Tag Archives: Robinson

ESPN Boxing Preview: Gzozdyk vs. Ngumbu, Kavaliauskas vs. Robinson

Posted on 03/28/2019

By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Oleksandr Gvozdyk will defend his WBC Light Heavyweight Title against Doudou Ngumbu in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN telecast.

This bout will air live on ESPN from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The co-main event will be between Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Ray Robinson in the welterweight division. The winner of this bout could have bigger bouts on the horizon against either Amir Khan or Terence Crawford.

Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The undercard will feature fighters such as Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, Frederick Lawson, Jose Lopez, Christian Mbilli, and Cassius Chaney.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.

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“Sugar” Ray Leonard Followed in the Footsteps of “Sugar” Ray Robinson

Posted on 01/02/2019

By: Ken Hissner

The greatest pound for pound fighter in boxing, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, was 85-0 (69) as an amateur with possible 2 losses under his given name of Walker Smith, Jr. His record was 174-19-6 (109) as a pro holding both Welterweight and Middleweight titles with a career spanning 1940-1965. His only stoppage defeat was challenging for the Light Heavyweight title against Joey Maxim when the outdoor heat got the best of him after thirteen rounds though ahead on all scorecards.

Robinson was trained by Soldier Jones, Harry Wiley and Pee Wee Beale. His managers were Curt Horrmann and George Gainsford. His residence was in Harlem, NY, while being born Vidalia, GA, in May of 1931. His death was in April of 1989 at age 67. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1981 and the IBHOF in 1990.

“Sugar” Ray Leonard was the modern day best pound for pound boxer in this writer’s opinion from 1977-1997 after winning the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal. At Olympics he defeated boxers from Sweden, Soviet Union, Great Britain, E. Germany, Poland (reversing a 1974 loss in Poland) & Cuba. He won the 1975 Pan Am Gold Medal. His amateur record was 145-5 (75) and inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985.

After the 1976 Olympics Leonard announced he was retiring from boxing. He planned to go to the University of Maryland. However, when his mother suffered a heart attack and his father was stricken by meningitis and tuberculosis, Leonard decided to turn professional to make money for his family.

As a professional Leonard held the WBC & WBA Welterweight, WBA Light Middleweight, WBC Middleweight, WBC Super Middleweight and WBC Light Heavyweight Titles. Inducted into the IBHOF 1997.

Leonard’s biggest professional wins were over Wilfred Benitez (Welter Champ), Roberto Duran (2 out of 3) (Welter), Thomas Hearns (also a draw) Welter champ, Ayub Kalule Jr Middle champ, Marvin Hagler Middle champ and Donny Lalonde Super Middle and Light Heavyweight champ.

Leonard won his first twenty-seven fights including winning the WBC World Welterweight Title in November of 1979. He defeated Dave “Boy” Green in his first defense before losing to Duran in a WBC Welterweight title defense in June of 1980. In November he won the title back from Duran. He made four defenses at welterweight.

Leonard stopped Ayub Kalule who was 36-0 for the WBA World Super Welterweight title in June of 1981 but never defended the title. Three months after a February 1982 title defense of his WBA and WBC title’s defense against Bruce Finch, 28-3-1, it was discovered Leonard had a detached retina. He wouldn’t return to the ring until May of 1984 (27 months) defeating Kevin Howard, 20-4-1, after coming off the canvas.

Leonard didn’t fight again for thirty-five months returning to the ring in April of 1987 to defeat WBC World Middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, 62-2-2, for his WBC World Middleweight title by split decision putting Hagler into permanent retirement.

In November 1987 Leonard moved up to win the WBC World Super Middleweight and WBC World Light Heavyweight titles from Donny Lalonde, 31-2. In June of 1989 he defended his WBC World Super Middleweight title with a draw in his rematch with Hearns, 46-3.

In December of 1989 in Leonard’s third fight with Duran he defended his WBC World Super Middleweight title for the second time with a decision win.

It would be fourteen months in February of 1991 when Leonard returned to the ring dropping back to Super Welterweight losing to WBC World Champion “Terrible” Terry Norris by decision. After six years and a month Leonard came back again losing by stoppage for the lone time in his career to Hector “Macho” Camacho, 62-3-1, in the fifth round. Camacho’s IBC Middleweight title was at stake. Leonard finished his professional career with a 36-3-1 (25) record.

Among his trainers were Angelo Dundee, Dave Jacobs, Janks Morton, Pepe Correa and Adrian Davis. His lone manager was Mike Trainer.

In became a HBO commentator from 1978 to 1990. From 2001 to 2004 he had a promotional company, SRL Boxing. In 2004 he became the host of the boxing reality series The Contender. He was born in May of 1956 in Wilmington, NC, and resided in Palmer Park, MD, throughout his boxing career.

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Brandon Robinson Defeats Oscar Rojas at Philly’s 2300 Arena

Posted on 04/08/2018

By: Ken Hissner

At the 2300 Arena in South Philly Friday night Marshall Kauffman’s King’s Promotions put Upper Darby (Philly) Super Middleweight Brandon Robinson in his first Main Event against Oscar Rojas, of Monterrey, MEX, with six additional fights on the undercard.

In the Main Event Super Middleweight Brandon Robinson, 10-1 (7), of Upper Darby, PA, defeated southpaw Oscar Rojas, 16-9-1 (5), of Monterrey, MEX, over 8 interesting rounds.

In the first round a right from Robinson on the southpaw Rojas chin dropped him. Referee Dali administered the 8 count. Rojas was up boxing out of trouble. Robinson couldn’t put him away allowing Rojas to get through the round. He was warned in the last ten seconds for throwing Rojas back toward the ropes. In the second round smaller Rojas who was obviously overmatched tried keeping his hands high to avoid the right hand of Robinson. Rojas managed to once again get through the round as Robinson seemed content to just out jabbing his shorter opponent.

In the third round it was Rojas backing up Robinson with a jab and body work. Rojas spread his arms as if to say “is that all you got?” Robinson came in with a solid right to the mid-section of Rojas. Just prior to the bell they clashed heads causing the referee to give them a minute rest with a little more than ten seconds left in the round.

In the fourth round Rojas landed a 3-punch combination while Robinson missed with a countering right. Robinson was warned for a low blow by referee Dali. Rojas landed a lead left to the body followed by a right to the body of Robinson. It looked like Rojas finally won a round. In the fifth round Robinson slipped to the canvas as both fighters tied each other up. Robinson landed a solid right to the chin of Rojas making him stumble back several steps. Rojas came right back with a flurry making Robinson cover up. Once again Rojas taunted Robinson who landed a punch as the bell sounded to the chin of Rojas.

In the sixth round Robinson landed a hard right to the chin of Rojas getting his attention. Again Robinson got in several rights to the chin getting the crowd back into the fight. Rojas stood his ground daring Robinson to come in. Robinson came in landing a good left hook to the head of Rojas. It was a big round for Robinson.

In the seventh round it was Rojas driving Robinson into the ropes only to be rocked with a Robinson left hook to the head. Robinson landed a lead right to the chin of Rojas that seemed to have little effect. Rojas shortly afterwards complaining of Robinson hitting him behind the head. In the eighth and final round Rojas came out looking to pull the fight out being well behind but Robinson was waiting for him hurting Rojas with a right uppercut to the body. Robinson was warned for a low blow by referee Dali. Rojas again was chasing Robinson looking for that one big punch. Robinson was doing little in return until Rojas landed several jabs with Robinson coming back with a right uppercut to the body. Rojas did well going the distance and making things interesting for the crowd.

Judge Hill had it 78-71 while Potaraj and Weissfeld 77-72 as did this writer for the winner.

In the Co-feature Super Bantamweight Marcus Bates, 8-1-1 (7), of Wash. D.C. lost to Raeese Aleem, 11-0 (5), of Las Vegas, NV, over 8 rounds.

In the first round it was Aleem dropping Bates with a combination having referee Shawn Clark administer the 8 count. Aleem hurt Bates again with a right to the chin almost dropping him but Bates survived the round. In the second round Bates worked his way back into the fight holding his own. In the third round Bates switched to southpaw stopping the aggressive punches by Aleem before going back to orthodox. Bates was countering well but Aleem got the better of the exchanges.

In the fourth and fifth rounds Bates fought his way back into the fight but still well behind. In the sixth round Bates hurt Aleem with a solid right to the chin. It was even through the round with Bates finally winning one. In the seventh and eighth rounds both fighters fought tooth and nail with Aleem pulling out a lopsided but interesting win.

Judges Weissfeld and Page had it 79-72 and Poturaj 80-71. This writer had it 79-72.

Heavyweight Colby “Braveheart” Madison, 6-0-2 (4), and Guillermo Del Rio, 2-2-1 (2), of Houston, TX, battled to a majority draw over 6 rounds.

In the first round the much bigger Madison (248 to 198) kept coming forward against the much smaller Del Rio hurting him with a left hook to the head driving him into the ropes. Del Rio held his own in the punch total but the difference was big. In the second round a lead overhand right from Madison rocked Del Rio. Del Rio showed a big heart even taking it to Madison and at the halfway mark landed a right to the head. Then seconds later a left to the head of Del Rio from Madison stunned him in a very good round for the fans.

In the third round it was Madison backing up from body punches from a smaller Del Rio who continued going to the body with a flurry of punches. Del Rio went to the head of Madison with an overhand right. Just prior to the bell Del Rio landed a good left hook to the head of Madison. It was a very good round for Del Rio. In the fourth round it was Del Rio backing up Madison landing overhand rights to the head. Del Rio landed a combination to the body followed by a right to the head of Madison. It was a good round for Del Rio.

