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- Yamanaka retains WBC 118lb belt; scores fifth consecutive defense by KO
- Photos: Floyd Mayweather Media Day
- Josesito Lopez: I need to take care of business
- Video: Briggs stops Mireles in 27 seconds
- UFC 172 Main Card Fantasy Preview
- Browne hoping for Sheffield support
- Martinez keeps IBF 122lb belt by stopping Hasegawa in 7
- Sturm promises he'll beat Soliman in rematch
- George Foreman: Bernard Hopkins should retire
- Yamanaka, Martinez to defend WBC 118lb, IBF 122lb belts in Japan today
Preview by Brady Crytzer
The first fight was legendary because of its questions. The second fight will be historic because of its answers. In one of the most highly anticipated rematches in UFC heavyweight history, world champion Brock Lesnar meets former conqueror and interim titlist Frank Mir in a effort to redeem his lone Octagon loss. Since Mir locked up the 265 lb Lesnar in February of 2008, both men have been riding waves of momentum that have made this fight inevitable. Can Lesnar erase his lone disappointment and continue his dominance or will Mir prove that skill and will can still tackle strength . . . Click here for more
It’s the biggest event in mixed martial arts history, and for UFC 100, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is bringing out the big guns. Two championships will be on the line when UFC heavyweight title holder Brock Lesnar defends his crown against rival Frank Mir in their long-awaited grudge match, and UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre puts his belt up for grabs against Brazilian knockout artist Thiago “Pitbull” Alves. Also, The Ultimate Fighter coaches collide as Dan Henderson takes on Michael “The Count” Bisping in a pivotal middleweight showdown. For more info, visit the official site for UFC 100
Johnny Tapia has been arrested again, and taken into custody by the New Mexico Department of Corrections. Though Tapia was given permission from his probation and parole officer to go to Las Cruces, where he resides again, he was not given the green light to go on a trip to Red River. At a bar in Red River, Tapia was involved in a verbal confrontation –the altercation and the trip violated his terms of parole.
By Nick Giongco
Boxing’s No. 1 attraction and basketball’s hardcourt hero will shoot a print ad somewhere in Los Angeles on Wednesday (Thursday in the Philippines). Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Los Angeles Laker main man Kobe Bryant will appear in a photo shoot as part of their contractual obligations with leading sports apparel manufacturer Nike. Barring a last-minute change in schedule, Pacquiao will fly to LA on Tuesday night (early Tuesday morning US West Coast time) together with lawyer Franklin Gacal, business manager Eric Pineda and an official from Nike Philippines. “It’s going to be a one-day shoot in Los Angeles and Manny and I are returning (to Manila) the next day,” Gacal told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin. Pacquiao had done a few print ads for Nike Philippines but this latest project will be the second time the Filipino fighter is embarking on a deal for a much wider audience release. Pacquiao had appeared in a commercial last year featuring Bryant and other top Nike endorses like Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova of tennis, Cristiano Ronaldo of soccer and Liu Xiang of track and field. Pacquiao will likely return to the ring on Nov. 14 against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico. The venue is the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Photos: Marianne Müller
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Sports fans can expect a special weekend when “Boxing meets Formula 1″ at the famous Nürburgring Speedway. It will be “The Night of the Middleweights” the evening before the German Grand Prix in the new Ring ° Arena with two middleweight world championship bouts. In the main event, WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm (32-2-1, 14 KOs) defends against the very tough reigning European champion and Universum stablemate Khoren Gevor (30-3, 16 KOs). It has been announced that the WBA/WBO #2 rated Gevor will be recognized as the WBA’s mandatory challenger. (more…)
