Former World Heavyweight Champion Pinklon Thomas Talks to Boxing Insider
By: Ken Hissner
Back in the early 1980’s this writer would go to the Montgomery County Boy’s Club in Eagleville, PA, ran by Steve Traitz (also head of the Local 30 Roofers) and watch the then heavyweight champion Pinklon “Pink” Thomas spar with “Big” Joe Thomas, one of the Traitz fighters and a former National Golden Gloves Champion. I can still remember Traitz taking off his “Jeff cap” and putting it on the head of Thomas before he left the gym on a cold winter night.
Thomas, 43-7-1 (34), was one of the hardest hitting heavyweights in the modern history of the game. He was born in Pontiac, MI, and over time settled in Orlando, FL, in December of 1989 where he met his wife to be. He only had three amateur fights yet worked his way to the top of the heavyweight division. He was trained by Hall of Famer Angelo Dundee who once said of Thomas that he had a jab that was “as close to a Sonny Liston Jab as I have ever seen.” If you remember Liston could knock you out or your teeth out with his jab.
Thomas was unbeaten in his first twenty fights which included stopping contender James “Quick” Tillis, 22-1, and in his next fight a 10 round draw with the No. 1 contender South Africa’s Gerrie “The Boksburg Bomber” Coetzee, 28-3, in Atlantic City in January of 1983.
In Coetzee’s next fight he won the WBA World heavyweight championship knocking out Michael “Dynamite” Dokes. In his first defense which could have been rightfully against Thomas he chose to fight Greg Page losing his title by knockout in a controversial 4 minute round.
Thomas would go onto win his next four fights, three by stoppage, including over Alfonzo Ratliff, 16-1, and Michael Greer, 17-3-2. This earned him a world title fight with Philly’s “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, 18-1, for his WBC World heavyweight title at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV, on August 31st, 1984, winning by majority decision.
In his first defense Thomas stopped former WBA champion Mike “Hercules” Weaver, 27-10-1, in the eighth round. In his second defense he was upset by Jamaican Trevor Berbick, 30-4-1, at the same Casino by scores of 115-114 and 115-113 twice to tell you how close it was. Berbick would go onto be the last opponent to defeat Muhammad Ali ending the latter’s career.
Thomas would go onto fight the likes of “Iron” Mike Tyson, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Tommy Morrison among others. In his next to last fight he defeated Craig Payne a former National Golden Gloves champion who in the amateurs defeated Mike Tyson and Cuba’s 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Teofilo Stevenson. In this win over Payne, Thomas won the International Boxing Organization and the vacant World Boxing Federation titles.
In his final career ending bout Thomas lost to Lawrence “Poncho” Carter, 21-5 (18), at Columbia, SC.
Thomas founded Project P.I.N.K. (Pride in Neighborhood Kids) as an outlet to foster youth mentorship. He was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009 after settling in Orlando, FL.
Thomas was graceful enough to answer questions for this Boxing Insider article.
BOXING INSIDER: I want to thank you for taking the time….
PINKLON THOMAS: I would like to thank you for writing this article and following my career so closely as this really means a lot.
BOXING INSIDER: What are you doing today?
PINKLON THOMAS: February 10, 2019 will be 30 years in my recovery from substance abuse and alcohol. Today through Project P.I.N.K. I still mentor kids and young adults. Something I use to say “After they’ve seen the rest, send them to the best and I’ll break them like a horse”. I have a passion for mentoring others. Keeping them from committing crimes, or getting killed or sentenced to life in prison. I teach them there are alternatives.
BOXING INSIDER: Tell me about your book.
PINKLON THOMAS: I’ve written a book “Back from The Edge of Hell” as told to John Greenberg. This is an autobiography and book which is currently on Amazon, and ebooks, through Digital One Media, Barnes & Nobles and many other sources.
I’m heavily affiliated with an organization called World Sports Alumni (WSA) an Alumni that work with former athletes and help charitable organizations in various capacities. The CEO Charlie Williams is also a professional athlete and former Billiards Champion.
BOXING INSIDER: I understand you’ve had some major health challenges?
PINKLON THOMAS: Over the years Boxing took a toll on my body. I’ve had two major knee replacements, two detached retinas, Hepatitis C, in which Harvoni and prayers saved me! Cancer of which Dr. Vitpul Patel of Celebration Health, introduced me to the importance of Robotic surgery. Recently, late 2017 I had major surgery on nearly 75% of my spine by Neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Sawin, of Winter Park, Florida, who literally saved me from becoming permanently confined to a wheelchair and an extensive amount of Physical Therapy that is ongoing. Due to several health issues and because of having chronic pain, as a result for relief I used prescription opioids around the clock. A buddy of mine Loui Delgado, and the help of Serenity Springs, today I’m opioid free.
BOXING INSIDER: During your career was there anyone that had a great impact in your life, with the exception of your parents?
PINKLON THOMAS: Certain people I would like to recognize, that played a major part in my career such as: Roland Jenkleson, without him I may have not had a career. Jack Stafford who told me that whenever I found myself in trouble to use my left jab. This inevitable became my trademark! George Benton, who taught me the Philadelphia style on how to fight inside, which brought out my power. He put me with two of the greatest trainer mentors, Tommy Hawkins and Willard Barber. They prepared me for the championship until three weeks before going to Vegas to hook up with Angelo Dundee. When I untied with George Benton, we would train before going to Vegas to hook up with Angelo Dundee. When I united with George Benton, we would train at Joe Frazier’s gym and there I learned the skills of how to fight inside. Through Joe and his family, great former champions, as well as contenders, I rose to championship status.
BOXING INSIDER: Tell me briefly about your family?
PINKON THOMAS: Today, I reside in Orlando, Florida with my beautiful wife DaJuana (DJ) Thomas of over thirty years, of whom is my everything! Together we’ve reared two beautiful daughters Pierra and Peyton, ages 26 and 32. We have imbedded in them the importance of keeping God first, obtaining an education, and having respect for others. We also have another older daughter PaQuana, who resides in Michigan and I have a son Pinklon Thomas III, who lives in Chicago with his wife Patrice. We also have five amazing grandchildren!
BOXING INSIDER: How did you come up with a plan to secure your future? Many professional boxers are bankrupt of destitute after their career by not managing their money or having bad CPA’s.
PINKLON THOMAS: We had a plan. During my comeback to obtain my second heavyweight championship for the IBO, I felt that it would be wise and beneficial to have DaJuana pursue her education by obtaining her Bachelors degree so that one day she could provide when I was no longer able. Together we made a lot of sacrifices, and by investing into annuities early on. Inevitably the continued school and completed her MBA and currently works in Human Resources.
I’m grateful today for God’s strength, mercy and blessings!
BOXING INSIDER: It was great making contact with you again this week. It’s been years since I last saw you at Steve Traitz Gym working with “Big” Joe Thomas. How’d Steve treat you?
PINKLON THOMAS: Steve treated me great. He paid me $50 round to spar with Joe Thomas. He was a real stand up dude and very humble.
BOXING INSIDER: If you had to pinpoint one thing in how in the world with only three amateur fights turning pro at 20 achieve the heavyweight crown after 20 fights?
PINKLON THOMAS: I didn’t have a manager and signed a promotion contract with Don King and asked Angelo Dundee to train me for the title fight. Don told me he had all the heavyweights.
BOXING INSIDER: Your first non-win was a draw with future world champion Gerrie Coetzee who had the “The Bionic Hand” which was his right that was fused together after some 23 surgeries. What kind of a puncher was he?
PINKLON THOMAS: He was a hell of a puncher.
BOXING INSIDER: What were your feelings after defeating Philly’s “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon for his WBC title?
PINKLON THOMAS: That was the greatest accomplishment in my life. I was on cloud 9.
BOXING INSIDER: In your first defense you scored a pair of knockdowns over former WBA champion Mike “Hercules” Weaver, stopping him in 8 rounds. What kind of a fight did he put up with you?
PINKON THOMAS: That was a good fight. I had gotten good boxing prior to this.
BOXING INSIDER: You lost for the first time in your career to Trevor Berbick by the closest of margins of one point and two point’s each on the judge’s cards. Instead of giving you a well-deserved rematch he chose to defend against an opponent named Mike Tyson and we all know how that turned out. Was there ever any talk of a rematch with Berbick after losing your title to him?
PINKON THOMAS: No, King wanted Mike Tyson to fight him.
BOXING INSIDER: What was your toughest fight?
PINKLON THOMAS: Probably the Berbick fight. I was stressed out and not prepared like I would have liked to be.
BOXING INSIDER: In 2009 you were inducted into the Florida Hall of Fame having resided in Orlando. How enjoyable was that?
DJ THOMAS: He and Angelo Dundee went in together.
BOXING INSIDER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for Boxing Insider and for always being a very approachable person back in the day.
PINKLON THOMAS: My pleasure.
Final Press Conf Quotes: Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
At TAO Chicago on Thursday afternoon, the boxing world saw a preview of what will prove to be a fully stacked Oct. 6 Matchroom Boxing USA fight night, as headliner Jessie Vargas will face off against Thomas Dulorme at the Wintrust Arena in one of four title fights on the card. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters gathered to discuss their preparation and predictions ahead of the big night – which will be the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.
Photo Credit DAZN Twitter Account
“We are building something strong and I’m en route to becoming a world champion once again. The WBC gold belongs to Shawn Porter but I look forward to challenging him very soon, in the near future. Then again, I’m not looking past Thomas Dulorme. He’s a tough task and I have to make sure that I come out victorious and continue my path to success. He’s a tough fighter and I know I have to be on point, every minute and every second of the fight.”
