Miguel Berchelt Forces Jason Sosa’s Corner to Throw in the Towel
By Robert Aaron Contreras
Again in violent fashion, Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33 KO) overpowered his opposition in defense of his super featherweight crown, bruising and bashing Jason Sosa (23-4-4, 16 KO) to a fourth-round TKO victory Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Sosa, though, was the first one on the move. He chugged forward in that swarming, squared manner. Both fists oscillating. While the title challenger did force Berchelt backwards, the Mexican champion scored with harpoon jabs. Fighting in reverse, the WBC title holder remained composed.
In the second period, Sosa again brushed Berchelt to the ropes. But returning his way were left hooks. A coupled clinked off Sosa’s dome and he went down. He made it back to his feet, somehow surviving not only the rest of the frame but also a ruckus third round.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Promotions Twitter Account
Berchelt’s momentum grew with the intensity of his attack. Despite Sosa’s being in the center of the ring, Berchelt ripped right and left hooks to the body and head. The formula was simple: right, left hook upstairs followed by a shoveling left to the midsection. Again and again, the combo reeled off.
The fight clearly belonged to the champion. Berchelt, who has held firm of the WBC strap since another bludgeoning performance over Francisco Vargas in 2017, geared up in between the third and fourth rounds to reclaim his green belt for the fifth time.
Sosa did not get the memo. He walked out for the fateful execution with confidence. Soon he met Berchelt with colliding power punches: both men lowering their weight into overhand rights. Berchelt’s blow made Sosa freeze up and drew blood from his left eye.
The two-handed attack continued. Their sequences changing form. Berchelt fired a lead right uppercut to Sosa’s jaw and then shoe-shined curling right and left hands to the head. Just under the one-minute mark, more punches to the face had Sosa’s attention and Berchelt zipped a left dig to the crumbling man’s belly. Sosa collapsed to a knee—eating a quick one-two on the way down for good measure.
Referee Jack Reiss assessed the fallen boxer. After barely beating the count, Sosa was quickly under attack and his corner signaled for the end of the abuse.
The dominant win affirmed Berchelt’s place atop the 130-pound division. Despite calls from fellow super featherweight champions—not in the least being IBF envoy Tevin Farmer—the WBC’s man does not seem to have any unifications on his mind but continually picking off notable names, and delivering crushing knockouts, can still line your pockets in this sport.
The successful title defense extended Berchelt’s 16-fight win streak since a shocking stoppage loss early in the regional ranks. The WBC champion has also knocked out his previous five opponents.
Next up for Berchelt is no secret, after the fight naming countryman Oscar Valdez, who is scheduled for the end of the month.
“I will wait until the Valdez fight, Berchelt said. “If he wants to fight, I’m right here.”
Berchelt vs. Sosa Fight Preview
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
In 2017, Vasyl Lomachenko turned away Jason Sosa to affirm his position as the super featherweight touchstone, the 130-pound king. Meanwhile, Miguel Berchelt was fighting through a violent field of warmongers—namely Takashi Miura and Francisco Vargas—to put together a tremendous ledger… for its time. The problem is the Mexican champion has hardly added to it since.
Nearly three years on, Berchelt (36-1, 32 KO) is still universally recognized as the No. 1 boxer in the class, set to defend his WBC championship against none other than Sosa (23-3-4, 16 KO) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The broadcast will air on ESPN, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET. A win this weekend would mark five consecutive title defenses. While the belt may be firmly in his grasp, the plaudits for his reputation continue to slip away.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
The Mexican titleholder earned the throne in a terrific year of action that saw the 130-pound hierarchy arranged by a de-facto tournament across HBO. The last man left standing was Berchelt, savagely dispatching Vargas in the eleventh round. That same night Miura bounced Mickey Roman for a shot at the divisional helm.
Berchelt’s return to California is his first start in the west coast since defeating Miura. Outlasting the Japanese berserker over the distance, he minted his new green belt with a crippling power-hitting attack en route to a decision verdict.
After Berchelt took care of Miura, he opened the year 2018 with two soft touches. In the form of an unheralded southpaw Maxwell Awuku and a washed featherweight in Jonathan Victory Barros, perhaps the champ had earned it after such a tough run up the ranks. But as Lomachenko jumped up to 135 pounds, the weight class opened up again. And, ultimately, Berchelt’s decision to recycle familiar names—picking off the aforementioned Roman—provided no further grist for his placement atop the new super featherweight elite that emerged in 2019.
This year, Cinderella champions Andrew Cancio and Jamel Herring picked up respective crowns, staging giant upsets. And gaining traction most of all is IBF beltholder Tevin Farmer. Streaking up the win column, with the dizzying style to play foil to a demolition man like Berchelt, Farmer took part in five championship bouts. This in the same time period that Berchelt only defended his title twice—including an indefensible return match with Vargas.
Farmer, having already won twice this year, pleaded for a unification with Berchelt. But the dedicated WBC envoy has recently turned his focus in-house to Herring or, worse, Oscar Valdez. Note, Valdez has yet to officially compete at the 130-pound limit. In the end, Berchelt is instead fighting another figure from 2017 in Sosa. A rejuvenated, classy box-fighter in Sosa, to be sure. But a quondam bit player nonetheless.
Assuredly, the bookies are shorting Sosa at eight-to-one odds. His three-fight win streak should be at four straight. Following a short stint as WBO champion—proving himself a notch above the likes of Javier Fortuna and Stephen Smith—he was robbed in 2017 against Yuriorkis Gamboa. Sosa, the definition of a two-handed banger, routinely beat Gamboa to the punch, forced to unbind himself from the Cuban’s grappling. Only to be handed a majority-decision loss.
In August, Sosa returned to form, headlining an ESPN+ show. He overpowered the sizable Haskell Rhodes to a TKO victory. Rhodes, a former Floyd Mayweather Sr. pupil and longtime lightweight, had never before been stopped inside the distance—in the past extending bombardiers like Sergey Lipinets and Edner Cherry. Sosa floored Rhodes three times, twice with a right hand, once with a left. The third knockdown of the fight in the seventh round was one too many for Rhodes’ corner and they promptly threw in the towel.
Sosa doesn’t work off of a jab. Instead initiating punch combinations with either hand—sometimes even squaring up his shoulders to his opponent. A high output guy, through and through. Also a master of punching out of clinches, muscling up his man before hitting and separating.
Ancajas defends super flyweight world title
It does not take much for a world champion to lose his legitimacy in the public conscious. Win or lose on Saturday, Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21 KO) is in with another unproven challenger. This one named Jonathan “Titan” Rodriguez (21-1, 15 KO) continuing his run of lackluster title defenses over the last three years.
In his first action of the year, Ancajas returned in chief support of light heavyweight ruler Artur Beterbiev on ESPN, battering Japanese veteran Ryuichi Funai to a doctor’s stoppage ahead of Round 7. The stoppage represented his seventh title defense—currently the longest reigning super flyweight beltholder. He picked up the title in 2016. Though, before crushing Funai, Ancajas swallowed an arduous split-decision nod against Alejandro Santiago, an obscure and undersized brawler out of Mexico.
Next up to bat is Rodriguez, who is exactly the same age as Santiago. And hardly more accomplished. On paper, the 24-year-old Mexican has a respectable record, knocking out 70 percent of his opponents—a passing grade, at least. Never competing outside of his own backyard, Rodriguez’s only opponent of note is countryman Felipe Orucuta.
The two met in the main event of Fox Sports-Latin America broadcast. Rodriguez was the winner by seventh-round TKO, hospitalizing Orucuta for two whole months.
Closing in on the weekend, Ancajas is as high as a -1200 favorite to get by Rodriguez, the considerable underdog (+600).
Sosa and Gonzales Win in Philadelphia
By: Ken Hissner
On Saturday night the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia was the host site for a Top Rank Boxing, Raging Babe Events, and Peltz Boxing Promotions show on ESPN+. The card featured former super featherweight champion Jason Sosa back in Philadlephia for the first time since 2015. He moved up to the main event due to an injury suffered by 2-time world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton earlier in the week.
In the main event former WBA Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 23-3-4 (16), 129, of Camden, NJ, stopped Lydell “Hackman” Rhodes, 27-4-1 (13), 130.9, of Las Vegas, NV, at 1:08 of the seventh round.
In the first round Sosa used all his know how as Rhodes did a lot of clinching. Sosa may have hurt Rhodes early making him run and grab. In the second round Sosa continued having his way while Rhodes gave top referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. plenty of work holding.
