Archive for March 2015

Adonis Stevenson Media Workout Photos (March 30, 2015)   Leave a comment

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Credit Amanda Kwok / PBC on CBS

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA (March 30, 2015) – Light heavyweight world champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson held a public media workout on Monday at Place Fleur de Lys, a large mall in Quebec City, Canada.  The hard-hitting Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) will defend his light heavyweight title against former super middleweight world champion Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika (32-6-3, 21 KOs) in the featured attraction of the first Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) event onCBS Television Network this Saturday, April 4 (3 p.m. ET, Noon PT).

In the co-main event from The Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, promising undefeated light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev (7-0, 7 KOs) faces his toughest test when he takes on former light heavyweight world champion  Gabriel Campillo (25-6-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Stevenson met with the media, signed autographs and put on a spirited workout with trainer Javan “Sugar” Hill in the two-hour appearance at the center of Quebec City’s largest mall.  The southpaw Stevenson, who was born in Haiti and has lived in nearby Montreal for years, has a huge fan base in the province of Quebec and will headline for the second consecutive fight at The Pepsi Coliseum.

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PBC on CBS, headlined by the light heavyweight world championship fight between Stevenson and Bika, is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and presented by Videotron and in association with Mise-O-Jeu.

Tickets are on sale now at the Pepsi Coliseum box office in Quebec, by calling (418) 691-7211 or(800) 900-7469, online at www.billetech.com, at GYM (514) 383-0666 and Champion Boxing Club(514) 376-0980. Ticket prices range from $25 to $250 on the floor.

Posted March 31, 2015 by sweetboxingratings in Media Workouts

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Lamont Peterson Media Workout Quotes & Photos (March 26, 2015)   Leave a comment

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Photo Credit: Rouse Photography Group 

Washington D.C. (March 26, 2015) – A little more than two weeks in advance of his highly anticipated bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) hosted media at the Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Washington, D.C. Lamont, his brother Anthony and Lamont’s trainer, Barry Hunter, took some time out of their training schedule to discuss Lamont’s Premier Boxing Champions showdown against Danny “Swift” Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) on April 11.

Below please find notable quotes from the event, which was attended by print, broadcast and online media outlets from around the region:

Lamont Peterson, Super Lightweight World Champion

“The plan might be to just go out there and fight him. Regardless of how I choose to fight, I feel like I can win. I do have quicker feet, but I can use them to do other things too. I can go forward. I don’t always have to be going backwards. I will stick to the game plan, but we don’t know what the game plan is right now.

“My mentality always shows in the ring, especially in the late rounds. You ask a lot of your body in that ring and a lot of times it goes to what it knows. So your personality definitely comes out, and I think that’s where I shine more than other fighters. The later rounds are when I normally take over the fight. A lot of the time I wish we could go more rounds.

“The fans wanted to see this fight so I wanted to make sure that it happened. I never really call out names or talk about who I want next. I leave it up to the fans and to the media because there are lots of fights that the fans want to see that never happen. At the end of the day, I’m fighting for the fans and the media so why not fight who they want me to fight?

“I’m just looking to take the things I do well and execute, and then I’m looking to take away the things Garcia does well and force him to do the things he doesn’t do well more often. I don’t look at any one previous fight of his and think ours is going to go that way.

“I’m a better fighter. He’s definitely a counter-puncher and we’re looking to make sure that we don’t get countered the way some others have been.

“There have been ups and downs in the camp. Sometimes it’s time to pull back and relax, but sometimes it’s time to work hard. Overall I feel great. A lot of people say this, but this has been my best training camp ever and I’m happy where I’m at right now. I’m ready to fight.

“This is the biggest fight for me. After this there’s nothing left to do in the weight class. I’d like to move up after this next fight.”

Barry Hunter, Peterson’s Trainer

“Lamont is a very versatile fighter. He’s been in the ring hundreds of times. He can box. He can fight both inside and outside. He can strategize, but he can also be very aggressive.

“Danny is a solid fighter. He doesn’t do one or two things great, but he does a lot of things well. There are some things though that we’ve seen in him that we think we can exploit and we’re going to go out there with the intent to do so. Overall I think Lamont is a better fighter.

“There’s only a few big names left at 140, everyone else has moved up to 147. So Lamont’s way of thinking was that the only way this fight made sense at 140 was if he could face Danny Garcia. This was more about giving the fans what they want to see. This is going to give fans a great free fight again on national TV.

“NBC is a true sports network. They have NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS and the only sport that was missing was boxing. Boxing used to be on every network and they had legendary fights with legendary fighters. It wasn’t always about a belt either. Then things changed, but this gives us a chance to bring boxing back to the true fans.”

Anthony Peterson

“I’m not nervous about watching this fight. I’m just going to sit back and watch. Lamont’s so ready.

“Danny is an extraordinary fighter. It’s in his DNA, but Lamont is so focused I’m confident he’s going to win.

“Lamont learned to fight protecting me on the streets.”

# # #

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, are priced at $300, $200, $150, $100, $80 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.barclayscenter.comwww.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.

Jhonny Gonzalez & Vanes Martirosyan Media Workout Quotes & Photos (March 23, 2015)   Leave a comment

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Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME 

Once he feels my power in the ring, he’s not going to be able to think in there.” – Jhonny Gonzalez

I feel like this fight is more of a test for him [Charlo], and I have to make sure he fails the test.” – Vanes Martirosyan

Tickets Still Available!

GLENDALE, CA (March 24, 2015) – Current world champion Jhonny Gonzalez and once-beaten world ranked welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan participated in a media workout on Monday at the Main Event Sports Club in Glendale, Calif., six days prior to their respective upcoming fights on Saturday,March 28, at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME(10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

In the 12-round main event on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader, the hard-hitting, current WBC Featherweight World Champion Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs), of Mexico City, will defend his 126-pound title against talented once-beaten former world title challenger Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md.

