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Update: Rigondeaux has arrived in Tijuana
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux will make his Top Rank debut on Saturday, August 21, in Mexico. Rigondeaux, born in Cuba and now living in Miami, is trained by Ronnie Shields in Houston. “He really had a phenominal camp and is eager to get into the ring,” Shields said. Rigondeaux has a record of 5-0, 4 KOs at 122 pounds. He is ranked WBA #8 and scheduled for eight rounds, taking on Jose Angel Beranza, 33-18-2, 26 KOs, of Mexico City on a Top Rank Live! event at The Auditorium in Tijuana. The Rigondeaux vs. Beranza fight will be the first bout on the live telecast (Fox Sports Espanol – 10 pm eastern/7 pm pacific). Rigondeaux won Olympic gold in 2000 and 2004. He was an international amateur star who won World Championships, Pan American Games and other prestigious tournaments.
Courtesy Jim Jenkins, Sacramento Bee
Primed to extend his unbeaten streak, super-bantam prospect Michael Franco instead will have to sit out Friday night’s boxing card at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Ariz., after he was scratched from the show with a small retina tear. The word from Franco’s publicist, Rachel Charles, was that the flaw was detected in an eye exam prior to Thursday’s weigh-in. Franco (16-0, 11 KOs) from Riverside was to have met veteran Adolfo Landeros (20-14-1 9 KOs) of Mexico in a featured eight-round featherweight bout. Promoter and Golden Boy consultant Don Chargin, in conjunction with Jorge Marron Promotions, was looking into a substitute fight, likely to involve Landeros. The 10-round main event, topping a Telefutura telecast, remains intact between lightweights Mercito Gesta (18-0-1, 8 KOs) of San Diego and Genaro Trazancos (22-11-1, 13 KOs) of Florida.
Charles quoted Al Franco, his son’s trainer, as saying, “We’re devastated by this (eye exam). We had a great camp.” The senior Franco said the surprise postponement shouldn’t last long and expects his son to be ready to be cleared medically by early September.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
The WBA Annual Convention will be a tribute to the memory of former world champion Alexis Arguello at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Managua, Nicaragua on November 22-27. WBA executive vice president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza announced that 89th edition of the meeting will feature a series of themes linked with the sport. This year a negotiation workshop Dr. Habib Chaman and seminars on boxing marketing and leadership will take place. “These are central themes for the improvement of all participants in boxing,” commented Mendoza. WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and heavyweight legend George Foreman are expected to attend. The General Assembly will be held on November 23-24, with the two following days dedicated to the improvement seminars. (more…)
To: Association of Boxing Commission Members
Tim Lueckenhoff, President
Jim Erickson, 1st Vice President
Greg Sirb, 2nd Vice President
A. E. “Buddy” Embanato, Treasurer
Joe Miller, Secretary
Date: August 19, 2010
Re: Antonio Margarito
In the matter of the Antonio Margarito case the Association of Boxing Commissions, (ABC), officers were pleased that Mr. Antonio Margarito did indeed appear before the California State Athletic Commission, (CSAC), for licensure, the ABC had maintained since the beginning of this matter that Mr. Margarito should seek a hearing with CSAC. The ABC was also pleased that other member commissions held firm against licensing Mr. Margarito until he could appear before CSAC since they were the original disciplining commission.
The ABC believes that the CSAC did their due diligence in conducting a fair an impartial hearing and should be commended for laying out the facts and findings surrounding this matter.
At this time Mr. Margarito has fulfilled his obligations per the ABC (which was to appear before the CSAC before applying for licensure to another state/tribal commission in the United States) and thus he is now free to pursue licensure with any ABC member commission. There is nothing under the federal law that would prohibit consideration for licensure.
