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So far, 2017 has been a great year for the sport of boxing. A lot of super-fights are happening or going to happen: Kovalev Vs. Jacobs one and two, Canelo Vs. Golovkin, Mayweather Vs. McGregor and many more. There have also been the fair share of bouts that weren’t supposed to be all that good that turned out to be great on an all time level like the Joshua Vs. Klitschko bout almost two months ago. The best part is that the most promising bouts have yet to happen.
 
As we’ve said, there have already been some great fights so far this year. One was Gennady Golovkin Vs. Daniel Jacobs. Triple G fights have always been entertaining up to this point because he always knocked out his opponents for the better part of a decade but, finally, this was not the case. Not only did Jacobs avoid getting knocked out, many feel as though he won the fight. Triple G was declared the winner via unanimous decision but many feel as though this was done in order to set up the super-fight with Canelo because the fight really could have gone either way.
 
Another incredible bout in 2017 was Anthony Joshua Vs. Wladimir Klitschko – an all time great heavy weight bout. Both fighters stood in the ring and traded explosive and heavy shots. Then Klitschko got knocked down twice late in the fight to secure the victory for Joshua. Many agree that this fight was the best heavyweight fight in the past two decades.
 
Then, of course, we have the promise of some great upcoming fights to round out an all time great year in boxing in 2017. First up, we have Sergei Kovalev squaring back off with Daniels Jacobs for the much anticipated re-match after Jacobs shocked the world and beat Kovalev in a decision just a couple months back. Then in September, you have the fight many have been waiting for and rooting for for over two years – Canelo Vs. Golovkin. This fight has the potential to be a fight for the ages with two of the biggest names, possibly the biggest with the exception of Floyd Mayweather, standing toe to toe. Then, of course, you have the seemingly good possibility of the super-fight between Mayweather and Conor McGregor in November. It’s certainly shaping up, so far to be a year to remember.
 

Taking a brief moment off from reporting results here.
 
Many people are still saying that the sport of boxing is in need of “saving” and this is simply not the case. This may have been the case five or even ten years ago, when boxing was so clearly in the shadow of MMA and the UFC. Back then, the UFC was at an abolute peak and it was crushing any and all competition, boxing obviously included. With all time greats like Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva at their peaks and legends like Randy Corture and Chuck Liddell coming to the ends of their careers, the UFC was front and center and absolutely no one could deny it.
 
However, since then the UFC has had it’s share of hardships maintaining its high level of popularity for extended periods of time. Sure, it’s had it’s fever pitches with Lesnar, Rousey and most recently McGregor. But, it’s nothing like the ten year run it was on ten years ago. So, it’s safe to say that the UFC has lost some steam in recent years. Even they’ve effectively admitted this recently with the departures of recent stars like Lesnar and Rousey as well as McGregors extended leave of absence they’ve gotten desperate and brought back the aging legend GSP as well as Anderson Silva – clear desperation for headlines.
 
On the other side of things, boxing has always stayed it’s course and stayed consistent in it’s publicity approach. Now, at a time when the UFC is at a low as far as popularity, boxing is beginning to soar. With fighters like Sergei Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and, of course, Floyd Mayweather boxing has become a premium and well respected event that people can count on for quality entertainment on a consistent basis.
 
Boxing also has it’s share of incredible under cards as well. Adrian Broner is one of many youngsters that’s come up in recent years that’s made a primetime and household name for themselves by wowing the audience before the main event. Simply put, there’s no lack of excitement or enthusiasm regarding boxing and there really hasn’t been in the past five years.
 
Boxing is here to stay.
 

The game of boxing has always fascinated fans from all across the globe. After a list of great fights that entertained fans in the year 2016, the new year is all set to excite boxing fans with a list of fresh fights. Here is a list of the top 9 most anticipated boxing matches for the year 2017:
 

1) Conor McGregor Vs Floyd Mayweather:

This is undoubtedly the most hyped and anticipated boxing fights scheduled to take place in the year 2017. With Floyd Mayweather not keen to try his luck in the MMA circuit, Cornor has no choice but to challenge him in the boxing ring. Interestingly, Conor has managed to obtain his boxing fight license in California. While the fight is on the cards, the actual date of this fight is yet to be determined. Apparently, the negotiations are primarily based on the fight purse.
 

2) Danny Jacobs Vs Gennady Golovkin:

Gennady is undoubtedly one of the most highly skilled boxer in the world today. Unfortunately, he has not been able to get the desired attention from boxing fans. In the Middleweight division, Gennady Golovkin is known to have a perfect record (36 wins and no losses). The fight against Danny Jacobs is set to take place in March, 18’th 2017. Apparently, Danny Jacobs defeated Sergio Mora in his previous fight and immediately challenged Gennady Golovkin for his next fight.
 

3) Danny Garcia Vs Keith Thurman:

The Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman fight was among the most anticipated boxing events of the year 2017. Both boxers are the top contenders of the welterweight division and both of them have remained undefeated in their respective bouts. This fight is all set to catapult their career into the mainstream boxing division thereby leading to a direct increment in their prize money.
 

4) Wladimir Klitschko Vs Anthony Joshua:

Since September, 2016, the proposed fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko has been making waves across the boxing circuit, with no final date being determined by either fight camp. Nonetheless, April 29’th 2017 has been deemed as the official date when both these fighters finally slug it out. The IBF Heavyweight title is on the line. Apparently, Anthony won the IBF title from Charles Martin in April 2016. While Wladimir is considered to be one of the most dominant boxers of all times, he has not fought since his loss to Fury in the year 2015.
 

5) Badou Jack Vs James DeGale:

Recognized the world over as the world’s best middleweight boxers, both Badou and James have managed to create a niche for themselves in this highly competitive boxing circuit. The Super-Middleweight division has always experienced its shares of ups and downs. This bout took place on January 14th 2017 and turned out to be an ‘all-out’ entertainer for enthusiastic boxing fans. After a grueling 12 rounds, Badou Jack edged past DeGale on the basis of points (unanimous decision) to retain the WBC Super Middleweight Title. Nonetheless, James still retains his IBF Super Middleweight Belt.
 

