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Ringside with Boxing Wise.

 With the continued success and expanding popularity of Boxing Wise we 
 will now feature live reporting from boxing events. Boxing Wise will 
 have pre and post fight coverage from various venues, along with ringside 
 analysis. We wish to thank Top Rank, America Presents, Don King, Cedric 
 Kushner, Frank Warren, Main Events, Universum Promotions, OPI 2000, M&M 
 productions, Bill Mordey, 8-count productions, Bobby Hitz, Ballroom Boxing, 
 Jeff Fenech and Mogens Palle for their help in providing access to their

Live from.........

                         December 22, Palace of Sports of Monfalcone, Italy
                               Main event: Stefano Zoff vs Sunday Aderoju
     An interesting boxing card took place in Monfalcone, Italy, during the Christmas 
 weekend. Former WBA light champ Stefano Zoff and WBO #1 superlight Gianluca Branco had 
 their final tune-up before their future title shots. WBA #5 Zoff is scheduled to fight 
 WBA #1 Julien Lorcy for the European crown at 135 lbs on January 29 in Paris, France, 
 and Branco is awaiting for a new date and site for his WBO title bout at 140 lbs. Branco 
 is penciled to face reigning champ Ener Julio and the clash is likely to take place 
 somewhere in Italy next February. 
     WBO #1-WBC #5 jr. welter Gianluca Branco was the first to step up into the ring. 
 Branco was supposed to face WBO titlist Ener Julio three weeks ago in Las Vegas, on the 
 undercard of the Trinidad vs Vargas superfight, but promotional problems forced the 
 postponement of the bout. Branco opted to keep active, while awaiting for a new date, 
 and faced Nigerian journeyman Jacobs Abgbus. Abgbus is not a top fighter, but was game 
 and brave. 
     The Italian challenger looked fit and ready and showed amazing hand speed. Branco 
 hit the Nigerian southpaw with a couple of good right hooks during the first two rounds, 
 then slowed down the pace in rounds three and four. Branco came out aggressively in 
 round five, and had his opponent down after another impressive right hook, then his 
 corner began to ask for more left - right combinations. The fighter listened to his 
 trainer and floored Abgbus again in round six, this time after a good combo of blows. 
 The game Nigerian managed to finish the scheduled six rounder on his foot, and Branco 
 was awarded a unanimous decision.
     After the Branco fight, hometown hero Stefano Zoff jumped between the ropes. Zoff is
 a former European champ at the featherweight division and a former world champ among 
 lightweights. The Italian fighter won the WBA title last August in France, but lost the 
 belt after a few months to Gilberto Serrano in Las Vegas, USA. The former champ is now 
 hoping to come back into title contention, facing WBA #1-WBC #3 Julien Lorcy next month 
 in Paris, France. 
     Zoff wanted to take a tune-up in his hometown of Monfalcone, Italy, because he felt 
 overexcited for the long training and the big expectations he is experiencing prior to 
 the Lorcy fight. Zoff opponent was another Nigerian, former featherweight Sunday 
 Aderoju, announced by the promoter with an astonishing 12-1 record. The bout was another 
 six rounder and Zoff, usually slow to get into the pace of the fight, started cautiously.
     The former world champ used the first rounds to establish his left jab and was 
 always able to keep the quick and fast Aderoju at a safe range. After the fight, Zoff 
 told Boxing Wise that he was looking for a fighting style focused on current European 
 champ Julien Lorcy, who is usually aggressive and can be slowed down by a good left jab. 
 After establishing his jab in the first section of the fight, Zoff began to show his 
 straight right in round four and forced Aderoju in the corner in round five. During the 
 final round, the ringside doctor checked the Nigerian fighter, whose nose was bleeding, 
 but allowed the fight to go on, and Zoff was awarded a unanimous decision.
     On the same card, local heavyweight Alessandro Guni recorded his sixth pro win in 
 seven fights. Guni won a clear decision against the third Nigerian of the night, Taker 
 Charlemagne, in another six rounder. Guni showed guts, but didn't look ready yet to 
 fight at the top Italian level.
 Comments or questions? Feel free to contact me

