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Report/photos by Pepe Rodriguez/WBC
Today at WBC headquarters it was announced that the long awaited showdown between WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and mandatory contender Edgar Sosa will take place in Thailand at the end of October within the annual celebrations of the enthronement of the King of Thailand. October 24, likely in Bangkok is the tentative date. Wonjongkam (89-3-1, 44 KOs) is a two-time WBC flyweight champion who has defended his title on 21 occasions and is one of the greatest champions in the history of Thailand. Sosa (43-6, 26 KOs) previously held the WBC light flyweight title and made 10 title defenses losing his crown in a controversial manner against Rodel Mayol. “The WBC will name neutral judges to ensure the success of the event,” promised WBC President Jose Sulaiman. Further details will be announced.
Former middleweight champion and current WBC#1-rated super middleweight contender Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik’s professional boxing comeback took a wrong turn inasmuch as Pavlik withdrew from his upcoming 10-round bout against Darryl Cunningham today. The Pavlik-Cunningham bout was scheduled to take place on Saturday at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, OH, and was to be televised live on SHOWTIME® as the main event of a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation. Both the broadcast and the live event have been canceled. Ticketholders can get a refund by returning their tickets to the place of purchase.
“Top Rank is very disappointed at Kelly’s sudden decision to discontinue the rebuilding of his boxing career,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, Pavlik’s promoter. “Kelly’s team specifically outlined a strategy for Kelly to return to the ring in an effective fashion. Kelly’s team gave us their objectives and we set them on a course, which began last May with Kelly’s fight against Alfonso Lopez and was to continue on Saturday against Darryl Cunningham. It seems Kelly has derailed this plan.”
By Jose Sulaiman/WBC President
As president of the WBC, I feel that I should make a brief press note in answer to several criticisms received from some writers in regards to the Timothy Bradley case. Bradley is a great fighter and a pride of the WBC. We gave him first the opportunity before any other even noticed him, and he has won the WBC title twice. The WBC is a not-for-profit organization that has its rules, which should be abided by, if any boxer wants to become a WBC Champion.
There are traffic laws that are respected: if you don’t stop at a red light, you are violating the law and will be fined. If you don’t have a driving license you should not drive, or you will be fined. If you issue a check without funds, that is fraud.
Our rules for champions state that each champion should defend the title at least three times a year and when you reach six months of inactivity, the title might be withdrawn, The WBC wrote three times to Timothy, and neither he nor his representatives wrote back, nor have they announced at any time any scheduled fight at all to defend his title. They seemed not to care that there are many other classified boxers who wish to contend for the title, which the champion has frozen.
However, the WBC did not “strip” Bradley. We declared him still “champion in recess” so that he will have the doors of the WBC opened for when he is able to return, while we declared the active championship vacant with the new champion to fight Bradley when he returns to boxing.
As simple as that.
By Michael Sheffield, Memphisboxing.com
Fighter Q&A’s by Tracy Morin
After a three month absence, Prize Fight’s “Fights at the Fitz” series made its return to Tunica on Saturday night with a five-fight card featuring promising newcomer Dusty Harrison. The evening marked Prize Fight’s 92nd straight sellout at The Fitz, an accomplishment that has stretched over the last seven years. Harrison (2-0) topped Trenton Titsworth over four rounds in the headliner. (More)
“Boxeo Telemundo” returns to the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida on August 26 with a show being billed as “The Rematch, Rivalry: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico.” The main event will feature a rematch between WBO Latino jr. featherweight champion Jose “Miau” Nieves (18-2-3, 8 KOs) of Carolina, Puerto Rico, who will defend his title against Cuauhtemoc Vargas (15-5-1, 10 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico. In their first encounter last April 29 at the Kissimmee Civic Center, Nieves won a controversial split decision in an action packed fight.
Also in action is hot jr. featherweight prospect Hairon “El Maja” Socarras (3-0-3 KOs) of Miami, FL amongst others.
