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By Alex Dombroff
How’s Carl Froch feeling at the end of the day, and is he sad he is all alone in Canada preparing for the biggest fight of his career? No, Froch is getting by with a little help from his friend. That friend is Jean Pascal, a former foe, and the opponent Froch wrestled his version of the super middleweight championship from last year. It’s an interesting definition of friend used by Froch (24-0, 19 KOs), but as he readies for his fight this Saturday with former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, it’s a relationship that he finds invaluable. “A lot of people think that because you fight each other, you hate each other,” said Froch. “But it’s a sport. I took his best shots, and he took my best shots. I came out victorious because I did the better work on the night.” (more…)
Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao is off to San Francisco for a ‘Filipino Heritage Night’ hosted by the Giants baseball team at AT&T Park on Tuesday, April 21. Thousands of Manny’s ‘Bobbleheads’ will be given away. “There has been an incredible response. Fans are very excited that Manny is coming to our ballpark,” said Faham Zakariaei, the Giants special events director. Bob Arum, Pacquiao, trainer Freddie Roach and other Pacquiao team members will take a private jet from Los Angeles to San Francisco. During the pre-game Manny will be on a stage to speak to his Filipino fans. At 7:07 pm local time, Manny will head for the mound and throw out the first pitch. Manny will then head to the press box to watch the Giants take on the San Diego Padres. Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton is scheduled May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The megafight will be available on HBO Pay Per View.
Cruiserweight prospect “Awesome” Aaron Williams (19-1-1, 13 KOs) is in Las Vegas, sparring with unbeaten light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson, in preparation for his potential career-changing fight May 9 against former Cuban amateur champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez at Jako-Arena in Bamberg, Bayern, Germany. “I’m going over there to win,” Williams said. “I have to do what I do best and nothing else matters. Fighting him over there, once the bell rings, everything goes out the window. I know he’s highly rated but I take every fight the same. Sparring with Chad helps a lot because he’s a tall southpaw like Hernandez. I helped Chad get ready for his first title win and now we’re helping each other out.” Hernandez’ lone loss as a pro was to former world champion Wayne Braithwaite by 12-round technical knockout a year ago. Presently riding a 4-fight win streak, Yoan Pablo is rated in the top 15 of all four major boxing organizations – WBC #9, WBA #12, WBO #13 and IBF #14.
Tomorrow’s EBU purse bid for a fight between unbeaten heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Alexander Dimitrenko has been cancelled. Universum general manager Stefan Braune learned about the cancellation on the way to EBU headquarters in Rome. “This is very unfortunate,” sais Braune. “It would have been a great fight that we would have been happy to have presented to the public.” Dimitrenko expressed deep disappointment in the news. “For me, it’s particularly unfortunate, because I would have been very pleased with this fight. In Russian media, I’ve read provocative quotes from Povetkin’s Russian manager. He said that sometimes the Universum boxer would cancel just before the fight. I find this outrageous. Something like this is not my style. So now I’m doubly disappointed that the Povetkin camp backed out. I had a premonition about this after his last fight. I just wonder how he expects to beat Wladimir Klitschko, when he’s already ducking me. But, maybe our paths will cross again. Everything is in God’s hands.” Povetkin is Klitschko’s IBF mandatory challenger.
WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm and challenger Koji Sato faced off at a press conference today in advance of Saturday night’s “Universum Champions Night” in Krefeld, Germany. (More to come)
Ringside Report by Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
Photography by Emily Harney
In a tremendous action fight, former Contender star Peter Manfredo Jr. (31-7, 17 KOs) scored a knockout victory over Walid Smichet (20-6-3, 14 KOs ) at 3:00 of the seventh round as boxing returned to the Casino de Montreal this past Saturday afternoon. Smichet came as advertised as an extremely hard nut to crack, but Manfredo Jr. who would often go toe-to-toe with the tough Tunisian born boxer had his boxing skills and power won out. A sweeping left hook put Smichet down and out just as the ten-second warning was sounded. “I was just too strong for him,” said Manfredo Jr. after the fight. “I only had three weeks to prepare for this but I felt good in there. I’m on my way back to 160 and right now John Duddy is the guy we’re after.” The headline bout of the day featured Ali Chebah (30-1, 23 KOs) as he scored a second round knockout of Joel Juarez (23-6-1, 22 KOs ) with a straight right hand at 1:40 of the second round. Click here for the entire ringside report and photo gallery.
