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title Witter vs. Harris

witter353353.JPGWBC light-welterweight champion Junior Witter (35-1, 20 KOs) defends his title on Saturday, September 7th, against challenger Vivian Harris (28-2-1, 18 KOs) at the Doncaster Dome, in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. Witter, 33, looks to be in for a real dog fight, considering the mostly soft opposition that he has fought this far in his 10-year career, consisting mostly of European fighters not in the class of Harris, 29. One of the few good opponents that Witter faces in his career, Zab Judah, knocked him out in the 12th round in June 2000, after building a commanding lead up to that point in the fight.

Following that loss, Witter fought exclusively European opponents for the next six years of his career until defeating American DeMarcus Corley last year, in September 2006, by 12-round decision. The win, however, was tarnished somewhat by the fact that Corley had been beaten three out of his last six fights leading up to his fight with Witter, and was thought by many to be over-the-hill. Whatever the case, Witter defeated him to win the vacant WBC light welterweight championship at the age of 32. How, however, Witter finds himself matched against his best opponent since his one-sided beating at the hands of Zab Judah six years ago in having to face the tough Harris. Read the rest of this entry »

title Peter vs. Maskaev

peter35353232.jpgWBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev (34-5, 26 KOs) will be making his 2nd title defense on October 6th when he meets up with Nigerian knockout slugger Samuel Peter at Madison Square Garden, in New York. Maskaev, 38, is on a 12 consecutive win streak, dating back to February 2003. Previous to that, Maskaev had been plagued by chin problems, causing him to lose a string of vicious knockout losses to hard-punching – and severely limited – Kirk Johnson, Lance Whitaker and Corey Sanders between 2000-2001.

After the loss to Sanders, who incidentally Maskaev was dominating at the time of his stoppage loss in the 8thy round in March 2002, he as considered damaged goods by many boxing experts, that he could no longer take a hard punch. However, instead of giving up, Maskaev took a year off from boxing and let his head recover from the knockouts, something perhaps he should have done after the first of the knockout losses to Kirk Johnson, a fight that Maskaev suffered a brutal 4th round knockout loss. Read the rest of this entry »

title Holt-Torres: The Final Word

holt-torres23222.jpgIn the past few days, I’ve read countless reports from posters in various boxing site forums about the outcome of the WBO light welterweight championship bout between title holder Ricardo Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) and #1 challenger Kendal Holt (22-2, 12 KOs), most of which is centered on the fact that the figh was stopped too soon in the 11th round, suggesting that Holt should have been permitted to continue fighting longer by referee Genero Rodriguez.

However, having seen the entire fight – and not just clips – I’m fully convinced that the referee did the right thing by stopping the fight the fight in the 11h round. If anything, I think he should have stopped the fight earlier, after Holt got up after having been knocked down by a howitzer of a left hook by Torres at 0:58 of the 11th round. At that time, after Holt got to his feet, he was staggering and unable to stand straight without listing from side to side. To make things worse, as the referee was asking him if he was okay, Holt staggered bag, leaning against the ropes for support. Read the rest of this entry »

title Does Holyfield Deserve Title Shot Against Ibragimov?

holyfield1122334455.jpg Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (42-8-2, 27 KOs) is poised to win his fifth heavyweight title next month when he travels to Moscow, Russia to take on undefeated WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov (21-0, 17 KOs) on October 13th. Never mind that Holyfield, 44, has done little to deserve a shot at the title since making his comeback to boxing following a two-year suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission due to “diminishing skills” following three consecutive losses to Chris Byrd, James Toney and Larry Donald.

Since making his comeback, Holyfield, ranked # 13 in the WBO, has faced in the following order: Jeremy Bates, Fres Oquendo, Vinny Maddalone and Lou Savarese. None of them, however, are ranked in the top 10, a fact which makes his shot at a title rather unfair given the fact that he’s essentially leapfrogged over 12 other fighters that are ranked ahead of him in the WBO. In the old days, a fighter had to earn his way to title contention by fighting and beating the best fighters, slowly working his way to the # 1 spot. However, in Holyfield’s case, all of that has seemed to have been thrown on the window to allow Holyfield yet another shot at a title. Read the rest of this entry »

title Duddy To Return To Ring In October

duddy773322.jpgUndefeated middleweight John Duddy (21-0, 16 KOs) will return to the boxing ring on October 20th when he fights in Dublin, Ireland against an un-named opponent. Duddy, 28, was born in the UK, but has Irish ancestry, has fought most of his career in the United States, where he resides in New York City. Earlier this year, Duddy decided on traveling to Ireland, where he has hopes on winning a European title, and hopefully along the way built up a large fan base in his native country. In his first bout in Ireland, Duddy struggled badly in the process of stopping Italian Alessio Furlan (19-8-5, 8 KOs) in the 10th round on July 14, 2007. It was a harsh greeting for Duddy, who had hoped to have an easy time beating the unheralded Furlan.

