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- Incredibly Smooth: The Best of Benson Henderson
- Smoger to run referee, judges clinics in St Maarten
- Joseph Parker mired in passport snafu
- Boxing Buzz
- Late Report: Perez paints a Picasso on canvass called Calzada
- Tuesday Night Fights tonight in Philadelphia
- Estrada-Vukosa full report
- Lozano-Tostado collide Friday in Tampa
- Escalera replaces Allen in Aug 8 FNF co-feature
- Porter, Brook Quick Quotes
- Douglin faces Mercedes on Saturday in St Maarten
By Emily Harney
The stage is set for the live season four finale of “The Contender” reality boxing series. Troy Ross weighed in at 194 pounds and Ehinomen “Hino” Ehikhamenor scaled in at 192 for their ten round battle on Wednesday night.
Akinyemi “AK” Laleye 194 vs Rico Hoye 199
Felix Cora Jr.200 vs Tim Flamos 195
Erick Vega 200 vs Alfredo Escalera Jr. 198
Richard Gingras 192 vs Ryan Coyne 194
Venue: Foxwoods MGM Grand Arena, Mashantucket, CT
Promoter: Tournament of Contenders
Universum Box-Promotion celebrated its 25-year anniversary with a roaring, gala event at the famous Universum Gym in Hamburg. In the boxing highlight, longtime world champion Artur “King” Grigorian (38-1, 22 KOs), the WBO lightweight champion from 1996 to 2004, was victorious in his comeback fight, winning a six round decision over Kirkor Kirkorov (28-22, 6 KOs). Ringcard girls for the fight were current world champions Ina Menzer and Alesia Graf, plus female legend “Boxing Queen” Regina Halmich.
Among the ex-champs and current champs on hand to honor promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl were Dariusz Michalczewski, Regina Halmich, Markus Bott, Michael Löwe, Juan Carlos Gomez, Felix Sturm, Ruslan Chagaev, Zsolt Erdei and Sergej Dzinziruk. (more…)
Boxing has lost another great man. Arizona boxing legend Al Fenn, 89, passed away after losing his battle with cancer, Sunday, Feb. 22. Before WW II, Fenn fought, both, as an amateur and pro. During the war, he fought at Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Pearl Harbor. After military service, Fenn pursued journalism – and continued filling many roles in boxing. He is credited with saving amateur boxing in Arizona, and preserving the state Golden Gloves tournament for years. Fenn was also the trainer for many outstanding fighters, including Zora Folley and Manny Elias. For decades, he was also a matchmaker and promoter across Arizona.
A service for Al will be held at the LDS Stake Center (36th St. & Shea Blvd.) in Phoenix, at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 26. In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting that donations be sent to the Phoenix Boys and Girls Center, 2116 W. Buckeye Rd., Phoenix, Ariz., 85009. For more details call 602.264.6372.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) today announced that it has signed top-ten middleweight contender Yoshihiro Akiyama to an exclusive promotional contract that will see him step into the UFC® Octagon™ for the first time this summer. “I’m excited to bring Akiyama into the UFC and I can see him making an immediate impact in the middleweight division,” said UFC President Dana White. “Besides his great judo and submission game, he’s a finisher, and UFC fans are going to love watching him because he always shows up to fight.”
Ringside report by Felipe Leon
Three divisional world champion Erik Morales’ Box Latino joined forces with his brother, former bantamweight champion Diego “Pelucho” Morales of PM Promotions, to stage a seven-fight bout card in the small beach town of Rosarito, Mexico, about 20 minutes south of the San Diego-Tijuana border, Saturday night . . . Click here for more
Houston native and former unified lightweight world champion Juan Diaz recently partnered with Everlast to give back to his community. On Feb. 13, Diaz and Everlast provided a $5,000 donation to The Contemporary Learning Center in Houston. The check was presented to the students during a ceremony held at the school. An Everlast endorser, Diaz is a former Contemporary Learning Center student who frequently returns to the school to speak in order to help motivate students to thrive in education and fitness. Juan will be fighting in his hometown of Houston, Texas versus Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.
By Karl Freitag
In March 2006, Juan Manuel Marquez traveled to Indonesia to challenge WBA featherweight champion Chris John on John’s home turf. With two point deductions late in that bout, the Marquez camp contends he didn’t get a fair shake in his opponent’s backyard. Marquez will again be fighting in enemy territory when he faces Juan Diaz on Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. “I’ve got no worries whatsoever,” stated Marquez today on the topic of his opponent again having homefield advantage. “Part of the deal was I would take the fight but I wanted neutral judges and I feel my promoter Golden Boy Promotions did a good job. I’m very satisfied with the judges as long as they do their job and score what they see in the ring.” The always respectful Diaz said Marquez is “a man on a mission” and “he doesn’t care about where or who he fights.”