The Golden Boy may be retired, but sensational super middleweight prospect Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs (14-0, 13 KOs) will see action against veteran Jose Varela in the ESPN2 co-feature on Friday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. The 22-year-old Brooklyn-raised Jacobs has quickly made an impact as an outstanding prospect since turning pro in December 2007, stopping nine of his opponents in the first round. Varela (23-5, 16 KOs) will have a tall order in trying to reverse a three fight losing streak. Headlining the card is a twelve round junior featherweight match up between Antonio Escalante and Gary “Kid” Stark Jr. On the undercard, making his Chicago debut is 2008 U.S. Olympian Deontay Wilder (3-0, 3 KOs), the only United States Boxing Medalist from the 2008 Beijing Games, who will see action in a four round bout. Chicago junior welterweight favorite Ivan Popoca (9-0-1, 7 KOs) and 2008 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Noe Perez are also scheduled. Tickets start at $31, call 312-226-5800.
By Jesse Kelley and Ramon Hough
Matt “the Predator” Vanda (40-9, 22 KOs) won a controversial majority decision over Tocker Pudwill (40-7, 14 KOs) in the main event Saturday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Also featured were the Litzau Brothers, who had mixed results. Wilton Hilario (11-0-1, 9 KOs) stopped Allen Litzau (13-4, 7 KOs) in the fifth round while Jason Litzau (24-2, 20 KOs) took out veteran Phillip Payne (16-23-1, 8 KOs), also in the fifth round. (more…)
Antonio Leonard Productions returns on Friday to the Rio Events Center in Houston, Texas, on Friday with a card headlined by undefeated heavyweight Eugene “Mean Gene” Hill (16-0, 14KOs) who will take on veteran Zack Page (16-23-2, 5 KOs). “Hill punches with such snap each punch gives the sound effect of a gunshot. Don’t take your eyes off this one he is the real deal,” said Leonard. In the co-feature, unbeaten middleweight prospect Cornelius White (8-0, 7KOs) will go toe-to-toe with Shannon Miller (24-42-8, 18KOs). Undercard to be announced. Tickets are $70, $50 and $30, call 713-907-0258.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Promociones del Pueblo has announced the WBC super bantamweight world championship clash between former WBO bantam champ Johnny González and reigning WBC champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan on May 23 in the Arena Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Mexican businessmen, Reginaldo and Osvaldo Kuchle have offered two press conferences an in the Federal District and another in Monterrey with the presence of Johnny González, Rafael Márquez and welterweight prospect Alejandro “El Elegido” Barrera among others. It is expected that the event will feature top-level talent with TV in Mexico as well as the United States. Former champion Rafael Marquez will reappear after a year of inactivity against the strong Colombian slugger Jose Francisco Mendoza. Also appearing will be Guadalupe “Bronco” Rosales against Javier Castro, Michael “Murder Man” Medina against Bladimir Hernández, Alejandro Barrera against Honduran Arnold Gamboa at welterweight, and other Mexican prospects such as Juan Carlos Salgado, Marcos “Dorado” Reyes and Victor Zaleta.
On Saturday, former world junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (35-2, 31 KOs) continues on his road back to a title shot in a pivotal twelve round matchup for the vacant NABF featherweight belt against hard-hitting Marlon Aguilar (19-6-1, 14 KOs) at the Coliseo Miguel Canto on the sunny island of Cozumel in Quintana Roo, Mexico. In the co-feature, unbeaten junior bantamweight Jose Salgado (16-0, 14 KOs) puts his unblemished record on the line against Darwin Zamora (14-1-1, 12 KOs) in a twelve-rounder for the WBC Youth belt. The card will be televised live in Latin America on HBO Plus.