In the fifth round Madison came out throwing bombs with a right to the head of Del Rio hurting him. Madison had Del Rio in a neutral corner until a Del Rio left hook stopped Madison in his tracks until the bell. The fans are cheering for the little guy Del Rio who is pushing Madison backwards. Again it was a Del Rio round. In the sixth and final round Del Rio pushed forward out hitting the bigger Madison. Madison finally landed a left hook to the head of Del Rio. Though the bout sheet said it was a 4 rounder the fight was changed to a 6 rounder. Madison is a King’s fighter and was landing well with left hooks hurting Del Rio. When the fight ended it looked like a draw to this writer.

Judge Hill had it 58-56 for Madison while judges Weissfeld and Hill scored it 57-57 as did this writer.

Welterweight Rasheed “Sugar” Johnson, 3-2 (1), of Willow Grove, PA, suffered a mild upset losing a split decision to Denis Okoth, 2-0-1 (1), of Siaya, Kenya, over 4 rounds.

In the first round Okoth was the aggressor as Johnson back pedaled using his long jab. Okoth seemed the much stronger of the two. In the second round Johnson was caught by an Okoth right while Johnson was pulling back with his head up in the air. Johnson landed a combination to the body while they were in the middle of the ring. Johnson had a superior jab that he was using for the most part in the round. In the final ten seconds of the round Johnson landed a good right to the body but was countered by a left hook from Okoth to the chin at the bell. It was a very close round that could have been scored either way.

In the third round Johnson was quite effective landing with the jab but was caught by two rights on the chin from Okoth. Johnson’s jab for the most part was giving Okoth fit’s by the end of the round making him miss more than he was landing. It was a good round for Johnson. In the fourth and final round Okoth pinned Johnson into a neutral corner landing a flurry of punches. Okoth knowing he was the visitor was going for the knockout. With half a minute left in the round a Johnson right on the chin hurt Okoth. It was a close round.

Judge Weissfeld had it 40-36 for Okoth, judge Page 39-37 for Johnson and judge Potaraj had it 39-37 for Okoth. This writer had it 38-38. The referee was Dali and in the corner of Johnson was Rasheem Brown.

In an all Philadelphia bout former National Golden Glove Champion southpaw Welterweight Poindexter “Savage” Knight, 3-0 (2), went the distance for the first time in his young career but was quite impressive in defeating southpaw Vincent Floyd, 3-5-1 (2), winning all 4 rounds despite a fast beginning by Floyd.

In the first round Floyd landed a hard left uppercut hurting Pointdexter making him hold on for the better part of the following 30 seconds. By the midway point of the round it was Pointdexter having Floyd against the ropes in a typical all Philly brawl. Suddenly a left followed by a right and down went Floyd taking the 8 count from referee Shawn Clark. In the second round Pointdexter rushed out attacking Floyd and pinning Floyd against the ropes. The fans were really into this fight from the opening bell with both being from Philly. Pointdexter drew blood from the nose of Floyd by the end of the round.

In the third round Floyd tried working his way back into the fight stalking an elusive Pointdexter who seemed to bait Floyd into a trap countering him well. It was a very close round but Floyd fell short of taking it. In the fourth and final round Floyd sensing he needed a knockout was throwing leather but Pointdexter equaled him punch for punch and putting him against the ropes. Pointdexter proved to be a very smooth defensive boxer making Floyd miss while counter punching making Floyd miss while countering him well.

All three judges Weissfeld, Hill and Poturaj had it 40-35 as did this writer for the winner. Trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas was in the winner’s corner. “He’s working on new stuff and getting better and better. I have high hopes for him,” said manager David McWater. (McWater has become one of the best manager in the country and possibly having the biggest stable of boxers)
Puerto Rico’s Lightweight Joshafat Ortiz, 3-0 (1), of Reading, PA, defeated Bulgaria’s Evgueny Metchenov, 0-2 (0), of Gaithersburg MD, over 4 interesting rounds.

In the first round in the “battle of the beards” Ortiz seemed quicker as both fighters exchanged left hooks to the body. Ortiz landed an overhand right to the side of the head of Metchenov. Carrying his left low Ortiz landed the final punch of the round landing another right to the chin of Metchenov. In the second round Metchenov kept coming forward but was catching punches by the countering Ortiz who was much quicker a hand and foot. Metchenov pinned Ortiz against the ropes landing several rights to the chin of Ortiz. Ortiz came back bloodying the nose of Metchenov winning the round by a wide margin.

In the fourth and final round Ortiz showboated a bit with both hands to his side outworking Metchenov whose face showed the marks of the battle. The fans got into it around the halfway point of the round as both fighters were letting it all hang out.

All three judges Page, Hill and Poturaj had it 40-36 for the winner while this writer had it 39-36 for the winner.

In the opening bout of the night in an all Philadelphia Light Heavyweight bout Kendall Cannida, 2-0 (0), was credited with a knockdown as Carlos Villanueva, 0-1 (0), was sitting on the ropes receiving an 8 count from referee over 4 rounds.

In the opening round it was a feeling out round of jabs until the sound of the ten second warning from the gavel of the timekeeper when both fighters opened up. In the second round the smaller Cannida pressed the action until he ran into a Vellanueva right to the chin. Cannida landed a solid left hook to the chin of Vellanueva while he was against the ropes and followed with a right and left to the head as the round ended.

In the third round Cannida started out southpaw until Villanueva landed a hard jab to the chin that turned him back to orthodox. Cannida pinned Villanueva against the ropes with a solid right to the head. Cannida walked into a left hook to the head and went wild causing swelling under the right eye of Villanueva as the round ended.
In the fourth and final round Villanueva got more aggressive having lost the last two rounds landing a solid combination to the head of Cannida. With about 20 seconds left in the fight Cannida put Villanueva into the ropes forcing referee Dali to administer the standing 8 count angering Villanueva as he tried pushing his way back at Cannida as the bell sounded.
All three judges Weissfeld, Page and Hill along with this writer had it 39-36 for the winner. In the corner for Villanueva were Bill Briscoe and his son Billy Jr. In the other corner was Chuckie Mills with Cannida.

King’s Promotion’s Marshall Kauffman it was announced by always improving young former boxer and now ring announcer Alex Barbosa that in a week they are promoting another event at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA, featuring Readings Frank DeAlba on the 13th. President of the World Boxing Foundation James Gibbs presented Philly boxer Christopher Brooker with a championship belt from a previous fight in February with Jamaal Davis.

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Brandon Robinson & Oscar Riojas at Philly’s 2300 Arena Friday

Posted on 04/06/2018

By: Ken Hissner

At the 2300 Arena in South Philly Friday night Marshall Kauffman’s King’s Promotions put Upper Darby (Philly) Super Middleweight Brandon Robinson in his first Main Event when he meets Oscar Riojas, of Monterrey, MEX, with six additional fights on the undercard. King’s will return to Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA, on April 13th.

In the Main Event Super Middleweight Brandon Robinson, 9-1 (7), of Upper Darby, PA, at 167.3 lbs meets Oscar Riojas, 16-8-1 (5), of Monterrey, MEX, at 168.8 lbs over 8 rounds.

In the Co-feature Super Bantamweight Marcus Bates, 8-0-1 (7), of Wash. D.C. at 122.9 lbs meets Raeese Aleem, 10-0 (5), of Las Vegas, NV, at 121.9 lbs over 8 rounds.

Heavyweight Colby “Braveheart” Madison, 6-0-1 (4), at 247.9 lbs meets Guillermo Del Rio, 2-2 (2), of Houston, TX, at 198.9 lbs over 4 rounds.

Welterweight Rasheed Johnson, 3-1 (1), of Willow Grove, PA, at 147.3 meets Denis Okoth, 1-0-1 (1), of Siaya, Kenya, at 143.9 over 4 rounds.

In an all Philadelphia bout Welterweight Poindexter Knight, 2-0 (2), 149.3 lbs meets Vincent Floyd, 3-4-1 (2), at 148.3 over 4 rounds.

Puerto Rico’s Lightweight Joshafat Ortiz, 2-0 (1), of Reading, PA, 131.5 lbs meets Bulgaria’s Evgueny Metchenov, 0-1 (0), of Gaithersburg MD, at 130.7 lbs over 4 rounds.

In an all Philadelphia Light Heavyweight bout Kendall Cannida, 1-0 (0), at 178.1 lbs meets Carlos Villenueva, 0-0 (0), at 173.2 lbs over 4 rounds.

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Twelve of the Greatest Pound for Pound Boxers from Boxing’s Early Days

Posted on 03/19/2018

By: Ken Hissner

There have been many lists of who were the greatest boxers of all-time! In this list I go back to the first 50+ years from 1900.

The majority of people would say the former welterweight and middleweight champion “Sugar” RAY ROBINSON who was 174-19-6 with 109 knockouts and only stopped once (by the heat).

In 1939 and 1940 Robinson was the New York Golden Gloves Champion. He was 85-2 with 69 knockouts as an amateur. He won his first 41 fights as a professional before losing to Jake LaMotta. He had previously beaten LaMotta and go on to defeat him three more times after his loss. He was 129-1-2 when he lost his second fight to Randy Turpin in the UK. He would reverse this loss in his next fight in the US.

Robinson was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Another great that is mentioned as the very best by some was HENRY “Homicide Hank” ARMSTRONG who on titles at Featherweight, Welterweight and Lightweight in that order. He was 152-21-9 with 101 knockouts. In 1937 he won the Featherweight title. In 1938 he won the Welterweight title. In 1939 he won the Lightweight title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.
WILLIE “Will o’ the Wisp” PEP has also been mentioned as the top boxer of all time. He was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts.

