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Is Golovkin ready to perform on a big stage against Geale?

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

Gennady Golovkin was rocked by  death of his father earlier this year much harder than any blow could affect him throughout his boxing career. When I asked Gennady if it could disrupt his preparation for an upcoming bout with Daniel Geale on July 26th, 2014, he simply replied: “I don’t want to talk about it right now, but I will tell you that I am happy to be back in the boxing world.” I was told to immerse myself in work after passing of my father in October of last year. It proved to be a good advice. May be Gennady is following the same directions.

 His trainer Abel Sanchez is very pleased with the way Golovkin follows directions.”Because of his upbringing,” said Sanchez during an interview in Santa Monica last week:” He is going to listen to the guy that’s above him. In this case I am the guy that’s above him. I am his teacher. He is going to do exactly as I told him. So it’s easy.” Just like Abel I am personally very pleased with the way Gennady’s parents raised him. Conducting our short interview in Russian language I was addressed by Golovkin with a special term of respect reserved for elders. It is very refreshing, especially since I grew up in United States where this kind of politeness is just about nonexistent.

 

After going to Kazakhstan and mourning passing of his father with the family Gennady came back to Big Bear, California to work. At least on paper, Gennady Gennadievich Golovkin or GGG, a nickname that stuck to him like glue, has a very tough test in front of him on July 26th.  Thirty three year old former middleweight champion from Australia Daniel Geale (30-2,16KO’S) is a very experienced fighter who has beaten high caliber opponents like Felix Sturm in Germany, and who is not afraid to throw punches in bunches. Geale believes his experience and his punch output and skills will bring him the victory next Saturday night in New York.” I could talk a lot about him,” said Golovkin (29-0,26KO’S) during our interview in Santa Monica last week:” I think he has a lot of good qualities, but I feel that I have to do my job. Doing my job is first; whatever he brings to the table is secondary.”Head trainer Abel Sanchez agreed. “Opponents have to adjust to him,” he said:” Otherwise I am not doing my job.”

 

GGG, whose popularity has grown leaps and bounds in the past year due to his aggressive style and brutal knock outs, is headlining a big show at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.  HBO will televise this middleweight clash live. Considering all the distractions, did he have enough time to prepare for such a tough opponent as Daniel Geale? 

“Training camp went very well,” said Golovkin, 32:” Very well, because we didn’t have enough time, but the time we had was well utilized. I didn’t do sparring considering Geale.  As always, I was just doing my job.”  Undefeated IBO and WBA Super World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has stopped his last sixteen opponents. Can he continue his winning ways and a knock out streak on Saturday night against Daniel Geale? Stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2014 in Professional Boxing

 

Fight night in San Francisco

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

San Francisco today is not known as a fight town it is once was. According to local media fans of sweet science get treated to a live professional boxing show only once or twice a year. Walking into a Longshoremen’s Hall on Friday night I had a feeling of Déjà vu. It reminded me of a smaller version of Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. No, it reminded me of Robert Howard’s novels character, Steve Costigan, a sailor and a boxing champion and halls he used to fight at. Or maybe it is how I imagined and old school boxing venue where the air is thick with smoke of cigars and blood sweat and tears of fighters. Betting action flows and money exchanges hands every round and the intensity of action inside the squared circle matches the tension outside the ring.

 

 A block away from legendary Fisherman’s Wharf, Longshoremen’s Hall was filled over its capacity of about 800. I had to excuse myself to get closer to the ring more times than I care to recount. Smoking is not allowed in the hall these days but the atmosphere was filled with electricity.  When I finally made it close to the ring I ran into a welterweight champion Shawn Porter and his father and trainer Kenny Porter. Both were glued to the action in the ring but had time for fist pumps.

 

As soon as I got my seat on the other side of the ring, Andrei Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter parked his rear and his two lady friends’ right next to me. That’s when I knew that it was going to be a special night. Just listening to Virgil’s comments during fights is very educational and much more informative than snobby remarks you get from Teddy Atlas during broadcasts of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Developing one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, Andrei Ward from the beginning, Virgil Hunter has been regarded as one of the top trainers in the sport as of late. With that distinction comes work. Hunter’s gym in San Leandro is now full of top fighters, such as Alfredo Angulo, Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Abner Mares etc… Virgil graciously invited me to visit his gym next day.

