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- Bradley vacates WBO welterweight title
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By Matt Richardson
Photos: Jeff Fusco – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
There was no bearded lady in Times Square yesterday. In an area once infamous for its oddities and freak shows, 42nd street is now bereft of what it made so well-known. Tourists crowd the streets eager to take in the lights and the sights. But any of the other weird things or people have either been removed completely or are well contained in a museum in the middle of the block.
The famous Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” has a wax museum there, full of life-size wax figurines of the world’s celebrities…as well as some other things not as well known. But across the street from Ripley’s, boxing’s own amazing-one man act lives on. That’s where 46-year-old light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins held court at a restaurant on Tuesday morning to help pump interest in his first and historic title defense of his second reign as the 175-pound champ. For more details and photos click here…
Photo: Keith Sims
Linear middleweight title holder Sergio Martinez and Fightnews.com feature writer Francisco Salazar share laughs over dinner on Saturday night at the El Dorado Mexican restaurant in downtown Oxnard, CA. Martinez was there to celebrate the grand re-opening of the restaurant, while lightweight world title holder Brandon Rios was there on Friday night. Both Martinez and Rios, who live and train in Oxnard, signed autographs and took pictures with fight fans in attendance.
By Francisco Salazar
The proposed Anselmo Moreno-Eric Morel world title bout will not take place on the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson pay per view card at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Golden Boy Promotions chief matchmaker Eric Gomez told Fightnews.com. “We’re going to push the fight back to probably November. So the (proposed) fight will not take place on October 15th.” Moreno (31-1-1, 11 KO’s), who defended his world title belt by stopping Lorenzo Parra in June, signed with Golden Boy Promotions last week. Morel (44-2, 22 KO’s), who has been under the Golden Boy Promotions banner since October of 2010, takes on Daniel Quevedo on Saturday night in a 10 round non-televised bout on the undercard of the Joseph Agbeko-Abner Mares bout at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, CA.
WBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (12-1, 8 KOs) is interested in next taking on either Jean Pascal and Zsolt Erdei, both former world champions. Shumenov would like to fight Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) in Kazakhstan, and would accept Las Vegas as a neutral site. But he will not go to Canada where Pascal draws big crowds. If Pascal won’t fight outside Canada, Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) is another potential challenger. “Erdei’s people have already shown interest in fighting me if Pascal isn’t,” Beibut noted. “Erdei is unbeaten and a two-time world champion, first at light heavyweight and then as a cruiserweight. He’s moved back down to light heavyweight and is a top challenger, more of a boxer than puncher, and now he trains (Philadelphia) in the U.S.” Erdei and Pascal are rated #4 and #5, respectively, in the current WBA ratings. Shumenov, who says he’ll fight one more time in 2011, concluded, “I’m ready to fight any of the top light heavyweights in the world.”
Joseph Rolando Benavidez has earned himself a litany of names over the years. “President Jobama”, “Jokozuna”, “The Beefcake” and, on March 19th, Bruce Buffer introduced Benavidez to the UFC faithful as “Joe B Wan Kenobi” as he made his Octagon debut against the rough and ready Ian Loveland. At the end of the fight, Benavidez maintained two other names that have become synonymous with this bantamweight: “winner” and “#2 ranked in the world” . . . Click here for more by Jordan Newmark, UFC.com
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For more info on the UFC, or this weekend’s UFC card on VERSUS, visit UFC.com
The Association of Boxing Commissions (“ABC”), a national organization of state and tribal boxing and combat sport commissions, has condemned a “bare knuckle” boxing contest, held at the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Casino and Hotel in Fountain Hill, Arizona (outside of Scottsdale) on August 5, 2011, as being “abhorrent, barbaric, egregious, in contravention of a multitude of federal, state, and tribal boxing laws and regulations, and, perhaps, criminal.” The “bare-knuckle” boxing contest pitted Bobby Gunn (whom, it has been purported, helped spearhead the event), with a professional boxing record of 21-4-1 (18 wins by KO), against Richard Stewart with a professional boxing record of 14-9-2 who lost the last five boxing contests in which he participated. According to news accounts, “in the third round, Gunn launched a devastating assault on Stewart’s body, followed up by a crisp left hook to the jaw, bringing Stewart to the canvas. Upon getting up, Stewart was grazed with a right cross on the top of his head, dropping him again.” The bout was then stopped “in the best interest of Stewart’s health.” (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten WBC strawweight champ Hiroki Ioka (8-0, 5 KOs), 104.5, Japan, finely retained his 105-pound belt as he kept stalking official challenger Juan Hernandez (18-2, 13 KOs), 104.5, a hard-hitting Mexican switch-hitter, had him badly bleeding from the nostrils and pounded out a unanimous decision (118-111, 117-111 and 116-112) over twelve fast rounds on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Hernandez made a good start as he had Ioka reeling to the ropes with a solid left hook thrown just after switching to southpaw stance. But Ioka cleverly responded to the Mexican’s versatile strategy by maintaining the pressure and utilizing sharp jabs to the circling challenger with precision.