First bell at 8:30 PM, 5 mores fights with local talent round off the card. Telemundo Network available in HD will televise the main event at 11:35 PM live in the US and Televisa Deportes Network will televise in Mexico and Central America. Tickets are already on sale at Kissimmee Civic Center. Call 407-935-1412. The event is being presented by Tuto Zabala, Jr., All Star Boxing, Inc.
On August 27th, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing returns to the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, with a six bout card in the Tropicana’s beautiful Ballroom, featuring the always exciting heavyweight fan-favorite, Vinny Maddalone (33-7, 24 KOs) and Atlantic City’s own, Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (21-4, 12 KOs) in separate bouts. Never in a dull fight, Maddalone is scheduled to square off against Mike Sheppard (19-12-1, 9 KOs) in a ten round heavyweight showdown. Former, WBO NABO welterweight champion Alvarez is set to meet Chris “Kid Kayo” Fernandez (19-13-1, 12 KOs) in an eight round welterweight match-up. Tickets are priced at $30, $50, $100 and $200.
Junior middleweights King Gabriel Rosado, of Philadelphia, PA, and Keenan Collins, of Reading, PA, meet for the vacant Pennsylvania State Junior Middleweight Title on Friday evening, Sept. 9, at the Asylum Arena, 7 West Ritner Street. The Rosado-Collins championship bout, which tops a seven-fight card, will be televised by Telefutura. Unbeaten welterweight prospect Ronald Cruz, of Bethlehem, PA, will box in the scheduled eight-round semifinal. Five additional fights complete the card, which is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., and Don Chargin Productions. Tickets are priced at $45 and $65.
Mike Brown had been down this road before and it worked out for him. Take a hard loss, jump right back into the fray as soon as possible and get that bad taste out of his mouth with a win . . . click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC.com
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials resumed on Monday, with the winners from day one contesting their semi-final bouts, as others were forced to trudge their way through a grueling 4-day stretch in the challengers bracket, hoping to gain redemption in the finals . . . Click here for more
By Gabriel F. Cordero
A reliable source indicates that former two-division world champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares could fight Antonio De Marco for the vacant WBC lightweight title on the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight which looks headed to the Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 15. Linares has now had more than 3 weeks of training in Los Angeles in the Wild Card Gym with trainer Freddie Roach and says he feels good and is adapting to his new surroundings. He has been doing sparring with lightweights, super lightweights and welterweights. “I am 25 years old and growing physically,” said Linares. “I’m training hard for this title shot. I’m focused on this goal. When I lost to Salgado, I had family problems and wasn’t well prepared and he landed a very lucky shot. I hope can be given the opportunity to go to the Philippines [to spar with Manny Pacquiao] because Pacquiao is a southpaw as is De Marco. It would be a fantastic experience.”
By Pepe Rodríguez/WBC
The courage, determination and fighting spirit of Ana María “La Guerrera” Torres brought her the WBC Diamond belt on Saturday in her rematch with Jackie Nava on Saturday night, but now her most dangerous rival is the current queen of the WBC flyweight division Mariana “La Barbie” Juarez. Torres and Juarez have already faced each other three times.
As happened this year with two fights between Torres and Nava, Torres and Juarez met twice in 1999. The first fight was a split decision in favor of “La Guerrera.” Their second fight ended in a split decision draw. And in their third fight in June 2002, Torres became national champion by taking a close ten round decision.
So the pending accounts between Mariana Juarez and Ana Maria Torres remain unresolved for over a decade, and it only remains to wait for the promoters agreement to enjoy once again another great battle in the world of female boxing.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Photo: WBC featherweight world champion Jhonny Gonzalez signs autographs during the Guadalajara stop of “Quien Pinta para la Corona?,” an ongoing tournament to promote young Mexican talent in boxing and wrestling sponsored by Grupo Modelo, Grupo Comex, Promociones del Pueblo and the WBC. After the signing, Jhonny said “I’m sure this tournament will produce several world champions and continue for many years. Today I felt very happy to be with so many people here in Guadalajara and be part of this project.”
