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$250K and a Shortcut to World Title Belt Awaits Winner of Epix Series The Contender
By: Vishare Mooney
Southern California middleweight fighters Shane “Sugarman” Mosley, Jr. (13 – 2) and Brandon “The Cannon” Adams (20 – 2) will face off tonight in a ten round bout at the L.A. Forum in what looks to be an exciting live finale for the Epix series The Contender. The top prize is significant for any fighter: $250,000 and a top ten WBA ranking. The latter effectively gives the winning Contender a shortcut to a world title belt. Current rankings for Mosley Jr. and Adams are 149 and Inactive respectively (Adams had been on a three year hiatus until the show). The co-main event will feature brawler Michael “The Silverback” Moore (17-2) and Contender fan favorite, Louisiana fighter Eric “The Babyface Assassin” Walker (17-2).
Though each fighter was portrayed in the unscripted twelve episode series, as an underdog in their own way, the two finalists may actually have been the most overlooked in terms of their boxing skills. Mosley, Jr. in particular seemed to have the reputation of riding on his father’s name. He was called out by Devaun Lee and Moore, among other fighters, who wanted a win against a Mosley Jr. under their belt. Mosley, Jr. seemed to hold his own and never took the drama bait that often occurred in the house and in reality tv. His demeanor was all business.
At an interview with Boxinginsider, Mosley Jr. spoke of his time at the Contender house. “I try to be true to myself and you know, I want to win so you can’t be involved with the crazy nonsense that’s going on in the house. Of course, you have to adapt a little and be involved in some of the stuff but for the most part you try to find your own space so that you can shine.”
Mosley Jr. soundly bested Devaun Lee in his first tournament fight with two knockdowns in a somewhat sloppy brawl. In his second win against Danny Valdivia, Mosley, Jr. showed impressive jabs and footwork. And in the close semifinal bout with Michael Moore, he impressed the judges with effective aggressive punches which rocked his opponent.
The legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, who will be in Adams corner tonight, said of Mosley Jr. at yesterday’s press conference, “I’ve seen Shane fight before and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him fight better than he did in the tournament. I think he did raise (his) level.” Mosley, Jr. prior to the show, was training at Roach’s Wild Card gym. “He fought better than I’ve ever seen him before,” said Roach.
And while Mosley, Jr. has been fighting to create his own “Sugarman” legacy and emerge from his father’s shadow, Brandon Adams, has been steadily working, training to emerge from obscurity. As can be the fate of many fighters, Adams had signed with a promoter that produced no fights for him – hence the forced hiatus from boxing until The Contender came calling to give him that opportunity. “This is boxing, anything can happen. I train for the “happen” to happen for me.” Adams and Mosley, Jr. were part of the same gym, Maywood Boxing, years ago and Adams has actually sparred with Shane and his dad.
Adams, in the three years not having a bout, has never stopped training or sparring. “I was sparring, training. I was training as if I always had a fight coming up.” He was more prepared than anyone realized. At The Contender, Adams quickly caught the attention and stole wins from the other contestants. Famed coach Nazim Richardson, who is Shane’s coach for the finals, gave props to Adams, “The names that he faced, were the names that everybody said were going to win.” In particular, Adams had a dramatic win over Eric “Babyface Assassin” Walker, the favorite to win the competition. Adams said of Mosley Jr. and tonight’s fight: “He’s grown, he’s a tremendous fighter, he made it to the finals, I’ve grown, I’ve made it to the finals. It’s bittersweet, but we both wanna win.”
As for fight predictions, Freddie Roach calls it even. “This is not an easy fight in the finals. This is a give and take fight. We’ve got two great fighters going against each other. To me, it’s a 50-50 fight.”
45 Year Old Fres Oqendo Gets Title Shot After 50 Months of Inactivity
By: Ken Hissner
After watching the Anthony Joshua and Joe Parker unification title fight did you see who is getting a WBA title shot on September 29th in Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany?
The former two-time world title challenger has held minor titles such as USBA, NABF, WBA, WBC & WBO Latino belts. The 45 year-old Fres “The Big O” Oquendo, 37-8 (24), of Chicao, IL, hasn’t fought since July 6th of 2014 which is some 50 months. He is ranked No. 2 and will be fighting champion Manuel Charr, 31-4 (17), born in Lebanon who fights out of Germany who defeated Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 34-1, for the vacant title in Germany on November 25th of 2017 and hasn’t fought since. It will be ten months since winning the title when he defends against Oquendo.