The ABC would hope that each ABC member commission would examine the facts that have been laid out by the CSAC and weigh those facts in determining if Mr. Margarito should indeed be licensed to compete in their jurisdiction.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Today WBA executive Vice President Gilberto Jesus Mendonza announced that WBA cruiserweight world champion Guillermo Jones will be defending his crown against Valery Brudov from Russia, with the fight landing at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City on October 2. The fight will be a part of the WBA’s KO Drugs fight night. After two years and one month since winning the belt, Jones would be making his first defense.
By Francisco Salazar
“I am very disappointed by their decision,” said former world champion Antonio Margarito upon leaving the California State Athletic Commission meeting on Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles after being denied a new boxing license. “I spoke of what I knew and they were the ones who decided,” he stated.
His attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, who argued before the commission, also voiced his displeasure with the outcome.
“Obviously, we’re very disappointed with the decision,” said Petrocelli, who has tried cases involving high-profile clients including the 1997 wrongful death civil suit against O.J. Simpson. “It’s a decision we have to live with. Tony came back to California where he wants to clear his name and also fight here. Tony continues to work hard to the best of his ability to meet and exceed expectations of him.” (more…)
Crowd-pleasing Irish middleweight prospect Andy Lee (22-1, 16 KOs) returns against TBA on October 2 at the “Venue” in the Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, Indiana. “I’ve enjoyed a long-term relationship with his management team dating back to the early 90s and his trainer Emanuel Steward from even further back, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be featuring Andy Lee. Chicago loves this kid!” said promoter Bobby Hitz. “He can’t be in a bad fight and his fans from this area will fill the place.” Tickets will go on sale next week, starting at a fan appreciation price of $10, and will be available at the “Venue” box office, ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.
Cageside by Anthony Springer, Jr. & Andreas Hale
Photos by Chris Cozzone
Joseph Benavidez (12-2) entered the ring to James Brown’s classic anthem “The Big Payback” looking to avenge the only loss of his professional career against current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (16-1).
The pair met for the first time one year ago. In the first meeting, Cruz used superior wrestling and late takedowns to earn the unanimous decision win.
Since the first bout, both men have gone unbeaten with Cruz reaching the upper echelon of the division first, snaring the title from Brian Bowles at WEC 47 . . . click here for more
Takedowns give Cruz edge in rematch: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Both Joseph Benavidez and Dominick Cruz said that their rematch from their hotly-contested bantamweight battle one year ago would be different. Cruz wanted a knockout or a submission and Benavidez wanted a victory . . . Click here for more by Andreas Hale
Jorgensen extends ‘W’ streak: In the 135-pound division, there are no easy fights. The WEC plays host to many of the bantamweight division’s best fighters. Given the depth in the promotion, Scott Jorgensen’s (11-3, 7-2 WEC) rise up the ranks is all the more impressive. At WEC 50, the wrestler extended his current winning streak to five in a thrilling three round slug fest win over Brad “One Punch” Pickett . . . Click here for more by Anthony Springer, Jr.
Fernando Beltran, co-promoter (with Gary Shaw) of Rafael Marquez, is taking a flight today to Mexico City where Marquez has his training facilities. Fernando will meet with the fighter and his trainer, Daniel Zaragoza, for a report. Top Rank will then make an announcement.
Former IBF cruiserweight champion Vassiliy Jirov (38-3-1, 32 KOs) has dropped back down to cruiser from the heavyweight division and is actively seeking a “name” opponent. The 36-year-old has fought once in the last three years. Manager Ivaylo Gotzev says he has several lines in the water for Jirov including Danny Green.
West Palm Beach, Florida resident John Daddono, who is the Chairman of the International Boxing Organization, recently became a proud father with the birth of his son, Michael John Daddono. John’s wife, Stefanie Daddono delivered Michael ready to rumble on August 12th, tipping the scale at 8 pounds and 11 ounces.
Well-known boxing personality Arnie “Tokyo” Rosenthal is now a full time musician and spends his time recording and touring. His latest CD “Ghosts” was just #5 on the Euro Americana Chart.
