Night of Rising Stars

Five of the six bouts on the card billed as the “Battle of the Rising Stars” dripped with action at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday, including the main event which saw Jose Hernandez walk away with a unanimous decision over John Hays in a super-middleweight scrum.
Each boxer refused to give an inch and the crowd was appreciative knowing these young men were willing to lay it all out in the ring.
Hernandez, who exited the fight with a 6-1-1 record and three knockouts, proved a little too strong and landed the cripser and cleaner punches, while Hays also found the target, but less frequently.
The scheduled six-rounder began well for Hernandez, who smashed Hays with the sharper blows in the first round, but Hays (4-1-3) also tagged Hernandez.
The second round looked even, but the edge went to Hernandez because he was busier and landed the better blows.
Round three was chock full of action and once again the edge went to Hernandez. The fourth round also went to Hernandez, and the fifth round was more of the same, but Hays struck early with a terrific right hand. The final round was similar to the others with Hernandez busier and able to locate the more powerful shots.
The most action-filled bout was a lightweight brawl between Adam Munguilla and Daniel Ruiz as the two stood toe-to-toe and unloaded bombs across four rounds with Munguilla, who was making his professional debut, getting a unanimous decision.
Tough as nails, both threw caution to the wind as Munguilla and Ruiz (2-2-0) each came out swinging, and it continued for the rest of the bout.
Munguilla and Ruiz each landed massive rockets in the first round, but Ruiz had the better and more effective punches.
The second round was similar to the opener and could have been scored even, and what followed in the third round was more of the same, but this time Munguilla had the better of it, while the fourth round was equally exciting and full of action.
Heavyweight Xavier Vigney was relentless from the outset as he pounded Helaman Olguin over four rounds and earned a unanimous decision.
Vigney (2-0-0 with 1 KO) went to work attacking the body and head early and didn’t stop. When he unleashed his jab it kept Olguin at bay, who was game and willing to trade blows with the taller Vigney.
The first round saw Vigney drill the bigger strikes mostly with the right hand. The second round was more of the same, while the third round was similar as Vigney seemed well-tuned and too powerful for Olguin (1-3-0 and 1 KO).
Early in the final round Vigney bloodied Olguin’s nose, and from there he attacked the body and head with gusto.
After a strong opening round by Tavarus Teague, he went on the assault early in the second round against Diego Garibay in their super-welterweight fight that was stopped with 2:38 left.
Teague’s big right hand did the damage, and it landed flush on Garibay’s chin. When Garibay hit the canvas it was apparent that he didn’t know where he was.
The fight started with Garibay, who was making his pro debut, finding the range in the opening half of the first round, while Teague (1-0-0 and 1 KO) was much more effective in the second half.
Reggie Verduzco and Brian True exchanged severe punches in their middleweight clash, but Verduzco dominated as the bout was halted 1:24 in the fourth and final round after True sustained damage to the right eye.
Verduzco took the first half of the opening round, but True gathered himself in the second half. Verduzco captured the second round by using the jab, but again True (1-1-1 with 1 KO) rallied late.
The third round was exciting as each man went after the other with sustained fury, but Verduzco (1-1-0 with 1 KO) took the round after unloading three solid right hands.
However, the pair continued throwing punches after the bell and Referee Raul Caiz Jr. deducted a point from both.
Heavyweight Alexey Zubov tagged Anthony Mason early and didn’t relent which forced a stoppage 30 seconds into the first round.
Zubov (2-0-0 with 2 KO’s) seemed ready and fit even before the bell sounded, while Mason, who was making his pro debut looked out of shape.
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad


What is your favorite fight of all time?

Max Kellerman, Zab Judah, David Avila, Mickey Ward, Jack Mosley, Teddy Atlas, Larry Merchant, Lem Satterfield, Al Berstein, John Smith share their faovorite fight of all time stories.

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Professional Boxing


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Live boxing in Santa Monica!

Hump day, Wednesday night in Santa Monica is usually a dry affair unless… What do you get when you cross breed Hollywood and boxing? Holy bang or “Boxing at Barker” that was staged by Hollywood mogul and newcomer boxing promoter, Michael King. Indeed from the first glance it did look like a Hollywood party. Red carpet entrance, plush white couches strategically placed around the arena. Long legged servers distributing food and drinks. Stars everywhere. Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger looked smaller than he usually does on the screen. Wayne Knight who played Newman on Seinfeld looked exactly the same and so did Tommy Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy. Scott Caan looked better in person than he does on Hawaii Five-O. Brittany Phillips looked much better up close and personal than she did on Miami CSI. Legendary singer Tom Jones was on hand posing for pictures with the ladies. Infamous attorney Robert Shapiro, a huge boxing fan who is also a fixture at every major boxing event in Las Vegas was mingling with the stars and looked right at home.