After the fourth, the official tallies were announced as follows: 39-38 and 39-37 twice, all in Ioka’s favor. After the eighth, Ioka was still leading on points: 79-74 and 78-74 twice.
Hernandez displayed his desperate do-or-die attack in the tenth, but Ioka weathered his furious retaliation and had the Mexican in trouble with a barrage of punches in the eleventh. Ioka was also in command in the twelfth and final session to confirm his victory and initial defense.
Promoter: Ioka Promotions.
(More to come)
By Gabriel F. Cordero
WBC featherweight champion in recess Elio Rojas will face Arturo Gomez (18-17-5, 8 KOs) on September 9 at the Indoor Sports Complex in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic. It will be Rojas’ first fight following reappear after more than a year and a half of inactivity following an injury requiring surgery on his right hand. He is currently training in Pennsylvania and hopes to challenge WBC champion Jhonny Gonzalez by the end of the year.
Rudy Markussen and Patrick Nielsen will be headlining the fifth TV2 Fight Night in Herning on September 3. The “Hardhitter” will make his first fight in ten months after a neck injury has kept him on the sidelines. He will face an opponent to be announced shortly. “The TV2 Fight Night is delighted to welcome Rudy back,” promoter Nisse Sauerland said. “His last two fights have been very promising and I´m confident he will continue where he left it.” (more…)
By Wolfgang Schiffbauer
WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm contacted FightNews.com earlier today for an exclusive response to recent comments made by contender Mathew Macklin about their endangered rematch later this year. The Irishman, who recently signed a deal with American promoter Lou DiBella, said that Sturm does not want to fight him. “I don’t think he has any intention of pursuing a rematch with me,” stated Macklin. “If he wants to fight me again, it’s an easy fight to make, as he is his own promoter. I think he knows that he cannot beat me.”
The champion, who previously told FightNews.com that a rematch contract was already send to the Macklin team, was quite upset by those remarks and claims that it the former European champion who is avoiding a rematch. Sturm won a close split decision over Macklin in Cologne, Germany, last June. (more…)
By Pepe Rodriguez/WBC
Photos by Rene Perez/Canelo Promotions
Mexican world champion Saul Alvarez today conducted his final training session in Guadalajara before flying to the US to continue training at high altitude in Big Bear, California, where he will final preparations for the second defense of his WBC junior middleweight crown. “El Canelo”, will risk the green and gold belt against his compatriot Alfonso Gomez, on September 17 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, at the same venue where he beat Carlos Baldomir in front of thousands of fans one year ago. Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KOs) is traveling with José “Chepo” and Edison Reynoso, those who have led him to the top of this exciting sport. The champion boxed six rounds with two “sparring”, hit bag, pears, jump rope and finished his routine with 100 abs. There is a lot of confidence that the king of the junior middleweight division, get the KO number 28 of his successful career as they have well-studied Alfonso Gomez (23-4 – 2, 12 KOs), who has wins over former world champions Arturo Gatti and Jose Luis Castillo. Saul Alvarez and his team will return to Jalisco, after having fulfilled their commitment of September 17 in Los Angeles, the month in which Mexican’s independence is celebrated.
