Greg Vendetti Overwhelms Michael Anderson to Win a Decision in Boston
By: Paul Yates
Greg Vendetti steamrolled an outclassed but game Michael Anderson last night to win an easy 12 round decision. The final scores were 120-106, 120-108, and 120-108. The Boston super-welterweight unleashed a bruising, relentless body attack throughout the match and, as a result of the win, moves his pro record to 22-3-1 with 12 KO’s. Although Anderson survived until the final bell, he struggled desperately to survive in most rounds, and reached the finish line with both eyes badly swollen. Vendetti simply buried his opponent under an avalanche of non-stop punching.
But in spite of Vendetti’s dominant performance – throughout which he resembled a vicious bulldog tearing away at his quarry – he did not quite achieve the signature win expected of a fairly high-profile fighter being groomed for world class, big TV bouts in the near future. Given the huge difference in ability levels between the two fighters, one gets the sense that Vendetti should have stopped Anderson well within the distance.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney c/o Fightography
At the end of the second round, Vendetti looked well on his way to a knockout victory. Roaring forward with his head lowered and pumping both fists to the body, Vendetti pinned Anderson against the ropes and shifted his attack upstairs, ripping the New Jersey fighter with hurtful punches. The look on Anderson’s face at that moment signaled pain and despair and he buckled under Vendetti’s short left and right hooks. In flashes, Anderson’s body looked limp, as if he were struggling to remain upright even though he efficiently covered up and clinched to survive.
Vendetti, who weighed 150 lbs., continued his merciless pounding of Anderson over the next few rounds. By the end of the fourth, Anderson’s left eye was swollen and bruised, and his facial expression showed signs of fatigue and dejection. Several times in the fifth the end seemed near, as Anderson wobbled after taking Vendetti’s left hooks to the head. But the elusive New Jersey fighter weathered the storm and never looked to be in serious trouble for the remainder of the fight.
Over the final six rounds, Vendetti kept up the pressure, looking at times like a human windmill as he swung huge overhand rights at his foe, who could do little more than use his considerable ring savvy to hold, run, and cover up on the ropes. Indeed, Vendetti resembled a small version of Joe Frazier or Jake LaMotta, using his stocky, powerful frame to ruthlessly bull and batter Anderson around the ring. But as the rounds passed, it became disappointingly clear that Vendetti could not close the show with a spectacular knockout or inside-the-distance stoppage win.
Besides falling short of achieving the expected knockout win, Vendetti’s performance yielded no answers to the deeper question of how – if at all – his self-confidence may have been affected by his brutal knockout loss to France’s Michel Soro last December. That is because Anderson simply lacked the firepower and punch necessary to trouble a boxer of Vendetti’s calibre.
Numerous times Anderson, who scaled 148.6 lbs., did smack Vendetti with long, straight rights to the jaw. But Vendetti barely blinked. And, for a moment in the ninth round, Anderson took the offensive and backed Vendetti against the ropes, during which Vendetti stopped punching momentarily. However, once Vendetti resumed his forward movement, Anderson immediately recoiled in a speedy, wholesale retreat. Therefore observers did not have an opportunity to assess Vendetti’s instincts while fighting on his backfoot, under fire from a dangerous foe.
In all fairness to Vendetti, Anderson may be a much better fighter than anyone realized. Now 17-3-1 with 12 KO’s, Anderson – who has been fighting professionally for 12 years – showed ring guile and savvy survivor skills as he ran, defended, held, and employed other tricks to stay on his feet. He demonstrated courage and tenacity too, given that the beating he took would have been enough to compel many other boxers to quit on their stool. Possibly, then, Vendetti should not be judged too harshly for failing to finish Anderson within the distance.
On the undercard, junior-welterweight Luis Arcon Diaz scored a brilliant third round knockout over Argentina’s Mario Ezequial Sayal Lozano. Diaz demonstrated near-perfect balance, timing, and boxing skill, calmly stalking his fitful, retreating opponent throughout the match. Diaz, a Venezuelan with an accomplished amateur pedigree (he fought in the Olympic Games, World Amateur Championships and Pan American Games), showed a style reminiscent of 1970s great Alexis Arguello, standing tall, wasting no body movement, feinting with skill and packing maximum power into each punch. A long, straight right to the jaw dropped Lozano face first to the floor, where he took the full count. The victory moves Diaz’s record to 8-0 with 8 KO’s. Lozano falls to 18-4-1 with 9 KO’s. Diaz weighed 140 lbs against 145.8 lbs for Lozano.
