Tag Archives: wbo

How Did the Four Organizations Get Started & What Have They Accomplished?


By: Ken Hissner

The WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO have taken 8 divisions to 17 and a top 10 contenders list to 15 but has it been good for boxing? Let’s see and find out what they have done.

The oldest is the World Boxing Association which in 1921 was founded as the National Boxing Association. In 1962 it became the WBA. It has bounced back and forth from 1975 in Panama to Venezuela in the 1990’s and early 2,000’s and back to Panama in 2007.

Gilberto Mendoza of Venezuela was President from 1982 until his death in 2016. His son Gilberto Jr. took over at that time. It’s been said they are the worst for honoring champions.

The World Boxing Council came about in February of 1963 when Mexican President Adolfo Lopez Mateos called a meeting and under 11 countries including the US, PR, ARG, UK, FR, MEX, PH, PAN, Chile, Peru, VZ & BRZ. Presidents included Luis Spota, Ramon G. Velazqez both of Mexico. Then Justinano V. Montano, Jr. of the Philippines with Jose Sulaiman of Mexico becoming President from 1975 until his death in 2014. Then his son Mauricio took over.

The started drug testing first. They have increased the champions from 8 to 43. They have Silver, Green, interim and many off shoot belt holders.

The International Boxing Federation (then USBA) was formed in the US with a strong contingence from South Korea. In December of 1983 Heavyweight champion Larry “The Easton Assassin” was complaining (what’s new with him?) about fighting these “young lions” so Bob Lee who had failed in an attempt to become the WBA President in 1982 formed the IBF. Holmes then could defend against such boxers as Scott Frank and Marvis Frazier whose father “Smokin” Joe Frazier put him in with Holmes though his son only had 10 fights. Holmes was 44-0 at the time with 17 defenses. Needless to say Marvis only lasted 2:57. After the mismatch Holmes declared “that’s for all the whippings your daddy gave me in the gym!” Lee already headed the United States Boxing Association out of New Jersey so making boxers like Holmes champion automatically would bring in financial gains for Lee.

The two paragraphs prior to this were from this writer. The following is right from the IBF in part which I am thankful for their contribution.

The idea to form the United States Boxing Association (USBA) materialized in September of 1976 when the organizers decided it was time to form a new organization based in the US and comprised of legitimate boxing commissioners from the United States and its territories. Twenty-four US Commissions came together in April of 1977 to consider the structure or the organization. The association’s first convention was held in December 1977 at which the constitution and by-laws were adopted and the USBA was well on its way to play a major role in US boxing.

In its early years the USBA served as a springboard for it boxers to the rankings of the World Boxing Association (WBA), one of the two international sanctioning bodies at the time. In April of 1983 the members of the USBA voted to expand the organization and create an international division during the annual convention in Atlantic City, NJ.

The move to branch out was led by Robert W. Lee, Sr., who subsequently was voted the entity’s founding president. He was working as deputy commissioner for the NJ State Athletic Control board. He had reached the position of second vice-president of the WBA and had run for the presidency in 1980 and lost. It was then that he began seeking support to expand the USBA internationally.

In 1984, a vote was passed to change the name of the organization to the name it currently operates under, the International Boxing Federation. The IBF began rating female boxers in June of 2010, and crowned its first female champion Daniella Smith, in November of the same year.

As the organization continued to grow and prosper on a global scale, its leaders convened once again to address the organization’s name. In January 2018, the sanctioning body announced it would conduct business as the IBF. The USBA title would still exist as a regional title under the umbrella of the IBF.

The last to join the organizations and is still sometimes left out is the World Boxing Organization (WBO) founded in 1988 in Puerto Rico as a non-profit after attending the WBA convention. Its first president was Ramon Pina Acevedo of the Dominican Republic. He would be followed by former world champion Jose Torres of PR. In 1996 he retired being replaced by the current President Francisco Varcacel a PR lawyer.

In 2004 the WBC started putting the WBO champions in their ratings while the IBF didn’t until 2007. One of their most recognized champions would be Joe Calzaghe from Wales who made 21 defenses in the Super Middleweight division retiring with a 46-0 record. He didn’t come to the US until his last 2 bouts defeating Bernard “the Executioner” Hopkins and Roy Jones, Jr.

The WBO’s first heavyweight champion to oppose the other organizations Mike Tyson was Italy’s Olympian Francisco Damiani. “Merciless” Ray Mercer took care of Damiani with one uppercut to the nose in 1991. In Mercer’s next fight after blasting out Tommy “The Duke” Morrison he vacated the title. Then got out boxed by a much older Holmes. In 1992 he tried to re-gain the title which was held by Wladimir Klitschko of the UKR getting stopped in 6 rounds.

The WBO was mainly recognizing European and Asian with the UK boxers to follow in the beginning before coming to the US with success. The WBO has now some 16 world champions.

More Boxing History

Jeff Horn to Defend WBO Welterweight Title Against Gary Corcoran in Australia


By: Ken Hissner

The new WBO Welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, 17-0-1 (11), makes his first title defense Wednesday at the Convention & Exhibition Centre, in Brisbane, Australia. He will feel at home living in Brisbane as he defends his title against his No. 10 contender the British and WBO Inter-Continental champion Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran, 17-1 (7), of London, UK.

Horn won the title in his last fight in July over former WBC World Flyweight, IBF Super bantamweight, IBF World Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC World Lightweight and WBO World Welterweight Champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 59-6-2, by scores of 117-111, 115-113 twice, at the Suncorp Stadium, in Bribane in July of 2017. The fight was close enough that Pacquiao has demanded a rematch in April in the Philippines when as a Senator of that country he is on break. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one!
The 29 year-old Horn has a win over former IBF World Welterweight Champion Randall “Knock Out-King” Bailey, 46-9 and the WBO African Champion Ali Funeka, 39-6-3. Corcoran’s trainer Frank Greaves has complained that Horn has a reputation for coming forward and using a head butt. The allegation is strongly refuted by the Horn camp.

The 27 year-old Corcoran has defeated other unbeaten boxers such as Rick Skelton, 13-0, Rick Goddine, 21-0-1, Liam Williams, 14-0-1, and in July in his last fight over Larry Ekundayo, 12-0.

The Horn camp may be looking past Corcoran having their eyes on Terence Crawford who holds all the four super lightweight title and recently announced he is moving up to welterweight. He is also targeting IBF Champion Errol Spence and WBA & WBC Champion Keith Thurman according to trainer Glenn Rushton. “Jeff has trained for a 12 round bout but I want him to score the knockout. I want this to be a big statement to the rest of the welterweight division,” said Rushton. Horn’s only non-win was against Rivan Cesaire in 2013 but stopped Cesaire in 2014. Horn has never fought out of Australia.

It’s already been announced that American Benjy Esteves, Jr., will be the referee. This writer considers him one of the world’s best having seen him on numerous occasions.

The championship fight will be broadcasted over ESPN 6:30AM EST.

More Headlines

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Valdez, Conlan, and Ramirez Entertain and Win


By: William Holmes

Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and featured two world title fights which featured two popular Mexican boxing stars.

The co-main event of the night was between Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and Jessie Hart for Ramirez’s WBO Super Middleweight Title and the main event was between Oscar Valdez and Genesis Servania for Valdez’s WBO Featherweight Title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing

The undercard featured several up and coming prospects, including Irish Olympian Michael Conlan. Tonight’s card was supposed to start on ESPN, but the baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers ended later than expected and the fight card started on ESPN News.

Michael Conlan (3-0) opened up the telecast against Kenny Guzman (3-0) in the featherweight division in a six round bout.