Colorful Chicago boxing promoter Bobby Hitz, former heavyweight boxer and founder of Hitz Boxing, has much to smile about these days, starting with the August 19 ESPN2 FNF “Finale” card at the luxurious “Venue” in the Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, Indiana, featuring former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz (36-3-1, 17 KOs) and Henry “Hank” Lundy (20-1-1, 10 KOs), former world champion Montell “Ice” Griffin (49-8-1, 30 KOs) looking for his landmark fiftieth professional victory and Olympian light middleweight Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (13-0, 9 KOs), who will be facing veteran Grady Brewer (28-12, 16 KOs). (more…)
By Phil Doherty
Photos: Rey Sanchez
Dream Team Boxing Promotions is holding a royal flush in advance of Friday night’s debut performance at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The Miami-based promotional team plan to drive their competition a little Bongos–hosting today’s press conference from the popular Cuban-style eatery of the same name. For more details and photos click here…
The undercard has been announced for Friday’s Antonio Diaz vs. Ernesto Zepeda card at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. In the co-feature, featherweight knockout artist Andrew Cancio (10-1-2, 10 KOs) will look to keep his finishing streak going against Lowell Brownfield (11-7-1, 4 KOs). Also in action will unbeaten Humberto Zatarain (2-0) against Rocco Espinoza (1-0) in a four rounder featherweight bout as well as locals Angel Osuna and Jose Antonio Vargas in separate fights. Fans can meet boxing legend Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns during special autograph session from 7:30PM – 8:30PM in the Events Center
By Bob Ryder
Fightnews.com spoke with Vernon Paris after his return to Detroit following his knockout win over Tim Coleman on Friday night. A naturally elated and confident “Iceman,” now 25-0 (15 KOs) shared his thoughts on the fight and his future as well as putting some of his past behind him.
Congratulations Vernon on a tremendous win. It seemed like things went exactly according to your pre fight plan. Did the fight go as you expected and what did you see in Coleman beforehand that made you confident that you would win?
The big thing to me was when he pulled out of our first fight in January. I knew I was faster than him and bigger. I knew he only had 5 knockout wins so I did not feel like he could hurt me. He did surprise me with a few shots. I had to lose a little weight before the fight and that might have played into it.
Were you stunned or hurt when he knocked you down?
No he caught me off balance and a little off guard with a good punch and I went down but I was not hurt.
Did he surprise you with anything?
Not really, I was looking to prove myself.
There was a lot of pre fight trash talk. Normally you seem to be rather quiet. Was this part of your plan to get under his skin and throw him off his fight plan?
You know, I felt like I had to respond to the things he was saying. I think he was trying to talk himself up, give himself some confidence. I did not want him to get under my skin so I came back at him. I had been away from my family for two months training and I was irritable. He angered me and I couldn’t wait to get him in the ring. To be honest after awhile all Coleman’s talk was funny to me. We are pros and he’s talking like we are a couple of kids.
When in the fight did you sense that you could hurt him with body shots?
Real early on. In the second round I landed a left hand to the body and he sort of curled up. My plan though was to go to the body all along. We worked on this with Floyd Mayweather, Sr in training and we were ready.
What did you and Coleman say to each other after the fight, is the bad blood over?
What could he say? He had to humble himself. We hugged after it was over and he still seemed upset with something but not with me. We actually exchanged greetings when we ran into each other at the airport on our way home the next day.
Does Coleman have a rematch clause?
No, do you think he would want one anyway?
Vernon, in many of your past fights you would look good for 3 or 4 rounds than start to tire badly and rumors were you were not always in top shape. In the Coleman fight you seemed to get stronger as the fight progressed. What was different?
My 2 months of training in Vegas made the difference. Being away from distractions and negative things allowed me to stay focused. This was the first time in my career where we actually had sort of a training camp. From now on that is the way we are going to do it. When we started out in this business we were green. We learned. Now I know what to do in training. I hated being away from my family but this is what we have to do.
You talked about your training for this fight with Mayweather, Sr. You’ve had quite a few different trainers in your career. Who is your trainer now and will you be working with Mayweather again?
Dave Lester is my trainer. We may work with Mayweather again, we have to see how things go. Right now in addition to Dave Lester my team is Carlos Llinas, Dave Shumate, Dave AKA “S Boy” and Devon AKA “Mook”.
In the pre fight interviews on ESPN you were honest about your past use of marijuana that caused three of your wins to be changed to no decisions. Are you past this drug use?
I’m past all that. I have not tested positive for over two years now, that should tell you right there where I’m at. Coleman brought up all this to try and build himself up.
You’ve had some other well publicized personal issues in the past including being shot and stabbed. What is different about Vernon Paris now?
I am so much more serious about my life. My daughter turned three on Sunday. I look at her and she is getting older and so am I. I am serious about things now. I am moving to Texas near my sister where I can avoid negative situations.
Was this win the breakout fight for Vernon Paris?
