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The Greatest Prize in Sports 
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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
The Sunday Telegraph



Story by John Brown

Les Darcy made a second successful defense of his world middleweight championship last night, climbing off the canvas a minute into round seven before going on to stop Uganda's John Mugabi in the 10th. What has already been a wonderful month for Australian boxing following Peter Jackson's world heavyweight championship triumph finished on another high at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. In a brutal affair, the ringside doctor called an ending to the fight at the 2:40 mark of round ten due to the severity of swelling under Mugabi's right eye. Darcy had been plowing a stiff left jab into Mugabi's face all night, and the large blister of swelling that formed as a consequence was a stomach-turning sight. Darcy was leading by four points on two scorecards and three points on the other going into round ten, and when it was called off he had landed an outstanding 386 of 712 punches (54.2%). Darcy's defensive mastery frustrated Mugabi all night, and he connected with just 186 of 824 blows (22.6%).

It was Darcy's first outing since a more challenging than expected title defense against the inexperienced Canadian Greg Gorecky in February, a fight that went the full fifteen rounds with Darcy taking a hard-earned unanimous decision nod. The Stradbroke-born, Sydney-based slugger has already confirmed that he will be making a move to the International Boxing League's light-heavyweight division next year, so last night's fight was a huge one as a win would allow him to end his time in the 160-pound weight class with one final title defense in November. For Mugabi, it was the night he has been waiting for since competition started in the IBL in June '06. The Ugandan has often spoken of feeling disrespected and under-rated and came to the league with the hope of becoming a legitimate world champion. He brought a 6-1(5) record in IBL bouts into last night's clash, his only loss being in September '06 to eventual inaugural world champion Koichi Wajima in the semis of the world championship tournament.

Since then, Mugabi ran off a streak of five wins, with the last four coming inside the distance, the most recent of these being against New Jersey's Mickey Walker in a January world title eliminator. His big opportunity started badly, though, as Darcy built a lead through the opening four rounds. The world champion was explosive and dominant in the 1st and 4th, picking off his slower but more powerful opponent with precision jabs and piercing right crosses. Mugabi gave a better account of himself in rounds two and three, but it wasn't quite enough to convince any of the three judges to award him a round. He finally managed to get a foothold in the contest in the 5th, where he caught Darcy with two jolting uppercuts, a crippling body shot and a left jab thrown with so much venom that it snapped the champion's head back. Darcy was back in control in round six, but when Mugabi dropped him with a flush left hook a minute into the 7th, an upset was on the cards.

Darcy was up at eight, shaking his head and gazing apprehensively at Mugabi. The champion somehow survived the round, despite absorbing two right crosses, a left-right salvo and another thunderous left hook. He returned to his corner on unsteady legs, and those observing at ringside had to wonder if the referee would have stopped the fight if not for the boisterous home crowd. The knockdown worked wonders for Darcy, though, serving as a wake up call and a kick up the backside. He dominated and punished Mugabi during the next three rounds, culminating in the stoppage late in round ten. In scenes akin to three weeks ago in Las Vegas, when Jackson defeated Norton, Darcy's corner crew and supporters entered the ring to celebrate the win with him, Jackson and bantamweight Jeff Fenech amongst them. Darcy's record is now 33-2(25) while Mugabi suffered his fourth career defeat and fell to 36-4-2(33).

During the post-fight interview Darcy praised Mugabi, calling him the hardest puncher he's ever faced, and wondered along with his interviewer just how he managed to survive the 7th round. The Ugandan was understandably disappointed that the fight was stopped, even though he acknowledged that he was struggling to see properly out of his right eye. The stage is now almost set for the clash that fight fans have been waiting for, a rubber match between Darcy and former champion Koichi Wajima. If Wajima defeats the American Montell Jackson on August 16, he'll challenge Darcy for the championship in November, most likely on the final Saturday of the IBL 2008 season, November 21. In a harbinger for next year, Melbourne-born light-heavyweight IBL contender Mark Somogyi was in attendance at ringside last night, apparently scouting Darcy for what he believes could be a likely matchup.

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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports

The Official Website of the
International Boxing League

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

(Following are selected entries from the website's "Inside the Ropes: Fight Focus" section for the month of June 2008).


In a surprising result, Los Angeles welterweight Jason Morris held the talented Puerto Rican Orlando Sierra to a draw in stage three of the International Conference. The bout opened in exciting fashion, with the two combatants exchanging knockdowns. Morris found himself on the canvas from a left-right salvo two minutes into round one before dropping Sierra with a left hook late in round two. Morris went on to control the next three rounds and was heading for an upset victory before Sierra rallied in the bottom half of the contest, sweeping rounds six, seven, eight and nine on all three scorecards to bring about the final drawn verdict. Two judges had it 94-94, while the third favoured Sierra 95-93.

The Puerto Rican, who fought for the vacant IBO belt last year in March, had recorded stoppage wins in his first two IC bouts and was expected to add Morris to his list of victories in IBL competition. This was despite the fact that Morris brought a four-fight winning streak into the evening. The Californian made a rough start to his time with the IBL back in '06, winning his first bout before going 0-4-1 in the next five. A 1st round knockout of Miguel Montilla last August broke the losing streak and this month's result against Sierra provides more reason for he and his camp to be positive about the future. Morris faced some tough opponents in those early IBL fights, including current WCC competitors Enrique Diaz (the former world champion), Carmelo Barea, Hugo Pineda and Ifeani Adamu.

JIRO SUZUKI (JAPAN, 25-4(15)) D10 ELFORD COLES (USA, 12-0(4))

Florida Alliance member Elford Coles gave another example of why he is considered a future world championship contender, as he held his more experienced opponent Jiro Suzuki to a draw in the opening preliminary on the Harringay Arena card. In a contest where the momentum see-sawed from round-to-round, Coles finished strong in the 9th and 10th to force the drawn result. All three judges scored it 95-95. Coles outworked Suzuki but only outlanded him by four punches, 202-198. The result may have ended Coles's perfect career start (something he was understandably disappointed about), but what was much more important was the exposure he received and the eyes that his performance will have opened. Suzuki is by far his most accomplished opponent to date, and Coles gave a fantastic account of himself.


