By Scott Gilfoid: This Saturday Welsh fighter Gary Lockett (30-1, 21 KOs) will be in the toughest fight of his career when he goes up against WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (33-0, 29 KOs) in a title fight at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Nothing on Lockett’s career record would appear to suggest that he’ll do anything other than losing badly to the 26 year-old Pavlik, who is not only more powerful but has also faced the much stiffer competition. Lockett’s trainer Enzo Calzaghe would have you believe otherwise, saying repeatedly this week that Lockett will shock the world when he pulls and upset over Pavlik.
However, Enzo Calzaghe isn’t the one that has to go out and fight Pavlik, and no matter how many times he says that Lockett has the ability to win, there’s few people buying into his bold talk. Lockett, 31, has reportedly been sparring often with his stable mate Enzo Maccarinelli, a cruiserweight, in hopes that this will prepare Lockett for the big shots coming in at him from Pavlik this Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »
By Nate Anderson: Undefeated middleweight contender John Duddy (24-0, 17 KOs) makes his return to the ring on June 28th against American Charles Howe (17-4-2, 9 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout at The Castle, in Boston, Massachusetts. Duddy, 28, ranked #2 WBC and #WBO, is making his first appearance since his life and death battle against the hard-hitting journeyman fighter Walid Smichet in February.
In what was at first thought to be a fight that was supposed to have been an easy showcase fight for Duddy, one that would set him up for a big money title challenge against WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on June 7th. However, the plans went awry when Duddy was rocked by Smichet on several occasions in the bout, and cut badly over both eyes. The cuts, both very deep and particularly the nasty variety, required that Duddy take off more time that he had planned on. The worst part of it, though, was the combination of his poor performance against Smichet and the deep cuts, made it necessary for Pavlik to seek out another opponent for his June 7th bout, in this case the unheralded Gary Lockett. Read the rest of this entry »
By Erik Schmidt: Let me start off by saying, last Friday night’s bout between Danny Williams (39-6, 31 KOs) and Konstantin Airich (9-1-1, 8 KOs) was a terrible fight in terms of the job done by the referee of the fight, who appeared to do everything wrong in the ring, ranging from calling multiple standing eight counts, to penalizing Williams needlessly over and over again with much of a reason. That said, the action in the fight was some of the most exciting that I’ve seen in quite some time, and whether want to accept this or not, this fight was arguably the best heavyweight fight of the year, perhaps even the best in two years or more.
We saw each fighter going down in the fight, in Airich’s case he saw the canvas close hand twice. So what if the 6th round was stopped a little earlier than expected, everything was made right in the 7th when Airich’s corner threw in the towel. However, I think this fight needs to be done over, next time of course with a different referee, and possibly a different country other than Spain. Germany would probably be the best location, because we’d be able to bring in a larger audience than any other location for the fight, since both Williams and Airich probably wouldn’t sell that well in other parts of the world such as America or England. Read the rest of this entry »
By Eric Thomas: Undefeated light middleweight prospect Latif Mundy (8-0, 3 KOs) defeated George Rivera (8-2, 3 KOs) when the fight was stopped at the end of the 4th round by the ringside doctor on Friday night at the Expo Mart, in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Mundy, 25, one of the top prospects in the light middleweight division, dominated the fight against Rivera, 30, using a combination of power punching and lightning quick combinations to control the bout. There were no knockdowns in the fight, but Rivera was cut on the left side of his face near his eye in the 3rd round. His face would redden and swell in the 4th round from Mundy’s blistering shots to the head. Mundy kept a steady jab going in the first round, using it to set up his fast combinations.
Rivera, after initially landing a couple of shots in the opening round, almost immediately backed once he got a taste of Mundy’s power. I couldn’t figure out whey Mundy doesn’t have more knockouts after watching the opening round because he hits incredibly hard, but after seeing that most of his fights have only been four rounders, I understood why. Read the rest of this entry »
By Erik Schmidt: Undefeated WIBF Women’s International Boxing Federation featherweight and WBC Female featherweight champion Ina Menzer (21-0, 9 KOs) destroyed her American challenger Stacey Reile (8-1, 3 KOs) with a series of big right hands on Saturday night, knocking her flat with a devastating right hand in the 2nd round. Referee Daniel Van de Wiele immediately stopped the bout at 1:39 after seeing how badly Reile had been hurt by the knockdown. The fight started off slowly in rounds one and two, with Reile for the part in control of the fight using her faster hands to land effectively with combinations.
Menzer, 27, originally from Kazakhstan and now living in Germany, seldom let her hands go in the first couple of rounds, instead jabbing and looking for openings. In the third round, the fight continued to be controlled by Reile, that is, until the final seconds of the round when Menzer unloaded with a huge right hand that landed to the side of Reile’s head, staggering badly and almost causing her to go down. The referee did something I’d never seen before in a fight, he grabbed a hold of Reile to steady her, and actually prevented what very likely would have been a knockdown from occurring. Read the rest of this entry »
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko (21-2-2, 7 KOs) finally ran out luck on Saturday night when he lost his title to the young 22 year-old Panamanian Andelmo Moreno (22-1-1, 8 KOs) by a 12-round unanimous decision at the Burg-Waechter Castello, Dusseldorf, in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Moreno used a combination of constant movement, clinching often and jabbing to stymie Sidorenko’s offense, keeping him from landing more than one punch at a time for most of the fight. Sidorenko had huge problems landing anything at all up until the 6th round, when he seemed to realize that the only way to make contact with Moreno was to bull rush him and stay constantly on top of him.