Conlan has 340 fights as an amateur compared to 47 amateur fights for Kenny Guzman, who also works a full-time carpenter.

The first round was more of a feeling out round as Guzman was able to land some decent shots but Conlan was clearly the better technical boxer. Conlan switched to a southpaw stance midway through the first round with some moderate success.

Conlan switched back into an orthodox stance and was sitting on his punches more in the second round. Guzman’s left eye was showing signs of swelling and blood was coming from his nose as he was taking some heavy shots from Conlan. Conlan landed a heavy right hand in the final ten seconds of the second round that sent Guzman falling backwards to the mat. He was able to get back up before the count of ten but was still wobbly and the referee waived off the fight.

Michael Conlan wins by TKO at 2:59 of the second round.

The next fight of the night was for the WBO Super Middleweight Title between Jesse Hart (22-0) and Gilberto Ramirez (35-0).

Ramirez was slightly taller than Hart, who was active with his jab early on. Hart was very active while circling and was able to stay on the outside in the opening round.

Hart continued to stay active with his jab into the second round and appeared to be a little hesitant of Ramirez’s power. Hart had a habit of ducking his head low when he gets in tight and Ramirez was able to take advantage of that with a short right uppercut that sent Hart crashing to the mat. Hart was able to get back to his feet and survive the round, but he was badly hurt.

Hart had a decent third round and was given time to recover from a low blow by Ramirez, but Ramirez had an excellent fourth round and appeared close to stopping Jesse Hart several times during that round.

Ramirez kept up the pressure in the fourth and fifth rounds and was landing a high number of power shots. Hart was able to slip in a few shots of his own, but he also lost his balance several times in the corner of the ring.

Hart may have stolen some of the middle rounds from the sixth round to the ninth as he was able to land some decent counter shots and avoid getting hurt again. Hart had a very strong ninth round with good straight right hands, but Ramirez showed a strong chin and was able to continue to walk forward.

Both boxers left everything in the ring in the championship rounds with both boxers landing heavy blows and absorbing heavy punishment. But Ramirez ended the final round as the aggressor.

It was an entertaining and competitive bout. The judges scored it 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113 for Gilberto Ramirez.

The main event of the night was between Oscar Valdez (22-0) and Genesis Servania (29-0) for the WBO Featherweight Title.

Servania is a Filipino boxer who trains in Japan. This was his first professional fight outside of Asia.

Servania showed a lot of head movement early on and had some success with his left hook, but Valdez was far more active and was landing good shots to the body.

Valdez was in control in the second and third rounds and simply out landed the constantly coming forward Servania.

Servania was able to score a flash knockdown in the fourth round on Valdez as he was backing away with his hands down. Valdez was in some trouble at the end of the round when Servania was able to catch him off guard with a good combination.

Valdez turned the tide of the fight back in his favor in the fifth round when a clean left hook sent Servania crashing to the mat. Servania was able to get back to his feet and slug it out with Valdez as the round came to an end, but he was badly hurt.

Servania may have stolen the sixth round with a round ending combination, but Valdez outworked Servania for most of the round. Valdez appeared settled in the seventh round and was the more aggressive fighter.

Valdez’s body work won him the eighth round and he was cruising by the ninth. Sevania, to his credit, never stopped coming forward despite the constant barrage of punches.

Servania was reaching for his punches in the tenth and eleventh round and never had Valdez in trouble. Vadez just continued to pile up the points by throwing at Servania whenever he got in range.

The final round was exciting as Servania came right at Valdez to exchange to start the final round and took several risks throughout, but his punches just weren’t powerful enough to hurt Valdez or put him down again.

Oscar Valdez defends his title with scores of 116-110, 119-111, 117-109.

More Headlines

Top Rank on ESPN Results: Lomachenko Breaks Down Marriaga, Beltran Decisions Vasquez


By: William Holmes

Top Rank Promotions continued their relationship with ESPN tonight by placing one of boxing’s pound for pound superstars, Vasyl Lomachenko, on the main event in a WBO Junior Lightweight Title Bout.

The Microsoft theater in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s card with an announced attendance of 4,102. The NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame ended late and the first undercard fight was shown on ESPN2.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Arnold Barboza Jr. (16-0) and Jonathan Chicas (15-2) started off the telecast halfway through the bout and both boxers scored a knockdown by the sixth round.

The crowd responded well to this bout as Chicas was going for an upset and had Barboza hurt several times throughout the bout.

The final scores were 76-74, 77-73, and 78-72 for Arnold Barboza Jr,

The next bout of the night was between Raymundo Beltran (33-7-1) and Bryan Vasquez (36-2) in the lightweight division.

Vasquez came in overweight and was unable to fight for Beltran’s titles. However, Beltran looked significantly bigger than Vasquez inside the ring.

Both boxers started off in the orthodox stance in the first round and Beltran was showing good head movement while landing his straight right hands and counter lefts. Vasquez switched stances during the first round, but was not effective with it.

Beltran went to the body more I the second round and landed several hard shots in the last thirty seconds. Vasquez tripped Beltran at the end of the round.

Vasquez started off the third round strong but Beltran took over in the second half of the round. Beltran’s best combination of this round started off with two hooks to the body followed by a left hook to the head.

Vasquez was able to land an impressive wind up right uppercut on Beltran in the fourth round, but Beltran walked right through it and seemed unaffected. Beltran had Vasquez backing up with jabs to the body and head in the fifth round but may have been out landed by Vasquez during their exchanges.

Vasquez appeared to be more willing to exchange in the sixth round, but Beltran’s punches were noticeably more effective and had more pop behind them. Beltran landed an impressive right hook around the high guard of Vasquez in the seventh and looked to be establishing firm control of the fight.

Vasquez had a decent eighth round and proved to be elusive for Beltran and at the start of the ninth round Beltran had a cut by his right eye.

Vasquez and Beltran clashed heads in the tenth and Vasquez probably needed a knockout to win. The blood was obscuring the vision of Beltran but he was able to avoid succumbing to a last round knockdown.

Beltran was bloodied but walked away with a close win. The final scores were 95-95, 96-94, and 96-94.

The main event of the evening was between WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1) and Miguel Marriaga (25-2).

Both boxers showed a lot of upper body movement in the opening round but Lomachenko was the boxer that was applying the pressure. Marriaga was able to land the early punches but Lomachenko began to land some good combinations as the round came to an end.

The pressure by Lomachenko continued in the second round and he was able to land hard left uppercuts and punches from all angles.

Marriaga was tagged with hard lefts to the head and body in the third round as Lomachenko was starting to settle into his grove. Lomachenko landed two consecutive straight left hands on Marriaga that sent him to the mat. Marriaga was able to get back to his feet and Lomachenko willingly backed into a corner and waived Marriaga forward. Marriaga came forward and threw several punches at Lomachenko, but was not able to land anything of significance.

Lomachenko’s pressure continued into the fifth round but he suffered a cut near his left eye due to a clash of heads.

Lomachenko’s pressure and hand speed had Marriaga back pedaling while getting peppered from all angles in the sixth and seventh rounds. Marriaga looked like he was hurt in the sixth round from a consistent body attack by Lomachenko.

Lomachenko looked like he was going for the stoppage in the seventh round as he was landing heavy shots and taking a lot of risks. Lomachenko was able to score a late round knockdown and Marriaga looked mentally defeated as he went back to his corner.

Marriaga’s corner told the referee their fighter was unable to continue before the start of the eighth round.

