Boxing Ledger's Archives

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Night at the C.O.M.B.A.T.T. Awards Dinner 4-6-10

(Mark Breland & Myself)
(Brian Adams & Myself)
(Michael Spinks & Myself)
(James "Buster" Douglas & Myself)
(Michael Olajide & Myself)

(Joe Frazier & Myself)
(A Caricature of me by Bon Fed) 
John Edward Bonaventure Federowicz, better known as John Ed Bon Fed, always the freelance illustrator has journeyed (and journaled) from the nail-biting world of advertising to the hair-pulling extremes of educating.

Bon Fed’s art is rooted in the desire to communicate and share.

From caricaturing, to capturing lifetimes, to watercolors capturing the American spirit, to whimsical art where tears capture paint, he now invites you into his proverbial sketchbook - "Where the World is Drawn Together."

 (Joe Frazier signing Bon Fed's artwork)
(Bon Fed sitting with "Smoking" Joe Frazier)
(Another picture of Bon Fed with
"Smoking" Joe Frazier)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hopkins Gets Revenge 17 Years Later


HOPKINS GETS UNANIMOUS DECISION OVER JONES

After 17 years, Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KO's) avenged a decision loss to Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 40 KO's) by capturing a 12 round unanimous decision victory in a rough and rugged battle. The official scores were 118-109 and 117-110 twice. Hopkins, 45, looked the fresher of the two, however, Jones, 41, still possessed quicker reflexes. Unlike their first encounter, Hopkins was aggressive and did not let Jones get his punches off first. This time, Hopkins used his trademark hitting and clinching style successfully.

In the first round, Hopkins was more forceful than usual and used a lot of feints to bait Jones. Toward the end of the round, Jones connected with his signature lead right hand. Hopkins continued to pressure Jones in round two, sending him into the ropes after connecting with a left hook - right hand combination. Throughout his career, Jones has had a great deal of trouble fighting off the ropes and Hopkins wanted the action to occur there. Then, Jones missed with a left and Hopkins landed a counter right. Hopkins utilized his jab to push Jones back, and they battled furiously in the corner after Hopkins landed a left hook to Jones' head. Jones sustained a cut on the side of his left eye.

Hopkins connected with an overhand right and feverishly assaulted Jones' body in the third round. During clinches, Jones managed to repeatedly land short right uppercuts. Jones hit Hopkins at the end of the round with a straight right. Still, Hopkins continued to rip a series of rights and lefts to Jones' body in the fourth round. Again, Jones connected with short shots when both fighters clinched.

In the fifth round, Jones struck Hopkins with a right uppercut that sent him back to the ropes. Yet, Hopkins countered with a left hook to the body that appeared to land below Jones' belt-line. Jones kept throwing right uppercuts in the clinches, while Hopkins repeatedly fired and landed shots to Jones' body.

Jones was deducted one point in the sixth round from referee Tony Weeks for striking Hopkins with a left hook behind the head, while Hopkins was in the corner. The punch did not appear to be devastating, but Hopkins did not take it well. As soon as an enraged Hopkins took the time awarded to briefly recover, he went after Jones violently. Both men exchanged heated punches near the end the round. As Weeks tried to separate them at the bell, Hopkins kept firing vicious shots at Jones.

Jones fouled Hopkins for a second time in round eight when he hit him with an overhand right behind the head. Jones' punch was in retaliation for a rabbit punch that Hopkins landed. Once again, Hopkins went down and needed a minute to recuperate. When the action resumed, Hopkins stepped up the pace and landed a strong right to the body followed by a hard overhand right. Jones found himself fighting off the ropes, a place where Hopkins was landing his most damaging blows.

Jones opened round nine by throwing and connecting with lead right hands. Hopkins worked diligently to force Jones back against the ropes. When Jones landed, Hopkins instantly fired in return.
Once more, Jones fouled Hopkins in the tenth round. However, this time Jones hit Hopkins with a left hook that was very low. After receiving time to heal, Hopkins reclaimed his momentum, scoring in the clinches with brutal body punches.

Hopkins charged forward in round eleven, connecting with another right to Jones body. Then, Jones was fouled by an accidental clash of heads. Jones sustained an additional cut from the headbutt just under his left eye brow. The ringside doctor ruled Jones could keep fighting. With the action heating up once again, Hopkins landed several hurtful body punches and followed them with an overhand right. Following a left jab - overhand right from Hopkins, Jones found himself on the ropes as the bell rang to end the round.

Hopkins kept on throwing and landing body shots in round twelve. Jones sent Hopkins into the ropes with sharp right. Both men ended the fight by throwing flurries at the bell.

Clearly, Hopkins won the fight and acquired more than just a victory; He got Jones' respect. Following the loss to Jones in 1993, Hopkins stayed undefeated for the next twelve years before losing a split decision to Jermain Taylor that ended a record 20 successful defenses of the middleweight title. Hopkins has never been knocked out, and it can be argued that besides Jones defeating him in 1993, Hopkins has never lost convincingly. All of Hopkins' losses have been razor thin defeats. He lost by split decision twice; once to Jermain Taylor and once to Joe Calazaghe. The other decision loss Hopkins suffered was a unanimous decision to Taylor in their second fight by scores of 115-113 from all three judges. The loss to Jones was a close fight as well with Hopkins losing by scores of 116-112 on all scorecards. The only other defeat on Hopkins' record came in his first professional bout, a four round majority loss to Clinton Mitchell by scores of 39-38, 39-37 and 38-38.

Where do Hopkins and Jones go from here? For Hopkins, he has called out David Haye and wants to challenge for Haye's WBA heavyweight title, which he retained against John Ruiz (TKO 9) earlier today. As for Jones, he may look to retire after a great career. Then again, it may be extremely difficult for Jones to call it quits and retire after a defeat. Nevertheless, it may be the best thing for Jones to hang up his gloves because his record is 5-6 in his last eleven fights.

