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Boxing Articles By Gerald Rice, Author at Boxing News
By Gerald Rice August 19th, 2008 All Boxing Articles
I hated writing the words that make up the title to this piece, but after seeing a replay of Cotto vs. Judah last week, I had to admit that Zab doesn’t get due credit for something boxing fans find pretty important: fighting dangerous opponents. Sure, he loses to them more than he wins, but can a case be made that he ducks them?
Kostya Tszyu had gotten much better since his humiliating defeat at the hands of Vince Phillips. Zab was 27-0 when he put his IBF Light Welterweight belt on the line against Tszyu in November of 2001 and we all know what happened when "Super" got a little lazy in the ring.
This was also after he successfully defended his belt against British fighter Junior Witter in the United Kingdom.
Zab took a tune-up in 2002 before fighting the still capable Demarcus Corley a year later, this time snatching up the WBO belt at 140 before fighting Cory Spinks at 147 in 2004.
Spinks was fresh off a victory over haymaker machine Ricardo Mayorga the December before. Super Judah lost, but would claim revenge 10 months later via 9th round TKO. More...
By Gerald Rice July 19th, 2008 All Boxing Articles
I'm amazed. After Wladimir Klitschko’s KO victory over Tony Thompson in Hamburg, Germany, a week ago, he should have risen in the esteem of boxing fans.
Thompson was a credible threat whose only other loss occurred eight years ago. In a bout where Klitschko showed his ability to control an opponent, dictate a pace and reaffirm his punching power against said threat, he seems to have even eroded even further down the pound-for-pound list.
Perhaps fans are overly critical of him because of the “state” the division is in. Heavyweights aren’t as exciting as they’ve been in the past and compare weakly with their welterweight or super middleweight counterparts. But how much of that is fair?
Two years ago, no one was talking about the super middleweights, just the thimbleful of names who were in it. With fighters like Jermain Taylor moving up, Mikkel Kessler becoming known in the US and Kelly Pavlik straddling the fence between the super middleweight and middleweight divisions, it has spelled instant excitement whenever there is mention of anything at 168 pounds.
The welterweight division has always kept a rotating stable of elite fighters and quite frankly, is a lot deeper than heavyweight, and logic follows reason that it would have more elite fighters because it has more fighters.
But what are people not seeing when they see Klitschko fight? He has an 83% KO percentage, an amazing ratio at any weight when the fighter has over fifty fights. If you just consider his last ten fights, the percentage drops to 60.
Lennox Lewis only had a 72% KO percentage, Evander Holyfield 50%, Mike Tyson 75% and George Foreman 83%. And a weak division is a poor excuse. Mike Tyson didn’t fight the really elite fighters until the decline of his career. During his original reign as champion, there were no fighters like Lennox Lewis or Evander Holyfield on his résumé. The 90's were only marginally better than the 80's and if Holyfield had remained at cruiserweight, there would have been no wars with Bowe, Lewis or Tyson. More...
By Gerald Rice May 22nd, 2008 All Boxing Interviews
“She is a five foot five quick, hard hitting, punching machine” described one reporter. “It is a mistake to step in the ring with her. If you don’t believe me all you have to do is see her fight” said another. If you left out the words her, she and five foot five one would think these people were describing a young upcoming heavyweight contender. Yet the fighter they speak of could not be any further from that mental picture, though she has a few traits that do bring out heavyweight excitement.
Sandy “Lil Tyson” Tsagouris 7-1 (3) is a world ranked up and coming female featherweight contender who attacks opponents with all the power, desire and killer instinct that her moniker namesake, former heavyweight kingpin “Iron” Mike Tyson had during his prime. With her professional career only four years in the making Sandy has shown the potential of being a future star of the sport and while she recently suffered her first loss Sandy is not discouraged, she is going to use this as a learning experience and make the necessary improvements and take that next step towards becoming champion.