Mansfield’s James Perella scored an impressive four round decision over Bryan Goldsby in a welterweight bout. Both boxers weighed 149 lbs. Perella, a four time New England Golden Gloves champion who ranked among the nation’s best amateurs, simply overwhelmed his foe with a blazing display of punching power that made the bout one-sided from start until finish. Perella appeared to be the hardest hitting fighter on tonight’s promotion, the sonic boom of his heavy punches resounding throughout the venue in each round. Perella is an unusually tall welterweight with exceptional reach and decent speed. Showing an intense, wide-eyed facial expression, Perella demonstrated the instincts of a hunter as he swung relentlessly to the head and body of Goldsby, who was dropped to one knee in the second round. The win moves Perella’s record to 4-0 with 3 KO’s, while Goldsby – who showed good staying power – falls to 5-12 with zero KO’s. Scores were 40-35 on all three judges’ cards.
Ireland’s Barry Fryers barely escaped disaster in winning a second round TKO over Bryan Abraham in a welterweight contest. Fryers, now 11-1 with 4 KO’s, absorbed several slow but heavy overhand rights in the opening seconds of the first round, suffering two knockdowns in the process. Fryer arose from both knockdowns looking stunned and unsteady, but by the end of the first, was able to turn the tide by peppering Abraham with speedy, accurate combinations to the head. Abraham, who was hurt by every solid blow he took, was pinned to the ropes and battered mercilessly by Fryers in the second, prompting the referee to end matters at 1:06 of the round. Abraham falls to 6-34 with KO’s. Fryers weighed 147.2 lbs against his opponent’s 148.2 lbs.
The card opened with a super-welterweight contest, in which Belgium’s Antoine Vanackere used his hugely superior height and reach to batter Francisco Medel into a TKO defeat at 2:14 of round three. Vanackere moves to 11-1 with 6 KO’s, while Medel, who hails from Mexico, falls to 13-20 with 8 KO’s. Weights were 140.2 lbs for the Belgian against 142.3 lbs for Medel.
In other action, South Boston’s Joey Farina, won a wide decision over Jose Angel Ortiz. The scores were 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37. The 46 year old Ortiz, a muscular fighter from Puerto Rico, tried hard, but lacked the speed, stamina, and punch output of the much younger Farina. Both fighters weighed 152.2 lbs. In an exciting six round welterweight bout, Bridgeport’s Carlos “Bam Bam” Hernandez Jr. scored an upset decision over local fighter Mike O’Han Jr. Hernandez forced the action throughout, swamping his tall, orthodox-boxing opponent with overhand rights, left hooks, and right uppercuts in nearly every moment of the bout. O’Han boxed well, catching many blows on his shoulders and gloves in addition to sometimes staggering his foe with sharp left hooks, but had trouble with Hernandez’s strength. The decision could have gone either way, but overall, the judges were impressed with Hernandez’s aggression and turned in scorecards of 59-55, 58-56, 57-57. O’Han’s record falls to 9-1 with 5 KO’s. Hernandez moves to 4-3-1 with 2 KO’s. Weights were 146 lbs for O’Han against 146.4 lbs for Hernandez.
Tonight’s promotion marked the first pro boxing card staged at Everett’s Encore Casino, and drew a large crowd of 2,700 fans, all of whom were roused by Vendetti’s 12 round display of non-stop punching. Promoted by Murphy’s Boxing, it can be truthfully said that the promotion marks the death-knell of Boston as a clubfighting city. Without question, the promoter – relying on local heroes such as Vendetti and others – has moved Boston’s pro boxing scene upwards a level or two, something closer to national importance in the sport. Murphy’s Boxing plans important bouts on a consistent basis in the future.
Greg Vendetti: Determined to Send a Message to the Boxing World in Friday’s Bout
By: Paul Yates
Last December, Massachusetts’s Greg Vendetti flew to Paris to fight hard-hitting Michel Soro in a bout between two WBA world rated super-welterweights. Vendetti entered the ring on a lengthy winning streak and had serious prospects for a shot at his division’s world championship. But within two rounds, he exited the ring cracked, battered, and knocked out by Soro. The devastating loss cost Vendetti his world rating and sent him reeling back to New England’s club fighting circuit. It also raised questions about his future.