 Promoted by: OPI 2000 of Salvatore Cherchi
 Reported by: Alessandro Ferrarini 

December 16, 2000 The Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England Main Event: Joe Calzaghe vs. Richie Woodhall British Boxing in Critical Condition A night that was to complete a great year of boxing was marred by tragedy as the Paul Ingle - Botile fight again showed the world the dangers of boxing. At time of publishing Paul Ingle is in critical condition at Hallamshire hospital in Sheffield following an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain. The next 48 hours are crucial in the life of Paul Ingle. The incident occurred following a KO in the 12th round of a bruising battle with Mbuelo Botile for the IBF Featherweight title. Whilst the debates will now begin to ban boxing, this is just another example to support the case of prohibiting the sport. The 28 year-old now faces the biggest fight of his life. Frank Warren said after the fight “All our thoughts are with Paul and his family as we pray that he makes a full recovery.” As I watched from ringside the medics were fast and effective with Ingle being operated on within the hour. The lessons of Michael Watson hospital delay have definitely been learnt. The reasons for why this happened will be announced in an inquiry by the BBBC. The feelings amongst the boxing journalists are that Ingle was dehydrated as he struggled to make the weight. This is a primary reason for why blood clots occur on the brain. If it were just a factor of hard shots to the head then the heavyweight fighters would be most at risk. These deaths or serious brain injuries occur to fighters in lower weight divisions, excluding freak events like Michael Watson. Here follows the tragic list of recent tragedies: Spencer Oliver: Super Bantamweight, had a blood clot removed from his is brain. Oliver is now a Sky sports analysis. James Murray: Bantamweight. Died in 95 against Drew Docherty. Gerald McClellan: Super- Middleweight. In a wheelchair now, after battle with Nigel Benn. Bradley Stone: Super –Bantamweight. Died after blood clot on the brain two days after fight with Richie Wenton. Michael Watson: Middleweight. Paralysed following Chris Eubank bout in 91. Rob Douglas: Middleweight. Had life saving operation after his defeat by Herol Graham. Steve Watt: Welterweight. Died after defeat by Rocky Kelly in 86. Johnny Owen: Died at only 24 after losing against Lupe Pintor. The fight itself was overshadowed by the injury to Ingle but there was not much to overshadow to be honest. Botile is a classy operator as at 28 he is now in his peak years. He outboxed Ingle as the crowd were witnessing another top featherweight make his name. Botile had a good record of 26-1(16 KO’s) with the only defeat by the American Tim Austin. Ingle couldn’t land punches of any substance on Botile. The South African struck first in round one and Ingle’s head was rocked back by a quick right hand. There was a lot of lateral head movement by Ingle but he wasn’t doing enough to win any of the rounds. He looked tired early on. It was a flat performance, unlike his last three fights. This is one of the reasons why you have to ask, did Ingle struggle to make the weight? I interviewed him at the weigh in and he said he felt fine but he did look tired and I thought it must be all the media attention as it can be a bit tedious. Ingle was put to the canvas in the 11th. He was 4 points behind on my card, and he would need a miracle knockout in the 12th to win the fight. There was no indication of this possibly happening with Ingle not hurting Botile at anytime in the fight. Trainer Steve Pollard asked him to quit but the type of person Paul is he was never going to quit the fight. Ingle went out and within 20 seconds was put to the canvas with a sickening right uppercut that ended the fight. With blood covering his face, medics treated him within seconds. The crowd, 80% Ingle, were silent as they prayed for the Scarborough man to get up. He was then taken from the ring to the local hospital. This has obviously overshadowed the Full Monty 2 but the main bill awakened the still shocked crowd. The Calzaghe – Woodhall fight exceeded all expectations. The crowd came to life as the match for the WBO Super Middleweight title turned to be a tough battle for the champion. Calzaghe was hoping for his seventh successful defence of the title he won at the same arena against Chris Eubank. Woodhall started well as he worked the jab effectively and looked more comfortable than he did against his former opponent, southpaw Marcus Beyer. Woodhall was having a lot of success with the right uppercut when the two came close. Woodhall was happy to rest against the ropes as he countered with the right uppercut. The fight was incredibly entertaining with Calzaghe’s combinations being so fast you were surprised smoke wasn’t to be seen. His attacks ranged from working the body to headshots. The speed was credible with power being evident as Woodhall’s face was being busted up. Calzaghe was also getting hit more than ever. Woodhall was finding Calzaghe with ease as both fighters just adopted an old style tear up form of defence. Going into round nine it was all-square. Woodhall dominated early on in the round as he was catching Calzaghe with his two-punch combination. The fight then turned when Woodhall \ walked into a straight left and finished up on the canvas. He was, as they say, saved by the bell, when it rang to end the round. It was unfortunate for Woodhall as this was his best round until he was knocked down by a classy shot from the champ. Woodhall began Round ten on the ropes as Calzaghe pilled on the pressure with effective combinations. Roy Francis then stepped in the end to contest as Calzaghe retained his title. Woodhall nodded his head in agreement with the Ingle incident earlier Francis had to make sure a repeat incident couldn’t occur. Trainer Len Woodhall said after the fight “ If he hadn’t had done it I was ready to whack the towel in. Richie would have ripped me head of but my job is to look after the fighter.” Woodhall also sustained a back injury that restricted his movement after round seven. The former WBC champion will now contemplate his career plans with his record 26-3 (15 Ko’s) he could still go on. He is 32 and Dave Hilton has just won the WBC title at the age of 37. Richie knows he would destroy Hilton and become a two-time world champion. It comes down to Woodhall’s desire as Len explains: “ He has never had that approach after winning the world title. It’s like getting a perfect ten, where do you go after getting a perfect ten? They get bored. I wouldn’t say he’s lost that edge but what I would say is that he ain’t upset tonight because he hasn’t won the title, he’s upset because the fans have travelled from Telford to Sheffield to watch him lose.” As for Calzaghe he has improved his record to 30-0(25 KO’s) and his reputation, in this country, is at an all time high. He’ll look to a dream bout with Roy Jones Jr. or more alistically a bout with Sven Ottke who was victorious against Silvio Branco this weekend as well. On the under card we witnessed victories for Arcelino Freitas over Daniel Alicea in one round. The only champion with a perfect record of 28-0 (28 Ko’s) increased his growing reputation as one of the best prospects world boxing. Mauricio Martinez destroyed Escham Pickering in one round as successfully defended his WBO Bantamweight champion. Neil Sinclair almost caused an upset after getting of the floor to put WBO Welterweight champion Daniel Santos to the canvas. Santos incredibly then proceeded to take out the Belfast man in the 2nd round. The Ingle incident overshadowed an entertaining main bill and may tarnish a great year of boxing. Myself and everybody at Boxing Wise hope Paul can pull through. Promoted by: Frank Warren Reported by: Mark Mitchell
December 9, 2000 at Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre, London, England Main Event: Dave Walker vs. Karl Taylor The learning curve Light Welterweight prospect Dave Walker has established since becoming a professional became significantly steeper last Saturday night at the Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre. Sporting the colours of his former Amateur club, Fisher BC, Walker was frustrated by a hugely experienced opponent hell bent on spoiling and survival before gaining the points victory he richly deserved. Entering the ring to a tumultuous reception from his large body of support Walker knew he was facing a stern test. His examiner was Karl Taylor, a pro since 1987 and a former challenger for the British Lightweight Title. There can be few tricks and ring smarts that he does not know. These he employed from the outset to avoid the speedy jabs Walker threw at him in the moments following the opening bell. Taylor's fight plan soon became apparent and before long the pattern for the entire fight was set. Walker looking to work from behind his jab at long range quickly found the distance between him and his opponent closed down as Taylor, doubling up with the left, rushed inside to hold and maul. The spectacle was reduced to a series of clinches interspersed with hard shots from Walker penetrating the experienced Birmingham mans defence. At the bell Taylor was bleeding from a small cut on the left cheek. More was to follow in round two as Walker struggled to keep Taylor off him. It was not for the want of trying. The Sidcup / Bermondsey fighter, despite his increasingly visible frustration, produced by far the more positive work, catching Taylor with attention grabbing body shots. If there was any hint of dejection in Walkers eyes at the close of the second it was replaced with a renewed air of determination coming out for the third. As the action heated up Walker drove a hard right uppercut, into Taylor's mid section. Significantly Taylor was forced to break from a clinch for the first time as Walker's superior technique and handspeed began to tell. Soon Taylor was back to his crude forward rushes and the clinching resumed. The referee was prompted into action and perhaps unfairly addressed both fighters. Taylor was again cut, this time above the right eyebrow but it did not appear to affect him unduly. There was a reduction in the amount of clinching during the fourth round. Seemingly Walker had earned the respect of the Birmingham fighter who was consequently less hasty to bull into him. This was playing into the hands of the ex Fisher Boys fighter who grew in confidence. When they did work inside Walker was able to drive Taylor back and late in the round he caught the Brummie with a stinging left, right combination. Walker imposed himself further in the fifth round; his jab setting up left hooks and uppercuts that hurt Taylor as he came forward. As Taylor held, Walker was frequently barracked by Birmingham man's trainer, that well known boxing character, Nobby Nobbs who shouted "stop holding Walker". The irony was not lost on those spectating as Taylor still attempted to clinch with increased urgency in the sixth round. By now, Walker had his measure and racked him with viciously hard left and right upper cuts and straight rights. Taylor finished the fight bleeding from cuts above both eyebrows to match that on his left cheek. He was a well-beaten fighter, but ever the professional, he had offered a severe test to a young prospect. For the excitingly talented Walker not only was it seven wins in seven outings it was also an infinitely valuable learning experience. "I've got to get these awkward fights out of the way," he said before elaborating "I'm learning from these fights." Walker plans to rest over Christmas before returning to the gym in the New Year and fighting at the end of January or in February. Leo O'Reilly vs. Peter Buckley, Lightweight Contest, 4 x 3 min. rounds Leo O'Reilly had not only his professional stable and former Amateur club in common with Dave Walker on Saturday night. He also took on an experienced survivor from Nobby Nobbs' Birmingham camp. His opponent was Peter Buckley, a former Naseem Hamed opponent who has had over a hundred contests. Originally scheduled as a six round bout O'Reilly was disappointed to hear that number of rounds had been reduced to four. "I started slow because I've been training for six rounds," he said. Indeed, it was a tentative opening round for the ex Fisher man. It seemed as though the defensive, languid style employed by Buckley posed him problems. He attempted to impose himself behind a rangy jab and had some success with quicksilver combinations. The very defensive Buckley attempted to counter with the left hook, without any success. O'Reilly upped the workrate in the second round. He penetrated the Birmingham man's well- schooled defence with a rapid fire right over the top of Buckley's guard, followed by a hurtful left hook, whipped into the body. Again Buckley vainly attempted to counter with hooks but was left with a swelling under his left eye. During the third, O'Reilly continued to open up, scoring with right hands and digging into the body with both fists. He was beginning to dominate and Buckley returned nothing of note. Seamlessly O'Reilly moved through the gears in the fourth round. He threw his shots with more venom, looking for the stoppage. Against such an experienced opponent, in so short a fight it was unlikely to happen however. "It would have been good to have stopped him," he reflected afterwards "but I can't stop everyone, I've just got to take it as it comes." At the bell the third man raised O'Reilly's fist, awarding him a shut out victory. After proving his mettle against such a durable opponent he hopes to join stablemate Walker in fighting in the New Year. Reported by: Gareth Welch
December 8, 2000 at The Historic Lincoln Theater, Washington D.C Champions Against Drugs card Washington DC came alive tonight and you couldn't have asked for a more historic beautiful setting than the Lincoln Theater. Keystone Boxing Promotions a force to be reckoned with on the East Coast, gave the crowd of about 450, a night they will not soon forget. At the helm of Keystone are promoters Gene Molovinsky and his right hand man son Ross. They always take the necessary steps to ensure a great night of boxing. One point I want to make to all fans, is you must come out and support our local talent because when they become world champs, than you want to claim them. Now is the time to claim them and help all fighters in the area reach their dreams of winning a world title. In the main event that I truly feel could be ranked in the top three fights of the year, Lamont "Bay" Pearson, (15-0-1, 8 ko's) faced veteran Harold Warren (42-15, 20 ko's) for the NABA Jr Lightweight Title. Warren has held belts from the USBA, NABF, WBO & WBC. From round one through six, the fight was a close battle with both fighters landing huge shots and amazingly taken them. In the sixth, Warren was warned for a low blow and Pearson got cut over the eye. The cut did not really bother Pearson and from round seven on Pearson started packing the rounds away. In the 12th and final round, Pearson clearly ahead decided to go to toe with Warren and to the amazement of the crowd, Pearson landed an uppercut-left hook combination which dropped Warren for a 4- count. Pearson knew his foe was in trouble and went in for the kill which saw Warren walk into a picture perfect uppercut which dropped him like a bomb. Warren struggled to get up and fell again to the canvas with the referee waving the bout off with 9 seconds left in the fight. The fight gave the NABA Jr Lightweight Title to Pearson who currently holds the USBA Regional Jr Lightweight Title. In the feature bout of the evening, Jr Welterweight Del "The Hatchet" Matchett, (15- 1-1, 8 ko's) faced Jesus Valverde, (18-2, 15 ko's). Matchett put on a superb boxing clinic for his opponent who came to fight and possessed one punch knockout power. Matchett's jab and right hand were on the money all night and he cruised to an easy eight round unanimous decision. 80-72, 79-74 & 79-73. I had the fight scored like the first judge 80-72 giving Matchett every round of the fight. The nicely rounded out undercard saw the following bouts: Super Middleweight - 8 rds Aaron Mitchell (18-1-1, 13 ko's) stopped Miguel Julio (32-4- 1, 30 ko's) in the second round Welterweight - 6 rds Marlon Haynes (8-2-2, 2 ko's) stopped Kevin Carter (4-12-1, 1 ko) in the fourth round Welterweight - 4 rds Melvin Jones (4-1, 1 ko) won by unanimous decision over Vernon Meeks (0-4) As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by: Keystone Boxing Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
December 5, 2000 at Big Kahuna Night Club, Wilmington, DE Main Event: Vaughn Bean vs. Maxim Oneba Wilmington, Delaware's Big Kahuna Night Club opened its new "Entertainment Center" with a pro boxing card promoted by DEE LEE Promotions in association with Nick Tiberi Boxing. The show featured the #10 ranked WBC Heavyweight in Vaughn Bean, the #6 IBF Featherweight in David Toledo and Faruq Saleem "The Dream" who is on the verge of getting noticed for a top 10 spot, reportedly the Dream is the #15 WBA Heavyweight. David Toledo landed many straight lefts from the southpaw stance and earned a unanimous decision over the aggressive Reggie Sanders (10-10) in an 8 rounder. Toledo improves to 31-2. Saleem "The Dream", 255lbs, slugged his way to a TKO after cutting Robert Smith. The Dream is now 23-0 with 22 stoppages. Smith, 290 lbs, fought back, but Saleem was just too busy for the overweight Smith. Saleem is backed by Butch Lewis and Michael Spinks who were in attendence. Vaughn Bean scored with many left hooks to the body of Maxime Oneba, however it was a right hand that ended the contest in the 2nd round. Oneba's eyes appeared clear, but he told referee, James Condon that he thought his jaw was broken. Condon had no choice but to stop the bout at 1:23 of the 2nd round. Bean is 38-2 and looked to be in the best shape this year, his weight was announced at 213 pounds. Tom "the Ripper" Cameron pounded out a unanimous decision against Elvis Alexander. Cameron is a crowd pleaser anywhere, but really had his hometown fans vocalizing during this 6 round Jr. Middleweight battle. Cameron is now 12-14, but has only won, except for one draw, since returning to the States after a European "opponent" stint. Alexander showed signs of talent but drops to 10-4. Promoted by: Dee Lee Promotions Reported by: Larry Tornambe
November 18th, at Showplace Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD Main Event: Michael Warrick vs Luis Rosales Promoter William Guthrie's "Millennium Box Off" series debuted with a bang. The crowd of about 600+ fans was treated to an exciting night of boxing that saw Guthrie's first venture into the promotional side of boxing. As everyone knows by now, I have taken on the job of Publicity Director for Fair is Fair Corporation that is owned by William and three other partners. With this said, I have to commend Guthrie on his hardworking traits to make this card a special night for all the people in attendance. Even though it would have been nice to have a larger crowd, we know in this business, that word of mouth is very strong and the word spread throughout this evening, was simply, that we can't wait until his next card. Fans you must get out and support these cards and others in the area so the local talent can get ahead and become the world champions that we love to have in our neck of the woods. The crowd was filled with boxing celebrities of past and present to include: WBA super lightweight champion Sharmba Mitchell, WBC middleweight champion Keith Holmes, welterweight contender Derrell Coley, former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman, former heavyweight contender Marvis Frazier, USBA junior welterweight champion DeMarcus Corley, junior welterweight contender Del Matchett, and USBA regional champion Lamont Pearson. In addition, William's little brother, Michael McCary bass singer of the superstar group, Boyz to Men was in attendance and was more then willing to sign autographs and take pictures with the crowd. (Special Attraction) The popular R & B group, 98 Degrees which was discovered backstage at a Boyz 2 Men concert, sang the National Anthem to the excited boxing crowd. In the main event, Landover's Michael Warrick, (14-0, 11 ko's) was just too strong for Laurel, MD's Luis Rosales, (5-7-1, 2 ko's). Warrick stopped Rosales in a the third via a TKO. Rosales, who I have seen fight several times, never could get off and was just outclassed by Warrick. The undercard results are as follows: Middleweights - 8 rounds Aaron Mitchell (17-1-1, 12 KOs) TKO3 Luis Carmona (15-10, 9 KOs) Time: 2:20 Junior Middleweights - 6 rounds Vincent White (13-2-1, 3 KOs) W6 Ed Dennis (13-4-1, 7 KOs) Scores: 58-56, 58-56, 56-58 Jr. Middleweight - 6 rounds Shawn Garnett (5-1-1, 2 KOs) W6 Ernest Strohman (9-5-1, 4 KOs) Scores: 59-54, 59-54, 58-55 Welterweight - 4 rounds Melvin Jones (3-0, 1 KO) KO3 George Turner (1-5, 0 KOs) Time: 2:57 Lightweight - 4 rounds Jan Khadarov (1-0) KO3 Andre Edwards (0-1) Time: 2:30 As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by: Fair is Fair Corporation Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
November 16th, 2000 at Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD Main Event: jermaine Fields vs. Luis Lizarraga Tonight we saw a truly major upset at the legendary Michael's Ballroom that left the fans silent to the point that you could hear a pin drop. I will get to that fight in a minute. The electric atmosphere which has become a regular at the ballroom was no different tonight. The place was sold out and had numerous boxing celebrities to include former IBF Lightheavyweight champion, William Guthrie, WBA Junior Welterweight champion Sharmba Mitchell, former two-time NABF Welterweight champ, Derrell Coley, junior welterweight contender Teddy Reid and IBF Women's Lightweight champion Isra Girgrah. Other celebrities from football and baseball were in attendance which included: Former Baltimore Oriole greats Al Bumbry, Elrod Hendricks and Ken Singleton. Finally, former NFL running back with the Baltimore Colts Joe Washington. The main event which I mentioned earlier was a huge upset when junior lighweight prospect, Jermaine Fields, (21-1-1, 16 ko's) was bombed out in the fourth round via a technical knockout by Luis Lizarraga, (30-22-3, 22 ko's). Fields throughout the first three rounds was holding his own boxing well but decided to slug with a slugger in the fourth round which is always a mistake. Early into the fourth, Lizarraga caught Fields with a right hand that made Fields' glove touch the canvas. The referee ruled it a knockdown and gave Fields an eight count. Later in the fourth, Lizarraga caught Fields with a picture perfect combination of a right to the cheek, left on the chin, and to finish, an uppercut that sent Fields down on his back. Fields went down hard and to his credit, he arose still hurt which caused the referee to stop the bout at 2:05 of the fourth. The undercard results are as follows: Jr. Middleweights - 6 rounds Jimmy Lange (13-1-1, 11 KOs) TKO 2 Ed Goins (15-16-2, 12 KOs) Super Middleweights - 6 rounds Derrick Whitley (13-14, 6 KOs) TKO4 Napoleon Pitt (14-13-1, 8 KOs) Cruiserweights - 6 rounds Darrin Whitley (9-15-4, 3 KOs) W6 George Holder (8-5, 7 KOs) Scores: 58-56, 59-55, 59-55 Welterweights - 4 rounds Julian Fuentes (3-1-1, 3 KOs) TKO3 Cliff Richard (0-1, 0 KOs) Time: 1:48 Lt. Heavyweights - 4 rounds Darnell Wilson (1-0, 1 KO) TKO1 Rodney Dews (0-1-1, 0 KOs) Time: 1:52 One side not to this card I would like to make. I recently took on the job as Publicity Director for William Guthrie's company Fair is Fair which is now a force to be reckoned with in boxing promotions. I introduced Promoter Scott Wagner to William and the respect as well as the support that he offered, is something that we need more of in this sport. Thanks Scott! You continue to impress me with the class act that you are and it's quite evident why your boxing cards are so successful. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by: Scott Wagner Matchmaker: Josh Hall Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
November 11, 2000 at The Hilton Hotel, London, England David Haye / Anthony Reed, England vs. USA Amateur Tournament David Haye, making his UK debut as a Heavyweight opened his account in emphatic style on Monday night as he stopped his opponent Anthony Reed, inside round at the annual England / USA tournament at the Hilton Hotel in Central London. In a night of glory, the English team defeated the Americans by five bouts to two but it was Haye who made the biggest impact on a bill that featured much quality boxing. If there were any doubts about how Haye's power would transfer to the heavyweight division then they were firmly dispelled here. The Southwark based, Fitzroy Lodge boxer produced a display full of patience, precision and power that left the American wholly out thought, out maneuvered and out gunned. With a face that was the picture of steely determination the Southwark man left his corner at the first bell looking to establish his dominance from behind a jab that was loaded with hurtful intent. Keeping the significantly shorter American at long range Have afforded himself the luxury of picking his shots with impunity. Reed was reduced to making despairing lunges at the England boxer who countered, and moved out of danger, before reestablishing the jab. Haye was warned by the referee for hitting to the back of the head early in the round as his speedy foot work left the American embroiled in the ropes, presenting an inviting target that seemed too good to resist. By now Haye had the measure of Reed and following up from behind the jab he crashed home the first in a series of right uppercuts that were to prove the American's eventual undoing. The first left the Portland, Oregon fighter stunned. A little later, the second saw him visibly shaken, and with the third he was delivered to the canvas. Sensibly the referee realized the fight was one sided and stopped Reed from taking any unnecessary punishment, the verdict officially announced as a knock out. Such economical, eye catching work is the product of hard labour in the gym. He has been working on that concussive jab and was intent on dispatching his man in the quickest, most efficient way possible. "I've been sharpening it (the jab) right up to keep the guy occupied," he stated afterwards before elaborating on his ruthless thrift "I tried to win by throwing as few punches as possible because in a couple of days I will be fighting in Denmark (multi nations tournament)." Such is the measure of this most modest man's confidence in his own ability to perform at the highest international level and indeed he has every justification in feeling this way. His star is ascendant and his stated goal of a medal in next year's World Championships in Belfast, if he can capitalise on performances such as this, is a realistic one. Reported by: Gareth Welch
November 2nd, 2000, at the Washington Hilton, Washington, DC Main Event: Francois Botha vs Tony Larosa Over the last year I have been to some really great fight cards that allowed me to see some outstanding fights. Well, this card was more than just a fight card. This was my first time at FIGHT NIGHT and I have to say probably one of the most magical nights in all the years I have been involved in boxing. Let me explain why the night was so magical. FIGHT NIGHT which is a charity event that has raised millions of dollars over the last ten years for children's charities. The event which is organized by Brotman-Winter-Fried Communications of Washington, DC was so perfectly put together for the elite business men of the area which even had Virginia Senator John Warner and Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, DC in attendance. The magical part of the evening was the boxing legends that were in attendance to include: Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Jake Lamotta, Carmen Basilio, Tony Demarco, Earnie Shavers, Michael Spinks, Iran Barkley, William Joppy, and my all-time favorite fighter, Aaron Pryor. I had a chance to meet each one of these true boxing legends and for a fan, it was magical. Carmen was playful and like to do the behind the ear trick. Kenny kept calling me a Squid because as you know, I am on active duty in the Navy and he was in the Marine Corps. Earnie was just so down to earth and I came back the next morning with my wife to have breakfast with his wife and Ken. Iran was so funny and wanted me to take him out clubbing after the event. Joe was just too cool with his son Marvis. Finally, my heart, Aaron Pryor gave me a great big hug when we met telling me thank you for all the kind stuff I have written about him. Well, I told him thank you for giving me and the rest of the boxing world some great memories. Aaron probably doesn't even realize it but because of the heartfelt interview we did many moons ago, it helped my writing career to the point that my name was out there enough in the boxing world to get into an event such as this. For this and so many other things, I will always be grateful to you Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor. In my life I have been to two huge events and felt a love that was in the air that was unbelievable. The first time was on August 29, 1994, when I saw my favorite singer of all-time, Frank Sinatra live in concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland. FIGHT NIGHT was the second time when they had all the legends announced one after another and they all were in the ring. The love of the crowd and respect which each fighter is due, was moving to me. Finally, if you ever have the chance to make it to this yearly event in Washington, DC you must go if only to see these wonderful legends. In the main event former heavyweight champion, Francois Botha dominated an over matched Tony Larosa stopping him in the first round of the scheduled ten rounder. It was a one sided fight which had Botha landing at will and Larosa never having anything to fire in return. Botha raised his record to 41-3-1, 26 KO's while Larosa falls to 32-20, 18 KO's. In the co-feature, Washington D.C. junior middleweight Luther "Sugarman" Smith, (19-1-1, 10 KO's) won an unanimous decision over Jasper "Baby Ray" Goddard, (4-12-4, 1 KO). I have seen Goodard fight on two occasions and even though his record is not impressive, he always comes to fight giving his opponents all they can handle. The undercard saw the following fights: George Armenta (3-0 2 KO's) Split DEC over Narciso Aleman (5-3, 1 KO) 58-56 for Aleman, 60-54 for Armenta and 58-56 for Armenta. I had the fight scored 57-57 a DRAW. Anthony "DA Beast" Suggs (21-17-1, 18 KO's) Unanimous DEC Ben Simmons (4-5, 2 KO's) Suggs won on all three score cards 60-54. This fightcard is dedicated to the memory of Missionary Maxine Milton who left on her journey home on October 8, 2000. "Ma Dea" as she was affectionately called by the many who loved her is Henry "Discombobulating" Jones, local legendary Washington, DC ring announcers mother. DISCO, REMEMBER WHAT HAS BEEN LOVED CAN NEVER BE LOST AS LONG AS WE HAVE A HEART TO CARRY OUR LOVED ONES IN. "Ma Dea" and your whole family are in my prayers. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
October 19th, 2000 at The Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA Main Event: Nick Martinez vs. Alfred Ankamah Up and coming Jr. Middleweight Nick Martinez "held on" to defeat WBC #2 ranked Alfred Ankamah in a ten round main event in Anaheim, CA before a crowd of 3,940. The Bassett, CA native pulled off the biggest win of his career, staving off furious pressure by the former captain of the 1988 Ghana Olympic team that also included Ike Quartey. Ankamah (20-7, 17 kayos) was on Martinez like a wet blanket early and often, but the twenty-four year old Martinez (17-0, 7 K.O's) showed ring savvy beyond his years by putting jabs together to keep the aggressive Ankamah at bay during the first five rounds. Ankamah's ring experience looked as if it were going to be too much, however, as one of the most entertaining rounds of the year unfolded during round six. In a round reminiscent of Quartey vs. De La Hoya 12th round, the two combatants went toe to toe unleashing an amazing arsenal of punches at each other. Ankamah clearly took control of the bout during this round and although Martinez was extremely game, he could only use holding and clenching tactics to stay alive late in the remaining rounds of this highly competitive fight. All three judges scored the fight 96-94 in favor of the local kid, leaving Ankamah's corner livid after the decision and deservedly so. Not to take too much away from Martinez, but can you say home cooking? Westminster heavyweight sensation Javier Mora may also have benefited from being of local flavor. The nineteen year old Mora (2-0-1, 2 kayos) left his boxing skills in the gym, opting for an attempt at a one-punch finale while escaping with a draw in his third pro fight. James Lester (3-2-1) would have no part of that though, showing a rock solid noggin that can taking a pounding. Lester had a little something in store for Mora as well by peppering his body with a barrage of body punches, and later, closing Mora's left eye shut in the fourth. This should serve as a wake up call to Mora. He is going to have to learn to counter off his opponents mistakes rather than constantly try to create his own opportunities in the ring. Rounding off the card were four other fights that also went the distance. In the Middleweight division, Sergio Mora (2-0) shutout Benito Tzand (1-2). Detroit, MI native Charles Blake (5-1) decisioned Cesar Avila (6-2) in a junior middleweight bout. Super Lightweight Tony Avila (5-0) outpointed Ricardo Moreno Ruiz (1-1), and in yet another questionable decision on this evening, Kelsey Jeffreys got away with a win against Cynthia Prouder. Jeffries, who ran her record to 7-2 in the Jr. Lightweight division, is an extremely active puncher as was Prouder (5-9). Both women put on a great display of energy, but neither had any sharpness whatsoever on their punches. In a nearly impossible fight to score, the judges gave a landslide vote to Jeffreys. There were more great fighters in town for the World Boxing Council Hall of Fame Ceremony to be held this Saturday, October 21 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Among those great fighters in attendance were Carmen Basillio and Jimmy Ellis. One last memo to a few boxing fans in the Orange County area. I enjoy cat calls as much as the next fan where needed, but holy smokes, if you call the Martinez vs. Ankamah fight and other fights on this card "dancing" you guys need to rent "Rocky" or some other phony fight flick and stay at home. That ain't dancing in there. One of you nearly ruined the great sixth round by throwing a water bottle on the canvass as it rolled slowly and barely out of the footsteps of the fighters. Yes, you do have the right to open your mouths, but some of you need to have a clue before you open it. Promoted by: Don Chagrin Reported by: Whitfiled Haydon
October 14th, 2000 at Wembley Conference Centre, London, England Main Event: Colin Dunne vs. Billy Schwer Recently seventies rockers, The Pretenders sang 'They don’t make them like they used too.' These are sentiments echoed all too regularly by boxing aficionados but the tune was forcibly changed on Saturday night when Colin Dunne and Billy Schwer produced a domestic classic for the WBU Lightweight World title that had nostalgist’s drawing comparisons with the best that the UK has provided. This was one of those rare occasions when the substance and pride of the fighters overshadowed the value of the bauble at stake. Both Dunne and Schwer are consumate professionals, high on skill and commitment but low on theatrics. Thunder bolts and lightening matched by flying carpets and go go dancers were conspicuous by their absence here as the fighters entered this small and intimate arena to a tumultuous reception from the two large groups of traveling fans. The Holloway based Liverpudlian Dunne was defending his version of the world title for a fourth time and has appeared in excellent domestic match ups before. He fought and was stopped by Michael Ayers in their British Title fight in 1996 but was unable to capitalise on his best win to date, when forced into an eighteen month lay off due to injuries sustained defeating Phillip Holiday. Schwer has also been out of action, since losing his WBC World Title bid to Stevie Johnson last year. For both fighters this was a must win fight and both had trained accordingly. Having sparred together in the past it was thought that the fighters would spend little time in sizing each other up and get straight down to business. They didn't disappoint. Dunne a notoriously slow starter lost the first round as the upright Schwer applied the early pressure with assured jabbing crossed by straight rights. The second was a different story as Dunne, fighting from his usual crouch warmed as the round progressed, firing hard combinations. The theme for the whole fight was set as neither fighter took a backward step. Dunne again took the points in the third as the pace of the fight quickened. It was becoming apparent that Dunne was intent on raking his opponent with right hands before hooking his left to the body. His camp had done their homework and felt as though the key to victory lay herein. Ultimately they were right but from the third round onwards he was to be handicapped by an ugly cut near the right eye. The frenetic pace of round three was not sustained into the fourth as Schwer as if goaded by the sight of blood dominated, a stinging uppercut near the start of the stanza allowing the Luton man to set up his assault. Dunne's corner worked frantically to stem the flow of blood between the rounds with some success. Schwer had the better of the exchanges in the fifth. Effective in picking single shots and working behind his jab the Luton stylist prevented Dunne from establishing his rythym as he looked to press. Unfortunately for Billy this wasn't to be the case in the sixth as Dunne's powerful body shots began to take their toll. The initiative swung back to Schwer in rounds seven and eight where again his tidy boxing allowed him to dominate. Dunne's technical proficiency came to the fore in round nine when his constant pressure left Schwer with a reddening face and looking stressed for the first time in the fight. The pattern was repeated into round ten and eleven when it appeared that relative youth and fitness would prevail and Schwer would be stopped. The bell offered him some respite and as one the crowd roared the fighters into the last round. From somewhere Schwer found the mental and physical strength to carry the fight to Dunne, wobbling him with a hard right before working him onto the ropes. As the bell rang for the final time the fighters hugged and were friends again. Before the results were announced the referee Dave Parris asked the crowd to show their appreciatation for the fighters and the classic encounter they had produced. They needed no such encouragement. Officially it was a victory fro Dunne by means of a split decision. The points hardly seemed to matter but if there had to be a victor then the result of this technically superb tussle was a fair one. "It was never going to be easy," said Dunne after the fight but it was his fitness and tactics which had edged him to victory in a close run affair. Schwer stated that if the monies right then they've got to do it again. Damn right and book me in if they do, because you know, 'they don't make 'em like they used to.' Promoted by: Panix Promotions Reported by: Gareth Welch
October 7th, 2000 at The MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV Main Event: Paulie Ayala vs. Johnny Tapia II It has been established and is now etched in stone. Paulie Ayala is just flat better than Johnny Tapia. For the second consecutive year, the four-time world champion Johnny Tapia (48-2-2, 25 kayos) was decisioned by Paulie Ayala (31-1, 12 kayos) before a near capacity crowd at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, NV. The crafty Ayala proved to be the answer to a riddle that Johnny Tapia could not solve, frustrating the veteran with blinding-quick straight lefts and short right hooks on his way to a unanimous decision. Judge Keith McDonald scored the fight 116-112, while both Jerry Roth and Chuck Giampa both had the fight 115-113 in favor of Paulie Ayala. Unfortunately, the terrific event was slightly marred by bedlam both in and out of the ring. The highly pro-Tapia crowd was enraged by the decision, touching off several simultaneous brawls in every direction of the arena. Even one of Ayala's handlers was arrested and cuffed in the ring for punching a Top Rank official after the decision was announced. But leave no mistake about it, the better fighter won even though the biased fans were blinded kind of the same way Tapia's left eye was shutting around the tenth round. Tapia, although buoyed by the heavy support of the crowd, found many of his punched hitting only Ayala's leather while Ayala connected almost at will as he got stronger as the fight progressed, effectively pressing the action down the stretch. While Johnny Tapia was extremely competitive he was never able to gain any real momentum this time. Most of Tapia's occasional brilliance merely stopped Ayala from further dominating the given round. Tapias's camp refused to attend the post fight press conference but issued a defiant statement. "He didn't touch me. He didn't beat me. I thought I won nine of twelve rounds" Ayala said. In other action, WBA Flyweight Champion Eric Morel (28-0, 16 kayos) fought tentatively and failed to impress as he shut out late replacement Alberto Ontiveros (12-4- 3, 10 kayos) of Mazatlan, Mexico. In Super Bantamweight action, Joe Cortez stopped the Danny Romero (40-3-1 34 kayos) pummeling of Jorge Reyes (21-15-2, 17 kayos) after the end of round two. Romero severely outclassed Reyes in this one. Also, Welterweight Jose Celeya of Salinas, CA ran his record to 5-0 beating John Trigg of Atlanta, GA. Arturo Morales stopped Ruben Coronado in the middle of the second round to go to 2-0 in his young career. Several great fighters past and present were at the fight. Included in this mix were Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, David Tua, Floyd Mayweather, and Diego Corrales. Promoted by: Top Rank Reported by: Whitfiled Haydon
October 7, at The Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT. Main Event: Oleg Maskaev vs. Kirk Johnson Undefeated Canadian underdog Kirk Johnson (30-0-1) caught and dropped heavy handed Russian Oleg Maskaev (20-3) with a left hook he never saw in round 4 and knocked him out of the ring with the following flurry at .51 seconds to firmly establish his spot in the heavyweight top ten. Due to nagging injuries to his elbow and calf, Johnson remained an enigma and had fought all of three rounds in the last eighteen months, while Maskaev was busy making a niche of his own with spectacular knockouts of Hasim Rahman and Derrick Jefferson, making Oleg an 8-5 favorite. The winner seemed destined for seven figure paydays and an eventual title shot. I was one of the guys that thought Oleg's superior competition and activity would be the difference and he would put Kirk to sleep inside seven rounds. Kirk opened many eyes besides mine with his performance tonight.Johnson used his superior speed and boxing skills to dominate round one until the waning moments when Oleg connected with his signature punch, the short right hand, across the bridge of Kirk's nose, staggering him and leaving him stunned as the bell sounded. While Johnson did more than enough to take the round, it looked like an omen of the inevitable impending doom. "I didn't see it coming. I tried to play it off but my corner let me know that I got caught." Johnson said afterwards. Maskeav began to stalk in round two and backed Johnson into the corner and Kirk let fly, going toe to toe and fighting his way out. I gave this round to Maskaev. "I was trying to preserve myself; grab, hold, to try to break up his rhythm." Kirk would say. Johnson seemed to recover and was back to jabbing in round three keeping Maskaev off balance and out of sync. While he took the round, which ended with a low blow by Kirk, Oleg was still stalking, looking for that opportunity to lay the heavy leather. The methodical Russian quickly had Johnson back in the corner in Round Four when Kirk missed with a right but before Oleg could counter, Kirk landed flush with a huge left hook that staggered and dropped Maskaev. Oleg was able to beat the count but he was done. Johnson could smell blood and rapidly put together a combo that knocked Maskaev out of the ring. "I could see that every time I threw my right, he would over-react and move back and to the left. I just kept shooting rights to make him move where I wanted and I knew that he would be open for the left." Kirk said in the post-fight press conference. I asked Kirk if he felt the electricity of the punch that the crowd did. He laughed and said, "I knew that he was hurt. When I was in amateurs, my left hook was my best punch. I was very surprised because everybody knows that Tua is a bigger puncher than me. Before the fight I was so nervous. To me, in my mind, he was invincible. I can't hurt him, he has incredible stamina. At yesterdays medical, I had a heart rate of 61. I looked over at his and it was 46! How was I going to outlast this guy? But I came to fight twelve hard rounds." Kirk then diplomatically handled the questions regarding his future. "Holyfield is my hero. When you think somebody is gonna tear his head off is when he fights the best. Lewis IS the Champ. Chris Byrd has his own business to take care of." When I asked about a potential eliminator with Larry Donald, Kirk said "I've followed him since the amateurs. If you're going to fight him, you better be ready. He's like me, the man has paid his dues and he is too good for what he is." I asked Kirk if this fight propels him into superstar level seven-figure payday fights. "Right now, I'll fight anybody. I want to stay busy and yea, seven figure paydays would be nice." Promoted by: Cedric Kushner Promotions Reported by: Jack Purcell
October 6th, 2000 In Naestved, Denmark Main Event: Jesper Jensen vs. Luigi Catiglione Naestved, Denmark, October 6th, IBC junior bantam titlist and former European flyweight champ Jesper Jensen, 117, Denmark (falling to 38-2-1, 12 KOs, IBO computer ratings no. 12 junior bantam) ended his career being robbed of the European bantamweight championship against WBU junior bantam titlist Luigi Castiglione, 118, Italy (upping his record to 20-2, 5 KOs, IBO no. 39 featherweight). Spain judge Martin Pasamar had it 116- 112 for Castiglione and Swiss Daniel Gillieron had it 116-113 for the Italian. Both judges quite incomprehensively had Castiglione sweeping the first six rounds. Russian Nicolay Sigov had it 117-111 for Jensen which looked much closer to what actually happened in the ring. I had it 117-112 to Jensen who seemed to control most of the happenings throughout the fight. How the Spanish and Swiss judges could reach such clear scores for Castiglione is bizarre and promoter Bettina Palle said she would file a complaint to the EBU immediately after the fight, but propably not to much avail. Jensen was cut around both eyes (as has become a habit) and busted an eardrum but generally boxed one of his best fights for some time and clearly did most of the clean work. Castiglione worked hard but not very effectively. After the decision, Jensen grabbed the ring microphone and announced his retirement. Not because of the loss, but simply because he wanted to quit at the top. "I don't want people to say that I took one fight too many" said Jensen who had a long amateur career behind him before turning pro, participating in the Barcelona Olympics among many other international tournaments. At 33, Jensen felt things getting harder, almost every fight being tough, and he was suffering facial injuries all the time. So enough was enough, after 14 titlefights. Jesper Jensen will go down in Danish boxing history as one of the most serious and intelligent fighters to grace to boxing rings here. Jensen could box, and he could fight when he had to. And quite importantly, he could speak for himself, which he often did when pro boxing became a debate in Danish media. Jensen would almost always be the one to defend his sport, articulately and honestly. We wish Jesper luck in whatever future awaits him from now on. A friend of Jesper Jensen since both were young amateurs is heavyweight Brian Nielsen, 242, Denmark (going to 58-1, 42 KOs, IBO no. 9) who had no trouble knocking out unknown Kevin Cook, 230, Indianapolis, Ind. (falling to 16-3, 12 KOs) in just 79 seconds. Cook was stunned by the very first serious punch Nielsen landed and from then on it was all downhill to the floor for the American. Cook was not the most difficult of opposition but Nielsen looked good, with fast, sharp punches for as long as it lasted. Mads Larsen, 169, Denmark (now 33-1, 28 KOs, IBO no. 2) came back after almost a year off due to an achilles tendon injury to knock out previously unbeaten Dan Phippen, 166, Whitman, Mass. (now 21-1, 16 KOs) in the first. Phippen was down three times from body punches. Larsen will need a couple of fights to get off all the rust, but he didn't look too bad this time. There are speculations about a fight with Roy Jones if Jones decides to make a European tour and Larsen is surely one the few fighters around who could actually have a chance with Jones. Ole Klemetsen, 180, Norway (now 43-5, 35 KOs, IBO no. 6) was lucky to escape with a split decision over Derrick James, 178, Dallas, Texas (now 16-5, 9 KOs). The scores were 78-76, 78-77 and 77-78. Klemetsen has been one of the most naturally gifted fighters to come out of Scandinavia but he seems to be on the slide, getting hit far too much in his fights. Frank Olsen, Denmark (now 34-1, 19 KOs, IBO no. 17 welter), now fighting at lightmiddle, came back well from a layoff, scoring an easy shutout decision over Sam Harvey, Akron, Ohio (now 12-6, 6 KOs). Harvey was down in the third but did well to last the distance. The scores were 80-71 (twice) and 80-72. I had it 80-71. Flyweight Steffen Norskov, Denmark (now 9-0, 3 KOs) continues to develop well, stopping Vincent Mogotsi, South Africa (now 4-6). Mogotsi tried in bursts and had Norskov on the backfoot a couple of times, but otherwise Norskov landed well. In the third, the referee had seen enough and saved Mogotsi from further punishment. Cruiserweight Steffen Nielsen, Denmark (now 7-0, 4 KOs) had an easy payday, knocking out Gerald Armfield, Kokomo, Ind. (now 3-3, 3 KOs) in the first. 18-year old junior welter Mehdi Abedi, Denmark (now 2-0) outpointed tough Leonard Steyn, South Africa (now 13-7, 6 KOs) over four two-minute rounds. The scores were 40-36, 40-37, 40-37. I had it 39-37. Steyn recently gave IBF rated Allan Vester stern opposition so Abedi did well to edge out the aggressive South African. Abedi still has a lot to learn, especially defensively, but he has all the moves, good reflexes and he hits with precision. Former amateur star Anders Styve, Norway (pro debut) had no trouble knocking out hapless Ray Shanks, Kokomo, Ind. (now 3-2, 2 KOs) in one round. Styve could go far. Promoted by: Bettina Palle Reported by: Henry Rasmussen
October 6th, 2000 At Ballys Park Place, Atlantic City, NJ Main Event: Teddy Reid vs. Juan Carlos Rubio A fight card, which featured 4 different main event boxers from the planning stages to the final bell, came about when the New Jersey State Athletic Commission pondered some radical steps in policing the boxing game. The first announced main event was Demetrius Corley and Vivian Harris. Corley dropped out and Juan Carlos Rubio stepped in the picture. Less than two weeks prior to fight time, Harris was stabbed in the stomach in an apparent robbery attempt. Teddy Reid accepted the challenge the week of the fight. The NJ State Athletic Commission announced that Bob Arum and Cedric Kushner are subjects of a possible ban in NJ due to their part in the IBF scandal. The Atlantic City Press also released information of a potential background check into each boxer scheduled to box in New Jersey. The action heated up early when Scott Fairlamb (1-0-1) started quick but faded against the debuting Michael Tucker in a 4 Round Heavyweight matchup. The decision ended in a draw. Daniel Judah, Zab's brother, came in at 171 pounds and a 5-0 record. Eric Starr, the floundering opponent, was penalized a point in the first round and lost his mouthpiece in the 2nd. Judah was sharp with the straight left from the southpaw stance, but lacked killer instinct. The end did come in the 5th when Starr was felled by an uppercut and not allowed to continue by the referee's choice. Isander Lacen (12-13-5; 2 KOs) sat through the smoky and well lit choreographed entrance from undefeated Justo Sencion prior to their 8 round lightweight tussle. The well-seasoned Lacen has seen the likes of Ivan Robinson, Angel Manfredy and Vivian Harris, he didn't beat any of them but he did box them. In August he boxed undefeated Michael Benedetto to a draw. Lacen was steady and durable, but he couldn't match the quickness of the southpaw, Sencion. The "Sensational" Sencion was stoic in his attack and grabbed his 13th win in as many outings. At 21 years of age Sencion says he wants the best opponents and defeating someone of Lacen's experience could be the catapult to boxing ranked beings. Emmanuel Lucero is a likable undefeated featherweight, who is also fun to watch in the ring. Rogers Mtagwa is a "hand-ups" punch-by-the-book battler training in Philadelphia. They met in a 10 rounder which saw Lucero start his body attack early and Mtagwa coming forward. This pace stayed for the first 5 rounds as Lucero, nicknamed the Butcher, concentrated on the body attack but had no set-up. Mtagwa (10-5; 7KOs), 122lbs, was penalized a point for holding in the 5th which indicated that the body punches were opening the portal to the discomfort of visiting Luceroland. Emmanuel, 125 lbs, kept the pressing the action and easily won the decision. He is now 14-0 with 9 KOs. Teddy Reid showed guts in accepting this bout on less than a week's notice. In July, he dropped a decision to Golden Johnson, who also picked up the NABF Junior Welterweight belt. Reid came in at 147 pounds and lit up Rubio early. Reid smacked him with a left hook in the first round knocking off Rubio's sombrero and at :52 of the second heat Teddy stamped "I'm back" on a right uppercut and left hook combo. Reid impressed press row while scoring his 12th KO in 17 wins. He has lost 4 times and has one draw. Rubio drops to 26-6-2. The future of the light-heavyweights could include Anthony Hanshaw. Hanshaw (7-0; 6 ko's) featured a snapping jab against Ron Boddie and followed up with a body mix in the second heat. Boddie, who has been boxing as a junior middleweight, came in at 177 lbs and scored with a couple of thudding left hooks in the 3rd, but it only made Hanshaw blink. Boddie (8-9-3; 3kos) is the first to extend Hanshaw to the distance but comes up short in the unanimous scorecard. Tonight we learned Teddy Reid is at the beginning of another groove, which should add even more excitement to the welterweights. Emmanuel Lucero boxed his first 10- rounder against a former world champion in Juan Polo-Perez a couple of months ago. Lucero won every round. Lucero didn't show the whole game plan tonight because he didn't set-up his well-practiced body punching, but if he learns why he didn't knock out Mtagwa, he'll have the whole package soon. Justo Sencion isn't as well developed as Lucero, but he showed talent, but I felt he needed more fire in his emotion. Promoted by: Main Events Reported by: Larry Tornampe (Ring Sports)
September 21, at Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, Maryland Main Event: Del "The Hatchet" Matchett vs Jamar Carter Well, fight fans, Ballroom Boxing is back with its first show of the season and it started out with a bang! As always, the place was sold out and the standing room only crowd was in a frenzy to be back watching the fights at the now famous, Ballroom. The crowd as always was filled with a variety of celebrities to include, various players of the Baltimore Ravens, WBC Middleweight Champion, Keith Holmes and several local upcoming fighters. The main event pitted hot prospect Del "The Hatchet" Matchett, (14-1-1,8 ko's) against slick, Jamar Carter, (12-3, 3 ko's). From the first round, the slick Carter gave Matchett trouble with his awkward style and dirty tactics. Matchett was able to figure out his opponent by the fourth round and was able to land big shots throughout. Carter has to be given credit for staying in the match and landing some big shots of his own. In the fifth round, an unintentional head butt occurred opening a cut over the right eye of Matchett. It never really turned into a problem and Matchett was able to pull out the unanimous decision by the scores of, 97-93, 96-94 and 97-94. This fight was a good strong test for Matchett and going the 10 round distance will only make him better. The undercard saw the following the fights: Jimmy Lange (12-1-1, 10 Ko's) TKO 3 Kevin Carter (4-11-1, 1 KO) Derrick Whitley (11-14, 6 Ko's) TKO 8 Tyler Hughes (15-12, 4 Ko's) Tony Thompson (6-1, 2 Ko's) TKO 3 Dana Dunston (5-1, 3 Ko's) Ricardo Edmonds (3-2, 2 Ko's) MAJORITY DEC4 Julian Fuentes (2-1-1, 1 KO) Scores: 40-36, 39-37, 38-38 Luis Rosales (5-6-1, 2 Ko's) MAJORITY DEC4 Jose Tiburcio (2-2, 0 Ko's) Scores: 38-38, 38-37, 38-37 As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by: Ballroom Boxing Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
September 16, 2000 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England Commonwealth Middleweight Title: Howard Eastman vs. Sam Soliman Sometimes you’ve just got to wonder if a fighter like Eastman has the patience of Job or is just plain lazy. No doubt the man has world class potential as his standing with the alphabet boys would indicate (rated No. 1 by the WBA) but for long periods of this Middleweight Commonwealth Title fight he demonstrated a singular lethargy in dealing with the admittedly slippery Australian title holder Sam Soliman to grind out an ultimately inevitable points victory. Soliman’s last outing in the Uk was on a hot night in June when he ruthlessly secured the title with a ninth round stoppage of a badly weight drained Neville Brown (its rumoured that Neville dropped 14 pounds in 4 days to make the weight). The amiable Aussie has a distinctly unorthodox style. His defence is based on reflex and upper body movement; his furious two handed punching however does not pack the power that it could(4 KO’s from 11 victories). His strengths are workrate, a fearsome determination and an insurmountable will to win. Soliman demonstrated these attributes to a packed York Hall as he extended the undefeated Eastman over twelve rounds. The first four rounds posed an ugly spectactal as both fighters mauled, held and shoved one another. Soliman won these rounds on the Boxing Wise card as he was the only fighter in the ring who seemed to remember that to win a fight you’ve got to hurl some leather. Metaphorically speaking, if you like to say a glass is half full then Eastman was struggling to come to terms with the Australian’s crouched, bulling style. For those to whom a glass is always half empty or not of such a generous disposition then Eastman was half asleep. Thankfully from the fifth round onwards Eastman, and the fight, came to life as he either cracked the puzzle from down under or was roused from his slumbers (again depending on how you look at it) and began to dominate. As he raised the tempo of his work, Eastman’s snaking jabs, backed by a hurtful right cross took their toll on Soliman. There were times when the Melbourne man looked very tired indeed. It is testament to his conditioning and steely determination that he was always the agressor, constantly pressing forward despite it becoming increasingly apparent that his punching was proving ineffectual against the Londoner. Soliman was cut over the right eye from an accidental butt during the eighth round. His cornermen admirably stemmed the flow of blood with the wounds only significant affect proving to be that of catalyst for a rally in round nine. This was to be Soliman’s only significant success in the later rounds as Eastman provided the answers to his determined yet increasingly ragged attacks. Eventually Eastman was awarded the decision by 117 points to 114. Following the fight Eastman claimed that his victory had moved him to another level. He stated that Soliman was a snake in the ring and that he was the mongoose. A Nice metaphor for another cagey performance from the Battersea Bomber which for me poses more questions than answers about his ability to compete on a ‘world championship’ level. The sum of his talents, explosive punching power, matched with cultured boxing skills are unquestionable but on pain of repetition there were periods of languidity and hesitancy in this performance that the likes of Messers Joppy et al could ruthlessly exploit. Maybe Eastman is just that kind of fighter that is as good as the fighter in front of him? Who knows but it seems that despite claims from Eastman that Joppy is avoiding him we will have the opputnity to find out in the not too distant future. My gut instinct is that Eastman has indeed got what it takes and will establish himself at world level. I just wish it was a little more obvious. Promoted by: Roy Engelbrecht Promotions Reported by: Gareth Welch
September 15, Viking Hall, Philadelphia, PA Main Event: Will Taylor vs. Tyrone Armstead Headliner and former lightheavyweight title challenger Will Taylor (19-3) won a unanimous decision against journeyman Tyrone Armstead (15-12). Taylor, weighing in at a large 188, outworked Armstead throughout the fight. Taylor seemed limited by the extra weight as he only threw one or two punches at a time. In the fifth round, Armstead wrestled Taylor to the canvas. This was the most aggression that was seen from Armstead. Armstead would repeatedly stick out his mouthpiece to egg Taylor forward. In the sixth round, Armstead was knocked down and fell onto his back. But this wasn't the end, at the count of eight, Armstead jumped to his feet, stuck out his gum shield yet again, and motioned Taylor forward as the referee tried to wipe his gloves clean. Taylor would go on to win the unanimous and lopsided decision, but the bout was never captivating. The real event of the evening was the shocking technical knockout of supermiddleweight prospect Keon Abad (4-1). The upset was pulled off by Chicago native and Virginia resident Elvis Alexandra (10-3). The first round belonged to the left- handed Abad, he was landing the heavier shots that were backing Alexandra up. The second round started quickly as Alexandra slid to the ropes and Abad began to throw punches. It became a trading contest as Abad walked around Elvis. Then 13 seconds into the round, the blow which changed the entire fight landed. A right hand that connected on the back of Abad's head sent the prospect face first to the canvas. Abad was up quickly and then went right at Alexandra. The traded punches until a left hook, double straight right hand combination sent Abad sprawling into the bottom rope from ring center at 40 seconds of the second round. Abad would rise quickly yet again, but would stumble to his right away from the ref. He quickly regained his footing and gave his glove to the ref to wipe off. The ref looked into Abad's eyes and halted the bout after 54 seconds of the second round. One of Abad's cornermen was so incensed by what happened he had to be restrained by PA Boxing Commissioner Greg Sirb. Abad was very upset and had been arguing with the referee since immediately after the bout was waved off. In a rematch of a fight that occurred on the last Viking Hall show, a welterweight battle that spanned the Delaware River pitted North Philadelphian Mike Melvin (6-2) against New Jersey's Phil Trasher (4-3). The first meeting saw Thrashing winning a decision. The first round was a feel out round without much action. The second round saw Melvin take early control of the fight landing many solid combinations on the inside. Thrasher would begin to crowd Melvin late in the round , but would still be outworked. In the fourth, Thrasher began to make an attempt to get back into the fight by picking up the pace and out hustling Melvin for the first time. But any advantage this brought would soon disappear, as he appeared to tire greatly in the 5th and 6th rounds. Even in his exhaustion, he tried to match Melvin's output. At the end of the 5th, a right hand from Melvin knocked Thrasher back on one leg. In the sixth, Thrasher showed no energy for defense and marched after Melvin. It was target practice, and the judges scores reflected that fact. A unanimous decision by the scores of 60-54 and two 59-55. Besides myself making the trip from NY, supermiddleweight John Vargas (6-0) made the trek and walked out victorious with a workmanlike unanimous decision against Philly native Tyrone Glover (8-4). Vargas showed a commitment to pound to the body whenever his opponent was against the ropes. One aspect that Vargas could develop to improve would be to read his opponents when they show patterns of ducking to avoid punches. This happened repeatedly in the 5th and 6th rounds and Vargas did not counter with uppercuts to catch Glover. Viking Hall fixture Sloan Anderson kept his unbeaten record by knocking out Dexter Lewis (3-2) two minutes into the first round. Lewis opened the bout by throwing a slew of arm punches. This output lasted for the first quarter of a minute and then Anderson took over. Lewis would then circle about the ring not throwing any punches. Lewis attempted to lean in to clinch Anderson (4-0) and tripped. After Lewis got to his feet, his trouble appeared. A series of well set up straight right hands from the southpaw would send Lewis down to the canvas. Lewis would rise and walk back to his corner as the ref gave him an eight count. The motioned for Lewis to continue but Lewis declined. In the opening bout, middleweights Jay Washington (1-1,1 NC) and Darus Hunter (1-0) squared off. Washington entered the ring wearing a sequined hood and didn't uncover himself until the final referee instructions were started. In was a competitive bout that featured a great deal of moving in and out by both fighters. Washington showed better accuracy and range with his jab than Hunter and won a 4 round unanimous decision by the score of 40-36, and 39-37 twice. Promoted by: Dee Lee Promotions Reported by: Jonathan H. Cohen