Duddy’s fights have been frequently been showcased on ESPN in the United States, where he has built up a following of loyal fans, despite the fact that he’s so far faced mostly limited opposition during his short career. Perhaps his toughest opponent to date, Luis Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas, fought Duddy to the brink of defeat on September 29, 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

title Holt Files Protest Over Loss to Torres

holt463_01.jpgFollowing his heartbreaking 11th round TKO loss to WBO welterweight champion Ricardo Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) on Saturday night at the Salon Jumbo del Country Club, Barranquilla, Atlantico, in Colombia, WBO # 1 challenger Kendal Holt is filing a protest to the WBO. Based on reports from ringside, Holt was apparently pelted with a can of unopened beer tagging Holt in the head shortly after knocking Torres down in the sixth round of their bout on Saturday night. Also, there were reports that Holt had been grabbed on the ankle by a fan that had reached through the ring ropes during the fight. During the 11th round, the canvas was littered with debris, making it difficult for the fighters to fight without tripping over the items, reports state.

Holt, 26, was leading on two of the three ringside judge’s scorecards at the time of the knockout in the 11th round. In the round, Torres, 27, from Colombia, caught Holt with a devastating one-two combination that badly hurt him and sent him to the canvas. Read the rest of this entry »

title Klitschko vs. Tua: Is David Next For Wladimir?

wladimir9864.jpgAccording to the latest boxing news from New Zealand’s Sunday News, former heavyweight challenger David Tua (48-3-1, 40 KOs) could possibly land a title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (49-3, 44 KOs) as early as the beginning of 2008. The arrangement involves some legal issues apparently between Tua’s promoter Cedric Kushner and Wladimir Klitschko’s promoter Shelly Finkel. By Wladimir choosing to fight Tua (currently ranked # 12 in the WBC), Kushner would drop the lawsuit, the New Zealand Sunday News reports.

As things stand, Tua has done little in recent years to warrant a shot at the heavyweight title. Since returning to boxing following a two year absence in 2005, Tua has fought and beaten six journeyman-type fighters, none of which are ranked in the top 10. In all but one of them, his most recent bout against Saul Montana in August 2007, Tua has showed few signs of his former knockout form from 1992-2001. Read the rest of this entry »

title Kirkland Destroys Said

kirkland24242424.jpgUnbeaten junior middleweight prospect James Kirkland (20-0, 17 KOs) knocked out Mohammed Said (21-6-1, 14 KOs) in the 2nd round on Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino, in Tacoma, Washington. Kirkland knocked Said down twice in the first round, and then a final time in round two. Said wasn’t able to beat the count on after the 3rd knockdown.

Unlike in his last fight against Ossie Duran in June 2007, Kirkland, 23, came in tip top shape, showing no signs of excess fight or poor fatigue which hampered him in his last outing against Duran. While receiving he referee’s instruction, it seemed immediately clear that Said, 33, looked badly frightened of Kirkland. I knew the look, having seen it many times before with fighters that were seemingly psyched out before they even landed a blow. Sometimes it turned out to be no big deal, as they were able to go out and fight effectively. However, more often than not, it was a signal that they were going to lose the fight badly. Read the rest of this entry »

title Torres Stops Holt

torres3535222.jpgWBO light welterweight champion Ricardo “Mochuelo” Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) rallied late to come from behind and knockout American challenger Kendall Holt (22-2, 12 KO’s) in the 11th round of a scheduled 12-round bout, on Saturday night at the Salon Jumbo del Country Club, in Barranquilla, Atlantico, in Colombia. Torres, 27, from Colombia and well known for his explosive knockout power in each fist, had trouble in much of the fight with the faster, more boxing oriented Holt, who jabbed and the outside, staying away from Torres’ punching alley.

As the rounds went by, the situation began to look bleak for Torres, who round himself in the position of potentially losing his title in front of his countrymen in Colombia. Instead of getting discouraged, Torres began a concerted effort to take the fight to Holt, beginning in the 10th round, preventing him from escaping along the ropes as he had in the earlier rounds of the fight. Read the rest of this entry »

title Zuniga Destroys Oganov

zuniga-oganov17.jpgAfter witnessing the Russian Victor Oganov’s (26-1, 26 KOs) 9th round KO loss at the hands of Colombian punching machine Fulgencio Zuniga (20-2-1, 17 KOs), I must admit that I wasn’t the overly surprised by the ease of the 9th round stoppage victory for Zuniga. I’d only seen a couple of Oganov’s fights – against Sam Reese and Richard Grant – but that was all I needed to see to know that Oganov was overrated and wasn’t in the same class as Zuniga. As it turns out, I was correct. In this regard, Oganov represents the class of that is built up over time by throwing him in with overly soft opposition, in other words, fighters that he can easily beat to help build an impressive knockout record.

All those KO victories for Oganov looked impressive on paper, but when you dug deeper and saw who they were against, you quickly discovered that only two of the names were recognizable, and neither of them were ranked in the top 10. Read the rest of this entry »

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