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Sad to report that famed Florida referee Eddie Eckert passed away on January 7. Eckert officiated his first pro fight in June 1961 and refereed his last fight in June 1995. In that 34-year span, some of the fighters he shared the ring with included the legendary Willie Pep (in 1965), Cleveland Williams, Jimmy Ellis, Michael Dokes, Alexis Arguello, Tim Witherspoon, Leon Spinks, Wilfredo Benitez, Vincente Rondon, Mike Quarry and Maurice “Termite” Watkins. One of the bigger fights he oversaw was the John Mugabi versus Terry Norris fight at the Sun Dome in Tampa in March 1990. Respected by his peers and by people who know and understand boxing, he was often paid the ultimate compliment a referee can receive. “You didn’t even know he was in the ring.” Eckert was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011.
By Karl Freitag
Just a few weeks ago, middleweight champion Sergio Martinez called a press conference in Argentina to say among other things that he was was finished working with HBO. So it was an interesting moment Monday hearing the comments of Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports, during a press conference announcing Martinez’ fight against Matthew Macklin which will be televised by HBO. “Sergio Martinez has become must-see television and he is recognized as THE middleweight champion of the world,” stated Davis, “We couldn’t be happier to have him as one of the faces of HBO Boxing.”
Quite the about face considering that it was HBO’s refusal to televise Sergio’s mandatory fight against Sebastian Zbik that got him stripped of his WBC title (and HBO later accepted a fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the same opponent for Martinez’ vacant title).
Earlier today, before a standing-room only crowd of media at Ainsworth Prime inside Madison Square Garden, Lou DiBella officially announced his St. Patrick’s Day card (Saturday, March 17th) that will take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Headlining the show will be middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) defending his crown against top-rated Irish middleweight contender, Matthew “Mack The Knife” Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs). The card will also feature Ireland’s fellow world-rated contender, Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KOs) against TBA. The card is billed as “THE REAL Middleweight Championship – Get Your Irish Up.”
By Ray Wheatley
Photos: Johnny Chaichotchuang
In Thailand’s first promotion for 2012, former Bangkok prisoner Patomsuk “Esan Warrior” Pathompothong (15-1-1, 9KOs) captured the IBF Pan Pacific 140 pound title, when he stopped Michael “Speed” Sigarlaki (13-10-2, 12KOs) in four rounds, on Tuesday at Kaseem Pattana, Phitsanulok, Thailand; which is 377 km north of Bangkok. Indonesian, Sigarlaki, started the fight in top gear and connected with fast combinations on Pathompothong, but in round two, the Thai boxer stepped up a gear and gained control of the contest. In round three Pathompothong dropped Sigarlaki with a perfectly timed left hook to the jaw, and in round four, dropped his opponent three times, and at 2:49 the referee crowned Pathompothong. (more…)
By Francisco Salazar
The Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously approved on Wednesday afternoon a license for welterweight contender Victor Ortiz, Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Robert Diaz told Fightnews.com. Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano, also told Fightnews.com that Ortiz was a granted a conditional one-fight license by the five members of the commission. Before he was approved for the license, members grilled Ortiz for his actions in his September 17th fourth round loss to Floyd Mayweather, when he intentionally head butted the flamboyant unbeaten fighter. Ortiz also had to answer to the commission for comments he made last month in a televised interview, stating he attempted to break Mayweather’s nose when he butted him. The license will allow for Ortiz to face Andre Berto on February 11th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV in a rematch of their 12 round war in April, which was won by Ortiz. Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment will co-promote the card.
Jose Aldo has something to prove on Saturday night. That got your attention, didn’t it? Follow along for a couple of paragraphs before getting all crazy in the comment section, because the reigning UFC featherweight champion certainly does have something to prove in my honest opinion. . . . Click here for more by Michael DiSanto, UFC.com
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For more info on the UFC or UFC: RIO, visit www.UFC.com
Hot prospect Jose Reynoso (15-3-1, 2 KOs) of Riveride by way of Mexicali, Mexico will take on fellow prospect Thomas Dulorme (13-0, 10 KOs) of Puerto Rico February 17th. The bout will be televised on ShoBox The Next Generation Series and is scheduled for 10 rounds and the NABF welterweight title. Contracted weight for the fight will be 143 pounds. Reynoso is unbeaten in his last six bouts against very solid competition. Reynoso is also a big ticket seller in Southern California and will have many supporters at the site of the event which will be the Chumash Casino, in Santa Ynez, California.