In Oquendo’s last bout he lost a majority decision to Ruslan Chagaev, 32-1-1, in Grozny, Russia. In Chagaev’s second defense he lost to Lucas Browne of Australia who gave the title up without a defense. Oquendo had won his first twenty-two fights including winning the NABF title. He defended it against David Tua and was stopped in the 9th round.
Russian Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 34-1 (24), back on May 30, 2014, knocked out Charr and is his No. 1 contender and being by-passed as usual. He holds the WBA Inter-Continental and the WBO International titles. The former 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist was in line to fight WBC champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder but failed a drug test. He then took two more, passing and failing again.
To give you an idea how the WBA ranks their heavyweights BJ Flores, 34-3-1, who was a cruiserweight up until 2017 when he defeated Jeremy Bates, 26-18-1, in February and in his last fight in June of 2017 in a scheduled six rounder defeated Nick Guivas, 13-6-2. Those two wins earned him the No. 6 spot in the WBA rankings?
This isn’t just with the WBA but with other organizations that keep certain boxers in the rankings after over a year of inactivity. But to keep Oquendo ranked after 50 months of inactivity and having lost his last fight you have to wonder what the other contenders are thinking.
Mayweather Bodyguard Reportedly Shot In Atlanta
A man claiming he’s Floyd Mayweather’s bodyguard was reportedly shot early Monday morning in Atlanta. The victim, who at this point remains unidentified, took a bullet to the leg but did not sustain serious injury. According to reports, a party of three vehicles had left a club located on Buford Highway in Atlanta at about three in the morning. Another vehicle pulled up to the party outside of the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel and opened fire. All three cars drove off, with the shooter’s car in pursuit. Getting away safely, the bodyguard’s vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, pulled up to Grady Memorial Hospital, where the victim was treated.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution quotes police as saying “it appears that this was not a random shooting and the shooter was targeting the victim’s vehicle.” Atlanta police also claim they “believe that Mr. Mayweather may have been in one of the other vehicles in the caravan and was not injured.” Officers arrived on the scene at Peachtree Road in Atlanta after the crime was reported. As of this writing, Mayweather himself has not commented publicly on the incident. Boxing Insider will continue to report on this story as it progresses.
Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/breaking-injured-shooting-front-buckhead-hotel/hdGRHhf4phHTh3Nmt7lmhO/
Anthony Dirrell Speaks Out On Last Saturday Night
Anthony Dirrell Speaks Out On Last Saturday Night
By: Sean Crose
Boxing once again received some negative attention last Saturday night when chaos ensued after the Andre Dirrell-Jose Uzcategui super middleweight bout in Maryland. Dirrell was sent down and out by a punch that landed after the bell. Uzcategui was disqualified, but Dirrell’s uncle and trainer, Leon Lawson Jr, sucker punched Uzcategui twice in the fight’s aftermath. He’s now being sought by Maryland police. There was also an incident, however, involving Dirrell’s sibling, Anthony, for video shows the younger Dirrell brother pushing an individual in the post-fight madness. The man who was pushed is said to have been a Maryland commissioner. Needless to say, word was out that the police were quite interested in Anthony’s actions that night, as well as his uncles’.
Anthony Dirrell himself, however, claims the police weren’t interested in him at all last weekend. “They wasn’t even looking for me,” Dirrell said over the phone. “They never interviewed me or nothing.” Dirrell even claimed that the police were rather helpful after the madness that transpired at the MGM Grand National Arena. “They escorted me to my brother’s room,” he claimed. Dirrells’ assertions coincide with those of his representative, Kira Kusky, who I had spoken with earlier in the day. “He is not in any jeopardy,” she said when I asked about a police investigation. “No, not at all.”
And so Anthony Dirrell looks clear to meet Callum Smith next September in California for the WBC world super middleweight title. There was word that the championship battle would be put off due to legal matters stemming from last Saturday, but both Dirrell and his representative assured me that wouldn’t be the case. “His next fight is still on,” Kusky said, a fact Dirrell himself reiterated when we spoke a short time later. “I don’t see how (the fight could be off),” he claimed. “Nobodies’ looking for me.” It’s clear, then, that Dirrell and his team feel it is safe to focus on the talented and undefeated Smith without being impeded by legal matters.