LITZAU DEFEATS JUAREZ

Jason Litzau (21-2, 21 KO's) defeated a tough Rocky Juarez (28-6-1, 20 KO's) by a seventh round technical decision. The bout went to the scorecards after ringside physicians stopped the contest because of a deep cut on Litzau's left cheek. The official scores were 68-65 and 67-66 twice.

In the first round, referee Jay Nady warned Juarez for hitting low. Then, Litzau picked up the pace in round two, doubling his left jab and landing rights behind it. Litzau's punches were effective and scoring, while Juarez was reluctant to throw throughout the first three rounds.

In round four, Litzau continued to fight his most disciplined fight to date by controlling range and not getting reckless with his punches. Juarez stepped up his work-rate in the fifth round, but Litzau kept outworking him.

Both men landed clean shots in the sixth round, as Litzau ripped left hooks to Juarez's head and snapped his head back with a left uppercut. Juarez countered by hammering Litzau with overhand rights.

In round seven, Litzau sustained a cut on his left cheek, which referee Jay Nady ruled was the  result of an accidental headbutt. However, the cut may have been caused by a punch. If the cut occurred from a punch by Juarez and the fight was stopped because of the cut, the ruling would have been a TKO victory for Juarez.


SILLAKH STOPS JUDAH

In light heavyweight action, Ismayl Sillakh (12-0, 11 KO's) stopped Daniel Judah (23-5-3, 10 KO's) in two rounds. Sillakh, 25, opened the first round by dishing out right hands and left hooks to Judah's head, and followed it with crisp, perfectly placed left hooks to the body. Toward the end of the round, Sillakh suffered a minor cut above his right eye resulting from an accidental clash of heads. In round two, Sillakh sent Judah down and into the ropes with a sharp left hook to the body. Then, Judah got back up, but Sillakh connected with a well-timed left hook to the body and dropped him with a left hook to the head, which prompted referee Vic Drakulich to stop the bout at :49 seconds of round two.

Ismayl Sillakh is a native of the Ukraine, but currently resides in Simi Valley, California, U.S.A. Sillakh possesses a stellar amateur record of 302-16, and is quickly climbing the light heavyweight rankings. On the other hand, Daniel Judah's career is now in a tailspin after losing  3 of his last 4 bouts.

GOMEZ WINS DEBUT

In a junior welterweight bout, East Los Angeles native Frankie "Pitbull" Gomez won his professional debut by stopping Clayvonne Howard (2-4, 1 KO) in the third round. The official time of stoppage was 2:45.
Gomez was aggressive throughout the entire bout, scoring mostly with thunderous body shots. In round three, Gomez landed a rock-solid left uppercut followed by a devastating overhand right, which impelled referee Joe Cortez to end the fight.

NARH TKO'S HERNANDEZ IN 3RD ROUND

In another junior welterweight match-up, Ray Narh (24-1, 21 KO's) stopped Angel Hernandez (14-5, 11 KO's) at 2:59 of round two. Narh dropped Hernandez three times, and wore Hernandez down with hard, accurate body punches en route to victory.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Community Organization Making Better Alternatives Today for Tomorrow

Larry Hazzard’s C.O.M.B.A.T.T. Award Ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, April 6th at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, N.J.

This years honorees are former multi-time World Champions Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, the IBF International Heavyweight Champion and former Cruiserweight Champion Tomasz Adamek, New York State Athletic Commission Director of Boxing Ralph Petrillo, New York Daily News Manager of Community Affairs and New York Golden Glove Chairman, Brian Adams, former World Title Contender Michael Olajide, President of local 617 SEIU Labor Union, Rahman Muhammad, President International Long Shoremen”s Union, Gerald Owens, former Heavyweight Contender and now top referee, Randy Neumann and the Newark Housing Authority Executive Morris Warner.

Last year’s award winners and attendees included Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Bernard Hopkins, Tomasz Adamek, Wladimir Klitschko, Bobby Czyz and Butch Lewis.

For tickets call 908-930-3148, or at the IBF 516 Main St., East Orange, NJ, the Clubhouse 205 Spruce St. Newark, NJ, 973-297-1299, or call 609-658-6780. Tickets are priced at $100.00 and the Dinner starts at 5:30 pm.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dirrell Defeats Abraham By Disqualification

Entering his bout with Arthur Abraham on Saturday night, Andre Dirrell, a native of Flint, Michigan, was a 2-1 underdog, although some people even considered him a greater underdog. Dirrell showed his critics that he was a much better fighter by putting on a brilliant boxing exhibition in front of his hometown fans at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. However, after beating Abraham to the punch for almost eleven complete rounds, disaster instantly arrived. In round eleven, Dirrell was moving along the ropes when he entered the corner and slipped on an advertisement in the ring. With Dirrell down on one knee, Abraham unleashed a punishing right hand that temporarily knocked Dirrell out. Referee Laurence Cole immediately disqualified Abraham for  hitting Dirrell while he was down. One could have made a case that Abraham's devastating blow was dealt in the heat of the moment, but it is hard to defend him when listening to his comments after the fight. Clearly, Abraham was frustrated and intentionally delivered the punch to Dirrell's head.

"I don't know. He went down and I threw one punch. It's not a disqualification. It's normal," Abraham said after the fight.  "He wasn't on the ground. I shouldn't have been disqualified." Then, Abraham stated, "He's a good actor, not boxer. He's a good actor."

Until that horrific moment, Dirrell gave fight fans a nearly flawless performance. In the first round, Dirrell came out in a southpaw stance and threw his punches behind a quick jab. Abraham was very hesitant to let his hands go. Toward the end of the round, Dirrell switched to a conventional stance and pushed Abraham back with a right hand.

Dirrell started round two in a southpaw stance again. Abraham came toward him with his hands held high, although Dirrell peppered him with combinations to the body and head. Abraham attempted to land his straight right, but was unsuccessful.

In round three, Dirrell's straight left was getting through Abraham's solid guard. Dirrell switched his stance again and kept Abraham turning. Abraham would land some shots, but Dirrell countered back immediately. Dirrell showed no fear against the hard-punching Abraham, who landed some powerful rights just before the end of the round.