Octagonside by Andreas Hale & Robert Kravantka, photos by Ed Mulholland
Fight report & gallery: In the main event of UFC 97, middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva soundly defeated challenger Thales Leites after five uneventful and bizarre rounds, via unanimous decision . . . Click here for more
Postfight: White not pleased with Silva’s victory: Anderson Silva retained his middleweight championship and claimed his UFC record breaking 9th victory in a row as he soundly defeated Thales Leites via unanimous decision at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. But judging by the cascade of boos that fell upon the arena filled with MMA fans, you would have never guessed that Silva had won yet another fight . . . . Click here for more
Postfight: Liddell’s KO loss an end to an era: When a left hand from PRIDE standout Mauricio Rua sent Chuck Liddell sprawling to the canvas for his fourth loss in five fights, it appeared that “The Iceman” may have seen his last action inside the Octagon . . . . Click here for more
By Sam DiTusa
Alex Bunema improved to ( 31-6-2) on Friday night with a six-round dismantling of journeyman Mike McFail in front of 400 fans on Friday night at the Marriott Hotel in Ogden, Utah. The scheduled ten round main event was part of a pro/mm show put together in 7 days by Bob Oleson’s C.A.M. Promotions. Bunema, ranked #9 by the WBC in the 154 lb division, dropped McFail twice in round one and continued the carnage throughout the fight, dropping McFail again in round five. McFail fought back throughout the contest, never going into “survival mode,” but instead continually landed shots back on Bunema. For his part however, Bunema was relentless in his attack, and landed combinations at will. Trainer Billy Summerall continually urged Bunema to finish out the show, which he did at 6:35 of round six. (more…)
By Enrico “Erik” Crociati
Undefeated light welterweight Brunet Zamora (17-0, 8 KOs) scored a spectacular tenth round TKO over vicious Ugandan puncher Peter Semo (19-4, 14 KOs) and retained his WBA I/C at 140 lbs title on Friday night at the Pala Carnera in Udine, Italy. The performance of hard hitting Cuban-born Zamora was very impressive. He started match very strongly with a great array of punches at his disponsal and the brave 26-year old Semo was down in round two and able to survive the punishment only thanks to his great heart. In the middle of contest Semo proved every bit as tough but Zamora was simply too strong for the brave African warrior, who was down another time before the stoppage correctly issued by referee Giuseppe Quartarone. (more…)
By Liridon Iberdemaj
New York-based IBF #15 Elvir Kosova Kid Muriqi (36-5, 17 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Oleksandr Garashchenko (15-12, 7 KOs) on Sunday night at the Palace of Youth & Sports in Prishtina, Kosovo. Muriqi outworked his opponent in almost every single round. It was a sweet revenge for Muriqi in front of his 2,000 fanatic supporters. He had lost a fight against the same Ukrainian boxer in 2005. That time the bout ended with a split decision for Garashchenko. (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
Today, on Sunday, we got up early and went to the Korakuen Hall, not to church, as the show started so early as 11:25 am. It was because of another rent of the Hall by a TV vaudeville program in the evening. WBC#11 ranked Tomonobu Shimizu (14-3-1, 5 KOs), 112, disappointingly kept his Japanese flyweight belt as he was held to a technical draw by hard-punching challenger Shigetaka Ikehara (17-1-2, 13 KOs), 112, at 0:57 of the second session here in Tokyo, Japan. Leading on points as he was, Shimizu suffered a come-from-behind tenth-round KO defeat by WBC flyweight champ Daisuke Naito in a quest for the belt last July. Ikehara was the ultimate winner of a tourney to decide the mandatory 112-pound challenger among JBC contenders, though he used to be a 108-pound campaigner. Ikehara, as expected, made a furious opening attack, occasionally landing a solid shot at a time to Shimizu’s handsome face to win a point. But their head-collision opened a gash over the left eyebrow, which became so worsened early in the second that the referee had the cut examined by the ringside physician and coldly declared a halt. Some disgusted spectators wished to drink afterward as usual, but it was still too early as it ended only before 3 pm. Promoter: Kaneko Promotions.
Ringside report & photos by Chris Cozzone
As part of a three-day bash of beatdowns and boxing, Roy Englebrecht Events and Primm Valley Resort Casino held a seven-bout card last night at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. . . . . Click here for more
Former world champ “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas was a special guest and a host at Saturday’s “Worlds Collide” fight card at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. After an introduction to the music of accompanied mariachis, Vargas treated the fans to a couple minutes of Mexican dancing. Stay tuned for a full report of last night’s card in Primm.
Octagonside by Andreas Hale, photos by Ed Mulholland
In the main event of UFC 97, middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva soundly defeated challenger Thales Leites after five uneventful and bizarre rounds, via unanimous decision. The opening round saw almost no action until the final minute when Silva swept Leites to the mat. Round two was controlled by the challenger Leites after he scored a quick takedown and controlled Silva from the top position. Round three was full of frustration for both champion and challenger as neither Leites nor Silva could muster any effective offense. Round four was one of the most bizarre in recent memory as Silva spent the larger portion of the round dancing and taunting his opponent as well as throwing punches to the legs of Leites. The final round saw Silva continue to avoid damage until the final bell sounded. Judges’ scorecards read 49-46, 48-47 and 50-46
In the main co-feature of the evening former PrideFC standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua returned to championship form by knocking out “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell with a left hook to the chin at 4:28 of the opening round. Though Rua finished the fight with strikes on the ground, Liddell was stiffened before he hit the floor.