“I’m ready for the fight. Everybody, put your eyes onto Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. It’s the best fight Saturday night.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“I’m very proud to be before you today for the first Matchroom Boxing USA event. Obviously we have a lot to thank DAZN for, the new home for boxing and for giving us the opportunity to build 16 fight cards across the U.S., and to build a great stable of fighters. I think by just looking up here you can see what we’re trying to do in terms of entertainment and value for money for the sport of boxing. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Wintrust Arena or watching on DAZN, I promise you, you will not leave without a smile on your face!”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America
“This is a historic moment: the first ever Matchroom USA event, broadcast live on DAZN, following our launch a few weeks ago. Our U.S. boxing journey starts here in Chicago, with a stacked fight card and what’s sure to be a memorable night in one of America’s greatest sports towns.”
“If you signed up for DAZN before the Sept. 22 Joshua vs. Povetkin bout in the UK, you’ll get 14 boxing and MMA events before your free month wraps up. That’s tremendous value and entirely indicative of what’s to come. We came in to disrupt the status quo, and it’s been interesting – to say the least – to see how boxing evolves with various broadcasters stepping up or switching up their game. It’s an exciting new era.”
“It’s been a long road. Every fight is more important than the next. I did not look past Adamek because of his age, or because he’s gotten his butt whooped a couple times in the ring. Did not look past that! I made sure I went to the gym, trained hard, to make sure I put on a good show for you guys. I’ve said before sometimes as a fighter, the wrong story comes across because we talk smack. I have nothing but respect for this guy…It’s nothing about disrespect, it’s about two fighters coming together and beating his behind.”
“You had too much food in here man, this is ridiculous! You have a bunch of guys in here who can’t eat no food, you got chicken lo mein, and sour chicken, and chicken duck, and everything chicken. This is messed up.”
“Thirteen years ago, I came to the United States in Chicago and got the title shots. I won, thank you god. Thirteen years later, I get proposed to fight again in Chicago…and I said “Absolutely!” I’m here, we had a good camp, and I’m ready for the show. It should be a good fight for everyone.”
On why he wanted 12 rounds instead of 10: “I’ll never go into ring not in shape because I’m a smart man. Twelve is twelve. When I win the show I want to give you something bigger. When I go into the ring I want to be best and show who is better.”
“I’m not a big talker, but hopefully in the ring on October 6th, I’ll show you everything.”
When asked by Eddie Hearn on if the fight will go long or short against Johnson: “Eddie, I’m interested myself, and that’s why I’m here.”
“I’m ready to come here and upset the odds. I’ve done everything in preparation to be able to do that and it’s something I’m really, really looking forward to Saturday night. It’s a dream come true for me – fighting for a world title in America – and I plan on taking that belt home and shocking the world.”
On why he stepped up to challenge Beterbiev: “It took me all of half a second to say yes. I’m not in the game to turn opportunities down like this. I know I’m fighting a real good fighter, he’s a feared man, but I fear no man. When it’s all said and done, we’re both human beings, we’re both going to be in that ring, we’re both looking for power and it’ll be what it’ll be.”
“Expect a great fight from me. It’ll be my third defense and I plan on taking the belt home, no disrespect to Gavin. I know he’s a great fighter. He fought for the world title before so he’s going to come at me with everything hungry, but we’ll be ready and we’ll be taking the belt back home.”
“As a fighter we always want to fight in America. It’s been a dream of mine to fight here in Chicago. It’s a lovely place and this is where my dreams are going be made.”
“It’s up to me to go out there Saturday night and achieve my dream, which is what I plan on doing. I plan on stepping on the world scene and making a big statement Saturday night. My journey is just going to start and Britain is going to get a new champion.”
“I’m very excited to be here, the first time I’ve been in the United States. It’s a dream come true to represent!”
“I’ve always thought about when I would have the opportunity to fight in the States. Now, it’s here with this amazing card and amazing event, and it will happen Saturday night with these great champions and facing Jessica McCaskill.”
“I’m really excited about this fight. I love the atmosphere that all the boxers bring. It’s nothing about disrespect. We have high goals for female boxing, boxing in general, and there’s nothing but love up here but we do want to beat each other up. That’s just how it goes. So thank you for coming.”
“To all my friends and family in St. Louis, get DAZN if you want to see my fight! Get DAZN, it’s on-demand afterwards. You can rewind, watch it, rewind, watch it.”
On potentially becoming a world champion is Chicago: “It means everything to be part of history. I feel if you’re going to do something like this and put your body on the line, it should be for great things. It’s great to win and it’s great to have a belt, but it’s amazing to be part of history and that’s what I’ve been trying do my whole career. Because of the lack of female boxing there’s been a lot of opportunities to do that, so I’m excited for the opportunity and excited to fight!”
Tony Bellew, Interviewed Offstage by DAZN Hosts Ak & Barak
On his Nov. 10 unification fight against Usyk on Nov. 10: “This is a really, really hard fight, a defining fight in my career and his. He’s trying to make his name big in the UK, because the UK audience is huge and the US audience is now also open with DAZN. So, this is a mega fight. I’m a name, he’s a name, I talk, he listens, and we’re going to see how it’s going to go on November 10thand I can’t wait. I know I can beat him. I can beat any cruiserweight in the world. There’s only one cruiserweight that would have whooped me and he’s long gone and that’s Evander Holyfield.”
On rumors of his retirement after the Nov. 10 matchup and what that would take: “Boxing’s a hard game because even when you win, you lose a piece of yourself. I’m hoping to lose the fight in me on November 10th. I’m going to win, but I’m hoping that it’s so hard that I’ve had enough.”
On why he’s in Chicago other than his fight camp nearby: “I’m here to support my gym mate, Gavin McDonnell, in a world title fight against Daniel Roman. It’s a stacked card and a brilliant event. I’m looking forward to not just my gym mate winning a world championship, but there’s also many other fights on the bill…I’m looking forward to seeing it all.”
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme Media Workout Quotes
Ahead of Saturday night’s Matchroom Boxing USA fight, the fighters went through their paces in the ring at Wednesday’s public workout in Chicago’s Millennium Park, just north of where the action will go down at The Wintrust Arena on Oct. 6. Spectators gathered to see Jessie Vargas, Thomas Dulorme, Jarrell Miller, and the rest of the card up close ahead of the big event. Saturday’s fight represents the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.
Photo Credit: Jessie Vargas Twitter Account
“October 6th is coming very soon. I’m looking forward to it and I have all the energy in the world to perform for my friends. With the WBC Silver there’s a lot on the line because winner gets a title shot for the gold, and there’s a lot at risk so I have to make sure I come prepared and defeat Thomas Dulorme.”
“This is the best training camp I’ve had. I’ve been training hard every day, two to three times a day. My strength guys are great and I’m ready for Saturday night. My opponent Jessie is a great fighter, but I’m faster and bigger than Jessie. I don’t know if it will be decision or knockout, but I’m 100% I’m going to win this fight.”
“I’m going to knock him out!”
“I’m ready, we had a good camp. Sparring was everything you want and I’m excited for Saturday night. I want to do the best for my class, so I can sit in there with everybody. Many of my fans came to watch me! I’m ready for the fight and I want to show my class in the ring.”
When asked about Saturday’s fight: “I feel good.”
“Looking forward to the fight on Saturday and being involved in the DAZN show here in the USA. I predict a knockout!”
“Don’t miss the fight this Saturday night, it will be a great fight. Expect a good fight for myself and we’re ready to take the belt back home.”
“The twelve-week training camp went well. Everything we have done is the best we can and the work is being put in. It’s going to show on Saturday night! I look forward to getting in there and beating him. I want to make a statement to the world and other champions because I’m here to stay. It wouldn’t surprise me if I get a stoppage late that’s how good I feel.”
“In first place I’m very happy being here in the United States. It’s the first time I’m appearing in boxing here and it’s a great opportunity. I look forward to winning and having other opportunities.”
“I’m feeling really great. We had ten months to prepare for a big question mark, this is what fell into our lap, and I think we’re more than ready for it. Ten months of not fighting can drive you crazy, but this fight is going to be great, and I’m always going for the knockout!”
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna and Gabriel Bracero Draw at AC Saturday
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions made their debut at the larger Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City Saturday night. Their President is Debra LaManna and their matchmaker is IBHOF promoter and matchmaker J Russell Peltz.
In the Main Event Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna, 25-2-1 (9), of Millville, NJ, defended his WBC FECARBOX Welterweight title for the second time against tough Gabriel “Tito” Bracero, 24-3-1 (5), of Brooklyn, NY, ending in a 10 round split decision draw.
In the first round Bracero got inside the much taller LaManna who used his reach to jab back. In the second round LaManna continued to be the aggressor following Bracero around the ring. The round had little action. In the third round LaManna was warned by Referee Esteves for a low blow. LaMann landed a lead right to the chin of Bracero. Bracero came back with a combination to the head of LaManna. Bracero makes LaManna miss quite a bit though the aggressor.
In the fourth round Bracero lands a short left hook to the chin of LaManna and they clash heads. Bracero counters a jab from LaManna with a combination to the head. LaManna landed his best punch of the fight with a solid lead straight right to the chin of Bracero rocking him. In the fifth round LaManna lands a jab and gets countered with a left hook from Bracero. LaManna’s lands a double jab while Bracero counters with a combination to the body. LaManna lands a hard right to the chin of Bracero. Bracero lands a 3-punch combination. Both fighters go to the body at the bell and have words.
In the sixth round LaManna misses a jab and Bracero gets inside with three body shots. LaManna lands a left hook to the chin of Bracero. Bracero is standing his ground in the middle of the ring. LaManna lands a left to the body and Bracero counters with a left hook of his own to the body. The shorter Bracero lands a pair of snapping jabs to the chin of LaManna and follows up with a pair of body shots.
In the seventh round LaManna lands a double jab. Bracero lands a combination to the body and head of LaManna. Bracero. This continues. In the eighth round LaManna lands a hard right to othe head of Bracero. Bracero counters a LaManna jab with a solid left hook to the chin. LaManna comes back with a right of his own. Bracero rocks LaManna with a left hook to the chin.