Vasyl Lomachenko dazzles once again with a 7th round TKO.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Interview: WBO Champion Joseph Parker excited to head to Manchester to face Hughie Fury in September


By: Eric Lunger

WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KOs) of New Zealand will fight for the first time in England on September 23, making his second title defense against the talented challenger Hughie Fury, cousin to lineal champion Tyson Fury. I had a chance last Thursday to speak with Joseph from his training camp in Las Vegas.


Photo credit: http://photosport.co.nz/

We began with a brief look back at Parker’s successful defense of his WBO title against Razvan Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs) on May 6. A sparring partner in Parker’s camp, the towering Romanian stepped in as a late minute replacement for Hughie Fury, who had been sidelined by a back injury. The event narrowly avoided being cancelled entirely.

Boxinginsider.com: First of all, congrats on a successful defense. Razvan Cojanu was so familiar with your style and your offense — how did you stay disciplined with his constant retreating and avoiding your offense?

Joseph Parker: Yes, it was a little difficult fighting someone you have been in camp with. But first, it was a great result for us and it was great to get a fight after a long camp. I’d like to thank my team for doing that. There were a lot of things in the background, so it was great to get the fight.

​In terms of the fight, I think sparring gave him a lot of awareness of what my style is, and how I fight. He was a lot more prepared for what I was going to bring. How I stayed focused was to listen to Kevin, listen to instructions, and to follow the game plan he had given me that week.

BI: In a fight like that, do you guys change your tactics round-to-round? Are you waiting for Kevin to direct you between rounds? How does that dynamic work between you guys?

JP: We go into every fight with a game plan that we discuss before hand, so we have a clear vision of what we are going to do in the ring, though sometimes we may have to change it up if its not working – we may have to go from Plan A to Plan B. But in that particular fight, the goal for us was just to box smart, you know, we went from training for Fury to Cojanu, who has a lot more size. So we had to change things up very quickly. I think we did a great job, and the positive thing was to get a fight in.
​I know that my performance wasn’t the best; I was in great shape but it wasn’t a great performance. We had a long camp and I would rate my performance at about 65%. I have a lot more to offer and I am really excited to be able to show people the real me without all the changes and distractions.

BI: It seemed in the early rounds that you really focused on changing the level of your jab, going upstairs and then down to the body. Is that something you had prepped for Hughie or is that just the way you are going to deal with a taller fighter?

JP: Yeah, I think this is an approach we’ve taken in both camps; you have to attack the head and the body. Sometimes the body shots hurt more, so I think going into fights with taller opponents it is very important to mix it up – I feel like its just a natural thing to go up and down.

BI: Joseph, how do you guys prepare mentally to go into Manchester, the Furys’ backyard? It’s going to be a pro-Fury crowd, and is that something you are concerned about, or can you just tune that stuff out?

JP: Well, for us, it’s going to be exciting. The reason I say this is because we are used to fighting at home. We are used to the crowd, we appreciate our home crowd. We have a great set up and structure we follow when we fight in New Zealand.

But this is way more exciting, fighting somewhere else, fighting in front of his crowd, and I think being a world champion, you have to fight around the world, and not just one destination. I think it is important to go around the world and display what you have.

BI: Hughie Fury, from what I have seen, is a counter puncher. He has that awkward head movement, and he tries to lure opponents in. How much do you game plan for that, or how much do you say: I am Joseph Parker, you have to beat me? Where is that balance?

JP: I have watched some of Hughie’s fights on YouTube. He is quite good at using the ring, I’ll say that. I think going into each fight, we focus on a game plan, focusing on what you have to do. It’s more that if you can perfect what you are going to do, everything falls into place. We don’t fall into the trap of worrying what he will do, rather focus on what we will do.

BI: I don’t mean this in the wrong way, but you have kind of an old time double jab. Is that something that you guys work on, or is that something that is natural in your style?

JP: It’s something that I really love, it is something we worked on. I used the double jab a lot in my early fights and it’s something that has fallen off a bit, but I feel now it is very important to bring it back. But we are working all the time on things we can improve on. We want to improve every fight, you know.

BI: The more weapons in your arsenal, the better?

JP: Of course, you have got to have different weapons. And with different weapons you can show things and confuse fighters. So it is always a work in progress.

BI: You’re in your second week, what is camp like at this point?

JP: Getting our fitness back up again, getting our strength, working on the game plan. Trying to explore with my mind’s eye what I am trying to accomplish in each session. Also, the first few weeks are preparing for when we do start sparring.

BI: Do you have specific fitness metrics that you use or do you rely on how your body is feeling?

JP: We have a good structure – we train three times a day. But the training does take a toll on the body. One thing that Kevin has mentioned to me is that it is very important to listen to your body, sometimes it is not really up to the hard repetition. You don’t want to overwork yourself. I have been doing this for a while, and it is all about finding a balance.

BI: What’s it like that last couple of hours before a bout? What are you guys doing back in the changing room? Are you staying loose? Are you talking? What is that final preparation like?

JP: For myself, and my team, when we are back there, most of the time the music is playing, everyone is dancing, we’re telling jokes. I feel like I have done this from the beginning [of my career], I feel like it’s a good way of keeping ourselves relaxed. When you are in the ring, then you hit the switch and enter fight mode. But before that, you stay relaxed, save your energy. You know you have a big task ahead of you.

BI: That’s really interesting. To switch gears a bit, I watched the press conference on July 11 [from London, England] where Tyson Fury, a guy I think the US media doesn’t really know how to deal with, who has been kind of vilified — he was so respectful towards you in the press conference. That moment when you guys shook hands was such a classy and genuine thing. Can you comment on that?

JP: Yes. Leading up to our time in London, I have always had a lot of respect for Tyson, and I reached out to him on social media. We have been exchanging messages for a while. He has always been respectful of me and the team. It was great to finally meet him. He has done a lot for boxing. Of course, he beat Wladimir [Klitschko]. He’s the guy who beat the champ. He has been through some things, but he also is the reason we got the chance to fight for a belt.

​But it was a nice moment to show heavyweight to heavyweight respect. I think respect is an important thing in boxing. There are a lot of humble fighters, but there are some who are disrespectful, and don’t watch what they say. I think boxing is a gentleman’s sport.

BI: Thanks for that. Last question: England has become in some ways the center of gravity for the Heavyweight division, but here in the US we have [WBC Champion] Deontay Wilder. Have you ever seen him fight in person? What is your take on him?

JP: I saw him fight in his last bout, against Washington. I think he was out of the ring for a while [with a broken hand], but my take on him was that he is very powerful, very powerful right hand. That particular fight wasn’t his best performance, but he got the job done. I think he steps up to the occasion. He is a champion for a reason: he trains hard, and is motivated and determined. I would like the opportunity one day to fight the other champions. I feel like the world should see champions fighting champions.

More Headlines

The World Boxing Super Series Begins


The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher

Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.

WBSS

In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.

The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.

1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)

Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)

The first round of the tournament looks like this.

Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)

Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.

The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.

“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).

This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.

More Headlines

Valentin and Santillan Put Undefeated Records on the Line


Valentin and Santillan Put Undefeated Records on the Line
By: James Cullinane

Welterweights Clash July 7 in Tampa for WBO NABO Championship

Undefeated Sammy ‘Hurricane’ Valentin (12- 0; 9 KO) puts his WBO North American Boxing Organization (NABO) Welterweight title on the line when he faces undefeated Giovanni “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (21-0; 11 KO) in the main event of All-Star Boxing’s ‘Red, White and Boom’ boxing card July 7 in Tampa, Florida.