Gonzalez commented that he could make his second defense of his green belt in September, most likely in Las Vegas, and reaffirmed that he would like to face the best featherweights in the world. A reliable source informed that there is the possibility that Panamanian Roinet Caballero could be Gonzalez’ next opponent as it seems Caballero has the necessary documents for a U.S. Visa. It is also known that WBC featherweight champion in recess Elio Rojas is looking for a tune-up fight in the Dominican Republic to get ready for a possible showdown with Gonzalez.
Lightweight Mason Menard (16-1, 12 KOs) will take on former WBO world title challenger Joseph Laryea (14-5, 11 KOs) of Ghana for the vacant Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) title on August 19 at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, Louisiana. Billed as “Friday Night Fury”, the show will be promoted by Boxncar Promotions, and will also feature up-and-coming talents such as Bobby Bryant (11-0, 8 KOs), Bailey Bobbit (4-1, 2 KOs), Quantis Graves (3-0, 1 KO) and Josh Joseph (2-0, 1 KO). Menard is on a fourteen fight winning streak since his sole setback in his third professional fight. Laryea (26) competitively challenged Scotland’s Ricky Burns for the WBO World Super Featherweight title in his latest outing, but came up short when he retired on his stool before the eighth round due to a hand injury.
The new film “Born and Bred” is a potent story of a new generation of young boxers in East Los Angeles, the capital of American boxing, and chronicles (in a raw verité style) the lives of three teenage boys – the fierce 12 year old, Victor Pasillas, and the 15 year old twins Oscar and Javier Molina, their trainers, their families and their years in the tough ranks of amateur boxing-where boys are made into men and Olympic dreams are made and broken. Shot over a period of four years and amid the immigration protests of 2006, the film tells a definitive story of immigration in a city where the new Latino population is surging. “Born and Bred” illustrates how the sport of sports – boxing – can lift the persistent few out of poverty as it did for so many other American ethnic groups. But, the stakes are high and these young champions know it. Says Paisllas, who has not lost a fight in three years, “When I get in that ring, I look across it to see if my opponent has any heart. If he doesn’t, I take him out right away. If he does…I take it away from him. I make sure he has no heart.” The film opens August 19 at LA’s The Downtown Independent and NY’s Quad Cinema.
Mike Tyson will be on this Sunday’s episode of CBS’s new summer series “Same Name” where celebrities trade lives with total strangers that happen to share their same name. The former undisputed heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson swaps boxing gloves for scrubs when he trades places with Mike Tyson from Zeeland, Michigan, and works as a nurse assisting low-income patients. Meanwhile, Michigan Mike gets an opportunity to try on “Iron” Mike’s boxing gloves when thrown into the ring against a heavyweight champion for charity. Ultimately, boxer Mike Tyson brings a whole community to tears with one heartfelt gesture. See SAME NAME, Sunday, Aug. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Junior welterweights Tim “Pitbull” Coleman (19-1, 5 KOs) and Detroit’s Vernon Paris (24-0, 14 KOs) will meet in a 10-round clash for the USBA title on Friday night at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California, and televised live on ESPN Friday Night Fights. In the televised opener, undefeated lightweight Art Hovhannesyan (14-0-1, 8 KOs) will be looking to continue his winning ways against former world title champion Cristobal Cruz (39-12-2, 23 KOs) in another 10-rounder.
On the undercard, undefeated featherweight prospect Luis Franco (9-0, 5 KOs) will take on tough veteran Adolfo Landeros (21-20-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round test; undefeated lightweight Michael “Baby Face Assassin” Faragon (15-0, 6 KOs) will face tough Ira Terry (24-5, 14 KOs) over six rounds; in an eight-round welterweight bout, undefeated Michael Anderson will face Bernardo Guereca (16-11-1 3 KOs); and featherweight Roman Morales (5-0, 4 KOs) will look to remain unbeaten in a four-round featherweight contest against Rodrigo Arranda (8-14-2, 2 KOs).