August 26, at Showplace Arena, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Main Event: Lamont Pearson vs. Jose Alfonso Rodriguez Well, fight fans, for those who are reading this now I am here to tell you that Keystone Productions puts on one heck of a show. At the helm, Gene Molovinsky and his right hand man his son, Ross, gave the fans their money worth and a lot more. Every detail including, one of the best local programs to highlight the card, with great information included were there for each fan. I do want to make a challenge to all the Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland fans, that e-mail me and see me on the streets while telling me how much of a true love you have for the sport of boxing. The challenge is simple, next time you see a Keystone card wherever it may be, you need to come out and support it by purchasing tickets and getting behind OUR fighters! We have some wonderful local talent and we need to catapult them to the top by our support! Now on to the card: The main event 10 rounder for the USBA Junior Lightweight Title pitted tough Lamont "Bay" Pearson, (13-0-1, 7 KO's) against equally as tough, Jose Alfonso Rodriguez. In a nearly flawless effort, Pearson excited the fans throughout, capturing a unanimous decision by the scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92. It brought a great feeling to see the whole entire Keystone Team get in the ring to celebrate his win. In the Co-main event, Del "The Hatchet" Matchett (13-1-1, 8 ko's) stepped up with the big boys by taking on former IBF Latin American Champion, Rosember Palacios (17- 9-3, 12 ko's). Matchett dropped Palacios midway through the third round with powerful combinations and dropped him again, with a shot such as the one Roy Jones hit Virgil Hill with a couple of years back to finish Hill. Palacios came out for the fourth round still pretty much out and wasn't able to clear his head when Matchett landing a wicked overhand right to force referee Kenny Chevalier to call a halt to the bout. Del Matchett epitomizes class in and out of the ring which will enable him to go very far in the world of boxing. The nicely rounded undercard so the following fights: Keystone welterweight Keith Harrison battled to a hard fought split draw with DC's Juan Diaz, scored 58-56, 56-58, 57-57. Harrison goes to (5-2-1, 2 Ko's) and Diaz to (4-2- 1, 2 Ko's). In one of the more intriguing bouts of the night, Baltimore's Dana Rucker improved to (11-2, 9 Ko's) with a third round stoppage of New Carrollton's Mo Adams. The super middleweights traded barrages of heavy punches before Rucker got the final say. Adams, who has now been stopped in three straight fights, falls to (15-5-1, 9 Ko's). In the preliminary bouts, welterweight Kenny Head (4-1) won a 6-round unanimous decision over Lawrence Brooks (3-7) and heavyweight Tony Thompson (5-1) stopped Erick Kea (0-2) in the first round. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by: Keystone Boxing Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
August 17, 2000 Arrowhead Pond Anaheim, CA Main Event: Israel Vazquez vs. Javier Varguez Orange County boxing fans were subjected to a main event featuring Javier Varguez for the second consecutive month at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. IBA Continental Americas Champion Israel Vazquez battered the diminutive 36 year old Varguez throughout and ended it two minutes into round three. "This is the first time I have ever fought somebody shorter than me in my career." said Vazquez, who ran his record to 27-2 with 20 kayos. "I was a little surprised I was able to wobble him early and have such a quick night." Vazquez feels he is ready for a title shot now and will keep on working until it comes. Look for Vazquez to fight another two times before the year is done. On a suspicious note, Javier Varguez record fell to a supposed 44-23 with 31 knockouts, although it is hard to fathom how he could have hurt 31 professional fighters. The most promising fighter of the evening barely broke a sweat. Wesminster, CA heavyweight Javier Mora, fresh off of the U.S. Olympic trials, hammered a right to the ribs of Tom Allen of Mesa, AZ (0-5) at 1:14 of round one. That was the end of the story for Allen, who was down from that shot for two minutes. It was a good start for Mora in his first pro fight as he come into the ring at about 260 lbs. and can still lose at least 25 more. He is already down quite a few ponds from months ago, where it is reported he was weighing close to 300. Mora, 19 years old, has designs on becoming the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion and has recently been sparring favorably against the likes of King Ipitan, Mount Whitaker, and Frans Botha. Boxing fans remember the name Javier Mora, his hands are super fast and he has the tools to go a long, long way in the business. You will be hearing from Mr. Mora. There was one upset on this night as Anthony DeJesus (2-1) of San Jose, CA survived a first round knockdown to use his awkward southpaw ways to pummel Roddy Grajeda of Anaheim, CA. Grajeda was the hometown favorite making his first local appearance and was stopped at 1:37 of round two. Grajeda, 18 years old, falls to 1-1 in a tough loss that nobody expected to come so soon in his promising career. Other bouts saw Light Heavyweight Librado Andrade (6-0, 4 kayos) easily outpoint Marcus Harvey of Hollywood (3-4). U.S. Olympic trials Bronze Medallist Sergio Mora (no relation to Javier mentioned above) rebounded from a flash knockdown in the first round to squeak out a split decision against Tony Moldonado (1-2) in his pro debut. It was a tough fight for Mora who will learn from this experience. Mora had Maldonado hurt a couple times but got wild and did not pick his shots to get the job done in the way he probably would have liked. On a special note, congratulations to Lisa Valencia of Chino, CA who got her first pro win over Patricia Ross of Oakland. Lisa is trained by her father Jerry and my good friend George "Canvasback" Castaneda from the Fist of Gold Boxing Gym in Pomona, CA. It was an entertaining fight for the 2,000 or so in attendance. Continued success and good luck to the Fist of Gold fighters. Promoted by: Panix Promotions Reported by: Whitfiled Haydon
Tropicana Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 11, 2000 Main Event: Vivian Harris vs. Ivan Robinson ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” at the Tropicana gave the public another night of exciting fights marred by asinine judging. If you did not catch the telecast, the Main Event saw Vivian Harris control a ten rounder against veteran Ivan Robinson. The judges’ scorecards, however, declared the fight a draw. My ringside experience did shed some light on a question that has always baffled me? What qualifications do you need to become a judge? 1) You must be an old and senile man or 2) you must be a middle-aged woman who knows nothing about the sweet science. Maybe Zab Judah’s Gold teeth provided a glisten from the lights that got in the judges eyes. Or maybe instead of watching the fight they were staring at Virgil Hill’s ribs thinking, “jeez, I wonder if they are healed yet!?” (Actually I chatted with both ringside champs; both are great guys and it really added to my night). Anyhow it sucks, it sucks because we stay loyal and they slap us in the face; it sucks even more because it will happen again, and we love the sport so much that we will stay loyal. Oh well, it has become something the fans left have come to accept. Despite the poor ending, though, the night still provided some magnificent fights. The Co-Main event and other televised bout saw Nick Acevedo (11-0, 8 KO’s) stop John Molnar (16-1-1) in a nine round war. Both welterweight prospects should be propelled from the fight. The untelevised undercards provided a look at some young prospects. The first fight of the night got the crowds’ juices flowing when Heavy Scott Fairlamb KO’d Charles Williams in round 1 of his pro debut. Another heavyweight prospect and Mark Breeland understudy, Dominick Guinn (3-0, 3KO’s) made Mike Rothberger literally take a seat in his corner with a nose shattering right in round 1. The crowd got a good look at lightweight prospect Justo Sencion (13-0, 10 KO’s) in a one sided, but exciting fight against outclassed Carlos Navarez. Sencion floored Navarez three times in the first two rounds, including a crushing body shot in round 2. The referee waved off the fight in round 3 after Sencion floored Navarez for a fourth time with a beautifully hidden lunging right uppercut/hook. Female prospect Kathy Collins (14-1-3) won a unanimous 6 round decision against game but outclassed Cheryl Nance in a 140 pound clash. The crowd was also lulled to sleep by a six round slap-fest between Dan Davis and Debind Thapa that ended when Thapa threw and connected with the only straight punch thrown in the bantamweight “patty cake war”. Keep moving, and protect yourself at all times. Promoted by: Main Events Reported by: Sean Michael Iannucci
At DC Tunnel, Washington, DC, August 1, 2000 Beethaven Scottland vs Roosevelt Walker Once again, Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia fightfans, who missed this fightcard, need to make sure you see the next one. The estimated 500 people who were there got treated to one of the most exciting bouts I have ever had the pleasure of sitting ringside to watch. Now to the fightcard: The main event saw local super middleweight contender, Beethaven "Bee" Scottland (20-6-2, 8 KO's) stop a game Roosevelt Walker (22-10-1, 14 KO's) in the seventh round of a scheduled ten rounder. Scottland dominated throughout the fight and Walker had to retire in his corner. Scottland is scheduled to fight for the NABO Title the end of this month with an opponent to be announced. In the CO-feature and the fight I mentioned earlier as one of the most exciting I have ever seen, involved the comeback of junior middleweight, Anthony "DA Beast" Suggs (20-7-1, 19 KO's) against, "Baby" Ray Goodard (7-5-4, 4 KO's) in a scheduled eight round fight. This fight was exciting throughout, which saw Goodard lose a point in round three for repeated holding and than came back to even it up catching Suggs with solid shots causing the referee to give him a standing eight count. The final round is one of the best I have ever seen and showed why boxing is so exciting. Both Suggs and Goodard were drained but still managed to give the fans an all out back and forth slugfest that would make Rocky movie fans jealous. When the final bell rung, all the fans including myself, were on our feet cheering. The final outcome was a majority draw. I too had it scored a majority draw but the fight could have went either way. In other bouts, Paul "The Punisher" Williams (2-0, 2 KO's) of Augusta, GA remained undefeated stopping an overmatched Matt Hill (3-8-1, 3 KO's) in the first round of a scheduled six in the Jr. middleweight division. Finally, Quentin Williams, (11-3, 7 KO's) took a split decision over Ben Simmons (4-3, 2 KO's). Once again, my two main young men, Larry Recio and Deandre Davis, were at the fights. Larry recently won his 65 LB Golden Glove Match at the Tiger Market in Maryland. Finally, I must once again give a shout out to Ms Shawntel Bell of the DC Tunnel who works very hard making sure things happen. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by: Maddness Promotions Matchmaker: Cleveland Burgess Reported by: Brad Berkwitt
July 29, 2000 at The Skate Zone, Atlantic City, NJ Vaughn Bean & Darron McGlothin headline Perhaps it was just a record setting evening as the card last Saturday did not even last into the night. This card featuring two time heavyweight title challenger Vaughn Bean and undefeated heavyweight prospect Faruq Saleem was one of those cards which make taking in the "club shows" one of the more bizarre of all pastimes. I think there was more time spent writing the previous two sentences than it took for the card to finish. The card started an hour later than originally announced and only lasted for almost one and one-quarter hours. And there wasn't a lot of commotion about the abrupt nature of the card, considering the official ticket count was quoted as 90 spectators, two head counts I conducted both were just more than half that amount. On to the fights. Headliner Vaughn "Shake and Bake" Bean (33-2) needed less than two minutes to dispatch Jimmy Haynes (12-11),215. Bean weighed in at a fit looking 219, but conditioning would not have mattered against his opponent. Haynes was sent reeling backwards into a neutral corner from a left to the body. Within the first minute Haynes was on the canvas from a series of body blows. After getting to his feet and the action resuming, Haynes went on the offensive throwing several right hands. This good fortune lasted for only a few moments as Bean fired two left hooks to Haynes' body and a right uppercut that dropped him once more. After getting up again, Bean pounced and fired two left hooks to the head which sent Haynes down just in front of the ropes as the referee jumped in to wave off the fight. Prospect Faruq Saleem (20-0), a very large heavyweight who stands 6' 7" and weighed in at 258 pounds, had the distinction of winning the longest fight of the night. He beat Antonio Colbert (5-8) of Ohio by a third round technical knockout. The fight was delayed for a few moments as Saleem's warmup jacket needed to be removed after the referee's final instructions and to let Butch Lewis, Saleem's manager out of the ring. The first round was fought in spurts, and Saleem was always able to quickly move top of Colbert, 197. Saleem would then throw left hooks and uppercuts when in close. The second round was much definitive as Colbert was getting worn down in the ring. Faruq's right hand had hurt Colbert to the point where Colbert would lean against or hold onto Saleem for the rest of round. In an unusual sight, or rather one that could only be done in an empty house, the referee warned Faruq Saleem's corner for being TOO VOCAL! In round three, Antonio Colbert began to land his right hand, but it had too little steam behind it to save him. Another big right hand seemed to take all the life out of Colbert as he went limp legged in the ring. He could barely stand up and Saleem's follow up punches, most of which missed his stumbling target, brought the ref in to halt the bout at 1:14. In a female featherweight bout, Atlantic City's Jamilia Lawrence(6-3) won a first round, 82 second KO over Louise O'Donnell, who made her pro debut. Ms. Lawrence's first right hands put Ms. O'Donnell in the corner and then Jamilia barreled in after her smothering most of her own punches. The referee had to separate both fighters. A clean right hand over a lazy jab Lawrence would spell her own demise she fell face first and the ref immediately halted the fight. Etienee Whitaker(8-3), a light heavyweight out of Ohio won via first round KO over Ronek Ross of Philadelphia(0-3). Ross went down two times, both from right hands to the body. The second knockdown was a delayed reaction and the ref ended the bout 96 seconds into the fight. In the first bout of the evening, New York heavyweight Robert Wiggins(8- 0-1)needed two rpounds to dispose of Orion Sistrunk(3-8). Wiggins, fighting out of the southpaw stance tried to land right hooks on his opponent as his offense during the first round . A momentary pause in the action occurred 2 minutes through the round as the PA system played a recorded bell that rang three times (it sounded as the bell from the old ESPN Boxing series intro). Both fighters looked towards the referee knowing that something was amiss. The ref motioned the action to continue, and the rest of the round was uneventful as Sistrunk circled along the ropes. In the second round Wiggins was able to finish off Sistrunk with an excellent combination. It was a right hook, straight left, a right to the body, a second right that landed on the gloves and a last left uppercut snapped Sistrunk's head back. Sistrunk pitched forward to the canvas, the ref began to count, but stopped after a few seconds. The final time was 0:45. Promoted by: Star Boxing with Rockall Promotions Reported by: Jonathan H. Cohen