Valentin Santillan_edited-1

In the final presser before the fight, both fighters appeared relaxed ahead of their contest this Friday. “Each fight has its own challenges and Giovanni is a good fighter,” Valentin replied when asked about facing another undefeated boxer in Santillan. “But we had a good camp and I’m ready.”

“We’ve been training hard for this fight,” Santillan added when asked his thoughts on the matchup. “It’s going to be a great fight.” Santillan, who traveled to Tampa from San Diego, was later asked about fighting away from home and, in light of the Pacquiao/Horn decision less than a week ago that some saw as swayed by the hometown crowd, the possibility of losing a close fight if it goes to the scorecards. “It has to be a convincing win, or a KO,” he matter-of-factly acknowledged.

On paper, this looks like it could be a very good fight. Valentin, from Tampa and rep’d by All-Star Boxing, is coming off an impressive first-round knockout in his last fight in April. He is currently ranked #9 in the WBO’s Top Ten Welterweights. A victory over Santillan would solidify his position as a legitimate contender in, arguably, the most stacked, most exciting division in boxing.

Santillan, rep’d by Thompson Boxing Promotions, won a unanimous decision his last outing in February to keep his ‘goose egg’ and remain undefeated as a professional. With nearly double the fights under his belt, Santillan has the ring experience to present Valentin with his biggest challenge to date. In fact, Box Rec has Santillan positioned higher than Valentin in its ranking system, setting the table for what should be an explosive, post-fourth of July showdown.

In attendance with the fighters at the press conference was WBO President Francisco Valcarcel who also referenced the Pacquiao/Horn fight by pointing out the winner of Friday’s contest stands a good chance of being considered for a fight with new WBO Welterweight Champion Jeff Horn.

“That should be good motivation for both fighters,” he quipped, seated between the two boxers, grasping each by their wrist and eliciting a smile from both.

WBO Donation

WBO’s Valcarcel, along with Felix “Tuto” Zabala, Jr. and Ruben DeJesus from All-Star Boxing, Inc., were on hand not only to introduce the fighters to the press, but to make a financial donation to the Children’s Cancer Center located in Tampa and where the press conference was held.

Patty O’Leary, Executive Director of the Children’s Cancer Center, graciously accepted the donation, presented to her by Santillan and Valentin on behalf of
Valcarcel and the WBO family.

“Cancer and boxing have a lot in common,” DeJesus from All-Star Boxing commented. “These fighters give it their all in the ring and that’s what these children are doing everyday in their fight against cancer.”

The WBO also made a donation at the Children’s Cancer Center last August. “They have the will to win,” WBO’s Valcarcel added, stating that the WBO is helping children in over 30 countries around the world with contributions in excess of
$250,000.

Today’s donation was also dedicated to the memory of Luis Perez, the former WBO Ratings Chairman, who lost his own fight against cancer in December, 2016.

On the undercard Friday night, Top Rank prospects and former Olympians, Teofimo Lopez and Antonio Vargas, will both be in action.

Lopez (5 – 0; 5 KO), an aggressive, young lightweight, is gaining a reputation as a knockout artist, winning all five of his professional fights by stoppage. He will face Christian Santibanez (5 – 6; 3 KO) from San Antonio, Texas.

Vargas (4 – 0; 2 KO), a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, will face his most experienced, professional opponent to date when he takes on ring veteran Leonardo Reyes (6 – 13; 2 KO) in a bantamweight matchup.

Filling out the card will be undefeated, Puerto Rican super-bantamweight, Starling Cordero (9 – 0; 4 KO) against Kiun Evans (13 – 3; 7 KO) from Little Rock Arkansas, welterweight Ramon De La Paz (making his professional debut) against McKinley Smith (0 -1) and a cruiserweight bout between Richard Brown (5 – 0; 2 KO) and Jimmy Owensby (4 – 7) of Cut Off, Louisiana.

Female boxer and St. Petersburg native, Noemi ‘La Rebelde’ Bosques (11 – 9 – 3; 2 KO) will also appear in a special attraction bout vs Sonia Osorio (8 – 5 – 1; 1 KO) of Mexico.

In association with Thompson Boxing, the All-Star Boxing, Inc. promoted event will be held at A La Carte Pavilion located at 4050 Dana Shores Dr. Tampa, FL, 33634 (near Tampa International Airport). Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and ticket information is available by calling 813-454-7800.

The main event will also help kick off Telemundo’s “Boxeo” Summer Series, the popular, boxing program on Telemundo Network. For those who cannot attend the fight in person, the Valentin/Santillan fight will be aired live on Telemundo beginning at 11:35pm.

More Headlines

Tag Team: Cotto To Face Both Kamegai And Father Time On August 26th


Tag Team: Cotto To Face Both Kamegai And Father Time On August 26th
By: Sean Crose

It’s been a while, but Miguel Cotto will finally be returning to the ring on August 26th. His opponent will be the exciting Yoshihiro Kamegai in a battle for the WBO world super welterweight title, which Cotto’s last opponent, Canelo Alvarez, vacated in order to easily defeat Julio Caesar Chavez Jr a few weeks back. The bout, which will be held at California’s StubHub Center, will be featured on regular HBO. The fact that the fight won’t be a pay per view event is a refreshing change for fans, since bouts which used to appear regularly on outlets like HBO now seem to cost those fans extra money.

Miguel Cotto Greatest Hits

The last time Cotto was in the ring was way back in November of 2015, when he faced Canelo in a major fight that proved to be a rare pay per view success during the time following the Mayweather-Pacquiao bomb earlier that same year. It was a close bout, but Canelo walked away with a decision win. Since that night, names like Tim Bradley, James Kirkland and Juan Manuel Marquez have been attached, in varying degrees, to Cotto’s. The only major event in Cotto’s stalled career, however, has been his break with promotional entity Roc Nation Sports, which had been representing the Puerto Rican star.

Now, though, the man is set to face Kamegai in a bout that some may be calling a dud, but that, in reality, could prove interesting. For, at thirty six years of age, Cotto will not only be coming off a long layoff, but will be running from Father Time, as well. His 40-5 record is impressive, but it’s hard to imagine the man’s best days being ahead of him. His last victory will have been over two years earlier, after all, and that will have been against Daniel Geale, a quality, but certainly not great, opponent.

Still, there are those who see the 27-3-2 Kamegai as something of a tuneup for Cotto before he moves on to bigger and better things, possibly in the fall. The 34 year old Tokyo resident, however, has a shot at glory here. He also has some impressive wins on his resume that are worth considering. Although he may not be the favorite, there may be too many questions in play at the moment to just write the veteran warrior off as a glorified sparring partner for Cotto.

More Headlines

HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes

The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.

The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.

IMG_3742

There were no notable upsets on the undercard.

Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.

The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.

Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.

Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.

Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.

The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.

Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.

Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.

Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.

Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.

Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.

Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.

There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.

Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.

Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.

Undercard Quick Results:

Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.

Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.

Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.

Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.

Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.

More Headlines

Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga


Top Rank PPV Preview: Jessie Magdaleno vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, Gilberto Ramirez vs. Max Bursak, Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga
By: William Holmes

Bob Arum’s “three amigos”; Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, and Jessie Magdaleno will compete on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson California on Pay Per View (PPV). This PPV will be produced and distributed by Top Rank Promotions without the assistance of HBO or Showtime.

IMG_3467

These three Mexican boxers have been training together in Carson, California in preparation for this bout and are ready to defend their titles. Also appearing on the undercard will be US Olympian Shakur Stevenson and Ukranian Olympian Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

The following is a preview of the three televised title bouts.

Jessie Magdaleno (24-0) vs. Adeilson Dos Santos (18-2); WBO Junior Featherweight Title

The first title bout of the night will be between Jessie Magdaleno and Brazilian boxer Adeilson Dos Santos.