He won his first 63 fights before losing to Sammy Angott. He was 134-1-1 before he lost to Sandy Saddler. He would reverse that loss but lose to Saddler twice after that. He was the World Featherweight Champion.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight of all-time was JOE “The Brown Bomber” LOUIS, who was 66-3 with 52 knockouts. He had 25 successful title defenses. He won his first 24 fights losing for the first time to Max Schmeling. He would reverse this loss with a first round knockout. He was 52-1 when he lost to Ezzard Charles.

Ring Magazine had JACK “The Galveston Giant” JOHNSON, he was 56-11-8 with 35 knockouts. His record was also listed at 71-11-1. He was the first black heavyweight champion. Prior to that he held the Colored Title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

The heavyweight champion with the greatest record was Rocky Marciano, 49-0 with 43 knockouts. He defeated Joe Louis at the very end of the “Brown Bomber’s” career.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Sam “The Boston Bone Crusher” Langford, was 180-29-39, with 128 knockouts. He was the only fighter the great Jack Dempsey admitted to he didn’t want to fight. 213-43-53 was another record posted. He was as light as 140 and eventually got up to 192. He was also a Colored Champion. He was born in Canada but spent most of his boxing career in the US.

Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb was middleweight and light heavyweight champion. He was 107-8-3 with 48 knockouts. Some have him as 262-17-18. He was the only boxer to defeat heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. Greb was known to have a “glass eye”. A friend of mine Joe Shannon said they were on the Atlantic City Boardwalk when Greb’s eye fell out.

When he lost that eye is unknown.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Benny “The Ghetto Wizard” Leonard was the Lightweight and Welterweight Champion. He was 89-6-1 with 70 knockouts. 185-22-8 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Joe “Old Master” Gans was the Lightweight Champion and was 145-10-16 with 100 knockouts. 158-12-21 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey was the Heavyweight Champion and was 54-6-9 with 44 knockouts.

He was inducted in to the IBHOF in 1990.
Mickey “Toy Bulldog” Walker was the Welterweight and Middleweight Champion and was 94-19-4 with 60 knockouts. 131-35-6 was another mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

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PBC on Showtime Results: Danny Garcia Knocks Out Rios, Benavidez and Ugas Victorious

Posted on 02/18/2018

By: Ken Hissner

Saturday February 17th USA Showtime featured three bouts all worthy of main event status with former champions Garcia and Rios in the main event. The event was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Event Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Former 2-Division Champion Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia, 34-1 (20), stopped former WBA World Lightweight Champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, 34-4-1 (24), of Oxnard, CA, at 2:25 of the ninth round in an exciting fight from start to finish. Garcia’s stoppage was the highlight of the night of three great fights!

In the first round Garcia had his way for the most part with the quicker punches and foot work with Rios coming forward as always. In the second round it was Rios pressing and landing more than Garcia through the first half of the round. Garcia started using his jab and throwing combinations to offset the fast start by Rios. In the third round Garcia landed a double left hook to the body of Rios. As Rios pushed Garcia to the ropes Garcia landed half a dozen punches. Rios came back driving Garcia to the ropes with Garcia jabbing his way out of trouble. Rios landed a hard right hand to the chin of Garcia. Just under a minute Rios landed a hard overhand right to the side of the head of Garcia. Garcia came back with a hard right to the chin of Rios. The fans really got into the action.

In the fourth round the boxer-puncher Garcia countered well but the aggressive Rios was backing Garcia up. Garcia landed a good right uppercut to the body but Rios came back with a good right to the chin. With last than half a minute left Garcia rocked Rios. In the final 20 seconds Garcia hurt Rios with a right to the chin. The action was fast and furious. In the fifth round Garcia rocked Rios with a right hand only to have Rios come back with a right uppercut to the chin of Garcia. Garcia landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Rios. In the final minute of the round Garcia gave Rios a wicked body beating. Garcia rocked Rios with a left uppercut to the chin at the bell.

In the sixth round Rios landed a solid short right to the chin of Garcia. At the halfway point Rios had Garcia on the defense. Rios countered a Garcia right with a right to the chin of his own. It was a big round for Rios. At the halfway point of the fight it looked even. In the seventh round Rios was driving Garcia around the ring with Garcia doing his best to keep him off with a jab and landed a good right to the chin with a minute left in the round. With half a minute left in the round Garcia was moving well and landing well. Garcia may have stolen the round at the end.

In the eighth round Garcia landed a 3-punch combination. Rios came back with good body work. At the halfway mark Garcia landed quick left hooks to the body of Rios. Rios pinned Garcia to the ropes but was countered well by Garcia. There was action right up to the end of the round. In the ninth round Garcia boxed well and at the halfway point Garcia rocked Rios with right hands. Out of nowhere came a powerful right cross by Garcia dropping Rios hard to the canvas. As Rios beat the count he was asked by referee Kenny Bayless to step forward and it was obvious Rios was finished making Bayless to wisely call a halt.

“I first want to thank God and Al Haymon and my dad when of the best trainers in the world. I want to thank my family. I noticed he was open in the middle of the ring when I landed that punch to drop him. I would like to have a rematch with Keith Thurman but that’s up to him (has a fight in May),” said Garcia. Unfortunately Shawn Porter got into the ring while Garcia was being interviewed by Jim Gray causing a shouting match back and forth. Garcia got the best of that shouting match.

The judges had Garcia in front 78-74 from Dave Moretti and 77-73 by Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Trowbridge. This writer had Garcia in front 77-75 taking the last two rounds big. Garcia’s power proved to be the difference. He and Thurman are on a collision course for a rematch in what is possibly the most talented division in boxing today.

Philadelphia southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-3 (12), was knocked down twice losing in an upset to Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 21-3 (10), out of Miami, FL, at 1:05 of the seventh round with Ugas becoming No. 2 in the IBF rankings.

In the first round Robinson’s jab keeps Ugas on the defense though coming forward. A right from Ugas to the chin of Robinson drops him. Whether he stepped on Robinson’s foot it wasn’t clear. Both boxers landed solid exchanges bringing the fans cheering. In the second round Ugas kept stalking Robinson landing a lead right to the chin of Robinson. Robinson came back using a good jab keeping Ugas honest. In the third round Robinson missed with a right hook and got countered to the body by Ugas. Ugas landed an overhand right followed by a left jab keeping Robinson from countering.

In the fourth round Ugas lands right leads to the head of Robinson. Ugas landed a combination to the mid-section of Robinson. Ugas landed at the bell with a right while Robinson landed a punch after losing a point after dropping Ugas. In the fifth round Robinson is not doing well with the left hand keeping the jab on the most part to score points. Ugas is landing well with the rights to the head of Robinson.

In the sixth round Robinson started landing the left more but Ugas seemed to get the better with his right hand. Just prior to the bell Ugas landed a hard right to the chin of Robinson causing Robinson to complain to referee Robert Byrd. In the seventh round a powerful wide right hand to the chin dropped Robinson. He got up but on shaky legs. Ugas jumped on him landing a flurry of punches causing referee Byrd to stop the fight with Robinson throwing the last two punches. Robinson complained to the stoppage by Byrd. Ugas was ahead at the end on all the judges scorecards.

In the co-feature WBC World Super Middleweight Champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 20-0 (17), of Phoenix, AZ, in a rematch with Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-3-1 (14), out of Las Vegas, NV, pitched a shut out in what was an exciting brawl over 12 rounds.

In the opening round it only took Benavidez 10 seconds to land a right after a jab to the head of Gavril. This was a rematch from Benavidez winning a split decision over Gavril. Benavidez was landing right hands to the head of Gavril. With a minute left in the round Gavril landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Benavidez. Benavidez using a good jab and a follow-up right had a good round. In the second round Benavidez controlled with his jab. It took Gavril a minute into the round to land a solid right to the head of Benavidez. Gavril was pressing forward but getting countered well by Benavidez. Benavidez is landing a hard right almost at will in the last 20 seconds of the round.

In the third round it took 20 seconds when Benavidez hurt Gavril with a powerful right hand to the chin. Benavidez landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Gavril. Gavril out of frustration pushed Benavidez back without warning from referee Russell Mora. Benavidez landed a 3-punch combination having his way with Gavril. In the fourth round Gavril came out aggressively and got caught with a right hand and left hook that had him almost out on his feet as he was driven into the ropes. Gavril at the halfway point of the round fought back but Benavidez answered with rights to the head. Benavidez landed half a dozen punches without return from Gavril. Benavidez ended the round bouncing right hands off the head of Gavril.

In the fifth round halfway through the first minute of the round Benavidez landed a solid right to the head of Gavril. Not only was Benavidez quicker but punched harder. With 20 seconds left in the round it was Gavril landing a combination with the right to the head of Benavidez rocking him. In the sixth round Benavidez continued to dominate Gavril up to the final minute before Gavril came back on solid punches of his own. Benavidez came back near the end of the round as the fight started to heat up even more.

In the seventh round it turned into a battle with Benavidez still getting the best of it though Gavril got in some right hands to the head. In the eighth round Gavril comes out throwing more punches through the first minute of the round but got caught with several uppercuts from Benavidez. It turned into a war in this round. For the first time in the fight Benavidez backed into the ropes allowing Gavril to throw punches. Benavidez smiled and started punching Gavril backwards with solid combinations highlighted by a left uppercut to the chin. The fans loved the action.

In the ninth round Benavidez came out with triple jabs followed by a right to the head of Gavril. Gavril’s corner is yelling “show us something Ron.” He has been taking a beating in this round from Benavidez. With less than a minute left in the round Gavril tries landing punches but Benavidez answers with more fire power. Gavril’s nose was bleeding at the end of the round. In the tenth round Benavidez was having his way up until the halfway point when a game Gavril flurried until a solid right from Benavidez to the chin stopped Gavril’s offense. It looked like Benavidez was wondering how Gavril is still standing at the end of the round. The ring physician checked Gavril between rounds.