July 25, Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre, London Eastmam/Neary event Shea Neary vs. Alan Bosworth The Shamrock Express breezed into South London when Shea Neary won a hard fought points victory over Alan Bosworth in their Light Welterweight tussle. Neary, one of British Boxing’s most exciting performers, is on the comeback trail following the tumultuous loss of his WBU title to American Mickey Ward. It should have easy for Neary and indeed there were many who regarded the fight as a mismatch when it was announced. On paper that was probably a correct supposition as Bosworth has hardly mixed in the same company but you can never dismiss boxing’s ability to throw up surprises. Presented with the opputunity to mix it with such an esteemed opponent Bosworth raised his game to produce a display full of determination and tenacity to severely test the Liverpudlian. Bosworth made his intentions clear from the opening bell. He started aggressively and his game plan became immediately apparent. If he could continually pressurise and frustrate Neary then there was every chance that the scouser would be drawn into a war where his superior boxing ability would be negated. Neary does not need to be shoved into the trenches and for large periods of the first round the action took place on the inside. Bosworth had success when he worked the body and his aggression seemed to overwhelm Neary. There were calls from the crowd, to be repeated throughout the fight for him to dominate with his jab and when he did so for a short period Bosworth struggled to impose himself. This wasn’t enough to win him the round however as Bosworth’s aggression stole the points. Neary came out for the second looking to give Bosworth a taste of his power from behind effective jabs. Bosworth’s as ever bulled forward, looking for openings. His persistence paid off and again fighting resumed on the inside. After an intense exchange Bosworth hurt Neary with a strong right hand but the round belonged to the Liverpudlian. The pattern was now set fro the rest of the fight. Bosworth began the third with a flurry of body shots but when Neary sporadically composed himself to fight from the platform his jabs built then the momentum belonged to him. With Bristol boys trainer Chris Sanigar urging him on from his corner Bosworth was not to be disheartened. He carried the fight to Neary throughout rounds four and five throwing impressive looking combinations of hooks and uppercuts to both body and head. To Neary’s credit, he covered up well and most of these shots landed on his arms and gloves. The Liverpudlian seemed content to defend, looking to counter which he did with venom. At the end of round five a small cut was apparent on the bridge of Bosworth’s nose. The bleeding was stopped between rounds but Neary had all the encouragement he needed to load up on his shots. He dominated with his jab, as if punishing Bosworth for his previous audacity. Bosworth appeared to be tiring but not for the last time in the fight he responded by some how finding the strength of will to carry the fight to Neary. It was a similar story in the seventh round as again Neary stepped up the work rate, driving hurtful looking punches through the middle of Bosworth’s guard, only to find an increasingly ragged looking Bosworth rallying to deliver shots of his own. He caught the scouser twice with head shots, but as in the previous round, Neary’s more cultured work carried the day on the scorecards. Round eight was probably Neary’s best. From behind his jab he fought a measured round producing a good variation of punches. Bosworth, hurt early in the round by a long right to the body was unable to press Neary with any effect. You can’t keep a good man down however and once again Bosworth rallied in the ninth keeping Neary on the back foot and banging in hooks to the head. The punishment Bosworth was taking was now taking its toll. His right eye almost closed. Both fighters were tired going into the tenth and final round but driven by the shots of his corner men Bosworth produced one last super human effort. Neary used his footwork to stay out of trouble but finally Bosworth closed down the ring to catch him with left and rights to the head. In truth, Neary made hard work of this fight. Wars are his bread and butter, but where was his footwork which should have kept him away from the ever advancing Bosworth? Likewise the body shots for which he is renowned. Every fighter is entitled to an off night, especially one who has bought us so much excitement as Neary. It shouldn’t be forgotten however that he considered retirement following his loss to Ward. Let’s hope that there isn’t a hint of complacency creeping into training program as even the best fighters have something to fear from tough honest pros such as Bosworth, especially if they are underestimated. Howard Eastman vs. Ahmet Dottouev WBA Intercontinental Middleweight title. 12x3 rounds Howard Eastman extended his record to 29 wins, 27 inside the distance when his Russian opponent Ahmet Dottouev was forced to withdraw at the end of the fourth round of their frankly disappointing fight for Eastman’s WBA intercontinental bauble with an injury to his left hand. The fight promised to be a good one. Dottouev despite giving away four inches in height was a decent opponent having previously lost in two European title bids and one challenge for the WBA world title when he was stopped by Argentine Julio Cesar Vasquez in 1994. Eastman, the hard hitting British Champ started cagily, taking time to figure out the Russian as he bored in under his guard. Dottouev’s pressure if nothing else stole the points on the Boxing Wise scorecard. It appeared as though the southpaw stance of Dottouev was causing Eastman problems as he came under Eastman’s pawing jabs to land to hard lefts to the head in round two. The Battersea Bomber did give the Russian a taste of his power when landing a straight right following an exchange mid way through the round. There was to be more success fro the Russian in the third round as he seemed to be hitting Eastman with worry ease with his straight lefts. Eastman despite looking determined at the beginning of the round had to content himself with landing body shots as the squat Russian closed him down. In the forth it was noticeable that Eastman, his nose bloodied was breathing hard. Dottouev was much less effective in this round for reasons that would soon become apparent. He attempted some wild hay makers but within seconds of the bell sounding it became clear that he was in some discomfort and his corner retired him. It was an unsatisfying win for Eastman. With his strength and abilities he should have been able to dominate a much smaller and aging opponent. Admittedly the fight was in its opening stages and whose to say what would have happened later but there were some ominous signs. Eastman is impatient for a world championship challenge. If he is serious then his end of term report reads: Must try harder. Reported by Gareth Welch Promoted by: Golden Globe Productions
July 21, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, NY Celtic Warriors March On On a pleasant Friday evening at Yonkers Raceway a themed evening was held. A boxing card? Those are monthly occurrence here, but this card was driven by its association with a promotional organization keen on showcasing Irish talent. The new, the old , and the established all were all on display. And such a card may not have occurred at all if embattled New York promoter Joe DeGuardia not stepped in to offer Yonkers Raceway as the replacement site for a Gaelic park in the Bronx. In the main event, junior welterweight Martin O'Malley(11-0), firing away with both hands, dropped John Scalzi 3 times and won a TKO in under two minutes of action. Scalzi was overwhelmed by the quick power, but was able to rise quickly after each knockdown. The second knockdown came from a body attack and the others were due to head shots. In a battle of Hughes, Tyler Hughes(15-11) of Nebraska beat Rockland NY's Joey Hughes(19-3) in an eight round bout. The unknown lightheavyweight with the right name for the crowd fought in his opponent's home crowd with the right attitude, don't expect help from the judges. From the beginning Tyler Hughes threw bombs at Joey Hughes. In the middle of the fight Tyler Hughes threw bombs, and by the time the fight ended, only Joey Hughes needed to throw bombs. The Nebraskan rarely used his jab until the final round where he could pick his spots and still win the round moving backwards, but throughout the fight it was hard right hands and left hooks. Both fighters missed with most of their punches, but Tyler Hughes' blows landed harder and more often. A cut opened in the second round over the New Yorker's left eye, and the ringside physician was required to look at it in the 6th and 7th round. The crowd would chant "JOEY JOEY" to rally their fighter in the second and fourth rounds when Joey Hughes would find himself locked in a corner and on the receiving end of a extended barrage of punches from Tyer. The judges scored this fight 80-72,79-73,80-71. BoxingWise saw the bout as a shutout,80- 72. This fight was the highlight of the night, a journeyman coming in a beating the hoemtown fight and not being robbed by the judges. Former world title challenger John Lowey (27-2) scored a very close six round unanimous decision over Marik McKay(9-5) of Florida. McKay scored a knockdown in the third, even though it appeared that Lowey trippe. Hehad also done very well to capitalize on the veteran's inaccuracy for the first half of the fight. Lowey started very slow and did not appear to be able to win this fight until he shook off the rust and took control of the fight after the third round. The judges awarded John Lowey a 58-55,57-56(2) decision. BoxingWise scored the fight 57-57 with the 2nd round even. Supermiddleweight Carmine Tufano(15-0) scored a technical knock out over Erin Fitchett (7-2-4) in the first round. A right hand sends Fitchett falling backward to the canvas. Fitchett would rise. Twenty-five seconds later Tufano would throw a three punch combination that would move his opponent backwards into the ropes. The referee jumped in to end the fight, but it appeared that Fitchett was not even stunned by Tufano's last barrage of punches. In a bout between welterweights fighting above the limit, Jersey City resident Michael Covington (23-1) won lopsided 8 round decision over 11-18-1 Agustin Silva of Florida. Covington was able to work Silva's body while Silva was on the ropes in the third round, otherwise Silva was content to circle away from Covington and grab him when within reach. The first celtic warrior fighting tonight was lightheavyweight Colm Keane (2-0), out of Ireland, fighting Kurt Shaka (0-1). Shaka was dropped by a right hand early in the first round. Another right hand drops Shaka in his corner. Shaka would rise and the ref began his count. After the mandatory eight, the ref waved off the fight while Shaka was looking down along the ropes to see his opponent. Kurt Shaka objected to the call, but the result was final, TKO1 1:29. Opening the night was the pro debut of featherweight Fari Caba. He was dropped in the first round by a left hook by Wilusimba Kizito(0-2-1). Kizito fought aggressively after the knockdown but could not put Caba in trouble again. In the 2nd round, the fight was much closer as Caba seemed to fight mostly off the ropes and Kizito may have deserved to win the second round as well. In the third Caba began to throw more punches towards Kizito's body and seemed to bother him with such an attack in the later part of the round. Cabi took the last round he fought coming forward. The 3 judges scored the fight 38- 37 for Cabi. The crowd was displeased with the verdict and Cabi's girlfriend ran into the ring to congratualte him for the victory. Promoted by: Star Boxing with Rockall Promotions Reported by: Jonathan H. Cohen

July 20, Irvine Marriot, Irvine CA Jose Mulgado vs. Javier Varquez Promoter Roy Englebrecht found himself in a bind when Isidro "Chino" Garcia had to pull out of the main event versus Jose Mulgado after being notified by the WBO that he must fight in South America next month. But nobody in the crowd seemed too despondent over the no-show after a pair of hair-raising undercard bouts stole the show from the patchwork main event, where Jose Mulgado ran his record to 9-4 with a split decision victory over Javier Varquez (41-22-1) in the flyweight division. Mulgado was able to outpoint Varquez, the thirty-six year old veteran from Mexico, who came into the fight with a substantial edge in ring experience. Youth was the order of the night as Mulgado was far quicker and stronger in the later rounds to gain the win. Two scorecards had Mulgado winning by seven points, while one inexplicably gave Varquez a one point edge to the dismay of many of the sellout crowd. However, the main event of the evening was nothing more than an afterthought when the bi-monthly fight cards at the Irvine Marriot lived up to its "Battle in the Ballroom" nickname as two young local fighters each ran their record to 5-0 in front of a slew of friends and family members. The most exciting bout of the night involved Enrique Ornelas (5-0), a nineteen year old Super Middleweight prospect from nearby La Habra, CA. Ornelas tasted the canvas for the first time in his career when Harold Lowe of Pacoima, CA (2-2, 2 kayos) sent Ornelas canvasward twice in the first round with tornado-like left hooks. Lowe also went down in the first round once, sending the crowd up on their feet into a frenzy. Ornelas caught a tired Lowe with a straight right in round three to end the warfare for good. Dollar bills began to immediately fly from the crowd and the ring became littered with at least one hundred bills, of which denomination hopefully included some fives and tens, as both fighters put on an amazing show for the benefit of all in attendance. Although it was an impressive and hard fought win for Ornelas, what may have been most amazing is how much potential Harold Lowe could have in the sport. He admitted to me he has fought his four pro fights without any amateur experience and virtually no regular training. His punching power is so raw he would be very scary if he got serious. Jr. Middleweight prospect Jason Parillo ( Orange, CA 5-0, 3 kayos) passed a tough test against Miguel Rivas (2-2) with a devastating third round knockout. Again the blue canvas was speckled with green as Parillo's legendary cutman Chuck Bodak needed two hats to pick up all of the dollar bills in the ring after the fight. Parillo should be able to build off of what was a brutal, non- stop punching brawl. In earlier bouts Rueben Rodriguez (Fontana, CA 1-0) pitched a four round shutout over first timer Terry Smith of Ontario, CA. Also, Erin Toughill defeated Elizabeth Rumpf in their pro debuts at 165 lbs. Among the notable people in attendance were former heavyweight champion Ken Norton, who was signing his new book that he has out. Oakland Raider defensive lineman Greg Townsend was also at ringside. Promoted by: Roy Englebrecht Promotions Reported by: Whitfiled Haydon
July 13, York Hall, London, England Tontcho Tonchev vs. Dramale Nabalour Tonto Tontchev did what he does best at London’s York Hall in dishing out a one sided beating to Birkina Farsian Dramale Nabalour to retain his WBC International Super Feather Weight belt. Tontchev, a silver medalist at the Atlanta Olympics made full use of the skills his outstanding amateur pedigree has provided him. Picking his shots, he worked body and head alternatively, constant pressurising the African until Nabalour’s corner decided that they had seen enough and threw in the towel fifty seconds into round six. Both fighters started round one tentatively. Nabalour set himself to jab his way to dominance from behind a high guard but Tonchev, ever the stylist had no intention of allowing this to happen. The Bulgarian, always altering his angle of attack sort to counter and land hard body punches. The round may have been cagey but by far the more eye catching work was coming from Tontchev. The second round began where the first left but increasingly Tontchev loaded his punches as he looked to counter Dramale’s rangey jabs. He threw speedy damaging combinations and as the African’s defences became more ragged Tontchev caught him with long right hand to the top of the head. Nabalour crumpled into the ropes. He rose at the count of three and it was with a look of resignation that he returned to his corner at the end of the round. Tontchev answered the third bell looking for the stoppage. Nabalor to his credit continued to fire out his jab but by now he was open to the popular Bulgarians long range counters. The pattern was repeated in the fourth. Nabalours attempts to hold off Tontchev again proved unsuccessful and he was hurt by a hard combination of a left hook to the body and head. Nabalour, it seemed had more success with spoiling Tontchev’s work in the fifth. Equally however the it could have been a case of Tontchev lessening his work rate but the African had a better round. He even went so far as to forget that he was not in a Thai Boxing match he appeared to attempt to knee the Bulgarian after an exchange. Tonchev always professional ignored the indiscretion and continued to stalk his quarry. Despite Nabalour’s limited success, Tonchev still won on the Boxing Wise score card. Tontchev left his corner with renewed vigour for the sixth round. By now it was obvious to all present that Nabalour was having no real success and to continue the fight would be friutless even to the point of being reckless. Sensibly his corner concurred and threw in the towel to hand Tontchev his twenty second professional victory with no defeats. Tontchev it seems must surely figure on the world stage at some point in the future. For all his undoutbed skills however it is difficult to see where he could make an impact in a weight division dominated by stars of such quality as Casamayor, Mayweather, Corrales and Freitas just yet. For him the immediate future should be a period of consolidation and learning on a domestic and European level. Indeed there are some excellent match ups to be made and I for one want to be there when they are made. Reported by Gareth Welch Promoted by: Frank Maloney Promotions
Fight night at Martin's West, Woodlawn, Maryland, July 12, 2000 Lamont Pearson vs Daryl Pinckney Well, fight fans, yet another outstanding Maryland fight card was put on last night by 10 Kount Productions. It was the first time I have seen a Martin's West card and I am truly impressed. The facility alone is like walking into the legendary, Waldorf Astoria located in New York City. It has a very classy atmosphere and the room that houses the fights is huge, yet there is not a bad seat in the whole house. Next time you boxing fans in the Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland areas see 10 Kount promoting a card go and you will see what I am talking about. The crowd was filled with a variety of boxing celebrities to include, Hasim Rahman, William Joppy, Daryll Tyson, Percy Harris and Demarcus "Chop Chop" Corley. The main event eight rounder pitted undefeated Lightweight Lamont Pearson, (13-0-1, 7 KO's) against former two time NABF Champion, Daryl Pinckney, (24-37-3, 16 KO's). The bout was pretty much one sided with Pearson finding a wicked body attack all night against his much more experienced challenger. When the scorecards were read, Pearson's hand was raised winning a unanimous decision. In the Co main event, hard hitting, Super-middleweight Allen "Boogaloo" Watts (13-7-1, 9 KO's) coming off a hard fought victory of Mo Adams just last month faced tough Derrick Whitley (10-13-4, 5 KO's) also coming off took big wins at the expense of local talent, Dana Rucker and George Barksdale. The first round saw each fighter landing big shots at will. The second round was a different story, Whitley backed up Watts in his corner and landing a hard combination that hurt Watts and that he could not answer back as the ropes held him up. The referee stepped in 1:56 of the second round stopping the bout awarding Whitley the TKO win. Whitley has been impressive each time I have seen him and yet, he is not even a .500 fighter. This just goes to show you that records can be deceiving The special attraction six round bout of the evening turned out to be the most exciting which pitted IBF Lightweight Champion, Isra Girgrah, (13-3-2, 7 KO's) in a non-title bout, against tough, Melinda Robinson, (10-11-1, 5 KO's). This fight in my opinion was the most exciting bout of the evening. It showed me just how well Girgrah can fight. Robinson who was always in the fight and landed some hard shots throughout only problem was, Isra's constant jab, right hand, and an outstanding uppercut. She landed more often and, when the fight was over, the sold out crowd was on their feet including me, giving these ladies a well deserved standing ovation. The judges all scored it a unanimous decision for Girgrah who moves on too bigger fights and no doubt, more titles. One side note to this fight, I have become friendly with Isra interviewing her and seeing both her and finance, Marty Wynn at the local fights. The fans love Isra and she is more than gracious to take the time to sign autographs and take pictures. The reason I mention this is because boxing is always taking low blows for things that don't represent the entire sport only a small fraction. Fighters like Isra, and so many others I have met, represent all that is good in boxing. The rest of the well rounded out undercard saw Light Heavyweight, Beethavean Scottland, (19-6-2, 8 KO's) take a unanimous decision from Darren Whitley, (7-14-4, 3 KO's). Tough welterweight, Keith Harrison (5-2-0, 2 KO's) took a hard fought unanimous decision against, Matt Hill, (3-6-1, 3 KO's). This young man is getting better each time I see him. Pro debuting JR. Welterweight, Melvin Jones(1-0) found his first bout to be a success taking a unanimous decision over Shawn Talley, (0-2). Tough Super Middleweight Anthony Perry, (9-6-2, 5 KO's) knocked out more experienced Ben Klingstien, (16-5-3, 7 KO's) with a wicked right hand in the second round. Klingstien was counted out at 1:42 of the second round. Finally, in a blood bath battle Narcisco Aleman, (5-2-0, 1 KO) took a majority decision over game, Charles Clark (11-7-1, 5 KO's). I would like to mention two young boxing fans under the age of 13 that I met at the matches, Larry Recio and Deandre Davis. Not only are these young men bright, but, they know their boxing. As you can read, boxing fans come in all ages. Talking to these young men, made me remember when I was their age and I too was totally into boxing. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Reported by: Brad Berkwitt Promoted by: 10 Kount Productions Matchmaker: Sam Dansicker
At The DC Tunnel, Washington, DC, July 3, 2000 Darryl Tyson and Reggie Green headline Fight Night at the Brand New and Exciting DC Tunnel!! As you walk into this huge newly renovated establishment which holds well over a 1,000 plus seats, you're quickly swept up in the excitement of the moment. Of course that moment is, Boxing. Cleveland Burgess legendary matchmaker for many years in the Washington, DC area, gave me a tour of the full facility prior to the event. I was quite impressed with my tour and being too many boxing shows over the years in the Virginia, Washington D.C, and Maryland areas, this complex rates up there with the best of them. They have taken lots of time to make this show and starting in August a monthly event, which will be held the first Tuesday of the month a night that true boxing fans will remember. When purchasing your tickets, be assured that there is no bad seat in the whole house. In addition, I have to thank Ms Shawntel Bell of the DC Tunnel. She worked very hard last night making sure preparations for the fight and the press were taken care of. Now to the fight card: The main event saw local junior welterweight, Reggie "Showtime" Green, (32- 4) fight a rugged Kent Hardee, (21-8-1). Reggie Green dominated throughout the 8 round bout, and between the fifth and six rounds, Hardee retired in his corner. In the co- main event, local native Darryl Tyson, (48-12-1) fighting also as a junior welterweight, faced Lou Duva protégé, Emmanual Clottey, (14-2). The fight which I thought Emmanual Clottey was clearly winning, was stopped prematurely in the 8th round due to an unintentional head butt that left Tyson, with a vicious cut about his eye. At this point they went to the scorecards which had the judges scoring it, Tyson, (79-73), Clottey (78-74) and the final card, Tyson, (77-74). Boxing Wise had is scored (78-74), for Clottey. The nicely rounded out under card, saw super middleweight, Adime Bawa, (7- 0) take a split decision over, Bertrand Tchandjeu, (9-3). Junior middleweight, Robert Linton improved his record to (6-0) with a majority decision over Juan Diaz (4-2). Welterweight Ricardo Edmonds cousin of WBC Middleweight Champion, Keith Holmes raised his record to (2-2) with a second round stoppage of game, Vernon Meeks who saw his record drop to, (0-2) As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Reported by Brad Berkwitt Promoted by: Maddness Promotions Matchmaker: Cleveland Burgess
Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, Maryland, June 22nd Allen "Booglaoo" Watts vs. Maurice "Mo" Adams Well, fight fans, this is the third time I have had the sheer pleasure to sit ringside and cover boxing from Michael's Eighth Avenue. Without taking anything away from the first two cards I covered, this one was the most exciting and being the last show of the summer, one great way to close out for Michael's. The diehard fight fans only confirmed what I already knew, promoter Scott Wagner and matchmaker Josh Hall, put on one heck of show. The crowd as always was filled with a variety of celebrities to include, Chris Warren of the Baltimore Ravens, Hasim Rahman, and former world champion, Vincent Pettaway. The main event pitted tough Supermiddleweight, Allen "Boogaloo" Watts (12-7-1, 9 KO's) against an equally tough, Maurice "Mo" Adams (15-4-1, 9 KO's). The fight was a war throughout and in the second round, Adams put Watts down at the close of the round. Watts arose, staggered and barely was able to make it to the end of the round. Watt's came out in the third and was able to regroup to hold his own. In the fourth, a determined Watt's caged Adams up against the ropes landing a barrage of punches. Adams was seriously hurt and if not for the ring ropes, he would have crashed to the canvas when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, declaring Watts the winner. The undercard saw up and coming, Jermaine Fields (20-0-1, 16 KO's) get a gifted draw against Awel Abjulia (6-8-0, 3 KO's). Abulai of Accra, Ghana landed more punches and out hustled Fields throughout. When the scorecards were read, they had one card at, 78-74 for Abjulia and the other two a draw at, 76-76. I had the fight scored 78-74, for Abjulia. Junior Middleweight, Huru "Superman" Carter (8-0, 3 KO's) did not look so super in his fight with tough Shawn Garnett (4-1-1, 1 KO) which ended in a majority draw. Cruiserweight, Dangerous Dana Dunston (5-0, 3 KO's) stopped a game Charlemagne Jones (2-3-1, 2 KO's). Dana impresses me with each outing. Heavyweight Tony Thompson (4-0) took an unanimous decision from Maurice Gray (5-7-0, 4 KO's). Lightheavyweight Ben McDowell (10-0, 5 KO's) took a split decision nod over game, Darryl Hallowell (11-9-0, 6 KO's). Heavyweight Russ Shiflett (2-0-0, 1 KO) took an unanimous decision over Terrance Woods (1-4-0, 1 KO). Finally, in a fight that I almost walked out on because of the card going late, a true war was fought between Junior Middleweights, George Armenta (2-0-0, 2 KO's) coming off the deck to stop a game Al Bussey (1-1-0, 1 KO) in the fourth round. As I said earlier, this was my third fight at Michael's. While sitting and covering the fights, I realized that the boxing people I have met over the last couple of months to include, Gary "Digital" Williams of Fightnews, Al Goldstien of the Baltimore Sun, and Tank Hill, trainer and ex-fighter are all a delight to talk with. These folks along with so many fight people I have been involved with over the last couple of years, are giving boxing the class it truly needs. I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate a dear friend and fellow reporter, Sam "Gonzo" Gonzales who just retired from the United States Navy after serving 20 faithful years. Gonzo is my ace in the hole at all the fights I cover. He keeps my stats and results straight, while I wander throughout the club meeting boxing people. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled. Promoted by Ballroom Boxing Reported by Brad Berkwitt

June 17, at The Bell Gardens Bycycle Casino, Los Angeles, CA Stevie Johnston vs. Jorge Luis Castillo Delahoya vs. Mosley was not the only entertaining title fight that took place in Los Angeles on Saturday. At the Bell Gardens Bicycle Casino, just outside of Los Angeles, WBC lightweight champion Stevie Johnston took on Jorge Luis Castillo. Like the mega fight to follow it, it was an entertaining shootout that ended in a title changing hands. While Mosley tried to ignore the crowd in his title shot, Castillo fed off the energy of the Mexican-American fans screaming his name. The two men went at each other at a blistering pace for 12 rounds. They only slowed occasionally, as neither one seemed to hurt the other often. The pace clearly favored the determined, yet less talented fighter in Castillo. While the following conclusion may not be fair to Castillo, I believe it is a noteworthy fact regarding Johnston. This is the second time Stevie Johnston has lost this title. Apparently, Stevie cannot stick to his best style when facing a Mexican fighter, in front of Mexican fans, in an outdoor arena, in the Southwest. The fans alone are not the problem for him, as he first won the title in Paris against Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Mendy. No, I believe it is something about the heat, as well as the energy of the Mexican fans, combined with the determination of the Mexican fighter, that seems to make Stevie want to prove he can be as macho. Stevie Johnston is one of the most technically sound fighters alive today, yet he has been surprisingly forced to slug; first by Cesar Bazan in El Paso, then by Castillo. I would be surprised if there were not a rematch, not so much for Stevie, but for the fans. The style was a bad move for Johnston, yet it was entertaining. In this rematch, Johnston should insist on a cooler, neutral, indoor arena. Who knows if I am right; but at this point, the formula of outdoor arena, in the Southwest, against a Mexican, has at least earned the status of 'bad omen' for Stevie Johnston. Promoted by Top Rank Reported by Chris "The L.A Mouth" Strait

May 27, at The Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre , London, England Simon Ramni vs. Patrick Mullings Word at ringside was that Ramoni felt confident of a victory in his rematch with Harrow based southpaw, Patrick Mullings at the Elephant and Castle leisure Centre, South London. In their previous encounter Ramoni blew Mullings away for a well deserved points victory to claim the IBO Super Bantamweight Title that was also on the line for this bout. The nippy and experienced Mullings claims he was out of sorts for their last fight and states that he has upped his workrate in order to beat the stylish South African champion. Ultimately, Ramoni’s faith in his own ability proved to be well founded, as Mullings' manager, Frank Maloney threw in the towel to wisely stop the fight, with 45 seconds of the eighth round remaining to save an obviously injured yet still game Patrick Mullings from further damage. It was a fight of rare intensity, full of skill, tenacity and durability. Both fighters were forced to draw deeply from their reserves of mental fortitude as both were forced to rise from the canvas to carry the fight to their opponent with a ferocity not seen in a British ring for some time. Ramoni danced his way into the ring but when the bell to mark the first round sounded, it was Mullings, known for his fast starts, who pressed. He peppered the South African, who for the most part of the round was content to sit back, with southpaw jabs as he looked to unleash his fast combinations to both body and head. The pattern was brutally interupted however when Ramoni caught Mullings with a short right, late in the round. The Harrow man fell to the canvas as Ramoni gave a portent of his power. He rose quickly and began the second in much the same fashion as the first. He was always the busier fighter, his speedy jab posing serious questions of Ramoni who slipped many of the Harrow mans punches, and patiently waited for an opputunity to counter. Openings did eventually present themselves but it was the workrate of Mullings that clinched the stanza on my scorecard. Both fighters began the third resolutely, looking to open up and fire off hurtful combinatons of punches. Mullings scored a knock down when what looked like a slip by Ramoni was judged by the referee to be legitimate. Disgusted, Ramoni set about the challenger with renewed vigour, determined to repay Mullings in kind. This he duly did when a big left hook put his man down. When Mullings rose, Ramoni moved in to capitalise but instead he found himself badly shaken when a huge right hook from Mullings exploded in his face. It was all he could to survive the round and when round four commenced he still looked hurt. Now it was Mullings opputunity to capitalise but in one of those sudden, dramatic reversals of fortune that boxing inflicts on its practitioners, it was the challenger who found himself in trouble when Ramoni rallied, hurting Patrick as he worked him into the ropes. At ringside we waited for the inevitable knock down but to our sheer astonishment again, from somewhere Mullings drew the strenght to produce a punch that knocked the South African champion down onto the canvas. For intensity and sheer breathtaking excitment this round must go some way to matching the classic fifth round of the recent Barrera / Morales fight. There was no way that both fighters could sustain the pace they generated in the fourth and as both had been hurt, it was inevitable that the fifth would be a more sedate affair. Ramoni scored well with energy draining body shots but it was again it was Mullings who took the round. He boxed from the outside, always leading with a sometimes doubled, sometimes tripled jab, scoring with hard upper cuts and hooks to the body. Mullings also took the sixth, with his busier workrate but it was noticeable that Ramoni, ever the sharpshooter, was looking to land hard bodyshots as he countered the challengers jab. The champion stepped up his own workrate in round seven, hurting Patrick with a left uppercut and going powerfully to the body whenever possible. Mullings looked to be in some discomfort and between rounds it was apparent that the champions hard body punching had taken its toll. Mullings, his left elbow protectively clamped to his side was unable to answer the barrage of punches that the south African threw at him in the eighth before the corners faultless intervention. The outcome must be more than just a bitter pill for Mullings to swallow. He fought with such pride and had victory so tantalisingly close that its sweet favour will linger with the sourness of defeat. Still to his everlasting credit he fought a champion that I don’t see too many other fighters queueing to challenge and extended him to the very limits of endurance. For Ramoni to overcome such a challenger is no mean achievement and surely now it is time for him to test his undoubted skills against one of the other more recongnised World Champions. Together Ramoni and Mullings produced a fight of such enthralling excitement that come the end of the year I’ve no doubt it will rank amongst the cognescenti’s domestic fights of the year. Promoted by Panix Promotions Reported by Gareth Welch