In the ninth round Bracero becomes the aggressor landing a left hook to the chin of LaManna. Bracero drives LaManna into the corner with a combination to the head. Bracero drives LaManna into the ropes with a combination to the head. In the tenth and final round LaManna lands a left hook to the chin of Bracero. LaManna counters with a hard right to the chin of Bracero. LaManna lands the final punch a right to the chin of Bracero.
Judge Joe Pasquale had it 98-92 for LaManna, Pierre Benoist 97-93 for Bracero and Lawrence Layton 95-95. This writer had it 98-92 Bracero. Both had words afterwards to ring commentator Paulie Malignaggi about a rematch. Paulie holds a win over Bracero.
Cruiserweight Larry “The Hit Man” Pryor, 10-17 (5), of Washington, DC, lost to Alvin “Iron Magic” Varmall, Jr., 15-0-1 (12), of Catskill, NY, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Varmall in with head down throwing punches to the body of the taller Pryor. In the second round Pryor drives Varmall across the ring. Varmall comes back with body work. A wicked overhand right on the chin dropping Pryor who beat the count of Referee Murdaugh and got through the round. In the third round Varmall came out with uppercuts and wild overhand punches to the head. Pryor landed a lead right to the chin of Varmall. Varmall continues to work the body breaking down Pryor.
In the fourth round Varmall inside landed a pair of left hooks to the head of Pryor. Pryor came back with a solid left hook backing up Varmall. In the fifth round Pryor put Varmall against the ropes with four unanswered punches. Varmall came back with a left hook and right uppercut to the chin of Pryor. Pryor landed a pair of lead rights to the head of Varmall.
In the sixth and final round Varmall went for the knockout but Pryor would have nothing of it taking Varmall the distance.
Judges Layton and Benoist scored it 60-54 and Pasquale 59-55 with this writer having it 60-54.
The eleventh and final bout had southpaw Middleweight Omar Kabary “They Egyptian Magician” Salem, 2-0 (0), of Brooklyn, NY, shut out Leon DeShields, 0-3 (0), of Philadelphia, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the first round it was all Salem until DeShields landed a straight lead right to the chin of Salem. Salem continued throwing all the punches with DeShields in defensive mode. In the second round Salem rocked DeShields with a left to the head. Salem was warned for a low blow by Referee Dali. Salem countered a DeShields right with a left of his own to the chin. In the third round Salem landed a right uppercut to the chin of DeShields was looking to survive. In the fourth and final round DeShields landed a straight right to the chin of and was countered with a right to the chin.
All three judges Pasquale, Layton and Benoist had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Middleweight Robert Terry, 1-0 (0), of Jersey City, NJ, won his debut shutting out Corey Weekley, 0-1 (0), of Philadelphia, PA, over 4 rounds. Referee was Dali.
All three Judges Pasquale, Benoist and Layton had it 40-36 as did this writer.
This one started “after midnight” of a 11 bout fight card with a half hour intermission Middleweight Corey Weekley, 0-1 (0), of Philadelphia, PA, was shut out by Robert Terry, 1-0 (0), of Jersey City, NJ, over 4 rounds.
For two rounds Terry chased and battered Weekley. In the third round
In the first round Terry chased Weekley scoring at will until the ten second warning when Weekly landed his first punch a right to the chin. In the second round and third rounds it was Terry all over Weekley but couldn’t drop him after chasing him down. In the fourth and final round Terry still couldn’t put away Terry winning every round.
Heavyweight Darius Taylor, 0-3 (0), of Wilson, NC, was brought in as a sacrificial lamb for 40 year-old body builder Mike Rashid King, 1-0 (1), of Tucson, AZ, who won in 0:59 of the first round.
In the first round King lands a wild left hook. A right hand from King and Taylor took a knee and quit. Even the winner was disgusted with the set-up opponent.
Junior Lightweight southpaw Andrew “Sweet Pea” Bentley, 3-3 (0), of Jersey City, NJ, was shut out by southpaw Donald “No Love” Smith, 5-0 (3), of Philadelphia, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the first round with a pair of southpaws Smith used an effective jab on Bentley’s chin. Bentley came back with a lead left to the chin of Smith. In the second round Bentley rocked Smith with a lead left to the chin. Smith came back with an overhand left to the chin of Bentley. Smith was warned by Referee Esteves for hitting behind the head in a clinch. In the third round Smith tossed Bentley to the canvas and got a warning from Referee Esteves. Shortly later Smith got another warning from Referee Esteves. Smith landed a good combination to the chin of Bentley. Smith ended the round with a lead left to the chin of Bentley. In the fourth and final round Smith caught Bentley with a left uppercut to the chin. The round was full of clinches on both parts of the boxers.
Judge’s Pasquale, Layton and Benoist had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Light Heavyweight southpaw Frederic “The Soul” Julan, of Paris, FR and Brooklyn, NY, 9-0 (7), won a lopsided stoppage over Edgar “The Boxing Swag” Perez, 7-24 (3), of Erie, PA, at the end of the third.
In the first round Julan landed punch after punch to the obvious out of shape Perez. In the second round Perez kept his hands held high leaving his mid-section wide open as Julan had target practice to the body. In the third round it was more of the same. This was a mismatch before the fight started Down went Perez from a left to the body followed by a right to the head. In the third round Perez had a bloody nose from a fight that should have been stopped by Referee Murdaugh. The corner of Perez finally wouldn’t let him out for the fourth round.
Junior Welterweight Laquan “Lightning” Lewis, 2-9 (2), of Brooklyn, NY, was stopped at 0:33 of the fourth and final round by Osnel “Prince” Charles, 12-18-1 (1), of Atlantic City, NJ.
In the first round Charles was chasing but was caught several times with punches from Lewis. In the second round Charles landed an overhand right to the chin of Lewis dropping him. Referee Dali administered the 8 count. Lewis got up and went after Charles. Charles landed a combination hurting Lewis. Lewis came back to land a right dropping Charles. In the third round Lewis landed a low blow giving Charles a minute to re-coop. Charles landed an overhand lead right to the chin of Lewis. In the fourth and final round Charles went on the attack having Lewis out on his feet when Referee Dali called a halt.
Welterweight southpaw Tommy “The Razor” Rainone, 26-8-3 (6), of Farmingdale, NY, was held to a disputed draw with Eduardo “El Cheito” Flores, 23-29-4 (14), over 8 rounds.
In the first round Flores was the aggressor but was being countered by a Rainone jab and an occasional left uppercut. In the second round referee Dali warned Flores for dirty tactics but he continued it. In the third round Rainone landed a solid lead left to the chin of Flores as he came rushing in. Flores continued hitting Rainone in the back with another warning from referee Dali. In the fourth round Rainone rocked Flores with a solid left to the chin. Flores kept missing for the most part when he wasn’t fouling.
In the fifth round Rainone landed several lead uppercuts as Flores was quite frustrated not able to land anything solid. In the sixth round Rainone moves away picking Flores apart with his jab. Rainone landed a triple jab to the chin of Flores who keeps talking and catching lead lefts to the chin by Rainone. In the seventh round Rainone continues using his feet to stay out of danger while Flores is hitting “air!” Referee Dali gives him yet another warning without taking a point away. In the eighth and final round Referee Dali warns Flores for hitting behind the head for the umpteenth time. In the final minute of the fight Flores and Rainone exchange punches as Flores continues to make a fool of himself.
Judge Pasquale somehow gave it to Flores 78-74 while Layton had it 77-75 for Rainone while Benoist scored it 76-76. This writer had it 80-72 Rainone. “I thought I won the first 6 rounds and gave away the last two,” said Rainone.
Welterweight Steve Moore, 0-3 (0), of Orange, NJ, lost to southpaw Ernesto “Tito” Perez, 1-0 (0), of Vineland, NJ, over 4 rounds.
In the first round there was little to choose from but Perez forced the action. In the second round it was more of the same until Perez rocked Moore in the final minute with an overhand left to the chin. In the third round both fighters mixed it up well with little to choose from who won the round. In the fourth and final round Perez was nailing Moore with lead overhand rights for the most part of the round though Moore was otherwise having his best round but not good enough.
Judge’s Pasquale and Layton had it 39-37 while Benoist had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Welterweight Jahmal Dyer, 4-1- (2), of Baltimore, MD, was stopped by Venderley Miranda, 1-3 (0) Marselle, FR, at 2:14 of the fourth and final round. Benjey Esteves, Jr. was the referee.
More Atlantic City Boxing
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna Takes on Gabriel Bracero at AC Saturday
By: Ken Hissner
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna, 25-2 (9), of Millville, NJ, defends his WBC FECARBOX Welterweight title for the second time against tough Gabriel Bracero, 24-3 (5), of Brooklyn, NY, Saturday night at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, promoted by Rising Star Promotions.
LaManna won his first sixteen bouts turning professional in February of 2011. He is 17-0 in Atlantic City and will be looking to add to that. He dropped down a division to welterweight in his last losing fight in September of 2016 for the vacant USBA title to Dusty Hernandez Harrison, 29-0-1, in a hard fought ten rounder in Philadelphia.
LaManna has won all four bouts in 2017 since including winning the WBC FECARBOX title over George “El Terrible” Sosa, 15-9 (15), over ten rounds at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City in August of 2017.
In November he won all ten rounds in defeating Ghana’s Samuel “Bruno” Amoako, 23-16 (17), at the Claridge. He is 6-0 at that Casino before sell- out crowds.
Rising Star Promotions is making their debut at the larger Showboat Hotel. Promoter and President Debra LaManna and IBHOF Matchmaker J Russell Peltz have a twelve bout card scheduled.
LaManna’s opponent Bracero born in Puerto Rico has wins over Danny O’Connor twice (14-0 & 26-2) and retiring Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita, 35-1-1. His losses were to former world champion DeMarcus Corley, unbeaten Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz and three time world title challenger Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi who will be at ringside.