In the third round it was a big one for Sosa getting in numerous body shots mostly. In the final ten seconds the fans were yelling “Sosa, Sosa!” In the fourth round between getting held Sosa got in more than enough to take the round hurting Rhodes as the ten second left in the round signal went off with Sosa getting in a body shot. Half a minute later a chopping right from Sosa on the head of Rhodes and down he went for a second time. He beat the count of referee Esteves barely.
In the fifth round a vicious left on by Sosa on the chin of Rhodes and down he went barely beating the count of referee Esteves, Jr. In the sixth round Sosa suffered a cut from an accidental clash of heads by his left eye. He controlled the round with a vicious body attack.
In the seventh round referee Esteves, Jr. wisely stopped the beating Sosa was putting on an unwilling Rhodes when the latter’s corner signaled the end.
Featherweight 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Cuban southpaw Robeisy “La Tren” Ramirez, 0-1 (0), 125, of Gulphport, FL, suffered a major upset losing in his debut to an outstanding performance by Adan Gonzales, 5-2-2 (2), 125.3, of Denver, CO, by split decision in 4 with a first round knockdown a big reason.
In the first round a chopping left hand on the chin from Gonzales dropped Ramirez for 8-count. of referee Gary Rosato. Ramirez came back well the remainder of the round. In the second round both boxers had their moments.
Gonzales has surprised the Olympic star showing him no respect and landing the lead right. Gonzales left uppercut has been his best punch so far.
In the third round it was back and forth with each boxer getting their licks in. Ramirez may have pulled it out. In the fourth and final round both had their moments with Ramirez twice rocking Gonzales who otherwise seemed to have an edge but Ramirez may have won the round but seemed to need a knockout.
Scores were David Braswell 38-37 Ramirez, Alan Rubenstein 39-36 Gonzales and Rose Lucenda 40-35 Gonzales. This writer had it 38-37 Gonzales. Gary Rosato was ref. “I won it and give Jesus Christ all the glory,” said Gonzales. In the winners corner was Donald and Juaquin Camarena and Steve Mestas.
Middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 12-0 (12), of Brooklyn, NY, 162.3, continued his first round stoppages at 2:24 of the first round over Gregory “Nounou” Trenel, 11-5-2 (3), 162.2, of Dainville, France, in a scheduled 8.
In the first round a right from Berlanga dropped a game Trenel. Upon rising from an 8-count by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. Trenel was suffering too much punishment when the referee wisely halting the bout for Berlanga’s 12th straight first round ko.
Welterweight Olympian Paul “The Punisher” Kroll, 5-0 (4), 147.9, of Philadelphia, PA, defeated Shinard Bunch, 2-1 (2), 146.6, of Trenton, NJ, over 6 rounds.
In the first round of a very competitive round Kroll had an edge. In the second round Kroll fought southpaw as Bunch ran and grabbed with Kroll easily winning the round. In the third round Bunch landed a right to the chin of Kroll making him go back to orthodox. Kroll went on to control the round.
In the fourth round a Kroll 3-punch combination rocking Bunch against the ropes highlighted the round. In the fifth round Bunch did more holding getting in a couple shots to the chin of Kroll who had much too much ammo for Bunch who spent more time bending over. In the sixth and final round Kroll landed a 4-punch combination. Bunch in only his third fight should have never jumped into a 6 especially with a seasoned former amateur star like Kroll.
Scores 58-56 by Weisfeld and Braswell while Rubenstein had it 59-55 as did this writer.
Heavyweight prospect Sonny “The Bronco” Conto, 4-0 (3), 214.5, of South Philadelphia, PA, easily defeated Guillermo Del Rio, 2-3-1 (2), 225.5, of So. Houston, TX, over 4 rounds scoring a knockdown.
In the first round it was all the taller Conto teeing off on Del Rio with shots to the body and head hurting him once with a body shot. In the second and third rounds it was more of the same with Conto dominating a game Del Rio with vicious body work. In the fourth and final round Conto dropped Del Rio with a vicious left hook to the body for an 8-count from referee Esteves, Jr. Del Rio managed to be the first of young Conto’s 4 opponents to last the distance. “It was good for him to get some rounds in,” said Frank Conto.
All four judges and this writer had it 40-35. In the winner’s corner were trainer Mickey Rosati, cut-man Joey Eye and assistant Frank Conto. He’s signed with one of Boxing’s top managers David McWater who was at ringside.
Featherweight southpaw Donald “No Love” Smith, 10-0 (6), 126.5, of S.W. Philadelphia, PA, easily defeated Raheem “Bazooka” Abdullah, 3-3 (0), 124.6, of Colorado Springs CO, over 6 rounds.
In the first round within seconds a lead left from Smith on the chin and down went Abdullah for an 8-count from referee Rosato. The much shorter Abdullah managed to get through the round by covering up but not backing off Smith.
In the second round a lead left from Smith on the chin of Abdullah drove him into the ropes. Midway in the round Abdullah landed a lead overhand right on the chin of Smith. Smith ended the round with a combination to body and head of Abdullah.
In the third round a wild right on the chin from Abdullah made Smiths legs almost give in while in a corner. The rest of the round was interesting between the two with Abdullah pressing forward. In the fourth round midway with Smith doing as much coming forward so far a lead left to the body and following with a right hook to the chin was the most action of the round.
In the fifth round a low punch from Abdullah gave Smith a five minute rest. Referee Rosato deducted a point from Abdullah. When action resumed Smith was throwing more punches than previously in the fight. In the sixth and final round Abdullah ran around the ring content in going the distance with Smith landing some body shots.
Scores were 59-53 by LaRosa and Weisfeld while Rubenstein had it 60-52 as did this writer. Lamar Smith worked corner of Smith.
Super Bantamweight southpaw Jeremy “Majic Hands” Adorno, 2-0 (1), 121.9, of Allentown, PA, stopped Fernando Robles, 2-2 (0), 121, of Pearland, TX, at 2:01 of the third in a 4 rounder.
In the first round it was all Adorno moving around the ring like a veteran boxer controlling with his jab and lead left to the mid-section of Robles who may not have landed a punch.
In the second round Adorno landed a double left to the chin of Robles a minute into the round. Adorno was landing on the chin with both hands. In the final ten seconds Robles landed several body shots.
In the third round after half a minute Adrono went inside and got hit in the eye making him blink repeatably. He then shook it off and continued his attack once he stopped moving. His speed of foot and hanld are to quick for Robles. Adorno was warned by referee Esteves, Jr. about using a straight arm. Before you knew it a wicked right hook ro the body of Robles for the full count. Can’t say Robles didn’t make an effort but Adorno is following in his brother Joseph’s footsteps at this point. It was quite a performancee by the young Adorno. His father-trainer Anibal was in the corner.
Ring Announcer in the preliminaries was Lupe Contreras. Jimmy Lennon did the ESPN+ final 3 fights. Timekeeper Fred Blumsteien.
Top Rank IBHOF team of Lee Samuels and Bruce Trampler were working the show in attendance.
Fight Preview: Sosa vs. Rhodes, Berlanga vs. Trenel
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Top Rank Promotions will partner with Peltz Boxing Promotions to put on an event at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The main event was originally scheduled to be a featherweight fight between Emmanuel Dominguez and Carl”The Jackal” Frampton, but a freak accident caused a facture in the left hand of Carl Frampton, and that fight had to be scrapped.
The junior lightweight fight between Jason Sosa and Haskell Lydell Rhodes was elevated to main event status and the co-main event will be between Edgar Berlanga and Gregory Trenel in the middleweight division.
Other boxers on the undercard include two time Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez, as well as prospects Paul Kroll, Donald Smith, and heavyweight Sonny Conto.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Edgar Berlanga (11-0) vs. Gregory Trenel (11-4-2); Middleweights
It should probably be noted again that this fight was bumped up to co-main event status after Carl Frampton broke his left hand.
Berlanga is a 6’1 prospect from New York that has stopped every opponent he has faced at this point in his career. He’s a tall middleweight at 6’1 and took second place several times at the National Police Athletic League as an amateur.
Trenel doesn’t have any notable amateur experience. He’s 28 years old and only has three stoppage wins. He has never been stopped in defeat, but has losses to Vincenzo Bevilacqua. Mickael Sanches, Christopher Guedes, and Karim Hayani. None of those boxers are very well known.
Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Berlanga fought twice in 2019 and three times in 2018. Trenel fought once in 2019 and three times in 2018. However, Trenel has never fought in the United States before and the combined record of his past two opponents was 13-55-2.