May 17th, 2000, at Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, NY Night of the journeymen The fifth Heavyweight Explosion NYC 2000 card lacked the action and excitement in the ring that the previous card in April contained with the shocking loss of Shannon Briggs to Sedrick Fields and the Al Cole-Frankie Swindell draw. The real action and excitement for Wednesday night's card took place in the offices of CKP as participants who were initially scheduled to appear were scratched from their fights and substitutes were needed. Then the substitutes pulled out of their bouts. Then the replacement bouts were found, and those could not take place. What eventually took place in front of the most sparsely attended card of CKP's New York City series to date were bouts between neophyte fighters with some journeymen fighters doing yeoman's work with other inexperienced prospects. If there were a main event, it didn't stand out on paper. If there were a headliner in the building, he must have been part of the crowd. If u followed boxing, the biggest name on the card belonged to Mo Wilson (11-33-3) who lost an eight decision to 11-1 Jason Robinson, 205 lbs. If you were a follower of the NY fight scene, then you sought entertainment in local fighters Kisha Snow (5-0) and Kelvin Hale (9-1-1) winning their fights. What could be best descibed as the main event was a ten round unanimous decision by Englishman Kelly Oliver (17-1,10) over John Kiser (16-24-5) of Colorado. The fight began competitively with the contrasting styles of Kiser the brawler versus Oliver the boxer, but by the eighth round Oliver had taken command of the fight in most instances. Oliver came close to stopping Kiser in the final round in what will lead to a lot of second guessing of the referee with the two and a half minutes of continuous pummeling that John Kiser received while along the ropes. Kiser used all his energy to keep his upper body moving but was not able to throw any punches back during that time. The judges scores read as 100-90, 99-91, and 98-91. The fight was not as one sided as the judges and the final round indicated, Kiser's harder punches kept it an even fight in the early rounds. The action changed direction many times throughout individual rounds, and the biggest swings in dominance were dierelayed in the sixth and seventh rounds. From ringside I had this fight scored 98-93 Oliver, the 2nd and 3rd even and the 10th round 10-8 for Oliver. Marion "Mo" Wilson, fresh off being named the second best chin in boxing by the Ring magazine, lost an eight round decision to Jason Robinson, a smallish heavyweight(205 lbs), a southpaw from Illinois. The first fight of the night began as Robinson the more active fighter, but also as the one who had the biggest problems adapting to his opponents stance. Robinson's punches were off target in the first three rounds and he tripped over Wilson's foot in the fourth. Wilson began to tire in the 5th round but was able to stun his inexperienced opponent early in the eighth and final round. After that the crowd saw female heavyweight Kisha Snow get a first round disqualification victory over Jeanine Tracy. Tracy showed little skills as she flailed away with both right hands and left hooks. She held her right hand down behind herself as if it were limp and needed to in a sling. All of that skill while giving away 50 pounds to Kisha Snow. Snow was able to land punches easily on her opponent, but it appeared that only rage was what Tracy was fighting when twice she hit Snow on the break. She not only hit on the break but went around the ref to do so, so the ref halted the bout at 1:12 after the second instance. Local heavyweight Kelvin Hale, 248, won a majority decision over Ismael Kone, 212. Despite Hale looking out of shape, he appeared to have won all six rounds and stunned Kone in the fourth, but one of the judges saw an even fight. In a battle between a big big man and a little big man, Roman Bugaj (9- 0,6), 221, won a four round decision over Alrick Lassitter (3-2-2), 339. Bugaj simply outclassed his larger opponent. Lassiter was forced to grab on in the first round after two consecutive body shots and was out of breath in the fourth round. Ending the evening, NY prospect Cisse Salif (8-2,8) knocked down Zabielee Kimbrough (4-4,3) three times to earn a TKO at 1:34 of the first round. Two left hooks sent Kimbrough down the second time and a left hook- right hand combination finished the fight. Promoted by Cedric Kushner Promotions Reported by Jonathan H. Cohen

May 11th, 2000, at Michaels 8th Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD Del Matchett vs. Damone Wright Well, fight fans once again a superb action packed show was put on my promoter Scott Wagner and matchmaker Josh Hall. Sitting ringside next to me was, WBA Superlightweight Champion Sharmba Mitchell. We both were equally as vocal rooting on Del Matchett to victory which left me hoarse today. The crowd once again was filled with a variety of celebrities to include, Baltimore Ravens, former champion Vincent Pettaway, current contender Teddy Reid and as I told you early, WBA Champion Sharmba Mitchell. The main event pitted up and coming Welterweight Del "The Hatchet" Matchett against a tough Damone Wright who with record of 13-15-1 coming in, never once looked like a below 500 fighter throughout the eight round fight. The action seesawed throughout with my main man Del pulling out an unanimous decision. Every time I see this young man I am impressed by his demeanor outside of the ring and, his growing skills inside. Look for great things from this young prospect who raised his record to 12-1-1 7 KOs and an upcoming interview between us. The undercard had some equally exciting bouts to include, James Mccallister fighting in a 6 round middleweight bout that ended in a majority draw with Jemeel Wilson. I had the fight scored an unanimous decision in favor of Mccallister. There was an interesting twist in the next two bouts which featured twin brothers Darren Whitley and Derrick Whitley. Darren fought Dana Rucker who had been knocked out by his brother Derrick in a bout earlier in his career. Well, Darren who faced Dana in a supermiddleweight bout came up on the short end of the stick dropping an unanimous decision. Derrick however won his bout with supermiddleweight, George Barksdale. At least one of the brothers went home with a win. In my opinion the only dull fight of the night pitted Heavyweight Anthony Thompson against Scott Jones. Thompson won this boring 4 round fight by an unanimous decision. Both fighters have a lot of work to do in the gym. Crusier weight Dana Dunston of my hometown Woodbridge, VA looked very impressive for a 3-0 fighter finishing off his opponent Anthony Rosser with a TKO in the third round. Jr. Middleweight Keith Harrison polished off Ervin Fuller in the first round by TKO. Ballroom boxing continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the arena of club fighting. The credit must go to Scott Wagner (promoter) and Josh Hall (matchmaker). Not only are they true professionals but nice guys who not only take care of the fights, but add all the other special touches that make BALLROOM BOXING a night out for fight fans to remember for years to come. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled Promoted by Ballroom Boxing Reported by Brad Berkwitt

April 27, 2000, Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, NY Shannon Briggs vs. Sedreck Fileds In one of those fights where a little extra effort would have gone a long way, Shannon Briggs suffered his third loss of his career when he dropped a majority decision to Sedrick Fields. It was a fight that was always within Briggs reach to easily a lopsided decision, but in attempting to do just enough to win, he jeopardized the future of his career. The usually ripped physique of Briggs did not show the muscle definition that was typical of his ascent as prospect and status as fringe contender, Briggs had been a late addition to the card, and it would prove to be a disastrous career choice. In the first round, all seemed as it should be, Briggs was landing a varied assortment of punches and was much more active than Fields. The second round had Briggs slow down his activity but chose his targets better. Fields would get a better sense of his opponent as well, as he connected cleanly to Shannon's head as well on several occasions, but could never stun him. The third round saw both men fight at close quarters with most of their punches being ducked or landing on their opponent's gloves or arms. By going away from his jab, Shannon was letting Fields into the fight. It was Sedrick's best round, but it was won by Briggs. So far, everything was alright for Briggs, three rounds have all gone in his favor, but that would begin to change. Fields would begin to outwork Briggs in the fourth round and a warning was issued for a low blow by Briggs. In the fifth, Fields would press Briggs and Briggs would rely on counterpunching from here to the end of the fight. Briggs would catch Fields with a right hand that would send Fields sideways into the ropes. Fields would come back to carry the last minute of the round. The sixth round was all Fields, and if Fields had some power in his gloves, it would have been the last round. The crowd has turned against the hometown fighter and has started booing. Things were turning bad. The crowd got worse in the seventh round when chants of "Big Buck", Fields nickname were chanted on several occasions. And Fields would respond by finding a consistent home for his right hand on the chin of Shannon Briggs. In the final round, there was the surprising aggression of neither fighter. In the last round of a close fight one expects to see one or both fighters try to pull out the victory or add an exclamation to the verdict they expect. This time it never happened. Briggs was able to counter a lunging Fields and get him off balance, but no great charge of aggression ever took place. The verdict came down as 77-75(2), 76-76 for Sedrick Fields. From the balcony it appeared 77-76 for Briggs in a close fight. In the main event Al Cole (31-5-2, 16KOs) and Frankie Swindell (37-18-3, 28 KOs) battled to a 10 round draw. As both fighters went for their final instructions, it was apparent of the huge contrast in body types that were in the ring together. The lean and tall Cole versus the short and round Swindell. The first round was rather slow paced. In the second Swindell was able to stun Al Cole but Cole would come back to land punches of his own after regaining his footing. In round three Cole began to fight on the inside with Swindell and was digging his punches into Swidell's body. Swindell snapped Cole's head back while Swindell was backed against the ropes. Cole ate two right hands near the end of the round which had him backing across the ring. Round four saw Cole make some space in between him and Swindell and Cole began to land rights and lefts in succession and was beginning to find a home for right hands over the top of Swindell's guard. Despite all of this success, Swindell was able to land another shot that stuns Cole near the end of the round. Round Five was a uneventful round as it began as a war of jabs and that was halted for the tape to be repaired on Swindell's gloves. Afterwards most of the round was spent as the fighters clinched. Cole appeared to be getting a second wind in the sixth round as he was moving around Swindell and throwing around Swindell's long arms. The end of the round was punctuated by both fighters being active along the ropes. The seventh round had Swindell backing Cole up physically, but with out many punches being thrown by either fighter. The fight nearly came to and end in the eighth round when Cole, soundly winning the round was caught with yet another punch that buckled his legs and had the ref looking intently in on the action as it carried into a corner. Cole was able to fight through his spell of weakness yet again. There was along delay to start the ninth due to problems in Swindell's corner. This would be Swindell's best round as Cole was getting clocked repeatedly and always seeming to be seconds away from disaster. Despite those problems, Cole was able knock the mouthpiece out of Swindell with three seconds remaining in the round. The tenth round saw the action swing back into Cole's favor as he outhustled Swindell for the entire round in a fight that was very competetive. I saw it as a 98-95 Cole victory, but the judges had all gone for a 95-95 draw. The fight could have been scored on many different aspects, but was very evident, Al Cole is should consider that his health should be the most important factor in his career decisions, and Frankie Swindell had this fight well within his reach to score a knockout upset on many occassions had he thrown caution to the wind. In an amusing or startling sight 6'6", 193 pound Vonda Ward over came a first round flash knockdown to knockout Jeneva Buckhalter, 174, in the subsequent round. Ward was floored by a left hook by the unskilled Buckhalter(1-5-1) whose swaying of her upperbody seemed her only defense. That defense would be nowhere near adequate as eight counts were issued to Buckhalter in the first and second rounds before a TKO was issued at 1:22 after Buckhalter was sent reeling to the ropes by a right to her temple. Opening the show was a 2nd round KO by Ray Austin (13-1, 10 Kos) over Tim Noble (7-12-1, 2 KOs). Noble did not beat the count after a series of body blows sent him down a second time. The knock out was really set up by a double right hand that sent the 300 pound Noble down for the first time and had him stunned as he made his way to his feet. New York prospect Taurus Sykes improved to 11-0 with slow paced six round shutout decision over cuban expatriate Lazaro Almanza (4-9). Sykes had difficulty with the cuban's southpaw stance and retreating style that was used for 4 rounds. The bout between the smallest heavyweights of the card, Eric Kirkland (6-0, 3 Kos), 212, and Charles Hatcher ( 11-2, 8 Kos), 209, ended fifty-three seconds through the first round. Kirkland had downed the more experienced Hatcher with two right-left-right combinations. Hatcher would rise on very shaky legs and lurch backwards and then to the side but referee Tony Chiarantano allowed the action to continue and Kirkland closed in for the kill and knocked his opponent down near the ropes and Chiarantano promptly wave the fight to a halt. Closing out the show and sending the folks home was a bout between undefeated prospect Andre Kopilov (3-0, 1 KO) and Bronx native Ron Brown (3-3). This was another fight that brought out some controversy from the scoring judges. Actually the judges did well, they scored a close fight a close fight, but the New York State Athletic Commission showed inability to add correctly as a split draw became a split decision for the Russian Kopilov. The fight seemed heading for an early end as the taller Kopilov had dropped Brown with a straight right hand midway through the first round. Brown had risen and did not have his bearings as the ref motioned him forward, but the fight continued on anyway. Brown was able to weather the subsequent attempt to finish him and midway through the second round was beginning to show some offense. The third and fourth rounds had Brown backing Kopilov up physically and making a tight fight for the judges when the final bell sounded. Promoted by Cedric Kushner Promotions Reported by Jonathan H. Cohen

                  April 15, 2000, Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas, NV
                              Fernando Vargas vs. Ike Quartey 

                               "But. He Couldn't Put Him Down"

     Through twelve savage rounds fans at Mandalay Bay got their moneys worth 
tonight as Fernando Vargas retained his IBF junior middleweight crown with a 
"closer than the scorecards indicated" 12 round decision over Ike Quartey. Though 
in the end, what'll be remembered, what'll be said is - "but he couldn't put him 

     Baseball and football games are one shot deals, played only on the field. They 
begin, they end. But boxing is an open ended affair. In the fight game it never
starts with the opening bell, it never ends at the closing bell. There are always
pre-fight debates and post fight controversies, a taste of the past, and a hint of 
the future. And more so than any other sport much of the game takes place before the 
fighters actually step into the ring. It's a multilevel event played out in back 
room meetings by the behind the scene figures, and in bar room debates by the fans. 
That was again the case for tonights bout at Mandalay between Vargas and Quartey, 
for the game didn't start there for either of them. And it won't end there either. 
The fight wasn't for a pay day, it wasn't for a title. It was for an Oscar. Would 
it be Quartey getting his revenge match or Vargas getting his grudge match?

Tonight wasn't so much a fight between two fighters as it was a fight for one 
fighter - Oscar De La Hoya.

     The real fight was to see who gets to line up for a possible shot at the 
Golden Boy, because for all of Don Kings blusterings, despite all of Tito Trinidad's 
achievments, the road to riches at this weight level still goes through Oscar.
And riches is what the fight game is all about. 

     Ike Quartey, after a 14 month layoff and stepping up in weight, came in 
looking lean. He was pure ripple, with what appeared to be zero percent body fat 
at 31 years old. The 22 years young Vargas didn't look to be as "cut" as Ike, 
despite having brought a special strength and conditioning coach in for this camp. 
For most of the night Quartey was the aggressor, moving forward and making Vargas 
fight backing up. Quicker hand speed belonged to Ike also, and he had his famous 
jab working sharp and true to it's target. He wore a smile in the ring as he 
consistently beat Vargas to the punch, at one point causing Fernandos nose to 
have blood flow from it like the mighty Misissippi. But the edge in power went 
to Vargas, and it was to be the telling edge of the bout. He kept going to the 
body of Quartey and in the later rounds the body shots took their affect, slowing 
Ike's attack down, wiping the smile off, and allowing Fernando to take control.
Vargas won the last three rounds on two of the three judges scorecards and won 
round twelve on the cards of all three. The final tally - 116-111, 114-113, and 
116-111, all for Vargas. 

     Fernando keeps his crown via a unanimous decision, in a back and forth battle 
that saw niether fighter seriously hurt and had no knock downs. And there the 
controversy begins. Comparisons will be made. In this case, the taste of the past 
a flashback to when Oscar met Ike. He floored him twice. Vargas, could not. The 
hint of the future - what will happen if and when Fernado and Oscar meet.

     And so Ike Quartey leaves the ring with only his second career defeat, both 
at the hands of judges in Las Vegas. Though he leaves without the title he achieved 
another goal. Stepping up in weight he answered his critics by giving Vargas all he
could handle. Can the same be said of Fernando? He didn't score the knock out that 
he, team Vargas, or his fans expected. He couldn't even score a knock down.

     Tonight, boxing fans got their moneys worth and Vargas got to keep his title. 
He wins the contest for a date with Oscar, possibly helping his cause there by 
not winning in dominating fashion. But it could be heard in the arena as I was 
walking out and it will be heard in back room and bar room debates over the next 
couple of months as the debates rage over what the outcome of Vargas vs. De La Hoya 
will be - "but he couldn't put him down".

Promoted by Main Events
Reported by Sonny Palermo 

April 6, 2000. Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada A Tribute to Rubin Carter featuring David Tetteh vs. Victor Paz In what was being billed as the return of boxing to Toronto after 30 years, "Night of the Hurricane" was at the very least, a promising beginning. The centerpiece of the night was its namesake - Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the wrongly incarcerated former middleweight contender and as of late, media celebrity, now living in Toronto. Carter - who's bio-pic "The Hurricane" (1999) garnered an Oscar nomination for Denzel Washington - was being presented with an honourary world championship belt from the World Boxing Association. The event was organized by Orion Sports Management, a new force in Canadian boxing. Headed by Allan Tremblay, Orion is attempting to bring pro-level boxing back to Toronto and the surrounding areas. Tremblay and his two partners James Jardine and Elliott Kerr, are boxing aficionados who plan to use the sweet science as the foundation for their burgeoning company - and bless 'em for it. The Toronto professional fight scene has been virtually non-existent for a long time. There was one fight hours away at a Casino in Windsor a couple of months back, and one last summer at Casino Rama, just outside of town. Other than those two fights, the only steady action in the city has been a yearly exclusive black-tie affair at the Royal Hilton Hotel. To it's credit, the Hilton has featured two matches with David Tetteh vs. top ranked ESPN Friday Night Fights favorite Billy Irwin from Niagra Falls, and Kitchener's Fitz Vanderpool (unfortunately one of which was against the now deceased Stephan Johnson). Needless to say, my lack of connections, tuxedo, and $200 for a ticket prevented me from checking any of the Royal Hilton fights. David "Little Tyson" Tetteh was headlining tonight's card, filling in for none other than his former opponent Billy "The Kid Irwin". Irwin pulled out a couple of weeks before the fight because he felt Paz was an unfit opponent. He claimed Paz was an awkward and dirty fighter who would only make for a 'stinker' of a fight. The thing I never understood was this: Orion stated they had a contract with Irwin, but I had been reading for a while that Irwin was scheduled for a televised bout on ESPN's Friday Night Fights at North Philly's Blue Horizon on March 24. It never seemed to be that likely that Irwin would come through with a fight so close after another, and never seemed likely that Irwin, ranked number one at lightweight by the IBF, would chose a less lucrative exposure-wise bout when so close to a world title shot. A suitably convoluted welcome to boxing for Orion indeed... Regardless, Tetteh stepped in to the card's main bout gladly and game. Tetteh is known to Toronto fans via his two locally televised wars with Irwin. The first was a controversial decision loss, the second a decision win that derailed the now more successful Irwin's career. To be honest, I barely cared about whom was fighting whom. Since my normal routine to catch a live bout involves taking a monthly $90 8-hour bus ride to Montreal, any night spent sitting in a reasonably priced seat in my hometown, watching any reasonably talented pug go to work, was good night in my books . The first fight featured Montreal fixture and prospect Leonard "The Lion" Dorin (13-0, 4 KO's). Dorin, ranked #8 by the NABF, is a Romanian now based in Montreal and is part of the Interbox Promotions stable. Interbox is the heart of Canadian boxing at this point with a handful of good prospects, a couple of rated fighters, and a strong and healthy fan base in Montreal. The 5'4 Dorin fights at junior welter and won Bronze in the '92 and '96 Olympic games. His opponent was former South American Champion Argentinian Gustavo "Iron Head" Cuello (20-12, 11 KO's). The 10 rounder was a decent fight with Dorin throwing sharp combinations and head hunting while the willing Cuello was often throwing back as much as he took. Dorin was the cleaner puncher, and showed good all-round skills, but as evidenced by his knock out record, is not a hard puncher. Cuello, although less polished, showed a lot of heart and determination, and managed to work in enough good shots to open up a cut on Dorin's right eye and a lip. Dorin pulled out a split decision and raised his record to 14-0. Considering Dorin's size, it seems like his best move would be to move down to the lucrative lightweight division. I think he'd fare much better against the likes of Angel Manfredy or Ivan Robinson than he would Kostya Tzyu or Zab Judah. Women's boxing has been taking a beating as of late, and logically so: with the only fighters getting any exposure being those with manufactured hype and little skills, what was once a promising beginning has faded into a novelty-act. Fighters like Don King's girl Christy Martin, Arums' Playboy bunny Mia St. John, and the Daughters-of-Great-Fighters-of-the-Seventies-and-Eighties have all but overshadowed talented fighters like "Mean" Margaret Sidoroff of Windsor, Ontario. Sidoroff, who won the International Female Boxers Association Flyweight title in a rare headlining bout on ESPN's FNF was scheduled to go 10 rounds with Para "Hurricane" Draine of Spokane, Washington for the International Women's Boxing Federation's World Flyweight title. If there were more women's fights like this getting exposure, the sport would be better for it. When I watched a broadcasting of the night a few days later, this was the one bout left out. Sadlly enough, this was by far, the best bout of the night, and by far, the fan favorite. Watching the fight with thousands of adoring fans assured me that there is still a chance for women's boxing to gain real respect in the fight community and make it's mark. Toe to Toe, heart to heart, will to will, these two traded well executed combinations and hard bombs 2 minutes a round, 10 rounds straight. Sidoroff, the shorter of the two, dug to the body to augment her attack while Draine used her height to bear down with hard right crosses. Both were doubling up on left hooks and throwing uppercuts with aplomb. The only lull was in the seventh when an accidental clash of heads stunned both fighters and left the blonde Sidoroff with pink hair for the rest of the bout via a cut on the top of her head. I wouldn't put it in the same realm, but the fight reminded me of one of my favorites - Hagler vs. Mugabi (without the knockout) - two skilled and tough warriors going at it non-stop and going to work like it matters. Sidoroff pulled out a unanimous decision to raise her record to 8-0, 3 KO's and Draine fell to 10-4, 2 KO's. The judges had it 99/91, 99/91, and 96/95. The wide margin of the first two scores were questionable in my estimation, but that's not worth getting into now, I'll just get angry... One interesting feature of this bout was watching Toronto "The Good" letting it's liberal flag fly. Between rounds, the audience was treated to buff ring card boys parading around the canvas and pointing to the crowd like renegade Backstreet Boys. Along with the night's crimson evening gown-clad female announcer Deera St. Denis, Orion was already throwing some new tricks into the mix. Next up was the highly awaited media-friendly highlight of the evening - the tribute to Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. While playing old black and white footage of his knockout of Emile Griffith on the big screens overhead, Carter, who was announced as having "a hook that whistled while it worked", entered the ring to Dylan's famous tribute song "The Hurricane". Carter is a resident of Toronto these days and Orion saw it fit to have him inaugurate boxing's return to the city. With the president of Orion at his side, Carter's friend John Artis - who was in the car with Carter when he was arrested - proclaimed: "I'm glad that when I got busted, I got busted with a champ, not a chump" as he presented his old comrade with an honourary WBA championship belt. Orions's CEO Tremblay then presented Carter with a $10,000 cheque for the Toronto based Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC), of which Carter is Executive Director. After cracking jokes about really being Denzel Washington, and realizing how good looking he was after seeing Washington portray him on screen, Carter warmly thanked Artis for his friendship and bravery though out his ordeal. He deemed the night as not only a tribute to him, but to the AIDWYC, and "a celebration where people will get along with other people...and to mourn and fight for Mumia Abu-Jamal". He went on to state that the incarcerated former Black Panther should "not be in prison, much less death row", and that the night was also about helping gain exposure for all of those wrongly imprisoned. Then, as he held up his new belt, Carter ended by quoting his trademark phrase - "Hate put me in prison, but love busted me out." Next up was junior middleweight and Canadian champion Tony "Bad Boy" Badea of Edmonton, Alberta vs. Paulo "The Savage" Sanchez of Argentina (25-7, 14 KO's). Badea (22-2, 15 KO's) is world ranked (#5 WBC) and had something to prove if he was going to maintain that lofty ranking. Unfortunately he only ended up pulling out a lackluster and controversial split decision over the game Sanchez. Both fighters knew they were in for a long night when a sparring session- like first round drew crowd responses of "bring the women back" and the ring card girl received a heartier applause. In the third, Badea got in a good uppercut that had the sweat flying off Sanchez. This seemed to stir Sanchez up a little as he started to open up a little and go upstairs on Badea with wide lefts and rights. They finally started to mix it up in the middle of the ring to close out the round. Badea was trying to land some shots up the middle in the fourth but they weren't landing. But once in close, Badea circled right nicely and landed a hard right cross off the top of Sanchez's head. In the fifth Sanchez must have realized the fight was slipping away from him because he started to show some fire and backed up Badea, but Badea was landing counter punches easily. Sanchez also started throwing his jab with purpose this round, pushing it through Badea's gloves. In the seventh, the best round of the fight, Badea threw a combo that missed, and Sanchez caught him backing up with a right. Sanchez backed Badea into a corner and rocked him and started landing hard lefts and rights that had Badea on shaky ground. Sanchez smelled blood and kept moving forward as he beat him around the ring for about a minute while Badea tried to keep him off with wild punches. The round ended with both of them feverishly throwing toe to toe. This was a good and solid round and it finally got the crowd going. Badea started the eighth busy and worked his jab to keep Sanchez at a safe distance. Sachez caught Badea with a nice right cross when Badea lazily let his hands drop and a slipped in a nice left hook before the bell. In the ninth, Badea started backing Sanchez up, and when hit with a good shot, Sanchez taunted Badea by tapping his chin while leaning back on the ropes, to which Badea replied with 3 left hooks and a right that landed flush on the temple of Sanchez. Sanchez seemed to be choosing his single shots carefully while Badea threw in bunches. In the beginning of the tenth and final round both fighters seemed fired up, with Badea opening up again but getting caught by a left hook. Sanchez then landed a tight inside right that seemed to give him confidence. Again, he started choosing and timing his single shots wisely but not frequently, and was landing until getting hit by a good Badea left hook when backed into a corner. This got Sanchez backing up around the ring and dancing and ducking a la De La Hoya vs. Trinidad for a dull close to the fight. I thought Badea pulled it out by a round - he threw more shots that landed cleaner. But the general media reaction 'round here had Sanchez running away with the fight after the seventh. I haven't had a chance to watch the taped version yet, but hey, that's my feeling. The judges split with 99/91 and 98/95 going to Badea, who went to 23-2, and 96/94 for Sanchez, who dropped to 25-8. Unfortunately, Orion showed its fight card inexperience in that none of the fighters weights were announced before a bout, and more importantly the judges and their nationalities weren't announced. The reason I bring this up is that both the Dorin and Badea fights were split decisions against Argentinians, which makes me wonder if the judging was divided 2 to 1 Canadian to Argentinian. The main event featured former African and Commonwealth champion David "Little Tyson" Tetteh of Ghana who fights out of Atlanta, Georgia (19-2, 14 KO's) vs. former Latin and South American champ Victor "The Warrior" Paz of Argentina (67-18, 26 KO's). Tetteh boasts a decision over iron chinned Billy Irwin and a 11th round knock out of Billy Schwer, who gave a game but losing effort in his last fight, a title bout with Stevie Johnson. Paz is a journeyman who from what I heard, has only been stopped twice amongst his many losses. At this point of the evening, Toronto's lack of pugilistic passion was showing, since the crowd had steadily been dwindling since Carter's tribute. This was too bad, because Tetteh treated those who remained to a fine demonstration of the reasoning behind his nickname. For a fighter who Irwin described in local media as an 'idiot' who's all elbows and makes you look bad, Paz sure made Tetteh look damn good. Despite his controversial loss to world ranked Irwin and another loss to whom I haven't been able to find out, Tetteh has proved himself to be a strong and sharp boxer/puncher every time he has fought in Toronto. The first round of the scheduled for 10 jr. welter bout began with the shorter Tetteh stalking Paz in a crouch and throwing strong punches at the Argentinian, who had his gloves in front of his face for most the round. In the second, Tetteh was throwing forceful left hooks and right crosses in an attempt to get through the tight gloved Paz's defensive stance while Paz waited to counter punch. Whenever he went to the body with rights, Paz would tie him up, but Tetteh wasn't letting this tactic get him out of his rhythm. In the third Tetteh caught Paz with a right cross, and that seemed to give him the idea that maybe he might fare better if he chose his punches a little more and timed them to Paz's few offensive punches. In the latter part of the round Tetteh tried to muscle his way in some more with outside punches and Paz started to counter punch with a little more frequency. In the fourth Tetteh decided to try something different and started to focus on pushing his jab through Paz's gloves. Then Paz allowed Tetteh to get in a tight right cross and a crushing left hook to the chin that sprayed Paz's sweat up in the air, and put his back on the canvas. A dazed and disheartened Paz didn't make it up by the 10 count, and Tetteh was the winner by knockout at 44 seconds of the fourth round. Tetteh normally fights at lightweight, and hopefully word of this win will get him in the mix of some of the world rankings. He's an exciting and hardworking fighter in the ring who seems like the fearless type, much like many of his current African compatriots such as Ike Quartey, Ike Ibeabuchi, Vyani Bungu, and David Izon. I've been impressed by both the fights I've seen of his and would definitely like to see more of "Little Tyson" in T.O. in the future. There is talk of Orion putting together a fight with Tetteh and Angel Manfredy in a casino outside of Toronto on June 6, and Tetteh's corner was calling out for a rubber match with Irwin after their man's impressive victory. Either would be an interesting gauge of Tetteh's place in the lightweight and junior welterweight picture. Even though the "Night of the Hurricane" didn't exactly tear the roof off of the ACC, it was an interesting, long awaited, and entertaining return of the sweet science to Toronto. Promoted by Orion Sports Management Reported by Sean J. Waisglass