Saddo Boxing had the chance to interview Sandy before her upcoming bout next month in Ontario, Canada and you can read it here exclusively.
Saddo Boxing: How are you?
Sandy Tsagouris: I’m good, I’m good.
SB: How did you get your start in boxing?
ST: Actually it’s funny I was in ninth grade and we were in a gym class. This boxing club came in and they thought I was in a martial arts class, they said I had a great right hand. I figured I might as well try this since I had tried every other sport. More...
By Gerald Rice April 7th, 2008 All Boxing Interviews
On May 2, 2008, undefeated super middleweight Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell takes on Anthony “The Tyger” Hanshaw at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California on Shobox. Dirrell won an Olympic Bronze Medal in 2004 at 165 pounds while Hanshaw was in the class prior, losing to Jermain Taylor in the Olympic qualifier.
Dirrell was first spotlighted on HBO in June of last year on the undercard of Paulie Malignaggi vs. Lovemore N’Dou, in a winning performance against Curtis Stevens where many thought he could have done more.
Hanshaw hasn’t been active since dropping a lopsided decision to Roy Jones, Jr. as a light heavyweight. SaddoBoxing had the opportunity to speak with both Andre Dirrell and his trainer and grandfather, Leon Lawson, by phone.
SaddoBoxing: How long have you been training Andre?
Leon Lawson: "I trained him for over 12-13 years now. I just constantly train him. I got my son helping me. I worked with him the last 3-4 weeks. He’s down there now with my son."
SB: What does Hanshaw do that might be problematic?
SB: Is he impressive at all? The last match I saw him in was the draw with Jean Paul Mendy.
LL: "Well no, I was glad Hanshaw didn’t lose. I been knowing Hanshaw for ten years or better. He’s came up with the group ahead of Andre as far as Olympics go. That was his year anyway. Andre, I’ve worked with him the last couple years and cultivated him. It all adds up and that’s why he’s so fast. He’s the fastest thing out there these days." More...
By Gerald Rice March 14th, 2008 All Boxing Articles
Whew! Thank you, Sam Peter. Okay, he’s not American born, but one of the titles has been wrested away from those dreaded Russians. March 8 is the new Fourth of July. Saturday night in Cancun is the beginning of a new era. The page has turned.
Sam Peter being the next coming in the heavyweight division is as over-inflated a pronunciation as his weight. As exaggerated as HBO’s Tale of the Tape calling him 6’2". As premature as, well, something really premature.
The "Nigerian Nightmare" was supposed to defeat Oleg Maskaev. Any thinking otherwise was misguided out of contempt for Peter or pining for days long past from Maskaev. Sure, Peter looked very relaxed throughout the fight to the point of barely sweating.
And the sudden chin issues that popped up after the McCline fight have been sorta-kinda answered (I was never convinced from that bout that there was an issue). Peter took a big straight right to the side of the head and immediately countered, showed more of the defensive ability displayed in the second Toney fight and made an effort to throw straighter punches down the middle.
But the old Sam Peter is still around, the one who throws the looping punches that have a tendency to hit an opponent in the back of the head. He clipped the back of Maskaev’s head in the third round and the Cinderella man began putting a glove up and complaining to the referee whenever Peter punched anything above his neck. If stirred, Peter will revert to the fighter he really is and tee off on whatever’s in front of him. More...
By Gerald Rice March 4th, 2008 All Boxing Articles
© Jim Everett / Saddo Boxing
Now that IBF titlist Wladimir Klitschko cruised by the highly touted yet mediocre Sultan Ibragimov, lifting the WBO strap, he's got an open dance card and a few people who'd be likely opponents in his next match.
Alexander Povetkin won the IBF eliminator last month and is the current #1, while Tony Thompson is the #1 contender for the WBO. But neither guy is necessarily going to be the challenger for the man of the hour. Klitschko wants to be THE champion and he may take on the winner of the Sam Peter vs. Oleg Maskaev bout in March for the WBC belt, or he may take on German, by way of Uzbekistan, Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA.