Former Inter-Continental champion Ashley Jackson made a slight stumble on his way to what has been an assumed berth in next year's welterweight World Championship Conference, as he had to produce a late rally to avoid what would have been an embarrassing home defeat against Colombia's Alexis Valderrama. Jackson made a slow start and there was reason for his corner crew and fans to be concerned when Valderrama floored him with a right cross at the end of round three. The East London native was in real trouble as the bout entered round eight, but he dropped his Colombian opponent with a stinging body shot midway through the frame and then dominated the final two rounds to bring about the drawn verdict. The result ended Jackson's third three-fight winning streak since signing with the IBL. The previous two streaks were ended by defeats, so this is at least an improvement in that regard.


Rochester's Max Rasmuth moved another step closer to a World Championship Conference berth with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over the luckless Dominican Calos Alou (97-94, 96-95, 97-94). Rasmuth improved to 3-0 in the International Conference after scoring upset wins against Roger Menetrey and Wilfred Benitez in the first two stages. Alou never gave him a moment's rest, and when it was all over Rasmuth acknowledged his opponent's toughness and resolve. Rasmuth outlanded Alou 206-149. The Dominican brought a 7-1 record to the IBL and went undefeated in his first four bouts. The problem is that three of them were draws, including one with the man who was eventually crowned as the inaugural Americas champion, Mexico's Bernabe Carbajal. Alou challenged Carbajal for the title in February '07 and was stopped on cuts, starting a run of three consecutive losses and, after this month's defeat to Rasmuth, a record of 1-6-1 during the last sixteen months.


Frenchman Petite Fourie put his IC campaign back on track with a convincing unanimous decision win over North Carolina's Clarence Hinnant (99-91, 100-90, 99-91). Fourie swept all but round six on one judge's card and round nine on another, outlanding Hinnant 353-95 in a workmanlike performance. Due to the lack of pop in Fourie's punches, Hinnant was wearing only a minor amount of swelling at the contest's conclusion. Fourie was disqualified for a low blow in the 3rd round of his last clash and committed three separate fouls against Hinnant. It's a part of his fight plan that he really needs to eradicate, as it could cost him further victories in the future. Fourie still has a chance to qualify for the WCC if he is able to win his remaining two International Conference bouts.


Bronx slugger Iran Barkley maintained his excellent International Conference campaign with a 4th round TKO of the tough, veteran German Klaus Bierhoff. Barkley cut him on the inside of the left eyebrow with a hard right hand late in round two, and the bout was halted midway through the 3rd to allow the ringside doctor to inspect the wound. Bierhoff was allowed to continue but when Barkley inflicted further damage in round four, the fight was stopped for good at the 2:17 mark. After winning five of his first six IBL fights, Bierhoff has now lost five of his last six going back to May '07. Meanwhile, Barkley has won three in a row for the first time since coming to the IBL and is in a great position to earn a place in next year's World Championship Conference.

SCOT LONG (USA, 13-4-2(5)) KO7 HERSCHEL JACOBS (USA, 20-7(5))

Local favourite Scot Long scored one of the most impressive wins of his career and kept his quest for a WCC berth on track with a 7th round knockout of the New Yorker Herschel Jacobs. In an exciting, action-packed fight, Long held a slight edge on the scorecards going into round seven, where he dominated Jacobs and then dropped him for a full count with a thudding left-right salvo moments before the bell. In an indication of the frenetic nature of the contest, Long had outlanded Jacobs 204-162 at the time of the stoppage. The win was only his second stoppage victory in IBL competition, following on from an 8th round knockout of Charley Berlanger in February. After a tough first eighteen months in the league, where he struggled to accumulate a 4-4-1 record, Long is now 3-0 in 2008 and is displaying the potential so many observers saw in him during the early stages of his career.


New York lightweight Richie Plunkett's action-packed International Conference campaign continued as he stopped his rival from the days when the Americas championship was still active, New Jersey's Ike Williams, in three furious rounds. The two first met in September '06 in the semi-finals of the Americas tournament, where Plunkett smoked Williams in the 1st round. Five months later they clashed again, with Plunkett making his first title defense. Williams gained revenge, flooring the Bronx native three times on the way to a unanimous decision win. That loss started a period of struggle for Plunkett, as it was his first career defeat but also ended up being the first of four losses in seven fights going through until April's upset 3rd round knockout loss to Alfredo Pitalua. Williams brought a five-fight winning streak into this month's clash, his last loss being to the Canadian Nicolas Fillion in his first defense of the Americas belt fourteen months ago.

The random nature of the International Conference's scheduling format brought Williams and Plunkett together for a rubber match, and it was a thriller while it lasted. Williams started strongly and appeared to be on his way to taking the opening round convincingly until Plunkett dropped him abruptly with a right cross. Plunkett landed a big right hand before the frame ended, but Williams rebounded to take the 2nd with a dominant showing. But the momentum swung violently again in the 3rd, Plunkett stunning Williams with a pair of left hooks and a straight right early before a right cross and an uppercut late in the round had the Trenton slugger slumping to the canvas, literally knocked out while still on his feet. The referee waved the contest over at the 2:43 mark. Both men are now 2-1 in the IC, so they'll need to be victorious in their final two bouts to have a chance of qualifying for the World Championship Conference.


Yuri Romanov improved his record in IBL competition to an impressive 8-1-2(6), dropping Connecticut's Larry Boardman five times on the way to a 7th round knockout win. The Belarusian has recorded eleven total knockdowns in his three International Conference wins over Boardman, Johnny Sato and Baby Vasquez and appears to be on his way to a World Championship Conference berth. However, the schedule will see him matched with one of the top lightweights in the fifth and final stage, which is where he'll need to be at his very best. His only loss under the league's banner was in the WCC qualifying tournament last August, when Japan's Hiroshi Kobayashi bested him by unanimous decision.


