Boxing Ledger's Archives

Monday, August 22, 2011

Judah Files Protest - Requests Rematch With Khan

Zab "Super" Judah has filed a protest with the Nevada Athletic Commission and has also sent letters to both the WBA and the IBF requesting that those organizations order a rematch with Amir Khan.

According to the protest letter, Judah's requests are predicated upon the inappropriate actions of the referee, who was clearly not in a position to see the low blow administered by Khan which ended the fight, as well as the referee's reluctance to sanction Khan for repetitious hitting behind the head and holding Judah down throughout the bout.

A copy of the letter that was sent to the WBA, as well as the IBF and the Nevada Athletic Commission outlining the details of Khan's infractions, is attached, along with a link to the video tape illustrating the repeated fouls, is attached.

Bill Halkias, Super Judah Promotions, "We know Zab was behind on the scores cards but there are numerous examples in boxing history where boxers that were behind came back with a knockout. The fact that Zab was behind has no bearing on whether the low blow call was wrong. We still had seven more rounds to fight. Zab still could have won, but that opportunity was wrongfully taken away from him."

"Before making any judgments, I would ask everyone to take a look at the tape," Promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events, said. "The video doesn't lie."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sturm Lowballs Macklin Offer To Return To Scene Of The Crime; Demands 40% Of Macklin’s Future Earnings If Macklin Wins

Matthew Macklin emerged on the wrong side of a highly controversial split decision when he challenged for Felix Sturm's WBA world middleweight title in Cologne on June 25. Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who was covering the fight for EPIX, a U.S. television channel, said that the decision was a “highway robbery” and one of the worst decisions he had ever seen while a viewers poll on the website of German TV network SAT.1 spoke volumes with 76% of Germans polled believing that Macklin had won the fight as opposed to just 24% for Sturm.

Since the fight, Sturm has repeatedly claimed that a contract for the rematch has been sent to Macklin and he has accused his Irish rival of ducking out of a possible return bout. Sturm's own promotional company even went so far as to design a poster for a proposed rematch in Cologne in November. However, Macklin has yet to see any contract for the rematch and believes that the whole exercise is a publicity stunt designed to make it look like Sturm is pursuing the rematch when in reality the German wants no part of it.

“After the fight I felt it was important to stay dignified and not whine or moan about the decision. It was a blatant robbery and everyone saw that so I let other people have their say on the decision and some of the world’s most respected boxing people all registered their disgust. The decision spoke for itself so I didn’t really need to say anything.

“I don't believe in negotiating in public either, I think it's unprofessional but obviously Felix has made certain statements that I feel have to be corrected. For example, time and time again he has claimed in the media that we were sent a contract for the rematch within a couple of days of the fight. It's now been over seven weeks since the fight and we have yet to see any contract for a rematch. My manager Brian Peters has had talks with them and there has been some emails back and forth but no sign of any contract.

“The terms they spoke about were a joke, they were only willing to pay me a marginally bigger purse then for the first fight but the options they wanted on my future fights were ridiculous. When I beat Felix in the rematch they wanted 40% of my earnings over the next two years. It was crazy stuff and to me it just looked like Felix only wanted the rematch if he could use it as a “cash out” fight to see him into retirement and then use me as his pension fund for the next couple of years.”

Macklin recently signed a lucrative promotional contract with New York-based promoter Lou DiBella, of DiBella Entertainment, who also promotes Sergio Martinez, the man universally recognized as the best middleweight in the world and a clash with the Argentinean is now very much on his radar.

“For Sturm to name call and diminish a fighter who kicked his ass on home soil is disgraceful,” said DiBella. “He lost and he knows that he as champion needs the rematch for his legacy. A real champion would fight the fight on neutral ground under fair terms. Felix has spent many years conducting himself as a true champion; act like it now.”

“As it stands the plan is to pursue a fight with Martinez for St. Patrick's weekend in Madison Square Garden next year, but if Sturm's people were to actually come back with a realistic offer then I would definitely want the Sturm rematch,” said Macklin. “Why wouldn't I? It would mean me getting my hands on the WBA title before the end of the year and make a clash with Martinez next year even bigger because it would be a unification fight.