P4P best Manny Pacquiao has given up the WBC lightweight title. In a letter to the WBC, Pacquiao wrote:
Dear Mr. Sulaiman and World Boxing Council;
I take great pride and honor in representing the W.B.C. as its Lightweight Champion at the present time. Your instituion has opened the door formy success in boxing and I am grateful for the prestige your organization has given me over the years as one of its champions in many different weight categories.
I have had discussion with my team as to the direction of my career since my fight at 147 lbs with Oscar De La Hoya, on December 6, 2008. After careful consideration and the in the advancement of my professional boxing career, I intend at this time to campaign in the Super Lightweight division with a fight against Ricky Hatton on May 2, 2009.
Therefore, this correspondence will serve as formal notice to the World Boxing Council, I am voluntarily relinquishing my W.B.C. Lightweight Championship Belt in order to pave the way for a new champion and provide opportunities and success to other fighters in the Lightweight division.
I look forward to the opportunity and distinction of representing your organization as a World Champion in the future.
Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao
Spike TV’s coverage of UFC 95 on Saturday, February 21 (9:00pm-Midnight) delivered more Men 18-34 (634,000) and Men 18-49 (1,244,000) than anything else on television (broadcast or cable) in its timeslot. The action-packed fight card peaked at 11:30pm with 3 million viewers for the main event featuring former “The Ultimate Fighter” champs and current lightweight contenders Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez and Joe “Daddy” Stevenson. With a bevy of exciting early-round knockouts, the three-hour Spike telecast included an unprecedented nine fights, five from the main card and four undercard bouts. The previous high for a Spike TV fight card was seven fights. Emanating from the O2 Arena in London, England, UFC 95 aired same-day tape on Spike TV and drew a 2.2 in Men 18-49, 2.7 for Men 25-34, 2.2 for M18-34, and 2.4 million viewers.
No, you’re not imagining things. Jose “Junior” Aldo is back again. The 22-year-old phenom is Texas-bound for his fourth WEC fight in the past eight months. The Brazilian is set to lock horns with an extremely powerful and aggressive Iraqi war veteran named Chris Mickle (31-11-2), who doesn’t seem to care that the 13-1 Aldo has been manhandling opponents and skyrocketing up the featherweight contender ladder in the process . . . Click here for more by Frank Curreri, WEC
The protagonists of Saturday night´s Sauerland Event fight card in Neubrandenburg today warmed up with a public training session in the heart of the East German city. Former European middleweight champion Sebastian Sylvester (29-3, 14 KOs) will be looking to return to winning ways when he faces Italy´s Gaetano Nespro (14-4, 2 KOs) for the IBF international middleweight title. It will be the Hurricane’s first fight since losing a points decision to WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm and also the first under newly-appointed head coach Karsten Rower. “The first months of our cooperation have been great,” Rower said. “Things are going very smoothly. Saturday is a big fight for us – a fight which we must not lose. Sebastian needs to be on alert against a tricky opponent.” The Hurricane can´t wait to get back into the ring. “I am in great shape,” he said. “I really enjoy working with Karsten Rower. I have prepared very well and I will make a winning return.” (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
WBA female super-fly champ Zhang Xi Yan (7-1, 2 KOs), out of China, will make her initial defense against Japanese challenger Tsunami Tenkai (12-3, 4 KOs) on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan. Zhang, handled by famed European agent Philippe Fondu and coached by Frenchman Nicolas Rifford, arrived here last Friday, and has been training diligently prior to her first defense since she dethroned Korean Hana Kim by a unanimous ten-round decision in Chengdu, China, in October 2007. Tenkai, ex-IFBA bantam ruler, is five years her junior at 24 and seems to be much motivated to wrest the belt from the Chinese southpaw. (more…)
Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events, now that the State Athletic Commission has approved final regulations for the sport, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés announced today. The new regulations take effect Feb. 27, 2009. “I commend the work of the State Athletic Commission on the regulations, which were crafted to ensure participant and spectator safety,” Cortés said. “These efforts will assure licensure and testing of participants for communicable diseases, as well as require emergency medical care and insurance for participants. Regulation of the sport also will help ensure that events are orderly and crowd control is maintained.”Cortés noted that MMA has actively sought regulation. Pennsylvania joins a growing number of states, including New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, California, Nevada and Florida that permit Mixed Martial Arts.