Yes. A lot of people thought I would tire out and lose. I knew I was the underdog for the first time in any of my fights. I wanted to show what I can do.
Your promoter/advisor Carlos Llinas said that shortly after your win his phone started to ring with offers for fights against some of the big names at 140 pounds. Who would you like to fight next?
I don’t care. I just want to fight who ever will get me to a world title next. I would fight one of the champs next as well. I feel I’m the best at 140 pounds. I’m undefeated. I can’t be beat!
The Bantamweight Title Is On The Line In Washington, D.C. – Tickets On Sale Wednesday: The UFC heads to Washington, D.C., with a battle for bantamweight gold between champion Dominick Cruz and Demitrious Johnson! Plus, heavyweights Pat Barry and Stefan Struve collide – Live Saturday, October 1 at Verizon Center – UFC Fight Club presale starts Wednesday at 10am ET
Tickets On Sale Now For UFC Fan Expo In Houston: October 7-8 at the George R. Brown Convention Center
The Strikeforce World Grand Prix Continues, Plus The Middleweight Title On The Line – Tickets On Sale Now
Tickets on sale now starting at $35 – Saturday, September 10 live at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati
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Unbeaten 6’7 heavyweight Lionel Davis (9-0, 7 KOs) faces Andrae Carthron (5-7-2, 1 KO) in the Fight Club OC main event on August 18th at The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California. Also seeing action will be unbeaten heavyweight Alexander Flores (4-0, 2 KOs) against Serhiy Karpenko (6-1, 4 KOs). According to promoter Roy Englebrecht there are only 100 tickets left.
Promo video for former world champion Fernando Montiel’s comeback fight against Alvaro Perez on August 20 at La Cetto Vineyard in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Welterweight Kell Brook will defend his WBA Inter-Continental title against Rafal Jackiewicz in a world title eliminator on October 8 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, England. The unbeaten Brook claimed the belt against Lovemore N’dou in his last outing in the Steel City in June as he took his professional winning streak to 24 fights and will move a step closer to his dream world title shot with a win over the 34-year-old Pole.
Former European champion Jackiewicz, who is rated #5 with the IBF and #10 with the WBO, has lost just one of his last 24 fights and has never been stopped in his 48-fight career. Jackiewicz successfully defended his European strap twice, including a victory over Jan Zaveck, who he then challenged for the IBF title, losing a majority decision. (more…)
By Gabriel F. Cordero
It has been confirmed that the city of Donetsk, Ukraine, will be the site for the WBA’s Annual Convention running from November 6th until November 12th (departure). The WBA is the boxing world’s oldest sanctioning body and this will be their 90th Convention. Since 1982, the organization has been led by Venezuelan Gilberto Mendoza. The WBA Executive Committee had originally planned to hold this event in Thailand, but it was decided to shift the convention to the Shakhtar Hotel Ukraine this year for a number of reasons. Between 50-80 countries will be represented by over 250 delegates.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Former WBA female miniumweight world champion Ibeth “La Roca” Zamora will defend her WBC light flyweight female Youth title against Panamanian Yacksury Gordon, in an event billed as “Orgullo Mexiquense” presented by Boxeo de Gala Promotions on Saturday at Deportivo Tlalli in Tlalnepantla, Mexico State.
In the co-feature, Salvador Sanchez II will seek his first belt when he faces Adam Garcia for the vacant WBC CABOFE featherweight title.
The official weigh-in for the card will be held in Santiago Tianguistenco (about ten miles south of the fight venue). This is the birthplace of the late Mexican ring legend Salvador Sanchez (uncle of Sanchez II) where every year they celebrate the life and career of Sanchez on the anniversary of his tragic death on August 12, 1982.
On the same night, Carlos Zarate Jr., Juan Antonio “El Mozo” Rodriguez, Felipe “Pinocchio” Ugalde and Ramses Agaton will see action.