In a major boil over, former WBC lightweight champion Asdrubal Rosales fell to his second consecutive defeat, and in doing so ended his chances of qualifying for the 2009 World Championship Conference. Japan's Kurokawa Taiki started strongly and held on for a surprisingly clinical unanimous decision win (98-92, 97-93, 97-92). Rosales actually outlanded Taiki 243-221, but it was one of those instances where the rounds he won, he won big, but there just weren't enough of them. When Rosales signed with the IBL last year, the expectation was that he'd cruise through the International Conference and book a spot in the WCC, along with the likes of fellow IC lightweight competitors Pernell Whitaker and Orlando Zulueta. That reality is now over, and it will be interesting to see if Rosales can bounce back from the disappointment of it in his final two fights.


Anucha Thonglao is one of a number of talented Thailanders competing in the IBL. He recorded his fourth consecutive win and his ninth win in his last eleven bouts, building a dominant start into a comfortable unanimous decision nod over Colombia's Oscar Leon (96-94, 98-92, 97-93). Thonglao outlanded Leon 299-136, beating him to the punch time and again with his lightning-like left jab and blazing combinations, also often tagging him with a textbook left hook. Thonglao's compatriot Withaya Paholpat is currently competing in the featherweight World Championship Conference and it would be quite an achievement if Thonglao is able to join him there.


Puerto Rico's Juan LaPorte improved to 3-0 in International Conference competition with an explosive 1st round knockout of local favourite Pedro Gomez. A left-right-left flurry put Gomez on his back midway through the round, and he was counted out at the 1:47 mark. The tenacious young slugger started his time in the IBL with a six-round unanimous decision loss to current world champion Salvador Sanchez in the Challenger's tournament, and went on to accumulate a 3-4 record through his first fourteen months with the league. However, he is now on a four-fight winning streak that started in October with a TKO of the Filipino Elino Flores, and could very well find himself competing in the WCC next year. Gomez has lost all three of his IC bouts, after going 7-1 in his first twelve months with the league through until last October.


Fighting in the main event of the El Poliedro card, Antonio Esparragoza didn't really get a chance to entertain his compatriots as his bout against Jet Bally of the Philippines ended a minute into round four due to a nasty cut on Bally's left eyelid. It was opened by a hard right hand two minutes into the 2nd round, and the ringside doctor examined the wound immediately after it occurred before checking it again in round four, when the fight was stopped. Bally actually had the better of the brief fight, outlanding Esparragoza 91-57, but to no avail. Like another fighter who appeared on the card, Puerto Rico's Juan LaPorte, Esparragoza has now reeled off four consecutive victories after making a slow start to his IBL campaign. He gained a measure of revenge in this fight, as Bally eliminated him in the quarter-finals of the Challenger's tournament back in August '06. He has also suffered losses to current WCC competitors Vicente Saldivar, Charlie Beniston and Loris Stecca.


Fighting outside of Europe for the first time in his career, England's Ian Lord recorded his third stoppage victory in the International Conference, dispatching Cleveland's Paul Pirrone with a single, crippling rib shot midway through the 2nd round. Pirrone fell to his knees, gasping for air, and did not attempt to beat the count, still clutching his side in agony as the referee reached ten. Amazingly, the knockout came after Pirrone had dominated the opening round, taking the attack up to the former Inter-Continental champion and probably coming within a handful of punches of stopping him. It served as a wake-up call for Lord, whose only career loss to date came by controversial disqualification against Fred Boatwright in the WCC qualifying tournament in October. Lord came out much more aggressive in round two and tagged Pirrone with a series of combinations before landing the decisive punch. It seems that only complacency will stop Lord from booking a place in the 2009 World Championship Conference.


(Following are selected entries from the website's "Inside the Ropes: Results at a Glance" section for the month of June 2008).


(*IC*) (WW) SANDRO LOPOPOLO (ITALY, 16-7-1(8)) SD10 MARVYN ROLLINS (USA, 34-5-2(24))
(*IC*) (WW) BERNABE CARBAJAL (MEXICO, 14-2-3(8)) KO8 JAMES PAGE (USA, 11-6-2(6))




(*IC*) (LHW) JOHN CONTEH (ENGLAND, 29-5-2(20)) KO9 WILLI HOEPNER (GERMANY, 15-7-3(10))
(*IC*) (LHW) ALEXANDER LUCAS (ENGLAND, 23-4(16)) KO10 EDDIE DAVIS (USA, 12-3-2(8))
(*IC*) (LHW) JASON WANGANEEN (AUSTRALIA, 10-7-2(8)) DQ4 JACK CHASE (USA, 24-4-1(14))


(*IC*) (LHW) JIMMY SLADE (USA, 31-6(17)) UD10 ALI HABIB (AUSTRALIA, 11-6-1(7))
(*IC*) (LHW) STEVE GAYLE (USA, 25-3-2(16)) KO5 JIMMY ADAMICK (USA, 16-5-1(10))


(*IC*) (LW) AZUMAH NELSON (GHANA, 14-3(10)) UD10 RUBEN NAVARRO (USA, 20-6-2(13))
(*IC*) (LW) ORLANDO ZULUETA (CUBA, 20-1-3(12)) UD10 STEVE SULLIVAN (USA, 12-4-2(7))
(*IC*) (LW) HIROSHI KOBAYASHI (JAPAN, 31-6-1(22)) UD10 GEORGE CHANEY (USA, 30-10-4(22))


(*IC*) (LW) RADAMEL RAMOS (COLOMBIA, 24-2-1(15)) SD10 RAY MANCINI (USA, 12-5-2(7))



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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports

VOLUME 30, ISSUE 6 - JUNE 2008

(following are selected entries from the magazine's "Fight Review" section)

Saturday 21 June: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Jamal Hammonds (USA, 31-5(23)) SD12 Murray Sutherland (Scotland, 32-5-2(19))
(super-middleweight division)

Louisiana's Jamal Hammonds stayed alive in promoter Tyrone Hillier's super-middleweight world championship tournament with a split decision win over Scotland's Murray Sutherland in a stage two "sudden death" matchup. Both combatants were involved in split decision verdicts in stage one, with Hammonds losing a title challenge to Michael Barrett and Sutherland being edged by Bert Lytell. So unfortunately for Sutherland, he leaves the tournament following back-to-back split decision losses. It was a tight contest, with both men tasting the canvas within four rounds of the opening bell. Hammonds was dropped by a right cross late in round one while Sutherland went down face first after a left-right salvo midway through the 4th. It remained close from that point on, and was a difficult fight to score. The judges were in unanimous agreement in only six of the twelve rounds, with the final verdict being 114-112, 112-115, 114-112.