 

 

Oh and by the way, in the main event of the evening, televised by Fox Sports, Mercito ” No Mercy” Gesta(28-1-1,16KO’S) pummeled his over matched, but too tough for his own good opponent from Tijuana, Mexico, Luis Arceo (28-13-4,18KO’S) for seven brutal and one sided rounds. The fight was mercifully stopped in between rounds seven and eight.

 

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The fight that got my juices flowing and the knowledgeable boxing crowd in frenzy was an eight round junior welterweight scrap between San Francisco’s Jonathan Chicas and San Diego’s Emanuel Robles. Two undefeated young guns left their hearts and souls in the ring and engaged each other and the crowd in a dynamic slugfest with momentum shifts and non-stop action. Emanuel Robles (11-0-1,3KO’S) scored a knocked down in the seventh stanza with perfectly placed uppercut. It proved to be a difference in the fight as judges awarded a split decision victory in favor of Robles: 76-75 twice and 75-76. This is when I knew the arena was filled with hardcore boxing fans. They did not boo the split decision that went against a local favorite Jonathan Chicas (13-1-1,6KO’S) who suffered his first professional loss.

 

The fight that got Virgil Hunter excited was a six round middleweight skirmish between local favorite Ricardo Pinell and Jamal Harris from Los Angeles. Usually I get really annoyed when someone yells out instructions from the stands, but this was Virgil Hunter, advising with passion. So, I listened and Ricardo Pinell listened too. Ricardo didn’t even look at his corner. He just kept looking at Virgil. Despite the lack of amateur experience Ricardo Pinell dominated the fight and did everything that Virgil asked him except score an early stoppage.

 

This magical night of boxing was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don Chargin and Paco Presents. Don Chargin was ringside and so was Paco. Golden Boy himself,Oscar De La Hoya wasn’t there, but his assistant, Golden Boy’s queen of Public Relations, Monica Sears was front row directing traffic and making sure the show went as smooth as the wind over San Francisco Bay. Veteran PR man from Golden Boy, Bill Kaplan was on hand to help with media and fans. Considering how many top fighters are now training in the Bay Area, could this be the beginning of the revival of San Francisco’s fight scene? Stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Professional Boxing

 

Alvarez Works The Body

By Rick Assad

 

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

For roughly three rounds, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was totally frustrated by Erislandy Lara in their non-title junior middleweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday.

Those rounds saw Alvarez, a 2-to-1 betting favorite, continue to get tagged with rapier-like jabs from the left-handed Lara.

But midway through the third round, the bout tilted in favor of Alvarez, the Mexican superstar, who decided to attack Lara’s body with punishing left hooks, a longtime Mexican staple, and it helped him earn a split decision.

Two of the three judges witnessed a relatively close match as Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Alvarez, while Jerry Roth sided with Lara, 115-113.

It was Levi Martinez’s 117-111 scorecard that seemed off according to Lara, who connected on 107 punches to 97 for Alvarez.

Alvarez said you don’t win a prizefight based on jabbing and running. “I came to fight. I didn’t come to run here,” he said. “You don’t win by running. You win by hitting. He does have a great jab and he moves around, but you don’t win a fight that way. You don’t run.”

Lara (19-2-2 with 12 knockouts), a Cuban defector with a decorated amateur career, didn’t agree.

“One hundred percent I won this fight,” he said. “I was controlling the rounds and worse, I made him look bad in front of his fans. People know I won this fight.”

The 23-year-old Alvarez, who missed early with his punches, but came on strong over the last three-quarters of the 12-round bout, explained why he went to the body.

“The first couple of rounds I was just trying to cut the distance,” he said. “But after a few rounds I was able to get inside and work the body. When I did that he started moving and running.”

Unless it’s an amateur fight, the hit-and-run style usually doesn’t go over very well, and it didn’t in front of the 14,239 fans in the arena and with two of the three judges.