This fight should be a blowout. Anything less than a stoppage victory for Berlanga would be considered disappointing.
Jason Sosa (22-3-4) vs. Haskell Lydell Rhodes (27-3-1); Junior Lightweights
Jason Sosa is a Camden native that formerly held the WBA Super Featherweight Title. He’ll likely have a large contingent of supportive fans in attendance since Camden is a short trip from Philadelphia.
Sosa is the same age as his opponent and will be giving up about two and a half inches in reach but will have an inch height advantage. Both Sosa and Rhodes have not been very active the past two years. Sosa only fought once in 2019 and once in 2018. Rhodes fought three times in 2018, but zero times in 2019 and zero times in 2017.
Neither boxer has an extensive amateur background.
Sosa has gone 2-2 in his past four fights, but two of his losses were to big time opponents. He has losses to Yuriorkis Gamboa and Vasiliy Lomachenko. He also has a loss early in his career to Tre’Sean Wiggins. He has a majority draw with Nicholas Walters and has defeated the likes of Reynaldo Blanco, Stephen Smith, and Javier Fortuna.
Fortuna was the biggest win of his career and he win the WBA Super Featherweight Title in that fight.
Rhodes has losses to Omar Douglas, Edner Cherry, and Sergey Lipinets. His notable wins were against Miguel Huerta, John Nater, and Yakubu Amidu. Rhodes briefly competed in MMA.
Sosa has to be considered a favorite, but Rhodes is a live underdog. The home field advantage should help Sosa on his way to victory.
Raul “Chino” Rivas Speaks Out on Jason Sosa & Tevin Farmer Questionable Losses
By: Ken Hissner
New Jersey boxing trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas is one of the most underrated boxing trainers in the country. On November 25th in the co-feature of Kovalev-Shabranskyy main event his boxer the former WBA World Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-3-4, of Camden, NJ, lost a highly disputed decision to former IBF World Featherweight and WBA Super World Featherweight champion Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa, 28-2, of Miami, FL, at Madison Square Garden’s Theater in New York City. John McKaie scored it 95-93 and Don Trella 96-92. This writer had it 95-93 Sosa based on scoring a knockdown and Gamboa deducted a point by referee Ron Lipton for holding in the tenth and last round in order to survive the round.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
Then on December 9th another one of Rivas’ boxers Philadelphia’s “American Idol” Tevin Farmer, 25-4-1, lost an even more disputed decision to Japanese champion Kenichi Ogawa, 22-1, for the vacant IBF World Super featherweight title at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center, in Las Vegas, NV. Even HBO’s IBHOF judge Harold Lederman who had Farmer ahead 9-3 in rounds as did this writer was stunned at the split decision scoring. Can you imagine a boxer comes over from “Japan” and gets a “gift decision over an American boxer in the US?
This writer asked Rivas to give his account of both fights and this is what he said:
Tough loss for both my guys. But I do know we will bounce back stronger and learn from these experiences. We have no control on what the judge’s see and don’t see. It is only going to make us stronger, wiser and hungrier for our next opportunity. I will admit it hurts when you do win and the judges see it the opposite. Tevin Farmer and Jason Sosa at one time were opponents due to their lack of amateur experience but today with their hard work they have earned the respect of the boxing world and they will be recognized as one of the best before their careers are over.
Thank you to all our supporters who have been with us from the beginning and continue to ride with us and the reporters who give us the platform to express ourselves. Thank you.
I will make Tevin Farmer a champion and Jason Sosa once again. I will make Christopher Diaz a champion.
From what Chino said you know he is a top trainer. He didn’t go off like I did watching both Tevin Farmer and Jason Sosa get robbed. These two along with Chino are three of the nicest boxing people I have gotten to know. They are all winners. I do believe rematches are in order for both fighters!
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev Regains WBO Title by KO, Gamboa Controversially Defeats Sosa
By: Ken Hissner
At the Madison Square Garden Theater, in New York City, Saturday night Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO promoted the vacant WBO light heavyweight title fight.
In the main event former WBA, WBO & IBF light heavyweight champion Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 31-2-1 (27), of Los Angeles, CA, stopped Ukranian Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy, 19-2 (16), of Los Angeles, CA, regaining the vacant WBO light heavyweight title, at 2:36 of round two of a scheduled 12.
In the opening round both boxers exchanged jabs with Shabranskyy showing a harder one. A right hand from Kovalev on the left ear and down went Shabranskyy. Another right hand from Kovalev to the left ear of Shabransky and down he went again. In the second round a hard right from Kovalev to the side of Shabranskyy’s and down he went. Kovalev went right after Shabranskyy and was hurting him again with the right hand to the head forcing referee Harvey Dock to end the fight. Seems Kovalev’s new trainer made a big difference with Kovalev seemingly back to his old form.
Light heavyweight Cuban Sullivan Barrera, 21-1 (14), won easily over awkward Felix “Mangu” Valera, 15-2 (13), of Dominican Republic, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Barrera landed a good right to the chin of Valera. Halfway thru the round Valera turned southpaw momentarily. Switching back to orthodox Valera landed a left hook dropping Barrera. A questionable call by referee Mike Ortega ruled a knockdown against Valera by a glancing left hook by Barrera. In the second round Valera was warned for a low blow. Valera started show boating and got caught with a right hand from Barrera. Barrera suffered a cut over his left eye under the eye brow.
In the third round another low blow by Valera cost him a point. Barrera comes fighting back landing hard shots to the head of Valera. Valera again switches to southpaw and show boating. Barrera had a big round. In the fourth round Barrera landed a hard overhand right to the head of Valera. Hands to his side Valera from the southpaw stance landed a solid left to the head of Barrera who keeps coming forward with blood flowing from his cut from a right hook. Barrera ended the round landing a right to the head of Valera.
In the fifth round Barrera kept coming forward landing more punches though the awkward Valera landing the harder punches though moving around with hands to his side. In the sixth round another low blow by Valera cost him a point. Halfway thru the round Valera decided to stand his ground giving the most action of the fight with Barrera throwing back. Barrera landed a double left hook to the head of Valera just prior to the bell.
In the seventh round Barrera landed well with his right to the head along with an uppercut to the head. They traded hard body shots. Barrera continued landing hard rights to the head of Valero. In the eighth round another low blow cost Valero a point. Barrera landed a solid right uppercut to the chin of Valero.
In the ninth round Barrera landed a low blow and lost a point. Again Valero started show boating. Valero dancing around the ring not throwing punches though well behind in the fight. In the tenth and final round Valero opened up with a solid left hook to the head of Barrera knowing he needs a knockout to win. Valero continues to dance around the ring not throwing punches again. Barrera lands final punch of the fight to the head of a strange Valero.
Judge Akerman had it 98-88, Feldman 97-90 and Schreck 97-89 with this writer 98-89. Referee was Mike Ortega. This should earn Barrera a title shot.
Former WBA super featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-3-4 (15), of Camden, NJ, lost a disputed majority decision to former IBF & WBA featherweight champion Cuban Yuriokis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa, 28-2 (17), of Miami, FL, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Sosa was the aggressor. Gamboa showed good hand speed in out working Sosa with counter combinations. A clash of heads showed a small red mark over the right eye of Gamboa. In the second round Sosa was warned for a low blow by referee Ron Lipton. Gamboa landed a double left hook to the mid-section of Sosa. Late in the round Sosa landed a left hook to the head of Gamboa where the head butt landed earlier opening a cut over the right eye of Gamboa. Sosa ended the round with a solid overhand right to the head of Gamboa.
In the third round Gamboa was warned twice for pushing off Sosa by referee Lipton. Sosa is throwing the right which is going over the head of Gamboa. Gamboa landed a left hook to the head of Sosa being the best punch of the round. In the fourth round Gamboa landed a good left hook to the body of Sosa. Gamboa warned for holding. Gamboa is landing 3-punch combinations on Sosa. Sosa keeps chasing Gamboa.
In the fifth round Gamboa landed a hard right hand to the chin of Sosa. Gamboa warned about holding for second time. Sosa lands a lead right to the mid-section of Gamboa. Both fighters exchanged right hands to the head. Sosa ended the round with a right uppercut to the chin of Gamboa. In the sixth round Gamboa continues to throw and grab Sosa. Halfway thru the round Sosa landed a good left hook to the head of Gamboa. Gamboa’s left eye started showing swelling.