Saturday 21 June: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Bert Lytell (USA, 34-2(24)) UD12 Michael Barrett (USA, 25-2-1(17))
(WBA super-middleweight title fight)

California's Bert Lytell ended Michael Barrett's nineteen-month reign as the WBA's 168-pound champion, scoring a close unanimous decision win in stage two of the super-middleweight world championship tournament (115-114, 116-113, 115-114). In doing so Lytell regained the status he lost when Fulgencio Obelmejias dominated him in January '07: the status of world champion. Lytell always seemed to be in control of the fight, but a look at the scorecards indicates that if he had not won the final round (which he did, but only just), he would have lost the fight. Barrett was not going to give up his first world title without a fight and he was the more active combatant, landing 189 of 1,313 punches (14.4%). But as that accuracy figure indicates, Lytell made him miss often and quite badly. The new champion was outstanding, connected with 332 of 627 punches (53%). Lytell can now sit back and wait to see who he will first defend the belt against, with that championship defense due to take place in March, according to the tournament schedule.

Saturday 28 June: Las Vegas, NV, USA
David Hernandez (USA, 25-3-2(18)) UD12 Leon Dawson (USA, 20-3(14))
(super-middleweight division)

Like Jamal Hammonds on the previous Saturday, David Hernandez retained his place in the super-middleweight world championship tournament, defeating fellow Dallas native Leon Dawson by unanimous decision in a sudden death clash (117-112, 116-113, 117-112). Both were defeated by unanimous decision in stage one, Hernandez losing to Germany's Christian Fritz while Dawson was unsuccessful in his challenge for Fulgencio Obelmejias's WBC belt. The only drama Hernandez faced against Dawson was when he was cut above the right eyebrow in round nine. It was a minor wound, though, and by that stage of the fight he was in control and on his way to a convincing victory. The former WBO middleweight champion will next take on dethroned WBA champion and fellow Texan Michael Barrett in October, with the winner of that bout to receive a WBC title shot in March.

Saturday 28 June: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Fulgencio Obelmejias (Venezuela, 35-1-1(24) D12 Christian Fritz (Germany, 26-2(20))
(WBC super-middleweight title fight)

Defending champion Fulgencio Obelmejias was given all he could handle by Germany's Christian Fritz, and held onto his title by the skin of his teeth after the drawn verdict. Two judges scored the fight 114-114, with the third favouring the Venezuelan 114-113. In a dramatic contest, Fritz started brilliantly and floored the champion with a flush left hook early in round three. But Obelmejias rallied through the middle rounds and when he dropped the German with a crunching uppercut midway through the 8th he was in complete control, and had all the momentum. But Fritz stormed back into it, sweeping rounds nine to eleven on all three cards to set up a fantastic finish.

Obelmejias took the final frame to avoid what would have been just his second career defeat, and retain the championship. Obelmejias landed 240 of 1,130 punches (21.2%), Fritz 230 of 778 (29.6%). With Obelmejias the defending champion, he automatically moves forward to the tournament's fourth stage, despite the bout being a draw. He would have done so even if it had not been a title fight, as he is the #1 seed while Fritz is #4. The German faces Jamal Hammonds in October with a shot at Bert Lytell's WBA belt on the line, so he still has a chance to upset the tournament apple cart. His performance against Obelmejias showed the continual improvement he has made in the last couple of years, as he came dreadfully close to adding the WBC belt to the WBO and IBO championships he has previously held in the super-middleweight division.

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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports

The Official Website of the
International Boxing League

Thursday, July 3, 2008




Note: (^) indicates bout was confirmed after June 4.

5 July: Washington, DC, USA

(MW) #5 Greg Gorecky (Canada) vs #13 Davey Moore (USA)

(FLY) #3 Willie Davison (USA) vs #7 Mark Johnson (USA)

12 July: Paris, France

(JHW) #3 Taoufik Belbouli (France) vs #6 Angelo Rottoli (Italy)

12 July: Las Vegas, NV, USA

(FW) #7 Withaya Paholpat (Thailand) vs #14 Nobuhiro Yokoyama (Japan)

(BW) #7 Ricardo Bedic (Philippines) vs #9 Jeff Chandler (USA)

(LHW) #5 Sam Langford (Canada) vs #10 Dick Tiger (Nigeria)

(HW) #2 Terone Haynes (USA) vs #9 Joe Jeannette (USA)

19 July: London, England

(LHW) #7 James Franklin (England) vs #13 Freddie Mills (England)

(LW) #6 Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Uganda) vs #9 Teruki Nakata (Japan)

(JHW) #2 Carl Thompson (England) vs #4 Maurice Holmes (USA)

19 July: Buenos Aires, Argentina

(BW) #4 Ernesto Miranda (Argentina) vs #14 Felix Machado (Venezuela)

(FW) #4 Sergio Palma (Argentina) vs #12 Charlie Beniston (England)

26 July: Tokyo, Japan

(LW) #10 Iwao Otomo (Japan) vs #11 Jim Watt (Scotland)

(BW) #6 Atsuto Hasebe (Japan) vs #12 Jerome Gustilo (Philippines)

(WW) #5 Shoji Ohashi (Japan) vs #13 Meldrick Taylor (USA) (^)

(FLY) #2 Koki Kameda (Japan) vs #4 Teko Davids (South Africa)

26 July: St. Louis, MO, USA

(WW) #10 Virgil Akins (USA) vs #12 Eric Bengtson (USA) (^)

(WW) #6 Michael Lincoln (USA) vs #14 Ike Quartey (Ghana)