“The Sturm rematch would be massive in Germany. I've been told from sources close to Felix that the first fight generated just under five million euros in revenue. That's serious money and the rematch would be even bigger. I'm not even looking for a 50/50 split to go back to his hometown and face the same obstacles all over again in terms of getting a fair decision, but the terms they are talking about are comical and insulting.

“I know what I'm going to be up against going out there again, I saw the scorecards afterwards and one judge gave Felix five of the first six rounds! I don't think even the most biased Sturm fan could have given him more than a single round in the first half of the fight.

“If he really wants the fight then why doesn't he put in a serious offer in a contract instead of spending his time moaning in the media, calling me a dirty fighter and a coward. The bottom line is Felix promotes himself so if he genuinely wants to make the fight as badly as he says he does then he can make it very, very easily.

“Alternatively, now that I'm promoted by Lou, if Sturm is really serious about setting the record straight why doesn't he leave the scene of the crime and fight me in New York with neutral officials and prove that he is a true champion.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"STAR POWER: MAYWEATHER VS. ORTIZ" IS A FAMILY AFFAIR

LOS ANGELES (August 11) - The sport of boxing has a rich history of families achieving pugilistic success as a group, be it fathers and sons, brothers (and occasionally sisters), uncles and nephews, or all of the above. Bloodlines run deep and this theme plays out in "STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz", the September 17 mega-event which will be presented live by HBO Pay-Per-View®. The boxing extravaganza is loaded with these "fighting families," as five of the eight headlining boxers have made fighting a family affair in one way or another.

The most prominent among them is the Mayweather ménage, with Floyd "Money" Mayweather front and center. Floyd's uncle, Roger, is his trainer, but Roger was also an excellent boxer in his day, winning titles at 130 and 140 pounds in the '80s, facing the legendary likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker and Kostya Tszyu. Floyd's father, Floyd Sr., was also in "Little Floyd's" corner for several years and was a solid welterweight contender in the '70s and '80s, notably facing Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978. Then there's Floyd's uncle Jeff, who was less accomplished than his two brothers but did face an up-and-coming Oscar de la Hoya in 1993 and has gone on to become a respected trainer himself.

The co-feature brings Erik Morales into focus. Like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Morales is a sure-shot for the Hall of Fame when he retires. Also like Mayweather, he comes from a family that has produced four professional fighters. "El Terrible's" father, Jose, had a brief career as a flyweight in the '70s and Erik has two brothers who entered the squared circle as professionals: Diego, who briefly held a super flyweight belt, and little brother Ivan, a currently undefeated bantamweight prospect.

Morales' opponent, Lucas Matthysse, also comes from a fighting family. The Argentine knockout artist's older brother, Walter, was a feared welterweight contender who was only taken the distance by one opponent in his 32 pro fights and fought twice on HBO, against Paul Williams in 2006 and Kermit Cintron in 2007.

The featured fight on the STAPLES Center segment of the event also involves two men with familial pride at stake, in Canelo Alvarez and Alfonso Gomez. Canelo has six brothers, but only three currently are competing as professionals, though none are threatening Canelo's alpha-dog status in the family as Rigoberto, Ricardo and Ramon Alvarez are all older than Canelo and, unlike their younger brother, have tasted defeat. On June 28, 2008, when Canelo defeated Miguel Vazquez, all seven Alvarez brothers fought on the same fight card, calling the historic night "The Alvarez Seven." If that wasn't enough to convince you Canelo stands apart from his brothers, then the fact that the other Alvarezes all have dark hair should tell you there's something special indeed about the carrot-topped, freckled face junior middleweight world champion who will get tested on the upcoming show by the veteran Gomez. Gomez, meanwhile, has no boxing brothers, but when he returns to the corner between rounds, the voice he hears is that of his father, Alfonso Gomez Sr.

Of course, it's the Mayweathers who take center stage anytime boxing families are discussed, both because they've accomplished so much as a group and because their personalities are impossible to ignore. Family legend has it that Floyd Jr. learned to box at the same age he learned to walk. The gym was his second home as far back as he can remember and even in his first home, he was notorious for punching any inanimate object in sight, whether it was meant to be treated like a speedbag or not.

Floyd's professional success has thrust the Mayweathers into the forefront of any discussion about the greatest families in boxing history. With all due respect to the Hiltons, the Chavezes, the Peñalosas, the Byrds, and any others among the 27 families that have produced multiple world titleholders, the top of the list has to boil down to the Mayweather clan and the Spinks family. Brothers Michael and Leon Spinks were both heavyweight champion of the world and Leon's son Cory was world welterweight champ. Plus Cory's brother, Darrell, was a decent club-fighter in St. Louis in the '90s.