In the seventh round Sosa landed a pair of left hooks dropping Gamboa with a delay knockdown when his glove hit the canvas per referee Lipton. Gamboa finally warned again for holding for the third time. Sosa landed a hard right to the head of Gamboa that was followed up by another seconds later. In the eighth round a Sosa right hand rocked Gamboa on the chin. Sosa followed up with a right to the body of Gamboa who may be tiring.
In the ninth round another warning to Gamboa for holding. Sosa landed a solid left hook to the head of Gamboa. Sosa ended the round with a good body shot. In the tenth and final round Sosa landed several good jabs to the chin of Gamboa. Referee Lipton finally takes a point from Gamboa for holding once again. Gamboa never stopped holding the rest of the round as Sosa did his best to punch him off of him.
Judge Taylor 94-94, McKaie 95-93 and Tella 96-92 with this writer 95-93 for Sosa. Gamboa took the fight on 3 weeks notice. This fight promoted by Golden Boy and Peltz Boxing.
Former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Jason Sosa says “I Will Be Back!”
By: Ken Hissner
Former WBA World Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa was born in Camden, NJ, twenty-nine years ago says “I will be back!” He went from 2010 to 2017 without losing a fight. He fought to a draw with then unbeaten Jamaican Nicholas Walters, 26-0 to earn a title fight with WBA World Super featherweight champion Javier Fortuna, 29-0-1, in China and behind on points scores an eleventh round knockout to take the title in June of 2016.
In Sosa’s first defense he defeats Stephen Smith, 24-2 in November of 2016. Then comes the money opportunity to fight one of the top two P4P boxers in the world the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and holder of the WBO World Super Featherweight title Vasyl Lomachenko and goes through nine brutal rounds before losing.
Now after seven months of inactivity this past week he receives “The Fighter of the Year” for 2016 at the Philadelphia Briscoe Awards. He is scheduled on November 25th at Madison Square Garden to meet former 2004 Gold Olympic Medalist, WBA Super World & IBF World Featherweight champion who also won the interim WBA super featherweight and lightweight titles in Cuban Yoriorkis Gamboa, 27-2 (17) His trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas also will have two other boxers he trains on the card in Christopher Diaz and Steve Ortiz.
“We have been training for the last month since he came back from Puerto Rico”, said Rivas.
This is to be part of the HBO card that former champion Sergey Kovalev is making a comeback on.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Shields, Sosa, Gamboa, Fury, Seldin, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 31st to November 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Claressa Shields to Defend Women’s Super Middleweight Title Against Tori Nelson
Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields will defend her 168-pound titles against undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson on Friday, Jan. 12 live on SHOWTIME.
A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) will face her second consecutive undefeated opponent in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Shields dethroned previously unbeaten Nikki Adler Aug. 4 on SHOWTIME to pick up the WBC and vacant IBF titles less than one year after she became the first American boxer to capture back-to-back Olympic gold medals. The 22-year-old native of Flint, Mich., returns to face Nelson, a seven-year veteran with seven times the professional ring experience.
“I’m truly excited to have the chance to demonstrate my skills against an opponent the caliber of Tori Nelson,” Shields said. “I’m honored to be headlining the first ShoBox of 2018, and I know January 12 will be a great night for the fans. This will be the beginning of a historic year for me and for women’s boxing.”
Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) won a middleweight world championship in 2011 and owns wins over previously unbeaten Alicia Napoleon and Mia St. John. The 41-year-old Ashburn, Va., native looks to capture her second world title in a showdown with the fastest rising star in women’s boxing.
“Ever since Claressa turned pro, I have wanted this fight,” Nelson said. “She’s young and talented, but my experience will make the difference. Since I became a boxer, I have dreamed of being in big fights on television. I am confident that I will win this fight and remain undefeated. And I plan to retire as an undefeated world champion.”
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with Aasha Record Breakers, go on sale Monday, Nov. 13 for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.
“Claressa’s determination to challenge the best available contenders shows why she is one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport today,” promoter Dmitriy Salita said. “This is a great matchup and I am confident that we will witness another memorable performance.”
Said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of ShoBox: The New Generation: “Claressa is a star both in and out of the ring who possesses all the intangibles to become the face of women’s boxing. In just four professional fights, two as headliners on ShoBox, she is already unified champion at 168 with plans to conquer the 160 and 154-pound divisions. Tori Nelson is undefeated, a former champion, and represents what should be the toughest test of Claressa’s young career. Only time will tell, but I don’t know if there is any fighter in the world who can stop Claressa Shields.”
Shields compiled an amateur record of 77-1 and won her first Olympic Gold when she was only 17 years old in the inaugural women’s boxing competition at the 2012 London Games. She won a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and turned professional three months later.
In March 2017 in Detroit, Shields stopped Hungary’s Szilvia Szabados in four rounds in the first women’s main event in premium television history. Shields returned to headline her second ShoBox telecast in August, knocking out Adler in the fifth round to become unified champion in just her fourth professional fight. With the win, Shields became the 70th world champion in the history of the prospect developmental series.
Active in her community, Shields advocates for several social issues and serves as an inspirational figure in her hometown of Flint, a city beset by problems.
Nelson turned professional at the age of 29 and won the WBC 160-pound title in just her fifth professional fight. She twice fought to a draw in middleweight world title bouts with Teresa Perozzi.
The high-pressure Nelson is one fight removed from a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Napoleon, and is fresh off a second round knockout of Latashia Burton in her first hometown fight in Ashburn, Va.
Undercard bouts for the ShoBox telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.
Hennessy Sports Statement in Regards to Tyson Fury
Both Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury have been fighting the United Kingdom Anti-Doping (Ukad) over Fury’s positive test for steroids in June of 2016. The BBC is reporting that the Ukad fears it could be made insolvent or require a government bailout over a dispute with Tyson Fury.
Hennessy Sports recently released a statement in regards to Tyson Fury and stated, “It has been a difficult two years but we will not stop until we have cleared Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury names.”
Former Unified Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa to Step In and Fight Jason Sosa
Former unified featherweight champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) will step in to fight Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in the televised opener to Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Gamboa, a 35-year-old native of Guantanamo, Cuba, is an Olympic Gold Medalist who shot to the top of the Featherweight rankings to win two world titles, defeating the likes of Orlando “Siri” Salido and Daniel Ponce De Leon before officially moving up to 130 pounds. Gamboa has also faced stiff competition as a super featherweight, with wins against Darleys Perez and Rene “El Gemelo” Alvarado under his belt. Gamboa is replacing Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, who pulled out of this fight due to an injury.
“I’m excited for this great opportunity to fight Sosa on the undercard of Kovalev-Shabranakssy,” said Gamboa. “A win over Sosa on HBO could push me back into title contention. I’m a fighter with many aspects and dimensions, and that’s what I’ll bring in my fight against Sosa. For my my last fight, I wasn’t prepared well. This time I will be very much prepared, so I can walk away with my hand raised.”
“I’m excited for Gamboa,” said Zeferino Ramirez of ZR Entertainment. “This is the fight we wanted. And I expect big things in 2018. He’ll be ready for any 130-pound champion if he is successful on November 25.”
The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round.
“People think we have an easier opponent in Gamboa since Castellanos beat him, but we’re not buying into that,” said Sosa. “Maybe Gamboa didn’t take Castellanos seriously. We expect to see the very best Gamboa on Nov. 25. Having said that, this is not about who we are fighting; this is about why. We are fighting to make Puerto Rico proud after what all the people who live there have been through recently.”
“This should be a solid fight between two guys, the same size, who like to hurt people,” said Russell Peltz, Hall of Fame Promoter of Peltz Boxing Promotions.”It’s a better matchup, style-wise, than the one between Jason [Sosa] and Robinson Castellanos.”
Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy is a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight World Title promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions. Barrera vs. Valera is a 10-round light heavyweight fight promoted by Main Events in Association with Shuan Boxing Promotions.
Gamboa vs. Sosa is a 10-round super featherweight fight promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Peltz Boxing and ZR Entertainment. The event will take place on Nov. 25 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and Tyron “Pretty Boy” James Media Day Quotes
Super lightweight contender and Long Island knockout artist CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN, (20-0 16 KO’s), and undefeated welterweight prospect TYRONE “PRETTY BOY” JAMES (5-0 3 KO’s) entertained the large group of press and fans at the Westbury Boxing Gym in Long Island today, in advance of their fights at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, this Saturday, November 11th. James will face veteran DANIEL SOSTRE (13-14-1, 5 KO’s) in a 6 round bout during the non-televised portion of the card. Also in attendance was Long Islander, TOMMY “THE RAZOR” RAINONE, who will be fighting on the non-televised portion of the card.