IBF/IBO flyweight champion Nonito Donaire (21-1, 14 KOs) crushed previously unbeaten Raul ‘La Cobrita’ Martinez (24-1, 14 KOs) over four rounds one-sided rounds on Saturday night at the famous Araneta Coliseum in Metro Manila, Philippines. Donaire, best known for for knocking out Vic Darchinyan, showed his power again in this fight flooring Martinez twice in round one, again in round two, and a final time in round four prompting referee Pete Podgorski to stop the fight even though Martinez appeared to be able to continue. Time was 2:42. It was Donaire’s third successful defense.
Jr flyweight Brian Viloria (25-2, 15 KOs) dethroned long time IBF champion Ulises Solis (28-2-2, 20 KOs) with a spectacular eleventh round knockout. Viloria had a great start in the fight, hurting Solis in round one and landing good right hands in over the first five rounds. Solis was also cut over both eyes and had deducted points in rounds three and five for low blows. Over the second half of the fight, Solis began to outbox Viloria, but the “Hawaiian Punch” got his second wind late and dropped Solis to his knees with a huge right hand at 2:56 of round eleven. The champion was unable to beat the count. This is the second title reign for Viloria, who previously held the WBC belt. Solis was making his ninth defense of the belt.
Minimumweight Denver Cuello (16-2-5, 8 KOs) claimed the vacant WBC International belt with a fourth round KO of Hiroshi Matsumoto (18-10-4, 8 KOs). Cuello dropped Matsumoto in round three and finished him with an uppercut in round four.
Light flyweight Sonny Boy Jaro (30-7-5, 19 KOs) needed just 74 seconds to annihilate Eriberto ‘Yukka’ Gejon (25-5-1, 14 KOs). An overhand right dropped Gejon for the count.
Super flyweight Drian Francisco (16-0-1, 12 KOs) KO’d overmatched Sahril Fabanyo (2-2-1) with a left hook to the body at 1:30 of round two.
By Alexey Sukachev
Rising junior welterweight prospect Denis Shafikov (19-0, 10 KOs) was at his brilliant best today against durable Mexican national champion Juan Carlos Rodriguez (57-23-2, 41 KOs) outpointing him over eight fast-paced rounds with the scores 78-75, 79-73 and 80-73. This bout headlined a well-packed local show, promoted by the Finnish leading company P3 Boxing and held at Kisahalli in Helsinki, Finland. (more…)
By Ron Jackson
Malcolm Klassen produced the performance of his life when he stopped Cassius Baloyi in the seventh round to regain the IBF junior lightweight title in Mafikeng, South Africa, on Saturday night. In a stunning exhibition of controlled aggression, the younger man became the first fighter to stop Baloyi, who had held six belts from various world organisations. The bout at the Northwest University campus ended 2 minutes 26 seconds into the seventh round when referee Sam Williams saved the 34-year-old champion from more punishment. Klassen, 28, had Baloyi in deep trouble at the end of the first round when the veteran was saved by the bell. The hungry challenger never let up from there, beating his stablemate to the punch and brushing off the few solid blows “The Hitman” managed to land. Baloyi, fighting in his 24th world title bout, was thoroughly outclassed for the first time in his career. His record dropped to 36-4-1, including 19 stoppages. Klassen’s improved to 24-4-2; 14. (more…)
By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
In a tremendous action fight, former Contender star Peter Manfredo (31-7 17KO) scored a knockout victory over Walid Smichet (20-6-3 14KO) at 3:00 of the 7th round as boxing returned to the Casino de Montreal. Smichet came as advertised as an extremely hard nut to crack but Manfredo who would often go toe-to-toe with the tough Tunisian boxer had his boxing skills and power win out. A sweeping left hook put Smichet down and out just as the ten-second warning was sounded. “I was just too strong for him,” said Manfredo after the fight. “I only had three weeks to prepare for this but I felt good in there. I’m on my way back to 160 and right now John Duddy is the guy we’re after. Manfredo scored a third round knockdown of Smichet who tried his best to hold on but went down to his knees. Despite the setback, Smichet remained in pursuit throughout and managed to comeback on Manfredo in the round as The Pride of Providence couldn’t put the finishing touches on his opponent. But the damage was done and Manfredo proved to be unrelenting, staggering Smichet in the sixth before eventually ending things in the seventh.
