Ray “Tito” Serrano Edged by Malik “Iceman” Hawkins at Fillmore
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions returned to the beautiful Fillmore in Philadelphia for the second time since their debut there a year ago. They put on an exciting 8 bout card Friday night before a sold out crowd.
In the Main Event Welterweight Ray “Tito” Serrano, 24-5 (10), of Philadelphia, PA, lost a close exciting decision to Malik “Iceman” Hawkins, 13-0 (9), of Baltimore, MD, over 10 rounds.
In the first round it was evident Serrano was stronger but Hawkins quicker. In the second round Hawkins continued using his effective jab and elusive defense causing Serrano problems. In the third round Serrano started getting in body shots on Hawkins. Serrano ended the round with a border line left hook followed by another left hook.
In the fourth round Serrano started by landing a left hook to the chin of Hawkins who shook his head like it wasn’t as hard as it looked. The rest of the round both fighters mixed it up well. Hawkins was landing right uppercuts while Serrano landed left hooks. In the fifth round Serrano landed a stiff jab knocking back the head of Hawkins. A right uppercut to the chin from Hawkins made Serrano hold. Hawkins ended the round with a double left hook to the head of Serrano.
In the sixth round Serrano started things off with a left hook to the chin of Hawkins. Hawkins came back with right uppercuts to the chin. Serrano rocked Hawkins with a right to the chin just prior to the bell. In the seventh round Hawkins was ripping right uppercuts to the body and chin of Serrano. Serrano came right back but Hawkins got the better of it in the round.
In the eighth round both fighters landed left hooks to the chin at the same time. Serrano landed a solid right to the chin of Hawkins. In the ninth round Hawkins landed a right followed by a left to the chin rocking Serrano. Serrano came back landing a pair of rights to the chin. Just prior to the bell, Serrano landed another pair of rights to the chin of Hawkins.
In the tenth and final round with the fight on the line both landed left hooks to the body. Serrano landed a right followed by a left to the chin of Hawkins. Whether Serrano did enough to pull out a draw would be determined and in the hands of the judges.
Judge Lynne Carter scored it 98-92, Justin Rosenstein 96-94 and Dewey LaRosa 97-93. This writer had it 96-94. Referee was Shawn Clark.
Super Bantamweight southpaw Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams, 15-0 (5), of New Haven, CT, easily defeated Antonio “Tony” Rodriguez, 12-21-1 (5), of Durango, MEX, over 6 rounds.
In the first round the shorter southpaw Williams was on the attack landing four straight left hands to the body and head of Rodriguez. Several more times the “slick” Williams landed lead left hands to the chin of Rodriguez and evaded return punches. In the second round a straight left from Williams to the chin drove Rodriguez into the ropes. Rodriguez landed a right to the body of Williams which may have been the best punch he landed up until then.
In the third round Williams landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Rodriguez. Whenever Rodriguez and Williams clinch Rodriguez gets in some of his best punches against the much faster Williams. In the fifth round Williams landed lead left’s to the chin of Rodriguez three different times. Rodriguez came back landing four unanswered punches that didn’t seem to have much effect on Williams. Williams landed a combination to the chin of Rodriguez who came back with a right of his own.
The sixth and final round inside Rodriguez is able to get right uppercuts to the body of Williams. Rodriguez landed a lead right hook to the side of the head of Williams. The ring physician was brought in by Referee Ron Bashir to check a cut along the right eyebrow of Rodriguez that the referee said it was from a punch. The action ending the last twenty seconds was furious up until the bell.
Judges Constatino 60-53, Rubenstein 59-55 and LaRosa 58-56. This writer had it 60-54.
Super Middleweight Ronald “Akeem” Ellis, 15-0-2 (10), of Lynn, MASS, defeated Taneal Goyco, 9-11-1 (4), of Philadelphia, PA, over 6 exciting rounds of action.