6) Leo Santa Cruz Vs Carl Frampton:

This fight too deserves a special mention in the year 2017. It is between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz. This fight took place in the month of January, 2017. It is interesting to note that in the month of July, 2016, Leo Santa Cruz lost the WBA Featherweight title to Frampton. This title loss also happened to be Leo’s only loss in his professional boxing career. Interesting, Cruz avenged his defeat after a grueling 12 round battle to win back his world title in a decisive manner.
 

7) Anthony Crolla Vs Jorge Linares:

After having lost the WBA title in Manchester to Linares, Anthony is all set to win the belt back in a re-match. The 135 pound division is all set to witness yet another grueling battle amidst two boxing giants in the month of March. The winner of this match could become the most recognized fighter in the Lightweight division thereby leading to a possible unification fight.
 

8) Julius Indongo Vs Ricky Burns:

Julius Indongo is known to have made a blazing entry in the 140 pound division last year by capturing the IFB Belt. Ricky Burns is undoubtedly one of the most experienced fighters in the circuit. So, this match is going to be a tough one for both these competitors.
 

9) Eleider Alvarez Vs Lucian Bute:

The 175 pound division witnessed a spectacular fight between two highly recognized fighters Eleider Alvarez and Lucian Bute. The end result was a showstopper. Using his superior punching power, speed and stamina, Alvarez stopped Bute in the fifth round thereby earning a knockout victory.

By Christopher P. Cook and Aaron B. Dye at ringside

Tampa, FL – WBC# 12 bantamweight Ricardo “Meserito” Rodriguez moved down a division to hammer out a ten round majority decision over local favorite Daniel “Alacran” Lozano on Friday night at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa, Florida. In victory, Rodriguez earned two title belts and stepped closer to a world title fight. Televised live on Telemundo, All Star Boxing presented an electrifying seven fight card in front of a capacity audience at the A La Carte.

In the main event, Daniel Lozano (13-3-0, 10 KOs) and Ricardo Rodriguez (12-2-0, 4 KOs) waged an all-out war in a memorable flyweight contest. Lozano, the natural aggressor, opened up the first round by pressing the action but was caught with quick shots by Rodriguez when he bored in. It was apparent in the middle of the second that Rodriguez was now more than willing to fight Lozano’s fight. With both fighters coming forward with ill-intent on every punch, it became a matter of who was more active. Lozano stayed committed to his left hook to the body and ate several punches every time he went downstairs.

Rodriguez picked up the pace as Lozano slowed in the third, teeing off on Lozano’s head at will. The action, while non-stop, favored the far more active Rodriguez, who was out-landing Lozano by a wider and wider margin. A right hand, left hook combination rocked back Lozano in the fifth, his defense became nonexistent. Rodriguez punctuated the round with a double left hook to the head followed by yet another double left hook to the head. A monstrous shot sent Lozano’s mouthpiece souring in a heated exchange during the sixth round. Lozano was gifted by several precious seconds of reprieve when the referee called time to return the mouthpiece immediately rather than wait for a break in the action.

Lozano was effective in spurts but it was Rodriguez who operated like a surgeon from rounds seven to nine. Both boxers put it all on the line in the tenth and went to war in the center of the ring. Lozano landed a pair of right and left hooks high on the head of Rodriguez that had him hurt for the first time in the bout. Rodriguez held his own but was stood up from a solid right square to the face as he moved forward. Lozano sensed blood in the air and went for the knockout but it was too little, too late. Rodriguez was awarded a well-deserved and hard fought majority decision, although his biggest opponent seemed to be lone judge who scored the bout even at 95-95. The other two judges saw the bought much to the favor of Rodriguez, 98-92 and 97-93 and earning the WBC FECARBOX title along with the WBO Latino super flyweight belt.

In undercard action, Tampa’s Omar Albanil (4-0-0, 2 KOs), 153.8 lbs., scored a knockout victory over Moises Hernandez (1-1-0, 1 KO), 156.4 lbs. After an uneventful and nondescript first round, Albanil landed a crushing left hook, flooring Hernandez. Hernandez was able to rise before the count of 10. The left hook would come to haunt Hernandez in the second, as Albanil found a home with his left to the midsection causing a delayed stumble and knockdown in the middle of the round. While Hernandez survived the trip to the canvas and finished out the round, Albanil was intent to end it in the third. A series of hard left hooks crashed into the head of Hernandez, followed by a solid right hand forced the referee to stop the action at the 1:22 mark.

42 year-old veteran heavy bag Ali Tareh (13-11-5, 5 KOs), 150.4 lbs., clashed with poorly skilled Javier Garcia (7-9-1, 2 KOs), 148.2 lbs., over six nondescript rounds. Garcia caught Tareh against the ropes at the end of the second, throwing a dozen or so unanswered blows to the body. Tareh weathered the shots to end the round, only to find himself against the ropes for most of the third. Garcia took advantage of Tareh’s inactivity and kept his hands moving with little resistance. Tareh became more aggressive as the bout progressed as he finally let some punches flow. Neither fighter landed a telling blow in the fight but Tareh was left bloodied and bruised by the bout’s end. All three judges scored the bout for Garcia by marks of 59-55 twice and 60-54.

Santiago Arroyo (2-0-0, 2 KOs), 118 lbs., easily bested Hiriam Del Rio (0-2-0), 115.8 lbs., over four rounds. The first stanza was marred with low blows by Arroyo against the shorter, stalkier Del Rio. Arroyo dictated the pace throughout the bout, landing at will against his overmatched opponent. Del Rio refused to get out of a high guard which exposed his body to a vicious assault to the midsection. After dominating each round, Arroyo’s continuous work to the body finally forced Del Rio to drop his guard. Lowering his hands proved fatal as Arroyo launched a barrage of punches that stunned Del Rio in the fourth, culminating with the referee stopping the one-sided bout at the 1:23 mark of the final round.