In the eleventh round Gavril continues to come forward looking for that one punch knowing he is way behind on points. Benavidez has kept his hands to his side the entire fight but his quickness of hand he still beats Gavril to the punch. He ends the final 20 seconds painting the face of Gavril with his jab. In the twelfth and final round Benavidez keeps ahead backing up landing his jab. At the halfway point it was Gavril rocking Benavidez with a solid right to the head. Just under a minute left in the fight Gavril backs up Benavidez into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Gavril knows he needs a knockout and he is doing his best to land that punch. The fans loved this one with both fighters giving them their monies worth. Gavril was marked up at the end but what a gallant effort on his part taking twice as many punches than he landed.

Judge Julie Lederman had it 119-109 while Robert Hoyle and Glenn Feldman had it 120-108 as did this writer.

“I kept punching (questioned about hand injuries) for I am a warrior. I want to thank Al Haymon and my team (then went into Spanish thanking the Mexican fans for their support),” said Benavidez.

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PBC on Showtime Preview: Garcia vs. Rios, Benavidez vs. Gavril, Ugas vs. Robinson

Posted on 02/15/2018

By: B.A. Cass

On Saturday, February 17, Premier Boxing Champions brings us a tripleheader that includes an IBF eliminator fight and the title shot for WBC Super Middleweight belt. The SHOWTIME coverage is set to begin at 10 PM EST.

The main event will be between the matched Danny Garcia and Brian Rios. The co-main event will the rematch between David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril. And the first televised fight will be between Yordenis Ugas and Ray Robinson.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Yordenis Ugas (20-3) vs. Ray Robinson (24-2); Welterweight

After losing to Shawn Porter in 2010, Robinson has stacked up 13 consecutive wins. The talent he has faced has not been exceptional. Nevertheless, he will step into the ring on Saturday night feeling supremely confident. “I’m an old-school fighter,” he said on Wednesday at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. “I love fighting guys that look good on paper and nobody knows who’s going to win and it’s up to his camp and my camp. I haven’t been this excited for a fight in a long time.” Robinson expects Ugas to give him hell, and he expects to give him hell back.

The Cuban-born Ugas, who fights out of Miami, rose to some prominence after winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics. As a professional, he has suffered three losses. “I know what’s at stake,” he said on Wednesday. “It is the biggest fight of my career.”

This is about as even as boxing fights get. Robinson is 32; Ugas is 31. And neither fighter can claim a significant height or reach advantage.

However, the prize for winning is essentially an opportunity to meet defeat: this is an IBF 147-pound eliminator, and the victor will face Errol Spence Jr.

David Benavidez (19-0) vs. Ronald Gavril (18-2); Super Middleweight

When Benavidez defeated Gavril last September by split decision, he won the WBC Super Middleweight title and became the youngest ever world champion in the super middleweight division. “Winning the title changed my confidence but it changed my work too,” he said on Wednesday at the press conference for the fight. “Now I know everybody is gunning for my title and I don’t want to let it go. All the work and sacrifice it took for me to get this – I’m not going to let it go.”

One of only two men who has gone the distance with Benavidez, the older Gavril (he’s got ten years on Benavidez) surprised a lot of fight fans last time around. It was a close fight. Gavril got rocked in the eleventh round but came back the twelfth round with a blow that knocked Benavidez on his ass. As a late replacement, Gavril had only four weeks to prepare for his first fight with Benavidez. He had a full ten-week training camp this time around. If he wins, he’ll be able to bring WBC belt back to his home country of Romania. “I’m not looking for a knockout,” he said on Wednesday. “I’m looking to win every round.”

Benavidez doesn’t intend to give up his championship belt. “I don’t think Gavril can do any better than he did in the last fight. He’s a one trick pony and he doesn’t have many tricks left. He’s getting old.”

The WBC did not mandate this fight, which means Benavidez took it willingly. There can be only one reason for that: he wants to put all doubts about his supremacy to rest. “I’m thinking it will be a knockout around Round 5,” he said. “It’s going to be a combination of the body and chin.”

Danny Garcia (33-1) vs. Brandon Rios (34-3-1); Welterweight

Garcia is still talking about Keith Thurman, who delivered Garcia his only professional loss. “I don’t blame Keith Thurman for not wanting to fight me again,” he said at the press conference Wednesday. “I wouldn’t want to fight me two times in a row.” Garcia hasn’t fought since losing to Garcia, which means when he steps into the ring he’ll be coming off an 11-month hiatus. He has an opportunity to impress, and he doesn’t intend to lose.

After being by dominated by Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2015, Rios retired from the sport. However, he came back 19 months later to defeat Aaron Herrera. Rios took a lot of shots before he finally KO’d Herrera. If he’s smart, Garcia will look to exploit this vulnerability.

Although Garcia is the clear favorite, Rios isn’t coming for just a paycheck. He a pressure fighter and knows how to make necessary adjustments. He’s ready to fight, and he’s excited to face Garcia. “One thing I like is he doesn’t move or run,” Rios said of Garcia. “He likes to bang it out, and that suits my style better. But if he does run, we’ll be ready for that too.”

Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch

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Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum

Posted on 07/14/2017

Hard-punching 50-50 Match-ups Featured at the Forum
By Adam J. Pollack

On Saturday July 15, the Forum in Los Angeles will feature several highly entertaining matchups. The main event features WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt, 31-1, 28 KOs, vs. Takashi Miura, 31-3-2, 24 KOs, two punchers who love to fight. Although Berchelt likely will win, for he has the superior talent and skill, this is one of those fights that you watch simply because you know that regardless of the result, both guys will fight hard, in entertaining fashion. Miura forces the fight with hard punches and can take some big ones, and both of these guys can hit.

Photo Credit: Kyte Monroe/BoxStats

If you are looking for a really hard-punching intriguing 50-50 type match-up, in which the outcome truly is in doubt, Joe Smith, Jr., 23-1, 19 KOs, vs. Sullivan Barrera, 19-1, 14 KOs is the fight for you. The very heavy-handed Smith, Jr. has freakish power, such that regardless of what the score is in a fight, if hits his opponent, the fight can be over in the blink of an eye. Remember, he knocked out Bernard Hopkins, who although old, had never been stopped before, and was a guy who knew every trick and artifice of the game. He also knocked out Andrej Fonfara in the very 1st round, and Fonfara had gone the distance with Adonis Stevenson, knocked out Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and beaten Glen Johnson and Byron Mitchell.

Smith Jr. is going up a very tough man in Sullivan Barrera, a guy whose only loss was a decision to Andre Ward. Barrera knocked out Jeff Lacy in 4, Karo Murat in 5, and handed the hard-punching then 17-0, 14 KOs Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy his only loss, stopping him in the 7th round. Like Smith Jr., Barrera can punch. So this is likely to be another hard-punching bang-‘em-out war. The likely winner is unclear.

Also on the card, undefeated WBA Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales (21-0, 8 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, 24-12, 14 KOs, who recently stopped former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last fight. Castellanos has managed to score several upset victories, defeating Rocky Juarez and then-undefeated Ronny Rios, in addition to Gamboa, so he seems to thrive on his underestimated underdog status. The undefeated Corrales won the championship by handing then undefeated Takashi Uchiyama his first losses, both by knocking him out and winning the rematch by decision. This is a really solid, competitive contest.

Other quality match-ups on the card include:

Mercito Gesta, 30-1-2 vs. Martin Honorio, 33-10-1
Manny Robles, Jr. 12-0 vs. Christian Esquivel, 30-11
Horacio Garcia, 32-2-1 vs. Diuhl Olguin, 11-16-3
Ryan Garcia, 9-0, vs. Mario Antonio Macias, 28-21

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“New” Ray Robinson Wins at Tropicana in Atlantic City Friday

Posted on 07/01/2017

“New” Ray Robinson Wins at Tropicana in Atlantic City Friday
By: Ken Hissner

Hard Hitting Promotions with Manny Rivera and Will Ruiz brought their Philadelphia promotion to Atlantic City’s Tropicana Hotel & Casino Friday night featuring Philadelphia’s “New” Ray Robinson and a cast of young talent who will be the future of Philadelphia boxing!


Welterweight southpaw “New” Ray Robinson, 24-2 (12), of Philadelphia, defeated by technical decision Columbian Breidis “Braidys” Prescott, 30-11 (22), of Miami, FL, into the seventh round.

In the first two rounds Prescott was the aggressor while Robinson showed pin point counter punching. In the third round it was Robinson backing up Prescott with a solid jab and hurting him with a right hook to the chin near the end of the round.

In the fourth round both rocked one another at the same time. Robinson was out punching Prescott. In the fifth and sixth rounds Robinson became much more aggressive in trying to take Prescott out. In what referee Harvey Dock ruled a clash of heads in the seventh round Prescott went down and didn’t make any effort to get up. The EMT’s had to remove Prescott from the ring. The judges went to the scorecards. Robinson hasn’t lost since 2010. His trainer “Bozy” Ennis seemed quite pleased as was his manager David McWater.

All 3 judges and this writer had it 70-63.

Luis “Popeye” Lebron, 9-0-1 (4), of San Juan, PR, defeated in a real battle Manuel “El Zombie” Botti, 22-1-1 (18), of DR, for the WBA Fedelatin featherweight title, over 10 rounds.

In the opening round it was all Botti. In the second round Lebron came back to control while both gave a good account of themselves. In the third round it went back and forth with Lebron pulling it out. In the fourth and fifth rounds both were rocked. Botti kept coming forward getting the better of the two inside.