Seldin will be the TV opener on HBO, in a 10 round clash against Mexican brawler ROBERTO “MASSA” ORTIZ (35-1-2 26 KO’s). Headlining the card is DANIEL “MIRACLE MAN” JACOBS (32-2 29 KO’s) vs LUIS ARIAS (18-0 9 KO’s) in a 12 round bout and co-feature JARRELL “BIG BABY” MILLER (19-0-1 17 KO’s) vs MARIUSZ WACH (33-2 17 KO’s) in a 12 round heavyweight showdown. The HBO World Championship production is set to begin a 10:00 PM ET with Cletus Seldin vs Roberto Ortiz bout.
“When Star Boxing told me that I had a fight on HBO, I just jumped at it, I didn’t even ask who the opponent was”
“Im ecstatic, so excited, to be fighting on HBO and to be in my hometown of Long Island.”
“This is my audition and I’m taking it as there is no tomorrow.”
“I want to show everybody that I am just a really hard working individual who as long as I work hard, I will get there.”
“Whether I am the first fight or the last fight, I will put on the most exciting fight of the night.”
“This is a big fight for me and I know that, but I am going to take it like any other fight, training 110% just like my other fights, and give it everything I have.”
“We will come out victorious.”
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Second Induction Weekend June 1st through June 3rd
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is proud to announce its second Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration Weekend. The 2018 celebration is set for Friday, June 1st through Sunday, June 3rd; and will be held at the historic Claridge a Radisson Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Our esteemed Nomination Committee has completed the nomination and voting process; and the names of all luminaries who will be inducted into the 2018 Induction Class, will be announced Monday, November 27, 2017, via an official press release. This year’s group of Inductees is comprised of Boxers, Trainers, Promoters, Managers, Matchmakers, Historians, Special Contributors, and Posthumous individuals. All who have played a major role in making Atlantic City atop boxing destination in the U.S.A.
The countdown to Induction Weekend has begun as plenary meetings are already underway. Over the next several week’s updates on room packages, schedule of events and expected celebrity appearances will be posted on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites and social media platforms.
During last year’s inaugural three-day celebration – ACBHOF showcased the Fight Fan Experience – a festive boxing-themed environment that included a Boxing Fantasy Camp, Pop-Up Barber Shop, Jack Johnson Exhibit, Icons of Boxing, The Legacy Exists Joe Frazier Scholarship Fund, James O’Neal Sculptures, Cake King of Queens, The Press of Atlantic City Exhibit, WBC Boxing, Food vendors and music by DJ Young Hitta.
The master of ceremonies for the ceremony was President of NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, Henry Hascup. The 2017 induction weekend was a smorgasbord of boxing royalty, celebrity guests, and legions of boxing fans. Last year’s star-studded Charter Class members included: Don King, Michael Spinks, Larry Hazzard, Steve Smoger, Mike Rossman, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, J Russell Peltz, Dave Bontempo, Ken Condon, Robert Lee, Sr., Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.
Some of last year’s VIP guests included: Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Councilman Frank Gilliam, Dr. Nina Radcliff, Whitney Ullman, Jill Diamond, Flo Anthony, Aaron Snowell, Lillo Brancato, Alan Goldberg, Ray Mercer, Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Iceman John Scully, Tracy Patterson, Milton Luban, Chuck Zito and the Grandy Twins. Entertainment was provided by former Miss America, Suzette Charles; Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Band and saxophonist Parris.
Considering the scale and level of our inaugural event and the significant interest it has kindled, we can safely say that the celebration remains unique and exciting for Atlantic City and the sport of boxing.
All interested sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors looking be involved in 2018 induction weekend or to reserve a booth are encouraged to contact the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) at [email protected]
Two Time Olympian Alberto Melian to Turn Professional December 16th
Sampson Boxing’s newest promotional signing, Argentinean amateur star and two-time Olympian, Alberto “Impacto” Melián, will be taking the “Lomachenko” route into the professional ranks by facing Diego Ricardo Santillan (23-2, 15 KOs) in an eight-round bout for his first professional fight on Saturday, December 16, at the Macro Stadium of the Argentine Federation of Boxing (FAB) in Buenos Aires.
A formidable foe for anyone, the 30-year-old Santillan, from Tartagal, Salta, Argentina, is a former Argentina (FAB), WBC Mundo Hispano and South American Bantamweight Champion. Melian, however, has requested the fast track to a world championship and promoter Lewkowicz has agreed.
“Alberto is regarded as one of the best Argentine amateur boxers ever and he’s ready for the best of the professional ranks. We hope to have him fighting for a world championship within 10 fights,” said Lewkowicz.
Lewkowicz says that Melian’s amateur credentials are enough to let him forego the usual development period of a new professional.
“In addition to his two Olympic appearances, Alberto fought in nearly every international tournament and won dozens of titles. He’s ready for anyone in the world going into his first fight. We have every confidence in him.”
Melián vs. Santillan will be televised live by TyC Sports Argentina.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Anthony Joshua, Sosa, Takam, Smith, Williams, Hernandez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Dana White Says UFC Could Start to Promote Boxing
Dana White recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=V2wbIUSpALY. In this interview Dana indicated that he likes promoting MMA but has an interest in promoting boxing.
He told Jason Gay of “The Unnamed Podvideocast” that, “I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that.”
White was observed wearing a shirt that read “Zuffa Boxing” on the promotional tour for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout. Zuffa Boxing could soon become a real thing.
Watch Joshua vs. Takam Heavyweight Title Fight Exclusively on DAZN
Fight fans can watch Anthony Joshua defend his IBF and WBA Heavyweight Titles against Carlos Takam on Saturday, October 28th live on DAZN.
DAZN is a live and on-demand sports streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand. Fans can watch their favourite teams, leagues and players anytime, anywhere with the ability to play, pause and rewind anytime. Subscriptions are available for $20 a month or $150 annually, with the first month free.
DAZN is also the only way to get unlimited access to every live NFL game this coming season. And with access to the NFL Network 24/7 and NFL RedZone, you’ll never miss another touchdown, field goal or interception ever again. You can also see top European soccer including LaLiga Santander, Ligue 1 and Serie A, plus KHL Hockey, Moto GP, ATP 250 Tennis, PDC Darts and Pro14 Rugby Union – all in HD.
It’s available in Canada on most connected devices including Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and games consoles – for more information or to sign up, please visit dazn.com.
Olympian Nico Hernandez Fighting for First Pro Title December 2nd
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be fighting for his first professional title on Saturday, December 2, when he takes on Hungarian invader Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight Championship, headlining “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort’s Cigar Bar and Jimmy Egg.
The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, will be fighting in a scheduled eight-round bout for the first time. His three pro fights to date were all scheduled for six rounds and each was held in Kansas, the last two in his second home, Hartman Arena.
In his last fight this past September 23rd, Hernandez was forced to fight late replacement Kendrick “Uprising” Latchman who outweighed the celebrated American Olympian by more than 10 pounds. Hernandez won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Despite being younger than Hernandez by almost a year to the day, Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion.
“By far, Nico is fighting the toughest opponent of his pro career,” Hernandez’ promoter John Andersen (“KO Night Boxing LLC) said. “Ajtai has much more experience as a pro than Nico, plus he went the distance against a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zou. Ajtai is a busy fighter with a good knockout ratio (63%). This fight is going to tell us a lot about Nico, especially his power at 112 pounds.
“Nico fighting for a title in only his fourth pro fight proves that all our hard efforts of KO Night Boxing and Team Nico has paid off quickly and we’re grateful that the IBA has given him this great opportunity. I didn’t realize the high quality of champions the IBA has had in the past and we’re proud that Nico can someday join this group. In the flyweight division, Nico may enter world title fight shot discussions earlier than I had originally thought, which was in his third year as a pro. An impressive performance against Ajtai could position him for a world title fight next year with less than 10 fights under his belt.”
“We’re excited to have an American Olympian fighting for our first Americas title,” IBA President J.C. Courreges added. “Nico Hernandez is an Olympic bronze medalist and we’re hopeful that he will develop into an IBA world champion in the not too distant future. His amateur pedigree speaks for itself and we’re very happy to have this young man fighting for the IBA Americas title.”
IBA world champions during the past quarter-century include Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, as well as stars such as Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Ukranian Olympian Makes Professional Debut on Friday
Olympian middleweight Dmytro Mytrofanov will make his professional boxing debut Friday night in Elk Grove Village against an unbeaten foe.