Andre Dirrell, 26, became the first fighter to knock Arthur Abraham, 30, down in the fourth round. Abraham stepped up his aggression and landed a right followed by a looping left hook. After Abraham missed with a right, he was slightly off-balanced and Dirrell unleashed a vicious straight left without delay that floored him.

In rounds five and six, Dirrell continued to hit Abraham with a variety of clean punches from numerous angles. In the seventh round, both men clashed heads. Prior to the clash of heads, Dirrell landed a stinging left hook to Abraham's head while in a conventional stance. It was unclear whether the cut on Abraham's right eye resulted from the headbutt or a punch. Referee Laurence Cole ruled the cut was caused by a punch.

Abraham attacked Dirrell in the eighth round with a series of rights and left hooks in the corner. Dirrell managed to slip some punches, however, Abraham connected with most of them. Then, in the ninth round, Dirrell connected with a barrage of punches, hammering Abraham with straight lefts to the head and rights to the body. During an exchange in the corner, Abraham rushed toward Dirrell and got tagged with a straight left that popped his head back and opened the cut on his eye wider. Laurence Cole briefly stopped the action for Abraham to be observed by a ringside doctor. Yet, the doctor started applying pressure to Abraham's cut as if he were a cutman to stop the bleeding. The doctor applied pressure for approximately one to two minutes before letting Abraham resume fighting. This clearly gave Abraham too much time to recover after getting nailed by a crisp punch, which momentarily dazed him. When the fight continued, Dirrell went right back on the attack, landing body and head shots.

In the tenth round, it appeared that Abraham landed a right hand and simultaneously stepped on Dirrell's foot. Dirrell went down to the canvas, but Cole ruled it was a slip. Dirrell was somewhat stunned and Abraham controlled the remainder of the round by landing more damaging right hands.

It was in the middle of round eleven when Abraham fouled Dirrell in a moment of total irritation, which resulted because of the way Dirrell was handling him in the fight. When Dirrell was walking around again, Showtime's Jim Gray asked him, do you know what happened? Dirrell shaken up and with tears in his eyes replied, "I got dropped man!" Abraham's punch was so hard that Dirrell was confused and unaware of exactly what just happened to him. "He hit me when I was down. He hit me when I was down," Dirrell recalled a brief moment after Jim Gray asked him what happened.

It was an extremely unfortunate incident that occurred last night. Dirrell was taken to nearby Detroit Receiving Hospital. Hopefully, Dirrell will be okay and can resume his boxing career soon. It appeared that he had sustained a concussion.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mares Stops Almanza In 5th Round, Looks Ahead To Bout With Perez

Abner Mares (20-0, 13 KO's) dazzled fans at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California by scoring a spectacular 5th round technical knockout over Felipe Almanza (19-15-3, 9 KO's). Mares, 24, took this fight as a tune-up before he challenges Yonnhy Perez for the IBF Bantamweight Title on May 22nd, which will be the co-main event prior to Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez IV on Showtime.

Mares looked very sharp and exceptionally composed from the opening round, landing accurate, clear-cut punches and precisely placing them. In round one, Mares chased down Almanza and landed some stinging left hooks while Almanza was briefly on the ropes.

Mares continued to press the action in round two, unleashing punches that flowed particularly smooth. Mares never unloaded wasteful shots and caught Almanza with some combinations, even though Almanza was using a great deal of lateral movement.

Mares closed the gap in round three, and dropped Almanza after landing body shots and a well-timed left uppercut. From there, Mares stepped up his aggression and punch output. At one point, Mares connected with an overhand right to the head that briefly dazed Almanza.

Almanza's lateral movement slowed in round four, which enabled Mares to thoroughly overwhelm him with a high volume of body and head shots. Mares utilized a lot of feints to set up some crisp, well-defined body punches later in the round.

Finally, Mares got rewarded for his hard work in the fifth round. Mares hurt Almanza with a short, left uppercut during an exchange in the corner. Then, Mares caught Almanza with a right uppercut when Almanza's back was against the ropes. After absorbing more punishing shots from Mares, Almanza got hammered with another powerful right uppercut to the head that floored him. The referee stopped the bout at 2:23.

Mares looked more than ready to battle Yonnhy Perez (20-0, 14 KO's) on May 22nd. Perez is a strong puncher with an accurate, stiff left jab, who throws a large amount of punches himself. However, Perez tends to stand in front of opponents longer, which is especially dangerous when dealing with the high volume and precise punching of Mares. Mares' punches seem more fluid compared to Perez, and he uses much more lateral movement. Also, Mares won 2 of 3 fights from Perez in the amateurs. Look for Mares to quite possibly wear Perez down with his energy and explosive punch output, stopping him between the 8th and 10th rounds.

UNDERCARD BOUTS

In a junior featherweight match-up, 21-year-old Derrick Wilson (5-1-2. 2 KO's) and 19-year-old Adam Ochoa (2-1-1, 1 KO) fought to a 4 round majority draw. Official scores were 39-37 in favor of Wilson and 38-38 twice.

Clearly, Wilson displayed the quicker hands and staggered Ochoa with a left hook in the opening round. However, Ochoa stood his ground, while Wilson repeatedly tried to land one punch at a time.

In round two, Wilson did well throwing punches behind his jab, but when he stopped, Ochoa landed some solid body punches with Wilson's back on the ropes. As opposed to the previous round, Ochoa significantly increased his punch output.

The third round was another competitive round with Wilson initiating the action and Ochoa countering him. In the fourth and final round, both fighters engaged at incredibly fast pace. Wilson connected with crisp left hooks, whereas Ochoa landed a hard right in the middle of the round. Wilson threw the higher volume of punches in the round and the entire fight.

It seemed unfair that Wilson did not receive a decision victory. Ochoa fought courageously and landed some effective, clean punches, but he did not outwork Wilson or clearly control any rounds.

In featherweight action, Ronny Rios (10-0, 5 KO's) remained unbeaten after knocking out Andres Ledesma (15-17-1, 10 KO's) at 1:45 of the fifth round.