26 July: Las Vegas, NV, USA

(LW) #12 Enrique Bolanos (Mexico) vs #15 Vicente Santana (Brazil)

(JHW) #9 Carlos DeLeon (Puerto Rico) vs #12 Robert Daniels (USA)

(FW) #2 Gilberto Vasquez (Mexico) vs #8 Loris Stecca (Italy)

(BW) #WC Carlos Zarate (Mexico) vs #1 Jeff Fenech (Australia)
(*IBL World Championship bout*)

2 August: Warsaw, Poland

(HW) #12 Alexander Zolkin (Russia) vs #15 Vladimir Virchis (Ukraine) (^)

(HW) #4 Andrew Golota (Poland) vs #6 Marko Friedrich (Germany)

2 August: Philadelphia, PA, USA

(LHW) #9 Harold Johnson (USA) vs #15 Miguel Angel Cuello (Argentina) (^)

(MW) #4 Rubin Carter (USA) vs #14 Holman Williams (USA)

(JHW) #5 Nate Gibbs (USA) vs #14 Lee Roy Murphy (USA)

2 August: Mexico City, DF, Mexico

(FLY) #8 Humberto Gonzales (Mexico) vs #12 Hilario Zapata (Panama)

(FW) #6 Jesus Carrillo (Mexico) vs #10 Juan Meza (Mexico)

(LW) #3 Rafael Limon (Mexico) vs #7 Obafemi Rotimi (Nigeria)

(BW) #2 Gilberto Roman (Mexico) vs #10 Silence Mabuza (South Africa)

9 August: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

(LHW) #6 Mark Somogyi (Australia) vs #12 Taribo Keshi (Nigeria)

9 August: London, England

(MW) #6 Nigel Benn (England) vs #11 Randy Turpin (England)

(BW) #3 Owen Moran (England) vs #8 Orlando Canizales (USA)

(LHW) #2 Len Harvey (England) vs #4 Michael King (USA)

(HW) #3 Lennox Lewis (England) vs #7 Romy Alvarez (USA)

9 August: Lagos, Nigeria

(WW) #3 Ademola Udeze (Nigeria) vs #9 Ifeani Adamu (Nigeria)

9 August: New York, NY, USA

(JHW) #8 Dale Brown (Canada) vs #15 Piet Crous (South Africa) (^)

(HW) #8 Riddick Bowe (USA) vs #14 Ike Ibeabuchi (Nigeria) (^)

(LHW) #3 Ray Landis (USA) vs #11 Melio Bettina (USA)

9 August: Chicago, IL, USA

(WW) #11 Jimmy Doyle (USA) vs #15 Benedict Khumalo (South Africa) (^)

(JHW) #7 Michael Vaughan (USA) vs #11 Richard Mason (USA)

16 August: Johannesburg, South Africa

(FLY) #5 John Bekker (South Africa) vs #9 Ichiro Okubo (Japan)

16 August: Dublin, Ireland

(LW) #8 Jim Driscoll (Wales) vs #14 Brian Mitchell (South Africa) (^)

(JHW) #10 Tom Sharkey (Ireland) vs #13 Dario Walter Matteoni (Argentina)

16 August: Havana, Cuba

(BW) #13 Enrique Pinder (Panama) vs #15 Roberto Rubaldino (Mexico) (^)

(MW) #9 Joe Gans (Panama) vs #15 Fred Boatwright (USA) (^)

(LHW) #8 Tyrone Shelton (Jamaica) vs #14 Steve Finley (USA)

(BW) #5 Luis Galvani (Cuba) vs #11 Manuel Armenteros (Cuba)

16 August: New Orleans, LA, USA

(FLY) #13 Raton Mojica (Nicaragua) vs #14 Saman Sorjaturong (Thailand) (^)

(MW) #10 Mike McCallum (Jamaica) vs #12 Freddie Steele (USA) (^)

(WW) #4 Hugo Pineda (Colombia) vs #7 Marcelo Smith (USA)

(LW) #4 Joe Brown (USA) vs #13 Greg Haugen (USA)

16 August: Mexico City, DF, Mexico (*** New Card ***)

(FW) #11 Orlando Salido (Mexico) vs #13 Solly Smith (USA) (^)

(FW) #9 Omar Calderon (Mexico) vs #15 Keith Harrison (USA) (^)

(FLY) #6 Candido Tellez (Mexico) vs #11 Adrian Hernandez (Mexico) (^)

16 August: Las Vegas, NV, USA

(FLY) #10 Hiroyuki Ebihara (Japan) vs #15 Nam-Hoon Cha (South Korea)

(HW) #10 Mike Hanson (USA) vs #13 Igor Berezutskiy (Russia)

(MW) #3 Koichi Wajima (Japan) vs #8 Montell Jackson (USA)

(LHW) #WC Celestine Amakochi (Nigeria) vs #1 Mauro Mina (Peru)
(*IBL World Championship bout*)

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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports


Updated: July 6, 2008 10.15 AM ET

Johnson decimates Davison
in WCC rematch

By Larry Holman

Fighting in front of his hometown fans at the Uline Arena, Washington, DC's Mark Johnson confirmed his status as the best flyweight in America with a 9th round knockout of former world champion Willie Davison on Saturday night. The two men fought to a draw in the opening stage of the World Championship Conference, and the return clash was confirmed within weeks. Coming into the fight, Davison was ranked at #3 and Johnson #7. Cincinnati-born Davison last tasted victory back in March '07 when he upset Candido Tellez to claim the world title, a win that was the greatest of his career. Since then, he has been defeated by Tellez in a June '07 rematch, lost to Benny Lynch in a September elimination semi-final and been held to a draw by Johnson in their first meeting. Things only got worse for him in DC, as Johnson dropped him five times.