In the 10-round co-feature, battle-tested, world-ranked contender Martirosyan(35-1-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., will take on undefeated rising star Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs), of Houston, in an important super welterweight showdown.

Here’s what the boxers as well as trainers, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain (Gonzalez) and Dean Campos(Martirosyan), had to say Monday at the Los Angeles-area gym:

 

JHONNY GONZALEZ, WBC Featherweight World Champion

“First off, I would like to apologize for not participating in the media conference call that took place this morning. I have never missed a conference call before, and I take full responsibility for missing the call. I know how important these calls are and I promise that I will not miss another one.

“I have been very focused for the past three months during my training camp. I have been training in the high altitude in Toluca, Mexico.

“I have had two title defenses since beating Abner Mares and I am excited and ready for my fight on Saturday.

“Ever since beating Mares, I feel like I am finally getting the respect and support from the fans and media that I deserve. I get recognized all of the time now. The recognition motivates me to work harder than ever before and not let my fans down.

“I feel like I am in my boxing prime. There is still so much to prove and show to the world that I am still at the top of my game and capable of fighting with the best.

“In my fight on Saturday I am going to bring the same energy and intensity that I brought in my fight against Mares.

“I know that Gary Russell Jr. has fast and powerful hands. He is a quick and strong southpaw. I know he’s an excellent boxer.

“I am going to attack him with my power and speed. Once he feels my power in the ring, he’s not going to be able to think in there. He’s going to run, but if he decides to brawl with us, then we will have something for him.

“At this point in my career, he [Russell] is the fastest opponent I have ever faced. He has very fast hands and puts together good combinations.

“To prepare for Russell, I am constantly keeping my hands up at all times during my training. I am training that if he throws punches at me, I know how to immediately react and throw shots back at him.

“A lot of people are doubting me going into this fight because of the speed of Russell. It’s a great challenge for me and I can’t wait to get in the ring.

“I am absolutely looking for the knockout and I believe I will get it. I don’t expect this fight to go the distance. I am going to pressure him from the opening bell, my conditioning and confidence is at an all-time high. I am very anxious for this title fight, I want to fight right now.”

 

VANES MARTIROSYAN, World-Ranked Contender

“I am in great shape, training camp has gone great. I am just as excited for this fight as I was when I fought for the U.S. team in the Olympics.

“I feel like this fight is more of a test for him [Charlo], and I have to make sure he fails the test.

“I used to work with Ronnie Shields [Charlo’s Trainer] for about three years. I am pretty sure they have a game plan for me, but I am a totally different Vanes than the one who used to train with Shields. I hope they are getting prepared for that Vanes because I have changed a lot since then.

“Jermell [Charlo] is a good boxer, but he’s a basic boxer. He’s done well with guys that he’s supposed to look good against. There are some guys that he should’ve knocked out that he didn’t. If he hits me I will hit him right back and we’ll see how he handles that.

“If I stick to my game plan and everything goes as planned, I will say that it will be an easy fight. We have a B and a C plan if the fight doesn’t go exactly as planned.

“All I can do is prepare and go out there and win the fight. After I lost my fight to Demetrius Andrade I felt like a loser. I can’t lose this fight, I’d rather die than go out there and lose again.”

 

IGNACIO “NACHO” BERISTAIN, Gonzalez’ Trainer

“Gary Russell’s speed and quickness could be a factor for us in this fight. We must find a way to eliminate it.

“We need to find a solution to his quickness and do everything we can to win. We feel like we’ve prepared enough and are in a great position to come out on top.

“Russell has fast hands and he recovers quickly. He has had knockouts at different weight levels. But we’re working really hard, and on Saturday you guys are going to see a different Jhonny Gonzalez.

“Jhonny Gonzalez is a very strong fighter. I think the strength and power of his punch beats Russell’s. I think that will be one of the keys– Jhonny Gonzalez knows how to punch, hard.

“I don’t just believe in Jhonny because he’s my fighter, but because he’s fought and trained immensely hard — he knows what he wants.”

 

DEAN CAMPOS, Martirosyan’s Trainer

“Vanes is such a quick learner. He is able to pick up everything that I am trying to teach him to accomplish everything that we want to do to win this fight.

“We must exploit Charlo’s weaknesses. Charlo is a good fighter, but everyone has weaknesses. My job is to prepare him as best as I can so that he can get in the ring with the best opportunity to win this fight.

“I want to supply him with ideas to unlock that final last edge to come out on top. If he is able to do some of the things that we go over in camp, then he will be in a good position for a victory come Saturday.

# # #

“Gonzalez vs. Russell Jr.”, a 12-round world championship bout for Gonzalez’s WBC Featherweight World Title, is promoted by DiBella Entertainment. In the co-feature, Jermell Charlo takes on Vanes Martirosyan in super welterweight action. The event will take place at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and will air on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). The telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).

Tickets for the live event are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50, and $25, plus applicable fees are on sale. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by clicking HERE. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.

For more information, visit www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at @SHOSports, @jhonnygbox, @mrgaryrusselljr, @TwinCharlo, @LouDiBella and @PearlAtPalms, follow the conversation using #GonzalezRussell, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SHOBoxing or visit the SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com.

Fox Sports 1 live updates: Gomez-Kamegai   Leave a comment

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Photos courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California (March 20, 2015) – In the main event Alfonso Gomez easily outboxed Yoshihiro Kamegai over 10 rounds, despite fading in the later stages, and won a unanimous decision. In the co-feature, Ronny Rios looked a little robotic but otherwise outhustled Sergio Frias to earn a clear 10-round unanimous decision victory. In the televised opener, Jamie Kavanagh mostly dominated Miguel Zamudio with superior boxing skills en route to a 5th round technical knockout.