There will be three eight round bouts scheduled featuring Tommy “The Razor” Rainone, of Farmingdale, NY, unbeaten Frederic Julan, of Paris, FR and Brooklyn, NY, along with unbeaten Alvin Varmall, Jr., of Catskill, NY. In addition there are eight four round bouts scheduled for a total of sixty-six rounds. First fight scheduled at 7pm.
More Atlantic City Boxing
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna Keeps Boxing Alive in Atlantic City!
By: Ken Hissner
The state of New Jersey had fourteen shows in 2017 and Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna headlined on four of them all in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He will be headlining on February 24th at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
LaManna is 25-2 (9), from Millville, NJ, and dropped his weight down to welterweight five fights ago and is 4-1 with all the wins at the Claridge Hotel & Casino. Of his twenty-seven fights he has fought in Atlantic City in sixteen of them. There were seven at the Claridge since 2015, seven at Bally’s, one each at Resorts and Boardwalk.
The 26 year-old LaManna turned professional in November of 2011 and won his first sixteen fights through December of 2014. Most of his fights were promoted by J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing out of Philadelphia. Peltz and Brittany Rogers also of Peltz Boxing have now joined Rising Star Promotions and will be doing the matchmaking where the mother of “Cornflake” Debra LaManna is the promoter.
LaManna won the WBC Fecarbox title in August of 2017 easily defeating George Sosa at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City. His previous trainer was Hassan Hameed-El where he learned the fundamentals of boxing. “He’s like a second father to me,” said LaManna.
LaManna will be taking on Brooklyn’s Gabriel Bracero, 24-3 (5) whose record is almost identical to LaManna’s. It will be LaManna’s second title defense of the WBC Fecarbox welterweight title. In his first defense which was his most recent fight in November he defeated Samuel Amoako, 23-16, of Ghana, winning all ten rounds on the judge’s scorecards. It’s time for LaManna to be world ranked and hopefully it will happen after this upcoming fight. Bracero is a tough opponent from what this writer has seen.
The two losses for LaManna were to a pair of very good boxers. Antoine Douglas, 16-0-1, stopped LaManna’s sixteen bout winning streak in 2015 for the WBA Fedelatin middleweight title. That’s when he knew it was time to drop down a division or two. The other loss was for the vacant USBA welterweight title losing to Dusty Hernandez Harrison, 29-0-1, in 2016.
LaManna was nice enough to answer some questions.
KEN HISSNER: From the first time I saw you fight I could see you knew all the fundamentals of boxing. You had a different trainer then. Who is your trainer now?
THOMAS LA MANNA: “Chino” Rivas.
KEN HISSNER: Do you feel at welterweight you have found the right division?
THOMAS LA MANNA: Yes, definitely. I use my size and height advantage. Nine out of ten times I will be the bigger guy except in the Harrison fight.
KEN HISSNER: I was pleased to see you brought in J Russell Peltz and Brittany Rogers to do your matchmaking. Who was doing it previously?
THOMAS LA MANNA: I was doing all the matchmaking etc. I was signed with Russell one time. He’s was a great guy and one of the best matchmakers in the business. I wanted to step up and do promoting myself at one time. I brought in Michelle Rosado who is a marketing specialist. Ceasar Gonzalez he is my laison and does all my medical work and working with the commissioin. He was the first guy we brought along as a paid staff member.
KEN HISSNER: Dusty Hernandez Harrison has not fought since your fight with him. I know there were problems between him and his father who had been working the corner. Did you try to get a rematch with Dusty?
THOMAS LA MANNA: We grew up together in the amateurs. It was for the USBA title and we put our friendship aside and remain friends. We never tried to get a rematch.
KEN HISSNER: What are your goals for 2018? We’re focusing on Bracero.
THOMAS LA MANNA: We’re having a baby girl in May.
KEN HISSNER: You draw quite a crowd at your fights. Is this what decided to go to the Showboat?
THOMAS LA MANNA: I think we were looking for a bigger venue. The Claridge was great for us and I’m not saying we are leaving the Claridge.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
THOMAS LA MANNA: My pleasure Ken.
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna & Ray “Tito” Serrano Win in AC
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions, Winner Take All Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions brought boxing back to the Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night with an 8 bout event.
In the final bout of the night Welterweight Ray Serrano, 24-4 (10), of Philadelphia, won by DQ over Enver Halili, 10-1 (3), of Kosovo and the Bronx, NY, at 1:34 of the eighth and final round for the WBC FECARBOX title.
In the two rounds Serrano took the first with an effective jab and a right cross that knocked out the mouthpiece of Halili who took the second with good body work. In the third a Serrano left hook knocked out the mouthpiece of Halili for a second time. Halili took the round pressing Serrano. In the fourth round Serrano knocked out the Halili mouthpiece for the third time.
In the fifth round Serrano took the round with right hand head shots off of his jab. In the sixth round referee Eric Dali took a point away from Halili when Serrano knocked it out for the fourth time. In the seventh round referee Dali took away a second point for Serrano landed a lead right to the chin knocking out Halili’s mouthpiece for a fifth time. In the eighth and final round a chopping right by Serrano to the chin of Halili knocked out his mouthpiece for a sixth time halting the action by referee Dali DQ’ing Halili. Serrano was ahead on all scorecards by one point when the bout was stopped.
Welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna, 25-2 (9), of Millville, NJ, dominated every round over a defensive minded Samuel Amoako, 23-17 (17), of Accra, GH, to win the LBF Intercontinental title over 10 rounds.
LaManna controlled each round with an effective jab chasing Amoako for the entire fight hurting him whenever he got him on the ropes which was often. Each round was almost identical to the round before it. Raul “Chino” Rivas was head trainer of LaManna.
All 3 judges Lindsay Page, Ron McNair and Mark Constatino and this writer had it 100-90. Eric Dali was the referee.
Bantamweight Jorge “King” Diaz, 19-5-1 (10), of New Brunswick, NJ, won the WBC Fecarbox title from champion Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez, 16-2-2 (8), of San Antonio, TX, on a disputed 8 round decision.
In the first round there wasn’t much action but Lopez seemed to have an edge with Diaz doing quite a bit of holding. In the second round a Lopez glancing right hand followed by a left hook to the chin of Diaz dropped him. Referee Bashir administered the 8 count.
In the third round Diaz did better coming back from a previous knockdown round but not good enough to win the round. In the fourth round Diaz started out well landing a 3-punch combination on Lopez. Just prior to the end of the round a Lopez left hook to the chin of Diaz almost dropped him but for the ropes.
In the fifth round it was a lot of clinching that referee Bashir had to separate. Lopez had the better of the two but not by much. In the sixth round Diaz forced the action landing a right to the chin of Lopez who countered with a combination to the head of Diaz.
In the seventh round both fighters mixed it well with Diaz showing a mouse under his right eye. Diaz landed a triple left hook to the body of Lopez. It was a close round. In the eighth and final round Diaz landed several right hands to the chin of Lopez. Diaz had his best round of the fight out working Lopez.
All 3 Judge’s had it 76-75 for the Diaz while this writer had it 78-73 for Lopez.
Welterweight Yurik “Don’t Be Sorry Be Careful” Mamedov, 8-0 (3), Russia, France and Brooklyn, NY, defeated southpaw Vincent “Hack Em Jack Em” Floyd, 3-4-1 (2), of Philadelphia, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Mamedov came in head low swarming Floyd who countered with a right hook to the chin while on the ropes. Mamedov continued to push Floyd to the ropes not allowing him much punching room. In the second round Mamedov is using uppercuts with both hands while inside of Floyd. Floyd spun off the ropes and landed several unanswered punches to the head of Mamedov. In the third round Floyd kept this round in the middle of the ring keeping off the ropes countering well.
In the fourth round Mamedov regaining control of the fight pressuring Floyd to the ropes. In the fifth round with Mamedov’s head on the chest of Floyd he gave him no punching room. In the sixth and final round referee Franciosi warned Mamedov to keep his punches up. He continued bullying Floyd to the ropes with his head and forearms. Floyd had little left by the end of the fight but fought the best he could under the conditions.
Judge Weisfeld had it 60-54 while judges McNair and Constatino had it 59-55 as did this writer.
In the opening bout cruiserweight southpaw Frederic Julan, 7-0 (5), of New York, stopped Willis “The Prophet” Lockett, 15-22-6 (5), of Takoma, MD, at the end of the fifth of a six rounder.
In the first round Julan is using a jab followed by a straight left to the head of Lockett. Lockett is on the defense for Julan is to fast a foot and hands. In the second round Julan continued to out box Lockett until halfway thru the round when Lockett landed a left hook to the head of Julan. Julan went back to boxing and landed his straight left until Locket landed an overhand right to the head of Julan.
In the third round a lead left from Julan to the head knocked Lockett back several steps. Julan controlled the round. In the fourth round Julan continued to out work Locket but can’t seem to hurt him.
In the fifth round Julan drove Lockett into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Julan finally went to the body of Lockett with a lead left to the mid-section. Lockett countered Julan with a counter right to the head. Lockett walked right into a short left to the head from Julan but countered with a right to the mid-section of Julan.
Lockett’s corner wouldn’t allow their fighter to come out for the sixth and final round. Referee was Ron Bashir.
Lightweight Sidell Blocker, 1-10-1 (0), of Pleasantville, NJ, lost a decision to Tomas Romain, 5-1 (0), of Brooklyn, NY, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Romain landed a solid combination to the head of Blocker who had been boxing well from the start of the round. Romain ended the round with a solid left hook to the body of Blocker. In the second round Romain landed a good left hook to the head of Blocker who countered with a right to the head of Romain. In the third round Romain used a jab followed by a left hook while Blocker countered with right hands. Romain did good body work in the round.