Teon Kennedy of Philadelphia and Chris ‘The San Diego Kid’ Martin are heading to Las Vegas today to battle on a Top Rank promoted ESPN Friday Night Fights card at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino on January 13.
“I’ve wanted to fight on ESPN for such a long time,” said Kennedy, a world-ranked super bantamweight. “I have seen Martin on a lot of video so I know what he’s all about.”
Kennedy and Martin are scheduled for 10 rounds. Kennedy has a record of 17-1-1, 7 KOs. Martin is 23-1-2, 6 KOs.
Martin said he “got the lowdown on Kennedy” when he went to Tijuana and sparred with Alejandro Lopez. Lopez decisioned Kennedy in a 12 round bout last year in Atlantic City, N.J. “I know Kennedy doesn’t like a lot of pressure,” Martin said. “He’ll see a lot of that on Friday night.” (more…)
Manny Pacquiao could decide today or tomorrow whether he will fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5th — this according to Manny’s trainer. Freddie Roach just told TMZ Manny and promoter Bob Arum are in the Philippines, figuring out if they can put off several deals to fight other boxers … to clear the decks for a Mayweather fight in May. Roach is scoffing at Mayweather’s tweet, in which he calls Pacquiao a “punk,” saying, “He should look in the mirror. He’s been ducking us for 2 years.”
As for what weight class Pacquiao will fight Mayweather … Roach said 147 lbs — that’s the upper limit of welterweight. Of course, even if Pacquiao can rearrange his schedule, both sides have to agree on a financial deal. Roach says, “We’ll do it on even terms.”
Photo: Team Sauerland
King Arthur Abraham (32-3, 26 KOs) has promised to make a spectacular comeback on Saturday night when he takes on Argentinian Pablo Farias (19-1, 11 KOs) in front of a sell-out crowd at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany. “I will start the year with a victory and also end the year with a victory,” the former IBF Middleweight Champion said at today´s final press conference. “I am determined to be world champion again in 2012.”
Ulli Wegner believes Abraham will make a winning return. “Arthur has worked hard in the preparation,” the German coaching legend said. “He will be in top shape on Saturday night. He needs to bounce back with a convincing performance.” (more…)
If anyone had earned a vacation from mixed martial arts, it was Gabriel Gonzaga. For years, the heavyweight standout had fought a wide selection of the best heavyweights of this era, from Randy Couture and Mirko Cro Cop to Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos . . . Click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC.com
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For more info on the UFC or UFC: RIO, visit www.UFC.com
Barry Hunter manager/trainer for Lamont Peterson has issued a statement regarding Amir Khan’s and Golden Boy Promotions’ protests to the IBF and WBA:
By Barry Hunter
Unfortunately, we are in this process of dealing with these unfounded protests. It would be an understatement to characterize Lamont as being disappointed in the unprofessional manner in which Khan is attempting to discredit his performance in the ring and victory. We were raised to conduct ourselves where Champions display professionalism, both in victory and defeat. Lamont previously tasted defeat and handled it the way it should be handled – – he worked harder on areas that needed improvement to maximize his performance in the ring. Now, he is World Champion.
Khan blames everyone and everything but his performance and lack of ability to make adjustments in the ring for his loss. He claims that the Ring Announcer privately stated he won, then that the referee’s discretionary actions should be overruled, then a mystery man in a black hat with no association to the Peterson Camp somehow affected the outcome of the bout, and also that the judges did not score the Bout correctly. Each claim is boldly false, but because Golden Boy and Khan have the financial resources to file protests and lawyers to create questionable accusations we are forced to address these issues. .We will not let these foul tactics take away from Lamont’s hard work, dedication and monumental victory. Furthermore, since Khan continues to focus on a man at ringside I want to be very clear– Mustafa Ameen is in no way, nor has he ever been affiliated or associated with anyone within Team Peterson. That includes myself, Lamont and Anthony Peterson. (more…)
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights this week will originate from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas when junior featherweights “Marvelous” Chris Martin (23-1-2, 6 KOs) and Teon “The Technician” Kennedy (17-1-1, 7 KOs) meet in the 10-round main event that both fighters desperately need to win.
Martin is looking to rebound after an October 10-round split decision loss to Jose Baranza. Previously, Martin scored his career-best win in a 10-round decision against previously undefeated Chris Avalos. “The key to fighting this guy (Kennedy) is the jab and movement,” Martin said. “I think Kennedy’s a straight-forward fighter, and that’s what we’re working on – lateral movement and combinations. I’m working on throwing more punches and landing more punches.”