Scarnton CYC, Scranton, Pennsylvania April 8, 2000 - Chris Walsh vs. Manuel Esparza On Saturday evening when the weather had changed for the worse, two Scranton natives futures changed for the better. Earlier, it had been a beautiful spring day and Chris Walsh and Bruce Corby were known as pugs. By the time the crowd had left, a late season snowstorm would start to leave upwards of half a foot of snow on this locality. And two fighters would leave as champions to their hometown's cheers. Bruce Corby (16-12), 145 1/2, would knock out Joe Freytag (10-2), 145 1/2, of Ohio in the second round in the cofeature for the WBF welterweight world title. As would be the case in the main event, the home crowd was quite vocal for their fighter. As Corby disrobed it was quite appearent of the different physical statures of these two fighters, Corby a well muscled welterweight, made Freytag look as if he had just moved up to a varsity team from the jay-vee. The fight started out slowly with the first round being nothing more than a feel out round. The second round saw the action begin as Freytag would throw and partially connect after moving Corby against the ropes. Freytag's minimal success would continue until the elbow of a Corby right cross would send him down and the referee would begin to count. Freytag would arise quickly. After the knockdown Corby would do his best to entice the Ohio native closer by leaving his arms low across his belly to beckon Freytag to start an exchange. A left hook would soon stagger Freytag and have him do a little jig before he could be knocked off balance by a right hand. A second right hand land on his head and send him down for a true knockdown. Freytag would try to get to his feet but would stumble after reaching his feet and the ref would wave the fight over at 2:32. The main event of Chris Walsh (17-4), 158, versus Manuel Esparza (22-8) of Oklahoma City for the WBF Intercontinental Middleweight title. Walsh would dominate this fight enroute to shutting out Esparza on the cards over 12 long rounds. Esparza apparently showed up this evening to antagonize a hostile crowd and practice his dance steps. Fighting was not in his game plan, even on the half dozen occasions that he caught Walsh flush on the chin and had him stopped in his tracks. Chris Walsh labored through this fight against an opponent would have a point deducted in the 7th round for bad sportsmanship after accidently butting Walsh. Walsh would fight fiercely after the action resumed from the point deduction, and action would even continue past the bell,but that would be the action for the entire fight. The most excitement on this evening's card was an undercard bout that was a rematch from a February fight in which Scranton native Tommy Finn TKO'd Michigan's Ron Krull (4-9). This evening took on a much different tone as Krull, 170 3/4, pressed on to knock Finn (10-4) down five times before the ref stopped the fight at 2:40 of the second round. Finn started off the first half of the first stanza by jabbing and digging to Krull's body. Finn would be warn for a low blow before a left hook would send Finn down. Finn would arise and then unload on Krull. The punches had no effect as another left hook would drop Finn again with five seconds left in the round. The second round started with Finn on the offensive as he was doubling up on his jab. Both fighters would trade punches till a right hand would drop Finn at ring center. Once more Finn would flurry after a knockdown. Krull would move to his sides as Finn's punches could not find their target. The crowd would start to cheer for Finn very loudly in this exchange but that would be hushed as a short right hand would drop Finn onto all fours. After rising the first rght hand from Krull would down Finn and the ref jumped in immediately to halt the fight. Elsewhere on the undercard, southpaw Mike Alverez(3-0), 180 knocked out Tyrone Wallace(5-8), 179 1/2, in the fourth round. Alverez showed more skills and hand speed throughout the fight as combination of punches in the third round knocked down Wallace. Alverez had seemed stunned by a Wallace combination earlier in the round. Wallace would be rubber legs for the remainder of the round after the knockdown. The fourth round saw Wallace only to manage arm punches before a right hand up the middle just sends Wallace crashing down at the ropes. Two Pennsylvanian fighters would make their debut on this card, Jessie Ultman, a cruiserweight, and Maurice Woolworth, a heavyweight who is managed by Bernard Hopkins. Ultman would win a second round KO after establishing his jab and left hook in the second round. Dean Sawyer of Michigan had been busy enough with his punches to repeatedly back up the much taller and defensive Ultman. Woolworth had to labor to a four round majority decision over Mike Moncrief (2-1). Their fight had started as two mobile heavyweights, but turned into a prospect hitting a tired heavyweight by the end of the fourth round. Lightweight Sterling Geathers improved to 3-0 with a shutout four round decision over Leroy Price (2-4). Price attempted to brawl with the faster Geathers and would pay the price as body shots would leave him doubling over in the ring in the third round before he would touch the canvas. Promoted by M&M Sports/Square Ring Reported by Jonathan H. Cohen

Bally's Park Place Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey April 5, 2000 - Leavander Johnson vs. Juan Polo Perez On a clear skied Saturday afternoon on the Jersey shore, one time world-title challenger and Atlantic City native Leavander Johnson won a 3rd round technical knock out over Juan Polo Perez before a highly charged and very vocal hometown crowd. A KO looked in order for Johnson as soon as both fighters disrobed during the ring introductions as Perez appeared to have risen a few weight classes for this fight. Despite being much shorter than Johnson, Perez, 134, held a two pound weight advantage over a man who came to the ring bone dry. As soon as the action started hope diminished for an upset as Perez was in retreat as Johnson threw punches that fell short. It took till the second round before the apparent rust was shaken off that Johnson then began connecting with punches that mattered. A left would drive Perez back and ten seconds later a right hand would send Perez to the canvas. Perez would rise and try to take back momentum by driving a left to Leavander Johnson's groin. Johnson went to the canvas immediately in pain and the ref directed Juan Polo Perez to the neutral corner. Johnson took twenty seconds to gather himself and when the action continued, again went about tracking Perez down. And did so yet again just before the bell sounded with a quick right hand. The third round started with both fighters firing from close range. This round was much better for Perez as he even backed Johnson up, but a body punch with two minutes gone by in the round dropped Perez on the seat of his pants and that is where referee Frank Cappucino stopped the fight after starting a count. In the main event, Pensacola native and former heavyweight Ezra Seller's won the NABO 190 pound title with a third round TKO over Canadian Willard Lewis, who previously lost a world title attempt versus Johnny Nelson last summer. Sellers, 189, entered the fight with a five pound advantage. Sellers may be emerging on peoples' pound for pound hardest punchers lists very soon, but in the first round, that wasn't what was being showcased. Sellers circled about his slower opponent and when his punches did land, Lewis did not back up or even flinch. This despite the loud, cracking sounds that were being created. Lewis pressed forward through these blows but lacked the handspeed to match his strong chin. Willard Lewis began the second round with a strong flurry that was quickly ended by a left hand of Sellers. A left hand to Lewis' midsection would drive him backwards. The action was much better in this round as Sellers landed his heavy handed shots, beginning Lewis' left eye to swell. Lewis would land a huge right hand at the end of the round that draw "ohhs" from the crowd but would not faze Sellers. The third round saw Sellers continued domination of the fight as he may have cut Lewis' lip with a straight right hand. There may have been a cut, I could not tell because thirty seconds later seven consecutive punches from Ezra Sellers to Willard Lewis' head drove the Canadian across the ring and onto his back. Lewis got up to beat the count, but Randy Neumann waved the fight over at 1:40. A bit premature, but after the echos from the punches that sent Lewis down subsided, a stoppage would be inevitable. If Leavander Johnson's fans were very vocal, then Deleware's Mike Stewart's contingent were raising the roof. Stewart, an undefeated jr welter with two draws in his twenty-two fights scored a TKO at 1:01 of the fifth round against Pennsylvanian Jose Aponte, 18-14-2(6). Stewart is a crowd pleaser of a fighter. Good skills when he needs them, but they will disappear when he is doing well. Both fighters fought at ring center for most of the fight. The crowd was made more vocal due to Aponte being warned twice for low blows. Stewart had an easy edge in the first three rounds, but the action picked up in the fourth as Aponte began connecting with combination in the middle of the ring. Stewart ended the momentum change by winging all sorts of punches that connected. The fifth round began with Stewart driving Aponte to the ropes and never letting up. Aponte was driven from one set of rope to another for the entire minute of the round and could not mount any offense for himself before the ref stepped in. Some funny scoring took place elsewhere on the undercard in a welterweight bout as Californian Salvador Jasso, 10-2, won a six round decision over Ben Simmons, 4-2, of Washington D.C. Almost everyone was in disbelief as Jasso won a 59-56 decision in which Simmons took the action to Jasso every round. Perhaps the judges were put off by the mauling by Simmons, but Jasso, an upright style of fighter, showed little to justify a draw or close decision, let alone a wide margin of victory. Ronanld Boddie,7-4-3, of Philly won the early rounds, plus a kncockdown in the third, to stave off the late surge of Peter Rivera, 4-2, of Puerto Rico in a six round light heavyweight bout. In an interboro battle of NYC, somehow staged in Atlantic City, Brian Adams, 9-2-1, of Brooklyn won a close and hotly contested six round battle with Stephon Owusu of the Bronx, 6-4. It was a clash of styles that gave the fans boxing, Owusu a more methodical and heavy handed fighter versus the slicker Adams. Adams did well in the beginning of the fight, but his left eye began to swell in the last round as Owusu had begun to pick up points. The crowd was disappointed that Adams had won, and voiced their displeasure when the verdict was give. Afterwards when Owusu raised his hands, the crowd gav him a good round of cheers. Promoted by 4 Star Boxing Reported by Jonathan H. Cohen

DePaul Alumni Hall, Chicago, Illinois March 24, 2000 - Michael Lerma vs. Mario Iribarren In a card billed as 'The last brawl at the hall', Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions wrote a fitting epitaph for the historical DePaul Alumni Hall. And, with the old girl on target for her date with the wrecking ball, the fans saw her out in style as they were treated to a bout that made last year's Ayala-Tapia fight of the year look like a debutante's hissy-fit by comparison. Mario Iribarren, 156, out of South Beach, Fla., locked horns in this southpaw duel with Michael Lerma, 1551/2, from Waco, Tx., and produced as explosive of a first round I have ever seen this side of Hagler-Hearns. After the two combatants were through bombarding one another with lethal lefts and rights in the brutal first round, the pace dipped slightly in the second, but was still fought at a fever pitch. In this round the strong as a bull Lerma kept bundling forward but was met with a change in tactics by Iribarren, who climbed from the trenches to employ his speedy combinations. In round 3 Iribarren's continued strategy appeared to be swaying the fight in his favor as Lerma returned to his corner sporting a bloody nose and noticeable mouse under his left eye, but not without first storming back at the end of the round with a withering body attack. This change in fortune continued into the 4th as Lerma produced a brilliant round in which his body work was near-suffocating. Unbelievably, in this incredibly paced bout, the tide turned once more in the 5th as Lerma slowed, allowing Iribarren to take the round with a steady flow of sharp combos throughout, causing the mouse under Lerma's eye to become more pronounced. In a solid contender for round of this young year, the 6th drew the two warriors back to the trenches where they zeroed in on one another with Lerma getting the better of it until a stray length of tape unraveled on Lerma's glove causing Referee Geno Rodriguez to call a halt while the corner attended to their man. The moment's respite did Iribarren the world of good as he took over in the last minute fighting like a man possessed. At the bell, both of Lerma's eyes were now swollen as well as the left eye of Iribarren. As the two fighters gasped for a second wind in the 7th, they both took turns hurting one another with left hooks, but Lerma's continued body attack was enough to nick the round. Rounds 8 and 9 looked to lock up the decision for Iribarren as his hard flashing combos were now drilling Lerma. But there was no quit in either of these two as they resumed their onslaught in the final round. And now, after an overly liberal amount of water was used to revive these two antagonists, ringside turned into a veritable shower stall with each desperate punch landed. The standing ovation which followed almost went unnoticed by those of us at ringside, for rarely was anyone in their seat during the artistic mayhem we were privileged to view. Lou Duva at ringside was the happiest camper in sight as his man Lerma took the unanimous nod by scores of 96-94 (twice) and 95-94 while raising his ledger to 23-3 (17). Mario Iribarren can keep his chin up after the narrow loss which saw him drop to an almost identical 23-3-1 (18), but should consider discretion over valor in the future, for I feel he has the style to avoid such career shortening wars. For the record, the Boxing Wise card was 95-95 in a bout which can only live in our memories, for there was not a camera in sight. In other bouts, Germaine Sanders, 150, of Chicago, took on Cesar Castro, 149, out of New York in a scheduled 8 rounder. And, in contrast to his last fight, whereby Sanders was a furious fightin' machine, he picked his shots impeccably on the New Yorker, reflective of his nickname, 'Silky Smooth'. But in round 2, Sanders (11-1) turned up the steam in the old boiler as he began firing in some potent left and right hooks to head and body which finally left Castro (6-15-1) crumpled and counted out at 2:17 of the round. Oscar Bravo. 167, of Chicago, engaged Muhammad Nuhu, 165, of Ghana, in a curious affair slated for 6. Bravo, (3-1), strong as a bull, began by having his clumsy rushes countered neatly by the visitor from Africa until, late in the round, he bagan timing Nuhu and hurt him late in the round with a left hook. Round 2 produced a similar pattern as Bravo's sweeping hooks were coming precariously close to the mark, until finally nailing Nuhu late in the round with only a hastily devised wrestling hold saving him. Things got rough in round 3 as Nuhu's prolonged use of elbow and head caused Referee Tim Adams to take a point from Nuhu's tally. After action resumed, Nuhu immediately came into Bravo head first which suggested he was intentionally gunning for a DQ. Sure enough, after action resumed minus another point, Nuhu terminated proceedings at 2:47 of the round with another deftly placed head. Nothing like going out on one's shield. In a scheduled 8, fan favorite Mike DiBenedetto, 138, of Chicago, took his log to 18-0 over Felix Marti, 142, of New York. Marti, now 11-25-3, fought in survival mode in the first round against his more heralded opponent, which allowed DiBenedetto the opportunity of demonstrating the full range of his head and body work. Marti opened up some in round 2, but his lack of firepower enabled Mike DiBenedetto to come tearing through, hurting Marti with a good lead right. In round 3 DiBenedetto nailed Marti early with another right, decking him for an 8 count. Upon rising, and fair play to him, Marti showed exactly what Nuhu lacked in the previous bout by choosing to engage his tormenter rather than look for a quick escape route. Unfortunately, his lack of a real dig hurt him in the long run as he went down in a hail of lefts and rights at 1:01 of the round, but showed what it means to be called a fighter. Promoted by Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions Reported by Daniel Hanley
See ya next round
At Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, Maryland March 23rd, 2000 Thomas Tate vs. Beethavean Scotland Fight Night at Michael's Eighth Avenue As you enter the huge complex of Michael's Eighth Avenue located in Glen Burnie Maryland you are instantly swept up in the feeling that only comes from live boxing. It's the feeling of excitement that only a true boxing fan can relate too. For the true fight fan, Michael's is a venue for boxing that is a must see. The 1,400 seat ballroom has a wonderful set up where there are two widescreen televisions on both ends of the room and seating that allows all fight fans to get a great view of the action taking place in the ring. The crowd has the most enthusiastic boxing fan's I have ever seen and heard while covering a fight from ringside. In addition, the live color commentary done by Jon Saraceno, blow by blow announcer Larry Michael and post fight interviews by John Scheinman are a pleasure to hear when the card is aired on HTS Network. With all this said the credit has to be given to Michael's superb promoter Scott Wagner. I had the pleasure to meet Scott and from the first moment I entered his office, he was bombarded with all the details a promoter has to deal with on fight night. To my amazement, he handled every detail with the energy of 10 people. The Crowd at Michael's had several celebrities who included famed boxing trainer Lou Duva, and several Baltimore Ravens football players. Both Lou and the Ravens players were very gracious to the fans that they greeted, took pictures with and signed every autograph that was asked for. Sitting next to me ringside while I covered the fight was Spencer Folau #71 Offense Tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Spencer was a nice young man and a crowd favorite. The boxing card's Main Event pitted number two-ranked Super Middleweight Thomas Tate against Beethavean Scotland. Tate throughout the scheduled 10 rounds landed the heavier blows and a right hand that Scotland could not find a way to avoid. The fight ended in a 10 round unanimous decision for Tate. In the co-mainevent, Lamont "Bay" Pearson scored a 10 round unanimous decision over veteran Russell "Stoner" Jones. The nicely rounded out undercard saw Derrick Sierra lose by TKO in his pro- debut to Greg Terry. Energetic Johnny "Shotgun" Hayes won a 6 round unanimous decision over Lawrence Brooks. Veteran Ed Griffin was upset by a tough Luis Alberto Rosales who came in with a deceiving 3-6-1 record. Rosales took a 6 round unanimous decision. Finally in the last bout of the evening a tough Dal "Hatchett" Matchett stopped a game but over classed Tyrone "Action" Jackson who was unable to come out for the third round. Promoted by Ballroom Boxing Reported by Brad Berkwitt
For more information on upcoming fights at Michael's Eighth Avenue visit Ballroom Boxing's website by clicking on the above link.
At The MGM Grand Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada March 18th, 2000 Floyd Mayweather vs. Goyo Vargas Corrales sends a "Smoke" signal to Mayweather Flash-back, to scribblings past, from late in '99: "No one wants a piece of the cobra. It is one of the most deadliest creatures on earth. In India man avoids it, even the mighty elephant fears it. Only the mongoose seeks it out, only the mongoose wants a piece of the snakes action. With all due respect to Archie Moore, Floyd Mayweather is a mongoose. Watching him is like watching a mongoose battle a cobra on one of those PBS nature specials. He circles to confuse. He darts in, he darts out. He strikes from the front and with lightning quickness, before you can retaliate he's gone. He comes at you from all angles, mixing speed with power. Keeps his feet moving, keeps his head moving. He's smart, he's fearless and he throws textbook perfect combinations. He is poetry in motion, He is the real thing." Flash-forward, tonight, the 18th day of the 3rd month, in the year 2000. My thoughts? If the cobra's so deadly, and only the mongoose wants a piece of it, then who dares to want a piece of the mongoose? Diego does. At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, fight fans saw Floyd Mayweather score a unanimous decision over Goyo Vargas while Diego Corrales left nothing for the judges to judge, with a third round KO of Derrick Gainer. In what could be a prelim to a meeting between the two it was Corrales who put on the better show, fighting just before the main event of Mayweather vs. Vargas. In a battle for his IBF Jr. Lightweight title, champion Diego Corrales scored his 31st victory against no defeats, gaining his 25th win by KO. It was a short night's work for Corrales, ending midway through the third round when referee Jay Neady told us it was over. My eyes told me it was over in the first though as I saw Derrick "Smoke" Gainer hit Corrales with zero effect as he clearly didn't have the ability to hurt Diego. Round one went to a busier Gainer but Corrales found his rhythm in round two. Early in round three Corrales caught Gainer with a left hook that sent Smoke reeling to the canvas. He beat the count and appeared to be clear eyed but by now Diego had his measure and another left hook floored Gainer a second time. Again he arose but referee Neady waved Corrales off, signaling Smoke had absorbed enough punishment. Gainer protested, and it appeared he was alert and able to continue, but the ref did him a favor by preventing him from taking a further beating. In the WBC Super Featherweight championship main event that followed, champion Floyd Mayweather scored a decisive decision over challenger Goyo Vargas. Goyo was game, playing the role of aggressor for much of the night and it was clear he was not going to go away. It was also clear that Mayweather could not put him away, sending this one to the scorecards. Vargas was not on the same level of talent as Mayweather, but when fans booed at the end of round 11 and the beginning of round 12 it was the champion Mayweather who was the target of their anger, not Vargas. Although Floyd floored Vargas in the 6th with a left hook that was so viscious it probably left a crater in Goyos midsection, he didn’t do enough to appease the eager-for-a-knockout crowd, and needed the judges at ringside to add the "W" to his column. Maybe the reason for his sluggish performance was the distractions of his training camp, distractions picked up and played upon by the media, hungry and always hunting for an angle. Talk of in house fighting, family squabbles, and big money contract disputes were written about and discussed more than the upcoming bout. Perhaps it is just a case of too much too soon, as in the combination of too much talent and too much youth, a volatile mix in the wrong hands, or with the wrong handlers as many a career has been ruined, many a talent has been wasted, by misguided behaviour. Whatever the case, it seemed that tonight we did not see the best that Floyd has to offer. By lucks fortune in seating, I viewed tonights main event seated next to Barret Silver, who watched the previous fight ringside, in the corner of his fighter Diego "Chico" Corrales. Diego was seated in front of us, intent on the action in the ring. I swear I could almost see him salivating. When I asked Barret if he and Diego wanted Mayweather, and if so when, he just smiled a sly little smile and said "Right now we're just looking forward to going home to Sacramento. We like to give Chico a little breathing room, a little space after his fights. We'll wait and see what the future presents us with. We'll see, we'll see". But if I'm any judge of character, if my intuition and ability to read between the lines and see clear to the truth is sharp (and it is), what he was thinking was "yeah, we'd like to see him, how about tomorrow?". Who wants a piece of a mongoose? Diego does! Promoted by Top Rank Reported by Sonny Palermo