The rising rookie Rafael “Raffles” Gutierrez is ready to be the main event for the first time this Saturday night, July 11th when he faces Daniel Quevedo of Mexicali in Ensenada, Mexico. The fight night is being presented by Box Latino along with the Mexican cable channel Cadena Tres and will also feature the best prospects of the promotional company in the seaside port one hundred miles south of the Tijuana/San Diego border which include Sergio “Mickey” Lopez (7-1, 6 KOs), Andres Gutierrez and Pedro Gibran Guevara, all unbeaten and ready to take part of “Sangre Nueva (New Blood)” as the fight card is being billed. (more…)
Mark Coleman was fighting on pure instinct. Of course, if you’re a UFC Hall of Famer, former UFC heavyweight champion, and PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix champ, that’s not necessarily the kiss of death, but when your opponent is Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, it’s not the ideal situation to be in. Add in being 44 years old, and for most fighters, the night of January 17, 2009 was going to be a painful one.. . . Click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC
Tijuana, Mexico’s Box Latino, helmed by the Morales brothers, Erik and Diego, will be presenting an open air fight card on the legendary Revolucion Ave. located in the heart of the city. The event is expected to gather more than 5,000 fight fans to support the newly crowned WBC female flyweight champion Mariana “Barbie” Juarez as she makes her first defense on Saturday, July 25th. Juarez (20-5-3, 9 KOs) of Mexico City but residing in Tijuana, captured the strap last month by defeating Irma “Guerita” Sanchez in Jalisco and now will be facing Carolina Alvarez (9-2-1, 4 KOs) of Venezuela in a ten round bout. Also featured on the card will be Alex Sanabria (21-0, 16 KOs) of Tijuana taking on Sonora’s Roberto Tamayo (9-3-1, 6 KOs) in the featherweight division while an opponent is still being sought for Oscar Gonzalez (5-1, 4 KOs) also of Tijuana, for a super bantamweight scrap. Local up and coming prospects Felipe Salguero (7-2-1, 4 KOs) and Jorge Silva (8-0, 7 KOs) will also make an appearance.
By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
IBF/WBC/WBA super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan who challenges for the IBF bantamweight title against Joseph Agbeko at Sunrise, Florida on Saturday, will equal Hall of Famer Jeff Fenech in winning world titles in three weight divisions if successful. He has already equalled Kostya Tszyu as a WBC/IBF/WBA champion. (more…)
By Lee Bates
Fernando Angulo (22-5, 14 KOs) will meet Yuri Romanov (21-2, 14 KOs) for the vacant IBF lightweight title August 1st at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California. The bout will be on the undercard of the main event featuring WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs) and former IBF lightweight champion Nate Campbell (35-5-1, 25 KOs). Ironically Angulo and Romanov are fighting for the title Campbell was stripped of when he failed to make the weight limit for his title defense against Ali Funeka this past February.
Hall of Fame promoter Don King will be traveling to Los Angeles to pay his respects to Michael Jackson and the Jackson family. As a result, the final press conference for Saturday’s Darchinyan-Agbeko fight at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday to allow King time to return to Florida to host the presser.
Chicago-based Simmons Marketing Entertainment LLC, which also guides two-time heavyweight world title challenger Fres Oquendo, has announced the signing of undefeated middleweight prospect Orphius Waite (5-0, 3 KOs) to an exclusive managerial contract.
The IBF had scheduled a purse bid for tomorrow for the IBF jr. featherweight eliminator for #1 between Takalani Ndlovu and Kiko Martinez. The two sides have reached an agreement to hold the fight in South Africa. The purse bid has been canceled.
Former undisputed jr middleweight champion Ronald “Winky” Wright has announced a series of fight cards titled “Knockout Fight Club.” The first event will be held at M2 UltraLounge in New York City on August 19th with Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin in a featured bout. Shows in South Beach, FL and San Juan, Puerto Rico, are also in the pipeline.