Opening Bout: Jamie Kavanagh (135.6 lbs) RTD5 Miguel Zamudio (135.6 lbs) [3:00]

  1. Zamudio swells under his left eye.
  2. Kavanagh is cut by an accidental head clash and is ruled down by a body shot. Kavanagh may have simply tripped.
  3. Referee also rules that Kavanagh is cut outside of his right eye as a result of a punch.
  4. Kavanagh scores easily.
  5. Zamudio retires in his corner at the end of the round on the advice of the ringside doctor.

 Co-Feature: Ronny Rios (127 lbs) UD10 Sergio Frias (125.8 lbs) [99-91, 99-91, 98-92]

  1. Rios is staggered by a combination.
  2. Rios gains confidence.
  3. Frias finds a home for the right uppercut; Rios hesitates again.
  4. Rios is warned for low blows but otherwise has a better round.
  5. Frias is mostly reduced to single shots while circling along the ropes.
  6. Rios continues to walk Frias down with jabs and right hands.
  7. Frias shows signs of life and closes the round strong.
  8. Rios wins another round by getting off first and finishing last.
  9. Rios is warned again for low blows but continues to easily outwork Frias.
  10. Frias finally gets aggressive in the final round but Rios fends him off easily.

Main Event: Alfonso Gomez (149.2 lbs) UD10 Yoshihiro Kamegai (149.6 lbs) [98-91, 98-91, 98-91]

  1. Kamegai comes forward without jabbing; Gomez picks him apart.
  2. Kamegai succeeds in making Gomez work fairly hard but is otherwise outboxed.
  3. Kamegai’s only strategy seems to hoping the pace wears Gomez down. He keeps a high guard but his stance is square and his head movement is poor.
  4. Gomez loses a point for a suspect clash of heads but responds by dominating the rest of the round.
  5. Gomez wins the round clearly but shows signs of fatigue.
  6. Kamegai continues to find more success as Gomez tires.
  7. Gomez uses angles and picks his spots better. Kamegai doesn’t appear to be doing much thinking.
  8. Kamegai has his best round in the fight but still gets rocked by a big right uppercut from Gomez.
  9. Gomez is low on gas but boxes smart and is more effective.
  10. Gomez is warned for another punch-headbutt combination. He clinches to run out the clock in between pitty-pat combinations. Close round.

2014 Boxing Year in Review: Male Fighter Awards   Leave a comment

Francisco Rodriguez Jr (left), Katsunari Takayama (right) – Photo Credit: Mario Ocampo/STR

Breakout of the Year: Amnat Ruenroeng

Despite being a 2008 Olympian, no grand expectations were in place for Amnat Ruenroeng coming into 2014. He was 11-0 against 7 fighters with losing records and the rest with double digit losses save Takuro Habu (on his way to a losing record). Needless to say it was a quick change of pace for the record of his opponents to go from 162-172-27 to 64-7-2. Ruenroeng won the vacant IBF flyweight title and defended it twice. All 3 opponents were riding 12+ fight winning streaks and one was considered a pound-for-pound player (Kazuto Ioka). These victories propelled Ruenroeng into what will likely be the biggest payday of his career against Zou Shiming. It’s not shocking that he pulled off the upset there, too.

  • Runner-up: Nicholas Walters

Comeback of the Year: Jermain Taylor

Once upon a time Jermain Taylor was an elite fighter. He even appeared on top-10 pound for pound lists. But after a series of knockouts at the hands of Kelly Pavlik, Carl Froch, and finally Arthur Abraham, his brain had taken irreparable damage. Just observing the man outside of the ring should tell anyone that he’s damaged goods.

Nonetheless, Taylor continued to fight. After suffering a brain-bleed in his 2009 fight with Arthur Abraham, Taylor took 1 fight in 2011, 2 fights in 2012, and 1 fight in 2013 before upsetting reigning IBF middleweight champion Sam Soliman in 2014. Caleb Truax was the only noteworthy fighter that Taylor faced between Abraham and Soliman and he nearly knocked Taylor out. Taylor actually celebrated that fact after the fight, further proof of his intellectual decline. Soliman, coming off the most impressive win of his career (Felix Sturm), had no business losing to Taylor. It makes more sense to credit Soliman’s knee injury for Taylor’s victory. It arguably makes more sense to suggest that Soliman faked the injury and threw the fight. Either way, thank Al Haymon.

  • Runner-up: Rocky Juarez

Decimator of the Year: Gennady Golovkin

GGG went 3/3 in 2014, running over Osumanu Adama, Daniel Geale, and Marco Antonio Rubio in the process. Geale and Rubio, the 2 accomplished fighters of the 3, lasted less than 5 rounds combined. Adama and Geale had never been stopped previously and Rubio was well known for his ability to take punishment (see fight with David Lemieux). Yet Rubio quit inside 2 rounds against Golovkin, extending GGG’s impressive KO streak to 18 by year’s end.

Event of the Year: Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana I

In terms of pay-per-view buys, which were around 850k, Mayweather-Maidana I, promoted as “The Moment,” was a sharp decline from previous Mayweather “events of the year.” But such a downturn was felt across boxing. More people paid to see Mayweather-Maidana I than Manny Pacquiao’s fights against Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri combined.

In terms of ticket sales, Maidana produced Mayweather’s 3rd richest gate revenue (4th all-time for Nevada). Over $15 million was generated from 15,718 paid attendees at the MGM. As it turned out, fans picked the right Mayweather fight to see firsthand. It was arguably the most exciting of Floyd’s career and a fight that many thought Maidana deserved to win. It was good enough to warrant a rematch, which drew better at the box office as a result (around 925k PPV buys).