Ring rust? What ring rust? Coming off a 14-month layoff, training camp switches and out of Octagon drama, Rashad Evans put on a dominant performance over Tito Ortiz, stopping the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” at 4:48 in the second round with a big knee to the body. Give all the credit in the world to Ortiz, who took the fight on extremely short notice after Phil Davis pulled out with an injury. Despite fighting on fresh legs and coming off a victory against Ryan Bader last month, Ortiz had no answers for the stronger faster Evans. . . . Click here for more
By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Wojtek Kubik
Cameron Dunkin, a well known manager of world champions like Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios, former beltholder Kelly Pavlik and championship contender Miguel Angel Garcia, has a new client: the crowd pleasing brawler and middleweight title contender Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KOs). After his fight of the year candidate against Delvin Rodriguez, Wolak’s name has been mentioned by both Rodriguez who suggested that the “Raging Bull” doesn’t want a rematch, and former manager Ivan Edwards, who implies that their break up didn’t happen without a lot of bad blood. (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten 22-year-old WBC 105-pound champ Kazuto Ioka (7-0, 5 KOs), Japan, will make his initial defense against official challenger Juan Hernandez (18-1, 13 KOs), from Mexico, tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. The weigh-in ceremony took place at the Hall, where both tipped the beam at 104.5, half a pound lighter than the class limit.
The WBC officials will be as follows: referee Malcolm Bulner (Australia); judges Glen Rick Crocker (US), Hubert Minn (US) and Bernie McMahon (Australia); supervisor Frank Quill (Australia). (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
OPBF super-welter champ, WBA#7 Charlie Ota (AKA Charles Bellamy; 18-1-1, 13 KOs), 153.75, ex-US Marine living here in Japan, proved too strong and powerful for former champ Akio Shibata (16-7-1, 8 KOs), whom he battered from all angles and dropped twice prior to a well-timed stoppage at 1:53 of the sixth round on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. It was a rematch, and Charlie repeated his triumph more easily than in their first encounter. The first four sessions looked competitive, as shown by the open scoring system of the OPBF: 39-38, 39-37, both for the shorter but sturdy champ, and 38-38. Charlie suddenly turned loose, in round six, pinning the taller Japanese with a fusillade of punches to badly floor him in a neutral corner. Shibata barely pulled himself up only to hit the deck again with the champ’s furious assault. The fading Shibata again raised himself but seemingly had no energy left to go on with the referee Fukuchi calling a halt to save the loser from further punishment. (more…)
Michael Katsidis “The Great” and Michael Lozada faced off today for the first time at Jupiters Hotel & Casino in preparation for their August 13th fight at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia. Lozada (38-8-1, 30 KOs) said the he believed the fight would be over early “The Crowd better get there early, as I plan to finish the fight quickly. I want to do what Antonio Tarver did to Danny Green and Ameth Diaz to Lenny Zappavigna and stop Australia’s best.”
Katsidis (27-4, 22 KOs) didn’t take lightly to Lozada’s comments and replied with “I’m surprised by his (Lozada’s) comments, most Mexican fighters are humble, and this has just taken it up another notch.”
Katsidis v Lozada will fight on August 13th. Katsidis is fighting on Australian soil for the first time in over four years, and is confident that this fight will be no different to all his fights… action packed!
By Francisco Salazar
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) believes that he will successfully defend his light heavyweight world title belt against Chad Dawson on October 15th at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) does not believe he will. The fight will headline an aptly-titled “Believe it or not” fight card, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. Both fighters were at the midday press conference on Monday, where both guaranteed victory less than 10 weeks from now. Also on the HBO Pay Per View card will be Jorge Linares (31-1, 20 KOs) taking on Antonio DeMarco (25-2-1, 18 KOs) in a 12 round bout for a vacant world title belt. Bernard Hopkins: “I don’t want any kids, least his (Dawson’s) to watch this fight. This is going to be rated R. I have to go out there again and prove why I’m special. Now I have another mission and that is to defend my title successfully like Archie Moore did when he was 47, 48 years old. I believe that I’ve brought life back into the light heavyweight division.” For more details and photos click here….
Global Boxing has announced the launch of their new boxing promotion series entitled Global Boxing Series, a string of four events to take place at Global Boxing Arena in North Bergen, NJ. The first four events are scheduled for September 24, October 15, November 11 and December 10. Each show will start at 5PM. The first event will be headlined by undefeated junior lightweight prospect Kamil Laszczyk (3-0, 3 KOs) of North Bergen, NJ by way of Wroclaw, Poland. The shows will take place at the Global Boxing Gym location, which will be converted to a fight venue for the day to seat a capacity of 500.