In the fourth round Romain had a big round scoring well to body and head of Blocker who was on the defense the entire round. In the fifth round Blocker looks tired with Romain working the body well with left hooks. Just prior to the end of the round Blocker landed his best punch of the round, a right to the head of Romain. In the sixth and final round it was all Romain until the final minute when Blocker
Judge’s McNair scored it 59-55, Constatino and Weisfeld had it 60-54 as did this writer. Dave Franciosi was the referee.
Cruiserweight Alvin ”Iron Majik” Varmall, Jr., 14-0-1 (12), of LaPlace, LA, knocked out Nicholas Lavin, 5-7 (4), of Shelton, CT, in the first of a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round Varmall charged out of the corner like a raging bull landing punch after punch “Tyson Style” keeping Lavin on the defense until a right uppercut dropped Lavin to his knees for the count of referee Dave Franciosi.
Welterweight southpaw Jonathan “Pretty Jon” Arroyo, 1-0 (0), of NY, NY, came off the canvas in the fourth round but came back to defeat Steve Moore, 0-2 (0), of Orange, NJ, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Arroyo landed several lead left hands to the head of Moore. In the second round a left hand from Arroyo to the head of Moore rocked him. Just prior to the bell Arroyo landed a combination to the head of Moore driving him into the ropes.
In the third round Moore landed a right to the chin of Arroyo driving him back several steps. Arroyo was landing enough punches Moore looked like he was spent. In the fourth and final round Arroyo drove Moore halfway across the ring with a left to the head. A wild right from Moore to the chin of Arroyo made his gloves touched the canvas that referee Bashir ruled a knockdown. Moore became the aggressor for the first time in the fight and was all over Arroyo when the round ended.
Mark Constatino and Ron McNair scored 39-37 while Steve Weisfeld had it 39-36. This writer had it 38-37. The referee was Ronald Bashir.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna Looking to Stay Unbeaten in 2017
By: Ken Hissner
Promoters David Schuster of Winner Take All Productions, Devin Haney of Devin Haney Promotions, Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions and Debra LaManna of Rising Star Promotions will be putting on a ten bout card at the Claridge Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, NJ, this Saturday.
Millville, NJ, welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna is keeping busy at the Claridge having his fourth fight there this Saturday in the Main Event against Ghana’s Samuel Amoako, 23-16 (17), now out of Silver Spring, MD.
The co-feature will have Philadelphia welterweight Ray “Tito” Serrano, 23-4 (10), taking on unbeaten Enver Halili, 10-0 (3), from Kosovo and out of The Bronx, NY, for the WBC FECAR title.
These are two of a ten bout card with lightweight Devin “the Dream” Haney, 18-0 (12), of Las Vegas taking on Nigerian Taiwo Ali, 21-5-1 (16), out of Thailand. Super bantamweight Jorge “King” Diaz, 18-5-1 (10), out of New Brunswick, NJ, for the WBC FECARBOX title.
Super lightweight Russian Yurik Mamedov, 7-0 (3), out of FR and NY, meets Philadelphia’s Vincent Floyd, 3-3-1 (2). Light heavyweight Frederic Julan, 6-0 (4), of NY, meets veteran Willis Lockett, 15-21-6 (5), out of Takoma, MD. Pleasantville, NJ, lightweight Sidell Blocker, 19-1, meets Tomas Romain, 4-1, of Brooklyn, NY.
From Catskill, NY, cruiserweight Alvin “Iron Majik” Varmall, Jr. looks to stay unbeaten against Nicholas Lavin, 5-6 (4), of Shelton, CT. From Lanoka Harbor, NJ, Super welterweight Jeff Lentz, 5-1 (1), meets Darryl Gause, 2-0 (1), of Vineland, NJ. Making his debut will be Johnathan Arroyo, of Brentwood, NJ, against Steve Moore, 0-1, of Orange, NJ.
Doors open at 6pm and first fight scheduled at 7pm.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna Wins & Retires at Claridge in AC Saturday
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returned once again to the Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, with an 11 bout card featuring their headliner Millville, NJ, Welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna.
In the Main Event welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, 24-2 (9), of Millville, NJ, defeated George “El Terrible” Sosa, 15-10 (15), of Reading, PA, for the WBC Silver Latino Welterweight title. He immediately announced his retirement from boxing afterwards with a tear restrained short speech. His parents were in the ring to support him. It was a shock to many I’m sure as it was to this writer.
In the first round Sosa landed half a dozen unanswered punches having Lamanna against the ropes. Lamanna used an effective jab. Sosa landed a left hook to the chin of Lamanna getting his attention. In the second round Sosa continues landing punches without return until Lamanna lands a solid right hand causing swelling under the left eye of Sosa. In the third round a power punching right from Lamanna on the chin rocked Sosa. In the fourth it was a big round for Lamanna and the fifth he drew blood from the nose of Sosa.
In the sixth Lamanna scored a pair of knockdowns starting with a left hook to the body. This was followed by another body shot from a right for the second knockdown. In the seventh through the ninth Sosa fought in spurts looking to go the distance possibly but still dangerous. In the tenth and final round Lamanna he would hurt Sosa once.
Judge’s scores were Pierre Benoit 99-88, Ron McNair 98-90 along with Joe Pasquale and this writer.
“I went to the body and kept my distance and this will be my last fight,” said Lamanna.
In the co-feature former the IBF Cruiserweight champion Imamu Mayfield, 26-10-3 (19), of Perth Amboy, NJ, and Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers, 7-10-3 (0), of Mt. Pocono, PA, ended in a draw.
The first 2 rounds were sloppy on both parts and by the end of the second round Mayfield had swelling under his left eye. In the third and fourth rounds the lack of accuracy continued in an evenly fought bout.
In the fifth round Capers suffered a cut by his left eye. Mayfield used an effective jab. In the sixth round it was Mayfield who suffered a cut by his left eye. Top cut-man Joey Eye closed the cut quite well. In the seventh and eighth rounds the sloppiness went right to the end.
Judge Lawrence Layton 77-75 Mayfield, James Kinney 77-75 Capers and Henry Grant 76-76 as did this writer.
Welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young, 17-2 (6), of Atlantic City, NJ, Carlos Winston Velasquez, 24-29-2 (14), of Managua, NIC,
Russian welterweight Yurik “Don’t Be Sorry Be Careful” Mamedov, 7-0 (3), of NY, won a decision over southpaw Ariel Vasquez, 13-19-2 (9), of NIC, over 6 rounds.
In the first 2 round’s Mamedov kept coming forward outworking Vasquez. In the third round and fourth rounds the body work of Mamedov is hurting Vasquez. In the fifth round a near exhausted Vasquez takes too many punches than comes back to infrequently. In the sixth and final round
Cruiserweight Alvin “Iron Majik” Varmall, Jr, 13-0-1 (12), of Catskill, NY, stopped late sub Lemarcus “The Freight Train” Tucker, 4-3-1 (2), Forrest City, ARK, at 2:18 of the second round.
In the first round out of that “Mike Tyson” style Varmall took it to taller late sub Tucker. Varmall almost put Tucker through the ropes with a left hook but Tucker came right back with a one-two to the head of Varmall. Varmall ended the round with a good combination and having a big lopsided round. In round two it was Tucker driving Varmall into his own corner landing a flurry of unreturned punches. Varmall came right back rocking Tucker with a left hook to the chin. He instantly jumped on Tucker all but knocking him down into the ropes when referee Alan Huggins wisely jumped in to halt the bout.
Super featherweight Vidal “Suave” Rivera, 7-0 (4), of Camden, NJ, defeated Weusi “The Truth” Johnson, 2-5 (0), of Wilmington, DE, over 4 rounds.
In the first 2 rounds it was close on both parts with jabs controlling and Rivera’s a bit better. In the third round Rivera continued to control. In the fourth and final round Rivera tried ending the show but it never came.
All 3 judge’s Layton, Kinney and Grant along with this writer had it 40-36.
Light heavyweight southpaw Frederick Julian, 6-0 (3), from Paris, FR, now out of Brooklyn, NY, stopped Tahlik “Mayhem” Taylor, 2-8 (1), of Freeport, NY, at 1:15 of the sixth round.
In the first round it was Julian the aggressor controlling with his jab. Just prior to the bell Taylor rocked Julian with a lead right to the chin. In the second round Julian controlled the round with his jab and rocking Taylor near the end of the round with a lead left to the chin. In the third round Taylor takes a combination from Julian and comes right back throwing wild punches from his unorthodox style landing but one.
In the fourth round Julian walks down Taylor who looks like he has ran out of gas. Suddenly out of nowhere Taylor landed a 3-punch combination after taking a beating for most of the round. At the end of the round it was Julian rocking Taylor with a combination to the head. In the fifth round Taylor seemed to take the round off as Julian had his way throughout. In the sixth and final round Taylor’s nose was bleeding. A right hook from Julian rocked Taylor causing referee Ronald Bashir to step in and halt the bout.
Bantamweight from Puerto Rico Manny Rodriguez, 2-0 (0), now out of Newark, NJ, won a sloppy decision over Willie Anderson, 0-1 (0), of Paulsboro, NJ, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Anderson rushed out and stopped without throwing a punch. He was outworked punch wise by Rodriguez bug got his punches in. Both looked amateurish style wise. In the second round Anderson’s left eye was almost all red. Rodriguez landed a low punch giving Anderson several minutes to recover from referee Alan Huggins. Anderson came back well to fight even the rest of the round. In the third round the there were as many misses as hits. In the fourth and final round Anderson looked exhausted and Rodriguez couldn’t take advantage of it like he could have but landing enough to take the round. It wasn’t pretty.
All 3 judges Layton, Kinney and Grant had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Lightweight Joshafat Ortiz, 2-0 (1), of Reading, PA, won a lopsided decision over Sidell Blocker, 1-9-1 (0), of Pleasantville, NJ, over 4 rounds.