Fight of the Year: Francisco Rodriguez Jr UD12 Katsunari Takayama

OK, OK. Certainly the average heavyweight weighs more than Francisco Rodriguez Jr and Katsunari Takayama combined. The general public could walk past both fighters on the street and miss them due to their diminutive stature and anonymity. It does not matter. For those that actually laid eyes on them, Rodriguez-Takayama was the 2014 “Fight of the Year.” The non-stop, 12-round war could have gone either way with respectable judges (not John Madfis, who only gave Takayama 1 round) but ultimately “Chihuas” emerged with a unanimous decision victory and unified the IBF and WBO strawweight titles. Round 12 was a top candidate for “Round of the Year.” The fight is a must-see.

  • Runners-up: Matthysse-Molina, Salido-Kokietgym, Coyle-Brizuela

Fighter of the Year: Naoya Inoue

Simply put, Naoya Inoue started the year as a prospect and finished as a world champion in 2 weight classes. And despite jumping from junior flyweight to junior bantamweight, he indisputably rates at the top of the higher weight class. Overall Inoue notched 3 knockouts against Adrian Hernandez (29-2-1, 18 KOs), Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5 KOs), and Omar Narvaez (43-1-2, 23 KOs), snatching the WBC light flyweight title from Hernandez and the WBO super flyweight title from Narvaez. Narvaez’s only prior career defeat came in the bantamweight division against Nonito Donaire, at the top of the Filipino Flash’s game. While Donaire had to settle for a 12-round decision and never knocked Narvaez down, Inoue dropped the long-reigning junior bantamweight champion 4 times and stopped him in 2 rounds. Inoue’s alias is “Monster” for good reason.

  • Runners-up: Terence Crawford, Sergey Kovalev, Amnat Ruenroeng

Gatekeeper of the Year: Yoshihiro Kamegai

Yoshihiro Kamegai had a modest 2-1 record in 2014, defending his OPBF welterweight title against Jung-Hoon Yang, dropping a competitive decision in a 12-round war against Robert Guerrero, and making short work of prospect Oscar Godoy. Luring one of the best welterweights in the world into a “Fight of the Year” candidate is the mark of a quality gatekeeper. Next, Kamegai is scheduled to defend his gatekeeper title against Alfonso Gomez on March 20. Gomez was the better gatekeeper in the past, but how much does he have left? Expect thrills whatever happens.

Hard-Luck of the Year: Mauricio Herrera

With a different set of judges Mauricio Herrera is potentially 3-0 in 2014 and a top “Fighter of the Year” candidate. He officially defeated Johan Perez (19-1-1, 13 KOs) and unofficially bested Danny Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) and Jose Benavidez (21-0, 15 KOs). Perez was coming off an upset of previously unbeaten Paul Spadafora while Garcia was the unified super WBA/WBC/RING champion. Benavidez had little professional accomplishments to speak of but he had the stylistic upper hand (Benavidez tall and long – Herrera without much power). Nonetheless, in the eyes of most that watched the fights, Herrera should be the lineal champion of the junior welterweight division. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond his control, Herrera finds himself waiting in line for another big opportunity. Ironically, the WBA, which sanctioned all of Herrera’s fights in 2014, even rates Perez ahead of him now. Mauricio simply can’t catch a break. #DerecognizeWBA

Knockout of the Year: Andy Lee KO5 John Jackson

There were quite a few sensational knockouts in 2014, but none had the unexpected drama of Lee-Jackson. Andy Lee was not only losing the fight, he was on his way to getting knocked out. Then the fight suddenly ended with Lee landing a counter right hook while his back was against the ropes. John Jackson was out cold, face down on the canvas. Come-from-behind victories don’t get any better.

  • Runners-up: Carl Froch KO8 George Groves, Rey Loreto KO3 Nkosinathi Joyi

Prospect of the Year: Anthony Joshua

The 2012 super heavyweight Olympic gold medalist had 7 fights in 2014, knocking out every opponent inside 3 rounds. Anthony Joshua’s most impressive victory came against Denis Bakhtov for the vacant WBC International heavyweight title. Bakhtov only lasted 4 minutes, by far the quickest loss of his 47 fight career. Joshua marked the 2nd time that Bakhtov lost to an 8-0 prospect; the first time came against Vyacheslav Glazkov. Glazkov, currently on the doorstep of an IBF heavyweight world title shot, out-pointed Bakhtov over 8 rounds. Is it safe to say that Joshua is on track for big things? Well, the WBC already rates him #7 and their champion’s last name isn’t Klitschko…

Quitter of the Year: Jean Javier Sotelo

Jean Javier Sotelo fought three times in 2014 and quit twice. The first time he quit, against Carlos Ivan Velasquez, is what will haunt him for the rest of his career. After being outclassed for a round and a half, Sotelo took the easy way out when Velasquez landed a borderline low blow. Many fighters wouldn’t have gone down from such a punch. Most would have been ready to continue in less than a minute. Practically no fighter would have laid on the canvas for over 5 minutes, refusing to continue. The fight was nationally televised by ESPN2 and Teddy Atlas called Sotelo’s bluff from the moment he went down. Todd Grisham said, “I’ve seen WWE wrestlers sell better than this guy.” The crowd booed and Sotelo’s corner was embarrassed. Two months later Sotelo quit again versus Oscar Valdez. The only 2014 fight in which Sotelo didn’t quit was against a 1-8 fighter with 6 straight knockout losses.

Robbery of the Year: Oscar Escandon SD12 Tyson Cave

There were a lot of debated decisions in 2014 that were widely considered robberies. Then there was Cave-Escandon, a decision so bad that no debate was necessary. Fans complained about Tyson Cave’s unaesthetic style of fighting but they knew he won the fight. Teddy Atlas had it 118-110 for Cave and had another one of his epic rants when the official split decision verdict for Oscar Escandon was read. The Friday Night Fights Facebook fan poll had the fight 12 rounds to 0 (effectively 120-108) for Cave. The author of this article, giving Escandon every benefit of the doubt possible, only found rounds 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 12 to swing his way. Facebook voters agreed that those were the closest rounds of the fight and scored them for Escandon by 26, 29, 30, 42, 29, and 17 percent margins respectively. Therefore, in Escandon’s best case scenario, judges would score the fight 114-114, right?