In the sixth and seventh rounds they continue to take turns getting the better of the action. It turned into a war as uppercuts from both boxers were flying. Neither would give an inch in a real slugfest. In the eighth round Lebron landed three left hooks to the head of Botti. As Botti came back he was stunned by a Lebron left hook to the head.

In the ninth round it continued to be a savage fight. In the tenth and final round Lebron seemed to have pulled it out.

Judge Carter had it 98-92, Constatino 99-91 and Cheeks 100-90. This writer had it much much closer at 96-94.

Super lightweight Liberian Samuel “Tsunami” Teah, 11-1-1 (5), of Philadelphia, knocked out Dominican Ken Alvarez, 8-6-2 (3), of PR, at 1:48 of the third round.

In the first two rounds both boxers mixed it up well especially to the body. In the third round Teah landed a hard right to the head of Alvarez. Seconds later Teah landed a chopping right to the head of Alvarez and out he went.

Bantamweight Christian Carto, 10-0 (10), of Philadelphia, continued his knockout streak and now up to 10 as he stopped Juan Guzman, 22-8 (12), of DR, 2:30 of the first round.

In the first round Carto dropped Guzman twice to a knee while referee Lee never acknowledged them. In between those Carto scored a knockdown. The unofficial fourth knockdown referee Lee couldn’t miss as Guzman went down and referee Lee finally called a halt.

17 year old lightweight Branden Pizarro, 6-0 (3), of Philadelphia, in a brilliant performance stopped Angel Hernandez, 2-4 (1), of PR, at 0:26 of the sixth.

In the opening round Pizarro controlled with good body work but Hernandez got in several of his own but was completely outclassed. In the second round it was all Pizarro landing pin point punches breaking Hernandez down. In the third round though Hernandez got several good body shots in Pizarro completely controlled the round working both body and head with punches.

In the fourth round Pizarro showed his skills while on the ropes landing uppercuts. A pair of uppercuts by Pizarro hurt Hernandez backing him up several steps. In the fifth round Hernandez tried pushing Pizarro over the ropes getting a warning from referee Lee. Pizarro landed 3 left hooks to the body of Hernandez on several occasions. A left hook from Pizarro to the chin of Hernandez dropped him. He got up and held on as the bell sounded. In the sixth and final round a vicious body shot made Hernandez step back and drop to a knee taking the full count from referee Lee. It was a brilliant performance from Pizarro.

Bantamweight Ariel Lopez, 7-0 (5), of Pueblo, MEX, won a split decision over Charles Clark, 1-3-1 (1), of Dallas, TX, in a 6.

In the opening round after a minute of no punching Lopez landed a double right hook to the head of Clark. In the second round things started heating up with Lopez using his combinations and Clark landing a solid lead right to the head. In the third round Clark drove Lopez into a neutral corner landing well until a punch went south of the border. Lopez landed a 3-punch combination with Clark coming back with a solid left hook to the head of Lopez.

In the fourth round Lopez landed a solid double left hook to the body of Clark who countered with a solid left hook to the head of Lopez. In the fifth round a Clark left hook to the head rocked Lopez. Clark had a point taken away for a low blow after several previous warnings from referee Eddie Claudio. In the sixth and final round both looked tired.

Judge Barnes had it 58-55 and George Hill 57-56 for Lopez while Rubenstein 57-56 for Clark. This writer had it 58-55 Lopez.

Featherweight Jose “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 8-0-1 (2), of New York City, in a hard fought fight won a split decision over Mexico’s Guadalupe “Lupe” Arroyo, 2-5 (0), of Huntington Beach, CA, in a 6.

In the first two rounds Arroyo came in low throwing wild punches as Gonzalez the southpaw picked him off with uppercuts. In the third and fourth rounds Gonzalez was warned several times for infractions. He hurt Arroyo several times with body shots. In the fifth round Arroyo did much better while Gonzalez continued to get away with pushing off without warning from referee Claudio. In the sixth and final round Arroyo landed a solid uppercut to the chin of Gonzalez knocking his head back. It got sloppy in the final round with both boxers tiring.

Judge Barnes had it 58-56, Rubenstein 59-55 for Gonzalez and Hill 58-56 for Arroyo. This writer had it 59-55 for Gonzalez.

Jeremy Cuevas, 4-0 (3), of Philly knocked out Jonathan Valarezo, 0-2 (0), of Ecuador at 2:08 of the first round.

In the first round both mixed it up well until an overhand left from Cuevas to the head of Valarez and down he went and out.

Welterweight Mark Dawson, 4-0-1 (3), of Philadelphia won over William Hill, 2-4 (0), of Detroit, MI, in a bloody 4.

In the opening round it was too much holding. In the second round Dawson landed a right hook causing a cut on the upper eye lid of Hill. Dawson was using a good uppercut when Hill came in low. In the third round the blood is covering the face of Hill on the left side. Dawson due to a head butt had a cut over his left eye. In the fourth the ring physician took a long look at Dawson who was obviously ahead before she allowed the fight to continue. In the final round Hill was chasing Dawson knowing he was behind and ran into a straight left to the chin from Dawson. Hill’s left eye was closed by the end of the round.

Judges Barnes, Hill and Rubenstein and this writer had it 40-36.

It was a good and competitive show for Hard Hitting’s first NJ event.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…

Posted on 05/17/2017

Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 9th to May 16th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Lorenzo Fertitta Gives Blessing for Mayweather vs. McGregor

Lorenza Fertitta, former co-owner of the UFC, recently told TMZ that he supports Dana White’s plan to pay Floyd Mayweather $100 million and Conor McGregor $75 million if they fight and believes they deserve it.

Lorenza Fertitta, along with his brother Frank, invested $2 million into the UFC in 2001 and sold it for $4 billion in 2016.

Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/13/lorenzo-fertitta-ufc-mayweather-mcgregor/

B. Riley & Co. Presents the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night Benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation


Sugar Ray Leonard and celebrity guests including Bill Bellamy (Event Host & Actor/Comedian), Bo Jackson (Former NFL/MLB Athlete), Chris Spencer (Actor, Black-ish), Cindy Crawford, Craig Robinson (Actor/Comedian), David James Elliott (Actor, Secrets and Lies), En Vogue (R&B/Pop Vocal Group), Holly Robinson Peete (Actress, Chicago Fire), Johnny Gill (Recording Artist), Judge Greg Mathis (TV Personality), Laila Ali Conway (Former Professional Boxer), Magic Johnson, Matthew Rutler, Mia St. John (Professional Boxer), Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO), Rande Gerber, Rodney Peete (Former NFL Athlete), Sergio Mora (Professional Boxer), Terry Norris (Former Professional Boxer), Tina Knowles Lawson, Tommy Davidson (Actor/Comedian), and Usher (Actor/Recording Artist). *All attendees subject to change.


On Wednesday, May 24, B. Riley & Co. will present the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation at The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Hosted by actor and comedian Bill Bellamy, the evening will feature live professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The live fights will begin at 6:30 PM through 9:00 PM and the main event of the evening features Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias in a featherweight bout scheduled for six rounds.

The evening will feature a National Anthem performance by En Vogue, as well as a live & silent auction display, which will include iconic memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind items and experiences to benefit this important cause.

Additionally, the event will honor nine-year-old Jackson Blair with the 2017 Golden Glove Award for his extraordinary dedication and hard work to raise money and awareness for type 1 (T1D) diabetes.

Proceeds from the exclusive event will support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and their mission to fund life-changing research, care and awareness for pediatric type 1 & 2 diabetes and to help children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.

The 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night is presented by B. Riley & Co., a leading investment bank which provides corporate finance, research, and sales and trading to corporate, institutional and high net worth individual clients.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

4:30pm Media Check-in Begins
5:00pm Red Carpet Arrivals & Silent Auction Begin
6:30pm Fights & Live Auction Begin
Note: Fight Card Subject to Change
• Fight 1: Rafael Gramajo vs. TBA, Super Bantanweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 2: Marvin Cabrera vs. Quantavious Green, Middleweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 3: Luis Coria vs. TBA, Featherweights for 4 Rounds
• Fight 4: Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias, Featherweights for 6 Rounds
7:00pm Welcome Remarks/National Anthem/Award Presentation
9:00pm Event Ends (approx.)

The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Rances Barthelemy Training Camp Quotes

Rances Barthelemy is set to face Kiryl Relikh in a WBA 140 pound title eliminator on Saturday May 20th on Showtime from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Below are a few select quotes from a recent press conference.
1) How is training camp going? How have you benefitted from sparring and training alongside of your brother Leduan and Yordenis Ugas and have their recent performances been an indication of how you expect to perform?

“Training camp is going really well. Training alongside of my brother and Yordenis under the tutelage of Ismael Salas is the best thing that could happen in my career. They keep me focused and motivated to get better every day. Yordenis and I have been helping each other during our camps, he’s an Olympic athlete so having him to train with is really beneficial. We have a new strength and conditioning coach as well who has us in the best shape possible. I know May 20 you guys will see the best Rances Barthelemy yet.”

2) What would it mean to you to become the first three-division world champion from Cuba?

“It would mean the world to me, after all that it took to defect from Cuba, the near death experiences, the imprisonments, leaving my loved ones behind, it would all have been worth it. I want to inspire the youth that come after me as well, let them know to never give up on their dreams no matter the conditions you live in or what the naysayers may say. Me winning a third world title and making history for a Cuban would prove that.”

3) What did you take away from Relikh’s loss to Ricky Burns?

“I didn’t get to watch the fight but watched the highlights and it seemed like a very entertaining fight. People were saying that it probably should have gone the other way even, so it seems like he put on a good performance.”

4) How would you characterize Relikh’s style and how do you see this fight playing out?