So which is the greatest multi-generational fighting family of all-time? The Mayweather crew or the Spinks clan? It's hard to say until both legacies are complete, and the Mayweathers certainly have a chance to add to theirs when Floyd takes on Victor Ortiz on September 17.

In fact, five fighting families have a chance to add to their reputations on that night and it's no accident that the combatants on this card each stand out as the finest fighters their respective families have produced.

The "STAR POWER" pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Mayweather vs. Ortiz fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.

HBO®'s Emmy® Award-winning all-access series "24/7" premieres an all-new edition when "24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz" debuts Saturday, Aug. 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The four-part series will air for three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WBA & IBA World Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov Ready To Take On Any Champions Or Top Contenders

Photo Credit: Mary Ann Owen
By: Bob Trieger

LAS VEGAS (August 10, 2011) – Unification remains the goal for World Boxing Association (“WBA”) and International Boxing Association (“IBA”) light heavyweight king, Beibut Shumenov. If, however, none of the other 175-pound world champions – Bernard Hopkins, Tavoris Cloud and Nathan Cleverly – are willing or available to put their title belts on the line against Shumenov, the 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian is interested in taking on former world titlists and leading contenders Jean Pascal and Zsolt Erdei.

Moments after Shumenov stopped three-time world title challenger Danny “The Bronx Bomber” Santiagoin the ninth round, unloading 23 unanswered punches before the fight was halted, Beibut was being interviewed on TeleFutura’s “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” live from South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

Standing in the ring next to Shumenov during post-fight interviews was Pascal, who said he wanted to take Shumenov’s title belts back to Canada. Beibut quickly accepted the challenge with a qualifier, directly saying to Pascal, “You’re from Canada, I’m from Kazakhstan; so, let’s do it where all champions dream of fighting…Las Vegas.”

Shumenov’s first option, naturally, would be to fight Pascal in Kazakhstan, where it would be a huge draw. But In 29 pro fights, Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) has fought only twice outside of his adopted home in Canada, the last time in 2008 when he lost a 12-round decision in the United Kingdom to Carl Froch for the vacant WBC super middleweight championship. “Pascal is a top-level fighter,” Shumenov said about his potential challenger.

If Pascal won’t leave his adopted Canadian home to challenge world champion Shumenov, two-time, two-divisional world champion Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) is another potential challenger.

“Erdei’s people have already shown interest in fighting me if Pascal isn’t,” Beibut noted. “Erdei is unbeaten and a two-time world champion, first at light heavyweight and then as a cruiserweight. He’s moved back down to light heavyweight and is a top challenger, more of a boxer than puncher, and now he trains (Philadelphia) in the U.S.”

Erdei and Pascal are rated No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in the current WBA ratings. Shumenov, who says he’ll fight one more time in 2011, concluded, “I’m ready to fight any of the top light heavyweights in the world.”

Shumenov (12-1, 8 KOs) set a light heavyweight record for capturing a world title in the fewest career fights, 10, when (Jan. 10, 2010) he won a 12-round decision against Gabriel Campillo in Las Vegas. In three successful world title defenses, Shumenov won a unanimous 12-round decision versus No. 1 mandatory challenger and previously undefeated Viacheslav Uzelkov (UDEC12), followed by a six-round knockout of three-time world champion William Joppy (KO6), and then his recent victory by ninth-round TKO versus WBA No. 15-rated Santiago.

In only 13 pro fights, Beibut has defeated four world champions (Campillo, Joppy, Byron Mitchell and Montell Griffin), as well as three world title challengers (Uzelkov, Santiago and Epifanio Mendoza)

For additional information about Shumenov visit www.KZEventProductions.com.

Chad Dawson Speaks To Media Yesterday

Hopkins - Dawson Press Conference August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Abner Mares vs. Joseph Agbeko: Abner Mares Open Workout In Los Angeles

Ronnie Shields New Chief Second For Top Super Middleweight Prospect Edwin ‘La Bomba’ Rodriguez

Undefeated Dominican boxer headlines Broadway Boxing show Aug. 20

By: Bob Trieger

WORCESTER, Mass. (August 8, 2011) – Undefeated Edwin“La Bomba” Rodriguez, arguably the premier super middleweight prospect in the world, has switched head trainers and now two-time world title challenger Ronnie Shields is his chief second.