This past Friday at Club Destiny in Orlando, Florida, heavyweight contender Derric “El Leon” Rossy (21-2, 12 KOs) scored a third round TKO over Moises Droz (13-8, 10 KOs) to capture the WBC Fecarbox heavyweight title. Rossy, a former Boston College football player, took charge from the opening round landing accurate punches to the head and body. As the fight continued, Rossy continued to apply pressure and mounted an all out assault in the beginning of the third round forcing the referee to halt the action. (more…)
WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm and European middleweight champion Khoren Gevor faced off at a press conference today in advance of their world championship showdown on Saturday at the new “Ring°Arena” at the famed Nürburgring Racetrack. The “Universum Champions Night” card will be part of the festivities on the weekend of the German Formula 1 Grand Prix. (More to come)
By Joe Koizumi
Former three-time world challenger Shingo Yamaguchi (24-6-2, 10 KOs), 111, returned to ring warfare despite his previous announcement to hang up gloves for good, and impressively halted game and tough Thailander Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (9-8-1, 4 KOs), 111.5, at 0:14 of the fifth round on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Yamaguchi had three unsuccessful world title shots against Yosam Choi in 2002, Takefumi Sakata and Daisuke Naito, both in the previous year. The crestfallen 29-year-old Japanese warrior gloomily said after his eleventh-round stoppage by Naito last December, “I’ve no more motivation to go on.” Yamaguchi, however, made a gallant comeback due to his manager and ex-WBA champ Katsuo Tokashiki’s advice. Yamaguchi, a busy-punching speedster, decked the free-swinging Thailander twice with solid rights in the third, but Ngaotawan amazingly displayed a furious retaliation in the fourth. Yamaguchi then came back hard to floor the fading foe again to have the referee declare a well-received halt. Promoter: Tokashiki Promotions.
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On Friday evening, Universum Box-Promotion Technical Manager Jean-Marcel Nartz, who has been coordinating the boxing events for German boxing powerhouse for the last seven years, officially said good-bye. He was given a royal send-off with a surprise party attended by family and friends during a festive three hour cruise through the Port of Hamburg. Nartz, a trained chef who lives in Cologne, was particularly pleased that proteges of bygone days such as world champion Markus Beyer and Axel Schulz were on hand in addition to Universum boss Klaus-Peter Kohl and current Universum world champions Ina Menzer and Karoly Balzsay. Universum Managing Director Stefan Braune presented Nartz with two “lifetime” honorary credentials and “golden seating” passes for future Universum events. Described as a ‘living boxing lexicon,’ Nartz stated that he plans to use the passes “very intensively.”
Nartz’ successor will be Kay Foitschik, who has been with the company since 2003 handling similar duties for Spotlight Boxing events. “I learned a lot from Marcel in the first few months,” he said, “but since 2004 I’ve also directed large events solo. The transition from Marcel to me will be seemless.” Among his career highlights have been international events, as well as the second fight between popular television personality Stefan Raab and female ring legend Regina Halmich before 18,000 fans as the sold out Cologne Arena.
For the first time in Europe, a Medical Congress was held from July 3-5 by the European Boxing Union (EBU) in collaboration with the British Boxing Board of Control in Cardiff, Wales. 67 Doctors from more than 20 European countries attended this important congress with simultaneous translation in 5 languages. (more…)
As previously reported by Fightnews, it has now been confirmed that IBF #2 rated, Delvin Rodriguez (24-2-2, 14 KOs) will fight for the vacant IBF welterweight championship against IBF #3 rated Isaac Hlatshwayo (28-1-1, 10 KOs) on August 1 at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, CT. The bout will be a rematch of their highly entertaining draw that took place in November in Hlatshwayo’s home country of South Africa. This time Rodriguez will have the home advantage as Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing won an IBF purse bid for the bout. “Delvin promised me that if he gets a rematch against Hlatshwayo in the U.S. that he is going to knock him out. We delivered on our end by winning the purse bid, now Delvin must deliver on his, and trust me when I tell you I couldn’t be more confident that he will,” stated DeGuardia. Tickets are $30-$125 and are on sale now. Call 1-800-745-3000.
A chirpy Brit with plenty of character and quotable lines, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping can usually wax lyrical on any subject and enjoy it. You don’t have to inspire him, you don’t have to prompt him – Bisping likes to talk and he realises the importance of getting his words out there. Even when he’s digging at prospective opponents, he thrives on the sense of danger and says everything with his tongue firmly pressed into his cheek . . . Click here for more by Elliott Worsell, UFC
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Photos: Denis Boulanger
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Panamanian Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno successully defended of his WBA bantamweight world title against Mahyar Monshipou by split decision on Saturday night at the Parc of Expositions in Poitiers, France. The scoring of the judges was Nelson Vásquez of Puerto Rico 116-113 in favor of Moreno, Stanley Christodoulou of South Africa 116-112 in favor of Moreno and Erkki Meronen of Finland 115-113 in favor of Monshipour. Moreno now has the record of 26-1-1 with 8 KOs while Monshipour falls to 31-4-2, 21 KOs.