Results of the findings of a ten-month investigation into the death of boxing legend Arturo Gatti will be officially unveiled at a press conference on August 30 in North Bergen, NJ. However, private investigator Paul Ciolino, who was hired by Gatti’s manager Pat Lynch to investigate Gatti’s death, told The Jersey Journal today that Gatti did not commit suicide as ruled by Brazilian authorities. “I think that when we get done with the press conference it will be pretty clear it was not a suicide,” Ciolino told the paper. “It was not physically possible, given the circumstances and their (Brazilian police) theories.”
By Rey Colón -The Sport Press
The outlook for a rematch between WBO super bantamweight champion Jorge ‘Travieso’ Arce and and former champ Wilfredo ‘Papito’ Vazquez looks uncertain because the Mexican star has shown interest in going down to 118 pounds and looking for the WBC crown held by the Filipino Nonito Donaire, who is also WBO ruler in that division. According to reports, Donaire, who was in danger of being stripped of his WBC crown, decided to make a defense in October and Arce is one of three potential candidates. The WBO is not opposed to Arce going down to 118 pounds. On the other hand, the Sport Press learned that the Top Rank is interested in staging Arce-Vazquez II on December 3 when Miguel Cotto defends will present his junior middleweight title by the WBA to Antonio Margarito in New York. The promotional tour for that fight will begin in September 19 in Puerto Rico and then continue in New York, Mexico and Los Angeles.
The latest installment of One Punch Productions long-running professional boxing series takes place this Friday August 12th at the Tampa Westshore Doubletree Hotel. Headlining the Ballroom Brawl will be all action fan favorite “Bloodbath” Brian Chiary in his final professional fight. Chiary (10-8), faces Fresno, CA native Loren Myers for a NBA intercontinental title in the eight round super middleweight bout. Win, lose, or draw, Chiary is hanging up the gloves for good to focus on his career as an EMT / Paramedic. (more…)
Fisticuffs Promotions announced the signing of Jr. Welterweight contender Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana to a promotional contract. Santana of Bronx, New York has a record of 25-3 with sixteen knockouts and has won four straight which is over a four year span. Santana will be fighting for NABA Jr. Welterweight title on August 19th at Dover Downs in Dover, Delaware. (more…)
In the past two weeks, former amateur superstar Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (3-0, 3 KOs) and former WBO super featherweight world champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez (24-1-1, 15 KOs), have been sparring and training together in the boxing gym of the town of Dorado, Puerto Rico. “The experience has been very good and Papo Román (trainer) has treated us very well,” said Pedraza. “The sparring has been great for me because Rocky is a great fighter and was world champion. Sparring with someone who has so much experience has helped me to improve. With him you can’t rest because you’re taking hits from all sides and that’s not good because he hits hard.” Martinez believes Pedraza has the skills to become a world champion, predicting “He’s going to go far.” Pedraza faces Pedro Salcedo (4-3, 2 KOs) on August 19 at the Juan “Pachin” Vicens Arena in Ponce, PR.
Undefeated Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, arguably the premier super middleweight prospect in the world, has switched head trainers and now two-time world title challenger Ronnie Shields is his chief second. Rodriguez, a 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, returns on August 20 to fight at home in Worcester (MA) for the third time in as many years, headlining a special edition of Broadway Boxing, presented by DiBella Entertainment, at historic Mechanics Hall against intra-state rival and Iraq War veteran Chris Traietti (10-2, 6 KOs). (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
Busy-punching and lion-hearted Filipino, WB A#12 super-bantam Roli Gasca (17-1, 3 KOs), 122, impressively captured the OPBF 122-pound belt as he displayed an opening attack, maintained it until the end despite the defending champ’s retaliation, and earned a majority but well-received decision (116-112 twice and 115-115) over WBC #13 Hiromasa Ohashi (24-10-3, 15 KOs), 121.5, over twelve furious rounds on Sunday in Kariya, Japan.
Ohashi might have underestimated Gasca’s punching power due to his low knockout ratio, but the Filipino could really punch and hurt the champ with desperate rallies in earlier rounds. The open scoring system indicated Gasca was leading on points after the fourth 39-37 twice and 38-39, and also after the eighth 78-74, 77-75 and 76-77. Ohashi sustained bad lacerations over both optics with his face in crimson, but tried to fight back hard. Gasca, nine years his junior at 22, showed his remarkable last surge and carried himself to a valuable victory. Gasca, whose legs were almost sagging in the fourth and sixth, could withstand Ohashi’s persistent body bombardments, and came back fiercely with his reckless retaliation. (more…)
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