Rodriguez, a 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, returns on August 20 to fight at home in Worcester (MA) for the third time in as many years, headlining a special edition of Broadway Boxing, presented by DiBella Entertainment, at historic Mechanics Hall against intra-state rival and Iraq War veteran Chris Traietti (10-2, 6 KOs).

Rodriguez’manager, Larry Army, explained the head trainer change: “After Edwin’s third pro fight we switched trainers and went with Peter Manfredo, Sr., but after the McGirt and Pryor fights, Edwin and I talked about things that hadn’t been fixed– balance, wide punching and fighting out of control. So, we decided to make a change and sent Edwin to Houston to start working with Ronnie Shields. We knew that Edwin was more of a boxer as an amateur, but he had become a puncher as a young pro, and we felt he was losing his boxing skills.

“We conducted a two-month search to find the right trainer for Edwin and found him in Ronnie, who refocused Edwin on boxing without compromising his power. We didn’t send a raw prospect to Houston. Edwin had beaten three very good fighters in McGirt, Pryor and (Marcus) Upshaw, as well as veteran Darnell Boone, who had knocked off two undefeated prospects. In the August 20 fight, people are going to see an improved Edwin Rodriguez, but they’ve only been working together for three months, and he’s still a work in progress. He’s going to need an edge against better opponents and Ronnie gives him that edge he didn’t have before.”

Rodriguez (18-0, 13 KOs) is coming off of impressive back-to-back performances in high-profile victories against the sons of great fighters, James McGirt, Jr. and Aaron Pryor, Jr., respectively, on ShoBox: The New Generation and ESPN Friday Night Fights. In his last fight, Edwin suffered a dislocated shoulder during the early rounds from which he is now 100-percent fully recovered.

“I’m listening to somebody who has accomplished so much in boxing,” Rodriguez commented about working with Shields. “He knows what he’s talking about because he’s been there. The mistakes Ronnie may have made, he doesn’t want me to make, and really knows what styles work best against other styles. I feel real good about now going into a fight with several game plans, instead of just one, and being able to adjust during the fight. What I was missing in the past was more than only one game-plan; I made no adjustments during the fight, even if our game-plan wasn’t working.

“Ronnie’s been working on little things with me like blocking punches, proper balance, setting-up shots and using my defensive skills more. Now, I know what to do after hitting the body. When I used to throw a good body shot, I didn’t follow-up with a side-step, move around my opponent, and then throw a left hook upstairs. Not only wasn’t I finishing up after throwing a body shot, I left myself open for counters. I’m turning my shots and working everything off my jab. All of these changes have made a huge difference.”

The Lou DiBella-promoted Rodriguez is presently rated among the top 13 by all major governing bodies in professional boxing: International Boxing Federation (#8), World Boxing Association (#11), World Boxing Council (#13) and World Boxing Organization (#13). The 26-year-old is the reigning WBC USNBC titleholder.

In the past, the highly-regarded Shields worked with superstars such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker and the late Vernon Forrest. Today, in addition to Rodriguez, Ronnie handles WBA Interim super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Erislandy Lara, Kermit Cintron, Jermall Charlo and Mike Lee, to mention some of the more notable boxers.

“Edwin is a good fighter and it didn’t take much to fix the few things that needed fixing,” Shields evaluated his new protégé. “He lacked defense and needed more head movement. He’s tall but fought like he was short. He likes to mix it up –nothing wrong with that – but nobody understood that he has such a great jab. He has a very pleasing style but, since I’ve had him in camp, I’ve tried to convince him that he’ll have a much longer career if he boxes on the outside. So far, he’s been great and he’s getting great sparring with light heavyweight Cornelius White. They have wars in the gym.

“As long as he stays focused and continues doing what he’s supposed to do, Edwin is going to be champion of the world. Timing is everything, and getting the right fights is important. Everybody knows he’s a good fighter, and he’s coming off of a shoulder injury. They’re going to see how good he really is August 20th.”

Edwin started boxing in 2001 and he developed into one of the top amateurs in the United States, compiling a solid 84-9 record, including gold-medal performances in the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament. Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Dominican Republic, became the first Massachusetts boxer to win the middleweight title at the Nationals since “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler in 1973.