The headline bout of the day featured Ali Chebah (30-1-1 23KO) scoring a second round knockout of Joel Juarez (23-6-1 22KO) with a straight right hand at 1:40 of the second round. Chebah from France, captures the NABF super-lightweight title and retains his WBC Youth title over 30 year-old Juarez. (more…)
By Alex Dombroff
Photos: David Greene
Click the picture to go to the next
Forget that Andre Berto was born in Florida, and Juan Urango has made a habit of fighting there. And forget that when the two square off May 30 it will be in Hollywood, Florida. When it came to announcing their fight Wednesday, they were in a New York state of mind. Donning pinstriped jerseys and hats with the famous interlocking NY, both men came together at the NYY Steakhouse, inside the new Yankee Stadium, to announce their fight. It will be for Berto’s welterweight title and mark Urango’s first foray above 140lb. for a meaningful fight. Both men took time out from standard prefight bullying and spoke glowingly of the opportunity to announce to just be in the new stadium, just a day before the team for which the Stadium is named after takes the field for their first official game in the new digs. (more…)
Waiting on a long line that was seemingly “a mile long,” according to Bernd Bönte, Managing Director of Klitschko Management Group, German fight fans purchased 30,000 tickets for the Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye world heavyweight championship fight on the first day of sales. Wladmir will put his IBF, WBO and IBO belts on the line against the number two ranked Haye on June 20. The Schalke Stadium, a soccer venue, has a capacity of 60,000. “We are absolutely sure that the fight will be sold out very soon,” said Boente. The Veltins-Arena is the home field of German Bundesliga 04 Soccer Team.
Ringside report & photos by Chris Cozzone
Remaining undefeated and picking up an interim world title belt, Yuriorkis Gamboa handed Venezuelan southpaw Jose Rojas a Cuban missile crisis for ten rounds before the bout was called to a halt.
Gamboa’s TKO win topped off a five-bout card televised on Showtime’s ShoBox from the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. The card, promoted by Roy Englebrecht and Primm Valley Casino Resorts, was the first of back-to-back boxing cards at the arena . . . Click here for more
Truthfully, if things went as planned, we may not be talking about Eliot Marshall today. After losing an extremely controversial split decision at The Ultimate Fighter season eight to Karn Grigoryan, Marshall could have been sent home and never had a chance to shine on the big stage of the UFC. However, due to many significant injuries that left a few fighters unable to continue on the show, the fighter known as “The Fire” would find his way back onto the show and make a significant impact after beating Shane Primm and losing a hard fought battle with season eight winner Ryan Bader . . . Click here for more by Andreas Hale
Ringside by Francisco Salazar; Photos by ‘Big’ Joe Miranda
About a year ago, Jose Lopez had come off a disappointing defeat at the hands of Edgar Santana. Boxing was the furthest from his mind and he was walking around as a light heavyweight rather than as a lightweight. He had challenges that he had to overcome in his professional and personal life.
On Friday night, junior welterweight Jose Lopez faced a difficult challenge in Patrick Lopez. After what he has gone through over the last year, he refused to cave in. . . . Click here for more
Dennis Kang is no stranger to overcoming setbacks. The man also known as the “Super Korean” has dealt with numerous stalling points in his career only to rebound and come back more impressive than ever. After losing his UFC debut – in which he was dominating Alan Belcher before getting tapped via guillotine choke – Kang is looking to make a comeback against Xavier Foupa-Pokam at UFC 97 in Montreal, Canada . . . Click here for more by Andreas Hale
By Alexey Sukachev
The World Boxing Association notified its cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones (36-3-2, 28 KOs) of Panama about the May 26 deadline for negotiations between the Jones’ camp and representatives of the WBA #1 ranked contender and mandatory challenger Valery Brudov (37-2, 27 KOs) from Pskov, Russia. If the agreement isn’t reached in time, a purse bid will be held to determine the side to promote the event. The fight deadline is June 26, exactly one month after the purse bid. Jones acquired his title last September with a road TKO over then-champion Firat Arslan. Arslan, on the other hand, gained worldwide recognition in June 2007 after the split decision victory over the interim champion Brudov.
