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What else could go wrong for Bam Bam? Fight with Chaves is in jeopardy.

 

Zimbio Pictures

Zimbio Pictures

 

I was ringside at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California in October of 2012 when Brandon “ Bam Bam “Rios knocked out Mike Alvarado in the seventh round of a brutal slugfest that had everyone in the arena on their feet. Bam Bam moved up from lightweight to face a huge and hard punching junior welterweight, Mike Alvarado and showed everyone that he was up for a challenge. Rios was on top of the world then… It’s been going downhill from that point on

What a difference a year makes. 2013 was a disaster for a Mexican American slugger who lives in Oxnard, California. First he lost a rematch to Mike Alvarado, because a boxer from Denver decided to box a little instead of slugging it out like they did the first time, and Rios did not have plan B.  Then in November Bam Bam went to Macao, China for a dream matchup with superstar Manny Pacquiao. Dream matchup turned into a nightmare as Pacman took Bam Bam to school and dominated him for twelve rounds.

 Brandon Rios never really got beat up or seriously destroyed by any opponent, but in the sport where fan’s theme song is “What have you done for me lately” losing three times in a row could mean death to a fighter’s career.

“Actually it is a do or die for me,” said Rios in an interview with Ring TV:” because I did lose my last two fights. Some people have counted me out. I am still young. I still have a lot to prove and I am ready.”

“You can lose fights and still come out victorious. You don’t have to lose two fights and be a bum,” continued Rios, 28:” Lots of greats lost fights and nobody considered them bums. Its part of boxing you win some you lose some.”

Bandon Rios (31-2-1,23KO) is scheduled to fight Diego Chaves (23-1,19KO) in a ten rounds or less welterweight scrap at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas on August 2nd, 2014. HBO will televise. But as I am writing this article Diego Chaves is still in Argentina without a visa to be able to travel to United States for the fight. Promoter Bob Arum stated that visa problem was created by US government back log.  International telephone conference with Brandon Rios and his trainer Robert Garcia to discuss upcoming bout scheduled for today was postponed. Brandon Rios desperately needs to make a statement in this fight, but right now he is not even sure if there will be a fight. But that’s boxing as Bam Bam would say. Stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Professional Boxing

 

Golovkin Dominates Geale, Scores Round 3 TKO

By Darryn Albert

 

Photo by Ray Flores

Photo by Ray Flores

 

Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin made quick work of challenger Daniel Geale on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, successfully defending his title once again, this time in just 3 rounds. It was a dominating performance for the Kazakh superstar Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) as he bulldozed right through the Australian Geale.

A former middleweight titleholder himself, Geale (30-3, 16 KOs) came out wild and shaky and never really seemed to challenge Golovkin, who was methodical and devastating all night. Golovkin, nicknamed GGG, floored Geale once in the second round, then sealed the deal with a crushing right hand at just past the 2 minutes, 35 seconds mark of the third round that sent Geale sprawling to the canvass. Geale got up but was wobbling pretty badly, prompting referee Michael Ortega to stop the fight.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the knockout blow by Golovkin was that it was actually a counter punch thrown in response to straight right hand by Geale that landed near-flush. That was the theme of the evening for Golovkin: responding to Geale’s unsteadiness with precision, efficiency, and destruction.

Golovkin set the tone early with his right jab in a 4 minute first round, though Geale looked good in the early going as well with counters and combinations. The second round is where Golovkin really started turning up the heat, answering with some combinations of his own and pinning Geale on the ropes and firing away. After touching the canvass in the 2nd round, Geale seemed to change his approach to a more conservative one and any hint of aggressiveness from early on quickly disappeared. Geale began moving all around the ring, moving his head wildly, and even appearing to taunt Golovkin at one point, but it was nervous energy at best as he actually seemed quite rattled. Golovkin then stopped Geale shortly thereafter.

It was a clinic for Golovkin as he showed on Saturday night that he’s one of the best in the business at picking his spots and controlling the tempo of a fight. Geale fought his fight all night long and Golovkin provided a nice juxtaposition to Geale’s nervous movement with calm, precise motions.

The final Compubox stats had Golovkin landing 56 of 191 punches (29%) and Geale landing 40 of 140 punches (29%).

The post-fight interview with Max Kellerman was a good one as Golovkin was humble and thanked both Geale and the fans for the opportunity. Golovkin also talked about his style of fighting, one which Kellerman fittingly dubbed “Search and Destroy,” to which Golovkin added that he embodied the Mexican style of aggressiveness and action-seeking as well. Golovkin also provided the quote of the evening telling the fans “You need an amazing show? Just call me!!!”

But perhaps the highlight of the interview was when Kellerman asked Golovkin what his future plans were and which opponent he would like to face next. To that, Golovkin responded that he was focused on 160 and wanted the unification fight. He mentioned “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin as well as Sam Soliman. But he made it clear that his next preferred opponent is none other than the one and only Miguel Cotto. Golovkin essentially called out Cotto and made every indication that Cotto is the man he wants next, which would make for quite the quality fight, to say the least.

At the end of the day, it was just another dominating performance by the rising Golovkin, but this one occurring in his debut in a main arena. Daniel Geale was supposed to be his stiffest test yet but Golovkin turned him into nothing more than a statistic: 17th straight opponent knocked out. We’ll see if the Cotto fight happens, but one thing is for sure: Gennady Golovkin is the real deal and he won’t stop until he annihilates anyone and everyone who stands in his way.

 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Articles by Darryn Albert

 

Glen Tapia on a come back trail

Glen Tapia

Glen Tapia

Previously undefeated light middleweight contender Glen Tapia suffered a debilitating loss in December of last year at the hands of James” The Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland.

Tapia had his moments, especially early in the fight, but in the end he could not handle a nonstop punching machine from Texas. Not known for stopping fights prematurely, referee Steve Smoger ended the massacre in the sixth stanza, ultimately allowing for young Tapia to fight another day.

 

Another day was June 14th in Atlantic City when 24 years old Tapia came back to the ring and stopped Keenan Collins in the very first round. Another day will be on July 26th in New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin versus Daniel Geale. Glen Tapia (21-1,13KO’S) will be facing Salim Larbi (19-5-2,7KO’S) in an eight round light middleweight contest.

 

So how do you get over a crushing defeat at the hands of James Kirkland?

“It’s a very good question,” said Tapia during our interview in Santa Monica last week:”

I am ready. I am built for this. It was a big learning lesson. I am actually better off after this. It was a good loss. I learned a lot from it. I am twenty four. I was twenty three at a time. It’s nothing. I am ready for this.”

 

They told me that the best way for a fighter to come back from a loss is to get back into the ring.   Tapia has already done that and will do it again on July 26th. Jersey Boy also moved to West Coast and got himself a new trainer, but not just any old trainer; Tapia hired one of the top trainers in the world, Freddie Roach.

 So far young super welterweight is very happy with a move. “The weather is amazing,” he said:” December is the same weather as the summer, so it is real good. But it doesn’t matter where I am at, it matters who is teaching me. Freddie Roach is a real teacher. He is a great teacher. He is one of the best. I am experiencing that firsthand and it feels real good.”

 

 No visible ill effects from last year Glen Tapia who felt right at home at the famed Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, seems to be in a great shape and looks like a real fighter. Will he behave like a real fighter when the going gets tough in the ring? “I know what I am capable of doing,” he said:” And I am going to show it.”

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Professional Boxing

 

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.

 

DSC_4943

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

 
 
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