Wrong.

Tony Crebs had it 115-113 Escandon, Max DeLuca had it 115-113 Cave, and Raul Caiz Jr turned in arguably the worst scorecard of the year: 117-111 Escandon. The fight was not that hard to score. For the most part, Escandon covered up and played the role of a punching bag or fruitlessly followed Cave around the ring. For every shot that Escandon blocked, he was made to miss by inches to feet when returning fire. Compubox had the fight reasonably close (Cave 207/748 – Escandon 177/849) but still acknowledged that Cave deserved the victory.

Fights are scored on clean punching (90%), effective aggressiveness, defense, and ring generalship. Obviously Cave really annoyed judges with his showboating and escape-artist theatrics. They probably gave him a 0 in the ring generalship department. But, mathematically speaking, that wouldn’t be enough to swing the fight in Escandon’s favor. This decision was abominable, no matter how you try to spin it.

Round of the Year: Emanuele Della Rosa vs Isaac Real – R2

Within 100 seconds of round 2 Emanuele Della Rosa (33-1, 9 KOs) had tasted the canvas twice and looked outclassed against the less experienced and rightful underdog Isaac Real (9-0-1, 4 KOs). The over-aggressive Della Rosa was a sucker for straight punches and left hooks. But when Real went in for the kill, Della Rosa caught him with an overhand right that nearly took his head off. Real was down and in a very bad way. When action resumed all he could do was cover up on the ropes to survive for the first 20 seconds or so. But then Real came back, hurt Della Rosa with an uppercut, and dropped him for a third time. Most great rounds only have one shocking momentum shift; this one had two.

  • Runners-up: F. Rodriguez Jr vs K. Takayama – R12, T. Coyle vs D. Brizuela – R11

Upset of the Year: Vivian Harris MD10 Jorge Paez Jr

2014 produced a lot of upsets. By the odds, Luis Eduardo Flores, Enrique Quevedo, Rey Loreto, Tommy Karpency, Rogelio Medina, Derek Edwards, Jamie Herrera, and Vivian Harris were at least 10-1 underdogs against Miguel Berchelt, Yoandris Salinas, Nkosinathi Joyi, Chad Dawson, J’Leon Love, Badou Jack, Mike Jones, and Jorge Paez Jr respectively. However, only half of those were truly shocking.

The bias for betting on fighters signed by Mayweather Promotions in Las Vegas is obvious and it rules out “Medina KO3 Love” and “Edwards KO1 Jack” from serious contention. If you need proof of bias, take note of Mickey Bey being less than a 3-1 underdog against Miguel Vazquez. Vazquez was the #1 lightweight in the world with losses only to Tim Bradley and Canelo Alvarez. Bey only fought 2 fighters in his entire career that came off wins (Roberto Acevedo and Rashad Ganaway) and he nearly lost to each of them. Bey also drew with journeyman Jose Hernandez and got knocked out by John Molina Jr. In no universe did Mickey Bey’s resume say, “I might beat Miguel Vazquez.” But when you’re part of “The Money Team,” people bet on you to win. They got lucky; Vazquez was robbed.

We can also rule out upsets where the winner was coming off an impressive performance or the loser was coming off a devastating defeat and inactivity. Loreto decisioned Pornsawan Porpramook over 10 rounds before he stopped Joyi in 3. Jones sat out 26 months following a brutal knockout by Randall Bailey before Herrera stopped him in 7.

Subsequently our runners-up for “Upset of the Year” are reduced to “Quevedo KO5 Salinas,” “Flores KO1 Berchelt,” and “Karpency SD10 Dawson.” Salinas (20-0-2, 13 KOs) was unbeaten with draws against world champions Nehomar Cermeno and Scott Quigg; Quevedo (15-7-1, 9 KOs) had recently upset Christopher Martin. Berchelt (21-0, 18 KOs) was a hot prospect with a pretty record; Flores (15-1, 13 KOs) was a limited power-punching Colombian that had good night (reference Amir Khan vs Breidis Prescott). Dawson (32-3 [2 NC], 18 KOs) was knocked out in 2 of his last 3 fights and lost his desire to be the best; Karpency has looked rejuvenated since his loss to Nathan Cleverly.

And then there’s the curious case of Vivian Harris. Harris had 7 KO losses to his name. He hadn’t beaten a fighter of note since Juan Lazcano in 2007. He recently failed a brain scan that cancelled his fight with Bradley Skeete. He’s already lost to fighters that Jorge Paez Jr could beat. And he had the home country advantage. It’s no wonder that Harris was a +1600 underdog. A tragedy waiting to happen had no business beating a fringe welterweight contender on foreign soil, especially when the contender has a famous last name. Paez was set to fight Erik Morales until Morales pulled out with a hand injury. Harris was just a typical late replacement that the boxing world frowned upon. And yet, he won. That’s why Harris’ majority decision victory over Paez Jr is the “Upset of the Year.”

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Previously:
Female Fighter Awards
Miscellaneous Awards

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Ryan Bivins is a professional boxer, the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings, and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network.