Mytrofanov, who fought for the Ukraine in the 2016 Olympics, will square off against American Brandon Maddox, who is 7-0, with five knockouts.
The six-round bout will take place at the Belvedere Events Center, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.
Mytrofanov, 27, won national titles in the Ukraine in 2008 and 2012, The middleweight was also a bronze medalist at the 2011 European Championships.
He is represented by Andrew Sobko of Natex Boxing Promotions.
The 31-year-old Maddox has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. The Detroit, Mich. fighter won Golden Gloves titles in Detroit and Chicago. He also posted a 4-2 mark in professional Mixed Martial Arts fights.
Friday’s fight, sanctioned by the Illinois State Athletic Commission, is being promoted by Natex and Hitz Entertainment.
On Friday’s fight card, along with Mytrofanov-Maddox, are:
Super welterweights Anthony Prescott and Anthony Abbruzzese
Undefeated super featherweight Giovanni Mioletti and Tyrome Jones
Undefeated super middleweight Tommy Hughes and Emmanuel Sanchez
Heavyweight Tulagonov Osvaldo, making his professional debut
Undefeated middleweight Osvaldo Vera
Friday’s first bout begins at 7:30 p.m.
VIP tables, which seat 10 people, are $250 per person. General admission is $40.
Tickets can be purchased at www.natexboxing.com
Ishe Smith to Face Julian Williams on November 18th
Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.
In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.
“This card is going to bring it,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans.”
“This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He’s going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.
The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.
“I took this fight just like I’ve taken every tough fight over the years,” said Smith. “I constantly challenge myself to the best and I believe Julian Williams is one of the best in the division. If you look at my resume, all I’ve done is fight the best guys, in their prime, so this is nothing new to me. I’ve reached the point where I’ve seen it all. This fight will get me exactly where I need to be, closer to a world title shot.”
Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs), one of the top young contenders in the 154-pound division, is working his way back into title contention by taking on a tough former world champion in Smith. The 27-year-old Williams of Philadelphia suffered a KO loss to Jermall Charlo in his first title shot in 2016 and returned to the ring with a TKO victory over Joshua Conley in his last fight on June 30.
“We’ve been working hard for months and I’m ready to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “I could fight tomorrow. I know this is an important fight for my career. Ishe is a veteran and he is going to bring his ‘A’ game to try to prove he’s still got it. I’m not going to give him that opportunity. I will be victorious and show that I’m ready to fight the best in the world.”
Rahman Junior Opponent Chickens Out in Ring, Seconds Before Scheduled Fight
The young career of heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman Jr. took an unexpected turn last week, as his scheduled opponent, Joseph Coats, decided not to fight, while in the ring during the introductions and literally left the ring and returned to the locker room.
The four-round Rahman vs. Coats bout was supposed to happen at The Durham Armory in Downtown Durham, North Carolina, last Thursday, October 19. However, the debuting Coats, trained by reputable trainer Don Turner, initially refused to come out of the locker room. Forty minutes later, Coats finally agreed to get on with the fight only to leave Rahman waiting in the ring for nearly 10 minutes while chickening out for a second time.
He now faces suspension.
Event promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events) and matchmaker J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.) were as perplexed as Rahman’s promoter, Greg Cohen, by Coats’ sudden departure.
“Russell told me in his 48 years in the sport, he NEVER saw anything like this,” said Cohen. “A fighter in the ring rethinks his choice and leaves. I’m told he was out of the building before the announcer finished explaining to the crowd what happened.”
Cohen says he already has the next fight scheduled for the promising slugger Rahman Jr., November 4 in Springfield, Virginia, in a co-promotion with Shabazz Brotherz Boxing Promotions.
“Junior showed class and poise in the way he handled this and he’s to be commended. Sometimes in boxing, strange things happen and this is one of those times.”
Jason Sosa to Clash with Robinson Castellanos on November 25th
Two of the most experienced fighters in the stacked 130-pound division will continue the heated Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry when Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Although the competition between Puerto Rico and Mexico runs deep in the ring, Latinos and Hispanics come together and support each other in times of need. In light of the natural disasters affecting Mexico and the Caribbean, a portion of the proceeds of the ticket sales form this event will be donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City when ticket buyers use the code LATINOSUNIDOS to purchase their tickets through Ticketmaster.
“With the terrible natural disasters that have impacted Puerto Rico and Mexico recently, it was incredibly important to us that we find opportunities in boxing to give back to those affected,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Though Puerto Rico and Mexico are rivals when it comes to boxing we stand together united to help these communities recover and rebuild their lives.”
The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.
“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico,” said Sosa. “I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love. I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”
Castellanos is a battle-tested warrior who is coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in July of this year. The 35-year-old native of Guanajuato, Mexico also handed super bantamweight contender and world title challenger Ronny Rios his first career loss, stopping him by TKO in October of 2014. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former unified WBA and IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa on the May 5 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.
“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. The crisis won’t be resolved from one day to another, but however long it takes we will lift ourselves up. I know little about Jason [Sosa], but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna and George Sosa at Claridge Saturday
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returns to the Claridge Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday. They will be featuring 12 bouts with Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna of Millville, NJ, against George “El Terrible” Sosa for the WBC Silver Latino welterweight title in the Main Event.
“I’m just ready to fight and I hope he is too. I encourage people to come to this action packed event. 12 events and a title fight,” said Lamanna. His opponent Sosa had this to stay, “I think Lamanna is a boxer who has fought no one of my caliber yet, and like me I have fought everyone.”
Former IBF Cruiserweight champion Imamu “Young Ben” Mayfield, 26-10-2 (19), of Perth Amboy, NJ, takes on upset minded Lamont Capers, 7-10-2 (2), of Hawley, PA. Anthony “Juice” Young, 17-2 (6), of Atlantic City, NJ, takes on southpaw Tracey Johnson, 4-5-4 (0), of Boston, MASS.
Doors open at 6pm and first bout at 7pm
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Perez Squeaks By Lopez, Ellis Defeats Sosa
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Perez Squeaks By Lopez, Ellis Defeats Sosa
By: William Holmes
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions televised a card from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on ESPN Networks.
ESPN used to televised Friday Night Fights until Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions came along. However, ESPN appears to have stopped televising PBC events and the PBC has since taken over.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions Photos
Eddie Gomez (20-2) faced Dennis Dauti (14-2) in the welterweight division.
Gomez is from nearby Bronx, New York and was once considered by many to be a high level prospect but two losses to Rashidi Ellis and Francisco Santana has since damaged his stock.
Gomez had a tougher bout than expected against Dauti, but he showed that he’s still a good technician and won the decision with scores of 79-73, 77-74, and 77-74.
The co-main event of the night was between Rashidi Ellis (18-0) and John Karl Sosa (13-3) in the welterweight division.
Sosa started the bout off aggressively and was throwing wild punches, but he was unable to find his target. Ellis remained calm and was able to use his hand speed and elusive movement to keep Sosa uncomfortable and landing clean quick shots.
Sosa was able to hurt Ellis in the second round which forced Ellis to hold on, but Ellis was able to recover by the third round and take over the fight. Ellis was in control in the middle rounds but he did have a brief scare in the eighth round from hard uppercuts. Ellis however showed he was willing to change power shots with Sosa in the ninth and did enough in the tenth to likely win the final round.
Ellis won the majority decision with scores of 95-95 and 97-93 on the remaining two cards.
The main event of the evening was between Michael Perez (25-2-2) and Marcelino Lopez (32-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.
Perez was landing the cleaner punches in the early parts of the fight but Lopez was the aggressor and was pressing the pace. Perez did better work when Lopez was in tight, but Lopez was clearly the more aggressive fighter.
Perez was taking some hard shots in the final moments of the fourth round and Lopez continued to land hard blows in the fifth round. Perez went back to sticking and moving in the sixth round and was able to keep Lopez off balance.
Lopez connected with a beautiful left hook in the eighth round that sent Perez to the mat. Perez was able to beat the count and recover, but by the ninth round his right eye was damaged and had a cut above it.
Lopez was the more aggressive boxer and landed the harder shots, but Perez showed more movement and defensive ability.
It was a close bout that could have been scored either way, but the judges scored it 96-93 for Lopez, and 97-92 and 96-93 for Perez.
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Lomachenko Dazzles, Usyk and Gvozdyk Victorious
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Lomachenko Dazzles, Usyk and Gvozdyk Victorious
By: William Holmes
The Theater at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland was the host site for tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing card featuring three Ukrainians in the televised portion of the card.