By Leonid Yuryev (at ringside) and Alexey Sukachev
Former super flyweight contender-turned-promoter Marat Mazimbaev came back with a bang yesterday in Almaty, previous Kazakhstan’s capital. Mazimbaev put on an eight-fight boxing show culminating in the first ever heavyweight national championship in Kazakh history between young gun Kanat Altaev (3-0-2, 2 KOs) and notable crowd-pleasing gatekeeper Talgat Dosanov (12-11-4, 5 KOs). After the even two rounds, much bigger Altaev started to press his opponent in the third heat. In the fourth stanza, Altaev continued to stalk Dosanov when suddenly Talgat found a soft spot in Kanat’s defense and connected with a picture-perfect right to the chin. Altaev was down badly and counted out by the referee. Dosanov, who is the new Kazakh heavyweight master, will be back on May 9 in Chimkent during the huge Shumenov-Berrio undercard. He is slated to face fellow journeyman Willie Chapman (21-29-4, 7 KOs).
Rising welterweight Vladislav Savchenko moved up to 10-0 with 6 KOs when his Thai opponent Somchai Nakbalee (12-8-1, 5 KOs) failed to answer the belt after the fifth round. Also, bantam Zhanat Zhakiyanov (6-1, 2 KOs) scored an eight-round unanimous decision over Russian veteran Alexander Fedorov (19-6-1, 12 KOs) and Yersin Jailauov (20-6-1, 7 KOs) outpointed Thai Narongnoi Or Muanklang (9-4, 5 KOs) over six.
By Brady Crytzer at ringside
Photos: Gary Sarti
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In the main event of Friday night’s ProAm card in Butler, PA, WBA#10 ranked heavyweight Brian “The Beast” Minto (33-2, 21 KOs) was awarded a unanimous decision over Matt “The Gator” Greer (12-5, 11 KOs) after eight of the most bloody and brutal rounds in recent heavyweight memory. The judges’ scorecards all read the same, 80-72, in favor of Minto, and by the end both fighters were drenched in blood, mostly from the nose and mouth of Greer. (more…)
During the last decade The Ultimate Fighting Championship has skyrocketed as the premier organization in the sport of mixed martial arts, not arguably. Fighting under the banner of this crème of the crop brand are some of the worlds most talented mixed martial artist. At first glance several of these athletes would strike you as everything other that a professional fighter. Some fighters like Kenny Florian, Luke Cummo and Dustin Hazelett look like Geek Squad employees maybe Starbucks at best. While all three of them could easily knock or choke you out, none will freak you out . . . Click here for more by Victor Perea
UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva returns to the Octagon on Saturday, April 18th to defend his crown against No. 1 contender Thales Leites in the main event of UFC 97. Also featured in the UFC’s return to Canada is the light heavyweight showdown fans have waited for years to see, as UFC legend Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell squares off against Brazilian superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. UFC 97: REDEMPTION is live on Pay-Per-View Saturday, April 18 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Check out 97.ufc.com for more info.
By Nick Giongco
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is scheduled to have dinner with former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos in the Philippines on Saturday night, the eve of a double IBF world title fight that will be held at the Araneta Coliseum. “There’ll be food and drinks and violin (playing in the background),” Arum, smiling, told fightnews on Saturday morning as he was attending the official weighin for the Nonito Donaire-Raul Martinez IBF fly title fight and Ulises Solis-Brian Viloria IBF light-fly title match at Manila Hotel. “It would be fun because I haven’t met her since I saw her in New York (many years ago),” said Arum, who was one of the most instrumental figures who brought the Thrilla in Manila to the Philippines in 1975. Mrs. Marcos was at ringside alongside then President Ferdinand Marcos at the Araneta Coliseum when Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier waged what is regarded as the most brutal fight in the history of boxing.
Nonito Donaire Jr. 111.5 vs Raul Martinez 112
(IBF bantamweight championship)
Archie Solis 107 vs Brian Viloria 108
(IBF jr flyweight championship)
Denver Cuello 103.5 vs Hiroshi Matsumoto 103.5
Yukka Gejon 109.5 vs Sony Boy Jaro 110
Drian Francisco 115 vs Sahril Fabanyo 115
Marvin Tampus- 116 vs J. Mark Apolinario 116
Rodolfo Sumabong 116 vs Edison Berwela 115
Esrael Salud- 118 vs Vivencio Urcia 117
Renye Avendan 109 vs Mateo Handig 109
Bob Montero 112 vs J. Paul Bautista 110
Venue: Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines
Promoter: Top Rank/Zanfer
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