A third option would be for Klitschko to appease the two sanctioning bodies by fighting an opponent who is mutually in their top tens. This option holds the least appeal as no one really knows Alexander Dimitrenko, who is ranked #5 by the IBF and #2 by the WBO and by virtue of him and others being further down on the list, perceived as lesser opponents. More...
By Gerald Rice February 6th, 2008 All Ringside Boxing
Friday night at The Palace at Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit was an easy paycheck for undefeated light welterweight Leonardo Tyner. After bouncing a left hook off Victorio Abadia's temple, followed by a combination that ended with Abadia impaled on a right hook body shot, Tyner, 19-0 (11), finished the job with an uppercut to the midsection. Abadia, 22-7 (8), folded like a shirt at the laundry.
The fight was supposed to be part of a co-main event with Vernon "Iceman" Paris taking on Mexico's Roberto Valenzuela, but Paris had to pull out after injuring his hand in training. The Iceman is now slated to fight on the 22nd this month against an unnamed opponent to continue building steam for a televised fight sometime this year.
Vernon made a brief appearance in the ring before Tyner fought, but had disappeared by the time "The Pain Server" had given Abadia a taste of canvas.
Easy paychecks are increasingly coming with a bitter taste for Tyner, though. At thirty-two years of age he's either at or near his prime and it's a quick slide downhill for the average junior welterweight. "The Pain Server" has to be wondering how much time he has left to make his mark. More...
By Gerald Rice December 27th, 2007 All Boxing Articles
Who do we want to see in the coming year? To take a look into the near future, there are really good match-ups that could take place, but it’s anyone’s guess if they’ll happen.
Tony Thompson, 31-1, vs. well, anybody: So long as it’s on TV, we just need to see the guy. He’s supposed to be on fire and at age 36, the clock is ticking. He needs a good television performance to get on the radar and seriously jockey for a run at the championship. But with the division lacking in superstars, there’s no guarantee the bout would get televised even if he fought a champion, unless it was perhaps a Samuel Peter or Wladimir Klitschko. Anybody got the number to Friday Night Fights?
Samuel Peter, 29-1, vs. Wladimir Klitschko, 49-3: As good as the first one was, the second promises to be even better. Peter should be able to get past the aging, ailing, inactive Maskaev, and has improved a lot since the last meeting with Klitschko. Sadly for him, so has Klitschko, who has settled into the Steward-trained style perfected with Lennox Lewis. Klitschko will be more apt to box from the outside and still tie Peter up on the inside like last time, but Peter has developed more movement and boxing ability. The result will be the same, but aside from the knockdowns scored by Peter, it will be a more entertaining fight.
Vitali Klitschko, 35-2, vs. Oleg Maskaev, 34-5: There’s little chance of this fight happening in 2008, not because it can’t be agreed upon by both sides, but nagging recurring injuries from both sides will continually push the battle back. Look for "Ironfist" to come out on top in the battle of words after a duct tape maneuver holds him together just slightly longer than the Big O. More...
By Gerald Rice December 22nd, 2007 All Boxing Articles
The O. It’s been what was for dinner in 2007 for boxing fans. This year has been a fond swan song for the much coveted goose egg. From the first of this year when bantamweight Jonathan Arias kayoed Jorge Lopez Palafox in Baja California in a single round to two weeks ago when Floyd Mayweather stacked his flawless record against the also undefeated Ricky Hatton, 2007 has seen perfect record pitted against perfect record, half of which now besmirched.
The first course was the “O” that came and went belonging to former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Tomasz "Goral" Adamek, 31-0, by the fast hands of “Bad” Chad Dawson, 22-0, way back in February. It was a completely one-sided broasting as Dawson reduced Adamek to a single dimensioned fighter, knocking him down in the seventh. Adamek returned the favor in the tenth with a straight right after Dawson rested on a gravy train, but was unable to keep him down.