In the first round Ellis stormed out of his corner landing right hand after right hand to the chin of Goyco who mostly covered up taking punch after punch. In the second round it went almost the same way until the final minute when Goyco backed Ellis against the ropes. There was no quit in Goyco.
In the third round Ellis slowed down ad started boxing using his jab. Goyco had Ellis holding on after landing several wide left hooks to the head. Both boxers threw and landed left hooks to the chin with Goyco’s ending the round. The fans loved the finish. In the fourth round a right hand from Ellis dropped Goyco who was up immediately but took the 8 count from Referee Clark. Goyco continued bobbing and weaving trying to get away from the punch Ellis was throwing and out of nowhere Goyco rocked Ellis with a wild left hook to the chin just prior to the bell.
In the fifth round Ellis was on the attack but Goyco “fighting on instinct” was dangerous with every wild punch he threw. The round ended in a close one but Ellis seemed to have the edge. In the sixth and final round Ellis would land a jab knocking the head of Goyco back only to have Goyco coming back with a punch of his own. Midway through the round the boxers bumped heads causing half a minute of stoppage. Both fighters exchanged solid left hooks to the head in this very exciting crowd pleasing match right up until the end.
Judge Carter 59-55, LaRosa and Constatino 60-53 as did this writer.
Super Lightweight southpaw Jeremy “King” Cuevas, 8-0 (6), of Philadelphia, PA, came back from a knockdown to defeat Efrain “Macho” Cruz, 4-5-1 (1), of Viequs, PR, in another exciting 6.
In the first round Cuevas pushed forward backing Cruz up who was throwing back wildly. Both fighters exchanged left hooks with Cuevas ending up with a left to the chin of Cruz. In the second round Cuevas ran into a Cruz right hand and down he went for the first time in his short career. He struggled up beating the count of Referee Clark and worked his way back and had Cruz in trouble several times though Cruz was always dangerous.
In the third round it was mostly all Cuevas who was back in form with his many fans rooting him on. In the fourth round both fighters had the fans cheering on with Cuevas taking the round with mostly right hooks and following with left’s to the chin of the ever fighting back Cruz.
In the fifth round Cuevas landed a lead left making Cruz duck into a right to the head. Cuevas rocked Cruz with a straight left to the chin. It was Cruz coming forward knowing he was behind but ran into a Cuevas left to the chin. In the sixth and final round Cruz landed a solid left hook to the chin of Cuevas. Cuevas came back landing a double jab to the chin with Cruz coming back with a right to the chin. Cuevas landed a combination to the head of Cruz who once again came right back. This was following the exciting Goyco-Ellis bout keeping the fans cheering.
Judges Carter had it 59-55, Rubenstein 59-55 and LaRosa 59-55 with this writer having it 58-55.
Heavyweight Darmani “Rock Solid” Rock, 11-0 (7), of Philadelphia, PA, knockout out Ronny Hale, 4-12 (4), of Austin, TX, in 1:07 of the second round of a scheduled 6.
In the first round Hale came out swinging but the former top amateur Rock was ready for him. Hale making his second appearance in Philadelphia after scoring a knockout win against an opponent making his debut was in with a different kind of opponent tonight. In the second round Rock landed vicious body shots before finally dropping Hale for the count by Referee Ron Bashir.
Super Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 9-1 (4), of Philadelphia, PA, came back big after suffering his first loss defeating Pablo Cupul, 9-24 (5), of San Diego, CA, over 4 rounds scheduled for 6 cut to a 4.
In the first round Pizarro started off tossing Cupul to the canvas getting warned by referee Clark. From that point on Pizarro handled the shorter Cupul for the most part. In the second round Pizarro continued dominating Cupul hurting him with a combination to the head. Pizarro ended the round with a left hook to the chin of Cupul.
In the third round Pizarro was all over Cupal hurting him with left hook body shots. Referee Clark warned Cupal for hitting behind the head.
All three judges and this writer had it 40-36.