ARENA has inked middleweight contender Benjamin Simon (18-1, 17 KOs) to a promotional pact. Simon won the IBF intercontinental championship by stopping durable Fabio Liggieri (12-6-4) in Berlin last May in six rounds. Promoter Ahmet Öner announced his plans at a press conference in Hamburg today. “Boxing in Germany is pretty simple”, the ARENA CEO said. “Everything is good as long as you have German fighters with championship potential. The only problem is that there are only very few fighters who have the talent and the charisma to become a star. In the last couple of weeks we have been looking for young, hungry guys who are already established as pros but haven’t been recognized by the broad German public. And we signed some of them.” (more…)
Rafael Marquez has reportedly suffered a thumb injury on his right hand that will prevent him from fighting WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez on September 18th. According Primera Hora, Top Rank is looking for another high profile opponent for Juanma for the date. Apparently Marquez injured his thumb on the door of a bus and will be out six to eight weeks.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
WBA interim jr flyweight world champion Juan Carlos Reveco (25-1, 15 KOs) from Argentina will defend his crown in Mexico on September 25 against local veteran Gilberto Keb Baas (32-20-4, 20 KOs). The fight will take place in the resort city of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The winner could become the WBA regular champion as the title may be vacated when the winner of the September 28 WBA/WBO unification clash between Ivan Calderon and Giovani Segura will be declared WBA super champion.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
A possibility exists that WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones can still make a rush defense to preserve his WBA title. The news that Jones is on the verge of being stripped by the WBA after nearly two years without a defense has motivated the Jones Team to seek a date to fight as soon possible. Jones is currently training in Cleveland.
Boxing fans, get ready to climb “Through the Ropes” with the #1 boxing news radio show hosted by award winning boxing writer Marc Lichtenfeld! This week we’ve got legendary announcer Colonel Bob Sheridan and WBC & IBO light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. Call or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Through The Ropes airs live coast to coast on Thursday nights from 9:00 – 10:00 ET on 75 affiliates of the Sports Byline USA Broadcast Network, including great radio stations like KSHP 1400 AM in Las Vegas and WNSR 560 AM in Nashville. The one-hour show will also be heard on American Forces Network, Sportsbyline.com and Fightnews.com. Fightnews readers can listen live by clicking here tonight at 9PM ET.
Jason Booth is so hell bent on shocking world super-bantamweight champion Steve Molitor that he can’t get him out of his mind. The recovering alcoholic challenges for the Canadian’s (32-1) IBF belt at Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton-le-Spring on Saturday 11th September. Booth (35-5) admits: “Every day of training is hard and even when it is my rest day at home all I think about is Molitor and not letting my one chance slip. I am not complaining though because a few years ago when I was living a bad life it looked like my career was over.” (more…)
Zeferino Entertainment is set to return to El Paso, Texas on September 24 when the popular Mexican American brawler David “Strictly Business” Medina (21-2, 10 KO’s) take on the rugged brawler Anthony Shuler (20-7-1, 14 KO’s) in an eight round affair. Medina, who is now ranked #17 by the WBC, is looking poised to explode into the top ten by the end of the year, but anything less than a dominant performance against Shuler would almost certainly derail that. (more…)
When John Salter started fighting in 2008 he found himself a natural for the MMA game. A wrestler since the age of 12 who parlayed his hobby into a collegiate career at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri, Salter utilized that wrestler’s strategic edge in MMA to win his two amateur fights and his first four professional fights . . . Click here for more by Rhett Butler