In the first round, Rios stalked Ledesma, landing straight rights and aggressively attacked his body. Lesdesma tried to jab and use lateral movement to negate Rios' assault.

Ledesma's lack of a consistent jab and power enabled Rios to get into close range, where he repeatedly pushed Ledesma back with straight rights and rock-solid body punching. In the middle of round two, Rios snapped Ledesma's head back with a stinging counter right.

Rios possessed the superior hand speed, placed his shots more efficiently, and continually got his punches off first.  Ledesma really started to show the effects of Rios' violent body attack in the third round.
Ten seconds into round five, Rios buckled Ledesma with an overhand right to the head. Then, Rios moved closer and landed a barrage of punches. Momentarily, Ledesma held his own battling on the ropes, but Rios connected with a crushing left hook to the body that sent Ledesma to his knees. Ledesma could not beat the ten count.

Rios, 20, is quickly rising through the rankings and should be fighting  8 round bouts soon. On the other hand, Ledesma, 30, has been an awful 1-12 in his last 13 fights after starting his professional career 13-1-1.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Like Mother, Like Son



Denis Douglin is a rising junior middleweight prospect, who is quickly becoming noticed for his steadily improving boxing skills and an unusual nickname, “Da Momma’s Boy”. Denis uses the nickname because his mother, Saphya, has been his trainer since he was eight years old. She is a certified boxing coach, and has been a personal trainer and nutritional specialist for over twenty years, as well as a full time accountant.

“My mom just loves working,” said Douglin.

Saphya pushed Denis into boxing after he returned home one day following a fight in school. She started training Denis at the Rivera Boxing Gym in Brooklyn, N.Y., but when it closed down, they started training at the famed Gleason’s Gym. Saphya always found herself giving advice to kids and helping people in the gym. At times, Saphya sparred with men and women to prepare them for competition. Yet, Denis’ love for the sport increased gradually over time.

Despite the fact that Denis was attending his first year of high school, his family moved from Brooklyn to Marlboro, New Jersey. Nevertheless, he still attended high school in Manhattan, while his mom worked as an accountant in Brooklyn. Still, they would meet at Gleason’s Gym for training. Long hours of preparation and commuting put stress on Denis, so Saphya decided to look for a gym closer to home.

The pair resumed training at the Middletown P.A.L., a gym located in Middletown, N.J. However, the energy of the gym was unlike the atmosphere of New York.

“Some people trained there for two hours a day,” stated Douglin. “We wanted to work out longer.”

In July 2007, Saphya founded the New Breed Boxing and Fitness Gym in Freehold, N.J. Once again, Saphya is teaching kids the fundamentals of boxing, but this time she has assistance from her nephew, Naquann, who is also a certified boxing coach and Imamu Mayfield, a former IBF cruiserweight champion.

Douglin said, “Imamu has helped me with promoters and everything. We have an amateur in the Junior Olympic Nationals. We have another kid participating in the Golden Gloves right now. It’s a fast growing gym.”

While Douglin’s future in the sport of boxing is continuing to look exceptionally bright, he had to deal with a major setback in 2006, which kept him from possibly competing at the Olympics.  

“I got into a car accident with my 1996 Toyota Corolla on a rainy night. I lost control of the car and went around the curb, hitting a pole at a high speed. My head hit the windshield, and I was cut above and below my eye. I also broke a bone in my neck. The doctor told me if I would have broken the bone next to the one I broke, I would have been paralyzed. The doctor also said I would never be able to fight again, but the therapy helped me and I am fine now.

“I could have been hurt a lot worse. The accident made me realize that I was meant to do something in the sport of boxing. I became more focused and determined than ever.”

At the time, Douglin felt the year off pushed him back a great deal. It was supposed to be the first year that he would compete as a Senior Open boxer.

“I was not as effective until the following year,” said Douglin. “I had trouble making weight. I was stuck in between 152 pounds and 165 pounds.”

Douglin has already sparred with escalating middleweight contender Danny Jacobs, junior middleweight Deandre Latimore, Fernando Guerrero, Aaron Pryor Jr. and Shawn Porter. Sechew Powell, who recently avenged a loss to Deandre Latimore, gave Denis tips on fighting.

“I have known Sechew for a long time,” said Douglin. “When I was younger, he would show me tricks in the ring.”

After sparring with Deandre Latimore for his fight with Sechew Powell, Douglin modified his training methods.

“My training is more regimented now,” stated Douglin. “I was overworking myself. I take a few breaks in between now. I don’t box everyday.

“I used to run 5 miles everyday Monday through Friday. Now, I run 5 miles one day, sprint the next one and run 2-3 miles on the third day. Then, I rest for one day.

“I started sparring 3 days a week. In the first week, we do 6 rounds each day. Next, we go to 8 rounds for 2 days the following week. Then, we do 6 rounds everyday. Now, I am doing 10 rounds twice a week.”

On March 31st at B.B. Kings in Manhattan, Douglin (7-0, 3 KO’s) will square off against Chad Greenleaf (12-14-1, 5 KO’s) in a six-round, junior middleweight bout, which is part of Lou Dibella’s “Broadway Boxing” series. Douglin wants to stay extremely active.

Douglin acknowledged, “I want to fight every month or as much as possible, so I can become a household name. I would love to fight 8 times this year.”

The bout with Greenleaf will take place at Douglin’s most comfortable fighting weight.

“Fighting at 154 lbs. helps with my power,” said Douglin. “I have a better punch at that weight.”

Douglin has won decisively in each fight, but feels he can improve greatly.

“I give myself a B or B- in every fight,” declared Douglin. “I want to move my head and jab more. I have a real good jab when I use it.”

Douglin took this semester off because he was traveling a lot, although he will be attending classes again in the fall at Rutgers. He is thinking about majoring in Business Administration. Like his mother, however, Douglin sees himself helping people in the future.

Douglin confirmed, “If I am not boxing, I would love a career as a teacher.”

Like mother, like son.