Magdaleno has a deep amateur background and was the 2009 US National Champ as an amateur and a National Golden Gloves Champion. Dos Santos has no notable amateur background.

Dos Santos will have about a four inch height advantage and is the same age as Magdaleno. However, Magdaleno has seventeen stoppage wins on his resume while Dos Santos has fourteen stoppage wins, but was also stopped once.

Both boxers have been semi active in the past two years. Magdaleno fought two times in 2016 and three times in 2015 while Dos Santos fought three times in 2016 and twice in 2015. Magdaleno has never tasted defeated while Dos Santos has gone 4-2 in his past six fights.

Magdaleno has beaten the likes of Nonito Donaire, Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castaneda. Dos Santos has no big name wins, and his biggest wins to date have come against opponents such as Devis Perez and Marcos Martinez. Dos Santos has lost to Fabian Oscar Orozco and Kid Galahad.

Dos Santos’ resume is void of big name opponents and his two losses came against fighters that are not considered by most to be world class boxers. He went outside of Brazil to fight twice, and went 1-1 in those bouts.

Magdaleno really let the boxing world he’s the real deal with his impressive victory over Nonito Donaire and has the potential to land some more big name fights in the near future. Dos Santos is an opponent who had success in Brazil, but little success either as an amateur or a professional outside of Brazil.

This should be an easy bout for Magdaleno and it shouldn’t be a competitive fight.

Gilberto Ramirez (34-0) vs. Max Bursak (33-4-1); WBO Super Middleweight Title

Gilberto Ramirez is considered by many to be the next Mexican boxer. Ramirez, who turned pro at the age of eighteen, is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion. His opponent, Max Bursak, has fought several high profile boxers and is a rugged veteran.
Ramirez will be seven years younger than his opponent and will have two and a half inch height advantage as well as a four inch reach advantage. He also has the power advantage as he has twenty four stoppage wins while Bursak only has fifteen stoppage wins.

Ramirez only fought once in 2016 due to an injury and fought three times in 2015. Bursak fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015. Bursak fights out of an orthodox stance while Ramirez fights as a southpaw.

Neither boxer has a notable amateur background, but Ramirez already has the better resume as a professional.

Ramirez has never tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Arthur Abraham, Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maksim Vlasov, Junior Talipeau, and Giovanni Lorenzo. Bursak has defeated the likes of Nick Blackwell and Brian Vera. His losses were to Zac Dunn, Martin Murray, Jarrod Fletcher, and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

This is another bout on this pay per view that shouldn’t be very competitive. Ramirez should beat the elder Bursak easily.

The bigger question is who will Ramirez face next? Arthur Abraham has already indicated that he wants a rematch, and fellow Top Rank Boxer Jesse “Hard Work” Hart has also called out Ramirez.

Oscar Valdez (21-0) vs. Miguel Marriaga (25-1); WBO Featherweight Title

On paper, this appears to be the best and most competitive fight of the night.

Oscar Valdez is an extremely talented boxer with a high level ceiling. He has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 2009 World Amateur Championships. His opponent, Miguel Marriaga, has no notable amateur background.

Valdez is four years younger than Marriaga but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height and one inch in reach. Both boxers have considerable power in their hands. Marriaga has twenty one knockouts on his resume while Valdez has nineteen. Three of the past five opponents of Marriaga failed to make it to the distance while Valdez is currently riding a win streak of five wins by stoppage.

Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Valdez fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015 while Marriaga fought three times in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Valdez has never been beaten and has defeated the likes of Hiroshige Osawa, Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda, Evgeny Gradovich, Chris Avalos, and Ruben Tamayo. Marriaga’s lone loss was by decision to Nicholas Walters, he has defeated the likes of Eduardo Montoya, Guy Robb, and Christopher Martin.

Oscar Valdez is a joy to watch and this Saturday should be no different. On paper it’s the most competitive fight of the night, but in the ring Valdez should blow out his opponent just like the other two Mexican boxers on the televised card are expected to do.

More Headlines

HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Sosa, Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez, Usyk vs. Hunter
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night in Oxon Hill, Maryland the Theater at the MGM National Harbor will be the host site for the next installment of HBO World Championships Boxing.

Three bouts will be televised, including a junior lightweight title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa in the main event of the night, a light heavyweight fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yuniesky Gonzalez, and a cruiserweight title fight between Aleksandr Usyk and Mike Hunter.

IMG_3317

The non-televised undercard will feature boxers such as Mike Reed, Patrick Harris, and Jesse Hart.

The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk (12-0) vs. Yunieski Gonzalez (18-2); Light Heavyweight

The opening bout of the night will be between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Yunieski Gonzalez in the light heavyweight division.

Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds. Gonzalez was a member of the Cuban Amateur Team and had a record of 345-27. Gvozdyk represented the Ukraine in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won the bronze medal.

Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and will be about three inches taller than Gonzalez. Gvozdyk has also been incredibly active the past two years and four times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Gonzalez fought twice in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Gvozdyk has never tasted defeat and stopped ten of his opponents and currently has six straight stoppage wins. Gonzalez lost twice and went 2-2 in his past four fights.

Gvozdyk has already beaten the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Tommy Karpency, and Nadjib Mohammedi. Gonzalez doesn’t have the resume of Gvozdyk and has beaten the likes of Maxwell Amponsah and Jackson Junior. His losses were to jean pascal and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.

Gonzalez is a good test for Gvozdyk and this is a rare fight where we see two notable international amateur stars face off in the ring early before their twentieth professional fight. But Gvozdyk is the better skilled boxer and has the bigger wins, he should emerge victorious.

Oleksandr Usyk (11-0) vs. Michael Hunter (12-0); WBO Cruiserweight Title

Oleksandr Usyk is one of the Ukraine’s most prized prospects and he will be stepping into the ring with a former United States Olympian.

Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers. Usyk has stopped ten of his opponents and Hunter has stopped eight. Usyk will have a slight one inch height advantage but Hunter will have an inch and a half reach advantage.

Both boxers have deep amateur backgrounds, but Usyk experienced a lot of success on the international stage while Hunter experienced success on the national stage. Hunter is a former US National Amateur Champion and represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics but failed to medal. Usyk was a gold medalist in the 2012 Olympic games.

Usyk has defeated the likes of Thabiso Mchunu, Krzystzof Glowacki, and Pedro Rodriguez. Surprisingly, all of his wins thus far in his career have come against opponents with winning records.

Hunter has yet to face any significant opposition and has defeated the likes of Isiah Thomas and Phil Williams.

This should be an easy win for Usyk, despite the fact his opponent has a good amateur background.

Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) vs. Jason Sosa (20-1-4); WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko is considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, pound for pound boxer in the world. He fought for a world title in only his second professional fight and is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and a two time World Amateur Champion.

His opponent, Jason Sosa, has more of a Rocky upbringing in the sport of boxing than Lomachenko. Sosa has no notable amateur achievements on the international stage and was born and raised in poverty stricken Camden, New Jersey. He won a world title with an upset stoppage victory over then WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Javier Fortuna and is now in the biggest fight of his life.

Lomachenko will have about a one inch height advantage on Sosa but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Lomachenko’s lone loss was a disputed split decision loss to an overweight Orlando Salido early on in his career. He has since destroyed every other opponent he has faced.

He has already defeated the likes of Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Suriya Tatakhun, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez before he even competed in his tenth professional fight. Lomachenko has stopped five of his opponents.