6’6, 250 pound heavyweight Nick “The Stoneman” Firtha (19-8-1)returns to the ring Saturday August 13th at Cene Park in Struthers, Ohio. He will face veteran Ross Thompson(27-15-3) in a featured heavyweight bout. A winner of 3 of his last 4, Firtha’s only defeat over the stretch was a competitive 10 round decision loss to upcoming WBA heavyweight title challenger, Alexander Povetkin (21-0).
Other featured fights will include a junior welterweight scrap between Miguel Gonzalez (18-2) and Tyrone Harris (23-7); plus local lightweight prospect Jake Guiriceo (11-0-1) facing an opponent to be determined. Promoted by James Infante, the undercard will also feature several heavies. Jason Massie (6-0) meets Mujaheed Moore (4-5) in a 6 rounder, while Chris Koval (24-7) battles James Porter (5-15-2) in a four.
East LA’s Shawn Estrada (12-0, 11 KOs) is set to make his Mexican debut when he takes on Alvaro Enriquez (11-8-2, 3 KOs) on August 13 at the Convention Center in Acapulco. Estrada, the 2008 US Olympian, is coming off a first round KO over Joe Gardner, the tenth 1st round stoppage in his eleven knockout victories. The 31-year old Enriquez will look to make the 26-year old Estrada his third straight victim. Estrada is the son of former 1968 Mexican Olympic team boxer Juan Estrada and is the youngest of 16 siblings. “I’m pumped to be fighting in Mexico,” said an elated Estrada. “I want the fans to remember me and the best way to do that is give them some action.”
The world championship night of fights will be headlined by WBA Minimumweight World Champion Juan Palacios (28-3, 21 KOs) of Nicaragua defending his title against Armando Torres (16-8, 11 KOs) of Mexico City. The event will be broadcast on Televisa in Mexico.
Undefeated super lightweight prospect Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (3-0, 3 KOs) will face Pedro Antonio Salcedo (4-3, 2 KOs) in the co-feature of the card billed as “Under Fire” on August 19 at the Auditorio Juan “Pachin” Vicens in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It will be Pedraza’s first six-rounder. He is one of the most decorated amateur boxers in the history of Puerto Rican amateur boxing. Bantamweights Cesar Seda and Yan Barthelemy collide in the main event.
On August 19, Golden Boy Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing will team up to present the latest installment of the “Punchin at the Paradise” fight series, which will feature a number of both Golden Boy and Star Boxing prospects and be televised on Telefutura. Headlining the event will be Newark’s fast-rising Puerto Rican prospect Michael “The Artist” Perez (13-0, 7 KOs) squaring off against an opponent to be determined in a ten round lightweight match-up. Also featured will be undefeated Bronx prospect Eddie Gomez (5-0, 4 KOs) who will see action in a six round bout against an opponent to be determined in the co-main event.
“Fight Night Club” is back on August 25 at L.A. LIVE’s Club Nokia, headlined by a six-round bout between promising lightweights Hector Serrano (13-2, 5 KOs) of Huntington Park, Calif. and Juan Garcia (14-3, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. In the co-main event, also scheduled for six rounds in the lightweight division, East Los Angeles prospect Ramon Valadez (9-1, 5 KOs) returns to his home away from home to face an opponent to be named in his eighth Club Nokia appearance.
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza awarded a champion’s belt to Costa Rica President Mrs. Laura Chinchilla during the XXIII KO Drugs.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing trials commenced on Sunday, with 80 of the nations most talented amateur boxers gathering at the convention center in Mobile, Alabama for a weeklong double elimination tournament. 8 boxers in each of the 10 weight classes will vie for a coveted birth into the 2012 Olympic games, to be contested in London, England next summer . . . Click here for more
Story and photos by Bob Ryder
Fightnews caught up with Detroit’s Darryl Cunningham as he finished a training session in preparation for his August 6 fight with Kelly Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) in Youngstown, Ohio.