Super Lightweight Sam “Tsunami” Teah, 13-2-1 (5), of Liberia living in Philadelphia, PA, stopped Orlando Rizo, 19-13 (11), of Vieques, PR, at 2:33 of the first round in a scheduled 6.
In the first round Teah dropped Rizo with body shots three times before Referee Bashir called a halt.
In the first bout of the night Super Welterweight Joey Alday, Jr., 7-0 (7), of Odessa, TX, stopped southpaw Michael Crain, 1-2 (0), of Smyrna, DE, at 1:28 of the third round of a scheduled for 4.
In the first round the taller Alday used his reach well while Crain occasionally got inside with some good body work. In the second round Alday’s timing seemed to get on track landing a good left hook on the southpaw Crain’s side of the head. He would follow up several seconds later with a good lead right hand to the chin of Crain. Crain used his jab to get inside with a body shot but can’t seem to reach the taller Alday’s chin. A combination left right from Alday to the chin of Crain dropped him. The bell sounded as Crain got up from referee Shawn Clark’s mandatory 8 count.
In the third round Alday continued the attack with solid left hooks to the body and head. Finally a left hook from Alday to the chin of Crain dropped him to a knee. Referee Clark wisely called a halt as Crain got to his feet.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Preview: Soto Karass vs. Abreu, Tanajara vs. Quezada, Jesus Serrano vs. Genaro Gamez, Ryan Garcia vs. Cesar Valenzuela
By: B.A. Cass
After suffering a first-round KO from Henry Lebron in July, Oscar Eduardo Quezada (6-4) went on to beat Ernesto Gutierrez (0-7-1) in September. Now Quezada is being used as an opponent for the Hector Tanajara (10-0), the San Antonio super featherweight who hopes to be Golden Boy Promotions newest star. Tanajara still needs some development, but he’s young and fast. And he is unbeaten for a reason. Tanajara is a boxer, not a brawler. He has a three-inch height advantage over Quezada, and we can expect him to use his jab to keep Quezada at a safe distance, as he has effectively done with opponents in the past.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
The fight between Jesus Serrano (17-4-2) and Genaro Gamez (6-0) should be much more exciting. At first glance, Serrano may seem like the more experienced fighter on a downward slide, a journeyman sent in to fight a younger, up-and-coming fighter who needs some credible wins on his resume. However, the four losses and two draws on Serrano’s record happened earlier in his career and is on a nine-fight winning streak. He has also knocked out over half of his opponents. As for Gamez, he may have less professional experience, but he’s a dangerous fighter: of the six fights he has fought, four have ended in first round KOs. Both fighters like to keep their hands down. Expect a brawl.
Ryan Garcia (11-0) vs. Cesar Valenzuela (14-5) is the fight on the undercard that you won’t want to miss. Valenzuela is a strong, more experienced opponent, but Garcia, who looks about twelve years old, has a knockout record that rivals Deontay Wilder’s. He’s sharp too, and when his punches connect (as they often do), the result is devastating. He was last seen in the ring in September when he knocked out Miguel Carrizoza with a powerful shot to the head that was so fast it was almost invisible.
Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4) wants to show the boxing world that he isn’t just another aging gatekeeper. He’ll get his chance this Thursday, Nov. 2 when he encounters Juan Carlos Abreu (19-3-1), the aggressive Dominican fighter who likes to taunt his opponents as he stalks them around the ring. Karass has beaten some decent talent, including Andre Berto. Recently, however, he’s lost more than he’s won. This fight may be his last chance to prove himself, and he’s sure to give everything he’s got.
Hosted by Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, this 10-round main event will be aired at 11 PM (EST) on ESPN2.
ESPN3 will stream the undercard fights starting at 9:30 PM (EST). Make sure to tune in early so that you don’t miss the fight between US Olympian Marlen Esparza (3-0) and Karla Valenzuela (3-16-3). It should be a one-sided affair, but Esparza is supremely talent and it will be fun to watch.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Boxing Insider Notebook: Guerrero, McGregor, Smith, Shields, Montgomery Brothers, and more
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 11th to July 18th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Mario Serrano
Robert Guerrero Announces Retirement
After giving fans some of the most thrilling fights in boxing, which spanned over sixteen hard fought years, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is announcing his retirement.