Sosa has fifteen knockouts to his credit and one stoppage loss. His lone loss was to Tre’Sean Wiggins in 2010, early on in Sosa’s career. He has defeated the likes of Javier Fortuna, Stephen Smith, Jerry Belmontes, Michael Brooks, and Angel Ocasio. Sosa did have a disputed draw with Nicholas Walters, but many felt he lost that fight.

Jason Sosa is a good gritty boxer that consistently puts on entertaining bouts. He has the heart of a champion, but Lomachenko is on a different level than Sosa and that should be immediately apparent.

It’s hard to envision a scenario where Sosa gives Lomachenko problems and this should be a relatively easy bout for Lomachenko.

More Headlines

Philly’s Jesse Hart a No. 1 WBO Super Middleweight Contender Awaiting His Turn at Title Fight!


Philly’s Jesse Hart No. 1 WBO Super Middleweight Contender Awaiting His Turn at Title Fight!
By: Ken Hissner

The No. 1 WBO Super Middleweight contender Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, 21-0 (17), comes from a boxing blood line following in his father Eugene “Cyclone” Harts, 30-9-1 (28) legacy in Philadelphia! The elder Hart won his first nineteen bouts by knockout! In his twenty-second fight he fought Denny Moyer and both fell out of the ring and ruled a No Contest in 6 rounds. Moyer was knocked down in the first round.

IMG_2452

When the son of the “Cyclone” turned professional in June of 2012 the concern of this writer was he would try to top that knockout record of his father instead of using all of his boxing skills. His knockout streak was stopped after his fourth fight fortunately. In a rematch he stopped that opponent. He has worked his way to rankings in the WBA No. 10, IBF No. 5 and WBC No. 13 besides the top ranking in the WBO a title held by Mexico’s Gilbert “Zurdo” Ramirez, 30-0 (24), who won the title in April of 2016 winning all twelve rounds over champion Arthur Abraham, 44-4 in Las Vegas, NV.
Southpaw Ramirez has not defended his title going on a year. He recently suffered a hand injury and was to fight on the Pacquaio-Horn card per Top Rank Promotions who represents both Ramirez and Hart. Ramirez didn’t fight in the US until 2013. His last eight bouts have been in the US except for one in China winning the NABF title over Australian Junior Talipeau in 2014. Winning the North American Boxing Federation title against an Australian in China? Go figure!

Hart won the 2011 Golden Gloves title qualifying him for the 2012 Olympic Team. He went to Europe and lost in quarter finals. So upon his return in the Boxing Trials he won his first four matches before meeting Terrell Gausha whom he lost to in the 2009 GG finals by DQ in the 3rd round. The bout in the 2012 Trials ended 10-10, 34-34 count back with Gausha getting the 3-2 vote from the officials. Gausha would win his first bout in the 2012 Olympics in London before losing his next bout against a boxer from India. It is this writers opinion at 6:03 Hart would have been a better choice of the voters to represent the USA team. Gausha is out of Cleveland, OH, and 16-0 (9) as a professional.
In the Trials Hart defeated four boxers who are all now professionals. First Chris Pearson, 14-1 (10), of Trotwood, OH, d’Mitrius Ballard, 15-0 (11), of Temple Hills, MD, Antonine Douglas, 19-1-1 (13), Burke, VA, and Luis Arias, 16-0 (8), Milwaukee, WI, who holds the USBA middleweight title. That is quite a line-up of boxers Hart had defeated to get to the finals.

Hart was 85-11 as an amateur wining the US Nationals and as before mentioned the National Golden Gloves titles in 2011. He is 27 and has fought in his hometown three times. He only had two fights in 2016 due to a hand injury. In his last fight he stopped Andrew Hernandez, 16-4-1, winning the vacant NABF super middleweight title and defending his USBA title. Hernandez had a six fight winning streak stopped including a win over Russian Arif Magomedov, 17-0. That title he won in May of 2015 stopping Mike Jimenez, 17-0, in Las Vegas, NV. He defended the title in September of 2015 defeating the son of Hall of Fame boxer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Aaron Pryor, Jr., 19-8-1, by stoppage in Las Vegas. Hart has fought in Las Vegas seven times. He has fought in Atlantic City, NJ, six times,

Hart was signed to a manager’s contract in July of 2014 with Dave Price and promotional contract with “Doc” Nowicki and Top Rank. They also have Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster, 22-1 (11), of Glassboro, NJ. His record was 38-2 in the amateurs losing to Hart twice.

Through Dave Price and Doc Nowicki this writer was able to get Hart to answer the following questions:

KEN HISSNER: I’ve known you for some time. The first time I saw you box is when you defeated Derrick Webster in an amateur tournament in Philly. I also saw you in New York win against a team from China. I believe your father and Fred Jenkins, Sr. train you now. Didn’t Chip Hart train you for a time in the amateurs?

JESSE HART: Yes my brother did train me for some time. I then went to Northern Michigan where I trained with Al Mitchell at the Olympic Development Center.

KEN HISSNER: I knew you spent time at the Northern Michigan University under Philadelphia’s Al Mitchell. How was it living away from home?

JESSE HART: Living away from was good in the sense it was like being in camp full time. I didn’t have the distraction of the street life and all it brings.

KEN HISSNER: I believe you divide your training between two gyms in Philly, the ABC Rec Center and Joe Hand’s Gym. Do you go away to a training camp for a bout and if yes where?

JESSE HART: Yes I train between ABC with Fred Jenkins and at Joe Hand’s with Danny Davis. Both trainers bring a uniqueness to their approach. Fred is an old school technician and disciplined boxing trainer but Danny brings his own style of modern pad work, strength work and he is an excellent wrapper of hands. I generally hold my camps at home but I have had camps where I physically left my home and stayed off site, trained at Joe Hand’s or ABC and then returned with my team to a selected location.

KEN HISSNER: What were your feelings when you fought Terrell Gausha in the Olympic Trials to a 10-10 decision and were not chosen for the 2012 USA Olympic team?

JESSE HART: It wasn’t that I wasn’t chosen or selected to represent the USA Team. I beat everyone in the double elimination Olympic Box-Off. That means I had to beat everybody and then fight the winner of the loser’s bracket and then beat him again. I did just that but after qualifying in the first of three tournaments overseas I was told that for the first time ever the USA Boxing would conduct something called the Re-Load. Basically then combined the national tournament with another box-off and I lost a tie breaker to Terrell. He then qualified in a second qualifier but keep in mind the top four in the division had already moved on. That left a bitter taste in my mouth but it doesn’t break you it makes you stronger

KEN HISSNER: I know you had a hand injury operated on. How is that hand at this time?

JESSE HART: My hand is 100%. I have a great surgeon who did a great job and I have fought since then with no problems.

KEN HISSNER: You are ranked No. 1 in the WBO. Have you seen the WBO champion Ramirez and if yes what is your opinion of him?

JESSE HART: Ramirez is a good fighter maybe even very good but he hasn’t fought the likes of Jesse Hart. I love that fight for Top rank, my fans and my team. That’s when the world will see that I am a bonafide super star.

KEN HISSNER: Do you have a time table when you want to fight for the WBO title if not now?

JESSE HART: I wanted to fight Ramirez in January of 2017. My management team contacted me and told me it should happen and I was hurt it didn’t but not really surprised. Ramirez wants to hold onto that title as long as he can.

KEN HISSNER: In your last seven fights only Dashon Johnson has gone the distance with you in Philly. There was talk of a rematch. Is that still in the works?

JESSE HART: Dashon Johnson was a good tough opponent and it goes to show you that when people fight Jesse Hart they train like they never done before. He came to fight, fought and lost. He gave it all against the champ and came up short. This Isn’t Rocky or the movie creed. You have to earn your shots at the champ. I don’t know maybe if his real name was Mayweather or Ward we could build another fight around that.