Fight Preview: Andre Dirrell vs. Arthur Abraham


Andre Dirrell may have come up on the short end of a 12 round split decision loss against Carl Froch, but he will have an opportunity to redeem himself when he faces Arthur Abraham in the 2nd Group Stage of Showtime’s “Super Six” Tournament. It seemed Dirrell had done enough to earn a decision victory over Carl Froch. Yet, when the judges’ scorecards were read, Dirrell was in disbelief. For the better part of their bout, Dirrell was using a great deal of lateral movement and was beating Froch to the punch. Maybe, if Dirrell would have engaged more, the judges would not have scored it so close? Well, that fight is now in the past and Dirrell cannot do anything to change it. Still, Dirrell may get the opportunity to face Froch again, although he must first get past the undefeated, hard-punching Arthur Abraham.

Abraham moved up a weight class from 160 lbs. to enter the tournament at the super middleweight limit of 168 lbs., where he scored a sensational 12th round knockout over Jermain Taylor. Abraham looked stronger and brought his powerful punch up in weight with him. He can take a heavy-handed punch, which will not help Dirrell because he possesses little punching power. Abraham likes to pressure his opponents, and will take a punch to land his own. He throws quality combinations in close range, and his hand speed may be a bit underrated. However, Abraham is not a volume puncher, but usually scores when he lets his fists go. He holds his hands high, so Dirrell may have some trouble landing punches against his tough defense. Abraham’s best punch is his overhand right, although he packs a rock-hard left hook too. Abraham is not as athletic as the younger Dirrell, nevertheless, he reacts quickly in exchanges. Will Abraham be able to catch Dirrell?

The best probability for Dirrell to be victorious will come from controlling the fight at his range. Dirrell possesses great ring generalship, and will need to stick and move to avoid trading shots with the harder puncher. At times, Dirrell may switch his stance from conventional to southpaw to give Abraham a different look. Will it be effective? Can Dirrell keep Abraham off of him? In his last bout, Dirrell was boxing very efficiently against Froch, but it appeared he could have landed more shots if he chose to be extra aggressive. Abraham appears to be a much harder puncher than Froch. It might not be the smartest idea for Dirrell to be too assertive when delivering his punches; He should choose his spots carefully. Abraham is most effective in close quarters, so if Dirrell can use his reach to score points with the judges, he will win. Will Dirrell try too hard and look to exchange often with Abraham because he lost a close decision to Froch? If Dirrell pulls out a victory, do not expect him to stop Abraham.

Prediction: I think Dirrell will look good in the early rounds, but I expect Abraham to try and slow him down with an aggressive body attack. Jermain Taylor gave the impression that he hits harder than Dirrell. Therefore, I think Abraham feels he can be more forceful against Dirrell. By applying constant pressure, Abraham will compel Dirrell to exert an extraordinary amount of energy moving around the ring. As the fight gets into the later rounds, look for Abraham to wear him down, connecting with overhand rights and left hooks to the body. Also, Abraham’s jab is pretty strong and I think he will utilize it as he charges forward. I am picking Abraham to win by an 8th round TKO.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Klitschko KO's Chambers In 12th Round

(Photo Credit: Jan Ovelgoenne)

Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48 KO's) won his 12th straight bout, scoring a late 12th round knockout over "Fast" Eddie Chambers (35-2, 18 KO's) to retain his IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. Klitschko controlled much of the action for the entire fight by utilizing a powerful left jab that Chambers could not get past. Chambers struggled to get his punches off before Klitschko, and was forced to cover up most of the bout. Chambers was more active than some of Klitschko's previous opponents, but he was unable to sustain a consistent offensive attack to defeat the Ukranian giant. 

In the opening round, Chambers jabbed at Klitschko's body and used many angles. Then, Chambers tried to land right hands over Klitschko's jab, although he was unsuccessful. Klitschko started to push Chambers back with his stiff left jab. In round two, Chambers still tried to land overhand rights, but got rocked when Klitschko connected with a punishing straight right behind the jab. With Chambers momentarily wobbled, Klitschko landed a left hook - right hand combination to Chambers' head. Chambers' back was against the ropes, but he managed to finish the round on his feet.

Klitschko really started to get his punches off quicker in round three, which made Chambers fight incredibly defensive. Chambers became more focused on getting hit, as opposed to letting his punches fly. Chambers managed to land a left hook to the body, however, Klitschko controlled the round with the jab.

Similarly, Klitschko prohibited any offensive attack from Chambers in round four by forcefully striking him with his left jab. In round five, Klitschko sent Chambers into the ropes with a left hook - right hand combination. Chambers repeatedly used angles to get past Klitschko's jab in the sixth round, but the biggest problem for Chambers was his declining punch output. 

In round seven, Chambers did not get hit much, but he also did not land any meaningful punches. He jabbed at Klitschko a lot and used angles, but only got close one time. When Chambers got in range, he landed a short, left hook. Yet, Klitschko kept imposing his size and accurate jab on the challenger from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

At the end of round eight, Chambers showed extensive swelling under both eyes. Chambers' inefficient punch output did nothing to help him improve in the ninth round. After the ninth round, Chambers had his gloves re-taped, which gave him some time to recover from the beating Klitschko was giving him. When round ten began, Klitschko aggressively attacked him. 

Klitschko started round twelve at a furious pace, assaulting Chambers with vigorous rights to the body. Then, Klitschko sent Chambers into the ropes with a straight right. With ten seconds to go in the bout, Klitschko floored Chambers in the corner with a sharp, lunging left hook to the face. Chambers was out cold for approximately a minute. Eventually, Chambers received help from his corner and sat down on his stool.

Will anyone defeat Wladimir Klitschko again? Is there any formidable heavyweight challenger out there that poses a threat to his reign as champion? It seems very unlikely that Wladimir Klitschko will be defeated in the near future.

Powell Wins By Majority Decision Over Latimore

Brooklyn's Sechew Powell (26-2, 15 KO's) avenged a 7th round TKO loss to Deandre Latimore (20-3, 16 KO's) by capturing a 12 round majority decision victory on Friday night. Official scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114.