2014 Boxing Year in Review: Female Fighter Awards   Leave a comment

Delfine Persoon (left), Erica Farias (right) – Photo Credit: JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

Breakout of the Year: Ana Laura Esteche

Ana Esteche began the year by outboxing and outpunching Monica Silvina Acosta (19-0-2, 5 KOs). Then she outfought Svetlana Kulakova (9-0, 1 KO). And lastly she outwitted Fernanda Soledad Alegre (20-1-1, 10 KOs [11-0 in world title fights]). She was supposed to lose all 3 of those fights given her record at the start of the year (9-3-1, 2 KOs) but instead went 2-0-1 (the draw coming against Kulakova in Russia). She became the WBA female super lightweight champion, defended her title over 10,000 miles away, and capped the year off by upsetting the WBO champion in a non-title fight.

Comeback of the Year: Yazmin Rivas

After a surprising 10-round decision loss to the far-less experienced Jessica Gonzalez in her final fight of 2013, former IBF female bantamweight champion Yazmin Rivas went on to post 3 straight wins in 2014 without blemish. Her first victory wasn’t particularly noteworthy but winning the vacant WBC female bantamweight title from Alesia Graf (26-4, 11 KOs) and defending it against Susie Ramadan (23-1, 8 KOs) was impressive. Rivas is the only fighter that’s beaten Ramadan and the job was easier the second time around.

Decimator of the Year: Amanda Serrano

Amanda Serrano fought twice in 2014 and obliterated each opponent. The victims were Maria Elena Maderna (WBO female lightweight champion) and Carla Torres (fresh off an upset of Ronica Jeffrey). Maderna took a beating for 6 rounds before she quit while Torres was “gone in 60 seconds.” If Serrano unifies with WBC champion Diana Prazak in 2015, the baddest b*tch at 130 pounds will truly be established. Even the thought of such a fight is mouth-watering.

Event of the Year: Erica Anabella Farias vs Delfine Persoon

After dominating mostly sub-par opposition for half of a decade, save one fighter who was likely doping, Delfine Persoon skipped over nearly all of the top contenders in the women’s lightweight division and came right for the Queen: Erica Farias. Persoon’s promoter Filiep Tampere won the WBC purse bid and Farias was forced to fly from Argentina to Belgium to make the 9th defense of her title. It was the only legitimate #1 vs #2 matchup in women’s boxing throughout 2014 and the fight lived up to the hype. It was pretty ugly to watch most of the time but viewers could sense how important the contest was to each fighter. Farias and Persoon left it all in the ring and Persoon emerged with a clear unanimous decision victory.

  • Runner-up: Alicia Ashley vs Jackie Nava

Fight of the Year: Shelly Vincent MD10 Jackie Trivilino

Many thanks to CES Boxing and Fight-Stream.com for the LEGAL YouTube video of this gem of a fight. It’s a must see, non-stop, two-way war for 10 complete rounds. Shelito narrowly kept her perfect record alive and picked up the vacant UBF female super bantamweight title. Just watch the fight. If you don’t like it, you don’t like women’s boxing.

  • Runner-up: Arely Mucino UD10 Shindo Go

Fighter of the Year: Delfine Persoon

With decisive victories over top pound for pound fighters Erica Farias and Diana Prazak, Delfine Persoon was a lock for “Fighter of the Year” honors. Persoon was the first to defeat Farias and the first to stop Prazak, far from easy feats considering their resumes. Hopefully she keeps challenging herself in 2015 and a showdown with the legendary Layla McCarter can be made, assuming McCarter gets past Prazak in a BKB match on April 4. The winner of that fight might have to be considered the best female fighter on the planet, all due respect to the stagnating Cecilia Braekhus.

Gatekeeper of the Year: Jackie Trivilino

When a fighter bats .500 and is winless in her last 5 outings, you wouldn’t typically consider her all-that-capable. Be that as it may, Jackie Trivilino (9-9-3, 1 KO) is the exception to the rule. She went 0-2 against unbeaten contenders Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent in 2014 but could have wins over both with better luck, especially Hardy. Vincent-Trivilino was the female “Fight of the Year.”

Hard-Luck of the Year: Melissa McMorrow

Melissa McMorrow, officially winless in 2014, easily could have been in the “Fighter of the Year” race had the judges been kinder in her showdowns with Mariana Juarez and Jessica Chavez. Chavez-McMorrow was simply your run-of-the-mill controversial, close fight that happens on a regular basis in boxing. Juarez-McMorrow was the kind of fight that you’d see Teddy Atlas go ape shit over if ESPN televised it. On the bright side, Mexico keeps welcoming McMorrow back for more opportunities. She’s already back in the win column against 2014 “Prospect of the Year,” Kenia Enriquez, and has regained her WBO female flyweight title.

Knockout of the Year: Anne Sophie Mathis KO5 Christina Hammer

Anne Sophie Mathis deserved some kind of award for her knockout of Christina Hammer since she didn’t get to take home the WBO female super welterweight title. The bout was officially changed to a no contest after Mathis was originally disqualified. The punches that separated Hammer from her senses weren’t much to “ooooh” and “ahhhh” over but Hammer clearly took over twice a 10-count to get up and was not fit to continue when she finally did. Genuine knockouts like that are rare in women’s boxing, especially when pairing top fighters.

Prospect of the Year: Kenia Enriquez

Kenia Enriquez (13-0, 6 KOs) went 5-0 in 2014 against 2 unbeaten prospects and 3 veterans, winning the vacant WBO female flyweight title in her last outing. It’s not really accurate to call a world champion a prospect but the title in this case has to be taken with a grain of salt. Tuti Bopp vacated the title because she became pregnant and Ana Arrazola was hardly a top challenger. Nonetheless, Enriquez has the technical tools to someday reign as a great world champion. Her recent split decision loss to Melissa McMorrow was a good learning experience.

Quitter of the Year: Maria Elena Maderna

For a world champion with 3 defenses, Maria Maderna sure didn’t act like her title was important to her when she fought Amanda Serrano. The signs that Maderna wanted to quit were there in round 3, when she took the full 5 minutes to recover from a low blow, but the fight wasn’t stopped until she was dropped in round 6. Maderna was easily able to get up in time but continuously shook her head to signal that she didn’t want to continue.