KEN HISSNER: WBC champion Badou Jack after drawing with IBF champion James DeGale vacated his title to move up to light heavyweight. Did you see the fight and if you did being ranked No. 5 in the IBF would you like to fight DeGale for his title?

JESSE HART: I would love to fight DeGale. Man I really wanted to fight Jack but he moved up. Anyone at 168lbs can get it and once I run through this super middleweight division who knows.

KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

JESSE HART: I would like to thank all the fans, Bob Arum, Top Rank, my management team Doc Nowicki and Dave Price and Team Hart: Cyclone, Fred Jenkins, Danny Davis, Hundew McDonald and slick Rick.

More Headlines

Playing Favorites – The WBO Shows Its Love For Canelo Alvarez


Playing Favorites – The WBO Shows Its Love For Canelo Alvarez
By: Sean Crose

The World Boxing Organization’s middleweight champ, Billy Joe Saunders, may not be happy about it, but the sanctioning body has named one Canelo Alvarez as his mandatory opponent. That means Saunders is going to have to face Canelo if Saunders wants to hold on to the WBO title – provided, of course, that Canelo is himself is interested in the fight. Since Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoter, asked the WBO for the mandatory ranking, however, it appears that Canelo may indeed be zeroing in on a potential throwdown with Saunders. Or at least zeroing in on the WBO title.

cottocanelo_hoganphotos-600x540

Let’s face it, Saunders has done nothing concrete since winning his belt off Andy Lee late last year to show that he wishes to challenge himself. By seeming to have shied away from matches with middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin and/or Canelo himself, Saunders has placed himself in a position where he is simply not well regarded. Worse still for the Englishman, he appeared far from stellar when he faced off against an opponent no one had ever heard of, one Artur Akavov, earlier this month. Such things do not make for good public relations.

Frankly, it appears as if the WBO might well prefer having red haired star Canelo holding on to its middleweight strap. After all, the sanctioning body let Canelo jump in front of the deserving but unknown Avtandil Khurtsidze, it’s number one contender, in order for Canelo to be next in line for Saunders. And while it’s true Khurtsidze can appeal to the organization regarding its ruling, the WBO has been brazenly open in admitting it’s played favorites here. Indeed, the organization has come right out and essentially said it chose Canelo as Saunders’ top mandatory simply because of the Mexican’s popularity. Make no mistake about it, the WBO wants big names.

The question now, of course, may well be how Saunders reacts to all this. While it’s true no one person can be defined by sound bites or Twitter rants, Saunders has at times presented himself as the most modern of modern fighters, the epitome of the low-risk athlete that has arguably made the sport even more marginalized than its previously been. So then, will Saunders drag things out as long as possible? Will be plead for postponement of the inevitable? Will he simply give up his hard earned crown? Or will he show the world that a fight with Canelo is actually all right by him?

Of course, there are those who are claiming Canelo wants a middleweight title to use as leverage against Golovkin. That’s a bit confusing, since Canelo is already clearly the A-side in any potential promotion between the two. Perhaps team Canelo feels that it can put GGG in a corner by holding all the cards – in other words, a big money fight AND one of the belts Golovkin craves. That seems rather silly, but like most fans, I don’t deal in untold millions of dollars, so, by and large, potential game playing (in this case, at least) comes off like a moot point at best to me. I just want to see fights that make the most competitive sense.

And, in this case, believe it or not, one of those fights is Saunders-Khurtsidze. While Saunders-Canelo is certainly intriguing and clarifying, Khurtsidze should get first crack (whether the WBO or its rules agree or not). Boxing, after all, is not a popularity contest. Scratch that – boxing IS a popularity contest. That doesn’t mean it should be, though.

More Columns

HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Parker vs. Ruiz, Beltran vs. Menard, Terence Crawford vs. John Molina


HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Parker vs. Ruiz, Beltran vs. Menard, Terence Crawford vs. John Molina
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night HBO and Top Rank Promotions will team up to televise three bouts from two different locations.

Terence Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC Junior Welterweight titles in the main event of the evening against John Molina live from Omaha, Nebraska. Additionally, lightweight contender Raymundo Beltran will compete against rising prospect Mason Menard as the co-main event of the Nebraska card.
img_1712

It was also recently announced that Top Rank will promote Joseph Parker in the United States; and HBO has decided to show the WBO Heavyweight Title Bout between Parker and Ruiz on a same day tape delay from Auckland, New Zealand.

The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.

Joseph Parker (21-0) vs. Andy Ruiz (29-0); WBO Heavyweight Title

Joseph Parker will be fighting in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand and will be the favorite coming into this bout.

He has already fought four times in 2016, and four of his past five fights have been by TKO/KO. He is twenty four years old and is three years younger than his opponent. He will also have a two inch height advantage and a two inch reach advantage on Ruiz. Ruiz has also been fairly active and has fought three times in 2016.

Joseph Parker has the heavier hands of the two boxers. He has stopped eighteen of his opponents, and four of his past five fights have ended by TKO/KO. Ruiz has stopped nineteen of his opponents, but only two of his past five opponents failed to go the distance.

They both have had moderate success as an amateur. Ruiz was a Mexican National Amateur Champion and Parker medaled in several international competitions as an amateur.

Parker has a slight edge in quality of opposition. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Dimitrenko, Carlos Takam, and Bowie Tupou. Ruiz has defeated the likes of an aged Ray Austin and Siarhei Liakhovich.

Ruiz is a good enough of a boxer to last all twelve rounds, but it will be extremely difficult for him to pull out a victory in Parker’s home country of New Zealand.

Raymundo Beltran (31-7-1) vs. Mason Menard (32-1); Lightweights

The opening bout of the night in Omaha, Nebraska will be between Ray Beltran and Mason Menard in the lightweight division.

Beltran is a former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao and is a rugged, tough, durable opponent. He’s much better than his record suggests and is known for having excellent stamina.

However, Beltran is thirty five years old and will be seven years older than his opponent, Mason Menard. Beltran will have about a two inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.

Menard does have a slight edge in power. He has twenty four knockouts on his record while Beltran only has nineteen.

Menard became well known with some upset victories on national television, including wins over Bahodir Mamadjonov and Eudy Bernardo. But prior to those wins he faced mainly non-descript opponents and most of his bouts were in his home state of Louisiana.

Beltran has defeated the likes of Ivan Najera, Arash Usmanee, Ji-Hoon Kim, and Henry Lundy. He also has several losses, but most of them have come against good opposition. He has lost to the likes of Terence Crawford, Luis Ramos Jr., and Sharif Bogere.

Neither boxer was very active in the past two years. They both fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. Neither boxer experienced a great deal of success on the international stage as an amateur.

Menard has surprised many with his two latest victories, but Beltran is a big step up in competition for him and isn’t past his prime yet. This should be a fight that Beltran wins through a hard fought decision.

Terence Crawford (29-0) vs. John Molina (29-6); WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Titles

Terence Crawford is one of Top Rank Promotions’ biggest stars and has been a rumored opponent for Manny Pacquiao in the future.

Crawford regularly fights in Omaha and will have a nearly sold out venue cheering him on.

He’s twenty nine years old and is in the middle of his athletic prime. He’s four years younger than Molina, but will be giving up about two and a half inches in height as well as an inch in reach.

Crawford has been fairly active for a champion and fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015. Molina has only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Crawford has twenty stoppage victories and three of his past five fights did not go the distance. Molina has twenty three stoppage wins, but has gone 3-3 in his past six fights.