The fight is being promoted by Top Rank and will air on Showtime’s ShoBox:The New Generation at 10:30 PM ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast) . . . Click here for more
Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz will dance for the second time this Saturday night.
Forty-nine months ago, Evans and Ortiz squared off in what was a turning point for each of their careers. Evans was taking a major step up in quality of competition. The then-undefeated prospect seemed like he had all the tools to be great, but nobody knew for certain whether he could take his game to the next level. After 15 minutes in the cage with Ortiz, there was no doubt that “Suga” was the real deal . . . click here for more by Michael DiSanto, UFC.com
By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Japan-based Filipino boys battled in a quest for the vacant OPBF bantam belt renounced by also a Philippine import Malcolm Tunacao on Sunday in Kobe, Japan, where Rolly Matsushita (AKA Rolly Lunas; 30-8-1, 17 KOs), 118, dispatched Zerofit Jerope Zuiyama (AKA Jerope Mercado; 24-2-3, 8 KOs), 118, at 0:58 of the eighth round in a scheduled twelve.
Though regarded as a competitive fight, it became a one-sided slaughter from the opening round, when Rolly decked the lanky rival with vicious rights twice and apparently took the leadoff. Jerope, from the second on, fought back hard, but Rolly looked much more effective in swapping punches in the close quarter. The sixth saw Rolly again floor him with a solid right, and it became more and more lopsided as the contest progressed. Rolly, in round eight, dropped the fading foe with a left uppercut for the fourth time in this bout, and a towel was thrown in while the referee Fukuchi was still counting. In this case, it (towel-tossing during the third man’s counting) is registered as knockout in Japan. (more…)
Cageside by Przemyslaw Garczarczyk and Tim Hobscheid
In a stunning turn of events, Dan Henderson (28-8) realized a moment he waited an entire career for. A quick move out the back door and a well-placed uppercut turned the tables on Fedor Emelianenko (31-4), the greatest heavyweight fighter in the history of MMA.
After a Fedor combo put Henderson on the ground, “The Last Emperor” over-committed to the finish, allowing Henderson to escape and take his back. Henderson followed up with a quick uppercut and a series of punches that forced Herb Dean to stop the fight at 4:12 of Round 1 . . . Click here for more
Cageside by Przemyslaw Garczarczyk and Tim Hobscheid
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stood at the podium beaming–and with good reason following the exciting finish to Fedor and Dan Henderson’s main event match up.
“Fedor vs. Henderson stands up there with the best Strikeforce fights ever,” Coker said, before running down a list of memorable matches . . . Click here for more
As the countdown begins for The Bantamweight Tournament Final, meet the two boxers who fought their way to the top of the class: Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares. Saturday August 13th at 10pm ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Formerly two-time WBA super-fly champ Nobuo Nashiro (15-3-1, 9 KOs), 116.5, made a fine comeback as he outpunched and outlegged previously unbeaten WBO#8 Filipino national titlist Rey Perez (11-1, 2 KOs), 115.75, to pound out a unanimous verdict (99-92 and 97-94 twice) over ten fast frames on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.
Nashiro forfeited his WBA belt to Hugo Cazares in a rematch in May of the previous year and failed to capture the WBC throne, losing a close but unanimous nod (114-113, 116-113 and 116-111) to elongated Mexican Tomas Rojas this February. Nashiro, a 29-year-old shaven-skulled ex-champ, utilized his speed on hand and foot, piling up points steadily. He kept connecting with solid one-two combinations upstairs and downstairs. Perez, 20, threw sharp jabs and left-right combos to the elusive Japanese with less precision. Nashiro was an obvious victor, but WBO youth champ Perez, a good loser, won the praise of the crowd. (more…)
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