “I have no excuses. I had a bad start and it cost me. I tried my best but thought I lost. I was forcing the fight after getting cut which is not my style,” said Smith.
Sosa said: “First and foremost I want to thank God. Without Him I wouldn’t be a world champion. I want to thank my trainer Raul rivas, Rashiem Jefferson, Tevin Farmer, Steven Ortiz and Anthony Burgin. “The reason I’m champion today is we put a hell of hard work in the gym. The game plan went the way we practiced in the gym. Every game plan comes out to perfection and that’s why I’m world champion today. (Interviewer: You are a real road warrior) Yes sir I get to tour the world like every world champion should do,” said Sosa. I like traveling the world going into their backyards and sometimes being an underdog. I would like to fight in my home country of Puerto Rico. I hope to fight 3 times next year,” said Sosa.