By Jason Kotar at ringside / Photos: Sumio Yamada
In a bizarre lightweight fight, Breidis Prescott (21- 0, 18 KOs) remained undefeated with a disqualification win when veteran Humberto Toledo (33-6-2, 19 KOs) bit his shoulder in the tenth and final round. The unbelievable foul by Toledo was televised live on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights from the University Center Arena on the Campus of Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. (more…)
By Lee Bates
The proposed bout between WBO junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” López (24-0, 22 KOs) and WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Peñalosa, (54-6-2, 36 KOs) is now official. The bout will take place Saturday April 25th at the Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The bout which is titled ‘Champion vs. Champion’ will be televised live by HBO and promoted by Top Rank and PR Best Boxing(Iván & Peter Rivera). Peñalosa successfully defeated Mexico’s German Meraz by unanimous decision this past Saturday in Cebu City, The Phillipines in a 10 round non-title bout. Penalosa and his team are expected to arrive next week in Puerto Rico to begin the promoting of the bout. Tickets are now available for purchase at Ticket Center (787)792-5000.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Former Junior Lightweight World Champion Carlos Hernandez , Former Two Division World Champion Jesus Chavez, Former Junior Lightweight World Champion Edwin Valero, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer, Former Two-Time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Joel Casamayor, Former Lightweight World Champion Julio Diaz and Former Junior Lightweight World Champion Jorge Barrios took part in a press conference on Monday to announce their bouts on “Lightweight Lightning”, an four bout PPV event taking place on April 4, 2009 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Light heavyweight standouts Glen Johnson and Daniel Judah have unfinished business with each other after their disputed draw in 2003. On Friday, February 27th, they finally get their chance to get it on again at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, and tickets are now on sale for what promises to be an explosive rematch. The countdown begins this Wednesday with the final press conference, and on Thursday, the fighters weigh in for this most anticepated rematch. Each of these events is open to the public.
1 PM – Wednesday, February 25 :: Press Conference at Paradise Live Theater (Located next to Hard Rock Live in Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.)
5 PM – Thursday, February 26 :: Weigh In at Hard Rock Live – 4th Floor VIP Room
Priced at $152, $102, $52, and $22, tickets may be purchased at the Hard Rock Live Box Office or TicketMaster.com for Johnson vs Judah II, a night of world-class professional boxing presented by Seminole Warriors Boxing. For more information regarding this and other events, log on to: www.warriorsboxing.com
Story by Felipe Leon
Surprisingly, two time lightweight champion Julio “Kidd” Diaz (36-4, 26 KOs) is amused with the recent comments his next opponent Joel Casamayor made recently, where the two-time divisional champion stated in not-so-nice terms that if he didn’t knock out Diaz, he was going to inflict great bodily harm.
“I think its funny. I have been a lightweight for thirteen years and he just got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, a featherweight,” Diaz states with a chuckle . . . Click here for more
SHOWTIME caught up with legendary trainer Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward on Monday for his thoughts on this Friday’s IBF cruiserweight title fight pitting champion Tomasz Adamek against Steward’s pupil, the undefeated Johnathon Banks in the main event Friday, Feb. 27, on ShoBox: The New Generation (live at 11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Steward, 64, who won a national Golden Gloves title at 118 pounds in 1963, is managing the 26-year-old Banks’ career outside of the ring while his nephew Javan “Sugar” Hill is handling the training duties. (more…)
By Dennis Principe
Former world lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz believes his solid work rate will be too much for three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez. “Right now I’m the hungry guy. I’m young and hungry and I’m willing to go through any extreme to beat him,” Diaz told the daily Philippine radio show Sports Chat hosted by this writer. Despite this Diaz expects to have a hard fight and expects a tough but winning time against Marquez. Diaz will have a shot at regaining his old belts when he clashes with Marquez in a 12-round bout for the WBA and WBO crowns on February 28 at the Toyota Center in Houston. In the same interview Diaz gave his thoughts on the upcoming Manny Pacquiao versus Ricky Hatton brawl. He believes the Filipino sensation has the tools to beat a one-dimensional Hatton. Listen to the interview here.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Oscar,” stated welterweight contender Delvin Rodriguez upon hearing the news that Oscar Diaz has been discharged from University Hospital in San Antonio. “He is a great boxer and more importantly a great human being. I will always keep Oscar and his family in my thoughts and prayers.” Diaz suffered a near-fatal brain injury during his bout against Delvin Rodriguez last July. Joe DeGuardia, CEO of Star Boxing stated “We are happy to hear about the progess that Oscar has already made and just hope that he continues to get better and continues to improve. We wish all the best for Oscar and his family in the future and want them to know we will always keep Oscar in our thoughts.” Star Boxing matchmaker Ron Katz added, “I couldn’t be more pleased to hear of Oscar’s progress, and I am very happy for Oscar who has shown what a true champion is made of and also for his family who has stuck by him throughout this tragic ordeal.”