In September, WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor, 27-0-1, got a healthy serving of leather from challenger Kelly Pavlik, 31-0-0, as he found himself beltless and momentarily conscious-less. After jumping out to an early lead with a furious display of power that put Kelly Pavlik on the mat in the second round, Taylor was unable to capitalize and drop Pavlik for a full count. Pavlik became more assertive as the rounds progressed until he dumped Taylor like a sack of potatoes against the ropes.
Mikkel Kessler, 39-0, versus Joe Calzaghe, 43-0, made for a fine main course, a definite fight of the year candidate as it had the greatest impact ever in the super middleweight division, pitting undefeated champion against undefeated champion in which neither fighter would yield. Kessler faded while Calzaghe remained fresh throughout the fight, the Dane giving a good accounting of himself before relinquishing his WBA and WBC titles to the WBO linear champion. And this was after Kessler defended his titles against fellow undefeated, granite-chinned Librado Andrade, 24-0, back in March. More...
By Gerald Rice November 20th, 2007 All Boxing Interviews
Ronald “The Motor City Cobra” Hearns has one of the most famous last names in the sport of boxing, racked up 13 KO's in 16 victories against no losses and has fought all across the country in his brief three-and-a-half year career.
But he is still largely unknown.
However, with the dawn of 2008, many boxing fans may get to know the 6’3” junior middleweight in the opening fight of Showtime's Championship Boxing broadcast headlined by IBF Light Welter Champion Paul Malignaggi's defense against challenger Herman Ngoudjo on January 5.
SaddoBoxing confirmed the rumor that Hearns is interested in a fight with another undefeated son of a Hall of Fame fighter, Julio César Chávez, Jr.
“My promoter’s looking into that, so if they want to fight I don’t have no problem with that; whoever they put in front of me I’ll fight," said Hearns. More...
By Gerald Rice November 2nd, 2007 All Boxing Interviews
Berserkers were Norse warriors known to be fierce when given over to uncontrollable rage in battle. Although fierce by reputation, Denmark's Mikkel Kessler is anything but uncontrolled as evidenced by his landslide victory in his last bout against Librado Andrade.
Although he was unable to knock out his opponent, Kessler put on enough of a display to showcase his talents for his much-anticipated debut to most of the American audience, this Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales when he takes on longtime World Champion and top ten pound for pound boxer, Joe Calzaghe, on HBO.
Known as the Viking Warrior, Kessler won’t enter the ring wearing a wolf’s pelt upon his head like an ÃšlfheÃ°inn, but he’ll have the WBA and WBC titles either with or on him.
The question is will the fearsome reputation that precedes him, aid in conquering his Welsh opponent, much like his Viking ancestors who conquered Wales and other territories?
The reputation is probably as meaningless to WBO champion Joe Calzaghe as Mikkel Kessler’s tattoos are to him. You don’t beat champions like Calzaghe with what you’ve already done, but with what you do on fight night. More...
By Gerald Rice October 25th, 2007 All Boxing Articles
Are you ready to be big? Then get ready for Retador Azteca, a new boxing reality series, set to debut in the coming year. It will feature up-and-coming fighters in the featherweight division from Mexico versus the rest of North America.
SaddoBoxing got the exclusive on this show from producer Ed Rosa, a noted publicist for his work with several regarded fighters and they will be holding open casting for professional featherweight fighters.
The program will be directed by Mapi Montero and will be a co-production between Mapitv and Azteca America. Retador Azteca is set to air on the Aztec America Network in the U.S. January 21 through May 25.
Potential candidates must weigh 126 pounds, have a professional record of at least four fights but no more than fifteen total, be an American citizen, bilingual, no criminal history, in good physical condition, between the ages of 18 and 25 and have current health insurance.
Bantamweight contender, former WBC light flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight champion Jorge Arce will be on hand at many of the locations holding open casting to meet with potential contenders. The locations are as follows: More...