“He likes to come forward a lot and attack. I’m prepared for that if that’s what he plans to do come fight night but I also anticipate having to make adjustments. I always prepare to adjust to whatever my opponent brings. Being a cerebral fighter is a skill that has helped me succeed inside the ring.”

5) Can you address your 11-month layoff and how your training has been geared towards shaking off any ring rust you may have?

“There will be no ring rust come May 20 as we have been in the gym non-stop since my last fight against Mickey Bey. We took a few weeks off to visit Cuba for the first time since my defection. Aside from that I made sure to stay active and I’ve been training hard to be prepared when my name got called. The 11-month layoff happened for reasons out of my control. My management team has been trying to get the best opponents and unfortunately it took longer than we expected but we are here now and I’m as prepared as I have ever been.”

6) How did you trip back to Cuba come about and what was it like to be back in your home country?

“It was very emotional and a long eight years since I had been back. I didn’t know if I’d be able to go back or not. But I visited the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. and they told me I’d finally be able to go back to visit my loved ones. It was nothing but nerves until I got over there. It was an emotional time and everyone welcomed me back with open arms in my hometown of Havana. It’s something I will never forget, especially for the way I was received.”

7) How do you rate your skills and progression as a fighter considering your last three dominant wins over top quality opposition? Do you feel that you are at the peak of your career?

“I am definitely at my peak physically, and I’m looking to match that on paper this year. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring. I don’t like to rate myself, I leave that to the people and the media. They’ve taken notice and that’s why I am where I am today, but I am expecting big things to happen this year.”

8) Why did you feel it was time to rise in weight, especially considering the wealth of talent at 135 right now? Who do you consider to be the top 135 fighter now that you are gone?

“My body was asking for it, 135 was taking too much of a physical toll on me. It may not have been noticeable, but I struggled to make weight during my last fight at 135 and felt I lost some of my power because of the drainage. Since I moved up to 140 I definitely have felt a lot better. It was the right move. Plus, I now have the chance to go after a third world title in a third division, which would be the first time for any boxer from Cuba.”

9) Why did you make the decision to move from Miami to Las Vegas and how do you think it has benefited you?

“To be honest, there is nothing better for a Cuban than to be living in Miami, because the weather is just right and what we are used to. But at the same time it presents a lot of distractions too. So moving to the boxing hub of the United States is better for me so I don’t get wrapped up in anything extra other than boxing. Plus, there are so many sparring partners here and I can go up to Mt. Charleston and get my runs in up there.”

Oscar Escandon Training Camp Quotes

Top 126-pound challenger Oscar Escandon shares his thoughts on training camp and more ahead of his first world title opportunity against WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. Saturday, May 20 on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and features super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui battling for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a 140-pound world title eliminator. In the telecast opener, from Copper Box Arena in London, Gervonta Davis puts his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh.

Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

Here is what Escandon had to say from Las Vegas before he wraps camp and heads east to headline at MGM National Harbor in Maryland:

On his recent training camp:

“Training camp started off in Gilroy, California where we got a lot of good sparring in the Bay Area. But then we moved camp to Las Vegas where we are training in high elevation. We are running up at Mt. Charleston where the elevation is 8400 feet. All in all, it has been a fantastic camp.”

On fighting in his first main event on SHOWTIME:
“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on SHOWTIME, especially in the main event for a world title. I believe the fans watching will enjoy my fighting style. I always bring excitement to the ring. This will be a fan-friendly fight to watch.”

On facing his opponent, champion Gary Russell Jr:
“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the best fighters in the division. I know it’s not going to be an easy task to defeat him but I’m confident in my ability to come out victorious. I will dig deep and impose my will on him.”

On training with head coach Ruben Guerrero:
“Together Ruben and I get along very well. He’s always there for me when I need him. We are doing everything to get better and we’ll be ready to go. We have a nice game plan that we will display on fight night.”

On what a victory will do for his career:
“This is the biggest fight of my career and a win will lead to bigger and better things, like unification bouts. To capture the WBC world title will be an honor for my team and my people of Colombia. I need to win this fight and capture that WBC title. I can see myself in major fights with a victory.”

Kal Yafai Retains WBA Flyweight Title with Decision Victory

On Saturday, Kal Yafai thrilled his hometown fans in Birmingham, England, and made the first the defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Suguru Muranaka.

The bout headlined another tremendous day of action AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.

“I am thrilled to be able to bring this action-packed cards to the American fight fans,” said Charles Herring, President of AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.

“In recent months, The super-flyweight division has been one of the divisions that has featured terrific fights, and today Kal Yafai proved that he is one of the elite in the division. Sam Eggington carried on the momentum of stopping Paulie Malignaggi, and won in another thrilling fight. We have a great Spring and Summer fight schedule that we will be excited to share with the fans very shortly.”

Yafai looked like he was going to have an early day as he sent his Japanese challenger down to the canvas in round two. Muranka proved sturdy and even had a few moments in the fight. Yafai was deducted a point in round eight for low blows, but he was comfortably ahead, and won by scores of 119-107 twice and 118-108.

Yafai is 22-0. Muranaka is 25-3.

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Muhammad Ali’s Offer of a Million to “Sugar” Ray Robinson Rejected!

Posted on 05/04/2017

Muhammad Ali’s Offer of a Million to “Sugar” Ray Robinson Rejected!
By: Ken Hissner

It was after Muhammad Ali won the world title in 1964 over then champion Sonny Liston that he announced he had joined the Nation of Islam.

FILE - In this March 1, 1964, file photo, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, right, is shown with black muslim leader Malcolm X outside the Trans-Lux Newsreel Theater in New York, after viewing the screening of a film about Ali's title fight with Sonny Liston. Ali turns 70 on Jan. 17, 2012.  (AP Photo/File)

Considered by most historians as the greatest pound for pound boxer in the history of boxing was “Sugar” Ray Robinson the former welterweight and middleweight champion.

After winning the title Ali was invited to join Robinson on the island of Jamaica in 1965 as a celebrity trainer for one of Robinson’s fights. In March Robinson was fighting Philadelphia’s Jimmy Beecham in Kingston.

As the story goes there were two figures mentioned. Ali either offered Robinson a million dollars or $700,000 if he would become a Muslim. The money would come from Muslims donating $1.00 each. Robinson informed Ali that he could not accept such an offer being a Christian.

It’s been reported recently that the FBI has made public the racist remarks Ali made against white people. One thing not mentioned is that his trainer was Italian Angelo Dundee and his cut man a white Cuban named Ferdie Pacheco. Wali Muhammad was the assistant trainer along with Bundini Brown.

In December of 1990 Ali was responsible for bringing home 15 hostages from Iraq which included both black and white.

Pacheco would inject needles into Ali’s tender hands when Ali’s manager Herbert Muhammad requested he put a halt to it. Pacheco advised if he didn’t do this “Frazier would kick his ass!”

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“The New” Ray Robinson Wins at the Fillmore in Philly Friday night!

Posted on 03/25/2017

“The New” Ray Robinson Wins at the Fillmore in Philly Friday night!
By: Ken Hissner

Hard Hitting Promotions moved to a bigger facility at The Fillmore for their ever boxing event. They showcased contender “The New” Ray Robinson and Philly’s prospects filling out the undercard. The new site is beautiful and reminds boxing fans of the legendary Blue Horizon with balconies and not a bad seat in the house. Once again the fans were treated to a fine show and showed their appreciation throughout the event. Manny Rivera and co-promoter Will Ruiz who also serves as matchmaker keep the fans happy.


In the Main Event WBC southpaw welterweight contender “The New” Ray Robinson, 23-2 (12), of Philadelphia, stopped Claudinel Lacerda, 18-17-1 (13), of Sombrio, BRZ. 2:30 into the seventh round. Referee Benjy Estevees, Jr. had seen enough with Lacerda taking a brutal beating.

In the opening round Robinson moved well using his jab and an occasional left hook. In the second round Robinson stood his ground getting more power into his punches with a lead left to the chin of Lacerda ending the round. In the third round Lacerda came in throwing wide punches to the body of Robinson who countered with right hooks to the body and straight lefts to the chin. Robinson did enough damage in the round to earn a 10-8 round. In the fourth round Robinson came out with bad intentions landing a right hook followed by a left uppercut to the head of Lacerda. Robinson landed half a dozen unanswered punches. Lacerda finally landed a wild right to the head of Robinson getting his attention. Robinson came right back with the jab followed by a left to the chin of Lacerda.

In the fifth round Lacerda suffered a small cut on the bridge of his nose. A hard left uppercut by Robinson stunned Lacerda. He looked like he was about to go down but his heart kept him upright. In the sixth round a Robinson right hook to the head had Lacerda hurt. Lacerda was swinging wildly hitting nothing but air as Robinson counters him well. In the seventh round Robinson hurt Lacerda with a right hook to the body. Out of desperation Lacerda landed several punches to the head of Robinson but paid the price as he was countered well to the head. Near the end of the round referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., had seen enough and called a halt to the fight. Lacerda wanted to go on but took a brutal beating.

“I want to thank my trainer Bozy Ennis and my promoters Hard Hitting and DiBella Entertainment, all our team and the fans who came out tonight,” said Robinson. He is managed by Dave McWater.

In the co-feature 17 year-old lightweight Brandon “The Gift” Pizarro, 4-0 (2), of Philadelphia scored a knockdown and put on a spectacular 4 round decision over Matt Murphy, 2-10-1 (2), of St. Louis, MO.

In the first round Pizarro put on a show with a variety of punches and great footwork landing punches with great speed having Murphy on the defense. In the second round Pizarro landed 3 left hooks to the head of Murphy without return. The blue haired Murphy seemed bewildered by the hand speed of Pizarro. A Pizarro right to the head of Murphy followed by a left hook dropped Murphy for an 8 count by referee Ron Bashir.