Merrylands Bowling Sporting Centre, Sydney, Australia March 17th, 2000 Phillip Ndou vs. Renato Cornett The long awaited showdown by Australia's two world class lightweights Lovemore Ndou WBC#3 60.8kg and twice world title challenger Renato Cornett 61.1kg took place at the Merrylands Bowling Sporting and Recreation Club on the 17th of March. Ndou stamped himself as a worthy world title challenger with a ninth round stoppage win over Cornett. Cornett showing great speed and accuracy continually beating Ndou to the punch with a piston like jab in round one. The computer counting 82 punches by Cornett to Ndou's 50. The second round was a carbon copy of the first with Cornett again outworking the Wollongong fighter.In this round Cornett sustained a small cut on the outside corner of his right eye. In the third round the pumping left jab of Cornett hit the target repeatedly - keeping his opponent off balance. These tactics seemed to rattle Ndou and have him confused. Punch count Cornett 61 to Ndou's 39. The fourth round seen Ndou hurt Cornett with a body shot but the veteran got on with the job of outworking his stronger opponent. Also the master in the clinches, Cornett, scored with right uppercuts and right hooks to the head. At the bell Ndou scored with a solid combination that stunned Cornett. During the fifth stanza Cornett seemed to be slowing with the strength of Ndou starting to tell on the Rooty Hill fighter. Punch count Cornett 61 Ndou 58. At the half way mark Cornett held a slight lead in the points. "A solid left rip under the rib cage deposited Cornett on the canvas in the sixth round and he looked visibly hurt. The punch count favoured Cornett again in this round by 53-48. The seventh round was all Ndou as he had Cornett hurt and bleeding from cuts over both eyes with blood leaking from a cut in his mouth. Ndou clearly establishing command of the bout. The eight round was another Ndou round as he put combinations together with precision accuracy and stunned Cornett on several occassions The former Los Angeles Olympian Cornett had some success in the infighting as he scored with solid right hands to Ndou. This had no effect on slowing Ndou, as he accelerated and slipped in to top gear bombarding Cornett with an assortment of effective head and body punches. In the openining seconds of the ninth round Ndou scored with thumping right cross to his opponents jaw, that seen Cornett stagger into the corner, where the South African followed him raining punches from all directions. At this point Renato Cornett was wobbling on unsteady legs. At nineteen seconds of the round the referee John Gauchi waved the fight over with Cornett, his face a mask of blood, in no condition to defend himself. Cornett said " All the years working in the sun has made my face suspect to cuts I have bled in five of my last six fights." "Ndou has talked about respect I want respect for my fifteen years in the ring." " I will give it to Ndou he was the better man tonight." " It is time for me to retire I have nothing to be ashamed of in my fifteen years in the ring." "I wanted to be world champion but it did not happen."" Australian boxing fans would agree that Renato Cornett has been a inspiration giving a 100% effort everytime he climbed thru the ropes. We salute you Renato for giving the fans value on each occassion you performed in the ring. Ndou showed that he is a world class lightweight but needs more contests against solid competition before he challenges for the WBC lightweight crown held by the well performed champion Steve Johnston. IBF Pan Pacific Light Heavyweight champion and IBF#3 Glenn Kelly 79.3kg boxed superbly in winning all the rounds against former OPBF cruiserweight champion Moses Sorovi 78.5kg in making a defense of the Australian Light Heavyweight title. Sorovi was the aggressor in this contest but Kelly had him off balance througout with a left jab that peppered the shorter man's face. The Fijian always looked dangerous but had no answer to the world class Kelly's lightning combinations. At the end of this one sided twelve round contest scores were 120 - 108, 120-108 & 120-109. Kelly's next opponent is scheduled to be Adrian Bellin. Despite recent rumours about a Glenn Kelly vs Anthony Mundine contest. Kelly said, " "Anthony " "I have nothing against you." "I am the best in Australia." "I have had twenty five pro fights." "You have not had one." "You do not respect me." "I thought we were friends." "Mundine is the best in his sport of Rugby League I am the best at my weight in boxing." Former Australian Cruiserweight champion Adrian Bellin 80.45kg looked sensational in stopping the well performed Jamie Myer 80kg inside two rounds. This bout was scheduled for eight three minute rounds. Bellin dropped Myer in the first round with a well timed left to the body and right to the head of his taller opponent. Myer looked distressed upon rising but survived the round. The second round saw Bellin in an aggressive mood as he persued the Queenslander. A solid left hook dropped Myer again this time he did not beat the referee's count. The time of the KO, fifty two seconds of the round. Bellin now boxing as a light heavy- weight will be the mandatory challenger for Glenn Kelly's Australian title. "I cannot waite to fight Kelly." "I have proved I can make the light heavyweight limit." In a six, three minute round lightweight contest Irishman Paul Griffin won a points decision from Daniel Hoskins. The Irish south paw proved to be a very capable boxer puncher when he connected with a left cross in round four to deposit Hoskins on the canvas Hoskins survived the round. Scores at the end were 59-54, 60-53 & 60-55 all for Griffin. Craig Parke 67.05kg was successfull in his professional debut defeating the experienced Steve Woollett 69.85 over six three minute rounds. Parke had a impressive amateur career in winning fourteen of his fifteen simon pure bouts. Victorin lightweight Paul Coppleman 60.6kg boxed nicely to score a split points decision win over Frank Spinks 60kg. This was a four, three minute round bout. Scores were 39-36 Spinks, 39-37 & 39-37 both for Coppleman. This was an excellent promotion and made possible by the Merrylands Bowling Sporting and Recreation club, CEO Mr Vic Folitarik and promoter Craig Mordey. A capacity crowd of 1500 attended. Promoted by Graig Mordey Reported by Ray Wheatley
Please visit Ray Wheatley's World of Boxing: Australia's best boxing magazine.
York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England March 13th, 2000 Julius Francis vs. Michael Holden Julius Francis’ attempt to capitalise on his new found fame failed spectacularly as the challenger, the relatively inexperienced Michael Holden, wrestled the cherished Lonsdale Belt from his grip to win the British Heavyweight Championship. It must have been a big comedown for the amiable Francis to find himself retrenched in a heaving York Hall in London’s traditional East End heartland of boxing following his 243 second fight with Mike Tyson, a mere six weeks ago. That was in front of 21,000 fans for the biggest payday of his life. This had 1200 paying customers and was for a reputed £16,000 purse. Little wonder that Francis weighed in 6 pounds heavier for this fight than for Tyson and that for long periods of the fight his work appeared flat and one-dimensional. Holden and Francis are well known to each other. The challenger was Francis’ bodyguard and sparring partner for the Tyson fight and they had fought previously when Francis out pointed Holden in 1996. Holden has a modest record of seven wins and four losses and there were many who believed that he was undeserving of his opportunity. Despite this Holden seized his chance as he pressed the champion from the first bell. Francis for his part was content to use the ring, cover up and rely on his jab to keep Holden off him. Holden was looking to crowd the bigger man and land the hard body shots for which he is renowned. The pattern continued through the second round as Francis rarely attempted to use his right hand. His prodding jab proved inadequate as the challengers aggression nicked the opening stanzas. Experience began to tell in the third, as the champion’s jab became more accurate, forcing Holden off balance. Holden for his part was proving to be wasteful with his punches as he continually looked to land the big shots. Francis’ upped the tempo at the bell, which marked the beginning of the fourth round as he scored with a combination of body and head punches. His work rate declined however as again Holden crowded him and he reverted to accurate jabbing. In the fifth the challenger began to have some success with his left hook. He continually out worked Francis coming out of clinches and began to land his jab. Inevitably with Holden seeking to work the champion inside, heads came together and the challenger was left with an ugly cut over the left eye. It began to worsen in the sixth as Francis targeted the wound and full credit must be given to cuts man Denny Mancini, who worked furiously to stem the bleeding between rounds. Francis now appeared to abandon his best weapon, the jab, allowing the busier Holden to take the seventh. As Holden tired in the eighth however, Francis’ more measured approach seemed to be paying dividends. Frustrated, Holden was warned for leading with the head. Both fighters looked tired in the ninth. Again, Francis scored with his jabs but despite punching with less vigour, Holden picked up the points. The round was marred however by numerous clinches, repeated in tenth. Francis dominated the eleventh as Holden walked straight into his jabs and a messy twelfth witnessed more jabbing and increasingly ragged attempts to work inside. At the bell, referee Mickey Vann lifted the hand of Holden and Francis grimaced in disgust as the realisation that he had not done enough to clinch victory dawned. Vann scored the fight 116-113 when in reality it was much closer. (For the record Boxing Wise had it as a draw.) The third man, the sole judge, saw the challenger’s hunger and aggression as more deserving than the champion’s measured, yet one paced approach to the fight. Francis, possibly as a result of his new found celebrity appeared under motivated and flat in this fight. He has lost the opportunity for a lucrative European Title fight with Vitaly Klitsko and at 36 this could be a moment to reflect on his future as a fighter. Holden certainly not one of the most naturally gifted British champions of all time will go on to fight talented Brixton heavy weight Danny Williams. Possibly, his reign will be a short one but on the night of his victory he was the fighter who fought with the passion of a champion. Promoted by Panix Promotions Reported by Gareth Welch

The Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada March 4th, 2000 Paulie Ayala vs. Johnny Bredahl Ayala (and Arum) Upstaged In the late 60's an American band called Vanilla Fudge had a big hit with a remake of the Supreme's classic "Set me Free (You keep me hangin on)". Their record company decided to send them out on a tour of the States and their manager chose an obscure, new, British blues band to open for them. The blues band had never appeared in the states before and after just a couple gigs was booted off the tour for badly upstaging the headliners. Led Zeppelin had arrived. Paulie Ayala must know what that feels like tonight, as he was upstaged by not one, not two, but THREE of his opening acts. In what was supposed to be a pre-lim Clarence "Bones" Adams stole the night AND the WBA Super Bantamweight crown from champion Nestor Garza. Adams (3-1 under- dog according to the odds available in the sports book) came in as the WBA #8 contender at 38-3-3 w/18 KO’s and left as the newly crowned champ. Garza, now 37-2 w/29 KO's lost his title in what was supposed to be a set up for a future title bout with Danny Romero (Romero fought on the undercard, winning by TKO in the fifth over Adarryl Johnson). Adams landed a perfect left hook on the button that put the champ on the seat of his pants in the opening round. Round two almost saw the bout stopped due to an accidental head butt that had Garza badly cut over the left eye. After the doctor looked it over Referee Joe Cortez allowed them to continue. Bones retreated a bit at this point and the feeling at ringside was that he was coasting to get the fight past round four, after which it wouldn't be called a technical draw due to the cut. Garza fought back, gaining a slight edge as the aggressor in the next couple rounds but Bones started working his left hook again in the 5th and knocked Garza down a second time. Garza was cut badly but like a true champ fought back and won a few of the middle rounds. After having been knocked down twice and dominated much in between Garza was in need of a knock out to keep his belt but Bones, sensing he had become a world champion, danced away the last 3 rounds, reluctant to take a chance on getting caught with a big punch. The judges got one right, scoring it a unanimous decision for the new Super Bantamweight Champion of the world Clarence "Bonnes" Adams. In an earlier bout Oba Carr defeated Yori Boy Campas in what was a bloody, grueling match. Carr consistently landed shots flush to the head of Campas but lacked the power to keep Yori from coming forward. Oba got a knockdown in round three and Yori Boys left eye began to close. Referee Mitch Halpern had a very busy night as Campas had a point taken away in the 6th for throwing a left elbow to Carr's head and Oba in turn had a point taken away in round seven. Yori was game, continually coming forward after being hit. Oba Carr landed so many lefts that Yori Boys nose seemed to have been pushed over to the point that it was lined up under his left eye. Finally, mercifully, Halpern called it off at the end of the 8th, signalling that Campas was through. Oba Carr has positioned himself to get one more shot at the title now that Trinidad has vacated the welterweight division. If anyone deserves another chance it’s Carr, who's fought valiantly in three previous title bouts but had the misfortune to have met three guys named Oscar, Ike, and Felix. In the other headline-upstager crowd favorite Butterbean scored a KO at NINETEEN seconds of round one of a scheduled four rounder against a palooka named George Linberger. He might as well have been named Limburgher because he stunk like cheese in all of the NINETEEN seconds he was upright. At the opening bell Georgie boy took two or three steps out of his corner. Butterbean had already crossed the ring and was there to meet him. He feinted right, threw a huge left hook, and Limburgher fell over backwards just like a big old redwood tree being chopped down. Limburghers comment after the fight? "I can't believe I got beat by Butterbean". That's MISTER Butterbean to you Georgie. In the main event Paulie Ayala won by unanimous decision over Denmarks Johnny Bredahl. Neither fighter seemed to have enough power to hurt each other, despite Brendahl's resemblance to a twig. It was basically twelve 10-9 rounds scored for Ayala with not much excitement, disappointing the fans in the stands. But you can't blame them. By this point in the night they had already been spoiled by a couple guys named Bones, Bean, and Carr. There was also one more "fight" this weekend, although you didn't see ads for it in the papers and there were no tickets sold for it. Bob Arum and Don King went toe to toe in Vegas, King hosting a show on Friday, Arum on Saturday. The "official judges scorecard" (attendance figures) will be released by the commision later this week. My unofficial card had King winning the battle of headliners with Arum scoring a decisive victory in undercards. Promoted by Top Rank Reported by Sonny Palermo

Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, England February 19, 2000 Harry Simon vs. Enrique Areco Sometimes you have to wonder what a classy and talented fighter has to do to get the column inches in this country. Before the fight Harry Simon was described by his trainer Brian Mitchell, as the new Sugar Ray Leonard and by Jim Mcdonald (whose gym he trains at when in the UK) "The best kept secret in boxing." He garners massive attention in his native Namibia but despite his victory over world class American Ronald "Winky" Wright to win the WBO light middleweight belt, the UK press ain't looking. It's not as if he hasn't spent much time in this country. He has. Many of his fights have taken place on the undercards of small hall shows. His promotors are tipping 2000 to be a big year for Simons; a place on the Tyson undercard muted for April beckons. There is however the small matter of a mandatory challenge. By his own admission Harry Simon looked out of sorts as he laboured to force the experienced and cagey southpaw, Enrique Areco to quit between rounds ten and eleven in this mandatory challenge for the Namibians WBO Light Middleweight World Championship belt. Simon hadn't fought since stopping Kevin Lueshing in May of last year and the rust showed. He looked over eager and wasteful of punches early on. Alright the Argentinian was a very awkward opponent but not once did he put the Namibian under any serious pressure. His work was crude. He was there to spoil and survive. Consquently it was a shut out for Simon. In the opening rounds it appeared that Simon wanted to close the show early but he misjudged the Argentinians durability and wiliness. He storked the Argentine over every inch of the canvas, unleashing fierce combinations to both body and head. Many punches missed as he failed to pick his shots and there was a danger that Simon could blow himself out. Still the champion's work was markedly superior to the Argentians who contented himself with failed attempts to draw Simon into a brawl. The fight was mared by some genuinely bizarre refereeing decisions. At the end of round six the fighters were given a full two minutes rest without any reason being given and I swear I heard the referee tell Simon to "take a breather" All very odd. Later between rounds nine and ten when an eye injury that was apparently caused by a small split in Simon's glove forced the Namibian into a quick change Areco was allowed to rest in his corner and receive treatment instead of being made to wait in a neutral corner as the rules dictate. By this time however the Argentinan had soaked up a fair amount of damage from Simon. From round six onwards, apart from a rally in round seven, Areco was being walked into the corners by the champion where he was swamped with punches. Round nine began with a good exchange between both fighters but the challengers corner looked concerned as their fighter took punishment. Gamely Areco struggled on but a combination from Simon almost at the bell to mark the end of the tenth saw the Argentinian on the seat of his pants. Between the rounds Areco's corner pulled him out of the fight. The Light Middleweight division is potentially one of the most exciting in world boxing. Simon could feature in any number of super fights. He wants Vargas, to prove that he is better than both him and Wright. If there is justice then he will get him. But after this performance Simon must become busier if he is to capitalise on the class he undoubtedly possesses. Vacant Light Middleweight British Championship This encounter between Newport man Paul Samuels and the Croydon based Wayne Alexander for the vacant British Light Middleweight Championship was hyped as a classic duel between two evenly matched, unbeaten, hungry, concussive punchers. Blink and you'll miss it, the pundits cried. Ultimately the fight delivered all of the fireworks it promised but left the Newport man bitterly disappointed. Samuels, trained by Enzo Calazaghe had a game plan going into this fight. He was going to make full use of his reach advantage and keep the dangerous Alexander on the end of his rangy jab, looking to expose the Londoner with the right cross, the weapon, Calzaghe had described as his best. Why the Welshman was drawn into the war Alexander desired in the tumultuous third round is open to speculation but it was a loss of concentration that the Newport man may rue for some time. Samuels answered the first bell by firing jabs at the bald head of the Londoner. As the round progressed it was evident that the Welshman had the sharper sense of timing as he continually beat the Londoner to the punch. Late in the round Samuels rocked Alexander who it seemed had all but abandoned defence as he looked to land his body shots with a fierce combination of hooks and straight rights which left him with a small cut under the right eye. A portent of the power Alexander is known to possess however was evident when he answered Samuels with a hard left at the bell. During the break, Jimmy Tibbs, Alexander's trainer screamed at him to keep his chin down and the fight reconvened with Samuels again looking the more controlled of the fighters. He boxed well from behind the solid platform that was his jab and when Alexander countered invariably to the body with hard shots he defended well with gloves held high as he rolled out of danger. All this was to change in the third however as Alexander came at Samuels with a wild combination of hurtful looking punches which unsettled the Welshman. Samuels sort to answer in kind but began to make mistakes. He carried his hands low after punching and attempted to slip punches even when hurt. A fearsome right blasted him which Alexander followed with a left to the body. The Newport man by now looking ragged, was forced to retreat to the ropes where he was hit by a further barrage of punches. A solid right hook sent Samuels crashing through the ropes and referee Paul Thomas stopped the fight with two minutes nine seconds showing on the clock. After the fight Samuels lamented his mistake stating "I didn't stick to the game plan, I should have stayed away keep moving, let him swing and then change the tempo in round six and tried again." Alexander is an exciting and worthy champion and nothing should be detracted from his victory. For Samuels it will now be a time of reflection but having proved his worth in bringing much needed excitement to the domestic scene, we will be seeing him again. Gavin Rees v Peter Buckley 4x3 Paul Samuels stablemate Gavin Rees underlined his status as an exciting prospect with an impressive points victory over the experienced Peter Buckley. From the opening bell he fired fast combinations at Buckley who had little answer to the Newbridge youngster's superior movement and handspeed. The Birmingham man proved his durability by extending Rees over the scheduled four rounds and by rallying in the fourth to momentarily pin Rees to ropes. On the evidence of this victory against a far more experienced opponent the Superbantamweight can look forward to a bright future and will no doubt bring further glory to Enzo Calzaghe's Newbridge gym. Promoted by Frank Warren Reported by Gareth Welch

Las Vegas, Nevada February 19, 2000 - Erik Morales vs. Marco Antonio Barrera BLACK and BLUE Will all the fighters who wish to lay claim to the title "the best pound for pound" please take one step forward? Whoa, not so fast there Mr. Morales. Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco but Marco Antonio Barrera sure as hell didn't leave his in Mexico. He bought it into the ring with him at Mandalay Bay tonight and it was on display for the whole world to see via HBO's Boxing After Dark series. Barrera, in a stunning display, redeemed himself for his losses to Junior Jones by pounding Eric Morales for 12 brutal rounds. The only problem is, as usual, one judge mailed in his scorecard. Once again, either I stink at telling who gave an ass whuppin and who received one or there's something rotten in Denmark, or Vegas as the case may be. It wasn't the same old story (lousy fight), but it was the same old ending (lousy decision). At least tonight fans got their moneys worth from two fighters who, this may sound hard to believe, actually came to fight! How many times in the past year have you felt you were owed a refund? Well, thanks to Mr's. Morales and Barrera you got MORE than you paid for tonight. WBC Super Bantamweight champion Eric Morales, 23 years old with a record of 35-0 (28 by KO), was the recipient of a gift split decision for win number 36. He takes the WBO Super Bantamweight title from 25 year old Marco Antonio Barrera, who falls to 49-3. In my usual post fight unofficial ringside poll most agreed Barrera got robbed. The action started right from the opening bell. No dancing, no feeling each other out. They both stepped to the center of the ring and started throwing combinations, reminiscent of last years best bout, Tapia - Ayala. Round one was close and could have gone either way but in round two Barrera scored often by digging heavy shots to Morales' body. It was obviously his game plan as he kept it up most of the fight. Rounds three and four found Morales landing the majority of blows, with his stinging hand speed. Morales diplayed text book movement of the head and feet, sticking, landing, and moving before Barrera could find him for a counter punch. Then came round five, one for the ages. Ringside comparisons of Hagler-Hearns round one were heard. Neither fighter held anything back, fighting with the urgency most fighters only save for the final round. Back and forth, each landing crushing blows until it looked like Morales started to get the best of it and had Marco Antonio all but knocked out. Then, from the depths of hell, Barrera reached down deep inside and came up firing, landing his best shot. I don't mean his best shot of the night, I mean HIS BEST SHOT period! It landed flush and the tables turned - it was now Morales who was on the verge of being KO'd, pounded by a Barrera barrage, helpless on the ropes, savaged and bleeding, saved only by the bell. The entire house stood to applaud, shouting in unison at the spectacle, knowing they had each just personally witnessed something special. Round six was a well deserved breather for both. Round seven, fresh with a second wind, Eric Morales' hand speed ruled for three minutes but from that point on the story was Marco Antonio Barrera's hooks to the body and follow-ups to the head. He was the constant aggressor and he landed the harder, more telling blows. In the final rounds Barrera stalked, Morales played stick and move. There was a knock down for Barrera in the final round but ref Mitch Halpern was incorrect. It was a slip by Morales but it was ruled a knock down which means the judges had to score it as such. That makes the scorecard of the judge who scored it 115-112 for Morales even MORE curious. The other scores were both 114-113, one judge for Barrera, one for Morales. I had it 115-112 Barrera. There are a lot of people I'm sure I would not like to be when I wake up tomorrow, but at the top of that list has to be Eric Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. They both gave a beating, each in turn taking one too and I doubt either of them is able to get out of bed Sunday morning. They are going to be too sore, hurtin hombres. They'll be an amalgam of colors, from a dried, crusty crimson, to every shade of purple and black as for once, we saw fighters who actually came to fight. Promoted by Top Rank Reported by Sonny Palermo

                                   Wollongong, Australia
                    February 11, 2000 - Shannan Taylor vs. Garry Murray

     In a scheduled ten round bout, WBC#3 rated welterweight Shannan Taylor 67.90kg 
scored KO win number 18 when he stopped Gary Murray 68.15kg of South Africa at 
sixty one seconds of round four. A booming right hand dropped Murray for the ten 
count.The southpaw Murray started the fight in busy style scoring well with right 
jabs and left crosses in the opening round.  In round two Murray was down from a 
right cross but survived the round. The third round saw Murray bite Taylor on the
shoulder while the boxers were in a clinch. This caused referee Gary Dean to have 
a point deducted from the South African. After the fight Taylor said, "promoter 
Bill Mordey was about to sign a three fight deal worth three million Australian 
dollars with Bob Arum. I will fight on De La Hoya undercard bouts with an eventual 
meeting with the Golden Boy." Murray said "Taylor is a good fighter - he nailed 
me" " Shit happens. I have met more powerfull boxers than Taylor but he hit me 
with the right punches." This was loss number six for Murray in a total of thirty 
two fights. The South African held the WBU welterweight title from 1995 - 96.

     Josh Clenshaw 70.75kg scored a twelve round split points victory over Mark 
Bargero 72.55kg to win the Australian middleweight title. Clenshaw started the 
fight aggressively but was in trouble in the third round when an accidental thumb 
caught him in the eye. This hampered his vision for a few rounds. Bargero's left 
eye was cut in the fourth round. Clenshaw clinched the points by winninning rounds
ten, eleven and twelve. scores were 118-114, 117-112 Clenshaw  and 115-113 Bargero.

     Daniel Rowsell 86.05kg scored a split decision win over Paul Murdoch 84.85kg. 
This was an eight round contest that featured classic boxing by both fighters. In 
the break between rounds five and six Murdoch's trainer father Bob said. "I love 
you for what you have done - keep scoring with hooks and rips." Murdoch had Rowsell 
in trouble in round eight but the more experienced survived to hear the bell. 
Scores were 78-76, 79-75 Rowsell and 78-76 Murdoch. This was win number eleven 
for Rowsell with one loss on his record. Murdoch suffered his third loss in eight 

     Danny McGrail 61.05kg stopped Tirso Del Pena 61.10kg in the third round of a 
scheduled eight round bout. The end came at thirty seven seconds of the round after 
McGrail delivered a solid right to the head of Del Pena. The Philippino turned his 
back and signalled to the referee that he could not continue. Steve Woolett 73.35kg 
dropped  six round decision to Nick Lundh 71.80kg. Comebacking Woolett was rusty 
after a two year spell from the ring.