Rising star and local favorite Sammy Valentin (4-0-0, 3 KOs), 146 lbs., ended the night with a bang, decimated his debuting opponent Christopher Jimenez, 142.6 lbs., inside of a minute. Valentin wasted no time in launching his punches and landing just about every one of them. Overwhelmed completely the referee mercifully stopped the bout at the 0:39 mark of the opening round. The referee jumped in at the appropriate time, saving Jimenez from unnecessary punishment. However, Valentin landed two clubbing blows after the referee jumped in, nearly crumbling Jimenez to the canvas.

Justin Pauldo (5-1-0, 3 KOs), 133.8 lbs., saw his unbeaten record come to an end at the hands of Efrain Cruz (4-0-0, 1 KO), 135.6 lbs. Pauldo had difficulty timing his punches while Cruz deflected many of his shots as he bulled forward and was simply outworked. Pauldo’s combinations came out in the third, with both boxers trading blows but Cruz’s shots carried the heavier impact. Pauldo settled in with his punches in the fourth, finding his distance and timing that he lacked in the earlier rounds. As his punches connected, Cruz’s aggressiveness dwindled and kept him at distance. Pauldo finished the round with a nice four punch combination on the inside.

Whatever momentum Pauldo built up was halted by a powerful left hook in the fifth, which turned the tide back over to Cruz. After doubling-up punches in the prior round, Pauldo reverted back to throwing single shots at a time. He continued to try and work off the ropes but failed to land any effective punches as he remained mainly on the defensive. Cruz’s punches landed at a continually higher rate and blocked most of the flashier shots from the crowd favored Pauldo. The judges scored the contest a split decision for Cruz, 59-55 twice with a dissenting score of 58-56 for Pauldo.

Opening the night of boxing in Tampa, debuting super middleweights Victor Darocha, 167 lbs., and Luis Albaladejo, 165 lbs., squared off in a four round match. An explosive opening round ensued, as both fighters came out throwing power punches nonstop for the three minutes. Darocha threw caution to the wind while Albaladejo picked his shots with greater ring intelligence, landing at a much higher accuracy.

Darocha found his mark in the third, landing a left hook and glancing right hand that sent Alabaladejo to the mat, more due to exhaustion than the effectiveness of the punches. After surviving the mandatory eight count, Darocha’s right hand found a home in the face of Albaladejo that sent him reeling into the ropes. After landing a succession of unanswered blows that sank Albaladejo in the middle ropes, the referee correctly ruled a knockdown as the ropes were the only thing holding him up. He made the count once again and attempted to backpedal to avoid further punishment, only to discover his bicycle had a flat tire. In the fourth, Darocha mauled his opponent, who was still out on his feet and looking to the referee for help, which prompted referee Frank Santore to mercifully call a halt to the action at the 0:46 mark of the round.

All Star Boxing and the popular Boxeo Telemundo series returns on August 7, 2015 at the Blackberry Auditorium in Mexico City, Mexico.

By Christopher Cook

Tampa, FL – After an exciting night of boxing at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, the fighters stepped up to the podium to talk about the experiences they had and answer a few questions.

Keith Thurman:

“I want to thank this city for all the love and support. All the fans that came out, for the people that flew out to show their love and support, the local people…thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

[On the punch that hurt him in the 5th] “It was a beautiful left hook that he threw…I was extended and my elbow wasn’t able to come back in time to block the shot. I was reaching out and it really got underneath there, right in the perfect spot. I would say 95% of my wind was gone. But with 5%, it went to my brain. I thought about taking a knee.”

[If that’s the worst he’s ever been hurt] “That was the best body shot thus far in my career…It was the best body shot I had to endure.”

“We survived that round. We recovered. We used a portion of the next round to fully recover. We boxed smart and we got the TKO victory.”

[On sensing the end was near in the 7th round] “I knew by that point in the fight that he has taken a heavy accumulation of punishment.”

[On fighting Collazo] “I knew he was going to come and try to give me a war. I was surprised when he was on his feet, moving backwards for the first two rounds. I think he wanted to let the young fighter be a bull. I took advantage of that. It was very easy to steal those opening rounds with his inactivity. You have to fight to win a fight. He didn’t want to fight early on, he wanted to assess my speed, assess my movement. Try to be tricky.”

“I’m happy to be the champion that I am. I’m happy that the champion that Luis Collazo was. He tested the young fighter Keith Thurman. We were able to overcome and endure.”

[On his performance] “I felt that my jab wasn’t really putting him back…I think I could have kept my left hand a little higher and taken advantage of that a little more in this fight that I did not do…There was a few rounds that I outboxed him very well. He was trying to hit me with right hooks and I was moving, pivoting and using the ring very well. And I was happy with that performance.”

[On future opponents] “I want an opportunity to fight the best fighters in the world. This year was the first time that I got any fighter ranked in the top ten according to Ring Magazine and I was happy with that…Floyd is the top dog. He is the king of the division. I want a chance to fight the kind. I guarantee you it’s not going to be a boring fight. It’s not going to be a Manny Pacquiao fight. It’s not going to be a Marcos Maidana fight. You’re going to see a young, talented young man going up against one of the best fighters we have today. Outside of that, I like Amir Khan. I like Shawn Porter. I like Marcos Maidana. I like everybody you like, man.”

[One fighter excluding Mayweather he’d like to face] “Right now we would like Amir Khan. He’s finally started talking the name Keith Thurman and when I hear those syllables come out of a fighter’s mouth, that’s what I like. I’ve said before that Amir Khan does not truly belong in the welterweight division and if he wants to make a true statement he should fight a real welterweight. Somebody like Keith Thurman, somebody like Shawn Porter.”

[On Khan being the most overrated welterweight] “I believe so.”

[On taking a fight with Mayweather on two months’ notice] “If we wants to take advantage, he should fight me right now. But I would do it. I’m young. We used to fight each other every other week back in the day. I like my paychecks, I’ll go ahead and take another paycheck. He’s about to retire, I ain’t retiring anytime soon. So, I’m ready. I would love the experience. I enjoy the fight game. I’m not afraid of letting it go. If you can beat me, beat me! Plain and simple, beat me!”