In the third round while against the ropes Pizarro landed a 3-punch combination backing Murphy up. Halfway thru the round a Pizarro right to the head knocked Murphy back several steps. It was a round the flashy Pizarro put more behind his punches hurting Murphy on several occasions. In the fourth and final round Murphy came out more aggressive than in the first 3 rounds catching plenty of firepower from Pizarro. Murphy landed a combination to the head of Pizarro who was against the ropes. Pizarro ended the round with a flurry of punches to the delight of his many fans. In his corner was his father Angel and assistant Bozy Ennis. Pizarro may have hurt a hand early in the fight. He’s got worlds of potential at such a young age.

All 3 judges George Hill, Alan and Justin Rubenstein had it 40-35 as did this writer.

Bantamweight Christian Carto, 8-0 (8), of Philadelphia, scored his eighth straight stoppage over Rudolph “The Cutting Edge” Hedge, 10-5-3 (4), of Kingston, JAM, after Hedge’s corner wouldn’t allow him out for the fifth round. It was another flawless exhibition by the home town favorite Christian Carto. He always seems to stand out on these Hard Hitting Promotions shows.

In the opening round it was all Carto mixing it up body to head while moving around the ring with Hedge following him hands held high. In the second round it was another flawless round by Carto. Halfway thru the round Carto rocked Hedge with a left hook to the head. Carto’s jab is in the face of Hedge at all times. It always seems to have something behind it snapping Hedge’s head back.

In the third round Hedge finally landed something more than a jab but paid the price as Carto countered with a solid straight right to the head of Hedge. Just prior to the bell Hedge landed a right to the head of Carto. The fans appreciate the combination of punches Carto has landed. In the fourth round Carto opened up with a power punching right to the chin of Hedge. Carto would flurry half a dozen punches without return. Carto ended the round with a solid left hook to the head of Hedge. Hedge couldn’t answer the bell for the fifth round.The referee was Esteves, Jr. In the corner of Carto was trainer Mickey Rosati and cut-man Joey Eye.

Super lightweight southpaw Jeremy “King” Cuevas, 3-0 (2), of Philadelphia, easily defeated southpaw Jack Grady, 0-5-1 (0), of Buffalo, NY, over 4 rounds.

In the opening round with both southpaws Cuevas landed a 3-punch combination against the wild swinging Grady. Halfway thru the round Cuevas landed 5 unanswered punches. In the second round Grady continues to clown around while taking a beating from Cuevas.

In the third round Grady’s face was beat red from the Cuevas punches to the face. In the fourth and final round it was all Cuevas until the final 10 seconds when both boxers slugged it out past the bell before referee Bashir separated them. Grady showed heart and a good chin considering all the punches Cuevas hit him with.

Judges George Hill, Dewey La Rosa and Justin Rubenstein and this writer scored it 40-36.

Super featherweight Gadwin Rosa, 3-0 (2), of Ocala, FL, knocked out southpaw Wytama “Fearless” Faulk, 1-3 (0), of Webster, FL, @ 2:14 of the first round.

In the opening round Rosa dropped Faulk with a left hook to the chin. Shortly afterwards a right hand by Rosa put Faulk on the seat of his pants as referee Esteves, Jr., counted him out.

In the opening bout featherweight Vidal Rivera, 5-0 (4), of Camden, NJ, stopped Jesus Feliciano, 0-3 (0), of San Juan, PR, after 2 rounds. Referee was Bashir.

In the opening round the much taller Rivera used his reach while Feliciano was swinging wildly hitting air. In the second round Rivera finally landed a right to the chin of Feliciano who came back with an overhand right to the chin of Rivera. In the third round Feliciano’s corner wouldn’t let their fighter come out.

The ring announcer was Pat Michael Fattore. It was another lively crowd with a world contender and top former amateurs who keep winning in the pro ranks. Hard Hitting plans to co-promote a show in Puerto Rico on April 7th with Rosa returning home. There are plans to run a show at the Tropicana in Atlantic City in June with Robinson meeting a quality opponent.

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“The New” Ray Robinson Wins in Philly’s “Friday Night Boxing”!

Posted on 02/04/2017

“The New” Ray Robinson Wins in Philly’s “Friday Night Boxing”!
By: Ken Hissner

Hard Hitting Promotions continue filling up the seats at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia with co-promoters Manny Rivera and Will Ruiz leading the way!

In the Main Event the WBC No. 9 welterweight contender “The New” Ray Robinson, 22-2 (11), Philly, knocked out Edwin Palacios, 12-5-1 (8), NIC, at 2:39 of the second round posting his eleventh straight win.

In the opening round the southpaw Robinson used an effective jab. Palacios landed a straight right to the chin of Robinson getting a reaction from the crowd. Just prior to the bell an overhand left by Robinson drove Palacios into the corner and down. He was up as the bell sounded.

In the second round Robinson became very aggressive landing a good body punch with a left hook. A straight left dropped Palacios who was holding his nose taking the count on one knee as referee Gary Rosato counted him out.

“I didn’t know until the weigh-in that Palacio was so tall. After a feeling out round my trainer (“Bozy” Ennis) and I figured it out to go to the body and it worked,” said Robinson. This win puts Robinson one step closer to moving up in the rankings and a title fight.

Bantamweight Christian Carto, 7-0 (7), of Philly, stopped Sergio Najera, 12-29-2 (6), of MEX, at 2:06 of the third round.

In the first round on two separate occasions a Carto jab put Najera back several steps. Near the end of the round Najera had Carto in a corner and landed several punches to the head of Carto who came back as the bell sounded. In the second round a roundhouse right by Najera landed on the neck of Carto. A lead right hand by Carto drove Najera into the ropes. With about ten seconds left in the round Carto rocked Najera with a right to the chin.

In the third round Najera continued to throw wild punches as Carto countered him well while avoiding those wild swings. Carto opened up with punches in bunches having Najera backing up taking a beating time and again when referee Talmadge saw enough and stepped in and waved it off saving Najera from any unnecessary punishment. Najera came in nine pounds over the contracted weight but was able to take three pounds off with Carto giving away five pounds. “I knew he was heavier than me but knew I would eventually catch up to him,” said Carto. That’s seven straight knockouts in as many fights.

Lightweight prospect Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 3-0 (2), of Philly, knocked out Abdiel Padilla, 1-1 (1), of PR, at 2:52 of the first round.

In a mismatch Pizarro chased Padilla who mostly covered up but for some reason would end up in a corner and Pizarro would pummel him. When Padilla ended up in the opposite corner it was all over as Pizarro landed a flurry of body punches dropping Padilla to the canvas and not making an effort to get up as referee Bashir counted him out.

Super featherweight Cuban Hairon “El Maja” Socarras, 15-0-2 (10), of Miami, FL, outpointed German “Pan Teonero” Meraz, 55-41-1 (32), of Sonora, MEX, over six dull rounds.

About a minute into the round a combination from Socarras to the head and down went Meraz. Referee Rosato gave him the eight count and Meraz got up and managed to get to the end of the round. In the second and third rounds Socarras simply landed more punches then Meraz with some good left hooks to the body.

In the fourth and fifth rounds the pace continued with Meraz seemingly looking to coast to the distance. In the sixth and final round Socarras did enough to win the round and just before the bell sounded he landed his best punch since the first round a left hook to the chin of Meraz.

All three Steve Weisfeld, Alan Rubenstein and Anthony Lundy scored it 60-53 for Socarras.

Super featherweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 2-0 (2), out of Allentown, PA, knocked out Jonathan Hernandez, 0-4, PR, at 0:18 of the first round.

Adorno threw one punch a right hand to the head of Hernandez and down he went. The referee Blair Talmadge waved it off without a count knowing Hernandez was out before he hit the canvas. The ring physician immediately came into the ring. After close to ten minutes Hernandez was able to get up on his own and leave the ring.

Lightweight Victor Padilla, 2-0 (2), of Berlin, NJ, knocked out Tony Wilson, 0-2 (0), VA, at 0:30 of the first round.

Padilla went out fast looking for the knockout and it came that fast landing a combination to the chin of Wilson. Referee Bashir counted Wilson out on a knee.

Super flyweight Harold Lopez, 1-0 (1), of Allentown, PA, made his debut a good one when he knocked out Argenis Armando, 0-1 (0), at 0:57 of the first round in a mismatch.

In the opening round hit Armando about four times and down he went refusing to get up until the referee Talmadge said “ten”!

The opponent for Kali Reis, who is a former world champion never showed up. Kita Watkins who challenged for the world title three times made the weigh-in Thursday night but didn’t show up for the fight.

The fans seemed to enjoy all the early knockouts and continue to fill the arena at the SugarHouse Casino. A ten count was given for veteran trainer George James, the manager of Christian Carto Jimmy Binns, Jr., and the father of top cut-man Joey Eye after a long illness.

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Robinson, Socarras, Reis, Carto, Pizarro, Cuevas, Padilla & Adorno Friday in Philly!

Posted on 02/02/2017

Robinson, Socarras, Reis, Carto, Pizarro, Cuevas, Padilla & Adorno Friday in Philly!
By: Ken Hissner

Hard Hitting Promotions continues to fill the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia with fans and great fights! On Friday February 3rd it continues with Co-Promoters Manny Rivera and Will Ruiz featuring world contender southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson, 20-2 (10), in the main event for the second time in an 8 round bout.


At a Press Conference Wednesday night at the SugarHouse Casino nine showed up for the nine bout card. “Ray Robinson will be fighting for a world title by the end of the year (2017),” said Manny Rivera. Robinson is No. 9 in the WBC rankings dropped down from No. 5 after an auto accident sidelined him for 18 months. He makes no bones about it he wants a world title fight with fellow Philadelphia boxer and the WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-0 who is in a unification bout in March with WBA champion Keith Thurman. “I’ve been asking for this fight with Danny for years,“ said Robinson.