By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten Kohei Ohba (25-0-1, 10 KOs), 118, kept his Japanese national bantam belt as he displayed his advantageous speed and skills to pound out a unanimous decision (99-92, 98-93 and 97-93) over Akira Mano (10-3, 6 KOs), 118, over ten nearly one-sided rounds on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.
Undercard: Unheralded Nao Yamamoto (8-6-1, 4 KOs), 125.5, scored an upset split duke (78-74, 76-75 and 76-77) over JBC#8 super-bantam Shota Hayashi (11-3, 7 KOs), 126, over eight. The underdog’s surprising knockdown of Hayashi with a vicious right uppercut in the third carried him to an unexpected triumph. Japanese #4 light Daiki Koide (14-1-2, 6 KOs), 136.25, showed a come-from-behind stoppage of ex-OPBF challenger Koji Samejima (17-4-1, 7 KOs), 136.75, with southpaw lefts at 2:50 of the sixth session in a scheduled eight. Ex-OPBF heavy champ Peter Okello (19-5, 17 KOs), 258.5, returned to action after a long hiatus and dispatched Jairo Kusunoki (4-5, 1 KO), 236, at 1:12 of the opening round in a scheduled six. Promoter: Hatanaka Promotions.
Two time world title challenger Fres Oquendo (30-5, 19 KOs) will now face former WBA heavyweight world champion Bruce Seldon (40-7, 36 KOs) for the NABA heavyweight title in the ten round main event on July 24th at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. Oquendo was originally scheduled to face Argentinean Gonzalo Omar Basile. “There’s just too many complications bringing Basile in from Argentina,” stated promoter Dominic Pesoli. “I’ve seen Seldon’s last two fights and he was in very good shape and looked sharp. With his power, experience and intelligence, this is going to make for a terrific heavyweight fight on July 24th.”
IBF bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko and unified super flyweight champion Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan participated in a highly spirited conference call with the media last week with both men tangling directly with each other boasting of what will transpire when they meet in the main event of one of the most anticipated fights of the year at “Don King’s Summer Sizzler” emanating from BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday (SHOWTIME 9 p.m. ET/PT). Here’s what they had to say.
By Nick Giongco
Nonito Donaire, the Filipino puncher who is regarded the heir apparent to Manny Pacquiao, has been running in the morning and reporting to a gym in the afternoon as he revs up for a tough assignment on Aug. 15 at the hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Donaire is facing Panamanian banger Rafael Concepcion in the main event of a Top Rank show that also features the long-awaited battle between Steven Luevano of the US against Filipino hopeful Bernabe Concepcion for Luevano’s WBO featherweight title. Donaire is leaving the flyweight class and his match with Concepcion will be for the interim WBA super-fly throne. (more…)
Heavyweight contenders Eddie Chambers and Alexander Dimitrenko spoke to the press shortly after their WBO elimination showdown on Saturday night. Here’s what they had to say:
Eddie Chambers: “Happy Birthday Sascha! It was a great fight. He showed that he’s a future champion. He didn’t succeed today, but he will succeed sometime. This fight was a good test, a good and strong opponent at the right time. Today I proved how fast and good I am. I showed everyone and defeated Dimitrenko. So when possible I’m ready for the fight with Vladimir Klitschko – this was the perfect preparation!”
Alexander Dimitrenko: “Today was not my day. I came into this fight badly, my hands were somehow jammed up and [the punches] didn’t flow like normal. I’m not looking for excuses. I clearly lost. I’d like to closely analyze this fight with my trainer Fritz and learn from it. One learns the most from defeats. Every great boxer has lost. It doesn’t break them, they come back stronger. I’m 27 years old for another half an hour. The best time for a heavyweight is age 30. I have the goal to fight for a world championship more than ever. I will succeed. I’m sorry that I disappointed the fans. But thus is life. It also goes on after defeats.” (more…)
Nowadays, to keep a job requires complete dedication to remain sharp in an increasingly competitive world. To have two jobs is even harder, especially when one of those jobs is as a police officer, and not just any police officer, but one who is part of a Special Forces team whose main goal is to recover firearms that have fallen into the hands of drug dealers (For a better understanding, take a look at Elite Troops, a Brazilian movie).. . . . Click here for more by Martins Denis, UFC
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Looks like former WBO bantamweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez (40-7, 34 KOs) will reappear on August 21 in a ten-rounder in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. The bout will be contested at featherweight, although it’s yet to be decided if Jhonny will stay 126 or drop to 122 again. Gonzalez was KO’d by WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka in a May world title attempt. The card is being promoted by Promociones del Pueblo, headed by Reginaldo and Osvaldo Kuchle.