This fight was sold out with an announced attendance of 2,828.
The venue is a new one for boxing and there doesn’t look like there’s a single bad seat in the house and the casino, which opened in December, looked exquisite.
The undercard featured several young victorious high level prospects such as Michael Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.
The opening bout of the HBO televised card was between 2012 US Olympian Mike Hunter (12-0) and 2012 Ukrainian Olympic Gold Medalist Aleksandr Usyk (11-0) for the WBO Cruiserweight Championship.
Usyk, as the other Ukrainian boxers, had a very large and vocal contingent in attendance.
Hunter took the center of the ring and Usyk jabbed from the outside in the opening round. Usyk’s first big punches of the night were some straight left hands in the first round, but Hunter’s jabs kept it close and it could have been scored for either boxer.
Hunter had a good second round and was the more active of the two boxers, but Usyk was taking the punches of Hunter well. Usyk pressed forward in the third round and he had the head of Hunter snapping backwards with a lot of his punches that landed in the fourth.
The fifth and sixth rounds were clear rounds for Usyk as he appeared to be wearing Hunter down and landed several hard, clean, combinations that get the crowd to its feet and whistling.
Usyk connected at a high percentage in the seventh round and had Hunter back pedaling. Usyk landed some heavy blows in the eighth round and looked like he was close to sending Hunter to the mat.
Hunter tried to go punch for punch with Usyk several times in the ninth and tenth rounds, but he didn’t have the power nor the accuracy of the Ukrainian boxer.
Hunter was fighting well, but likely needed a knockout in the final two rounds to pull out the victory, but he didn’t fight like he needed a stoppage and seemed content with throwing his jab while never really going for the knockout blow.
Instead it was Usyk who had Hunter staggered and wobbly by the ropes in the final round as he went for the stoppage. Usyk was able to score a knockdown in the final round and he followed it up with a furious rally in an attempt to stop the bout. Hunter somehow stayed on his feet and threw just enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the bout.
Aleksandr Usyk wins the decision with scores of 117-110 on all three scorecards.
The next bout of the night was between Yuniesky Gonzalez (18-2) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) in the light heavyweight division.
Gvozdyk and Gonzalez felt each other out by exchanging jabs in the first round and both boxers landed some punches, but Gvozdyk was landing more combinations while Gonzalez was looking for the knockout punch.
Gonzalez spent most of the second round chasing Gvozdyk around the ring while Gvozdyk landed some eye opening combinations.
Gonzalez opened up the third round by throwing everything into his punches but was very wild. Gvozdyk stayed patient and landed short straight right hands that had Gonzalez hurt and followed it up with a combination that sent him to one knee. Gonzalez was able to get back to his feet and ate several hard combinations from Gvozdyk. Gonzalez eventually succumbed to the pressure of Gvozdyk and was sent crashing to the mat.
Gonzalez’s corner jumped up to the ring apron and stopped the bout. Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by an impressive TKO at 2:59 of the third round.
The main event was between pound for pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) and Jason Sosa (20-1-4) for the WBO Super Featherweight World Championship.
Lomachenko’s legion of supporters greatly outnumbered the fans of Sosa in attendance.
Lomachenko and Sosa fought a near even first round with both boxer showing good head movement and angles.
Sosa did well in the second round and Lomachenko had to complain to the referee about a possible low blow and a head butt. Lomachenko ended the second round strong with a flurry and may have stolen it with that flurry.
Lomachenko showed off his fancy footwork in the third round but Sosa was landing and throwing some good punches of his own.
Lomachenko had a very good fourth round and was landing some incredible combinations from unique angles. He also had Sosa hurt with a hard straight left hand.
By the fifth round Lomachenko was landing his punches at will and they were coming in lightning quick. Lomachenko was toying with Sosa in the sixth round and landed several good body blows.
Sosa, despite his best efforts, couldn’t find his target in the seventh round as the reflexes of Lomachenko just appeared to be too much for him.
Lomachenko battered Sosa in the eighth round and looked close to knocking him down when Sosa’s back was against the ropes. Sosa though showed incredible heart and grit and was able to survive the unbelievably accurate combinations of Lomachenko.
Sosa attempted to bait Lomachenko in the ninth round by willingly eating some combinations and unleashing an occasional bomb, but he was unable to land any punches.
Sosa, who had taken a beating the entire fight except for the opening round, looked like a beaten down man at the end of the ninth round. He would not come out for the tenth round.
Vasyl Lomachenko wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (16-0) defeated Ramses Agaton (17-3-3) by knockout at 2:58 of the fourth round in the welterweight division.
Patrick Harris (11-0) defeated Omar Garcia (6-7) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
Jesse Hart (22-0) defeated Alan Campa (16-3) by TKO at 0:44 of the fifth round in the super middleweight division.
Michael Reed (22-0) defeated Reyes Sanchez (26-10-2) by decision with scores of 99-91 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night in Oxon Hill, Maryland the Theater at the MGM National Harbor will be the host site for the next installment of HBO World Championships Boxing.
Three bouts will be televised, including a junior lightweight title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa in the main event of the night, a light heavyweight fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yuniesky Gonzalez, and a cruiserweight title fight between Aleksandr Usyk and Mike Hunter.
The non-televised undercard will feature boxers such as Mike Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) vs. Yunieski Gonzalez (18-2); Light Heavyweight
The opening bout of the night will be between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yunieski Gonzalez in the light heavyweight division.
Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds. Gonzalez was a member of the Cuban Amateur Team and had a record of 345-27. Gvozdyk represented the Ukraine in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won the bronze medal.
Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and will be about three inches taller than Gonzalez. Gvozdyk has also been incredibly active the past two years and four times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Gonzalez fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015.
Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and stopped ten of his opponents and currently has six straight stoppage wins. Gonzalez lost twice and went 2-2 in his past four fights.
Gvozdyk has already beaten the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Tommy Karpency, and Nadjib Mohammedi. Gonzalez doesn’t have the resume of Gvozdyk and has beaten the likes of Maxwell Amponsah and Jackson Junior. His losses were to jean pascal and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.
Gonzalez is a good test for Gvozdyk and this is a rare fight where we see two notable international amateur stars face off in the ring early before their twentieth professional fight. But Gvozdyk is the better skilled boxer and has the bigger wins, he should emerge victorious.
Oleksandr Usyk (11-0) vs. Michael Hunter (12-0); WBO Cruiserweight Title
Oleksandr Usyk is one of the Ukraine’s most prized prospects and he will be stepping into the ring with a former United States Olympian.
Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers. Usyk has stopped ten of his opponents and Hunter has stopped eight. Usyk will have a slight one inch height advantage but Hunter will have an inch and a half reach advantage.
Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds, but Usyk experienced a lot of success on the international stage while Hunter experienced success on the national stage. Hunter is a former US National Amateur Champion and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics but failed to medal. Usyk was a gold medalist in the 2012 Olympic games.
Usyk has defeated the likes of Thabiso Mchunu, Krzystzof Glowacki, and Pedro Rodriguez. Surprisingly, all of his wins thus far in his career have come against opponents with winning records.
Hunter has yet to face any significant opposition and has defeated the likes of Isiah Thomas and Phil Williams.
This should be an easy win for Usyk, despite the fact his opponent has a good amateur background.
Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) vs. Jason Sosa (20-1-4); WBO Junior Lightweight Title
Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko is considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, pound for pound boxer in the world. He fought for a world title in only his second professional fight and is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and a two time World Amateur Champion.
His opponent, Jason Sosa, has more of a Rocky upbringing in the sport of boxing than Lomachenko. Sosa has no notable amateur achievements on the international stage and was born and raised in poverty stricken Camden, New Jersey. He won a world title with an upset stoppage victory over then WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Javier Fortuna and is now in the biggest fight of his life.
Lomachenko will have about a one inch height advantage on Sosa but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Lomachenko’s lone loss was a disputed split decision loss to an overweight Orlando Salido early on in his career. He has since destroyed every other opponent he has faced.
He has already defeated the likes of Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Suriya Tatakhun, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez before he even competed in his tenth professional fight. Lomachenko has stopped five of his opponents.
Sosa has fifteen knockouts to his credit and one stoppage loss. His lone loss was to Tre’Sean Wiggins in 2010, early on in Sosa’s career. He has defeated the likes of Javier Fortuna, Stephen Smith, Jerry Belmontes, Michael Brooks, and Angel Ocasio. Sosa did have a disputed draw with Nicholas Walters, but many felt he lost that fight.