“I want to leave people with a good taste in their mouth,” said Alvarez, who is 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts and located 73 power blows to the body. “This wasn’t the fight I expected. I wanted to go toe-to-toe. He didn’t come to fight. He came to run. He’s a great boxer. I respect him, but he has to learn how to throw more punches.”

Alvarez added: “When I cut him with that upper cut he ran even more, but I thought I landed the harder punches and that’s why I won the fight.”

The 31-year-old Lara said he wanted another shot at Alvarez, who cut the Cuban’s right eye with a left upper cut late in the seventh round.

“When he learns how to fight then I’ll give him a rematch,” said Alvarez, who landed 28 percent of his power punches (88 of 232) to 37 percent (52 of 140) for Lara. “For now, my birthday [July 18] is coming and we’re going to have fun.”

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Mares Back On Top

By Rick Assad

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

 

Abner Mares is a highly-skilled and likeable featherweight with a fan-friendly boxing style.

Mares bounced back into the fans’ good graces with a strong performance against Jonathan Oquendo last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena after a unanimous decision on the undercard of the Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara non-title bout.

Getting back on track was critical for Mares, who suffered a first-round knockout by Jhonny Gonzalez in his last outing at the StubHub Center in August 2013.

Though it’s only one fight, Mares seemed to have righted the ship despite getting his left eye lid cut in the fourth round by Oquendo, who has a record of 24-4-0 with 16 knockouts.

Still, Mares was the aggressor throughout the 10-round skirmish and was rewarded with scores of 98-92 from Judges Adalaide Byrd and Burt A. Clements, while Glenn Feldman had it 96-94.

“I think I did good,” said Mares, a three-weight division world champion, who raised his ring mark to 27-1-1 with 14 knockouts. “I’m happy with my performance. I’ll fight any featherweight.”

There was back-and-forth action from the opening bell, and especially in the first and third rounds, but not so much in the second round.

The fifth round was tight with the edge perhaps going to Oquendo, who landed 24 percent of his power blows, while the tide changed in the next round as Mares, who connected on 49 percent of his power shots, seemed to gather himself.

Mares took over late in the seventh round when he attacked Oquendo’s body, and took the same approach across the next three rounds that saw him land a big right hand with less than a minute left in the ninth round.

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

 

Francisco Vargas punched and battered his way to a technical knockout victory over Juan Manuel Lopez in a World Boxing Organization International and North American Boxing Federation lightweight title match, as he dropped the one-time champ with 20 seconds left in the third round.

“I knew he was hurt, but I know he’s a warrior,” said Vargas, who is 20-0-1 with 14 knockouts. “My corner was making preparations to be able to knock him out. I won by throwing combo punches to Lopez’s body. Once I did that I knew he had lost control.”

Vargas made easy work of Lopez from the outset, who failed to get off his stool for the fourth round because his team stopped the fight.

“I wanted to keep fighting,” said Lopez, who is 34-4-0 with 31 knockouts. “I’m a warrior. But my corner decided it was enough. I really don’t know right now if I’m going to retire. I have to sit down with my family and my promoter and decide what the next step will be.”

It wasn’t totally one-sided, but Mauricio Herrera still managed to walk away with a majority decision versus Johan Perez in a World Boxing Association Interim super-lightweight battle.

The early portion of the bash was tight, but Herrera (21-4-0 with 7 KO’s) took over in the sixth round with multiple power shots.

“It was different at first because he had a very awkward style,” said Herrera. “It took me a minute to figure it out and he was making me miss a lot of shots at first. But once I relaxed and adjusted to the awkward style, I was able to get into a rhythm, take control of the fight and put pressure on him.”

Perez (19-2-1 and 13 KO’s) said he did well despite the loss. “I felt that Mauricio had a different style and that it was a close fight,” he said. “Ultimately, I felt that I won the fight. I am really surprised by the decision and I want an immediate rematch.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad

 

Photos of Golovkin’s Media Work out Day in Santa Monica by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

Trainer Abel Sanchez talks to media

Trainer Abel Sanchez talks to media

 

 Genady GGG Golovkin came down from the mountain , Big Bear Mountain to meet the media in anticipation with hih July 26th showdown with Daniel Geale. Humble champion made time for every one including fans.