Lightweight Tomas Romain, 4-1 (0), of Brooklyn, NY, won a majority decision over southpaw Marcos Israel Lugo, 0-1 (0), of Vineland, NJ, over 4 rounds in an all action bout.
In a good opening round both boxers mixed it up well. Lugo was the aggressor and Romain the counter puncher. In the second round both continued mixing it up with Romain the aggressor. Lugo landed a right hook at the timekeepers 10 second warning that knocked Romain several steps to his right. Just prior to the bell Lugo rocked Romain with a straight left to the chin. In between rounds the ring physician came into check Romain.
In the third round the action continued with Romain landing a double left hook to the body and head of Lugo. Midway in the round a Romain left hook rocked Lugo. At the 10 second warning Romain again rocked Lugo with a lead right to the chin. In the fourth and final round both boxers landed well in an exchange. Romain is doing the chasing with Lugo warned for holding twice. Romain flurried with half a dozen unanswered punches on Lugo. Just prior to the bell Romain landed a lead right to the chin of Lugo who countered with a counter left to the chin.
Judge’s Lawrence Layton 39-37, Harold Grant 40-36 and James Kinney 38-38 as did this writer score it.
In the opening bout light welterweight Ronald “Lugar” Logan, 0-2 (0), of NY, NY, was knocked out by Nahir Albright, 2-1 (1), of Philadelphia now a resident of Sicklersville, NJ, at 1:17 of the first round. Then Albright sang the National Anthem.
In the opening round both boxers were feeling each other out when a left hook from Albright put Logan on his back for the full count of referee Ronald Bashir.
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
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna & Anthony “Juice Money” Young Win at the Claridge in AC!
Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna & Anthony “Juice Money” Young Win at the Claridge in AC!
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returned to the Claridge a Radisson Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night. Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna and Anthony “Juice Money” Young won in a pair of exciting 8 rounders.
In the main event welterweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna, 23-2 (9), 149.5, Millville, NJ, scored a shut out over durable southpaw Carlos Winston Velasquez, 24-29-2 (15), 149, Managua, NIC, over 8 rounds.
In the first round LaManna boxed well and slipped punches from Velasquez well. In the second round it was more of the same though Velasquez did land some punches. In the third round an over hand right by LaManna rocked Velasquez. A punch from LaManna south of the border got Velasquez angry and he drove LaManna into the ropes. In the fourth round a lead right from LaManna to the chin of Velasquez hurt him.
In the fifth round it was all LaManna hurting Velasquez to the body with left hooks to the body and straight rights to the head of Velasquez. In the sixth round a solid right to the chin from LaManna hurt Velaszuez. In the seventh round LaManna controlled from bell to bell. In the eighth and final round it was all LaManna who dropped Velasquez at the 10 second warning from the timekeeper. Referee David Fields administered the 8 count and time ran out.
All 3 judges Joe Pasquale, Kason Cheeks and Lawrence Layton scored it 80-71 as did this writer. “I want a name fighter in August like Cintron, Judah or Hernandez-Harrison,” said LaManna.
In the co-feature welterweight Anthony “Juice Money” Young, 17-2 (6), 149, Pleasantville, NJ, won an exciting battle over Cuban George “El Te ribble” Sosa, 15-9 (15), 148, Reading, PA, in 8 rounds.
In the first round Young impressed with punches from various angles, and slipped every one of them coming from Sosa. A lead right by Young to the chin of Sosa had him holding on. In the third round Sosa landed a 3-punch combination. Young came back working the body and head of Sosa. In the fourth round they exchanged right hands to the chin. The action heated up in this round.
In the fifth round a left hook to the body by Young hurt Sosa. In the sixth round Young landed a 3-punch combination driving Sosa into a neutral corner. It was a wild round of both fighters rocking one another. In the seventh round a left uppercut to the chin of Sosa by Young knocked his head back. Another action packed round. In the eighth and final round Young twice hurt Sosa first to the body and then to the head. Sosa came back battling to the end.
Judges Pasquale and Cheeks 80-72 and Layton 80-71 with this writer 78-72. “I only had two weeks to train,” said Sosa. “I hurt him to the body and thought I would stop him,” said Young.
Atlantic City super middleweight southpaw Gabriel “Gabby” Pham, 9-1 (4), Pleasantville, NJ, 171, won a lack luster decision over Edgar Perez, 7-21 (3), 172, PR out of Chicago, IL, over 6 rounds.
In the opening round the taller Pham controlled with his jab. In the second round Pham opened up a bit more. In the third and fourth rounds there was little action. In the fifth it wasn’t until seconds prior to the bell the taller Pham landed a flurry of punches. In the sixth and final round Pham landed a good combination to the head of Perez.
All 3 Judge’s had it 60-54 along with the writer. Fields was the ref.
Middleweight Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 6-0-1 (3), 157, Toms River, NJ, and Oscar “The Machine” Valdez, 1-2-1 (1), 158, Batesville, AR, fought to a majority draw over 4 rounds.
In the first two rounds it was full of action with Thomas outworking Valdez. In the third round there was plenty of action with Thomas getting the better of it. In the fourth and final round Valdez landed a flurry of punches putting Thomas into the ropes. It was too little too late for Valdez.
Judges Pasquale and Cheeks had it 38-38 while Layton 39-37 for
Thomas as did this writer. Ric Vera was the ref.
Light heavyweight southpaw Frederick Julian, 5-0 (3), Cambault, FR, now out of Brooklyn, 172, stopped Jose Valderrama, 5-20 (3), 169, Manati, PR, at 1:17 of the sixth and final round.
In rounds one and two it was all Julian with jab and straight lefts to body of Valderrama. In round three Julian landed a pair of lead lefts to the head of Valderrama. In the fourth and fifth rounds Julian continues to press the action with straight left followed by jab to the head of Valderrama. In the sixth and final round Julian scored a pair of knockdowns with left uppercuts to the midsection of Valderrama causing referee Bashir to call a halt.
Lightweight Tomas Romain, 3-1 (0), Paris, FR, out of Brooklyn, 133.5, won over southpaw Lamont “Strongman” White, 1-8 (1), D.C., 137.5, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Romain landed a combination to the head of White controlling the round. In round two White continued to come forward but was getting countered by Romain. In the middle of the round both fighters exchanged combinations. In the third round Romain led with a pair of rights to the midsection of White. At the bell White landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Romain. In the fourth and final round it was the best of the fight with both letting it all hang out while White landed a solid left to the chin of Romain.
Judge Cheeks had it 39-37 while Pasquale and Layton 40-36 along with this writer. Bashir was the referee.
Super featherweight Donald “No Love” Smith, 5-0 (3), Philly, 127.5, defeated Sidell Blocker, 1-8-1 (0), Pleasantville, NJ, 129,
In the first round it was all Smith landing solid punches to the chin of Blocker. In the second round Smith landed several lead lefts to the chin of Blocker. A lead left from Smith on the chin of Blocker rocked him. In the third round Smith is countering well against the aggressive Blocker. In the fourth and final round a low blow by Blocker put Smith down. He took 5 minutes to recoup from Referee Vera. Smith landed a solid left uppercut to the chin of Blocker to end the round.
All 3 Judges had it 40-36 as did this writer.
Super welterweight Elijah “Vicious” Vines, 4-0 (4), Philly, 153, stopped Tyrone “Shoe Laces” Paige, 0-5 (0), Batesville, AR, 156, at 1:43 of the third round.
In the first round switching from orthodox to southpaw Vines dropped Paige with a right hook to the chin. In the second round a lead right by Vines to the head of Paige stunned him. In the third round a left hook by Vines to the chin of Paige drove him across the ring. A left hook by Vines to the nose drew blood and dropped Paige. Referee Bashir saw enough and waved it off.
In the corner of Vines were Rev. Thompson and Danny Davis. Vines is managed by Doc Nowicki.
In the opening bout a rematch southpaw Dan Pasciolla, 9-2-3 (0), 247, Brick, NJ, and Lemarcus “Freight Train” Tucker, 4-2-1 (2), 219, Batesville, AR, fought to a 6 round majority draw.
In the first round a right to the head by Tucker brought blood from the nose of Pasciolla. In rounds two and three Pasciolla used an effective jab with a counter left to the head of Tucker. In the fourth and fifth rounds Pasciolla took the fourth and Tucker the fifth. In the sixth and final round a Pasciolla left uppercut knocked the head of Tucker back. Pasciolla suffered a small cut on the outside of his left eye brow.
Judges Cheeks and Layton had it 57-57 while Pasquale 58-56 Pasciolla as did this writer. Fields was the ref.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna Returns to the Claridge in AC Saturday!
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna Returns to the Claridge in AC Saturday!
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returns to the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday night with a 9 bout boxing event. Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna will be in the main event with Anthony “Juice” Young from Atlantic City in the co-feature.
Welterweight Lamanna, 22-2 (9), faces Mexican southpaw Carlos Winston Velasquez, 24-28-2 (14), now out of Union City, NJ, over 8 rounds. “I am looking forward to a great fight on Saturday. I am not taking a 54 fight veteral like Velasquez lightly,” said Lamanna. In the co-feature there will also be Atlantic City’s welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young, 16-2 (6), against George “El terrible” Sosa, 15-8 (15), out of NJ, over 8 rounds.
There will be 7 other bouts featuring Atlantic City’s super middleweight Gabriel “GPHAM” Pham, 8-1 (4), heavyweight southpaw Dan Pasciolla, 9-2-2 (0), of Brick, NJ, super middleweight Chris “Sandman” Thomas, 6-0 (3), of Beachwood, NJ. From New York will be light heavyweight Frederick Julian, 4-0 (2), of NY, all in 6 round bouts and lightweight Tomas Romain, 2-1 (0), of Brooklyn in a 4.