[On Collazo retiring in the corner] “There’s no disappointment. The paychecks the same whether he was going to come out or not. I take less damage, he takes less damage. I continue to be undefeated.”

[On fighting Errol Spence Jr. in the near future] “That boy don’t want it in the near future. His uncle Floyd, who adopted him, told him to state that statement. Look, if he really wanted to state that statement, he wouldn’t have stuttered when he said it. Let’s just be honest…Floyd wants me to fight a young man, somebody that’s my age because he doesn’t want me to beat up on the elder.”

Luis Collazo:

“I hope everyone enjoyed the fight. Thank you for coming out. Grateful for this opportunity.”

“Due to the cut, I couldn’t see anymore, so I didn’t want to risk of hurting my eye. I got two cuts. I’m the type of fighter, I keep going, but I do want to fight again.”

[On the 5th round] “I caught him with a great body shot. He was going into my left. At the gym he was working on that. That’s the perfect short for a lefty to a righty. I caught him good. If I would have had maybe 30 more seconds into the round it could have been different. But can’t take nothing away from him, he stood up and he’s the champ.”

[On fighting Thurman] “The first couple of rounds I was moving, and I told my corner I need to get a little bit closer. I didn’t think he was a great fighter inside, so I felt like that was his weakness. So I tried to get closer and closer, but I got two guts. The last one was just gushing. I couldn’t see anymore. I got to be safe than sorry right now, especially at this point in my career.”

[On disappointment from losing] “Very [disappointed]. I’m not a quitter. I wanted to keep going. But I do want to fight again. I didn’t want to take unnecessary shots.”

[On Thurman] “He’s a good fighter. He still has a ways to go.”

[On the body shot in the 5th round] “If I had those 30 seconds, I at least would have given him an 8 count.”

Willie Nelson:

[On if game plan against Harrison was to knock him out] “That was the plan…My plan was to knock him out later on…Take him into deep water and drown him. Which that is what I did do.”

“I was very confident.”

“I had a conversation with my friend in the hotel room, I’m going to knock him out. The thing is when, how.”

[On being behind on the score cards late in the fight] “There was no sense of urgency. I just wanted to stay calm, stay relaxed.”

“He was going for the knockout. He thought he was going to knock me out. That’s what he was looking for. That’s all he was thinking of. He wasn’t thinking of going to the later rounds.”

July 11, 2015

By Christopher P. Cook at ringside

Tampa, FL – Headlining the inaugural Premier Boxing Champions event on ESPN, Keith “One Time” Thurman successfully defended his WBA Welterweight belt against former titlist Luis Collazo. The event, promoted by Warriors Boxing, put the son of Clearwater in front of his hometown fans for the first time since September of 2009, and Thurman pleased the crow, retaining his title in an entertaining bout. In the co-main event, Light Middleweight Tony Harrison saw his unblemished record disappear, as Willie Nelson took care of business, stopping Harrison in the later rounds.

In front of a boisterous crowd at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, “One Time” Thurman (26-0-0, 22 KOs), 146.2 lbs., dominated Luis Collazo (36-7-0, 19 KOs), 147 lbs, for much of the fight. The first started slow, as both fighters spent most of the round feeling each other out. Collazo missed wide with a pair of early punches, as Thurman kept his distance. Thurman was showered with cheers with each punch he threw – regardless if it landed or not. He took the first round, testing Collazo with his strength and avoiding most of the veteran’s punches. Thurman stepped up his output in the second, cutting off the ring at every opportunity. Collazo played the role of counter-puncher, attempting to avoid the heavy hands of the Clearwater native. Thurman snuck in a clean short counter right to the head near the end of the round.

Thurman’s poise and speed went on full display in the third, as he consistently beat Collazo to the punch. Collazo stalked the champ in the third and fourth rounds, applying constant pressure. Thurman unloaded at the start of the fifth, landing a crushing right hand to the body. Thurman caught an aggressive Collazo with a clean straight right to the face after the challenger tried to work his way inside. Thurman switched tactics in the middle of the round, easing up his output while he slipped away from shots. This change in strategy came at a high cost, as Collazo caught Thurman against the ropes and landed the best punch of the bout, a clubbing left to the ribs of Thurman. Collazo seized the momentum, relentlessly attacking the wounded body of the champ in a feverish attempt to score a stoppage. Thurman held on to survive the round, staving off the assault mounted by the game challenger.

Thurman turned much more conservative in his style in the sixth, still showing the effects of the last round. Collazo continued to come forward, working his punches in effectively. Thurman gained a second wind in the seventh after recovering from earlier body shot and landing the cleaner shots, including a blow that opened a nasty cut over Collazo’s right eye. The fight ended abruptly as the bell rang for the next frame after Collazo said he was unable to see when his corner asked if he wanted the fight stopped; official time 0:01 of the eighth round. Scores at the time of stoppage were 68-65, and 69-64 twice in favor of Keith Thurman.

A lively Thurman took to the microphone afterwards, giving Collazo some praise and thanking the local audience for their support. “He caught me with a left hook uppercut hybrid shot in the fifth and knocked out almost all of my wind. It was an excellent shot by Luis. I endured like a champion though.” “This is great me to pull this off at home. There was lots of pressure and hype. I gave it my best and I came out with the win…Thank you so much to Tampa Bay, St. Pete and all my home fans here in Florida. I’m going to continue to do you all proud.”

Thurman also took the opportunity to call out for Floyd Mayweather: “I’m a young, strong champion, Floyd. Come get it,” Thurman said. “I’m undefeated like you, baby. Come take my 0 baby! Come take my 0! I’m ready. I’m ready.”

Collazo explained his reason for not continuing the action afterward, stating “The second cut on the top of my right eye was the worst. I couldn’t really see and was constantly wiping the blood away… I want to fight again so we decided not to continue.” “If I would have come out of my corner again I probably would have gotten caught with some unnecessary shots, and I didn’t need that.”