By then, however, Sidorenko was already trailing by five rounds and in an almost desperate situation. The problem for Sidorenko, though, was that he’s ever been a particularly good pressure fighter, and did a rather poor job of keeping on top of Moreno even when it was clear to all that was his only chance of winning the fight. Read the rest of this entry »
By Aaron Klein: Ukrainian heavyweight Taras Bidenko (26-2, 12 KOs) defeated former BBBofC British and Commonwealth (British Empire) heavyweight champion Michael Sprott (30-12, 15 KOs) by a 10-round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Burg-Waechter Castello, Dusseldorf, in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. The final judges’ scores were 97-93, 97-94 and 97-93, all for Bidenko. I personally scored the fight 96-94 for Sprott. I couldn’t see how Bidenko could have won the fight seeing that he had been totally dominated in rounds one though three, five through seven.
None of those rounds were even slightly close with Sprott easily winning with fast combinations and hard jabs. Bidenko, 28, a 6’4″ 218 lb heavyweight without much power, took over the fight starting in the 8th round as Sprott tired out somewhat. However, most of the final three rounds were very close and could have gone either way. Sprott, 33, came into the fight looking remarkably out of shape in comparison to his form a year ago, in February 2007, when he stopped Audley Harrison in the 3rd round in a major shocker to win the BBBofC British heavyweight title. Read the rest of this entry »
By Nate Anderson: Undefeated cruiserweight contender Alexander Alexeev (15-0, 14 KOs) made easy work of journeyman Louis Azille (19-6-2, 15 KOs), stopping him in the 2nd round of a scheduled 10-round bout on Saturday night at the Burg-Waechter Castello, Dusseldorf, in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Alexeev, 27, hurt Azille with a straight left hand late in the 2nd round, and then hit him with a flurry of shots ending with a left-right combination to put him down. Though Azille appeared make it up at the count of nine, the referee Arno Pokrandt stopped the bout at 2:56 of the 2nd round. Alexeev also dropped Azille in the 1st round, knocking him down late in the round with a left uppercut to the head.
Alexeev, a former 2004 Olympic participant from Russia now living in Germany, had his way with the shorter Azille, hitting him with straight left hands and giving him problems with his movement. In the 1st round, Alexeev jabbed Azille at a distance, placing right hooks through his guard. Azille, 37, attempted to apply pressure but Alexeev skillfully would back away while firing shots in retreat. Azille would find himself hitting only air for the most part no matter how hard he tried to land. Alexeev, a southpaw, used his right hand as a range finder holding it out in front of him and often jabbing or turning it over to a short hook. Read the rest of this entry »
By Erik Schmidt: Undefeated Italian featherweight prospect Giampiero Contestabile (10-0, 5 KOs) defeated David Chianella (15-5-2, 4 KOs) to win the Italian featherweight title after the bout was stopped in the 2nd round with Chianella suffering a badly broken nose on Friday night in a scheduled 10-round title bout at the Palasport, Avezzano, L’Aquila, in Abruzzo, Italy. Contestabile, 5’10”, using his considerable height and reach advantage over the shorter 5’6″ Chianella, pounded him with long jabs and fast combinations for two rounds.
In the 2nd round, however, Contestabile appeared to break Chianella nose with a fast left-right combination at close range, sending him immediately backwards where he turned his back and went to the side of the ring to have his nose, now bleeding like a faucet, examined. The referee then had the ring doctor examine three separate times, allowing the fight to continue briefly in between examinations. It was clear, however, that his nose was too badly broken because the blood was pouring out all over the chest of Chianella. By then, his nose had swelled up considerbly to the point where the doctor could no longer ignore the injury and then called off the fight at that point. The bout then went to the scorecards, with Contestabile winning the fight due to his domination of both rounds. Read the rest of this entry »
By Sean McDaniel: Journeyman fighter light welterweight Emanuel Augustus (37-29-6, 19 KOs) struggled badly last night in defeating Jun Paderna (10-11-2, 4 KOs) by a six-round unanimous decision at the Central Coast Leagues Club, Gosford, in New South Wales, Australia. The final scores were 59-55, 60-55 and 60-54. Though the scores were essentially one-sided for Augustus, the fight was much closer than that, with Paderna appearing to do enough to win the fight based on his harder – and much more numerous shots landed in the fight.
However, Augustus, 33, the big-named fighter in the bout, the one that was expected to win, appeared to be the beneficiary of some very kind scores. Augustus looked slow, weak and out of shape, barely able to fire back at times against the quicker and much more powerful Paderna. For me, it was shocking to see how much Augustus had degenerated since I’d seen him last fight, in October 2005 against Herman Ngoudjo, a fight that Augustus ended up losing. Back then, though still losing most of his fights, Augustus still had good speed and a decent work rate. Not anymore, at least not what I saw of him against Paderna last night. Augustus was beaten to the punch often, getting hit with whistling shots from the short, round 5’5″ Paderna, who fought much better than he looked. Read the rest of this entry »