Michael Bisping made no bones about the fact that he wanted Dan Henderson to defeat Rich Franklin when the two fought to determine who would coach opposite Bisping during the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He has openly questioned Hendo’s age and doesn’t shy away from the fact that he wants to be the first man to ever knock out the all-time great.. . . . Click here for more by Michael DiSanto, UFC
By Joe Koizumi
WBC#2/WBA#5 Japan-based Russian Sasha Bakhtin (23-0, 10 KOs), 117, successfully kept his OPBF bantamweight belt as he unusually displayed positive attacks and finally stopped OPBF#4 Indonesian champ Richard Samosir (18-2-3, 7 KOs), 117, at 2:23 of the eighth round on Sunday in Okinawa, Japan. Sasha, a tall and skinny jabber, decked the Indonesian twice in the fourth, once in the seventh and twice more in the eighth to halt the affair. The Russian registered his first defense since acquiring the vacant regional title on the last day of the previous year.
Unbeaten WBA#14 feather Francisco Cordero (20-0, 13 KOs), 128.75, Colombia, earned a close split verdict (77-76, 78-75 and 76-77) over the promoter’s son, JBC#9 130-pounder Koseki Nakama (14-2, 6 KOs), 129.25, over eight. Cordero kept hammering powerful punches to take the initiative, while Nakama occasionally retaliated with sharp shots. Cordero was in command in the second half thanks to his superior power punching in a hard-fought affair. Promoter: Okinawa World Ring Promotions.
By Joe Koizumi
WBC#13/WBA#15 Motoki Sasaki (32-7-1, 20 KOs), 146, kept his OPBF welterweight belt as he was awarded a well received unanimous technical decision (70-64, 69-64 and 70-65) over elongated Filipino southpaw Dexter Delada (18-7, 12 KOs), 146, at 1:14 of the seventh round on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. (more…)
by Robert Coster
It was a unique case of a challenger also being the promoter of the card. On Saturday night in Poitiers, France, former WBA junior featherweight champion Mahyar Monshipour put on a gallant effort in trying to wrest the WBA bantamweight title from Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno of Panama in a classic matchup of slugger vs boxer. Monshipour just fell short of achieving his goal against the very polished Moreno who proved too much of a puzzle for the French-Iranian warrior. (more…)
UFC 100 is fast approaching, and tonight at 9pm, Spike TV begins its countdown to the biggest UFC event of all-time with part one of The Ultimate 100, a five part series that takes you through the 100 greatest fights in UFC history, as voted on by UFC fans. Don’t miss a second of this exclusive countdown, only on Spike TV . . . . Click here for more
Courtesy of BoxingInLasVegas writer Butch Gottlieb
and photographer Mary Ann Owen
Friday night at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, Layla McCarter (32-13-5, 7 KOs) retained her WBA and GBU lightweight titles with a unanimous decision win over former world champion Fujin Raika (18-6-1, 6 KOs) in the main event of “The Rematch” card (click here for photos). In other notable bouts, jr middleweight Carlos Nascimento (24-1, 20 KOs) won a ten-rounder against Juan Pablo Montes de Oca (9-17-2, 6 KOs) and heavy-handed jr middleweight Antonio Mesquita (35-1, 27 KOs) blitzed Hugo Correa (9-4, 5 KOs) in one. (more…)
If someone would have told Universum-hope Alexander “Sasha” Dimitrenko that Eddie Chambers lives up to his nickname “Fast”, he probably would have taken another fight. However, he did choose to face the 28-year-old American in a WBO heavyweight title eliminator for the right to face unified champion Wladimir Klitschko. Going into the fight, the protégé of world-class coach Fritz Sdunek was very confident. At the end, he was punished by “Fast” Eddie Chambers. Over twelve rounds, Dimitrenko was never able to get into his rhythm and was unable to get past the outstanding defence and upper-body movement by Chambers while getting hit by clean shots all the time. When the fighters walked to the ring, Chambers was booed but when the final bell rung, the crowd cheered for the 28-year-old Philly fighter. However, when the verdict was announced, there was a short moment of disbelief as one judge scored the one-sided affair 113-113, a draw. However, his two colleagues saved the honor of their guild, having it 116-111 and 117-109 for the deserving American.