Powell, 30, opened the first round by placing effective shots and avoided slugging it out with Latimore, 24, who was applying steady pressure. In round two, Latimore continued pressuring Powell, but he used his right jab more efficiently. Powell landed a solid, counter right hook, although Latimore landed the cleaner punches in the round.

In round three, Latimore successfully connected with his overhand left. Then, Latimore pushed Powell back into the ropes, but Powell countered and quickly moved to the center of the ring. After that, Powell got the better of Latimore during the exchanges. Powell let Latimore get close to him, and then he unleashed overhand lefts and right hooks.

Powell started round four by shooting his right jab and showing lots of angles. Then, he nailed Latimore with a straight left that sent Latimore's mouthpiece flying out. After seeing he hurt Latimore, Powell pressed forward and fired a barrage of punches. Latimore fought back and landed an overhand left to Powell's head. However, Powell retreated and started to use his jab again.

Early in round five, Powell attacked Latimore's body. Latimore started to experience tremendous swelling under his right eye. Latimore had a great deal of trouble hitting Powell this round. Powell continued to get his punches off first and use angles.

Latimore sustained a cut above his right eye in the sixth round. Powell continued to shoot his right jab and slip punches prolifically the remainder of the round, as well as in round seven.

Latimore looked immensely discouraged in the eighth round, landing fewer punches and not utilizing the jab as often as he did earlier in the fight. When they were battling in the corner, Powell connected with crisp shots to Latimore's body.

Powell closed Latimore's right eye further by repeatedly popping him with right jabs and straight lefts in round ten.  In round eleven, however, Latimore momentarily stunned Powell when he connected with an overhand left. Later in the round, Latimore hurt Powell again after landing a straight left followed by a sharp right hook.

In round twelve, Powell went back to jabbing and using angles. When Latimore came toward him, Powell simply stepped to the right and let his hands go. Latimore, who was tired and frustrated, could not get close because he abandoned his jab.

Powell deserved to win a close decision. Latimore landed his share of clean punches, but not enough of them. At times, Powell made Latimore look one-dimensional. Throughout most of the fight, Powell got his punches off first, established the jab, used angles and landed more combinations. Both fighters seemed very evenly matched, although Powell had a better fight plan and executed it to near perfection.

UNDERCARD BOUTS

In other action, super middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez (14-0, 10 KO's) knocked out George Armenta (13-6, 11 KO's) 47 seconds into the 1st round. Rodriguez, 24, delivered a hard overhand right and followed it with a crushing left hook to the body that left Armenta down for the count. Rodriguez's next bout is scheduled against Kevin Engel (17-2, 14 KO's) on April 30th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.

22-year-old light welterweight Prenice Brewer (15-0-1, 6 KO's) defeated Christopher Fernandez (18-9-1, 11 KO's) by a 6 round unanimous decision. Official scores were 58-56 and 59-55 twice. Fernandez was tough, but he did not possess the overall skills of Brewer, who used lateral movement and superior hand speed to come out victorious.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pacquiao Overwhelms Clottey, Retains WBO Title

It was supposed to be the night Floyd Mayweather Jr. squared off against Manny Pacquiao. Instead, 50,992 fans filled Dallas Cowboys Stadium to witness Manny Pacquiao against Joshua Clottey in a fight billed as "The Event". Unfortunately, for the stadium crowd and the thousands watching on HBO PPV, the fight looked like a one-sided sparring session with Pacquiao dominating. On the contrary, it was not Pacquiao's fault that Clottey was unwilling to engage. Did Joshua Clottey forget he was in a fight?

Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO's) easily defeated Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KO's) for his twelfth straight victory by the official scores of 120-108 and 119-109 twice. Pacquiao overwhelmed him with blistering combinations the entire fight.  As Clottey pressed forward, Pacquiao simply stepped to the side and unleashed a barrage of punches. Clottey never had an answer for Pacquiao's whirlwind attack.

Whether it was Pacquiao's tornado punching or just Clottey's reluctance to throw punches, Pacquiao had an easy night of work. Pacquiao displayed an excellent performance, but Clottey's inability to fire punches made it look much more brilliant.

In the 1st round, Pacquiao moved in and out, scoring with straight lefts and combinations to Clottey's body. Clottey held his hands extremely high. Pacquiao tried to lower Clottey's hands by viciously assaulting his body. It is unclear how damaging Pacquiao's punches were because Clottey showed a tremendous defense. Pacquiao scored with some shots, while others simply hit Clottey's arms.

In the third round, Clottey connected with a left uppercut and followed it with a left hook to the body. Then, Clottey landed a hard right. Pacquiao countered with the right hook. After Pacquiao absorbed a punch, he answered quickly by firing multiple punches. Later in the round, Pacquiao threw a left uppercut that cut through the guard of Clottey.

Pacquiao continued to blitz Clottey with punches in round four. Again, it was unclear how many shots were hurting Clottey because he kept pressuring Pacquiao. In round five, Pacquiao's punch output slightly dropped, which enabled Clottey to land some right hands. Pacquiao stepped up the action in rounds six and seven, landing hard shots to the body and following them up with punches to Clottey's head.

Clottey briefly dazed Pacquiao when he connected with a left uppercut in round ten. Clottey caught Pacquiao with another left uppercut in the eleventh round, but Pacquiao responded by swarming him with hard, crisp punches from a variety of different angles.

For a fighter hesitant to throw many punches, it was interesting that Clottey landed cleanly with the few punches he unleashed. Sometimes, Pacquiao momentarily stood in front of him without throwing. Throughout the majority of the bout, however, he was using superior lateral movement and struck Clottey repeatedly. After the fight, Clottey's face showed little damage. On the other hand, Pacquiao's right ear was swollen and his right cheek sustained a small cut with minor swelling. For a guy that clearly won no less than 11 rounds, it was astonishing to see Pacquiao bruised. If Pacquiao was fighting someone that could match his speed, power and fluid punching, would he have been as dominant?