The Broadway Boxing co-feature showcases the return of former WBA junior middleweight champion Joachim Alcine (32-2, 19 KOs). Also seeing action are a pair of boxers from Traietti’s hometown of Quincy –Rodriguez’ stable-mate junior lightweight Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczewski (10-0, 2 KOs) and junior welterweight Gabriel Duluc (1-0, 1 KO). Also scheduled to be in action are welterweight prospect Vincent Arroyo (11-1, 7 KOs), of Amherst, New York, popular, female heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis (5-0, 1 KO), fighting out of New York City, unbeaten prospect Kelvin Price (10-0, 6 KO), and New Haven super bantamweight Luis Rosa (7-0, 5 KOs). All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets for Broadway Boxing are on sale now through DiBella Entertainment, and start at only $35. Main Floor tickets are priced at $55, $75, and $125. Rear Balcony tickets are $35 and $75. Tables for groups of 10 are priced at $1,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling DiBella Entertainment: (212) 947-2577, and more information can be obtained by visiting www.dbe1.com.

Go online to www.edwinrodriguezboxing.com or www.dbe1.com for more information about Rodriguez or the Aug. 20 Broadway Boxing show.

Andre Berto Returns To The Ring At Beau Rivage Resort & Casino On September 3 To Take On Jan Zaveck In Battle For Welterweight Gold, Airing Live On HBO’s World Championship Boxing

Tickets, starting at $50, on sale now

By: Alex Dombroff, Dibella Entertainment

NEW YORK, NY (August 5, 2011) – There will be no rest this Labor Day weekend for two of the best welterweights in the world. On September 3, reigning IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck comes to America to put his IBF welterweight title on the line against former WBC champion Andre Berto from the Beau Rivage Theatre at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Battle in Biloxi: Berto vs. Zaveck is presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with SES Boxing. The show will be aired live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark®, beginning at 10:45 PM ET/7:45 PM PT.

Tickets, priced at $150, $100, and $50, are on sale now and are available online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Beau Rivage Theatre box office.

“This is one of the premier matchups that could be made in the welterweight division,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, the promoter of Battle in Biloxi. “Andre Berto is considered one of the elite in boxing and Zaveck is a reigning world champion. Both are known as all action fighters, so you know it will be explosive with so much on the line.”

Berto (27-1, 21 KOs), 27, of Winter Haven, FL, is coming off the first loss of his career, and the loss of his WBC title, on April 17 when he dropped a razor thin 12-round decision to “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, a classic battle that saw both fighters on the canvas twice and one that is considered the front runner for 2011 Fight of the Year. Prior to that Berto, a 2004 Haitian Olympian, had defended his title five times after winning it in 2008 via seventh round knockout of Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

“I am excited to get back in the ring and get gold back around my waist,” said Berto. “Everyone who knows me knows that it wasn’t the real Andre Berto in the ring in April. I’m focused on returning to reestablishing my dominance in the welterweight division and it starts with Jan Zaveck.”

Zaveck (31-1, 18 KOs), 35, originally from Ptuj, Slovenia, but now living in Germany, captured the IBF title in December, 2009 with a shocking third round stoppage of Issac Hlatshwayo in Hlatshwayo’s native South Africa. Since then, Zaveck has defended the title three times, including a majority decision win in 2010 over Rafal Jackiewicz, the only man to have previously defeated him. His bout versus Berto will mark his first professional appearance in the United States.

“I am coming to the United States to put on a great show,” said Zaveck. “When I get on the plane back to Europe, I will have my title belt.”

“Beau Rivage is happy to be partnering with DiBella Entertainment and HBO Sports to bring world championship boxing back to Biloxi,” said George P. Corchis, Jr., President and Chief Operating Officer of MGM Resorts Regional Operations. “The headliner of Andre Berto vs. Jan Zaveck is a very competitive match with Berto seeking to regain another world title and Zaveck, who hasn’t lost since 2008, fighting his first professional bout in the United States. We look forward to putting on a world-class event.”

A full undercard will be announced shortly.