Speaking about Sin City, on the second thought, it did look like a major boxing event in Las Vegas. Ring greats such as Motor City Cobra, Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Ray Boom Boom Mancini were posing for pictures with fans. HBO boss Ken Hershman was on hand, probably considering televising future promotions. Long time Santa Monica resident, legendary boxing commentator Larry Merchant was present as well as Showtime current commentator Mauro Randall whose voice is just as booming in person as it is during a telecast.

Former MGM director Bob Halloran was ringside observing the action which by the way was scintillating. All five fights were intense, competitive and fought at a skill level worthy of being a major boxing card in Las Vegas and being televised.

In the opening bout of the evening middleweight Louis Rose (9-1-1,2KO’s) stopped his opponent Emanuel Ledezma (12-1-2,2KO’S) in a dramatic fashion at the end of the eighth round only seconds prior to the conclusion of the contest.

Next on tap was a cruiserweight clash between highly rated American Eric Fields (24-2,16KO’S) and Cuban amateur stand out Yunier Dorticos scheduled for ten rounds. It ended early and was the fight of the night in my book. Bombs away Dorticos and Fields traded knock downs in the first round and kept fighting their hearts out until Dorticos scored a spectacular right cross knock out at the end of the fourth stanza. Referee Jack Reese didn’t even have to count. Eric Fields was out. Dorticos improved his record to 16-0 with all 16 wins by the way of knock out. He is the man to watch.

Ten rounds welterweight scrap between Chris Van Hearden (20-1-1,11KO’S) and Ray Narh (26-4,21KO’S) featured nonstop back and forth action from the opening till the final bell. Ray Narh seemed to have out boxed his opponent for the majority of the rounds, but the judges awarded a split decision victory to Van Hearden. Narh was visibly upset by the judge’s decision at the post fight interview.

Super middleweight contest between former world title challenger Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (29-1,18KO’S) and a veteran banger Fulgencio Zuniga (26-8-1,23KO’S) was not as competitive as the welterweight clash, but it produced drama and dynamic action. N’Dam hurt his left hand early in the contest and dominated the fight with just one hand earning a unanimous decision victory.

They saved the best for last as two undefeated heavyweights Charles Martin (15-0-1,13KO’S) and Alexander Flores (14-0,12KO’S) concluded the night with a bang. Surprising most ringside observers Martin out boxed and out fought his opponent and found a way to land a booming right hand that ended the night in the fourth stanza.

No one in the intimate arena at the Barker Hanger asked for their money back and most observers stayed late into the night to watch all the fights.

“I have a passion for boxing,” said debutant promoter Michael King:” Without question boxing is one of the most exhilarating sports in the world.” That passion was obvious to everyone in attendance.

Don’t miss Holy-Bang two scheduled to take place at Santa Monica Pier on May 21st.




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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Professional Boxing


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Pac-man outduels Bradley

Photo by Al applerose

Photo by Al Applerose

Manny Pacquiao wasn’t about to take any chances this time around when he faced Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In front of 15,601 spectators on Saturday, Pacquiao came out dedicated, aggressive, determined and dominated the action as he reclaimed the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt, which he lost to Bradley in June 2012 on a controversial split decision.
Pacquiao wanted to finish rounds strong and make a lasting impression on the three judges. He did just that as Glenn Trowbridge (118-110), Craig Metcalfe (116-112) and Michael Pernick (116-112) all voted in his favor.
In fact, Pacquiao claimed the final seven rounds on Trowbridge’s card, and took six of the last seven rounds on Metcalfe’s and Pernick’s cards.
“I didn’t want to get careless,” said Pacquiao, who raised his record to 56-5-2 with 38 knockouts. “I picked up more steam in the second half. I made the adjustments Freddie [Roach] gave me in the corner.”
Coming into the fight, Roach, a six-time Trainer of the Year, hoped Pacquiao would end it with a knockout and dispel the notion that, according to Bradley, he lacked a killer instinct.
“He wants to prove to the world that he has the killer instinct,” Roach said prior to the highly-anticipated rematch. “He motivated Manny this time. I told him to knock them out early and then you won’t have to worry about that.”
If Pacquiao was trying for a knockout, something that hasn’t happened since he dropped Ricky Hatton in May 2009 with a crushing left hook in the second round, or six months later when Miguel Cotto was stopped in the 12th round, was still sharp as he landed repeatedly with the left hand and scored with combinations.
Nonetheless, Bradley was duly impressed by the Filipino congressman. “Pacquiao was the better man tonight, and he showed what he’s made of,” he said. “One of the reasons why I love Pacquiao so much is he never ducks an opponent.”
The fight seemed to change momentum after the sixth round when Pacquiao really went to work offensively against the heavily-muscled Bradley, who was coming off a split decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in October 2013.
In that fight Bradley out-boxed the Mexican counter-puncher, rocked him in the 10th round and staggered him in the 12th round.
Seven months earlier Bradley was involved in a slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov, who floored Bradley in the first round [ruled a slip], and then scored heavily in the second round before losing a unanimous decision.
Bradley, a two-division world champ, tasted defeat for the first time in 32 professional bouts with 12 knockouts, and was willing to match punch-for-punch with the eight-division king.
But when it became apparent that Bradley was trailing on the judges’ scorecards, he opted to try for the knockout which never came.
Bradley said Pacquiao is still one of the best in the business, and is always looking for challenges.
“He’s always willing to face the best and he faced one of the best tonight,” Bradley said. “He came out on top and that’s why he’s so great.”
Indeed, and for one night Pacquiao was his old self and is still one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad


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Undercard is lively

Some boxers are head-hunters, while others prefer to attack the body. This was the case when Bryan Vasquez faced heavy-hitting Jose Felix Jr. in a World Boxing Association interim super-featherweight title bout on the Timothy Bradley/Manny Pacquiao undercard at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday.
While Vasquez was landing body shots, Felix, who was accidentally headed-butted twice, preferred to work upstairs for a knockout, but in the end Vasquez connected with the more effective shots and grabbed a unanimous decision.
Vasquez won the first three rounds, but Felix had a better fourth, especially toward the latter portion of the round.
The pace slowed somewhat in the fifth round before picking up steam in the sixth as Vasquez, who was nailed three times below the belt, came on strong.
Felix (26-1-1 with 21 KO’s) was head-butted in the seventh round as Vasquez (33-1-0 with 17 KO’s) was in charge.
The eighth was close, however the ninth round saw Felix actually attempt to kick Vasquez, which prompted Referee Robert Byrd to deduct a point from the native of Mexico.
Meanwhile, Vasquez, who hails from Costa Rica, took the 10th round, while Vasquez continued his domination in the 11th round after landing two good right hands late. In that round Felix was once again head-butted.
The final round belonged to Vasquez, who controlled the action after connecting with multiple rights and lefts which continued a pattern established early in the fight.
Jessie Vargas took to task replacement Khabib Allakhverdiev and claimed the WBA junior-welterweight belt and International Boxing Organization junior-welterweight title with a unanimous decision.
Vargas began strong then slowed down a bit over the dozen rounds, and made excellent use of the jab.
Vargas (24-0-0 with nine KO’s) won the first round while Allakhverdiev picked up the second round, but Vargas’ use of the jab gave him the nod in the third round.
The fourth round was fairly even, while Allakhverdiev (19-1-1 with nine KO’s) garnered the first half of the fifth round, whereas Vargas was better over the last minute or so.
The sixth round was full of back-and-forth action which was sustained over much of the second half of the fight.
Vargas clearly won the seventh and ninth rounds, while Allakhverdiev, from Russia, also had his moment in the sun as the pair exchanged shots in the eighth.
The final four rounds saw the pair trade shots, but most of the time Beltran came out on top, and each was effective in the 12th round.
Raymundo Beltran (29-6-1 with 17 KO’s) had the better of Arash Usmanee (20-2-1 with 10 KO’s) across a dozen rounds in their North American Boxing Organization lightweight title mix and earned a unanimous decision.
From the opening bell, Beltran came out and set the tone as he made superb use of the jab, and also employed a steady head-and-body attack.
Beltran owned the first six rounds, while Usmanee, from Afghanistan but resides in Montreal, Canada, did some damage in the seventh, but Beltran rallied in the eighth round as he attacked the head and body.
Beltran claimed the ninth and 10th rounds, while the 11th was fairly uneventful. Usmanee had a good 12th round as he located the target with three right hands, but Beltran still took the round.
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Articles by Rick Assad


Interview with Al Bernstein

Al Bernstein talks about his favorite fights Jose Luis Castillo versus Diego Corrales l, Hagler vs Hearns as well as Larry Holmes against Ken Norton and more.

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Professional Boxing


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Interview with Larry Merchant

Larry Merchant talks about his favorite fight of all times as well as his favorite fighter as well as Pacquiao Bradley rematch

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Professional Boxing


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