By Gerald Rice October 17th, 2007 All Boxing Articles
I will say that in a rematch that Jermain Taylor could do better against Kelly Pavlik. The fact of it is, Taylor has problems within himself that caused him to lose how he did. Could he ever beat Pavlik? Sure. Will he ever beat Pavlik? No.
He obviously has the power to put Pavlik down, but the difference lies in his ability to keep him down. Taylor appeared too nervous, in fact, rather than a one-time affair, the fight really gave me the impression that that is a characteristic of Jermain's.
Perhaps this is something addressable; Grant Hill said he had to relearn how to play basketball after a near career-ending injury. Evander Holyfield went into therapy before the rematch against Riddick Bowe in order to "believe" that he could beat him.
Dare I say Jermain has been done the biggest favor of his career so far by losing? He knows he did some things wrong during the loss to Pavlik. It's just a matter of him sitting down and figuring those things out, then figuring out how to retool himself.
But that doesn't mean he can ever beat Pavlik. Kelly could just be a better fighter, no matter what Taylor does. In the rematch against Winky Wright, Shane Mosley completely changed how he trained. He didn't work with any weights, so his speed was improved, but Winky's defense was much too good for him to make a dent and the end result was the same.
Taylor's changing shouldn't just be about beating Pavlik. It should be about making himself a better fighter and maybe the next time a Pavlik comes along, even in a losing effort, Taylor can acquit himself better. More...
By Gerald Rice October 1st, 2007 All Boxing Articles
Last Monday, the WBC board voted in Samuel Peter as its interim heavyweight champion after Oleg Maskaev pulled out of their October 6 championship bout.
Maskaev, who injured his back while in training camp, says he needs at least three months in order for the injury to heal. But his camp fails to note the fact that he hasn't defended his title since his unanimous decision win over Ugandan Peter Okhello.
The WBC board states that a champion must be active and with an already ten-month lay off, it would be a year plus before the Californian by way of Kazakhstan would be able to again defend his title.
Oleg Maskaev has not been stripped of his belt. Samuel Peter, the WBC mandatory number one contender, has only been given an interim title. And it isn't without good reason.
After paying a sanctioning fee to fight in a WBC eliminator against James Toney a year ago, which resulted in a hotly contested decision, the WBC ordered a rematch between the two in January, to which Peter paid another sanctioning fee, and won definitively, reconfirming him as the mandatory number one contender.
In the aftermath, former WBC champion Vitali Klitschko decided to return to the ring to reclaim the belt he never lost. The WBC had given him the title Champion Emeritus, meaning he could step ahead of everyone in line to become the automatic mandatory. More...
By Gerald Rice September 30th, 2007 All Boxing Articles
Congratulations to Kelly Pavlik for a well-fought fight last night. He captured the middleweight title in a way that Jermain Taylor couldn't and couldn't defend. The alleged dissension in the ranks behind Team Taylor, the weight issues and Taylor's "wasted punches" are excuses that belong to another day, the night was Pavlik's and he took hold of it.
The tone was set from the opening bell when Kelly Pavlik began forcing Jermain Taylor backwards but two things were different from previous fights of both men; Taylor could fight going backwards a lot better than Edison Miranda did against Pavlik and Taylor had learned not to back straight into the ropes and make camp there.
Taylor gave lateral movement or fought his way off the ropes and made it his duty to always bring the fight back to the center of the ring.
After dropping the first round, Taylor came back to pound Pavlik with a barrage of punches and knock him down in the second. After Pavlik rose, he was almost downed again with a right but held on after Taylor seemingly gassed out near the end of the round.
That just may have been the beginning of the end.
And not because of Taylor's typical stamina issues. Well, not solely. Kelly's ability to recuperate from Jermain's powerful shots and then come back to control the third round was a true test of the fortitude fan's desire in a fighter. His nose quite possibly broken, Pavlik came back for more with every intention of returning the favor with interest. More...
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