Now, we are back to square one. The world is clamoring for a Manny Pacquiao - Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown. First, Mayweather needs to defeat Shane Mosley on May 1st, which is no easy task. Although Mayweather is a slight favorite heading into the bout, Mosley will be a difficult opponent. Mosley has the ring intelligence and the overall skills to pull off the upset.

If Mayweather beats Mosley, can Mayweather and Pacquiao come to an agreement on the terms of random blood testing? Pacquiao's camp agreed to blood testing up until 24 days before the fight, while Mayweather's camp is still demanding testing until 14 days. For a discrepancy of a ten day span, they have yet to reach a resolution on what could possibly be the largest grossing fight in the history of the sport.

Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., HBO, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank owe this fight to the fans, who are more than willing to shell out their hard earned money for this mega-fight.

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is truly "The Event".


Soto Wins Vacant WBC Lightweight Title

In a lightweight bout, Humberto Soto (51-7-2, 32 KO's) captured a vacant WBC title by defeating David Diaz. Official scores were 115-111 and 117-109 twice. In the first round, an accidental headbutt caused a cut above Diaz's right eye. Later in the round, Soto dropped Diaz with a right - left hook combination.

Soto landed the the quicker, sharper punches in the fight. As the fight evolved, Diaz came forward with his jab more, which enabled him to land straight lefts and right hooks.

Soto seemed to lose his rhythm briefly in rounds four and five. In round six, Diaz got Soto on the ropes and landed a right hook to the head. Diaz was pressing the action in round seven, however, Soto connected with the cleaner shots. Soto caught Diaz in the eighth round with a left uppercut as Diaz was charging toward him.

Diaz was assaulting Soto's body in the tenth round, but Soto was hitting Diaz repeatedly with crisp head shots. In round twelve, Diaz hit Soto below the belt. When the action resumed, Diaz snapped Soto's head back with a right uppercut. Then, Soto countered with a left uppercut followed by a right hand. At this point, Diaz exhibited tremendous swelling around both eyes. Just before the bell sounded to end the fight, Soto floored him for the second time with a right hand - left hook combination.

Gomez Makes Castillo Quit

In a welterweight bout, Alfonso Gomez (22-4-2, 11 KO's) forced Jose Luis Castillo (60-10-1, 52 KO's) to quit on his stool after 5 rounds. 

In the first round, both fighters started slow, but Gomez used a lot of lateral movement and angles as Castillo pressed forward. Castillo stepped up the pace in round two, landing lefts hooks and short left uppercuts. However, Gomez was outworking him by throwing more combinations.

Gomez, 29, was progressing and Castillo was fading as each round passed. In round four, Gomez bloodied Castillo's nose and mouth. Then, in round five, Gomez connected with a hard right uppercut and rock-solid overhand right that snapped Castillo's head back.

Clearly, Castillo has seen better days and was trying vigorously to execute his game plan, but at age 36, his reflexes have vanished.

Duddy Outpoints Medina

John Duddy (29-1, 18 KO's) defeated Michael Medina (23-2-2 18 KO's) by a ten round split decision. Official scores were 96-93 twice for Duddy, and 96-93 once for Medina. 

In the first round, Duddy used better head movement than he has displayed in his previous fights. He demonstrated a solid body attack in the early rounds, and thoroughly outworked Medina in round two. While Duddy's defense has somewhat improved, the light-hitting Medina caught Duddy with very clean right hands toward the end of several rounds.

In round six, Duddy hurt Medina with a left hook to the body, but Medina continued to pressure aggressively. Just as round seven ended, a left hook followed by a right hand from Medina buckled Duddy. Both fighters went toe-to-toe in the eighth round. 

In round ten, Duddy started assertively, but Medina struck him with left uppercuts, overhand rights and left hooks. Duddy countered with left hooks of his own. Then, about ten seconds before the bell sounded to end the fight, Medina got Duddy on the ropes and unleashed a series of rights and lefts.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Alexander TKO's Urango


 (Devon Alexander)

Devon Alexander (20-0, 13 KO’s) put on a brilliant boxing exhibition before stopping Juan Urango (22-3-1, 17 KO’s) in the eighth round. Alexander, who won a vacant WBC junior welterweight title by previously defeating Junior Witter, added the IBF junior welterweight title to his collection with the victory. Until last night, no fighter has ever been able to stop the durable and aggressive Urango.

In the first round, Alexander landed punches off his right jab, and used a lot lateral movement to frustrate Urango. He caught Urango with a sharp, right uppercut, which proved to be a punch that Urango would have problems with all night.

Early on, Alexander established his range and remained elusive throughout the fight. Alexander repeatedly threw combinations off his right jab and kept circling. Urango put pressure on Alexander, but was unable to hit him flush most of the fight. Urango only landed clean punches when Alexander stopped moving. Again, Alexander connected with a right uppercut to Urango’s head in round two.

In the third round, Urango pressed forward, but without using an effective right jab. As a result, Urango suffered a cut above his left eye from Alexander continually beating him to the punch. The fourth round was a better round for Urango because he let his hands go more. However, Alexander was still dictating the pace.

Alexander did not jab much in round five, but utilized it effectively again in round six. He was able to hit Urango with some straight lefts behind the jab. Yet, Urango was having a good round when Alexander traded shots with him. Urango successfully landed his right hooks and straight lefts when he threw a barrage of punches.

In round seven, Urango started to close the distance between them. Still, Alexander was controlling the round by landing a series of right hooks, right uppercuts and straight lefts. Urango could not match the hand speed of Alexander, although he was more competitive when Alexander momentarily stopped jabbing and moving. Then, Urango had the opportunity to land some solid punches.

Alexander floored and seriously hurt Urango in the eighth round, when he connected with a right jab-straight left-right uppercut combination. Urango was attempting to strike Alexander with a right hook, but Alexander’s blistering right uppercut reached the target quicker. A dazed Urango got back to his feet, only to find Alexander on the attack. Alexander fired another right uppercut, and followed it with a straight left-right hook combination. Urango went down again. This time when Urango got back up, referee Benjy Esteves stopped the bout.