Davison enjoyed the slightest ray of hope late in round five, when he floored Johnson with a flurry of blows, but he failed to capitalise. Johnson had the better of the opening three rounds, and by the start of the 4th his efforts had already brought up some major swelling under Davison's right eye. It became worse during the frame, and when Johnson dropped the Ohio native with a left-right salvo late in the round, it looked to be all over. But Davison beat the count and survived, and then rallied against the run of play late in the 5th. Unfortunately for him, Johnson cancelled out his trip to the canvas when he floored Davison with a scorching uppercut just fifty seconds into round six. A straight right buckled Davison's knees a minute from the bell, but he managed to endure and re-group in an uneventful 7th. But Johnson dropped him for a third time with a right cross one minute into round eight, only for a resolute Davison to once again make it to the bell.

However, Davison ran out of miracles in the 9th. A left hook floored him after thirty seconds and an overhand right caught him flush on the chin later in the stanza. This time he couldn't beat the count, the bout over at the 2:27 mark. Johnson outlanded his rival by a wide margin, 249-115, and improved his record to 26-0-3(16). Davison fell to 27-6-2(20), and is now out of world title contention after three losses in four bouts. On the other hand, Johnson is a legitimate contender and will jump into the top five when the rankings are released next month. With the lack of a dominant fighter at the top of the flyweight division, it would not be a surprise if Johnson was able to become the world champion at some point during the next eighteen months. No doubt, he'll be looking to end 2008 with another big fight against the likes of John Bekker or Koki Kameda.

In the evening's final preliminary, Canadian middleweight Greg Gorecky stepped back into the ring for the first time since his brave February world title challenge against Les Darcy. The talented 26 year-old was in superb form as he dispatched the New Yorker Davey Moore in five rounds, knocking him down late in round three and then again midway through the 5th, where Moore was counted out at the 1:46 mark. It was an exciting clash while it lasted, with both men showing a willingness to engage from close range. Gorecky (14-1-1(8)) outlanded Moore 172-111, and will at the very least stay steady at his current ranking of #5, but could move up a spot when Mickey Walker's June loss to Jose Napoles is taken into account. As for Moore, his time in the WCC is probably over, even if he were to jag a win in stage three. He has suffered two stoppage losses so far, after being defeated by Rubin Carter in March, and could possibly drop to the bottom of the rankings (he is currently #13). It is a shame because he brought a seven-fight winning streak into the WCC, but now falls to 19-3(14).

Larry Holman is's boxing writer.

Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:20 am
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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports


"I want a rematch," says Norton

Story by Jonathan Gomez

Former world heavyweight champion Ken Norton ended his month-long silence when he was interviewed on ESPN's SportsCenter on Wednesday evening. The San Diego slugger stated without any hesitation that he not only wants, but also believes he deserves a rematch with the man who dethroned him, Australia's Peter Jackson, and that the fight should be held in November. Norton also discussed the "soul-crushing disappointment" he felt in the days after losing to Jackson, saying that despite the Caribbean-born, Sydney-based pugilist's obvious talents, he never really contemplated the possibility of losing to him. The reality of the defeat "blindsided" Norton, and he fell into a minor depression. The Illinois-born Norton turns thirty next month, and he maintained that his career is "far from over" despite the unexpected loss to Jackson.

Norton admitted that he was guilty of getting a little bit ahead of himself in the weeks leading up to the fight, and was thinking on the likely third clash with Terone Haynes that would have come at the end of the year instead of focusing on Jackson. While it is all fine and good for Norton to say he wants to fight Jackson again, the reality is that it's not up to him. The International Boxing League will ultimately decide whether Norton did enough in the first fight to warrant a return bout. In the opinion of many, the loss to Jackson was the most comprehensive of Norton's professional career, despite the fact that he knocked the Australian down in the 5th round. However, in the end it will almost certainly come down to one thing: Money. Norton is believed to be the highest-paid fighter on the IBL's roster, and his current contract runs through until the end of 2009. Based on the principle of getting a return on one's investment, this fact alone will most likely be enough to secure Norton a shot at regaining the championship.

The timing of Norton's re-emergence from seclusion is quite suspect, considering that Haynes will be in action on Saturday night in Las Vegas against New Jersey's Joe Jeannette. It almost seems designed to take the spotlight away from the Miami power puncher, although if that were the case it's a move that is out of character for Norton. Jackson has already said that he wants his first defense to be against Haynes, so he won't be too happy if the league declares that he has to fight Norton again instead. In addition, there's a number of upcoming stage two heavyweight bouts besides Haynes-Jeannette that will have a bearing on the rankings. It would be strange if the league were to announce who Jackson's next opponent is before those fights take place, so I would not expect any news in regards to the issue until late August. This is boxing, of course. Much stranger things have happened.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:20 pm
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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports


Updated: July 12, 2008 5.30 PM ET

Rottoli upsets Belbouli,
moves into title contention

By Larry Holman

Italian junior-heavyweight Angelo Rottoli recorded an upset unanimous decision win over hometown favourite Taoufik Belbouli at the Cirque d'hiver in Paris this morning to move himself into contention for a challenge to Jeff Lampkin's IBL world championship. It was Rottoli's second consecutive victory against a higher ranked opponent in the World Championship Conference, following on from his defeat of Richard Mason in February. Rottoli came into the bout ranked at #6 and with a three-fight winning streak while 3rd-ranked Belbouli was looking for his second consecutive victory after defeating Tom Sharkey in stage one. The Frenchman lost the only two bouts he contested in 2007, a title fight against Lampkin in March and then an elimination semi-final against England's Carl Thompson in August. So combined with those results, he is now 1-3 in his last four outings, and will surely fall out of the top five.

Rottoli (33-5-4(23)) took the decision by verdicts of 116-112, 115-113 and 116-112. He landed an outstanding 394 of 804 punches (49%), while the often-frustrated Belbouli (32-5(21)) connected with 207 of 1,172 (17.7%). It has been quite a remarkable turnaround for the Italian after he recorded just a single victory in his first five IBL fights. To be fair, the opening two bouts were draws, one of which was against former world champion Carlos DeLeon. However, he has now recorded two consecutive victories over top five opponents, and one would think that Lampkin's management will be eager to open up negotiations for a stage three title fight as soon as possible. The consensus has been that he would next defend the belt against the winner of the July 19 Thompson-Holmes showdown, but most observers would agree that Rottoli represents the safer option. Lampkin has already held the title for longer than anyone expected, so a defense against Rottoli could realistically extend his reign.