Golovkin signs autographs

Golovkin signs autographs

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

Golovkin talks to media

Golovkin talks to media

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Photos of Canelo and Lara engaged in an ugly fight in Las Vegas by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

 

Lara is not happy about the decission

Lara is not happy about the decission

 

Lara lands right

Lara lands right

 

Lara attacks

Lara attacks

 

Canelo misses and hits thin air

Canelo misses and hits thin air

 

Canelo lifts Lara

Canelo lifts Lara

 

Photo by Al Applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

Canelo measures Lara

Canelo measures Lara

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Professional Boxing

 

Guys and Dolls Rumble in the Desert

At Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California on Friday, July 11, 2014.

The promoter was Bobby D Presents.

 

By: Robert Isaacson

 

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

          The Main Event was scheduled for ten rounds.  It featured Victor “Pelon” Ruiz versus Timur “Here Comes Trouble” Shailezov in the Flyweight Division.  Victor entered the fight at age 23 with a record of (15-3, 11 ko’s), residing in Tijuana, Mexico.  The majority of his fights have taken place in Tijuana.  He has lost 2 of his last 6 fights.  His opponent for this fight, Timur Shailezov, 34, entered the fight with a record of (17-7, 4 ko’s). Timur resides in Los Angeles, California.  He has lost 5 of his last 6 fights coming into this fight.  The referee for the July 11th fight was Eddie Hernandez.

          Both fighters are Southpaws, which is rare.  Round 2 features both combatants swinging for the fences, trying to remove each other’s heads from their bodies.  It was an amazing round!  In Round 5, a mouse next to Timur’s left eye starts to swell.  The mouse is caused mostly by Victor’s right-hand jab.  Things start really heating up in Round 6!  They are both throwing Huge, heavyweight punches for little guys!  Victor dominates Round 7.  Timur’s face is really showing signs of abuse.  The ring doctor looks at Timur’s injuries in between Round 7 and 8 and lets the fight continue.  Timur makes a great comeback in Round 8, landing huge shots the whole round but Victor walks right through them like it’s no problem whatsoever.

          The fight goes to the Judges’ scorecards at the end of Ten Rounds with Judge Pat Russell scoring the bout 97 -93, and both judges Fritz Werner and Jose Cobian scoring the bout 99-91 for a unanimous decision for Victor Ruiz!

 

photo by Ray Flores

photo by Ray Flores

 

          The Co-Main Event for the vacant NABF Female Super Flyweight Title featured Chantel “Gorgeous Babe” Cordova, age 27, entered the fight with a record of 12-5, 3 ko’s.  She resides in Pueblo, Colorado.  Her opponent, Patricia “Patty Boom-Boom” Alcivar, age 37, entered the fight with a record a 7-2, 3 ko’s.  Patricia resides in Queens, New York.  The fight was scheduled for 10 Rounds and the referee was Ray Corona.

          Things start off rather slow in this fight.  In Round 2, Chantel lands a good flurry of punches.  The fight starts to heat up in Round 5, with both fighters beating each other up with tough combinations.  Round 5 is a tough round to score!   Chantel seems to be getting frustrated in Round 9 with the pushing off by Patricia after each clinch.  Patricia’s pushing keeps Chantel out of her game plan.  Round 10 was a good, action packed round by both fighters.  It was a good match-up!

          At the conclusion of the scheduled 10 Rounds, Judge Pat Russell scored the bout 96-94, and both Judges Fritz Werner and Jose Cobian scored the bout 97-93 for the winner by Split Decision for Chantel Cordova.

          Also, on the July 11th card was Welterweight Prospect, Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker versus Lauro Alcantar.  The fight was scheduled for 6 Rounds.  Hooker scores three knockdowns in the first round bringing a fast halt to the fight at 2 minutes and 17 seconds of the first round!

         

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Professional Boxing

 
 
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