Alexander’s next opponent may be Zab Judah or Timothy Bradley. Previously, Judah knocked out Cory Spinks, who like Alexander is from St. Louis, Missouri, back in 2005. Bradley is regarded by many as the best at 140 lbs., and holds the WBO junior welterweight title.

Alexander has never been knocked off his feet during training, in the amateurs or as a professional.

Darchinyan Batters Guerrero, Angulo Gets Robbed

Vic Darchinyan retained his WBC and WBA super flyweight titles by dominating a young Rodrigo Guerrero for twelve, one-sided rounds. The official scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 120-108. Guerrero, 22, entered the bout having only fifteen fights as a professional. On the other hand, Darchinyan came into the fight having thirty six professional bouts, and compiled a record of 11-2, 10 KO's in world title bouts. This fight was Guerrero's first world title bout. Guerrero also only competed in 20 amateur bouts, while Darchinyan fought in 170.

From the opening bell, Darchinyan showed the young, Mexican warrior his power by repeatedly landing his straight left. In the first round, Darchinyan landed a solid right hook. Then, Guerrero went after Darchinyan's body, but Darchinyan kept firing his straight lefts, connecting with two of them just as the bell rang to end the round.

In round two, Darchinyan continued to be assertive, landing his straight lefts after Guerrero unleashed his punches. Guerrero seemed frustrated, and could not get his punches off first. Darchinyan started to land his right hook followed by his straight left in round three. After getting hammered with straight lefts from Darchinyan, Guerrero momentarily switched to a southpaw stance. However, Guerrero switched right back to a conventional stance when Darchinyan hit him with more flush shots. Toward the end of round three, Darchinyan staggered Guerrero with a short, left uppercut.

In round four, Guerrero suffered a cut above his right eye. Darchinyan continued his violent assault on Guerrero, but Guerrero was taking his punches. Guerrero was just not throwing enough or had the power to stop the relentless attack of Darchinyan.

Darchinyan started to connect with some blistering left uppercuts in the middle rounds. Guerrero was displaying a valiant effort, although he was getting a real beating from Darchinyan. Guerrero's punch output steadily declined and in the seventh round, Darchinyan hit Guerrero with a crushing straight left that sent Guerrero's mouthpiece flying in the air.

It became quite clear by round eight that Guerrero was not going to defeat Darchinyan. Guerrero could not figure out Darchinyan's awkward, southpaw style. Nevertheless, Guerrero kept coming forward and was doing his best. His corner should have considered stopping the fight, although Guerrero was so determined to capture his first world title. As the fight got into the later rounds, Darchinyan continued to strike Guerrero with very clean punches.

In the twelfth round, Darchinyan forcefully tried to knockout Guerrero. Yet, Guerrero managed to finish the fight on his feet after absorbing some rock-solid right hooks, straight lefts and left uppercuts. At 34-years-old, has Darchinyan lost some sting on his punches? Or was the younger Guerrero extremely durable?

With the victory, Vic Darchinyan improves his record to 34-2-1, 27 KO's, while Rodrigo Guerrero falls to 13-2-1, 9 KO's. If Darchinyan cannot attain a rematch with Nonito Donaire at 115 lbs., he may move up to the bantamweight division for his next fight. In 2007, Donaire knocked out Darchinyan in the 5th round.


(Lenny Zappavigna Pictured Above)

In a highly competitive lightweight bout, Australian Lenny Zappavigna (23-0, 15 KO's) won a controversial unanimous decision over Fernando Angulo (22-7, 14 KO's). The official scores were 114-113 and 116-111 twice, which was clearly absurd.

In the early rounds, Zappavigna viciously attacked Angulo's body, and was successful landing a few overhand rights. On the other hand, Angulo set up his punches behind a stiff, left jab. Whenever Angulo threw his jab, it significantly neutralized Zappavigna's onslaught. Still, Zappavigna connected with a hard, overhand right over Angulo's jab in round two, but Angulo started placing his shots more accurately later in the fight. 

In round three, Zappavigna hurt Angulo after landing a brutal left hook to the body. Both fighters continued to trade shots. During the exchange, Zappavigna landed the best punch when he connected with a solid left hook to the head.

Angulo really started to find his range by round four. He absorbed the punches better, which became evident when Zappavigna started to suffer swelling under his eyes. By round six, Zappavigna was not throwing as much. Zappavigna never displayed much of a jab in the early rounds, and totally abandoned it by the middle rounds. As a result, Angulo hit Zappavigna with a stinging left jab and got his punches off first. In round seven, Angulo landed a sharp, right uppercut in close range.

After landing a series of left hooks, Angulo opened up a small cut much wider above Zappavigna's right eye in the eighth round. By now, Angulo was landing many more punches. In round nine, Zappavigna countered with a right after one of Angulo's jabs. Angulo kept attacking, landing counter rights followed by a left hook. Toward the end of round ten, Angulo hurt Zappavigna with a left hook to the head, and buckled him with a hard right hand.

Both men engaged in another heated exchange in round eleven. Angulo landed a left hook to the head, but was countered by a left hook to the body by Zappavigna. Then, both men traded overhand rights.

Zappavigna came on strong in the round twelve. Yet, Angulo caught him with steady jabs, rights and left hooks.

While Zappavigna gave a spirited effort, he did not control the majority of the minutes in the rounds. Yes, Zappavigna was aggressive and fought courageously, but he did not land the more damaging blows in the bout, as it was apparent when looking at the faces and condition of both men after the fight. Without a doubt, Angulo controlled the pace for much of the fight by working behind his jab. When Angulo jabbed, Zappavigna was a fighter relying on pure aggression and nothing more. Zappavigna's attack was visibly neutralized anytime Angulo jabbed. Mostly, the competitiveness in the bout resulted from Zappavigna lunging forward and attacking when Angulo momentarily stopped jabbing. Zappavigna may have been awarded a victory against Angulo, but he will need a strong presence of a jab to be successful in the future. Zappavigna will not be able to walk through opponents on natural strength and heart alone, which was obvious tonight.

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