Larry Holman is's boxing writer.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:24 pm
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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
The Miami Herald



Story by Michael Lawson

Former world heavyweight champion Terone Haynes was at his destructive best last night at the MGM in Las Vegas when he stopped New Jersey's Joe Jeannette late in the 2nd round of their World Championship Conference bout. Haynes was out to make a statement and that's exactly what he did, punishing Jeannette in the opening round before flooring him with a barrage of power punches midway through the 2nd, and then pummelling him to such an extent that referee Brian Garry had no choice but to jump in and save the defenseless Jeannette from further harm, waving it over at the 2:25 mark. In the less than six minutes of mayhem, Haynes landed 67 of 106 punches (62%), Jeannette just 12 of 62 (16.2%). The win was eerily similar to Haynes's dismantling of current world champion Peter Jackson in March '07, a bout that also ended in the 2nd round.

Haynes (28-1(24)) confirmed afterwards that he had been annoyed by the Ken Norton interview that took place during the week. Not so much its content, but the timing of it coming only days before his clash with Jeannette. He used the anger he was feeling towards Norton as fuel for his performance against Jeannette, which was an awesome one. Even after the win, the Miami native appeared agitated and surly, as if he was ready to take on all comers. He was in a foul mood, to be sure, and it was something his trainer Roy Jones did not try to subdue or soften. It was not until the in-ring interview was all but over that Haynes "aired some grievances", as he put it. He spoke of his frustration at being told who he could and could not fight under the IBL banner, referencing the period when he was world champion last year and had wanted to defend the title against Jack Johnson but the league rules would not allow it, aswell as the planned stage two clash with Lennox Lewis that the organisation quashed in February.

His rant was somewhat directionless after that, but reading between the lines it was clear that it was the ravings of an unhappy man who probably realises he won't be challenging Peter Jackson for the world title during stage three of the WCC. At one point Haynes seemed to be laying down the gauntlet to the entire heavyweight division to "come and get me", which made for a somewhat tense moment when he glanced coldly towards his stable mate and fellow heavyweight contender Romy Alvarez. Haynes's hostility was not a huge surprise as he displayed a similar disposition at Friday's weigh-in, where he got in Jeannette's face and intimidated him. The victory was the dose of sweet revenge that the Florida Alliance and trainer Roy Jones have been waiting to gain over the New Jersey-based stable of Jimmy Floyd for almost two years, since Mickey Walker's controversial win over Holman Williams in August '06.

As for Jeannette (20-4(13)), this defeat was simply another loss in another big fight for him. Since coming to the IBL he has fallen to Lennox Lewis in the Challenger's tournament quarter-finals, Jack Johnson in a March '07 world ranking bout, and now Haynes. The only prominent opponent he has beaten in league competition is Olympic silver medallist Riddick Bowe. Jeannette did bring a four-fight winning streak into last night's bout, but Haynes swept it aside and made it irrelevant. Jeannette was ranked at #9 coming into the fight and will drop into the relegation zone as a consequence of the loss. It means he'll need a good win in stage three, most likely against a top contender, to stay in the WCC for 2009. This fight against Haynes was his big chance, though, his chance to show that he has what it takes to mix it with the superstars of the division. Not only did he fail to take advantage of that chance, he also gave fuel to those who believe he is not ready for the big stage, and might never be.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:26 pm
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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports
Halifax Sunday

SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2008


Story by Louis Haywood

Fighting on the undercard of last night's Haynes-Jeannette stoush in Las Vegas, Nova Scotia light-heavyweight Sam Langford extended his winning streak to six with a 10th round knockout of former IBF champion Dick Tiger. The Nigerian held his own during a competitive opening four rounds, and for a moment it appeared that Langford may have bitten off more than he could chew in his quest to secure a world championship bid. But when he dropped Tiger with a left hook midway through the 5th, the tide turned permanently in his favour. Tiger was fortunate to survive the round, and Langford continued to dominate through the 6th. He then sent Tiger to the canvas for a second time early in round seven with a crippling body shot. Once again, Tiger's determination saw him reach the bell, and he was able to stay on his feet through the 8th and 9th, although Langford controlled both rounds.

Tiger looked exhausted and almost resigned as he came out for round ten, and that was where the fight ended. A left-right salvo floored him midway through the frame and a flush, smashing left hook dropped him late. Tiger was counted out at the 2:58 mark, falling to just his third career defeat and first in sixteen months. Langford landed 318 of 707 punches (45%), Tiger 192 of 580 (33.1%). It was something of a shame that these two great fighters were contesting this bout in stage two of the IBL's World Championship Conference, as it's now going to be difficult for Tiger (30-3-2(20)) to stay in the WCC for next year. He came into the fight ranked 10th and will most likely fall a place or two, so his stage three bout is a must-win. He brought a four-fight winning streak into last night's clash and was confident he could spring the upset, but instead suffered the worst defeat of his career to date.

As for Langford, he remains perfect at light-heavyweight. He has recorded twelve knockdowns and five stoppages in his six wins. His last victory was against former WBA and IBL champion Harold Johnson, so with back-to-back wins over former world titlists he has a strong case for being the next man to challenge for the light-heavyweight world championship. Celestine Amakochi defends the belt against Mauro Mina on August 16, and if he were to retain the title it will complete his obligations as far as defending the championship during 2008 is concerned. However, Amakochi has previously said that he would be prepared to put the title on the line in stage three, which would be his fourth defense this year. The most important factor in that regard will most likely be the nature of the bout against Mina. If it's a short one, Amakochi might feel confident to step back in the ring before the end of November, but if it goes the distance (or close to it) he'll almost surely take the rest of the year off.

The other top five ranked light-heavyweight contenders will all be in action on August 9, with #2-ranked Englishman Len Harvey taking on 4th-ranked Detroit native Michael King in London and #3 Ray Landis fighting former Americas champion Melio Bettina (#11) in New York. The results of those bouts will determine how far Langford moves in the updated rankings when they are released on August 17. Langford (22-2(16)) said after last night's fight that he is not worried about whether he'll be able to challenge for the title in stage three or not. The devout Christian spoke of leaving it "all up to the Lord" and only concentrating on what he can control, that being his conditioning and preparation for each fight. He did mention that he'll be instructing his management to pursue a stage three contest against one of the other top contenders, in order to further strengthen his credentials for a world title challenge.

Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:28 pm
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Post Re: The Greatest Prize in Sports


Checking in on the
IBL's Development League

Story by Michael Broughton

The International Boxing League's 2008 schedule has now entered its second half, and with most fans and commentators being focused on competition in the World Championship Conference and International Conference, it might be easy to forget that bouts have also been staged in the Development League. Boxing's future world champions have been toiling away, mostly in obscurity, many of them fighting on the non-telecasted portions of Saturday night WCC fight cards. While the DL might not have received the same amount of attention or recognition, IBL vice-president Michael Vincennes believes the organisation has "got it right" in regards to the league being the starting point for the least experienced of its contracted fighters. During the 42-week IBL "season" each DL competitor contests seven six-round bouts, with a six week break between each fight. A number of fighters have distinguished themselves so far. Some of these successes were expected, while others have come as a pleasant surprise.


* Tomasz Adamek (19, Poland, light-heavyweight, 13-0(9))

Poland's Tomasz Adamek made his IBL debut in March '07 as a junior-heavyweight before moving down to light-heavyweight in June, a couple of weeks before the league announced plans for its 2008 reboot. Like a number of other fighters, Adamek's situation became muddled as a result but he remained active through he rest of the year and took a 9-0 mark into the Development League. He's been solid through his opening four DL fights, scoring three stoppage wins and appearing set to earn a berth in the '09 International Conference.

* Javier Aguirre (20, Mexico, middleweight, 13-0(10))

Just sixteen months into his professional career, Javier Aguirre might already be Mexico's best active middleweight. The former amateur standout has made a faultless start to his time in the pro ranks, which includes four consecutive early round stoppages in DL competition. No one in the IBL has been able to take Aguirre beyond the 3rd round yet, and with only three fights remaining in '08 he looks a certainty to enter '09 with his perfect record intact. The 20 year-old appears to be a superstar in the making, and with the experience he'll gain through the next eighteen months it's likely he'll clinch a place in the 2010 WCC as a very polished, dangerous fighter.

* Alexis Arguello (18, Nicaragua, featherweight, 13-0(12))

Ever since making his professional debut in March 2007, Nicaragua's Alexis Arguello has been on a mission to provide for his family's future. One of seven siblings born into poverty in the slums of his nation's capital Managua, the 18 year-old signed a three-year contract with the IBL in November. While the security it provides eases the burden somewhat, Arguello knows that the best way to achieve his goal is to reach the top as soon as possible. With that in mind, he has set himself a task of becoming world featherweight champion by the end of 2011, which if all goes to plan would be his second year in the World Championship Conference. Based on his progress to date, it would not be the least bit surprising if he pulls it off.

* George Dixon (21, Canada, bantamweight, 18-1(7))

Almost two years have passed since Athens silver medallist George Dixon joined the IBL, and besides a shock 1st round KO loss to Silence Mabuza in May '07 it's been smooth sailing for him. A slick, quick-fisted boxer, stoppages have been rare for Dixon, with only five of his fifteen IBL wins coming inside the distance. The 21 year-old has developed a friendship with fellow Nova Scotia native and Athens gold medallist Sam Langford during the last twelve months, and also trains with him. It's an association that has been of great benefit to Dixon, and one he would be wise to maintain as his career progresses.

* Pascual Perez (18, Argentina, flyweight, 7-0(5))

Little was known of the aggressive, hard-hitting Argentinian flyweight Pascual Perez before he started competing under the IBL banner this year. The word is that a league scout saw him in action on a fight card in Buenos Aires last October and implored the organisation to sign him. Perez brought a 3-0 record into the Development League and has looked fantastic in his first four league bouts. Apparently the teenager can speak only a few words of English, and so has understandably travelled with a translator on the two occasions when the league schedule has called for him to leave his homeland. Without a doubt, one to keep an eye on.

* Earnie Shavers (23, USA, heavyweight, 16-0(16))

Like Alexis Arguello, Alabama-born, Ohio-based heavyweight Earnie Shavers made a premature jump to the professional ranks for financial reasons. Shavers' mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2006, and he has been funding her treatment ever since his November '06 debut. The power puncher has bulldozed his way through sixteen opponents, with each fight ending inside of four rounds. If Shavers wins every bout he'll be scheduled to appear in during the next eighteen months, he'll take a perfect 24-0 record into the 2010 WCC, which is scary.

* Tony Tucker (21, USA, junior-heavyweight, 4-0(3))

Grand Rapids-born junior-heavyweight Tony Tucker is one of only a handful of fighters who made their professional debut under the IBL banner. He claimed a light-heavyweight silver medal at the 2007 World Amateur Championships in Chicago, but rather than continue on until Beijing decided that it was time to take the next step and turn professional. He has made an impressive, assured start to his pro career, showing both eye-opening knockout power and solid boxing skills, including a potent left jab. At 6'5", one would think it's won't be too long until Tucker moves up to the heavyweight division, but for now he's contesting in the 200-pound weight class.

* Damien Walec (25, USA, light-heavyweight, 16-0-1(15))

New Jersey's Damien Walec was one of the more high-profile IBL signings during late '07, when the league was stitching up combatants for each of its three levels of competition. At the time, Walec was fighting as a super-middleweight and was already being regarded as a future challenger to world champion Fulgencio Obelmejias. The IBL does not feature a 168-pound division, so when Walec inked his contract it was with the knowledge that he would start out in the light-heavyweight division. Like others, such as current world light-heavyweight champion Celestine Amakochi, Walec has voiced an ambition to claim the 175/200/200+ treble in the IBL, and while those lofty heights are a long way off at the moment, the Middlesex County southpaw has made a solid start to his career. His only hiccup to date has been a drawn bout against the young German Axel Muller in April.

Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:44 am
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