The undercard has Cuban Hairon “El Maga” Socarras, 14-0-2, out of Miami who meets 90+ bout veteran German “Pan Teonero” Meraz out of Sonora, MEX, over 6 rounds. Socarras is trained by legendary Cuban trainer Jorge Rubio. The boxer is returning to action after posting his second draw which was held in MEX in November of 2015. Now a super featherweight he won the interim WBC Latino super bantamweight title in Spain in 2014. Both he and Meraz were present.
In the other 6 round bout females Kali “KO Meainonoag” Reis, out of Providence, RI, the former WBC world champion takes on Kia Watkins, out of Tyler, TX, a former 3-time world title challenger in a middleweight bout. Former Philadelphia bantamweight National GG champion Christian Carto, 6-0 (6), takes on 40+ veteran Sergio Najera, of MEX, over 4 rounds.

Four of the top Latino prospects in the country help fill out the card featuring Philly’s 17-year old Branden Pizarro, 2-0 (1), against Abdiel Padilla, 1-0 (1), of PR, in a lightweight 4. “Branden Pizarro is a future world champion,” said Manny Rivera. Southpaw Philly lightweight Jeremy Cuevas, 2-0 (2), Allentown-Philly’s super featherweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 1-0 (1), Victor Padilla, 1-0 (1), out of Berlin, NJ, and Harold Lopez, Allentown-Philly’s debuting super flyweight are all featured in 4’s.
Doors open at 6pm and first bout at 7pm for this “Friday Night Boxing” event!

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The “New” Ray Robinson Wants to Fight WBC Champ Danny Garcia”!

Posted on 02/01/2017

The “New” Ray Robinson Wants to Fight WBC Champ Danny Garcia”!
By: Ken Hissner

The “New” Ray Robinson, 21-2 (10), of Philadelphia has to wait for the outcome of the March 4th showdown between WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-0, and WBA champion Keith Thurman, 27-0, unification fight before trying to get Garcia in the ring.
This writer has a fake trillion dollar bill that I presented Angel Garcia with at Danny’s press conference and said “is this enough to get Danny to fight Ray Robinson?” He said “yes if it was for real.”


Robinson turned professional in December of 2006 at the Paradise Theater, in the Bronx. This followed various ventures such as Foxwoods, Bally’s in AC, back in the Bronx, then Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, IL, and the Mohegan in CT, until his eighth fight before he fought in his hometown of Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory.

Robinson was unbeaten after eleven fights when he met Brad Solomon, 8-0, at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom in NY losing a majority decision over eight rounds. His promoter Joe Deguardia of Star Boxing had him all over especially in Deguardia’s home base of NY some six times.

In Robinson’s tenth fight he defeated Darnell Jiles, Jr, 8-0-1, in the Roseland Ballroom in NY. Next he defeated Harrison Cuello, 18-10-3, at the Hilton Rye Town Hotel, in Rye brook, NY. Then came his first loss to Solomon and seven months later in his next fight a loss to Shawn Porter, 15-0, in DeSoto Civic Center in Southhaven, MS. Usually a promoter/manager comes back with something easier after a boxer’s first loss in particular but not in this case. “Porter told me after the fight he would never fight Ray again,” said Moses Robinson. He was Ray’s first trainer from the time he was 9 years old.

Just a couple of months later it was back to Philadelphia again at the Armory and the Asylum Arena for a pair of wins. Then in the Philadelphia suburbs he won the vacant PA State title when he defeated Olympian Terrance Cauthen, 36-7, for Brittany Rogers BAM Boxing debut. She has been with J Russell Peltz learning the business but believe me she knows her boxing.

Robinson then signed up with a group in DE and had his next five fights there for them. First he won the interim WBA-NABA welterweight title defeating Alberto Morales, 11-1-1, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, DE, in February of 2013. Next he stopped the dangerous “Sugar” Ray Narh, 26-2, of Ghana fighting out of Brooklyn, in seven rounds for the vacant USBA title at the Bob Carpenter Center, in Newark, DE. Then came the Russian Aslanbek Kozaev, 25-0-1, with Robinson winning over twelve rounds for the vacant WBO NABO title at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in February of 2014.

Robinson got as high as the WBC’s No. 3 contender after that win. Then a pair of wins over lesser opponents like George Sosa, 13-7 and Daniel Sostre, 13-9-1, at Dover and back to the Chase Center he would start dropping in the rankings to No. 5. In his lone fight in April of 2015 he defeated Sherzodbek Alimjanov, 22-2, of UZB, in a defense of his WBO NABO title.

Then a major setback happened when Robinson was in an automobile accident. He would be inactive for eighteen months before returning to action on a Hard Hitting Promotions show at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia in October of 2016 stopping Santos Benavides, 25-10-2, of Nicaragua at the end of the fourth round. He is scheduled to return to action at the same casino for Hard Hitting on February 3rd. He’s taking on another Nicaraguan in Edwin Palacios, 12-4-1 (8), who has defeated an 18-2 opponent and drew with a 16-2 opponent. Robinson dropped in the WBC rankings to No. 9 but looking to move back up!

“Ray can’t catch a break getting a title fight. Angel Garcia brought Danny down for sparring with small gloves. I told him we don’t spar with small gloves. They did spar with larger sparring gloves and Ray did fine with Danny. I started with Ray from the time he was 9 years old,” said Moses Robinson.

Being a tall southpaw who has good lateral movement it’s not easy obtaining a bout with the rest of the contenders. “We tried to get Ray a fight with Lamont Peterson but got turned down,” said manager Dave McWater. Peterson, a former super lightweight champion lost a controversial bout to Garcia. Robinson’s long-time trainer Moses Robinson stepped out of the picture due to health problems. His current trainer is Bozy Ennis whose gym is “Bozy’s Dungeon” in North Philly whose older two sons Farah and “Pooh” won NABF and USBA titles. Now he has what this writer calls the “best prospect in Philly since Meldrick Taylor” in “Bozy’s” younger son Jaron “Boots” Ennis whose 9-0 (8). His current promoter is DiBella Entertainment. “Boots” gives Robinson good sparring.

Philly is still known for their gym wars and various fighters have either fought each other in the amateurs or sparred in the gym. Besides Garcia there’s “Hammerin” Hank Lundy and Ray “Tito” Serrano who is one of Star Boxing’s fighters. Both have sparred with Garcia.

Robinson just turned thirty-one on the twenty-first of January having put in over ten years in the business. This writer was able to do a Q&A with him recently. He always has an “up” side and is easy to communicate with.

KEN HISSNER: Well Ray you are continuing the journey to get that WBC title fight. Now it could be Thurman instead of Garcia come March holding that title. What is your prediction?

RAY ROBINSON: Good fight. Whoever has the better jab will win.

KEN HISSNER: It’s been ten years in the professional ranks for you starting with Moses and now “Bozy” who are two of the most respected trainers in Philly. How much of an adjustment was that?

RAY ROBINSON: They are the two best trainers in Philly. Bozy was in the corner with Moses early in my career for 3 or 4 fights. Bozy doesn’t try to change your style just add on to it.

KEN HISSNER: I know you’d love to fight fellow Philly boxer Danny Garcia. Have the two of you ever sparred?

RAY ROBINSON: I used to beat him up sparring. I fought him in the Nationals and lost a bad decision. Everyone knew I beat him.

KEN HISSNER: You’ve been in with unbeaten boxers starting with Jiles before major opponents back to back with Solomon and Porter while more recently with Kozaev. Were you surprised after losing a majority decision with Solomon your promoter would have you coming right back with Porter?

RAY ROBINSON: I thought the Solomon fight should have been a draw and I beat Porter. Even Antonio Tarver came back to the dressing room and thought I won.

KEN HISSNER: You have won your last eleven fights and it’s been six and a half years since your last loss to Porter who is No. 6. You just turned thirty-one. Are you ready this year to get that title shot?

RAY ROBINSON: Yeah man. I have to be patient. This is the best I felt since I was 21 or 22. It’s overdue.

KEN HISSNER: After Ray Nahr beat Ronald Cruz you stopped Nahr. Were you surprised Nahr got a fight with Jesse Vargas?

RAY ROBINSON: Vargas barely got by Nahr. The knockdown at the end must have won him the fight. Why didn’t I get a fight with Vargas since I beat Nahr.

KEN HISSNER: You have two former world champs ahead of you in the WBC rankings. Andre Berto is No. 8 and Amir Khan is No. 1. How would you like to meet one of them?

RAY ROBINSON: I would love too. I have been calling out Berto forever. Kahn has no chin. He better not go to Chicago or a good wind might knock him out.

KEN HISSNER: I understand you have a new manager in David McWater. How’s that working out?

RAY ROBINSON: He’s a good guy. He’s honest and straight with me. He knows I’m hungry and he know’s I’m not getting any younger.

KEN HISSNER: I have a feeling if you could get Berto after your next fight you would not only move up in the WBC but get into the IBF since Berto is No. 3 for Kell Brook’s title. What do you think?

RAY ROBINSON: Each champ stays with their own contender’s safe under their umbrella.

KEN HISSNER: What do you know about your next opponent Edwin Palacios?

RAY ROBINSON: I train every fight like it’s going to be my last fight. You can’t go by records. A guy could have a losing record and be better than an opponent with a good record. I train the exact same way no matter what their record is.

KEN HISSNER: Ray, as always it’s been nice talking to you and I wish you all the success in the world this year.

RAY ROBINSON: Thanks man I really appreciate it.

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