DiBella Entertainment Inks Top Middleweight Contender Matthew Macklin To A Multi-Year Promotional Deal

By: Alex Dombroff, Dibella Entertainment

NEW YORK, NY (August 3, 2011) – DiBella Entertainment has added Irish middleweight contender Matthew “Mack the Knife” Macklin to its ever-growing stable of fighters. Macklin, 29, is an intelligent boxer-puncher, who has shown that he is not afraid to engage or press the action when necessary. He is currently ranked #4 by the WBA, #7 by the WBO, and #12 by the IBO, and has nothing but big fights on his mind as he joins the same promotional roster as middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and middleweight contenders Andy Lee, Brian Vera, Ronald Hearns, Peter Manfredo, Jr., and Ishe Smith.

There are times when a loss brings more positive attention to a fighter’s career than any of his previous victories. Coming off his most recent fight, a controversial loss to “Super” WBA middleweight titlist Felix Sturm, that statement could not be truer of Macklin, 28-3 (19 KOs). But now, Macklin is looking for redemption under a new promotional banner, a deal to bring him to the United States that was facilitated by Brian Peters, his manager since 2005.

“I am really happy to be signing with DiBella Entertainment,” said Macklin. “I’ve known Lou DiBella for many years. I met him in Manchester when Paulie Malignaggi fought Lovemore Ndou in 2008. We spoke about doing something together last year, but the timing wasn’t right. I feel that we’re now on the same wavelength. I’m excited about the future and I feel that I am in very good hands with Lou.”

Born in Birmingham, England, to Irish parents, Macklin was studying law at Coventry University while simultaneously competing as an amateur boxer. After winning the national senior Amateur Boxing Association of England welterweight title in 2001, Macklin made the decision to put his studies on hold, to the ire of his parents, in order to pursue a professional boxing career.

In Glasgow, Scotland, on the undercard of future featherweight champion Scott Harrison, Macklin stopped Ram Singh in just 112 second, on November 17, 2001. Going on to win his first nine bouts, six by knockout, Macklin built up enough of a reputation to challenge for the British junior middleweight title. Fighting Andrew Facey on November 6, 2003, Macklin lost a razor-thin 10-round decision by one point, with a score of 96-95.

Macklin bounced back from that defeat winning three straight before fighting professionally in Ireland for the first time against Michael Monaghan for the Irish middleweight title, on May 14, 2005, his 23rd birthday, at National Stadium in Dublin. Macklin won the belt with a fifth-round knockout, at 1:28 of the frame.

Three months after winning the Irish middleweight title, Macklin traveled across the pond to get his first taste of fighting in the United States, winning two bouts by knockout, stopping Leo Laudat in three in Atlantic City, and Anthony Little in two in Philadelphia.

Three fights later, Macklin would engage Jamie Moore in one of the best fights of 2006, in his second attempt to win the British junior middleweight crown. Fighting Moore at George Carnall Leisure Centre in Manchester on September 26, Macklin was quickly drawn into a brawl and the two continued to fight in the trenches for over nine brutal rounds, before the Irishman would succumb to a knockout halfway through the 10th frame.

“I fought Jamie Moore at the wrong weight,” said Macklin. “Although I shouldn’t have fought Moore’s fight, making weight was the problem in that bout. I felt weak, I had no stamina and no reflexes. I stayed at welterweight and junior middleweight for far too long. I am a middleweight.”

Maintaining a busy schedule over the next two years, Macklin would win his next six fights, three by knockout, including a 10-round decision over veteran Yori Boy Campas. Macklin then returned to his hometown of Birmingham to challenge Wayne Elcock for the British middleweight title on March 14, 2009, winning by TKO in the third. Macklin followed that up with a fight against Finnish Amin Asikainen six months later and destroyed him inside one round to add the European title to his collection.

After defending the European title in two of his next three victories, Macklin was poised to make a big slash on the world-boxing scene with a bout against former junior middleweight champion Winky Wright set for Las Vegas. However, that bout did not come to fruition when Wright pulled out after suffering an injury in training. A WBA eliminator against Khoren Gevor next presented itself with the winner to face Felix Sturm. Contractual issues led to Macklin pulling out of that contest, but he was rewarded with a direct shot at Sturm and, despite losing a highly controversial split decision on the champion’s home turf, made a statement with his dynamic performance.