From Philadelphia will be super featherweight Donald “No Love” Smith, 4-0 (3), and super welterweight Elijah Vines, 3-0 (3), in 4 round bout’s. First bout will be at 7pm.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cotto, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Canelo, Ward, Kovalev, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cotto, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Canelo, Ward, Kovalev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 16th to May 23rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Miguel Cotto to Face Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26th
Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), the only four-division world champion in the rich boxing history of Puerto Rico, will return to the ring on Saturday, August 26 to take on the always-exciting Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) in a 12-round match for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Cotto will attempt to secure a sixth world championship in four weight classes as he makes his 23rd appearance on HBO.
Cotto, a surefire, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, has held world titles in the super lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight divisions and has fought and defeated a who’s who of elite fighters over the last 15 years including Kelson Pinto, Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Ricardo “Mochuelo” Torres, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi, Zab “Super” Judah, Sugar Shane Mosley, Antonio “El Tornado de Tijuana” Margarito, Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga and Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.
“I’m very excited to be back and showcase a high level fight for the fans,” Cotto said. “Kamegai is a great, tough fighter, but I will be ready for him and to capture the world title. I can’t wait to start training for this fight and get back in the ring on August 26.”
Kamegai is known as one of the highest-action fighters in the sport having engaged in a fight of the year candidate against Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass in 2016 and taking champions and contenders including Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, Alfonso Gomez and Johan “El Terrible” Perez into deep water.
“I fully understand who I am going to be in the ring against, but Cotto’s record and history won’t matter once we are toe-to-toe,” Kamegai said. “I am looking forward to giving fans the kind of aggressive fight that they have seen from me before and having my arm raised in victory.
“Miguel Cotto is a legend who is still fighting for title belts more than a dozen years after first being crowned a world champion. It’s remarkable,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “But I’ve seen Kamegai in action many times, and the guy doesn’t ever take a step back. Miguel will have his hands full on August 26.”
“August 26 will mark the return of Miguel Cotto pursuing his sixth world title,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “Cotto vs. Kamegai will be another epic battle that promises fireworks in the ring between Puerto Rico and Japan. Miguel Cotto is back on the big stage of boxing, fighting in Los Angeles on HBO. Nobody can miss it.”
Floyd Mayweather Invites Anthony Joshua to Las Vegas to Train
Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently spoke to Fight Hype and invited Anthony Joshua to come to the Mayweather Boxing Club and train with him in Las Vegas. Mayweather met with Joshua in London on Sunday and praised him for his victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Mayweather stated, “You have to respect AJ. He showed that he had heart but we have to bring hum up to the Mayweather Boxing Club as we want to tighten that defense up until it’s real, real sharp and real, real slick.”
Maayweather, who was in London for his Gervonta Davis’ fight, continued by stating , “I’m not trying to move his trainers out the way but there’s things we want to tweak. You saw what we did to Tank [Gervonta Davis]…nobody knew who this kid even wa. But we brought him up and now he’s world champion.”
View Mayweather’s comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxavXE7Gs6Y
Manny Pacquiao’s Coach is Wary of Jeff Horn’s Punching Power
Manny Pacquiao is set to face Australia’s Jeff Horn on July 2nd at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Many people consider this to be an easy fight for pacquiao, but Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach recently told ABC-SBN that he has some concerns and isn’t underestimating Horn’s power.
He stated, “This guy can punch. He’s knocked out his last few opponents.” He continued, “He’s dangerous with the right, he has a real good right hook, and that’s something Manny’s been hit with before. We’re fixing all that now and it won’t be a concern by fight time.”
Read more at http://sports.abs-cbn.com/boxing/news/2017/05/23/manny-pacquiao-s-coach-wary-jeff-horn-s-punching-power-26396
Canelo Cements Status as Top Draw in Boxing As Pay Per View Numbers from May 6th Fight Set to Eclipse Seven Figures
The Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight on Cinco De Mayo weekend will generate more than one million buys on HBO Pay-Per-View, locking in Canelo’s status as the brightest light in boxing, Golden Boy Promotions announced today.
“Everything I do is for the fans, and I want to express my gratitude for everyone who watches my fights and shows their support,” Canelo said. “My fans are the greatest in the world and this year in September on Mexican Independence weekend, everyone can look forward to another incredible performance.”
Some facts about Canelo’s PPV performance:
•Canelo will be the youngest A-side fighter in history to generate a seven-figure pay-per-view audience;
•This will be the largest Pay-Per-View audience to watch in a boxing match in two years;
•Canelo will be the first A-side fighter in 15 years not named De La Hoya, Mayweather or Pacquiao, to draw a million buys.
“These numbers solidify Canelo as the undisputed biggest name in the sport of boxing-simple as that,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “At 26 years old, there is no limit to Canelo’s star power as he continues to cross over to mainstream audiences. Canelo only wants to take on the best and the biggest, and we’re confident he will continue to shatter records as boxing’s new pay-per-view king.
24/7 Ward-Kovalev II Premieres June 2nd on HBO
In advance of the highly anticipated light heavyweight championship rematch between world-class prizefighters Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, HBO Sports will air “24/7 Ward/Kovalev 2,” an exhilarating 30-minute special examining the upcoming encounter. The intriguing pay-per-view event featuring the two pound-for-pound aces takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The “24/7 Ward/Kovalev 2” special will premiere Friday, June 2 at 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The special will look back at their first fight and will preview the hotly anticipated rematch between two accomplished and tenacious ring warriors who first met last November under the red-hot Las Vegas spotlight. Ward, who has not lost a fight since his teen-age years, scored a razor-thin decision over Kovalev and collected all the title belts that the Russian knockout specialist had accumulated. The special will provide all-new content including portraits of both fighters’ path to this impactful showdown. Each has set up training camp on the west coast; Ward in his hometown of Oakland, CA and Kovalev farther south in both Big Bear and Oxnard, CA.
The 30-minute special narrated by Liev Schreiber and produced by HBO’s Emmy-Award-winning “24/7” production team will also be available on HBO On Demand®, HBO GO®, HBO NOW and affiliate portals as well as at www.hbo.com/boxingandvarious other new media platforms that distribute the show.
Thomas Hearns Visits Claressa Shields in Training at Berston Field House in Flint
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Women’s NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields had a very special visitor at her gym yesterday, none other than all-time Michigan great Thomas “Hitman” Hearns.
Hearns, from Detroit, is the 1980 and 1984 The Ring Magazine “Fighter of the Year” and the first boxer in history to win world titles in five weight divisions: welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight.
22-year-old Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, is currently preparing for her eight-round main event against Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship at Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl” on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.
“I came out to see her because I want her to do well. I think it’s wonderful that a female fighter is the best from Michigan right now,” said Hearns. “The world is all about change and this is change for the better. I feel good about it. The champions from the past from Michigan are passing the torch to the next great fighter from here and that’s Claressa. The fans in Michigan should come out and help support her because she is the future.”
Shields said she was humbled to have such an all-time great supporting her.
“To have Tommy Hearns come out to my gym means a lot to me, I feel like I’m moving my career in the right direction and getting the right attention. I’m not just some girl putting on some gloves. It means a lot to be the latest big-name fighter to come from Michigan. I’m glad Tommy Hearns chose to come here and it does feel like a passing of the torch. He is very supportive and it feels great to be respected by such a great world champion.”
Shields says her training is going extremely well for her third professional and second championship fight.
“Training so far has been going really good. We’re 29 days out of the fight and I’m in the best shape of my life. I trained hard for my six-rounder and that only went four rounds and I feel like I’m still in shape from that. Now I’m getting ready for eight rounds and I feel great. I’m fighting at 168 pounds and I’m at 168 right now. I haven’t been having weight problems and I’m eating right and running every day.”
Shields promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says Hearns indicated he was very impressed with Shields’ gym work.
“Claressa is the next boxing superstar from the state of Michigan,” he said. “It’s a very special passing of the torch from such a living legend who lives in Detroit as Tommy Hearns. Mr. Hearns, who is a Detroit boxing icon and a great ambassador of the sport, was very impressed with Claressa’s skills and training regimen.”
Salita says he sees Shields’ potential for superstardom and her ability to revive the energy in Michigan boxing.
“Detroit is Americas Greatest Comeback city. We are going to see a revival of world-class boxing, ushered in by a young lady from Flint who despite growing up in very difficult circumstances, is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, the most accomplished boxer every to come out of the USA boxing program. This is only her third pro bout, and she is fighting for the WBC Silver title on June 16. We are witnessing something very special here and it’s very ironic that it’s all taking place close to Detroit, which is fighting back for its own recognition again as one of Americas Greatest cities.”
Sampson Lewkowicz Congratulates David Benavidez for Sensational KO of Porky Medina
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz wishes to congratulate his fighter, David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez of Phoenix, Arizona, for his sensational eighth-round knockout over Mexico’s Rogelio “Porky” Medina on Saturday night at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
With the star-making victory, Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) becomes a mandatory challenger for the WBC Super Middleweight Championship. And, depending on when it happens, a win in that fight could make 20-year-old Benavidez the youngest super middleweight world champion in boxing history.
“We were hopeful David would win the fight,” said Lewkowicz, “but I am amazed at how he won. He was incredible. Have you ever seen a knockout like that? An eight-punch combination that almost put Medina out of the ring? David is the best super middleweight in the world. No one can take his punches.”
Lewkowicz, who is often credited for spotting the early talent in champions Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez, has been predicting stardom for Benavidez since early in his career. He now says the sky is the limit for his young charge.
“David’s first fight with me was in November 2015. I said after that fight he was something special and he will be champion by the end of 2017. Medina is a very good fighter. He gave (IBF Super Middleweight Champion) James DeGale a very tough fight not long ago. And David beat him up to the head and body. He works very hard to be who he is and deserves everything he gets.”
Lewkowicz says Benavidez will take a short time off to rest and then get back in the gym to begin training for his championship challenge.
“It doesn’t make a difference who he fights for the title. David will roll over everybody he fights. He is the new boss at 168 lbs. I am very happy to be his promoter and my congratulations also go to his father, Jose, who does a great job getting him ready for his fights.”