Robbery of the Year: Mariana Juarez UD10 Melissa McMorrow

Although Mariana Juarez was unable to win a single round conclusively against Melissa McMorrow, she was awarded 6/10 on all official scorecards. McMorrow controlled the pace and real estate, threw more, landed more, and landed the cleaner power shots. The taller Juarez had the edge in jabs but they were mostly while backpedaling. The most consistent thing Juarez was able to do was complain to the referee that McMorrow led with her head and dipped below the waist. The problem with that complaint is the rules state you can’t dip below your own waist, and McMorrow’s center of gravity is rather low to the ground. Ultimately the referee didn’t penalize either fighter so Juarez’s whining shouldn’t have impacted the cards. Nonetheless, the scores read 96-94 for “La Barbie” across the board.

Round of the Year: Arely Muciño vs Shindo Go – R8

After securing a comfortable lead in a thrilling, competitive fight for 7 rounds, everything nearly went bust for Arely Muciño in round 8. Early in the 8th stanza, Shindo Go pawed with a jab to set up a big overhand right that put Muciño on shaky legs. Go immediately followed up with combinations of hooks and uppercuts that had Muciño wobbling all over the ring. Rather than attempt to hold on to survive, Muciño engaged in toe-to-toe warfare for the rest of the round. Muciño was battered and bloody but still gave Go plenty to think about. A lesser woman than Muciño would have been stopped. Some men would have been stopped. Yet, Muciño survived and finished the fight like a true champion. The WBC female flyweight title she picked up in the process is a secondary accomplishment.

  • Runner-up: Shelly Vincent vs Jackie Trivilino – R10

Upset of the Year: Carla Torres SD8 Ronica Jeffrey

Whether you look at resumes by quality or quantity, this was a major upset. Carla Torres (3-2, 0 KOs) was not supposed to beat Ronica Jeffrey (13-0, 1 KO), period. For one, Torres had already lost to Jeffrey 3 years earlier. For another, she had just lost to a fighter on a 6-fight losing streak (Ela Nunez, who also lost to Jeffrey). Jeffrey had previously beaten the likes of Jackie Trivilino and Lindsay Garbatt. Torres was not supposed to be a problem, and yet, she was. That’s boxing.

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Yesterday: Miscellaneous Awards

Tomorrow: Male Fighter Awards

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Ryan Bivins is a professional boxer, the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings, and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network.

2014 Boxing Year in Review: Miscellaneous Awards   Leave a comment

While 2014 won’t be remembered as one of the brightest years in boxing, it still produced many memorable moments, even if they were head-scratchers. This article is part 1 of a 3 part series that awards people and events that were eye-catching in the sport. Some awards should be taken more seriously than others. If you laugh at something, you probably were supposed to.

Blind Judge of the Year: Robert Hoyle

Carlos Colon & Alejandro Rochin had Danny Garcia over Mauricio Herrera 116-112.
Dave Moretti & Burt A. Clements had Jessie Vargas over Anton Novikov 118-111.
Dave Moretti had Jose Benavidez over Mauricio Herrera 117-111.
Fernando Laguna had Arthur Abraham over Paul Smith 119-109.
Glenn Trowbridge had Jessie Vargas over Anton Novikov 117-111.
Glenn Trowbridge had Luis Rosa over Luis Orlando Del Valle 98-91.
Gustavo Padilla had Beibut Shumenov over Bernard Hopkins 114-113.
John Keane had Ricky Burns over Dejan Zlaticanin 115-113.
John Madfis had Francisco Rodriguez Jr over Katsunari Takayama 119-108.
Julie Lederman had Diego Chaves over Tim Bradley 116-112.
Levi Martinez had Saul Alvarez over Erislandy Lara 117-111.
Levi Martinez had Vasyl Lomachenko over Orlando Salido 115-113.
Lisa Giampa had Gary Russell Jr drawing with Vasyl Lomachenko 114-114.
Pierre Benoist had Vyacheslav Glazkov over Derric Rossy 98-92.
Raul Caiz Jr had Oscar Escandon over Tyson Cave 117-111.
Robert Hoyle had Jessie Vargas over Khabib Allakhverdiev 117-111.
Robert Hoyle had Mickey Bey over Miguel Vazquez 119-109.

Farce of the Year: “Mayweather vs NSAC” hearing

When Floyd Mayweather Jr decided to turn the “All Access” documentary series into a typical reality TV show, it came back to inconvenience him as spectators were concerned that the show was genuine, like a documentary is supposed to be. Subsequently the public was treated to a bogus hearing where Mayweather told the Nevada State Athletic Commission that “Dog House” sparring sessions at the Mayweather Boxing Club were exaggerated and the use of marijuana by guests in his home was faked. Whatever answers Mayweather or members of his team gave were accepted and no investigation was conducted. It was clearly just a public relations stunt.

Coincidentally there will be no “All Access” for Mayweather-Pacquiao. Officially, Mayweather-Pacquiao is big enough to sell itself without a pre-fight hype series. That’s believable. On the other hand, “All Access” TV ratings are never going to be good enough to produce a substantial return on the investment unless drastic measures are taken. And we already saw what happened when executive producer “Money” Mayweather got creative…

Flop of the Year: “Pacquiao vs Algieri” on HBO PPV

Essentially the Manny Pacquiao vs Chris Algieri pay-per-view flopped so hard it actually forced Manny Pacquiao’s hand to give ground in negotiations to fight Floyd Mayweather. Now Mayweather-Pacquiao is finally happening (a silver lining). To be fair, Pacquiao-Algieri was never supposed to be a PPV success by Pacquiao standards given the opponent (Algieri), the location (Macao, China), and the undercard (too terrible to list), but no one expected the numbers to be lower than a Canelo-Angulo PPV.