CompuBox numbers for the fight were decidedly in favor of the champ, with Thurman connecting 119 times (348 thrown, 34%) versus 76 (244 thrown, 31%) for the challenger.

In the co-main event of the night, Tony “Superman” Harrison (21-1-0, 18 KOs), 153.8 lbs., tasted defeat for the first time when he met Willie “the Great” Nelson (24-2-1, 14 KOs), 154.6 lbs. The fighters participated in a heated exchange of words at the final press conference on Thursday, the bad blood immediately on display as the boxers went at it in the opening stanza. Nelson started the first with a strong overhand right. Harrison remained poised, landing several times to the body. Trading ensued in the second, with both boxers connecting, though neither landed a truly telling blow. Harrison started to take control of the bout in the third, successfully countering the taller Nelson.

Action slowed in the sixth with Nelson appearing to tire, his accuracy dropped in the round. Harrison continued to land solid but increasingly infrequent blows. The ensuing rounds were much of the same; both boxers willingly traded, with neither capable of making an impression. In the ninth, the fighters decided to move inside, and brawl in close quarters. An accumulation of blows took a toll on Harrison as Nelson connected with a right uppercut, left hook, followed by a sweeping right hook. Harrison, who had promised to be the first to knockout Nelson, tasted the cruel hand of fate as it was he who experienced the first knockout of his career. Time of stoppage was 2:57 of the ninth round. Nelson spoke at length at the press conference on Thursday on how he will silence the doubters once again and prove he should not be looked at as the underdog, and he did not disappoint.

Nelson spoke after the fight, “I was confident and relaxed tonight. I wanted to take him into deep waters and that’s exactly what I did.” “Keep watching me. I’m always the underdog and I embrace it. I took some big punches tonight from Tony (Harrison) and proved my chin.” Harrison’s comments after the fight showed the effects of the knockout, as his recollection differed greatly from the actual events. “When I went down it was because he hit me behind my head and then when I got up I was looking at my team.” The punch that put Harrison down landed squarely on his left cheek. “I lost to a fighter that I shouldn’t have lost to tonight. I was supposed to do better. All props to Willie though…All fighters get hit and I’ll be back stronger than ever to get my career back on track.”

Longtime local staple Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (34-6-2, 19 KOs), 132 lbs., of Wauchula, Florida, looked to make a successful return to the Tampa Bay area against Luis Cruz (21-4-0, 16 KOs), 132.8 lbs. Cherry dictated the early action, scoring cleanly in the second with several lefts and rights. Edner’s strength advantage was evident in the third as he backed Cruz up on numerous occasions. Cruz landed a late blow in the third after the referee called for a break. Cherry took a knee afterword as the bell for the round rang. Unaffected by the late shot, Cherry came out in the fourth and landed a beautiful left hook to the head of Cruz. Two successive left hooks landed flush against Cruz to start the fifth, causing Cruz to back away quickly from the action. Cruz’s lack of head movement continued to be an issue, with Cherry landing a solid right hook right behind his guard.

The pace slowed in the sixth round, both fighters trading blows but at a decreased rate. The middle of the seventh turned the tide a bit for Cruz, as he landed several hard shots on Cherry. Each fighters hit the canvas hard in the eighth, Cruz’s head colliding with the jaw of Cherry after getting tangled up. Cherry was given time to recover and action resumed. Cruz took to the offensive; sensing Cherry might be wounded prey. “Cherry Bomb” quickly defused that notion, landing a flush straight right hand square to the cheek of Cruz, dropping him in the ninth. Cruz rose from the knockdown, but was unable to withstand the upcoming onslaught. Cherry caught him with crushing right hook, flooring him again to end the bout at the 2:13 mark of round nine. Scores at the time of stoppage 85-84 and 87-82 twice for Edner Cherry.

Anthony Peterson (35-1-0, 23 KOs), 138 lbs., faced Ramesis Gil (8-12-5, 5 KOs), 137.4 lbs., in a ten round super lightweight bout. The more experienced Peterson took the opening round. Gil bounced back in the second, effectively working the left uppercut several times. Only the ropes saved Gil in the fourth, with a straight right by Peterson nearly knocked him out of the ring in the fourth. Gil shook off the knockdown with ease. Peterson took to the body in the sixth round, landing a hard right – left combo square to the midsection of Gil, forcing him to collapse to his knees. The referee waived off the bout after that exchange at the 2:15 mark of the round, giving Peterson a TKO victory.

Walter Castillo (26-3-0, 19 KOs), 143.6 lbs., scored a stoppage victory over Amet Diaz (32-12-0, 23 KOs), 143.8 lbs, in a competitive super lightweight match. Castillo outworked Diaz over the opening rounds. Both fighters were throwing all they could at each other, ignoring the bell in both the first and second round, with their punches carrying over until the referee forcefully put himself between the fighters. In the third round, Castillo cornered Diaz against the ropes of the neutral corner and unleashed several flurries of damaging combinations. Diaz was able to withstand the corner onslaught, but was unable to stem Castillo’s aggressiveness. Castillo overwhelmed Diaz once again, catching him in his own corner shortly after, and the accumulation of blows dropped Diaz at the 2:45 mark of the third. Diaz was unable to continue, giving a KO win for Castillo.