Kennedy, previously ranked #3 by the IBF, is coming off a tough twelve round decision loss to Alejandro Lopez. “I’ve been training really hard for this fight, and am well-prepared,” said Kennedy. “I’ve seen a couple of tapes on Chris Martin. He has a lot of skills, but I also see a lot of mistakes that I can capitalize on. My approach is to keep the jab out there and see what he can do with it.” (more…)
UFC Arrives In Sweden – Tickets On Sale This Week: The UFC makes its debut in Sweden on April 14 at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm! UFC Fight Club presale starts Wednesday, January 11 at 10am CET
UFC 143 VIP Packages On Sale Now: Floor seats, meet & greets, backstage tours and more! Get the ultimate experience on February 4th in Las Vegas!
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For more info on the UFC or UFC: RIO, visit www.UFC.com
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Former WBA light heavyweight world champion Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs) will challenge unbeaten IBF light heavyweight king Tavoris Cloud (23-0, 19 KOs) at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. For Cloud it will be the fourth defense of his belt and for Campillo it’s an opportunity to be a world champion again after losing his WBA crown in controversial fashion against Beibut Shumenov in 2010. Headlining the card is a showdown between former world champions Paul Williams and Nobuhiro Ishida.
As expected, it was announced today that Kell Brook and Matthew Hatton will meet at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England on March 17. “This is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time and to get it at the Sheffield Arena means the world to me,” said Brook, 25. “When I first sat down with Eddie, he told me that his vision was a sell-out night at Sheffield Arena and now we’re here. It is a competitive division and we’re both trying to achieve the same goal, so I know that by putting him out of the equation, it gives me a clearer run at the title. I want people to stand up and take notice of me and these are the kind of nights that makes that happen.
“We’ve been looking at fights here and in the US but this is the one that gives me the buzz. I know I’m comfortably the best Welterweight in Britain and I’m going to put in a devastating performance on March 17 to show the World just that.” (more…)
Cruiserweight hopefuls Joell Godfrey (13-5-1, 6 KOs) and Henry Namauu (9-5, 5 KOs) will square off Saturday, January 21 in the ten round main event of Halquist Productions’ “Battle at the Boat 85” from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. In the six round co-feature, unbeaten welterweight prospect Nate Serrano (3-0, 2 KOs) takes on Roberto Crespo, 2-1. Ring announcer Amy Hayes will serve as the master of ceremonies throughout the evening. (more…)
By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Mike Gladysz/Adamek Team
“I have message for people who think that after Vitali Klitschko I will just cruise along, fighting only for money,” says former IBF cruiserweight and WBC light heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek (44-2, 28 KOs), who in his first heavyweight title fight lost to WBC champ Vitali Klitschko. “People who think that don’t know me. If you only fight for money you will lose because we have guaranteed purses before we step into the ring. I want to win, and it will never change.” (more…)
By Francisco Salazar
Lightweight contender John Molina will have a different opponent whom he will face on February 17th, promoter Dan Goossen told Fightnews.com on Tuesday morning. Molina will now face hard-hitting southpaw Marvin Quintero in a 10 round bout at the College Park Center in Arlington, TX. “Molina was originally scheduled to face Alejandro Sanabria, but he fell out,” said Goossen. Molina will be fighting for the first time since stopping Robert Frankel after the fifth round in June. He has won his last five bouts in a row since his only defeat at the hands of Martin Honorio in November of 2009. Quintero has won his last four bouts in a row, all by knockout, since a shocking second round knockout to Daniel Attah in November of 2010. Molina, who turned 29 last month, hails from Covina, CA, while Quintero resides in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
By Rick Scharmberg
Classy veteran Dorin Spivey (40-6, 29 KOs) will face dangerous Philadelphian Victor Vasquez (14-5-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday, February 4 at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Spivey and Vasquez will engage in a ten round bout with the vacant NABA lightweight title at stake. Spivey’s world-class skills made him a contender in 2001-2002, when he easily defeated the likes of Billy “The Kid” Irwin and Mike “No Joke” Stewart, who were then at the height of their respective careers. The co-main event will pit fan favorite Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon (29-2, 21 KOs) taking on hard hitting Evans “The Sandman” Quinn (20-6-1, 18 KOs) in a heavyweight bout. The card, which takes place on the eve of the Super Bowl, and is aptly titled “Super Brawl I”, is presented by Diane Fischer’s Dee Lee Promotions in association with Tropicana Casino and Resort. (more…)
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