Jason Sosa is a good gritty boxer that consistently puts on entertaining bouts. He has the heart of a champion, but Lomachenko is on a different level than Sosa and that should be immediately apparent.
It’s hard to envision a scenario where Sosa gives Lomachenko problems and this should be a relatively easy bout for Lomachenko.
Jason Sosa Retains WBA Super featherweight title over Stephen Smith!
Jason Sosa Retains WBA Super featherweight title over Stephen Smith!
By: Ken Hissner
Camden, NJ, resident Jason “Canito” Sosa, 20-1-4 (15) made his first title defense a successful one in Salle des Etoiles, in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Saturday night defeating his No. 7 contender the UK’s Stephen “Swifty” Smith, 24-3 (14), over 12 rounds.
It was a hard fought fight with Sosa dropping Smith within seconds of the second round with a left hook to the head. Smith survived but in the third round received a cut just under the right eye brow that bled the rest of the way from a Sosa flurry. Several times the ring physician was called into the ring to inspect the cut. This may have caused Smith to do too much holding throughout the fight.
Early in the fight Sosa was too strong for Smith winning five of the first six rounds. Smith came back to take rounds seven and eight with the ninth close. Sosa finished up like a champion taking the last three rounds.
“He executed everything we worked on. The referee warned him once but should have been more forceful. He’s only had 3 amateur fights. Every time he fights the UK fighter had several hundred fights. It was really a good performance on Jason’s part. We would like to unify by fighting IBF champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, 22-0” of Puerto Rico. He barely got by Stephen Smith in April of this year,” said Rivas.
Scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 116-112 all for Sosa. In his corner was his trainer and manager Raul “Chino” Rivas assisted by Rashiem Jefferson. At ringside the UK’s Tony Bellew’s had it 8-4 in rounds with the first round even while Dave Caldwell had it 9-3 in rounds. This writer had it 10-2 in rounds.
“Sosa is one of the strongest 130s around if not THE strongest. With only 3 amateur fights he is still learning and has 100% faith in his trainer and in me. He landed some terrific body shots. Smith also landed some good punches and on one occasion he did buzz Sosa but only briefly. Smith also went to the body and was never intimidated but the difference in punching power was obvious. Again, I have to hand it to the WBA for sending 3 judges who were not in the least intimidated by the hundreds of Brit’s screaming every time Smith threw a punch, whether it landed or not. Sosa is the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing….still gets no respect. They keep writing how he got a gift draw with Walters, then trailed big before stopping Fortuna and he was just a 6/5 favorite over Smith. His last 3 fights have been in New York, China and France and the combined record of those 3 guys at fight time was 79-3-1 with 56 KO’s though he went 2-0-1,” said J Russell Peltz.
Smith lost in another title bid in April of this year losing to IBF champion Jose Pedroza at Foxwoods Resort in CT. He has held the British Super featherweight, and the WBC International Silver Super featherweight titles. For Sosa he hasn’t lost in his last seventeen fights which include’s three draws. Right next to Sosa afterwards was his friend and sparring partner Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, who is No. 5 in the WBC super featherweight rankings and Sosa had this to say about Farmer “We train together every day (Cherry Hill, NJ and both trained by Chino Rivas). I have learned a lot from him. I wouldn’t be champ today if it wasn’t for him,” said Sosa.
Afterwards Smith said “I have no excuses. I had a bad start and it cost me. I tried my best but thought I lost. I was forcing the fight after getting cut which is not my style,” said Smith.
Sosa said: “First and foremost I want to thank God. Without Him I wouldn’t be a world champion. I want to thank my trainer Raul rivas, Rashiem Jefferson, Tevin Farmer, Steven Ortiz and Anthony Burgin. “The reason I’m champion today is we put a hell of hard work in the gym. The game plan went the way we practiced in the gym. Every game plan comes out to perfection and that’s why I’m world champion today. (Interviewer: You are a real road warrior) Yes sir I get to tour the world like every world champion should do,” said Sosa. I like traveling the world going into their backyards and sometimes being an underdog. I would like to fight in my home country of Puerto Rico. I hope to fight 3 times next year,” said Sosa.
Jason Sosa – From a Diamond in the Rough to World Champion!
Jason Sosa – From a Diamond in the Rough to World Champion!
By: Ken Hissner
Several years ago this writer did an article on now WBA World Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 19-1-4 (15), from Camden, NJ. He hasn’t lost a fight in 6 years and that was because he was ill advised though not at his best fighting weight to take on someone 2 weight classes higher than him.
On November 12th Sosa will defend his WBA super featherweight title against Stephon “Swifty” Smith, 24-2 (14), of Liverpool, UK, in Monte Carlo. Smith re-won the vacant WBC Silver title in his last fight after losing in an IBF World super featherweight the previous month. Sosa won the title in June in China stopping previously unbeaten Javier Fortuna in 11 rounds in Beijing, China. This will be his first title defense.
After his only loss Sosa won his next fight he fought a pair of draws with Philly’s Angel Ocasio, 6-0, in Philly at the National Guard Armory with both being majority draws. At Temple University’s McGonigle Hall he stopped Isaac Suarez, 7-1, and followed up in his next fight stopping CT’s own Joseph Perez, 10-1, at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT. He would return to his home state of New Jersey in Atlantic City at Bally’s Event Center and stop Georgian Georgi Kevlishvili, 12-5.
In April of 2014 Sosa scored a knockout over Michael Brooks, 10-1-1, at Bally’s. In March of 2015 he stopped Costa Rica’s Bergman Aguilar, 12-1-1, at Philly’s 2300 Arena. In 2015 he won 5 fights and fought a draw with former WBA Super World featherweight champion Nicholas Walters, 26-0, of Jamaica, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. In those 5 previous wins he made his third appearance in Puerto Rico knocking out Jerry Belmontes, 19-7, who in his previous 26 fights had never been stopped.
The draw with Walters earned Sosa a WBA World super featherweight title fight against Javier Fortuna, 29-0-1, in Beijing, China, where he was taking away the belt by stoppage. Sosa has surprised people in the boxing world but delighted his many fans. Take it from this writer that Sosa is one of the nicest young men you would want to meet. His trainer and manager is Raul “Chino” Rivas and they have recently signed with promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank who partners with J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing who is an IBHOF promoter who went with Sosa and Rivas to China to win the title.
One of the things remarkable about Sosa is he only had 3 amateur fights. He trained out of Berlin, NJ, and when the gym moved to Cherry Hill, NJ, he moved with them. He is never short of sparring partners. Also training in the gym is No. 6 WBC Philly contender Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 23-4-1, from Philly who is the NABF champion and fighting for Peltz December 2nd. Another Philly boxer is lightweight Anthony Burgin, 10-2. In the past he sparred with both.
Sampson Lewkowicz has a 3 fight option due to having the former champion Fortuna. Sosa is currently on a 16 fight winning streak.
KEN HISSNER: You have come a long way since our last interview. Have the last two fights increased your confidence immensely?
JASON SOSA: I believe it did by you can’t be too confident. I still have to keep proving myself and we just have more to learn.
KEN HISSNER: You have had 3 fights in Puerto Rico. Did the fans make you feel at home there?
JASON SOSA: Yes Puerto Rico always welcomes me home with open arms. I love Puerto Rico and they love me.
KEN HISSNER: You seem to have a close relationship with your manager and trainer “Chino” Rivas. How long has he trained you?
JASON SOSA: Chino and I have been together for 5 years now and he has taught me so much not only in the boxing world but as a father figure. Our relationship is like father and son.
KEN HISSNER: Have you seen your next opponent Stephen Smith?
JASON SOSA: Just a little for I leave that to the team so they can get me ready for Smith. I don’t do the studying on fighters. What are they going to teach me?
KEN HISSNER: Would you say the Walters fight has been your toughest in your career?
JASON SOSA: On the books it says so but I believe every fight just because of my amateur experience (3 fights) which I didn’t have so many.
KEN HISSNER: How has your sparring been going?
JASON SOSA: My preparation for Smith has been going great. My sparring partners have been great for they push me to the limit. I work with Marcelo, Julian and are the main guys that have been helping me.
KEN HISSNER: You have always been very approachable. I believe this has only added to your popularity. How different has it been since winning a world title?
JASON SOSA: It’s been the same only fighters are now listening to me now and looking up to me as their motivation. If this guy with only 3 amateur fights could do it so can I.
KEN HISSNER: Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. Is there anything you want to say to your many fans?
JASON SOSA: Thank you Ken.