Antonio Tarver Jr. (3-0-0, 2 KOs), 155.2 lbs., son of former world champion Antonio Tarver, bested last minute replacement Oscar Gonzalez (9-12-1, 3 KOs), 153 lbs. Gonzalez took the bout with less than 24 hours’ notice as Tarver’s original opponent Julian Valerio dropped out. Gonzalez, to his credit, looked prepared and in shape but could not match Tarver’s speed and productivity. Tarver controlled the pace of the opening stanza. He took to the body in the second, scoring heavy blows to Gonzalez’s midsection. As the round continued, Oscar seemed winded, which only encouraged Tarver to keep unloading. Tarver appeared to score a knockdown, with Gonzalez dropping to a knee early in the third, but the referee did not score it. Gonzalez was able to rise and make the round interesting as he stormed back with shots of his own. Unfazed, Tarver turned the tide yet again by the end of the round, exciting the growing crowd. Tarver forced Oscar back early in the final round, and let his hands go, trying to stop continue his knockout streak. Tarver just nearly achieved that goal, as he had Gonzalez reeling into the ropes, which kept him upright as the final bell rang. Gonzalez fought valiantly, but never landed consistently to keep Tarver at bay. In the end, all three judges scored the bout 40-36 for Antonio Tarver Jr.

Undefeated Gary Russell (3-0-0, 2 KOs), 117.8 lbs., battled Jaxel Marrero (1-6-1, 0 KOs), 119 lbs., in a four round bantamweight contest. Russell, brother of WBC Featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr., looked crisp in the fight, utilizing a speed advantage to best Marrero. A game Marrero, who fought better than his record indicated, withstood Russell’s best, and kept returning shots. The final round witnessed the best action, highlighted by a nonstop exchange for the final minute. All three judges saw the bout 40-36 for Gary Russell.

Undefeated Polish boxer Patryk Szyymanski (14-0-0, 9 KOs), 155.6 lbs., made short work of Maurice Louishomme (8-3-0, 4 KOs), 154.6 lbs., dismantling him in the first. Szymmanki dropped the overmatched Loiushomme with a powerful straight right hand, causing the referee to waive off the fight at the 1:45 mark and spare Louishomme further punishment.

In the opening bout of the night, St. Petersburg’s Manny Woods (13-4-1, 5 KOs), 154.8 lbs., squared off against Carlos Garcia (8-14-1, 7 KOs), 153.8 lbs., in a six round contest. After a couple nondescript rounds, Garcia connected with a clean solid right hand on Wood’s head as the bell rang to end the third. Garcia failed to capitalize on the first telling blow of the bout, as Woods came out throwing in the fourth. Garcia never found much rhythm in the bout, allowing Woods to be the aggressor. Woods finished the night strong, landed a pair of leaping right hands that pushed Garcia back. After six rounds of back and forth action, Garcia was awarded a narrow majority decision, prevailing by 58-56 twice while one card stood deadlocked at 58-58.

Bruno Bredicean, 148.2 lbs., made a successful professional debut, defeating winless Randy Hedderick (0-4-0), 148.2 lbs., via unanimous decision (40-36). Bredicean charged forward kept his hands flying throughout the bout, never letting Hedderick settle in. After four rounds of action, Bredicean’s higher output and accuracy overcame the slightly more experienced Hedderick.

Official attendance for the night was 4,136. Premier Boxing Champions returns this Saturday, July 18th, in El Paso, Texas. Undefeated Carl Frampton is scheduled to meet Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr. and heavyweight contender Chris Arreola will battle Frederic Kassi. The fight card will be televised live on CBS.

July 11, 2015

Tampa, FL – In front of a standing room only crowd at the beautiful A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa, Florida, Daniel “El Alacran” Lozano flattened Jonathan “Pitbull” Vidal for the WBO Latin Super Flyweight title. All Star Boxing, in association with Shea Bailey Promotions, presented another night of exciting boxing in central Florida, and televised live on the popular Boxeo Telemundo series. On the undercard, Radivoje Kalajdzic kept his record unblemished, making easy work of Rayco Saunders, and exciting amateur star Sammy Valentin did not disappoint, crushing his opponent inside of two rounds.

In the opening round of the main event, both crafty fighters took their time in establishing themselves. Lozano (13-1-0, 10 KOs), 114.8 lbs., took the initiative first, landing more consistently than fellow WBO titlist Vidal (18-3-0, 10 KOs), 114.6 lbs. Lozano’s power was on full display in the second, as he caught Vidal with a pair of punishing blows nearing the end of the round. The crisp combinations forced Vidal to fall back against the ropes. The referee ruled a knockdown against Vidal, with only the ropes keeping him upright. A slower third round followed, with neither fighter landing an effective blow. Regardless, Lozano continued to outwork the more experienced fighter, and utilized his strength advantage to keep Vidal at bay.

Lozano worked the body repeatedly throughout the contest and it paid huge dividends in the fourth round. Lozano landed a brutal left hook to the side of Vidal, just underneath the rib cage, causing him to step back, turn around, and drop to the canvas, withering in pain. The referee immediately called a half to the bout at the 2:29 mark of the fourth round. With the victory, Lozano dropped the interim tag he won back in August, and steps up to the full WBO Latino Super Flyweight champion. A once-promising undefeated Vidal now appears in a freefall, dropping three of his last four matches.

Undefeated Radivoje Kalajdzic (16-0-0, 10 KOs), 175 lbs., maintained his perfect record, making easy work of veteran Rayco Saunders (23-25-2, 10 KOs), 173.6 lbs. In an electric opening stanza, “Hot Rod” came out hands flying, throwing combination after combination. Rod’s speed advantage took an early toll on the journeyman, as Saunders found no holes to land any telling shots. “Hot Rod” found a home for his overhand right hand, setting it up beautifully with a solid jab. Three successive overhand rights dropped Saunders in the first. A game Saunders held his own defensively, taking the best of “Hot Rod” and still surviving the round. Saunders was overwhelmed and unable to get land any combinations. “Hot Rod” coasted through the rest of the bout, turning the six-round bout into a glorified sparring session. All three judges scored the bout a unanimous decision victory for Kalajdzic, 60-53.

In the opening bout of the evening, undefeated Emanuel De Jesus (12-0-0, 8 KOs), 150 lbs., continued his winning ways, besting Aaron Steadman (10-6-2, 6 KOs), 149 lbs. De Jesus patiently attacked in the opening round, utilizing his size advantage against Steadman. In the second, De Jesus landed a solid short left hand to drop Steadman. De Jesus did not let Steadman ever get back into the match, landing a succession of left hand blows, causing Steadman to stumble into the ropes, causing the referee to mercifully call a halt to the action at the 2:39 mark of the second round.