By Felipe Leon
Photos by Raymond Rodriguez
For unbeaten Filipino lightweight sensation Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (18-0-1, 8KOs), it’s only a matter of time before he challenges for a world title. After capturing the vacant WBO NABO Youth lightweight title via a 4th round TKO over the game Oscar Meza earlier this year, Gesta feels that a full blown title shot is in his near future. “Yeah, I think that it is getting closer,” Gesta stated after a morning run. “People are starting to know me a little bit more and I think we are almost there. When it happens, I will be prepared.” For more details and photos click here…
By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Hot Australian junior lightweight prospect Will Tomlinson (13-0, 10 KOs) will be in action over twelve rounds against Indonesian Elly Ray (7-4-1, 3 KOs) with the WBO Oriental interim title up for grabs when they clash at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on Friday. Tomlinson scored the most impressive win of his career on the Roy Jones, Jr., Danny Green undercard in 2009 when he stopped well credentialed American Verquan Kimbrough (21-2-3) in three rounds. Kimbrough had several big names on his record but was never in the fight against the aggressive big punching Aussie. (more…)
Photos: Wojtek Kubik
Former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion and current heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (41-1, 27 KOs) says he’s ready to take on Klitschko-sized Michael Grant (46-3, 34 KOs) when they collide on pay-per-view Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. “Size is no bother to me,” stated Adamek at Wednesday’s press conference. “I had 2 very good sparring partners. They were tall too. Roger is a very good teacher and I am learning everyday. I am ready.” The 6’7 Grant praised Adamek . . . as a 175-pounder. “I don’t take anything away from Adamek, like I said he’s a helluva light heavyweight champion,” commented Grant. “But I’m an elite fighter. I’m not like a Jason Estrada or a Chris Arreola, that’s not my level.” More quotes and photos
Photo: Big Joe Miranda
Boxing stars Sergio Mora and Victor Ortiz were at the Montebello PAL Gym in Montebello, California today shooting a national commercial for AT&T to promote the company’s Viva Mexico plan as well as their September 18 fights at STAPLES Center. Click here for more photos…
Cageside by Anthony Springer Jr. & Andreas Hale
WEC 135 lb pound champion Dominick Cruz made his first defense a successful one by defeating challenger Joseph Benavidez via five-round split decision. Cruz controlled the fight and used his natural reach advantage by showing slick head movement and throwing long distance punches. Though Benavidez was the better wrestler, Cruz proved to be the better man by stopping his opponent’s takedowns and using strong slams to control from the top position thoughout the fight. Scorecards read 48-47 and 49-46 in favor of Cruz, while Benavidez received a score of 48-47 on the other.
Top lightweight contender Anthony Pettis submitted world class wrestler Shane Roller with just :09 seconds remaining in their three round bout with a triangle choke. The tap came at 4:51 of the third and final round. (more…)
Undefeated former amateur world champion Erislandy Lara (13-0, 8 KOs) destroyed “Slik” Willie Lee (17-7, 11 KOs) in just 108 seconds on Wednesday night in a junior middleweight bout at the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, Louisiana. IBF #11 rated Lara dropped Lee about a minute into round one and the bout was waved off by referee Laurence Cole during Lara’s brutal follow-up barrage.
In a clash of unbeaten light heavyweights, former Cuban Olympian Yordanis Despaigne (7-0, 4 KOs) scored a ten round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Frank Paines (11-1, 9 KOs). Despaigne dropped Paines with a left hook in round two and other than a cut over his right eye in round five caused by an accidental headbutt, he had no problems. Scores were 100-89, 96-93, 99-90.
Cuban Olympian Yordenis Ugas (3-0, 2 KOs) scored a second round TKO over Marqus Jackson (2-2, 2 KOs) in a welterweight clash. Jackson was down twice before it was waved off. Time was 1:23.