“I went over to Germany and I proved myself. I felt that I won,” said Macklin, who lost the split decision by two votes of 116-112 for Sturm and a 115-113 tally in his favor. “I feel that if we fought 100 times, I would beat him every time. If it were up to me, I’d fight him next, although I don’t think he has any intention of pursuing a rematch with me. If he wants to fight me again, it’s an easy fight to make, as he is his own promoter. I think he knows that he cannot beat me. He’s not going to come to Ireland or England. Fighting Sturm in New York would be great, but I would go back to Germany if I had to. I’d expect a fairer crack at the fight. I think the German officials would be under a lot more pressure to make sure things were on the level, given the controversy of our first fight.

“I think the Sturm fight was an eye-opener for the boxing public at large. Sturm is a leading man in the middleweight division and I think I proved that I am among the top three middleweights of the world.”

DiBella Entertainment President Lou DiBella is excited about his new recruit.

“I viewed signing Macklin as a no-brainer,” said DiBella. “I have Sergio Martinez, the real middleweight champ, the best in the world. But clearly Matthew handled Sturm with ease and he has a claim at being the second-best middleweight in the world. He’s going to want a shot at Sergio and eventually that will make sense.

“I’m very, very happy with the deal,” he continued. “I happen to like the kid very much and that is part of it. There are certain guys who have very pleasing styles for TV. This guy rumbles but he also has skills. He’s fun to watch and made a case that he stands near the top of the middleweight division with the way he fought Sturm.”

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bracero Thrills Hometown Fans, Scores Second Straight Knockout Win In Broadway Boxing Main Event

By: Alex Dombroff

BROOKLYN, NY (July 30, 2011) – It wasn’t until junior welterweight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero’s eleventh pro fight that he finally stopped an opponent inside the distance. Now, he looks like he’s making up for lost time. Bracero (17-0, 3 KOs) assaulted Floridian Danie van Staden (8-7, 4 KOs) for much of three rounds until a vicious right cross finished the night for good at 1:08 of round three in front of Bracero’s hometown fans at the Aviator Sports & Events Complex in Brooklyn, New York.

From the opening bell it was classic Bracero, with the local hero coming forward and pressing the action. van Staden fought back valiantly, but Bracero appeared to land at will as cheers of “Tito…Tito” rained upon the ring from his throngs of adoring fans. The onslaught of punches finally overcame van Staden in round two when a barrage of punches sent him to the deck. The brave van Staden rose as the round came to a close.

The third round was more of the same, and this time Bracero didn’t let van Staden hear the bell. Just moments into the round another barrage of punches, similar to the ones that put van Staden down for the first time, scored Bracero his second knockdown of the fight. Once again van Staden rose, but bravery would not be enough. Bracero continued pressing and moments later a picture perfect right cross sent van Staden down and out; a count was deemed unnecessary the bout was stopped immediately.

The punch, and its impact, was reminiscent of something off the fists of former world champion Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey, who was in attendance working van Staden’s corner.

“It was so hard, I didn’t really feel it in my hands,” Bracero said of the winning shot. “I knew I had him.”

For Bracero, it was the second straight time he has ended a fight in dominating fashion. In June, he finished Guillermo Valdes in one round in a similarly devastating style.

“The only knock anybody had on ‘Tito’ was that he couldn’t punch,” said Lou DiBella, promoter of Bracero and Broadway Boxing. “Well guess what? Now he has added power to his fan friendly style of fighting. What is the knock now? He is becoming a complete fighter.”

Full Results from Brooklyn, NY:


Junior Welterweight: Gabriel Bracero (17-0, 3 KOs) TKO3 (1:08) Dannie van Staden (8-7, 2 KOs)


Flyweight: Melissa McMorrow (6-2-3) SD8 (78-74, 78-75, 75-77) Keisher McLeod-Wells (4-2, 1 KO) ---- McMorrow retains NY State Flyweight title

Light Heavyweight: Seanie Monaghan (8-0, 4 KOs) KO1 (1:29) Brian Bernard (10-9-2, 6 KOs)

Middleweight: Jonathan Cepeda (11-0, 10 KOs) TKO5 (:31) Rahman Yusubov (10-3, 8 KOs)

Light Heavyweight: Joe Smith, Jr. (7-1, 7 KOs) TKO2 (2:40) Santos Martinez (2-2, 2 KOs)

Light Heavyweight: Travis Peterkin (3-0, 3 KOs) TKO1 (1:50) Damion Reed (2-7-1, 1 KO)

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