Click on the photo to scroll through all the photos…
IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (36-1, 24 KOs) and unbeaten IBF #8 challenger Johnathon Banks (20-0, 14 KOs) worked out today at the C.O.M.B.A.T. Gym in Newark, NJ. Adamek and Banks collide Friday night live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT from The Prudential Center in Newark.
Here’s what they had to say…
Johnathon Banks: I’m a boxer, that’s what I do. The difference is, I can punch! Sparing with Wladimir (Klitschko) taught me how to deal with punches. I’m well equipped to win this fight. Look for an explosive fight. Most of all don’t blink!
Tomasz Adamek: After beating Cunningham I became number one. I feel I am the best. Although I won that fight and everyone liked it, it was rough on me because I would have liked the fight to have been sooner. I trained for six months (for Cunningham) because the fight was changed two times. This fight they will see a better Adamek because I will be more fresh and sharp. I will win!
Photos: Emily Harney
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Contender finalists Troy Ross and Ehinomen “Hino” Ehikhamenor worked out for the media today in advance of their Season 4 Contender Finale on Wednesday from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods.
The last time I wrote about Marcus Hicks I celebrated him as the “Quiet Man” of MMA. Well, Hicks outdid his tight-lipped ways during our latest interview for his upcoming lightweight clash with “Razor” Rob McCullough. He took his brevity to new heights, as this question-and-answer session reveals . . . Click here for more by Frank Curreri, WEC
Fallen warrior Oscar Diaz has been discharged from University Hospital in San Antonio. According to the San Antonio Express News, Diaz has been moved to a local rehabilitation facility. “He’s doing remarkably well compared to when we first saw him,” neurosurgeon Dr. David Jimenez told the paper. “He’s totally alert. He’s awake, smiles and gives the ‘thumbs up’ sign. We’re very happy with his progress.” Diaz suffered a near-fatal brain injury during his bout against Delvin Rodriguez last summer.
By Alexey Sukachev and Andrey Bazdrev (at ringside)
Photos: Andrey Bazdrev (PBFR)
Russian middleweight champion Gennady Martirosyan, 29, is steadily raising his stock as a legitimate contender in 160lb weight division. On Friday night, Feb. 20th, Martirosyan (16-1, 6 KOs), who is ranked #15 by the WBO, added a vacant PABA middleweight title to his resume and Thai Kiatchai Singwancha (26-6, 16 KOs) to the list of victims with an impressive ninth-round knockout victory. The fight was a headliner of a nice-packed tournament, held in Casino Conti, St. Petersburg, and promoted by Vitaly Supichenko and Alexander Yagupov of Jab Promotions. (more…)
Border promoter Promociones del Pueblo have a three-title bill set for Ciudad Chihuahua, Mexico, on March 21. Three WBC Fecombox belts will be on the line. In the main event, Yory Boy Campas (92-13, 74 KOs) will test rising Chihuahuan star Marcos “Dorado” Reyes (10-0, 10 KOs) in a 12-rounder at middleweight. Fighting for the 140-pound Fecombox belt, Juarez’s Javier “Zorro” Castro (19-1, 17 KOs) will take on Antonio Izquierdo (17-4-1, 14 KOs) of Chihuahua, who seeks to end a four-bout losing streak. At 115 pounds, Victor Zaleta (7-1, 4 KOs) goes 12 with highly ranked Luis “Titi” Maldonado (37-3-1, 28 KOs). Televisa will televise the bouts in Mexico. –Chris Cozzone
By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside / Photos: Robert Hughes
2008 U.S. Olympian, Luis “The Latin Legend” Yanez (1-0) made is long awaited pro debut on Friday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, with a majority decision over San Antonio’s Julio Valdez (3-3), 40-36, 39-37, 38-38. In what became a one punch and hold affair, neither fighter could establish a flow to the fight. Valdez tried to turn the fight into a brawl to overcome the speed and quickness of Yanez, but in the end Yanez did just enough to escape with his first professional win. (more…)
By Bob Caico at ringside / Photos Boxing Bob Newman
Former two time super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell scored an impressive win Friday night in Buffalo, NY on a card promoted by X-Cel Worldwide. Mitchell (27-4-1, 20 KOs), now campaigning at light heavyweight, stopped Zach Walters (23-4) of Duluth, MN at the end of the sixth round of a scheduled 12. (more…)
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (2000, 2004) has escaped from Cuba and resurfaced in Miami. No details of his escape are available. The 27-year-old southpaw bantamweight will rejoin former Cuban Olympic teammates Yuriorkis Gamboa, Odlanier Solis and Erislandy Lara under the Arena Box-Promotion banner. Rigondeaux and Lara had previously tried to defect in 2007 in Brazil, but were returned to Cuba where they were not permitted to box. Lara later escaped successfully. Both Gamboa and Lara scored spectacular KOs in nationally televised bouts on Friday night.