“First, I want to thank God for allowing me to have a wonderful career. I’m a kid from a small town in Gilroy, California, who made it to the mountain top of the boxing world. When I was a young kid growing up, I always believed in myself, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a small-town kid like myself, would be fighting in front of millions of fans.”
“I was blessed to win multiple world titles in four-divisions. A boxer’s career is a long and tough road. Many tears were shed, lots of blood, and tons of sweat. Many miles were traveled, thousands of rounds sparred, none were easy and nothing was ever given to me. I earned everything I got the old fashion way. I never ducked anyone and fought the best fighters in the world. I fought my way through every obstacle to make sure my fans enjoyed every second, of every round, of my fights.”
“I competed at super-bantamweight (122 lbs.) and won world titles across multiple weight classes, closing my career at welterweight (147 lbs.), fighting the big guys 25 pounds heavier. A good friend always told me I was God’s warrior, born to fight. I enjoyed every minute of every war. I represented my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the bible verse Acts 2:38 on my trunks. If I reached one person and brought that person closer to Christ, then it was all worth it.”
“I want to thank some very important people in my career starting with the most important person, my wife Casey, who has been with me every step of the way, my soul mate, my sweetheart, the one and only love of my life. My father/trainer Ruben Guerrero Sr. He’s the one who started it all and made me the man I am today, and the champion I was in the ring. He’s one of the best trainers in the world and I hope to be working side by side with him in the future. My mother Marcy Guerrero for being a great mother and supporter. My co-manager Bob Santos for all the sacrifices he made to get me to the top…I will always remember the early days when we made the most with very liitle. He always had my back and looked out for me like I was his brother. His wife Diane Santos who did a lot of secretarial work for me during my whole career. Both my grandparents on Martinez and Guerrero sides for believing in me. My brother’s Sammy, Ruben Jr., Victor, Randy and especially Eric, who has been with me my whole career, my shadow every step of the way, my right-hand man. My mother and father in-law, Shelly and Cary O’neal.
My cutman Ruben Gomez. My good friends, Pastor Mark Wilson, Dave Castro, Pastor Chris Avila, John Mersho, and Albert Guarado. My uncle Russel Sr., Russel Jr., Uncle Ricky, Hector Catano and Greg Amundson. I want to thank my co-manager Luis Decubas Jr. for taking my career to the next level. Santos and Decubas Jr. are more than managers, they are family to me. My publicist Mario Serrano, who has also been with me the whole ride, he is also family to me. All the fans and the community who stuck by my side when my wife was battling cancer…I will never forget the love you showed. There are so many people who have helped me, if I leave anyone off, thank you for everything.”
“In closing, I want to thank the most special man I’ve ever met in my boxing career, and possibly lifetime, a man who always does what’s best for the fighter, a man who has changed the sport of boxing, a man who has helped bless me and my family with a great life, and that person is my advisor Al Haymon. Not only is Al Haymon a spectacular advisor, he is a wonderful human being as well, a great man, and someone who cares. In a sport where most managers, promoters, and trainers turn their back on a fighter, when they no longer can perform, or are no longer beneficial to their interest, Haymon stands tall. Love and loyalty is tough to find in the boxing game, but for any boxer looking for it, you don’t have to look far, reach out to Al Haymon. I want to thank everyone, the fans included. I hope you guys appreciated the guts and glory I left in the ring. God bless you all.” ~ Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero
Claressa Shields Named 2017 ‘Biggest Powerhouse’ in Sports by Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Sports Awards
Budding women’s boxing superstar, community activist, role model and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Claressa Shields has been bestowed with another honor, as she has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award for “Biggest Powerhouse.”