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Broner vs. Granados, Peterson vs. Avanesyan, Browne vs. Williams
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Broner vs. Granados, Peterson vs. Avanesyan, Browne vs. Williams
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, and About Billions Promotions will televise three high caliber fights on the Showtime Network live from the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The opening bout will be between undefeated United States Olympian Marcus Browne and Light Heavyweight contender Thomas Williams Jr. The co-main event of the evening will be between David Avanesyan and the returning Lamont Peterson in the welterweight division.
The main event of the night will be between Cincinnati native Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.
Marcus Browne (18-0) vs. Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2); Light Heavyweight Division
Marcus Browne represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics and is a former National Police Athletic League Champion. He comes from a deep amateur background but will be facing one of the toughest tests of his career when he takes on former Light Heavyweight Title Contender Thomas Williams Jr.
Both boxers are southpaws, but Browne will have a slight ½ inch height advantage and an imposing four and a half inch reach advantage. Both boxers have decent power as Browne has stopped thirteen of his opponents while Williams has stopped fourteen. However, it should be noted that both of Williams’ losses have come by stoppage, so his chin can be considered questionable.
Williams has been fairly active and has fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. His two losses were to Gabriel Campillo and Adonis Stevenson. He has defeated the likes of Edwin Rodriguez, Cornelius White, Yusaf Mack, and Otis Griffin.
Browne has never tasted defeat but won a very questionable decision over Radivoje Kalajdzic in his last bout. He has defeated the likes of Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, Aaron Pryor Jr., and Otis Griffin.
This will be Williams’ first fight since his devastating knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson. Williams was doing well in that bout, but unwisely chose to slug with a knockout artist. Browne isn’t considered by many to be a knockout artist, but he has a strong amateur pedigree and will likely be able to outbox and outlast Williams.
This is a good test for Browne and should be a compelling fight, but Browne should be considered the slight favorite.
David Avanesyan (22-1-1) vs. Lamont Peterson (37-3-1); WBA Welterweight Title
Lamont Peterson has been in some very entertaining fights during his career, but didn’t have any fights in 2016 and had no fights in 2015. He’s also thirty three years old and will be five years older than Avanesyan on fight night.
Avanesyan has spent most of his career fighting in Europe and Russia and wasn’t known by many until he defeated a washed up version of Shane Mosley. Avanesyan has been slightly more active than Peterson and fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Avanesyan will be giving up one inch in height and about four inches in reach to Lamont Peterson. Peterson is also the better knockout artist as he has stopped seventeen of his opponents and Avanesyan has only stopped eleven.
Peterson’s losses were to Timothy Bradley Jr., Lucas Matthysse, and a razor thin decision loss to Danny Garcia. He has beaten the likes of Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lanardo Tyner, and Victor Cayo.
Avanesyan’s professional resume pales in comparison to Peterson. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Herrera, Shane Mosley, Kaizer Mabuza, and and Charlie Navarro. His lone loss was to Andrey Klimov in the second fight of his career.
Hopefully ring rust won’t be a factor for Peterson, but he’s been known to start fights slowly and warm up to the end. If Peterson waits too long to attack the body he could give up some early rounds and lose another close decision.
But Peterson has been in big fights before and he’s used to the pressure of a nationally televised audience. This experience gives him the edge over Avanesyan on Saturday.
Adrien Broner (32-2) vs. Adrian Granados (18-4-2); Welterweight Division
A lot of people have been questioning Broner’s conditioning and commitment to boxing as he has recently requested that this fight be fought at the welterweight limit and he appears to be several pounds over his normal fighting weight at recent press conferences.
Broner and Granados are both twenty seven years old, but Broner will be giving up two and a half inches in height and four and a half inches in reach. Both boxers are also similar in that they both have a decorated amateur background. Broner was a National Silver Gloves Champion and Granados was a Mexican Olympic Team Reserve and a Junior Golden Gloves Champ.
Broner is the bigger puncher of the two. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents while Granados has only stopped twelve. They both went 5-1 in their last six fights.
Granados has losses to Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, and Joe Juan Fuentes. He has beaten the likes of Amir Imam, Kermit Cintron, and Lanardo Tyner. His win over Imam was a major upset and likely got him this bout with Broner.
Broner has defeated the likes of Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina, Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Jason Litzau. His losses were to Macros Maidana and Shawn Porter.
Broner’s recent appearances and social media drama gives this writer some concern going into Saturday, but this bout will be fought in Broner’s hometown and Granados, absent one upset victory, has never faced or defeated someone on the talent level of Adrien Broner.
Of the three televised bouts this one will likely be the biggest blowout.
Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
Best 10 Boxing Fights of 2016
By: Jordan Seward
With the new year approaching it’s time to reflect on the best boxing action of 2016, so in no particular order….
Orlando Salido vs Francisco Vargas
The two Mexicans treated us to a classic right up to the final bell for Vargas’ (23-0-2) WBC World Super Featherweight title. Vargas, coming off the back of Fight of the Year for 2015 faced a true, steely warrior in the 36-year-old Salido (43-13-4). It was a back-and-fourth slug fest between two champions who don’t know when to quit. In the end the pair couldn’t be separated and the judges correctly scored it a draw.
Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu
The real life rocky story that saw Bellew (28-2-1) finally crowned a world champion. Just after starring in the new rocky film ‘The Bomber’ got his third bite at the cherry facing a dangerous and feared Congolese who had chalked up 18 knockouts in 19 fights. A packed crowed inside his beloved Everton football club’s stadium were stunned when Makabu (19-2) sent Bellew rolling over at the end of the first. The Everton man climbed off the canvas Balboa esque and rallied to stop Makabu in the third with a flourish of heavy punches to claim the vacant WBC World Cruiserweight strap.
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora
This one had it all. Filled with controversy from the start these two Heavyweights threw everything but the kitchen sink. A table was thrown though. At a press conference. Which, as a result meant the British title wasn’t on the line. But after all the talk, the bad mouthing and the attempted scrapping Whyte (20-1) and Chisora (26-7) done it properly in the ring and fought out a clean and action-packed-12-rounder. Both men were rocked and absorbed a lot of punishment, but Whyte’s superior stamina was just about enough to nick it for him on the judges’ scorecard by split decision.
Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter
Thurman (27-0) was getting in the ring with probably the best opponent he’s faced. The only man to previously have defeated Porter (26-2-1) was Kell Brook, but, in a fierce competitive fight, Thurman successfully defended his WBA World Welterweight title dishing out Porter’s second loss of his career with a 115-113 unanimous decision. Although the announcement was greeted by booing, the stats suggested Thurman deservedly had his hand raised at the end, landing 43.6% of his punches while his opponent made 35.6%.
Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev
The fight that everyone scored differently. It was a fight we all wanted as soon as Ward made the jump up from Super-Middleweight. The defensive suave of Ward (31-0) met the aggressive power of ‘The Krusher’ (30-1-1) at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. The American, fighting on home turf, was put down in the second round for only the second time in his illustrious career. But Ward, as Ward does, after falling behind on the cards managed to take the second half of the fight and claim Kovalev’s WBO, IBF and WBA Super World Light Heavyweight titles by unanimous decision.
Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz
After unifying his IBF super-bantamweight title by outpointing Scott Quigg, the Northern Irishmen capped off his impressive year by adding Leo Santa Cruz’s (32-1-1) WBA Super World Featherweight belt. ‘The Jackal’ (23-0) jumped up a weight division and battled it out with the Mexican champion in an absolute barn burner. After a hard and punishing 12 rounds it went to the judges’ scorecards and Frampton, was given the nod. Now, just for us, they’re doing it all again at the MGM Grand on the 28th January. Not a bad way to start the new year.
Hosea Burton vs Frank Buglioni
Words were exchanged between the pair in what was a heated build up to this Light-Heavyweight contest for the British title. But when the fighting started it quickly turned in to a very watchable and enjoyable scrap. Both Burton (18-1) and Buglioni (19-2-1) continuously plowed forwards, in attempts to assert their dominance. They were both taking serious damage and in the twelfth-round Burton’s chickens came home to roost. The 28-year-old was slowing down and deserved to hear the final bell but with just one minute left in the bout Buglioni landed some hurtful blows and the ref waved it off.
Thomas Williams Jr. vs Edwin Rodriguez
A fiery, hard fought contest… while it lasted. At the StubHub Center, on the undercard of Andre Berto’s knockout win against Victor Ortiz, Rodriguez, (28-2) displayed courage, grit, determination, and, a chin. In this two-rounder, it was Williams Jr (20-2) who was landing the more powerful and hurtful shots but a number of times Rodriguez remained upright and proudly came firing back. In the end, it took a monster left hook to knock the resolute 31-year-old out.
Gennady Golovkin vs Kell Brook
As far as unexpected fights go, this one took the biscuit. You couldn’t have called it. This was not a fight many had in mind, but, when it was made it was all the talk. The IBF World Welterweight champion, Brook, jumped up two weight division to face the feared Middleweight kingpin at the O2 Arena. Looking in great shape and as confident as ever the Englishman made a great start to the fight. However, as the fight went on we began to realise Brook wouldn’t be making history as Golovkin’s power started to take its toll and Brook’s trainer, Dominic Ingle threw in the towel stopping proceedings in the fifth round.
Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso
After prizing away the WBA World Lightweight title from Darleys Perez in their second meeting, Crolla, (31-5-3)made his first defence against the man who, effectively, sent world title challenger Kevin Mitchell into retirement. As expected, the Venezuelan (19-1-2) started strong and, typical of a Joe Gallagher fighter, Crolla did not. He absorbed some early punishment and probably lost the first five rounds. It became clear after six though, that Crolla’s tactics were spot on, as the challenger noticeably began to tire. He had thrown all he had and was on empty, Crolla seized his chance and overwhelmed his opponent, eventually stopping him in the seventh.