Arena CEO Ahmet Öner has confirmed Rigondeaux’s defection and announced that Rigondeaux has signed with Arena Box-Promotion. “It’s true,” said Öner. “Our director of boxing operations in the USA, Luis DeCubas, has met Rigondeaux in Miami. Obviously, we are excited that this extraordinarily gifted athlete joins our team of Cuban world class boxers like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and Odlanier Solis. They will train together at our gym in Miami. We will announce everything else and answer questions on a press conference in Miami next week.”
Former WBO lightweight champion Artur Grigorian weighed in at 144.6lbs for his comeback fight against Kirkor Kirkorov, who scaled in at 138.9. Looking on is promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl. Grigorian-Kirkorov will take place Tuesday night at the famous Universum Gym in Hamburg, headlining a gala celebration for Universum Box-Promotion’s 25th anniversary. Ringcard girls will include female world champions Ina Menzer and Alesia Graf.
In only his fourth professional fight, 2008 U.S. Olympic first alternate Danny O’Connor makes his national television debut Friday night in the opening bout on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights against light welterweight Jamar Saunders (2-1-1, 1 KO) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The 23-year-old O’Connor (3-0, 1 KO) is coming off of his best performance as a pro, winning a unanimous 4-round decision (40-46, 40-36, 40-34) January 30 against Greg Jimenez. (more…)
By Brady Crytzer
WBO #10 and WBA #15 ranked heavyweight Brian “The Beast” Minto (32-2, 21 KO’s) is planning a return to action in the spring of 2009. Sitting ringside at Saturday’s middleweight title bout between Kelly Pavlik and Marco Antonio Rubio, Minto mentioned early April as a target date. Although an opponent remains TBA, the bout will most likely take place in Minto’s hometown of Butler, PA. Minto’s last in-ring appearance was in November of 2008 when he scored a fourth round TKO over heavyweight journeyman Galen Brown (31-10-1, 19 KO’s.)
On March 6th at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, CT, Star Boxing’s young phenom Ray “Tito” Serrano (8-0, 5KO) takes a big step up in his career when he takes on once beaten “Smokin” Jay Krupp (12-1, 5KO) in an eight round welterweight contest. The card, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2′s “Friday Night Fights”, will be headlined by Star Boxing’s welterweights Delvin Rodriguez (23-2-2, 14KO) taking on Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (20-1, 11KO). At stake will be Rodriguez USBA welterweight championship and also the number two ranking in the IBF world ratings . . . . Click here for more
By Rick Scharmberg
Derek “Pooh” Ennis (17-2-1, 12 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA will take on Ishmail “The Arsenal” Arvin (15-1-4, 7 KOs), of Baltimore, MD on Saturday, April 11 at the Boardwalk Hall Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Atlantic City, NJ. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds, with the USBA regional junior middleweight title at stake. The “Brawl at the Hall” will also feature the following fighters in separate bouts: welterweight Luis “Kid Duran” Burgos (10-0-1, 4 KOs), 2008 Olympic alternate, bantamweight Qa’id “Kidd Dynamite” Muhammad (4-0, 4 KOs), light heavyweight Lavarn Harvell (2-0), and super middleweight Joel De La Paz (2-0, 1 KO). In addition, Atlantic City fighters Jacolyn Nichols, Eugene Soto, Art Parker, and William Porter will be making their pro debuts against opponents to be determined. Dee Lee Promotions and GNP Boxing are promoting the card. Tickets, priced at $55, $45, $35, and $20, are available through Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420.
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