Friday night Vendetti faces New Jersey’s Michael Anderson, a lightly regarded but experienced boxer with a 17-2-1 record, in a scheduled 12 round bout at Everett’s Encore Casino. New England boxing insiders will be focused intensely on Vendetti, looking for clues about how the Soro debacle may have affected his self-confidence.
Photo Credit: Joe Gallo
At today’s weigh-in, Vendetti and his team gave no indication of feeling daunted by the Paris disaster. The fighter himself looked lean, imperterbed and bright-eyed as he addressed the media from the dais, speaking optimistically about putting together another winning streak. Vendetti’s team reinforced his air of self-confidence, expressing themselves with vigor and ambition on the subject of their boxer’s next career moves.
Sean Sullivan, vice president at Murphy’s Boxing, insists that Vendetti’s ego shows no ill effects from the Soro bout. “I was with Greg in the locker room after that fight,” he explained. “Greg was strong, very upbeat. He was already focused on rebounding in his next fight. Greg’s an old school fighter, all blood and guts.”
However Sullivan added that Murphy’s Boxing will eventually move Vendetti down a weight class, to the 147 lb welterweight division rather than super-welterweight, which has a weight limit of 154 lbs. “Greg’s shorter than most guys that he fights, so he’s at a disadvantage. But we really think he can be a force at welterweight. He’ll carry his power downward to that weight class.”
Currently 21-3-1 with 12 knockouts, Vendetti is a stocky, heavily muscled fighter who boxes out of a crouch, swarming opponents with sweeping hooks and overhand rights. His infighting strategy makes sense given that he stands only 5’6”. But Vendetti can box and counterpunch a bit too, moving laterally on his feet when necessary and unleashing rapid-fire combinations at medium distance when he needs to use wits rather than brawn. The Stoneham native has proven these skills against formidable opposition too.
Vendetti scored his biggest career win last year when he soundly outfought Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai, a notoriously durable, hard-hitting fighter who had scored 24 knockouts in compiling a 27-4-2 record. Vendetti’s victory was all the more impressive given that Kamegai had previously stood toe to toe for 12 rounds in a losing effort against the ferocious Miguel Cotto in a WBO super-welterweight world title fight. But to fulfill Sullivan’s goal of penetrating the upper-reaches the 147 lbs division, Vendetti will need to fight up to the ability level he demonstrated against Kamegai. That expectation, no doubt, puts more mental pressure on Vendetti.
The outcome of Friday’s fight is not in question. Although Anderson enjoys considerable height and reach advantages (the New Jersey fighter looked at least four inches taller at the weigh-in), at aged 38, he is nine years older than Vendetti. More tellingly, Anderson has rarely fought boxers with winning records, something Vendetti has done routinely. But the near certainty of victory does little to ease the psychological pressure Vendetti presumably faces. That is because Vendetti must win impressively in order to recertify his credibility with the power brokers who call the shots on pro boxing’s world class stage.
According to trainer Joey Ricciardi, Vendetti will definitely get the job done properly. “Right now, Greg’s confidence is sky high,” said Ricciardi. “For this fight, he trained harder, he put a little extra work in every day. Greg’s not doing that to prove anything to himself. He wants to prove something to the world.”
Friday’s match is for the vacant International Boxing Association super-welterweight title, a belt not held in high regard in pro boxing circles. But if Vendetti wins impressively, he will have accomplished something more important, which is to have proven that he is once again ready to face the world’s leading contenders.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Vendetti Defeats Kamegai, Camnio Beats Zenunaj
By: Dylan Smith
Golden Boy Promotions put on a live event from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. ESPN televised their card and it featured two entertaining bouts, including a bloody main event.
The following is a recap of their event.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
The co-main Event of the evening.
A 10 round war! It was a brutal display of heavy shots and relentless pressure by both boxers. Japanese Yoshihiro Kamega stayed true to his form by constantly coming forward and not giving young Vendetti a moment to breath. Greg being the younger guy by 7 years, he held his composure and kept pushing back the Japanese Warrior.