Photos: Integrated Sports Media
5-time world boxing champion Erik Morales and Red Bulls soccer star Rafael Marquez attended a press conference on Tuesday at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. “In my next fight I plan to use Rafa Marquez-like defense and the offense of (Thierry) Henr,” promised Morales in reference to the two stars of the New York Red Bulls. (more…)
Video: Harry Colón / Municipio de Guaynabo
Piotr Momot, www.ringpolska.pl
By Francisco Salazar
The California State Athletic Commission has rejected former world champion Antonio Margarito’s application for a California boxing license. The main issue was that the Commission members didn’t feel Margarito has been sufficiently “rehabilitated” after the handwrap incident from his January 2009 fight with Shane Mosley, and even in the event Margarito didn’t know illegal inserts were inserted into his handwraps as he steadfastly maintains, he is still responsible and not worthy of a California license. The vote was 5-1 against Margarito with John Frierson (the only commissioner with any boxing experience) voting in favor of Margarito’s reinstatement. Steve Alexander, Eugene Hernandez, Dr. Christopher Riza, Dr. Van Lemons and DeWayne Zinkin voted against.
By Francisco Salazar filing from the courtroom
UPDATE: Margarito’s current trainer Robert Garcia testified of behalf of his fighter. California State Athletic Commission Attorney Karen Chappelle informed him that he was breaking the law by training Margarito because rule 392 states no state licensee can enter into an an agreement with any unlicensed person.
* * *
California State Athletic Commission Attorney Karen Chappelle questioned whether Margarito has met his burden of proving rehabilitation from the acts that resulted in the revocation of his boxing license. Margarito attorney Daniel Petrocelli argued that Margarito meets the standard for a new license and will take actions to prevent anyone from inserting illegal pads into his handwraps.
On direct questioning, Chappelle asked Margarito if he has been sparring at his training camp in Oxnard. Margarito stated ‘yes.’ Chappelle then informed him that he is breaking the law by sparring without a California sparring permit.
Margarito comments: “I’m here to answer the questions. I want to to apologize to you the commission and the boxing world for not knowing what was in the wrappings. When I was in Nevada I also apologized. I’m throwing myself at the mercy of the court. I want to ask for this opportunity. I will not let this happen again. In fact, I’m very happy this happened. I would not have gone into the ring if I knew my hands were wrapped in the manner that they were. From now on, I will be on top of what needs to be done because ultimately, I’m responsible for what happens. During this whole time I’ve been training and conditioning in Tijuana. I’ve been helping children with cancer. I’ve been helping moms with cancer, kids with mental disabilities. I’ve even been playing baseball to raise funds to help kids with cancer.”
On September 4th, WBA middleweight super champion Felix Sturm will again get in the ring after a long break. His challenger Giovanni Lorenzo believes in an early knockout when fighting against the German champion. In the US media Lorenzo said Sturm will not last six rounds. Sturm could not accept Lorenzo’s statement. During an interview with FIGOsport.de Sturm replied: “Good to know that Lorenzo is motivated. Hopefully Lorenzo will last 6 rounds. I have never been so eager for this fight. I will put the pressure on Lorenzo from the first round. He will not be able to handle this as he needs some breaks to regain strengths. And I will not give him these breaks. He might believe in him winning, however, on September 4th we will see who is the best. My training is running perfectly. Our sparring partners are flexible and strong. Me and my trainer team we work hand in hand. Fritz Sdunek analyzed Lorenzo and worked on a strategy based on the analysis results. Fitness coach Clive Salz prepared me for the sparring, I am in perfect shape. I can attack Lorenzo from the first till the last second. He will not be able knock me out with his way of boxing.” On September 4th you can watch this bout live from Cologne in Sat1.
The highly anticipated lightweight championship rematch between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn will conclude an explosive fight card for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 118 in Boston, Massachusetts. The title fight will round out a card that features former three-division world boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney making his MMA debut against UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture. Also featured on the card is a lightweight matchup that has the makings to be Fight of the Night, as Massachusetts native Kenny Florian is pegged to battle undefeated Gray Maynard. (more…)
Ill will can add spice to a fight, but for the most part, pleasantries have been exchanged leading up to tonight’s WEC bantamweight title bout between Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez. Unlike his mentor Urijah Faber, No. 1 challenger Benavidez does not hold a grudge against the 135-pound kingpin . . . Click here for more by Frank Curreri, WEC
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