No one.

Bob Arum predicted between 750k and 900k sales. It did less than 350k. Some sources suggest even less than 300k. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the actual fight itself might have been even more disappointing. Condolences to anyone that paid $60-$70 to see it.

Jack-of-all-Tradesman of the Year: Roy Jones Jr

Despite being 45 and a decade removed from his days atop the sport, Roy Jones Jr kept himself relevant with a wide assortment of jobs and “extra-curricular activities” that won’t be discussed. People generally know Jones today as an HBO commentator but he also promotes and trains fighters and still fights himself. In fact, Jones, considered by many to be the most exceptional super middleweight of all-time, posted a 2-0 record in 2014 – two more wins than the reigning super middleweight king Andre Ward notched that year. Additionally, Jones promoted shows in West Virginia (Shannon Briggs vs Matthew Greer), Pennsylvania (Paul Spadafora vs Hector Velazquez), and Florida. He also is currently training Jessie Vargas (regular WBA super lightweight champion) and Jean Pascal.

But while you might say, “It’s nice that Roy is staying busy,” keep in mind that he may actually fight WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in 2015. Pray for Roy.

Mockery of the Year: Adonis Stevenson

After putting up a “Fighter of the Year” worthy resume in 2013, the businessman formerly known as “Superman” had a pitiful 2014 in comparison. Adonis Stevenson has only himself to blame. He didn’t give fans the fight they craved for (Sergey Kovalev). He didn’t give fans the fight he switched TV networks to obtain (Bernard Hopkins). And he showed no effort during negotiations with his most financially lucrative backup plan (Jean Pascal). By March 14, 2015, Hopkins, Kovalev and Pascal will have all fought each other while Stevenson, the “lineal champion” of the division, will have avoided each of them. But at least Stevenson gave us a good fight against Andrzej Fonfara. Round 9 was particularly awesome.

Network of the Year: beIN

If you do an online search for beIN SPORTS, you’ll read that it’s “a global network of sports channels jointly owned and operated by Qatari Sports Investments.” Its global reach extends to the boxing it airs. Depending on the country you live in, the fights you’ll see on any given beIN channel may differ greatly. However, only what the network offers to the United States (and Canada) will be detailed here.

In 2014 beIN ñ aired multiple cards that would normally only be seen on Azteca 7 (Mexico) and a few of them happened to be “Fight of the Year” candidates. The most exhilarating televised cards were headlined by Katsunari Takayama vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr and Orlando Salido vs Terdsak Kokietgym. beIN ñ also televised the best dual gender doubleheader of the year (Juan Francisco Estrada vs Giovani Segura / Alicia Ashley vs Jackie Nava). The network even treated us to a major Japanese doubleheader (Akira Yaegashi vs Roman Gonzalez / Naoya Inoue vs Samartlek Kokietgym), strategically providing good promotion for the eventual super-fight between Gonzalez and Inoue. And while all of that happened on the Spanish language channel, the channel in English aired 2 installments of Iron Mike Productions (an excellent but unfortunately brief series). The IMP shows on beIN Sports were headlined by Sammy Vasquez vs Alberto Mosquera and Felix Diaz vs Adrian Granados.

Obesity of the Year: Sam Peter

Former WBC heavyweight champion Sam Peter, at his best around 240 lbs throughout his career, returned to the ring 50 lbs north on September 27, 2014 ending a 3+ year retirement. It was truly a sight to behold. Fortunately for the fat-ass formerly known as “The Nigerian Nightmare,” his opponent (Ron Aubrey) was even more corpulent.

  • Runner-up: Joan Guzman (fought as a super middleweight, ending a 2- year hiatus)

Promoter of the Year: Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Sport)

In a year where Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions didn’t really have many entertaining and competitive big fights, save Crawford-Gamboa on HBO (TR), U.S. boxing fans had to make do with “accidental” barnburners on Showtime such as Matthysse-Molina (GBP), Guerrero-Kamegai (GBP), Broner-Taylor (GBP), and Mayweather-Maidana I (GBP) on SHO PPV. Meanwhile, across the pond, Matchroom Boxing had a genuine top FOTY candidate in Tommy Coyle vs Daniel Eduardo Brizuela, a well matched fight on paper that produced great results in the ring. The bout featured 8 knockdowns, 3 point deductions, and no way of guessing what the scorecards would reveal if the 12th round completed. The only black eye about the fight was the controversial stoppage. Matchroom also promoted Anthony Crolla vs John Murray along with both Gavin Rees vs Gary Buckland fights, all of which were outstanding.

But if you don’t think a promoter should be held accountable for the in-ring quality of fights, Matchroom also promoted the biggest fight in British boxing history – Carl Froch vs George Groves II at Wembley Stadium. The fight wasn’t very thrilling until the unforgettable conclusion, but roughly 77,000 tickets were sold (producing around $9.16 million in gate revenue) and PPV sales reached 900,000 (an estimated $23.28 million in revenue), according to dailymail.co.uk.

Matchroom also had a very successful year with Kell Brook (who came to the U.S. to snatch the IBF welterweight title from Shawn Porter) and Anthony Joshua (a fast rising prospect in the heavyweight division). The only major strike against Matchroom in 2014 was Cleverly-Bellew II on Sky Box Office. That card was worse than many free-with-subscription cards on regular Sky Sports, on paper and in the ring.

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Coming tomorrow: Female Fighter Awards (highlighting the best in women’s boxing)

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Ryan Bivins is a professional boxer, the creator of Sweet Boxing Ratings, and a member of the voting panel for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. You may email him at rgbivins@gmail.com and listen to him Tuesday nights on The Ruckus, part of the BadCulture Radio Network.