Molina is always a dangerous fighter, and this was evident in his last upset victory over the hard hitting Provodnikov. He has also defeated the likes of Mickey Bey, Dannie Williams, and Henry Lundy. However, Molina also has an impressive list of opponents that he has lost to. These fighters include Antonio DeMarco, Andrey Klimov, Lucas Matthysse, Humberto Soto, and Adrien Broner.

Crawford has never been defeated and has been slowly increasing the level of competition that he faces in the ring. He has defeated the likes of Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymondo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andre Klimov.

Crawford was also very successful as an amateur on the national level, and has even won a Police Athletic League Boxing Championship.

This is a fight that very few expect Crawford to lose. He’s a more technically skilled boxer than the last man that Molina beat and should be able to stop Molina.

Molina has been known for upsetting the apple cart from time to time, but Saturday is unlikely.

More Headlines

Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa


Top Rank PPV Preview: Pacquiao vs. Vargas, Shiming vs. Phaprom, Donaire vs. Magdaleno, Valdez vs. Osawa
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Philippine Senator and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring and chase another world title as he faces Jessie Vargas for Vargas’ WBO Welterweight Title.

Pacquiao has long been a mainstay with HBO Boxing and nearly all of his pay per views were distributed by them. However, HBO has chosen to go forward with the Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV bout in the month of November and is letting Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing distribute Pacquiao’s PPV on their own.

Top Rank has wisely decided to stack their card with four world title fights in what should be an entertaining night of fights. The card will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

manny-pacquiao-jessie-vargas_milima20161102_0503_8
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The following is a preview of all four world title bouts.

Zou Shiming (8-1) vs. Prasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2); WBO World Flyweight Title

This is a rematch of a bout that happened on November 23rd, 2014 in which Shiming defeated Phaprom by decision.

Zou Shiming was supposed to be Top Rank’s vehicle to grow the sport of boxing in China and establish a strong foothold there. He was successful in helping Top Rank break into the Chinese market, but he has lost some of his luster since losing to Amnat Ruenroeng in an IBF Flyweight Title fight in March of 2017.

Shiming is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won the Bronze in 2004. He’s the most decorated amateur boxer to ever come out of China and is currently trained by Freddie Roach. Phaprom does not have the amateur accolades that Shiming possesses.

Both boxers are thirty five years old and neither can be considered to be in the midst of the physical prime. Shiming will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Shiming is not known for his power and many pundits question whether his amateur abilities can translate to the profressional stage He only has two stoppage victories on his resume while Phaprom has stopped twenty four of his opponents.

Phaprom has been very active and has fought five times in 2016. However, Phaprom has fought almost exclusively in Thailand and has only fought outside of it once, when he first faced and lost to Shiming. He also doesn’t have any big name victories on his resume, but has fought thirteen more times since losing to Shiming.

This will be Shiming’s third fight in 2016, and he has defeated the likes of Phaprom, Jozsef Ajtai, Natan Coutinho, and Luis de la Rosa. His lone loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng.

This rematch should play out in a similar fashion to their first bout, with Shiming ending the fight as the winner.

Nonito Donaire (37-3) vs. Jessie Magdaleno (23-0); WBO World Junior Featherweight Title

Nonito Donaire is the second most Filipino boxer in the world today, but this will be the first time he has ever fought on the same card as Manny Pacquiao.

Donaire’s best days might be behind him. He’s thirty three years old and will be nine year older than Magdaleno come fight night. However, he will be about one inch taller than Magdaleno and will have about a two inch reach advantage.

Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Donaire was a National Junior Olympics Flyweight Champion, a National Light Flyweight Champions, and a Silver Gloves Champion. Magdaleno was a US National Champion in the bantamweight division and a National Golden Gloves Champion in the bantamweight division.

Both boxers come from a family of boxers and have brothers who compete or have competed professionally. However, Donaire is a former title holder in the flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight divisions while Magdaleno is still chasing his first world title.

Donaire has been in the ring with some of the best the sport has to offer. He has defeated the likes of Zsolt Bedak, Cesar Juarez, Vic Darchinyan, Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Narvaez, and Fernando Montiel. His losses were to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, and Rosendo Sanchez in the second fight of his career.

This will be a big step up for Magdaleno, and he has never fought someone as a professional on the level of Donaire. He has defeated the likes of Rey Perez, Erik Ruiz, and Roberto Castandeda.

This might be the last swan song for Donaire. There’s been a noticeable drop in his speed and power since he lost to Rigondeaux and he was stopped, quite brutally, by Walters. He’s still a good boxer and is experienced enough to give Magdaleno a tough time inside the ring, but Magdaleno is just entering his prime and should be able to defeat the older Donaire.

Oscar Valdez (20-0) vs. Hiroshiga Osawa (30-3-4); WBO World Featherweight Title

Oscar Valdez is one of the most promising young champions on the roster of Top Rank Promotions. He’s also featured in one of the biggest mismatches of the night.

The one, and perhaps only, advantage Osawa will have on Saturday night is that he is about an inch and half taller and four inches longer than Valdez. However, Valdez is the better technical boxer, the more powerful puncher, the quicker fighter, and will be about six years younger than Osawa.

Valdez has an impressive eighteen knockouts and has stopped four of his past five opponents. Osawa stopped nineteen of his opponents but is currently riding an eight fight stoppage victory streak.

Valdez has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Osawa has no such amateur background.

Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Valdez fought four times in 2015 and fought twice in 2016. Osawa fought three times in 2015 and once in 2016.

Osawa has fought exclusively in Asia and his resume does not include any big name victories. He has losses to unheralded boxers such as Mitsuya Omura, JR Sollano, and Daiki Koide. Valdez only recently won WBO Featherweight title, and has impressive victories over Evgeny Gradovich, Matias Rueda, Chris Avalos, Ruben Tamayo, and Jose Ramirez.

Valdez is the most likely boxer to score a stoppage victory on Saturday night.

Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2) vs. Jessie Vargas (27-1); WBO World Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao, despite being a Senator for the Philippines, is still considered a top talent in the welterweight division and one of the sport’s biggest draws.

He’s publically stated his desire to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch, but he first has to get past a tough, young, opponent in Jessie Vargas.

Pacquiao, at the age of thirty seven, is ten years older than his opponent and considered by many to be past his physical prime. Pacquiao will also be giving up four and a half inches in height as well as four inches in reach to his younger opponent.

The one thing that Vargas does not have is power. He’s only stopped ten of his opponents, but he did stop Sadam Ali in his last bout. Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight of his opponents, but his last stoppage victory was in 2009, twelve fights ago, against Miguel Cotto.

Vargas has an impressive amateur background. He’s a two time Mexican National Champion and a two time US Junior National Champion. Pacquiao turned professional as a teenager and does not have the amateur accolades that Vargas has.

Vargas has a good professional resume but it still pales in comparison to Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Antonio DeMarco, Anton Novikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Ray Narh, Aaron Martinez, Steve Forbes, and Josesito Lopez. His lone loss was a close bout to Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao, clearly, has a hall of fame resume. His notable victories include Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Shane Mosley, and Lehlo Ledwaba. His losses were to Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley, and three losses early on in his career to Singsurat, Torrecampo, and Erik Morales.

Pacquiao had erased any concerns about his demise in his last bout with Timothy Bradley Jr., which he won fairly convincingly. Vargas’ age and reach may give Pacquiao some problems early on, but it’s not something that Pacquiao hasn’t handled before.

Pacquiao should walk away with another decision victory, but it will be a tougher than expected fight.

More Columns