From the first round Kamegai pushed Greg Vendetti backwards to the ropes were he let loose heavy hooks to the body and head.
The first time for The Villain to go past 8 rounds is a testament the Kamegai’s toughness. Yoshihiro gained Vendetti’s respect form the start of the fight as Greg kept a nice tight guard. Until the 7th round where he seemed to lower his guard and become more relaxed into the fight. Vendetti’s corner was pumping him up in between each round to keep him motivated which was a stronghold to aid his performance.
The Villain managed to swell up Kamegai’s left cheek from continued right hands beating him down. Although a lot of heavy shots were thrown and landed, neither man was put down in the fight and it lasted the whole 10 rounds.
In Kamegai’s last 5 fights he has landed 24.6 punches per round 39% of them being power punches. But allowing 26 punches 43.8% of them power punches to land from his opponent. This fight was a lot closer in terms of what landed however as Vendetti landed 37% of power punches and Kamegai landed 36% of his. The total punches thrown was 629 for Yoshihiro and 826 for the Villain Vendetti so he was the busier man. A lot of punches were thrown by each man, only 1% difference in what was actually landed, which is closer than the judges had it scored however.
Both judges had Greg Vendetti winning by a unanimous points decision, one by 98-92 and the other by 97-93. Vendetti did seem to land the better shots but it was a competitive fight as both fighters didn’t stop throwing the whole fight.
Greg ‘The Villain’ Vendetti is at the early stage of his career and will go on to advance to the next stage, performing very well tonight against a seasoned vet in Yoshihiro Kamegai. With it being an entertaining fight, as it was, both boxers can come again I’m sure.
The main even of the Evening
An action packed fight with an aggressive fighter being charged by a juggernaut. Andrew Cancio has been working his day job up until the last week of his fight. Having managed to put in the hours in the gym as well. The hungry fighter had a great opening and towards the end of the 1st round he seemed to hurt Dardan Zenunaj with a big right hand. Cancio threw double the amount of punches as Dardan and landed 48%. Round 1,2 and 3 Cancio continued to throw double the amount of Zenunaj.
El Chango looked strong and composed even in moments where Dardan put pressure on him. Andrew was landing clean crisp counter punches on the inside and outside. Zenunaj absorbing a lot of punches he was relentless in charging forward. Both men utilised the jab well, Andrew however seemed to find his range better and, in some rounds was landing double the amount of punches than Dardan.
The key in this fight was the uppercuts thrown by Cancio. He seemed to be able to land at will to the centre gap in the guard of Zenunaj. El Chango utilised good footwork, evading punches and fighting on the back foot. Zenunaj did land shots of his own however and kept on working throughout the fight.
With great conditioning and mind of a warrior Dardan kept pushing forward. He seemed to get stronger as the fight went on, even when hurt he shook his head to allude he wasn’t. He boxed well, cut off the ring and forced Andrew to work. His work rate wasn’t diminished through the rounds but seemed to improved. His pressure was consistent and although behind on points came out in the 8th with a bounce in his step. With only 2 rounds left he and his corner knew they needed to finish Cancio to win. Wanting to finish the fight he carried on showing his massive heart.
They went at it in the 9th with beautiful left hooks and straight rights from Cancio but Zenunaj kept coming forward. Andrew was spitting blood which covered the face of Dardan. In the 10th Zenunaj had a lot of success and man handled Andrew. As the crowd cheered ‘El Chango’ Andrew stayed in there, his nose bloodied he bit down on the gun shield and water out until the bell.
The two fighters embraced on the final bell and gave it their all. They had a lot of respect for each other and both put on a wonderful performance. The crowd gave them a standing ovation and although not a native of California, Zenunaj seemed to win over the home town crowd of the Monkey.
It lasted the duration of the 10 rounds and went to a points decision. All judges in favour of Andrew Cancio.
Punch stats were Cancio three 994 and landed 356 (36% pct landed) and for Zenunaj 1062 only 278 landed (26% pct landed).
Andrew Cancio has earnt a deserved win, his 19th victory. It makes you wonder What could he achieve if he dedicated his time solely on boxing?
Another great fight from 2 tough fighters who displayed pugilist skills and entertained the crowd who were on their feet.