Promoted by Bill Mordey
Reported by Ray Wheatley
Visit Ray Wheatley's World of Boxing: Australias best boxing magazine.
Rosemont, Illinois February 9, 2000 - Greg Page vs. Terrance Lewis On Wednesday-February 9th-the Ramada Inn in Rosemont, IL rocked from a fight card labeled 'Heavyweight Explosion'. To be precise, Cedric Kushner Promotions in association with Hitz Enterprises offered up a strange but entertaining plate of mystery and mayhem. The main event saw former WBA Heavyweight champ Greg Page, 247 of Louisville, Ky. lock horns with Terrance Lewis, 246 of Philadelphia, Pa. And Page began the first round by displaying to the crowd some of his old moves as well as the fleshy physique of his prime. Keeping the fight at mid-ring, Page (56-15-1), controlled the action with his still snappy jab until running into a counter left hook which put him in momentary disarray. The second round saw Page, alarmingly, walk into another runaway left hook, this time dropping him along the ropes where he took the mandatory eight count from Referee Pete Podgorski. What followed was brutal, as even the raucous crowd in the Ramada's Grand Ballroom wouldn't have objected had Podgorski stopped the bout as Lewis pounded Page in a neutral corner and along the ropes with only Page's 21 years of pro experience keeping him company and upright. The bell was a welcome relief to Page at this point in a round which I awarded Lewis by a 3 point margin. By round 3 Lewis appeared to have the fight in the bag as he again nailed Page with a left hook that was zeroing in on the ex- champ's jaw like a heat seeker. However, possibly due to his extended efforts in round two, Lewis slowed in this round and allowed page to take the round with some stinging combos. By round 4 both combatants had slowed to a walk and although Lewis was still throwing a monster hook, Page nicked the round with a solid right at the bell. By round 5 the creaking legs of Page could not move the way he wanted as he again walked into a thumping left hook, but welcomed a momentary respite by way of a low blow from Lewis. In round 6 Page sleep-walked into another hook but this time responded with a low blow himself. When proceedings resumed the ring instincts of the 72 bout veteran kicked in and he clutched Lewis' left arm for dear life during the odd clinch and again landed south of the border which dropped Lewis to his knees at the end of the round. Page got off to a good start in the 7th, but Lewis was still cranking his favored left. And now, after the liberal use of water from both corners and the sudden vitality of both fighters, ringsiders were being bathed by each punch which landed. Halfway through the 7th Page went down from another low blow, although by now it appeared the two combatants were going down to grab a quick breather. Nevertheless, Referee Podgorski had had enough and deducted a point from Lewis' score for the infraction. Then, in a stirring turn of events, spinning out of a clinch, Lewis ended up against the ropes with his back to Page. Taking advantage of Lewis' sudden disarray, Page reached in landing a quite legal left hook on Lewis' jaw from behind causing Lewis to suddenly drop in a heap as if shot. After witnessing the punch and Lewis' dubious reaction, it was this reporter's immediate opinion that Lewis was gunning for a disqualification win. A point agreed upon by Podgorski in a post fight interview. Having none of it however, Podgorski tolled the '10' count, awarding Page the victory at 2:01 of the 7th. Absurdly, for a guy who didn't stir during the Ref's count, Lewis certainly had enough left to have a go at the non-compliant Podgorski for not seeing things his way. The fight itself was certainly action filled, but as the fighters themselves go, Page is on the fast track to nowhere and Lewis, who has talent, had better get his head out of his...trunks, if he wants to make a go of it slinging leather and to remember the immortal words, "protect yourself at all times". The co-main event featured fringe contender Dannell Nicholson, 225 against fellow Chicagoan Tony LaRosa, 230. On paper, and in the first round, the bout appeared to be nothing but a mismatch as the 6'3" Nicholson, whose only losses in his 35-3 record have been to Jeremy Williams, Andrew Golota and Kirk Johnson, banged the rotund 5'9 1/2" LaRosa from pillar to post. And indeed, by the end of the first round, LaRosa was already sporting a bloody nose and rope burns to his back. The professionalism of the two corners was evident between rounds as the veteran trainer and former Lightheavy champ Eddie Mustafa Muhammad had his charge ready to resume his attack in round two while, of all people, Actor Robert Pastorelli of 'Murphy Brown' fame worked on LaRosa. The second round saw the only similarity in the two fighters as LaRosa, game as they come, was treated like small game by Nicholson and his precision jab. LaRosa however, was not done yet, and proceeded to bring the now bawdy crowd to a frenzy with a desperate flurry of rights and lefts that tested Nicholson's chin and resolve. Unfortunately, there was nothing left in the LaRosa tank but heart and he succumbed to an array of unanswered punches at 2:59 of round 2. In a scheduled 6 rounder, local prospect Angel Hernandez, 158, originally from Mexico, put his record of 15-1 in a no risk situation against David Foster, 160, of Cincinnati and sporting a poor 4-18-2 record. In a marking time bout, Hernandez creased Foster's body with enough rib-benders for Referee Podgorski to stop the bout at 1:16 of round 2. In the best all action bout of the night, Jason Robinson, 205, of Maywood, IL. spoiled the unbeaten record of Talmadge Griffis, 202, of Rockford, IL. in a scheduled six. Robinson and Griffis put on a hell of a show with Robinson spearing his opponent with a southpaw jab and speedy combos but having to deal with Griffis' roughhouse infighting. By round six the badly swollen Griffis had nothing left and went down late in the round sealing a unanimous verdict (59- 54 on all three cards) for Robinson, which took his record to 10-1. An excellent bout and Robinson is one I will keep my eye on. In other bouts, there was a forgettable scheduled six pitting Ed Krasnicki, 226, of Kosovo against Spoon Kimbrough, 222, of Chicago and although the left hand crazy Krasnicki stopped Kimbrough at :50 of the 1st round, he is not the type of fighter that would cause Lennox Lewis to lay awake at night. In scheduled four rounders, Eric Kirkland, 207, took his record to 4-0 with a first round hammering of Randy Martin, 211. And Ramon Hayes, 217 got real lucky in a bout he was losing by stopping Keith Govan, 232, at 2:58 of the 4th and final round. The crowd of approximately 1200 thoroughly enjoyed the card which had one reminiscing of the old time neighborhood rivalry cards of years past. This proving ground style of promotion is exactly what builds the foundation for the contenders of tomorrow. See ya next round. Promoted by Cedric Kushner Promotions & Hitz Enterprises Reported by Daniel Hanley

Egtved, Denmark January 28, 2000 - Evans Ashira vs. Darren Maciunski Danish based Evans Ashira, Kenya (upping his record to 15-0, 9 KOs, IWBR no. 23) stopped Darren Maciunski, Kewanee, Illinois (falling to 18-7, 7 KOs, IWBR no. 39) in the seventh round, defending his IBF Intercontinental light middle title. A cut eye ended the match, but reluctant Maciunski had been taking stick all the way, aggressive Ashira taking every round by a clear margin. IBF Intercontinental light welter champ Allan Vester, Danmark (13-0-1, 2 KOs, IWBR no. 19) was lucky to escape with a majority draw and a still unbeaten record after eight difficult rounds against fast, clever and physically stronger African champ Nasser Athumani, Kenya (9-0-2, 7 KOs), lightwelters. The judges had it 77-77 (Johnny Anthonsen), 76-76 (Svend Lund) and 77-76 for Vester (Per Malmberg). I, together with most observes, saw Athumani a narrow winner after 8 very tactical and somewhat boring rounds. Cruiser Jesper Kristiansen, Denmark (going to 10-1, 3 KOs, 1 NC, IWBR no. 97) gave one hist best performances so far, clearly outpointing capable Rene Janvier, France (11-11-2, 3 KOs, IWBR no. 91) over six. Welter Christian Bladt, Denmark (8-0-1, 4 KOs) had an easy night KO'ing late sub Andreas Beyer, Germany (1-7-1) in two. Regular loser Beyer was outclassed and took a count in the first. Feather Spend Abazi, Denmark (8-0, 1 KO) demonstrated fine body punching in clearly outpointed Johnny Begue, France (6-9-1, 2 KOs) over six. There was no doubt about the outcome but once again Abazi showed his lack of ability to take out an opponent inside schedule. Heavy Ingvardt Jorgensen, Denmark (falling to 5-1, 2 KO's) suffered his first loss giving up against German Primo Carnera clone Andreas Sidon, a former kickboxing world champ from Germany (4-3, 4 KOs) in the fifth. Jorgensen started reasonably well but seemed shot after only a couple of rounds. In the fourth he took a count, and after sampling a body punch in the fifth he just quit. Jorgensen is still a novice, though, and maybe this defeat will make him take things more seriously. Promoted by Anders Vester Reported by Henry Rasmussen
The Hard Rock Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada January 22, 2000 Vernon Forrest vs. Vince Phillips & Shane Mosley vs. Willy Wise card Pop Quiz time, ready? It's Saturday night, you're in Vegas, and you've got a choice. You can: A. Go to the movies to see "Hurricane" or "Play It To The Bone" and watch Woody, Antonio, or Denzel pretend to be boxers. or B. You can get your butt over to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and see the real thing - Mr. Sugar Shane Mosley. The answer? Easy. The Hard Rock Hotel was the ONLY place to be Saturday night as Sugar Shane did just that - served notice to the boxing community, the world at large, and to one Oscar DelaHoya in particular that he is the REAL THING. Actually, you really had no choice if you didn't act fast enough because Cedric Kushner Promotions along with HBO and the Hard Rock put together a sold out show that left many would be attendees envious of the lucky few who held ducats. The Hard Rocks' showroom "The Joint" exudes the intimacy of a small club, while the dynamite card and standing room only crowd has you feeling like you're taking part in something much bigger. The "Joint" is usually home to rockers such as the Stones and Lenny Kravitz but tonight it was Sugar who rocked Willie Wise's world for two rounds before finishing with a hellaciously vicious left hook to the body at 2:38 of the third round. After that encore it was lights out for Willie. Shane took control of the night before the fight even started. Entering the ring with his rapping entourage he clearly was the crowd favorite as they shouted out his name. You could feel it - the sophisticated Vegas fight crowd has had enough of big name, big budget, non-fights between non-combatants. They're thirsty for a new hero, one who won't disappoint, and they've found him in Sugar Shane and owe thanks to Cedric Kushner for bringing him here. Sugar was nonstop action, no breathers, no pacing himself. He took it to Willie Wise every minute of the way and though it only lasted three rounds you know he could have done it just as easily for twelve. Wise's claim to fame up to this point had been his victory over a past his prime Julio Chavez but if he had any thoughts of using that feat as a stepping stone Shane made him think otherwise. Mosley came at Wise right from the opening bell and scored an early knock down with a lightning fast combination. YOU CAN NOT TRULY APPRECIATE THIS MANS' SPEED ON TV. You have to see him live and even then you won't see it! How fast is he? Even though they were watching intently, the crowd missed the punch that put Wise down. I know Wise missed it. Hell, even the HBO instant replay guys couldn't find it at first. Wise didn't know what him, but he knew who hit him. In his second fight as a welterweight the only downside for Sugar came at 1:30 of the 2nd round when he hit Wise after referee Richard Steele had signaled to break, causing Steele to take points away from Mosely. It wasn't long after that when Mosley ended the night for Wise as a combination to the head was followed by the left hook to the body that left Wise windless and winless as he couldn't rise from the canvass. The only downside for the crowd was our appetite had been whetted, the short three rounds we got to spend with Sugar was like a tease, and we are hungry for more. Mosley, now 34-0 with 32 KO's, let me say that again - 34-0 with 32 KO's, (those are Hearns-like numbers before he met another "Sugar") is a legit threat to all the contenders for the welterweight crown and the current champs, Trinidad and Page. He's not going to be the next big thing, he IS the next big thing. Speed, power, charisma, looks. And personality? On ESPN's Friday Night at the Fights boxing analyst Max Kellerman entered into what he thought would be a routine interview with Mosley. Kellerman is an outspoken booster of welterweight Vernon Forrest and when Shane came on camera he called Max to task for dissing him in the past and for a minute it looked like a shocked Maxie was gonna pee in his pants! It's been rumored that next up for Mosley is a possible tilt with Oscar in June. Shane has already beaten Oscar in the amatuers and I'll bet he's going to have to be satisfied with that because I have a feeling that Oscar and his camp are not going to be so anxious to jump in the ring with Shane after seeing his performance tonight. Oscars talent and best days are past, and if his lack of effort in the final rounds of the Trinidad fight are any indicator of his desire then he'll find a way to avoid Shane. I can't blame him though. At this point in his career, with so many zeros bunched up at the end of his bank account, it's got to be tough to get up to do your road work when the alarm goes off at 4 AM. I know I'd be hitting the snooze button. A couple of times! Oscar was the best in his day but it's not his day anymore. It's Sugartime now. And it's going to be sweet for boxing fans everywhere. In other bouts' In a preliminary bout the aforementioned Vernon Forrest scored a tough victory over pressed the pace. Forrest, tall and lanky, winds up and throws punches that seem to come from two blocks away, sometimes missing wildly, leaving him off balance. It is at this point that a faster, smarter fighter would make him pay. Unfortunately, at age 36, Phillips could not do so. Forrest's frustration at not being able to put the 36 year old Phillips away came to the forefront when Vernon followed through on one of his punches with a deliberate and obvious shoulder aimed at Vinces' chin that drew boos from the crowd and a warning from the ref. If Forrests intention was to win - mission accomplished. But if it was to raise his stock and strike fear in future possible opponents such as Mosley, Page, or Trinidad then' hell'no. Opening the card was a minor upset as undefeated Frankie Archuleta, now 18-1 with 11 KO's, suffered his first defeat as former WBC featherweight champ and comeback- kid Kevin Kelley announced to the featherweight world "I'm still here and I'm not done yet"! Another fight that saw non-stop action, both fighters took turns dominating the bout until late in the eighth when Kelley, who'd already scored an earlier knockdown, wobbled Archuleta with seconds remaining in the round. Archuleta came out for the ninth but was just trying to survive when Kelley rocked him again, sending him sprawling backwards. He was trying to find his legs but Kelley found his chin first and Archuleta took a left hook flush, sending him to the canvas to stay at 2:59 of the ninth. The win earned Kelley, now 51-4-2 with 34 KO's, a trip to England in March for a spot on the undercard of a show featuring Naseem Hamed. His opponent that night will be IBF featherweight champion Paul Ingle and who knows, if things go well that night and Kelley doesn't look too convincing in beating Ingle, he may get a rematch with her highness herself. Promoted by Cedric Kushner Promotions Reported by Sonny Palermo
DePaul Alumni Hall, Chicago, Illinois January 21, 2000 - James Toney vs. Terry McGroom On Friday-Jan. 21st- the DePaul Alumni Hall in Chicago played host to ESPN 2's Friday Night Fights. And let's just say Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions in association with Explosion Promotions complimented the old town well. The five bout card, which served as herald that the boxing pulse of Chicago is getting stronger, began with a scheduled six rounder pitting local prospect Germaine Sanders (10-1) against the oft-beaten Gerald 'the Weasel' Shelton (8-46-3). One can only wonder why Shelton chose such an inappropriate monicker, for he certainly lacked the predatory skills of the animal in question during their 147 lb. contest. From start to finish, Sanders throttled Shelton from every conceivable angle. Yet, not without tasting the odd counter right from Shelton which kept Sanders honest throughout. Although the bout was strictly one-way traffic, Shelton at least made it entertaing. And, like any good journeyman should, he stomped and whined when referee Geno Rodriguez compassionately intervened in the fourth round with the 'Weasel' under heavy fire. The second bout of the evening was the co-main event. One which set the lively crowd in the smoke-filled arena on its ear as Chicago's Rocky Martinez 139 engaged the lanky Cuban born Hicklet Lau 138 in a life and death affair. Martinez, whose only losses in his 32-3 career record have been to world champs Joey Gamache, Phil Holliday and Paul Spadafora, entered to the strains of a mariachi band. Then proceeded to unveil to the crowd his well-chiseled form along with enough hieroglyphics inscribed on it to make an archaeologist salivate. With the Chicago crowd eating up Martinez's antics, lost in the shuffle appeared to be Hicklet Lau. Now fighting out of Hialeah and sporting a highly deceiving 11-6-1 record, Lau was coming off a controversial split decision loss to Rafael Ruelas and was certainly no mug. But with the peripherals out of the way and with the ringing of the bell, the real show began. Round one saw a beautiful blend of Martinez's pressure-cooking style meeting Lau's sharp combinations and fluid movement. This blend continued over into the second round where the two combatants increased their work-rate which reached a torrid pace. Both rounds I had Martinez just nicking. Round three was Lau's round as he came off his toes and began nailing Martinez with some sizzling combos to the head, but looked a little too brave in the process as his jab disappeared and appeared to be in Martinez's backyard doing the toe to toe. Round four saw Lau's domination continue as he was back on his toes jabbing away at his incoming target. And, although Lau ate a nasty right uppercut from Martinez while taking a breather, he took the round and we were watching an even fight. Round five saw the best round of the fight as Martinez and Lau went at it near a neutral corner in a prolonged engagement which Martinez got the better of. A slight knot under Lau's left eye the only memento to a memorable round. By round six it appeared the momentum had finally swayed toward Martinez for keeps. For, although still getting nailed with sharp combos from Lau, Martinez was able to rake the 23 year old Cuban along the ropes on two separate seek and destroy attacks, stunning him with the first salvo. Round seven was the turning point in this war of attrition as Martinez appeared to be taking a breather during the round and allowed Lau to work his combinations from every angle. Round eight saw Lau grabbing a second wind while Martinez continued to flag. It was during this round that Lau's domination became more pronounced. Round nine saw Martinez make his last stand, even pinning Lau along the ropes on one occasion. But the lion's share of the round went to Lau as he was pot-shotting Martinez up and down with hooks and uppercuts from every angle. At the bell for the tenth round these two fatigued warriors arose one last time to resume their controlled mayhem, with Lau gaining the edge as they both tried in vain to take the other out. At the bell, the two valiant combatants received a well deserved standing ovation. The decision, 96-94 Martinez, 96-94 Lau and the deciding 95-95 tally resulted in a draw. My card read 96-94 Lau and he will find himself welcome in Chicago anytime. The third bout of the card gave me a chance to take in the fight crowd in attendance, because for every great fight there is always a snoozer out there waiting to pounce. Unfortunately, it came on the heels of Martinez-Lau as Vince Durham 178 cuffed, clutched and mauled his way through a dreadful six rounder with undefeated Cleveland Nelson. Nelson won unanimously by scores of 59-55 (twice) and 60-54. And I've given this bout way too much print. Those in attendance with a "Thank God that last bout is over" look about them, besides the inimitable Teddy Atlas and Bob Papa were, Russell Peltz, Stan Hoffman, Luis DeCubas and his lovely wife Samia, Michael Nunn, Montell Griffin, Adolpho Washington and a bevy of models that took the term 'reconstruction' to a higher level. The fourth bout of the card was the featured match as the homegrown Terry McGroom 195 faced a fleshy James Toney, also 195 and now fighting out of L.A. Toney, the former middle and super middleweight champ started off by making it look all too easy in round one, tagging McGroom with a subdued array of jabs, hooks and the occasional right hand. In the second round the two fighters upped the pace with Toney continuing his dominance but now having to contend with McGroom's increased activity. McGroom's jabs were beginning to find range but Toney ended the round with a tidy eye-catching left hook. In round three Toney sent perspiration flying with a right hand on McGroom and began thumping it home with greater frequency. And, although McGroom was unyielding, he was now becoming a sucker for the right hand and returned to his corner with his face reddened. Rounds four and five demonstrated the gulf in talent between the two as McGroom, now bleeding from the nose began taking a hammering and offering only an impotent offense of jabs and light combos in return. To make matters worse, Toney even began mocking McGroom by pot-shotting Terry in a southpaw stance. Although possessing a far greater arsenal than McGroom, Toney (58-4-2) could not match the 33 year old Chicagoan in the physical fitness department. On the tail-end of a rumored flu which this reporter heard about two weeks prior, Toney took the sixth round off which shifted the momentum of the fight as McGroom let loose his speedy combinations causing the crowd to dig their heels in and grow more raucous in support of McGroom. Round seven confirmed what was left in Toney's tank as fatigue took hold. However, he did have enough to spare to slice McGrrom over the left eye by one of those right hands he had found a home for. After a brief inspection by referee Tim Adams and Dr. Glen Bynum, the bout continued which seemed to take more of the fight out of a disheartened Toney while spurring McGroom onto new heights in the bout's best round. Toney's history of poor training habits was no secret to this knowledgable Chicago fight crowd. A point made more graphic as one belly-thumper in the audience attempted to entice a flagging Toney with an offer of freshly baked confectionary between rounds. But alas, even with such a delectable prospect looming at the end of three minutes, Toney had little in the tank in the eighth round and should have been thankful McGroom lacked firepower as his combos hit home. In the ninth round, with the Chicago crowd on their feet, McGroom defiantly called out Toney. And, although sporting only nine stoppages in his 18-1-2 record, McGroom still managed to rattle the fatigued Toney along the ropes and absorb the token right hand in return without flinching. Toney's trainer Freddie Roach tried desperately to get some life in his charge's 31 year old legs as he sent him out for last round to meet the charged up McGroom. And firing right hands from memory, the exhausted Toney turned Terry's face into a bloody mess as McGroom then made one of the gutsiest last stands seen in a Chicago arena in some time. With the crowd chanting his name, McGroom gritted his teeth and fired home sizzling combinations on the flailing former champ. At the final bell the standing ovation was obligatory, as was the chorus of boos when the decision was rendered. 96-94 (twice) for Toney and 95-95 for a majority decision in Toney's favor. Despite the catcalls however, the decision was just. Toney achieved too much early on in the bout and McGroom just could not make up the deficit. For the record, the Boxing Wise card was 96-94 Toney. But a scoreline that does not do justice to McGroom's heart. The walkout bout of the evening featured South African Mike Barnardo 240 against Scott Conner 235 with identical records of 8-1. Barnardo entered the ring wearing a cross on the front of his trunks and his favorite psalm on the back, then proceeded to crucify Conner in two rounds in a devastating performance. A fitting end to a memorable evening of boxing. See ya next round Co-promoted by Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions & Explosion Promotions Reported by Dan Hanley
Doncaster, England January 15, 2000 - Acelino Freitas vs. Barry Jones A rare display of valor as Jones goes down fighting to a great Champion. The previously undefeated Super featherweight Barry Jones failed valiantly in his attempt to recapture the WBO world title that he had previously held and never lost in the ring. He lost to a potentially great champion in Acelino ‘Popo’ Freitas, a fearsome puncher who looks set to pose serious questions to any champion at this weight or indeed higher. Controversy marred the fight before it had even begun. Unscrupulous sports journalists, hungry for a story had raised the scepter of Barry Jones’ brain scans, inferring that the bout should not be allowed to go ahead, whilst failing outright to mention the large body of medical evidence that the Cardiff fighter had amassed to allay any fears over his health. Next came the weigh in where the Brazilian was two ounces over the limit. There were also contractual wrangles between Freitas and Frank Warren which kept the bout on hold late into the evening of the fight, and a replacement for the Brazilian waiting in the wings. Thankfully the fight went ahead and we were treated to one of the best world championship bouts seen in a British ring for some time, featuring one of the worlds most gifted champions. Jones had previously stated that he would be relying as much on spoiling tactics as his cultured boxing skills to contain the furious attacks of Freitas during the early stages of the fight. To everyone's surprise and to the delight of the Welshman's many supporters, it was it was Jones who scored the first knock down of the fight when he caught Freitas with a short left early in the first round. The Brazilian rose at the count of eight and displayed some gamesmanship when he gained himself some extra time to recover when he spat his mouthpiece out. He answered the knock down by firing fearsome combinations at the Welshman who hit the canvas for the first time in his career, followed within seconds by his second visit to the floor. It looked as though Jones was in desperate trouble and it was all he could do to hang on for the bell. Jones came out for the second looking to avoid the Brazilian's onslaught. He demonstrated all of the movement and hand speed associated with a boxer of his class but ultimately was unable to avoid dropping to the canvas after getting hit with yet another big right to the body. The third round produced more of the same and as Jones’ corner implored him to use the ring and his jab he was again knocked off his feet by an overhand right. Jones took the fourth and fifth rounds by taking his corners advice and using every inch of the ring to keep the Brazilian at the end of his jab, making him miss and by countering with short bursts of punching. It was with some inevitability however that Freitas would catch up with his ever increasingly elusive opponent. He caught Barry at the bell, which marked the end of the seventh round with a shot, which again left the Welshman on the canvas. The constant pressure and body punching of the Brazilian was visibly draining Barry and as he was hit with a wicked body shot in the eighth his father and trainer, Dennis, threw a towel into the ring which was the signal for referee Sammy Viruet to stop the fight. Both fighters were emotional at the decision and sportingly congratulated one another on their performances. Freitas on the evidence of this fight and his previous record of twenty three professional bouts, twenty three knock outs has to be one of the best out there. He displayed excellent hand speed and boxing awareness to match his knock out specialist tag. After the fight, Freitas under- lined his intention to fight the best and match ups with champions such as Floyd Mayweather Jr. are being muted. If his victory over Jones who, despite having by his own admission a woeful knock out record, is a wonderful boxer is anything to go by then he genuinely has the potential to dominate. Jones, so courageous in defeat can only have seen his stock rise. We will see much of both of these fighters in the future. Fights promoted by Frank Maloney Reported by Gareth Welch
Padua, Italy December 19, 1999 - Michele Piccirillo vs. Frankie Randall Michele Piccirillo retained his WBU welterweight title beating on points an old but experienced and still dangerous Frankie Randall. The american, famous for being the first fighter to beat the great Julio Cesar Chavez, surprised the attendance in Palazzo dello Sport of Padova and the fans that were watching the fights on TV because of the high pace he was able to give the fight in the first rounds. It was logical to think that Randall, 38 years of age, should give all he had in the first rounds, trying to have the better of Piccirillo with hard punches - which he still has. Otherwise, the american never gave signs of fading through the match, but he just eased down in some rounds thus giving Piccirillo the opportunity to hit the target with sharp, fast punches and with series to the body. Piccirillo, well trained as usual, showed signs of being nervous in the first rounds, being evidently overanxious for the importance of the fight - a fight that had the purpose of testing him before going for more important fights and purses, in American rings. In fact, in the first round the Italian went to the canvas after a light left jab from Randall, even though his fall was considered (basically rightly so) a slip from english referee Mimckey Vann. In the third round, the hardest one for Michele Piccirillo, Randall hit the target with a straight right to the head, keeping the Italian under pressure, and after the middle of the round, he unloaded a counter right hand that cought Piccirillo right on the chin, having him clearly stunned - the chin of Piccirillo was never put through a test like this in all of his pro career. Following the suggestions of his trainer (and former WBA middleweight champ) Sumbu Kalambay, Piccirillo fought better in the following rounds, using his left jab more frequently, but to say the truth, he used this punch rarely in comparison with his previous fights: this was also cause from te fact that Randall was coming forward moving from side to side, not frontally, and Piccirillo said afterwards that he didn't want to waste punches. Thr sixth round was clearly in favour of Piccirillo, when he caught Randall with a hard left-right, having Randall showing pane on his face. Randall staggered and Piccirillo gave the impression that he wanted to try and go for the kill. Sharp and fast but maybe lacking the ko punch, Piccirillo was not able to floor Randall, which turned back to his corner visibly tired. In the following rounds, the ones who expected a fade in Randall were wrong, as the american was still dangerous for Piccirillo, also because the italian suffered an injury at his right hand, depriving himself with the chance to unload hard punches for the rest of the fight and having to rely on his legs and his left, this one painful, too. Randall started round 12 with the determination and psychological boost of the one who wants to bring the title home, but Piccirillo was good in getting out of Randall's range and finishing the match with a slight advantage, in my opinion - 1 point, even if a draw could not be considered a scandal. From this point of view, the scorecards of the judges were quite a surprise, because they read 237-225, 239-222 and 233-232 all three in favour of Piccirillo, with a score system that gives 20 points to the winner of the round instead of the traditional 10. Leaving apart the sympathy for Piccirillo, I have the doubt that if the fight ended in favor of Randall by a narrow margin, the american would probably have been the victim of an injustice. On the other hand, Piccirillo showed guts, fighting for five rounds with an injuried hand and showed he can take a punch from the hardest opponent he got so far. Thanks to Alessandro De Salve for sharing his report with Boxing Wise Webmaster and Chief Editor of BOXEITALIA!