In winning the prestigious award, which honors the heaviest hitters, strongest sluggers and unstoppable players in sports each year, Shields beat out a field of such well-known stars as Demarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
“It is a tremendous honor and great thrill to win the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award because it comes from the kids,” said Claressa Shields. “I work hard every day to show all children that nothing in life is impossible if you believe in yourself. If this kid from Flint can win Olympic gold medals, boxing world championships, and succeed in life, then you can do it too!”
Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says she deserves all the incredible accolades and honors she’s received.
“Claressa is a true champion of the people with her incredible story of overcoming adversity through her own self-belief and determination. Her accomplishments, inside and outside the ring, make Claressa a real-life American hero and an inspiration to every young person.”
22-year-old Shields (3-0, 1 KO), from Flint, Michigan, is currently in training for her first world-title shot on August 4 against German star and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler (16-0, 9 KOs). The 10-round super-middleweight match-up, will be televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation (10 pm ET/PT), and held at MGM Grand Detroit.
The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards are the only kid-oriented award show focusing on the world’s best athletes and each year’s greatest sports moments. Held at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, this year’s broadcast was once again hosted by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The winners were chosen predominantly by children’s online voting.
Witness Sports Management Signs Montgomery Brothers
Boxing veterans, Greg Hannely, founder of the Prince Ranch Boxing facility, and Jared Shaw have joined forces, as they are happy to announce the birth of Witness Sports Management (WSM), a boxing management company that will guide the careers of some of the best young fighters in the sport.
The Montgomery Brothers, Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., out of Macon, Georgia, are WSM’s first signees. The highly touted trio, who were all decorated amateur standouts, are trained by their dad, Michael Montgomery Sr.
“I want to make sure it’s known how excited we are to be signing with Jared and Greg,” said Michael Montgomery Sr. “I’m happy that my boys are going to be represented by some folks that have been involved in boxing for many years. Greg and Jared have been wonderful to work with. My boys and I are very grateful and we are ready to take the boxing world by storm.”
Greg Hannely, is a well-known figure in the sport as he guided the careers of former world champions, Clarence “Bones” Adams and Steven Luevano, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. His passion for boxing has brought him back to the sport he loves, and he wants nothing more than to build a stable of world champions.
“I’m very thrilled to be back in boxing, especially after signing the Montgomery Brothers.” Greg Hannely said, “Their father, Michael Sr., has been grooming all three boys to fight like professionals. They all have very exciting styles and I believe they will be well received to everyone who witnesses them fight. The Prince Ranch Boxing gym in Las Vegas will be available for the entire Montgomery family. These are good kids with strong family values. Their future is bright.”
Jared Shaw, son of world renowned boxing promoter Gary Shaw, has been around the sport since he was a young child. After spending many years learning from his father, Jared, developed a knack for spotting talent.
“If you like pressure fighters with knockout power, then you’ll love the Montgomery Brothers.” stated Jared Shaw. “Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., were all great amateurs with over 400 fights combined, but their styles are suited for the pros. All three of them have heavy hands and the ring intelligence to make adjustments on the fly. Greg and I are ecstatic to be working with the entire Montgomery family. This is a fantastic start to our new management company.”
“As co-managers, Greg and I started WSM with the idea of cultivating our fighters,” Shaw continued. “We want to be looked at as more than just a financial asset. We will provide are stable with the needed resources that will help them become better fighters. We will house are guys at “The Prince Ranch” in Las Vegas, getting them the best sparring in boxing. Our goal is to make sure they have no distractions that will hinder their development.”
About Mikhail Montgomery
Nickname – 50Khail
Height – 5’7
Weight – 122 (Super-Bantamweight)
DOB: – December 24, 1996 (Age 20)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (120-12)
Pro Record – TBA
“Jared came to us a few years back and told us he was interested in signing us. The bond started back then and now that we are older, it’s good to look back and see that he’s still with us. He’s a man of his word and kept his promise. I’m excited that WSM is going to take me and my brothers under their wing.”