As for older brother, Andre – who found himself on the mat after the bell last Saturday – Dirrell claims he’s doing well. “My bother’s fine,” he said. The saga of Leon Lawson Jr, uncle and trainer, has yet to be resolved (he’s still wanted by police, after all), yet it looks like both Dirrell brothers themselves are free to carry on with their respective careers. Before the call ended I asked Anthony if he’d like to, through his perspective, go over the events at the MGM Grand National Arena. “No,” he responded. “I’m not talking about that.”
NOW Lamont “Havoc” Peterson Gets Title Shot?
NOW Lamont “Havoc” Peterson Gets Title Shot?
By: Ken Hissner
Welterweight Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, 34-3-1 (17), had an outstanding amateur record with many titles won. As a professional he held the interim WBO super lightweight and the WBA & IBF super lightweight titles. He’s been looking for a welterweight title fight since his last fight that goes back to October 2015 when he defeated Gold Medal Olympian Felix Diaz, 17-0, by majority decision. It didn’t happen.
Soooooo Peterson takes off now for sixteen months and guess what? He has the opportunity on February 18th to fight for the interim WBA World Title against the champion Russian David Avanesyan, 22-1-1 (11), at the Cintras Center, in Cinn., OH.
Peterson started his career winning twenty-two straight when he faced his first real challenge and defeated Brazilian Antonio Mesquito, 34-0. It would be eighteen months at 27-0 before he got his first world title shot defeating Frenchman Willy Blain, 20-0, for the interim WBO World super lightweight title. In his next fight he fought for the WBO World title losing to Timothy Bradley, Jr., 24-0.
Two fights later Peterson fought to a draw with Victor Ortiz, 28-2-1, followed by a knockout win over Victor Manuel Cayo, 26-1. This earned him a title fight against the UK’s Amir Khan, 26-1, for his WBA Super World and IBF World super lightweight titles. It was in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C. and he took a split decision win. He was only interested in defending the IBF title defeating Kendall Holt, 28-5, by stoppage in D.C.
In May of 2013 the roof fell in on Peterson when he lost to interim WBC champion Lucas Martin Matthysse, 33-2, of Argentina losing in three rounds. Neither were Matthysse or Peterson’s titles on the line. In January of 2014 he defended his IBF title defeating Haitian Dierry Jean, 25-0, of CAN, in DC. Next was Edgar Santana, 29-4, who he stopped at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY.
It would be eight months by April of 2015 for Peterson to once again be fighting a world champion in against WBA Super and WBC super lightweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 29-0, in an overweight fight. This writer felt Peterson got the short end of the stick losing a majority decision to Garcia. He asked for a rematch in the welterweight division and never got it. Both he and Garcia would move up to welterweight and Garcia at No. 2 for some reason not wanting a rematch with No. 1 Kahn gets shop worn Robert Guerrero who was No. 6. No. 6? How did Peterson get overlooked?
It was six months after the Garcia fight that Peterson defeated Diaz that put him high into the rankings between Garica and Guerrero. Why wasn’t it him or Kahn in that title fight? In Garcia’s next fight he defeated Sammy Vargas. Though both were within the welterweight max of 147 it was listed as a non-title bout.
Now Garcia gets the biggest fight of his career fighting WBA champion Keith Thurman in March. With a victory for the No. 3 Peterson over the No. 1 Avanesyan for the interim WBA title will he get the winner? I’d say it is very doubtful. WBO champion Manny Pacquiao is defending against his No. 2 contender Australian Jeff Horn. IBF champion Kell Brook couldn’t come to terms with Kahn who is still the WBC No. 1 contender though not in the IBF rankings.
The WBC was to have a four boxer tournament with Peterson fighting Philly’s “The New” Ray Robinson currently ranked No. 9 in the WBC that never came about. Robinson has been begging for a fight with Garcia having won his last eleven fights. It seems they all want to fight Garcia who has a pair of disputed wins behind him so one may have to knock him out to get the win.
Peterson is not in easy with the Russian Avanesyan who hasn’t lost since the second bout of his career. In his last fight he defeated former champion Shane Mosley in May. Peterson finds himself only ranked in the WBA so getting a world title fight it seems it would have to take a Thurman victory. Peterson is trained by Virgil Hunter and being promoted by Al Haymon makes his chances to get that big fight for the title a lot better! That is his “Ace in the hole”.