Local favorite Ricky Tomlinson (4-0-2, 2 KOs), 124 lbs., battled up-comer Jayron Santiago (2-2-0, 1 KO), 125.2 lbs., in an exciting four round bout. Tomlinson pressured the fight early on Santiago, keeping his hands moving and not letting Santiago throw more than one shot at any given time. Tomlinson’s game plan worked beautifully for the first three rounds, scoring at will with his punches. Santiago exploded at the opening of the fourth, landing a running right hand just moments after the bell rang. Unprepared for the surprising and brutal shot, Tomlinson hit the mat hard. Tomlinson took the shot well, popping right back up for the eight-count. Tomlinson weathered the storm immediately afterward and battled back, reducing Santiago’s attack to single shot bursts. Showing a lot of heart, Tomlinson stunned Santiago with the short left to the face and won over the crowd and the judges. Judges scored the contest a split decision win for Tomlinson, 38-37 twice and the lone dissenting judge scoring it 37-38 for Santiago.

Tampa’s Noemi Bosques (7-1-2, 2 KOs), 115 lbs., defeated Ivana Coleman (1-6-0, 0 KOs), 118.4 lbs., in the sole women’s match of the night. Bosques took control as the fight went on, landing a solid left hands square on the face of Coleman. Coleman, much more of brawler with wild punches, was unable to breakdown Bosques as she cruised to an unanimous decision victory, 59-55 twice and 58-56.

Highly touted amateur star Sammy Valentin, 146.6 lbs., made his successful debut against Jose Carrillo (0-2-0), 150.8 lbs. Scoring an impressive victory, Valentin put on a boxing clinic. Poised and effective, Valentin moved with his punches, and threw in combinations against the outmatched Carrillo. A hard inside right uppercut dropped Carrillo towards the end of the first round. Carrillo was able to rise and survive the final seconds of the round. After a short equipment malfunction on Carrillo at the beginning of the second round, Valentin went back to work, landing combinations at will. At the 1:57 mark of the second, Carrillo’s corner had seen enough and threw in the towel.

Debut Leanthony Fleming, 152 lbs., met fellow debuter Armando Alvarez, 152 lbs., in a slower, almost nondescript four rounder. Fleming displayed some elusiveness in the bout, but also an unwillingness to throw punches. Alvarez fought a smart fight, landing consistently on his pack-peddling opponent. Action picked up in the second half of the third and the fourth rounds, as Fleming’s corner finally convinced him to make this a fight and throw some punches. However, it came too little and too late, as he was unable to overcome the effective punching and combinations of the taller Alvarez. All three judges saw the bout the same, a unanimous victory (40-36 all) for Alvarez.

Omar Albanil (2-0-0, 0 KOs), 151.6 lbs., defeated debut Clifford Gray, 150.8 lbs., in a four round contest that featured back and forth action. Gray landed a pair of overhand rights to the temple of Albanil in the first, startling him for a second and knocking his mouthpiece out. Albanil settled down afterward, and controlled much of the action throughout the close match. Gray kept himself in the bout with his strength, but was unable to overcome the higher output of Albanil. Albanil earned a split decision victory with two judges scoring in his favor 40-36 and 39-37, and one judge scoring the match 40-36 for Gray.

October 3, 2014

By Christopher Cook at ringside

Photos by Neal Nachman

Tampa, FL – Former champions Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback and De’Marcus “Chop Chop” Corley scored knockout victories and claimed the WBF belt at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. “Thunder at the Forum: Round 2” presented by Panda 5 Star Entertainment brought two championship fights along with a handful of local fights back to the Tampa Bay area. Hallback headlined the night, squaring off against an old nemesis in Victoria Cisneros for the WBF world belt, while Corley battled a last minute replacement for the WBF North American belt.

Tampa Bay area native, Chevelle Hallback (30-8-2, 13 KOs), 141.8 lbs, clashed with Victoria Cisneros (11-16-2, 4 KOs), 143.4 lbs. Both fighters met in the ring prior, in December of 2010. The fight was a back and forth exciting match, in which Hallback won via a split decision. This match proved no different. Cisneros was the ever-aggressor, coming forward continuously at Hallback. Cisneros worked hard to keep Hallback against the ropes for most of the night. With Hallback pushed back, Cisneros went to work, overwhelming the former champion with sheer output. Hallback adjusted her gameplan as the rounds went on, using her reach advantage to keep her opponent at bay. When the action kept to the middle of the ring, Hallback’s activity and potency of her punches increased. After losing the early rounds to Cisneros, Hallback’s movement earned her points in the middle rounds. In the seventh round, Hallback took control, working her punches at a distance, and keeping from getting caught against the ropes. In the eighth, Hallback’s tactics paid off, as she wobbled Cisneros a couple times with the accumulation of shots. At the 1:49 mark of the round, the referee jumped in, seeing Cisneros’ eyes haze over. The win earned Hallback her first world title since 2008.

In the co-main event, “Chop Chop” Corley (41-22-1, 25 KOs), 139.2 lbs, dispatched of Dedrick Bell (12-20-1, 7 KOs), winning the WBF North American Jr. Welterweight title. Bell took the bout with less than 48 hours’ notice as Corley’s first opponent dropped out. The former world champion, Corley, has hit a rough stretch in his career, losing three of his last four matches. It took less than two rounds for Corley to outgun his opponent. Bell, who had won his previous two matches, never was in the match. The opening stanza displayed Corley’s ring expertise, as he was able to control the pace and deflect much of Bell’s shots. In the second, Corley caught Bell with a series of powerful right hands to the head, dropping Bell at the 0:40 mark for the ten count. With the victory, Corley won the WBF belt and announced his intentions to continue fighting in the Tampa area.