Being referred to as a veteran of the fight game at the age of 24 may make him “feel old”, but there’s no question that Jake O’Brien has seen plenty in his two and half year career in the Octagon. From dizzying highs to crippling lows and everything in between, O’Brien enters his UFC 100 bout with Jon Jones as a fighter who has been the hot prospect, been the young gun with the “0″ at the end of his record, and found out that there is no such thing as invincible – at least not in this game. . . . Click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC
By Karl Freitag and Alexey Sukachev
Photos: Marianne Müller
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“Fast” Eddie Chambers will be the next WBO challenger for world champion Wladimir Klitschko. In the most impressive performance of his career, Chambers (35-1, 18 KOs) schooled previously unbeaten WBO #1 ranked Alexander Dimitrenko (29-1, 19 KOs) over twelve rounds on Saturday night in a WBO eliminator at the Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Germany. The six-inches shorter Chambers was willing to meet Dimitrenko in the center of the ring and got the better of the early exchanges. Chambers was faster and sharper as he beat Dimitrenko to the punch while avoiding the Ukrainian’s power shots. Dimitrenko seemed lost as he searched in vain for an effective tactic against the well-schooled Philadelphia fighter. Dimitrenko took a standing count from referee Geno Rodriguez after a body shot from Chambers in round seven. Chambers dropped Dimitrenko and sent his mouthpiece flying with a left hook in the tenth round, but Dimitrenko survived some heavy shots to finish the round. Chambers rocked Dimitrenko again in the last round to punctuate his brilliant performance. Scores were a bizarre 113-113 (Paul Thomas), and a more realistic 116-111, 117-109.
WBA/WIBF flyweight champion Susi Kentikian (25-0, 16 KOs) dominated challenger Carolina Gaite (15-2, 11 KOs) over ten rounds to retain her world titles. The “Killer Queen” won by shutout scores of 100-90 on all cards. Gaite’s WIBF 115lb world title was not on the line.
Russian cruiserweight contender Alexander Alekseev (18-1, 16 KOs) came back to his punching best with a third-round stoppage of American Kendrick Releford (20-13-2, 10 KOs). WBO #5 and WBA/WBC #8 Alekseev didn’t look extra spectacular but did his portion of work, connecting to his opponent’s hand and body at will and rocking him numerous times in first three rounds. Releford retired on his stool after the third stanza on what didn’t seem to be a dangerous cut. Alekseev is only the second boxer to stop Releford inside the distance; the first one being DaVarryl Williamson in 2004.
Unified WIBF/GBU female super flyweight champion Alesia Graf (24-1, 9 KOs) barely retained her regalia with a ten-round split decision over American Terri Lynn Cruz (17-6-2, 8 KOs): 96-93, 94-95, 95-94. Graf was down after an overhand right by Cruz in round six and was wobbling around till the end of the next round, digging deep to survive through the American’s fiery attacks.
Venezuelan welterweight power hitter Pablo “El Talentoso” Vasquez (17-0, 16 KOs) was successful in his European debut, but failed to impress as he barely outpointed Romanian journeyman Vasile Surcica (13-28-2, 5 KOs) over six rounds.
Polish 130/135 lb prospect Krzysztof Cieslak (12-0, 4 KOs) scored a third-round technical knockout of out-of-shape German journeyman Suleyman Dag (4-11, 2 KOs). Dag was down after a huge right cross by Cieslak, beat the count but was unable to continue after the doctor’s examination.
If there were any early fireworks to be seen, last night at the Plaza Hotel, downtown Las Vegas, it was the sizzle of Lonnie Smith’s inherited lightning strike rather than the fizzle between two defanged Cobra-named cruiserweights . . . Click here for full report and photos
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