About Maliek Montgomery
Nickname – Mayhem
Height – 5’8
Weight – 130 (Super-Featherweight)
DOB: – September 17, 1995 (Age 22)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (149-12)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“Signing with WSM has been a blessing to me and my family. Jared has been around for a few years now and we trust that he and Greg will take us to the top. My dad talked about this day for many years, signing with a good management team. Now that it’s here, I’m ready to start knocking out folks.”
About Michael Jr. Montgomery
Nickname – NA
Height – 5’11
Weight – 147 (Welterweight)
DOB: – March 11, 1994 (Age 23)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (150-20)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“I believe everything is going to work out great with Jared and Greg. Fighting in the pros is new to me but I think I’m going to make an immediate impact. I got my first knockout in my pro debut earlier this year and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Petition Demands Budweiser Drop Conor McGregor Over Bigoted Remarks
A Care2 petition is asking Budweiser to drop professional mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted comments ahead of his August match against Floyd Mayweather. The petition has gathered over 6,700 signatures.
VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/391/537/851/
McGregor is projected to make $100 million in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August, in what could be the most viewed, highest grossing pay-per-view fight of all time.
But Care2 members are calling him out for his bigoted comments.
Leading up to his 2015 match against Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo, McGregor said:
“If this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work.”
“What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop.”
“I think I’m going to have him come and clean up my airplane.”
“These remarks should have caused major brands to drop any association with McGregor long ago. Now that he’s gearing up to cash in on his history of bigoted comments, the time has come,” the Care2 petition reads. “Please sign this petition to ask Budweiser to drop Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted remarks!”
Last week, during a four-day promotional tour for the Mayweather-McGregor match, which takes place in Las Vegas on August 26, Mayweather made a quip using stereotypes about Black men: “A lot of media are saying I’m racist against black people. That’s absolutely f****** ridiculous. Do they not know I’m half-black? Yeeeeeah. I’m half-black from the belly button down.”
McGregor is reportedly worth $35 million.
Joe Smith Jr. Fights Nine Rounds with a Broken Jaw
Popular Long Island light heavyweight contender JOE SMITH JR. (23-2-0, 19 KO’S), gritted his way through Saturday’s ten round battle with SULLIVAN BARRERA (20-1-0, 14 KO’s), after suffering a broken jaw early in the 2nd round. Even with a broken jaw, Smith Jr. dug deep to fire away at the skilled Barrera until the final bell, in which he ultimately fell short by scores of 96-93 and 97-92 twice.
In a fight that had the cheering crowd on their feet throughout, Smith and Barrera went to war from the opening bell. Prior to breaking his jaw, Smith wasted no time showing his sheer power as he drilled Barrera with a hard left hook to the forehead in the opening round sending Barrera sprawling to the canvas. Barrera, hurt from the knockdown, showed his proven grit and determination by rising and finishing the round.
Although having his jaw broken in the second round, Smith continued to fight hard throughout the fight which featured excellent two-way action. Smith showed a great chin and tons of heart as he tried his best to fight through a debilitating injury. Smith landed some heavy blows stunning Barrera on occasion but Sullivan outworked him to grab the decision on the judges scorecards.
“Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round but in the second round he sustained a broken jaw,” said JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of STAR BOXING. “It’s a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago and frankly it’s amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight.”
In his only other previous loss, Smith also suffered a broken jaw against Eddie Caminero five years ago.
Continued DeGuardia, “After spending part of Saturday night at the UCLA Medical Center, Joe will have surgery later this week in New York and we’ll know more then about a time frame for his full recovery. We congratulate Sullivan Barrera on his victory.”
We at Star Boxing are extremely proud of Joe for fighting this fight under such extreme conditions as are all his fans who came to the fight last night from Long Island and those who watched on HBO. Joe Smith is a true warrior and epitomizes what a real fighter is supposed to be.