In the opening bout of the evening, debuting Tayfun Tiryaki, 138.8 lbs, made quick work of Yasmani Calzadilla (1-1-0, 1 KO), 140.8 lbs. Tiryaki rocked Calzadilla early in the first with a hard left hook, dropping him. Both fighters let their hands fly freely, paying little attention to defense. Tiryaki’s power showed, as the accumulation of shots dropped Calzadilla with less than a minute left in the round. As the ten count sounded, a sharp counter-right landed flush on Calzadilla, laying him out. Time of the stoppage was 2:50 of the opening round.

Serge Cadeus, 163.8 lbs, easily defeated fellow debut Yoeglis Divergel, 159.6 lbs. The contest was very nondescript, with Divergel dancing and holding throughout. Cadeus dropped Divergel with a left hook in the second, giving the crowd a reprieve from their booing. The judges all scored the bout for Cadeus, 39-36 and 40-35 twice.

Tampa’s Lee Dawson (2-2-3, 0 KOs), 140.4 lbs, drew with Berthin Rousseau (1-8-2, 1 KO), 137.8 lbs in a four round bout. The hometown Dawson was swarmed early and often by Rousseau through contest. Dawson landed few telling shots in the third round, but was seemingly unable to overcome Rousseau continuously punching. The judges scored the bout all 38-38. Fightnews scored the bout 39-37 for Rousseau.

Attendance for the night was 1,809. Panda 5 Star Entertainment will be announcing shortly the date for Round 3 of the “Thunder at the Forum” series at the Tama Bay Times Forum.

August 22, 2014

by Damon Gonzalez

TAMPA, Fla. – Thunder at the Forum: Round 2, presented by Corona Extra, is set for Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum following today’s weigh-in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Bouts begin Friday at 7:45 p.m. The card features seven local fighters from the Tampa Bay area, Sarasota or Orlando. The Times Forum and Panda Five Star Boxing also announced the event’s final fight card.

Coming off her thrilling win at Thunder at the Forum, presented by Corona Extra, in June, Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback (Plant City, FL) will take on Victoria “La Reina de Guerra” Cisneros (Albuquerque, NM) in a 10-round bout for the WBF Female Welterweight World Title. Both weighed in at 147 lbs. This match will be the finale of Thunder at the Forum: Round 2, presented by Corona Extra. The pair have fought once before, with Hallback scoring a victory by split decision in 2010.

In the other co-main event, DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (Washington, D.C.) weighed in at 140 pounds and will take on Dedrick Bell (Memphis, TN) for the men’s WBF North American Jr. Welterweight Title. Bell was a late change and was not present at the weigh-in. Corley is coming off matches against the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Miguel Cotto, Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. He has previously held the USBA Light Welterweight Title and the WBO Light Welterweight World Title. Corely currently holds the NABF Light Welterweight Title.

Local fighters who also weighed in were Jose Resendiz (Sarasota, FL, 125.8 lbs.), Justin Pauldo (Orlando, FL, 132.4 lbs.), Josh Medina (St. Petersburg, FL, 145 lbs.), Lee Dawson (Tampa, FL, 140.4 lbs.), Manny Woods (St. Petersburg, FL, 154.4 lbs.) and Martin Lagunas Jr. (Ruskin, FL, 139.4 lbs.).

Resendiz and Pauldo will both be making their second appearance at the Times Forum after both winning their respective matches at the first Thunder at the Forum. Resendiz scored a 51-second knockout of Kherani Kessoon while Pauldo made his boxing debut and defeated Coleman Johnson by decision.

By Christopher P. Cook at ringside

Undefeated Anthony Mercado (7-0-0, 7 KOs) continued his knockout streak, dominating Javier Perez (8-8-0, 5 KOs). Mercado exploded at the opening bell, pummeling Perez with solid 1-2 combinations. The toll of Mercado’s aggressiveness was clearly evident in the middle of the rounds, with Perez spitting out gobs of blood. In the third round, Marcado landed a hard right to the body, causing Perez to wince and pull away from the action. The corner of Perez immediately stepped in, calling the fight at 0:34 of the round.

In a battle of unbeaten junior featherweights, Samuel Rodriguez (3-0-0, 3 KOs) defeated crowd favorite Jayron Santiago (2-1-0, 1 KO). Santiago took the early advantage, catching Rodriguez with a glancing shot that caused Rodriguez to touch his glove on the canvas for a standing 8 count. Santiago, only 18 years of age, could not keep up with the scrappy Rodriguez. Santiago walked into a solid right hand in the second, leading to a relentless onslaught to end the round. Santiago quit on his stool after the second.

In a one-sided bout, Emanuel DeJesus (11-0-0, 7 KOs) stopped Juan Aguirre (6-13-1, 0 KOs). DeJesus outclassed the journeyman Aguirre, outworking him each round. After four rounds of punishment Aguirre’s corner called off the bout, giving the undefeated DeJesus his eleventh straight victory.

The opening bout showcased Lazar Stojadinovic (1-1-0, 0 KOs) earning his first victory as he squared off against Julio Santos (0-2-0). Santos never found his rhythm and turned to holding early in the bout to stop the cleaner punching Stojadinovic. The referee stepped in during the second round, deducting a point from Santos for excessive holding. Santos also treaded close to another deduction when he threw a cheap shot at the opening bell of the final stanza, where the boxers came together to touch gloves. Scores for the bout were split, 38-37 for Santos, while the other scores favored Stojadinovic 39-36 and 40-35.

Juan Castillo (3-2-0, 2 KOs) took the second bout fairly easily from Luis Rodriguez (1-3-0, 0 KOs) in a four round contest. Castillo began the action with punishing body shots to the midsection of Rodriguez, only to get caught inside by an uppercut in the first, stunning him. Castillo controlled most the pace of the remaining rounds, out throwing and out landing Rodriguez. All three judges were unanimous for Castillo, 39-37 and 40-36 twice.

In a battle of debuting fighters, Moises Hernandez took care of Asaac Smith within two rounds. After a nondescript first, Hernandez took to the offensive in the second, catching Smith with a clean right hook at the 2:40 mark.